Hello dearies and darlings, missed me? Heh, perhaps not, but I've sure missed you!

This is the result of the request given to me by Gecko Osco (the winner of my little contest), a lovely lady who challenged my wits by giving me five objects/words/sentences to use in a get-together-story with Stan and Kyle.

The words were dishtowel, Kenny, nosebleeds, nerdy glasses and "I learned something today..."

Yeah, that was my reaction too. o.O But it has been fun to write and hopefully it will be fun to read, especially since it's my first attempt at humor.

As always, thanks to my lovely Beta, Elbereth Giltoniel, who have once again swished and flicked her wand to make this piece of coal shine a little bit more!

Now on to the story! :D

How do you tell someone that you like them?

It's an excellent question and comes with tons of excellent answers. Just tell them, don't tell them, be blunt, be subtle, be easy, play hard to get and blah blah blah. Use Google's search bar and you might drown in the approximately 65,600,000 hits bestowed on you.

Stan Marsh had thus come to the conclusion that there was no simple way to get around this particular obstacle. Unlike most of the difficulties he had faced in his sixteen years of living, the problem this time around wasn't the lack of guidance, but rather the excess thereof. There had to be at least a billion so-you've-fallen-in-love-with-your-best-friend-well-here's-how-to-deal-with-it books and brochures, and Stan had to have read at least half of them, if not more, and yet he was no closer to a solution.

Yeah, that's the case. Stan had managed to fall in love with his best friend. Now, this might not have been as bad if it weren't for the fact that he was best friends with Kyle Broflovski. It wasn't even the fact that they were both guys that gave him trouble: hell, where they had grown up; even the straight people were gay! Not bisexual, but plainly gay straights in a way that only worked in South Park and couldn't possibly be explained to outsiders, so he wouldn't even go there.

And quite frankly, Stan didn't really give a flying fuck when it came to what the town thought of him; they were all a bunch of chicken-fucking hillbillies, literally; who were they to judge him?

Now, the issue when it came to being in love with Kyle had nothing to do with anything but Kyle himself or even his bad habits, all of which Stan had found himself accepting and loving in the way one usually did when experiencing a crush.

No, the problem was that Kyle was the dumbest smart person Stan had ever had the pleasure, or displeasure, to cross ways with. He might be a genius when it came to math and physics and the exact birth date of America's thirtieth president, but he very much sucked at knowing when someone had feelings for him. Needless to say, it had made quite a few girls distressed over the years.

Still, Stan felt that he should at least try, and he knew that Kyle would prefer hearing it from him rather than figuring it out on his own, even if the chances of him managing that were practically nonexistent. He would just have to find a way to bring it up without coming across as a total loser; something that was far harder than it should be, considering his practice with messed up declarations of love during his time as Wendy's on-off boyfriend.

In short, he was in a desperate need of help, but wasn't sure where to turn.

What in the world possessed him to look out Kenny McCormick, renown love-guru of Park County High School, he would never know, and wasn't completely sure he wanted to either.

Yet, he soon found himself dialing a very familiar number.

"Stan, hey listen," Kenny sounded very out of breath when he answered, and Stan was pretty sure that he heard another voice in the background, "this isn't exactly the time to chat; I'm a bit busy."

"Yeah, er, I can hear that," Stan fought the impulse to just hang up and erase Kenny's number from his contacts permanently. "Clearly I'm interrupting…something… can you call me back later?"

"It's nothing like that, I promise. You really think I would pick up the phone if I'm banging someone?" Kenny's laugh, muffled by his traditional hood, echoed through the earpiece. "Say what, you meet me in the guys' bathroom during first period tomorrow, and then we'll chat."

"Kenny, we've got class during first period. Spanish." Stan pinched the bridge of his nose in frustration; talking to Kenny could be fascinatingly like talking to a five-year-old at times.

"No shit, Sherlock. Why did you think I said first period?" You know that you've known someone for too long when you can hear them smirk even through a thick piece of cloth and a telephone line. "Mrs. L's rack is great and all but seriously, Spanish kinda brings it down, don't you think? 'Sides, Kyle doesn't have Spanish with us and won't be there to bust your ass."

That was a good point Stan couldn't argue with.

"Fine, first period come Monday. Do I even want to know why we're meeting up in the bathroom?"

"Stan, my man, I sincerely doubt it."

"Thought so. Bye, Ken."

"See ya, Stan!"

Stan regretted making the phone call before he even hung up.

"That's it, I'm leaving." Stan could handle a lot, had handled more than anyone should ever have to, but he had to draw the line somewhere.

"Aw, come on!" Kenny whined and clung to his arm to prevent him from leaving. "It's perfect; no girls and the cleaning staff doesn't even know that this place exist. Absolute privacy!"

"Kenny, it's a closet for cleaning equipment and by the looks of it, unused since this school was built, not to mention that it's in the boys' bathroom. This simply cannot be hygienic." He should have known, really. With Kenny, you learn to always expect the unexpected. Or at least you should.

"Don't be such a pussy, a little dust never killed anyone. Well, unless they have asthma."

"I have asthma, retard." With an exasperated sigh, Stan tore his arm out of Kenny's grip. "Whatever, I'll just deal with it on my own."

He didn't get far though; Kenny simply pressed him down to sit on a bucket, before sitting down on a giant can of detergent.

"Don't be like that." Kenny's face took on an unusual look of seriousness. "Look, you wouldn't have come here unless it was something serious, right? I mean, for you to agree on hiding in a closet, you've got to be rather desperate for help. So spill."

"Fine, but promise not to laugh." Knowing Kenny, it was a good call.

"Yeah, yeah, I promise, just shoot." Kenny promised and rolled his eyes.

"I think I'm in love with Kyle." Stan held his breath, not daring to look anywhere near his promiscuous friend's face, but had his gaze locked on his worn shoes. He made a note in the back of his head to remember the state of Kenny's footwear the next time the blonde celebrated his birthday.

"…And?" Kenny looked at him expectantly.

"What do you mean and?" Stan snapped. Normally, he wasn't the one with the short temper, but his day had been quite frustrating, even if short.

"Dude, you've been ogling him for years. What do you think I am, blind? You two are gayer than rainbow-shitting unicorns and monogrammed towels."

"All right, listen carefully." Kenny placed both of his hands on Stan's shoulders and stared him bluntly in the face to be sure that what he said really got through. "Babes love romance; they practically melt when you go Shakespearean on them."

Stan wrinkled his nose at the choice of words. "Kyle would not be happy if he knew that you called him babe."

"Yeah," Kenny laughed somewhat nervously and looked around, "I know. Let's not tell him about that."

So Stan went with romantic, thinking it couldn't hurt. The problem was just that he had a problem with coming up with something that was romantic, but could also be dismissed as a token of friendship or let him escape from being forced to clean up the mess if it failed.

The answer came from the core of all of the cheesy teenage movies he had devoured during the last couple of months, telling himself that it was for educational purposes only. It was as simple as it was common; love notes. He would just have to hide a series of notes in various unsuspicious places, all signed by a secret admirer. It was perfect, and even if his plan failed, no one would ever know that Stan was the one to send the notes.

So Stan started planting notes in places Kyle was bound to find them; his locker, desk, books, fridge, pillow and any other place his freckle-nosed could find the desire to visit. Each note was different from the others, written with a different kind of paper and with a different kind of text; there were haikus scribbled down on post-its, famous quotes from Shakespeare written on the backside of an old postcard and just plain silly ramblings scrawled on the corner of a page from the notebook he used in math.

After a week and about seventy tacky love letters, Stan was growing concerned. He had yet to hear a word from Kyle regarding his secret admirer, and the redhead didn't exactly seem to be in the state of excitement and thrill that usually came with being someone's object of affection. No, instead he became nervous and itchy and practically flew a mile up in the air whenever someone made a noise or a gesture he wasn't prepared for.

Stan's, or rather the secret admirer's, persistent promises that he wasn't some pedophilic old wacko, didn't really give the result he was hoping for; if anything, it made Kyle twitchy enough to compete with Tweek for the title of high school spazz.

Fortunately, Kyle went back to his normal self after a few days without letters.

Stan just hoped that the sentence for stalking wasn't too harsh; after all, Linda Thornburg had just chosen a shitty time to stick Kyle a love letter of her own.

For the sake of the Jew-loving girls of South Park High, Stan decided to give up the notes and returned to the sanctity of the closet. The one in the bathroom, that is.

It became obvious to Stan, much thanks to the advice and slap in the back of the head provided by Kenny, that he ought to try out a more straightforward approach. Listening to his personal advisor, he choose to go for the standard procedure and show his interest, but in a way that could be passed as nothing more than platonic.

Good old fashioned flirting.

He could do that. Probably. He might not have spent most of his life chasing skirt like Kenny, who always came prepared with a few cheap lines and ready to strike, but he was a guy, and as such, he should have some success in the area.

Still, there were a few obstacles that needed to be conquered when using this particular method, such as a way to deal with the aforementioned lack of vocal spontaneity, which was something Stan should have thought about before acting.

"Hey, dude. You wanted something?" Kyle peered at him curiously over the top of a comic book. He seemed a little confused and rightly so, it wasn't everyday one's best friend walked up and then stood there, mouth opening and closing with a striking resemblance to a goldfish out of water. "You look a bit out of breath, is everything all right?"

"Uh, I…" Two voices were screaming inside Stan's mind, one ordering him to just open up and say something clever and witty, the other to shut up and find a rock to crawl in under and hide for the remainder of the century, possibly an additional one or two as well.

Suddenly a third voice rang though his head, sounding remarkably like Kenny.

His eyes! Talk about his eyes! God knows it gay enough.

Internally, Stan rolled his eyes, but went with the suggestion and leaned in closer to Kyle, who had put the comic book aside and was now watching him with suspicion.

"You know, you should stop wearing glasses, they steal the attention from your eyes."

It might be corny, but Stan was not averse to sacrificing some of his dignity for a good cause. For but a moment he felt the warm sensation of success run through his vein as Kyle's eyes widened in shock at the out of the blue statement. Sadly, that was not the final reaction, as Kyle's eye soon hardened and Stan found himself in the midst of a scorching glare.

"What? You don't like my glasses?" the angry face was quickly replaced by an expression of hurt. "They're nerdy, is that what you are trying to tell me? You don't want to be associated with someone who looks like a geek!"

Once again, Stan was speechless and couldn't do much else than silently watch his friend make a dramatic exit, leaving the entire cafeteria frozen for several minutes. As the usual commotion once again rose, Stan blinked as he stared at the exit, still stunned. Once back with his wits, he shook his head in denial.

"Only in South Park, where else can you find a guy with PMS?" he muttered to himself while sneaking out of the crowded hall as subtly as he could.

Kyle apologized a few minutes later, blaming it on his diabetes, as he had become prone to do whenever his teenage hormones acted up, but Stan had already given up on flirting. Some people just took it the wrong way, and it was safe to say that Kyle was one of them.

When Stan admitted his failure to Kenny, he was comforted by his friend's assurance that the flirting part was probably unnecessary as he was sure that Stan was not alone in his yearning. At least that was what he said after laughing so hard that he ended up coughing and almost choking to death, all the while being cursed very colorfully by Stan. The blond gigolo told Stan that he should try to find the right time and the right place to sit down and tell Kyle how he was feeling, preferable after spending a few hours together doing something fun. That way, Stan would make his move while Kyle was still in a very good mood.

Or in other words, Stan was to ask and take out his super best friend on a date. Surely not even he could fail with that mission.

The words were very simple, but he still kept repeating them to himself as he walked up to Kyle one morning when they were waiting by the bus-stop. They were alone as always; Cartman had taken to driving to school ever since his mum got him a car, and Kenny usually showed up around noon. As he jogged up to the sign, he swore softly as he saw the bus just coming driving from around the corner, which meant that he didn't have too much time. He'd prefer to finish his business before they took their seats on the bus.

"Morning, dude." Kyle smiled and waved when he came closer, unusually cheery thanks to the lack of Cartman.

"Morning. Hey, there is something I want to talk to you about," Stan leaned on the sign to catch his breath, wondering why he never got that tired at the gym. "What are you doing this afternoon?"

"Today?" Kyle's forehead scrunched up in thought as Stan watched the bus come closer and closer from the corner of his eye. "Nothing, I think. Ike's class is out camping, so I won't even have to pick him up. Why are you asking?"

"Oh, I was just wondering if you'd like to go to the movies after school, the new Terrence and Philip flick is out and I thought that we should go and see it. Maybe grab a pizza or something afterwards." Surprised that he actually sounded calm and casual, Stan looked to Kyle or his reaction to the idea. The redheaded teen grinned appreciatively and nodded.

"Sounds great, dude. I didn't even know that it had been released yet!"

"What has been released?" Bebe appeared from out of nowhere, hanging over the back of their seats, looking between them in her quest for answers.

With a groan, Stan was about to turn around and tell her that it was none of her business, and if she would kindly go away so that he and Kyle could continue planning their day without any more high-pitched interruptions, but Kyle beat him to it, though with a different set of words.

"The new Terrence and Philip movie is running at the cinema. Stan was just asking me if I wanted to go," Kyle replied in his unusually merry mood.

"Really!" Bebe's eyes brightened at the news. "You know what, Wendy and I just might join you; we haven't been to the movies for ages!"

"Then why can't we keep it that way?" Stan muttered to himself, a question that went by Kyle and Bebe completely, as well as any of the other teens that had joined in on the discussion.

That afternoon a troop of seventeen kids marched down to the local movie theatre, all chirpy and filled to the brim with excitement and anticipation. All but one, who had spent the entire day cursing under his breath and damning all blondes to hell; both the snooping bimbo kind and the kind that pretended to help their friends but seemingly was after nothing more than a good laugh.

Clearly, the date option wasn't the best for them either.

"Just tell him then," Kenny looked at him expectantly. "We've tried just about everything else and it's like trying to get through a wall. I'd say that it's about time to bring out the drill if you want to get that Jewish ass sometime this year."

"You keep your mind, and hands, away from his ass," Stan snapped, before sinking down on the now familiar bucket in the cleaning closet. "Do you really think that would work?"

Kenny slung his arm around his friend and grinned devilishly in a way you could only learn in Hell. "There is nothing else let to try, and even if there were, it probably wouldn't work anyway. Face it, this is one of the situations where you better just grab the bull by the horns and hope for the best."

"But what if he rejects me, tells me he wants nothing to do with me. Or even worse, what if he says nothing at all and simply walks away with the intention of never speaking to me again. What do I do then? Maybe this is some sort of sign that it just wasn't meant to be." Stan was honestly starting to doubt the brilliance of even telling Kyle in the first place, much less how. Luckily for him, Kenny was a good enough friend and confidant to grab the closest dust wipe and smack Stan in the back of his head with it.

"Don't be an ass," he chided his hurting friend. "You want to give up your chance at happiness just because you're too much of a chicken-shit to act on your feelings? And hey, you two have a friendship that has withstood jealousy, puberty, and Barbra Streisand. I doubt that he would give all that up just because you love him more now than ever."

Taken aback by Kenny's sudden change of character, Stan could only nod slowly as a relieved smile took form on his features.

"Yeah, you're probably right. I'll give it one last try, but if it fucks up this time, I'm calling the quits."

"Great! Then leave my office and be on your merry way." Kenny stood up and gave his shoulder a supportive squeeze, then pushed him toward the door. "Get out of the closet and go get some ass."

Ignoring what must have been the worst pun of the year, Stan miraculously managed to make his way out of the closet and left Kenny to handle his own business behind closed doors. With legs like jelly, he somehow successfully made it through the corridor where he and Kyle both had their lockers.

Adjourning lockers actually, due to a little trade with Kenny. It might have cost them both two weeks of desserts, but they both considered it a worthy sacrifice.

He spotted Kyle's auburn locks from the other side of the hallway; it was hard not to, it was an unusual color and stood out against the black, brown and blond heads that made out the rest of the student body.

The redhead was busy with going through his locker, and did as such not notice Stan as he came closer and closer. The door of the locker was facing Stan, which meant that he could only see the back of Kyle's head, along with his backside and feet. He wasn't exactly complaining, quite the opposite, that meant that he could begin his confession without having to do it to the other's face.

The view was rather excellent as well.

Here goes nothing, he thought and cleared his throat.

"Kyle, there is something I have –" he never got further, as the door of Kyle's locker collided with his nose, resulting in a crunch that made his blood turn to ice.

So did everyone else's when his scream rang through the entire school.

"Holy shit!" Kyle stumbled to his feet, horrified at what he had done. "I'm so sorry, you came out of the blue and I – Jesus Christ, are you all right?"

"Do I look all right?" while that might have been what Stan said, the message didn't get through thanks to all the blood that made everything he said sound like gibberish. He pressed his sleeve to his noose to the blood from flowing, despite the painful throbbing. His eyes met Kyle's vibrant green and without a word, he turned on his heel and stormed of, not looking back once as Kyle called his name.

He stomped back into the boys' bathroom, almost sending the door off its hinge as he kicked it open. Barely able to see, he fumbled for the stack of paper towels he knew always lay near the sink.

The click of a door opening revealed Kenny's returning presence, and the blonde peeked out, wondering what it was that made all the noise. When he caught sight of Stan, resting his forehead against the glass of the mirror while breathing heavily, he left the closet in a hurry.

"Whoa, dude, what happened to you? Your face looks like it's been hit by a truckload of elephants!" Kenny handed over an old dishtowel that had been hanging on the wall in the cupboard.

For once, Stan decided that hygiene could go fuck itself where the sun never shines and accepted the old rag, which proved to be a lot more effective than a bunch of paper towels that were barely good enough to dry one's hands with.

When the blood had stopped flowing and Stan once again had the ability to talk, Kenny could no longer sit by and keep his mouth shut.

"What did you tell him? I mean sure, if anyone has a temper, it's Kyle, but when it comes to you he needs as damn good reason to take a swing. It doesn't seem like something he would do just for a teeny weeny love confession."

"It wasn't Kyle. And it wasn't Cartman either," he added as soon as Kenny opened his mouth again. "He wasn't even around at the time. No one beat me up because I told Kyle that I like him because, surprise, I didn't get to that point this time either!"

Stan slammed his fist down on the sink hard enough to make both it and Kenny cringe.

"I've tried everything, but it just won't make it though his thick scull! I should have known, I mean, you can't fail that many times without some sort of divine intervention. Anyone could see that, anyone but me that is. He didn't even reject me; I never even got that far. To think that I was actually prepared to go down on one knee and shout 'Kyle Broflovski, I love you' in front of the entire school if that was what it took."

"Uh, Stan…" Kenny tried to interrupt the furious ramblings, but Stan continued with his load ranting.

"But you know what? I'm done, I quit, because I learned something today; Kyle Broflovski is immune to love declarations! They can't touch him, and neither can I. I'll just spend the rest of my life loving him from a distance, because every time I try to tell him, I end up hurting myself or someone else. For the sake of humanity, I'm officially giving up on him!"

The only sound in the bathroom, not counting the soft gurgling noises the pipes made nonstop, was Stan's ragged breathing. He started fumbling for his inhaler, then cursed softly as it fell from his trembling fingers and rolled further away from him. He leaned down to pick it up, but froze in his chords when he found that the inhaler no longer roamed the floor freely. Instead, it was safely tucked between the sole of a converse and the bathroom floor.

"Oh god, you have to be kidding me."

"Not quite god, but thanks; and no, I'm quite serious." Stan knew his best friend well enough to know that he smiled as h retrieved the inhaler from beneath his show. "Here, you better use this before you turn blue."

"Thanks," he mumbled as he grabbed the offered device, not daring to look the other in the eyes. "So, how long were you standing there?"

"A while." While he usually didn't mind Kyle's teasing, he sure chose a bad moment for it. "If it had been me taking off with a smacked nose, I'm sure that you would chase after me too."

Silently wondering if it was possible to kill oneself by banging ones head again a tiled wall, Stan muttered obscenities to himself.

Closing in on the person who had been his best friend since he needed diapers, Kyle bumped shoulders with Stan. "Hey, don't beat yourself up; I'm not sure that your face can handle any more abuse. And besides," he leaned closer and planted a small kiss on Stan's lips, "it's not like I didn't know."

Stan's brain had been struck by a minor meltdown, but slowly regained function. He frowned when the words registered.

"Wait a minute, you knew? Why didn't you tell me? I went through hell trying to tell you!"

"Consider it payback for all the times you came whining to me about Wendy, then ended up dating her once again." Kyle intertwined their fingers and pulled a speechless Stan toward the door. "C'mon, let's get you to the nurse."

All Stan could do was stumble after Kyle, whose grin was wider and brighter than the sun itself, contemplating whether he should give the Jewish boy a good kick between the legs, or settle for slamming him up against a locker and kiss the living daylights out of him.

Amused, Kenny shook his head at the antics of South Park High's latest, or oldest depending on how one saw it, couple and reentered his office, pleased to have satisfied yet another customer, though in a somewhat unorthodox way.

That's it, folks! Please review and tell me how I did on my first shot at comedy.

- Yet Another Dark Rose