The first thing Stan felt when the morning light cascaded in was a sharp pain in his head. Not the run of the mill little headache or average migraine, but a throbbing, overwhelming heaviness pounding his skull, pressure increasing steadily, head on the verge of cracking open.
He opened his mouth before his eyes, letting out a gargling groan.
Where he was, he didn't know. He couldn't remember, and he didn't want to try. At least not until the pain subsided enough for him to think clearly.
He shifted, body feeling alien to him, mental and physical states separate.
Disoriented, dazed, and fucked up, Stan lifted his head from the pillow, lead bones working with gravity to try and pull his head back down.
His senses slowly returned, the strong taste of alcohol coating his tongue, still tingling his taste buds. The mixed scent of beer, sweat, shame hung in the air, reminding him that, whatever the hell happened last night, it broke more than a few promises and commitments.
Fuck it... He thought bitterly, hammer beating his brain. He'd regret what he did later, whenever he actually opened his eyes and figured out what he did.
Last night was a blur, the boy only recalling vibrant colours the blotched together, loud noises that all blended into a cacophony, and lots of dizziness. He assumed there was a party-who's or what for he didn't care for-and the beer flowed like water.
He always did have an alcohol problem.
And he was a terrible drunk.
He cringed, half from the hangover's sting, and half from the infinite amount of stupid things he could've done while intoxicated. Every item on the list was another blow to him, piling worries on his weary shoulders, making him dread waking up even more. Just to go back to bed and sleep until everything blew over would be a blessing.
Just for this fucking hangover to fuck off so I can fucking think would be a goddamn blessing...
His eyelids were bolted down, unfazed by Stan's efforts to lift them. He didn't mind, but that made him question whether or not his other muscles worked.
He rolled his shoulders, readjusting to how his body moved, torso shifting, working his way down. Feeling returned, soon realising a cotton sheet covered his nude lower body, feet sticking out from the covering and ramming into the bed frame. He prayed that he passed out in his bed like this, alone.
Next he accounted for his arms, stretching his left arm, fingers brushing carpet, hanging over the side of the bed. When checking the right arm, though, he discovered his hand resting on something warm and smooth.
There goes the alone theory.
Reluctantly, he moved his hand along the skin, fingers curved over the side of what he decided was someone's arm. He was waiting for some identifier, some way he'd know who he fucked in his drunken lust. A nervous knot tied in his throat, part of him wanting to keep his partner a stranger, one he could hopefully shrug off.
His palm slid down the dip of the shoulder, soon rising as the neck transitioned to the head. Rather than clumsily rubbing someone's face, he took route behind the ear, going for the hair. His fingers laced with curls, lost in them, woven in the fluffy mob. The hair was tangled, messy, and likely hadn't been combed for some time. He knew he'd felt it before-the feel was dangerously familiar-but the connection never clicked, leaving him wondering in anxiety, battling his will and eyelids to see whether he should cave in and see who lay next to him or leave that person anonymous.
"Stan...?" A voice called, sounding distant and spacey to the ebon's ears. Out of it or not, he knew that voice well; that was Kyle.
"Ky...le...?" He murmured, unsure which way to turn his head. Kyle was somewhere in the room, but his sense of direction was too shot to tell where.
A hand cupped his chin, fingers patting his cheek as an instruction to turn his head to the right, towards the owner of the arm, to the spot right next to him.
At last, he mustered up enough strength to raise one of his eyelids, a sliver of blue peeking out. His limited view appeared as nothing but blobs at first, the blotches slowly transforming into a bedroom.
The sunshine was blinding, far too bright, but most of the beams were blocked by Kyle's crimson curls, which glowed like a ball of fire. His green eyes stared at the raven-haired boy, emeralds twinkling. A navy sheet concealed most of his body, only his head, shoulders, and left arm showing. What wasn't covered by the sheet was bare, only bare pale skin exposed, hinting that he likely wasn't wearing anything either. Though, unlike miserable Stan, Kyle seemed fairly content, a slight smile on his lips, an extra softness to his expression.
Stan's eyes fluttered, thoughts racing, spikes of pain hitting him as he absorbed the situation.
...That awkward moment when you sleep with your super best friend...
"Kyle," He said louder, shocked, scrambling through his broken memory to salvage the key fragments: how they'd gotten there, whether or not they really went that far, how much he drank, whether or not Kyle resisted at all, and how it felt.
"Morning..." Kyle withdrew his hand, arm trembling briefly before he curved it against his chest. Uncertainty flashed in his eyes for a moment, a quiver of trepidation chilling his spine. His smile flattened, unable to dwell blissfully in extended afterglow any longer. Now was the explanation, the cold hard truth, the test that would decide where they'd go from there.
Stan shuddered, grumbling as another pang of pain struck him. The hangover's wrath dwarfed in comparison to the guilt welling up within the ebon, knowing that whatever he did knocked their friendship between a rock and a hard place. Maybe if it was Kenny he slept with, he'd be able to ignore a drunken one-night stand; but this was Kyle, the boy who didn't date anyone until his sophomore year of high school and thrived on emotional stability in any relationship. In this case, everything was on the line.
I really fucked shit up now...
"Hangover a bitch?" Kyle guessed. The conversation had to live-even if it was one-sided-just to avoid the horrible nothingness of silence. If silence fell, that would drive him crazy.
"Y-yeah..." Hangovers were the least of Stan's concerns, "How much...did I...gah...drink...?"
"More than you should have," Kyle answered wryly, "But you shouldn't have had anything at all."
"Well I'm an idiot, okay?" Stan rolled his eyes, "But you aren't and you probably can fill in a few blanks for me..."
"Right..." He paused, shutting his eyes, phrasing a few answers beforehand to avoid blurting out bad replies. He sighed, "Where... do you want to start...?"
"What the fuck did I do?" Stan assumed that it was more him taking advantage of Kyle and Kyle going along with it because he had to.
Kyle let the question hang in the air a moment.
"Well I was taking you home from Token's party...and you were drunk off your ass..." The memories flooded the redhead's mind, every second of the night before clear as crystal, "I was going to have Kenny help me but he was busy making out with Wendy..."
"WHAT?" Stan jerked up, immediately struck down again by the sheer pain.
"She broke up with you, Stan," Kyle spoke in a quieter tone, "That's why you started drinking... More than you should have..."
The ebon thought hard, dusting and polishing a few of the loose memories he had.
He saw Wendy, standing in front of him, strobe lights flashing behind her, dubstep blaring. She wore a provocative low-cut violet dress, and a mask of disapproval and unhappiness. Clearly above the sound of the synthesisers, he heard the deathly words "We're through," before she turned around, ending the memory.
Next, after a skip, he actually remembered the drinking. He sat at Token's mini-bar, making love to the liquor while staring down Wendy, watching her in melancholy. Anger coursed through him when he saw his blond best friend-who appeared to be heavily intoxicated already-made moves on the girl. The drinks got heavier as he watched her give in, letting things go farther and farther, rubbing salt in the wound.
She had a lot to drink after saying that. And Kenny came there drunk he probably didn't even know she was the same Wendy..." Kyle didn't condone it—from Wendy or Kenny—but they deserved defence. Alcohol made a reserved girl a whore and a boy break the bro code; fact of life.
Kyle wouldn't be surprised if they woke up in a situation similar to his and Stan's; only they could excuse it as a completely drunken escapade while Kyle remained sober and willing throughout the experience.
"I'm killing that asshole," This time he referred to Kenny.
"Don't go that far, he acts about as bad as you do when he's drunk." Kyle muttered.
"So how did I act?" To Stan, that was the million dollar question.
"Not bad...until we got to your place at least..." He finally admitted, eyes wandering.
Stan said nothing, waiting for Kyle to go on and elaborate. Scenarios played in his mind, all of them disturbing to him, imagining him groping and acting just plain nasty towards the Semite, who in every simulation protested until he forced himself that all his efforts were in vain. It disgusted him.
"We went inside," Kyle continued, breaking the silence before the quiet friction got to him, "Your parents are visiting Shelly in Fort Collins so it wasn't much of a shock. I had to drag you in with you leaning on me since you were having trouble walking. Everything was dark and we were walking up the stairs when..." He trailed off, mouth open, balancing the next part of the tale on the tip of his tongue.
"When...?" Stan raised a brow, tone demanding, expecting the worst.
"When you said you loved me..." Kyle whispered, shrugging away some. He called himself guilty for believing it, not only because it was a drunk confessional but because for years their love had been solely platonic, brotherly even. But romantic? Not until last night.
"I...did?" Stan couldn't find the memory, that file lost. But Kyle didn't lie, so he knew damn well it was the truth.
"Y-yeah..." His cheeks reddened, "I mean, you called me a piece of shit after that and told me to fuck myself, so I kind of ignored it, but once we were at the top you basically took it all back, said it again, and started kissing me." Kyle wished he came up with a more intelligent response.
"I..." Stan's eye twitched, "I'm sorry..."
"No, I'm sorry," Kyle said, "I... I never stopped you... I... Kissed back and... I don't even know what I was thinking when I was the sober one and I just... Was being... Selfish... And... I just..." He shook his head, "This is my fault, if I had any self control or will power this could've all been avoided..."
"Are you seriously blaming yourself?" Stan frowned. Really, hearing that it was mutual was music to Stan's ears. Even if he was intoxicated, they both wanted it. Kyle had nothing to be guilty about, and neither did Stan.
"It's my fault," Kyle said again.
"No, it's mine," Stan said, "I drank, my fault for perving on you. But don't call yourself selfish or feel guilty or any of that shit. It's my fault."
"No, it's mine," He insisted. Kyle never took no for an answer in cases like this, damn his self-blame habit.
Stan groaned. Kyle's stubbornness didn't exactly soothe his headache.
Why does he have to be so fucking difficult...
"Look," The ebon sat up slowly, cringing every so often, "I can't really stop you from blaming yourself for this but this is still mostly my fault. I did this to you-"
"We did this together," Kyle shot up. Almost as soon as the words left his lips, he put a cork on it, pursing his lips and stiffening. He was getting ahead of himself, he was sounding stupid, unbelievably foolish. Expected more from this only caused him more broiling guilt and another mental scolding. Not only was Stan drunk, but he was only recently single. Saying things like that made him sound like he was jumping for the rebound; desperately going for a shot that'd bounce off the rim and peg him in the face.
Stan glanced over at Kyle, eyes widening. It was hard to connect the wires, but, somehow, he was under the impression that Kyle was a bit more willing than initially thought. In fact, he seemed to have had a few ulterior motives of his own during that play-along.
Come to think of it, Stan didn't entirely mind. If anything bothered him, it was that he didn't remember just what happened. He didn't get the luxury of remembering their first time like Kyle did. He wouldn't remember the kissing, the touching, the friction, the pleasure... All of that was blotted out with beer and hard liquor. He was madder at the alcohol for robbing him of those memories than for causing him to act on his homoerotic desires.
Maybe I took those gay jokes too seriously...?
That underlying affection border lining on romance always seemed to be there, just dormant.
And it only acted up around Kyle. For Kyle. Towards Kyle.
Scary enough, Stan couldn't trace an exact origin of these feelings to a single moment in time; they'd always been there.
Then again, he couldn't remember too far back without his brain crapping on him, but his point still stood.
Kyle watched Stan from the corner of his eye, noticing the serene azure pools turning to turbulent whirlpools, a storm of troubled thoughts raging inside the boy's mind. Coming to the false conclusion that romance was impossible, he was positive that Stan was considering dropping Kyle, torn between temporarily or completely. They had their ups and downs in their friendship-Kyle treated Stan like shit on a few occasions, and Stan did the same-but this pushed the limit. And if it snapped, not even duct tape would properly repair the break, a rift splitting their once perfect friendship.
All because of a few too many beers and a few too little self-control.
And it's all my goddamn fault...
"Kyle..." Stan spoke softly and slowly, still grasping the situation.
Kyle hesitated, then turned his head, teeth lightly chattering as he looked straight into the other's eyes.
"Is there..." Stan paused, "...something you want to tell me...?"
Kyle bit his lip. A mere something was an understatement. His gaze drifted, indiscreet about holding back. But what was there to say? He didn't know how to explain anything like that, not without gaining a few speech impediments along the way.
Stan's eyes narrowed. Even a confused moron recovering from a hangover could read that face.
"It's nothing..." Kyle dismissed the feelings whenever they arose, convinced that they were fleeting hormonal ideas meant only to interest him with the mysterious air of 'experimentation' or some shit like that. He never considered going all the way until things actually went all the way.
"Nothing my ass," Stan muttered.
"Look, if you're not comfortable with it...w-we can just forget it...or..." It's gonna be weird now, everything's just gonna be weird, everything's gonna be weird because I had to be a dumbass...
"No," He blurted out, flinching at the thought. If they tried to forget, they'd go nowhere. Instead of running from it, they could go in a new direction; "...sometimes...you just gotta make a big left turn..."
Kyle froze, remembering the last time he heard those words. So long ago, he heard them, back when Stan battled cynicism years ago. Then his plan didn't work out-Kyle was fairly glad it didn't since it allowed the friendship to mend-but that was out of his control. This was in his control, in their control, and they could make that turn and open up a slew of opportunities.
Just like that.
"A left turn..." The redhead repeated, a smile curving on his face, "Right..."
Stan smiled back, repressing the hangover with the happier thoughts of the future.
He might not have known what happened last night, he might have been paying for it now, but that was all okay.
Stan placed his hand on Kyle's, still smiling.
The redhead's reaction of a loving smile and light, warm blush was all he needed.
Sometimes, in the oddest of situations, the best thing to do was to take a left turn.
A/N: Adding to the probably boom of drunken Style sparked by the newest episode. I usually don't write Style...but that episode changed my mind. Well, enough to write this.
I hope you enjoyed reading! Leave a review or whatever! I'll work on updating things soon, I just needed to write this. It was an interesting little break piece.
Shockingly I have very little to say. Huh. Okay then. Yeah. Thanks again! ~CQO