A/N A gift for a tumblr buddy. : )
"You're completely stupid, you know that?" The bite usually present in his words wasn't there and Kyle didn't have the energy to summon it. Lifting a cold washcloth from the bowl of ice water at his side, he laid it gently over Cartman's brow. Dabbing at the trails of droplets meandering down the boy's neck, Kyle let his eyes wander over the brunette's fitfully slumbering face. It had been over an hour since he'd fallen asleep, burning up with fever, wracked with tremors, and skin clammy and pale.
Kenny texted, his name lighting up on the face of Kyle's phone. Leaning over to read, Kyle raised his eyebrows. All the text said was: 'Vinegar and sugar. Rub it in. He needs to drink root beer.' The blond was texting from the zoo of all places, where he and Stan had gone to find the antidote for Cartman's spider bite. Before that all the boys had been at the hospital, where the doctor prescribed general antibiotic. But it wasn't working.
"What the fuck," he muttered sullenly, looking over his shoulder as Cartman groaned in his sleep. The washcloth had slipped from his head. Kyle picked it up, still holding his phone thoughtfully. "Well, better try it." Replacing the washcloth, Kyle jogged to the kitchen and lined up the ingredients Kenny noted. Pouring the root beer into one of Ike's old sippy cups, he set it aside to mix the vinegar and sugar. He assumed that the thickness ought to be paste-like if he was to rub in it, so he added a liberal amount of sugar, enough so that the consistency was almost like glaze frosting.
Cartman didn't stir when he pulled the blankets off him and put away the washcloth. They'd removed his pants and shirt, leaving him in a pair of Terrence and Phillip boxers and bright red socks. Smirking, Kyle looked forward to teasing the boy mercilessly about them—he'd already snapped a blackmailing picture earlier—but now he had to use the paste before it coagulated into something useless. He rolled up his sleeves, gingerly tugging the hem of Cartman's boxers down. Cheeks were dusted with a blush as he stubbornly didn't notice the line of Cartman's pelvis, which was visible when he was lying down. Ignoring the bigger picture, he just focused on the bandaged patch riding the V of Cartman's pelvic bone. Peeling the tape away Kyle winced at the angry red of the sore. The bite had grown at least three times the size of the initial puncture wound.
Around seven that morning Kyle got a frantic call from Cartman, immediately tuning him out and tossing his phone away. It was when Stan called him that he paid attention and realized that Cartman's frantic pleas had been legitimate. Apparently in a prank gone horribly wrong Cartman ended up getting bitten by some exotic tarantula.
Smearing his fingers with the paste, Kyle poked at the bite. His nose wrinkled slightly, but it was more from the stench of the vinegar than anything else. Having a little brother was almost like going through nursing school, and Kyle had seen and dealt with much worse than even this exotic spider bite. So without much hesitation he began to rub the paste into Cartman's side, careful to not damage the skin further. The body beneath his fingers flinched, but Kyle ignored it.
Brown eyes, muddled and hooded, stared at Kyle. Slowly recognition swam free from the murk and Cartman watched the redhead meditatively before closing his eyes again.
Fingers sticky with the foul-smelling paste, he went back to the kitchen to wash it off, scrubbing with "April Spring" dish soap. Who the fuck knew what "April Spring" was supposed to smell like, but it did the trick.
Now to get Cartman to drink the root beer. Skeptical about putting any carbonated beverage in a sick person, Kyle knelt by Cartman's side and gently shook him.
"Fatass," he hissed. "C'mon, Fatass. Cartman!"
"Kaaaahl?" came a threadbare whisper.
"Dude, wake up. You need to drink this."
"I… I can't, Kahl." His head lolled to the side.
Glaring at Cartman, lips pursed in a flat line of disapproval, Kyle snapped, "You need to drink this or you aren't going to get better."
"Don't let me die Kahl," he whimpered pathetically, eyes rolling beneath his lids. The redhead's face crumbled into grudging sympathy and a small flutter of excitement came to life in Eric's chest. "I can't."
"It's in a goddamn sippy cup," he said, holding it up. "It won't spill."
"Too… much," he panted, groaning.
Kyle tugged on the flaps of his hats, torn. "Well… Jesus, Cartman."
"Help me, Kahl," he whispered helplessly. The pain of the sore on his side had all but disappeared. Though the venom had been sucked out, the pain of the infection had sent him into fits before. But whatever stinky stuff Kyle had applied to the bite did wonders. That didn't mean Cartman wasn't going to milk the hell out of this situation. It was perfect. He was "delusional", Stan and Kenny were nowhere near, and Kyle was in nurse mode. Perfect.
Looking from the sippy cup to Cartman several times, Kyle made his decision. He looked miserable for it, but it wasn't like he had a choice. Choking Cartman on root beer wouldn't do any good for anyone, despite the hilarity that might ensue. And no one was here to see… Cartman probably wouldn't even remember… Fuck. Taking a deep breath, Kyle leaned down over Cartman, searching for the boy in his deep brown eyes. "Okay, Fatass, here's what I'm going to do…"
Every fiber of his being thrummed with anticipation as Kyle sipped from the cup, lying down beside Eric. Pulling up his head until it was elevated by Kyle's arm, the redhead then turned the brunette's face towards him. Meeting his eyes, expression conflicted, Kyle rested his free hand on the other side of Cartman's head, as if a prince looking adoringly down at his lover. Then, closing the space between them, he gently parted pale lips with his own and released the root beer slowly onto Cartman's tongue.
Swallowing, Eric stared at Kyle's face, the detail of his eyebrows, pale constellations made of barely visible freckles dusting his nose. Green eyes were closed, brow knit in consternation. He could smell Kyle's hair faintly, like vanilla. When the boy drew back to sip more from the cup, Eric snapped his eyes shut and waited for more.
Their lips fit together, warm against burning. Kyle felt hot, blushing madly as he passed more of the drink into Cartman's mouth. He could feel Cartman's side pressing along his stomach, the heavy weight of his head pinning his arm. Their lips tingled when they touched, and there was something distinctly uncomfortable when the barest sliver of liquid spread between their mouths.
Uncomfortable… in that it made his pants tighten across his crotch.
Breathing heavily, Kyle placed the cup back on the floor. "I think that's enough," he said, mostly to himself. When he looked up at Cartman's face his eyes widened to see Cartman staring right back at him, gaze uncannily bright. Drawing back, Kyle flinched when an arm pressed the back of his head. "Cartman?"
Pushing his head back to effectively trap Kyle's arm under it, Eric took advantage of Kyle's surprise and yanked the redhead down, opening his mouth to meet the surprised O shaping Kyle's moist lips. He shoved his tongue in, tasting root beer. Kyle was making mewling noises from the back of his throat, free hand pushing at Cartman's chest. Rolling over onto his side, Eric curled a leg over Kyle's hips and now the redhead ripped his mouth away, panting.
"Cartman," he gasped, "What—"
At that moment Kenny and Stan came ambling through the door, chattering back and forth about the insect exhibit at the zoo and just how excited the zookeepers were when they brought in the spider that had bitten Cartman. Kenny was exclaiming excitedly, "It's not money, but free passes to the zoo for life is pretty sweet!"
They stopped dead in their tracks when they saw Kyle and Cartman entangled on the floor. It only took a second for Kenny to whip out his phone and snap a picture.
"This… This isn't…" Kyle sputtered, beet red.
Cartman was smirking. "We were just playing nurse," he slurred, grinning when Kenny gave him an approving thumbs up.