This prompt in particular was suggested by and in dedication to w0rmsign. It's got a very Tweek vs. Craig like feel to it.
Tweek had shown up again.
It was three in the morning and we were in my bathroom. He was sitting on the sink and I was between his legs pressing cotton balls damp with rubbing alcohol into the cuts on his face.
He'd gotten into another fight. There were bruises on his jawline, a red rash on his stomach where his opponent had thrust their foot. His hands were trembling with excitement still and his pupils were dilated from the adrenaline. I'd wiped the sweat from his forehead and the back of his neck, ran some water through his hair. It was sticking to his skin, a dark blonde where the stands were soaked.
The vermilion shade of his blood diluted in the cotton swab, gritty pink that morphed into a pastel tint. I switched it out for a clean one and dabbed at his split lip that resembled his already spliced eyebrow, healed and scared from a previous fight. It was a wound I had cleaned as well, put superglue in because that was the way Tweek liked things done.
There was little swelling to his injuries in their current state, but they would welt by morning. He'd have to put ice over them before he went to bed, and he wouldn't like that because dramatic temperature changes sketched him out. Tweek liked lukewarm baths and seasonal weather because the climate adjusted gradually in a way that he could adapt to. Hot tubs, snow cones, steaming food and candle wax were quite the opposite. He was often paranoid that he'd send his body into shock if the thermostat was fiddled with too rapidly or if he went into the snow without tempering himself first.
Standing straight, I surveyed his face absent the blood and grime. His temples and forehead were dotted with scrapes, beads of crimson replacing the pebbles once embedded, now removed. Nose scuffed, chin in the same condition, lip busted. The bruise along his jaw was blotted, purple in color. On his shoulder, a portion of his flesh was skinned as though he'd skidded across concrete. His knuckles on either hand possessed splitting, flaking scabs.
All injuries accounted for and calculated: he'd gotten a pretty satisfactory beating.
I didn't care who his opponent was, but I did wonder how mauled their appearance had to have been. Tweek was fickle, a spontaneous kid who's only confidence was in a fight. He was good at transforming his bottled anxiety, fear, and internal conflict into brute force. He was fast, able to dodge efficiently and lunge fluidly. His advantage was in his short stature and agility. There'd been this smile on his face when he'd come to my door, blood staining his teeth and dripping from his nose. It was only when he came to me enthusiastic that I knew he must've dealt a significant amount of damage, and that smile of his had been substantially exhilarated tonight, so it was safe to assume his altercation had worked out in his favor.
It was intriguing how there was this entirely different boy shivering in his shell who would soon trade places with this exterior ghost, nothing but a transparency—all it could do was fight. Because in reality, Tweek had wide doe eyes—green, crystallized, mint colored—with dusty blonde lashes. He had crows feet, those little creases in the outer corners of his eyes when his smile was genuine. Like Stripe, he could wiggle his nose which corresponded well with his character and the animalesque slope of his nose. His mouth was the epitome of his femininity, full lips with their shapely configuration, curved lower lip and pronounced cupid's bow. They were a muted pink, tender from their wound. This was always what he was even when he tried to be someone else, when his anger dominated and abused what was left.
His flimsy overcoat couldn't trick me like it did other people. His classmates and the adults whose opinions never went farther than, "He's a problem child." They honestly thought he was a vicious scrap of undomesticated unpredictability—a medicated mess who couldn't correctly interpret what he was doing. That was their excuse and they used it on him more than he did on himself. They underestimated him and it never happened across their minds that he had potential. Very few actually understood that what he was doing was observing. It wasn't that there was anything missing, but that there was too much being taken in.
Only his friends found his twitchy, anxiety-saturated personality charismatic. Seldom someone as quirky as him came along. Only his parents knew of just how soft and bashful he was, an indisputable fact because even the most general things could make him blush and stutter. Only his psychiatrist wanted to help him because it was obvious that he needed the reassurance, needed to be told that it was okay just to breathe. Only his teachers believed he'd be successful because no one else saw his exceeding grades or high test scores.
Tweek knew this. Knew that only a fraction didn't think of him so poorly. But he wanted to please everyone, even the assholes just the same. So he'd tried and he'd failed and then he'd gotten angry and that's when he'd realized that if he couldn't please them, he'd interact with them another way. The same way that they had hurt him.
He's been fighting since junior year when he'd finally given into the pressure with anyone who'd give him a chance.
"Am I good?" Tweek asked, voice hoarse like someone had shoved dead leaves down his throat and stepped on his neck. He'd been screaming.
"Yeah," I said, raising my hand to brush his bangs from his forehead. His skin was still warm from the exertion. "You're good."
He smiled up at me, crows feet apparent. His eyelids were half-mast, fatigue wearing him thin. "Thank you." When he hopped off the counter, the top of his head reached my collarbones. "Can I s-spend the night?"
No, I could've said, probably should've just to see the rapid fall of his features. It's three in the morning and I got out of bed just so I could clean you up and send you home. On the morning of the first day of school, too.
But I wasn't a humorous kind of guy, so I told him he could stay instead and left to collect some clothes he might not drown in.
What I found was nothing. I never could whenever he chose to spontaneously appear, but I checked every time.
Tweek was laying in my bed wearing his boxers and a V neck shirt of mine when I closed my dresser drawers and turned around. He hadn't made it under the covers, but his head had managed to land on a pillow. He'd quickly clonked out, fast asleep. I walked over and got in beside him, impartial of the bathroom light neither of us had turned off.
The blonde was nestled against my side when my mom came in to let me know I'd slept through my alarm. "Jesus Christ, Craig. Learn to take care of yourself," she chastised. I watched her through bleary eyes as she threw open my dresser drawers and pulled out different articles of clothing for me wear. "All you ever do is sleep. Get a job or hang out with your friends. Go bother them with your stoic ass. I'm sure getting goddamn fucking tired of it."
"No," is all I said. She slammed the door on her way out screaming something about stuffed bagels. My favorite.
Tweek spasmed, startled by the collision and noise which was relatively frequent when you lived in a family full of shitheads. He sat up immediately, cradling his head and hissing beneath his breath.
I wished I'd woken up sooner so I could've coherently experienced the blonde sleeping so close. It was just that I always missed it for every kind of reason and I just wanted one occasion where nothing could stop me from relishing in his proximity. "Headache?" I asked.
"Yeah," he whimpered, wrapping his arms around his head.
"That's expected after what you did." Sitting up, I leaned back on one palm and used the other to massage the nape of his neck. The ends of his hair tickled the back of my hand.
"Like I d-don't know that," he snorted, arms going slack. They fell limp once my fingers and thumb began kneading behind his ears.
My brows lifted briefly as I scoffed and said, "You had me miffed."
"Don't be a dick. You're the one who taught me how to punch."
"I did," I professed.
And it had backfired on me because now all Tweek liked to do was get his face pummeled. He liked to come over in the early mornings and force me to look and see what was basically my own fault since he couldn't go home with a bloody nose and bruises on his body. I hadn't meant for him to take my lessons in the direction he ultimately did. The only reason it'd even come up was so that I could have an excuse to touch his hand when I showed him how to correctly make a fist or his waist and legs when getting into the offensive or defensive positions.
His addiction to fighting wasn't all that bad, though. I got to see him all the time, now that he'd started getting into late night fights. I got to help him and take care of him because he couldn't even put a bandaid on right without getting the sticky sides to fuse together. I owned his trust in ways nobody else did because his other friends weren't as receptive to him as I was. They openly cared too much, would attempt to intervene. But with me, if Tweek wanted to eat dirt every day then there was no point in hindering that process. He'd do it either way.
Raising his head, causing my fingers to slip through his hair, the blonde asked, "Can we skip school today?"
Although his locks were in knots, I liked the feel of them. He had such an odd texture to his hair that was both coarse and strangely soothing against my fingertips. "No." Deeming that an inadequate explanation, I added, "I'm a senior and I need to graduate."
A frown tugged on the corners of his lips. The one that was split was probably weeping at the stretch. "Okay," he murmured.
Removing my hand from his hair, I rolled out of bed and padded toward my dresser, bypassing the clothes my mom had thrown on the floor during her fit. "If you want to shower, you should do that now." We were already going to be late so we'd have to sneak through the gates and forge some passes from the security guard. He was terrible at his job, but if he liked you, it was near impossible to get in trouble.
I noted that today must've had a bland atmosphere. My outfit ended up consisting of a white t-shirt, black jeans, and that was about it. I'd roll the hems up and put some boots on but my style would remain weak. On a scale of one to ten, tasteless was my minimum and boring was my max. The only articles that I owned with the any personality were ones Tweek had suggested I buy.
Oftentimes I was his model and I was okay with that because he liked a variety, knew what looked good with what, and matched colors well. Cardigans were his favorite. Low buttoned, deep V necked pieces that he wore over top patterned button ups. He approved greatly of bow ties and sometimes ripped his jeans into cut offs. I always blamed his niche for style on his effeminate nature. He was gay and I made it a habit to tease him about it all the time because I liked reminding myself that I had a chance if I ever decided to go for it.
As the blonde scooted off the edge of the bed, he asked, "D-Do you still have my jeans?"
He'd left a pair the last time he'd been here so I'd washed and kept them. Tweek didn't like wearing dirty clothes. He was the type who wore something once and wouldn't touch it again until it went through the wash and dry cycle.
"Yeah," I assured him, pulling them out of my drawer and handing them to him. He took the jeans and then scurried off toward my bathroom. I knew he'd put on one of my shirts because he did it all the time. Basically, I shared my clothes with him. The shirts at least. He'd just disappear inside my jeans and I'd never find him again.
While he was gone, I dressed myself and ran my fingers through my hair. It was thick and did what it wanted so I let it have it's way.
When Tweek reappeared, he was shirtless and his hair was wet and I knew he wasn't wearing anything under those jeans and he liked them tight and he caught me staring, looked me dead in the eye as he rifled through my apparel. His face was flushed and it wasn't just from his lukewarm shower. "Is there a bug on me?" He asked in all seriousness.
"No. No bugs." I just like to look at you. But he was sketchy and I didn't want to scare him away. There were reasons why he'd never been in a relationship before and I didn't want to test any of them.
Relief softened the jagged edges of his features. "There was a b-bug in my hair the other day. Thomas got it out. I nearly shit myself," he said, returning to his search. Oh, some of the things he shared with me.
"That's because your hair is so blonde it looks like a flower," I told him, sitting on the corner of my bed. He gave me a humorless glance. "One time in fifth grade, Clyde was changing his clothes and a spider crawled out of his underwear." Tweek seemed as though he didn't know whether he wanted to be terrified or find the anecdote hilarious. "He wouldn't stop crying. I've never laughed so much in my entire life."
"Your straight face and no emotion really brought that memory to life," Tweek snorted. I looked at him like I didn't know what else he expected me to do. He shook his head and giggled. It was a chiding, tinkling sound. Whenever it presented itself, it made me wonder if maybe we were flirting.
"It's my most memorable memory," I agreed. He always thought it was funny when I took him literally.
This time he laughed and I was inwardly triumphant. "I don't think I've ever heard you laugh."
"That's bullshit." The blonde pouted, rolling up one of my shirts to aim and throw. "For all the years we've been friends," I said around the fabric now covering my face, "I'm sure that I've laughed at least once or twice. Three if you're lucky."
Before I could remove it myself, Tweek flung the shirt off my face. "You don't laugh." He was standing in front of me. My eyes were fixated on the discoloration of his stomach, the dark shades there melding together into one colossal bruise. "You either say 'that was a good one' or 'I'm so funny, dude'."
My stare snaked up the expanse of his skinny torso, past his protruding collarbones and slender neck. "But I am funny," I said.
He rolled his eyes and slipped his thin limbs into one of my sweaters. The cream colored fabric complimented his naturally pale skin. "No, you're just stupid."
"That too." By now the blonde was exasperated. I stood up, my near proximity causing him to take a step back. "Are you ready?"
Shaking his head, Tweek said, "I need to brush my teeth."
I nodded my head because I did too.
We always found ourselves brushing our teeth in my bathroom together. He didn't have a gag reflex and it was always riveting to me how much farther his toothbrush—the one I'd bought for him to keep here since he appeared so randomly and unprepared—could go, especially when he ran the bristles over his tongue. I had to keep myself in check at times like those that way I wouldn't gaze shamelessly at his mouth.
Patting his damp lips with a washcloth, he shut off the water and looked up at me expectantly. Two minutes of vigorous brushing was what the dentist suggested—Tweek went for three. At the directional nod of my head, we exited the bathroom as well as my room, walked down the stairs, and past the kitchen to escape the house through the entry hall. I'd grabbed my keys off the counter and was shutting the door when my mom called out, "You're late, Craig! Cut the bullshit otherwise your friend isn't allowed over at three in the fucking morning anymore!"
Despite the fact that she couldn't see me, I flipped her off through the curtained kitchen window as we got into my car. "S-Sorry," Tweek apologized, buckling himself in. He tightened the strap across his lap and chest as a secondary safety precaution.
"She says that every time," I reminded him, backing out of my driveway.
"I'll t-try to be quieter." But he was just like my mom because she'd never take away his early morning privileges just like he'd never soften his clumsy footsteps. Fiddling with his fingers in his lap, Tweek timidly asked, "C-Could we stop somewhere and get something to eat? I never had dinner last night."
"Sure." There was a Jack in the Box on the way to school. He liked the curly fries.
Halfway there—a time frame of which I was sure he'd been building up the confidence to speak—he inquired, "Can we eat inside?"
For him to scarf down some curly fries and butcher our chances of making it to first period? We only had so much time left before the gates would close, locked shut until second hour. "No." His insistence that we do other things rather than go to school was beginning to come across as suspicious. Skipping school, stopping to eat—he was trying to buy time.
It wasn't until we'd gone past the drive-through that I questioned him. I had a vague idea of what was on his mind, what he was trying to escape from. "Who did you get into a fight with last night, Tweek?"
His injured jaw paused its chewing. Although that was enough to confirm my assumption, it didn't tell me who his opponent had been. The blonde always had his reasons, so he must've had a good one if he was wary of passing by his adversary.
Silent, Tweek kept his enemy to himself and ate in his own company. There was a tightness to his brow, a thickness with every swallow. His foot tapped a spontaneous beat against the floor. He was clearly disgruntled, stressed by my acknowledgement of the problem he'd gotten himself into, but I think that if he had the right to ask me to ditch school for him, then I deserved to know why and who.
We were in the school parking lot, just reaching for our backpacks when he grabbed my arm and blurted out, "He's on the football team. One of the bench warmers. I t-teased him about it until he fought me. He's going to get the others to fuck with me, Craig! I got too excited and I" —his fingers tightened, pressing into my skin— "…I said s-shit about the team."
Clyde was on the football team and Clyde did not like Tweek. If he got even a whiff of the blonde talking shit, he was going to use it to its full advantage. My best friend was jealous of Tweek. Jealous of my lenience towards him. How nice I was and how well I treated him. The abundance of time we spent together, the generous amount of care I supplied him with. Anything that had to do with the blonde, Clyde's natural instinct was to despise and exterminate. I wasn't allowed to talk about Tweek in his presence and Tweek wasn't allowed to be in his presence.
"I'm sorry, Craig. I'm so sorry." He tugged on my arm to get me to look at him, and when I did, there was guilt and fear in his big eyes. "He was just so easy. I-I couldn't stop myself." When I didn't say anything, he interpreted my silence as anger and continued rambling this messy stutter that made little sense.
What my silence actually meant was that I was in a jumbled train of thought. We needed to get out and go to class but I needed to think of a way to keep Tweek from getting tag teamed. He could handle himself fine against one person, but not a fraction of the football team. Especially if they were gullible enough to be provoked by a few secondhand insults. Those guys would be wild, an incompatible combination of flustered and egotistically wounded.
Tweek was going to end up in the hospital.
He was going on about how I just knew that he couldn't control himself when the opportunity was so effortless. His hand was clasping my shoulder now, fisting my shirt while the other clenched my bicep. "Tweek." I reached out and grabbed his jaw, forcing our eyes to connect. He flinched as I came into contact with his bruise. "You find me at lunch, okay? You get out of class early and meet me at mine. I'm going to talk to Clyde in third hour. Alright?"
The nod of his head and the level of his stare was intent. He understood the plan and the plan was that I was going to protect him.
"T-Thank you," he whispered, fingers loosening. His expression morphed, all rough features turned delicate. The intensity of his eyes became vibrant like adoration. He sat there, ogling up at me.
This Tweek was so different in comparison to the other one. Their similarities were so few and I couldn't even pinpoint any of them, but that might've had something to do with the way the blonde's palms were progressing up my neck, fingers in my hair and thumbs grazing my cheeks. My hand on his jaw grew apologetic, fingertips brushing the tenderized flesh of his face.
His eyes were so wide that his lashes were touching the bone of his brow. I followed the flat line of his nose down to his parted lips where the tips of his teeth were showing. I'd gotten caught glancing at his mouth before, just not quite like this. "Thank you," he murmured a second time, pulling me forward. He tilted his head and inclined his chin, pressing lightly against my lips a chaste kiss. The blonde was about to pull away, but I brought him in, nudging our mouths together again.
Inhaling shakily, Tweek applied a tentative pressure to the kiss, fingers curling in the hair behind my ears. My hand slid to the nape of his neck, holding him to me as my other wrapped around the back of his elbow. We broke apart with a fragile sound, lips still touching. Our mouths shifted, fitting together in a pattern. I kissed his bottom lip, teeth unintentionally nicking his skin. He pressed a little harder so I tugged him a little closer. Tweek scooted toward me, raising a leg to face my direction better. His lifted knee touched my own, compelling my fingers to twitch as I restricted their movement.
They wanted to touch his leg, but if I did, it might knock him from his stupor and I certainly didn't want that. But I had to do something whether it was minuscule or not. So I ran my palm up his arm to encircle his slender bicep. It drew him near and the bend of his arms must've been bothersome because he wrapped them around my shoulders. The movement was so instantaneous that my hand suddenly had nowhere to go but down, landing on his thigh. This was his own doing—his fault—and I grabbed his skinny leg by default, adding to our kiss by sucking on his lip.
His response was to shudder, mouth opening further. A moistness crept into our kiss, a warmth and a breath and Tweek was latching onto me to create a seamlessness that there hadn't been before. I tightened my hold on the back of his neck, purposefully nipping at the flesh between my teeth. The heat in his cheeks was radiating, soaking into my skin. This was awesome, making him react in such a way.
He pulled backwards with a hum, eyes fluttering open. One last kiss, a short and fleeting thing, was placed against his mouth. It just kind of happened, but I was glad I did it because that's when Tweek smiled, his lips bruised and wet. He gazed up at me, pupils dilated until they blotted out the eccentric green of his eyes. "What was that?" He asked, voice hushed and lilting, breathless almost.
My mouth opened as if to explain, except a kiss like that was a pretty self-explanatory thing, so I grinned instead because I was giddy. I was content. I was impressed. I was waiting for it to hit me. Tweek and I had just kissed. Tweek who was impossible. The boy who couldn't be pleased because he was too troubled to accept any favor from another. He'd just kissed this apathetic fuck and smiled afterwards. I think that was a good sign.
"I'll uh," he shook his head and his blush burned brighter. "I'll see you at lunch." As I nodded my head, he unwound his limbs from my shoulders and stepped out of the car. "B-Bye, Craig."
He waved, fingers trembling. I watched him walk away with my shirt on raking a hand through his hair, and clucked my tongue. Sweet.