A/N: WELP WHAT DO YOU KNOW ANOTHER YEAR GONE BY
I HOPE NO ONE FORGOT ABOUT THIS STORY because I sure did. 8| LOL well you know what I WROTE THIS IN ONE SITTING TOO. And it's short. These are short chapters, I've said it before. I don't know why they're so fast to write and why I didn't do this one sitting IN THE LAST YEAR. Whoops.

It's such a fast read, I'm almost disappointed in it. There's a lot of canon elements too so some things you just have to know already. I kind of don't like it but gguhhhh it's been a year so here you go.

this is Butters so blame Butters if you don't like it

BYE ENJOY THANKS :D

(also, to Reichee: I wish I could say this is your Butters/Bradley prize but it isn't AND I HAVEN'T FORGOTTEN ABOUT IT. BUT THIS HAS DEFINITELY GOTTEN ME IN THE MOOD BECAUSE BRADLEY IS A SWEETHEART AND I'VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT YOUR FIC SO DON'T GIVE UP EVEN THOUGH THE CONTEST WAS LAST SUMMER

I'm a terrible person.)


Hello, let me introduce you to
The characters in the show
One says yes, one says no
Decide - which voice in your head you can keep alive
Even in madness, I know you still believe
Paint me your canvas so I become
What you could never be

-I Dare You by Shinedown


II. Freak

Butters

Golly.

This hurts a whole lot.

I'm still awful certain I'm imagining things. That I'm not dead. That I'm not here. That I was never, ever sad. And I never wanted to be sad to begin with, you know? I used to think I never had a reason. I kept finding reasons. Without sadness, though, I guess there would be none of that extra special room in your tummy for happiness to flutter.

Sadness can only be beautiful for so long.

It sure starts to wind down after awhile. When sadness is all you feel.

I hate the world and all the stinky people in it.

He asked me every day why everyone on the planet was so… stupid. And I didn't know what to say to him. He thought I had an answer. Professor Chaos, I mean. He always told me to hurt people. To bring them down when they brought me down. But I was nothing but nice to those people. Even when they took my Lunchables.

Freak.

Marjorine liked dancing. And ponies. And dressing up all nice so she'd look like a normal little girl. She always told me to walk out of the house like I was on a runway. And borrow mama's clothes even when they were too big for me.

The first time I got punched and hollered at was when I wore a skirt to school.

Fag.

Leopold was a dancer, too. Leopold pleased his parents. Leopold never got grounded.

But did he get in trouble when he took the lives of eight people? Responsible for the death of an unborn child and the suicides of the two family members of the deceased?

Leopold died, too.

Maniac.

My name is Butters, I'm sixteen years old, I'm blood type O, and I don't know who I am.

Well. Thinking about it now, I used to be all those things.

My blood's at my feet. I feel cold. There's a fella named Kenny with blood dripping out his chest in front of me and I'm sure he's awful sore to be dead, too. I obviously ain't in Heaven so I guess I must have done something wrong.

Which is silly. I am sure I was a good person.

But swallowing turpentine wasn't very smart of me.

And I really guess the only reason I'm here is that Bradley wasn't there to stop me. Like I did for him.

And there ain't even a word in the world that can describe how I feel about that.

The turpentine was right in front of me when I was painting. Butters paints. I mean, I paint. I love art. Which is apparently a problem for some people because painting makes me a girl. They said art was for fags. But if I'm somehow a girl, then that's okay. Well, it wasn't. It still ain't. Heck, I don't even—I—well, I'm confused. And I wasn't confused until other people started telling me I was.

The confusion was just a pinch more overwhelming than I could ever imagine.

Imagining. I did that a lot.

But Bradley was always there.

"I think you're great. I like you."

"I like you, too, Bradley."

Everything is all jumbled in my head. I don't know who Bradley liked.

But he called me Butters. So I'm sure it was him.

Bradley was so confused one day, he almost jumped off a bridge. I wouldn't let him do it 'cause, you know, I like-liked him a lot-lot. And heck, those stinky adults were no help. When he came down, he thanked me. And he hugged me. And he said he wanted to spend more time with me.

When my dad found out what Bradley and I were doing, he beat me. And I guess that wasn't really unexpected.

But it hurt. It hurt a whole lot.

I guess liking Bradley was a bad decision. I think it's funny that people don't understand, though, that I can't control some things.

"Butters, I think… I think what we're doing is wrong."

"How is it wrong?"

"It's not normal, Butters. Maybe we should…" He bit his nails. I always told him to stop because it was a nasty habit. "… maybe we should run away."

"I don't think that's a very nice idea, Brad. My PJ's are here and everythin'…"

Then he laughed. "I like you, Butters."

He supported my art. He told me everything I painted was beautiful and great. He made me want to keep going, you know?

But no one else did. No one else wanted me to keep going. It's easier to make believe to brush something that hurts you off your shoulders than to let it eat you up from the inside.

Well, I ain't a liar. When years of stinky people and… and… assholes, gang up on you and the things you love, you can't take it anymore. I couldn't stand to look at my art anymore and Bradley wasn't speaking to me and my auntie Nelly died disappointed in my art and my parents were never there for me and when I had the last straw I knew it was over and I—

"I don't know."

That's what Kenny's saying.

"I don't know how to get to Heaven."

—I burned myself from the inside out, and I sure can feel it.

"I never been there."

I'm looking at him real deep-like, and he looks kinda sad now. "Well, I guess we should figure it out, then, huh?" I say.

He doesn't say anything. He shakes his head and walks away. That is kind of rude, I think.

"Where you goin'?"

"There's someone over there," he says, pointing with the pistol.

"We're not alone?"

"Kid, there are thousands of people here."

"I don't see anyone."

"Probably because you don't need to," Kenny's saying as he walks behind this pile of nasty trash. I follow him and he kinda shoos me away, which is also rude.

I follow him anyway.

Slow-like, though, because he runs ahead of me and he's talking to someone who is sitting on the ground. Kenny must be the leader or something because he seems to know plenty.

They speak for a very short time before Kenny comes trotting back over to me. "He's a freak," he just says.

Freak.

Well, heck, does he have to use the term so lightly? I should say hello.

The person is hunched over. He's kind of a big fella. He's wearing red. I think he's a he, but I ain't so sure. When I get closer, I hear his voice, and he's definitely a he, and he's definitely very big.

"Hello," I say.

He's talking to himself. Very soft-like, looking down at his hand.

Then I hear a voice but his mouth isn't moving. His hand is. The hand has a face, drawn on with marker like I used to do when I was a little kid. Except I couldn't speak without opening my mouth, so I guess that was pretty impressive.

"Can't you see we're having a conversation here?" the hand says to me.

I am very suddenly frightened.

I still think I'm imagining this, and boy, my imagination is going a little crazy.

"Sorry," I apologize to the hand.

"Sorry is a four-letter word with a Y at the end."

"… So it is," I say.

I walk away and decide I don't really ever want to see that again.


"Butters."

"Yeah, Bradley?"

"I wanted to thank you again… for, um, saving my life. It was really great."

"There isn't any need to thank me. I was just doin' my part. There ain't no reason you should die for being who you choose to be."

"… Thanks."

I sat silent for awhile. Then I had a very important question I had to ask him. "Bradley, do I make you happy?"

He lit up. "Yeah, yeah, Butters! You, you make me really happy."

"That's good to hear. So you shouldn't die for something that makes you happy, just because other people don't think it's normal. I think it's normal to be happy. Does that make sense, Bradley?"

"So you're saying I shouldn't die because… because I'm gay?"

"I don't think you're gay," I said. "You're just Bradley."

He turned away and brought his thumb to his mouth. "Promise me you won't die, okay, Butters?"

I nodded and put my hand on his. "I promise."