To new and old readers alike: Hello! Do I realise this is probably the shortest chapter I've written for this story? Yes. Does this upset me? Yes. Very much so. Even still, it is actually pretty crucial to the rest of the story, which brings me to my next point: This does need to end at some point. I've already started drafting two possible endings, actually, so I just need to ask is what kind of ending do you want? Obviously an all-singing, all-dancing, everyone's happy kind of ending wouldn't fit at all, but would you prefer a (put bluntly) tragic ending, or a slightly more hopeful one? Leave me a PM, or just comment as normal. Anyway,

- Amy xx

When I was younger, I was overweight. My mom loved to cook, loved me, and it wasn't long before the two merged and I started trying to cook. It came in useful when she started going out more, and I was left alone more. The first thing I ever made perfectly and the thing that I'm still proudest of? Cupcakes. Call it faggy, and I'll have your balls in my hand before you can even fucking breathe. Baking is goddamn relaxing, so fuck you.
'Dude, where'd you get these cakes? They're fucking ace' Kenny almost moaned, reaching for his third before having his hand slapped away
'I made them' Cartman replied
'You bake?' Kenny barely suppressed a snort, knowing his best friend's tendency for revenge, but couldn't stop his cerulean eyes from glittering wildly.
'Yes.' Cartman's voice was dangerously close to being a growl 'And they're not for you, po'boy, so stop fucking inhaling them'
Kenny was saved from having to reply by a frantic hammering on Eric's front door. Cartman raised an eyebrow, silently telling the blond to go get it. Kenny complied.
'Kenny!' Stan exclaimed the minute the door was open a crack 'Where the fuck is he?'
The blond boy stepped aside as Stan shoved the door open, watching the noirette shoot through to the kitchen.
Cartman's head snapped up as he heard the approaching whirlwind, but he wasn't fast enough to dodge the explosion of pain across his already-bruised face as Stan's fist made contact. Despite the pain, Eric didn't flinch. He just caught the second fist in his hand, twisting it behind the ex-quarterback's back painfully. Stan dropped to his knees like a stone. Cartman released him.
'What happened.' There was no inflection in Stan's words, no emotion behind them. To Cartman, he just sounded tired. Tired, and desperately miserable.
'I don't know what you're talking about' Cartman worked hard to keep his voice completely level, as emotionless as Stan's. He was telling the truth, regardless of the guilty flutter in his stomach.
'Kyle,' Stan said simply 'Tell me what happened to Kyle'
Cartman sighed, offering Stan his hand and pulling him to his feet before sitting down heavily at the table.
'Cupcake?' he asked, gesturing at the perfectly-decorated cakes
'No. Tell me about Kyle.'
Eric rubbed his eyes with one hand. This was going to be difficult.
'No, Stan.' Stan opened his mouth to protest, but was cut across 'He told me not to. Okay? The fucking fag made me swear on it'
'Don't call him a fag, you fuck!' Stan was standing tall now, looming over his almost-friend, a maniacal fire burning in his sapphire eyes 'He was getting better! He was eating, he was doing so much better and then you come along and throw pills at him again. What the fuck is wrong with you? Seriously Cartman, what is wrong with you?'
Eric hadn't moved at all during Stan's rant, but he nodded as he noticed Kenny hovering, unsure, in the doorway. The blond looked panicked, shaking his head furiously, but stopped when he took note of the determination in the brunet's expression.
'Stan.' Eric's voice was quiet, but still made Stan stop yelling 'Kyle didn't take the fucking pills.' He paused, narrowing rust-coloured eyes.
'You did.'
Ever have that moment where you know where you are, but you can't for the life of you remember how you got there? Take now, for instance. I told Stan about his stupidity at Tokens, and now we're both packing some shit into my car because somehow, the douche convinced me that driving to Denver to see Kyle is the best idea any of us has ever had. Except Kenny's not going. He's got some kind of job or some shit, because he just 'needs one' all of a sudden. So it's just me and Stan. Because being locked in a car together for about an hour is a fucking great idea. Fuck, I've brought the goddamn cupcakes. I'm just really fucking glad Kenny didn't figure out they were filled with pot, and it's not like I'm going to tell Stan, is it? He just needs to fucking calm down, and they'll do perfectly.