Soundtrack: Mouthful of Diamonds - Phantogram

When Kyle was thirteen, he made what he thought (for about three and a half seconds) was the biggest mistake of his life. He'd always been a man of action – if something bothered him, he'd fucking do something about it. And well, something had been bothering him for a long, long time. A year, in fact. A whole fucking year of his time had been spent on thoughts and sensations related to this bother. He'd thought that it would go away. It had felt like an illness, and so he had treated it like one.

He was attracted to his best friend.

His super best friend.

This started sometime during when he'd discovered how good it felt to stick his hand down his pants and get himself off. He'd accidentally thought of Stan while he was doing it, and came harder than he ever had before. At the time, he refused to believe what he had done had happened. It was an accident, he told himself.

But a year later, when he sat with Stan on the floor of his bedroom, Kyle felt differently. It was well past midnight on a Saturday. They were watching some action movie, something with cheesy explosions and a brunette scientist that didn't seem to wear much to work. Stan babbled on about how hot she looked in her lab coat and skimpy clothing. Kyle didn't care. He was tingly, like he sometimes got when he was sitting too close to Stan or concentrating too hard on how Stan moved and spoke and laughed.

And he realized then that it had been a fucking year since this feeling started. Kyle Broflovski didn't ever wait the fuck around for his feelings to go away. He did something about them. That's how he was.

So when Stan paused the game and announced that they should go get snacks, Kyle leaned over, and stuck his lips on top of Stan's. It was awkward, as short as it was, and he felt himself turn beet red as he withdrew. An apology sat on the tip of his tongue poised to leap as Stan studied him.

"Stan, I'm –"

Stan, after a moment of fleeting hesitation, kissed Kyle right back. The second kiss was longer, though they didn't quite use tongues yet. Considering where Stan's tongue has been now, Kyle laughs at their seriousness at the idea of sticking each other's tongues in their mouths.

The rest of that sleepover had been the most perfect night of Kyle's life. The feelings started to ease and wrap around him, feeling warm and comfortable instead of nagging and itchy. They did go downstairs, and they did bring back some snacks, but they walked closer, close enough that Kyle could hear Stan's quiet but excited breathing, and feel it on the back of his neck. They curled up underneath Stan's comforter and kissed in between handfuls of Cheesy Poofs. They had fallen asleep with the half-empty bag of Cheesy Poofs still in between them, but with Stan's arm slung over Kyle's side, and Kyle's beak-like nose tucked into the crook of Stan's neck.

Now, at this very moment, Kyle knows he's made the biggest mistake of his life.

He didn't expect for this revelation to come at such an inconvenient time. Now all he wants to do is spend time thinking about how fucking stupid he is, instead of finishing his goddamned AP Lit exam. Except that a mere moment ago, Kyle glanced up and gazed across the room at Stan. Stan gazed back, and gave Kyle a reassuring smile. It was the smile that struck Kyle with world's shittiest realization:

Kyle is in love with Stan Marsh.

This would be less of a shitty notion if Kyle thought there was even the slightest chance that Stan loved him back. But he can't love Kyle back, because they're just friends. Friends that have a lot of sex. Sex friends. Best friends. But they're not lovers, because they're not in love.

Fuck. Well. Stan isn't in love.

Kyle tears his gaze away from where Stan concentrates on his test, his tongue tucked between his teeth and a slight knit between his brows. He and Kyle have studied hard for this. Stan has been convinced that he will fail, and up until about three minutes ago, Kyle knew for certain that he would pass. Now as Kyle stares at Stan, he realizes that he's fallen in love with a intelligent fucking guy, and that he's going to fucking fail if he keeps staring.

An hour later, Kyle finishes his test in the nick of time, setting his pencil down thirty seconds before the proctor asks them to close the covers of the test booklets and pass them up. He finds himself making a beeline for Stan when they're allowed to stand.

"Can't believe we still have fucking class after this," Stan complains, stretching his arms above his head.

"We don't have to go if you don't want to," Kyle finds himself saying, mesmerized by the strip of skin that's revealed as Stan lifts his arms in a second stretch.

Stan says dumbly, "Huh?"

Kyle tends to insist on attending their classes, if only because his mother would murder him and display his severed head on their front lawn if she ever discovered him skipping class. But now, his priorities are strangely ordered, his brain fuzzy. He cares more now about being with Stan than being at school, and he knows it's not because he has a case of senioritis. He wants to be closer to Stan, as close as he can possibly be.

How fucking stupid that sounds.

He will never admit these things out loud.

"My parents are at work," Kyle fidgets with the sleeve of his hoodie, "We could, uh."

"Are you propositioning me?" Stan asks, brows lifting high into his hair. He has a right to be surprised. Kyle almost never initiates sex, even if he was the first to become fed up and engage in a kiss. Still, it seems as though once they began kissing, all bets slowly became off, one by one – each new step being taken by Stan. It was Stan that reached into Kyle's jeans first, Stan that put his mouth on Kyle's cock first, and Stan that wanted sex. Kyle had been reluctant at first because he'd thought that Stan would want to be the one to be inside Kyle (which they've done a couple times, now, after Kyle decided he could trust Stan to handle his ass appropriately), and that sounded like it would be fucking painful. Kyle has discovered over the years that his trust his hard to attain when it comes to sexual experimentation. Once Kyle discovers that he likes something, he prefers old classics to trying new things.

Stan is more intrepid. As impassioned as Kyle's politics are, he has less stamina between the sheets. Less than Stan, anyway, who seems to be always up for sex whenever it's suggested.

It had been last year, after a landslide of hand jobs and getting his dick sucked wasn't exactly scratching the itch in the way that Stan wanted (which he'd mentioned on more than one occasion, and Kyle had deftly ignored, distracting Stan with one of his old tricks), that Stan finally admitted, "You know, I'd let you fuck me."

"Huh?"

"Is that why you keep avoiding the subject? I'm just wondering."

Kyle had felt himself turn red from his neck up to his ears, a curse of his fair skin.

Stan laughed, "That's it, isn't it? That's been it this whole fucking time? Jesus, dude, if I'd known that, I would have fucking rolled over the first time I nagged you about it." Stan gave him a soft, tempting smile.

Kyle blushed deeper. He didn't know why he did it. It wasn't as though he and Stan hadn't fooled around plenty of times before, and they'd discussed sex. Stan leaned forward and kissed him, holding Kyle close by slipping his hands into his red curls. He pressed flush up against Kyle, letting him feel every inch of him, including his erection. Kyle used to not be able to understand how Stan could get off on having his ass touched – but it's nice sometimes, to have somebody work you over and treat you like you're worth millions.

The first time had been awkward and slow. Kyle thinks that he might have hurt Stan a little despite trying his hardest not to. But Stan told Kyle he was great, that he'd never felt better. It was a lie, of course. Kyle knows a lot more about how to work on a guy after both practice and extensive research that he pretended not to have done.

Stan slips his hand into Kyle's, bringing him back into the present. He grins, making his eyes crinkle at the corners, and says, "Yeah. Let's go." They don't do much in front of other people. Most of South Park knows that there's more between Stan and Kyle than mere friendship, but nobody talks about it, including them. They're off limits. They aren't anything, really, but Stan and Kyle.

They wait until they're buckled into Kyle's car to kiss. It's a gentle kiss, though Kyle thinks that Stan might be holding back so that he doesn't get a hard-on too soon. Kyle's heart sinks when Stan pulls back and laughs a little. Why couldn't he have just kept his feelings in check? He knows it doesn't really work that way, but it doesn't stop him from feeling angry at his quicker heartbeat, wishing that it would just fuck off so that he could get on with his life without any needed complications.

They pull up in front of Kyle's house, just as Stan texts Kenny not to worry about them, that they're off doing their own thing. Kenny knows to assume that this means fucking, though Kyle thinks that Kenny wouldn't understand why they need any more privacy than a bathroom stall, like he and Butters are accustomed to during their free period. Granted, Kenny isn't exactly a master of tastefulness, and Butters is willing to just about anything, especially for Kenny. Stan and Kyle have limits, limits on everything.

They don't bring up their feelings anymore. Stan had made the mistake recently of wondering aloud, while they sat on his bedroom floor naked and playing Call of Duty together, "what the fuck they were to each other." He and Kyle exchanged a look, one that Kyle hoped conveyed, I don't even fucking know and we're not talking about it. They'd been more distant for about a week, until Stan drunk dialed Kyle and ended up in Kyle's bed, singing showtunes off-key that he'd overheard as a lighting lackey for the school play. Kyle always takes care of him when he's like that – he wouldn't dream of touching Stan when he's drunk, and somehow, waking up on the hungover mornings after feels more intimate than anything.

"I've got dibs on top," Kyle announces, locking the car.

Stan laughs, rubbing the back of his neck. He refrains from kissing Kyle outside, but Kyle can see the look in his eyes. Kyle's certain that a similar look is on his own face.

When the front door slams behind them, they grab at each other in a flash. Kyle pins Stan against the door, licking open his mouth, which tastes like fruity gum and that essential Stan taste underneath. Stan wraps his arms around Kyle's back, tugging him in closer. Stan smells like aftershave and tastes so fucking good that Kyle can't bear it. He's already hard, tucked up against Stan's solid body. Kyle reaches between them and rubs along Stan's jeans. He releases a panting groan into their kiss, biting on Kyle's lower lip like it's the only thing that's keeping him hanging on.

Kyle moans quietly. He leans his forehead against Stan's, tearing their lips apart to press smaller, wet kisses along the curve of Stan's jaw. Stan is clean shaven and spicy-smelling.

"Mm," Kyle mumbles, "Where do you want it?"

"Couch," Stan hoarsely responds.

They pull apart. Kyle tugs his t-shirt over his head, tossing it onto the living room floor. He gets a kick out of seeing his and Stan's clothes scattered all over the floor. Whenever Kyle and his mother get into a fight in this room, he thinks of how many times that he and Stan have fucked each other on the couch she's sitting on, and manages somehow to calm himself down with the image (though he ends up having to jerk it later).

Stan is reclined on the couch already. He strokes himself through his underwear, watching Kyle struggle with his belt through heavy-lidded eyes. Kyle wishes for a second that he had even an ounce of sex appeal, but he's clumsy and eager and he can't slow down to look sexy. He doesn't understand how Stan can be attracted to him sometimes. He's tall and gangly and pale, and he doesn't know a damn thing about how to make himself look appealing.

Kyle crawls on top of Stan, moving his hand away from where he's clutching himself through his boxers, and laces their fingers together. He kisses Stan softly and mutters, "I have no idea why you find me attractive." He doesn't know why he says it. Maybe it's because of his earlier realization that he fucking loves this boy and he feels like he's lucky as hell to have him at all, even if it's just for sex and beer and video games together. He feels vulnerable, and he doesn't like it.

And Stan, damn it, is an overly-empathetic shithead. He smooths a hand over Kyle's frizzy hair and asks, "You alright?"

"I'm fine, dude," Kyle chuckles nervously, and decides to defer Stan's concern by sucking his earlobe in between his teeth and nibbling, tonguing the silver stud that's fastened through it, the stud that only Kyle knows about, because Stan's hair covers it, and because Stan feels like only Kyle needs to know.

Stan gasps and hushes himself by kissing Kyle's neck. His lips are warm and damp. Their bodies press together, cocks abrading against each other and the fabric of their underwear. Kyle can feel himself slipping into a familiar fullness, a happy feeling that breaks from the day-to-day stress that he allows himself to get worked up about. Stan is the only one that can do that for him, make him calm and content, even if it is only for an hour or two.

Kyle reaches down, his hand dipping below the waistband and into Stan's blue and white striped boxers. He grasps Stan's erection in a loose fist, giving it a few lazy pumps before he tips Stan's lips into his for a feverish kiss. When Kyle pulls back to slide Stan's boxers down his legs, Stan is smiling at him in that familiar way Stan does, boyish and crinkled at the corners, and too caring for comfort. Stan's always had a big heart, and the last thing that Kyle wants to do is take advantage of his sensitive inclination and admit that he's in love.

There's nothing else that this could be.

He's certain of it.

This feeling is the same the feeling described in books as love: Blood pumping in his ears, his heart racing, everything working faster, so much so that it feels as though he's in some kind of horrible pain. And it's like he's melting. Like, when he looks at Stan's face, like he's falling to pieces everywhere but getting put back together again in a terrifying, but new and perfect way.

Kyle almost says it. The words 'I love you' almost fall out of his mouth and into the air, but he shuts himself up by kissing Stan as hard as he can, tightening his grip, working Stan harder, until Stan's moans begin to sound like sobs of need.

"Off," Stan cries, tugging at Kyle's Terrance & Phillip briefs.

"Yeah," Kyle agrees dumbly. He stands only long enough to toss his underwear across the room, where they land neatly on the TV stand.

Stan doesn't question if there's lube down here, just moves aside expectantly when Kyle pulls up the cushion on the far side of the couch, procuring the bottle they stashed there after too many instances of not being able to make it upstairs to Kyle's bed. Sometimes they just fucking need each other, right then and there.

Kyle lubes his fingers methodically. He doesn't do it sloppily, like Stan, who insists that there is no such thing as too much lube. He leans down and pushes two short, succinct kisses to Stan's lips, before murmuring in his ear that he needs to turn over. Stan does, leaning his chin and his arms on the armrest of the couch, and pressing his backside up against Kyle. Kyle loves when Stan does that. It makes Kyle feel needed. It makes him want to say only I can make you feel this way, even though he thinks that maybe other people could make Stan feel that way, and so he doesn't ever speak those words at all.

He teases a finger against Stan's entrance. Stan whines deep in his throat, just as Kyle pushes in a slick finger. He's familiar with this movement now, and he knows the exact method to turn Stan into a wobbling pile of jelly beneath his touch. He massages gently, working him open as he presses kisses a bites down the crease of Stan's spine. Kyle brushes against Stan's prostate with that single finger, inciting a needy grunt to erupt from Stan's mouth. Kyle smirks a little before pushing in a second slick finger, repeating his movement, massaging, and repeating. He knows the way Stan likes it, and he knows he's doing it right when Stan starts moving back against Kyle's hand, seeming to be unaware that he's doing it.

When Stan reaches for his own cock, Kyle bats his hand aside and takes Stan's dick in hand, working in sync with his fingers.

When Kyle withdraws, Stan releases a gasp of breath, something it sounds as though he had been holding it.

Kyle slicks lube over himself, but he feels surprisingly tender looking down at the boy below him, all quivery and sweet, really. As he positions himself, he leans down and lifts Stan's head up, kissing his smooth cheek. It's so Kyle doesn't have to speak out loud what's roiling around inside him. He can use this – their physical relationship – to say it.

Kyle pushes into Stan, filling him up without any more ceremony than their simultaneous groans. Kyle moves his hands to cover Stan's, where he's gripping the leather of the couch as though he's about to fall off of it at any moment.

They work up a rhythm – slow, at first, despite their mutual need. Kyle wants to make it about Stan this round. He wants to make him feel so fucking good that he doesn't know how to handle it beyond collapsing and falling asleep in Kyle's arms. He wants to exhaust him with every fucking amazing feeling in the world, and he'll fucking do it.

Kyle reaches down to where Stan's erection is flushed red and heavy, circling it with his still-damp palm and working up and down. Their pace is fucked. He can't get everything to work in sync like he usually can, like the cogs in a clock. Kyle is a wreck of stupid, stupid, fucking feelings and it's spilling out everywhere.

He thrusts into Stan harder, grips Stan tighter, and fucks like he's never fucked before. At least, that's what it feels like. Kyle screws his eyes shut as he grunts and swears. It feels so fucking good, and he wonders if he might be enjoying this too much. Kyle leans down and kisses and licks along Stan's neck, telling himself that he's gonna be fine, that it's okay, that he'll enjoy the hell out of this and make sure that Stan does, too.

"Kyle," Stan cries quietly. Kyle isn't looking, but he feels Stan turn his head to kiss Kyle's arm, just barely brushing his lips against his skin before he stammers out, "I think – I think I'm gonna –"

Kyle feels Stan come into his hand and hears the groan that comes with the release. It's the noise that drives Kyle inside him harder, withdrawing his body after a few short thrusts to come onto the brown leather of the couch.

When Kyle's head clears, he slips down on top of Stan, entirely spent. He presses his cheek to Stan's sweating back and expresses, "Fuck." They always have good sex – Kyle has made certain of that since the less-than-ideal and uncomfortable first time. He'd been so fucking embarrassed by his lack of finesse and how he'd hurt Stan that he'd holed himself up in his bedroom in the name of research for two straight days with naught but Cheesy Poofs for food. Kyle had watched a lot of porn. All for science, of course. Sometimes he goes back and looks at the notes he'd taken on a legal pad he keeps in a locked drawer in his desk to refresh his memory. And he'll never make it suck for them again.

But this time. Kyle doesn't know what the fuck just happened, but he's fucking euphoric. He feels like he's on cloud nine.

Shit, he hopes Stan feels the same way.

"Mm," agrees Stan.

"I'll clean up," Kyle gruffly volunteers, "You wanna go upstairs and shower and shit?"

Stan nods wordlessly into the arm of the couch. Still, neither of them move for another several minutes. When they do, they manage only to slouch back into sitting positions, exchanging satisfied but weary stares.

"Dude," Stan finally says, and he leans into a sticky kiss.

They gather their respective clothes. Kyle only gets as far as replacing his jeans before he exhausts his redressing energy. He hears the shower upstairs as he meticulously cleans their mess, spraying Febreze to cover up the scent of the evidence, and praying, as always, that they won't get caught.

When Kyle bumbles upstairs, Stan is spread out on Kyle's bed, wearing his boxers and his t-shirt, looking completely fucked out.

"I need a nap," he says to the ceiling, when Kyle enters the room.

"Seconded, dude," Kyle mumbles. He collapses on the bed beside Stan and herds him so that he's tucked against Kyle's stomach.

Stan remarks through a yawn, "You smell like sex, man."

"I don't give a fuck," responds Kyle, and he doesn't.

They fall asleep spooned together, on top of Kyle's blankets. Kyle sleeps fitfully, waking up several times against a passed-out Stan, and thinking of the awful feelings that are leaking everywhere. When Kyle jolts awake for the fourth time, Stan wakes too, and mentions, "Dude. You kept waking me up."

"Sorry," Kyle says, because he doesn't want to explain why he's so frazzled.

"Shit, Kyle, are you okay? You've been weird like all day. Is it our Lit test? 'Cause I'm sure you nailed it," Stan responds. He squirms in Kyle's grip, flipping himself so that he faces Kyle.

"You wanna go out for Chinese?" blurts Kyle, because he doesn't want to talk about feeling crappy and eating something will shut both of them up. Also because Kyle doesn't want his mother discovering that they ditched their afternoon classes, though she'll inevitably find out sometime and bring down fire and brimstone upon him when she does. He figures he should at least have a full stomach for it.

They drive the short distance to City Wok in silence. Kyle still reeks of sex, and Stan smells like Kyle. It's a nice moment, Kyle thinks. He likes that they don't have to talk to each other and that the silence is comfortable. Both of them are smiling a little – he checks to make sure that Stan is, and catches his eye, whereupon Stan leans over and kisses Kyle's cheek.

Kyle waves him away and mumbles, "Fuck off, I'm trying to drive," but he's really just melting and falling apart.

The weather is perfect, so instead of eating their food in the stale-smelling City Wok building, they take it to Stark's pond. Across the way, they can see that Bebe and Clyde have ditched class together, too, maybe even for the same reason as they did.

Kyle keeps staring at Stan, even as he eats Kung Pow Chicken and burps and is generally gross. He looks happy today, and Kyle hopes that he can at least take credit for some of it. They've worked through Stan's depression day by day. Some days are much better than others. Some days, Stan doesn't even want to be alive. Today, he looks like he's enjoying the hell out of being alive.

That's what makes Kyle spit it out.

"I'm in love with you," he exclaims.

And for three and half seconds, he's pretty sure that he's made the biggest mistake of his life.

Stan swallows a bite of fried rice and his brows sweep together. He says, "So? I love you too. I thought that was a given, dude."

"No, like, I'm in love with you," emphasizes Kyle.

Stan leans over and plants a kiss on Kyle's lips. He breathes quietly, and replies, "I'm in love with you too, dude."

Stan leans in for another kiss, but Kyle laughs and shoves him aside, protesting, "You taste like City Wok, man."

"Fuck you, I taste delicious."

Kyle is certain that he's red up to his ears as he repeats, "I love you."

"Is that what you've been worried about this whole time?" Stan asks, "'Cause you overthink shit like this, dude."

Kyle rolls his eyes and cracks open his fortune cookie. He pops half of it into his mouth before he reads the tiny paper fortune. Tellingly, Kyle's fortune is short: You are loved.