Disclaimer: I do not own South Park, and make no profit from this work.
Cartman was waiting, leaning against his flash car, outside Kyle's apartment block the next morning.
"You fucking Jewish douchebag," he snarled, when Kyle exited the building.
"Hello to you too," Kyle said sourly, shrugging on his suit jacket. "Nice talking, but I have to go. I'm running late for work as it is."
"Ass cancer?" Cartman howled, clenching his fat fists. "Ass-fucking-cancer?"
"Ass fucking? Now that I didn't claim..."
"Shut your fucking trap!" Cartman roared. "I'll have you sued into the earth for this, you Jewish piece of shit! I'll..."
"On what grounds?" Kyle asked. "Slander? Libel? You can't. I never named you, Cartman. Not once did I even refer to your case. Not my problem if you just happen to be one of the many victims of prostate cancer, who is also obese. Not my problem."
"And how the fuck did you know?"
Kyle smirked. "I'm a journalist, Cartman. We're better than the police. Or the CIA, FBI, whatever. We will find out everything, and make up the rest."
"You're a finance journalist."
"Fancied a change," Kyle shrugged, and turned to go. "Keep an eye on the news, Cartman. You never know what might come up next."
The bar was...eh. It was seedy. There wasn't really a more appropriate adjective. Crackwhore-den smeared with remnants of cocaine and used needles, maybe, but that wasn't a singular adjective. So seedy it was.
And frankly, Wendy felt uncomfortable. And so she should: most of the men in the bar hadn't seen a woman in a suit since their last prosecution for drunk and disorderly behaviour, assault or soliciting sex from minors.
So when Kenny swayed into the bar like he was born there, she was actually (for the first time in her life) glad to see him.
"Wendy," he nodded, sinking into the sticky chair opposite. "Why here? Something you don't want Kyle to hear?"
"Something I don't want anyone to hear," she said firmly. "This stays between you and me, Kenny, you got that?"
Kenny shrugged. "Depends what it is."
"It will stay between you and me. Or I will let every right-wing Republican-voting bigot this side of the Rockies know that the playboy McCormick has gone gay. And see how long you last then, when the hicks get wind of that."
Kenny scowled at her.
"Fine," he snapped eventually, folding his arms on the table between them. "Go on then. Why have you called me out to this dump?"
"I want the other samples."
"I want any remaining samples of that drug."
"You want...the gay drug?"
Kenny paused. He rolled his jaw, clicked his tongue, and said: "You want the drug?"
"For the last fucking time, Kenny, yes!"
"Okay, okay, Jesus," he muttered. "Women. Don't know why I ever liked your lot. God. Fine, Jesus. Why the hell do you want it anyway? Isn't that morally questionable?"
"I'm a doctor."
"That's my point."
"Kenny, there's barely a day when you can't question my morality and ethics in the hospital," she snarled. "And right now, I've had it up to here with this situation, and now Cartman's produced something that can change that situation, and you expect me not to take the chance? Hello? Wendy Testaburger, here!"
"Fair point," Kenny agreed, and grinned.
"You're going to turn someone gay."
"Of course," Wendy snapped.
"Which means you're gay."
"What if I...?"
"No, it means you're after a straight girl," Kenny shook his head. "Because the only guy you ever held onto was Stan, and then suddenly you dropped him like a hot potato and didn't have a boy since. You're after a girl. Dyke."
"The term is bisexual," Wendy said waspishly.
But Kenny's brain was working. When it came to people, Kenny was on the ball. He knew people - knew them with the same innate sense and wickedness that Cartman knew them. And he'd been around Wendy long enough as a kid to...
"Oh wow," he said, and snickered. "Kyle's going to kill you."
"Kyle," Wendy said sharply, "will never find out."
"I think you're underestimating Kyle's bad-ass brain."
"He won't find out."
"Oh, right. Yeah. So when she goes gay for you right in the middle of a public crucifixion of Cartman for pioneering a homosexual drug, Kyle's not going to put two and two together."
"If he does," Wendy said, very low and dangerous, "then I'll know who told him. Won't I?"
Kenny went quiet for a moment, eyeing her warily. Then he said, "Yes, Ma'am," and prised himself from the sticky chair and out of the bar.
Stan and Kyle's relationship had been understandably rocky after Bebe's rapid change of tune about her love life. And hell, Stan couldn't really blame Kyle for his explosive reaction and rapid disappearance from Stan's life. He would've been pretty pissed too. But it wasn't like Stan had shagged Bebe while they were married, or even that he'd persuaded her to leave.
As a result of their long-term estrangement, Stan had absolutely no idea where Kyle lived now. They met at least once a month (and had for the last year) on the public basketball courts behind North Park High, in a desperate attempt to keep some semblence of friendship going - but that was more or less it. They didn't really goof off like they used to, and it was a bad combination of feelings. Kyle was still too hurt and angry, and Stan was too grateful that Kyle hadn't ditched him completely, for them to get back to where they were.
But with the resurrection (or, if it hadn't ever died, continuance) of the Kyle v. Cartman war, Stan knew that he couldn't let this slide. They'd endangered the country (and world) enough as kids, never mind know they were adults with salaries, money, property and networks to provide frightening ammunition.
Good God, the two would start a nuclear holocaust between them!
He did, however, know where Kyle worked. The National Blue's main office was in the middle of Denver, on the third to sixth floors in a gleaming glass tower, with a faulty lift. So he hovered at the magazine's reception desk, ignoring the receptionist's dubious looks, until that familiar head of curly red hair came into view.
"Stan? What the hell?" Kyle threw at him, flashing his ID almost absently at the receptionist and speed-walking through the rows of cubicles to his personal office.
"I need to talk to you."
"I'm at work. Save it."
"It's about your work," Stan said.
"Oh right?" Kyle said, bursting into his office, throwing down his briefcase and picking up the ringing phone in one easy motion. "The National Blue, Broflovski speaking."
"That article was all about Cartman," Stan said.
Kyle rolled his eyes and scribbled of course it was on a scrap piece of paper. "Absolutely, Jonathon, run with it. If you can get Channel Four involved as well, then you have yourself an end-of-month bonus."
He slammed the phone down again as Stan said, "What the hell, Kyle? You're still going against Cartman?"
"I laid off at the end of high school and through college," Kyle shrugged, "but I kept an eye out. Which is just as well."
"Seen Kenny lately?"
Stan was thrown, and he frowned. "What? No, I haven't. What's that got to do with...?"
"Shut the door, sit down, and shut up."
Stan bristled. "Hey, no need to be a..."
"You want to know, or you want to get out? It's entirely your choice, Stan, I really don't care."
Stan did as he was told.
"Right," Kyle said. "Cartman works for a drug company."
"He's been focusing on a single research project with a single aim more-or-less since he got the job. We all know that the ethnic minorities - especially the Hispanic groups - are breeding faster than the Caucasian and white groups in America."
"Well, he's developed a drug that's going to reverse that trend," Kyle said, "in the name of saving white America."
Stan frowned. "That's not possible."
"It is, and we've got the proof," Kyle shrugged. "It's a gay drug, Stan. One dose and the patient becomes a flaming homosexual."
"That's not possible."
"Pay Kenny a visit for fifteen minutes, then come back here and tell me that's not possible."
Stan sat back, his brain working as fast as it could. Which was still slower than Kyle, but whatever. "But how...how did you know?"
"Because I kept an eye on what was going on. I'm a journalist, Stan, I have more contacts than the police and the mob put together."
"Well, sure," Stan said, "but why keep an eye on Cartman now? You've not kept an eye on him since school."
"Almost," Kyle said, and scowled himself. "But Cartman didn't let go of the vendetta either."
"What did he...?"
"He came to my wedding, Stan. For all of five minutes, but he came. And he tried to make a bet with me - that in five years, I would be single again. That Bebe would leave me."
"And when she turned round that night and said, 'I'm leaving you' and promptly shacked up with you, I got to wondering how exactly that had happened."
Comprehension began to dawn.
"The only reason I can stand seeing your face, and knowing that you are sleeping with the woman who is meant to be my wife is what I found out about Cartman's research," Kyle said bitterly. "The aim of the drug was always to make people gay, but the early form of the drug merely destroyed existing attachments. It made them stop being in love. And who was marked in his research as the first human test subject?"
"Exactly. That's why I'm crusading against Cartman, Stan. And if you don't like it, well. You can just go fuck yourself."
That afternoon, Kyle sat back from his computer and cracked his knuckles. Done. It would be in the news by the morning. God, sometimes he loved this job.
It was Heidi. Heidi had never been Kyle's favourite person - bitchy, opinionated, forward and loudmouthed. She was the perfect journalist. She handled the feminine side of the magazine - fashion, housekeeping and so on and so forth, despite her complete lack of cleaning or culinary skills. But she and Kyle worked well together - both were the odd mix of 'votes Democrat, has no moral spine' that makes for a wonderful career in the media.
"Yep," he said. "It'll go to press in the morning and explode."
"Good," she said. "I've got the piece booked onto the morning news for Channel Four, CNN and Fox News. CNN in particular is going to have a field day with this."
"I'd like to see the Fox spin myself," Kyle muttered, forwarding the article to the relevant editors in the magazine. "Most of the papers have received a copy and most will run it. David's going on the radio tomorrow afternoon to push the business-liberal viewpoint."
"That company is going to fold like a stack of cards in a hurricane," Heidi muttered. "God, I love getting back at companies."
"Nah, the company. My Mom used to work for them," she pulled a face. "Never paid her enough. Anyway, are you taking tomorrow off to hide from the media storm?"
"Yep," Kyle nodded. "Lurk in my apartment and be a hermit. I've prepared the follow-up article - that should go out on Monday morning. Big impact after the weekend lull."
"Sure," Heidi paused. "Kyle? Is it all...true?"
"Wow," she said. "That's...wow. Scary wow."
Yeah, Heidi had never quite grasped the point of the English language. Or any language at all, really. But Kyle got the idea, and nodded along with her.
"He's going to lash right back," she said.
"Against what?" Kyle asked. "We have all the evidence. Source protection is what it is. The thief isn't affiliated with us and we can't be held responsible for it. We're home free."
"You leave the fatass to me."
"Breaking news this morning, allegations are being brought against a major pharmaceutical company that one of its top researchers has developed a drug to convert people to homosexuality. The National Blue further claims that the idea behind the drug is to halt the birth rate in ethnic minority groups and return the USA to a whites-only society."
Stan felt like bouncing his head off the table.
"Thanks, Mike! That's right, journalist Kyle Broflovski this morning published a series of research papers written up by one Eric Cartman, that contain records of research into a drug that converts heterosexuals to homosexuals. In theory, the change is permanent. The papers show its effectiveness on mice, rats and apes. The magazine is claiming that some people may have already fallen victim to the drug in the public sector!"
"Oh, sweet Jesus," Stan breathed. "Sweet, holy, fucking Jesus. On a stick."
"Broflovski also produced a business plan supposedly written by the researcher outlining the reasoning behind his research. Frankly, Tom, I've had a look at the published plan, and it reads like something out of Nazi Germany. It refers to Mexicans and Cubans specifically, and claims to aid a return to, quote, 'the original white America and its values', end quote. The NAACP is up in arms about it, and Democrat senators have been crawling out of the woodwork to condemn the paper and point out Mr. Cartman's political leanings."
Stan switched the television off and put his head in his hands.
Because there was no way that Cartman was going to take this lying down.