Disclaimer: South Park and all characters in it are copyright Matt Stone and Trey Parker, not me.
Such an innocent title, isn't it?
The lyrics are from Pink Floyd's "Goodbye Blue Sky".
This is another fic about a pairing that isn't popular. At all. This is, indeed, going to be a multi-chaptered fic. If you haven't read anything by me, then let me tell you that the fact that this is titled something as fluffy as "Pink" doesn't mean it is going to fluffy and sweet at all. This story is going to test some boundaries in characters. It's going to rearrange your way of thinking about them. It's going to figure out who they are when they aren't themselves.
It's also, of course, a story of love, and getting to that point where you actually know it is love. It's a story of getting to the point where you know yourself, too.
It's a story about letting go. It's a story about holding on; and it's a good idea for you to hold on as well. You never know what you might lose along the way.
The writing style is going to progress over the course of the story. Think the atmosphere of Vanilla Blue meets the atmosphere of The Spiral Clause, drifting a bit into Angina in some places, and you might be getting somewhere; or, you might not be getting anywhere at all, it all depends on what you're reading here, and what you understand. You can, however, expect shifting tones and changing atmosphere constantly in this story, as well as some jumps in time and place, and some holes in places you might not have expected holes to be. Be sure that the things that are left out are left out for a reason, such as names or places, and that some things might never be divulged in this story. Unfortunately, you can't know about everything in real life, and this story is no different. Some things you just have to muse over, without knowing whether you're close to the truth, or far far away from it.
I hope you enjoy, at least. I hope you come back for the next chapter. And I hope that you will not get discouraged with either the pace or the content.
Author: Zoshi the Confused
Rating: Ranging, mostly PG-PG13
Category: South Park
Genre: Angst/eventual tragedy
May contain: Shounen-Ai/Boy Love, Violence, Adult Situations, Swearing
The flames are all long gone
But the pain lingers on…
Stars of red decorated the porcelain sink. They stood out in stark contrast against the white backdrop, dark centers with fading arms stretching in all directions. He gritted his teeth; another star fell to join them, spreading its arms out towards its brothers, hands overlapping, red on red on red. Their longest arms joined in a strange dance, spiraling and swirling towards the dark, grated center of the sink.
He hadn't gone deep this time; he'd made that mistake before. The stars came slowly, but they came with more relief than they had in a long time. More pleasure as well, each drop sending shivers up his arm and down his spine. He closed his eyes; he could feel them rising up out of him, pushing through that small opening he'd made for them. He could feel them emerging, welling up on his arm and racing down his palm, taking part of himself with them.
This was the closest he'd come to giving birth, he thought. And what an amazing experience it was. What an amazing experience.
He was God.
"All right guys, we're done for tonight. Go get cleaned up."
Dodging out of the way of the rest of the team, I pulled my helmet off and wiped the sweat off of my forehead. Grinning at the coach, I headed across the field towards the gym. Training that day was tough, but for good reason. We were getting close to the finals, and even though we were towards the front of the standings, games were getting close. With a sigh, I reminded myself of the play book I was supposed to be studying, and made a mental note to get it from the coach before he left for home that day. If I didn't get my head around those defensive maneuvers, we were going to have big trouble in the next game. The Keenesburg Kougars were an all-offense team; they'd made it this far practically on pure brawn, and if I wasn't careful my players would get squashed in the first quarter. With a sigh, I pushed open the gym doors, nearly running into the person heading out.
"Sorry, didn't see you – Oh, Red!" I grinned, stopping in the doorway with the door held opened. The guy in front of me raised one eyebrow, a slight look of annoyance crossing his face.
"Trying to get out," He said tersely, but I ignored him.
"Gonna give us a good write-up in the paper this week?" I asked cheerfully, earning a snort from the dark-clothed guy. He made a show of looking into his notebook.
" 'Twelve overgrown children spent the evening throwing each other around like sacks of potatoes in anticipation of an even larger potato throwing competition this weekend,'" Red snapped the notebook closed and looked at me pointedly. His hair had fallen into his face, more red than black since his roots were growing in again, but he didn't bother to flick it out of the way. I frowned; it seemed like he was lacking something lately.
"It's eleven, you know," I corrected him, stepping back slightly to give him room to get past. He rolled his eyes, stepping around me.
"Details," He tossed back disinterestedly as he walked away.
"How did you land the sports section, anyways?" I called after him, saw him shake his head, but he didn't respond. "I'm leaving the school five-thirty on Saturday for the game, if you need a ride!"
I couldn't tell if he heard me or not, and he rarely let me know if he did, but I still waited a few seconds before heading inside.
People changed. I could understand that, I really could. Heading out of the gym a short while later, I turned towards the parking lot. On it waited my not-quite-yet-old Civic (what would you expect in a backwater town like this?) and, of course, my three, wonderful best friends, who figured it was better to wait the few hours I had practice to go home instead of heading off themselves earlier.
"What the fuck you fucking shit stop stealing my stuff! I swear to fucking God –"
"What a load of bullshit, you asshole, you don't believe in God –"
"The hell it is to you, ass wipe."
Yes. My wonderful, wonderful friends. I sighed, tossing my helmet, duffle bag, and car keys to the larger guy leaning against the side of the dark blue car, and turned to the two currently trying to choke each other on the hood.
"Guys, do you really want to ride home on the hood again?" I asked. My answer was a yelp of pain, and a string of curses, as they both managed to shove each other off either side of the car.
"You, fuck, you tell him," Kyle growled, red in the face as he scrambled back to his feet. "You tell him to get his own fucking Funyuns!"
"Ha!" Kenny pulled himself up, leaning on the hood. "Fuck you, they weren't even yours! They were Cartman's!"
"I fucking won those Funyuns. They. Were. Mine!"
"Whoa, whoa, guys, cut it out, all right?" I cut in, trying to break apart the death glare that was now heating the air above the car's hood. "Get in the car before I leave you two behind."
There was maybe a second of quiet before the two realized that Kenny was closer to the prized shotgun-seat. The mad dash that followed was most likely the reason I was pounding dents out of the front of my car weekly despite never having had even a fender bender. Kyle half-leaped, half-slid across the hood as Kenny jumped for the door handle, tackling the blond as he landed. I decided to let them fight it out without interruptions this time, and turned to find Cartman leaning against the side of the car again, a big grin on his face. He tossed the keys to me as I walked over, chuckling to himself.
"What?" I asked wearily. Football practices were tiring enough without having to deal with the Dynamite-Duo.
"Nothing. Just trying to figure out when I became one of the more mentelleh balanced of this group," Cartman laughed, pulling the rear door open. I shook my head, laughing slightly.
"It just seems like that compared to th—" A thump and more cursing cut me off. I rolled my eyes, and got into the driver's seat. The remaining doors thumped closed, and I started the engine, shooting a glance to the side. Kyle sat grinning like the Cheshire cat in the front seat, with Kenny fuming in the seat just behind him. I could practically see him fighting the urge to kick the back of Kyle's seat, but was glad to see that he wasn't giving in. My car, my rules. I wasn't about to let them demolish my car just because they couldn't control themselves.
Ah, change. Sometimes it was good; sometimes it made everything into a war zone. I backed out of the parking spot and headed out of the lot, thinking back to the old days. Lines were so clearly defined back then; Kyle was the smart one, Cartman was the crazy psycho, Kenny was the silent poor boy, and me? Well, I guess I can't really say. I was never good at judging my own character, after all. Judging my friend's characters, however… I thought I had been pretty good at that.
"So man, good practice?" Kyle asked, turning a grin in my direction. The sun's last rays glinted off of his snake bite piercings.
"Yeah, lot of work though…" I grinned, turning the blinker on. What a change, indeed; straight-A student, a "nice and helpful" boy, as his mom put it. Not to say Kyle wasn't a straight-A student anymore; he blasted records and left everyone in the dust, just like before. Now, however, he did it with a strange sort of maniacal glee. Something snapped, I guess. No more rules for him; no more regulations or limitations. No traditions, either. God and religion might've been yesterday's news, buried somewhere in the middle of the paper. He'd said once he wasn't going to live a destiny someone else made for him, that he was going to make it or break it on his own terms, in his own way. Sometimes, I found myself wondering just how long his new anarchistic mantra would let him stay loyal to us, or whether he was still loyal to us at all anymore. The question was sincere, however, and although he'd just been ready to most likely rip the seething blonde's throat out, there was no malice in his eyes.
"Well, duh, you guys only got a fucking huge game coming up this weekend," Kyle leaned back in the chair, brushing fingers through his curly hair. At least that hadn't changed; I'd really be worried if it did.
I glanced into the rear view mirror to see how things were going in the back seat. Cartman had gotten his iPod out and was sharing the earbuds with Kenny; a good idea. Music always put Kenny in a good mood. I was glad for at least one near-constant in our little group; I tried not to think too hard about the fact that it was Cartman that was that near-constant. I didn't want to think what that implied about the rest of us. Cartman was, though it was hard to say, one of the more trustworthy people I knew. Over the years, with all the changes that had gone on between the four of us, I found it harder and harder to confide in anyone else. Everyone was bouncing off on some different airwaves, and the only person I could match up with was Cartman. He'd really turned into something, I had to admit. Somewhere around seventh grade his mom had taken a liking to a slightly younger businessman, and suddenly, almost overnight, Cartman found a purpose. Where before the only male presence in the house was the random midnight visitor, now there was a solid male constant, a constant that didn't fall prey to his twisted games and traps. When Cartman hit the final mark, and put into motion a plan that set on fire the car the man was driving while he was half-way to work, we all thought the end had come for him. We were wrong. There was no yelling. There was no punishment. He came home, sat Cartman down, and talked with him, for hours. I don't think anyone had ever done it before; I don't think anyone ever believed that that was all it would take. Cartman hadn't wanted the destruction as much as he'd wanted the attention, but all the attention he could get from his friends and his mother couldn't satisfy the one urge he desperately needed to satisfy. He wanted a father.
Having a father figure definitely didn't turn him into a good god-fearing boy, but it certainly put a curb on his behavior. His stepdad put his mind to work on competitions and tournaments. Instead of acting out, he was acting up, and he was excelling at it. Now, the only ones who suffered from his psychotic ideas were us, and some other classmates who we were closer with. Truth be told, I wouldn't have it any other way. Cartman without his craziness would have marked the end of the world; I've had quite enough jarring changes happening without that adding to the mix.
"Hey, Stan?" Kenny's voice broke into my thoughts, "Could you drop me off at the shop? Shut up!"
That last part was for Kyle, who certainly seemed ready to add something. I gave him a sharp look and he rolled his eyes, grumbling something under his breath.
"Sure thing Ken," I grinned into the rearview mirror, saw the blonde give me a small grin back before focusing on the music again. Cartman laughed at something, and Kenny chuckled along, slouching a bit on the seat. He had his years-old orange hoodie on with the hood pulled over his head, and I could see that the hole on the knee of his jeans had gotten larger. I don't think there was anything on him that wasn't second-hand. It wasn't a long drive to the auto repair shop, and before long Kenny was hopping out of the backseat, waving half-heartedly as he walked to the front door. I pulled away as he headed inside. A slightly uncomfortable silence followed during which Cartman busied himself with his iPod, and Kyle attempted to glare a hole through the side window.
I sighed softly, earning a sharp glance from the redhead. Trying to ignore it, I hummed a few bars of a song, wishing my stereo worked. Things had been fine, a few years ago. Kyle and Kenny had gotten along back then. Hell, they had more than gotten along, they'd practically become best friends. It was just around the time Kyle had really started questioning things; I wasn't any good at helping him through it. I couldn't understand what he was getting at, I couldn't tell him what he wanted to hear. He'd clung to me, desperately, but I couldn't give him his answers, and he found someone who could. Apparently, Kenny had been living the life Kyle was looking for all along. Don't read me wrong, Kyle didn't want poverty; he wanted freedom. Kenny had been more than willing to answer Kyle's questions about no rules and no limits, and they'd spent more hours together discussing Kyle's newfound anarchism than anyone was able to count. Kenny taught him everything he knew about a world where nothing was either punished or rewarded, and with Kyle's mind they'd almost made a philosophy out of it, with their ideas and theories painting a stark contrast to what Kyle had known until then.
Then came the… accident. Kevin high-tailed it out of town before anyone even knew what had happened and Kenny had found himself all alone in the world. The discussions, the questions and the speculations nearly drove him insane, and it was a thin line we were walking on back then, trying to keep him grounded. I wasn't sure how Kyle's new belief system would make him act; he lived in a dog eat dog world then, survival of the fittest. I couldn't see it allowing him any empathy, but either a part of his former self was still inside him, or there was more to his new philosophy than I knew. He was right there with the rest of us, telling Kenny everything was going to be all right. We didn't know what was going to happen to him, but we damned sure weren't going to let him do it alone. We'd gotten a hell of a lot closer then, and it seemed things were going to get good again.
Then Kyle's mom decided that their family was going to take Kenny in. There was lots of happiness all around; Kenny wasn't going to get sent away anywhere. We were still going to be together, all of us. Everything was going to be fine. There were a few bumps, of course. The Broflovski's weren't able to afford a new house, and there were only two bedrooms apart from the master bedroom. Since Ike was a lot younger, and it just wasn't fair to give either one of the older boys their own room without giving the other one as well, that meant that Kyle and Kenny would be sharing a room. That in and of itself wouldn't have been a problem, except that McCormick's had never lived off of charity, no matter what people said, and pride wouldn't let Kenny let anyone take care of him without giving them something in return. The blonde had called it stupid himself, but he couldn't help it. Things felt wrong otherwise. So he found a job, and said he was going to at least cover his clothes and school supplies himself. Mr. and Mrs. Broflovski said they understood.
I pulled into the driveway of Kyle's house, but before I could turn the engine off Kyle was already climbing out of the car. He slammed the door shut and stalked off towards the back yard, hands in his pants pockets. I winced slightly; there was so much anger in him these days. I thought I could predict the mood at the Broflovski's house that night.
"No use worrying about it if you can't do anything about it," Cartman said from the back seat, "I told Kenneh he can stay at my house tonight if he wants."
"He probably won't," I sighed, still not moving the car.
"At least he knows," Cartman replied, and I heard the back door opening, then closing. A few moments later the passenger's side door opened, and he settled into the seat, eyes still on his iPod.
"So, were they really your Funyuns?" I asked as I backed the car out.
"Does it matter?" Cartman snorted, then smirked at me, eyes glittering. "Hell of a show, wasn't it?"
"I swear –" I cut myself off, groaning. "Cartman, are you ever going to stop setting them up like that?"
"I can't help it, they're so easeh to set off," Cartman snickered, and I shook my head. And he called himself the "mentally stable" one of our bunch.
Okay, so tossing balls of paper across the room probably wasn't the right way to get on a person's good side, but he hadn't exactly been responding to my other methods of getting his attention. Still, it was only after a good dozen pages out of my notebook had been sent on a ten-foot flight that he finally reacted. Tilting his head to get his long bangs out of his eyes, he glared at me. I grinned back, pointed at the empty seat next to me. He rolled his eyes, but grabbed his book and bag and headed over.
"I was studying," Red said quietly, glancing over at the study hall monitor as he dropped into the seat.
"Maybe I could study with you?" I suggested, leaning back in my chair.
"There's five minutes left," He answered, "And Chaos Theory takes a bit longer to comprehend, especially if you the type of person who makes it a habit to sustain concussions on a regular basis."
It was my turn to roll my eyes. Twirling the pencil, I looked down at the open notebook on my own desk. Nothing but scribbles, of course, and some football plays that I was trying to find work-arounds for.
"Tell me about the butterfly." I said, frowning at one of the notations I had made. I crossed it out and wrote something else next to it.
"The butterfly is just one, small part of Chaos Theory," Red said, and I smiled at him.
"Baby steps for us concussed ones, right?" I raised an eyebrow, and he looked thoughtful.
"I can't tell you about the butterfly in under two minutes," Red unzipped his bag and tucked the book inside. I watched him for a moment, then leaned over.
"Are you ever going to tell anyone your real name?" His eyes and mine were on level, and he raised an eyebrow.
The bell rang.
"Dammit!" I groaned, leaning back in my chair. Red got up, tossing the shoulder strap on.
"Almost made it that time, just a few seconds too late," He shrugged.
"Not fair, you paused," I grumbled, getting up from my chair myself. "It was exactly thirty seconds to the end when I asked."
"So you think," Red answered as he turned to go. "Better luck next time."
I grabbed my own things, packing up as he left. Better luck next time, my ass. This game was getting on my nerves, but I couldn't stop. Somehow, no matter how close I was time wise, he always managed to put it off. I'd manage it eventually. I just wanted to do it before we graduated.