Soundtrack: The Outsider – Marina and the Diamonds

TW for depression and suicidal/homicidal thoughts.

The truth is that nothing changes.

All the way back in fourth grade, when Butters went to Hawaii, he thought that he would be different when he came back, that South Park would seem different. He thought that maybe he wouldn't be reduced to a last resort friend, or to sitting on the outskirts while everyone surrounding him carried out happy, oblivious lives.

But nothing changed. Butters came back and Kenny assimilated back with his friends, who never stopped making Butters feel like the shit stuck to the bottom of somebody's sneaker. He didn't want them to see that, though. He wanted people to think that he was happy, because maybe if they thought that, it could someday make it true.

But it hasn't. Nothing changes, he tells himself again.

On the outside, he's who he's always been. They can never tell that way – adults think that if you dress in black and grow your hair long, that you're depressed. But a lot of the time, Butters thinks, people that are sad, people that are angry, people who struggle through each day, are in disguise. In disguise like he is. He may go through his day with a smile pasted to his face, but it's never real, and nobody will ever know.

He still can't tolerate the other kids at school. When he walks into the building every morning, he feels like he's surrounded by a million empty heads, people that care about nothing but making sure that people know that they're better than the next guy. The only person around that he can stand for more than a couple minutes put together is Kenny, still just Kenny. He's quiet, and he's smart, and when other people torture kids just for being themselves, he doesn't bother participating. He's not like Kyle, who thinks he knows everything, or Stan, who thinks that his life takes precedence over others.

"Butters, dude, did you hear me?"

Butters snaps out of it. He stares down at the lunch that he packed for himself this morning, realizing that he hasn't touched it. He turns to look at the others – it's Stan that called his name.

"Sorry," he apologizes, "I wasn't payin' attention."

"Well cut it out," Stan says back, "I was talking about Homecoming. Are you going?"

"Well, sure," Butters answers, though in truth he'd rather knife himself in the eye before he put himself in the middle of a crowd of people that he hates.

"Who're you taking?" asks Eric. He stuffs a fry into his mouth and keeps talking as he chews, "'Cause you know you can't go alone. Everyone'll think you're a fag."

Butters couldn't think of anybody that he'd want to take to see him torture himself. He thinks that in a different place, maybe he wouldn't so much mind taking Kenny to a dance. But this isn't a different place. This is South Park, Colorado. Besides, Butters doesn't even think that Kenny likes boys.

"You shouldn't use that word, Eric," Butters says, "Maybe I'll ask Millie."

"You can't," Stan says, "Clyde's already taking her."

"Sally, then," amends Butters, but he's not particularly interested in the conversation.

He says a silent prayer of thanks when the warning bell rings, and dumps his uneaten lunch in the nearest trash can, tucking his empty lunchbox into his backpack. Before he can leave for his Trig class, though, Kenny pulls Butters' PB&J sandwich from the garbage and asks, "Can I have this?"

"Uh," Butters says, "Sure."

Kenny unwraps it from the sandwich bag and winks at Butters. There's a little flutter of feeling inside Butters' ribcage, a twinge that Butters stomps on before he can embarrass himself. A blush still spreads across his face, though, and he looks down at the floor in hopes of disguising it.

"Thanks," Kenny says.

"N-No problem," Butters smiles, but it's not one of the smiles that he makes himself give to people. It's one of the real ones. They don't happen a lot, but Kenny McCormick can sometimes tease one out of him. He's the only kid in the world that can.

Class is a blur, as all of them have become. All Butters can do is block it out. It's the only thing that helps. By the time that school ends and the hallways flood with students, Butters can't wait to be home. He can't wait to lock himself in his bedroom. There are few places that Butters doesn't feel crowded and violated, and his bedroom is one of them, as long as his parents leave him alone. They do most of the time now. He isn't afraid to yell at them like he's afraid to yell at the people that he calls his friends.

A hand stops Butters when he's walking through the parking lot, with his blue hood pulled up over his blond hair to protect him from the biting wind.

"Kenny?" Butters sputters.

"Yeah, I was wondering, do you have a light?" he asks, holding up cigarette.

Butters turns pink. He answers, "I don't smoke, Kenny. You know that."

"I know," Kenny replies, "But you carry like, everything, on you."

"Well – I," Butters starts, "I might have some matches in my car." In fact, he knows he does, because he keeps some in a little box in the back of his car with all the things he might need if he decides that he wants to disappear one day.

Kenny follows Butters to his beaten-up little Honda and watches Butters unlock the trunk. The box is in the back, a long, wide cardboard thing. It has clothes and snacks, and extra cash tucked at the bottom. There's a flashlight, and painkillers – and a gun. Butters forgot that he'd tossed the little pistol on top of the other stuff, and only remembers to care that it's there when Kenny says, "Whoa, man. You could get in deep shit if the school found out you had that on campus."

Kenny looks at the contents of the box with a pinch between his brows, but he doesn't comment any further.

"Oh, um," Butters scrambles to come up with an excuse, "I'm glad you reminded me it's there. I went hunting with my dad last weekend and forgot to take it back." Kenny doesn't comment that the pistol isn't the kind of gun that you would use to hunt, or that Butters couldn't hurt an animal if he tried. He just takes the matches from Butters with a terse 'thanks' and lights the end of his cigarette before he hands the matches back.

Kenny takes a drag and exhales a cloud of smoke politely at the ground instead of in Butters' face, like the goth kids do if he walks too close to them. Kenny doesn't head back toward the school, where Butters can see the bus about to leave, and Kyle waving wildly from one of the windows, indicating that Kenny needs to hurry up.

"Hey, so, me and the guys are gonna hang out and drink some and play games at Cartman's tonight, if you wanna come," Kenny offers.

"No thanks," Butters immediately says. With anybody else, he might lie and say that he has a lot of homework that he needs to catch up on, but it's Kenny, so he adds, "I think I'd feel too crowded." It's the nice way of saying that he fucking hates Kenny's friends, but it's still the truth. A good middle ground, Butters believes.

"Suit yourself," Kenny says. He keeps smoking, and watches as the bus pulls out of the lot. He says, "Can I get a ride home? That was my bus."

"I know," Butters answers, "I guess so. But there's no smoking allowed in my car, mister. My parents would kill me if they smelled cigarette smoke in there."

Kenny complies and smokes the rest of his cigarette in the wind. He's good-humored about it, and makes a joke about how Butters won't die from lung cancer. He climbs into the passenger seat, and doesn't make fun of Butters when he starts the car and the CD player starts playing his Book of Mormon soundtrack.

Kenny's house is in the opposite direction of Butters'. It's a tiny, narrow thing, a recycled FEMA home from Hurricane Katrina that was donated to the McCormick family when their house burned down. The rumor is that they had a meth lab in their back yard exploded, but Butters doesn't like to give credence to rumors unless he knows without a shadow of a doubt that they're true. Stuart did go to jail after the fire, though, and Kenny's older brother started wearing a prosthetic leg after being released from the hospital in the months following the incident. So maybe there is some truth to rumor, but Butters still won't count on it until he hears the same story come out of Kenny's mouth.

The house looks sad from the outside. It's in bad need of a new paint job, and some shingles are missing from the faded roof. Instead of getting right out of Butters' car, Kenny turns to him and says, "This is kind of random, but are you all right? You seem kind of out of it."

That is not in the least what Butters was expecting.

For a moment, he's at a loss for words, and stays silent as he studies Kenny's face for some sign that this is an elaborate prank and Eric is going to jump out from inside Butters' trunk and yell 'surprise.'

But that doesn't happen.

Butters carefully answers, "I'm fine. Nothing's different."

Kenny stares for a bit longer and then shrugs, "If you're sure. But if you want to hang out, dude, text me or something, okay?"

"Okay," agrees Butters, but he won't.

Kenny closes the car door behind him, and Butters waits until he's closed himself inside his house to start the car back up and drive home. It starts raining on the way back, nothing heavy, just little dots of water that Butters swipes away with his windshield wipers whenever they overwhelm the glass. The gloomy weather is fitting for his mood, at least. A solid shield of gray covers the sky.

Butters parks against the curb in front of his house and jogs in to avoid getting wet. Inside, it's dark. He's the only one home – Mom and Dad must still be at work. That's nothing unusual. They both often work late. And that's fine by him. It gives him more time to be by himself, and more space to breathe.

He dumps his backpack on the kitchen table and boils some water for peppermint tea. Rain is good tea weather.

And for a couple hours, Butters feels okay. He's still not perfect, but he likes just being okay.

He drinks tea and reads one of his old favorite books, The Magicians. He likes books about people like him, people that don't exactly fit in, and how they escape. He thinks about escaping a lot, but if he left, he'd leave behind so much unsaid and unfinished.

He thinks he'd like to finish things before he made an escape.

When his parents come home, they don't bother Butters until it's time for dinner. They eat their meal in silence. Butters doesn't eat much at all. He's so seldom hungry that he's perfected the art of pushing his food around his plate to make it look like he's eaten enough to be excused.

When Butters goes to bed, he falls asleep lonely again.


The idea started out as fantasy. It wasn't anything that Butters thought he would really do – just scenarios he played out in his head, things he would do if he were a different Butters, in an alternate universe. He thinks about the pistol in the box that sits in the trunk of his car. He thinks about pointing it at the center of Eric Cartman's head and pulling the trigger. He thinks about doing it to everybody. He thinks about all the people that have ever hurt him lying in a bloody mass at his feet.

And then he thinks about putting the barrel against his head and doing it to himself.

But Butters wouldn't do that. He wouldn't do that because even if the people surrounding him are cruel, that isn't a reason to kill them. He knows that would be wrong. He knows he would never do something like that.

Nonetheless, Butters never does move the pistol from the trunk of his car. He keeps it there, though he doesn't know why. It just makes him feel safer when he walks toward school, like he's keeping a friend in his car for a rainy day.

Today, he has to clench his teeth to prepare for the day as he walks toward school. He still hasn't asked anybody to Homecoming, despite that the dance is tomorrow, but any time that he's around the guys, they badger him about who he's taking.

And it's finally as he sits down to lunch, scooting as close to the edge of the table's bench that he can, that he cracks open. He opens his lunch and picks at the vegetable chips that he packed this morning.

"Dude, Butters," Stan says, "I just found out that Jason asked Sally to Homecoming yesterday. I thought you were gonna get on that. Don't you like her? The dance is tomorrow, man."

And that's it. That's all Butters needs today. He doesn't want to be polite, or nice, and he doesn't want to smile at people who only care about the superficial outside happiness. He snaps back, "I don't. I don't like her. I'm not really attracted to any of the girls at this school. I don't even want to go to Homecoming."

The table is silent. All of the people sitting are gaping at him. Cartman is the first to speak. He just lifts his brows, and says, "We all knew you were a prissy little faggot, Butters. You don't need to put on a show."

Nobody comes to Butters' defense.

Nobody says anything.

Butters stands up and says stilly, "I'll see you fellas at Homecoming." He doesn't pick up his lunchbox. He doesn't take the food. He doesn't knock it to the ground. He just walks away. It's easier that way. Walking away from doing something stupid.

But when Butters finds himself crossing the parking lot and climbing into the backseat of his car, sitting there quietly. He thinks about the gun in the back of the car. He thinks of what that little gun can do. He imagines holding it in his hand, taking it into the school –

"Butters, dude, let me in."

There's a knock on the window next to him. Butters flinches when he sees Kenny's face up against the glass, breath condensing on the window. He doesn't let him in at first. He rolls down the window and asks, "What do you want?" There's a mix of guilt in his gut now, just for thinking about taking that gun into the school, where Kenny would be.

"C'mon, man, you kind of freaked out back there," Kenny responds, "You told me that you were fine. That doesn't say 'fine' to me, dude."

Butters replies, "I am fine."

"Don't give me that shit, Stotch," Kenny responds. He reaches into the inside pocket of his orange jacket and pulls out a flask, shaking it a little, "Let me in. I have liquor."

Reluctantly, Butters flicks the lock up.

Kenny pries the door open and crawls into the car over Butters' lap. He unscrews the cap of the flask and tips a little down his throat before he offers it to Butters. When Butters takes it, Kenny leans back and puts his head on Butters' legs, facing up. He has a nice face – a little undernourished, maybe. His jaw is angular and his nose is a little crooked from a break that never healed right. Of all the nice things about Kenny's face, Butters thinks that he likes his blue eyes best. They crinkle at the corners when Kenny smiles.

He folds his hands over his orange coat and says, "So. Tell me what's up."

"I don't want a therapy session, Ken," Butters responds. He takes a swallow from the flask – it's whiskey, real cheap stuff that burns all the way down his throat.

Kenny responds, "I think you need one."

"I don't," responds Butters, "Why can't you take 'I'm fine' as an answer?"

"Because it isn't true," Kenny says evenly, "Throw me a bone here, dude. I'm your friend."

Butters thinks about what to say, if he even decides to say anything. He doesn't think he should talk about guns, or how much he's been thinking about the one that he keeps in his car. Nor does he think he should talk about how angry and how lonely he can get, but how he always wants to be alone.

"I just want to leave here," Butters settles on saying.

Kenny snorts and takes his flask back. He agrees, "Don't we all, dude."

"I don't mean like goin' off to college or nothin'," Butters clarifies, "I mean, I just want to – to disappear."

Kenny frowns and returns, "That's heavy, man. Why?"

"Everybody here is awful," Butters tells him, and then mutters, "Except you."

"Fuck, I know," Kenny says, "Dude, I'm awful too. I smoke too much and drink too much and definitely fuck too much – everybody sucks here. But it's home, I guess." He takes a swig from the flask and offers it to Butters, who refuses, before replacing it in the inside pocket of his threadbare coat.

It's the only home that Butters has ever known, that's for sure. For an instant, he forgets where he is, and who he is, and touches Kenny's hair, running his fingers through the fine, greasy strands. Then he realizes what he's done and withdraws quick as lightning. Butters shifts away from Kenny and puts his chin on his knees. He stares out the window.

"So, what are you gonna do about it?" asks Kenny. He doesn't mention the hair-touching.

"Do about what?" echoes Butters.

"About wanting to leave. About everybody being awful," Kenny says.

"I got a few ideas," Butters tells him, though he won't clarify that the ideas revolve around putting bullets in the brains of the kids that have never been anything but mean to him.

Kenny responds, "So do that. Sometimes you just have to do what you gotta do, right? I've gotta get to class, but call me or something…okay?" He nudges Butters' shoulder and teases a little smile out of him before he takes off, waving to Butters as he trudges back toward the high school.

Butters sits quietly by himself in the backseat for a few more minutes before he returns to school. He realizes then that Kenny is right. Sometimes you do just have to do what's necessary. And when Butters ducks into class late and Eric Cartman launches a spitball at the back of his head, he knows what he has to do.

He's going to use his little pistol.

And he's going to kill them.


Butters dresses impeccably on the night of Homecoming. He rents a fitted tux from the menswear place in town and dresses it up with one of his mom's carnations pinned to the outside. He combs his hair until it gleams, and makes sure his good shoes are extra shiny before lacing them onto his feet. The reflection that stares back at him in the mirror is somebody different than he's used to. The reflection is confident and suave in that James Bond sort of a way.

His parents seem relieved to see Butters participate in a school activity, and take pictures of Butters in living room before they let him drive to the dance. His heart beats faster as he buckles himself into the driver's seat, and faster and faster and faster as he starts down the road.

By the time that Butters parks in the school's lot, he feels like his veins are filled with a cold fire. It makes his fingers tingle as climbs out of the car and opens the trunk. It makes him wet his lips and his breath come faster as he glances behind him. He pulls out the pistol, thinking that this is the part of his story where the second thoughts come – but they don't. Instead, he just feels angry.

He tucks the pistol into the waistband of his pants at his back, hiding it with his tux jacket.

Butters has spent his life being scared. Being on the outside. But he won't anymore. Not tonight. This is the end, and he's okay with that.

The dance is already in full swing when Butters ducks inside. He waits in line behind a short queue of people waiting to give their tickets to the school staff sitting at two plastic tables near the front doors. Butters hands his over and Mr. Mackey thanks him, telling him to have a good time.

"I will," Butters tells him.

He starts toward the gym, striding past glittering decorations and colorful streamers. A catchy pop song makes the floor shake a little as he walks. The noise makes him a little dizzy and sick, but he keeps going.

Butters stands at the open doors to the gym. People are dancing and laughing.

This is it.

He reaches inside his tuxedo jacket and wraps his fingers around the gun.

And then somebody's cold hand closes tightly around his wrist.

"Don't do it," Kenny whispers. It's not an order. It's a plea. His breath smells like cigarette smoke and mint gum.

"Let me go," Butters bites back under his breath.

"No," Kenny says, "Please. Just – please. Come with me. We'll get out of here."

"Let me go," Butters reiterates. He has to do this. Nobody can stop him now. Not even Kenny McCormick.

Kenny doesn't say anything after that, but he doesn't let go of Butters' wrist. Instead, his free hand cups Butters' cheek and turns his head to face him.

In front of everybody, Kenny leans down and kisses Butters. It's a real soft kiss, but not unsure. Butters makes a noise of surprise, but he doesn't want to pull back. His hand loosens from the gun in his waistband, and he melts against Kenny, lips opening just a little so that he can let Kenny's tongue taste him.

And then he jerks back, out of Kenny's grip. Butters feels tears sting his eyes and he mutters, "It's not nice to tease me like that."

All of his courage is sapped out of him, and so he does the last thing that he can do: he runs away. Vaguely, in the back of his mind, he hears Kenny call out, but he keeps going, feet pounding against the ground until he reaches his car. He leans his head against it and tries to stop himself from crying. His breath comes out in sharp, jagged pants, and when he tries to keep it under control, he makes it worse.

Even when Butters tries to finish things, he fucks it up.

"Butters, didn't you hear me calling?"

Kenny is behind him, breathing heavily.

"Leave me alone, Kenny!" Butters shouts, "Just go away."

"I wasn't teasing you," Kenny says.

"Oh, sure," Butters mocks. The tears are back, and this time they leak out. He wipes his eyes on the sleeve of his tuxedo jacket and goes on, "'Cause you'd really wanna kiss me. I'm not stupid, Kenny. Stop treating me like a joke."

"I'm not," insists Kenny. He takes a step forward, and Butters realizes that he's trapped against his car. He has no place to run now. No way to escape.

Kenny reaches out and grazes his knuckles against Butters' hand. Butters pulls away again and says, "Stop it."

"I will," Kenny says, "If you really want me to. But I'll tell you what I want to do – I want to kiss you again. I'm not fucking with you, man, I really mean it."

It occurs to Butters that this is Kenny McCormick, the same Kenny that's never done anything but tell the truth to him and treat him right. The same Kenny that Butters likes when he never likes anybody. The Kenny that sits with him in his car to make sure he's okay.

So he replies, "Okay."

Kenny nips down on his lower lip before he leans in again. His lips are chapped but he still tastes good. Kenny hooks an arm around Butters' waist and pulls him closer, licking at Butters' lips with the tip of his tongue. It feels so right that Butters can't do anything but fall into it, hands clutching at Kenny's shoulders through his oversized, hand-me-down tux. He feels metal click against his teeth and realizes that Kenny must have a pierced tongue, which makes him whine a little in his throat.

Kenny pulls away and murmurs against Butters' ear, "You wanna get out of here?"

Butters isn't dumb. He's seen enough movies to know what that line means.

"Yeah," Butters agrees. He does want to.

They drive to Kenny's house – he explains that his mom is at work and Karen's at the dance, and "God only knows where the hell Kevin is." The house is just as sad on the inside as it is outside. The carpet is worn and stained, and there's very little furniture, just a torn-up couch and a television that looks like it came straight from 1992. A scruffy yellow cat perches on the sofa and stares at Butters and Kenny when they come in.

"Fuck off, Mittens," Kenny tells it, and explains, "It's Karen's."

They go down the hall to his bedroom. It's a tiny thing, with two mattress crammed into it. There's a line of yellow duct tape running down the center of it, splitting it into two sides. On Kenny's, his walls are plastered in band posters and pictures of superheroes. On Kevin's, it's pictures ripped out of playboys haphazardly tacked around his mattress.

Kenny sits down on his mattress and pats the space beside him, inviting Butters to sit. He does, folding his hands in his lap, and tapping his foot restlessly against the carpet.

Kenny rests a hand on Butters' knee, stopping his jiggling leg, and says, "So, look. I don't want to do anything that you don't want to."

"I've never done any of this stuff, Ken," Butters mutters. He feels embarrassed, and the blood rushes to his face.

"Nothing wrong with that," Kenny says, "We don't have to do anything if you don't want to. I just want to make sure you're okay."

"N-No – I want to, um, do stuff," Butters stammers, "Maybe we could just kiss some and see what happens?"

"Sounds good to me," agrees Kenny. He shrugs off his old suit coat and lets it pool on the ground. He's gentler with Butters' coat – he unbuttons the front and folds it, setting it in a neat pile beside his mattress. Kenny shifts, urging Butters to lie down. He does, resting his head against Kenny's pillow.

Kenny squeezes Butters' hand before he climbs over him and straddles him. With each careful movement, he looks at Butters like he's asking for permission, and so Butters nods every time. He likes the weight of Kenny on top of him. He likes the way that Kenny looks from this angle, and he likes the hypnotized expression on Kenny's face when he finally dips down to kiss Butters again. His kiss starts out gentle again, but in a split second they're fitted together and pressing open-mouthed kisses everywhere on each other's faces.

It's an exhilarating feeling, one that makes Butters do things that he's never done before. He thrusts up a little and whines, pulling at Kenny's long blond hair to bring their lips back together. Kenny chuckles and murmurs, "You're already hard."

Butters stops kissing for a moment. His face turns red again, and he stutters, "I'm, um, I'm sorry. Should we s-stop?"

"Not unless you want to," Kenny replies. He runs his lips along the hollow of Butters' throat and grinds down into him. He says, "I like that you're turned on. It's making me hard, too."

A moan escapes from Butters at that. He didn't know that it was possible to feel like this. Sure, he's jerked off plenty of times, but it never felt the way that this does, warm and perfect, like he and Kenny are two puzzle pieces finally fitting together.

When Kenny starts unbuttoning Butters' shirt, he doesn't stop him. He just watches.

"You take yours off too," he orders.

"Yes, sir," Kenny jests, and winks at him. His fingers work at his shirt and he casts it onto the carpet. He's even skinnier than Butters' thought underneath all that clothing, so slim that the shadow of his ribs are visible underneath his skin. Butters reaches up and touches Kenny's chest, skating fingertips over his sides.

Kenny hums and remarks, "I'm not as pretty as you are, but I'm not half bad."

"You're perfect," Butters tells him.

They kiss again, bodies moving against each other. Kenny was telling the truth – he is hard, and every time that Butters feels his cock rub up against Kenny's, he makes a little more noise. He stops Kenny with a hand only when he thinks he can't take it anymore, and whispers, "I can't come in this tuxedo. It's a rental."

Kenny laughs, but not at Butters. It's just a laugh, the good, genuine kind. He scoots back to pull off Butters' shoes, and back up again to undo the fly of Butters' slacks. He pulls them off and folds them just like he folded the jacket. He undresses himself, too, kicking off shoes and wiggling out of his outdated slacks. Underneath, he wears a pair of striped boxers that have seen better days. It's the most erotic thing that Butters has ever seen in his life – Kenny wearing nothing but tented shorts and a smile on his face.

"You sure you're not playing a trick on me?" Butters rasps.

Kenny's smile fades a little as he comes up to lie against Butters' side. He says, "I'm not playing a trick on you, sugar. I wouldn't do that."

"You called me sugar," Butters tells him.

"I know that," Kenny's lips quirk up, and he goes in for another kiss. With their lips connected, Kenny reaches down and thumbs at the elastic waistband of Butters' briefs. He asks, "Is it okay if I touch you?"

Butters has lost his words, so he only nods.

Kenny's hand dips down inside Butters' underwear. His hand closes around Butters' cock, and Butters cries out at the sensation. Kenny's hands are cold, but they feel good on him, so good that he could cry. He hides his face in Kenny's neck when he starts to move his hand in slow, even strokes and nips down on the skin there. He didn't know it was possible to feel like this.

Without warning, Butters comes inside his underwear and on Kenny's hand. He whimpers through it and holds Kenny's skinny body against his.

"Jesus, Stotch," Kenny says, and Butters can hear his smile, even though he can't see Kenny's face.

For a couple of minutes, they just sit there. Then, Kenny shifts and reaches for a t-shirt on his floor. He pulls Butters' briefs off and mops him clean, pressing kisses to the edge of Butters' jaw as he works.

"I should – I should return the favor," Butters tells him. Kenny is still hard in his boxers, and Butters would lying if he said he didn't want to see what Kenny looked like inside them.

"Mm," Kenny expresses, "You don't have to."

"I want to," insists Butters. He thinks of what he could do. He could wrap his hand around Kenny like Kenny did to him, or maybe he could try and use his mouth – though he definitely hasn't tried that before, and wouldn't know where to begin. Or…

"Maybe you could, um," Butters flushes again, "come inside me."

Kenny's brows shoot straight up into his hair. He hesitates, "Are you sure about that, dude?"

Butters thinks about it. He thinks about everything that's happened tonight, and he realizes that Kenny might have rescued him. So he decides, "Yes. I'm sure."

Kenny kisses again. This one is most serious than his other kisses, with heat and purpose behind it. He reaches over Butters to grab something off the top of his dresser – a half-used bottle of lubricant and an opened box of condoms. It's no surprise that Kenny keeps them on hand. Actually, it's a relief. Butters doesn't think he'd want to go into something like sex unprepared. It seems dangerous to him.

Sex. He's about to have sex with Kenny.

Kenny cocks his head at Butters and comments, "You know that you don't have to do this, right?"

"I want to," Butters repeats dumbly, "I do. I swear."

Kenny studies him and then kicks off his boxer shorts. They're both naked, now, and Butters likes it. He likes it a whole lot. Kenny looks good naked. He has a really nice cock, and so Butters informs him, "Your dick looks a lot nicer than the ones in pornos."

Kenny guffaws and kisses Butters' cheek. He pops open the container of lube and pours some on his fingers. He explains, "Fingers help get everything going down there. You tell me if you want me stop though." He crawls up and boxes Butters in, lifting his legs over his lap. Butters feels Kenny's slippery fingers trace along his ass and swallows down the knot of nerves in his throat when he feels the tip of one touch to his entrance.

It feels really good when Kenny slips the first finger in. Butters whines and wiggles against it. He wants more. Kenny gauges that, and with a crook of his finger presses against Butters' prostate. Butter cries out and jerks up against him. "That feels real good," he says.

When Kenny works in another finger, the fit is tighter, but not entirely bad. Butters adjusts after a couple of minutes and even starts to enjoy it, rocking on Kenny's hand to feel more friction. It's when there are three fingers inside him that it starts to hurt. Kenny pauses like he's waiting for Butters to tell him to stop, but he doesn't want it to end, even if it does sting. Kenny massages inside Butters with calculated movement.

And then he breathes, "Are you ready for me?"

"Yes," is all that Butters can manage to get out.

Kenny pulls away from him and rips open a condom packet. He rolls it over himself and gives himself a little attention in the process, before applying lube over it all.

He starts to push inside Butters, and immediately it hurts. He knows Kenny can tell because he stops when he's less than halfway seated and runs his fingers through Butters' hair. He says again, "Seriously, you tell me to stop if you don't want to do it anymore."

"Just go slow," Butters answers tightly.

Kenny does, sliding inside inch by agonizing inch until he's all the way inside Butters. Butters didn't know it was possible to hurt this much and still want more. He feels full and good, but it burns like hell. Kenny stays still like that for a long time, letting Butters adjust while he sweats and licks his lips above him.

"All right," Butters groans, "Okay. You can go."

Kenny is careful. He withdraws only a little and starts moving in shallow, rolling thrusts that don't hurt so much. It's clear that this isn't the first time that he's done this, and for that, Butters is grateful. And after a little bit, it doesn't hurt so much anymore – Kenny starts moving a little faster, and a little harder, and Butters begins to press his body back against him.

Kenny makes beautiful noises while his hips roll. He kisses Butters and whispers his name and curses under his breath, until he stills inside him, stifling a loud moan against Butters' chest. His body goes limp and loose against Butters, and for several minutes he doesn't speak. All he does is pant.

Sometime later, Kenny rolls off of Butters and crosses the room to dispose of the condom. He comes back and lies where he was before, where he runs his fingers through Butters' damp hair and kisses along the back of his neck.

"Were you really going to kill them?" Kenny asks, breaking the silence.

Butters answer truthfully, "Yes."

Kenny lowers his eyes and runs his knuckles along Butters' collarbone. For a long time, they don't speak.

"How did you know I was gonna do it?" Butters queries.

"I was smoking in the lot and I saw you with the gun," Kenny replies, "Scared the shit out of me. I thought I was gonna be too late when I grabbed you. Why did you want to do that? I don't get it."

And with that, Butters dissolves into tears. He can't breathe enough to explain himself at first, and Kenny lifts himself up onto his elbows to mop up Butters' tears with his hands. He blubbers, "I'm so tired of being lonely. I don't have any friends and I'm everybody's punching bag. I don't like being this angry, but I hate all those people so much."

"You have friends," Kenny insists, "You have me."

"Why?" Butters wants to know, "I'm a waste of space. I hate it. I hate me, I hate everybody else, and I hate it here."

"Do you hate me?" asks Kenny.

Butters sniffs and shakes his head, "No. No, you're the only person in the world I don't hate."

"I don't hate you either," Kenny tells him, "Actually, I kind of like you."

Butters wants to argue, wants to scream and shout, but when he looks at Kenny's face, he knows that Kenny's being honest with him. He knows that he means every word that he's saying. It makes Butters' chest feel sore, and all he can think to do is press a timid kiss to Kenny's lips again, just to test the waters.

Kenny kisses back.

"It's not gonna be like this forever," Kenny whispers, "You and me, we're gonna get out of this town one day. And for now…even though you can't leave, you've got me here. Promise me that if you ever feel this bad again that you'll call me, okay? I'm your friend, dude. I – you matter to me. I don't like seeing you like this."

Butters nods and hides his face against Kenny's bony chest. He smells like cheap ivory soap and sex, good smells that make Butters burrow closer and swear against his skin, "I promise."

Butters knows that this is a temporary solution – but as long as he can stay wrapped up in Kenny like this when he needs to, he thinks that he might be okay. Being with Kenny is like being wrapped up in a single, warm kernel of safety, like finding the eye of a hurricane.

Maybe if he has as much time as he can within the eye of the storm, he can handle the rest of the rain.