A/N: Hello South Park fans :) so I had this story idea, and I'm not sure what you all will think of it, but I thought I'd give it a try. This is my first attempt at a South Park story, so keep that in mind.
Despite appearances in this first chapter, this story is actually a bit more centered around Kyle and Kenny...THIS IS NOT A SLASH FIC. Just thought I'd throw that out there. Though there will be a potentially surprising pairing. I won't say any more than that.
Fifth grade. It was supposed to be some sort of big deal, right? It was the last year before middle school. Even then it seemed like any other day as each student prepared for the very first day of the school year.
Stan Marsh rested his chin on his fist and glared at the floor of the school auditorium as Mr. Mackey droned on about the importance of their fifth grade year. His friends seemed equally uninterested in what the guidance counselor had to say. Kyle Broflovski sat in the same position as Stan and Kenny McCormick and Eric Cartman were engaged in a game of "mercy."
"Ow, ow, Kenny, time out, time out!" Cartman whined as quietly as he could, but Kenny wasn't stupid enough to let up. The hooded blonde continued to twist Cartman's wrists and even chuckled as he did so. "Ow!"
"Say 'mercy'!" Kenny said, his speech muffled by his hood.
Cartman frowned defiantly. "Never," he whispered.
Kyle rolled his eyes and elbowed Stan, who smiled in return.
"Now children, I know that all of this may seem all stressful and stuff but don't panic, m'kay?" Mr. Mackey continued, unfazed by the obvious disinterest of his crowd. "It's a proven fact that suicide rates go up during school transitions, so don't go shooting your little brains out, m'kay?"
"Ow Kenny GOD DAMN IT! YOU WIN! YOU WIN!" Cartman bellowed angrily.
Kenny laughed. "Say it! Say it or I'll keep going!"
"…No," Cartman refused, but Kenny twisted his wrists again. "Keeeeeenny!"
The two oblivious boys continued as the entire auditorium turned to stare at them. Kyle gaped at the pair and Stan pinched the bridge of his nose in frustration.
Before any thing else could be said or done between the two boys, Principal Victoria rushed over to them and forced them apart. Cartman massaged his wrists and glared at Kenny.
"Heh, guess what Kenny, I never said 'mercy' so I guess it's a tie!" Cartman shouted triumphantly.
Kenny crossed his arms angrily and said nothing as Principal Victoria dragged the two of them out of the auditorium.
"For goodness sakes, you are in fifth grade! You're almost in middle school! You two need to grow up…especially you, Eric!" Principal Victoria growled as they exited.
Stan sighed in exasperation and looked over at Kyle. Kyle shrugged.
"Serves those two right," Kyle whispered. "'Mercy' isn't exactly the best game to play when you're supposed to be quiet."
Stan smirked. "No kidding, but it's Cartman we're talking about…he's not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed and Kenny never backs down from a challenge."
Kyle leaned back in his chair. "How long can Mr. Mackey go on about fucking fifth grade? I don't see how it's that big a deal. It's just another year with Mr. Garrison."
Stan shrugged. "Middle school is going to be completely different, I hear there's no recess."
Kyle's eyes widened. "What? No recess? That's balls, dude!"
Stan nodded, but Mr. Garrison shushed them from the aisle before he could say anything else.
Kyle grinned and mouthed the word 'later' before turning his attention back to the stage. Stan smiled and followed his example.
After the assembly, Kyle and Stan walked to the cafeteria together. They passed Wendy Testaburger in the hallway, who waved and smiled sweetly at Stan. Stan blushed and waved back, causing the dark haired girl to turn to her friends and giggle.
Kyle shook his head in amusement as they passed through the double doors and into the cafeteria. Unsurprisingly, Cartman and Kenny were already waiting at their usual table.
"So, how much trouble did you guys get into?" Stan asked.
Cartman smirked. "I showed Principal Victoria my wrists and she saw how red they were, so Kenny gets two more days of after school detention than me."
Kenny was staring pointedly at the wall on his left in order to avoid meeting Cartman's gaze.
"What's wrong, Kenny? Now you're poor and you're in more trouble than me! How does it feel?" Cartman snickered.
Kyle frowned. "Dude, lay off."
Cartman raised his eyebrows. "Oh, yes, Jew boy, I have some news to share with you."
Kyle leaned forward. "What's that?"
"Because of some research I did, as well as a very professional and attractive presentation made for the South Park Community School Board, four foreign exchange students will be joining our class in a few weeks," Cartman said sweetly.
Kyle shrugged. "That's cool and all, but I don't understand how that news is supposed to interest me personally."
Cartman grinned. "Two of them are Palestinian, and the other two are German."
Kyle gaped at Cartman. "What?"
Cartman laughed. "Yes! The two natural enemies of the Jew: Palestinians and Germans, and they will both be attending our school! Isn't that cool Kyle?"
Kyle continued to stare at Cartman for a minute, dumbfounded, and then slammed his head onto the table.
Cartman cackled incessantly as Stan's eyes shot daggers at him. "You have a serious problem, Cartman," Stan muttered under his breath.
Cartman pretended to be offended. "What did I do wrong, Stan? I'm just trying to help kids from overseas to experience America and its splendid education programs."
"Yeah, you say that now, but I know you. Behind that chubby little face of yours, you're up to something," Stan growled accusingly.
Cartman stood up. "Whatever, I'll talk to you guys later, I need to see if I can copy Butters' homework."
Kenny finally turned around and stared at Cartman's back as he walked away. "It's the first day of school!"
Cartman turned around briefly. "Duh! I want to get a jumpstart on things. The relationship between a slacker and his answer donor is a delicate and complicated one. These things take time."
Kenny rolled his eyes as Cartman crossed the room to Butters' table. "Hey, Kyle, are you alright?" Kenny asked politely.
"Yeah, I'm fine," Kyle mumbled against the surface of the table, his head still down. "Just give me a moment."
Stan placed a reassuring hand on his friend's back. "Don't mind him, Kyle, he's just an asshole. His plans never work, and I'm sure these new kids aren't as scary as Cartman hopes they will be."
Kyle slowly lifted his head and sighed. "I know, I know, but still, I wish Cartman would just give it up. I'm so sick of his blatant racism. It's not just the Jews he hates, it's…it's everyone. Everyone except himself."
Stan nodded. "He's a dick," he said bluntly, "a self-centered dick with a superiority-complex."
Kenny watched them go back and forth before speaking up. "Why do we hang out with him again?"
Stan laughed softly. "I honestly don't know. He makes things interesting sometimes."
Kyle shrugged. "Sometimes he isn't so bad." He frowned. "But that doesn't mean I don't hate him."
The bus dropped the boys off at their stop and they began to walk home. Kyle and Cartman bickered, as per usual, and Kenny and Stan walked ahead, staying out of the conflict.
"How is it even possible that Palestinians are coming to South Park? I can understand the Germans, but Israel is an ally of the U.S.!" Kyle exclaimed.
"You're fucking stupid," Cartman hissed, "the U.S. is trying to stay neutral. After arguing that it's only fair that we allow Palestinian foreign exchange students since we allow Israelis to come here, the Board of Education was quick to agree with me in order to avoid offending people."
"What about me, Cartman? What about offending me or endangering me?" Kyle shouted.
"They're kids, Kyle, Jesus Christ."
Kyle groaned and ran ahead. "Fuck you Cartman," he called over his shoulder. As he passed, he grabbed Stan's arm and pulled him along.
"Uh, bye Kenny!" Stan yelled. He heard the muffled reply and smiled before turning to look at Kyle. "Dude, are you alright?"
Kyle slowed down after getting ahead of Kenny and Cartman significantly. "No, not really. That fat ass is bringing those kids here specifically because they hate Jews. He even said so! He said they were the natural enemies of the Jew!" Kyle sighed. "I'm nervous, Stan."
Stan shrugged. "I agree with you, Cartman did say those things, but they are just kids. What could they possibly be capable of?"
Kyle stopped walking abruptly. He looked over at Stan and frowned. "I don't know man, we've been capable of a hell of a lot, and we're 'just kids.'"
Stan nodded. "I guess, but not all kids are like us," he winked at his super best friend. "The Germans shouldn't be much of a problem anyway, just because their grandparents or great grandparents were Nazis doesn't mean they are."
Kyle looked away. "I guess…maybe."
"But as for those Palestinians…just make sure you don't get too close to them, I hear they like to strap bombs to their chests," Stan said as he began to pull Kyle forward again.
Kyle gaped at him. "Not funny, man," he muttered.
Stan laughed. "Okay, okay, sorry," he said between laughs.
The two friends continued to walk until they came upon Kyle's house. Kyle walked up the steps of his porch to the front door and turned to wave good-bye to Stan before going inside. Stan waved back and then continued on his way, smiling.
Stan stuck his hands in his pockets and continued on his way to his own house. He looked up at the sky happily, knowing that his fifth grade year was going to be one for the books. He had the coolest friends in the world, and Kyle was the absolute best of them all.
He hopped up the steps to his house and walked inside. Before he could hang up his coat and hat, however, he noticed his entire family sitting on the couch.
"Um, what's going on?" Stan asked worriedly.
"Stan, honey, we need to tell you something," Sharon said with a hint of sadness in her voice.
Stan walked over to them and stood in front of the couch. Randy had his arm around Sharon's shoulders; Grandpa Marvin sat in his wheel chair next to them, and on the other side of her parents sat Shelley, who refused to look directly at Stan.
"Randy…" Sharon whispered. "Go ahead."
Randy cleared his throat. "Uh, son, uh…I was told today that…um…" Randy scratched his head. "I'm being relocated to a lab down in New Mexico. It's higher pay, and there's more to do out there, and…"
Stan gawked at his dad in shock. "W-what?"
Sharon sighed. "We're leaving South Park, honey. At the end of your first semester we're going to move down to New Mexico."
Stan shook his head. "No! You can't do this to me!" He glared at them. "My life here is great! I love it here, you can't do this!"
Randy frowned. "It's not up to you, Stan!"
Stan looked down at the floor. "But…but what about Kyle and Wendy? And Kenny? Hell, I'd even miss Cartman..."
Sharon got up and knelt in front of her son. "I know, sweetie, I know it's hard, but you don't have a choice…"
"Let me stay with Kyle! Please! I'm sure his parents would be cool with it!" Stan exclaimed.
Sharon shook her head. "No, Stanley, you're staying with your family and that's final!"
Stan backed away. "I…I…" He tried not to cry. He really tried. "I fucking hate all of you!"
Leaving behind his shocked parents, Stan ran up to his bedroom and slammed the door. He leapt onto his bed and wept into his pillow. He couldn't wrap his head around it: he was leaving. He would be in a completely different state.
He wasn't sure if he'd ever see his friends ever again. He'd have to break up with Wendy. He knew it'd be best to do it long before he broke the news that he was moving, that way it wouldn't hurt her as bad…
Stan didn't even want to think about telling Kyle, but he couldn't help it as his friend's face slipped into his mind's eye. He could imagine the look of hurt that would come over Kyle, and it scared him.
It was all too much, and Stan slammed his head against his pillow multiple times in frustration.
Stan rolled over and sat up straight in surprise. He hadn't heard his sister come in. "Uh, yeah, what do you want Shelley?"
Shelley walked over and sat next to him on the bed. "I don't want to move either, Shtan."
Stan sighed. "Yeah…"
"What can we do?" Shelley asked, looking over at him expectantly. "You musht have shome short of plan, right?"
Stan shook his head. "No…no I don't."
"What about that fat friend of yours?"
Stan looked over at her. "His solutions would probably involve a felony."
Shelley scowled at him. "And you'd rather move to fucking New Mexico than commit a crime?"
Stan raised an eyebrow. "Well…yeah…I don't know."
Shelley jumped off the bed and walked to the doorway. "Jusht shomething to think about," she said angrily. She paused before leaving. "But if you do think of shomething…let me know. I want to help."
Shelley slammed the door shut, and Stan was alone with his thoughts again. He collapsed onto his pillow and stared up at the ceiling.
What exactly am I willing to do to stay here? Stan asked himself. Or is the best thing to do just to go quietly?