AN: I promised myself this was going to be entirely from Kyle's point of view, but Stan was not having it. I promise I have variety, just hang in there! Also, I love when you favorite, but I love reviews, too!

Again, I don't own anything and they're older. Enjoy.

The Appropriate Time for Tequila

Stan always enjoys getting drunk with his best friends. As trashy and hick as it is, the four of them spend every other weekend in Stan and Kenny's off-campus apartment, holed up with video games, pizza, and cheap vodka. Cartman never fails to crack a joke when Kenny walks in with a big, plastic jug of clear, no-brand alcohol, but the one time they splurged and got Absolut, Cartman choked on his first shot. They may live in Denver now, but they can't deny their cheap, hick, mountain town roots. And sure, they'd had the occasional party and frequented the bars in the area, but Stan sort of treasures the nights they stay in by themselves and goof off, just like they had when they were kids in Cartman's basement. They're going to be juniors in college, but Stan almost hates the idea of growing up. He's always comforted by the constant presence of the three others.

Of course, sometimes Stan has a hard time ignoring the fact that they're not just four friends anymore. Now they're Stan Marsh, Eric Cartman, and KennyandKyle.

"God, if the two of you are going to fuck right here, I'm leaving," Cartman says with a slight slur, practically deadpan, and without even looking over to the couch. Cartman always continues playing video games regardless of how wasted he gets, and currently his eyes are glued on some sort of military strategy game. At the moment, there's not very much strategy, but a whole lot of charging and getting shot immediately.

Stan glances over to the couch to the two people Cartman was addressing, his super best friend and his roommate. Sure enough, Kyle's perched in Kenny's lap and Kenny's hands are under his thighs, dangerously close to his backside.

"We're not fucking," Kenny informs Cartman, although he's still staring up at Kyle with that stupid expression, like he's the most perfect thing Kenny's ever seen and, because of that, Kenny wants to fuck the daylights out of him right now. Stan hates it. He really only allows this to go on because he's never seen Kenny like this with anyone. Their blond friend always been something of a player, quick to make a move on any hot dude or chick, get him or her in bed, and then never call again. And Kenny's damn good at what he does, too, being as handsome and charming as he is. Admittedly, Stan has threatened, on several occasions, to break every bone in Kenny's body if he even thinks about breaking Kyle's heart or pushing him into weird sex acts he's not into. But Kenny worships the ground Kyle walks on and seems to have wooed him respectfully, so Stan can't come up with a good excuse to kick his ass.

"Well, you should be," Cartman grumbles as he's once again blows himself up with his own grenade. "Seriously, Kinny, you used to be so fucking cool. Now you couldn't get ass if your life depended on it. Not that your life depending on anything would matter."

Stan winces when Kenny bristles at the comment and snaps his gaze over to the back of the other boy's head. Cartman, while not quite as awful as he was in grade school, is still the only one to ever make light of Kenny's tendency to die and come back to life. Generally, they are torn between trying to be as supportive as possible and trying to ignore it. Kyle had been the first to ever remember an accident (naturally, because they're practically perfect in every single fucking way), and Kenny has been preoccupied with him ever since.

"Fuck you, Cartman," Kyle snaps. He is always impressively articulate when he's drunk. They can only tell he's wasted when he gets clumsy and clingy, normally to Kenny. Kenny holds his alcohol better than all of them put together, but he's definitely tipsy because Stan notices that his gaze is a little sleepy.

Stan finds himself relieved when Kenny's gaze returns to Kyle, his eyes immediately softening. He finds himself wondering, not for the first time, if Kenny has always been crazy about Kyle and Stan had just never bothered to pay attention. They're so easily intimate with each other, as if they'd been soul mates in other lives. It makes Stan sick, thinking of Wendy and how hard his relationship with her has been. Kenny and Kyle make it seem so effortless.

"Whatever. You fags still can't get your fag germs all over my couch."

"This isn't even kind of your couch, Cartman," Kenny says, looking over Kyle's shoulder. "You're lucky we even let you into our apartment." Kyle tries to turn around to look at him as well, but ends up tipping over. Kenny only just manages to catch him and pulls him sideways back into his lap, looking comically alarmed. Kyle just looks dazed, as if he isn't sure how he got there.

"Yeah, how drunk are you?" Stan demands, suddenly concerned about his video game controller and his carpet. Cartman has had most to drink, as always, and he doesn't have a fantastic track record of keeping it down.

"Screw you guys," Cartman says, belching and then taking another piece of pizza. "I'm gonna own the whole goddamn world someday, and your fucking couch will be begging for mercy." He looks thoughtful for a second before adding, "And you too, you fucking Jew."

Kyle looks over at the sound of his name before looking back to Kenny. "What the fuck is he talking about?" Kenny just rubs his face and shakes his head.

Stan leaves to go to the bathroom, where he stares at himself in the mirror for five minutes. When he comes back out into the living room, Cartman is passed out, mouth agape and snoring obnoxiously, and Kenny and Kyle are horizontal on the couch, Kenny between Kyle's obscenely spread legs. Kenny's mouth is attached to Kyle's neck, making the boy's hips twitch up into his, pausing only to mutter barely coherent things about Kyle's eyes and Kyle's hair and just how goddamn perfect Kyle is.

"… don't deserve you … baby, so fucking gorgeous … love you so much …"

Furious for reasons he can't articulate, Stan lets the loud sounds of his stomping talk for him, heading to the kitchen. He rips the refrigerator door open before realizing he doesn't want anything from it. Still, he leaves it open for a second, letting the chilly air hit his face and cool him down. It doesn't take him long to realize that he wants to be way drunker, and he sets about looking for shot glasses.

As he's bent over the dish washer, he hears footsteps on the kitchen's linoleum floor and looks up to see Kyle standing there, looking predictably annoyed. He immediately looks back down.

"Do you want to talk about why you hate me and Ken together?" Kyle asks immediately, probably with his hands on his hips in a way that would make his mother proud.

"Not really," Stan admits, eyes locked on the clean dishes as he searches for the shot glasses he and Kenny used a few nights ago. "Do you want to do a shot with me?"

Kyle sighs, but doesn't say anything more, joining Stan by the dishwasher. They don't say anything for a while and Stan fills the silence with the clanking of dishes, purposely being a bit more careless than usual.

"Are you and Ken gonna fuck tonight?" Stan eventually finds himself asking, now digging around in a cupboard for his bottle of Jose Cuervo, which he only lets himself get into for special occasions.

Kyle hoists himself up onto the counter next to him, barely managing to keep his elbows from buckling on the way up. The question takes a second to register, but he finally shrugs. "I don't know. Maybe."

"You shouldn't," Stan advises. "If you're drunk, I mean. It's dangerous."

Kyle lets out a snort. "Yeah. We might forget the condom and get me knocked up."

"Or you might forget the condom and get AIDS," Stan can't stop himself from saying. Now that he's said that much, the rest of the words bubble up. "God only knows where Kenny's been."

Kyle just glances over at him, looking more disappointed than anything else, and Stan needs a shot of tequila right the fuck now. "I don't want to fight with you right now, Stan," Kyle says, staring down at his dangling feet. "And you don't need me to tell you how wrong you are."

It's true, Stan doesn't need that. Kenny would have never touched Kyle without getting properly tested first. The fact that Kenny has always had a thing for virgins has probably kept him pretty clean anyway. But he pours two shots instead of admitting it out loud.

They throw the shots back quickly, Kyle wincing and Stan having to clear his throat afterward.

"I hate tequila," Kyle says, licking his lips and wrinkling his nose.

"Yeah, I don't drink it 'cause it's delicious," Stan says dryly, pouring another shot for himself.

"Do you hate Kenny?"

Stan glances up at Kyle, slightly thrown off. "What?" Kyle just keeps looking at him, so he shakes his head. "No, I don't hate him. I guess we've been… sort of competitive since high school, but, I mean… I live with the guy, so. No."

"But you don't like that I'm dating him. Why do you care if you don't hate him?" Kyle is frowning hard at the ceiling, as if he can decode the cracks in the plaster.

Stan snorts. "I'm never going to like anyone you date, Kyle. I just don't want you to get hurt."

"Do you wanna fuck me or something?" Kyle finally asks, reminding Stan that Kyle is, in fact, pretty drunk.

At this point, Stan doesn't bother to be surprised or offended. "There's not enough alcohol in the world to make this conversation okay," he sighs, although he does pour himself another shot.

"No," Kyle agrees. He pauses before looking back up at Stan, looking determined. "You know you're my best friend, right?"

"Sure," he says with a shrug.

"You are," Kyle insists, looking scandalized.

"I know, Ky. You're my best friend, too. And I'm happy that you're happy," Stan says, and he means it, even if he doesn't want to.

"And you're happy that Kenny's happy, too, right?" Kyle looks like his very soul is dependent on Stan's answer. And Stan has to agree that, if Stan and Kenny do truly hate each other, something is over. Stan isn't sure what that "something" is, but it might define all of them, even Cartman. It's the same thing that brings them all to the apartment every other weekend and it's the same thing that kept them sitting at the same lunch table in high school and it's the same thing that kept them all meeting at the bus stop in grade school. Stan thinks that maybe that "something" is more important than his petty jealousy, if he can even call it that.

"I'm happy that Kenny's happy," he finally decides, taking a swig of tequila right from the bottle, barely tasting it.

Suddenly, Kyle's on his feet and is throwing his arms around Stan, who barely manages to set the bottle of alcohol back on the counter before it can be knocked out of his hand. They haven't hugged a lot since high school started, so Stan freezes for a moment before remembering where his arms go. He is surprised how easily this takes him back to fourth grade and how not awkward it is, although he supposes he shouldn't be.

"Thanks, Stan," Kyle finally whispers. Stan's mouth falls open to respond, but then Kyle kisses his cheek and tongue goes numb. Kyle just smiles at him as if his lips touching his male friend's face is totally cool and heads back into the other room, where the sound of Cartman's snoring has reached a new decibel.

Stan stays rooted to his spot for a while. He isn't sure how long he stands there, but when he finally leaves the kitchen, half of his tequila is gone and his vision is blurry.

When he returns to the living room this time, Cartman's still passed out and Kenny and Kyle have followed suit, Kenny on his back and Kyle strewn over him, his arms latched around the blond's middle. Stan quickly looks away both because it looks far too intimate and he feels like he's intruding and because he doesn't want to vomit. The tequila tasted bad enough going down. He grabs the remote control and flips the TV off. He tosses the remote onto Cartman's stomach. The other boy jerks in his sleep, snorting and then muttering "Screw you guys" before rolling over on top of the remains of his pizza.

Stan finally crawls into his own bed, moaning at the feel of the pillow under his head. The feel of the alcohol is heavy and he, thankfully, doesn't stay conscious for very much longer.

Yeah, Stan loves being drunk with his friends. He fucking has to be.