I'm just going to call this person jeph-and-berts-pretty-legs because that's the name of their tumblr, but fanart was drawn and I am incredibly thankful! This chapter is in dedication to them. A link to the picture is on my profile (:
Everyone should also expect a surprise next week in preparation for my birthday!
The creative act lasts but a brief moment, a lightning instant of give-and-take, just long enough for you to level the camera and to trap the fleeting prey in your little box.
Thomas's point of view:
"So," I chirped. Stan and I were waiting for our friends at the local hookah bar. It was composed of two stories: the bottom which was a store that sold shisha, hookah pipes, as well as salvia, and a second floor that was the actual bar. The room was dim, light receding down the staircase. The only source of light was from the colors playing off the walls and the heat lamps meant for the fish and turtle tanks.
Seating was mismatched couches, a variety of pillows, beanbag chairs and plush rugs. Subtle music cooed softly from speakers placed in intervals around the room. Smoke made the atmosphere foggy, noticeable in what little light there was. It smelled aromatic and sweet, a very vague taste.
"Has your—fucker—shit—opinion of Craig changed at all?" We were sitting on a couch and I had my knees pulled up, was resting them on top of Stan's thighs.
"Fuck no," he spat, fingers laced behind his head. "Kyle keeps going back and forth and it's pissing me off. Every time we talk he has to tell me what a terrible choice Craig is, but then he ends up saying something nice about him. Usually about his dick."
Quirking my brows, I said, "It's a nice dick."
"I'm not believing anything until I get a picture next to a ruler."
I grinned because his answer had come too fast. He was just butthurt about the half inch Craig had on him. "He'll show you." Stan frowned. "Tweek is going to be very pleased one of these days."
"Yeah, I got that when he flashed me. I still don't like him," he grumbled after a moment.
"But Tweek does," I insisted.
"Yeah, I know." He was exasperated, his arms falling, hands hitting his lap. "Eight years and counting. I get it."
There was a pout on my lips as I asked, "Why can't you just be happy?" I nuzzled his shoulder with my nose. "This is the best time of Tweek's life. Literally."
Stan pinched the bridge of his nose. "He's given me absolutely no reason to trust him, dude. Tweek is too vulnerable for him."
"Are we talking about the same person?" I started laughing because Craig was so ridiculously doomed. Kenny saw it. I saw it. Even Kyle was aware. Stan was just scared that if he let Tweek go and something did happen, he'd have to take a fraction of the blame. "Because the guy that I saw was pretty vulnerable himself. And he was really into Tweek."
"Oh yeah?" Stan scowled. "The guy that I saw was all of the pain and suffering Tweek could ever endure all bunched up into one giant bag of douche."
I couldn't keep myself from cracking up. "Stan!" He stared at me humorlessly. "Come on. I'm trying to be serious."
Sighing, he rubbed at his forehead. It took him a moment but he finally said, "I guess Craig was being a little out of character for Tweek."
For Tweek. I smiled, satisfied. "You know that it's a four hour drive to Lakewood here and back, right?" It was weird knowing this because I never would've thought it could happen, but my best friend—Tweek Tweak—was going to have Craig Tucker whipped. "Now I might be wrong, but I think that means they're gunna fuck."
"Yeah. That's what I'm worried about." The expression on my face was one of confusion. Stan scowled and muttered, "If all Craig wants is sex—"
"Dude. I just told you that the drive is four hours. Craig clearly wants more than sex."
A spot of muted pink caught my eye and I looked toward the staircase at the new group who'd arrived. As recognition set in, a smile instantaneously brightened my features. There was a looming shadow behind Tweek, and as he stepped into the room, a pale hand reached out to loosely entwine their fingers. Tweek glanced over his shoulder and came back around with the most fantastic smile.
"Look who showed up!" I whispered excitedly, elbowing Stan repeatedly before rising onto my feet. Craig came into focus, and the sight of the two looking like a couple made me the happiest man—right after my best friend, of course. That, and Craig had grabbed Tweek's hand.
Once Tweek spotted me, he hurried over. Craig resembled an off balance luggage bag behind him, head tossing around every which way to view the entirety of the bar. Idly, I wondered if he'd ever been here before. Although most hookah bars were lenient with age, he'd still left before turning eighteen. It was hard to imagine Craig as a law-abider, though.
As we all exchanged hugs, I noticed that the two of them refused to let go of each others hands. This was something that I'd rub into Stan's face later.
"I'm sorry w-we're late," Tweek apologized, bashfully giggling as he took a seat across from Stan and I. His cheeks were glistening. Both his and Craig's lips were abused and wet.
"Making out in the parking lot, right?" I guessed.
"Yes," Craig contradicted.
The two looked at each other equally straight-faced.
"Craig," Tweek whined.
"I don't know how you do it, dude. If I ever lied to Clyde, he'd beat me."
"That doesn't mean you get to tell the truth to my best friend."
Their bickering was so cute. Stan and I gave each other a look. I didn't care if he wasn't fond of Craig, there was just no way he could deny how adorable these two were together. They were such opposites.
Grunting, Craig diverted his gaze. It landed on me where he said, "We weren't making out. I don't know who the fuck did that to him, but I'm pissed." Aww. Tweek must've been thinking the same because he leaned into Craig and gave him a gentle nudge. "No. You cheated on me."
"It's only c-cheating if you're my boyfriend," the blonde stated coyly.
My brows rose. When had he gotten so sly?
Even Craig cracked a grin. "Is that an offer?"
He must've known the answer he'd get because he wasn't disappointed or offended when Tweek cried out, "N-no!" He quickly reassessed his exclamation in a more hushed tone. "I mean—uh—I-It's not like I'd mind that or anything. Obviously."
"Of course you wouldn't." It was Craig's turn to nudge Tweek. The blonde tried to shrink into the back of the couch. "We're dating, dude. That's enough Craig Tucker for one little Tweek Tweak for now."
"Dating?" I barked, slapping Stan's thigh unintentionally.
"Dating?" He echoed.
Tweek ignored us and snapped, "So essentially what you're saying is that I only get some of you? Because that's all you think I can handle or what?" Craig dropped his head against the back of the couch. "I don't want what you think is enough." This was the most confrontational I'd ever seen Tweek. "Your enough isn't my enough."
Craig marveled over Tweek's spontaneous outburst with us in his own way which was to sit there and look nonplussed. "Okay," he murmured. "Do you want to go outside and talk or something? Because you're kind of fighting with me in front of your friends."
"I—" Tweek's embarrassment flared. Through the murkiness, I watched his eyes grow larger than they already were. "I'm sorry, Craig. None of that came out correctly, I just...uh."
"It's alright," Craig said.
"No, it's not." The blonde turned toward him and clasped his hand tighter. "I s-shouldn't have said any of that. I don't want to be like everybody else. I—"
Raising his head, the niorette asked, "Who is everybody else?"
"Everybody who..." Tweek glanced around, the usually eccentric color of his eyes contorted with shame. "People who pick fights about stupid things. Everything. Useless uh—just useless stuff."
Craig's gaze was level as he analyzed Tweek, blue eyes striking as they shot through the smoke and shadows. "You like me," he said. "You like me a lot and it's not stupid or useless for you to want something more."
"But you never push me! A-and I shouldn't push you." Relationship-wise is what he meant I was guessing.
"Then don't." Tweek paused entirely and just stared at him. "You've gotten it out of your system now, so we're good, alright?"
He nodded vigorously, consumed by Craig's understanding and rationality. It was a hopeful thing to witness Craig tame Tweek's frazzled emotions. He'd kept the blonde so calm. It was a placidity that my best friend needed, a natural sedative that would always work, because whatever Craig said, Tweek would listen.
"Can we continue our date now?"
Again, the blonde nodded. He leaned over to kiss the others cheek and whisper an apology. Craig's eyes closed briefly as Tweek's lips made contact with his skin.
"If this were a date, you'd be wearing nice clothes," the blonde muttered indignantly.
A snarky sort of uplift descended upon Craig's mouth. It was an expression that no doubt belonged to a Tucker. "Here, just let me run down to Lakewood real quick and change."
Tweek pretended to appear unhumored. "By the time you're done with that, our date'll be over."
There it was again. The "date" word. I had obviously missed some crucial moments between these two if they were already dating.
"You two are dating?" I asked, interrupting them because I seriously needed to know. I was the best friend! Information like this wasn't allowed to slip by me.
"Oh—" Tweek had honestly forgotten that he had an audience. A very disgruntled set of two people. "We're uh..." His eyes flickered between Stan and I. Both he and I were awaiting an explanation, and I didn't know about Stan, but it had better be juicy. Juicy wasn't my best friend's forte, though, and he turned a look toward Craig as a plead for help. It was a smart move on his part. Craig seemed like the type who could successfully fill in the blanks with facts, not cryptic implications.
"We had a little date at Stark's Pond the other day." Well, I guessed it was safe to assume that the pond was now contaminated. When I began making sexual hand gestures, Tweek sputtered and Craig grinned. Yep, I thought. Contaminated. "We came to an agreement about some things, and then I said on the way here that the only reason I was coming was because I considered it a second date. So dating seems like an appropriate term."
My smile was insatiable. "Appropriate indeed." I turned toward Stan who appeared far less content in comparison to consult with him about just how wonderful this truly was. The look on his face was a bitter mixture of fake acceptance and a twinge of disturbed. I rolled my eyes, but at least he was trying to seem like he didn't mind their budding relationship.
Craig wasn't oblivious to this. He gave Stan a dead stare and said, "I get it. You're disgusted. Stop pretending and stop making that stupid face, it's pissing me off."
"I can stop pretending?" Stan snorted even though Craig was right. My best friend and I glanced at each other warily. "Why don't you do the same?"
Tweek visibly flinched. It wasn't overlooked by Craig. "Get over whatever false expectations you have of me, Marsh."
"Sorry if I've only ever known you as a dick," Stan growled. "I'm just not about to let someone like Tweek go out with one."
"Well, that's funny. Because that's what he likes." Craig's nonchalance wasn't going to fix things like it had with Tweek, but I'd noticed that he wasn't the type to argue. He was just going to keep making smartass comments until Stan settled down.
The scowl marring his face made me feel uneasy, though. "I'm being serious, Tucker."
At the mouth of the stairs, two familiar figures caught my eye. One had a mop full of blonde curls, each with a frisky mind of their own. Her best friend had a thick mane of black hair, straight and never seen without some type of hat. It was a childhood habit she hadn't been able to let go. Today she was wearing a knit, gray beanie. Both were wearing matching sweaters.
They were searching the area as they approached, twin pouts displayed on either of their mouths. It must've been difficult looking from face to face in the dim room murky with smoke. I wanted to signal that we were accumulated in the back corner, but for obvious reasons I wasn't quite keen on doing that just yet.
Idly, I heard Craig say, "And I am going to get up and I am going to punch you in the face so hard that you shit yourself."
"You're going to have to try real hard if you honestly want what Tweek's willing to give—"
Jesus fucking Christ. I wanted to soothe the tension before Bebe and Wendy arrived, and before any of this testosterone started punching the literal shit out of people. "Which is why he's inviting you to his bachelor party!" I exclaimed, throwing my hands up high. It caught the girls' attention.
"No," Craig said. Tweek smacked his shoulder. "Fine." Immediately, he realized what he'd just agreed to and muttered, "Goddamn it."
"Hey guys!" Wendy greeted, followed by Bebe. All conversation was momentarily forgotten. The girls looked at Craig and swooned, bombarding him to pet his hair and ogle at his eyes, the same mess of giggles they'd been all throughout high school. And the entire time, he just took it. He let them push and pull at his face, smell his cologne, and sit in his lap as though neither of them were there at all. His expression was kept straight, eyes emotionally flat. It was like he could turn himself off on command.
"Do you still have that dimple?" Bebe asked, hugging his head against her full chest. He pulled away to flick his switch on and smile up at the two inquiring girls. A small indention appeared on his right cheek. Once he received an abundance of aww's and admiration, he became lifeless again. "Do you remember when Kenny was prom king instead of Clyde?"
He woke back up and laughed, dimple resurfacing. "Of course I do. Clyde was so upset that he cried. It was hilarious."
"And what's this?" Wendy asked, picking up Tweek and Craig's entwined hands. Bebe gasped, imploring for an answer as well as the two excitedly inspected their laced fingers.
While the explanation was retold, shortened now, hookah was ordered and bubbles as well. The bubbles were blown through a water bottle cut in half to make smoke bubbles that would pop in midair and disperse in elegant wisps and folds. Tweek had insisted that the flavors we get be rose and vanilla which were the same ones he got every single time because he liked consistency and was too scared to try anything new.
The blonde had a talent when it came to blowing smoke, and the rings he made were effortless. He could deal out an impressive amount within seconds, each one following the next without pause. I think he'd been more excited than the girls were when, unannounced, a circle that had not been his own shot through one of his. He and Craig had shared in a moment then, and it had been so cute watching them laugh as they blew smoke into each others faces. We'd blown smoke on the table and watched it hover there, blown smoke into cups and passed it on to let each other inhale.
Craig, at one point, informed us that he would be right back and removed himself from the couch. Tweek had asked where he was going, but received no answer. Not that they cared whether he was a safe distance away or not, the girls spoke up when Craig was out of ear shot and began to say things like: "God, did you see those lips?" and "Whoa baby, his eyes." So it only made sense for me to respond similarly and specifically with "His penis, too!" Tweek looked at me like fuck you, Thomas. "He's half an inch bigger than Stan," I explained.
And of course Wendy knew exactly how big that was. I was sure that Bebe did, too. Nude-sharing between best friends and all. "There is no way that he's a Tucker," Wendy declared, the tip of the hose between her lips. She sat back mock-grumpy and inhaled while glaring at Stan. "Why did I ever go for you? I should've just got with Craig."
Our topic of conversation returned, nearly illusive through the fog fumigating the bar. He was carrying two sodas. "I got you something," he said to Tweek. There was a disgruntled undertone to his voice. "You have to touch my butt to get it, though. It's in my back pocket."
Turning around, Craig stuck his rear into the blonde's face. Tweek laughed out of surprise and pat one cheek while reaching into the pocket of the other, pulling out a package of candy.
"What is this?" He asked, cheeks dusted pink. I could tell that he was flattered even though he had no clue what he was holding.
"Candy blocks." The way Craig sat down had him situated so that a portion of his back was laying against Tweek, his head on my best friend's shoulder. "You can build stuff with them. Like legos."
"A-and I can eat them?"
Craig nodded his head. "You can color coordinate them." I smiled because Tweek loved to color coordinate things. Was that something the brute had picked up on his own? "They're different sizes, too. So you can organize them like that if you want. Or both."
"Thank you," Tweek murmured, and he sounded so ridiculously charmed by this simple gift, expelling gratitude in excess.
"So I did good?" Craig yawned and grinned when he felt Tweek nod repeatedly.
Leaning into Stan, I whispered, "I can't believe Kenny's missing this."
It was assumed that Craig had permanently passed on his hose because he began to nap after that, resting against the blonde with even breaths. He seemed like the type of guy who liked to sleep and could do it anywhere. After a while, his body went limp. His hands dropped off his stomach and one of his feet slipped off the couch.
"Is he always so goddamn adorable?" I asked, eyes crinkled in fond amusement.
"Pretty much," Tweek murmured, idly fussing with the cuffs of his long-sleeved shirt. There was a shy smile practically blotting out the entirety of his features. "I-I didn't know he had it in him, either."
Stan gave him a look. "You had to have known something was in there. Why else would you have liked him?"
"Uh, because he was hot?" the blonde blatantly stated.
We all burst into laughter because of how serious he'd been. Craig had always been a good looking dude, though. Kyle couldn't deny it and Stan wouldn't either.
Midway through a conversation about Halloween, Tweek abruptly came across as startled. He focused on Craig momentarily, just watching, registering something. He snuck his hand into the man's pocket and pulled out a phone. He tapped the screen a few times, frowned, and typed something out before locking it. Oh my God. They were on a you-check-my-phone-I'll-check-yours basis.
"Hey." Tweek shook his shoulder to jar Craig from his nap. "Wake up, y-you fuck." He could change so violently from awed—staring curiously at Craig's sleeping figure with an unconscious smile flitting past his lips—to this: still frowning and shaking the other even after he'd heard Craig groan and awaken. "It's time for you to go home. Clyde's pissed."
"Right now?" he grumbled, unperturbed by Tweek's slight hostility. One of his arms reached around, hand grazing the blonde's calf before caressing it completely.
"Yeah. Just look at your phone. He threatened to come get you himself."
Craig grunted and flopped down onto Tweek's lap, opened his eyes and blinked up at him. "Okay."
Tweek sifted his fingers through Craig's mess of dark hair. "Up," he instructed.
He did as told, reminding me that I had something for him and another that I wanted to do. "Oh, wait!" I reached into my bag and pulled out two things: my camera, and a picture. It was the one with Tweek sitting on the floor with the kittens. Craig had liked it, so I thought that I'd give it to him and replace it with a new one. The timeline wouldn't make sense, but my reasoning was an excusable exception. Also, I might've just wanted to put a recent picture of Craig on my wall because he was just so cute.
The two were sitting up next to each other when I held the view finder to my eye and told them to get ready. They had the time it took to take the picture to smile or moon or whatever they wanted to do to the camera, and I'd had no idea what they'd chosen—blinded by the flash—until I clicked the playback button.
It was just about the cutest image ever. Craig's arm was around the back of the couch, and I think they both must've leaned in to give each other a kiss on the cheek and accidentally bumped noses, because they wore identical scrunched smiles on their faces. The kind one got when they thought, There's no way we both just did that. Haha, you are so cute.
I'd get shit for doing so, but I handed Craig the picture of Tweek with the kittens. "Here."
"Fuck yeah." He took it enthusiastically and grinned in a way that subtly showed his dimple. "I was secretly hoping you'd give this to me. We're on the same wavelength, dude." He motioned between his head and mine.
I laughed, pleased with myself and pleased with his response.
The blonde was flustered when Craig turned toward him and pecked his forehead. "Walk me to my car?" He suggested.
And oh, did I know what they were going to do in that car.