Hi guys, sorry it's taken MONTHS to put this out! Thank you so much for following this story to the end, it means the world to me! Special thanks to Captain Mel, RandomWriterChick (you're a MADwoman!) aznkungfugeneration, sleepymccormick, i'm at my all time low, love-n-happiness, kammy147, SCBunnyGo, styleFTW, dramatis echo, darkslayer18 and imjustlikeyou12! The comments really make my day!
Again, sorry for my inexcusable lateness and thank you so much for sticking with me! I love you guys!
There is a unique brand of satisfaction in a flawless performance of any production, dramatic, comedic or musical. It enthralls the audience. It fires up the crew. It makes the cast crap their pants in glee.
Luckily for the costume crew of South Park High's Romeo and Juliet, this performance was far from flawless. Unluckily for everyone else, this performance was far from flawless. The title actress had gone AWOL with no one to replace her other than the closeted stage manager with a thing for his best friend, who just so happened to be playing the title role of Romeo, a situation resulting in horrendous deviations from script and rehearsals. The costume manager was desperately trying to remedy her awful choices in color and fabric on Juliet's dress, unknowingly interrupting Mercutio and Lady Capulet in a dressing room cubical, the latter valiantly trying to pull her bodice back on and the former valiantly trying to keep it off. A freshman in the crew bumped her elbow super hard against the wall.
But there were at least three people in the South Park High auditorium who were having the time of their lives, despite the problems.
Two of the people who were having a fantastic time should be obvious by now. The third will remain undisclosed for the time being for the sake of mystery.
Kyle Broflovski smiled and tried to be as gracious as possible to the dozens of crew and cast members surrounding him, but he found it rather difficult, considering half of them were obstructing his view of the stage. He wanted to watch Stan Marsh, wanted to see him, hear him, catch his eye, send a wink. He satisfied himself instead with running his tongue around inside his mouth, still tasting Stan's kiss.
Soon, the crowd of people around him thinned to just Butters as actors went to their entrances and crew went to their stations. Kyle found himself in a bubble of bliss, unable to quit grinning even as his cheeks ached from the strain. Butters seemed to be immune.
"Is it... is it really a good idea, Kyle?"
Kyle looked at Butters, a bit surprised. "What?"
"Well, think about it," Butters said, true concern coating his voice. "You're best friends. What if you break up?"
Kyle was speechless. He hadn't really considered that possibility. What could happen to that beautiful, awesome, rocking sweet friendship if they went through a nasty breakup? It was possible, right?
Just then, the scene let out and Stan rushed out from the wings toward Kyle and Butters.
"Hey, beautiful," he smiled. "Hey, Kyle."
"Oh, shut up!" Kyle playfully smacked Stan's arm. "I'm way hotter than Butters!"
Stan hugged Kyle tightly and spun him around. "Watch the ego, Kyle. It makes your butt look fat."
Kyle laughed and kissed him. Butters blushed and excused himself to his entrance point to watch Craig and Kenny's scene. As soon as he was out of sight, Kyle let his face fall.
Stan looked at him curiously. "What is it? Did something happen?"
Kyle shrugged and put on a false smile. "It's nothing."
"It's something. Are you okay?"
"You don't want to hear it," Kyle said sheepishly. "It'd make me look silly."
Stan grinned. "Then I definitely wanna hear it!"
Kyle laughed. "You're amazing, you know that?"
"Yes," nodded Stan sagely. "Yes I do."
Kyle rolled his eyes and laced his fingers with Stan's. They walked together to Stan's entrance for the scene and kissed each other softly. Stan walked on stage beaming with confidence and the intrigue of a man with a secret. Kyle watched the three actors for a while before he sighed and walked off to the dressing rooms to change.
He nearly walked into a breathless Bebe. He noticed her lipstick seemed a little smeared.
"Oh! Hi, Kyle," she nearly shouted, trying to smooth down her hair. Kyle barely lifted his head to greet her.
"Uh-oh," she said. "Someone's being a sourpuss." Bebe linked arms with Kyle and steered him into the dressing room. She sat him down at one of the vanities and ran her fingers through his hair to loosen the style and redo it. Kyle nearly sighed in pleasure.
"Now," Bebe said, "tell Mama what's wrong."
Kyle smiled slightly. "Do you think Stan and I are... you know... a bad idea?"
This stunned Kyle. "Y-you do?"
"Yeah, it's a bad idea. If you break up, you could lose your best friend AND your boyfriend in one fell swoop. It's never a good idea to care that much about anybody. It just opens you up for hurt." Bebe's fingers kept twirling through Kyle's hair. He suddenly felt very ill.
Kyle looked up at Bebe in the mirror. "But?"
Bebe's fingers froze and she stared straight ahead. "If someone were to go into their backyard and decide to make a machine he'd be able to fly in, we'd call that a horrible idea. But the Wright brothers did it and the world now has something wonderful." She locked eyes with Kyle. "Love is a horrible, awful, terrible idea. There are so many things that can go so wrong and ruin your life." From a distance, Kyle could hear Butters' entrance onto the stage, but it seemed miles and years away. "But you have to wonder if the chance to create something beautiful, wonderful, inspiring is worth the risk." Bebe smiled and set back to doing Kyle's hair.
They were silent for a while. Kyle chewed his lip thoughtfully.
"So... from your perspective-"
"Do I think it's worth it?" Bebe was staring him head on in the mirror.
Kyle blushed and looked away.
Bebe grinned. "Kyle, you're not only in love, you're in love with your best friend. You're the luckiest person I know. Everyone in the world, myself included, would kill for what you two have. You want my advice? Here it is." She spun Kyle around to face her and stooped to eye level. "A ship is safest in the harbor, but that isn't what it's meant for. Take the risk and make something beautiful we can all aspire to."
Kyle felt his cheeks tighten into a grin. He stood up and locked Bebe into a tight embrace.
"Thank you," he whispered.
Bebe laughed and pushed him to the door to find his entrance.
The stage darkened just as Kyle came up to the wings. He watched silently as the shadows of the set crew moved around to create a garden. He suddenly felt familiar arms snake around his waist and a chin on his shoulder. Kyle placed a hand on Stan's cheek.
"Spoiler alert," murmured Stan, his breath hot on Kyle's neck. "I agreed to the proposal and we're getting married tonight."
Kyle laughed softly and kissed Stan's nose. "I'll be sure to wear something sexy." The set crew was filtering back into the wings and the music was fading, signaling the lights. Kyle came center stage just as they came on.
Kyle paced the stage. "At the hour of nine I did send my nurse and in a half hour's time she promised to return. Perchance she cannot meet him. No, that's not so."
Suddenly, Butters rushed the stage, several lines too early. He fidgeted uncomfortably for a second, then his eyes widened, realizing his mistake. A few in the audience snickered.
Kyle rushed to his aid. "Nurse! What news? Does Romeo accept?"
"L-let me catch my breath, child!" Butters wrung his ands in agitation and embarrassment. Kyle steered him to the bench by the fake wall and sat him down.
"Nurse, why do you look so sad? Is it bad news? Oh, if the news is bad, say it merrily! If the news is sweet, you sour it with a frown!"
Butters fidgeted some more, trying to remember his lines. "I-I am weary. Give me leave awhile. Oh, how my bones ache!"
"I wish you had my bones and I your news," Kyle said. "Tell me, what did Romeo say?"
"Well, be a little patient, Juliet. Can't you see I'm out of breath?"
Kyle laughed. "How can you be out of breath when you have enough breath to tell me you're out of it? Come, speak! What say Romeo? Is the news good or bad?"
"Depends what you think of as g-"
"Oh, out with it already!" Kyle bit back a grin.
Butters smiled a little sheepishly. "Have you gone to confession today?"
"Then get to Friar Lawrence's cell. There waits a husband to make you a wife. I'll set out a ladder for Romeo to climb tonight."
Kyle laughed. "Oh, honey nurse, thank you, thank you!"
Butters blushed and smiled.
Because Kyle had to take off his shoes and run to the dressing room to change, he had no more than a glimpse of Stan before the scene. Bebe and Kenny were waiting for him with the simple white dress for the wedding. Bebe fixed Kyle's hair and held him by the shoulders. Kenny came up behind her and dramatically presented the veil like an engagement ring. Bebe took it up and placed it on Kyle's head before wiping away a mock tear.
"A mother always dreams of this day," she mock blubbered.
Kenny made a great show of holding her to his chest. "Go, Juliet. Go make your mother some grandbabies."
The two fell into each others' arms and soap-opera sobbed.
"Er... thanks?" Kenny waved him along and gave him a thumbs up.
Kyle smiled and headed to the wings. He watched Stan make chit chat with Clyde then flipped the veil over his face and walked onstage.
Stan stopped mid-sentence to look at Kyle. He gave a wicked grin and wolf whistled.
"See, Friar?" Stan said. "I told you she was hot."
Clyde's face fumbled in confusion and panic. Stan laughed.
"No, Friar, check it. Juliet, could you turn around for the Friar?"
Kyle hesitated, contrary ideas running through his head. There was the first and only rule of improv theater- "Just Go With It"- and there was "Stan, shut up!" Bowing to the power of the improv rule book, Kyle turned in a flirty circle.
Stan wolf whistled again. "Now that, Friar, is one hell of an ass."
Kyle blushed. "Romeo, I'm sure the Friar doesn't need to hear about my butt."
"You're right Juliet. We can't tempt him out of his vows." Stan grabbed Kyle's waist and pulled him in tight.
"Mine," he said, glaring at Clyde.
"Uh... sure," Clyde said. Stan and Kyle giggled.
"Dearly beloved-" began Clyde.
"Sorry, Friar, I'm gonna have to stop you right there." Everyone looked at Stan in confusion. "Can we please just skip to the vows? I'm fourteen and I have to be in bed by eleven. And I'd like as much time as possible to spend with my wife." He winked at Kyle and Kyle grinned.
"Sounds like a good idea, Friar. What do you think?"
Clyde stumbled around his lines for a moment then sighed. "Okay, fine. Juliet, do you?"
"I sure do."
"Romeo, do you?"
"You bet your ass I do."
"By the power vested in me by the state of Verona, I now pronounce you man and wife."
Before Clyde had even finished his line, Stan's arms were around Kyle's waist and he was kissing him. Kyle laughed, his lips full of Stan, his chest filled with glee. Stan pulled away and laughed, pressing his forehead to Kyle's as the curtain fell and the applause grew.
The stage went dark. The set crew moved along to set up the stage for the next act. The audience murmured and stretched for intermission.
And still Kyle and Stan stood center stage, wrapped around each other, eyes filled with each others' faces.
It was starting to get a little nauseating.
Sick of watching them, one of the cast members snuck out the back, grabbing one of Sheila Broflovski's cupcakes on his way out. It was a short walk to the football field, where he found the third person having the time of her life tonight. He grinned and greeted her.
"What up, ho?"
Wendy Testaburger turned around, face aglow, lips pink and smiling, hair unmangled. "Hi, Cartman."
"Good show so far?"
"Perfect. Who'd have thought you'd make such a good Tybalt?"
Cartman smiled and took a bite of his Jewcake. "Well, there's a lot you don't know about me."
Wendy grabbed Cartman's wrist and wrapped it around her shoulders. She took a bite out of his cupcake. "Thanks for going along with this."
Cartman laughed. "Wendy, you are the most manipulative puppet master I've ever met. Your plans are more elaborate than I could ever dream of; you're tricksy, brilliant and you have no sense of privacy in other people's lives. You're pure evil."
Wendy smiled. "The worst part is I know that's a compliment,"
"It's totally a compliment!"
They laughed and started walking back inside.
The rest of the cast and crew were in the green room by the table filled with celebration food. Kenny was raising a plastic cup of Mountain Dew and singing very loudly about how awesome he thought each individual cast or crew member was. Kyle and Stan sat in the corner, laughing with everyone else when Kenny did a particularly long ode to Bebe's left boob and she twisted his ear. Stan looked at Kyle, snuggled against his hip, and smiled.
Kyle looked back at him. "What?"
"Just thinking. We could have been doing this years ago. Why weren't we doing this years ago?"
"Because theatre's still pretty lame?"
"No, not that," Stan laughed. "Us. Why did it take so long to become an 'us'?"
"Good question," said Kyle, munching on a chip. "Let's waste our time thinking about that little mind bender instead of sneaking off into the dressing room to make out now that we ARE an 'us'. Excellent."
Stan laughed. "Point taken." He stood up and offered his hand to Kyle. Just as their fingers touched, the lights in the green room started flashing, signaling the three minute warning to curtain up.
"Oh, come ON!" groaned Stan.
Kyle laughed. "Now comes the fun part! Stan Marsh, prepare to die."
"Dammit! Kenny, any good tips?"
"Fuck you," Kenny said, flipping Stan the bird.
The students filtered back to the turned around and stopped Kyle short.
"Three years, six months, seventeen days. That's when I knew."
Kyle looked at him, puzzled. "Three and a half years ago? Wasn't that-"
"Yeah. The last time Wendy and I broke up. She's the one who called my attention to it."
"What? Why didn't you say something!"
"I did. 'I don't want another girl,' remember?"
Kyle rolled his eyes. "Oh, right. It's impossible to interpret that in any other way at all."
"Not my fault you're slow," Stan smiled. "Anyway, I want you to know that. I owe Wendy a lot for forcing me to take a look at myself and who I really want. We both owe her."
"Fine. I'll tell Big Gay Al not to blacklist her."
Stan laughed and kissed Kyle. "I love your big, generous heart."
"That is my only gift to her, considering I'm still in a dress."
The cast and crew had a great deal of fun the rest of the play. Kenny pranced around stage like a ballerina with a sword and Cartman threw in some extra insults at Stan, mostly along the lines of "traitor to Mel," "pussy" and "faggot." When Kenny fell down dead, Stan, out of habit, yelled "Oh my God! You killed Mercutio!" and Kyle, out of habit, yelled "You bastards!" from offstage. Cartman took great pride in his ninety second death scene, complete with gurgling, cursing and a final loud fart to signal his passing.
Finally, Stan entered the burial chamber where Kyle tried to lie as still as possible, despite his anxiety and the overwhelming urge to sneeze. Playing a comatose character, Kyle wasn't able to see exactly what Stan was doing, but it sounded an awful lot like a seizure. Ike described it later to him: Stan rushed the stage and, upon seeing Kyle on the chaise, fell to his knees and tore at his hair a la Tweek. Ike said Stan's moaning and sobbing gave him chills. Of course, immediately after, Stan stuck his tongue in Kyle's ear, so any despair was purely superficial.
"Oh, my sweet love. My honey darling. How can I breath a single breath when my fault hast stolen thine away? Therefore I come to join you, forever entombed and yet freer than Verona would let us be. Wait for me sweet. Let us to Heaven together."
Kyle had to concentrate on keeping his face immobile and mask his shock at Stan's poetry. Stan downed the vial of poison/water and pulled Kyle into a sloppy, desperate, one sided kiss. Kyle tasted salt on Stan's lips.
Stan fell heavily across Kyle's lap. Ten seconds later, Kyle made a great show of stirring and sitting up. The next part he had anticipated being trickier. He had a few of the actors come up to him and give him advice, but it was unnecessary. The second he saw Stan's body, that heart-wrenching, earth-shattering, soul-searing scream was entirely natural, even though he knew Stan was fine and well and probably singing "Come On Eileen" in his head.
But he screamed. He forced the agony of every second Stan hadn't been near him in the last four years into that scream; he shoved every repressed urge and desire into that scream; every accidental touch; every shameful dream; every doubt he ever had of who he was, what he was, how he was; every question he'd ever had about love, about life, about math, about God, about Stan, about Stan, about Stan. He screamed.
When he was done, he panted over Stan and cradled his face. The audience was silent, except for a few choked sobs.
"Wake up," Kyle whispered. "Wake up."
Stan tried to move. Kyle pinned his body down. No way was he gonna let Stan ruin anything this close to the end.
Pinned down, Stan opened his eyes a tiny bit and looked up at Kyle, concern furrowed in his brow. Kyle smiled in what he hoped was a sad way and bent to kiss Stan.
Stan replied by shoving his tongue into Kyle's mouth.
Kyle pulled himself away. "Oh, churl, thou hast left none of thy potion on thy lips! O, happy dagger!"
Kyle plunged the plastic dagger under his armpit and fell just so into the crook of Stan's arm. The rest of the cast came to the stage and said their lines. Or, Kyle assumed they said their lines; his mind was busy trying not to squeal as Stan stroked that sensitive spot above his hip that he KNEW was ticklish, the bastard.
Token's deep voice emanated through the theater. "A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head: Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things; Some shall be pardon'd, and some punished: For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo."
The lights faded and the applause rose. Kyle distinctly heard his mother's quirky specific cheers ("My son is the most beautiful Juliet ever!" "That's a beautiful dress, lovely embroidery!" "Those light cues were shaky at first but ended magnificently!" etc.) and sat up and waved to everyone in the audience.
The extras and minor characters did their bows. The supporting actors did their rehearsed schticks as an exit. When Romeo and Juliet were left to bow, Stan suddenly swept Kyle up, bridal style, in the wings. Kyle screeched.
"Putmedown putmedown omigodstan putmedown!"
Stan ignored the kicking and flailing and walked onstage. The cast, crew and audience sound booth, tipped off by Wendy, played 'Up Where We Belong' as Stan carried Kyle, kicking and yelling, center stage. When Kyle realized what movie he was suddenly reenacting, he went silent and blushed furiously.
Stan put Kyle back on the ground and held him by his waist. The audience hooted and clapped as Stan drew Kyle's chin to his own.
"I love you," Stan murmured.
Kyle blinked back tears. "I love you too." They kissed, and the curtain fell slowly over the cast and crew of Romeo and Juliet.
"I still don't see why it has to be at my house," Kyle sulked three days later.
"Oh, come on," said Stan from the passenger's seat. "You are our fearless leader! The stage manager who, against all odds-"
"And a scheming puppet master devil woman."
"I believe that counts as an odd, Kyle. You made our humble little production a success and we love you for it!"
"And my mom's cupcakes."
"Especially your mom's cupcakes! We simply can't have an after-show party without them!"
Kyle grinned and kissed his boyfriend. They pulled into Kyle's driveway, followed by Bebe, Kenny and Wendy, Cartman, Clyde, Butters and Token, and Craig and Tweek with the mousy freshman girl Tweek seemed to like. Everyone else would be following shortly, straight out of closing night and still on a perfect run high, where Wendy was once again Juliet and Kyle was able to straighten out all imperfections from the sidelines. Audience members who were at opening night expressed confusion at the difference, but who the hell cares what they think anyway.
Stan raced down to the basement where Sheila and Gerald had put up a few decorations and a large blue cake. Kyle ran down to meet him and jumped into his arms. Stan kissed him and laughed.
Everyone started to filter down into the basement. Craig started an aggressive, high stakes darts game with Token and Clyde, who seemed to relish the idea of darts through each other's various appendages, as per the bet. Kenny passed around a water bottle of vodka for whomever felt they needed social lubricant. And to Butters. Because Drunk Butters is hilarious. Around Cartman and Wendy grew a crowd of spectators as they played Truth or Dare with a gusto that had never before been witnessed by mortals. And Kyle and Stan drifted in and out of conversations and games, together.
Around one in the morning, the party had dwindled to just a few friends who didn't shy away from helping clean up after, or, in Cartman's case, because his ho made him. They sat in a circle and talked about high school, each other's families and what they wanted out of life. Just Stan, Kyle, Kenny, Butters and Cartman.
Kyle shut his eyes and laid his head on Stan's chest. Stan smiled and stroked his hair. "Kyle, I'm so glad I talked you into coming to the auditions."
"Me too, Stan."
"I had a really great time."
"So did I."
"I'm happy to hear you say that, Kyle. Because next we're going to do 'The Merchant of Venice.'"
Kyle's eyes shot open. He stood up and walked away.
"Screw you guys, I'm going home."
Kyle made it to the top of the stairs before he realized he was already there.
The End! Finally!