Sighing, a flame-haired teen stared at the ground in front of him. The haunting words from the psychiatrist yesterday kept passing through his head. The diagnosis the redhead could've come up with himself instead of his mother having to pay some quack to tell them:
"Son, this might be a bit shocking to hear, but you have a very serious mental illness."
"What is it?"
"You have multiple personality disorder and schizophrenia."
The redhead sighed again and kicked absently at a rock until it loosed itself from the ground and skipped into the road in front of the bus stop. Here first again…I hate being alone out here…
"Oh come on Kyle," a female voice giggled in his head, "you know you're never alone!"
"Alice is right," a male voice said, "we're always here with and for you."
Kyle's hands clenched into fists and began trembling. He wasn't hearing those voices, he wasn't hearing Alice and Rai again, he just wasn't! When he did, it wasn't long after that one of them would try to take over, so he couldn't acknowledge them right now!
His head snapped up at the sound of a roar-or maybe a growl and his green eyes widened when a black bear reared up on its back legs to attack him. With a short scream, Kyle stumbled back and hit the snow covered ground hard enough to make his teeth rattle in his skull. He began shaking in fear, his heart rate skyrocketed, and the blood drained from his face. Why was there a black bear in South Park?
"Kyle calm down," the male voice, Rai said seriously, "it's not real. You're seeing things again."
Unable to ignore that bit of logic from Rai, Kyle began drawing in deep, even breaths until his heart rate evened out and the black bear disappeared. Slowly, he stood back up and brushed the snow from the back of his blue jeans. Damn schizophrenia. He was given a prescription to control it and his multiple personalities but he was reluctant to take it. Everything he was might change, and not just the voices in his head or the images he saw, it wasn't a chance he really wanted to take.
"Kyle!" A raven-haired teen in a brown jacket and blue jeans stopped next to the redhead with concerned lacing his dark blue eyes. "Are you okay dude? You fell pretty hard."
Kyle forced a smile and nodded. "Yeah Stan, I'm fine. Just thought I saw something in the trees over there." He gestured to the small patch of woods across the road.
"What was it?" Stan's concern seemed to have disappeared, replaced by curiosity.
"Uh," Kyle turned light red, "a…black bear…?"
Stan raised an eyebrow. "A black bear? In South Park?"
"Yeah," Kyle chuckled. "Pretty stupid, huh?"
"I don't think so." Stan smiled and grabbed Kyle's wrist, dragging him towards the woods. "Come on; let's go see if it's really over there!"
"No, Stan, it's okay," Kyle said with a deeper blush crossing his face. He's gonna think I'm crazy. Okay, so, I am crazy, but I don't want him to think it!
"Why not?" Stan asked as the two best friends broke through the foliage into the woods. "Besides, we haven't done anything just the two of us in a while."
Kyle looked off to the side. "Well, I…" I didn't want to have just the two of us because I'd lose control easier…
"You've been avoiding me," Stan said seriously and almost angrily, "I want to know why."
Kyle's eyes locked with Stan. What was this? "S-Shouldn't we look for that black bear?" He squeaked out. He really didn't want to tell him what was going on and why he was avoiding spending time with him.
"Uncle Jimbo and Ned killed the last of the black bears in South Park last year, remember?" He flinched slightly at the memory of "It's comin' right for us!" being yelled over and over again. It was no wonder Stan didn't like hunting.
"If you knew that then why did you bring me back here?"
"I told you: I want to know why you've been avoiding me."
Kyle bit his bottom lip. Of course, how could he forget so soon…?
"Don't tell him. No one else but the three of us could understand," Rai advised.
"Nonsense! Stan's our best friend, he'd be understanding and accept us all the same!" Alice argued.
He shook his head and took Rai's side on the matter. "I'm sorry Stan, but…I can't tell you." It wasn't just because he was afraid of what Stan would think of him, but his mother would be angry with him and just make things worse.
"I just can't."
"Why can't you tell me Kyle?"
"I just can't, okay!"
The sound of his cell phone playing Gary Jules' "Mad World" stopped Kyle before he could yell back. He pulled the black phone from his pocket and flipped it open. "Yeah?"
"Kyle," his mother's voice rang over the voice in a scared and scolding tone, "you forgot to take your pill this morning!"
Out of the corner of his eye, Kyle could see Stan's posture stiffen and his eyes soften with concern, but he turned so he couldn't see him at all. He had forgotten to turn down the volume on his cell phone again. "I know mom…just…can it wait until after school?"
"No! You were told to take it in the morning! Where are you? You're not at school yet, right young man?"
He sighed and pulled his ushanka down to hide his eyes, filling with shamed tears. He hated that Stan had to hear this, but he couldn't turn the volume down during a call. "N-No…I, uh," he glanced up in time to see the bus go by, "missed the bus."
"Yeah…I saw a black bear," he muttered. Behind him, Stan sucked in a sharp breath.
"Dammit Kyle, this is why you're supposed to take the medicine! Wait at the bus stop and I'll bring you your pill! You're alone, right?"
"Okay, I'll be there soon." She hung up.
Kyle flipped his cell phone shut and just stood there. He could feel Stan's questioning eyes on his back and knew that he'd have to answer for what was said. He began to shake as the inevitable question past Stan's lips, "What was all that about?"
"It's…nothing Stan," Kyle replied with a strained voice.
"Oh, come on," Alice whined, "after all this time of us being in love, you can't just keep this from him! If you do, what kind of love do we have for Stan?"
"Love can't be measure that way," Rai retorted. "Kyle must to find out Stan's true feelings for us before saying anything. If he regards us as more than just friends then it would be safe to tell him."
Kyle's hands flew up to his skull and he began to shake harder. "Shut up," he muttered to himself, "just shut up."
"Um, Kyle," Stan rested one hand gently on his best friend's shoulder, "are you okay dude?" His eyes rested on Kyle's shoulder when he felt how much he was shaking. He only did this when he was scared… Stan wondered what could possibly be scaring him so much.
Still shaking, Kyle glanced back at his best friend and nodded. "I'm fine," he stepped away from Stan so that he didn't have to feel his touch, "don't worry."
"You're not okay. You're shaking worse than I'd ever seen, and I've seen you at some of your worst moments when it comes to fear. Kyle," Stan approached the redhead again, "tell me." He grabbed onto Kyle's chin and forced their eyes to meet. "Everything. I want to know what's wrong. The pill your mother mentioned, the 'episode' you two were talking about, the black bear, and, most of all, why you're so scared."
"I'm not scared," Kyle lied, "and as for the other things…I can't say anything."
His eyes fell to the side. "My family's ashamed of it, so I can't tell anyone."
"Ashamed of what?"
Kyle stepped back so that he was out of Stan's grip once again and then turned for the road. "Wait here, I have to meet my mom at the bus stop for my medicine. Afterward I…might tell you what's going on. But if she sees you here, she'll freak out."
Stan just nodded and watched as Kyle crossed the road and waited next to bus stop until a maroon van stopped in front of him. The redhead took the dark blue pill his mother handed to him and shook his head at the offer of a ride to the high school.
"I won't have another episode since I took the pill, plus I could use the exercise," Kyle said with a false reassuring smile. He didn't let on that he was skipping school to tell his best friend the reason for avoiding him and the reason his mother was freaking out over the phone.
"If you're sure buhbi," she muttered, unsure of the idea.
He nodded. "Yeah, I'm sure."
"Okay." She shut the driver's side door and drove off.
Kyle waited until the van was out of sight before walking across the road again and into the woods where Stan was sitting on the snow-covered ground, waiting. He stopped at the sight of the noirette's back, suddenly very scared and nervous about telling him anything. Rai, Alice, what should I do? He always turned to them for something like this, knowing that if they didn't agree, one of them would make enough sense for him to make up his mind.
But there was nothing, no response. The medicine worked fast. Damn.
After another moment to gather his strength, Kyle slowly walked forward, the snow crunching under his boots caught Stan's attention, he looked back at him. Kyle sat down next to his friend in snow and stared straight ahead though he was aware of Stan's eyes on the side of his face. His heart rate sped up as he gathered the courage to tell him what was going on. It wasn't easy seeing as after he told him about his conditions, he was going to admit the love he's been feeling.
"The reason I left school early yesterday was so I could see a psychiatrist," Kyle said as evenly as his nerves would allow.
Stan's eyes widened again. "A psychiatrist? For what?"
Kyle's eyes slipped to the snow in front of his crossed legs, at a footprint made by either him or Stan a few minutes ago. "For a few months now I've been having…episodes, as my mom would call it, where I'd slip in and out of consciousness. Sometimes when I'd wake up, I'd be at home, sometimes I'd be at the supermarket, and once I," he turned bright red as a few tears fell down his face, "found myself being fucked by Kenny and Craig."
"What?" Stan's eyes filled with a mixture of worry, concern, confusion, jealousy, and shock. Kenny and Craig? What was so great about them?
"I don't remember any of it," Kyle defended quickly, "I swear! I just woke up in the middle of it!" He was holding back a sob. He knew that this confession was just going to make telling Stan he loved him even harder.
Stan gathered the Jew into his arms and held him there tight. Maybe it was alcohol, maybe it was some drug he bought from Kenny, or maybe Kenny slipped date rape into his drink. Stan didn't want to hold it against Kyle, so he wouldn't. "It's okay if you don't remember," he muttered reassuringly.
Kyle began to shake again. "No it's not! The reason I don't remember is because I have two other personalities!" He felt Stan stiffen again but still continued: "One is a scholar, Rai…he's what you would call the one to trust, I guess. The other is a slutty girl, Alice. She's, well, a slut. I'm guessing it was her who took over when I was with Kenny and Craig. I was diagnosed with multiple personality disorder."
"Kyle…" Stan held him tighter. "That's okay…it is…"
"But," Kyle grabbed onto Stan's arms, "that's not all. I've also been seeing and hearing things that aren't there. When you saw me fall down earlier…it was because I thought I saw a black bear about to attack me. The psychiatrist also diagnosed me with schizophrenia. And he gave me medicine to suppress it, but he told me it could change my personality…that's why I didn't take it this morning. My parents are ashamed of me…I almost think they hate me now."
Stan gazed down at the top of Kyle's hat as he felt the redhead shake harder with the beginnings of a sob. The person he loved was a schizo with two other personalities, huh? Well, that's not the worst thing he could be, not by a long shot. Granted, it was shocking and confusing, but it didn't change a thing. Kyle was still Kyle, and he was sure that Rai and Alice were still very much Kyle as well, just variations of him that he never explored or released.
"Stan," Kyle sniffed, still trying to hold back the same sob, "there's one more thing I need to tell you."
"What is it?"
"I…I love you. I have for a while now…"
Stan smiled and rested his face on top of Kyle's hat, knowing better than to remove it to get to the red locks beneath. "I'm happy you said that."
"Huh?" Suddenly Kyle found himself on his back in the snow with the smiling noirette hovering over him, his hands bracing himself on either side of his head and his knees resting on either side of his waist. Kyle turned bright red again. "S-Stan?"
Stan crushed his lips into Kyle's and then smiled softly down at him with a light blush running across his face. "I love you too dude, ever since I can remember."
"Even though I'm insane?"
He continued smiling. "You're not insane, you're you," he cupped one of Kyle's cheek with his hand, "that's all that matters. And damn the fact that your parents can't see that!"
A wide smile then dominated the redhead's face, he wrapped his arms around Stan and kissed him again. "Thank you," a few happy tears fell down his face, "thank you."