I honestly don't know what I was doing...
Summary: One morning, Kyle Broflovski awakes to find that he's laid an egg. Somehow, Stan Marsh is responsible.
Disclaimer: I do not own South Park. This is just for fun and writing practice.
One Saturday morning, Kyle Broflovski awoke to find an egg in his bed. It wasn't a very large egg. It was blue with flecks of green spots patterned across its surface. It lay right underneath his covers, close to his left thigh. When he'd tossed back his blankets ready to bounce up and out of bed to start the day, he'd felt the small oval shape tap against his side. Confused about the egg's presence, Kyle stared at it.
Slowly, he reached down and picked it up. It was a real egg. He knew that much. It was light in weight; the shell thin with slight bumps. He rolled the little egg back and forth between his palms, trying to place the egg's species. Robins' eggs were blue? Weren't they? But this egg had small green spots too which made Kyle wonder if it were a bird's egg at all.
He brought the egg to his eye and examined it closer. It looked like an ordinary egg. But how did it get in his bed?
Standing up, Kyle moved to his window. He pulled back the curtains and checked the window latch. It was still snuggly in place. Peering out into the yard, Kyle eyed the trees running along the side of his neighbor's fence. Those trees were the only ones in his backyard. No way could a bird's nest even be close enough for an egg to just fall out of and land in Kyle's room, let alone his bed. But then again, the window would have had to been open in the first place. Kyle gave the window another quick tug. Nope, still locked.
Puzzled and tugging at the red curls that peeked out from beneath the green ushanka he never took off, Kyle turned back to his bed. He held up the egg and then glanced at his window then back to his bed. A strange and silly thought flooded through Kyle's head, and he instantly berated himself for thinking it. It was absurd. Stupid. Completely illogical.
Yet, where else did the egg come from?
Kyle set the egg on his pillow and made his bed. He found no other eggs beneath his covers. Kyle pulled on a t-shirt and jeans all while staring at the little egg. Perhaps, someone had placed the egg in his bed during the night? But who would do such a thing? His parents would have no reason for it. His little brother Ike didn't have much of a sense of humor, but when he did it probably would be a lot cleverer than just slipping a real egg into someone's bed in the hopes that they would roll over onto it during the night.
After returning from the bathroom with his teeth brushed, Kyle stood in the middle of his room, nervously tucking stray red curls back up under his green hat. He glanced at a mirror hanging on his closet door. Behind him he could see the little egg resting on his pillow. He sighed thinking it wouldn't be good for the egg if he left it lying around. It might get cold. So, Kyle crossed the room to his bed and snatched up the egg. He dropped it into a pocket on the front of his orange jacket and then exited his room. He met his little brother Ike in the hallway. The four-year old was on his way to the bathroom. He said good morning to Kyle, yawing and rubbing at his eyes.
"Hey, Ike," Kyle said slowly. "You…uh…didn't happen to hear anyone sneak into my room last night did you?"
Ike shook his head.
Kyle frowned. He reached into his pocket and took out the egg. He held it up for his little brother to see. Ike gave Kyle a puzzled look.
"Where you get that?" Ike asked his voice high with curiosity. He stood on his tiptoes to get a better look at the egg.
Kyle scratched the back of his neck thoughtfully. "It was in my bed this morning. I don't know how it got there. It wasn't there last night," he explained. Ike stared.
"Did you lay it?" Ike blinked up at his big brother. His large black eyes filled with wonder at the thought.
"That's impossible," Kyle laughed. He brought the egg closer to his chest, rubbing his finger over the little bumps of the shell. "Humans don't lay eggs, Ike. You know that."
Ike tilted his head, his eyes narrowed in thought. "But how'd it get to your bed 'less you laid it?"
Kyle shook his head. "Ike, people don't lay eggs. This is – this is clearly a bird's egg. Maybe a robin's egg."
Ike crossed his arms over his chest. "How'da robin's egg get to your room?"
Throwing up his arms, Kyle said, "Hell if I know. But I didn't lay it."
Ike rolled his eyes and stalked off towards the hall bathroom. He shut the door with a snap, and Kyle glared at it. Tucking the little egg back into his pocket, Kyle headed downstairs. He sat at the kitchen table with a bowl of cereal before him. His mother Sheila Broflovski was standing at the stove, frying eggs.
"Hey, Ma, did you hear anything strange last night?" Kyle asked around a large spoonful of Cheerios. His mother gave him a look.
"Don't talk with your mouth full, bubbeh," she scolded. Kyle swallowed.
"Well, did you hear anything?"
Sheila shook her head. "I didn't hear anything, Kyle. Why did you hear something? Was it the neighbor's cat? I keep telling Mrs. Phillips that cat gets into our garbage. Your father has already had to clean up two torn bags already!"
His mother twittered about, scraping the fried eggs onto a plate. She sat down beside Kyle at the table.
"I didn't hear anything, Ma," Kyle explained. He watched his mother cut into one of her eggs; the yellow yolk bled across the plate. "I – I mean, well, I guess maybe I was just wondering if anyone had been in my room."
His mother took a sip of coffee. She waved one well manicured hand dismissively. "No one went into your room last night, bubbeh. Your father and I would have heard your door open."
She turned back to her plate of eggs and spooned a few into her mouth. Kyle sat watching her chew.
"Hey, Ma, what do you think of a boy laying an egg?"
Sheila chuckled to herself as if remembering an old joke. "Oh, bubbeh, why do you think our family's been able to live so happily together? It's because you're a boy who doesn't lay eggs. I pity the poor family of a boy who would betray them like that."
Kyle continued eating his breakfast, very confused about the direction the conversation had turned. He decided not to ask any more questions.
An hour later, Kyle stood outside the home of his Super Best Friend Stan Marsh. He still had the egg tucked safely in his coat's front pocket. When Stan finally answered the door, Kyle stepped inside without an invitation. Stan shut the door behind him and turned to grin at his best friend. Kyle pulled the egg out of his pocket and held it right under Stan's nose for him to see.
"I laid an egg this morning," Kyle stated simply. Stan's jaw dropped.
"I said, I laid an egg," Kyle repeated. He petted the egg. "And somehow you're responsible."
"How am I responsible?" he asked, eyeing the egg with annoyance now.
"I don't know…I just feel you are," Kyle stated simply. He walked into the Marsh's living room and sat down on the couch. He perched the little egg on his lap and turned on the television. Stan stood in the middle of the room.
"Well, what do you want me to do about it?" Stan asked, resigning to indulge in Kyle's crazy claims.
"Support us, or course."
Kyle shrugged. "I have no fucking idea, but you better do it!"
Stan scratched at his ear. "You're not making much sense."
"Well, neither is a boy laying an egg, yet here we are."
Stan climbed onto the couch and sat next to his friend. He gave the little egg in Kyle's lap an apprehensive look. Kyle noticed and held up the egg.
"Do you want to hold it?"
Stan started. "Er…sure?" He opened up his palms, and Kyle set the egg down. Stan cupped it between his fingers and brought it close to his chest. The egg felt very warm despite its blue color.
"It's got little green spots on it," Stan noted.
"I know," Kyle said, picking up the remote to turn the channels. Stan petted the little egg.
"Is it a bird's egg?" Stan tried to move the egg into the light.
Kyle huffed. "I just told you, Stan. It's my egg. I laid it."
Stan frowned. "How?"
Kyle let out an exasperated sigh. "Because you are responsible. Did I not just go over this?"
Stan gave the egg a puzzled look.
"How did I make you lay an egg?"
Kyle leaned back against the couch, his elbow brushing against Stan's.
"Probably happened last night, when we were over at Kenny's."
"Really?" Stan asked, his eyes widening.
Kyle nodded. "Yes."
Stan gave the egg back to Kyle. Kyle set it upon his lap once more and began to pet it. Stan took off his hat and scratched his head in thought.
"I guess I should take responsibility then," Stan mused. "Will I have to get a job?"
"Probably," Kyle said his voice low. He had his eyes closed and was lightly humming under his breath as he rocked the egg in his palm.
"Can I be a rock star?" Stan questioned further. Kyle shook his head, his eyes still closed.
"No, that would be too loud for Chanticleer," Kyle explained. "You'd keep him up with you practicing."
Stan raised an eyebrow. "Chanticleer?" He looked down at the blue and green speckled egg. "Is that its name?"
"His name," Kyle corrected. "You can call him C.C. for short."
Stan nodded, grinning. "Okay!" He paused. "Can I get a job as a dolphin trainer?"
Kyle laughed under his breath. "There aren't any dolphins in South Park."
"In Denver they have the aquarium," Stan explained. "I could work there."
Kyle shook his head. "But that's so far away. You wouldn't be able to see us as often as you wanted."
"I guess you have a point."
Kyle opened his eyes and looked down at the little egg. He rubbed a finger over its bumpy surface. Stan continued to ponder possible career choices. He mused over whether or not the local pound would allow him to take some of the dogs off their hands so that he could start his very own dog circus.
"Then I could be my own boss," Stan said importantly. Kyle nodded.
"Oh, that's a good idea! Then you could set your own rules and hours."
"Yeah! And I wouldn't have to be away from you or C.C.," Stan said happily, kicking out his feet for emphasis. He leaned over and gave Kyle a one armed hug.
"Should we go to the pound now?" Stan asked his enthusiasm spilling over as he bounced on the edge of the couch. He was a diehard dog lover. Kyle said okay and got up off the couch. He held the egg cupped in his hands, but didn't make any move towards the door. Stan gave him a look.
"What if C.C. gets hurt while we're outside? In town?" Kyle said, eyeing the front door as if it might explode. Stan turned to look at the door too. Both boys noticed the snow starting to fall thickly pass the front window.
"It's cold out too," Stan sighed sadly. "I guess we could wait for the snow to stop?"
Kyle bit his lip. "I don't know. It's best you start working right away. Who knows how much C.C. will cost us?"
Stan crossed his arms over his chest. "You're right."
The two boys stood in the middle of the living room, thinking. Stan began to pace back and forth while Kyle rubbed his chin thoughtfully. With his free hand, he clutched C.C. the egg to his chest.
A few seconds later, Kyle snapped his fingers.
"I know what to do!"
Stan stopped pacing. "What?"
Kyle unzipped his jacket. Lifting up his shirt, he placed the egg against his stomach, and then lowered his shirt over it. He zipped his orange coat back up once more. He pressed his hands over the tiny bump that was now the egg wedged firmly on top of his belly button.
"Now it's safe and warm!" Kyle exclaimed. Stan gave him the thumbs up.
Outside, the snow came down in large tufts. It collected on top of their hats and settled on their shoulders as they walked down the sidewalk. Kyle didn't want to move too fast, afraid he might drop his egg out from under his shirt. He made Stan wait while he tried tucking in his t-shirt to better keep the egg cradled against his stomach. When he'd tucked his hem in as much as possible, he indicated to Stan that they could keep walking. Kyle still moved slowly, and Stan fell behind to keep up with his pace. As they walked, Stan talked about the kinds of dogs he would have in his circus.
"I got to get a Dalmatian," Stan explained to Kyle. "See we can have a clown act where the Dalmatians put out a pretend fire."
"And Poodles are good for acrobatic stuff. Oh! And we need to get a Collie too. Like Lassie. What other dogs do you think can work?" Stan turned to Kyle his eyes bright.
"What about Sparky? Can he do any tricks?" Kyle thought of the gay dog fondly. He had been frolicking in Stan's backyard as they left the house. His pink bandana still hung boldly about the scruffy mutt's neck.
"I tried to get him to jump through a hoop once," Stan recalled. He looked off thoughtfully down the street. He made a diving motion with his hand. "But I kept showing him how to do it, but he never did anything. He just ended up humping the neighbor's German Sheppard."
Kyle snorted. "Nice."
Half way to the pound, Stan and Kyle saw their friends Eric Cartman and Kenny McCormick hanging outside the local game store. Cartman was apparently bragging that his mother had bought him the latest 3DS game on the market. He held a football and juggled it back and forth as if the action could emphasize how awesome this new game was to his friend. Kenny, on the other hand, seemed to only be half listening, eyeing his tubby friend with a mixture of annoyance and exhaustion. When he saw Stan and Kyle approaching, Kenny's eyes widened as if he'd just found his rescue. Cartman noticed Kyle's strange behavior first.
"What's wrong with your stomach, Jew?" he demanded, throwing the football high over his head and then catching it as it fell. Kyle frowned at him. He glanced at Stan who didn't say anything.
"Nothing," Kyle finally replied. He clutched at the egg a little harder.
"Then why are you holding your stomach? You hiding your Jew Gold under there?" he guessed, his face turning thoughtful as he mentioned the prospect of gold. "You do have gold under there, don't you?"
"Fuck off, fatass," Kyle snapped. He tried to walk around the fat boy, but Cartman blocked his path. Stan moved to stand behind Kyle, eyeing Cartman warily.
"Move, Cartman," Stan warned. He placed a hand on Kyle's shoulder.
"Where are you guys going?" Kenny asked his voice obscured by his orange hood as usual.
"Going to the pound to get some dogs," Stan explained not taking his eyes off Cartman or the football he continued to toss between his chubby hands. "I'm starting a dog circus," Stan added.
Kenny grinned. "Cool! Can I join?"
Stan turned to him. "I get to be the boss. So, you'll have to listen to what I say. I'll be the ring leader."
"Can I be the strong man?" Kenny asked. Cartman laughed.
"You're too skinny to be a strong man."
"And you're too fat," Kyle interjected, smirking.
"AY! Don't call me fat! And what the fuck are you hiding under your jacket?" Cartman lunged towards Kyle, but Stan was too quick. He stepped between the two and shoved Cartman hard in the chest causing the boy to fall backwards onto his wide rear end.
"Shit! What the fuck, Stan?" Cartman growled, rubbing at his backside. Stan squared his shoulders, bracing his feet on the sidewalk. Snow swirled around him as he crossed his arms over his chest. Kyle peeked out from behind him.
"Serves you right, asshole," Kyle said, sticking out his tongue. "You don't go grabbin' at people."
Cartman struggled to his feet. Stan kept his stance.
"Fine! Keep your dirty Jew Gold! I don't want it!" He straightened his jacket, tugging it down with a huff. He readjusted his hat and, picking up his football, started towards the game shop's entrance. Halfway there, he whirled around and chucked the football straight at Kyle. Kyle flinched, covering his stomach, but he never felt the football hit him. Looking up he saw Stan standing before him this time with the Cartman's football clutched to his chest. He panted for breath as if he'd had the wind knocked out of him. Cartman scowled, seeing that his plan had been foiled. He disappeared into the game shop without another word. Kenny sniggered under his breath.
Kyle sighed. "Thanks, Stan."
"No problem, dude," Stan managed to gasp, dropping the football. "You told me I had to be responsible, right?"
Kyle nodded, feeling his chest swell as Stan smiled at him.
"What do you have under your jacket?" Kenny asked, taking a step towards Kyle.
"An egg," Kyle explained. Stan moved to stand beside Kyle again, and Kenny leaned in closer.
Frowning, Kenny said, "Why do you have an egg under your jacket? Are you going to eat it?"
Kyle shook his head frantically. Stan's face paled.
"We aren't going to eat it!" Kyle nearly shouted. "It's my egg! How could you think I'd eat it?"
Kenny scratched his head. "'Cause that's what you do with fucking eggs, dudes. I like mine scrambled with lots of ketchup. Course that's only if my mom's managed to buy eggs that week. She hasn't in a long time." Kenny stared at Kyle's stomach where the boy held the little egg.
"I miss having scrambled eggs," he sighed wistfully.
Stan and Kyle exchanged glances.
"Well, you can't eat this one," Kyle snapped, taking a step back. Kenny's gaze hadn't left Kyle's stomach.
"Waste of a fucking good egg, if you ask me," Kenny insisted. "I mean what are you going to do with it? Are you just going to keep it under your shirt?"
Kyle nodded. "I want it to hatch, duh."
Kenny raised an eyebrow at that claim. Stan moved to stand between his two friends.
"We're heading to the dog pound now." With that said he reached behind him and took hold of Kyle's elbow. He brought the boy to his side and began walking him down the sidewalk. Kyle continued to keep his hands clasped firmly over the egg's hiding spot. They had walked about ten paces away from the game shop when they heard Kenny behind them. He followed them at a slower pace.
"You know...," Kenny raised his voice. "You know, guys, I kind of want to see what the egg looks like."
Stan looked over his shoulder. "Not now, Kenny."
"Is it a chicken's egg? Is it one of the brown ones? Those taste the best, I think." Kenny continued as if Stan hadn't spoken.
Kyle gave Kenny a quick glance too. "No, it's not a chicken's egg. It's MY egg. We keep telling you that."
"Yeah, but I'm sure it still cracks like a chicken's egg," Kenny mused, his pace picking up. Stan and Kyle walked faster too. "I'm sure it has a yellowy yolk thing. That's my favorite part of eggs."
"That's nice, Kenny," Stan rushed out conversationally. Kyle gave Stan a look.
"It's fun watchin' my mom cook the egg. It sizzles and goes from clear to white real fast. She even taught me how long you're supposed to cook them for. I make good sunny-side-up ones for Karen…," Kenny trailed off. He kicked through the snowy sidewalk, nearly at a jog. Meanwhile, Stan and Kyle had increased their speed too or as much as Kyle would allow with his hands still clamped firmly over the little egg.
"I really wish Mom would buy some eggs," Kenny panted as he kept up with Stan and Kyle. The dog pound loomed up in the distance. "I feel like I haven't eaten a good breakfast for days…. What did you say the egg looked like again, guys? Guys? Guys?"
Stan and Kyle had disappeared from the sidewalk.
Unfortunately for Stan and Kyle, the pound wouldn't let them have any dogs. Stan had emptied his pockets of change which consisted of ten dollars, fourteen pennies and a grungy looking nickel. He claimed he could get more from his parents, but the young woman behind the counter simply shook her head.
"Sorry, hun, I just can't give you twenty dogs," she gave Stan a patronizing smile, apparently charmed by his talk of a dog circus. "Now, if you come back with your parents, then maybe you can come on back and see one!"
She turned back to her computer screen, ending the conversation. Kyle and Stan exchanged looks and sadly walked outside.
"Well, that sucks," Stan sighed. "Now what should I do for a job?" He looked at Kyle, who was petting his stomach to make sure the egg was still tucked safely under his shirt.
"I don't know, dude," Kyle said straightening up, his hands still clasped over his tummy. "You could get a job at Shakey's Pizza."
Stan shook his head. "You got to be like sixteen to get a job there. Actually, that's like a lot of other places in South Park. I don't think I'm old enough to get a job yet, dude."
Kyle started heading for the door of the pound. Stan followed, still talking. "I mean, I know the library takes volunteers of all ages and so does the church, but like those don't pay."
"Well, you'll find something," Kyle said over his shoulder. They were outside again. The snow had picked up and a wind swept through the streets. Kyle shuddered, and Stan pressed himself close.
"Are you sure I'm responsible?" Stan asked, peeking at Kyle's stomach.
Kyle nodded. "I'm positive. Who else would take responsibility, Stan? I mean do you want me to take care of C.C. by myself?"
"Good." Kyle smiled. "Now, let's go home. It's too cold out for the egg."
The warmest space in Stan's house was the upstairs hallway closet. It stood at the very end of the hall, the only door on a tiny square of wall. Inside, old musty winter coats hung from a high rung. One scarf trailed to the ground, bunching in the corner. Several shoe boxes had been stacked in the back, but Kyle had Stan shove them into the hallway. A single light bulb glowed yellow, muffled light onto the cluster of blankets Stan had dragged into the closet. He wrapped them in a circle on the floor, creating a makeshift nest. He stocked the small closet with juice boxes, a bag of teddy grahams, three apples, and a single chocolate bar. To complete the small hovel, Stan tossed in two pillows from his bed and collapsed on top of them.
Kyle made himself comfortable upon the nest of blankets. He pulled the little egg out from under his shirt and cupped it in his hands.
"Do you have the pad and pencil?" Kyle asked Stan. Stan, who'd been sucking from a grape juice box, nodded. He held up the items.
"Okay, let's start listing off jobs for you."
Twenty minutes later Stan had listed roughly thirteen different occupations. Kyle had shot down nine of them. The four that remained included doctor, fire fighter, chef, and elephant tamer. Kyle particularly liked the last one, but unfortunately South Park was rather scarce of elephants.
"Kyle, a lot of these jobs I can't really get right now."
Kyle held the bag of teddy grahams in his lap. He pulled out a handful and ate them one at a time from his palm. In his other hand, he continued to cradle the egg.
"This responsibility thing is harder than I thought," Kyle mused.
"Yeah…I guess we can always just live off our parents for awhile until we find something I can do." Stan dropped the pad of paper and rubbed at his eyes. Kyle tapped him on the shoulder.
"Do you want to hold C.C.?"
"Yeah." Stan opened up his hands, and Kyle set the egg down. Kyle then lay on his side amongst the blankets, looking up at Stan. He watched as Stan petted the egg gently with his fingers. Kyle was glad Stan believed him about the egg. It was strange to think he had actually laid it, but there hadn't been any other explanation for it.
Kyle poked Stan in the thigh. "Hey, dude."
"I don't know if we can rely on our parents."
Stan blinked. "What? Why not? My mom gave me the juice boxes. She said she'd get more at the store later."
"I meant my parents, I guess." Kyle sighed. "My mom said I'd bring shame to the family if I was a boy who laid eggs."
Stan's mouth hung open. "She said that?"
Kyle ducked his head. "Yeah."
Kyle closed his eyes. "I'll just live in here now. Is that okay? I mean, she still doesn't know about C.C., so I better just lay low here."
Stan frowned. He set down the egg and patted Kyle's shoulder. "Sure, Kyle. You can stay here as long as you want. Though, I really don't think your mom would hate you if you laid an egg."
Curling into a ball, Kyle closed his eyes. "You should sing to C.C."
Stan blushed. "I don't want to sing."
"But I bet C.C. would like that." Kyle pulled one of the blankets over him. He opened up his palm for Stan to hand back the egg. "Sing whatever you want, but make it soft."
As Stan started clearing his throat, the closet door opened. The sudden excess light made both Stan and Kyle flinch. Sitting up, Kyle found himself staring at Stan's mother Sharon Marsh.
"Hello, boys, sorry to bother you, but your little friends Kenny and Eric are outside," she explained, bending down to collect a few of the empty juice boxes. "They want to know if you two can play."
"Tell them we can't play," Stan said. "Kyle and I are busy."
Mrs. Marsh raised an eyebrow at her son. She looked between Kyle amongst his nest of blankets with his little egg perched on his lap to her son who had picked up the pad of paper and pencil, trying to look important. She noted the rest of the boy's food stash stuffed in the closet's corner.
"What are you busy with?" she asked, standing up. "It's so stuffy in here. Don't you want to play in your room?"
"It's warmer in here," Kyle piped up. "I need to keep my egg warm."
Mrs. Marsh's lip twitched, forcing down a grin at Kyle's explanation. "I see."
Stan stood up. "Yeah, Mom, about the egg…can Kyle stay with us?"
"What for the night? Stan, you know you don't have to ask. Kyle's always welcome here." She began to back up out of the closet. "It's okay with your mother, right?" she asked, pointing at Kyle.
"Uh…." Kyle looked at Stan.
"Mom, I mean, can Kyle stay with us…forever?" Stan corrected. He clasped his hands together, pleading. Mrs. Marsh laughed.
"I don't think Sheila would like that."
Kyle shot up, holding his egg close to his chest. "But, Mrs. Marsh, I'm bringing shame to my family."
Mrs. Marsh frowned. "What?"
"I laid this egg this morning." Kyle held out the egg for the mother to see. "Stan has to help me take responsibility. But my mom said that it would be shameful if a boy laid an egg. I think she might kick me out of the house."
Kyle's eyes were wide as if that reaction could will Mrs. Marsh to understand his plight. Stan nodded vigorously beside him to show his support.
"I have to be responsible, Mom," Stan added. He held up his list of possible career choices. "That's why Kyle and I are trying to figure out what job I can get to support Kyle and the egg."
Mrs. Marsh was silent. Kyle and Stan watched as she seemed to struggle with how to hold her mouth. Her lips appeared determined to sneak into a smile, but she fought it. Her cheeks were slightly red, and she bit her lip.
She managed to ask, "So, you want Kyle to live with us…because you are somehow responsible for him laying an egg?"
Stan beamed, glad his mother understood. "Yep!"
"Okay. Kyle can stay," Stan's mother managed to add before having to cover her smile with her hand.
Kyle smiled too. "Thank you, Mrs. Marsh. I promise I won't be any trouble."
Mrs. Marsh was backing up down the hall. She kept biting down on her lip, nodding encouragingly at the boys.
"Well, before you – um – go back to playing in the hall closet, please tell your friends outside that you aren't coming out to play." Mrs. Marsh had her hand on the handle of her bedroom door. She leaned on it. Before opening the door, she quickly added, "Also, tell Eric he has to clean up after those dogs. I don't want to find our trash shredded all over the lawn."
She ducked inside her room and closed the door. Kyle and Stan exchanged looks as they heard fits of giggling drift from Stan's parents' bedroom.
"Wonder what your mom thought was so funny?" Kyle mused, leading the way down the hallway. He tucked the egg back up under his shirt and jacket. When he and Stan reached the stairs, Kyle took them slowly with his hands over his stomach.
"She said Cartman had dogs…maybe they look funny?" Stan replied. His eyes widened. Kyle glanced at him.
"Dogs?" they said together. Stan and Kyle rushed the rest of the way down the steps. Stan kept his hand on Kyle's elbow while Kyle's hands were occupied with keeping the egg safe. Reaching the front door, Stan threw it open to find Kenny and Cartman standing out in the snowy yard. Cartman wore an ugly brown tailcoat and a top hat. Meanwhile, Kenny struggled up and down the walkway, trying to restrain five dogs nearly as big as him.
Stan gaped, pointing at the animals.
"Where'd you get these dogs?"
Cartman puffed out his chest. "The shelter. I made my mom get them for me. Now, I can start my own dog circus. And you guys can't join! Nananananana!" He stuck out his tongue at Stan and Kyle and then turned to Kenny. "Come on! I'm not feeding you to just fuck around."
Stan's shoulders slumped. "But I wanted to start a dog circus." He looked glumly at Kyle who huffed.
"Too late, fags." Cartman called over his shoulder as he and Kenny headed towards the sidewalk. "But I might be persuaded to let you have them…with the right price."
"Price?" Stan said hopefully, looking at Kyle as if he needed his permission.
Kyle marched forward still holding his stomach.
"Fatass, the dog circus was our idea! You can't just steal it and then expect us to pay for it!"
Drawing himself up to his full height, Eric looked down his nose at Kyle. Kyle was shorter than him and a bit vulnerable looking with his hands pressed over his stomach. However, the Kyle appeared unfazed and continued to glare up at his fat friend.
Cartman eyed Kyle's stomach. "Give me your Jew Gold, and I might give you three dogs. Maybe."
"Fuck you!" Kyle snapped. "We're not paying you anything."
"So, you admit you have Jew Gold, but won't use it to pay for the dogs?" Cartman pressed. "That's awfully stingy of you, Kahl. Stanny, really likes those dogs." He nodded at something behind Kyle.
Kyle glanced over his shoulder to see Stan petting two of the mutts at once while one licked his face.
"STAN!" Kyle snapped. Stan started and jumped up.
Kyle pointed to the spot on his right side. "Get over here."
"Now," Kyle turned back to Cartman, "I don't have any Jew Gold, Fatass. And you're retarded."
"A retard that's going to have his own dog circus!" Cartman gloated. Stan sighed next to Kyle.
Kyle held in his frustration and trying to clear his head of further fat insults, said, "Cartman, you know I don't have any Jew Gold. Remember I threw it away in that burning building, that one time?"
Stan mumbled something about breaking a beaver dam, but Kyle ignored him.
"Anyway," Kyle said loudly. "I don't have any money. Neither of us does." Kyle indicated him and Stan. "That's why we want a dog circus in the first place. We need money."
Cartman frowned, apparently remembering Kyle's untimely departure with his Jew Gold. "What do you need money for, Kahl?"
Kyle glanced sideways at Stan.
"That's none of your business."
Cartman's head rose. "It's under your shirt. What you've got hidden is why you need money!"
Kenny made a noise of agreement behind them. The dogs kept dragging him from one bush to the next in Stan's yard. A rather large slobbery, brutish dog lifted its leg against Stan's father's pickup truck.
"What is it?" Cartman said eagerly. He took a step closer to Kyle. "I want to see it."
Kyle backed up. "No!"
"I'll give you two dogs if you let me see it!" Cartman wheedled. Stan eyed Kyle hopefully, but the redhead shook his head.
"Dammit, Kahl! I wanna see it!" Cartman whined. He made a hasty step forward again and once more Kyle sidestepped. Stan was suddenly alert now. He moved with Kyle, keeping one hand on his friend's elbow. Kyle still hadn't removed his hands from his stomach.
"Stop it, Cartman!" Kyle warned. He stepped behind Stan. Cartman ready now for Stan's intervention used his great bulking stomach to barrel into the skinnier boy. Both Stan and Cartman toppled to the ground. Kyle yelped and tripped backwards, landing on his rear. He quickly checked the egg and was glad to find it unharmed. Meanwhile, Stan and Cartman rolled around on the ground, kicking and punching. They snarled insults, and Cartman even tried to pull out Stan's hair.
A shout from across the lawn made all three boys look up. Kenny had lost control of four of the dogs he'd been restraining. Apparently the argument and the two boys tussling on the ground had gotten the dogs excited and with a mighty tug had taken off running. Kenny lay dazed in the snow while the dogs bolted in the direction of Kyle.
Panicking, Kyle scrambled up only to fall back onto his knees with one hand clutching his stomach. The two big dogs were almost upon him, when he felt Stan throw himself on top of him, shielding him with his own body. Suddenly, they were surrounded by heavy snuffling and panting as the dogs attempted to nip attention from the cowering boys. One dog broke away, bounding at Cartman, and Kyle heard the fat boy command Kenny to get his skinny ass to work to restrain the beast.
Fortunately, the dogs surrounding Stan and Kyle weren't vicious, just too overenthusiastic. Kyle didn't want to risk moving, lest one of the bigger mutts, knock into him with its heavy body. Even the dogs' tails were like large paddles, whipping back and forth in excitement. Stan shoved at a golden furred dog who was barking nonstop. Stan held it by the collar, bodily restraining it from jumping on top of Kyle. Meanwhile, the dog's tongue hung out and slobbered drool all down Kyle's neck.
"Get off! No! Shoo!" Stan cried, but the dogs didn't understand.
Then without warning the dogs froze. Kyle peeked up and saw Kenny standing in the middle of yard, a small silver whistle between his lips. He appeared to give another short blast with it, and the dogs surrounding Stan and Kyle scampered back towards Kenny.
"Dude," Stan breathed.
Kyle got to his feet. He rubbed his stomach and was relieved to feel the egg whole and safe. Stan was staring at Kenny in wonder as he managed to get all five dogs to sit.
"Dude," Stan repeated. He stood next to Kenny, admiring the dogs. One even waved its paw when Kenny pointed at it while giving the whistle two silent notes.
Kenny pulled the whistle out of his mouth. He looked at it thoughtfully. "Huh, didn't think that'd actually work."
Stan beamed at Kenny. "That was awesome, dude!"
"Can I still be in the circus?" Kenny asked sheepishly. Stan nodded.
"Dude, you can be fuckin' ringleader."
Kyle started to laugh at the two, but the sound died in his throat as Cartman's punch to the gut doubled him over in pain. There was a small crack that rent the air and everyone went silent. Cartman hopped backwards confused by what he'd just touched. Kyle stood shaking, unable to move as he felt something cold and wet drip down his stomach.
And then Stan was in front of him, calling his name and clutching at his shoulders. Kyle shoved him away.
"What the hell's under there?" Cartman asked, looking at his knuckles and then at Kyle's stomach.
Slowly, Kyle backed away from Stan and Cartman. He took hold of his coat's zipper and brought it down. As he pulled the coat open, he saw his t-shirt had been stained. He peeled up the fabric to reveal broken eggshells and a dripping yellow yolk. He shivered as the wintery wind hit his bare skin, the mixture of broken shells and egg sliding down his stomach. He lifted a shaking hand and wiped the mess away. A piece of eggshell scratched him.
Cartman started to laugh. "An egg? You had an egg under there? Weak."
Stan rounded on him, hitting him in the side. "Shut the fuck up, Cartman!"
"Hey, what the fuck's your problem, Stan?" Cartman asked, taking a step back. Stan's fist rose again, and Cartman held out his hands defensively, hiding his face. "It's just a stupid egg."
"And they weren't even going to eat it," Kenny interjected sadly, eyeing the remains of the egg.
"Shut up!" Stan spat, shoving Kenny away too. Turning around Stan stared at Kyle. "…Dude?"
Kyle raised his head. He'd been staring at the small scraps of blue eggshell littered upon the snow. He hadn't heard any of his friends' conversation. He just looked at his egg. Stan stood in front of him again. He was speaking, but Kyle felt like he heard the words as if they were drifting through cloth, muffled.
"Kyle, are you okay?" Stan asked, placing both his hands on Kyle's shoulders. Kyle still held his shirt up and his jacket open. Stan brought his hands down to cup Kyle's fingers. He ended up getting his own fingers wet with egg yolk. "Kyle?" he repeated.
Kyle blinked as if awakening. "Cartman's right…it was just – just an egg."
Stan clenched his fingers over Kyle's hands.
"Yeah…but…it was your egg," Stan whispered.
Kyle pulled away. "I want to go clean this off me." He finally dropped his shirt and brought his hands to his sides.
"I don't feel like playing anymore today," he added.
Kyle refused to leave Stan's hallway closet. After Stan had called his mother out of the house to force Cartman and Kenny to leave, Kyle had wandered back inside the Marsh's home in a daze. Stan had taken his hand and led him to the upstairs bathroom, where he cleaned up the mess the broken egg had left. Stan had made Kyle pull off his shirt, handing him a wash cloth, but Kyle seemed determined not to pay Stan any attention. Finally, Stan resolved the problem by washing Kyle's stomach for him. Throughout the whole task, Kyle didn't say a word. When Stan had finished, Kyle tugged his shirt back over his head and disappeared into the hallway closet. He curled up in the nest of blankets and faced the wall. Stan sat beside him, saying nothing.
Stan and Kyle slept in the closet that night. Kyle slept in his clothes despite Stan having brought him a pair of pajamas to borrow. The two boys slept side by side, with Stan pressed against Kyle's back and an arm wrapped around his waist. As the sounds of the house outside the closet died down and the rest of Stan's family slept, Kyle's mind began to replay the afternoon's events in fast forward. Kyle curled tighter around himself, staring at the closet's wall. He couldn't close his eyes. If he did, he saw his egg, broken and splattered all over his stomach.
He let out a low, shaky sigh, trying to exhale the vision with his breath. Stan moved, and Kyle started. Stan was petting Kyle's hair.
"It's okay," Stan mumbled, his voice clouded with sleep.
"I know," Kyle lied. "I just – I'm just mad at Cartman…I can't see straight."
Stan clutched Kyle closer to his chest.
"It's okay, Kyle."
"S-stop s-saying that," Kyle rushed out, feeling his chest constrict and his eyes sting with tears. He wanted Stan to stop touching him. He felt stupid for letting an egg affect him so much. A fucking egg.
"Sorry," Stan replied, pressing his forehead to Kyle's shoulder.
Kyle said nothing more. He slept restlessly through the night.
The next day Kyle woke up alone. He sat up in his nest of blankets, searching sleepily around him for Stan. The closet was dark except for a small sliver of light inching its way out from around the edges of the door. Kyle sighed and lay on his back. He stared up at the old winter coats, hanging above his head. Bits of dust shifted through the air. They drifted lazily in and out of sight as they hit parts of the light leaking its way inside the closet. Kyle closed his eyes.
Slowly, he searched around his bedding. He felt a rounded bump under one of the blankets. For one brief moment, his heart raced. He sat up and tossed aside the covers only to find an alarm clock. Kyle frowned at it, wondering when Stan had brought it into the closet. It read 11:36AM. He checked the clock's alarm setting and noticed it had been fixed for six in the morning. Funny, Kyle thought, he hadn't heard it go off.
Setting the clock down, Kyle resumed his position in the blankets, now rolling into a ball. He was just beginning to wonder where Stan was when the closet door opened and light filled the entire space.
Squinting, Kyle rolled over. He saw Stan's body silhouetted against the light of the hall. Quickly, Stan tossed in a stack of books and then set down what appeared to be a small cardboard box. He turned around and closed the door with a snap, flooding the closet with muted darkness once more.
Kyle sat up.
"Hey," he said glumly. "I didn't lay another egg this morning." He said it like an apology.
Stan frowned sympathetically. He patted Kyle's shoulder.
Kyle nodded, not looking at Stan.
Stan picked up his brown box. He tapped the edges nervously and stared down at its closed lid.
"I…um…I have something for you," he began.
"What?" Kyle looked up.
"Close your eyes."
Kyle did so.
"Hold out your hands. Palms up. And don't freak out, okay?" Stan explained. Kyle could hear the lid flaps of the cardboard box slid open.
Frowning, Kyle asked, "Why would I freak out?"
Kyle waited with his hands outstretched. He heard Stan rummage in the box with a strange scuffling noise, like he was trying to scoop something up along the bottom. Then Kyle felt something small and warm and soft being placed into his hands.
And it moved.
"Open your eyes," Stan ordered, his voice strained with repressed excitement.
Kyle did so and found himself staring into the upturned face of a tiny baby chick.
"Oh," Kyle managed to whisper. He felt his voice catch in his throat, and he coughed lightly. Stan stared eagerly at Kyle's face, waiting. He appeared somewhat frightened, rocking slightly on his knees as he leaned closer to Kyle.
"I got him from the farm at the edge of town," Stan explained. "They have a petting zoo for little kids. They let me have him."
The tiny chick made a small 'peep' sound. It kept its eyes fixed on Kyle's face as if it found him extremely fascinating. Kyle curled his fingers a little closer around the bird, making sure it didn't tumble out of his hands. The chick was fuzzy and yellow with tiny orange feet barely peeking out from underneath its plump little body.
Kyle brought the chick to his chest, hiding his face from Stan as he did so.
"Do you like him?"
Stan reached behind him and picked up the stack of books.
"See I went to the library and checked out all these books on raising chickens and roosters. We can feed him and keep him in this little box. I can eventually get a cage too!"
"What's his name?" Kyle managed to ask. He felt the little chick twitch in his hands. He could feel its tiny heartbeat race against his fingertips.
Kyle rubbed at his eyes with his fist. He laughed.
"You know what the best part is?" Stan asked, leaning forward confidentially. Kyle looked up, feeling his tears run down his cheeks to drip off the end of his chin. He sniffed, smiling at Stan.
"What's the best part?" he said, leaning closer to Stan too. The little chick made another happy 'peep' sound.
Stan pointed at the chick. "This C.C. will grow up to be a rooster, and we can totally teach him to crow right outside of Cartman's window at the crack of dawn every single day!"
Kyle's shoulders shook as he chuckled. He threw back his head and laughed until Stan did too. When Kyle finally regained control of himself, he held out the little chick to the light peeking its way into the closet. He grinned down at it. Stan petted the top of its little head. The chick peeped with a sort of satisfied sound.
"Thanks, Stan. I..." Kyle didn't know how to finish.
Smiling, Stan wrapped an arm around Kyle's shoulders and tugged his friend into a one-armed hug. He pressed his forehead against Kyle's head.
"Don't worry about it. I was just being responsible, like you told me to."
Thank you for reading! Please feel free to review and leave comments! Constructive criticism is welcomed.