Authors Note: Hi, there! So as you can see, this is an alternate version of "I Feel So." Raigo (Who is incredible, BTW..check out his fics!) contacted me last week and asked if I would be willing to re-write "I Feel So" from Stan's POV. I decided to take on the challenge. Continuation will depend on feedback--I'm aware that a lot of people may not want to read it if they've already read the original. They already know what will happen! For those of you who haven't read the original version, You do not need to read "I Feel So" to understand this version.
I invite helpful criticism. Please keep that in mind. I don't know if this will have the same amount of success as the original, but I look forward to your reviews!
Disclaimer: South Park, not mine.
Chapter 1- Froggies and Teddy-Bears
Kyle Broflovski has always been my world. And if not my world, then he was my whole life. He meant everything to me, and nothing could ever make that go away.
It happened back in preschool, when his mother carried him into the room two weeks after everyone else had already started. He was hiding his face in her shoulder, arms coiled tightly around her neck. We all froze, losing interest in our toys as we stared curiously at the newcomers.
"Hi, there!" The teacher rushed forward to greet them. "I'm so happy to see you again, Mrs. Broflovski."
"Thank you, Ms. Claridge, what a nice thing to say." Sheila set Kyle's Cookie Monster bag on a window shelf next to my Pooh Bear backpack. "Kyle's been looking forward to playing with all the other children, but I'm afraid he's feeling a little shy this morning."
"That's perfectly understandable. Everyone gets a little nervous when they're in a new place, but we're going to make sure he has a wonderful first day. Aren't we, kids?"
We stared blankly at her, too dim at age four to comprehend much besides the fact that a stranger was in the room and we weren't supposed to talk to strangers.
"Why don't you say hello to all your new little friends, Bubbe?" Shelia asked. Kyle didn't move.
"Why'd she call him a boobie?" Cartman whispered. I shrugged and Kenny snickered, finding humor in sexuality even then.
"This is boring," Cartman decided, tugging at my sleeve. "Let's play firemen."
I pulled away from him, too intrigued with the new kid to care about playing stupid firemen. Cartman began to whine, but I tuned him out.
"I have an idea," Ms. Claridge was saying. Kyle flinched when she touched his back. "Why don't we all finger-paint? Do you like to finger-paint, Kyle?"
He shifted a little, then peeked out at her with one eye.
Shelia gasped in mock excitement. "Kyle adores finger-painting. He makes beautiful pictures to send to his family in Connecticut."
Ms. Claridge clapped her hands together. "That sounds perfect!" She rushed to the supply closet and began pulling out jars of paint. "Come on over children. Let's show our new friend how we paint."
The rest of the class swarmed around the miniature easels, too excited about making pictures to care about Kyle anymore. But I was still watching him as Ms. Claridge began draping oversized paint-shirts over our heads. He was sitting up fully now, watching everyone dance and jump around while individual paints were being distributed.
"This one's for you, Kyle," said Ms. Claridge, lining three paint jars along the easel next to mine.
Kyle released Shelia's neck and slid to the ground, tugging nervously at his hair. I dipped my fingers into the green paint and streaked it across the middle of the paper while he was being kissed goodbye.
"Be a good boy, Kyle. Mommy will be back to get you soon."
Ms. Claridge slid a shirt over his head and steered him toward his easel, then walked Shelia to the door.
I just stared at him. He didn't look like anyone I had ever seen in my life. Everyone had pale skin in South Park; the hidden sun wouldn't have it any other way. But Kyle's skin was different somehow. He looked like the porcelain dolls Shelley had in her room, the ones I wasn't allowed to touch because they'd break and then she'd kill me. I had seen red hair before, too—one of our other classmates had it—but Kyle's was more vibrant, curls sticking out everywhere. He had the kind of face that you couldn't look away from, intelligent and friendly, wildly imaginative behind the gleaming emerald of his eyes.
But at the time, I remember thinking the best thing about him was the fact that he wore a green frog on his shirt, drawn in the same style as the brown teddy bear on mine. I could see it through the thin white material of his cover-up clothes.
Kyle, sensing my gaze, turned to look at me. We blinked curiously at each other, saying nothing for a few moments. I was awed at how much brighter his eyes were when he looked at me dead-on. Maybe I had seen red hair before, but at that point, I had never seen anyone with eyes the same color as lime Jell-O.
Uncomfortable with my gawking, Kyle finally ducked his head, twisting his fingers together shyly.
"I like your froggy," I told him, saying the only thing that came to mind. He glanced back up at me.
"Your froggy," I repeated, tapping his chest with a green finger. "it looks like my bear." I stretched the collar of my paint shirt open, showing off my ensemble. He peeked inside, cautious but interested. When he looked back into my eyes, he was smiling.
Excitement bubbled through me, like it did when my mom told me I could have two cookies for dessert. I was proud of myself for making Kyle happy, and in one inexplicable moment, he had me completely smitten. It became my mission in life to make him happy, to make him laugh. Not because I wanted to feel good about myself, but because I liked making him feel good; because a world devoid of his smile was suddenly dull and uninteresting.
...Which was why I was hauling ass twelve years later, darting between unsuspecting pedestrians in my rush through the main streets of South Park. Kyle was waiting for me, and I was over an hour late. Again. God damn, I was really fucking up with him lately.
I slowed when I spotted the bright green of his ushanka next to Baskin Robins. He was perched on the curb with his chin in his palm, looking torn between anger and dejection. With his free hand he held an ice cream cone, and despite the chilled weather, the contents were half-melted and dripping lines similar to chocolate veins down his fist.
This couldn't be good at all.
"Kyle, Hey!" I shouted as I came closer. If there was one way to get Kyle out of a foul mood, it was by distracting him. "I'm sorry I'm late, Dude. Wendy wouldn't stop talking. She really liked the bracelet I got her."
But Kyle's mood was even worse than I had originally thought. He ignored me completely, instead turning in the opposite direction with a loud "Hmmph!"
If I had three guesses what the problem was, my first choice would have to be Cartman. Seeing as how Cartman was out of town visiting family for the weekend, it seemed unlikely—though still not impossible—that this was Cartman's doing. My second choice would be his mother. But because it irritated him when anyone made assumptions about his mood, I decided to play it dumb.
"Is something wrong?" I asked, dropping to the cement beside him. The sleeve of my sweater brushed his arm, and he shivered gently. I'd never understand why he always remembered his hat but barely ever remembered his coat.
"Gee, Stan," he said, sneering. "What would make you think a thing like that?"
I almost rolled my eyes. "Your ice cream is melting all over your hand," I said, reduced to pointing out the obvious.
For some curious reason, he looked honestly surprised by this revelation, as if he hadn't even been aware he was holding anything in the first place. He looked down, watching a single drop splatter onto the sidewalk. "My ice cream?"
"Yeah, Dude!" I dipped my finger into the cone and tested the flavor. It had sugar. Real sugar, which meant that this wasn't his ice cream at all; it was mine.
"That's Swiss Chocolate Swirl. How could you?" I asked, still trying desperately to lighten the mood, though it was evident by the licks of fire in his eyes that it was useless at this point. His fingers crunched into the cone.
"Swiss chocolate swirl!" Melted chocolate exploded in a brilliant cloud around us as he spun on me, eyes wild. "Is that the only reason you think something's wrong?"
I blinked twice, almost flinching away from the accusation in his tone. Which brought me around to my third and final guess about what was up his ass—me.
"What about the fact that I've been sitting here for the past hour and twenty three minutes waiting for you, Stan?" He continued, flailing his arms in my face. "Ever think of that?"
It was so unfair. A month ago, I had been content to give him every spare moment that I had, and he had pushed and pushed until I got back together with Wendy. It was like he wanted me to spend all my time with her. Now I was doing exactly what I thought was supposed to do to make him happy, and he was still unhappy.
"Kyle, come on." I sighed loudly, exhausted. I hated fighting with him. "I told you that-"
"Yeah, I know! Wendy, Wendy, Wendy."
"Don't you "Kyle" me, you douche!" He was trembling, grinding his teeth as he spoke. We were getting curious looks from passerby's, but he didn't seem to notice that either; he was far too consumed being unreasonably pissed off.
I finally glared. "You're the one being a douche, you douche! Just because I ran a little late-"
"You didn't just run a little late, Stan!" He pushed himself off the ground. "You've been over an hour late every single time we've made plans ever since you got back together with Wendy the Skank!"
"Don't call her a skank, asshole!" I yelled, scrambling from the sidewalk. "You're the one who got us back together in the first place, Kyle!"
"Because I wanted to see my best friend happy, not because I never wanted to see him at all!" Tears glassed his eyes, but he quickly blinked them away, trying to hide his pain.
My mood immediately leveled. I had no idea things had gotten this bad, that it bothered him this much. God, I had to be the worst super best friend in existence. I felt horrible.
"Dude," I struggled for words a moment, hating myself for letting him down. The only thing I could come up with was, "I'm sorry, Ky." I touched his shoulder, hoping he could feel the sincerity behind the cliché lines. "You're right. I shouldn't have kept you waiting."
He ripped his hand away, cradling it to his chest like my touch had scorched him. "I'm sorry, too."
"What do you mean?"
He glowered through newly forming tears, trembling violently against the wind. "I'm sorry I have to find a new best friend."
My heart throbbed frantically, ominously. "Kyle-"
"No!" He snapped. "I'm not going to sit around waiting for you anymore while you just forget about me, Stan."
Horrified, I moved closer, trying to lock his gaze. I'd never heard him said anything like that before, never seen him so upset with me before. He wouldn't even meet my eyes, instead focusing on my shoes.
"I could never forget about you, Kyle. You're my best friend, Dude." I touched his shoulder, hoping the gesture would be enough to pacify him. "My super best friend."
My heart thudded painfully as I watched him. Finally, he swallowed hard, then carefully peeked up at me. I smiled before I could stop myself. Gradually, he smiled back, gentle and forgiving.
I pulled him into a half-hug, breathing a shuddering sigh of relief, then released him before he could remember he had just been mad.
"Lets get you a new ice-cream," I said, even though I knew it had actually been for me. There was no reason to draw even more attention to what an incredible ass-wipe I was.
...Especially when I still had to tell him I was seeing Wendy again tonight.
The problem with Kyle's video game playing skills was that he tried too damn hard.
We were back at my house for the evening, wearing out my Games Sphere with virtual ass-kicking. Kyle was on his knees, somehow believing that his player would obtain better momentum if he jerked and bent in the directions he wanted it to go. I didn't have the heart to tell him it didn't work that way. Besides, he was fun to watch.
"Damnit!" He finally shrieked, successfully defeated for the fourth round.
"Told you I was gonna kick your pathetic ass," I said, beaming.
Kyle just shrugged and plopped down next to me, fighting a grin. I could see him biting down on his tongue. "I'd rather you kick my ass virtually than for real."
"I'd never kick your ass, Kyle."
"I know." He caved, smiling now. "You wouldn't be able to."
"What's that supposed to mean?" I asked.
"It means: You may be able to kick my ass at some crappy video game, but we all know who'd win in a real fight." He waggled his eyebrows at me. I tossed my controller to the side and crawled toward him, narrowing my eyes. That sounded like a challenge to me.
"We'll see about that," I said, hoping I sounded threatening, and leapt at him.
Kyle half-gasped, half-screamed as I fell on top of him. He quickly kneed my balls and rolled me over, pinning me to the cushions. For a moment, I was overcome with shock at his new-found strength, then began swatting at him, trying desperately to free myself. Kyle lapsed into a round of hysterics, weakening under his mirth. I used the opportunity to flip him onto the floor, using a backward somersault I didn't even know I could do, then tried to scramble away. But Kyle jumped me again, this time wrapping his thighs around my head, squeezing.
"Say uncle," he said, calmly.
I struggled for air, for freedom, not ready to back down yet. I could take him, I knew I could. I always did.
The pressure around my cranium doubled. "Say uncle!"
The harder I fought, the tighter his hold became. I was about to give up when the subtle whisper of jeans against my lips sparked an idea. I fell limp and tilted my head down, then sunk my teeth into his inner thigh.
Kyle yelped and violently thrashed away. "You bastard! You… you bit me!"
"Bit me!" he repeated, completely traumatized.
"Uh huh." I flashed my middle finger at him, still grinning.
Kyle flew on top of me again, just like I'd planned. I received him eagerly and twisted his arm behind his back. "Say uncle."
"Bastard," he choked.
I bent his elbow further. He moaned and leaned forward, struggling to break loose.
"Uncle?" I asked, bouncing my eyebrows.
Kyle grunted, fumbling a few more seconds before collapsing against me, his cheek to my chest. "Uncle."
I dropped my hands and allowed him a breather, trying to ignore the fact that he was straddling my lap, his crotch pressed against mine. It was an exceedingly intimate position for two best friends to be in, and I wondered if it felt half as awkward to him as it did to me.
He turned his face into my chest, breathing in my skin before sitting up and cradling the arm I had just got done torturing. His eyes were unusually vibrant, penetrating deeply into mine.
My thoughts were starting to go dark, to places they shouldn't be going, the way they always did when Kyle got too close. Romantically, I loved Wendy, I knew that much. But I couldn't deny that I was sexually attracted to Kyle. It wasn't something I thought about often; it was merely something I was aware of in moments like these. The overwhelming urge to grind myself against him left no room for doubt in that respect.
The doorbell rang just as my breath started to hitch. I threw Kyle to the floor, thankful for the distraction, and darted away to answer it.
Of course, I already knew it was Wendy before I opened the door, but I still cringed when I saw her. I hadn't found a good opening to tell Kyle she'd be coming over.
"Hi, Stan," She said, throwing her arms around my neck.
"Hey, Babe." I nudged toward the living room, where she could plainly see Kyle, still on the floor where I'd left him. She nodded, understanding it'd be rude to ask him to leave and better if we just went to her house.
Obediently, she slid her arm into mine and tugged me back toward Kyle. He was laughing to himself, amused for some inexplicable reason.
"What's so funny?" I asked, smiling at his behavior.
His face fell immediately. I glanced briefly at Wendy as he stood, shaking his head dismissively. Part of me wished I could call my date with Wendy off. I was really starting to feel like I was having Kyle withdraws, but I had already promised Wendy we could be together tonight. It was a miracle her parents were going to be out so late, and we needed to take advantage of that while we had the chance. Kyle would understand. I drew in a deep breath.
"Kyle, I need a favor."
He looked between us, eyes narrowing distrustfully, then looked away. "… What?" he asked.
"Cover for me?"
"Huh?" He looked back up, eyes heartbreakingly unstable in their worry.
"You know," I wet my lips, nervous. "When my parents come home."
Kyle stumbled and grabbed hold of the couch. "You're leaving?"
"…Well, yeah." I rubbed the back of my neck, trying to act casual. Keep it light and Kyle would ride it out that way. "I mean, it's not like we were doing anything special. We were just screwing around and then gonna go to sleep."
"I doubt you're gonna do anything with Wendy besides screw around and then go to sleep," he snapped, startling me with his callousness.
"I'm just gonna wait outside," Wendy broke in, her words too rational for the situation. She eyed Kyle for a moment, then moved back toward the door. I waited until I heard it close.
"What the hell was that?"
Kyle shrugged, looking slightly pleased with himself. "You talk about sex all the time."
I glared, hard. I could understand if he was upset with me, but he had no right to take it out on Wendy. "Kenny talks about sex all the time. And yeah, maybe sometimes I join in, but you don't say shit like that in front of a chick."
"She's not a chick, she's Wendy," he argued, crossing his arms.
"You're acting like a total dick. What is up?" My blood spiked another degree when he didn't answer. "Kyle?"
"An hour and twenty-three minutes," he reminded me, far too calm. I could sense another volcanic eruption lurking beneath the surface. "I waited an hour and twenty-three minutes for you, and now you're just going to blow me off for her again?"
"Oh no. Here we go again." I tried to say it playfully, but it came out on a sigh and sounded all wrong. Still, I tried again. "You're starting to sound like a nagging girlfriend, dude. We spent all evening together."
Kyle said nothing. It was like his battery had been turned off. It was obvious he was about ready to crash, so why shouldn't I be with Wendy while he slept?
"Please, Kyle? Every time I'm with her, one of our parents are hovering around. It's like they don't have anything better to do but annoy us or something. This is the only chance I have to just be alone with her and not worry about anyone else getting in the way."
Kyle backed down, finally understanding how important this was for mine and Wendy's relationship. He gave a tentative nod.
"Thanks, dude." I patted his shoulder, letting him know there weren't any hard feelings, and traced the tart scent of Wendy's perfume out the door.
I wasn't going to let the air of dejection lingering around Kyle ruin my time with Wendy. By the time I got back, he wasn't going to care about this anyway.
TO BE CONTINUED...