Disclaimer: Yeah, I don't own South Park, etc. It belongs to Matt n Trey. They probably never intended any of the yaoi-ness I see, so if you don't like it, A) don't bother THEM about it, and B) don't read. Oh, and speaking of – this is BL, ladies and gentlemen. Suck it up. =]
A/N: This chapter is told in third person. The next will be in first, probably from Craig's POV.
People weren't entirely sure why, but Craig Tucker never talked much. Maybe he just didn't have much to say, or what he had to say wasn't relevant enough even to the boy himself. Outside of replying shortly when he was spoken to, the teenager almost never spoke voluntarily, even with his closest friends – a difference from when he was slightly younger. Even then, often his response was a middle finger in the talker's general direction; at least some things never changed. Yet for some reason, even with his stoic attitude, he was still a prime target for hitting on. His friends blamed his unnaturally good looks for the frequent attention he truly didn't want, commonly of the female persuasion. Occasionally, a brave guy would go for him, but get equal treatment as the girls pining for his affection – a long, seemingly cold stare, a quick shake of his exquisite raven head, and a numb gesture of "fuck you."
Clyde and Token sometimes remarked that he'd flipped the bird so many times, he'd flipped over his hormones and turned them off.
"Dude," Clyde moaned once, "I'd kill for that many lays!"
Craig only shrugged. "They're all yours," he'd said back, flipping off his close friend out of habit.
Only so many people saw his warmer side, but that was a limited-space circle. While he usually came off aloof, behind closed doors and with good friends, he actually had a charming smile. And he was painfully clever.
Students and classmates of South Park High regarded him with quiet wonder, and more audible giggles – with the exception of one person. While it was true Craig Tucker acted icy and indifferent for 99.99% of the student body and staff, there was someone who he reserved heat and annoyance for.
For eight years, the twitchy, caffeinated blonde had been one of the only things to get on his nerves. He was second only to moths on Craig's list of constant irritations. The only time anyone saw an expression other than blank apathy on Craig's face was around Tweek Tweak; the dark-haired teen would glare, frown a little, maybe even scowl, and occasionally smirk.
Craig was a bit of a bully for Tweek, especially when you look back. Countless times, especially in middle school and the first two years of high school, Craig Tucker verbally and physically abused the neurotic boy; he tripped him, insulted him at every chance, whacked him over the head, shoved him out of his way, and flipped him off more than he did anyone else. The stammering blonde even took it lying down, freaking out about it only as much as he freaked out about everything else. For Craig, it had been almost too easy to even make him feel like it was his own fault every time.
Which made him even more grating.
It was a particularly cold, dreary morning in South Park, and Craig's walk to his bus stop that Monday morning was dull and fast. When he arrived at the appropriate street corner, he leaned against the street names' pole and shoved his gloved hands in his down coat's pockets; Tweek Tweak (a.k.a., the Spazmoid) stood trembling on the opposite side of the pole, eyelid twitching as he stared at the enormous thermos in his bare hands, no doubt filled with at least his third round of coffee. For the smaller boy's part, he remained fairly quiet – an odd thing for him. Craig's eyes fell shut, and he took a deep, calming breath, keeping himself from snapping at the blonde for sipping his drink so noisily.
"Morning, C-Craig," the paranoid kid stuttered politely, avoiding any unlikely eye contact. "How – GAH – was your morning?" He shivered violently, the beverage in its insulated canister sloshing loudly.
Grinding his teeth together, Craig flipped the boy off. "Fine," he grumbled tightly. Why did Spazmoid always ask him that? Even though Craig made his dislike for the twitchy freak more than evident, the guy absolutely insisted on greeting him in a civil manner every morning. Even though Craig still abused him occasionally, Tweek Tweak always, without fail, said good morning and asked how he was.
It drove Craig up the wall.
"What about you, Spazmoid?" the taller of the two threw out after a moment of thoughtful silence; Tweek shrieked in surprise. Craig rarely continued the conversation.
"I'm just – ngh – I'm… GAH! Too much pressure!" he yelped in a shrill voice, hands flying up to grip desperately at his unruly hair; his lime green thermos fell to the frozen sidewalk, lid popping easily off. For a single second, the world seemed to pause as the echo of the metal clattering to a stop rung in both teens' ears, Tweek's dark brew spilling onto the icy concrete. Craig raised an eyebrow.
"My… my COFFEE!" Tweek screeched, emerald eyes bulging. He fell to his knees, sliding slightly on the iced pavement, scrambling to reassemble his thermos and save whatever was left in it. "JESUS CHRIST! What'm I gonna do?!" He was having trouble keeping hold of his thermos every time he managed to pick it up. "I don't h-have any ngh c-coffee!" he babbled desperately, unaware of Craig's hot glare. The nervous boy was shaking uncontrollably, fingers stiff with cold, his grip slack. "Craaap!" he whined, sniffling. "Don't – won't – need – GAH!"
"Oh, for the love of…" the taller boy muttered, irate. Bending down, he scooped up the thermos and lid in one motion, knocking the blonde over the head with the base of his canister. "You're fucking hopeless, Spazmoid," he growled, stuffing the bright green thermos in the twitchy teen's side pocket of his backpack. "Shut up, already."
Whimpering at the bump on his head, Tweek fidgeted anxiously, biting his lower lip, clenching his numb hands into fists and holding them up to his collarbone for no apparent reason. "Sorry ngh C-Craig," he mumbled quietly. Craig flipped him off.
God, where's Clyde? the raven boy wondered impatiently. He'd better not leave me alone with Spazmoid all morning. Clyde came to the same bus stop, so Craig could feel less tense around Tweek each day before school. Oh, shit. I bet that bastard got a ride! he realized, narrowing his gaze at nothing.
When the bus pulled up, Craig accepted Clyde's absence, heaved a sigh, and pushed Tweek forward first. He stumbled, but got up the steps well enough, gaze downcast as someone got out of a seat in the center; he took it, sitting right up against the window. As Craig migrated to the back, ignorant of the longing looks and a wary gaze that followed him, he eyed Tweek almost angrily. The Spazmoid always sat alone. Always. Nobody wanted to sit next to him – not now, not in middle school, or even in elementary school. An odd epiphany struck Craig suddenly: Spazmoid had no friends. Not really.
An unfamiliar stab of a gut wrenching, heartbreaking sort of emotion penetrated the raven's chest… Pity. Thrown, Craig landed on the way-back seat of the bus haphazardly, messenger bag slipping to the dirty floor and taking his balance with it. If he had been anyone else, people would've laughed – he knew they'd have died laughing if it had been the Spazmoid – but his infamous aura of "don't fuck with me" made sure they thought twice first. It was fairly comical, truthfully, and uncharacteristically clumsy of him, but he rearranged himself swiftly and set himself down less ridiculously. Glancing forward, he briefly locked gazes with Spazmoid; the neurotic blonde ducked quickly, looking panicked as he cried out, "GAH!" But before he had opened his mouth, Craig had caught a strange, almost… cute look of concern.
Had Tweek worried about Craig's moment of klutziness?
"Fuck no," Craig dismissed for his own benefit, scratching under his trademark blue fleece hat. He flipped off the back of the boy's seat.
A few seats ahead on the left side of the bus, a certain orange-clad mischief-magnet smirked and rolled his eyes before turning back to his naïve blonde friend.
The bus arrived ten minutes earlier than it usually did, and Craig watched with mild amusement as the Spazmoid shot off towards the nearest café for another coffee refill. Heading inside, he wondered vaguely how the kid could afford so much coffee every day. He didn't come off as terribly wealthy…
"Yo, Craig," came Token's bored voice, and they automatically tapped knuckles. Falling in stride with him, the more mature boy looked to the sky. "Bet it'll snow again."
Grunting in agreement, the taller boy flipped off the clouds. Once inside, Clyde decided to show his handsome face.
"Hey, Craig – sorry 'bout the bus," he apologized beseechingly, "My mom had work late today, so she offered a ride. I couldn't say no…"
Giving him the finger, the raven shrugged. "Whatever."
"Hope Spazmoid didn't get to you," Clyde went on, on the brink of teasing him. "You didn't kill him or anything?"
"He dropped his coffee and freaked. Couldn't even pick up the stupid thermos." Shooting a glare down the hall at an unfortunately familiar figure, he added, "Speak of the devil…"
Token and Clyde turned slightly to follow his narrowed gaze.
The aforementioned "freak" edged in slight jerks toward the locker directly across from Craig's; newly filled thermos glued to his terminally chapped lips, he stopped at his locker. In a unique moment, one of rarity, he became perfectly still, eyes closed in elated, caffeinated bliss. Craig's pulse raced, muscles tensing at the bizarrely serene expression the typically trembling blonde wore. He only stopped twitching once in a blue moon, and for a nameless reason, Craig found himself staring. But of course, the moment vanished as hastily as it had arrived, and Tweek twitched, crying out shortly, involuntarily.
"Freak," Clyde and Token concluded in unison, facing away in the appropriate snobbish fashion. Craig flipped off no one in particular, slamming his locker door shut and earning another "GAH!" from behind him.
Unknowing of what compelled him, Craig somehow felt the need to turn, stand right behind the Spazmoid, and scare the ever-loving hell out of him.
Leaping forward, Tweek crashed into his locker, smacking his forehead on one of the shelves and dropping his coffee for the second time. Groaning, he rubbed at his latest head injury with cold hands, not yet noticing his lack of brew. Briefly mimicking the noises of a newborn puppy, he started to turn around, spotting Craig's proximity. "GAH!" he shrieked, jumping backward this time, knocking the other side of his messy, blonde head. His hands flew to the pain again, and he groaned once more. "My coffee!" he gasped, not for the first time, seeing his insulated canister lying on its side on the floor. Diving for it, he slipped on the damp floor, slick with melted ice, and landed on his own side.
Laughter erupted throughout the hall, coming from nearly everyone but an exasperated blonde, Tweek (who was attempting to get up without looking at anyone), and… Craig.
He surprised himself, really. Usually he would've at least chuckled at the boy's expense, but somehow Spazmoid injuring himself wasn't as funny as it used to be. Another strange sensation took hold of his chest, and he did something he never thought he'd do.
"You okay, Spazmoid?" Even as the words left his mouth, he realized it was weird of him to ask.
Tweek didn't answer, but finally got to his feet, shaking violently, face bright red and gaze downcast. He clutched at his thermos, shutting his locker and ducking away, forcing himself to ignore people's jabs and comments. Nobody had heard Craig express concern for the one kid he openly disliked, so neither would undergo any interrogation from anybody on the matter – no one Craig was aware of, anyway.
Looking at the small splash of coffee at his feet, Craig realized the bizarre emotion he'd felt had been guilt.
Second period rolled around fast, and Craig found himself searching for Tweek's face in the few already sitting in study hall; he wasn't hard to find, with his golden hair and endless vibrating. Held in the cafeteria, study hall sat thirty-two kids in a large space, but as per usual, Tweek Tweak sat alone in the east corner, history textbook on top of his knees and various papers strewn around him. Craig usually sat on the opposite end of the room at a round table, and Clyde joined him when he arrived (late). But he was early again, so he acted on some whim and sat a table closer toward the middle of the room.
Being the first person in most of his classes (since he was constantly worried he'd be late, the teacher would yell and flunk him, and he'd drop out of high school to become a bum only to die on the streets), Tweek would find somewhere to sit as far away from others as he could, for fear of harassment and embarrassment. Craig could understand, as he was still occasionally a source for such things.
Dumping his books carelessly onto the table and ignoring a small cry of "Jesus!" Craig fell heavily into his pathetic plastic chair. Glancing sideways as he did so, he could see the Spazmoid flinch as he looked at him; he just as quickly looked away.
Craig smirked. He really had the kid pinned. Of course, the Spazmoid was scared of everyone and everything, but the dark-haired teen was fairly certain he was still the boy's biggest fear. He definitely got the best reactions. It used to be his favorite thing to trip him as he walked by, shove him out of the way, smack him upside the head – but over the summer, something had switched in his brain, and he began getting less and less enjoyment out of the mild torture he subjected the twitchy blonde to. He insulted him less over the last six weeks, barely touched him, and would often remain civil in his presence. Of course, the coffee-addict still pissed him off to no end – that hadn't changed – but he just didn't feel as inclined to make the poor bastard's life any more miserable than it already was. It's not like the kid was the bane of his existence or anything.
"…aig… Craig!" someone shouted in his face.
Snapping out of his reverie, Craig blinked after flinching with surprise. "What?" he muttered irately.
"Quit daydreaming' an' help me with this stupid algebra," Clyde whined, punching his shoulder and slamming his notebook in front of his more competent friend. "What the fuck is a 'domain' supposed to be??"
Rolling is azure eyes, Craig flipped off his slightly dense bestie, demanding his textbook. As he started explaining why x was greater than or equal to four on the graph, he felt an odd, tingling sensation on his back; he'd felt it a few times before, read about it, too, and knew what it was. Pausing Clyde's mini tutoring session, he turned a little in his seat, glaring hotly at the green-eyed boy that had been watching him. The blonde flushed vibrantly, eyes widening in terror. His eyelid twitched, and he let out a small, "Ngh…!" as he bent his head back to his book.
"Dude. Craig." Clyde waited for him to turn around. "What's up with you?" he accused, "You're ignoring me!"
Craig flipped off both his friend and his victim, who may or may not have even been looking.
Just before the bell rang, while Clyde grinned triumphantly at his finished math homework, Craig mindlessly stared at a wall, tapping his fingers rhythmically. Eventually, his gaze drifted down, and he caught himself staring at a fidgeting Tweek Tweak. The smaller boy's brow was furrowed in deep concentration, and he was chewing his lip in frustration; he looked at his wits' end, clearly unable to fully comprehend whatever it was he was reading. He glanced frantically between his book and some papers, and soon began shaking.
"Too… much… PRESSURE," he squealed, probably as quietly as he could. "Stupid history!" he whimpered.
Craig caught himself preparing to stand, and then the bell for third period sounded.
Tweek shrieked, jumping in his seat and falling backward. Luckily for him, no one saw this, so he didn't undergo any harassment for it, but he still blushed. Blinking slowly, the raven-haired observer allowed himself to frown as he started out the doors.
Fuck. Spazmoid is pissing me off again… oh, well. Isn't that a good thing? he thought irately. Turning swiftly, Craig exited the cafeteria. I bet he didn't get the dates on the Korean War… Ms. Choksondik is kind-of a fucktard, getting the wrong dates on the handout. He sighed. Maybe I should tell him about it.
Freezing mid-step in the center of the hallway, Craig mentally slapped himself. Why was he even considering helping the Spazmoid? If he did, it would mean spending more time around the restless nut! Not even right now could he take that. Four periods were enough. He shook his head vigorously, and pressed onward; due to some odd twist of fate, he didn't notice right away when his ear-flapped, signature hat fell off his distracted head. And who should pick it up moments later but an unpopular, coffee-crazed kid known as Tweek Tweak?
The trembling, caffeinated kid could only stare down at it in shock at first. Craig's hat was his defining point, and he didn't notice it had fallen off? He must've hat a shitload of other things on his mind, then. Bending down, Tweek's unsteady hand held the blue accessory loosely. It was soft – so soft – probably from years of wear. The fleece had a dirty look to it, though it was most likely clean; it smelled clean enough, anyway. Twitching, Tweek quickly clutched the hat to his chest and away from his face, as his avid curiosity indubitably made him seem like a creeper. He stared after the taller teen's figure, quivering non-stop with new nerves.
He'd have to return it…
When absolutely everyone in third period stared as he stood in the doorway, Craig Tucker finally realized something was off. Something vitally important to his image, to how he became recognizable was… missing. His free hand flew to his head; his blue eyes widened dramatically, and he gripped at his exposed hair, fingers icy, as he pulled the most mortified expression anyone had ever seen him wear.
"FUCK!" he announced in terribly uncharacteristic panic. Out the door in flash, Craig dropped his stuff and shot back down the hallway toward the cafeteria.
Back in the classroom, students and teacher alike began murmuring scandalously. One person in particular voiced his ever-present opinion.
"He's even hotter without his hat on!" Kenny exclaimed delightedly.
Panting in an unflattering way, Craig careened around a corner and immediately crashed into someone considerably smaller than him; surprising reflexes allowed him to catch both himself and his unsuspecting victim before either fell.
"Sorry," Craig apologized hastily, squeezing for emphasis the elbow of the increasingly familiar kid he'd literally run into.
Entirely thrown, the darker boy did a double take before releasing the blonde and stepping back in an almost embarrassed way. "Oh. Spazmoid."
Tweek couldn't look any higher than Craig's knees as he trembled awkwardly, grass green thermos in one hand, Craig's forgotten hat in the other. "You… ngh. You dropped your hat," he mumbled, thrusting his arm out and offering it back. "I was gonna – GAH! – give it back to you in ngh class," he went on, speaking very quickly and vibrating where he stood.
The halls were nearly empty, and classroom doors began to shut, leaving the two virtually alone. As Spazmoid simply waited, Craig watched the messy blonde shake from a combination of anxiety and caffeine intake. He's just so… pathetic, so harmless, the taller boy thought plainly, how could anybody hurt this poor kid? There it was again.
That pity. That guilt.
"Hey," Craig said unconsciously, "Lookit me."
"GAH!" Tremors growing more violent, he obeyed after a hesitant beat. What followed was a moment that was weird for the both of them: Their eyes met.
Tweek's face was frozen in a permanent mask of panic, his brilliant green orbs shimmering with something close to a magical quality, and they were leaping back and forth across Craig's face, undoubtedly taking in Craig's hatless look; his expression smoothed the tiniest bit, and he definitely (Craig couldn't work around it this time) looked cute. Craig's dark hair fell into his face as if it were still damp from after a shower (which it was, actually), and his usually indifferent eyes were shadowed in an unfairly sexy manner. His frighteningly handsome features softened when he saw the look on the blonde's face.
"…Thank you," Craig murmured loud enough for only Tweek to hear, though no one else would've overheard anyway in the empty hallway. With a gentleness he wasn't aware he possessed, he took his hat from the smaller boy's abnormally still hand.
Tweek could only whimper as Craig pulled it back over his head gratefully.
"…You're welcome," he twitched nervously, twisting his hand at his side.
Silence. It's true when they say it can be deafening.
Craig opened his mouth to speak, but Mr. Mackey stepped out of his classroom and caught sight of the two teenagers.
"Hey! You boys need to get to class, m'kaaay?" he scolded in his annoying, muffled drone.
Pulled out of their bubble, the boys broke eye contact and turned away. Craig headed for Chemistry again, tugging the ends of his hat. The teacher didn't like students to be late, so he prepared himself for a severe talking to in his honor as soon as he walked in. Tweek stayed put for a brief moment, and then squeaked, rushing forward and ahead of the dark-haired boy without looking at him. Confused, Craig watched the caffeine-addict stumble into the classroom before him.
"This is your first warning, young man," the teacher reprimanded, "Don't be late again!"
"I'm – urk – sorry!" the Spazmoid said with difficulty, voice strained as usual.
"Take your seat, Mister Tweak, and copy down what I'm writing on the boar—"
"SWEET JESUS!" the boy shrieked, and Craig heard a theatrical crash from where he stood outside the doorway, listening with unsure awe. There was an unmistakable sound of students suppressing laughter, and Tweek yelped, becoming visible to Craig as he crab-walked backward across the floor, scooting up into the wall under the blackboard to avoid a terrifying mess he managed to have a hand in. "I'm SORRY! Oh god, I'm so SORRY!" he wailed.
"Oh, Tweek!" the irritated teacher groaned, gliding out of sight to begin clean up.
The tall, dark teen standing just outside the room took it as his cue to edge inside unnoticed, scooping up his previously dropped belongings as he did so. Sneaking fairly easily into his first-row seat, he never took his eyes off the panicking blonde up front, who by now had begun hugging his knees and whimpering horrible situations to himself. An idea finally clicked in Craig's brain: Did he do all that just now so that I wouldn't be scolded for coming in late? For some reason, that thought made… him…
Craig Tucker (CRAIG MOTHERFUCKING TUCKER), blushing??
Craig silently thanked a god he didn't believe in that no one saw his cheeks burn like they did – especially not the Spazmoid. Of course, he didn't know someone had noticed; Kenny smirked coyly to himself.
As if hearing his name inside the raven's head, the "freak" glanced over at him. To his surprise, the taller boy did not flip him off, or glare, or turn away apathetically… Craig smiled; he didn't smirk, he actually smiled! His typically motionless lips even formed the words, "Thank you."
Tweek's heart went into overdrive. Oh my god, he knows! he thought, shocked. And he smiled! Oh god, the Apocalypse is coming! Jesus Christ, he's going to… to… to kill me or something! Craig doesn't smile! Augh!
"Oh, GOD!" he screamed in unseen terror, clutching at his chaotic hair, limbs jerking unintentionally. But… he was sure he mouthed "Thank you." So he knew he wanted to distract the teacher… and didn't think he was an idiot?? Through his tremors, he snuck a peek at the dark-haired wonder; Craig had stopped smiling, and was now staring with detached interest, seeming somewhat dazed.
The teacher lectured him, reminding him to be more careful around lab equipment, and the blonde eventually went to his seat, at a lab counter; his tablemates scooted their stools as far as they could get away with. Hanging his head, he futzed with his thermos, bright red.
As class carried on, Craig tuned out and started pondering on whether or not he was starting to reevaluate the way he treated the Spazmoid. One had to decide on preparing to decide before any actual decisions could be made.
Today was shaping up to be something new…
A/N: Yeah. First Creek fic. Not sure if I already said that. XD Hope it was good enough, though. _' I get the feeling Craig's attitude/personality will change a bit as I continue the story… It'll kind-of have to, really. Oh, and wanna know a secret?
(…I don't have any actual plot yet.) X3