1.5 Miles per Hour
Summary: Every day in South Park, Colorado, has been basically the same for Kyle Broflovski. He's gone to school, hung out with his friends, and this has happened for basically his entire life. He thought he understood everything there was to know about the people around him, but as time has gone on, something happens which makes Kyle question all the relationships he thought he completely understood. The only constant in life is that everything changes.
Pairings: KyCart and Style, undertones of Bunny and Candy.
~South Park and all characters belong to Matt Stone and Trey Parker, I'm just borrowing them for a little fun. ~
Chapter 15: Asleep by the Smiths
It's all my fault.
At least let me say I'm sorry.
"Butters! Get up, it's time for school!" his mother's voice traveled through the cracks in his front door. The small blonde boy pulled the covers over his head and kept his eyes shut. School's not cancelled today, too? Aww.
A few minutes later, he heard his father's voice. "Butters, did you hear your mother? Get down here!"
"YESSIR!" The blonde yelled from under the covers. He was tired. It had been yet another sleepless night for him. His eyes were barely open as he ran into the bathroom and brushed his teeth. He guessed it was Wednesday- the school was closed Monday and Tuesday from the heavy blizzard Saturday night.
He dashed back into his room and pulled on a pair of jeans, wincing as he noticed a beer stain on the pants and remembered Saturday night. Stan's party.
I came home the next mornin'… and had a horrible headache. I threw up at Stan's party a couple of times… Dunno how many actual drinks I had. Serves me right for drinkin', I guess…
He buttoned up his baby blue jacket over a pink shirt and grabbed his backpack, running down the stairs.
"I'm up, Dad," Butters said as he walked by his father. He heard the rustling of a newspaper as he grabbed his Hello Kitty lunch box off the counter and proceeded out the front door.
"Butters- eat some breakfast!" his mom called after him. The door closed behind the small blonde as he continued on his way to the sidewalk.
Once he reached the corner of his street and he was out of sight of his parents, he bent down and unzipped his bag. He made sure he had two copies of his notebook and two copies of the essay assigned Friday that he already finished. The first copy was for himself, obviously… and the second…
Is for Kenny… when he gets back… Butters' eyes watered as he zipped his bag closed again and stood up, wiping his eyes and walking toward his school.
Don't wake me up.
Sleeping is freedom.
Wake up. He is not here today. I can sleep in peace.
Wake up. In school, third period. Teacher is prattling on again.
Wake up. It's lunch. I'm not hungry. I stay in the classroom and sleep at my desk.
"Jew," Kyle vaguely registered the figure in front of him. It waved a hand in his face and frowned. "God damn it- stop ignoring me."
"Your dad is a stereotypical greedy Jew with a big nose."
"Your brother is Canadian and nobody loves him."
"Your mom is a big, fat, Jew bitch-
"DON'T CALL MY MOM A BITCH, CARTMAN!" the redhead finally retorted. After his outburst, he quickly realized old habits die hard. Cartman smirked his self-satisfied smirk at Kyle at the fact he finally got Kyle to pay attention to him.
"So you finally wake up?" his smirk grew wider as he watched the redhead.
Kyle could care less about his outburst toward Cartman at that moment. He was too tired and his head was too full to worry about anything else. Lucky for him, Stan didn't appear to be at school that day, so he could ignore the broken feeling in his chest for yet another day.
"Why are you bothering me, fat-ass?" Kyle asked him. He knew that calling Cartman that would push his buttons.
"What the fuck is your problem, Kahl?" Cartman asked from his seat in front of him. He looked slightly tired, but Kyle could have really cared less what that asshole looked like. Kyle glanced around the room- they seemed to be the only two still in the classroom.
"Why are you here?" the redhead looked down at the floor. "Go to lunch. Go harass someone else."
"There's no one else I'd rather harass, Kahl, in case you didn't figure that out yet."
Kyle looked up; the brunette seemed pretty pleased with himself. He scowled.
"I'm tired. Get away from me." Kyle attempted to tuck his head back into his arms.
"What, not even a 'thanks'? For taking you home after you stole my bed through the snow and the cold?" the brunette asked innocently.
Kyle blinked- he would have not remembered that. Truthfully, Kyle didn't remember much because he chose to sleep through it. His mom had attempted to grill him for details that morning before school, but he just replied he didn't feel well and ran out of the house. Ike seemed worried too- Kyle still hadn't explained why he was at Cartman's house that night, or what had been going on recently. Kyle really didn't like to worry his family, yet he himself was too tired to even think about everything, let alone explain it to other people.
"I'm tired," he started, "and I'm going back to sleep." He put his head down on his desk and closed his eyes. He really stopped caring about everything. It was easiest just to forget things that happened instead of confront them directly.
"You owe me an answer, Jew-rat," the voice he despised said in his ear.
Kyle could have jumped out of his skin if anatomy didn't get in the way. He shot open his eyes and found himself face to face with Cartman, who looked angry. This time, there was no smile on his face.
"You said he was the reason you came over to my house. What happened?"
I'm not talking about this.
"Did you two break up or fight or some shit like that?"
I refuse to talk about this, especially to him. The redhead shut his eyes tightly and tried to block Cartman out.
"Tell me what Stan did, Kahl."
"DON'T FUCKING SAY HIS NAME!!" Kyle finally snapped back, "You're such a sadist Cartman- you know doing that will upset me!" the redhead stood up angrily, his chair screeching against the floor, and began to exit the room.
"Well, I'm not gonna get an answer any other way unless I push it out of you! Or haven't you already figured that much out, Kahl?!" Cartman, too, stood up quickly and walked after Kyle, causing the Jew to spin around and narrow his eyes at the teen.
"Why the hell do you care?!" Kyle began, making fists with his hands. "Are you just looking for another thing to make fun of me with?! Because if that's the case, then I'm not fucking telling you!"
Cartman looked taken aback by Kyle's words, but continued his angry pursuit, "Tell me RIGHT NOW, Jew, or I swear to God-
"You'll what?!" Kyle dared him-- his eyes alit with fury. "I've already seen hell Cartman- nothing you could do could make it worse."
I want to go back to sleep. I don't want to talk about this. Kyle could already feel the memories of that night flooding into his head, beyond his control.
Cartman watched Kyle reel for a moment, his harsh features softening slightly as he quieted his voice to a normal level, "What did he do to you…?" Kyle thought he almost sounded like he cared. Almost.
Kyle bit his lip and looked everywhere except at the brunette in front of him. "It wasn't his fault," was the first quiet confession he was willing to make.
"What are you talking about?" the larger teen asked worriedly, "That doesn't matter!"
Tears threatened to escape Kyle's eyes again from thinking about that night. About how it was his own fault. How he was an awful boyfriend and best friend. God damn it, I'm sick of crying.
"No, don't cry again." Cartman practically ordered him. He looked helpless—uncharacteristically upset at the tears gathering in the corners of the redhead's eyes. "Fuck. Stop it Kahl, please. Please."
"I thought you'd enjoy my crying, idiot." Kyle's voice sounded hallow.
The brunette's expression seemed to soften as he watched the pathetic-looking boy in front of him try to silence his true emotions. "Yes…" he started quietly, "but…"
Kyle closed his eyes and moved his head away from Cartman, with the full intention of leaving the room. Cartman, however, was ready for this, placed each of his large hands on either side of the redhead's face and wrenched it back toward his own. He looked Kyle in the eyes forcefully as anger seemed to pour out of him.
His hands tightened on Kyle's face, forcing Kyle to look him in the eyes. "NO ONE EXCEPT ME IS SUPPOSED TO MAKE YOU CRY, GOD DAMNIT!" he shook Kyle slightly, trying to get him to understand, but after a few moments of heavy breathing, his grip loosened and he let his hands drop to holding Kyle's upper arms.
The Jew's eyes widened. Suddenly the last few days seemed to overtake Kyle like an electroshock to the head. The world fell in place again. There was something to grab on to.
He looked into Cartman's brown eyes as something the boy said before rang in his head.
"If it didn't snow… people wouldn't like the sun as much."
The redhead continued to stare into Cartman's eyes as he thought about what that meant.
If the snow wasn't there, people wouldn't appreciate the sun's warmth as much as they do…
If Stan wasn't there in comparison to Cartman, would I still hate Cartman as much?
And if Cartman wasn't there to compare to Stan, would I still love Stan as much?
Seconds ticked by, but Cartman's continued to hold Kyle by his arms. It seemed like he was waiting for something… anything.
"Your answer is…" Kyle started quietly as the tears grew heavy in his eyes. But he never once looked away from the brown eyes staring him down. "He got drunk and lost control, and tried to… He hurt me, okay?! And I was fucking stupid for even letting it get that far!"
Cartman's eyes widened in surprise slightly, but Kyle continued. "The night after I lost my virginity he fucking gets on top of me and tells me he loves me!" The words just started spilling out of his mouth and kept going. "I had to push him off- there was something else I had to do. And he wouldn't stop!! Is that what you wanted to hear?"
"He was just drunk. He didn't mean it… he didn't mean it! I can't blame him-- he's my best f-f-friend! I love him, and he loves me! He wouldn't… he wouldn't hurt me on purpose!" Kyle tugged on Cartman's shirt and looked in his eyes pleadingly at his own reflection. He wasn't so much telling Cartman these things instead of… reaffirming them to himself.
"He couldn't hurt me," he said in disbelief. Cartman remained silent but still held the smaller boy by his arms. "He wouldn't. He's… Stan…"
Why do I love him so much? This hurts. This really hurts.
Kyle hiccupped again and looked down, closing his eyes. "He's my… super best friend."
The silence that followed was one of the most awkward of both the boys' lives. Kyle continued to beat himself up in his head, and begin to get embarrassed at the fact Cartman was still holding him. Cartman's facial expression was anything but embarrassed, however, and he continued to stare down at the redhead, like he was trying to comprehend what Kyle said.
"He…" Cartman began. Kyle looked up and saw a look in Cartman's eyes he'd never seen before. Does he look… concerned? Kyle couldn't quite believe what he was seeing. The brunette narrowed his eyes a little more and frowned, and said in a small voice, "He hurt you?"
"What's going on?" a voice said from the front of the classroom, causing both boys to jump and Cartman to quickly let go of Kyle. They both turned to see none other than Kenny standing in the doorway, watching them.
Kyle tried to wipe the remaining tears from his eyes, but to no avail-- Kenny obviously saw them.
"I was just giving him a harder time than usual," Cartman said, slightly pink. Kyle turned toward him in disbelief. He's trying to cover up for me?
Cartman attempted to smile and continued, "He's just such a little pussy, it's not my fault he cries so easily."
Kenny looked back and forth between the two boys and crossed his arms. "Right."
He doesn't sound like he believes him… Suddenly, a sick feeling overtook Kyle's senses and he swayed slightly. He grabbed onto a desk to steady himself.
"I feel sick…" he said quietly. Suddenly, he covered his mouth with his hand and ran out of the room. Cartman and Kenny stared after him.
Keep it together Cartman. It's just Kahl, there's no reason to feel like this. But… seeing him like that drives me crazy. Seeing him sad… when it's not something I've done…
The brunette narrowed his eyes as Kenny watched him amusedly.
Stan… what have you done to my Jew?
That morning, Kenny McCormick awoke in his run-down house, on his crappy torn mattress surrounded by trash and old food, to find that he was, in fact, alive. A surprise to himself more than anyone. Once he reached school, it was practically noon, and by then he'd figured out it was Wednesday.
Why the fuck did I have to be dead the two days school was let off? Fucking blizzard. Kenny ran his hand through his blonde hair and traipsed through the halls lazily, toward the usual classroom, wearing a pair of ripped blue jeans and a black jacket. Since he died so often anyway, he wasn't too affected by it when he was miraculously resurrected. I wonder what mess everyone's gotten into without me…
The blonde looked around the hall and it vaguely registered it must have been lunchtime. However, he didn't want to deal with people quite yet, so he continued to his classroom. He walked past an open door to another class and didn't hear someone walk out behind him.
"Kenny?" a small voice said. Kenny stopped walking and turned to see none other than Butters, watching him like he'd seen a ghost (more or less). "You're…" he stuttered, attempting to word his confusion. "You're alive?"
Kenny suddenly felt the blood rush to his cheeks and looked away from the smaller blonde. How absolutely gay Butters looked, wearing layered pink and blue clothes. Those stupid big eyes. How much Kenny wanted Butters to stop looking at him like that.
"It appears I'm indestructible for the moment," he was looking everywhere in the hall except at Butters. Considering their goodbyes last time he was alive, he didn't particularly want to discuss his reoccurring deaths with Butters. He figured the other blonde would begin to blubber all over him if he mentioned it to much.
Sure enough, Butters walked toward him slowly, his lip trembling. Here it comes, Kenny thought to himself, bracing his ears for a loud crying fest. Butters was a known crybaby.
However, Kenny was not prepared when Butters took another quick step toward him and collided his fist with Kenny's ear.
"Shit!" Kenny cursed loudly, backing up and holding his ear as he looked back at Butters, eyes widened in surprise.
"DON'T EVER DIE AGAIN WHEN I SAY NOT TO!" Butters yelled loudly at him. Kenny was (to say the least) taken aback by this outburst, and remained quiet. Although Butters was obviously angry, his eyes were filling up with tears. "I was worried about you! I thought you'd died! You… you mean idiot!" His fists were clenched and shaking at either side of his small frame, ready to attack again if need be. "Now, I'm rather angry, and you're going to hear me out… at least with your good ear!"
Kenny remained silent, allowing Butters to continue. "You made me skip class, teased me, made me be completely selfish and killed yourself! I have every right to be angry and maybe even hit you again!" Although (unbeknownst to Kenny) Butters had never really hit anyone before and actually hurt his fist when he smashed it into Kenny's ear.
The smaller blonde folded his arms and looked crossly at Kenny. Kenny looked down for a moment, then a smile spread across his face. He removed his hand from his ear and took a step toward Butters, closing the space between them.
He met Butters' baby blue eyes. The smaller teen did not expect to see Kenny smiling. His angry pose broke for a moment as he glanced at Kenny's ear. It was bleeding slightly and looked like it hurt. "Oh no- Kenny! Your ear! We should get you to the nurse!"
The larger blonde laughed at him, shaking his head. Butters would be like this. "It's fine, Butters, I've had worse," he said darkly, his eyes flashing. His mind wandered back to the moment right before his death, to what Butters had yelled at him before the truck impounded his skull and caused his innards to seep all over the pavement.
"So… you don't want me away from you anymore?" Kenny asked Butters, smirking. This caused Butters to completely freeze in place and look up at Kenny. He appeared to be thinking back to that time, too, for a very obvious blush crept across his fair features. This, in turn, caused Kenny to feel embarassed as well.
"I just…" Butters said after a moment, looking down. He shifted between his feet as Kenny continued to grin at him. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the smaller blonde's arms stretched out toward Kenny and wrapped his arms around Kenny's middle. He pulled him in closely and let the tears fall.
"I'm glad you're not dead…" Butters admitted softly, his voice muffled in Kenny's black jacket. Kenny watched the blonde in his chest and remembered another time Butters had just grabbed him and hugged him. This time, though, the situation was entirely different. He let a small smile show on his face, since Butters wasn't looking.
A minute later, Butters removed his head from Kenny's jacket and looked at it in surprise, "Kenny! Where's your orange parka?"
Kenny continued to look down at him. This morning, I saw it and decided I shouldn't wear it. All his orange parkas were covered in debris and blood from whatever killed him last.
I know that wearing those parkas is like I'm giving in and letting my destiny be decided for me… that I will continue to die until the day I actually die.
Once he realized he was in very close proximity with Butters' baby blue eyes, Kenny turned his head away and said quietly, "I just… didn't feel like wearing it."
Butters continued to watch the other blonde, his arms still draped around his middle, for a hint of any sort of emotion hiding underneath that seemingly harmless statement. A blush crept across Kenny's face and he quickly removed Butters' arms from his waist.
"I just figured… it's time for a change," he said, still not looking at Butters. Why do I feel embarrassed? It's just Butters! Stupid, little, over emotional, possibly gay-
"It probably is," Butters interrupted his train of thought. He glanced at the smaller teen just in time to see a toothy smile split his face. Kenny felt his face heat up more.
"Well… I'm going to be around for a while now, so don't… get tired of me, or anything," Kenny said awkwardly, turning his back on Butters and heading back toward his classroom.
"I'll see you in class, Ken!" Butters yelled after him. Kenny finally let himself smile once he knew Butters couldn't see him anymore. He's right. I will see him.
"He couldn't hurt me," he heard Kyle say from inside the classroom. This causes Kenny to stop directly outside the classroom and listen in curiously. "He wouldn't. He's… Stan…"
…What did I miss?
He heard a pathetic hiccup and Kyle continued, "He's my… super best friend."
A long silence followed and Kenny almost wondered if Kyle had fallen asleep in the room. Instead, he realized as he peered in curiously, Cartman was holding Kyle's face and staring down at him like a hawk. Kyle's back was toward Kenny, so he couldn't make out his facial expression, but by the tremors wracking Kyle's shoulders, he assumed Kyle was crying. The silence seemed to stretch on forever.
"He…" Cartman began. Kenny noticed a look in Cartman's eyes he'd never seen before. Does he look… concerned? Kenny could barely believe what he was seeing. The brunette narrowed his eyes a little more and frowned, "He hurt you?"
Shit. Stan hurt Kyle? Kenny's brain processed the information quickly. If Cartman finds out… Stan's dead.
"What's going on?" Kenny said as he entered the classroom, causing both other boys to jump and Cartman to quickly let go of Kyle's face. The blonde wanted to smirk but knew he had to feign innocence unless he wanted the shit beat out of him as well.
Kyle pathetically tried to wipe the remaining tears from his eyes, but Kenny had already seen him crying and heard the conversation (unbeknownst to them), so it really was a pointless gesture.
"I was just giving him a harder time than usual, he's just such a little pussy, it's not my fault he cries so easily," Cartman said, blushing slightly. Fucking liar, Kenny smirked. You're protecting him. Oh Cartman, what has happened while I've been away?
Kenny looked between the two boys in front of him and crossed his arms "Right."
Suddenly, Kyle took a dizzy step and grabbed ahold of the desk nearest to him. He looked green. "I feel sick…" he said quietly. Moments later, he covered his mouth with his hand and ran out of the room. Cartman and Kenny stared after him.
The brunette narrowed his eyes as Kenny watched him amusedly. After many moments lost in thought, Cartman snapped his attention back to Kenny. "What?" he asked rudely, obviously annoyed.
Kenny shrugged innocently and half-smiled at his best friend. "You fucking idiot. What did I miss while I was gone?"
Cartman, instead of huffing at Kenny and calling him a poor loser, did exactly the opposite of what Kenny expected. He crumpled into a desk chair and looked, for lack of a better word, defeated. Cartman looked like he'd fought a long battle and was finally accepting defeat.
Kenny watched him wordlessly for another minute, pushing his greasy bangs out of his face, and walked over to Cartman. He sat on the desk next to the brunette and looked up at the ceiling. There was a bitten pencil stuck in the ceiling next to an array of dried spit balls—Kenny quickly deducted Cartman was the perpetrator of both and they were in fact sitting in Kyle's seat.
The blonde glanced down at the larger boy sitting lower than him. Cartman looked disheveled. There were large bags under his eyes like he hadn't slept in weeks, and his clothes seemed to be fitting looser than normal. Some form of emotional baggage seemed to have been wearing him down in the five days since Kenny's disappearance.
"So, you really aren't happy, are you?" Kenny said. This caused Cartman to look up at him— they both knew what conversation Kenny was referencing. The fateful day Cartman announced to Kenny that Wendy had offered to pay him to pretend to date him. It seemed like years since then, when it was in fact only a couple of weeks.
Kenny knew a lot had changed in his own self since that day, but he still wondered about Cartman. "You know, Cartman, I think you're becoming soft."
A crease appeared between the brunette's eyebrows as he scowled at Kenny. "What the fuck are you talking about?"
"The old Eric Cartman would fight until he got what he wanted," Kenny started, looking out the window and smirking. His hair fell into his face again as he continued, "He wouldn't just let some stupid asshole get in the way of what he wanted—he'd find their weakness. He'd exploit them. He'd use whatever means necessary to achieve his ultimate goals. Cartman- you are possibly the only person alive that has deteriorated in the years since he was nine. You could really learn a few things from your past self. In fact, if your past self was here in this room, he'd probably tell you to stop acting like such a pussy and face facts."
Cartman watched Kenny confusedly, not exactly knowing what the blonde was referring to. "What are you talking about, Kenny?"
"I'm saying… don't give up! Use your brain! You're the sneaky, sociopathic, smart ass we've all come to know and hate—you should never just let someone change that!" Kenny finally met Cartman's eyes, and in them, a blaze began to appear from his words. "Everyone knows that the only way to truly lose is to give up."
The bell echoed through the practically empty classroom as Kenny hopped off the desk. "Hey Kenny?" Cartman said, still sitting in the desk.
"Yeah?" Kenny said, smiling and turning around, half expecting to be punched in the face for his bluntness.
"Your ear is bleeding," Cartman said smartly, almost smirking. "And… welcome back."
Kenny almost smiled at his welcome from Cartman, although that was not how their friendship worked. They were not the sentimental type. So Kenny would not let on how happy he was to be back, or that he truly cared for Cartman and wanted him to get his life in order.
I'm not even going to think about how much shit Cartman would give me if he knew Butters punched me, though.
As the rest of the class began to file back into the room, Kenny abandoned Cartman and sat down at his usual desk and noticed a manila folder lying on it. He picked it up and observed, curiously, that the words "Kenny's Work" were sprawled on one side. He flipped the folder open and, miraculously, it had a notebook filled with lecture notes and reading notes, and an outline for an essay due Thursday.
He looked over at where Butters was sitting down, and smiled.
Everything seemed at peace for a moment.
However, no one was prepared for the storm that was about to settle in Mr. Garrison's classroom. Be it the redhead returning from the nurse's, the brunette contemplating the words of his friend, or the dark haired boy heading into the classroom, having missed the first half of the day because his car being trapped in the snow.
AN: College is hard. I'm in art and have a shit ton of work. Please don't get too angry that I haven't updated my other stories either… WOAE is probably next. This chapter took so much energy to finish. BIG THINGS GO DOWN IN THE NEXT.
Thank you all for continuing to follow this story (and I) and not giving up hope. I wouldn't leave a story unfinished—some just take a lot longer.
THAT BEING SAID: I am so sorry if there are typos. I found time to finish this chapter today and I just want to put it up because it's been so long since I've updated this story.
Apologies and much love,
PS: I love Kenny. I think I'm becoming a Kenny fan more than I was before I started writing this story.