A/N: So here's another chapter... This one's got established Bunny and some Dip too! TBH, this one was hard to edit and has been hidden in my folder for ages. Enjoy?
"You didn't have to walk me all the way home." Butters said, smiling at his boyfriend as they made their way towards the Stotch's driveway. "It's not like I couldn't find my own way back."
They had been holding hands for most of the way, but now that they were in front of the house they walked with a generous space between them. Of course, Butters's parents already knew about the two of them, and had (somehow) mellowed out enough to let them date. But only if they didn't show any public displays of affection in front of them. Kenny hadn't like the tone they'd had when they said it, but he wasn't about to start complaining and get their 'blessing' revoked.
Kenny tilted his head and let his eyes go comically wide. "I know that. But maybe I just wanted to walk you home like a dumb boyfriend should. Did you ever think of that?"
Butters laughed, and he let his fingers graze the inside of Kenny's wrist for a brief moment. "Maybe I had thought about it. But don't say that it's dumb! Bebe says she would've killed for one of her exes to treat her even half as nice as you treat me."
"Maybe I should have give them a few pointers." Kenny suggested, and the two of them laughed, even though it wasn't all that funny. But why the hell shouldn't the laugh together? Kenny was just coming back from a decent movie (which was a feat in itself, considering how rare it was for the dumpy old movie theater to be playing something nice) with the boy he was in love with, and he hadn't died for a whole week. Life was pretty good, and right now, he didn't think that anything could bring down his good mood.
They reached the front door, and Kenny was almost certain that Mr. Stotch was probably glaring down at them from one of the windows. He wanted to tilt his head down a little and kiss Butters goodnight, but they had already done more than enough kissing when they were at the movies, so he decided that it wouldn't be worth risking to sneak in one more. Instead, he reached up and brushed a stray lock of hair out of his boyfriend's face.
"'Night Butters." He said, smiling at him and feeling like he was the luckiest guy in the world.
The smile that Butters gave him back made him think that Butters felt the same way. "Goodnight, Ken. I'll see you at school tomorrow, okay? Don't be late."
He rolled his eyes at him affectionately. "I'm always there before the bell rings, aren't I? I promise though." He added when Butters pouted up at him.
"Good." Butters said, his smile quickly returning. He turned his doorknob and waved at him before going inside and closing the door behind himself. Kenny stood there for a moment, looking at the door until he heard Mr. Stotch's voice asking Butters what he'd done, why was he almost late (he wasn't, Kenny had made sure that they had made it back ten minutes before Butters's curfew), and so on. He shook his head and turned away, making his way down the driveway.
He was almost halfway home, still feeling like he was walking on air, when the semi-truck hit him.
The first thing that crossed his mind when he opened his eyes and was greeted by the familiar overwhelming heat was, "Of course."
Of course he would end up dead after his date, it was so typical. He'd been feeling so happy recently, it was no wonder the universe decided to counter that with a really stupid death. A freaking truck hitting him? So very typical.
And yet, his mood wasn't brought down in the slightest.
He sat up and took in his surroundings with routine motions. Though the people around here were different, it was exactly the same as all the other times he died and wound up in Hell. Wailing people, the usual confusion as to why they were here and not heaven (Mormonism, the answer was always Mormonism) and though Kenny knew that he probably should be feeling sorry for these people, he found that he didn't really care about their plight. They'd eventually get used to their situation and, knowing Satan, might even find it enjoyable.
So instead of worrying about the people around him, he started for the direction of Damien's place. He always hung out with the spawn of Satan until it was time for him to come back to life, and it wasn't like Kenny was looking to do anything else besides kill some time until then.
It turned out that he didn't have to go very far. Damien was already walking towards him, an annoyed expression on his face. Then again, he rarely had any other expression on his face these days. Kenny grinned and waved at the other teen, knowing that Damien's foul mood had nothing to do with him.
"How'd it happen this time?" Damien asked, sizing Kenny up and down. "Get cut in half maybe?"
Kenny rolled his eyes, but he wasn't offended by the question. It was like a game between them, for Damien to guess how Kenny had met his demise every time he arrived. "Nothing quite so interesting this time, I'm afraid. I got hit by a car."
"How boring." Damien yawned, checking his nails lazily. Kenny noticed that he was wearing his usual black nail polish on them, and he was about to make a snide remark about it, but Damien started walking away gestured for Kenny to follow him. "Come on, let's get to the house."
"Uh, okay." Kenny felt his eyebrows going up to his hairline. Normally, if they found each other before Kenny made his way over to the house, they just hung out in the mall (Satan had put it in recently because he felt that his son needed to socialize more with his subjects, but Damien glowered at anybody who approached them so there went the whole socialization thing) until Kenny was sent back. Sometimes they ended up going there anyways, because there wasn't much to do at Damien's house besides play video games and listen to Satan bemoan his latest failed relationship if the dark lord wasn't busy. Damien usually wanted to be as far away from his home as possible… But for some reason, Damien wanted them to go to there today. Strange.
"So, is there any particular reason that we're going to your house today, or are you just being weird to mess with me?" Kenny asked, trying to strike up a conversation.
Damien just shrugged his shoulders and kept walking in silence. Oh yeah, definitely strange.
They reached the house after a few minutes, and Kenny stared up at the thing, feeling just a little intimidated despite seeing it at least once a month. The place was more like a mansion than a house, several stories high made of black volcanic rock and decorated with the laments of the damned (or so Damien had told him once). Kenny shivered slightly as he and Damien climbed up the steps to the front door, the feeling of being watched going through him as he waited for Damien to get the key from underneath the welcome mat.
The inside of the house wasn't nearly as creepy, at least. It was decorated like a typical suburban household, nice furniture and family photos in frames on the walls of the hallway. Damien led him into the kitchen and motioned for him to take a seat on the table. Kenny did, raising an eyebrow when Damien took the seat across from him and just sat there.
The long seconds of silence turned to minutes, and Damien still just sat there and didn't say anything. Kenny was starting to get bored and frankly a little confused, so he finally came out and asked, "So is there some important reason we're just here instead of hanging out at the mall?"
Damien scowled at the mention of 'that repulsive place' as he always referred to it, but instead of ranting about how it was the stupidest thing his father had ever done, he simply said, "There's someone there that I don't want to bump into, okay?"
Kenny blinked and almost burst out laughing. He managed to hold it back and give him a smirk instead. "Is that all? That's so lame, even for you Damien."
Damien glared at him. "Fuck off, Kenny."
"That's it?" Kenny asked, surprised that there wasn't much bite to his insult. Damien never left him so mildly insulted like this. "What's up Damien? Who's this person that you want to avoid so badly?"
Damien cut off his glare, which hadn't been all that heated to begin with, to stare down at his hands. "Nobody important."
Kenny knew that Damien was lying. He had a tell, ever since they were kids. He'd look down at his hands and give terse, one or two word answers whenever he was lying. Kenny couldn't believe that Damien hadn't already figured out that he was a horrible liar, but no way was Kenny going to tell him that. It was easier to get information out of him this way.
"Sure, nobody important. That's why we're here and not stuffing our faces with bad fries and greasy burgers." Kenny said, realizing with his words that he was starving. He stood up and went over to the fridge. "By the way, I'm going to eat whatever I find in here, okay?"
Damien gave a half-hearted shrug. "Help yourself, we don't have anything in there anyway."
Kenny was sad to see that he was right. There were very few things in the fridge, and what WAS in there didn't look very appetizing. He settled for the half-empty bag of bread that he knew was probably stale and the mostly-full jar of peanut butter and made himself a sandwich.
When he had his semi-decent meal in front of him, he turned to see that Damien had his head resting on the table, looking more annoyed than usual. Kenny put his plate down and, despite risk of getting yelled at, asked him, "Dude, who even is this person? You're acting like a lovesick schoolgirl."
Damien's eyes widened for a moment before they hardened and he quickly snapped at him. "You're the one who was walking around with that stupid smile on your face!"
"I have the excuse of being in a really good relationship." Kenny grinned and taking a bite of his sandwich. It wasn't all that good, as he had expected, but food was food after all. It didn't matter how much he would rather have a burger in his hands right now. The peanut butter stuck to the roof of his mouth, and he wished he had seen some milk in the fridge. Eventually though, he swallowed his mouthful down and cleared his throat. "Seriously though, you're acting like someone avoiding their crush."
"Well I'm not." Damien growled, clenching his fists under the table. "I'm avoiding a very annoying person who insists on trying to befriend me."
"I insisted on befriending you, but you didn't try to avoid me." Kenny felt his eyebrows coming together. Very few people actively tried to be Damien's friend, mostly because Damien antagonized everybody he met. "The only other person I know who's ever tried to be friends with you is Pip."
He looked up sharply at the sound of Pip's name and Kenny saw that the tips of his ears turned pink. Damien's eyes tightened. "Don't even say that name in front of me. He wouldn't leave me alone the whole time you were gone!"
Kenny felt himself grinning slyly at his friend's reaction. He wasn't going to tease him just yet, he didn't want to get kicked out by the only friend he had down here, but he couldn't help asking, "What, you didn't enjoy his company?"
Damien shook his head so violently that Kenny was surprised that he didn't snap his neck. "Of course not, he'd the last person I want to be hanging out with. The only reason I tolerated his presence was because there was nobody else to talk to."
Kenny let his voice take on a fake sympathetic tone. "Aw, so sorry that I didn't drop dead sooner to hang out with you."
"Whatever." Damien muttered. "Anyway, now he thinks that me not driving him away immediately those first couple of days makes us friends, and he won't leave me alone."
"And that's why you made us hang out here and not at the mall." Kenny finished for him, taking another bite of his sandwich. It wasn't so bad after the first few bites, and since he was so hungry, he didn't even mind that it was hard to swallow down.
"Exactly." Damien said, wrinkling his nose at Kenny's food. "I can't believe you're actually eating that stuff. I can't remember the last time we filled up the fridge."
Kenny shrugged. "It's food, and that's all that matters. You wanna know what I can't believe?"
"Don't care." Damien said, turning his face away from the blond in front of him.
Kenny told him anyway. "I can't believe that you don't want to see Pip because you're starting to feel nervous around him."
Damien quickly turned to look at him again. "That's bullshit, Kenny."
"Just hear me out, alright? One, you're avoiding him." He began, using his fingers to show his points. "Two, you're acting really annoyed but I saw that you were blushing," He didn't stop when Damien began to protest that one. "And three, you're talking to me about this instead of going and confronting him. I'm pretty sure even you know what that means."
"Does it mean that I'm about to set you on fire?" Damien asked, his black eyes starting to smolder a bright red color.
Kenny laughed, even though it was really stupid to laugh at the guy who literally COULD set him on fire. "It means that you like him, idiot."
Little flames started flickering in the air around Damien. He looked beyond pissed right now, but he still managed to speak with an even tone. "You're the idiot if you think that I could ever like that loser."
Kenny shrugged, playing like it didn't matter to him. "I'm not going to deny that I'm an idiot, seeing as I'm here and dead instead of asleep in my room. But why would you be so mad if it wasn't at least a little true?"
"I'm not mad!" Damien shouted, sending a flame flying towards Kenny's head. Luckily, it fizzled out just before it reached him. Kenny had a feeling that Damien wasn't really going to hit him with it just yet, but he was definitely relieved when it didn't singe his eyebrows off.
"Of course you're not mad. Flames are always coming off of you when you're calm." Kenny said, turning his eyes up towards the ceiling. He could have let the conversation drop there and just sit and wait for the moment when he'd wake up in his bed, but he couldn't help himself from charging forward. "That's how it was for me and Butters at first, you know."
Damien blinked, the flickering sparks that danced around him simmered down as Kenny's words registered in his mind. "Yeah?"
Kenny nodded. "He avoided me, I moaned about it to Stan, and we were pretty much really stupid about it for a month until I finally gave up being dumb and I just told him what I wanted out of our relationship. And now we're really happy together."
Damien acted like he didn't care about what he was saying, but Kenny could see that he was paying attention. "How nice for you. It's not like that's what is happening between Pip and I though. I DON'T like him."
Kenny felt himself getting more and more frustrated with his friend. For the future king of hell, he was unbelievably clueless. "Sure, if you say so. But I just want you to know that cute blond guys make the best boyfriends. Pip's pretty cute—"
Damien growled, and if Kenny didn't know better he would say it seemed like it was out of jealousy.
"—And Butters is adorable." He continued, grinning at his friend's reaction. "Plus I'm pretty damn good looking too, if you ask me. And since two out of the three of us are in great relationships, I'm thinking that he would make a good boyfriend too."
"You're such an idiot." Damien said, bringing up his hands so that he could stare at them.
"Nope." Kenny said, popping the last syllable of the word. He still had half of his sandwich left on his plate, but he didn't have a chance to dig into it the rest when there was a knock at the door.
"Hello, Damien?" A soft voice called out. The British accent was easily noticeable in those two words, and Kenny nearly chocked when he saw the way Damien's expression turned panicked for a brief second before it morphed into one of utter contempt. "Are you in there, chap?"
"Do you understand now?" Damien hissed at Kenny as he sunk lower in his seat. Kenny thought that he looked like a little kid who was definitely avoiding his crush. "He never leaves me alone. Make him go away, Kenny."
Kenny bit the inside of his cheek to keep from laughing. "Not on your life."
"Damien? I was worried when I didn't see you at the mall." Pip was saying, his knocking on the door becoming a little more incessant. "You are in there, aren't you?"
"He's in here alright!" Kenny called, standing up and walking to the door. He ignored the death glare that Damien was giving him (as well as the malevolent 'I swear if you open that door I will disembowel you!' that Damien half-whispered, half yelled at him) and opened the door with a friendly smile.
"Hey Pip, Damien's right inside!" Kenny said, only a little surprised that the british boy was significantly taller than the last time he'd seen him, which was back in fourth grade. The surprise quickly went away when he saw the ring that was hanging on a chain on his neck. Damien's, obviously. Kenny remembered it from years ago, when Damien was still a show-off about all of his dark magic items. He grinned even wider as he lead Pip inside. "Come right in!"
"Kenny?" Pip asked, blinking up at him. His face turned from surprised to sad very quickly. "I'm sorry to see you here. "
Kenny tilted his head in confusion. "And why's that?"
Now Pip looked confused again. "Well, because you're dead? You had so many friends, it's a shame that you had to die and come here of all places."
Kenny remembered that Pip didn't know about his cycle of constant resurrection. He smiled as he led the guy inside. "Don't worry, they won't miss me for too long."
"Damien will explain it." Kenny said, walking into the kitchen and meeting Damien's angry glare with a wide grin. "Why, here he is now!"
"I hate you so much, McCormick." Damien growled at him, his ears once again turning pink.
He was about to throw back something like, "That's not what you said last night," or anything equally cheeky, when everything went white and he suddenly found himself on his bed.
He blinked at his surroundings, and brought his hands up to flex them in front of him. The flesh and bones underneath were working perfectly fine, and overall, he felt fresh. Renewed. He sat up and rolled his head around his neck for a few seconds, letting himself enjoy the few moments where his 'new life' felt like just that, new.
He opened his eyes once more and checked the clock, nearly falling out bed when he saw the time. Fuck, he was going to be late! He leaped out of his bed and rushed around his room, putting on whatever came into his hands without checking to see if it was rank or not, much less if it matched. He had ten minutes to make it to school before the first bell rang, and only fifteen minutes before he was officially late. He had a promise to keep!
He pulled on his boots and threw on his parka over the stained t-shirt and old jeans he had haphazardly thrown on, and ran out the door. He saw his brother at the kitchen table as he passed by, probably eating a poptart or something, but Kenny didn't have time to greet him or even think to grab one to eat on the way. He took off for the direction of the school running as fast as he could, knowing that any pit stops would cost him too much time that he couldn't afford to lose.
His lungs were aching with the strain he was putting on them, but Kenny found that he didn't really mind it. Sure, he didn't like that he needed to run all the way to school because he'd overslept (or maybe it had taken his body a long time to wake up, who knew?) but it didn't matter because he was running to see Butters. That alone was more than enough reason for him to kick up the pace just a little more.
He sped pass the dilapidated houses that made up his neighborhood, ran as fast as he could through the town, despite knowing that he probably wasn't going to make it in time, never slowing down. He had promised that he was going make it to school on time, so he couldn't give up. He could see the school in the distance, and with a strong resolve, he ran towards the relatively small high school as fast as his legs could carry him.
He was only a few blocks away from the school when he realized that someone was standing at the front of the school. After he jogged few more feet he could tell that it was somebody with blond hair, and a few more after that, he could see that it was Butters, looking in the opposite direction to see if he was coming.
Kenny felt his mouth turning up into a grin, even as he felt like he was about to cough up a lung any second now. There he was, the guy he was willing to run over two miles in ten minutes for. Kenny waited until Butters turned his face towards him and lifted up his hand to wave at him. The brilliant smile that Butters gave him more than made up for the fact that lifting his arm had taken all the effort he could spare.
"Kenny, you made it!" Butters exclaimed as Kenny quickly closed the gap between them. He held his arms out and Kenny ran right into them, holding on tight and swinging the shorter boy in a brief circle. "I knew you would!"
"R-Really?" Kenny asked, his breathing uneven and coming out in quick pants. "I h-had a few doubts."
Butters took a step back and gave him a mischievous grin. "Then it's a good thing that I never doubt you."
Kenny grinned back at him and let his arms drop, but kept hold of Butters's hand. "That's a good way to get double crossed, you know."
Butters stuck out his tongue at him. "Well, are you planning on double crossing me for some reason?"
"Wouldn't dream of it." Kenny said, leaning down to kiss the shorter blond on the cheek. "Come on, we'll be late if we don't hurry."
Butters nodded and they walked into the school just before the first bell rang.