Pink Nails and Baggy Tees

In all the years they'd known each other, Craig Tucker had never before realized that Tweek Tweak painted his fingernails. Of course, he'd never really had much of an opportunity (or a reason) to look, but, in early March, when they and the entirety of the South Park High School boys' baseball team had been crammed onto a bus heading for Denver, he could see them plainly, bright green and catching sunlight with every small twitch of his fingers. And after he'd noticed it once, he couldn't seem to stop noticing it.

Tweek systematically repainted his nails - they were typically redone every month, Craig (regrettably) discovered. The realization itself was odd, but the individual times in which he realized it were stranger; in fact, the first time he noticed they were no longer green was when their team had been playing a game against Aurora's at the beginning of April - then, they had been a vivid pink. He recalled that moment well, because he remembered being crouched behind one of the Aurora batters, his glove at the ready in front of his umpire's helmet, and watching as Tweek pitched. The blonde's fingers skimmed the ball's surface, unfurling with more grace then he possessed in anything else he did, polish glinting in the brief moment that his fingertips caught the sun just right - exactly like they had done before. Craig was momentarily distracted by that damned color, just long enough to lower his glove dazedly and - bang! he'd been hit with the ball when the batter missed, his headgear vibrating around his face. Fuck. Smooth, Tucker.

He'd spent the majority of the bus ride back to South Park rubbing his still-aching face, thanking God for protective headgear and simultaneously cursing Satan for hot pink nail polish.

For the next couple months of baseball season, he was careful to check for any change in Tweek's nails (which, frankly, he felt more retarded thinking about doing than he did actually looking) before the game. That didn't stop him from later thinking about how May's blue matched his old chulo from elementary school, or how June's yellow somehow made Tweek's hair look that much more blond.

When the baseball season and their ninth grade school year ended at the opening of June, he vowed to forget about nail polish, because, holy hell, it was way too weird to get distracted by another boy's nail color. Or, well, another boy in general - and a good friend of his, at that.

The attempt was successful, but it was as if his subconscious was going into withdrawal from lack of weird realizations about Tweek, because the following school year, he couldn't seem to get over the fact that his friend had given up on button-up shirts, forgoing them in favor of baggy t-shirts instead. The strangest thing about his noticing this wasn't necessarily that he was noticing it at all - it was that he was noticing it now. Tweek had stopped wearing button-ups in seventh grade.

Still, the discovery had him regularly stopping the other boy so he could read the tees, or, on occasions when there weren't any words, look at the images they presented. Tweek didn't seem to think this was weird, yet Craig couldn't quite shake the feeling that something wasn't right about it. Maybe it was that he never really looked at the shirts; he looked at the way the shirts looked on Tweek. To the casual listener, he figured that would sound kind of...well, gay, and Craig Tucker was not gay... Well, certainly not for one of his best friends, anyway. Most likely not. Probably not.

...Maybe a little.

Halfway through their sophomore year, schedule changes came around; block geometry for Craig gave way to block history, while his first semester driver's ed class transitioned into P.E. He didn't know whether to feel good or not when he found out that Tweek would be in that exact same P.E. period.

After the t-shirt stalking phase, Craig didn't think there could be anything creepier he could catch sight of - until their first day of dressing-out, when that thought very quickly evolved into "holy fucking damn Tweek was pale, and he could stand to eat a fucking sandwich. Or five." Then, of course, he would spend the remainder of his year noticing how Tweek's muscles gradually toned, and how his skin got progressively less pasty. He was still nearly the color of a sheet of paper, bless him, but at least he didn't glitter in the sunlight anymore.

The Tucker boy was lucky; he hadn't ever been caught watching Tweek so intently - until the summer following his tenth grade year, when he picked up the worst habit yet: Noticing everything at once.

Out of anyone in the town, it had to be Kenny McCormick who called him out.

Craig hadn't meant to join the blonde and his boyfriend, Butters, for coffee that day. He hadn't meant to agree to their offer when he heard they were going to Harbucks, where he knew Tweek worked part-time, either. And he most certainly did not mean to talk about Tweek for his entire bit of conversation, spouting things that his subject probably didn't even know about himself. His borderline-stalker affection was apparently obvious to both Kenny and Butters, as the former raised a pierced eyebrow at him once he'd finished talking and leaned his elbows on the table they occupied.

"Craig."

"What?"

"Do you even listen to yourself talk?"

No, he didn't. Craig hated his voice, why would he wanna listen to it? He'd rather listen to Tweek's babbling: His voice was richer, sweeter - when he wasn't being jumpy, anyway. "...Not really."

"I thought so." The McCormick flashed him a wide grin, pointing at him accusingly with a glove-covered finger. "You've got the hots for Tweekers."

"What?" He felt his lip twitch, but otherwise managed to remain expressionless. "What is that s'posed to mean?"

"Hmm..." Kenny's eyes flickered from Craig's face to his fingers drumming on the tabletop, then back up, glittering mischievously now. "I think you know."

Craig made a strange sound in the back of his throat and flipped Kenny off. "That's stupid. I'm not crushing on him."

"You ain't really gonna lie to me, are you? You're a god-awful liar, Tucker."

"I'm not lying."

Pursing his lips, Kenny shifted in his seat to look at Butters. "Butters, remember what I told you when you asked me when I figured out I liked you?"

Butter's face flushed a rather bright shade of pink, but he nodded in answer. "Well, y-yeah... You said you knew it when you realized you'd been paying more attention to me than anyone else."

"Exactly. When you like someone, you'll end up looking at them all the time, dude. That's how it starts." This was directed at the black-haired boy, but he missed it, too involved with watching Tweek fill paper cups of coffee and slide them along the countertop to their respective customers. Tweek looked too good in that uniform, he decided, confirming this in his mind with a hum.

"Hey, Romeo." It wasn't until Kenny leaned forward and flicked his forehead that Craig snapped back into reality. "See? You've seriously got it bad."

"I do not," he replied, using his best "you're-an-idiot-stop-talking-to-me" voice.

"Dude."

"Not bad."

"Right, right. 'Kay. I believe you."

"Good."

"I was kidding."

Craig flipped him off again; Kenny paid this no heed and continued talking. "Craig, lemme ask you somethin'. What color are Tweek's nails right now? No peeking."

Tch, please, Craig didn't need to peek. "White."

Wait, fuck! He wasn't supposed to be paying attention to what color his nails were - he was supposed to have gotten over that a year and a half ago. "Um, I think," he added, trying to sound less like a creep. It didn't quite have the desired effect.

Kenny nodded once, looking ever-so-smug. "Ya know his favorite movie?"

"Charlie Bartlett. But come on, man, friends talk about that kind of stuff."

"Okay, then how abouuut... His favorite hobby?"

"He writes."

"Oh?"

"Yeah. So?"

"I'm friends with him, but I never knew that."

Mother fucker. Craig was just digging himself into a deeper and deeper hole. "Whatever, McCormick. He's probably told you before, you just don't listen."

Butters chose that moment to pipe up with a question of his own. "Does he ever do anything in particular when he's real, real happy?"

"Well, he bites his lip and bounces on his toes a shit-ton, but anyone that's ever seen him super happy knows that."

"Exactly," Butters replied evenly, a soft smile adorning his lips. "Tweek had hardly ever smiled in front of anyone, even just a little smile - I bet you're the only one he's ever truly happy around. 'Cause, maybe, you're the one that makes him that happy."

Craig really didn't want to think about why that thought made his heart so jumpy.

To his surprise, Kenny didn't shoot off any I-told-you-sos. Instead, he gave him a smile and stood, taking Butters' hand to help him up as well. "Well, our work here is done."

"Whaddya mean?" Craig's eyes narrowed, his gaze flicking between the two of them.

"We shouldn't stick around any longer, we wouldn't wanna throw off your groove," was the McCormick's response, coupled with another toothy grin and a thumbs-up. "See ya later, Craig Fucker."

Butters waved at him as the two departed, leaving Craig alone at the table, his brain in overdrive. Kenny's an idiot. Butters has no clue what he's talking about. I don't have a crush on Tweek. The world needs to shut the fuck up and mind its own damn business. Shitty feelings. Shitty earth. Shitty...shit.

He heaved an overdramatic sigh, about to stand up and leave when he noticed Tweek hang his apron up, setting his visor aside before looking straight at him. The smile he was given all but had him plopping back down into his chair.

"Hi, Craig," the blonde greeted, walking over to stand beside the table, wringing his hands the whole way. "K-Kenny told me you'd - nng... - b-be here..."

Craig could tell that Tweek was trying to dim his hyperactivity, but he wasn't sure why. "Heya, Tweekers," he greeted, trying to sound as calm and stoic as he normally did - like Butters and stupid Kenny McCormick didn't just sit him down and fuck with his mind. "Yeah, well, it was his idea to come here."

"O-oh." The blonde cleared his throat, eyes shifting nervously. "He told me it was - augh! - your idea to come..."

"No... I mean, I would've come here, anyway, so... Actually, yeah, I guess it was sorta my idea."

Tweek actually smiled at this, his shaking minimizing. "Mind if I s-s-sit?"

"Nah, dude, I'd like it if you did."

There was a brief moment of silence while Craig watched Tweek slowly sit down across the tiny table from him, and, upon seeing that smile - even brighter, now - being redirected at him, he realized in a sudden epiphany that Kenny was right. He had a huge crush, and, for the moment, he understood that he'd never seen someone so beautiful in his life.

For the first time in God-knows-how-long, Craig smiled. It was small, and only lasted for two seconds, tops, but it was a smile, nonetheless. "So..." Shit, what was he supposed to say to someone he just realized he may or may not be falling in love with? "I...like your shirt. Marianas Trench... I like them."

Tweek glanced down, as if he'd forgotten what he'd been wearing. "O-oh! Yeah, I-I do, too. The shirt's a little - ngh - baggy, but it's comfy."

"It looks good on you." Okay, now might be a good time for you to stop talking before you creep him out.

"Really?"

Despite his personal advice, the shy, hopeful tone in Tweek's voice had Craig's common sense dousing itself gasoline and exploding into fiery bits. "Yeah, it does. But anything you wear looks good, so, y'know."

He wondered if maybe his brain was just bleeding into his eyes, but he swore he saw Tweek blush. "Th-thanks, Craig."

"Um..." The black-haired boy huffed, running a hand through his hair. "Well, I'd invite you out for coffee, but...we're already here, so that'd be sorta stupid."

Tweek laughed, and Craig was a million percent positive his heart was imploding. He needed to go to the hospital. Or the morgue, maybe.

"Did you want a c-coffee? I can order us some, and we can just s-sit here and, a-ahh, talk. Is th-that okay?"

"Yeah, okay. Okay." You said that twice, idiot. "Okay." Just shut up, mouth.

"Okay," Tweek replied with another laugh. That sound was enough to make Craig choke on air, and, without thinking, he leaned out of his chair and across the table, catching the other boy's lips with his own.

Air was officially the last thing getting to the Tucker's brain, but, for once, he supposed his didn't really mind. Just this once. Well, that once, and right after, when Tweek stared at him for a moment before leaning forward and kissing him again.

Was he dead yet? He needed to remember how to breathe, now, or he'd pass out. That probably wouldn't be a very attractive way to end the moment. So, reluctantly, he pulled back, breathing hard. "...Thanks." You just thanked Tweek for kissing him, fucktard. "Augh, fuck, I'm retarded."

Tweek's answering smile was enough to keep him from babbling. "I'll go g-get us those coffees, okay?"

"Okay."

"C-Craig?"

"Yeah?"

"Thanks." Without waiting for a response, he darted off for the counter.

Craig was proud to note how Tweek bit his lip to repress his smile; how, even when he walked, he was bouncing on his toes.