Fiction Rated M (Mature): For mature language, implied violence, ideologically sensitive material, and implied sexuality

Note: Heavily implied Kyman, implied one-sided K2. Interpret it as you wish :)

Word Count: 9,166

We played a game, a game with numerous names, two players, and one goal. It was a simple game, and yet so very complex, twisted, and tactless. Our one and only objective?

To have the last laugh.

It was all a matter of pride.

The things that mattered stayed just beneath the icy surface of our playing field. And we were both walking on thin ice. It was only a matter of time before the game ended, and there were only three possible outcomes:

I win.

He wins.

We both lose.

There can't be two winners.

To Have The Laugh Laugh


The Triumph of Kyle and Eric


How We Screwed Each Other Over

Take your pick.

When Kyle Broflovski was eight, he figured he'd had just enough of Eric Cartman and his racist, ignorant, intolerant, anti-Semitic self. He'd had it up to here with that tub of lard. So Kyle fought back.

When Eric Cartman was nine, he realized just how badly life sucked when bitchy Kyle Broflovski wasn't around to rip on for being a Jew, a ginger, a hell-bound sinner among other witty insults. So Eric unleashed his hatred tenfold. Kyle fought back even harder.

When both boys were fifteen, "Jew-nosed kike" and "fat tub of lard" turned, respectively, into: "gay-wad ginger, spawn of Satan" and "vacuumed fat from Kim Kardashian's ass."

Kenny had to give that one to Kyle. So if the poor kid's vote counted any, then the running score between Kyle and Eric at this point rounded up to:

Eric - 660 000

Kyle - 689 000

The week after Kyle came up with that Kardashian bit, Eric enacted a prank so profoundly heinous (managing to include a turkey tossing in there somewhere) that everyone within South Park, upon completing the appropriate math, concluded that the score must therefore be:

Eric - 699 000

Kyle - 630 000

Points had been deducted from Kyle because of the rather disturbing crying fit he threw after Eric's prank. He, apparently, did not like to be chased by turkeys, least of all within the sadistic confines of a pitch black, honey-coated hockey arena.

The swift retaliation that followed Eric's Turkey Turmoil was a bloody one. Kyle was a vindictive asshole when he was enraged. When he was inflamed with the burning desire to kill, anything that stood in the boy's way, whether made by man or God, disappeared into a place best described as the missing chapter of hell. Stan had cowered underneath his bed for three weeks. Kenny suffered approximately three deaths in the crossfire, none of which were remembered or commemorated in the proper fashion. And Eric-


Hello Hell's Pass.

How Kyle was not sent to federal prison was a mystery unchallenged by all who dubbed the episode: "When The Gates of Hell Yawn Foul Contagion to This World." The name was appropriately pompous and long-winded, probably to detract from the fact that the incident was neither, only bloody and gory beyond human comprehension.

So terrifying was the retaliation that Satan's weeping could be felt by all who witnessed the wrath of Kyle Broflovski.

The score?

Eric - 40

Kyle - 999 999 999

All the math had been accurate. Let the supreme majesty of that comeback never be called into question as far as history goes.

South Park then enjoyed a peaceful period of rest-approximately 72 hours-in which no one tried to bomb someone else, no lawsuits were carried out, and most of all: Kyle was happy. Eric was in the hospital. But as it was South Park, and Murphy's Law seemed to be tattooed into the permafrost of the godforsaken town, the peace did not last long.

On the third day since the Retribution of Kyle Broflovski, the sole Jewish family in South Park suffered from a carbon monoxide leak in their garage. The problem was immediately resolved, and Hell's Pass did not receive further clientele that day.

Kyle, however, indulged in a conniption of histrionic proportions. Even his mother was left quivering in the wake of his teenage screeching-meaning: as Kyle's voice increased in pitch, so did the number of times his voice cracked. That, somehow, did not make him any less frightening. A testament to his rage.

The ensuing rant managed to insult Eric's Nazi tendencies in about thirty-seven different ways, each insult more ingenuous than the last.

Stan managed to calm Kyle down enough to explain to him that the gas leak had occurred naturally, that a pipe hadn't been secured, and nothing was tampered with. Given Stan's privilege as Kyle's Super Best Friend of approximately four years (nine years of best friendship before that), Kyle was placated and returned to his state of Cartman-free bliss.

This period of peace and quiet lasted longer than the last, and all within the quaint little mountain town breathed a sigh of relief.

Six days after the gas leak in the Broflovski garage, Butters, of all people, had been caught trying to sneak into room 342 of the local hospital, baseball bat in hand. Had he succeeded in that endeavour, the little blond boy would have beaten old Mrs. Sugar Beth from the nursing home to the point of death. Which was redundant, but when the most innocent, retarded sweetheart of the town took it upon himself to commit first degree murder, no one really gave a crap about grammar or irony.

When asked by his mother in between hysterical sobs, "Why, Butters, oh, why?" the boy responded in an equally hysterical albeit more frenzied manner: "Because I can't TAKE IT ANYMORE. THOSE TWO HAVE GOTTA STOP FIGHTIN'. AN' IF KILLIN' ERIC WILL DO THE TRICK, TH-THEN S-SO BE IT, MOM." The boy then broke down sobbing, apologizing to God and to Eric, who was still in a coma from Kyle's dramatic beatdown.

It was at that point that everyone within the precinct came to the conclusion that Butters had planned to kill off Eric Cartman but had somehow botched the entire ordeal by failing to scale the hospital walls and getting the room numbers screwed up.

Of all the things to happen within that queer little town, Butters's outburst had to be in the top five most bizarre.

But it couldn't be denied that little Butters had something here. Everyone in the town was going insane—well, moreinsane—and paranoid from the constant bickering and murder attempts between Eric and Kyle. The passage of time only seemed to worsen the hostility. Somebody was bound to crack.

As everyone (Broflovski family exempt) gathered in the police station, adults all huddled together with the Stotch family, Kenny uttered a dark whisper to Stan from the background: "You know, that idea wasn't half bad. I don't know why we didn't come up with it ourselves."

Stan wanted to agree, but somehow resisted the temptation.

Within that week, word managed to travel far and wide about little Leopold's bold adventure (Butters ended up getting grounded for a month, which was really no surprise to anyone). Yet it was as if the entire town had an unspoken rule of thumb: Do NOT tell Kyle Broflovski.

So everyone but Kyle knew, and for good reason: once Kenny decided that it would be a good idea to round up all the guys, including Kyle, equip each one with baseball bats, and march on down to Hell's Pass room 324, Stan then promptly jumped Kenny's gangly set of limbs, demanding that the poor piece of trash keep his radical ideas to himself. "If Kyle finds out," Stan hissed in a frightened whisper, "he really might think it's a good idea and finish Cartman off for good. Can't you pleasejust leave it alone? I'd rather not see my best friend get sent to federal prison."

Kenny agreed to keep his gaping pie hole shut, and was much pleased when Stan decided to lift his 200-pound jock self off of Kenny's measly 130-pound body.

So for the next few weeks that passed without further incident, Kyle was as happy as he could be. He played basketball, he did his homework, he did his chores, and he hung out with Stan and Kenny, and all this with a smile on his face. Not one single outburst filled with preachy tangents related to the importance of moral integrity. Even Stan had to admit: Kenny's idea was starting to sound better and better every day.

At one point, Kenny summarized all of Stan's subconscious, dark desires in one casual sentence: "I'm telling you, Stan, life only gets better from here."

This was in the middle of a Physics exam. Like, out of nowhere, Kenny just decided to invade Stan's thought process of wave energy and how to calculate frequency. This thought process then came to a crashing halt, as Stan experienced an epiphany the likes of which were comparable to elephant tranquilizer.

No more Cartman meant no more spoiled, mean, fat fuck whose sole existence on the planet seemed dedicated to making a living hell out of every life he touched. Stan momentarily thought back to Scott Tenorman, and he shivered violently in his seat. Wave energy be damned, somethinghad to be done about Kyle and Eric.

Stan wanted a normal life. He didn't want to listen to his best friend's bitching any longer, he didn't want Kenny to say he kept dying, Butters had to stop getting grounded, and all the misery had to end. And he figured that if Eric Cartman was somehow out of the picture, life as he knew it would just get better from there.

Wise words from Kenny McCormick himself.

In the middle of trying to devise a sinister plot in which Cartman would find himself in deep space, Stan decided that he was simply not cut out for devious manipulation and revenge. This was a job best suited for someone who had a black soul. Looking around the classroom, Stan saw no one who fit the description-although an unnamed few came close.

Glancing at Kyle, Stan heaved a quiet sigh and furrowed his brow in thought.

He wanted to keep Kyle in the dark for as long as possible. Then, when Stan finally managed to enact some kind of assassination attempt, he would knock on Kyle's door and declare: "Cartman's dead. Like, most-likely-in-hell dead. You're welcome."

Stan imagined the waterworks that would follow, and conjured a tableau of Kyle kissing his feet and sobbing with liberated joy.

Then and there, Stanley Marsh decided that something had to be done.

Eric Cartman was released from the hospital almost half a year later, vowing revenge and spitting fire. He was out for Kyle's blood, and as he was Eric Theodore Cartman, he would damn well take that Jew and put him in his rightful place.

It was to Eric's dismay that Kyle had gone off to summer camp with Stan (wonderful hindsight on Mrs. Broflovski's part), and then spent the first part of July ranting and raving to Kenny about how life was unfair and God hated him.

Kenny lazily nodded in agreement, watching as Eric, for the umpteenth time, paced the bedroom floor, eyes wild with rage.


Kenny nodded.

"That stupid, sneaky Jew rat! He probably took off with his gay butt-buddy because he was too scared to face ME. Well, I'll show him when he gets back. I'll show him not to fuck with me, EVER."

Kenny stared out the window, noting how nice and blue the sky was.

"Are you even listening, you poor piece of shit?"

Kenny turned to look at Eric, who was hovering over him with absolute rage. Shrugging, Kenny removed his feet from off of Eric's desk, leaning back in the rolling chair. "Eric, seriously. Just tell Kyle you wanna fuck him. I know how you hate jogging the long way."

The jab at his weight completely flew over Eric's head. The only thing that seemed to register was "Kyle" and "fuck" in the same sentence, but with an entirely different context than the usual, "Fucking Kyle-that fucking douche bag." Now the words morphed into: "Fuck Kyle's tight Jew ass behind a dumpster."

Eric spluttered. He choked on the air. He turned red in the face, and then told Kenny to get the hell out.

Utterly confused yet solemnly relieved, Kenny bid adieu, making his merry way to the more miserable side of town where he lived, almost completely oblivious to the mental anguish caused by his blasé comment.


As Eric brooded in between muttered swears and futile prayers to the God he'd been damning only five minutes prior, Kenny pulled out Stan's cell phone from his pocket and went to speed dial number one.

"Kenny?" Kyle answered.

Kenny snorted. God, that was faggy. Why did Stan even have Kyle as speed dial one?

"Yeah, it's me. Can I talk to Stan?"

"Sure, dude. Hold on."

Rustling and muffled voices came through the speaker for about three seconds before Stan got a hold of the phone. "Hey, Ken." Stan appeared to have made his way into a more quiet space. He obviously didn't want Kyle to hear this.

"Stan, he is pissed. I say stay where you are for about … well, forever."

Kenny could feel Stan scowling deeply from fifty miles away.

"That bad? Well, I guess it can't wait any longer, then. You know what to do."

"Yeah," Kenny sighed, kicking a pebble on the sidewalk. "I know what I'm supposed to do."

"Stick to the plan, Kenny." Stan's voice was tense and hushed. He had a ton riding on this little plan of his, and Kenny could feel the gravity of the situation coming upon them.

"Have fun at camp, Stan. I'll have everything under control here." Kenny hung up. He stopped walking, pocketed the cell phone, and sat down on the edge of the sidewalk.

Kenny knew what needed to be done. So he sure as hell wasn't going to stick to Stan's plan.


He awoke with a start. Kenny almost felt frightened when a loud banging came from his window. When he realized that Eric's fat face was pressed up against the grimy glass, all feelings of fear washed clean out of his body, only to be replaced with annoyance, and a hidden hint of triumph.

He clambered off his broken mattress and grabbed for his old, beat up parka. Zipping it up over his bare chest, he marched over to the window. Kenny knew not to open it just yet.

"What the hell are you doing here, fat boy?" Kenny drawled, expression the epitome of unimpressed. "It's probably past midnight."

Eric growled, banging his gloved fist against the dirty glass. "What did you MEAN I want to fuck Kyle?"

Kenny narrowed his eyes, then crossed his arms over his chest, leaning back. "What the hell are you talking about?"

Eric let out a feral growl. "You. Said. That I wanted to fuck Kyle." The heavy banging resumed on his window. "I DON'T WANT TO FUCK KYLE."

Kenny kept his cool, watching as Eric threw a fit outside his house. He would have told Eric to shut the hell up, but since half the neighborhood was probably drunk and passed out anyway, Kenny didn't see the point.

"If you really don't want to pound Kyle's sexy ass," Kenny muttered, just enough for Eric to hear, "then why are you trying to convince me at this hour? I mean, what is it, two?"

Eric flipped him off rather vehemently. "I DON'T WANT TO FUCK THAT JEWBITCH." Kenny's words fell upon deaf, angry ears.

Blue-grey eyes stared at Eric with an emotion akin to pity and boredom. Kenny then promptly turned back around, sauntering over to his bed. Eric's roaring began anew.

Signs of genuine frustration appeared on Kenny's face as he marched back to the window. He slid it open rather violently, bodily hauled Eric in by the collar of his jacket, and slammed the window shut. Eric landed face first on the dirty floor of Kenny's bedroom, the stale scent of unwashed linen the first thing to assault his nose before making contact with the grimy carpet.

He scrambled to his feet rather hurriedly. Affronted by the impoverished state of his surroundings, Eric took a grand moment to act like he'd just stepped into the den of someone who collected turd and garbage as a hobby. Kenny would have been offended, but couldn't bring himself to give a good goddamn this late at night.

"I was just fucking joking when I said that, you sack of lard," Kenny hissed, extremely tempted to kick Eric in the balls, just because he was so annoyed. He instead sat down on his worn mattress, staring at Eric from across the tiny room.

Eric simply scowled, looking ready to start up on his shouting.

Kenny saw fit to beat him to it. "If you really don't want to have sex with Kyle, then you wouldn't be here in my room, at God knows what hour, throwing the worst hissy fit since you put bananas in Kyle's ice cream two years ago."

"Oh, God, that was sofunny. You gotta admit Kenny, the look on Kyle's face when he-WAIT A FUCKING SECOND."

Oh, so very close.

"Stop fuckingwith my head, Kenny! I hate Kyle. Everything that has to do with that motherfucker makes me SICK."

"Then go HOME, Cartman."

"I hate his dumb hat, I hate his stupid ginger afro, and I HATE HIS KIKE NOSE. You know the worst thing about him is? His flaming bitch of a mother!"

Kenny stared at Eric, unimpressed. The wise road was clearly to wait this one out.

"Kyle has to be the most annoying motherfucker in this entire town-NO, the entire WORLD. The entire population of Israel isn't as fucking annoying as he is! Him and his know-it-all brain! No, Kyle, just because you get medals for being such a little Jew geek doesn't meanthat you're better than me!"

At this point, Kenny had to interrupt. The "Kyle is a self-righteous bastard" speech grew old a long time ago. "I really don't doubt your hatred of him," Kenny explained. "It's just that, well, I kinda have a problem with you being in my room, or anywhere near me, at a time like this."

Eric didn't catch the hint. At all. "The way I see it, poor boy," he began, in that annoying smart-ass way of his, "this is all yourfault, Kenny. I mean, I understand that you can't afford a filter between your mouth and your redneck, cracked up brain, but really, you should have just kept your mouth shut about Kyle."

Kenny didn't think it was possible for Eric to become even more of a fucked up sonuvabitch. Oh, will wonders never cease. "No, seriously. Get the hell out. I mean it."

Eric's theatrics snapped clean in half as he marched towards Kenny. Gripping the front of Kenny's parka with ham-sized fists, Eric gave him an almighty shake. "Why the hell would you think I want to fuck Kyle?"

Kenny, remarkably unmoved by the manhandling, began to shoot the shit with a dispassionate tone. "Well, Kyle really is starting to grow into himself. You know what I'm saying? Tall, handsome, smart, compassionate-not to mention those eyes. Have you ever seen eyes like that? I know I haven't."

Eric's grip on Kenny's parka loosened as his face adapted a look of confusion.

"Yeah. Kyle's really quite the young man. If Stan weren't already the South Park heartthrob, I'm pretty sure Kyle would be. Have you seen him play basketball? Kid's amazing." Kenny appeared to be immersed in thought for a moment, then abruptly ended his little spiel with: "Who wouldn't want to have Kyle Broflovski in bed?"

Kenny shrugged, as if it was the most matter of fact thing in the world to say.

Eric gaped at him for a very long time.


Kenny would never in his life understand the subsequent angst-induced display of violence in his bedroom. The entire four-walled shithole was probably worth less than the janitor's closet of the local public school. But when Eric was through with kicking and smashing everything within reach, the tiny space looked just about ready to give in weeping and nuke itself to end the misery. Kenny was then stuck in the wretched little space, at some godawful time of morning, while Eric lumbered off to God only knew where.

"Well," Kenny muttered, laying down on his beat up mattress. "Just as planned."

The guys were playing ball at the local basketball courts one fine summer morning, when Eric came along, huffing and sighing, hands deep in his pockets. Kenny, at first, immediately resigned himself to the fact that his plan had backfired quite awfully and Eric finally brought his revolver to end it all. But when the fat little douche bag sat down in the middle of their game and began asking "What should I do?" Kenny allowed himself a little glimmer of hope.

"What the hell are you doing here, Cartman?" Clyde asked, basketball in hand.

Craig took a much less sensitive approach. "Hey, get the hell out of here. We're playing, and you obviously weren't invited."

A round of unanimous silence passed over them. Eric let out another heavy sigh.

"Guys, what should I do?" He gestured with his hands in a lost manner. "Should I admit that I've done stupid things? Should I tell Kyle I'm sorry? Should I just … tell him the truth?"

"Uh, you should go jump off a cliff, that's what you should do." Craig, ever so eloquent, flipped Eric off.

Kenny waited in muted anticipation.

"I mean," Eric began pacing, "we've been enemies for years. And even though Kyle's probably going to hell for being a covetous Jew, doesn't he deserve a chance? Don't Ideserve a chance? Isn't it for the good of everybody if we all just … got along?"

Before Craig could mutter an almighty "Fuck off," Eric said something that single-handedly silenced everyone within a hundred mile radius:

"Should I just tell Kyle I want to fuck him?"

"W-What?" Clyde stuttered, after a given muteness of about five minutes. He'd dropped the basketball.

Butters fidgeted in place. "O-oh, God."

A flicker of emotion actually graced Craig's face, but only for a moment. Token almost pulled a Stan, but managed to keep down his breakfast. The rest of the boys with them just stared at Eric in disbelief, clearly aware that this may very well be another one of his shenanigans, but the sheer gravity of the bizarreness was really just too much.

Kenny almost had to break his own legs to keep from laughing. He instead settled for hacking up a lung, faking some sort of choking experience that everyone ignored, which suited him just fine.

"Guys," Eric murmured solemnly, "What should I do?"

Let it never be said that Kenny McCormick didn't know when to strike.

From a small cabin bathroom in the middle of a campsite, Kyle peaked from behind a shower curtain, hair dripping water all over the white tile, as he hollered: "Stan? Where's my towel?"

Stan glanced up for a moment from where he sat on his cabin bed. "Uh, isn't it there on the rack?"

"If it were, whywould I be asking?"

Stan rolled his eyes. "Jesus."

Stan then promptly got up, and walked over to the wooden wardrobe over by the bathroom door. He opened it and grabbed a fluffy white towel from off a shelf. Chucking it into the bathroom, he sat back down on his bed, contemplating the things that Stanley Marsh usually contemplated.

Kyle stepped out of the steamy bathroom ten minutes later, dressed in ivy green shorts and a white t-shirt. The room then started to smell like lemon and mint as the fumes of soap and shampoo wafted from the bathroom door.

"Dude," Kyle started, fishing a small laptop from out of his duffel bag. "You think Cartman's out of the hospital by now?"

Stan appeared shifty-eyed for a moment. "Uh … Kenny said he got out already."

Kyle scoffed, sitting cross-legged on his bed, turning on his laptop. "Fat bastard's probably pissed that we weren't there for his birthday. Even if I was there, I still wouldn't get him anything."


"Hm. Maybe I'd get him a treadmill. Can you imaginethe fit he'd pitch after that one?"

Stan grew wary of the direction they were heading with this conversation. "Dude, I really think you should lay off Cartman for a while when we get back in August. He's really frickin' pissed off right now."

His words of caution were completely ignored as Kyle let out a guffaw. "What if," he said, turning to Stan with a manic glint in his eyes, "I give him a Shake Weight, and I tell him to get in some practice before I completely fuck him over."

Stan blanched. "Dude-"

Kyle gave Stan a hard look, turquoise-green eyes solemn. "I'm joking, Stan. But even youhave to admit: this little game we've been playing has to come to an end. I'm sick and tired of all the manipulation, of people getting hurt, of Kenny saying we've killed him, Butters getting grounded-it's really all too much to handle."

Kyle stood from his bed, setting his laptop down. He paced around the cabin, hands behind his back. "Spending time away from South Park, I've been thinking. Me and Cartman … We've been fighting for almost a decade. I don't know what I have to do when I get back, but one way or another, I have to end this." Kyle sighed, turning to face Stan. "I don't want to fight anymore."

Something about Kyle's declaration unnerved and relieved Stan.

Kyle stared at his feet. Stan couldn't gauge his expression properly.

"There are only three possible outcomes: He wins. I win. We both lose. There can't be two winners."

Eric paced his room, hands behind his back, aware that Kenny was watching him.

"We played a game, Kenny," he began, voice deep and hushed. "A game with numerous names, two players, and one goal. It was a simple game, and yet so very complex, twisted, and tactless. Our one and only objective?"

Eric paused dramatically. He stared out a window. Then he turned to Kenny, eyes impassioned. "To have the last laugh."

The statement seemed to echo with promise.

"It was all a matter of pride," Eric continued. "The things that mattered stayed just beneath the icy surface of our playing field. And we were both walking on thin ice. It's only a matter of time before the game ends, and there are only three possible outcomes."

Eric indulged in another pause, this one more dramatic than the last.

Kenny simply had to make it anticlimactic with a derisive snort. "I dunno how you managed to gay-up a hockey reference, but you just did."

Completely ignoring the insult, Eric wobbled over to Kenny, unleashing a completely predictable high-pitched wail of anguish.


Taken aback despite having foreseen the oncoming mental breakdown, Kenny watched as Eric fell to his knees, clutching at Kenny's dirty pants leg.

"KENNY," Eric continued to sob. "Wh-what sh-should I dooooo-hoo-hoo-hoo."

Awkwardly, Kenny patted Eric's shoulder in the same manner one would touch a public urinal.

"Kyle h-hates meeeeee-hee-hee-hee. How am I s-supposed to tell him to be friends with me, if he doesn't even like m-me?"

Kenny tried his utmost best to appear consoling and sincere. He almost failed upon the sight of Eric's blotchy, tear-stained, blubbery face, hiccupping and sniffling miserably. Kenny gave himself five more minutes to summon composure, fearing that an ill-timed burst of laughter would ruin all his hard efforts in manipulation.

So far, in the past hour alone, he'd managed to deduce that Eric really musthave some sort of deeply subconscious desire to make amends with Kyle (why else would he have broken down like a little girl?). Whether it stemmed from platonic or romantic reasons, Kenny really didn't have the gall-or the stomach-to find out. Although Eric's mental and emotional trauma from the "fuck Kyle" incident two days ago was indication enough, Kenny felt unwilling to explore that train of thought. He'd merely been shooting in the dark when he told Eric to go fuck Kyle, but he wasn't expecting to hit a bull's-eye. Well, if it made the job easier, then so be it.

Kenny always did have a nagging suspicion about Eric. Almost half a year ago, he watched from night vision goggles as Kyle got drenched in honey within a blacked out hockey arena as the poor kid attempted to flee from frenzied turkeys. In his boxers. Yup. Kyle had most definitely been in his underwear that night.

He'd dismissed the murmured, "Oh, yes, Kyle, my delicious honey-coated bitch," from Eric as the product of a psychotic mind. Turns out, it was really only sexual repression. Go figure.

Concentrating his thoughts on the present situation, Kenny patted Eric's round head with a gloved hand. "Um, there, there." Wow, that was awkward.

Kenny thought to himself for a moment, letting Eric sniffle and whimper into his pants. Finally, he spoke up, having summoned the sincerity he so desperately needed.

"Listen, Eric," Kenny started, treading lightly. "Kyle's a forgiving person, we both know he is. And he's probably just as sick and tired of all the fighting as you are-"

"But fighting's all we've got, Kenny," Eric sniffled sharply. "What are we supposed to do now-talk like normal people?"

Kenny frowned. "I'm sure you'll figure it out. But …"

Within the span of a second, Kenny managed to weigh out his options, his words, and all the possible outcomes and consequences that would all lead up to him from hereafter. It was also within this second that he decided it would all be worth it if this worked. It had to work. He had to be convincing. He wasconvincing. Eric was buying all of it. He just had to say this one last bit, and everything would be as it should.

One second.

"I think you should spend some time away and think this through for yourself." The words were just coming naturally now. He didn't even need to think. "Eric, you deserve to get a good break from all this, right? You just need to clear your head, think about what you're going to say, and … I guess, be the person that you think Kyle would want."

Kenny smiled, as Eric stopped sniffling, looking up. They stared into each other's eyes, unaware of any thoughts beyond their own.

"Time can really do wonders for a person." Something they'd learned in class, all of a sudden, popped into Kenny's head, and for some reason, he began to say it. "I mean, some wise guy once said that love begins and ends with time. So … you can choose to forget, or you can start all over again. It's all your choice, Eric."

For a moment, Eric didn't reply. He only stared blankly at Kenny's face. His facial muscles twitched here and there for a second or two, but his eyes were unflinching. Kenny didn't know what to think, and maybe he didn't want to think. This was starting to get a little confusing.

"All right …"

Kenny blinked, feeling Eric's weight lift off of him. "W-What?"

"I'm going away, Kenny. Somewhere, anywhere. For a few weeks, a few months, who knows."

Eric lumbered towards his closet, dragged out a duffel bag, and began shoving articles of clothing and possessions into it. Kenny sat at the foot of his bed, staring.

That was all he did. He stared after Eric as the large boy began to pack haphazardly. He stared at Eric as he walked out of the door without another word. He stared at the bedroom door as the house echoed with a heavy silence. The front door snapped shut from downstairs.

Kenny breathed a sigh.

It was July 26th, and he forgot to get Eric a birthday present on the first. Of all the times to remember.

Kyle was sixteen, and so was Kenny. Stan just turned sixteen a few days ago, on October 19th.

The three boys spent Stan's birthday at some quiet restaurant towards the south end of town. The place served the best PB & J waffles in the state, and they thought they'd try it out. Kyle gave Stan a crude yet sweet little card for his birthday (one that had a family of dolphins on the front, and inside, Kyle decided to draw a pirate ship with Stan as the surly captain) and a leather strap watch with golden hands and Roman numerals. Kenny signed his name on the card.

Stan thought it was such a nice, quiet, normal birthday.

At the end of the day, the three walked Stan to his house, wishing him a happy birthday once more, and then Kenny and Kyle headed down the street. Kyle's house was only seven houses down.

"Kenny." Kyle was oddly silent as they walked together, hands in his pockets, eyes cast downward in thought.

Kenny shrugged, his thoughts all but casual. "Yeah, dude?"

"Heard from Cartman recently?"


"Is he really gone for good?"

Another shrug. "Who knows, Kyle."

Kenny stopped walking, wrapping his fingers around Kyle's arm, stopping him from taking another step on the sidewalk. Kyle turned to look at him. The dying sunlight reflected off of Kyle perfectly; it almost broke Kenny's heart how something so precious could exist in a hick town like this one. Kyle's curly red hair, his green eyes that almost seemed ocean-blue in the orange light, and his smooth, pale, pinkish skin. He was a whole array of colors in comparison to Kenny, who was just a washed out set of wheat blond, and blue-grey, and white.

Kenny stood about five inches above Kyle. He was six feet. Kyle was five-five, but still growing, and quite rapidly.

"Listen, Kyle," Kenny began. To his own ears, he sounded out of breath. "I said quite a few things to Cartman back when you and Stan were gone. I just told him to leave you alone and to take a hike." Kenny gauged Kyle's reaction. Green eyes stared back at him. "I didn't tell you before because I didn't know how you'd react, okay? I mean … I know how you hate Cartman and everything, but, Jesus, dude. He was killing you. He was wearing you out.

"You didn't deserve that anymore, Kyle," Kenny softened, placing his other hand on Kyle's right arm. He took a step closer, and in taking that one step, made all his words more meaningful. "I really don't know how you feel about all of this, Kyle. I really don't. I didn't know Cartman would actually up and leave, I didn't know he would listen. I certainly didn't know he'd be gone for more than a month."

"What did you say to him, Kenny."

It wasn't a question, the way Kyle made it sound.

Kenny took a quiet breath through the nose. He felt like he needed a lot of air. "I told him that the pranks and the shenanigans-it wasn't funny anymore. That people were seriously getting hurt-"

"And since whendid Cartman give a crap about hurting other people?" Kyle snapped, eyes fiery. "He wouldn't just up and leave, Kenny. Cartman and I have some unfinished business, and I had every intention of settling that once I got back." Kyle breathed a sigh of frustration through his nose, throwing his hands up in the air. Kenny was forced to release his gentle, warm hold.

"It kinda sucked ass how when Stan and I got back, Cartman just wasn't here anymore. I mean … I wanted to end it all. I wanted to apologize. I wanted to hear an apology of my own. I wanted a normalfriendship. And now I can't even get a chance at fucking closure."

Kenny frowned, and he felt a nervous sensation go through him. "I'm sorry, dude, I didn't know you felt-"

"Yeah, I know," Kyle said. His voice was softer, and Kenny knew he was sorry for having snapped at him. Kenny patted him on the shoulder, reassuring Kyle that everything was okay between them.

Kyle looked up, his eyes worried, his stance tense. His hands were balled into fists at his sides, and Kenny could tell that he was trying so hard not to speak words he'd regret.

"How's he doing, Kenny?"

"He's fine, Eric. Listen … when are you coming back?"

"Who knows."

Always the same answer.

"I see. Dude. Just-if you're ever coming back, tell me now. Tell me right fucking now. It isn't funny anymore, Cartman. Just come back. Shit is different here now-"

"That's because I left, Kenny. Things are different because I left.

"I did some thinking, all right? I thought really long and hard about the bullshit you fed me, and you know what? You don't know shit, you piece of trash. A month to cool off and write a letter of apology? Not gonna happen. If things between me and Kyle are going to change, it's not going to happen that way."

Kenny punched the plastic wall of the phone booth. Rain came pouring down even harder, and Eric's voice was almost impossible to hear.

"Damn it, Cartman! Just come back, all right? I'm fucking sorry, I never should have said anything. I'm fucking sorry."

"Shut the fuck up-"

"Kyle misses you."


"Kyle misses you and wants you back, okay? He might not have said it directly, but he always asks me if I've talked to you. Always. Every day, when we walk home from school, he fucking asks me the same question: Heard from Cartman recently?"

Kenny bit his lip, violently kicking the door of the phone booth. "And you know what fucking sucks? When you hear it from someone so damn great, someone who just deserves the fucking best of everything, and you know you don't stand a fighting chance." God, he sounded bitter. Hopefully the sound of the rain drowned it out of his cracking voice. "So just get your fat ass back over here, now, and turn things back to normal, for Chrissake."

Cartman hung up.

Stan watched as Kyle skipped stones across Stark's Pond. He never got them past three skips before the pebbles sank into the shallow depths of the murky water. Late October brought with it a chilly breeze, but the days were still long, although getting progressively shorter.

"You know what I said a few months ago, Stan?" Kyle asked, not turning around to face his best friend.

Stan looked up, staring at the back of Kyle's head. He didn't reply. He knew Kyle was going to answer whether he reacted or not.

"I said I didn't want to fight anymore."

Stan felt himself swallow. This talk had been a long time coming, and at some point, he knew he had to face the music. Now was the time, and it was only then that Stan realized he never prepared for this. He never prepared to tell Kyle the truth about it all, getting Eric to leave South Park, finally achieving a semblance of peace in their everyday lives.

Stan knew for more than a month that Kyle, although not unhappy, wasn't content. His smiles never quite glimmered as they used to, and his firecracker laughter didn't snap and fizzle and blaze as much as it did. Something was just missing, but Stan never bothered to address it. He hadn't wanted to. Still didn't.

"Yeah. I remember."

"Well," Kyle said, patting his muddy fingers against his pants. He walked over to Stan, sitting next to him on the green grass. "I still have a little bit of fight left in me."

Kyle never once looked at him that afternoon, Stan noticed, but he felt Kyle's gaze anyway. He just knew it wasn't meant for him.

"I'm just waiting now, Stan."

It all happened too fast. The rain was pouring. That was all Kenny remembered. Then Kyle was running away.

He was dialing that mothefucker's number like no goddamn tomorrow. He had to get him to come back. He hadto.

Recalling their last conversation, Kenny shivered, and not because of the icy droplets of water that slid down his face and jacket. He'd been vomiting words, words that were never meant to be heard, even by the person who caused them.

"I just wanted him happy, God fucking damn it! How was I supposed to know that you were the only thing keeping it all together? I know it, Stan knows it, Kyle knows it-This all has to end; you both need to say your peace. Eric … just, God. You fucking asshole, come back and tell Kyle you're sorry. You both deserve to hear it from each other."

And yet again, Eric hung up on him.

Kenny didn't know why, nor did he give a good goddamn, but this afternoon, he was trying to reach Eric again. His last fucking quarter and this was how he'd spend it. Well. It damn well better be worth it.

Ringing sounded on the line. It had been raining for the past days, and today was no different. The sky was grey and angry, sending down freezing droplets of water by the bucketful. Kenny could feel his fingers freezing over, and could see his breath condensing before his very face. All he paid attention to was the muffled ringing from the crappy phone.


A growl escaped Kenny's throat at the sound of Eric's voice. "Hang up on me again, and I swearto God-"

"I'm coming back."

Kenny stopped all motion, even his breathing. Then he fully processed Eric's frenzied, excited tone. "What?"

"I'm coming back. I'm telling Kyle. This is all going to be over and-screw this, why am I even talking to you?"

Kenny scowled. "Oh, fuckyou. I've spent the last two months worried sick enough to shit my pants-wait, where the hell exactly are you?"

"I'm at the bus station-"

"Dude, listen-"

Kenny didn't finish. Hell, he didn't even know what he'd been about to say, except that it was probably going to be something shitty and Kyle-related. He didn't get the chance.

The door to the telephone booth swung open with a force great enough to knock the entire thing down. Kenny whipped around, startled. He dropped the phone. The wind howled all around him.

Kyle panted, his eyes blazing with a fire that had been absent for far too long. Hand gripping the side of the telephone booth with agitation, green eyes met steely blue, and Kenny knew that this was it. Game over had been declared a long time ago, but only now did he finally accept it.

Kyle wasn't going to be happy. Not like this. Not when things between him and Eric were in shambles and on the brink of something indescribable.

"Where is he?"

Kyle's voice was brimming with agitation and nervous energy, and yet he somehow kept his tone steady.

Kenny swallowed. Game over.

Thank God.

"Cartman's at the bus station."

Just like that, Kyle took off like a bullet, brown leather boots kicking up water and mud. Kenny stood in the booth, staring after Kyle as he ran with furious power, as if time was running out on him. Sighing, he lifted the dangling phone and put it back in its cradle. He didn't bother to check if Eric was still on the other side. The fat fuck probably knew what was going on. He and Kyle were just like that when it came to each other.

Kenny didn't bother closing the door. He let the wind whip in along with the rain. He knew he shouldn't have been surprised, not really, but he never actually understood how Kyle felt. Kenny knew that Kyle was perfect, Kyle didn't deserve the crap he took from Eric, and Kyle deserved to be happy. Kenny knew all that. But he didn't know Kyle.

He never had all the cards. He had most of them-just not the important ones.

Kyle felt the rain soaking through his ushanka. His hair was wet, water was trailing in rivulets down his neck and underneath his jacket, and his boots were probably ruined. He kept running anyway. He didn't think much about it, just let his chest and legs do all the talking for him.

It took a while to get to the bus station, probably around ten minutes of hauling ass through the rain soaked streets, but Kyle didn't care.

He didn't care about much at the moment.

His eyes scanned the area lit by florescent lights. The usual stench of cigarette smoke was absent because of the presence of the rain. He beat feet against the different bus stops, aware that his heavy steps were splattering water everywhere.

Kyle ignored the indignant comments from people he splattered with rain water, just kept searching for a familiar face he hadn't seen in over half a year. Eric Cartman. That fat sonuvabitch. What a guy, to just up and leave like it was nobody's business, just when Kyle was willing to put the past behind them and endall of the useless fighting.

Kyle didn't want that between them. Not any longer. Things had to be different. They had to change. And if surrendering meant finally winning, then he was damn well going to put his own balls on the line for that one stupid chance.

"AY, what the hell's your-"

Kyle spun around, almost slipping in a puddle when he heard that voice.

Eric met his gaze, equally stunned.

For a moment, they simply stared at each other, Eric with his duffel bag in hand, while Kyle huffed and panted from running almost a kilometer.

"What the flying FUCK."

Eric winced.

"Where the hell were you, you fat piece of shit!" Kyle paid no attention to a group of horrified little old ladies seated underneath the bus terminal only ten feet away. "For three months, three goddamn months, I sat here on my ass, WAITING for you, and nowyou show up? Jesus Christ, Cartman!"

Eric's lips curled into a sneer. "Don't talk to me like that, you dumb Je-"

"NO, you listen," Kyle hissed, advancing on Eric. He stood toe to toe with him. Their two inch height difference meant fuck all in the heat of Kyle's glare. "Why would you just leave?"

Frowning, Eric gauged the anger in Kyle's voice. "For your information, Kyle," Eric ground out in between gritted teeth, "I was in the bloody fucking hospital most of the year-"

"Oh, yeah, and that's myfault."

"-and then I come back home," Eric's raised his voice, "and find out that you and that faggy hippie disappear off to the middle of nowhere, so tell me, Kyle, when did I ever have the chance to drop you off a jolly old hello?"

Kyle seethed. "You could have called-"

"To say WHAT?" Eric roared. "Oh, um, hey, Kyle. Just wanted to let you know that I'm taking off for a while to think things through, so, uh, wait patiently until I get home, honey-"


Eric's eyes widened. Kyle's voice actually cracked. He'd reached boiling point, Eric noted, the state where Kyle became so incredibly frustrated with his own anger that he'd have to bite down his own tears of rage. The bitter look of resentment in Kyle's watering eyes managed to silence Eric enough for him to notice that they were both still standing out in the pouring rain.

Muttering swears underneath his breath, Eric moved towards the bus terminal, pulling a glass door open to step inside the customer service area. He glared over his shoulder, silently daring Kyle to stay out in the rain.

Letting out an aggravated hiss, Kyle shoved past Eric and into the crappy, dirty area. The room consisted of glass walls, lending a view of the bus stops outside. On the wall next to the customer service booth were bus schedules and a vending machine. A few metal benches were bolted to the concrete floor.

The reception area was dull and quiet, lit with florescent lights.

Eric dropped his duffel bag on the dirty floor, crossing his arms, staring at Kyle.

Kyle stubbornly kept his lips pressed together. He was soaking wet from head to toe. Eric almost felt bad for him.

"Tell me, Jew," Eric began quietly after a long pause. "Why do I owe you an explanation?"

"I'm sorry," Kyle said abruptly.

Eric, surprised again, stared down at Kyle, his own stance visibly relaxing. The apology was said quickly, breathily, as if Kyle was sighing it out instead of actually saying it. Rushed though it was, it carried the gravity of all their past atrocities against each other.

Eric furrowed his brows. "What the hell are you apologizing for?"

Kyle glared up at him, determined to plow on. "I'm saying sorry for not being a good friend. I'm saying sorry for putting you in a comma. I'm saying sorry for all those times I acted like an insensitive jerk. I'm sorry, Cartman," Kyle breathed in, "for hurting you all these years. Deny it all you want, I knowyou have feelings. And … I'm sorry I hurt them."

The silence once again reigned between them as Eric let Kyle's words sink deep into him. It was funny, because all he noticed was how deep Kyle's voice had gotten, although it was still that silly tenor, and how he seemed a little taller.

"I just …" Kyle began, staring with frustration at his soaked boots. He seemed to be having so much trouble processing his own emotions, despite the fact that he was so painfully straightforward on any given day. "I just want us to be okay with each other," he began anew, voice steadier, gaze meeting Eric's unflinchingly. "The fighting has to stop, the crappy attitudes have to change-wehave to change."

Eric uncrossed his arms, approaching Kyle. He stared down at him, unsure of everything that was going on. Being absent for three months did wonders for his brain, but all that thinking was blown away in the wind in light of Kyle. Kyle, standing right in front of him, as abrupt as an earthquake, demanding that they actually try to be normal, for God's sake. It was almost endearing.

"I'm sorry, too … " Eric whispered. He was afraid that if he said it loud enough, everything really wouldchange right then and there, and he had the feeling that all this wouldn't be so bad if they took it slow. "I'm sorry, Kyle, for being an asshole to you. For ripping on you all the time, and for … yeah. For being an asshole."

Kyle crossed his arms, and Eric thought with panic that he'd demand a more eloquent apology. Kyle did no such thing, and sighed instead.

They were both silent for a long moment.

Kyle then let out a grunt, picked up Eric's duffel bag from the floor and promptly marched out of there, back into the pouring rain.

Eric scowled, muttering something about Kyle being a dumb, stubborn Jew bitch.

They got on a bus and sat next to each other, neither saying a word. Old habits die hard, and they both knew that if they spoke, insults would fly, and it would hinder any progress that they wanted. For now, they settled for silence as the bus took off, and Eric Cartman finally came back home.

Neither of them realized it quite yet, and maybe they wouldn't within the next year or so, but they had a good thing going.


Thank you very much if you've read until the very end! It means a lot to me :) Anyway, hello to the South Park Slash Community :) Hopefully, my first piece of writing for you guys will be well received, but I'll just keep my fingers crossed! Please review if you have any contrsuctive criticism at all-it will be much appreciated :)

I do plan on writing more stories for South Park (most likely slash, most likely Kyman, although I might take requests in the future :), so any advice to help me improve would be very helpful ^^

Anyway, a few quick notes regarding this story: I didn't plan it at all. It was just written on a whim. In the midst of drafting and writing other stories, this little baby came up, and I put everything on hold just to write it. I generally kept it light-hearted and only hinted at the angst, so tell me if that worked well for you :) The characters-Kenny especially-are pretty open for interpretation. I'm pretty fascinated with SP love triangles, but that wasn't really the intention here, OH WELL. Read into it as much as you please :)

Reviews are much loved, and also, if you spot any grammar/spelling/punctuation errors, please notify me, and I shall correct it immediately!

Adieu, and until next time - Metamotivation