Disclaimer: I do not own South Park, and I make no profit from this work.


This Adult Life

"What the hell?"

Kyle held it at arm's length, and it burbled at him like a broken drain. Spittle rolled off its face and onto his jeans, and he made a mental note to burn them.

"Hold her properly, Kyle. She's not going to bite you."

"No," Kyle agreed. "She hasn't got any teeth yet."

Stan rolled his eyes and beamed. He was, Kyle decided, unreasonably pleased about this whole thing. Frankly, Kyle was mentally catalouging all the possible exits and reviewing all the possible excuses. Beside him, Kenny fidgeted, obviously thinking the same.

'It', for the record, was a baby. A three-week-old, drooling, spit-producing, grizzling, squashed-looking, ugly baby. A baby girl, Stan had informed him, but Kyle didn't much care to know. It was the same thing as a baby boy: all they did (and all they would do, for the next five to eight years) was produce spit, shit, sick and stupid words.

Its name was Sophie, and it was the result of a whirlwind romance and marriage between Stan and his new wife, Megan. Megan was Irish, with the third most annoying accent in the world (Pip, and Kyle's Georgian professor at Yale both beat her voice, but not by a long way) and far too much frizzy blonde hair. She was also the stupidest woman that Kyle had ever met. To the point that even Kenny drew the line.

He foresaw a quickie divorce in under two years. One year, if this sack of...whatever...that had been foisted on him, cried too much.

"Isn't she precious?" Stan asked, and swept the baby out of his arms again. Kyle had managed to use excuse after excuse to avoid seeing a pregnant Megan, but finally Stan had put his foot down and demanded the guys come to see his new baby.

"Adorable," Kyle lied, wiping off his hands on his jeans. Oh yeah, they were getting burned.

Why did Stan think he needed to see a baby? He had a baby brother, for God's sake. He knew about babies. He remembered Ike as a baby and, quite frankly, liked him much more after he stopped drooling, babbling, or coughing up spitballs on everything. The learning to obey the 'keep out of my room' rule had been a bonus.

Frankly, Kyle had had enough of babies by the time he was twelve. Why would he want to handle more of the little shits?

For once, he was in complete agreement with both Cartman and Kenny. They had all been strong-armed into coming for a visit, and both looked vaguely ill by now. It wasn't even just the baby - it was the domesticity in everything. It was, quite frankly, disgusting. No self-respecting twenty-six-year-old man should have settled down with a wife and a baby and a dog, and discussing building that little white picket fence the missus wanted around the yard.

Kyle felt like hurling into the nearest plant pot. And there was too many of them to be reasonable.

Only two years ago, Stan had been a womanising bachelor. Then he met Megan and everything went to hell in a handbasket. And now, the worst part, he was encouraging the others to follow in his footsteps and embrace partnerships and parenting. They could even prepare themselves, he generously offered, by helping them with Sophie. Be honorary uncles.

He'd asked Kyle to be a godfather, and Kyle had made up some crap about Judaism not allowing it. Kenny had been less polite, and downright refused. And Stan wasn't so far gone as to ask Cartman. Kyle had a vague notion that Megan's best friend Gareth (and ex-boyfriend. Kyle wasn't a relationship counsellor, but that was going to be a mess in the future. Especially when the quickie divorce came around) was going to be the sack's godfather.

"Ah well," Stan said, interrupting whatever he'd been saying that Kyle hadn't been listening to, when the thing puked all down his back. "Be right back, guys, don't move."

He vanished into the kitchen, and Cartman mimed vomiting.

"This is so fucking gay, it's straight," he groused.

Kenny snickered and volunteered, "It would only get gayer if the thing shat rainbows."

"Pissed rainbows and shat fucking gold," Cartman said. "Then maybe I'd be interested. No fucking thank you. He's grown a complete vagina. We sure we should be leaving the baby with two lesbians?"

The three of them snickered like high schoolers again - okay, none of them had been in eight or nine years, but their sense of humour hadn't joined their bodies in aging.

"We're thinking of having a couple more," Stan said, oblivious, coming back into the room with a fresh shirt and the baby curled in his arms like a tiny corpse. Maybe it had puked to death, Kyle thought uncharitably. "I want at least one son, though Meg wants a couple more girls...we could fill up the place."

"Not much to fill," Kenny said. It was true. The living room was barely big enough to accommodate the couch that he and Kyle lounged in, and Cartman had squeezed himself into the alcove by the window.

"We can find somewhere bigger," Stan shrugged. "We'll manage."

"Right," Kyle said dryly.

"C'mon, Kyle," Stan wheedled. "You'll start making a mint soon, with your brains and that swish job. You never thought about asking a cute nurse on a date and seeing where it takes you?"

"Usually, the bedroom, and then, a bit later, out the door," Kyle quipped.

"You must be thinking about it, though."

"Nope," Kyle said flatly.

"We are quite happy," Kenny intervened, "with a few good lays every week or so. Right, guys?"

He had never lost the vivacious grin and charm that had earned him the dubious dual reputations of the most laid boy in South Park, and the most frequent patient at the main STI clinic in Denver, all the way through high school. He flashed that smile then, a dirty but attractive one, and Cartman and Kyle both snickered.

Stan, however, didn't look amused.

"Guys, seriously," he whined.

"Seriously," Kyle said. "Jesus, Stan, we're not forty, desperate and balding. Most of us," he amended, eyeing Cartman's prematurely receding hairline. "Not all of us want a family. Until you met Megan, you didn't."

"You'll meet someone," Stan predicted confidently.

Kyle eyed the baby as it started chewing on Stan's shirt. He hoped not.

"Dude, you do the breastfeeding?" Cartman mocked, when Stan hastily retreated to find a bottle for it. While the new father was gone, Cartman shot the muttered question, "Is it rude to mention the thing's ugly?" at the other two.

"Yes," Kenny said.

"Very," Kyle added.

"Can I...?"

"No."

"Why not?"

"Because," Kyle said patiently, "he will just send us three billion pictures in the next two years as it gets weirder and more annoying, to prove you wrong."

Cartman thought about it, then decided it wasn't a worthwhile trade-off for the undoubtedly early exit it would gain them.

"Here," Stan said, flitting back into the living room with a freshly-fed sack of skin. "Here, take it. Go on, hold her. She'll like you."

This was addressed to Kenny, who handled the baby like it was a ticking bomb, and shot a look of complete alarm at Kyle.

"Don't look at me," Kyle said. "I've had my turn."

"But..."

"No."

"I hate you," Kenny groused.

"We've established that," Kyle rolled his eyes.

Stan looked confused.

"Oh, you missed it," Cartman said, waving a hand. "You were at the birth or something like that. Those two got shitted on shots, bragged about dick size, then compared. With demonstrations. On each other."

Stan said nothing for a long, long moment.

Then the baby broke the spell. Probably quietly, but the speed with which Kenny deposited it back into Stan's arms was alarming, and then the smell reached the other occupants of the room.

"That's it," Kenny said. "I'm leaving. I'm not sitting here to get shat on by a girl who isn't even remotely old enough to be hot."

Stan went a strange shade of purple.

"I'll drive," Kyle volunteered, catapulting up off the couch. "Sorry, Stan, but if the baby's in the equation, call us when she's not around to puke, cry, crap, or do any other baby things."

They beat a hasty retreat, disturbed to note that night had fallen in their time in Stans' idyllic little domestic paradise, and Kenny tore off his shirt and dumped it into the garbage can at the end of the drive.

"Fucking sick," he said. "It's illegal to kill babies, right?"

"Yes."

"Damn. C'mon, get your jeans off. They got drooled on."

"Nice try," Kyle said, throwing himself into the driver's seat of his battered old car. Much more worthy of love than a newborn infant. "Kenny."

"What?"

"If I ever express the desire to have children..."

"Don't worry," Kenny said, very seriously. "I'll club you to death with your dad's old golfing irons. And then I'll screw you so you're a fag even in the afterlife."

"Cheers," Kyle said dryly.

"Best to make sure," Kenny said cheerfully. "Now. Back to mine, it's closer. You need those jeans off before the drool diseases you."

"I don't think baby drool does that."

"You never know."