Has it been a while? I'm starting to lose track! If it has, I do apologise. If it's not been that long, I still apologise! Now the last chapter wasn't as well received as I thought it would've been, seeing as it had the first actual slash-type-thing, but really, any feedback is great!
Much love guys,

- Amy xx

I've never been one for giving advice, or even taking it. I'm not the strong person everyone in this Godforsaken town seems to think I am, but what the fuck do you expect? When I need advice, I used to go to Kyle, but he left. Then I went to Wendy, but fuck only knows what happened to her recently. Then I turned to alcohol, but I'm starting to learn that numbness doesn't equate strength. It's just numbness. It starts in your heart and spreads slowly; freezing everything and everyone you've ever loved, before returning to your heart and wrapping around it like ivy that tightens with every breath. I'm sick of it. I've got no idea what day it is, where I am, or why my hands hurt, but God knows I'm getting some answers before the sun sets, or there'll be Hell to pay.
Stan wasn't sure how he'd got here, but still he was. Stood outside the house of the girl he used to love as the first snowflakes of the season began their ballet to the ground. His hand was shaking with nerves as he took the final drag of his cigarette, throwing the butt into one of the shrubs that artfully decorated Wendy's front door. His fist rose to knock on the dark wood, but the door swung open before he could make contact, the light from the hallway burning his tired eyes and making them water momentarily.
As his eyes cleared, he couldn't hold back a gasp. In the ten years he'd felt more than just friendship towards the girl in front of him, he'd never seen her look more beautiful. The waterfall of black ink he was accustomed to was far from its usual perfection, instead it was hanging past her shoulders in two loose, fat plaits. Her face, normally a perfectly made-up porcelain pale, was illuminated from within, glowing creamily like the moon on a clear night. A old band shirt and paw-print patterned pyjama trousers had replaced her normally fitted blouses and short skirts. He was struck, frozen in awe, until she cleared her throat almost awkwardly
'Stan' she repeated 'what are you doing here?'
'Wendy' he said, surprised at how small his voice seemed, how hoarse and cracked 'I need help'
Her confused expression cleared as she stood aside, letting him cross over the threshold, walk through the house, and settle into the comfortable sofa in the den, the room he was most comfortable in. She joined him several minutes later, setting down the two gently steaming mugs of cocoa on the table, before turning to face him, worry shining in her violet eyes
'Have you called your mom at all?'
Confusion crushed his eyebrows together 'No, she's still on her tour of America, why?'
'She's... coming back Stan' she avoided his searching gaze, reaching for her mug
'What do you mean?'
'Stan, you've been gone for days! You've had everyone worried. I guess Kenny called her or something, but she said she's be here as soon as she cou-'
'-What do you mean I've been gone for days? Wendy' his hand was gripping her arm before he could wonder how it had got there 'what the fuck happened?'
She sighed, gently disengaging her arm from his hold, and sipped her drink. Her doe eyes looked distant as she thought where to begin.
'... You turned up at Token's with Kyle at about 8, you were a zombie, he was... himself? But like, a healthy him? That ringing any bells?'
Stan nodded, wrapping his hands around his own mug, wincing as they stung. Glancing down, he was horrified to see his knuckles covered in bruises, his fingers torn to shreds
'What happened to my hands?' he asked quietly, scared of breaking her concentration
'Quiet! I'm getting there. So, you got wasted really quickly and you dragged Kyle upstairs, I'm not sure what happened...'
Silver flask flashing. Chicken. Feather light slap.. Softness. Pressure on his mouth. Completeness.
'... Then Bebe said you kinda staggered back downstairs, went outside, threw up, smoked a cigarette...'
Burning throat. Grass in his hair. Ash in his eye.
'... Cartman came out, you started trying to yell at him? I got this from Clyde, and you know how much he lies, but he said you kept screaming about pills or something...'
Two pills. Baby pink and baby blue stars in Kyle's hand. Emeralds crying diamonds.
'...You punched him a bit, and I think he must've he fought back. I came out, and he just stopped, and helped you back inside...'
Gleaming surfaces. Icy water. Head spinning.
'... Then you just upped and left, people said you went up to Starks, but everyone's been up there about 5 times each, and you've never been there...'
Not Starks. The woods. Big trees. Trees with faces. Dancing with fire.
'... So now it's your turn Stan, what happened to you? What went on with you and Kyle?'
He was frozen again, memories swirling through his mind too fast to comprehend. What had happened with him and Kyle? Where was Kyle now, for that matter?
'Wendy, where's Kyle?'
Her face fell slightly at his question before she composed herself, her hand inexplicably falling to her stomach
'I imagine he's at home.' Her voice was curt and she stood up, collecting the now empty cups before turning, a pensive look gracing her gentle features
'If you see him, tell him... Tell him I miss him.' Their eyes met, midsummer morning clashing against midnight velvet, and he couldn't help but stand and hug her, his arms finding their familiar place around her narrow waist.
'I will, I promise'
Pressing his lips against her forehead, he left without another word.
It didn't take long to reach Kyle's house, it never took long to get anywhere in a place as small as South Park, but Stan was still breathless as he pounded the door, not caring that he still didn't know what time it was, not caring who he could be waking up. He had to see Kyle.
'Stanley!' Mrs Broflovski exclaimed as she opened the door 'Where have you been, your mother's been worried sick!'
'I... Know...' he gasped 'Need to... See Kye!'
Her eyebrows furrowed in concern
'Stanley, why don't you come inside? I'll make you some cocoa if you want?'
'NO!' Stan couldn't help but sound rude. Sheila however, for once, seemingly understood. Her expression was wavering on the edge of an emotion Stan couldn't decipher, before he found himself enveloped in her clean smelling, strangely comforting embrace.
'Oh Stanley, I thought you knew' his silence must have answered her unasked question, because she continued,
'He's gone back to hospital, dear. His home visit ended two days ago, I dropped him back off at the clinic'
The world went dark. He vaguely heard her saying that he had left Stan something, at his house, in his room. Kyle had been in his room when he wasn't. He wouldn't have touched anything unnecessary, wouldn't have made any kind of mess, and Stan knew that when – if – he returned home, there'd be next to no trace the redhead had ever been there.
Kyle was gone.
Stan was alone.
There are no words for what I'm feeling. I did go home, let my mom know I was safe and she could continue trekking over the country. I must be a good actor, because she didn't notice anything wrong. And now I've just been lying on my bed. For days. Kyle left this book on my bed, his only trace. I've not had the heart to look through it yet, but it looks familiar for some reason. Not that I could tell you why. Let's just say the bottles Kyle freaked out over? The number's doubled. And the ivy around my heart is squeezing tighter with every breath.