A/N - Hola! I have no idea what this is or anything, it's pretty stupid and pointless and plotless, but a half-finished version has been sitting on my laptop for months and months and months so I figured, if I'm not going to delete it (because I don't delete anything. I hoard my virtual documents like a crazy person), I might as well post it and see what happens or if people like it and actually want it finished or something. I dunno. I never know. That's nothing new. It's pretty weird, kinda OOC, it's Style (again, hey!), set when they're, like, in their late 20's, so a new formula thing for me. It won't be long, probably. I'm not sure. I'm also not sure when I'll next get a chance to update (Uni is invading my life particularly persistent alien race). So, hey! Candyfloss lovers.
It had all started one lazy Sunday morning. Kyle had been blissfully asleep, his face driven into a pillow, the duvet looped around his legs. A minute later and Kyle was blisslessly awake, two hands shaking his shoulders, an intruding voice calling his name.
Rubbing sleep out his eyes, he glared up an overly cheerful Stan, frowning as Stan beamed down at him. Then Stan strung together the five words that formed one of Kyle's most, most hated sentences.
"Let's go for a walk!"
After half an hour of muffled curses and huffy resistance, after half an hour of wriggling away from Stan and trying to bury himself deeper within the bedding, Kyle reluctantly relented. After frowning and his reflection in the bathroom mirror for ten minutes, after angrily brushing his teeth, and angrily neglecting to shave, he pulled on into the most unflattering, the most mismatched set of clothes he could find, and petulantly told Stan he was ready.
Kyle had to admit it wasn't all bad. The weather was relatively acceptable, the park was relatively quiet so early in the morning, and Stan had one arm slung lazily across his shoulders. It made walking slightly awkward, but the warmth was rather pleasing. Kyle had his own arms crossed tightly across his chest, clutching the cuffs of an overly worn mauve jumper in his fists, hiding his hands from the chill. He was talking, well, complaining about something pointless to Stan, his brow creased in a frown, nose wrinkled in expressive distaste. Stan was hmm-ing and nodding rhythmically, filling Kyle's pauses with lacklustre affirmations.
Part way through a rant about a client, Kyle glanced up, and frowned; Stan wasn't paying attention to him. This was somewhat perturbing. Stan always paid attention to him. Or at least, convincingly pretended he was paying attention to him. No, Stan wasn't paying attention to him, and he wasn't even pretending to pay attention to him. Stan was instead staring at the people in front of them, staring at the woman in front of them with a very peculiar look on his face. Still frowning, Kyle blinked, before following his eye line, trying to see what was so important.
Then he realised. Stan was staring at some random woman's arse. He was very obviously most defiantly just staring at some random woman's arse. He was checking her out. This was new, new to Kyle, new for Stan. Stan didn't check strangers out; he didn't ogle strange arses. Well, not any more. Since he got over his unfortunate addiction to crack, Stan'd only had eyes for Kyle, he only leered at Kyle's arse. Stan only thought about things like that when it was Kyle.
Or so he thought, anyway. Kyle bit at his lip, his heart thumping painfully; he wasn't quite sure how to react to this.
Unfurling his fist, he reached up, grabbing a handful of Stan's jacket, pulling at it, pulling at him in a painfully childish, painfully embarrassing way.
Stan blinked, blinking that peculiar expression off his face. Shaking his head, he smiled, smiling down at Kyle. "Sorry Ky, I was miles away. What were you saying?"
Kyle just stared at him, utterly bewildered, and slightly offended. "It doesn't matter, I guess."
"Well, okay then. You wanna go get some coffee?"
The incident had perturbed Kyle. The incident continued to perturb Kyle for quite a while. He wasn't quite sure how to deal with the situation; he wasn't quite sure if he should mention it, if they needed to talk about it, or if they should just leave it alone. He wasn't quite sure if it would go away, or if it would happen again. He wasn't quite sure what it meant, what was going to happen, what Stan was going to do, whether Stan was bored, just what-what-what was going on.
It was getting dark. Kyle usually tried to avoid driving in the dark. At least when he was on his own, anyway. It wasn't so bad when he was with someone. Driving with Stan. Stan, Stan kept him alert and awake, and often irritated. But amused, an amusing sort of irritation. It was always amusing driving with Stan. Frowning, Kyle bit the inside of his lip, clutching the steering wheel tightly. A tacky, powder blue Chevvy undertook him, going that dangerous bit too fast on roads too slick with spring ice, part melted snow and miserable sleet.
Kyle pursed his lips; he wasn't best pleased he was out this late. But his dad's Mac had broken, and he'd needed Kyle to go and fix it. Kyle'd unplugged it, waited five seconds, and plugged it back in again. Turns out everything was fine. The remaining three hours had been spent shooting his father disapproving looks, eating his mothers beef stew, and attempting, somewhat unsuccessfully, to worm his way out of her expert prying.
Sighing gently, Kyle narrowed his eyes. It was getting harder and harder to see clearly. Not just this night, but over the past couple of nights. He wasn't quite sure if that was just winter, if it was just the harsh, descending darkness playing tricks on him, or if it was actually him, if after all these years his eyes had finally decided they didn't want to function properly anymore, if they'd just decided to give out. It wouldn't surprise him; with everything else he had wrong with him, why not add in a good dose of myopic misery? It wasn't like he was battling enough as is.
Still, it would explain why he found it so hard to drive in the dark. And why Stan kept on telling him he was frowning at the TV. Kyle'd always just assumed it was because of the amount of idiots they paraded about on the screen. If he was indeed frowning at the TV (he had yet to coincide that point to Stan, he still adamantly refused he frowned at anything) it wasn't because of the physical box, but more the morons on it. He was frowning at the people on TV, all those stupid Z-listers and wannabe nobodies, those stupid stuffy professors who were about as reliable as Uncyclopedia and no where near as funny. At those newsreaders who always looked like hookers, and read the headlines in those weird, stilted accents. Those idiots deserved to be frowned at.
Kyle sighed again, deeper this time, easing up on the gas as he indicated to change lanes. He couldn't get what Stan had done out of his mind. It'd been bothering him all day, all week, the whole walking, leering, awful incident. He just couldn't stop thinking about it. He was relatively certain he was reading too much into it. He was relatively certain he wasn't reading enough into it. Quite frankly, he didn't know how much reading a situation like this required. Yeah, Stan was just looking, but just looking could be the tip of an iceberg. If Stan's just looking was the tip, what kind of horrendous, writhing mess was looming about under the surface? What godforsaken storm was brewing on the horizon?
The car in front stopped so suddenly it skidded. Swearing violently, Kyle slammed down his breaks, jerking forwards the pick-up truck behind rear ended his Toyota, shunting him into the back of the Chevvy. Air bags deployed, the seat belt locked, and Kyle just sat there, blinking stupidly.
Stan had tried calling Kyle to see where he was, but he'd not picked up. He should have been home hours ago, he said he'd be back for dinner, but he wasn't. He was never back for dinner when he visited his parents. Leaving Shelia Broflovski's house without dining was like trying to leave a cult before the suicide. Once you're in there, sometimes it was just easier to give up and lie down.
Besides, since Ike had disappeared of to that prestigious graduate school tucked right up in the arsehole of Canada, she'd been overly protective of the one son still within driving distance. Stan wouldn't be surprised if she'd strapped Kyle to a seat somewhere whilst she subjected him to a marathon bout of overprotective mothering. A bout that probably included much chiding and cookie baking. Or kipferl baking. Whatever. It didn't matter that Kyle was twenty-eight years old, it didn't matter that he'd moved out, got a job, fallen in love, all that shit. It didn't matter that he'd made a life for himself, a life without her. It didn't matter what he did, what either of her children did, fuck, they could win Nobel Prizes, Pulitzers, The Man Booker Prize, they could be inaugurated into the fucking White House, and Sheila Broflovski would still refuse to accept that they didn't need her to tuck them in at night and fight their battles for them.
Stan sighed, pulling the duvet off one of his legs. He was finding it particularly difficult to get comfortable. The winter night and the central heating seemed to be fighting a particularly volatile battle in the airspace. Under the covers was too stuffy, over the covers and his feet began to go numb. He needed Kyle there, Kyle was like a little humming space heater, a humming space heater with an exposed back that Stan often liked to warm his feet on. No matter how much this icy footed intrusion caused the space heater to complain.
The phone rang. Stan frowned at it, twisting across the mattress as he stretched to pick it up.
"Stan?" Kyle was panting somewhat on the other end. Stan deepened his frown, "Yeah Stan, can you come pick me up?"
Stan groaned, rubbing his face against his forearm. "What? From your parents? Have you been drinking or something? Fuck Kyle, it's like, midnight. I have work tomorrow! No! Just stay the night there!"
"No, no, I'm-I'm at the hospital. I've… There's been a bit of an accident. Can you come and get them to discharge me? I… I need a ride home."
It took Stan all of fifteen minutes to reach the infirmary. He arrived wide eyed and flush-faced, dressed in the first medley of clothes he'd managed to pull out of the dirty laundry hamper. This mixture of panic, disorganisation, wide eyed raving, and a frankly hideous lack of colour coordination nearly traumatised the nurse behind the reception desk, who wasn't quite sure if she should help him, commit him, or have him arrested. Stan, unaware of this, simply continued demanding to know where he was, what had happened to him, if he was okay, why she wouldn't take him to him, almost as though he expected the underpaid nurse to know (via a feat of clairvoyance or whatever) who his fervent pronouns were referring to.
Eventually, after much wide-eyed feverancy and many ambiguous demands, Stan realised it would probably be a good idea to actually mention Kyle's name. The nurse, after finally gleaning the situation, had led him to Kyle, absently mumbling something under her breath as she waved Stan off across the ward. Kyle was sitting side-saddle on one of the beds, arms crossed tightly across his chest, glaring bitterly at the person bleeding profusely a few feet away from him, clearly unimpressed with his somewhat impressive blood loss.
Reaching out, Stan caught his head, pulling him against his chest, gently pressing him against the sweater. Kyle just frowned at him, still perched on the edge of the bed, his forearms and palms loosely bandaged, his head pulled forward at a fairly awkward angle. Stan was wearing that mauve sweater he'd worn to go on their walk. It was only now Stan was wearing it that Kyle realised just how hideous it really was. He'd known it was hideous, he'd just not realised it was that hideous. It was like, Cartman hideous.
Dimly Kyle wondered how he'd ever managed to convince anyone to fuck him if his dress sense was seriously that bad, let alone how he'd managed to convince someone as comparatively dapper as Stan.
Stan was just smiling against him, all forced and choked. "I just… I just don't know what I'd do if… You're like, the only person who… The only person who…"
Kyle frowned. "I'm the only person who what? I'm the only person stupid enough to bend down in front of you?"
"Jesus Christ, it's just airbag burns and a few bruised ribs. If you're going to choke yourself up about anything, do it about my car!"
"We can replace the car. The car doesn't matter."
Kyle frowned. "That's easy for you to say. It wasn't your car."
"It doesn't matter!"
"It does to me."
"Just shut up."
Kyle just blinked up at him, still frowning. Stan had wetness glistening behind his eyes. His voice was breaking, and he had wet eyes. He was trying to hide it, trying to blink it away and pretend he didn't, but it wasn't working. Exhaling slightly, Kyle wound his own arms back round Stan, burying his face into his sweater. "God Stan, you are such a pussy sometimes."
Stan was toying with the ends of Kyle's hair, smiling blearily at nothing. At the busy ward behind them. "Dude, I think you need a haircut."
"I think I need to burn that sweater. Fuck, it's awful. Why didn't you ever tell me I looked that stupid!"
"I just assumed you knew."
"No! Jesus Christ, why on earth would I wear it if I knew?"
"I dunno. You do some crazy shit sometimes Ky, I'm never quite sure if it's intentional or not."
"Oh, whatever. Just hurry up and make them let me go. I hate hospitals."
"Everyone hates hospitals. They're awful places. Nothing but death and sickness. And disinfectant. Death, sickness and disinfectant. It's part of the human condition, to, you know, to get sick and die, for every last trace of you to end up disinfected off the face of the earth. It's human to hate hospitals."
Kyle groaned, rubbing his face. "Yes, very poetic. Now please dude, just shut up and get them to discharge me."
After hearing about his accident via his Facebook rant, Kyle's work had called him to "strongly suggest" he took a few days off to "recover". Kyle had been adamant that he was alright, but his boss was insistent. Stan was relatively certain "take time off to recover" was code for "don't come back in here until you've finished fucking bitching about your stupid pissing car, yeah?", but he didn't mention this to Kyle. He just kissed him chastely on the cheek the next morning, and made his hastily exit.
Kyle wasn't best pleased about his enforced vacation. It wasn't that he was particularly enamoured with his job, he didn't mind it, he didn't hate it, he even sometimes liked it, it was more that without a car, without Stan around, or anyone around, really, having to stay at home all day was just flat out boring.
When not forced to take sick leave, Kyle worked some part-time bohemian job developing pioneering software that didn't really do anything important but certainly sounded very flashy. It was the sort of job that saw him start at ten and finish at three, the sort of job that only demanded four days work a week, the sort of job that saw him slouch into work in worn jeans and crumpled t-shirts, log on to Facebook, and do nothing all day but water some virtual crops. It had none of the starched collars and pressed trousers demanded by Stan's rigidly corporate organisation.
Stan wrote jingles for an advertising agency. A very stuffy, very old-fashioned advertising agency. He worked nine-till-five, he wore suits and ties, and he loathed the fact that no matter how early he snuck out of the office, or how late he left it to leave home, Kyle would always swan out the house after him, and swan back in before. Still, there was one plus to Stan's job. Stan got an office. Granted, it was a small office. And it didn't really have any windows or anything. Or any air vents. And it was vaguely claustrophobic. And it smelt a bit peculiar, for no apparent reason. But it was still an office. An office with a massively imposing, ergonomic desk chair (a chair that took up a good quarter of the floorspace). Kyle's company was open plan, and they all had to sit on stupid red balls that were supposedly good for posture or something. Stan didn't know. He didn't really care, either.
Kyle groaned, pressing his fingers against his temple, cursing bitterly under his breath. There was never anything good on TV in the mornings; after an hour or two of watching trailer trash scream slurred obscenities at each other behind security guards, he was beginning to loose the will to live. Exhaling, Kyle arched his back over the arm of the living room couch, fumbling above his head for the phone. They used to have a cordless handset, a sleek black, highly technological thing that Stan was overly proud of. So proud, in fact, he kept on hording the actual phone part of the phone in the desk, or in the kitchen cabinets, or in his sock draw, or in the bathroom cabinet. Anywhere the phone would fit, really. Anywhere but on the docking station, anywhere but where it was supposed to be. After a few months of repeatedly missed calls and frantic games of seek-the-handset, Kyle snapped, and presented Stan with an ultimatum: either buy a phone with one of those curly cord things, or I stab you with this chrome letter opener.
Stan had meekly relented, and replaced the phone. He'd also taken it upon himself to hoard the letter opener away, safely concealing it in the decorative bread bin. Just to be on the safe side or whatever.
Exhaling Kyle dialled upside down, rubbing his face as the phone rang. It was Powder who answered, her voice oddly chirpy, oddly forced.
Kyle wrinkled his nose in displeasure. He really did not like that woman. "Hey Powder, can you please put Kenny on?"