Disclaimer: I do not own South Park or any character present in this story. They belong to their rightful owners, and I do not intend to use them for any kind of profit.
T/W: Age set differently from the original.
"Look, Wendy, I'm sorry." Stan spoke furiously at the receiver. "I said I'm sorry. What more do you want me to do? Like, strip down in the public and do the Hula?"
A high-pitched voice of a woman sounded from the other end of the telephone.
"No, nonononono, of course I'm being metaphorical!" He said in a defensive voice. "Gosh, could you please stop taking every single word as if it was in the Bible?"
It, however, apparently failed to calm the female down. The tone and volume of her voice through the receiver have risen ten times.
"Listen, I'm really sorry I couldn't make it to the dinner. I really am." He pinched the bridge of his nose, frowning. "But you know what my boss is like. He doesn't let anyone go until the day's job is done. The entire company is hanging on that project. It's not something I can simply bail."
Stan felt himself becoming more and more frustrated at the stubbornness of his girlfriend, or would fiancée be a better terminology? This was probably the 237th time they got into an argument ever since they started dating sporadically since elementary. The way to the engagement was an exceptionally bumpy one and Stan once had foolishly thought that the golden ring that he wore on his finger would somehow herald the end of the constant bickering and precarious reconciliation that was typical of their relationship.
It didn't take Stan too long before he realized that what he dreamt of was, essentially, it—a dream, nothing more, nothing less. The state of their relationship didn't seem to be in a better position than the crumbling economy. This was much evidenced by the fact that they were yet to move in to a single home. They usually saw each other three to four times a week and winded up having an argument in more than half of the occasions—He simply wasn't ready to embrace what would happen if they had to see each other practically every day.
The high-pitched voice from the other end of the phone was now causing a great strain to his brain functions, let along the eardrum which was completely fried a long time ago.
"Okay, listen. I'm going to arrange our dinner at the same time tomorrow. It's on me. It's solved, then. Right?"
There were more than several occasions where Stan doubted if he ever will understand the inner workings of the female mind, and this was certainly one of them. Okay, he spoiled the 'pre-arranged' dinner today because he was so wound up doing work. To be honest, it wasn't even arranged—she called in the middle of the day and informed Stan that she expected him at Casa Bonita in three hours and hung up even before he could answer. His desperate attempt to reach her turned out to be futile as the only thing he could hear was that annoying Hello, you've reached Wendy B. I'm probably busy so leave a message line. How was not making to the dinner his fault, then?
Ok, maybe he wasn't supposed to win any debate with Wendy, because that would ruin the longstanding tradition of their relationship where Stan was the one who apologized first without single exception. So he proposed to buy her a dinner to make up for his misdeeds. He didn't expect his benign proposal would somehow make her much, much more upset.
You know what, Stan? You're just impossible. Said the voice from the phone. Suit yourself. I'm so tired of having to put up with this shit anymore.
Stan felt himself getting closer and closer to his own breaking point but suppressed his innermost desire to yell out a welcome to such an option.
"Okay, Wendy. I'm sorry. I don't know what I did wrong, but I'm sorry nonetheless. So—"
Before he could finish his line, he heard Wendy grunting which was promptly followed by the dreadful sound of the dial tone.
"…" He stood there saying nothing, his hand trembling along with the receiver it was grabbing. There goes again. Another break-up. He was engaged in an internal debate as to whether he should unload all of his grievances in the form of swearing words to the unresponsive dial tone.
"…Fuck." Only one escapes his mouth, accompanying the deep sigh that he took.
From time to time, he seriously considered the option of breaking up with Wendy—for good. This kind of relationship seemed so… wrong. Nobody really cherished each other's company that much, possibly because they had known each other for eternity. Stan Marsh knew practically everything about Wendy Testaburger, including some of her secrets that she desperately tried to hide from anyone else, even her parents. The opposite was also true, and she would be able to write a very embarrassing biography about him if she decided to do so. The bottom line was that their relationship was devoid of mutual affection that would characterize any normal one.
Despite such deficiencies, they still got along and sustained their fragile status as BF/GF throughout the whole time. Hell, they were even engaged! None of them could pinpoint the exact reason behind the strange longevity of their relationship, though. Stan himself was sometimes perplexed at the question—why would he never leave Wendy if being with her was such a pain in the ass? He sometimes pinpointed the inertia of human interaction as the main culprit but never was sure about his answer. They just… went on. That was about all that he could say. Even if they had a fight today—and they did—, Stan probably would end up calling Wendy to say sorry and she would reluctantly, but invariably, accept his apology. Patch things up, and all is good. Before the day of reconciliation, however, he was left to cope with the never-ending doubts about his relationship with Wendy.
He felt a sudden psychological need to hurl and smash something to relieve the enormous mental stress resulting from another break-up notice but decided to go against his more animalistic—or human?—instinct. It hasn't been too long since he moved to this new apartment, and he couldn't afford to break anything considering the financial status that he found himself in. Putting the receiver safely down to its place, he looked around the room only to find several boxes of his belongings that he brought with him when moving in a couple of days ago. Today was supposed to be the big day where he would take everything out from the boxes to organize them in a semblance of order in his new residence. Given that he had to work until seven and especially after the tiresome conversation with his fiancée over the phone, however, he felt his bodily strength completely drained and determined that the boxes should wait another day, at least.
Leaving the boxes as they were, Stan hurled himself to the couch at the center of the living room. It was the only furniture that he deployed on his day one in the new apartment, and he preferred sleeping on that couch rather than on bed. That was probably the reason why he didn't even peel off the plastic cover from the mattress. Leaning in the position that he found most comfortable, he fumbled under the blanket to locate the hidden TV remote and switched the TV on. Not that he was looking for a particular channel or program. It was his long-time habit to flip through channels to see what's going on before he drifted off. Although it was only eight, he could feel his eyelids becoming heavy like a pair of rocks. The project that he was working on recently had left him in a rather sleep-deprived state, and he found enough excuses to compensate for the lack of sleep today.
The couch and the TV sometimes did wonders, and now he was entering that blissful phase just before drifting off to sleep. Everything seemed so unimportant and he wished that the moment could continue on forever. He felt the TV remote slip past his loosened grasp and fall down to the carpet, but he couldn't care less. He needed to get up at seven to go to work tomorrow, so he had plenty of time before he—
Unfortunately for Stan, the sudden knocking sounds from the door jolted him awake from his semi-asleep state.
"God damn it." He muttered a swear at the unexpected disturbance to his much-desired rest. He normally didn't get any visitor to his new apartment. In fact, nobody was expected to pay him a visit today. He dreaded at the thought that it might be one of those teenagers selling magazines that nobody actually cared to read.
"This better be good." He reluctantly raised himself from the couch and headed towards the door, yelling "Who is it?" in the process.
"We're from the next door!" Came the cheerful voice of a woman. "We thought we may as well drop off and say hi."
Stan worked with the lock and opened the door, which revealed the face of an obese woman wearing a smile which was so large that it made him worry if it wasn't hurting the woman. Moving his gaze, he found that there was a boy standing right next to her holding a round plate that was disproportionately large for his own body size. The plate had an enormous amount of some oddly-shaped cookies. Or breads. Or whatever they actually were.
"Hi! How are you finding your new home?" The woman asked without breaking the peculiar smile.
"Good, thanks…" Stan coughed to clear his throat, not having fully recovered from his exhausted state.
"That's wonderful to hear!" The way she spoke reminded Stan of a quacking duck, except her body mass hardly qualified as an animal smaller than a warthog, a very large one. "We're Broflovskis, living right next door." She pointed to the door with a plate that read 608. "I'm Sheila. It's such a pleasure to have you as our neighbor."
"Stan Marsh. Pleasure as well." Stan responded rather insincerely. As long as he continued working at his company, chances are that he wouldn't find much time to interact with his neighbors that much. Whatever remains from his free time would be consumed by his easily irritated fiancée—Damnit, that reminded him of the argument he had today—. And, to be perfectly honest, something told him that he didn't want to socialize with the woman too often. However extremely polite and kind she looked and sounded, all that seemed too artificial. In other words, Stan felt as if she was making it all up in order to make him believe that she and her family were nice neighbors. He couldn't exactly pinpoint the woman's ulterior intentions, and he was already determined that he shouldn't get too comfortable with her.
"We thought you might want to taste some of our Rugelach, baked to perfection in a traditional Jewish recipe." The woman said proudly like in those cheesy commercials where everything was sold at $19.99. Stan almost expected to hear 'but wait, there's more!' Judging from her gesture, she was referring to the plate that the boy was holding.
"Oh my gosh, I almost forgot. Mr. Marsh, this is our bubblah Kyle."
You can safely drop the 'almost,' Mrs. Broflovski.
Stan made sure his thought didn't escape through his mouth.
"Kyle, what did I tell you to do when you meet people?" The obese woman prompted the boy.
"Hi, Mr. Marsh." The boy greeted, but he was prevented from doing anything other than saying that because of the plate he was holding. Stan took a look at what the woman called Rugelach which looked rather like rotten bagels. Jesus, that alone could feed an elephant. He was slightly worried about the boy's ability to hold on much longer with the weight of the cookies.
"Just Stan. Uh, is that all for me?" He almost hoped to hear no, not feeling very confident if he could finish all of the cookies by himself.
"Of course. Why, would you want more of them?"
"Uh—no, thanks. I mean, I, uh, don't want them to go bad. I live here alone, you see." He wasn't exactly lying there. "It looks heavy. Can I take that from here?"
"Oh, by all means." She didn't try to help, of course.
Stan leaned down to take the oversized plate from poor Kyle. It was even heavier than it looked in the first place, and he had to use both of his hands to make sure it didn't fall.
In a rush to relieve the boy of the burden, he pulled the plate to his side quickly. Unfortunately, however, Kyle seemingly didn't expect that to happen so quickly that he lost the appropriate timing to let go of it. As a result, the plate was caught between the two males with significant height gap and quickly lost its balance. Before any of them could attempt to salvage, it got tilted to Kyle's side and a few 'baked-to-perfection' rugelachs rolled down along the edge and dropped to the floor.
"Oops, sorry." Stan quickly apologized.
"Oh my gosh!" Mrs. Broflovski exclaimed almost at the same time he voiced apology. She, however, seemed to blame the little incident to a different person. "Kyle, do you realize what you've just done?" She placed her hands on each side of her protruding waist. "You ruined the precious present to our new neighbor!"
Kyle's gaze quickly fell to the floor at his mother's harsh scolding. Although Stan couldn't look at his face directly, he wouldn't be surprised if he was about to cry. And that was not fare. If someone should be blamed for dropping a few measly cookies, it was him who tried to take the plate in such a rush.
""No, ma'am, it's not his fault. I didn't know if he was still holding it. I should have checked." He tried to defend the innocent child from the accusing gaze of the angry mother.
"Thank you for trying to protect my child, Mr. Marsh. But this is a matter of discipline." To Stan's dismay, she held firmly to her odd belief. "Kyle, what do you do when you did something wrong?"
"I'm sorry, Mr. Marsh." The little boy managed to speak out without raising his head, although in a barely audible manner.
Stan was at a loss what to do. What was he supposed to do between an innocent child and the mother who thinks dropping a few cookies was something that called for formal apology? While his brain was spinning at the maximum speed to come up with the most appropriate response, the boy's mother stepped in once again.
"Kyle, that's not the proper way to make apology. Speak up and straighten up!" His mother was apparently not satisfied with what her son did. Jesus, was that what she called discipline? Was this Sparta or something?
"I-I'm sorry, Mr. Marsh!" Kyle's head jolted up and he almost screamed out. Although he wasn't crying, Stan could clearly see that he was holding his tears back as best he could possibly can.
"That's my bubblah." A content smile finally adorned the woman's face, who now looked at Stan. "Mr. Marsh, Kyle says he's sorry."
Now it was Stan who was caught in possibly one of the most awkward moments in his life, still holding the large plate of rugelachs in the middle of that debacle.
"Um, don't worry about it." That was the best thing that he could say to the boy at that moment. That, however, didn't seem to help out Kyle who looked like he was in the verge of breaking down in tears.
"That's very nice of you." An oddly large smile came back to Mrs. Broflovski. "Now if you'd excuse me, I should get my bubblah back to our home."
"Of course." Stan didn't know if he should feel happy that the encounter was finally over or feel sorry for little Kyle's misfortune. "Thank you for the cookies."
"Rugelach." She corrected as she led her child back to their room right next to Stan's. Stan forced an awkward smile towards the boy when he got past him but wasn't sure if he ever caught a glimpse of that. As his neighbors retreated to the safety of their own home, he was not left alone in front of his front door with an armful of cookies which were almost shoved to his neck.
Sighing, he got back into his room and decided to continue what he was doing before getting interrupted: a good night—or evening?—'s sleep on that comfy couch. He laid down the plate to the floor since he was yet to assemble his new table and picked up one of the cookies on his way to the living room. He somewhat cautiously took a bite off that one. Surprisingly, it tasted okay.
He savored the taste of the bite before he popped the remainder into his mouth. He grabbed a couple more of them and installed himself in a previous lying position on the couch, finishing both of them in a minute.
Maybe they will be good neighbors. Stan thought as his eyelids became heavy once again. The picture of little Kyle briefly slipped past his mind, but he was too tired to hold his attention to it much longer. Well, how to raise their children was none of his business, anyway. Less than five minute's time, he was soundly asleep in a room where the TV was the only source of illumination.
Stan began to realize that eating those god-damned cookies was surely a mistake when he found himself on the toilet in the middle of the night. Only a couple of hours into sleep, he was awakened feeling a severe pain in his stomach. He hasn't been very content with the performance of his digestive organs since very young, but this time it was different. Something was definitely wrong with what he ate. Considering that the only thing he had that evening was the rugelach that his neighbor had handed to him, he suspected that it was them that did something funny to his inside. He even briefly considered a theory where his neighbors were actually professionally disguised assassins sent by his fiancée as a revenge on not making to the scheduled dinner. Although he quickly dismissed the idea as vastly improbable, he fully understood that such thing is clear within her capabilities. As stinging pain invaded the inside of his body, he had no other choice but to stay in the bathroom hoping that whatever was causing the problem would come out of the other end of the digestive track as soon as possible. It took almost three hours before the burning sensation finally began to die down.
When he stepped out of the bathroom, the clock on the wall indicated thirty past midnight, meaning that he had roughly six hours to get much-needed sleep. That normally would have been ideal if he hadn't had to work until seven in the evening, then go through another series of argument with his would-be-spouse via phone, and then get drained of all his strength in the bathroom by poisoned cookies.
Stan once again lied on the couch, hoping to make the most out of the remaining precious time to relax. To his sheer dismay, however, he was once more interrupted when a sudden voice erupted from the other side of the wall. Although he could not make out what exactly was spoken, he was pretty sure that the voice belonged to the woman that he had met earlier that day: Mrs. Broflovski. It didn't end there, though. Soon, the voice of an adult male followed and pounded on Stan's eardrums. Again, he couldn't decipher what he exactly said. From the looks of it, however, one thing became clear: his nice neighbors decided to go for a domestic dispute in the middle of the friggin' night.
God damn it.
Stan wrapped the blanket around his face and covered his ears, hoping it would somehow mute the sounds. It was of no use, however, as he realized that it was impossible to get back to sleep in that situation in the matter of a few minutes. Letting out a particularly deep sigh, he got up to a sitting position on the couch. A good night's sleep was just thrown out of the window. He considered calling the police to make a noise complaint but being an incredibly generous and understanding person he is, he decided to give them some more time to wrap up their argument themselves. Bring with Wendy taught him how troublesome a relationship could be.
Getting up, he located his coat lying on the carpeted floor. He dusted it off and grabbed a pack of cigarette from the inner pocket. Wendy hated it when he smelled of smoke, so he never got to be a heavy smoker. However, some situations made it imperative to grab a stick and this was certainly one of them. He broke up with Wendy again that day—although they would patch it up at least within two weeks. Hey, they're engaged!—, so it was probably okay to smoke a little.
Retrieving the cigarette pack, he stepped out of the front door to be greeted by the cold breeze of February night. It was colder than he expected, and he thought about getting back in to fetch the coat itself to cover his body from the harsh temperature. Since he was only going to smoke a single cigarette, however, he instead decided to finish it as soon as possible without wasting time.
Although the coldest season of the year had already passed, February wasn't the warmest month of the year, either. The winter season in Denver tended to be mild, but hey, it's Colorado. The weather could always be harsh whenever it wanted to. After a few unsuccessful attempts to secure a lasting fire from his lighter, he finally was able to light the cancer stick up.
Though it didn't change the fact that this was one of his worst days in his life, that cigarette definitely eased him up a little bit. One of his coworkers Christophe was a chain smoker who used up two packs of them daily. Not that he wanted to become like him, but he could definitely see why this thing could be addictive. After a few puffs, Stan looked around to see if there was anything interesting that caught his attention. He already knew he wasn't going to find any, but that's what every smoker does.
…except he actually found one. A few feet away on his right side there was a couple of glowing light that stood out in the darkness of the night. He leaned forward to identify what they were and soon found out that these were not just light at all.
Eyes. A pair of eyes were gazing straight into him.
"Jesus," Stan instinctively backed away, dropping the half-finished cigarette into the ground. He didn't believe in ghosts or anything, but to catch a sight of a pair of eyes glaring directly at him was not the most pleasant sight to behold. "Who are you?"
Instead of answering, however, the eyes soon disappeared out of his sight as the figure decided to look away. "…Sorry." That was the only thing that he said.
Stan let a few seconds to slip past them in silence, trying to calm down. After thinking about it, he remembered that the voice sounded very familiar. In fact, he was pretty sure that he had heard of the voice the very same day. Now that he resumed the normal state of mind, he walked towards the figure to identify who it was.
It was Kyle, the little boy who lived next door. He was sitting in a curled-up position with his back leaning against the wall and the arms making a loop around his bent-up knees.
"Kyle?" What was he doing at this time? "Why are you out here? It's cold. Why don't you get back home."
The answer became clear soon as another burst of hateful scream erupted from behind the door. He could even hear the crashing sound of something fragile, maybe some china or glass. What, was he taking refuge from his parent's fighting?
"…Are you hiding from your parents?" Stan cautiously asked, not wanting to sound too intruding.
That earned a small nod from the boy, although he still refused to look at Stan's way.
"…But you have your room. You can hide there."
A brief moment of silence ensued, soon to be followed by Kyle's simple remark. "…I don't have any."
"What, you don't have your own room?" This time, however, he didn't respond in any way. Stan interpreted it as a silent acknowledgment.
He couldn't help but feel immensely sorry for him. Being chased out of the house every time his parents get into a fight wouldn't be the fondest memory of his childhood.
It was in the middle of his sympathizing that he caught a glimpse of Kyle's body slightly trembling. Taking a few steps further to look more closely at him, he realized that the boy's curled-up position was not something that he randomly decided to assume at his whim. His ears seemed to be frozen up in red, and his lips took a contrasting blue color indicating that he was struggling to maintain his body temperature.
Stan felt his sense of sympathy starting to turn into an anger. A justified one, might he add. Do their parents know what they're subjecting their child into? What good is the precious discipline when they fail to address the most basic need of a child? This surely crossed the line, and he felt that he had to do something.
"…Come on in." Stan said to the boy, opening the door for his room. He could see that his remark was at least successful at grabbing Kyle's attention, because the glowing pair of eyes were now directed to him once more. Kyle; however, didn't seem to fully understand why Stan just said.
"Come on. I don't want you to catch cold. You can go as soon as your parents wrap things up." He decided against mocking his parents further, because the first priority was to get him to safety first, not blaming the worst parenting that he'd ever witnessed so far.
Kyle, however, didn't respond in any particular way except to examine him up and down. From the looks of it, he was evaluating if Stan was someone he could believe.
Stan felt the need to give him a slight assurance. "Look, I'm not a bad person. I'll have the door unlocked and you can walk out any time you want."
Fortunately the encouragement worked. Kyle slowly emerged from his position to stand up straight. Hesitantly, he took a series of steps that led him to right before Stan.
Before he entered the room, Kyle voiced a small "Thank you, Mr. Marsh."
Stan smiled at that. "Just Stan. Now get in before the room gets cold, too." He let the boy enter the place and slowly closed the door. "Sorry it's a little bit messy. I just moved and still didn't find time to organize them."
Without answering, Kyle was just standing there looking around the place. In a friendly gesture, Stan placed one of his hands on his shoulder and said: "You can—"
He had to stop because the boy jumped at the contact and almost aggressively jerked aside.
"S, sorry. I didn't mean to startle you." He realized that he should be extremely careful with the boy, who seemed to be the extremely shy type who wasn't too trusting of any people. Somehow, this fact hurt Stan. He was of the exact age where he was supposed to be most active, getting in accidents and causing troubles to parents and teachers alike. Of course there are personal differences, but the little boy looked like as if he was completely unfamiliar with any kind of human interaction.
"Sorry, Mr. Marsh." Was it just Stan, or the only things that Kyle said were 'thank you' and 'sorry'?
"Kyle, I don't know how your mom and dad raised you, but you don't have to apologize for everything." Stan once again placed his hand on Kyle's shoulder, this time much slowly. Fortunately, he let him do that this time. "And for the third time today, just call me Stan. No Mr. Marsh or anything like that. We're friends."
Kyle once again just stared at him and muttered: "Friends?"
Stan smiled. "Yes. Friends. Don't you have others? Like, to play in the fields or play video games with?"
He slowly shook his head.
"Oh…" That wasn't surely expected. "Um, that's okay. In that case, I'm gonna be your first friend ever." Stan leaned down and offered his hand. "Hi. Nice to meet you, Kyle."
Kyle seemed puzzled at the sudden offering of hand and just looked up at him. Stan patiently waited, not taking his extended hand back. Building a relationship takes time, especially if it's the first one. Slowly, the boy offered his own hand to return the favor. His hand was still cold, presumably because he was left in the cold weather for too long.
"Nice to meet you too, Mr—"he, however, was blocked by Stan's nuh-uh. Upon realizing what he did wrong, he panicked.
"S, sorr—" He didn't finish this one, either, as it only earned a second, and much stronger, nuh-uh.
Kyle's face reddened up considerably. This time, however, it was not because of the cold weather. "N, Nice to meet you…" he hesitated for a few seconds before he could say it right. "…Stan."
"Good." Stan made the widest grin. "I see you need more practice, but there's a first time for everything."
Kyle looked down, making a small smile on his face himself. It was the first time that Stan saw the boy looked happy. Feeling content, he led Kyle to the living room and subsequently onto the couch.
"Do you want me to make something for you? I have hot chocolate, if you want." Stan asked.
"I have diabetes."
He didn't know anything about diabetes except that one should be careful about sugar intake. Considering hot chocolate is essentially nothing but sugar, that might not be the brightest idea.
"O-kay…is there anything I can do for you?"
Instead of answering, he pointed at the TV which was set of ESPN and was airing a re-run of the last season of MLB between Mets and Rangers. Well, that's gonna be boring for a child like him. Stan remembered his own childhood when he absolutely hated watching baseball. The only thing he hated more than watching baseball was playing one, and he came dangerously close to winning the Colorado Little League and spending the entire summer on the national level. As he aged, however, he found that the particular sport was actually something worth watching. In fact, he quite enjoyed watching baseball games and he sometimes went to Coors Field with his coworkers when there was one. Not with Wendy, though. She displayed general contempt towards any physical sport which she saw as the most savage and chauvinistic way of wasting one's good time.
"You want me to switch channels? Which one? Nickelodeon?" Stan, however, was not sure which number was that channel. He was sure that the Comcast gut handed him the channel list when he came to install all the devices, but the paper was nowhere to be found.
Kyle, however, shook his head while still covered in the only blanket. "Can you turn the volume up?"
Stan's brows went high. "Do you like baseball?" There was a nod from the boy. "Well, I didn't know you're a type who likes it." Stan had no reason to deny that request. Turning up the volume with the remote controller, he installed himself at the other end of the couch from where his younger friend was sitting.
The two sat there without speaking another word for quite some time. The clock indicated fifteen to two and the game was still at the seventh inning. As Kyle was having the only blanket available all to himself, Stan was left with nothing to cover his body. Feeling cold, he rubbed his arms to generate some heat for himself.
Seeing him doing that, Kyle quickly unwrapped the blanket and offered it to its original owner.
"No, nonono, I'm fine. You can have it." Stan quickly declined the offer feeling not right about leaving his new younger friend without anything to cover.
Young Kyle mush have realized what was going on, because he instead crawled his way to Stan and sat right next to him. He was caught off-guard at such a bold movement but watched him cover both of their bodies in the blanket. Now only their heads were peeking through the warm fabric with the rest of their bodies covered securely.
"Thanks, that's actually better." His thank earned a silent smile from Kyle. Sharing the blanket, they gazed intently at the TV to see how the rest of the game played out.
Stan was jolted awake at the sound of his alarm clock blaring. Rubbing his eyes, he grabbed the clock and checked the time. It was seven. He must get ready to go to work. He looked around to realize that he was in the same position as he was in the last night. He must have fallen asleep in the middle of watching the baseball game. Everything was the same as in the last night, except for a couple things. First, the TV was turned off. Second, more importantly, Kyle, who was sitting next to him last night, was gone.
Stan shrugged off the blanket and stood up, trying to locate the missing boy. Instead of finding him, however, he noticed that there was a post-it memo attached at the screen of the TV. Grabbing it, he read what was written on it.
Back to home. Thank you.
Well, it seemed Kyle already was back home. That was perhaps for the better, because it would have been troublesome if his parents started looking for him all over the apartment. On a hunch, he flipped the post-it to see the other side. He was correct, as there was something written on that side as well.
Mets won. 8-5.
Stan chuckled. He did watch it till the end. He must be a huge fan of the sport, and maybe Stan just gained an invaluable friend with whom he could watch late-night baseball at last.
Well, I'm all for it.
He stretched his arms to shrug off the remainder of the morning grogginess. Maybe he could grab some five hour energy along the way. As he prepared to go to work to fight another day, the memory of the little visit paid by his new friend began to be phased out. Unbeknownst to him at that moment was the fact that such visit would grow to be a regular occurrence, and that it was the beginning of what would completely change his life later on.
A/N: I know I've been slacking on my other fic, and I'm sorry. But this idea has been nagging me for quite a while and I had to write it out. Considering that YHIM would be a very long project, I guess a little bit of digressing might not hurt much.
This is going to be a rather short story, most likely in three chapters. Hopefully it doesn't get longer than that because I have tons of other writings to work on. I get dozens of ideas every day and it's just excruciating to realize that I'm simply not competent enough to write them all.
It's basically an AU, but not by much. The only things that are different from the original setting are: (i) the age difference b/w Stan and Kyle; (ii) Stan's classmates are set as co-workers.
Oh, by the way, it's not gonna be typical Style romance. I mean, it would be a crime to depict their relationship in such a way considering the age gap between them in this setting. I have—hopefully—something more interesting coming up, so please don't be disappointed too much.
And the warning message that I put on every first chapter of my fics: Sorry for the terrible writing—English isn't my first language and I had to learn it basically all by myself. Won't reiterate the details here, but please know that English, no matter how much I love it, isn't the easiest thing to learn for a person like me.
I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did writing it. I'd love to hear what you think!