Author Notes: Welcome to my new story! As usual it's a KyleXCartman, complete with a couple of sort-of side pairings which I won't mention as I don't want to spoil the surprise…
Those of you who are used to reading 'Kyle in Chains' will notice that I'm using with a new style of narrative for this story. Apologies if it's a little rusty. I'm so used to writing first person point of view stuff that I just wanted to try something different. For those of you who are wondering, the 'Kyle in Chains' epilogue has gone on vacation for the time being. It WILL get finished eventually. Just not today. In the meantime, enjoy the new shit.
It was two thirty in the afternoon and dusk was already showing signs of setting in outside the classroom window. Imminent darkness coupled with the frosty climate of a typical South Park November day seemed to be lulling the roomful of literature students into a lesser state of hibernation. The ticking wall-clock in the background provided an ominous rhythm for the despairing teacher as she desperately tried to make her memorized notes on Shakespeare's work sound even vaguely interesting to her dozing charges.
'Can anyone tell me what elements of the play support the view that Shylock is to be portrayed as villainous rather than a character we can be sympathetic towards?'
Unsurprisingly, there were no volunteers. Just a sea of disinterested faces. Her tired eyes searched the classroom for a victim, zeroing in on the student that always contributed the least, lazily doodling on his notepad as usual.
The boy in question raised his head, the movement causing his thin dark ponytail to bob slightly against the back of his neck. He shuffled in his chair, sitting up straight and pushing his chest slightly forward to draw attention to the offensive nature of his t-shirt. More offensive than how unflattering the crisp white shirt looked on his large frame was the slogan it bore in thick black lettering: 'Was It Really Worth Getting Out Of Bed For This Sh*t?' It was clear by the look on his teacher's weary face that she could relate to this sentiment. He stared back at her, mentally willing for her to go away. Or preferably for her head to explode, though either would do. When neither occurred, he cleared his throat noisily.
'Err…could you perhaps…rephrase the question, Mrs Campbell?'
The teacher sighed, trying not to sound too much like she was in dire need of the contents of the hipflask hidden in her desk.
'What aspects of Shylock's character can give us cause to see him as villainous?'
Cartman felt a rush of panic as he struggled to remember something, anything he'd learned about the character in question. Cupping his face in one hand and stroking the subtle goatee lining his chin thoughtfully, a wicked smirk spread across his wide face as it occurred to him…
'He's a fucking Jew.'
No sooner had the words left his mouth did all eyes in the room turn to the red headed teen seated directly behind Cartman. His fountain pen halted in mid-scribble, his detailed notes becoming a blur before his eyes as an all too familiar rage began percolating in his gut. The young Semite's fiery emerald eyes raised slowly, peering over smart metal rims to meet the laughing hazel orbs of his lifelong adversary. As if it were pistols at dawn, a pendulous silence fell over the room.
In one swift motion, the fountain pen flew from Kyle's hand like a tiny javelin. It hit its mark, though unfortunately not in the eyeball-penetrating fashion he had quite hoped for. However, he was more than satisfied with the many splodges of royal blue ink that spattered the aforementioned uncomplimentary white t-shirt. The large boy stared blankly at the stains on his shirt before his rounded cheeks suddenly blazed red, a deep frown creasing his thick brow.
Kyle sprang back from his desk as Cartman lunged at him. The classroom full of sluggish bodies was instantly brought to life with whoops and cheers as the class geek was quickly backed into a corner by the village idiot. Kyle kicked out viciously at the bulky form advancing on him, pleased with the painful gasp of response he was awarded. With a feral growl, Cartman yanked the hood on Kyle's green sweatshirt down over the red head's eyes, dragging him into a headlock and smirking as the lean form squirmed blindly against his thick arm. His smirk was flipped upside down when one of Kyle's sneakers stomped hard onto his foot. Taking advantage of Cartman's frenzied cry, Kyle wriggled free and had his fist balled and ready to swing when Mrs Campbell sudden stepped in between them, her face a furious red.
'That does it! Both of you, go and wait outside the councillor's office! And if I hear of any fighting in the hallway, I'll see to it that you're both suspended. Are we clear?'
Both boys nodded, wordlessly glaring into each other's eyes and seemingly not hearing the encouraging comments of their amused classmates as they were ushered out of the room. The door slamming behind them echoed around the empty hallway, intermingling with the sound of Kyle's rapid footsteps as he began the all-too familiar walk. He could hear Cartman close behind him, the heavy material of his oversized baggy jeans dragging and swishing against the hallway floor.
'Goddamn it, Cartman!' Kyle snarled over his shoulder. 'How the fuck am I ever going to graduate from high school if you keep getting us thrown out of every class we're in together?'
Spluttering incredulously, the larger boy made a short dash to catch up with the other, matching Kyle's pace as they walked side by side.
'Me? You're the one who tried to put my eye out with your faggy pen, asshole! Do the words 'anger management' mean anything to you?'
'About as much as the words 'Atkins Diet' mean to you!' Kyle shot back. 'And you're the one who started hurling your pathetic tired insults around, fatboy!'
'What insults? I was only answering the question I was asked. You just assumed that what I said was directed at you. Self-absorbed much?'
'Then why the fuck did you look over at me with that retarded self-satisfied shit-eating look on your face? You're so full of crap.'
'I'd rather be full of crap than full of another guys' cum, you fucking faggot.'
Kyle bristled, clenching his hands into fists but somehow managing to find the restraint not to throw one of them into Cartman's face.
'Suck my balls, asshole.'
'Yeah, you'd like that, wouldn't you?'
Kyle cringed, trying to block out the sound of Cartman sniggering at his low calibre insult. He sped up his pace as they approached the narrow corridor leading to the councillor's office, leaning his back against the wall by the usual doorway. As usual, Cartman stood at the opposite wall directly across from Kyle, staring at him with a stupid grin plastered across his face. The overweight teen's smugness quickly faltered when he glanced down at his front.
'Aw, Jesus fucking Christ! Would ya look at my fucking t-shirt, you stupid fuck!'
The metal toecap of Cartman's heavy boot swiftly connected with Kyle's shin. The red head yelped, slamming his body back against the wall behind him to keep himself upright.
'Don't kick me, fatass!' he raged. 'God, you're so fucking immature!'
'At least I'm not a Jew!'
'That doesn't even make any sense!'
Whatever snide remark Cartman was going to throw back was short cut when the door beside Kyle swung open. Out stepped Timothy Evers, the school councillor for South Park High. He was a tall, fair haired man with thick rimmed spectacles and an easy smile. Always seen wearing smart navy jeans and turtleneck sweaters, he tried ever-so hard to be 'down with the kids', allowing foul language in his presence and insisting that everyone call him 'Tim' as opposed to 'Mr Evers'. Nobody ever did though.
'Kyle? Eric? You wanna step into my office?'
Kyle took a step towards the door only to have Cartman barge him out of the way. Grinning at the low growl he heard rising in Kyle's throat, Cartman strode inside, helping himself to a handful of mints from a bowl on the desk before throwing himself into one of the two seats set out for them. Kyle took the remaining seat, subtly rubbing at his aching shin.
'What's up, Mr Evers?'
He ground his teeth together as he heard Cartman imitating his friendly greeting to the councillor under his breath. Evers smiled as he took his seat behind his desk.
'What happened this time, guys?'
He cringed as both boys started to rant at once.
'This stupid Jew got ink on my-'
'This racist bastard thought it would be funny to-'
'I did not!'
'You did too!'
Evers held up his hands in surrender. 'Okay, guys. Forget I asked. I think we've reached a point where the individual incidents have become irrelevant to the overall picture of your relationship.'
Kyle snorted in agreement while Cartman simply glared a hole through the councillor's beige sweater. He vividly remembered the very first day he'd met Councillor Evers. He'd hated the man on sight. He didn't like people snooping around in his business, trying to 'figure out what was going on inside his head'. Evers reminded him of a Jew - a nosy Jew of the sneakiest variety. Even nosier and sneakier than Kyle, which Cartman would never have believed to be possible. Said honorary Jew suddenly chuckled, picking up a yoyo from his desk and lassoing his finger with the slipknot.
'It's kind of a strange coincidence that you guys got sent here. I was actually just about to call you in.'
Cartman rolled his eyes. 'Why? What's the Jew done this time?'
'Oh right! Because I'm the notoriously deranged troublemaker out of the two of us!'
'Right. I'm glad you admit to it.'
'I was being sarcastic, dickface!'
They were snapped out of their latest impending argument when two fawn coloured cardboard files were dumped on the desktop in front of them. Leaning back in his chair, Evers threw the yoyo down at the floor and left it sleeping as he spoke.
'The principal asked me to review your case files as he feels your collective behaviour is becoming highly problematic. Not only are you causing mental and physical damage to one another, but you're also disrupting your classes and distracting your fellow students. It's just not cool, guys. I feel that my input has helped both of you to some extent over the past few months, but the principal says it's not enough. Something drastic needs to be done about this situation. Something that will have a long term effect.' The yoyo suddenly snapped back up into his palm. 'And I think I have the perfect solution.'
'You're gonna cart Kyle's sorry ass back to Mecca to be with his own kind?'
Kyle sighed irritably, removing his glasses so that he could pinch the bridge of his nose.
'My God, you're so fucking stupid…'
'Okay guys, settle down.'
Councillor Evers set down the yoyo and reached into his drawer, producing a sheet of paper covered in print that the boys couldn't make out from where they were sitting. After giving the paper's content a once over, Evers grinned wryly and met the eyes of his two patients.
'Now, my proposal is probably gonna seem a little…out-there, but just humour me. My study of your case files has shown me that the main problem you two have is a total lack of understanding of each other. What my idea intends to do is promote an increased level of understanding between the two of you, and hopefully you'll start tolerating each other a bit better as a result. Who knows? You may even become friends.'
Naturally, both teenagers broke into peals of cynical laughter at such a suggestion. But naturally, the councillor had counted on such a reaction.
'The good news is that I've already spoken to your parents about my idea,' Evers continued over the raucousness. 'They're really excited about it and are willing to offer their full support.'
'Support of what, exactly?' Kyle asked, sobering instantly.
'The two of you are going to be living together for the next week.'
Suddenly there was total silence. Both boys felt a deathly chill, as if someone had just walked over their graves. Gaping like a zombie, Cartman slumped forward in his chair, arms hanging limply from loose shoulders. Although he was equally as horrified, Kyle managed to find his voice.
Observing each boy's reaction with great interest, Evers referred back to his trusty sheet of paper.
'Kyle, from this coming Sunday morning you'll be living at Eric's house for three days. You can go home on Wednesday morning for a break - a day apart from each other. Then from Thursday morning, Eric will be living with your family for three days, to return home on Sunday morning.'
Snapping out of his stupor, Cartman shook his head vigorously. 'No way. Not gonna happen.'
'For once, I agree with fatass,' Kyle said. 'You can't just expect two people who don't like each other to spend time together and suddenly want to be the best of friends.'
Evers nodded. 'You're right, and I don't. That's not my objective at all. My objective is to get you both to experience each other's day to day lives, up close and personal. From this, you should be able to develop-'
'Yeah yeah, understanding,' Kyle cut in, rolling his eyes. 'We'll understand each other better, blah blah blah. I still don't like this one bit.'
'Me neither! Where am I gonna get the money to put all my valuables into secure storage, out of reach of this thieving Jew?'
'Well, where the fuck are my family gonna find the money for enough food to sustain your fat ass for three days?!'
Evers raised a silencing hand. 'Rest assured, both your families are very enthusiastic about the idea and can't wait to get started.'
'Well, I'm glad someone feels that way!' Kyle snapped.
'Come on, guys. You can't tell me that it's not worth a shot.'
Cartman arched an eyebrow. 'Wanna bet? Cos we're telling you - it's not worth a shot.'
'Just try it,' the councillor said, his tone surprisingly pleading. 'If it doesn't work, then it doesn't work. Do it for your parents, if nothing else. This whole thing must be getting pretty old for them too.'
This point appeared to get the boys thinking. Both sets of their parents were on first-name terms with the principal and the school nursing staff. And with 'Tim', of course. The daily telephone calls and frequent visits to the emergency room certainly weren't a basket of peaches for anyone involved. The two adversaries eyed each other warily for a long time before Cartman sighed deeply.
Hesitantly, Kyle nodded. 'Fine.'
Mr Evers smiled, winking impishly.
* * * * *
Ta-da! I hope you guys enjoyed that, despite the shakiness of the new writing style. I know the plot seems like a really obvious concept too, but I haven't seen it done before. Apologies if it has been, but I thought it would be something cool to try out.
So, yeah…not a lot happened in this chapter, really. Kyle is an angry Jew with glasses and Cartman is an annoying prick with a ponytail. That's about it!
Next chapter will introduce Kyle and Cartman's individual friendship groups. I actually have most of chapter two written already as I originally planned for chapter one to be a lot longer than this. Then I had a look over it and decided it was too much for a first chapter, so I've split it. Chapter two needs work though as currently, I hate most of it. I might get it posted by tomorrow if I'm lucky. As far chapter three…Goodness knows!
Many thanks for reading!