Baby's Breath

A/N: A few parts of this were written with care, but it was mostly done with haste and I am so excited about finally writing my third favorite South Park couple a proper oneshot that I don't really want to edit right now. I've covered Crenny and Style a number of times, but never Clebe (except in small bits within The Leman's Alphabet, but that doesn't count so much, no matter how much I love that story collection, hehe.) Anyway, here's some of my love for the small but wonderful Clyde/Bebe community!

Clyde Donovan was a relatively average boy and always had been, despite his strange hometown and strict upbringing. He got average grades in school through average effort, had an average amount of friends, and was, overall, average.

Bebe Stevens, however, was not—or, at least, she wasn't to Clyde. No, to him, Bebe was phenomenal. It seemed like she was always changing, for he remembered her ten-year-old self as being a "girly" girl, marking her locker with glittery stickers and gathering baby's breath to fold into her beautifully braided hair. Back in those days, she was lovely.

When she was thirteen she had transformed into a tomboy over the summer, with dirt constantly caking her nails and her once-beloved Mary Janes discarded for proper "exploring" shoes. She was lovely then, too.

Now, at age seventeen, she wasn't "girly" or "boyish"—she was simply Bebe, and she was lovely. Clyde didn't care too much about what she looked like (though she was spectacularly pretty, he had to admit. But, then, so was Tammy, and so was Annie, but they were never quite as interesting to him), because the Stevens girl had a personality that caught his eye, characteristics and quirks that made her special, and a smile that was always straight white teeth and pretty pink lips which never failed to make all her admirers sigh in delight whenever they would see it.

Which, as of late, wasn't often, because Bebe was upset about something—had been for about a week now, Clyde noticed. He wanted so badly to help her, but he was just another mountain kid she hardly knew. The "crybaby" adolescent that grew up to be the "dumb-shit jock," as one Eric Cartman had so eloquently put it. What could he possibly have to offer her?

His usual confidence had waned considerably due to the situation, but with a small nudge from the ever-helpful Kenny, it fluctuated just enough so that he was able to say hi to her after school, and, by then, he knew he wouldn't be able to back out.

Her eyes were such a vibrant shade of blue that Clyde didn't have a word for them, and they were framed by golden lashes that fluttered in surprise at his approach. "Clyde? What's up?" she asked, voice wavering a bit.

"Uhh…" Off to a good start. "Hi."

She laughed once through her nose, but it didn't sound particularly cheerful. "You said that already."


"It's…okay? Listen, Clyde, I oughta get going. It was a nice, um…chat, though. Thanks."

"No, wait, wait! I can do this, I just gotta—I wanted to, to um—!"

At the brunette's awkward stumble over his words, Bebe laughed again, though she sounded genuine this time. "What's got you so tongue-tied?"

"I wanted to know if you'd go to the park with me after school today," he said in a rush, squaring his shoulders in an effort to project confidence he didn't feel.

"So, like…now?"

He blinked, flushed, and let his shoulders droop once more. "Yeah…now. Sorry, I didn't think that one through. Sorry."

"You can stop apologizing." That moment, the smile he'd been hoping to ignite appeared, lighting up her face in an instant—just as it had always been: Perfect teeth, perfect lips, and a sense of comfort that hit Clyde instantly. He returned the gesture, though his boasted a mouthful of blue braces and wire.

"Oh, sorry. I mean, yeah! Yeah, I will. I totally will." He punctuated the sentence with a series of nods that had Bebe smiling wider.

"You can stop being a bobblehead, too, Clyde. I'd love to go to the park with you." She turned, jostling golden curls and prompting her purple skirt to flutter around her knees. "Ya know, I've been super sad for, like, a week now, and all I wanted was for someone to freakin' talk to me. Wendy's been sick and none of the boys seem to wanna hang out with me."

"That was why you were upset?"

"Yeah, yeah. I know it's stupid, I just—"

"No! It isn't stupid, I just wished I'd've asked earlier. If I had known that was what you were sad about…"

At that, Bebe waved a hand dismissively. "Don't worry 'bout it. You're here now, so I'm good!"

Clyde was grateful that the girl was turned around so she didn't witness the embarrassingly dark blush that swept across his face. "I guess we can go now."

"Sounds good."

"Aren't you gonna call your mom and ask, first?"

"My mom won't care," was her flippant response, and Clyde felt dumb for even asking. He apologized again; Bebe giggled.

They made it to the park just in time to catch Kenny and Craig leaving, and when Clyde met the former's gaze, Kenny gave him a thumbs-up that caught more than just his own eye.

"What was that for?" the girl beside him asked, startling him with the defensive tone her voice had taken. "I'm sorry, I didn't realize you were one of those guys. If this is just some trick to—to—"

"No! No, I wouldn't do something that dumb. I mean, I wouldn't hang out with you just to, you know." He held his hands up as if they would somehow buttress his defense. Bebe regarded him warily for a moment, and during that short stretch of silence, he couldn't help but choke out, "Have a lot of guys tried to do that to you?"

That got her to grin, and, despite how awkward he felt at having asked the question, he couldn't help but give her a small smile back.

"Yeah. I let a couple of 'em."

The brunette's face flushed, but he said nothing. He wasn't exactly sure how to feel about that, or if he should feel anything at all. But the more he thought about those boys trying to befriend her just for sex, the more angry he felt. Of course, as ever-attentive to detail as his companion was, she noticed.

"Lemme guess," she started lightly, raising one eyebrow. "You're mad because I'm a 'slut'?"

For what seemed like the twentieth time that day, Clyde replied with a vehement "No!" and softened it with a relaxed smile. It finally hit him that Bebe must be just as defensive as he was—she had her reasons to be, he guessed, with as many things as he heard about her from the kids at their school. He agreed with some ("She's fuckin' gorgeous," said Kenny), disagreed with others ("But she's a total airhead," Cartman replied), and was overall discontent with the way in which many of the girls seemed to regard her. ("Slut." "Bitch." "Whore." "Bimbo." "Tramp.") If he'd had half a mind to interrupt his algebra two class, he would have gotten up on his metaphorical soap box and proved all those judgmental idiots wrong.

It took a moment before he remembered he had to breathe, and, more importantly, to pacify this broken, upset girl before him. "I don't really give two shits how many dudes you've slept with. It's your life, you know?"

The boy thought he might've seen Bebe tear up, but she turned her away too quickly to tell, and when she spoke again, her voice was just as even as before. "Thank you, Clyde. Wendy was the only one who ever really thought like that… Thanks for understanding."

At the conclusion of those words, Clyde felt soft skin brush his hand and looked down to see Bebe's thin digits, tipped with chipping red nail polish, thread through his own fingers and squeeze gently; without really thinking about it, he saw his hand do the same.

When he returned his gaze to her face, she was smiling at him, and suddenly they were ten years old again. He saw a little girl with baby's breath in her hair and gloss on her lips. Then, just as suddenly, they were thirteen, their faces smudged with dirt and thick boots tied onto their feet. At the exact moment he thought to blink, they were seventeen-going-on-eighteen again, and Clyde couldn't help but smile at how far they'd come, and at Bebe herself, the girl who was undeniably lovely—and at the bemusing fact that he just may be in love.