Author's notes: The following fanfiction takes places immediately after season fifteen, episode twelve: "1%". Warning! This fanfiction does contain spoilers for the episode. Watch "1%" before reading this fanfiction, as it will make a lot more sense.
"Cartman, stop!" yelled Stan as he, Token, Kyle and Kenny ran into one of the living rooms of Token's mansion, where Cartman fired the last bullet in the clip of his pistol into the head of one of his plush dolls. The room was dark and was only lit up by the burning flames encased within the fireplace, making it feel like a very classy room especially with all the bookcases, nice chairs, fine wood floors, etc. In front of the fireplace, suspended in midair by chains and shackles along its wrists and ankles was a purple plush dragon toy missing its head. It was one of Cartman's favorite stuffed toys. His name was Rumpertumskin. Residing in the chair was a doll named Princess Prissypants, who had several bullet holes in her body. Cartman was sobbing and didn't even notice his friends coming.
"Dude, what the hell is wrong with you?" Kyle asked, completely astonished at what he had just witnessed. After being told to grow up, Cartman had turned getting rid of his plush dolls into a huge set-up in which made people, including Cartman's friends, believe that someone was trying to kill him. But, unbeknownst to him, Cartman had just revealed to them in his last game of pretend that it was just him playing. Playing one last game before he said goodbye to the toys he loved.
"I-I l-lost them all." Cartman choked out as tears fell down his face like rivers.
"Are you insane?" Kyle asked, eyes widening as he remembered the fire that had happened in Cartman's room. "You could've gotten yourself killed!" he exclaimed. Kyle found himself afraid. Sure, the fatass was always a horrible person to him and they never got along, but they were friends regardless. Losing Cartman would have been just as bad as losing Kenny.
"Cartman, you didn't have to get rid of your stuffed ani—" Stan began, but was quickly interrupted.
"I didn't have to get rid of my stuffed animals! Is that what you were going to say!" Cartman yelled, getting up and turning to Stan with a glare. "Listen here, you FUCKING piece of SHIT! You, Kyle and everyone else have been all on my case and telling me to grow up! You were all, 'oh, grow up, Eric.' Well, guess what! I did?" At this point, Cartman's eyes began to tear up, yet the larger boy maintained his glare despite the sting. He had snapped. His friends had pushed him too far with this one. For once, he finally did what he thought they wanted. What had it gotten him? Nothing. Fucking nothing at all.
"You set your room on fire!" Kenny declared, stunned.
"Yeah, and what's your point? All of them had to go, Kenny. ALL OF THEM!" Kenny and Stan took a couple steps back. It was Kyle's turn to speak.
"Cartman…why did you do all of this? Like, why couldn't you just throw them away?" Moments later, Kyle was doubled over in pain, covering his right eye.
"Jesus Christ!" Stan shrieked.
"Whoa!" Token agreed. Silence lasted for a few seconds as Cartman took his time to calm down. Senseless rage was not needed…not now. Princess Prissypants wouldn't be proud of him if he all he did was scream and shout. No, now was the time to show he was growing up. Now, he would be calm and give Kyle a silent hate-filled lecture.
"Have you ever had a toy, Kyle?" he inquired, venom filling his voice as Kyle regained his composure. "An imaginary friend? Something you had when you were younger that you were forced to give up because it was uncool? A teddy bear, perhaps?"
"These toys were my friends, Kyle; they were a part of my childhood. When people say they want you to grow up, they want you to get rid of your childhood." Cartman told him before adding in a much darker tone, "They want your childhood to die."
"Cartman…" Stan whispered softly.
"That's why I did it. I killed my best friends in my imagination just so I could grow up."
"Holy shit…" Token murmured.
"Yeah, it was a game. I was just playing with my toys. You guys think all games are happy? They aren't. This was a game of hell; you all wouldn't understand, but I do. Growing up means killing your childhood, so that's what I did.
"My friends understood though. They knew I had to get rid of them if I wanted to be cool. Princess Prissypants did, at least. She, out of all my friends, would be the one to help me." Then, Cartman began looking downwards. Once more, stillness filled the air. The only sounds came from the crackling fire.
"Dude," Stan began, "when we said you should grow up, we meant you should stop blaming and insulting everyone when you're the one who scored badly on the fitness test." Hearing these words, Cartman looked up at Stan in disbelief.
"WHAT?" Cartman shouted, infuriated.
"Yeah, dude. You're such a dick to everyone when it's obvious that you're the reason the whole school has four weeks of fucking PE during lunch." Kyle stated before placing a hand on Cartman's shoulder. "We all have things we did when we were younger that we had to grow out of."
"Yeah." Kenny agreed before everyone began crowding around Cartman and smiling in a brotherly manner.
"We're gonna miss those things we hold special to us, but we all have to say goodbye someday." Stan explained to him. "Nothing is forever; you just gotta move on."
"At least we're still friends." Kyle said, smiling at his friend/enemy. Moments passed, a sense of companionship lingering in the air. Cartman smiled a bit. That was true; he did have friends. Of course, they weren't as good as his plush toys but he had them. Yet, like a glass colliding with the ground, the silence was shattered as Kenny began laughing as loudly as he could.
"HAHAHAHAHA! O-Oh my god, y-you say that like it's a good thing!" Kenny cried, which got Kyle, Stan and even Token to laugh a bit as well.
"What's so funny, Kenny?" Cartman asked, completely un-amused. No answer came, which only prompted him to ask again. "Tell me!" he demanded, to no avail. The children just kept laughing and laughing. Things were already going back to normal, but for how long they'd stay that way only time could tell. After all, adventures did seem to be common for them. And who knows, maybe Cartman would start using his imagination again soon.