Author's Note: When I watched the season 15 mid-season finale for the first time, it made me realize that this show still really means a lot to me, and that I'm honestly going to be very sad when it ends. I wrote this oneshot just to put my mind at ease a little bit. I hope that reading it will do the same for you.
Disclaimer: South Park © Trey Parker and Matt Stone
"But because things change. And friends leave. And life doesn't stop for anybody."
~Charlie, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
"Yeah, shoot that guy in the face, Kyle!" Cartman said with an eager grin on his face, his hands clenched around the Xbox controller.
Kyle had a deeply focused look on his face as he repeatedly pressed the brightly colored buttons on his controller. His eyes were locked onto the television screen as he concentrated on shooting the enemy right square in the face. With careful aim, he pointed his gun at one of the opponents and shot his gun directly at him. Blood spurted across the screen as the opposing player crashed to the ground with a thud, dead.
"Yes!" Cartman cheered. "Nice one, Jew."
"Thanks, fatass," Kyle said with a smile.
Although they still had those 'nicknames' for each other, the seemingly impossible had happened between Eric Cartman and Kyle Broflovski: they had become friends.
It was extremely weird at first, to say the least, because really, anyone who knew either one of those two boys knew that they absolutely loathed one another with an intense passion.
And yet…this was South Park, and there were obviously far more fucked up things that had happened to that fucked up little mountain town throughout the years. Knowing that, the fact that a sociopathic Nazi kid had suddenly befriended a self-righteous Jewish kid was honestly nowhere near as fucked up in comparison.
So there they were. Playing video games together. Getting along. Only time would tell if it would actually last.
"So, have you heard from Stan at all lately?" Cartman asked seemingly out of the blue.
It was a casual question, just innocently trying to start up a conversation. Yet, as soon as he asked it, Kyle abruptly froze, his thumbs suspending over the buttons. Cartman kept idly playing, not even noticing at first. After a few seconds went by without Kyle responding, though, he finally glanced over at him. He stopped playing when he saw the downcast look on Kyle's face.
"Kyle?" Cartman said in a concerned tone.
Kyle didn't look at him, instead staring down at his controller, feeling strangely empty inside.
"Oh, what, now you're suddenly getting all depressed for no reason like a fucking PMSing girl?" Cartman asked with a hint of annoyance in his voice. "Face it, Kyle, Stan's a cynical douche bag now, and there's nothing you can do to change that."
Kyle knew that Cartman was just saying that stuff to somehow cheer him up, but it wasn't working. Event though he knew Cartman was right, it still didn't change the fact that something was missing. Something just didn't feel right.
Without a word, Kyle set down his controller and hopped off the couch. Cartman's eyes followed him as he made his way towards the door. He didn't bother to look back at Cartman as he opened the door and walked right out, quietly closing it behind him.
Stan was sitting alone at Stark's Pond, his chin resting in his palm. He stared at a flower swaying lazily back and forth in the breeze, although to him, it looked the same as everything else in the world now did: complete and utter shit.
He sighed heavily. He didn't want to see things like this. He never expected that one day, all of a sudden, his eyes would open to see that the world blatantly sucked, no matter how many new or different ways he tried to look at it. No one understood him. Not his parents. Not his stupid teachers. Not his classmates.
But, most importantly, not his friends. His three closest friends. They weren't mature enough to get that, when it came down to it, life truly sucked. And yeah, maybe it was pessimistic and cynical of him to think like that, and maybe he really had turned into a contemptuous asshole now, but it wasn't his fault. It was their fault for not realizing that life was shit.
Yeah, that was it, he decided. He didn't care that his friends no longer wanted to hang out with him anymore. He didn't care if they said that it was in fact him, not the world, that had changed. He didn't care that they were still stupid enough to believe that all the shitty things they listened to or watched or ate were just plain terrible.
He just didn't care.
Stan watched as a tiny turd—or bee, whatever, it was all the fucking same—landed on the flower. He could feel his pain deepening as the bee sucked the pollen from the flower, as if everything were okay. Why did life have to suck so hard, he wondered. Why couldn't he just go back to enjoying things like he used to?
An expected creak of the bench caused Stan to suddenly snap out of his thoughts. Turning his head, his mouth immediately dropped open when he saw the person who'd taken a seat next to him.
Kyle stared down at the ground, a frown on his face. He stared at the ground for a very long time before he finally lifted his head and turned to meet Stan's gaze.
"Hey, dude," he said sheepishly.
Stan just stared at him, feeling amazed and confused and shocked all at once. How'd he know to find him here? Maybe it was just a lucky guess. Regardless, he was just glad that the first words out of Kyle's mouth didn't just come out as random spewing shit to him.
"Hey," Stan said, in an equally hesitant tone. "Uh…why aren't you hanging out with Cartman or Kenny right now?"
Kyle's gaze dropped to look at the ground once more. He stared at it for a while, before he finally answered him.
"I don't know," he said truthfully.
Stan blinked in confusion.
"Well, then…why did you come here?"
Kyle's eyes were still glued to the ground as he shrugged.
"I don't know."
Stan continued staring at Kyle despite the fact that he wasn't looking at him. After a while, though, he finally tore his gaze away, deciding to look back at the stupid flower again. He noticed that the bee had flown away.
"I wish you hadn't changed, Stan," Kyle suddenly said, catching Stan's attention, so he looked back over at him. This time, Kyle looked back as well.
"Me too, dude," Stan finally admitted.
"I just don't see why you can't go back to enjoying life like you used to," Kyle went on. "I mean, you're only 10 years old, dude. It's not like you're old, like…in your 40s or something."
"You make it sound like it's my fault, Kyle," Stan said, sounding slightly offended. "Like I want to be thinking differently like this. I can't help it, dude."
"No, Stan," Kyle said firmly. "That's the thing. You can help it, dude. So, you're a year older now. Who the fuck cares? That doesn't mean you have to change your whole perspective on life and start acting like a cynical dick about everything."
Stan's eyes widened at that, but he continued listening intently to what Kyle had to say.
"There's lots of shitty stuff about life, Stan," Kyle said, "but there's also lots of amazing stuff about it, too. Life's always gonna suck in some way or another no matter what, but…that's okay, dude. That's just the way it is. Sometimes you just gotta accept it and move on. Life doesn't stop for anybody, Stan."
Those last few words hit Stan especially hard. His mouth hung open in awe as he stared at Kyle, before he suddenly looked away from him, allowing everything he just said to sink in.
"I…" he started to say, not even sure where he was going with it. "…I guess you're right."
"I know I'm right," Kyle said, and when Stan looked at him again, he couldn't help but smile. Seeing the smile on his face caused Kyle to smile, too.
"Thanks, dude," Stan said, knowing that Kyle would understand that he was thanking him for more than what he said. He was thanking him for not giving up on him so easily. For coming here to comfort him.
"Yeah, well…someone had to knock some sense into you," Kyle said, and of course Stan knew that he was really saying, "Don't mention it." He watched as Kyle suddenly stood up from the bench. "Come on, you wanna go play Call of Duty with me and Cartman?"
Stan stared at him for a moment, before stepping off the bench as well.
"Sure, why not? There's nothing better to do anyway."
They walked out of Stark's Pond together, side-by-side.
So, life was kind of shitty, Stan decided. So, there were some things he once thought were awesome that he now thought were complete crap. So, he was changing now, and maybe that meant that things would never completely be the same again, but…at least he knew his best friend would always be there for him.
That made life just a little less shitty.
Author's Note: Well, there you go. I wrote this on a whim with no clear ending in mind, so it's obviously not my best work, but I still hope you enjoyed it.
On a totally random note, I just wanna point out that this is my 50th fanfic. :D Woot!
Thanks for reading this story. Reviews are always appreciated.