Author's Notes: Wow! Big thank you to everyone who reviewed on the last chapter! They really keep me going!

I hope you enjoy reading this chapter as much as I enjoyed writing it! ;)

The Steps To Success

Step Two: The Execution

Chapter Seventeen: Accomplishments Are Transient

Around mid-day (at least, I think it's mid-day) Cartman and I find a trail. There's no footprints, or anything, but there is clearly a path made through the underbrush. We decide to follow it to see where it will lead us. The two of us have a debate of whether or not the trail proves there's human beings on the island. I think there is, because who else could have made a trail? But Cartman says that it could have been made by animals or could be natural, or something.

I tell him that's bull shit and he just shrugs in that annoying way of his with that expression on his face that he gets when he thinks that he's right about something but he's not arguing because he doesn't think it's worth his time and God, I want to fuck him.

I think the heat is getting to me. Seriously, the heat is destroying all my brain cells and making me horny. And it's even worse because I haven't jerked off in... how long have we been lost?... huh. I don't have the notebook anymore. I've lost count of the days we've been gone. The revelation makes me a little bit sad, but really, it doesn't matter, in the end.

We follow the trail until night fall, and it's easier because Cartman doesn't have to fight through the foliage so we cover a lot of ground. At least it feels like a lot of ground. We're both exhausted and we fall into the sleeping bag and I put my head on Cartman's shoulder and throw my arm across his chest because fuck it, I want to cuddle, damn it, and so I'm going to cuddle. The only one here to make fun of me is Cartman, and he won't because he likes cuddling just as much as I do.

We eat our last dehydrated meal in the morning and continue on the trail. We only have two cans of fresh water left; one for me and one for Cartman.

We have to find water today. We have to.

With this in mind, we both walk a little faster, pretty much as fast as we can without tiring ourselves out completely. It's a steady pace. Still, we don't find anything until much later in the afternoon, and what we do find isn't really that helpful. At all.

There's a fork in the trail. It just stops and splits off into another direction all of a sudden. The trail clearly goes forward but there's another trail leading off to the side right through the trees. We don't know where it leads and we don't know if we should follow it. What if it leads to nowhere? Should we stay on the main trail? We take a break and talk through it, agreeing that no matter what splitting up isn't an option. That's the first thing that comes out of my mouth and Cartman agrees immediately. In the end, we decide to follow the new trail to see where it takes us. We can always retrace our steps and come back to the main trail.

It turns out that we made the right choice (for once) in the end.

"Do you hear that?" Cartman asks. He still walks in front even though he doesn't have to move branches and things out of the way. He turns back to look at me, putting a finger to his lips for me to be silent. "Listen," he says.

I listen and faintly hear churning sounds that are very, very familiar. "Is that..." I question.

Cartman and I start running toward the sound - flat out sprinting in our excitement - and in half a minute we're breaking through the tree line and coming out into a grassy area where there's a natural pond with a little waterfall pouring down into it from a rock ledge.

"Water!" Cartman and I yell together and we rush over to it. We kneel at the edge, staring into the clear water.

"Do you think it's safe to drink?" I ask.

"Probably not," Cartman says, "But I'm gonna drink it anyways," and he cups the water in his hands and slurps it into this mouth. I stick my hands into the water and do the same, marveling at its coldness and how clear and clean it is. It's not a large pond, but it's definitely big enough to take a bath in. Holy fuck, a bath! I can take a bath! Holy shit, yes! Finally! I almost get naked right then and there but remember Cartman right at the last second.

I sit back and breathe deeply, collecting my thoughts. Okay, so there's water. Thank Jesus. But just because we finally found what we've been looking for doesn't mean I have to freak the fuck out. It's not like the pond is going anywhere, anyway. Calmed, I look over at Cartman to see that he's drinking the last of the water from his can. I quirk an eyebrow at him and he smirks at me. When he finishes with the water he puts the empty can in the pond and fills it up again.

"Oh," I say. "It's too bad we don't have a larger container to carry water in," I say, but I follow his lead and fill my own can full of pond water.

"I'm going to explore the clearing," Cartman says.

"Okay," I say. I recline to my back, putting my arms behind my head. "I'll be here."

Cartman huffs and gets to his feet. I watch him in my peripheral vision as he walks all the way around the pond to the other side of the little oasis and over to the tree line. He disappears into the trees on the other side and I sit up in alarm.

"Cartman?" I call out, getting to my feet. He doesn't answer. "Cartman!" I yell again, frantic. My feet start moving and I'm almost to the place where he disappeared when he comes back through the trees.

"What the fuck, dude?" I yell. "Not cool. You can't just leave like that." I wrap my arms around myself so that I don't do something stupid and embarrassing, like reach out and give Cartman a hug.

He looks surprised by my outburst. "Sorry, Kyle," he says, reflexive.

"Whatever," I say, blushing because I totally over-reacted. "I thought you said you were going to explore the clearing." I put extra emphasis on the clearing.

"I was, but then - look at this," he says, pointing to the ground near our feet. "It's another trail, see?" I do see it, now that I'm not freaking out. It's another trail just like the other ones we've been following.

"Well, that's nice, I suppose," I say, reluctant. "But we just got here. Can we rest for a little bit and then decide if we want to move on?" I make my voice sound extra whiny and put on my most pathetic expression. It seems to do the trick because Cartman sighs and follows me back to sit near the pond. We lounge around for a while, drinking more water than we've had in the past week until we're both full and can't drink anymore. It's a different kind of full; we're both still hungry but the water is a comforting weight in our bellies.

I feel dirty and grimy and can't stop thinking about what it would feel like to get naked and submerge myself in the cool, clear water of the pond. It doesn't matter that we don't have soap, I'll be happy with just rinsing the dirt off of my skin and out of my hair. I really want to do it, except that it requires getting naked in front of Cartman, and while we've both seen each other's junk (it's kind of hard not to when you're stuck on a boat and you have to take a shit) it feels somehow different. Like being in this little secluded clearing is... intimate, or something. Cartman is also giving the pond longing looks, so I know he wants the same thing, but he hasn't said anything.

Well, one of us has to make the first move, because there's no way I'm just going to sit here when there's a perfectly awesome pond to bathe and relax in. Maybe if I just take off my clothes and don't say anything Cartman won't notice until I'm already in the water. It's worth a try, so I sit up slowly and lift my ratty shirt over my head. Cartman was facing the other way, but turns to look at the movement, of course. Well, I'm not turning back, now. I get to my feet and remove my shorts, which are still in pretty good condition, and then I pause, blushing.

Cartman just watches me silently. I got rid of my socks long ago, so I'm just standing there in my dirty boxers debating if I should go in the pond with them still on. I suppose I could, but they're so dirty and gross and I really want to take them off and get fucking clean. So I take a deep breath, turn around towards the pond, and pull my boxers down my thighs and past my calves, bending over to pull them off my feet as I step out of them. I can feel a full-body flush covering me and I know Cartman is watching my ass as I wade carefully into the pond. I know these things, but they're pushed to the back of my mind as I finally feel the cool water rush over me. It's the best I've felt in a long time. I continue walking toward the middle of the pond and get deeper and deeper into the water, only stopping when it's up to my chin.

It feels so good, and some other time I might have felt bad about making the pond water dirty, but right now I just don't give a fuck. All I can concentrate on is the feeling of rubbing myself clean, of watching as the dirt is finally washed away from my skin. I rub my arms and my chest and my stomach, hold my breath and dunk my head under, and scrub at my hair viciously. I'm so glad that I had Cartman cut it for me. I come back up for air and scrub at my face and neck and my shoulders, focusing only on getting clean. I'm so focused on my task that I don't even realize Cartman is behind me until I feel his hands on my back.

I stand still, not turning around as Cartman rubs water on my back, washing the dirt off of the places I can't reach. I'm almost holding my breath, I'm so still. I wonder how long he's been standing there, watching me. Is he naked? Oh, God, he's probably naked. My heart's jack-rabbiting in my chest as I process these thoughts.

Cartman is naked behind me.

Cartman is naked and touching my back.

Cartman is naked.

Cartman is naked.

His hands still on my back and then move up to settle on my shoulders.

"Kyle," he whispers in my ear. He turns me around to face him - oh God, oh God, oh God - and cups my face in his hands, leaning down to kiss me. And I just let him. I tilt my head up and close my eyes and just focus on the feeling of his lips on mine. Finally, after all this waiting, I'm finally kissing Cartman, and it's perfect. It's all I can think about; in this moment, kissing Cartman is all I know. I want to make it good for him, I want to make him understand how I feel without using words. I open my mouth when he licks my lower lip and our tongues touch and Cartman's hands are on my neck, holding me so that I can't get away - like I would even try - and I realize that I've been so focused on kissing him that I've left my hands limp by my sides. I move them up to Cartman's shoulders and tangle one of them in his hair, pulling slightly, and Cartman shivers.

He sucks my tongue into his mouth and I let out an involuntary groan. It's so erotic and I want him so much. I've never felt this way before, ever.

I love kissing Cartman. I want to kiss Cartman all the time. His lips are soft and the perfect shape - just a little bit plumper than mine - and the way he presses forward into me, the way that every movement of his lips on mine is meaningful and deliberate makes me feel wanted, like Cartman has wanted this for a long time, too. And that thought makes me crazy because we could have been kissing for a long time, way before this, and why haven't we? We should just kiss all the time.

Cartman seems to feel the same way. He's kissing me unhurriedly, like we have all the time in the world, and he's making no moves to stop even though this is the longest kiss I've ever shared with anyone, by far. One of us is going to have to stop at some point, but not yet. I'm still reveling in the feeling of knowing that we both want this and the knowledge that Cartman wants me. It's an amazing feeling.

And just the fact that it's Cartman - Cartman, who doesn't like anyone, who never shows his feelings, who is secretly kind of a genius - just the fact that it's him that I'm kissing makes the whole thing even better because I thought that he hated me and if he still does this is a really weird way of showing it and I'm having a hard time forming complete, coherent thoughts, so I stop trying and just kiss. Yeah, that's better.

In the end, I'm the one who breaks the kiss, pulling my head back and breathing heavily in and out of my mouth. Cartman simply moves his mouth down to my neck and latches onto the skin there with is mouth, sucking and licking with the flat of his tongue, and he's definitely in the process of giving me a hickey there and I just close my eyes and moan because it feels good and there's only Cartman out here to hear me, anyway.

My neck aches from tilting my head back for such a long time and I'm sure Cartman's does as well since he's been leaning down to meet me halfway so I grip his broad shoulders in my hands and pull him down into the water so that I can climb him like a fucking tree and then our heads are at the same level and I'm clinging onto Cartman's shoulders with my legs wrapped around his torso and, God, my dick is pressed up against his stomach and he can definitely feel how hard I am from just kissing and maybe I'd feel embarrassed about that except that Cartman fucking whimpers against my neck and grabs my ass with both hands, squeezing my cheeks together, and he unlatches his mouth from my neck and oh, look, there are his lips again and I swoop in for another kiss because fuck yeah, this is even better than before and I rub myself against his stomach while we kiss, rougher and faster this time, and it feels amazing in the cool water.

I have to pull back from the kiss again because I'm gasping and Cartman is squeezing my ass and there's not enough friction on my cock and I'm whining, now, in the back of my throat, just completely gone and so ready to come, I want to come, I want to watch Cartman come so fucking bad, and with that thought I untangle myself from him and slip my hand under the water, finding Cartman's cock and gripping it in my hand. Cartman groans deliciously and I grin because he's just as hard as I am and I can barely fit my fingers all the way around his dick he so fucking thick and I can definitely work with that.

I try to jerk him off under the water but it's hard because I can't move my hand very fast.

"Let's get out of the water," I tell him, my voice rough and gravelly and that's actually kind of hot and when I let go of Cartman's dick he follows me out of the water and then pulls me down onto the grass and climbs on top of me, but instead of immediately going for my dick, he kisses me again, forcing my mouth open with his tongue and wow, Cartman really likes kissing. Who would have thought?

I grab his dick again and he breaks the kiss with a moaned, "Jesus, Kyle," before swooping back down to my neck to give me another hickey.

"Fuck," I moan, the word drawn out of me. I look down between our bodies, aligning them so that our cocks are touching. My hand isn't big enough to wrap around both of them, but Cartman takes the hint and wraps his own hand around them, pushing them together and jerking both of us off at the same time.

Cartman unlatches his mouth from my neck and joins me in looking down at our dicks, and fuck it's hot and feels amazing and holy shit I'm so gay. I want to laugh hysterically because I'm so fucking gay for this asshole on top of me and holy fuck I'm gonna come.

"I'm gonna come," I moan at Cartman.

"Yeah," he says quietly, breathlessly, and he moves his hand even faster.

I close my eyes as my orgasm rushes through me and a punched-out groan escapes my parted lips as I come all over my stomach and chest. Cartman follows soon after, his spunk landing on top of mine and he makes a helpless sound that makes my soft dick twitch pathetically.

He rolls off of me and we lay there side by side in the grass as we come down from our orgasm highs. It's the best I've felt in a long time and I kind of want to take a nap, but I can feel our come drying on my chest and while that's kind of hot it's also kind of gross so I sit up and go back into the pond to clean it off. When I turn around I see Cartman watching me with lidded eyes. He's completely naked and unashamed about it.

He joins me in the pond again and lets me rub water over his back and run my fingers through his hair to get the dirt out. It's strangely intimate. When I'm done cleaning him he turns around and kisses me again, holding a gentle hand on my hip under the water. I smile slightly into the kiss as he presses his lips chastely to mine over and over again.

We're both exhausted so we just get out of the water and collapse against each other in the grass to snooze and dry out in the sun. Neither of us say anything, but the silence isn't awkward. It's like we've both known about our want for each other, and we've both been waiting for something to happen, and now that it has we both just feel relieved. Or, at least, that's how I feel.

I know that we'll have to talk eventually, about our feelings and whatnot, but right now the silence is golden and I'm in a place where I've accepted the fact that I like Cartman, a lot, and where I choose to believe that Cartman likes me a lot, too.

It's a nice place.

Finally some action, right? There's still more to come... Please leave me a comment!