Walls Became Fuel
Chapter Fourteen; The End
To say there was tension in the air was a complete and utter understatement. The curtain of hate, anger, frustration, and betrayal hung heavy between Stuart and Kenny as they fucked around under the hood of Kyle's car. There was so much to say and no courage to say it. Stuart cleared his throat as he wiped his forehead with the back of his arm, making Kenny wince as if the small movement offended him.
"I don't think she's gonna get you anywhere for a while," Stuart mumbled as he knocked on the engine with his knuckles. "If you want a ride I'd be happy to drop you off somewhere."
Kenny didn't say a word back. He just stood next to a man that might as well have been a stranger. His eyes narrowed as he leaned forward, stealing a good look at what was under the hood in disapproval. Both Kenny and Stuart were very well trained when it came to car maintenance, and they knew this would be no quick fix. However, he didn't want to be next to that vile man any longer than he had to be. Accepting a ride was completely out of the question in his mind. However, it was starting to get pretty dark, and Kenny knew Stan and the others were waiting for them to arrive.
As Kenny tried to make his decision Kyle tried to watch them out of his windsheild, but the popped hood denied him any real view of his lover or the older man. That was probably a good thing though, Kyle would feel horrible if he couldn't help but stare at Stuart's deformed face. It really was not a pretty sight. Red, glossy, bunched up skin plagued one half of his face like bloody tissues, and that eye was hazed over a light blue with no visible pupil. Kyle couldn't help but think Stuart was a very brave man. There was no way he would ever walk the streets if his face was as distorted and grotesque as Stuart's.
Frustrated with waiting, he pulled himself out of the passenger side door and poked meekly around the front of the car. Kenny and his dad seemed to be having some sort of staring match as Kyle watched his lover tap the side of the car with his fingers in contemplation.
"There's nothin' I can ever say to you to fix what I've done, and I know you still hate me, I don't blame you either, but don't let Kyle sleep on the side of the road because you can't put your hatred aside for just a few minutes," Stuart mumbled under his breath, stepping aside so that Kenny could get a good look at the man listening into their conversation.
Kyle stood there, his head tilted slightly to the side in confusion as he looked to Kenny for an update or some sort of direction. His olive eyes were wider than usual, probably because he was starting to feel nervous about the darkness falling around them, and his upper half was being swallowed up with Kenny's parka. No matter how much of a dumbass Stuart may have been he made a very good point. There was no way Kenny was going to allow Kyle to stay out there all night.
"What's going on?" Kyle finally asked as he crossed his orange clad arms over his chest. The brown fur trim of Kenny's hood kept his cheeks warm as he tightened the loose fabric around his neck.
"He says he'll give us a ride," Kenny finally decided as he took a few extra steps to walk around his father on his path to Kyle. "We'll have to come back and get the car tomorrow."
Kyle nodded in understanding and let out a puff of air in relief. Much longer stranded on the side of the road and he would have lost his mind. They all piled into the little truck. Kenny and Stuart were up front, leaving Kyle to squeeze into the tiny back seat.
The world passed by out the window as all three sat in an ungodly uncomfortable silence. Kyle tried to occupy himself with twiddling his fingers and examining all the trees outside the truck, mostly as a distraction from the dark and heavy air that wafted towards him from the backseat.
"It's nice to see you again," Start started in an attempt to engage his estranged son in a long overdue conversation.
Kenny dismissed his fathers words with a simple grunt and the nod of his head, obviously still not wanting to be bothered with anything that had to do with him. When Stuart picked up on Kenny's frustration he sank back into his seat like someone slapped him on the wrist. Kyle saw this, and after a long moment of pause he decided to try to break the ice for everyone's sake.
"So, how have you been, dad?" Kyle asked as cheerily as he could manage, almost as if there wasn't an elephant packed in that tiny space with them.
He knew how much Kenny hated his father, but if Kyle could find it in himself to have a serious chat with the mother that dictated his entire life he was sure Kenny could come to terms with Stuart in some way. He was only hoping it didn't end in a fight, because with the way Kenny turned out a verbal argument could end with someone's eye getting poked out.
"I've been good," he replied with both hands planted firmly on the wheel. His eyes were staring far off out his window, and it was more than obvious to Kyle that his reply was nothing more than a complete and utter lie.
"I'm glad," Kenny mumbled sarcastically in his obvious anger. "Every man who causes the death of his entire family deserves to feel just fucking great all day every day."
Again the car fell silent, and Kyle smacked himself in the forehead. That was not at all how he was hoping things would go, but he couldn't say that he was very surprised.
Stuart didn't have a word to say back to Kenny's insult at first. He just kept driving with his eyes locked on the road as if his disgruntled son had said nothing at all. Being ignored seemed to bother Kenny when he finally let out a huff and fell back against his seat with a bounce. Kyle was sure the only reason his boyfriend didn't flip his shit was because he knew Kyle was watching from the back seat.
"You're right," came a low and barely audible reply from the drivers seat. "It is my fault, and I die inside a little more every day because of it. I'm not the only one though, am I?"
This situation seemed to keep manufacturing awkward silences, seeing as no one ever knew what to say after being addressed. Kenny was definitely having one of those moments, so Stuart continued.
"I know I'm not the only one who has dreams and sees things. I'm not the only one who looks at a knife and wonders how deep it could cut." The entire car continued it's uneasy silence as Stuart added onto his truthful rant. "I'm not the only one who finds it hard to live, am I?"
Kyle leaned forward to see the side of Kenny's face. He was staring intensely at his father with absolute fury in his eyes, yet there was a bit of shock there too. It was almost as if Stuart had read his mind, and Kenny didn't like that all. Kyle himself was confused. Sure Kenny had problems, but he knew he would never do anything to hurt himself.
"Don't act like you know me," Kenny hissed. "You never knew me. You never gave a fuck about me."
"That isn't true," Stuart snapped. "I know I wasn't the best father, but I always loved you, don't ever say that I didn't."
Kenny leaned back into his seat once again, very disbelieving of what he was hearing. He glanced back at the man in the seat behind him for some sort of assurance, but Kyle didn't have anything to offer but a concerned shrug.
"Bull," Kenny finally murmured. "You never cared about anyone but yourself. Cheating on mom, beating us up all the time, you call that love?"
Stuart sighed deeply when he realized that Kenny made a very good point. He had been a horrible person all throughout his life. Even the births of his children didn't steer him off his path of violence and self destruction. He abused his family, used drugs, got mixed up with the wrong people, and was just an all around asshole. His cocky, I-can't-be-destroyed, attitude is ultimately what took the lives of his family, and he could never quite forgive himself for that.
"I can't take back what I did, but we're all that's left."
The darkness surrounded them, so all was pitch black besides the occasional street lamp that left the truck's interior suddenly burning with light as they drove by.
"What are you trying to say, old man?" Kenny asked as irritably as he could manage.
"I'm saying that we're family. Whether you like it or not, and you're the only one I have." Stuart sounded deeply hurt as he grumbled out his insinuation.
Kenny glanced at Kyle in the back seat. He was looking back at him, still just as lost as he looked when their car gave out on them. The street lights flooded in from time to time, illuminating his slightly concerned expression. He realized in that moment that he may have been all Stuart had left, but Stuart wasn't all Kenny had left at all. He had Ruby, Ike, and Kyle. They had become his family, and he wasn't sure if he considered his father family at all.
Kenny remembered what it felt like, though. He remembered sleeping in his car every night by himself. There wasn't a single person in the world that would have cried for his demise. He was sure no one would have cared if he didn't come back all those times he ended his own life. Kyle and the others showed him differently, though, and with a little help he slowly began to get back on the right track.
He didn't know if he and Stuart could ever really consider each other a family again, but maybe all he really needed was a try.
Kenny's blue eyes were still trained on his lover in the back seat when Kyle gave a small, reassuring, smile. By that time Stuart's truck came to a stop on Stan's street. Cars were already lining the street as everyone else arrived on time, and the only thing offering them any light was a lonely street lamp out by the woods. Kyle climbed out, and Kenny began to follow. He took one last look at his father before he hopped out onto the street. He kept his eyes trained on the road in front of him as if it would tear him to pieces to watch his son walk away without a reconciliation.
Kenny sighed, unable to keep his wrath clutched to his chest with white knuckles. After all that he had seen and all that he had felt his grip on his hatred was loosening, and it was starting to get away.
"Kyle and I are going to the lake next week to go fishing," Kenny mumbled under his breath. He couldn't believe what he was about to say.
"Maybe you can come."
The shock in Stuart's face was more than apparent as he gawked in shock. "I... would like that."
"You are all so going down," Cartman murmured smugly over his hand of cards. Wendy sat next to him with her chair pressed snugly against his as she peeked over at his hand. Their game was in full swing, and Cartman was indeed kicking everyone's asses.
"Don't be so smug," Craig voiced in his usual drawl. Tweek was unsurprisingly seated in his lap while he shared a hand with his fiancé as if they were one person rather than two. They shared their hand and turn just like they shared everything else, which was also no surprise.
"Oh, zip it," Cartman retorted. "No way you two are catching up now."
Craig rolled his eyes as Tweek laid down a card. The whole room was full of laughs and contentment despite the empty seats dotted around the table. They were guzzling down alcohol and smoking like freight trains, but the strong smells were welcomed by even those who didn't engage in such things. The cigarette smoke and strong scents brought back pleasant memories to both Kyle and Kenny as they laid back in their blue camper chair, squished against one another as Kyle held his cards and Kenny guzzled down a beer with one arm slung over his lover's shoulder.
"So how does a gay wedding work anyway?" Stan asked in the midst of the noise and laughter. "Do you both get a best man or is Tweek going to pick out some bride's maids?"
"Excuse me?" Tweek protested.
"Yes, he's also going to walk down the aisle in a bridal gown," Craig agreed with a devilish smirk and a snicker.
"GAH! I am not!" came a shout before Craig found himself smacked upside the back of his head.
The room erupted with laughter as the game continued. Bebe was the only one who wasn't participating, mostly because she was looking for a snack for Benji in the kitchen and partly because sitting in her husbands chair alone made her want to cry. Kenny and Kyle took over caring for Benji so that she could return to the game, although it was begrudging on her part. They figured massive amounts of smoke wouldn't be good for the boy, so they did their best to entertain him in the kitchen. Kyle dragged out some pots and tupperware to substitute for toys, all of which ened up on someone's head at least twice. After pretending their plastic bowls and pots were a drum set Benji found himself nodding off on Kyle before just konking out completely against the man's chest.
Kenny was feeling pretty good by that point, but he couldn't decide if it was play time with Benjamin or the booze that influenced that.
"You two are just the cutest thing ever," Kenny chuckled as he plopped down beside them.
Kyle had no verbal reply, he just stuck out his tongue. His nose scrunched up and his eyebrows pinched together as he did so, leaving the redhead looking cuter than Kenny had seen in a while.
"You never really told me much about Georgia," Kenny mentioned suddenly with a smile as they sat against Stan's refrigerator.
Kyle was taken aback by the randomness of what he was saying, but ultimately decided to play along.
"Well, I never really thought it was important," he confessed in a whisper as he held the sleeping child against his chest.
"I just thought it was weird that you've never mentioned it before."
"You never mention those four years either, you know."
"Well," Kenny started. His eyes suddenly looked far off into a different world as he forgot the drink in his hand completely. "I didn't want you to have to hear about any of that. I did a lot of stupid things while you were gone."
After a moments pause, Kyle decided to make a proposition. "I'll tell you if you tell me."
He looked confidant, as if he knew Kenny's curiosity would get the better of him. At the same time, though, his eyes looked unsure and heavy.
"I guess that's fair," he agreed cooly before setting down his beer on the linoleum beside him. "You could probably guess just about everything I got myself into. Drugs, alcohol, casual sex. I also stabbed a dude in the face, but you already know about that."
Kyle chuckled faintly, not because what his boyfriend said was funny, but simply because of how casually he stated it.
"Did you date?" Kyle asked, still very softly so that he wouldn't wake the boy in his arms.
"Yes, twice. Both women. Didn't last very long. Did you?"
Kyle's smile faded immediately, and his once lighthearted expression went low and hurt looking. "Yeah... but just once."
"Yeah," came a murmur.
"Didn't end well, did it?"
They didn't really say much for a while. Kenny just figured that if Kyle wanted to talk about it he would, so he let the silence talk for him.
"I only dated him for about six months. We met during my freshman year of college and he seemed like a really nice guy. It was hard to be with him, though. Every time he kissed me or tried to be romantic with me all I could think about was you, and that really stressed him out." As he spoke he patted Benji's back softly in some sort of plea for him to stay fast asleep.
"He started getting really controlling really quickly. He didn't want me to hang out with my friends and constantly went though my cell phone. I was at his apartment one night and he asked me to move in with him. I couldn't really take it anymore. I told him that not only did I not want to live with him, but I didn't want to be with him anymore either. He got really upset."
By the was Kyle was wiping at his eyes Kenny knew his little tale wasn't about to get any better, and he wasn't so sure if he wanted to know anymore. Nonetheless, he let Kyle go on.
"He wouldn't let me leave. He shoved me against the counter and started hitting me. I was so shocked that I couldn't fight back, I just fell to the floor." There was obvious emotion inside of Kyle as he allowed his horrible experience to drill a hole through Kenny's heart. "It all happened so fast and out of nowhere I wasn't sure if it had really happened when he walked into his bedroom. I knew he would be back, so I ran."
"Why didn't you ever tell me this?" Kenny asked, sitting up taller as his burning hate fell off of his tongue.
"I don't know... I never told anybody. It happened years ago so I didn't think it was important. I did call you that night, though."
"You did?" Kenny asked in surprise. Every time Kyle had ever called he seemed so calm and collected. It sent shivers up Kenny's spine knowing that one of those phone conversations took place after something so terrible.
"Yeah... I called you every time something bad happened. I guess sometimes I just needed to hear your voice to feel like everything was okay."
"Kyle... you should have told me... I would have came and got you," Kenny grumbled, trying to keep his frustration quiet enough not to wake Benjamin. "I would have brought you home."
"Not after all the pain I put you through," came a somehow heartbreaking reply. Kyle was teetering on the edge of tears, and all Kenny could do was stare in a state of shock and disbelief.
How could anyone ever hurt Kyle like that? He didn't think it was humanly possible for someone to put their hands on him in such a way, and he never once ever considered it might have happened before. That could explain why Kyle was so eager to get back together to begin with.
It wasn't because Kenny was the only lover he had ever known, it was because he was the only person on the face of the earth that Kyle really trusted.
He leaned to the side, moving his fur trimmed hood away from his cheeks as he planted a soft kiss on one of Kyle's curls. He felt Kyle lean into him, hoping for an embrace as he held Benjamin fast to his chest.
"You're here early," Dr. Gloveland commented in surprise as Kenny stood idly in his doorway. The room was flooded with yellow light from the fixture hanging above their heads, leaving Kenny blinded as he walked in from the dimmed hallway.
"I know," he mumbled in mutual disbelief while closing the door gently behind him. His feet moved on their own accord, dragging against the carpet before he dropped onto the chair before his doctor.
"So... what do I owe the honor of such an early visit, Kenneth?" Dr. Gloveland asked in genuine curiosity as he leaned forward in his chair and pressed his elbows into his desktop.
The air between them remained silent for quite some time while Kenny tried to summon the energy to speak. He looked so tried and warn, tears threatening to overflow and wet his cheeks once again.
"My boyfriend is waiting for me outside," Kenny confessed as he wiped at his eyes with his bare arm. "So I have to make this quick."
"Alright," Dr. Gloveland agreed, stiff with anticipation and perplexed. He had never seen Kenneth so worked up before, so what he was about to say would surly be interesting.
He took in a deep breath, his chest was burning and his fingers were twitching as he opened his mouth to speak.
"I'm ready to talk about the fire."