The last chapter has been split into TWO parts (which is why this is so short) and is written in third person, rather than first.
This is only because there was no other way to end this like I want to!
Please, enjoy this teaser. The actual final chapter will be completed soon.
Tweek's Song of the Day: Stay in My Memory by BIM
Craig's Song of the Day: Cat and Mouse by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Some Boys Are Monsters
You Were a Saint
Tweek meant everything.
The tremble in his voice, his soft timid smile, and his unrelenting belief in his friends meant everything. And, even though Craig wasn't very good at showing it, he worshiped the ground Tweek's trembling feet walked on.
"D-do you ever listen to music? I do, all the time. It makes me feel a lot better when I listen to pretty songs."
His lips moved softly, and each word that they made washed over Craig like a cool breeze in the summer time. He sat quietly, never spoke, but always listened. Always wordless, but always interested. When Tweek talked, Craig was silent, because he didn't want it to stop.
"I really like the way guitars sound, but I can't find any slow s-songs that are still happy, you know! All the ones with guitars that sound nice have really sad words, and GAH! I don't wanna hear that when I'm trying to relax man."
It was art class, the same class they had every second period in eighth grade. He watched Tweek's shaking fingers roll strips of colorful paper and tape the ends, slowly forming a chain as he added more and more. He talked as he did so. He did enough talking for the both of them. Craig didn't mind, though. He just sat. He just listened, observing the way the sunlight came in through the windows and caught in his friend's blond hair. The way he would occasionally stutter, or make rips in his paper because of shaking hands.
"Y-yeah. I need more happy songs… hm, I'm finished!"
He turned to his wordless friend, who even then was a giant compared to the other, and then stood up to place the vibrantly colored paper chain around Craig's neck. A few classmates watched awkwardly from the table nearest theirs, amazed Tweek was brave enough to treat the infamous Craig Tucker like a dress up doll. They were even more amazed, perhaps, by how much Craig seemed to enjoy it. He rearranged Tweek's chain around the hood on his jacket, a small smile on his usually expressionless face while Tweek stepped back to get a better look at his work. He nodded.
"Ah, it looks good on you! Now you just need um… hm. A hat! Well… you already have a hat, but I'm going to make you another one!"
Tweek plopped back down into his seat, and then picked out a pink sheet of construction paper from the pile on their table. He got the vibrant stack all to himself, considering no one else sat with them. No one ever sat with them, besides Token and Clyde, but that was okay. That's how they liked it.
"What about this color?"
Craig slightly raised his eyebrows.
"Yeah, you're right. It's too gaudy. L-let's do yellow! To match your puffball. I'm no good at making hats, though, man, s-so don't expect anything of me," he said as he sloppily attempted to fold the paper. Craig tilted his head slightly to the side, intrigued, although Tweek's hat didn't come out looking like a hat at all. Again, he stood to decorate Craig with his lopsided paper creation. He placed it atop his blue chullo, and then smiled to himself.
"Yes. Lovely. Runway ready," Tweek said to himself with a small laugh.
Craig gave the other the smallest smile, his cheeks heating up at the look on Tweek's face. He got all fluttery and weird feeling in his belly when Tweek smiled like that. He liked it. He liked it a lot.
He liked all the things Tweek made him feel, and he longed to feel a little more.
Clyde came over after school that day. His sister, Monica, dropped him off around seven so the two could have a much needed sleepover. Clyde hadn't been over for a while, and he wasn't above reminding Craig of this every other minute.
The only thing that could stop Clyde's whining was television, so the pair popped some popcorn and sat down for a movie. That was back before Clyde lived there, when Craig actually had space in his little room for a television.
However, Clyde was paying less attention to the movie and more attention to the idiotic smile that showed up on Craig's face every time he looked at his cell phone.
"Who're you texting?" Clyde pried, a dumb ass smile on his face when Craig bit his lip to try to keep his expression from showing.
"What? Come on, tell me! Is it a girrrrl?~"
"No. It's Tweek."
"Aw. For a second there I thought you were crushing on somebody, with that dumb look and all."
Craig's lips twisted a bit with thought, his fingers gripping his new flip phone.
"Well… I never said I wasn't."
"Wait, what? Are you saying you've got a crush on Tweek? Because that-... hey, that actually makes a lot of sense."
"Shut up," Craig grumbled, sinking back a bit against the wall, trying to contain his budding blush. "I never said it was him."
"You don't have to say it. It's written all over your face! That's actually pretty perfect. Dude, you should ask him out!"
"It's not that simple, Clyde," Craig grumbled as he played with his phone. He was trying to hide the blush appearing on his face, but he knew he couldn't.
"Hey, sure it is! I've asked out a bunch of people before… Well, they were girls, but I can still help you ask out Tweek, too!"
"N-no. Forget it."
Clyde leaned back on Craig's bed, grabbing at the socks on his feet like he always did back then. He ruined many pairs pulling on them like that. He didn't reply. Instead, he just sat there and stared at Craig with an ever widening grin.
Craig huffed loudly. "It's just a stupid crush! I don't even know why I have it…"
"Because you think he's cuuute.~"
"How many times do I have to say shut up?" Craig blurted, his hat being pulled down even further to hide his reddening cheeks.
"Hey, all I'm sayin' is that there's nothing to be all worried about, you know. You guys are so close, I'd be amazed if he doesn't like you, too… Besides… things have been so hard for him lately, maybe having a relationship like that would make it a little easier on him, you know?"
"Or he doesn't feel the same, and me wanting to date him would just overwhelm him more."
"Dude, have you seen the way he hangs on your arm? He's got it hard, I promise."
Craig let out a loud sound comparable only to a dying cat before falling onto his side and burying his face in his pillow. He was sure his whole body had turned red in his embarrassment. He sighed from under his hat, from against his pillow, though inside he was mulling it all over. For once in his life, Clyde could've been right, and that thought was enough to make his insides all fluttery and weird.
"I don't know," Craig whined. "I don't know, I don't know."
"Okay, well let's figure it out," Clyde decided. "Does he make your stomach all twisty? Like… you know, that fuzzy feeling?"
Craig swallowed hard, then thought back to earlier that day, when Tweek's shaky little fingers brushed against his shoulders as he adorned Craig with construction paper.
"Do you like like him?"
"Well, Do you?!"
"Well there you go. There's your answer. Tell him."
He wanted to find some way to do it. To just suck it up already and ask him out. Clyde of all people was calling him a wuss for not just doing it already. That was enough of a sigh that he needed to man up.
He had his fair share of crushes and girlfriends, but that time was different. Tweek was different, and Craig didn't want to mess it up. Being a dork of a fifteen year old, though, he could barely speak to Tweek sometimes, despite being his best friend. How was he going to pull off asking the guy to be his boyfriend?
The answer didn't come to him until a couple days after his talk with Clyde, when he was walking through town with his mother for errands. Her long, bare legs carried her over the sidewalk as he followed behind, a few grocery bags in his hands.
A shop had just opened in town. The brick walls were painted white, and there was a sign in the big, glistening window that read open. The soles of his sandals slapped against the summer scorched sidewalk as he moved in for a better look, narrow blue eyes peering inside the brightly lit store.
From where he was standing, he could see all sorts of odds and ends sitting on shelves. Huge, long tubas that glistened back at him in the summer sun; smaller flutes put on display of all colors and sizes. However, he was much more interested in the glorious instrument right up against the window.
The answer hit him with a thick body, long neck, and six tightly strung strings. It was black with white trimming, the matching grey case laying on the display before it. He pressed his free hand against the glass as his mother came up behind him, looking over the display.
"Mom," he blurted with little thought. "I want it."
She blinked at him before biting her lip in thought. Like every other child, Craig had always been prone to ask for things he'd never really use.
"Oh, come on, Craig," she tried to reason gently. "When are you ever going to take the time to learn to play an instrument?"
"Please," he begged, about ready to fall to his knees and grovel if he had to.
Her eyes skimmed over it once again, and she sighed. "How about this, you do chores around the house, and I'll give you twenty dollars a week. Then, if you still want it, you can come back and buy it yourself."
It was a bit more work than Craig had anticipated, and would take a lot longer than he wanted. His mother wasn't one to barter with, though.
He turned back to the display, putting words together in his head. His mind was running over all of Tweek's favorite songs, every tune and lyric; building something that would help him understand what Craig felt.
Tweek would have his happy song.
"Okay," Craig agreed.
Time to get this over with.
Dear Tweek, …
No, no, that's way too formal.
Craig ripped the paper out of his notebook, crumpled it up, and then tossed it into the trash.
He bit his bottom lip. Maybe he didn't need to write some dumb header or introduction. It was a love letter after all, not a school paper.
His stomach got all twisted up with knots again.
I'm not so good at things like this, He decided to start off. His hand resisted him a little, just because of how awkward it all felt. But I like you a lot, and I thought maybe
He threw it away again, only to start the next letter with more determination.
I like you, and it'd be cool if you liked me, too. I won't mind if you don't. I understand if it freaks you out. I just think your cute or whatever… and if you think I'm cute, too, then maybe it'd be cool if we like dated or something.
Craig could feel his embarrassment sinking in again, but he wasn't going to back down. Tweek was everything he wanted. He'd be a complete idiot if he let something like that slip through his fingers.
He was sure his folks wouldn't like it much if Tweek said yes. They were always kind of weird about guys that liked other guys, but if Clyde was so open and accepting of it, maybe he'd get lucky and his parents would, too. They liked Tweek well enough. In fact, Craig's mother really seemed to adore him… Yeah, it'd be a good fit.
All he'd have to do was go over to Tweek's tomorrow, play the song Craig had written for him, and hand him the letter. Everything else would fall into place, whether or not Tweek really liked him, too.
Though Craig really, really hoped that he did. He'd been having dreams about it, and they gave him a lot of really good ideas.
Ideas that would make Tweek happy.
He slipped the short love letter in his math folder, so he knew where it'd be when he spent the next day at Tweek's house. Then, he crept upstairs and went to bed.
"That is so cool! Do you know how to play it?!"
Craig's fingers ran awkwardly over the tightened strings, his lips quirking up as he adjusted himself in the big, flowery cushions. Darkness was coming quickly, the sun setting behind the peaks of great mountains. Oranges and pinks streaked the sky above their little porch swing, and fluffy clouds looked like little more than black smudges on the canvas. It was beautiful, but he knew it wasn't what Tweek was waiting for.
The setting sun was only a gaudy prelude to Tweek's true love: the night sky.
"This is so awesome! N-now you're gonna grow up to be famous!"
"Well… I wouldn't go that far."
Tweek tugged on the collar of his loose, white night shirt. His bare legs were curled up underneath him, and his hands were pulling at anything they could touch. His shirt, his sleeves, the cushions underneath him; nothing was safe from his anxious grip.
"Hey, hey," Craig tried to say as gently as he could manage, his fingers abandoning the neck of his guitar to pry open Tweek's little hand. "Don't pull on your hair so hard."
"Gah! Yeah! Yeah, right; sorry. I don't mean to! I just- AH!- I get so nervous and I don't know what else to do! I don't even realize!"
Tweek gripped Craig's hand hard.
There were cuts on his big forehead. They were little scabs that made Craig worried and sad, but he never said anything about them.
He knew where they were from, and he knew why they were there.
"I have something for you."
Tweek's grip loosened a little bit, the tears that started brimming in his eyes blinked away by surprise.
Craig smiled a little. "Yeah. One with happy words."
Tweek bit his lip a little bit, his downward slope of a mouth perking the slightest at the ends.
"You got me a present… with happy words?"
Craig leaned forward, digging into his guitar case on the porch floor. He managed to knock himself in the jaw with his guitar. It earned him a little laugh, which was worth the sting in his chin.
"Um," he muttered as he pulled a piece of folded paper out of the case.
"I can't play very well yet," he warned the other as he flattened out the piece of wrinkled notebook paper on the swing before himself. He did just finish writing it the night before. He knew he'd fuck up if he didn't have a reference.
Tweek sat up straight, laying his pale hands down on the tops of his legs in excitement. He was going to be the very first person to hear Craig play a song, and, to Tweek, that was awe inspiring.
Craig wetted his lips before stiffly pressing his fingers against the strings, mapping out the first cord. His heart was beating so quickly when he realized what this moment could mean. If Tweek liked his song, if Craig gained the courage to give him the letter, it could have been the beginning of something wildly important.
"P-play for me!"
He steadied himself with a breath.
The melody was slow and warm; gentle and joyful, like Tweek.
I'm just as warm as I thought I'd be-
having you right next to me
Craig closed his eyes and pretended he was practicing by himself in his bedroom. For the first time, Tweek was absolutely silent, which helped, but didn't stop Craig from plucking the wrong string on occasion.
'Cause the sun rises inside your eyes
for a moment, the world's hypnotized
There was no chorus. There was no bridge. There was only a melody, the plucking of strings, and Craig's young and untrained voice.
Flowers grow reaching for you,
and I grow with them, too
It was slow. It was sweet, as sweet as he could make it. He sang each syllable in a gentle, beautiful harmony he didn't even know he was capable of creating.
The tides in me, stubborn and beat
shift to lap over your feet
I follow them, too
I grow for you
It was most definitely the cheesiest thing Craig had ever done in his life, but his heart beat for it. It beat even harder for the look on Tweek's round face.
"That song was… for me?" tweek asked, seemingly in disbelief. His eyes lit up, he nibbled giddily on his plump bottom lip.
"Yeah…" Craig confessed before clearing his throat. "Actually… it was about you…"
"Oh," Tweek cupped his cheeks in his hands, the setting sun casting the a soft glow on his face.
"It was about how you make me feel… um… yeah…"
Tweek looked to him with a smile, his hands falling back down onto the bare tops of his legs. Craig was hiding his love letter underneath his lyrics, but he'd forgotten all about it.
"I thought that maybe if you felt the same way… you could like." Craig fiddled with the strings of his guitar as he cleared his anxious throat. "Be my boyfriend… or something."
Tweek's cheeks must have been about a thousand different shades of red, though he kept smiling. It only made the pitter patter in Craig's heart run on overdrive. Tweek was smiling, and happy.
Craig could make him happy.
"So, what do you say?"
Big, green eyes looked up at Craig, a little watery, but with delight.
"Craig…" he uttered, flabbergasted, as if he too had been waiting for that moment since the day they met; since they were spacemen.
He jolted upright in bed, eyes bugging out of his head and hands clutching at his covers when he came to the realization that the fleeting image of Tweek had all just been a dream.
It made his throat scratchy and his mouth go dry.
"Craig," a voice said again. It belonged to his mother, who stood in his darkened doorway. He could barely see her through the sleepiness in his eyes, but he saw just well enough to know she looked concerned.
"Could you please come downstairs? Me and your father need to have a talk with you."
Craig gave an awkward nod of his head, though his heart sank a little. As he stood up from his bed, he tried to remember all the bad things he did that week. Lectures weren't uncommon for Craig.
Had his father noticed his bottle of scotch was just a little lower than it had been? Did his mother find the Pepsi stain Craig left under the rug in the living room? Or, perhaps, Ruby finally told on him for catching him smoking the week before. Either way, he knew how it was gonna go.
He was more concerned with replaying that wonderful dream over and over again in his head.
He followed his mom down the stairs, where his father was waiting on the couch. There was a different air about this particular meeting. His dad wasn't throwing a raging fit for once, and his mother was playing with her hands nervously.
Craig didn't feel comfortable sitting down, so he opted to stand in the middle of the room.
His father sighed before lifting himself up out of his chair. Tension was so thick in the air, Craig found it hard to swallow.
"Boy," Thomas started, his gaze odd. "What's this?"
Craig's face twisted up at the sight of a letter clutched in his father's hand. His heart thumped hard in his chest and his mouth suddenly felt full of cotton balls. Tweek was written across the front of the folded note.
Were they really calling a family meeting over that of all things? Over a stupid little love letter?
"I… I don't know."
"That's awfully funny, since your mother found it in your bag," he didn't sound angry, but that didn't mean anything.
"It's not… what it looks like," he lied as his hands began to shake. He was so caught off guard that he wasn't sure what else he could say.
"Then what is it?"
"Son, is this kid putting stuff in your head?"
"What? No, it's not like that!"
"Shh, Listen to me, Craig," His mother cooed before she held tight to his shoulders, stepping between him and his father. "It's okay…"
Craig felt a little lighter hearing that, a little less guilty.
"Yes. Sometimes you might have thoughts and feelings that aren't quite right, but that's okay. You're still very young, and it's okay to be confused."
"I'm not confused, I just-"
"We can take you to Father Maxi. He knows a place that helps kids like you… who need a little guidance, you know?"
And there came the guilt, crashing back down in waves. He remembered hearing about that place. He remembered overhearing all the terrible things the Stotch boy said about his stay there. Things like small meals, grueling sessions with counselors cramming pages of the bible down his throat, and the occasional suicide he'd heard through his dorm wall.
Would they really send him there?
Would they make Tweek go, too?
"I don't need-"
"It's just like a summer camp, where they help people overcome thoughts like you've been having. It'll be okay, I promise. You'll get better, and-"
"No! No, no! I don't need to get better, I swear! It's… it's not my letter!"
Thomas looked at his son, one eyebrow cocked. "Then who's is it?"
"Um… It's…. Some girl at school likes him- yeah. She asked me to pass it on. It's- It isn't mine!"
His mother immediately let out a sigh that sounded painfully close to relief. She released him from her grip, willing to believe anything as long as it meant her only boy hadn't caught some dreaded disease.
Thomas, however, didn't look so convinced.
"Phew, why didn't you just say that from the start? You had me all worried over nothing."
His mom turned towards the kitchen, spouting her apologies and fanning herself off. Craig swallowed hard, backing towards the staircase like he could escape if he made a run for it.
However, the gaze of his father made him stop in his tracks.
"…I don't want to hear about this again, do you understand me?" Thomas grumbled, though he handed the letter back to Craig.
Craig nodded hard, swallowing spit that built up in his throat. His father left then, too, with a promise that Craig would understand, even thank them, when he got older.
It was obvious, now. The thumping Tweek made in his chest was wrong.
Still… he thought about Tweek. He thought about Tweek and his eyes got wet. The fluttery excitement and happy bubbling that once resided in his heart had been replaced only by a brokenness he couldn't understand.