Awh. This is so cute.

I had to. Catagelophobia, fear of ridicule. It was the closest thing I could find to fear of rejection.


Kenny stood unsurely, staring at the red-streaked-gray curls piled high on mom's head, peering up from the back of the couch. A slip of paper dangled carefully from his fingers, and he bit his lip uncertainly, glancing at me as though he were asking permission. I smiled gently at him, looking over at the back of my Mother's head to make sure she wasn't paying attention to us, and drew him in close to me with a firm hold on his elbows. I wrapped my arms around his scrawny-but not as scrawny as before-waist and stood on my tippy-toes to press my lips to his chastely. His pretty silver-blue eyes softened and he lifted his free hand to stroke along my cheek almost hesitantly.

"She loves you." I whispered, careful not to let her hear. "And I don't mind." His unsure expression weakened, to be replaced by that awestruck expression he still got every time we included him in the family, every time the Marshs included him in the family, every time the Cartmans included him in the family. I kissed him again and playfully shoved him towards Mama.

"M-Mrs. Broflovski?" he stammered as he rounded the couch, perching tensely on the arm. She turned to face him with a warm, motherly smile and I almost cooed. I love hallmark moments, I really do. "Yes, dear?"

Wordlessly, and looking almost like he expected to be slapped, he offered her the homemade Mother's Day card he'd worked on for nearly an hour last night. It was simplistic and childish and colorful and heart-and-soul Kenny McCormick and I could tell mom knew it. Her face melted into a huge grin and she pulled him into a tight hug that Kenny hesitated, pleased and uncertain, in returning. "Thank you, Kenny dear." she whispered into his hair. "I love you."

"I, I l-love you, too, M-Mrs. Broflovski." he stuttered, voice warm and content and cautious and heartbreakingly surprised.

Kenny was sixteen. It had been three years since his parents passed on and he moved in with us.

Slowly, Mom released Kenny from her grasp and he stood, grinning ear to ear, and murmured, "Happy Mother's Day." I rubbed at my eyes a little. Call me girly if you must, but I didn't cry at the end of Marley and Me or Toy Story Three so you can suck it. "C'mon, Ken." I called, holding up his jacket to him. He turned his beautiful smile on me and I blushed just a little. "Let's go visit your mom."

He nodded, content, and slipped his arms through the sleeves. As we left the house, stepping into the chilly, mountainous May air, he slipped his hand into mine and mused, "I wonder how Satan will kill me this year."

I winced. "Hopefully nothing bloody, but I guess we'll just have to walk around until it happens. Say hi to your parents for me, won't you?"

"Of course." he whispered, glancing around for extraordinary, deadly things. "Ouch." he mumbled after a moment. I glanced over at him in worry. Kenny was staring, transfixed, at his ankle. Slowly, I let my eyes slide down too. We took in the beautiful diamond pattern of the snake silently. Kenny swooned a little.

"That." I regurgitated mindlessly, "Is a Jararacussu. It's supposedly the most poisonous snake in the world. It has enough poison in one bite to kill roughly thirty people. It's native to Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay, and... Brazil."

"So not South Park." he mumbled feebly, swaying dangerously. I stepped a little farther away, eyes fixed on the deadly reptile wrapped around Kenny's left ankle. "Not South Park." I agreed as he fell over, dead. Absently watching the snake slither away into the snow and pushing back the instinctive heartbreak I feel every time Kenny dies, I muttered spitefully, "At least it wasn't bloody."

Sighing, I set off down the street, towards Stan's house. I had a couple cards to give Mrs. Marsh-one from me, one from Kenny.


You know you're smiling. Happy Mother's Day. I want more suggestions, of course, and while I will be slowing down on updating in order to preserve my mental health (seriously, not sarcasm) I'm not abandoning Phobophobia. Now, I want all of you (gestures to tiny group of fans looking at me like 'bitch say what?') to go read, review, and adore Loving Cinnamon. Bye bye now.