Soundtrack: Blue Skies – Jaymay
Clyde hates the way that Craig makes him feel.
Clyde has never been the epitome of secure, not even close. Sometimes he looks in the mirror and wonders how, when all of his friends are starting to look grown-up and adult, that he manages to be stuck looking like a child. He has baby fat – or maybe it's fat-fat, because he's always been chubby and that's never changed, not even when he started playing football. And while he looks like a kid, he feels like one, too. Craig tells him that he gets overexcited about the mundane, about things like nice days and cartoons and cute dogs. Craig told him once that he was like a dog, always happy and wagging his tail for nothing.
Craig didn't used to make Clyde feel bad. It's only been going on for three years, and before that, Clyde always felt good around Craig, even if he was sour and biting. Things changed when they started changing. Not them, really, but their bodies. Craig got tall and skinny, like a piece of stretched out taffy. Clyde got even taller, but then he got fatter, too. Clyde got an awkward mustache above his upper lip that looked like dark peach fuzz and he didn't notice until Bebe made fun of it. Craig got acne.
And Clyde got stupider, apparently, because on a fateful day when he and Craig were thirteen and he was watching Craig do tricks at the skate park, he got a gooey feeling – the sticky feeling of one's insides melting and their brain shutting down as it screams – "I like him."
Ever since then, Clyde can't be around Craig without feeling dumb. He says dumb things, makes dumb jokes, and even looks dumb. Craig is a snappy dresser made up of trendy peacoats and plaid scarves, while Clyde is a mess of t-shirts that he can't keep clean and the same red zip-up hoodie that he's worn every day for two years. He wants to say things that will impress Craig and he wants to wear things that make them look nice together, instead of 'the hot guy' and his sloppy friend.
He supposes that he felt like this before his epiphany. Clyde has always liked to make Craig laugh and enjoy their time together, just like he wants to make everybody happy. But Craig is different. He's special, he always has been. Maybe it's because Craig doesn't laugh a lot, or maybe it's because Craig refuses to hang out with somebody until "they prove that they're worth his time." Craig is hard to impress, just like his parents are hard to impress, and probably every Tucker ancestor before them was hard to impress.
The worst part of it all is that Craig isn't gay. He doesn't date much, but when he does, they're always very pretty, very serious slightly older women that make Clyde feel like a two-year-old when he meets them. The latest one was twenty-three and wore cat's eye glasses. Her name was Madeline. She bought them alcohol and they drank it in her apartment, and mere minutes after Clyde had given a tearful, drunken speech about what a great friend Craig was, she and Craig disappeared into her bedroom and didn't come back out until morning. Clyde had fallen asleep alone on the sofa.
He hadn't liked Madeline.
The only people that know that Clyde is gay are Tweek and Clyde's parents, and the latter got a confession only after Clyde had gotten so stressed out by his first AP exam that he'd burst into tears and let out everything that was bothering him. That's how Clyde always is – he gathers upsetting things inside him, storing them and stacking them up, and when one gets jostled his entire system collapses into a heap like a game of Jenga, and every bad feeling he's felt for months will leak out of him.
Although Clyde came out to his parents, he didn't tell them that Craig makes his heart hurt and his brain turn to mush. That was, and is, private. He thinks that his mom might know, anyway. Moms are good at knowing things.
Tweek is gay, too. Clyde found out when Tweek accidentally blurted that he thought Shia LaBeouf was attractive, a celebrity crush that he claims now to have overcome. He'd run off after the confession, and Clyde had chased him down, finding him crouched on the pavement behind the school with a cigarette in one hand and his coffee in the other.
"I'm gay too," Clyde had said, puffing out his chest. He could look confident with other people, just not Craig. And hell, Tweek was kind of cute. He was small and rail-thin, but he had nice hair and long eyelashes. And when people weren't interrupting or speaking over him, Tweek was smart, too. So Clyde kissed him, and Tweek kissed him back. With closed mouths, though. It's always with closed mouths. Tweek likes little kisses, dry kisses, soft kisses – the kind of kisses that a mother gives to her child before she tucks them into bed.
He still wasn't – and isn't – Craig. Tweek knew that then, and he knows it now. He doesn't mind. He's too otherworldly for a real relationship anyway, and most of the time he doesn't want to do sex things, and just wants to cuddle and watch cartoons. Clyde likes that, too, so he doesn't mind obliging. Clyde is a snuggler and so is Tweek, who speculates that it's because they're only-children and need somebody to hang onto.
But just because he isn't Craig doesn't mean that he isn't worth just as much. Clyde has come to feel his heart fill up and feel heavy every time he curls up on the Tweak's ugly living room couch, with Tweek all tucked up against his chest, feeling so small in Clyde's arms, but also good. His heart fills up around Craig, too, but in a way that hurts. A way that makes Clyde feel like he'll never have Craig. But he does have Tweek, and Tweek is good, good for Clyde, because he never makes Clyde feel bad, and always makes Clyde feel loved.
Clyde is going to meeting Tweek now, at Tweak Bros. They always have coffee on the weekends, and it annoys Craig, although Clyde doesn't know why it should. He asked once, and Craig said that Clyde was okay by himself, and Tweek was okay by himself, but together they're irritating. Craig says that when combined, Clyde and Tweek are a ball of chaotic energy, and nobody should let them be together.
They're not a ball of chaotic energy, though. They just like to cuddle. And sometimes kiss. Tweek always gets to say when he and Clyde can kiss, because usually he doesn't like to. He doesn't like saliva and thinks kisses feel slimy.
Tweek sits at the booth in the back corner, like he always does. He's shy, shy enough that Clyde is the only one that he's ever allowed into his home. He still doesn't let Clyde into his bedroom – he says it's too private. So they press up against each other on the couch instead, mostly watching animes that Clyde has never heard of, but Tweek loves. Sometimes, Mrs. Tweak brings them treats, like recipes she's trying out before they stock them in their coffee shop.
Clyde orders a strawberry frappuccino and slides into the seat across from Tweek when it's finished. He sips at it, thinking a little sadly about how Craig always makes fun of him from ordering drinks without coffee in them at coffee joints. Clyde doesn't like coffee. It's too bitter, no matter how much cream and sugar he dumps into (something that Craig says mutilates coffee, anyway).
"How is your book?" asks Clyde. He stares at the thick fantasy hardcover that's split open in front of Tweek on the table, and wonders if it's going to be one of those days with Tweek when he ignores Clyde and reads. Clyde doesn't mind, really. Sometimes it's nice to just sit with somebody and not have to say anything, which he can easily do with Tweek. He can't at all with Craig, because when he's with Craig, he feels as though he has to say something to fill the silence, and usually ends up saying something stupid.
"S'good," Tweek answers absently, flipping the page. So, that's how it's going to be.
Clyde takes out his phone, having not thought that he would be forced to entertain himself. To his surprise, there's a text from Craig. It's from a little over twenty minutes ago, and Clyde feels a little proud that he had to make Craig wait for an answer to whatever it is that he sent. Craig is notorious for slow texting, always taking at least a half an hour before bothering to respond, while Clyde will answer each and every one within a second or two.
Craig doesn't believe in capitalization, and Clyde would probably tease him if Clyde's own texts weren't atrocious because of his bad spelling, which, unlike Craig's lowercase words, is not on purpose.
Hangin with Tweek rn, he sends back, and pulls open his Solitaire app while Tweek reads. Clyde doesn't know how long they sit like that in comfortable silence. He gets lost in the games on his phone, draining the battery power about halfway, even though his Saturday has barely begun. He wonders why Craig is texting him to come over so soon. They always hang out on Saturdays, watching one of Craig's pretentious favorite films that Clyde can barely sit through, or playing Nazi Zombies on Craig's Xbox, which he likes doing much better. But Craig never beckons this early. And even then, he rarely beckons anyway. Clyde just ends up on Craig's doorstep in the late afternoon, every Saturday.
Clyde doesn't understand why this one is so different.
His phone vibrates again. This time, Craig's text says i'm outside. let's go.
Clyde turns, and yes, Craig is standing directly outside of Tweak Bros, wearing a well-cut peacoat and a long, thick scarf that would probably make anybody else look homeless, but makes Craig look even better. He looks irritated when he catches Clyde's eye, and inclines his head, beckoning for Clyde to come out.
"Tweek? I'm gonna go, man," Clyde says.
Tweek makes no indication that he hears Clyde, but after Clyde has slipped his phone back into his pocket and starts walking toward the front door, Tweek pops up out of his seat and rushes to Clyde, wrapping his skinny arms around Clyde's middle from behind.
It surprises Clyde, but he still turns around and squeezes Tweek to his chest. He noses at the top of Tweek's head, marveling at how small Tweek is in his grip, like he always does. Normally he'd care about lingering this long in an embrace, but there isn't anybody else in the coffee shop, and Craig makes fun of Tweek and Clyde "being too gay" with each other anyway. This admittedly hurts Clyde's feelings, but he'd rather not tell Craig that, because Craig would say that he's being too sensitive.
Tweek pulls away first, but he holds Clyde's hands in his own smaller ones and squeezes, sparing a glance at Craig, who now looks beyond irritated, standing on the pavement outside with one well-shaped brow lifted high into his dark hair.
"Hey," greets Clyde. He still feels good after sitting with Tweek for awhile, but being with Craig is already grounding him again.
Craig starts walking toward his house, and Clyde has to jog to keep up with him. He presses, "How come you wanted me to come over so early?" He didn't even know that Craig is awake at this hour, when it's not even nine thirty in the morning yet.
"Ruby's at dance practice and my parents are furniture shopping," says Craig, "We have the place to ourselves. I like it better that way." That much is true. Craig doesn't seem to like having Clyde over when his family's sure to be around. Clyde has always suspected that it's because Craig is embarrassed by Clyde, who, unlike the Tuckers, spills things and chews with his mouth open and makes bad jokes at the wrong times.
Craig's house isn't far – nothing is in a town as small as South Park – and even though the walk there is mostly silent, it goes by quickly.
The Tuckers' house is like a museum inside. It's cold and angular, and even though it's beautiful, Clyde likes his house better, where some of the furniture doesn't match and things are out of place sometimes. Craig's room is better, with warmer colors, though it's still neat as a pin and arranged as beautifully as the rest of the place.
"You wanna play Xbox?" asks Clyde, crouching next to Craig's television stand, where his movies and games are both impeccably organized in alphabetical order, "I could watch you play Bioshock." Bioshock is Craig's favorite, and though Clyde doesn't get to play, he likes watching Craig because he knows that Craig loves it.
Craig doesn't say anything, which Clyde takes as a yes. He pulls out the green case and switches on the Xbox and TV, placing the disk gingerly in. He's careful to avoid getting his fingers on the bottom. Craig hates when Clyde does that, and never has quite forgiven him for ruining his copy of Dead Poet's Society when they were twelve.
He stands and turns around to hand a controller to Craig.
Craig is standing abnormally close to him, stripped out of his coat and scarf and hat. He's wearing a tight pair of skinny jeans and a too-small t-shirt with the name of some obscure band emblazoned across it, purposely printed to look worn when it really isn't.
"Here," Clyde says. His hand trembles a little when he presses the Xbox controller toward Craig, but Craig doesn't take it.
Instead, he grips the sides of Clyde's face and yanks, crushing their faces together in a bruising, all-consuming kiss. Clyde's mouth goes slack with surprise (along with any amount of his good sense), and Craig shoves his tongue inside Clyde's mouth. He tastes like cinnamon gum, and it makes Clyde's toes curl in his socks.
Craig draws away first, right as Clyde registers what they were doing. He steps back and places a hand on each of Clyde's shoulders, observing him like he's waiting to be punched. They stand in awkward silence for several minutes.
"You like guys?" Clyde decides to say. He feels his face burning bright pink and rubs the back of his neck. He wants to kiss Craig again but doesn't know if he should, and wonders if he should maybe ask permission.
Craig looks frustrated and clips out, "I tweeze my eyebrows, Clyde. How dense are you, exactly."
"I don't have a good gaydar," Clyde mutters.
"But…you are gay, right," Craig says, looking actually worried.
Clyde feels himself flush, wondering what gave him away. It had to be the thing with Tweek – Clyde sometimes forgets that he's not supposed to do certain things in public and has a tendency to nuzzle Tweek's hair when he isn't thinking. What he has with Tweek isn't sexual, though. The one time that Tweek tried to give Clyde a hand job, he got grossed out, declared that he couldn't do it, and they watched an Adventure time marathon instead.
Craig exhales softly, a millisecond before he grips Clyde by the collar of his t-shirt and tugs them together, pressing their chests close. Clyde has never been this physically close to Craig. He can count the times that Craig has hugged him on one hand, and each time has been reluctant and held only for a fleeting moment.
His arms wrap around Clyde's middle, hitching their bodies into a grind. Clyde tries not to moan and squeaks a little instead. His brain has stopped. Stopped. His heart, meanwhile, pumps blood so hard he swears that he can feel it in his teeth. Clyde relaxes after he decides that this real, melting into the kiss. He tentatively pokes his tongue into Craig's mouth. He and Tweek don't kiss with tongues. He's never done this before. He can tell his movements are clumsy and slow compared to the quick sweeps of Craig's tongue against his gums and roof of his mouth. It doesn't actually seem to bother Craig, whose nails dig into Clyde's shoulders.
Oh, he likes that.
Craig's hands pull away and wander down, sliding down Clyde's sides. Craig pushes his fingers in the inside of Clyde's shirt.
Clyde stops, then. He pries his mouth from Craig's and pushes Craig's hands back. His voice shakes a little when he says, "No. I don't like that."
"What. Why not?" demands Craig, looking more desperate than angry.
Clyde wants to find the words to explain that he doesn't like his chubby body and he doesn't like the idea of hands on it, but can't. He knows Craig would be mad if he explained that Tweek never does that, never touches him like that. Tweek just likes being held, and occasionally, doing the holding.
"You still think you're fat," Craig says flatly.
"Don't make fun of me," Clyde hoarsely says. He says these words to Craig a lot, actually. He always means them even if they don't sound serious, though this time he knows he sounds like he means it.
Craig frowns, "I'm not making fun of you. C'mere."
Clyde hesitates for a moment, sparing a glance at Craig's bedroom door, which is shut. Craig's coat and hat are hanging on it. He comes though, like Craig has asked. It sounds like an order, but Clyde knows that Craig would never make him do anything that he didn't want to.
Craig pushes his hands up underneath Clyde's shirt again. This time, he pulls it away completely. Clyde feels exposed, but maybe it's not that bad. Craig doesn't look at Clyde through his usual shrewd gaze. His blue eyes are sharply focused, but not unkind. He steps closer to Clyde again, running his hands down the front of Clyde's chest experimentally, before leaning into Clyde's neck. Craig inhales before he kisses the skin there, sucking hard and being rough enough with his teeth that it stings just a little bit.
Craig kisses his way to Clyde's ear, nipping at the lobe before he kisses his way back to Clyde's mouth. He says against Clyde's lips, "Go lie down."
"I haven't done something like this before," Clyde blurts. He's blushing again, but maybe he never stopped blushing.
"I thought you and Tweek," – Craig makes a vague motion with his hand – "You know."
Clyde gives a vigorous shake of his head and replies, "Tweek doesn't like doing sex things."
Craig bites down on his bottom lip and nods, like this makes a great deal of sense. He says, "So…I'm your first?"
"…Kay. Lie down," Craig points to his neatly made bed, where his plaid comforter is tucked underneath the mattress. Clyde's mouth falls open just a little, thinking about what Craig is asking him to do. He looks at him nervously and Craig does nothing more than raise his seamlessly tweezed brows.
Clyde listens, climbing up onto Craig's bed, and scooting back so that his head is on Craig's pillow. He hasn't been in Craig's bed in years, since they were young enough to sleep in it side by side at sleepovers. It smells like Craig, like expensive shampoo and carefully-selected cologne. Craig sometimes says that Clyde has poor taste in scents because he uses Axe body spray.
Craig crawls up onto the bed, but it looks a little more like he glides, coming to straddle Clyde's thighs. He runs both hands all the way down Clyde's chest, bringing them back up to brush his thumbs across Clyde's nipples, which are kind of big. Clyde wonders if he should be embarrassed by them, but he doesn't know what nipples are supposed to look like, exactly.
Clyde lets out a surprised moan when Craig ducks his head and drags the flat of his tongue across Clyde's right nipple. He bites down enough that it hurts, and then licks again, like he's trying to make it better. Clyde feels his eyes start to water and prays silently to himself not to start crying, not now, and not here, with Craig like this.
Craig makes a soft noise when he notices Clyde staring and looks to be in thought for a moment, before he draws back up and shimmies out of his own shirt. Clyde has seen Craig naked before, just glimpses in the locker room before gym classes or when Craig comes out of the shower on a morning after Clyde has spent the night, but he's always made a pointed effort not to stare. He should have stared before this, Clyde thinks, because Craig is perfect. He's slim and pale, built like a marble statue that belongs in a museum.
Clyde feels himself getting harder, and he knows that Craig can tell, because he's smirking.
But – Craig is hard too. Clyde can see his tight jeans tenting.
"I make you hard?" Clyde asks softly, almost reverent when he reaches out and brushes his fingertips against the shape of Craig's trapped erection.
There's a sharp intake of breath from Craig. He bites on his lip and answers, "Fuck yeah."
Craig leans back down. He spends the next several minutes leaving hickeys on Clyde's skin near his neck and collarbone, lowering his lips to pay special attention to Clyde's nipples again when he starts to rub Clyde through his jeans in measured, torturous strokes. Clyde whines. He didn't know that he could make a noise like that, but he's glad he did, because Craig asks, "You want more?" He's deliberately teasing Clyde, and Clyde thinks he loves it.
Craig scoots back off of Clyde's legs, undoing the fly of Clyde's jeans. He tugs them down Clyde's legs in short jerks before casting them off of the side of the bed, letting them fall into a puddle of denim on the carpet. Clyde thinks that Craig might tease him for his boxers, which have big red hearts on them, but Craig grins instead, and pulls those off, too.
"Ah," he utters, giving Clyde a long, appreciative stare. He spends too much time looking before he actually takes Clyde's cock in his hand and pumps it. Clyde squirms, his legs wiggling underneath Craig's weight. Craig withdraws his hand, and Clyde groans at the loss.
"You want me?" asks Craig. It's a stupid question. Craig already knows the answer to it.
"Yeah," Clyde weakly says.
"What do you want?" Craig presses, scraping the edge of his thumbnail against Clyde's nipple, still tender from Craig's earlier ministrations.
Clyde clears his throat and responds, "You," looking Craig dead in the eye.
"Yeah? What do you want me to do?"
"I want you – I want you to," – he can't believe that he's saying this, but it doesn't feel uncomfortable, just strange. A good strange – "to fuck me."
Craig smirks again and says, "You need this."
"I do," Clyde confirms.
Craig looks as pleased as a cat with a saucer of milk as he leans over Clyde, rewarding him with a kiss before he pulls something off of his bedside table. It's a bottle of lotion, the kind that Craig always has to keep around for his dry hands. He pours it over his fingers, levels his eyes at Clyde, and adjusts both their bodies so that Clyde's legs are hitched over Craig's bony shoulders.
He pushes one finger inside of Clyde. The lotion is cold, but Clyde moans at the sensation anyway. He's tried to finger himself a couple of times when getting off, but he's too clumsy and couldn't manage it, or maybe he felt embarrassed to do it by himself. It feels good to have Craig do it, though. It feels better than good, it feels perfect.
"You want more?" taunts Craig.
"Mhmm," Clyde answers. He starts to claw his hands into the sheets, clutching the plaid comforter in two fists.
Craig pushes in two more fingers. It stings, and Clyde whimpers. Craig rakes his fingers through Clyde's brown hair and kisses him a little as he works Clyde open, pressing up inside him and hitting his sweet spot enough to make Clyde cry out.
"Craig," Clyde whines.
"I need you," Clyde says.
"You need what?"
"You," Clyde says, "Inside me."
"Yeah? You want my cock inside you?" Craig breathes beside Clyde's ear. He sucks Clyde's earlobe into his mouth and kisses the tender hickeys prickling his neck.
"I do," Clyde moans.
Craig tells him, "I want to hear you say it."
"I want your cock inside me," Clyde repeats, stumbling over the words.
Craig seems pleased with this. He pulls his fingers out of Clyde and slicks another dollop of lotion over his erection, throwing his head back and sighing at his own touch.
It hurts when Craig first starts to press into Clyde's body. A distressed noise escapes from his throat before he can help it. He knew that it wouldn't be painless, but it hurts more than he imagined it would. Craig strokes Clyde's hair when he pushes in a little more. He kisses Clyde's swollen lips and says, "Shh. You're doing good, Clyde."
"Hurts," Clyde says, before he can stop the word from bubbling up. The tears that were pricking his eyes overflow, but it isn't loud crying. They're silent tears, punctuated by labored breaths.
Craig thrusts himself all the way inside and keeps whispering nice things in Clyde's ear, things that Clyde never thought he would hear Craig say to anybody, let alone him. He stays still for a minute, wiping Clyde's sweaty hair back from his forehead, and thumbing back the noiseless tears drying on Clyde's round cheeks.
"You look good," he tells Clyde, "with your legs up like this. With my dick inside you. You look real good, Clyde."
Clyde nods. Craig takes this as a sign that he can move again. He isn't rough at first, in fact, he's cautious, and takes care in each pull back and push forward. The pain starts to dissolve, especially as Craig's fingers, still tacky with hand lotion, wrap around Clyde's cock and start moving.
Clyde can't last long like this. He's overstimulated and his brain is a mess of sensation and feelings. He gets louder as he gets close, and comes without warning onto both of them. Craig snaps his hips forward roughly twice more before following suit.
He collapses on the bed next to Clyde. They're both soaked through with sweat. A tinge of pink stains Craig's cheeks, and Clyde is sure his own face is bright red. He wants to duck into Craig's arms and have them wrap around him, but he isn't sure if Craig would do that for him. He waits, and Craig kisses him again, draping one arm across Clyde's body, which he supposes isn't quite a cuddle, but is just as good.
But then Craig does lean forward, just a little more, wrapping his arms around Clyde's middle, and burying his face into the back of Clyde's neck. He doesn't get as close as Tweek would, but his grip is tight. He's shaking a little, like he's been waiting to do this for a long time, but just couldn't find a way.
"I don't…" Craig begins, "I don't, um."
Clyde turns to face Craig. He reaches out and pauses, not sure if it's okay to touch Craig's hair. Craig gives a bare nod, and Clyde runs his fingers through it. It's not as soft as Clyde's hair, but it feels nice slipping through his fingers.
"Don't want?" Clyde whispers, his voice hoarse.
Craig screws up his lips like it's hurting him to say it.
So Clyde adds, "You don't have to tell me if you don't want to."
"I don't get why you want to be with me," Craig blurts, "Nobody wants to be around me. So why do you."
Clyde didn't expect to hear this. He didn't know what he was expecting, really. Today has been so mixed up and strange, and he still hasn't managed to process in his mind that he just let Craig fuck him, and that Craig wanted to do it.
Clyde replies stupidly, "You're my best friend."
"I know," Craig responds, not looking Clyde in his eyes, "but I don't know why."
Clyde decides to do what he does best – he wraps his thicker arms around Craig and pulls him into a firm hug. When Craig is like this, he feels almost like Tweek does to Clyde, small, like he needs to be held forever. Clyde says it quietly, but he knows that Craig hears him: "Because I love you."
Clyde doesn't hate how Craig makes him feel.
But he does hate how Craig has been making Tweek feel. When they returned to school on Monday, Craig sat beside Clyde on the bus as he always does, and in their usual place in the cafeteria. But he said that he wanted them to be alone, glaring like an attack dog when Tweek approached them.
It's Thursday, now, and for the fourth morning in a row, Craig has scowled, glowered, and lifted the middle finger too many times at Tweek.
Clyde doesn't like feeling like property, even if he's Craig's. Because now he feels lonely, and his ass is sore from having too much sex in too little time. All he wants is to curl up and watch cartoons. And he wants to do it with Tweek.
Craig was brutal today, fucking Clyde so hard and leaving so many marks that he hurts everywhere. Clyde kind of likes that, and is fond of one particular bite mark Craig left on his shoulder, but he still made an excuse about going home for dinner when he actually intends to visit Tweek. He just wants to have Tweek with him again, just wants to be cuddled and taken care of for a little while.
He half-walks and half-hobbles his way to Tweek's house, abruptly thankful for living in a small town where everybody's houses are close to each other. When he knocks on the door, Mrs. Tweak answers, and she delightedly exclaims, "Clyde! Where have you been all week?"
Clyde doesn't think how to answer this quickly enough, because the answer is having my time usurped by Craig and getting fucked, but fortunately Tweek peers around at the door from in the kitchen. He slips into the front room silently, wearing a frilly apron that matches the one tied around Mrs. Tweak.
"I can finish up the snickerdoodles, honey, if you want to be with Clyde," Mrs. Tweak tells her son.
Tweek nods, pulling his apron over his head and draping it over the back of a kitchen chair. He doesn't say anything to Clyde, but he looks visibly relieved as he takes Clyde's big hand in his tiny one, guiding him down to the living room couch.
There, Tweek leaps onto his tiptoes and pushes a close-lipped kiss to Clyde's mouth. This surprises Clyde, and he feels a little bad, because he probably reeks of sex.
"I t-thought I wasn't going t-to get to see you again," Tweek forces out. He seldom speaks so many words strung together, because he's self-conscious of his stutter – when they were in middle school, Cartman tortured Tweek because of it, until Tweek leapt onto him at lunchtime one day and left scratches on Cartman's cheeks that didn't heal for months.
Clyde pets a hand through Tweek's hair, which is stuck up all over his head from pulling at it. His parents have it clipped pretty short because Tweek yanks at it so much, but even that hasn't enticed him to stop. Clyde apologizes, "I know. I'm sorry. I told Craig to stop being a dick."
"I d-don't get it, man," complains Tweek as he plops onto the couch, "I d-didn't do anything wrong."
"I know," Clyde says again, because he doesn't know what else he can say. He can't explain Craig's behavior. Even Craig doesn't explain Craig's behavior. He just does things the way that he always does, and if anybody questions them, they're out of line.
"I-I'm Craig's friend," reasons Tweek, "I t-thought I was. W-Why is he being such a r-raging fucking c-cock?" His face is turning red now, and he frowns deeply, the expression more suited for a child than a sixteen-year-old.
Clyde pulls Tweek into him with one arm and presses his face into Tweek's blond hair. He mumbles, "I dunno, dude," even though he does know. Craig likes to think of Clyde as territory. He always has, but it's been especially bad since Clyde started letting him stick his dick in Clyde's ass.
"We're not fucking," Tweek goes on, "S-So what t-the fuck is his problem?"
"I don't think I've ever heard you talk this much," Clyde tells Tweek, instead of answering his question. He lies down on the couch and pulls Tweek with him, clutching Tweek to his chest like a teddy bear. He asks Tweek, "Are we gonna watch anything?"
"No, because I'm c-confused," Tweek petulantly responds, "I d-don't know what I did."
"You didn't do anything," Clyde reassures him, "You know Craig. He's like, menopausal. All the time."
"Yeah," Tweek agrees, but he doesn't seem satisfied, "Hey, Clyde?"
"You're m-my favorite," Tweek tells him.
"Your favorite what?"
"Just my favorite," answers Tweek.
After that, he squirms out of Clyde's arms and turns on the television. Tweek is halfway through Code Geass, something that he started watching without Clyde – and that revelation makes Clyde a little sad. He's been too occupied with Craig to pay a scrap of attention to Tweek. Tweek, who always pays attention to Clyde when he needs it. Clyde doesn't know how Tweek does what he does – interacts with people when they need him, but retreats into himself when they don't.
Clyde falls asleep on the couch with his face buried in Tweek's hair. Mrs. Tweak wakes him up when it's half-past nine, offering him a snickerdoodle and a ride home, which he accepts, grateful that he doesn't have to walk home while his ass is as sore as it is. Tweek rides with them – he and Clyde both climb into the backseat, where Tweek absently pets Clyde's thigh like a cat and leans his head on Clyde's shoulder. Clyde likes that, how Tweek fits right there.
He ambles up to bed full of cookies and mixed-up feelings, not certain how it is that he can love two different boys in two entirely different, but equal, ways. Even Clyde's soft pajamas and softer bed can't stop his thoughts. He's never been like Tweek, whose mind seems always to race itself in circles. Normally, once Clyde's head hits the pillow, he's out until his alarm wakes him up.
He's tired, but he can't sleep.
He's sore, but he can't rest.
When he does sleep, he wakes up in a puddle of his own sweat twice. On the third time he wakes, he's hard, because he started dreaming about Craig, and all the dirty things that he says to Clyde when they're naked together. The sun is barely peeking up over the horizon, and so Clyde strokes himself off in the dim light of his bedroom. He softly moans into his pillow, muffling the noise so that his parents won't hear him, especially when he accidentally sighs Craig.
And then he accidentally thinks of Tweek, feeling guilty for coming at the exact moment that he crosses Clyde's mind, as though climaxing to Tweek would ruin who he is. And maybe it does, Clyde doesn't know.
Masturbating fails to cheer Clyde, or wake him out of his bleariness. He feels more tired than he has in ages, tugging his clothing on clumsily and tripping over his own feet as he works through his morning routine. His reflection stares back at him while he brushes his teeth through weary brown eyes, shadowed by his exhaustion. He forgets to comb his hair before he runs to the bus stop and barely makes it in time to catch his ride.
Panting, Clyde slides into a seat in the middle of the bus, where Craig has saved him a seat. He's eating eating a cheap, store-bought cookie, and stares as Clyde melts like sleepy butter, wanting nothing more than to fall asleep for a year and never be bothered again by the confusion of loving two boys.
"You look like shit," says Craig.
Clyde frowns and says, "I know," but doesn't want to talk about it, really. So he says instead, "Why do you eat packaged cookies? You should come over to Tweek's sometime – last night his mom made snickerdoodles."
"You went to Tweek's last night," Craig states. He lifts an impeccably-groomed brow. Clyde feels abruptly stupid, knowing that Craig has been something of an attack dog lately – an attack dog with a bone that he doesn't want to share.
"Yeah, um, I," – Clyde manages only this, before Craig interrupts.
He says, "Let me get this straight. After I fucked you, and you said that your mom wanted you home for dinner, you went over to Tweek's."
Clyde feels his face going hot. He wants the bus to reach their school sooner, so he doesn't have to talk about this.
"Well? Aren't you going to say anything?" demands Craig.
To which Clyde responds, "No," because it's the truth, and he can't think of anything else to say, anyway.
When the bus comes to a shaking halt in front of their school, Craig shoves past Clyde to get off, tromping across the sidewalk to the front doors, looking even more menacing than usual. Clyde hurries to follow – despite being the more athletic of the two of them, Clyde has to jog to catch up. Craig walks in angry strides, aided by his sprawling long legs.
"Craig, wait up!" he says, but his voice falls upon deaf ears.
As Craig stalks into the school he makes a beeline for Tweek, who is waiting in the line at the Snack Shack, presumably to get himself one of the cheap coffee drinks that the school sells to raise money for the sports teams. Tweek's eyes go as wide as saucers when he sees Craig approaching (and being tailed clumsily by Clyde).
"Craig, come on," Clyde whines. He grabs the sleeve of Craig's coat and tugs him back.
Craig purses his lips. He spares a glance behind him at Tweek, whose eyes are flicking from Craig and Clyde to the front of the line, which he is approaching. Clyde gives him a reassuring smile, letting him know that he's got this under control –
Except that it's that exact smile that sets Craig off. He grabs Clyde by the collar of his letterman jacket and kisses him hard, prying Clyde's lips apart with his tongue. Clyde doesn't know if he likes this kiss, because he knows that Craig is showing off, and he likes being shown off to people, but he doesn't like it when it's only supposed to make Tweek feel bad. Somebody wolf whistles – probably Bebe or one of the other cheerleaders, and Cartman shouts at them to get a room.
"Arghh – fuck you, Craig!"
Unexpectedly, Craig is torn off of Clyde.
"Holy shit, you guys, come look at this!" somebody shouts, while another student calls, "Fight!"
Tweek has leapt onto Craig's back, his skinny legs hooked around Craig's middle. He grabs Craig's hat and tosses it across the cafeteria like a frisbee. Tweek's hands tangle in Craig's long hair and he pulls viciously, hard enough that Clyde can hear it rip a little.
"He was mine first!" Tweek shouts.
Craig, with some force, manages to heave Tweek off of him and throw him onto the ground, though in between each of Tweek's bony fingers there are bits of black hair. Clyde winces.
Craig looks ready kill, and whether this is from the loss of some of his hair, or from Tweek's declaration that Clyde belonged to him first, Clyde isn't certain. Craig dives forward and yanks at Tweek's hair back, which is shorter, and harder to pull out. Tweek bucks up, kneeing Craig in the gut.
Craig spits out, "He's mine now, so fuck off, you angry little twat."
"Guys, stop it," Clyde argues weakly. He doesn't mean for his voice to come out shaky, but it does. He also doesn't want to be trembling, but he is. He doesn't want to – no, can't – cry right now, not with everybody watching. They all know now, that Clyde is caught between two boys, both of whom are scrabbling on the floor, throwing punches and grabbing at each other's hair. Craig is much taller than Tweek, but they're equally as skinny. Tweek might have the upper hand being smaller, being that he can wiggle out of any grip and crunch himself into small spaces and positions without even trying.
"Stop it," Clyde repeats, louder this time. He feels his eyes well up and wills the tears back into his eyes before he says, "Why can't I have both? I don't get it!"
Tweek and Craig don't listen to him, and a moment later, a pair of school security guards arrive and pry them apart. They're hauled off to the dean's office while they're still spitting insults into each other's faces.
Craig and Tweek are both suspended for three days.
Clyde feels lonely without them. He doesn't see either for the rest of Friday. Craig has probably been grounded, which Clyde assumes is why he doesn't see him on Saturday or Sunday either. But Tweek never gets grounded – and he doesn't come to the coffee shop like usual. Clyde comes and sits for almost two whole hours in Tweek's favorite booth, but is left alone with only his phone, an empty seat across from him, and the sad little frown on Mrs. Tweak's face when she watches Clyde deflate more with each passing minute.
He returns to school on Monday feeling upset and lonely. The hickeys that Craig gave him are all fading, and he's starting to get an itch that makes his whole body tense – the latter is something he's experienced before, when Tweek goes into hiding for a few days and doesn't want to see anybody. He needs to be held and cuddled, or hold and cuddle something himself. Something Tweek-sized.
At lunch Clyde sits sandwiched in between Token and Bebe. Bebe is vocally curious about Friday's brawl and Clyde's rumored involvement in it all, while Token sits back and afford Clyde a look or two of wanting to know, though he respects Clyde's privacy (to the degree that sometimes Clyde wishes Token would actually ask about what's going on. Sometimes when Clyde is confused about what's happening, he likes to talk it out).
When the bus drops Clyde at the stop after school, he walks home slowly. He wonders if maybe he should go to Tweek's, since Craig's parents will turn him away if Craig is grounded.
But to his surprise, Craig is sitting on his porch, poking at the concrete steps with a stick boredly, like he's been sitting there for hours.
"Um," Clyde manages. His words get stuck in his throat like wings on flypaper, but there are so many things that he wants to say. Primary among them is simply I missed you.
"Hey," Craig says.
Clyde waits for him to speak again, but Craig doesn't, and so he asks, "Aren't you grounded?"
"I paid off my sister to tell my parents that I'm asleep," he shrugs.
"Oh," replies Clyde, "You wanna come in?"
"Yeah," Craig says. He follows Clyde into the house, where Clyde cheerfully drops his heavy backpack onto the floor of his bedroom and strips off his coat. Even though it's cold outside, he always sweats when we walks home at the end of the day, as though his body is telling him that he needs to stop exerting himself and take a nice, long nap. Craig pulls off his coat, too, folding it neatly before he places it on top of Clyde's computer chair.
Craig doesn't look Clyde when he speaks, but instead at his hands, though they're doing nothing but rest on his legs. He asks, "Er. Could I fuck you?" His tone of voice suggests that he believes that Clyde will say no. Clyde has actually been a little desperate. He got less than a week of being lavished in Craig's attention, and then everything blew up. He didn't know that he could get addicted to something so fast, but he has.
Clyde hesitates for a moment before slipping onto Craig's lap, straddling him. He's much bigger than Craig is, and doesn't want to squish him, though Craig doesn't seem to mind much. Craig kisses him like Clyde's lips are water and he's been in the desert for days. Clyde melts into it. They fall back onto the bed, where Craig flips him over and undresses him. They thrust their bodies together, Clyde moaning at the contact, and Craig making this strangled little noise that makes Clyde want to be fucked harder.
Clyde is spent when they're finished. He curls up on top of his blankets with his chin on Craig's shoulder and falls asleep.
They don't sleep for long – Craig likes napping, but he doesn't like to do it with other people the way that Clyde does. Consequently, as they're pulling clothing back onto their bodies, Clyde finds himself thinking of Tweek. A seed of guilt sprouts up inside him, because he knows that Craig wants him to only be thinking of Craig right now, not how sleepy Clyde is and how nice it would be to curl up while snuggling against somebody.
Instead they put a frozen pizza in the oven and play video games. Clyde keeps losing, because he's tired. This seems to please Craig, so he doesn't mind.
Just as the oven timer alerts them that their pizza is cooked, the doorbell rings. Clyde answers while Craig tends to the pizza.
"H-Hi," Tweek says, wringing his hands on Clyde's doorstep. He's bundled up within an inch of his life, with a huge, thick scarf that his mom probably made for him, and rainbow striped mittens. Clyde makes a move to step out onto the porch and close the front door before Craig sees, but it's too late.
Craig snorts, "Oh, look who it is."
"Don't be mean," snaps Clyde. He's surprised by the sharpness of his own voice.
Craig must be too, because he frowns and says, "He attacked me, remember."
"Only because you were being an asshole!" Clyde exclaims, exasperated.
"I thought you liked that," Craig says, "Kissing in public."
"Not when you're doing it to make people feel bad," Clyde says. He feels that pit open up inside him again, the one that swallows him whole with confusion. He knows that everybody says you're not supposed to kiss and cuddle with other people when you're in a relationship, or whatever he and Craig are. But he wants to keep Tweek, too. Does this all make him selfish?
Fuck, maybe he just wants more than he's allowed to have. Maybe he's messing with people's feelings and hurting them. He never meant to do that.
Clyde feels his chest sink low. He says, "Look, guys. I'm sorry. Maybe I just shouldn't – shouldn't do this with anybody."
Craig and Tweek cry out the same word in sync, "No!"
"I'm really sorry," Clyde repeats. He sniffs and wipes at his eyes with the sleeve of his hoodie and goes on, "I was being stupid. And selfish, too, I guess. Of course you can't have two people to love, that's – that's not how it works."
He's about to tell them both that they should probably go home, but Craig interrupts, "Yes you can."
"Huh?" Clyde manages.
"It's called polyamory," Craig tells him.
"Like…Mormons?" Clyde asks, confused again.
Craig shakes his head, "That's polygamy, and Mormons don't do it anymore. It's not like Tweek and I would be your wives or anything. There would just be two of us. Or something."
"I-I can share!" exclaims Tweek. He pokes his head underneath Clyde's arm and hangs onto him.
For a moment, Clyde thinks that Craig is going to get angry again, but instead, he gives a short nod. He agrees evenly, "Yeah."
They spend the remainder of the evening with their stomachs full of pizza, climbing onto the couch and eyeing one another, because they're all still trying to figure out how this arrangement is going to work. Craig plays Bioshock on Clyde's Xbox while Clyde and Tweek watch, dozing off together. Eventually, Tweek settles his head onto Clyde's lap and Clyde pulls a throw blanket over him. He begins to drift, blinking in and out of sleepiness, until his head flops over onto Craig's skinny shoulder while he plays.
Craig thought that he would hate this.
But he likes the sound of Clyde's snoring against him, and Tweek's shallow breathing behind that.
He smiles, just a little, thinking that yeah, he likes the way that these boys make him feel.