Disclaimer: I don't own South Park and I'm making no money from this. The quotes are from The Hogfather, by Terry Pratchett, 'Freakshow' by Nomy, and as everyone probably knows, The Dark Knight.
Note: This is the most graphic thing I've ever posted on this site, and it's also the closest I think I've come to writing something for this pairing that doesn't make me roll my eyes over how stupidly convenient or cute or happy everything has turned out. This is my style, when I'm not trying to work out narrative and plot and dialogue, and it's nice taking the time to revel in what I like writing best: messed up people with messed up reasons doing messed up things. After all, I suppose, why not? Please enjoy.
Mr Teatime had a truly brilliant mind, but it was brilliant like a fractured mirror, all marvellous facets and rainbows but, ultimately, also something that was broken.
"I bet no one wanted wanted to play with you," susan said. "Not the kid with no friends. Kids know about a mind like yours, even if they don't know the right words for it –"
Would you use your life against me?
Would you cut me just to see
If I would go to Heaven?
But that remains to see.
Welcome to my freakshow
This is who I am.
Wendy Testaburger is not here against her will.
Later, the rumour will spread that she only allowed herself to be alone with him, in his empty house in the darkest hours of the night, because he had got something on her. Because he threatened her. Because he promised her he'd changed. But Wendy knows better.
Wendy Testaburger does not stand for threats. She rejects pressure founded on terror, and she will stand alone as the world burns if that is what it takes to stay her course. She scorns bribes, ignores flattery, and laughs in the face of blackmailers, inviting them to do their worst. Wendy Testaburger is not afraid of a thing anyone else can do to her.
That is why she has not, until now, let Eric Cartman fuck her.
She has known about his obsession with her. Everyone has, and Cartman has made no secret of it. She is loathe to admit it, but she marvelled at him when he decided not to refute the snickered taunts and pointed jibes. He had brought his weakness out into the open and then, suddenly, it wasn't a weakness anymore.
There have been two years of failed schemes and shitty plans aimed at getting her in bed with him. Wendy is certain that they have both known, all along, precisely what it would take for him to claim his victory, just as they had known irrefutably that she would not refuse him when that time came. It has been a perverse game of cat and mouse, with his claws never far from her throat, and her back never quite turned.
She looks at him, and he looks at her. He is sat on the edge of his bed, his hands folded, his face clean of all emotion. She stands, her hair loose, her shirt slipping to the floor. This is not a coupling, not yet. This is a performance.
A competition, he had purred – his lips to her ear, her back to the lockers, his face to hers. One on one, you and me, winner take all.
One night. One fuck. Whoever came first took the prize.
She had agreed, if only because they had both known she would. Sometimes, determinism had it bang on.
She has considered hating Cartman for this, but in the end she does not. To hate Eric Cartman for exploiting everyone around him would be as pointless as hating the rain for falling or a fox for killing rabbits. Animal instinct is base and reactive and uncontrollable, and there are those in whom it rages like a bush fire, making them feral in a way that goes beyond appearance and manners and speech. Cartman has a bestial mind, raw and unfettered, focused, instinctive, bare. He runs off instinct and sadism and adrenaline, and Wendy cannot hate him for that.
And, if she is she honest, it is not really an exploitation.
Wendy had divorced herself from her sexuality long ago. Intimacy, she decided, was not a weapon she cared to learn to wield, and certainly not an obligation. But Cartman knew her, knew the twists and turns of her mind as instinctively as she knew the curves and corridors of his. Sex is not a weapon when the opponent knows they are in battle.
Cartman gets to his feet. He hulks over her, and there is something savage and triumphant in the way he pulls her against him. She feels her body mesh against his, and splays her hands against his chest, distressed and feminine. Cartman scoops both of them up into one of his, and pulls her arms above her head. His expression says don't give me that shit, because they both know she is the furthest thing from a damsel in distress, and her acting that way is the last thing he wants.
From the moment Cartman kisses her, Wendy knows she has won. He bulldozes in, aggressive and confident, forcing his mouth against hers. But when Wendy begins to respond, leaning into him and relaxing her lips into the kiss, he falters. His other arm is wrapped tight around her, and the way his lips are moving becomes hungry and needy. Wendy has banished lust, and he has not, and that is precisely why this game was necessary, and why she was always going to win it.
She is repulsed by his eagerness, but curls herself against him, pushing herself onwards. He releases her hands to tangle his fingers in her hair. He's rough, and it hurts, and she yelps into his mouth. It excites him, because his other hand drops to her ass and the thrusts of his tongue becomes more frantic. Wendy winds her one of her freed hands tightly into the cotton-blend of his shirt and counters his frenzy with
Cartman doesn't want gentle, and it infuriates him. He growls into her mouth, and then he is overpowering her, throwing her onto the bed, clambering on top of her. She gasps under his weight, and there's this look that flashes across his face when he pulls away from her. It's like he's just realised how big and small they are, and Wendy is sure she sees the humiliated remains of his bravado crumple and die in his eyes. He eases off her. She shifts underneath him, her fingers grazing skin as she starts to unbutton his shirt. He shudders, suddenly, his eyes fluttering shut, and Wendy finds it strange how an accidental brush of flesh and flesh is turning him on more than their heated kisses.
And then, she thinks how strange it is that anything can be strange when she's through the looking glass like this, and marvels at the brain's ability to rationalise.
Cartman's hands find her breasts and he paws at her bra, trying to work a hand underneath her to find the clap. Wendy arches against him to give him access and his breath catches. She realises she is staring at him in something like incredulity, and when his eyes find hers he looks far too out of his depth. She kisses the corner of his mouth and tries to pretend it isn't meant to be tender or reassuring, but Wendy has never been able to buy bullshit, especially not her own.
There's a hum of nervousness behind his slapdash kisses when their clothes start coming off, and Cartman's virginity has never been in doubt. He is full of violent sexual energy but has no idea how to direct it, and Wendy knows that's another miniature victory for her. She is keeping track, and keeping the battle they are waging at the forefront of her mind. To slip, to forget, to give herself to the moment is to surrender herself to him, and to lose. And they both know it.
His fingers trail clumsily down to her hips, pausing before sliding between her legs. She's barely aroused, and not wet enough for him to force himself into her. But Cartman is ready for that, and he fumbles in the cabinet next to the bed. The bottle of lube he produces doesn't surprise her, but it strikes something within her. He'd anticipated her disinterest, anticipated that even when she acquiesced to him she would not want him, and still he has desperately fought for even this sparse scrap of something between them.
Wendy has heard of sympathy for the devil before, and she does not let her mind wander down those dark paths.
The air putters out of the bottle as Cartman squeezes it into his hand. He looms over her again, his hand disappearing, and she feels something cold against her thigh. He curses when he realises he's missed, and corrects himself.
He grunts when he pushes into her, and when Wendy leans into him she knows that this is going to be a defining moment in both their lives. His low groan when he's completely inside her is the first thing that genuinely turns her on that night. His big, rough hands leave her hips and grasp at her breasts instead. He squeezes, a little too hard, just as he is pulling back for the first time, and she inhales sharply and thrusts up against him.
He catches her eyes, and something inside the both of them breaks. He begins to build up to a rhythm, and she grinds against him, well aware she is treading the dangerously slender line between this being a war of wills and a test of strength, and this being Wendy Testaburger and Eric Cartman fucking like a pair of dogs, sweating and panting and clinging to one another in the shadows and the dark.
He is gasping and groaning, and losing control – losing himself. "Wendy," he says, and it's a full on moan, so shatteringly bare that her heart contracts. "Wendy! I – ah!"
She feels him tense suddenly, his thrusts increasing to a dangerous pace, and she arches herself up against him and lets herself breathe, "Eric," into his ear.
He comes, his forehead pressed against the pillow, and they are aligned temple to temple. He lets out one long, shaky breath. His chest is rising and falling against hers and for a moment, his weight has collapsed onto her again, and then he had shifted across, and turned his head to look at her. His eyes are open and wide and as expressive as she has ever seen them, and he is looking vulnerable.
Wendy wonders why someone like Cartman is doing this to himself. He has always been so driven by a need to control things, and here he was, breathing heavily against her neck, collapsed half on top of her and half off, shuddering his way back towards the ground, and at her mercy.
"I lost," he mumbles, his words nestling in the crook of her neck and his breath tickling her ear.
Several things hit Wendy at once. The most immediate and most pointless is how open he has just sounded, how very rare and precious a willing admission of failure is from Eric Cartman. It reminds her of their childhood, and something turns cold in her stomach. Then, she is realising that Cartman has wound his fingers into hers – that he's holding her hand – and the cold thing in her stomach lurches displeasingly.
And then, finally, she is just staring at him, because it has just occurred to her that everything that has happened between them has only been preparation for this moment. He has brought himself here to give her his heart in the only way he knows how: by losing to her. He has offered her his soul and she isn't entirely sure what she is supposed to do with it.
"Good," she says, when she has finally found some words buried at the back of her mind. "Then you'll keep up your end of the deal. You'll leave me alone, and forget about me."
"Yeah." But the look in his eyes says he is never going to forget.
That's fine, too.
Wendy struggles out from under him. As she climbs over him, he turns over onto his back, and sweeps an arm up to stop her.
"You could stay here," he says, and his eyes are unreadable again.
"Or I could not."
"It's dangerous for you to walk home alone this time of night." He doesn't sound concerned.
"Any more dangerous than staying here?"
Cartman smiles a smile Wendy has seen a hundred, a thousand times before. It's his smile of sick self-satisfaction, of knowing he is the devil's own and revelling in it. "No."
"Well then." Wendy makes to get up again, and again, he stops her, closing his hand around her arm. He looks up at her, and there is a rawness in his stare that forces her to turn her face away.
Quietly, he says, "You could stay anyway."
She fixes him with a look. "Why would I do that?"
"Because I want you to."
"You lost, Cartman. You don't get anything you want."
He pulls her against him. "Because you want to," he tells her, lips almost brushing against the line of her jaw.
"I won. That means I get to choose what I want," she reminds him, and she cannot look at his eyes. She can see his weakness there, can see her own weakness, too, and one of them has to resist.
Wendy stands up. She gets dressed in silence, aware he is watching her every move, aware of his eyes taking in every curve and plane of her body before she covers herself up. She wants to go home. She needs to go home. She needs to have a hot shower, then a cold shower, and then sleep until she can forgive herself for putting the barriers back over his heart.
But she knows this is not the time she is supposed to give in. Their game is far from over. To stay, to collapse into the warmth of his arms and fall asleep protected, to resign herself to contentment, would be the worst kind of crime between them. The ultimate aim of all of this is not for them to fall together like characters in a fairy tale. The stakes they are playing for are much higher: her conscience, and his soul.
And, at some point, some time, some unimportant day months or years or decades on, they going to lose at the same time. Then, they will trade their prizes, and he will set her free in the very moment she catches him forever, and together, one day, they are going to be un-fucking-stoppable.
But not today.
This is not the end of their game, and they both know it. This is just the next level, and it is Wendy's turn.
She shoots one last, wicked smile across the dark, and he is still watching her. They are as damned as they seem, she thinks, but let God himself deny that their descent is going to filled with fire and war and everything impossible. And neither one of them has any intention of giving up.
After all, there are much more interesting things in life than happiness.
Madness is like gravity...all it takes is a little push.