Prompt: Kenny and Craig play basketball
Craig sighed rubbing black fringe from his eyes. He needed a fucking haircut, but Ruby was too busy hanging out with fucking Karen to do it. The longish hair was not only annoying, but seemed to emphasise his already pretty effeminate face. It was only because he had taken after his mother rather than his father. Not that he wanted to look like a redheaded lumberjack in a suit anyway but having to beat the shit out of people who commented on it got on his nerves.
Craig pulled away from the mirror and a very strong temptation to grab a pair of scissors and just hack off. He instead walked back to his room and began tugging on his clothes. He could distract himself with a run. Craig wanted to try out for the track team when he started high school, and he had to warm up. He tugged on a pair of jogging pants, a worn out blue hoodie, and his familiar blue chullo. His sneakers came last. They were as worn down as the rest of his jogging gear, but they were trustworthy. He made sure the laces were tight before tucking them into his shoe.
Craig was used to the cold, biting winter air. He pushed hair out of his face and then started at a slow pace. He increased speed as he ran, burning off energy. He had tugged his headphones from his pocket and could hear nothing but the sound of Mindless Self Indulgence in his ears. He passed numerous people, amorous and not-so-amorous couples, and multiple frozen trees. He did not even notice he hummed along with the words of the song currently playing.
Craig was knocked out of his own world when a flash of orange whizzed by him. It flew in a manner that knocked him on the ground and sent him crashing to the floor. Craig cursed as he fell into the snow. He tugged out his headphones with preparation to fight whoever had tripped him. "Sorry dude." It was the eyes that saved him along with the honesty in his words. He had muttered something else, but it was muffled by the bright orange fabric over his nose and mouth. When Craig gave the other a blank look, Kenny tugged it down a bit. "Wanna play an apology game?"
Craig continued to stare. "Was actually running," he said in a monotone pointing farther ahead up the road and then to his headphones. He thought it was pretty obvious by the way he was dressed and what he had been doing, but Kenny did not seem to understand. He merely hummed and grabbed his ball. He grabbed Craig's hand and tugged him to the snow-covered basketball court. The city had not gotten around to cleaning it after the newly fallen snow.
Craig tried to protest, but Kenny tossed him the ball. "There's a lot of running involved if you play right," he said with a grin. He was bouncing on his toes as if excited for the game. Craig set his mouth to say something but only ended up letting a sigh escape his lips. He cursed dribbling the ball a bit. It was a bit more difficult to do in snow but not impossible. He made a shot and it went in swooshing through the net. His face was still impassive despite his small victory. Kenny's eyes were shining with delight as he clapped a bit only resulting in a roll of Craig's eyes.
"Don't go easy on me McCormick," Craig stated blandly. In a few future moments he would wish he had not. Kenny gave him a devilish grin that was hidden with his hood. He moved with surprising quickness easily taking the ball from Craig and brushing by him. He shot with precision, the ball hardly even touching the net as it just slid in. Craig's mouth turnt down slightly at the unexpected point.
"Just testing the waters Tucker," Kenny said his hood sliding down somewhat this time. Craig could see the smirk on his lips and could hear the almost taunting tease in his voice when he said his name. It dug under Craig's skin as he set his feet to grab the ball from Kenny. He was lucky he had a runner's build as he slid in front of Kenny and through his arms easily stealing the ball. What he did not expect was Kenny to grab him from behind and whirl them around face to face, the ball the only thing between them. Kenny was openly grinning now.
Craig breathe out fast, the game had only lasted minutes but combined with his running he was already running out of breath. He was unsure what to say as Kenny continued to smile, and for a moment he had forgotten about the game. Only for a moment. He moved his body quickly with a jerk and turnt away from Kenny and shot another point. He almost smiled.
Kenny just had to ruin the moment by coming behind him and taking the ball. He shot with the same precision as earlier. It bounced from the net and right back to his hands. Craig moved to get the ball again, but it was almost like de ja vu. Kenny had grabbed him again for a few seconds that passed in timelessly before Craig would run off with the ball.
This continued for the rest of Kenny and Craig's game. At some point, both had stopped really keeping count. Sweat stuck to Craig's brow as he cursed missing a shot that rebounded right to Kenny's hand. He moved to get it, but Kenny had moved his arms above his head and quickly brought them back down again. Craig almost stopped breathing trapped between Kenny and the ball. He could drop down and crawl, but there was no chance in hell he would even try. "What the hell are you trying to do McCormick?" His voice was edgy with his irritation. He did not know too much about team sports, but he did know you did not trap the other player in your arms. He raised his arms up to push Kenny off, but Kenny worked in the opposite direction and pushed them down.
Snow was lacing Craig's hair like spiderwebs and dusted his clothes like the whitest ash. His hat had fallen off in his fall, already having been askewed from their vigorous game. Craig let out a string of curses and demanded to be let up, but it did not seem as if Kenny was going to allow him to. He wanted to shove the other off, but Kenny had a different built than he did. Craig was long and slender. Kenny was the same, but in the way of a running back rather than a track runner.
"Get the fuck offa me," Craig said from beneath his breath. It came out like a monotone whisper as Kenny peered into his eyes. Craig had the words of a song playing in his head. It was something to do with blue eyes and endless skies as he stared up at Kenny. He cursed again finally mustering up the strength to knock Kenny off of him. "Game over," he said irately.
"Awh," Kenny said with a pout, but it was ruined when he grinned again. "Guess we'll have to play later Craig," he said with a smile. Craig ignored it turning around. He ignored the cheerful voice behind him. "Good luck with the track team!"
No matter how much he had pretended to not hear the words, they rung in his ears as he walked into the track team try-outs. The track team was not very popular in South Park High. They had to drive to North Park because they did not have a track here. The kids in North Park were not to keen to the South Park kids, and Craig could not even count how many times he had gotten into a fight by some poorly misguided asshat who thought he was easy to fight. He always proved them wrong.
This year was going to be different although. Craig needed an excuse to not think, and he had always had a thing for running. It burnt off anger, hurt, or any other emotion he was feeling. It instead filled him with a sort of contentment. The wind through his hair. It was nothing but him, his legs, and cold air hitting his face. It could be warm too. Honestly, Craig could care less.
He walked into the gymnasium changed into the gym uniform. He disobeyed the rule of wearing shorts and tugged on pants instead. He was not too fond of his legs and preferred to keep them hidden. The coach argued a bit with him about it, but Craig had just flipped him off. Attitude was probably one thing they were not very fond of, but Craig could work on that later.
The shrill whistle sounded telling all lined at the line to begin. It was not long before Craig ran ahead of the other boys and girls. His face remained set and impassive as he ran. His legs took long strides along the floor, and he opened his mouth slightly and breathe through his nose to keep from running out of breath too easily. He wanted to keep running, but then the whistle sounded again telling them to stop.
Craig did not even need to listen when the coach told him he had made the team. He only nodded that he understood, and then walked right out the gymnasium not bothering to change. He tugged out a water bottle from his bag, fumbling with it before fingers picked it up for him. "Told you you would make it."
Craig looked up from his bag to playful eyes and a playful smile. Kenny handed him back his bottle, which Craig accepted without a thank you. "You never said anything to me McCormick," he said, but for once around the other it held no irritation of the slightest. This seemed to make Kenny's smile grow wider.
Kenny made a small noise in his mouth akin to "tsk." "Whatever," he said lightly tossing his arms behind his head. "How about we go a movie to celebrate?" Craig gave him a wary look, but Kenny only gave hima small innocent smile. "I'm not asking you on a date Craig," he said with a laugh at his suspicious eyes. His expression never revealed much, but Kenny acted like it was so easy to read him like a book.
"Fine," Craig said after a long pause. He took a long drag from his water somewhat longing a cigarette. Tweek had practically forced him to quit a week ago, and Craig was not really enjoying his none-nicotine life. He preferred being happy, well, as happy as he ever really got these days, smoker. If only Tweek would shut the hell up about cancer and evil tobacco faeries for once. "Tomorrow," he stated as more of a command than a question.
Kenny grinned before trotting off to wherever he was going to. For the briefest second, Craig allowed himself to believe that Kenny had came to the track meet to watch him run. Then again, that was stupid. He tugged at his hoodie before taking another swig of his water. Kenny McCormick was probably only fucking with his head that was the only logical explanation.
Craig repeated this to himself over the rest of that night and the following morning. His sleep had been ill, as something unknown had crawled into him forcing him to toss and turn. It also seemed to make him a bit jittery as he began tossing things out of the closet. He repeated to himself this was not a date, and that he, Craig Motherfucking Tucker, was not a girl. He just wanted to make sure he did not look horrible. He had no idea when he even gave two shits about what others thought, but suddenly he did. He went from one shirt to the other, finally deciding on a pair of his regular dark jeans and an artist shirt. He liked the homicidal Snow White on the front. He tugged his hoodie on and his chullo hat. He was stuffing on his shoes as he hopped down the hallway and to the door. He had already scrawled a note to his parents telling them he was going out with some friends. Craig was not too sure if they would buy it. He did not make too many friends.
This did not matter to Craig really for he was already down the street with his hands stuffed in his pockets. He was at the movie theatre after a thirty minute walk and it was not too hard to find Kenny. Orange really tended to stand out amid all the dull attire of the other people in the line. Craig ran to stand beside him, flipping off anyone who just so happened to be annoyed with his line cutting. Kenny smiled when he saw him. "I thought you had skipped out on me."
"No," Craig simply said. They had never agreed on a time, but it was good they somehow wound up here at the same time anyway. They stayed in line for a while, but Kenny rushed to pay first. Craig opened his mouth to protest, but Kenny grabbed his hand and tugged him into the lobby. Craig nodded when he mentioned food, and both waited silently in the line as they came to the counter. Craig bought himself some nachos with "a fucking lot of jalapenos" and Kenny a box of M&M's. They decided to split a large soda, both were too cheap to buy two. Craig also wanted to free refills that cane with it.
Kenny and Craig sat down in the front row. Craig hated front row seats, but he did not voice it. It did not matter because they were the only one watching this movie anyway. It was some slasher horror movie, and Kenny seemed a bit queasy as the movie started. Craig glanced over at him noticing it. He was not as oblivious to other's people's feelings as he seemed. He leant over and before Kenny could say anything popped a nacho into his mouth. This drew Kenny's attention from the screen as the goriest scene came on.
Kenny grinned. He had not caught on to what Craig was doing, but he had come to his own conclusion. He held up an M&M. "Don't try it McCormick. I hate chocolate," Craig protested, but Kenny did not listen. He had tried to push it past Craig's lips, but that only resulted in Craig moving his head away. Craig wanted to punch him, but technically he had started this in the first place.
Kenny came up with a wicked plan. His arms slid up Craig's sides resulting in Craig pushing him off. "Ffff-. Fuck off," he said giving Kenny the middle finger. Again, Kenny ignored him. He instead just reached down and this time he tickled Craig along his sides. This erupted in laughter from the noirette. Craig slid down in his seat as he laugh, and Kenny grinned. The noise was unexpected and delightful for no real reason at all. He had never seen Craig smile, much less laugh.
After a while, Kenny decided to have mercy on Craig and stop. Craig was relieved as he tried to catch his breath. Kenny smiled popping an M&M into between his lips as he did so. "I win," he laughed grabbing a handful of M&M's and popping them into his own mouth. Craig was glaring at him with a smile still somehow on his lips. It was so faint you had to be sitting less than a centimetre from him. Kenny was lucky he indeed was. He liked the smile, but he knew the comment he wanted to say might make Craig uncomfortable.
Craig seemed to be thinking the same thing as he tore his gaze from Kenny and looked at the floor. The movie was about over now, and he could see the credits were on. He had admittedly no idea what the film was even about. The strangest thing was he did not even care. This was the most fun he had had in a long time.
Kenny grinned grabbing Craig's hand again. "Movie's over," he said in a singsong voice. "Let's skedaddle," he said with a laugh. Craig rolled his eyes at the ridiculous word, but Kenny did not seem to mind. They had only spent time together for a day and Kenny already was getting used to Craig's most common traits. In minutes they were out the theatre doors and into the soft light of the stars. Kenny twirled in the moonlight forcing Craig to grab his hand. Craig protested, but he should no by now, protests mean nothing.
If you were walking along the street right then, you would have been lucky to see two figures dancing along the icy sidewalks, their only lights coming from broken street lamps, the moon, and the stars. Craig found himself warming up, and his eyes seeming to shine like those stars above his head. For a moment, this was better than running, and he did not mind if it lasted forever. That's why he was a bit disappointed when they reached his house.
Craig's face reached cold apathy when he saw the house. He immediately pulled Kenny with him to his bedroom window. "I don't want to get caught sneaking out again," he explained in a half-truth. He was not ready to tell people the truth yet, but- Kenny smiled and gave him a boost to his window. This allowed Craig to slip through the window and into his bedroom. Kenny heard a few curses as he crashed into a guinea pig cage along the window, but they died down as he popped his head back from the window. His face was so deadpanned, but Kenny still could read him like a book.
"By the way Craig," Kenny said whispering up to Craig's window, "today is my birthday." Kenny smiled with the words, and Craig's almost shocked expression. It was more like his eyebrows raised slightly, but surprise was surprise no matter how subtly it was displayed. "I'd have to say this is the best one I've had in a while." Craig was silent not saying a word. He was actually not being quiet by choice for once. His heart had stopped at the words.
"Happy Birthday then Kenny," Craig said. Kenny noticed how he did not call him by his last name for once. Before anything else could be said, Craig closed the bedroom window and left Kenny out in the cold. The words still hung in the air, still very much alive in Kenny's heart. Kenny walked away slowly humming the song he had heard Craig humming that day when he saw him running down the sidewalk.
"Definitely the best birthday in a while."
edit: 16 March 2011