What Tweek needed help with was running away. Ralph wasn’t allowed to know the details: he had loaded up into the bed of Tweek’s truck after locking up the shop and took to hollering directions to his apartment to Tweek through the truck’s back window which was open just a crack: to keep safe from the still-a-stranger Ralph. He assumed Tweek was sitting up there drinking his coffees and thinking through scattered thoughts. Maybe he wasn’t though. Kenny used to be pretty alright but now he thought of all sorts of things; maybe Tweek had finally matured and his mind was calm. That’d be something amazing.
It was a ten minute drive to the apartment and Kenny was glad it was too cheap to be ashamed of. He walked Tweek to the front door and peeked at him, to see his expression. He didn’t look like he was judging the look of the place what-so-ever, he just looked calm with an occasional twitch or jerk.
“It’s small but somewhat tidy.” Kenny stated and Tweek nodded, waiting for Kenny to step in first. He eventually understood this and entered, letting Tweek close and lock the door as he followed. Kenny hadn’t lied, he kept the place as clean as he could. When he was a kid, nothing mattered: cleanliness, health, appearances… That changed with Ralph, though. As an adult, Kenny didn’t even smoke anymore. It was all for a change of identity, though. He’d kill for a nice cigarette or an occasional blunt every now and then.
“How long do you plan to stay?” He asked, unclipping his name tag from his shirt and going to drop it on the little dinner table the room had come with.
“It’s not s-safe where I came from.” Tweek murmured. Kenny looked to him from where he was slipping out of his shoes.
“I… I just don’t want to go back.”
Kenny exhaled and motioned to the bed. “You can sleep there, I’ll sleep on the couch.” He stated. Tweek didn’t lighten up as much as Kenny had hoped by giving him the bed but the blonde accepted it and made his way to the bed anyway, going to sit on the edge of it. “W-where are you from, Ralph?” He asked. Kenny raised a brow and took a breath.
“I’m uh, from somewhere far away.” He replied, Tweek’s bird eyes watching him.
“I lied.” Tweek said, his expression staying the same with his eyes wide and scouring. Kenny blinked and furrowed his brows, slowly bumping a couch cushion to prepare for sleep. “...About what?” He looked at him.
“I need more help.”
Kenny gave the cushion another slow, cautious bump before turning to lean against the couch’s back, facing Tweek’s sitting, jerking form.
“Alright, well, what do you need help with?” The situation was making him feel like he was in one of those ID channel shows, like he was going to end up being held hostage or something. Hm, that’d be exciting.
“There’s this guy. He’s uh, k-killing people in my home town.”
“Isn't that what the police are for?” He knew why the police weren't involved, they were stupider than cow shit and didn't give a damn about anything unless it had to do with something completely idiotic, maybe like the death of Scarlet Johanson or something.
The look Tweek gave Kenny showed just what he was thinking but Ralph had never been to South Park and didn't particularly know its inhabitants. Kenny shrugged as if waiting for a true response and Tweek huffed.
This actually did shock Kenny. It wasn't surprising as a thought, but it actually happening was a real shocker.
“Isn't that illegal?” He asked, genuinely curious.
“Who gives a shit? Will you help me or not?” Tweek yelled, blood boiling in frustration and annoyance. Kenny pressed his lips together and gave a deep breath through his nose at the thought. “What's in it for me?” He asked again. “I don't know, have you been a shitty person in life? Make up for it.” The response was agitated but simple, enough for Kenny McCormick.
I could redeem myself.
Four Months Later
Ralph Coffee, the new identity of the 'dead' Kenny McCormick, sat patiently just outside of South Park Elementary School. In his three months here going on four, he still hadn't caught even a glimpse of the man killing South Park's finest: blonde males. As far as he knew, Tweek was right to be scared. For some reason, blondes were being found strangled in their homes and sometimes posed in some sort of manner. One every two weeks. The other murders consisted of children and so far, the highest age of someone murdered hadn’t gone over Tweek’s graduating class so Kenny concluded that the main targets were children and anyone in their mid to late twenties- Butters, Tweek, and Bradley, that Kenny knew of.
The bell to the school rang and Ralph cleared away Kenny’s thoughts, bowing his head down to the newspaper he held in his lap. He raised his blue eyes to the school and watched as students came pouring out. There looked to be more dark heads to light ones and Kenny chewed the inside of his lip. Parents were taking their children out of school. What a shame. There was one child that caught his attention, though. A young blonde child who was headed off with the rest suddenly stopped in place and turned his head to the side, as if hearing something. Then he left.
Ralph watched as the child headed in the opposite direction of everyone else, stalking off toward a mass of trees that stood tall near the school. It was when a quick shadow passed near the boy that Ralph stood and, placing the newspaper onto the creaky bench, headed after them.
Two of the boys had been snatched when at school and their bodies placed in their homes’ beds by the next morning. Kenny had thought that Tweek had calmed and eased as a person over the years of his absence but really, he found that the blonde was even more eccentric- just not at all on the outside. It didn’t take long for Kenny to realize just of obsessed Tweek was with this killer and in their current residence together, the walls were filled with clippings of the murders, pictures of the victims that Tweek had somehow managed to get, and there was even some physical evidence that Tweek kept in the freezer for preservation- like foreign blood that had been collected from a victim’s corpse. It kind of naturally led to Kenny knowing more about the murders than he should had.
Clearing away his thoughts again, Ralph continued after the child, watching as he headed deeper for the trees. The boy walked beneath a tree’s heavy shadow and seemed to smile to something hidden in the other growth. “He-”
The boy disappeared into the trees and his shriek stopped Ralph mid-sentence, and the man ran for the woods after the boy.
“Hey! Hey, kid!” He called for the boy but didn’t see him, just empty woods full of growth and snow and leaves, and he looked around the woods. “Kid?”
There was the sound of a rustle and Ralph walked to a small bunch of trees. He slipped between two and rolled his gaze over the woods and the ground of melting snow, and he caught the briefest glimpse of the heal of a shoe, just before it was pulled behind a bush.
“Hey, you-!” Ralph turned the corner of the bush but shut his mouth when he saw the boy with his hand in a familiar redhead’s.
“Jeez, I’m sorry, is this your son? Johnny, I’ve told you to go straight home when the bell rings!” The redhaired adult scolded the boy, who frowned. “...I’m sorry Mr. Broflovski. He’s not my dad, though.” The boy pointed at Ralph and the redhead looked at him with his familiar green eyes.
“Oh? Well w-”
“I-I’m Ralph Coffee, nice to meet you. I mean, sorry, I just heard about that killer and everything, and I saw him come in here alone, and I just..” Ralph laughed awkwardly, the other man’s eyes narrowed and eyebrow raised.
“...Um… okay. Johnny, go straight home and be careful. Don’t talk to strangers.” The man let go of the boy’s hand and the blonde child nodded and spared a wave to the two adults before running off back from the trees, and Ralph looked the redhaired man over. He was wearing a casual suit, hair as neat as could be with all of those curls, and his skin was flawlessly smooth, with splashes of freckles. His lips were naturally red, and looked soft.
“I’m sorry, who are you?” Those lips moved with the words, and Ralph cleared his throat and held out his hand.
“Ahh, yeah, I’m Ralph Coffee. I was just wanting to make sure he was alright, I swear.” He held up his other hand in surrender and the other man eyed him immensely.
“...I’m Kyle Broflovski, Mr. Broflovski. Are you new here?” The redhead took Ralph’s hand and he shook it, taking the opportunity to revel in the softness of his skin.
“Uh, yes, I am. Three months, maybe? I was just nearby and got worried about that kid, so I came over- I’m not a bad guy, or anything.” Ralph laughed and took his hand back to rub his neck. Kyle still looked skeptical. Kyle. Kyle, who Kenny hadn’t seen since before he faked his suicide, no, scratch that, he had seen him at his funeral, crying a mess with Stan, but now… A teacher? He looked amazing, flawless, clean, neat, mature-
“So you don’t know anyone yet?” Kyle asked again, and Ralph shook his head quickly, dropping his hand to his side. “No, I came here for a job opportunity and haven’t met anyone yet.” He lied.
“A job? What sort of job? People here would kill for work.” Kyle crossed his arms over his chest and Ralph blinked and chuckled. “Haha, oh, that? I uh, ...Well, it didn’t work out. I got stranded here because of it.” He lied better, and Kyle still watched him with that reading expression.
“Hm. Well, it isn’t wise to be out these days, there’s a killer out, you know.” Kyle twisted his fine lips and Ralph gave a single nod, a little bow. “And thank you for that. I should um, really be going. Uh… it was nice meeting you! Good luck with your kids.” Ralph drawled and offered a smile, and Kyle watched him.
“...Mm, see you. Thank you for worrying about Johnny, but you really should mind yourself. The children’s parents are very on edge right now, and you wouldn’t want to be caught in the crossfire.” Kyle said and his lips pulled into a little smile, and Ralph nodded and smiled. He felt jittery. Was he really seeing Kyle? It made him want to see Stan and Butters, too. It was Kyle, it really was Kyle, his old best friend. He felt a little more happy than he maybe should had.
“Yeah, it was good meeting you. Again.” Ralph laughed and turned to leave, but he stopped when Kyle spoke up again.
“Where are you staying?”
Ralph looked back to his old friend. “Pardon?”
“Where are you staying? Here, in town?”
“Oh, uh, yeah, I’m a roomy. I’m rooming with Tweek Tweak.”
“Hm.” Kyle dropped his hands to his sides and walked passed Ralph, slipping through the gap of trees first.
Ralph made it back to he and Tweek’s house after his search for any sign of the killer was a failure, and he knocked on the door.
“Tacos!” He called, and waited for the door to open after the sound of metal clanking. Tweek had given them codes to get in, tacos: it’s me, it’s safe; and hamburgers: it’s an ambush, don’t open it. Ralph didn’t protest, because it gave him a place to stay, and because Tweek was a bit like a friend now, to him.
The door peeked open and Tweek’s large green eye looked out.
“Are you okay?” He asked and Ralph nodded. “I didn’t find anything.” He replied, going inside when Tweek opened the door to let him. When Ralph entered, he stood still and let Tweek observe him with a quick walk-around, to make sure he was unharmed.
“...Okay.” Tweek finally decided to fall back, and he re-locked the door before stepping back to hug himself and watch Ralph.
“You’re sure you didn’t f-find anything?”
“Yeah, there was nothing. I thought a kid was going to get snagged at the school, but it was just his teacher getting on to him.”
“What did the teacher look like?”
“Curly red hair, freckles-”
“Oh, he’s okay.” Tweek huffed and glanced passed Ralph to the wall. There was a calendar there, and it was about time for the next murder. Ralph had been out all day scoping, but he just didn’t find anything. Tweek was adamant on them uncovering who it was now, but their work had just all been dead ends.
Ralph sighed at the expression on Tweak’s face and went to him to pat his fluffy head. Tweek flickered his eyes to him and Ralph gave him a half smile. “I’m here for my suit, I’m not done yet.” He said and Tweek’s eyes got big with hope. He pointed back, behind him, off to the rest of the house. “It’s in your room.” The blonde said and Ralph nodded, giving Tweek’s head another pat before slipping passed him to go to his bedroom. The house was Tweek’s own, one that he had inherited somehow, and it was cheap, so they didn’t have to do much work. Mainly because there was a water faucet out in the back that they could get water from, and because they used a generator for electricity, because Tweek didn’t exactly want the town to be in control of his living. The house was small and cozy, and it had stairs that led to three rooms, two bedrooms, and a bathroom, but one bedroom had been turned into a study for all of the evidence and clues that Tweek had collected. There was another bedroom downstairs, and a kitchen and pantry. Kenny’s room was the first floor’s, because that way, he could protect Tweek if someone broke in.
Tweek had told Ralph when he had first brought him to South Park, that there used to be a hero in the town called Mysterion, but he had disappeared. Tweek had made a suit like it, though, and given it to Ralph so that he could be the new one. So, Ralph stepped into his room, went to his closet, and pulled out the purple suit.