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Kenny loves parties.

Loves it because he can feel himself be invisible. He’s always the man of silence and observance and it’s no different in this setting. He sits with his legs spread on the couch. Eyes roaming the attendance. Sure, he can pull some nights. Tonight he will, when he feels ready to. However, right now he wants to watch. And so far what he’s gathered is Kyle eyes roaming Annie Nelson’s face.

He’s leaned over her as she holds a red cup in her hand. She’s all smiles and laughs, confident. Kenny can taste Kyle’s anxiety. Can feel his palms sweating as if it’s his own. Kenny observes Stan downing another shot. Trying to keep his composure although his addiction isn’t as well concealed as he’d like to pretend it is.

Kenny sees Clyde’s tears coming. Can feel Bebe’s embarrassment. Can see Lola eyeballing Clyde. Can sense Kevin Stoley’s desperation to win Red back. It’s all there in body language. The human body is so beautiful and can convey what you can’t with words

Finally, Kenny’s gaze falls on Craig Tucker. Someone he finds unusually hard to read. He’s seated on the staircase. Cigarette in between his lips as he takes a drag from the short he probably bummed off someone.

He and Tweek just broke up.

But instead of showing any outward signs of dismay, his body is flowing easily like it always does. The only signal of any distress is that his eyes are rimmed with red from what Kenny could only assume is tears.

Kenny shrugs it off. They hardly talk, although they sometimes are partnered for projects. They were somewhat close as kids. Though that faded out after awhile.

No one really notices Kenny. He faded out in a way, more because he chooses to. However, he notices everyone else.

Kenny stands from the couch and finds his way to a match of cards of humanity. He shows a brilliant display of hilarity and kicks everyone’s ass. When the final card is placed down, Red reads his answer and it gains the most hearty of laughs. He collects his winnings.


“God. I hate you Kenneh” Cartman days from where he sits on the floor. He has at most five winning cards. Kenny has at least twenty.

“everyone loves me, asshole.” He says, not bothering to look at Cartman as he hands back his collection. He lets out a yawn and looks down at his watch. It’s 1am and while the night is young, he decides he won’t pull that night. Kenny picks himself up and head towards the bathroom. He doesn’t have to go. However, he wants to hotbox the room before he heads out.

The stairs creak with every step Kenny takes. It’s loud, but not as loud as the music engulfing the entire house. Kenny opens the bathroom to pitch black. As he flicks on the light, he notices the body of someone in the bathtub. Automatically Kenny recognizes it as Craig. Long legs awkwardly bent to his comfort, dark boots. Long fingers curled around the edge of the tub. Kenny pulls back the curtain to reveal his face. He’s blankly gazing at the tiles on the wall.

“do you want me to leave?” Kenny pries. Craig doesn’t look at him. Instead keeps his attention on that one spot.

“No.” is all he says. Kenny blinks, but shrugs it off. He takes the towels on the rack and stuffs in under the door. Somehow he doesn’t think Craig would oblige to being smoked up. He doesn’t say anything as Kenny sets up his pipe. Kenny lights it. Takes a hit and exhales. He coughs a bit, and hands the pipe to Craig. Craig looks at him this time.

Kenny stares into those dark brown eyes. His pupils almost fade into the browns. They’re almost black. Craig’s really looking at him, lips parted and eyes sleepy. Searching into him.

They keep passing the pipe. Eventually Kenny is hit with that high. And he lets out a chuckle. He places the pipe down. There is a silence between them for a good few minutes and Kenny just lets out little chuckles at that.

“the way you were looking at me, Craig. I’d say you are itching for a ride on the mcdick.” he’s laughing at himself, his stupid joke. It’s all slow and happy. Everything around him is light and joyful and numb. Like he’s melting into the toilet he’s sitting on.

Through the smoke Kenny can see Craig moving, he stands on his knees infront of him. Kenny can see those dark browns. Pink rimmed, watery. A hand reaches out to Kenny’s face and Craig’s long fingers caress his cheek. They slide to his lips and Craig’s thumb presses down on Kenny’s lower lip. Before he knows it, Craig replaces it with his own smooth, plush lips.

Kenny hesitates at first. It’s like their mouths are blending together like paint. He kisses back after a few seconds. Kenny quickly grabs at the back of Craig’s shirt and pulls him up. Gripping his thighs and moving him to straddle him in his lap.

Kenny’s hands move to grab at Craig’s ass. Fondling it in his freckled hands as Craig humps down on him.

“Fuck.” Kenny says. He pulls away but Craig continues. Choosing to be the one to mark Kenny. He’s sucking on that place right behind his ear and it sends shivers down Kenny’s spine. He inhales, shallow breaths.

“Want me to fuck you?” Craig breathes into his flesh. It’s shaky, nervous. Kenny can tell he’s nervous. Kenny licks his lips. His hands move to circle around Craig’s wrist, pulling them away from where they are gripping into his shoulders. He holds them down on the others side. Fingernails digging into Craig’s tanned skin. He feels the need to be in control, feels like Craig’s body language is telling him that is what Craig needs.

“No. I’ll be the one doing the fucking. Be a good boy and get on your knees.” Kenny says in a stern, demanding voice. He takes in Craig’s face, searching for a reaction. It comes in the form of the other male taking his bottom lip in between his teeth and letting out a soft moan that is so automatic. It comes from the back of the others throat and resonates in his mouth. Craig looks away, ashamed. Kenny lets go of Craig’s wrist and grabs hold of his chin. Their eyes meet again.

“Look at me.” Craig does. Lips parted and sleepily staring at him. Kenny leans in close, rests his head on Craig’s shoulder so he can whisper in his ear.

“Do as I say. Get on your knees.” Kenny whispers. Craig complies, standing up. He falls to his knees , hands placed out in front of him. They rest on his thighs.

Kenny stands, grabbing a fist full of black hair. Making Craig look up at him with parted lips and half lidded eyes. Craig’s dark browns stare up at Kenny’s. He looks so broken, wrecked. Kenny decides he wants to ruin him even further.

“I’m going to fuck your mouth.” Kenny says, he lets go of his grip on black locks. He unbuttons his pants, letting them pool around his ankles. Kenny went commando, and his dick is free from its confines of his pants.

Craig moves to wrap his lips around Kenny’s dick, and Kenny pets his hair as his tongue swirls around the head. He begins to move, his petting turning into a harsh hold as he begins to thrust into Craig’s mouth.

“You like sucking my cock, Craig? You like being my good little cock slut?” he says, low and seductive as he fucks Craig’s mouth. Craig lets oit a groan in response. It vibrates around Kenny's dick. And Kenny lets out a grunt himself, watching his dick slide in and out of Craig. It’s fucking beautiful. Craig is beautiful. The way his fingers grip into Kenny’s thighs, the way he breathes. The way he looks up at Kenny with those brown eyes as he sucks his cock.

 

Kenny goes for a fee more strokes until eventually he pulls out. Craig stares up at him, waiting for his next movement. Kenny’s thumb rubs circles into Craig’s cheek until he pulls away.

“turn around and bend over, I’m going to fuck you.” Kenny demands. Craig’s tongue darts out to moisten his lips and Kenny can feel how much he wants him in this moment. The way his breath falls and enters his mouth. Chest rising and falling . The way his body is gentle quivers.

“yes” Craig says, he complies, turning around and gripping onto the edge of the bathtub. He bends over, back arched for Kenny. Kenny feels his dick twitch at the display before him. His fingers gingerly run down the length of Craig’s back.

“Wait there.” Kenny says as he turns around to rummage through the contents of whoever is throwing this parties medicine cabinet. Luckily, he finds what he was looking for. A bottle of lube, condoms. Luck.

Kenny takes the lube first, coating his fingers in it and moving his fingers to gently tease at Craig’s hole.

Craig pushes down on it. And Kenny lifts his hand to slap his ass.

“Patience.” He says. And Craig lets out a sigh, long suffering. Kenny teases him some more, gently circling his hole with his finger before his pushes in. Going slow at first, ginger strokes before adding another finger. He gets a bit rougher, fucking Craig with his two fingers. Trying to find a sweet spot. Craig pushes back on them. Letting out shallow breaths. He adds a third one when he thinks Craig is ready.

When he thinks Craig is prepped he leans in, kisses his tanned, freckled shoulder blades.

“Are you sure?” he questions. Wanting to make sure this is what Craig really wanted. Craig’s head is bowed as he answers.

“Please.” He chokes out, nasal and broken.

“Please. Please fuck me. Please.” Craig begs, fucking himself on Kenny’s fingers. Kenny pulls out. Sloppily grabbing for the condoms in the kitchen sink. He rips open the wrapper and slides it onto his dick . Positioning himself with Craig’s hole.

“Your wish is my command.” Kenny says as he slowly begins to push in. He starts with slow, gentle thrusts. His hands are running down the length of Craig’s sides. Gripping onto his bony hips. He makes one hard stroke, a snap of the hips thrusting into Craig.

“Faster…please.” Craig lets out. And Kenny complies. Quickly, his movements get faster. He fucks into Craig, rough and hard. Craig’s ass slapping against Kenny’s pelvis. Kenny throws his head back and lets himself enjoy it. Enjoy the feeling of Craig’s body so close to his. The feeling of his dick sliding in and out of Craig. The noises Craig makes.

Eventually Kenny changes positions. He pulls Craig down to the floor, to his lap. Pulling him to turn around and look at him.

“Ride me.” Kenny demands. And Craig complies. He positions himself ontop of Kenny. Letting Kenny’s dick slide inside of him. He begins lifting himself up to fall back down on Kenny. His movements quickly desperate. Fast.

“Fuck, baby…” Kenny moans out as Craig rides ontop of him. Rolling himself down on Kenny’s cock. He doesn’t even realize he called Craig “baby”.

Kenny looks at Craig’s face, his lips parted, eyes squeezed shut. Focused. His body, how loose and open he's being for Kenny. His whole being. He can’t take his eyes off him. When the night started Craig was wound tight. Craig was a mystery. Someone hard to read. But now everything is written all over his body and face. His desperation, his need, his want. It's like a flower had bloomed.

Kenny comes soon after.

Craig keeps riding him for a few minutes until he cums all over himself. Kenny pulls the other into his arms. Craig collpases on top of him. Rests his head in the crook of Kenny’s neck, nose brushing against the other adams apple, spent.

They fall asleep like that on some strangers bathroom floor.

 

Chapter Text

When Craig wakes up, it’s not to the pleasant song of birds and nature. Instead it’s to harsh banging. Brown eyes snap open to be met with the sight of tile. His head is a dull ache. Craig’s body aches, too. He feels a source of warmth beneath him. Bare flesh pressed against his own heat.

Craig’s attention darts away from the ugly, cracked and poorly done tile job to the man he is on top of.

Kenny.

It dawns on him, the events of the night before. Craig feels a tightening in his chest. Heat washing over his whole frame. He takes in the fact that he is very nude, and that Kenny is, too. The other male must sleep like a rock. Kenny’s cheek is pressed into the tile. Freckled and illuminated by the light of the bathroom. His blond eyelashes rest on the apple of his cheeks. He looks at peace, Craig almost thinks it’s cute. He then remembers his ex boyfriends slumbering frame and he chokes a little.

Craig broke up with him.

But that doesn’t make it any less painful.

“Hey! Whoever’s in there! I need you to leave!”

Craig scrambles to find his clothes. Standing awkwardly from where his legs were wrapped around Kenny. He takes in a long, painful sigh.

This didn’t happen.

He did not have sex with Kenny Mccormick.

He repeats this to himself. Over and over like a mantra. However. The memories of the night before come flooding in and he can feel the heat all over him from embarrassment? Craig doesn’t want to think what else might have him so high in temperature. He pulls his shirt down over his thin frame. Buttons up his pants. He doesn’t bother putting on his boots. Quickly, he steps over Kenny and pushes open the door to the bathroom. Craig rushes passed the person who holds up their fist as if they are going to knock again. His shoes are held tightly in his grip and he tries to get out of here as soon as. Hopefully whoever that was doesn’t recognize him.

When he’s down stairs Craig twists open the doorknob, not bothering to look back. He steps out into the snowy front yard. Feet hitting wet, cold white. It stings, bitter and biting. His eyes dart around, searching for his dads truck. When he finds it , he dashes the distance, feet bare and prickling from the cold. It’s funny because fire and ice are similar aren’t they? They both are destructive, extremely powerful. Painful. And beautiful.

Craig is brought back to when he burnt his hand trying to make dinner for his sister one night. His mom and dad were out of town. They needed to eat and instead of getting takeout, Craig opted to cook. It was stupid, a mistake. His hand falling too fast on the lit stove.

It’s a similar pain, almost.

When Craig steps into his dads truck he rests his head on the steering wheel. His breathing shallow. Short and choppy. Before he knows it he’s sobbing. For someone who is usually the epitome of cool he has been the opposite as of late. He knows what he did was for the best. He knows he fell out of love. But Craig still lost his best fucking friend. It hurts. He wants to go back to Tweek and beg him to take him back. He just can’t feel anything for him anymore though. It feels like they were boyfriends out of obligation now. Because it was so familiar. They were so used to it.

But Craig wasn’t happy.

His “babe’s” felt forced. His “I love you” felt like a lie. Time together felt more like a duty.

But Tweek still was Craig’s only friend for a long time. Somewhere along the way Clyde drifted away. Token ventured off with his girl, Nicole. Jimmy hardly spoke to him

His eyes dart up to the white, iced road. With a quivering breath Craig turns the key, puts his foot on the gas. Hauls his ass away from there.

If there was one good thing about last night. It’s that his mind was free of Tweek for a few, drug and sex induced moments.

Maybe having sex with Kenny wasn’t so bad.

As Craig drives down the road, he thinks he’d like to do it again. However, he knows Kenny. Knows him too well. Or maybe he just knows his reputation. Basing things off of that, that’s asking to be hurt. It’s not like Craig would develop feelings for Kenny, but some part of him would leave damaged and he knows it. Kenny faded into nothing a long time ago. Quiet and observant. The shadows.

Craig was kind of a shadow too. He doesn’t know who he is anymore.

He doesn’t need to fall into an even darker place. Kenny would hurt him. Craig doesn’t know how, but he knows this as a fact in his head. Maybe it’s an irrational fear. Maybe it’s over analytical. Maybe it’s just because everyone said Kenny was dangerous to emotionally invest in. Everyone he’s ever been involved has said he can make you cum without coming too close to you.

But maybe Craig needed that.

Whatever the case.

This night never happened.

*

When Craig goes to school the following Monday he’s wearing the baggiest of sweaters. Oversized, collar far too big and hanging off of his shoulders. His pants are huge. This has always been his fashion, honestly. He doesn’t really give a crap. It’s warm.

Homeroom is a drag, his sleepy brown eyes take in Mrs Pearson. She’s a plump older woman with her hair pulled in a sloppy ponytail. This was supposed to be a literature class. There was some project they had to do next week. Some type of book fair. Like a science fair. But with books. He is almost done with his. He picked The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.

When the bell rings Craig makes haste to his next period, which is gym. He feels a bit of anxiety because he knows Kenny shares that with him. Kenny has been known to blab about his sexual partners. He’s a pig like that. Instead, however. When they sit at the bleachers, having a free period, he remains quiet. This is not unusual. But Craig was expecting a story of how he was ass fucked in some strangers bathroom to spread.

Instead Kenny sits with his legs spread at the top of the bleachers. He has his gaze on the back of Craig’s head, Craig can feel it.

Craig ignores thia, however. Lazily watching his classmates go about their own free period. His eyes dart to Tweek, and he feels that tight feeling in his chest. He’s standing next to Sally Turner. She is stroking down his blond mess of hair while he shrieks. It echoes throughout the gymnasium. And while Craig probably should feel jealous, he doesn’t. He just wishes he could talk to Tweek about Kenny. Craig knows he’d be loud and obnoxious and vocal. Craig feels like maybe he wants that in the confines of the coffee shop. Someone frustrated at him at his stupid decision. Someone to care.

“Hey Craig.” Red says as she plops down next to him. Craig doesn’t bother looking at her. But he does take his gaze away from Tweek, choosing to look at Kyle and Stan playing basketball instead.

“Did uncle Thomas tell you?” she pries, and Craig wishes they weren’t related sometimes. He digs his nails into the edge of the bleachers.

“No.” he says. Nasal and dry. She bumps their shoulders together. She’s always been friendly and affectionate towards Craig. Mega bitch most of the time, but lovely towards him. Craig doesn’t know what he did to warrant that.

“Well since mom and dad want to move…aunt Laura and Uncle Thomas said I can stay in the extra room. The attic.” She beams at him. Craig lets out a frustrated sigh. Their house is already so awkward and tense since Craig broke up with Tweek.

“Ok.” He says. Deciding not to fight it. Red lets out a content hum and they sit there, watching their classmates play.

*

Craig watches as Red hauls a huge box up to the attic. He leans on his doorframe, arms folded. That’s the last of it. They spent hours trying to get everything packed in and moved. It was only down the street. But Red had so much junk she had to go through. It drove Craig crazy.

“I’m going to bed.” He says, monotone. Craig closes his bedroom door. Not bothering to let anyone have a say in it. He pulls back his covers and rests in his bed. Gaze firmly on the ceiling above.

Craig could feel Kenny’s eyes on him all day. Craig also dodged him and avoided him at all cost. There was no words to be exchanged between them. They never talked outside of that incident and they never will again.

Though realistically Craig knows that’s a lie.

They have talked before.

They were actually close. Craig remembers doing video projects with Kenny. Remembers spilling soda on his parka. Remembers his gap toothed, yellowing teeth.

It feels like another lifetime.

His mind goes back to that night. Craig can’t help but think about it. Kenny took care of him, in a way. Craig was in no way ready to be in control again. Kenny knew that without him even saying it. It was hot. It was sexy. It was all sorts of things. However, Craig doesn’t want to think about it. Doesn’t want to enter that territory. He flips off the light switch and goes to sleep with a boner.

Chapter Text

Kenny can’t help but stare.

Blue eyes drifting to Craig. His long legs, exposed collarbones. Soft, tan skin. Freckled hands.

When Kenny can catch a look at his face, it’s almost always Craig’s profile. A passing glance. Kenny swallows down the lump in his throat with the glass of water that accompanies his lunch. His gaze on the back of Craig’s head as he talks to the librarian.

Kenny doesn’t do friends anymore, really. Unless he’s playing some party game or with a current partner, he’s mostly alone.

So he sits in the library every day. Watches the ugly kids Kyle used to think he looks like laugh and talk amongst each other. Sometimes he sees other people, will see Craig pop in. Kenny vaguely remembers that the entirety of AP literature was supposed to hold some fancy book fair. That’s why Craig is probably there.

Kenny watches Craig’s retreating frame.

He remembers parted, pink lips and the noises that escaped it. The language he was speaking with his body and how Kenny listened with rapt attention. Hungry for the words not spoken but conveyed through action.

Normally Kenny is the one that can’t exit peoples minds. However, Craig has found a place in his. He’s stuck there, like a broken record. Over and over Kenny thinks of that night.

The school day is hell. Shitty. Normally Kenny is spilling everything he did with his partners. It’s one of his way of displaying that he’s not someone to invest in. Who wants to be talked about, really? Who wants their business of spread legs and intimacy shouted out? No one.

Kenny is a pig.

He knows he is, or at least he wants to be perceived that way.

Instead, he keeps very quiet. He’s just a shadow. This isn’t strange, really. Just means he didn’t get laid in others eyes. That’s ok.

He finishes his last class. Eyes roaming the hallways for a glimpse of Craig to no avail.

When Kenny gets home and the house is empty, he falls back on his bed. He’s pulling up Craig’s Facebook, fingers fumbling with the button of his worn down jeans. His hand moved under the elastic of his underwear and he wraps his fingsrsbaround his dick. Thumb sliding across the tip.

Craig only picture is some artsy, professional looking one. He’s wearing another too big sweater. Collar bones and freckled shoulders again exposed. He’s seated in a booth at Tweak Bros. The picture was taken outside of the shop, however. Through the front window.

Kenny focuses on Craig’s lips, and then his eyes. Remembers how Craig stared up at him with his dick in his mouth. Half lidded, dark lashes falling in front of darker orbs.

He lets out a fuck as he cums.

It’s quiet in the Mccormick resident. The whir of his space heater, beaten down, well used. A few nature songs. Kenny’s finger hovers over Craig’s picture. A noise of frustration escapes from his lips and lets his phone fall on his chest.

Whatever.

Kenny was not going to let anyone consume space in his head, heart or phone.

He blinks up to cracked ceiling. To dust collected on grimy surface, water stains and the little droplets that fall from it. Into a pan placed down where it collects.

That’s just the way it is.

Kenny doesn’t want anyone. Doesn’t need his head consumed in anything. Doesn’t need the thump of his heart in his ears. Doesn’t need a crazy desire. No stupid impulses. Control.

He doesn’t have control over much. From the leak in the walls to the worn down fabric of sheets. The yelling and fighting and the occasional bruises. This was all given to him, born into it.

Kind of like how he dies, without a doubt. It’s decreased in frequency. But it still happens. A curse he did not chose.

If he can control anything it’s not to let his head get fucked up by big brown eyes and soft skin and freckles hands and mousy nose and soft lips and...

Kenny’s fingers bunch up the fabric of his white wife beater. STOP. It’s all he can think. Stop.

Snow gently swirls down and collects at his windowsill. Kenny turns his attention to this as he sits up.

He pulls his orange parka tighter around his frame and stands. He has work at City Wok in a half an hour. So maybe this will clear his head. Kenny grabs his apron, his little hairnet. Picks his phone up from where it fell next to his mattress.

The house is still empty. It mostly is these days. Karen is usually with Firkle, and Kevin left after high school. Not a word from him was ever spoken to what he left behind. It’s as if he disappeared. His few photos were taken off the wall. His parents don’t mention Kevin. Not that they are around much to say anything. Still, it’s as if the oldest Mccormick sibling has never existed.

While Kenny knows this to be false, the thought that maybe he didn’t exist flashes through his mind. An automatic thing. Impulsive.

The only person who ever mentions him is Karen. It’s rare, but when the two of them are gathered in Kenny room around his space heater they’ll talk about Kevin. Wondering where he could be, if he’s happy.

Kenny even has a picture of the three of them in his wallet. A dumb selfie taken when they were all much younger. Kenny had to be thirteen.

He’s stuffing said wallet in his pocket as he closes the front door. The keys to the piece of junk car that his dad leaves behind while he walks the distance to the bar jingle around his neck. Attached to a lanyard that has some stupid alien illustration on it.

Kenny got it from the dollar store a long time ago.

It’s cold out and Kenny climbs into the confines of the truck. Pulling the blanket he stuffed behind the seats over his legs. He starts up the vehicle and pulls out of their front lawn. Driving the short distance to City Wok. He parks in the back. Didn’t even bother to buckle up.

Kenny pulls open the door to the Chinese restaurant and signs in. Gets to work immediately. He’s a dishwasher and he pulls rubber gloves over his freckled, pale hands. Kenny pops his head phones in and scrubs away.

This is what he dies for a good hour before Mr. Kim beckons him to the front of the store to work the register. Kenny complies. Yanking off his gloves. He adjusts his hair net. Wipes his hands on his apron.

The first thing Kenny notices is the stupid fliers. His school district always put them up around town when events are happening. Like anyone is actually interested in them.

Kenny lets out a long suffering sigh and rips one of the posters into his grasp. It was laying harmlessly enough on the counter.

With tired blue eyes Kenny reads the text of it. It’s just about the book fair again. Who really cares about this?

Kenny is about to sit down and roam tumblr in his phone when his head drifts to Craig again. He remembers a single book stuffed under his armpit as he talked to the librarian. Craig’s in AP literature. He’s going to be at that event.

Kenny tries to shake it from his mind. But he is stricken with the thought of his finger nails digging into bony hip bones.

He has control.

Craig let him take control, because he knew he needed it. Why, Kenny doesn’t know. Craig is unusually hard to read. Kenny assumes it has something to do with Tweek. All Kenny can gather from Craig was that he was a man of composure. He very rarely lost his cool. Maybe Kenny was reading too much into it.

However, It dawns on Kenny he can do this.

He can give Craig the release he needs and have complete control over the situation. It doesn’t have to be all consuming. They can fuck and Kenny will get bored.

Fingertips brush against the ink that reads “Book Fair!”

He folds the paper and stuffs it into his parkas pocket.

*

The next few days go on, dragging. Kenny openly stares at Craig. Craig is his target. Kenny doesn’t know if he notices. He probably doesn’t. His sleepy eyes stare blankly into walls or passed him whenever Kenny tries to make eye contact.

It drags and drags until the day of the book fair. They are in the locker room. It’s a rarity, Craig almost never partakes in gym. However, there he is, back turned to Kenny. He’s pulling his gym shirt over his head when Kenny approaches him.

“Craig Tucker.” Kenny announces his presence. Craig doesn’t falter, just continues on with what he’s doing. Stuffing his backpack in his locker.

“Kenny Mccormick.” Craig replies, sounding bored and nasal. Kenny wishes he’d look him in the face. He’s leaning against the locker next to Craig, staring at his profile.

“So, book fairs, huh?” Kenny starts, Craig lets out a sigh and shuts his locker.

He does dare to look Kenny in the face. Dark browns on blue. Kenny notices something subtle and it’s how Craig’s long fingers curl around his wrist. His arms are folded and his nails are digging into his skin rather deeply. Leaving little crescent marks. It’s not a lot but it signals something. It’s not nothing.

“Yep. Book fairs.” Craig responds. His eyes go downcast. Focusing on Kenny’s chest. Lower lip going between two rows of teeth.

Somethings there. It’s all in body language, right?

“I’ll be there.” Kenny smiles at him, Craig gaze goes back up to him. Eyes wide and brown. Kenny swears he sees a flicker of blue. As if there was a spark of electricity through them. Like how Craig shot lasers out of his eyes one time.

They quickly go back to dark brown, their usual size. It was a hardly noticeable thing.

“Ok.” Craig turns around to leave Kenny in the locker room. Kenny thinks it’s the end of that conversation. That he’ll have nothing else to say to him.

But Craig pauses, turns around ever so slightly to look at Kenny.

“Nice lanyard.” He says, Kenny is confused at first. His hand feels for the damn thing, realizes it’s the ugly alien print.

“Huh?” Kenny raises an eyebrow. Craig shrugs.

“I thought you knew I like space. I don’t know. Alien conspiracy theories are cool.”

Kenny is brought back to a younger Craig. Remembers a time when they filmed shit in Craig’s room. Remembers the stupid space posters. Remembers him talking about it one night when Kenny stayed over. Remembers learning more than he cared for about constellations.

It’s weird to think back to that. It was like they were completely different people from then. 

 

Maybe they weren’t different, per se. Farther, maybe. Kenny used to have friends. Craig and him used to have some semblance of a friendship. The occasional hanging out when things got too weird with their main pais.

Before Kenny can respond the gym doors are closing behind Craig.

 

Chapter Text

The Four Agreements are:

1. Be Impeccable with your Word

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally

3. Don’t Make Assumptions

4. Always Do Your Best

 

Craig’s fingertips brush against the cardboard surface of his display board. Each agreement written in silver or gold stickers. Surrounded by stars intricately drawn on with sharpie. Little electronic tea lights poked through the back of the cardboard in the center of each star. The rear of the trifold sealed with black poster paper.

 

The gym is chatter and noise. Craig drops his hand, lets it rest on the cover of his book. He lifts it up. It’s his favorite. Has been since he got it a few months ago on his 18th birthday. He doesn’t really think he can dramatically follow these rules of the four agreements, however. He sure as hell hasn’t his whole life.

 

Craig has always been reserved. He’s not a person to express unless it’s dire. Thoughts will float around his head, but he’ll keep them sealed up. Not to be heard until they’re almost explosive. Craig is brought back to Peruvian flute bands. To badly constructed insults. To breaking up with Tweek. How long was this all pressed in the space of his head until it came out of his mouth?

 

He doesn’t follow the agreements, as much as he finds something close with them. However, they’re what led him to the realization that he and Tweek were just not meant to be. 

 

Craig remembers Tweek handing him the book in his work uniform. They sat together, and Craig lazily mixed his coffee with the little stirrer. Eyes outside the shop, watching people hurry by. Listening with half attention to conspiracies and little shrieks and worries. A few weeks later he realized he wasn’t in love. That the “yeah, honey.” Craig let out in response was not genuine. Nor the half smile. 

 

The agreements lead Craig to a decision he wasn’t sure he was ready to make but that had already been made. Too late to back out of. It’s a half assed thing, Craig used it for one purpose but he hasn’t with his current situation.

 

The encounter with Kenny rolls in his mind. Over and over. He could be impeccable with his word and just tell Kenny straight up that he knows Kenny’s looking. Knows he’s interested. That Craig sometimes looks too, can’t help but to. Admit to himself that he wants Kenny. Bad. Admit that he been sleeplessness is less because of his tired eyes taking in Tumblr notifications and more to do with him stealing glances at Kenny’s Facebook. 

 

He could not take it personally. Know that there has to be a reason Kenny is such a pig, that his own reality is not Craig’s. That he could go along and just admit he wants to bang Kenny, too. That it doesn’t have to be personal. That they could be separate. Craig could be separate from whatever bullshit Kenny has going on.

 

Craig could not make assumptions. Know that this could all be some fabrication in his head. That maybe Kenny isn’t looking.

 

Craig doesn’t even know if he’s doing his best. Doesn’t know if he misinterpreted this stupid self help book. 

 

The paperback cover of The Four Agreements closes shut. Craig takes in a sigh and turns around. There are really few people at this event. Just parents and little freshman with red noses and cheeks from bitter cold. Craig blinks, sleepy dark eyes admittedly looking for an orange parka. He wants to imagine that night never happened honestly. Impulses be damned.

 

There are a few people who stop at his display, smile at him and Craig starts to elaborate on the details of the book and its teaching. He’s going over the first agreement when he sees Kenny. Craig has to pause for a second, only a brief thing before he blinks it off and continues going on.

 

Kenny stands there with his hands in his pockets, listening to Craig with what looks like deep interest. Craig tells what he can. Avoiding Kenny’s blue eyes. His nasal voice is clear and carries.

 

When he finishes a few people ask questions. He answers them and when they’re satisfied they flock on to the next project that catches their interest.

 

There is a metal chair that Craig finds himself sitting down at, looking ahead to avoid the confrontation he knows is coming. He twists open his cap from his water bottle. Takes a large gulp. 

 

“So what’s the deal with the book?” Kenny pries. Craig look ahead at where his cousin has her back turned to them. She was in AP lit too. Her red hair is curled from Ruby’s iron. Craig knows this because he heard Ruby gush about how she looks so pretty from across the hall. His bedroom and the bathroom are diagonal from each other.

 

“I don’t know.” Craig responds. He keeps his attention at Red. She’s leaving to get a refreshment. Craig’s attention shifts to the ground instead.

 

“Why not?” Kenny presses. Craig lets a long suffering sigh. Squeezes the bridge between his nose.

 

“I just. I don’t.” Craig stands and goes to move past Kenny, he’s a few inches passed him before Kenny grabs on his wrist. Fingers curling around the fabric of his sweater. Craig pauses, his lower lip going in between to rows of metal covered teeth.

 

“For fuck sakes, look at me.” Kenny’s voice gets louder. Craig does, he looks at Kenny straight in the face. His heart thumps in his ears. Dark brown eyes on blue.

 

“We need to talk.” Kenny says, he’s stern with it. However, his hold on Craig’s arm gets lighter and he’s interlacing their fingers. It’s reminiscent of when they were kids. That one field trip, many others. 

 

“I don’t want to talk, Kenny.” Craig responds. He doesn’t let go though. Let’s Kenny’s fingers fall in the spaces between his own. 

 

He’s looking away again, biting at his lower lip. Be impeccable with your word. Right.

 

“I think you do” Kenny presses. His free hand gingerly reaches to Craig’s face. Hesitant. Fingertips resting on tan cheeks. Pushing Craig to look at him. 

 

Craig looks at Kenny’s lips for a few brief seconds, then flick up to his eyes.

 

Kenny’s thumb brushes against the flesh of Craig’s lips. Craig is tempted to take it in his mouth. Eyelashes low, heart stammering in his ears.

 

“Hey! Your trifold is so cool, dude!” Someone breaks the little bubble they are in, Kenny’s hands drop. He steps back from where he had stepped closer into Craig’s space. Craig turns to the person who has vocalized their interest. It’s Stan Marsh of all people. He’s leaned in to get a closer look at the project.

 

“I’ll meet you at your truck.” Is all Craig says before he turns to talk to Stan. 

 

Kenny nods and makes his way away from the life and noise of the book fair. Craig lets out a sigh, rubbing his temples. 

 

He turns to Stan who is taking a sip out of his flask. He’s always just a bit tipsy. Craig can always smell the alcohol on his being. He doesn’t know how no one else does. To be fair, no one really pays attention to Stan anymore. He does his after school activities, is in remedial classes. His best friend left the place that was by his side. And he and Wendy are close. Though not dating.

 

He and Stan are both in the ‘be a better neighbor’ club. It’s their only real connection. There used to be a sort of resentment Craig had towards Stan. But he’s over it. He doesn’t care because as long as Stan keeps him out of whatever shenanigans he’s cool with him. 

 

Even if the lingering scent of alcohol is very, very sad. Leaves something in Craig feeling pity.

 

“Yeah. It’s cool stuff.” Craig responds. He hands Stan the bottle of water to take a sip of. Stan ignores this. 

 

“Yeah, I mean I guess dude. More your cup of tea. But it looks nice.” Stan stands up straight and lets a yawn fall from his lips. 

 

He’s looking at the door where Kenny exited. Then at Craig.

 

“You and Kenny?” He pries. For someone who is usually so oblivious that is pretty observant. Craig rolls his eyes.

 

“Never.” Craig lies. He stuffs his hands into his sweatpants pockets. 

 

“Oh. I just thought. You and Tweek broke up...Man, I’m sorry that was rude.” Stan lets out. Craig shrugs. Though the comment about Tweek stings just a bit. Stan was on the head, though. Craig wasn’t about to reveal that.

 

“It’s whatever.” Craig replies. He turns to leave the gym to meet up with Kenny. Craig comes to a halt at the double doors. Looking over his shoulder.

 

So many people gathered in one place. Craig wonders if this moment is significant. Wonders if anyone in the whole chunk of people at this event have some little second. Something important in their own life and being but insignificant in the grand structure of things.

 

Craig pushes open the doors and steps into dimly lit parking lot. Shuts his thoughts down. The winter cool nips at his exposed shoulders and Craig steps towards Kenny’s truck. He sits on the edge of the bed. Feet dangling a few inches away from snow.

 

“Kenny,” Craig starts as he lifts himself to sit next to Kenny. His butt hits damp surface and he pulls the bottom of his sweater down under his self. As if it’s supposed to protect him from melted snow.

 

Kenny turns his head to Craig. Craig looks at him, brown eyes taking in freckled countenance. Blue orbs and soft lips. His gaze falls down to the alien lanyard instead.

 

“I didn’t know you liked alien conspiracy theories.” Kenny vocalizes. Craig reaches out a hand to touch the lanyard. Is surprised that Kenny lets him. It’s worn down, aged a frayed. 

 

“I do,” Craig responds easily. Kenny lets out a low hum while Craig lets his hand fall back at his side. 

 

“What else do you like?” Kenny pries. Craig looks up at Kenny’s face, he’s been staring at Craig the whole time. It’s strange, how Kenny stares as if he is analyzing. Trying to read something Craig didn’t even know he’s writing. Craig lets his hands rest on his lap, looks down at them. They’re cold and wind bitten.

 

“Everything and nothing,” Craig responds. He’s purposely being vague, playing the field. His fingers twitch, he wants to lean down and kiss Kenny. Has thought about it for awhile. He’s brought back to that stupid book. Of honesty and integrity. Just tell him. One side of his head screams out. Tell him you think about him, Kenny wants it just as bad. While the other part is trying to silence the rapid fire of want.

 

Craig doesn’t though. Kenny lets a breathy laugh, and Craig gulps down the words that are clinging to his tongue. 

 

“Let me take you back to my place.” Kenny suggest. Craig’s eyes snap up to him. Dark brown on blue. He’s grateful his eyes are so dark because Craig feels like his pupils have to be blown out with desire. It’s hard to tell what he’s feeling by the eye. His dark orbs fade into the slightly lighter shade of brown.

 

“Ok.” Craig responds. Kenny hops down from the bed of the truck. Feet crunching under the weight of snow. He makes a lead to the car, and Craig follows suit. Going around the other side. They climb in, the seats cracked leather. The truck is worn down, paint chipping in places. It shows it’s state even more when Kenny twists the key to his truck in the ignition. The engine whirrs to life. Loud and coughing in its distress.

 

Craig’s seen Kenny drive the thing around. Not often and definitely not the distance to school. He tries not to think too much into that.

 

They pull out of the parking lot to the school. Kenny fiddles with the radio very briefly. Stuffing the aux chord into the audio jack. He passes his phone to Craig, it’s a little android phone. A bit outdated and worn down.

 

“I have a lot of music on there. Pick out what you want.” Kenny suggest. Craig’s hands are slight quivers and he hopes Kenny didn’t notice. His attention is on the road, purely focused on getting them back to the McCormick residence. 

 

Craig scrolls down Kenny’s audio section. He’s surprised to find a lot of music he knows and likes. Eventually he stumbles across something he wants to listen to and presses down on the touch screen to get it to play.

 

Two beers in, already feels like it’s one of those night to forget...

 

It’s ironic because Craig choose the song simply because he likes the sound of it. But he listens to the lyrics and remembers his initial reaction to the incident with Kenny. He’s tried to suppress his desire, tried to forget the night.

 

It feels like this will be another night Craig should forget. He doesn’t think he will, though. As they pull into the lawn of the McCormick residence, the reality of the situation sits in. 

 

They sit there in the truck, the engine cut off. The windows are fogged ever so slightly from contrast of cold windows and hot breath in a small confine. Craig looks up at Kenny who is staring at him with low hanging eye lids.

 

“You know why I brought you here?” Kenny pries. Craig’s tongue darts out to moisten his lips and he nods. His finger nails dig into his thighs. It’s a nervous habit, Craig doesn’t even really realize he’s doing it until he’ll look down at where he’s pressing his nails into his flesh and see little crescents.

 

“You want to fuck me.” Craig answers. Kenny nods his head, baby blues not leaving Craig. However, Craig looks to the side, avoiding the eye contact. He wants this. So bad. He can’t look at Kenny and admit it, though.

 

Kenny’s not having it, however. He reaches a hand towards Craig, lifts his chin up, pulling his face to look at Kenny straight in the eye.

 

“You’re going to look at me from now on.” Kenny demands. Craig feels the fire in his tummy. Burning and setting course to a destructive path.

 

“And if I don’t?” Craig question. He lifts his chin. Trying to display some sort of fight in him. A smirk finds its way to Kenny’s face. 

 

“Then daddy won’t fuck you.” Kenny retorts. Craig lets out a hitch of breath. Taken aback by the daddy comment. He remains quiet as Kenny looks away to hop out of his truck. Craig should leave. Turn his ass around and walk home.

 

He doesn’t.

 

It’s how he finds himself being slammed into Kenny’s bedroom door. Arms being held above his head as Kenny kisses him for every ounce he’s got. Craig arches his body closer to the other. His breathing becoming uneven as Kenny sucks hickeys into the spot where neck meets shoulder. 

 

“You’re going to ride me. You’re going to ride the fuck out of me, Craig.” Kenny says between pressing kisses to Craig’s soft lips. He lets go of Craig’s arms, grabbing onto his hand as he walks back wards towards his bed. Craig following after. Kenny lays back on the mattress and Craig straddles him. Leaning down to continue their kissing.

 

Craig’s on top and Kenny is digging his fingers into bony hips bones. Craig didn’t know how much he’d need this. He’s humping down onto Kenny, feeling his boner rubbing against his ass through the confines of his ugly orange pants.

 

“You’re going to suck my dick first.” Kenny states. Craig pulls away from their kiss. He begins to fumble with the waistband of Kenny’s pants, remaining quiet as he positions himself down towards Kenny cock. He tugs down on the top of Kenny’s sweats with his teeth. Using his hands to fully yank down Kenny’s pants. 

 

When Kenny’s dick is free from his underwear Craig looks up at him through black lashes. Kenny’s hand finds its way to Craig’s black locks, he curls his fingers in the tresses.

 

Craig takes Kenny’s head into his mouth, sucking softly. He darts his tongue out, flicking at it. Kenny lets a soft fuck out under his breath. 

 

Craig’s nails are digging into Kenny’s thighs now instead of his own, and he takes him deeper into his mouth. Gently sucking up and down on it. 

 

Kenny lets out little sighs of pleasure, petting Craig’s hair as he sucks him. Craig eventually picks up the pace and takes him deeper, using his tongue to swirl around the length.

 

Kenny thrusts his hips with Craig’s movements, when he is satisfied he gently pushes on Craig’s shoulders.

 

“Lube. Condoms. In the closet.” Kenny requests. Craig pulls away. He tries to catch his breath, standing rather shakily. He slides open the door to the closet. The room is dimly lit and Craig has to feel around for the bottle. He eventually feels out the shape and holds it up to the slither of moonlight from the beaten up blinds Kenny has in front of his windows. The bottle reads lubrication. He stuffs it under his armpit and feels around for the condom next. It’s an easier find. 

 

When Craig has everything they need he drops it on the the mattress. Kenny is leaning on his elbows, watching Craig’s movements. 

 

Craig pulls his baggy sweater off. Exposing his thin frame under the shielding cloth. He pulls his pants and underwear off, too. Standing in the nude. Kenny already has his bottoms off. His parka was discarded at some point, too. Now he just sits there in a white wife beater. 

 

“Come here.” Kenny lets out, almost sounding breathless. Craig complies, he goes to straddle Kenny again. Who lets him, he’s picked up the lube and coats his fingers in it. 

 

His hands move to Craig’s ass and Craig lifts it in the position he is in. Kenny captures Craig’s lips as he teases the others hole. Finger poking and circling it.

 

“I want you to beg.” Kenny says. Craig looks him in the eyes, his lower lip being pressed between to rows of teeth.

 

“What?” He lets out. Kenny is gently prying at the hole, teasing. Craig wants to push himself down on Kenny’s fingers. He doesn’t, though.

 

“Beg.” Kenny requests as he presses in more, gentle. Craig lets out a sigh, desperate and so, so horny. He lets the hold his teeth have of his lip go.

 

“Please,” Craig starts, he can see how smug Kenny is being about it. 

 

“Please Kenny. Fuck, please I want it. Please...” Craig tries to whine. He feels like it sounds broken and awkward in his nasally voice. Kenny lets out a little breath at that. 

 

“Please, daddy...” Kenny lets out a moan at that, it’s as if it hit something for him. 

 

“Your wish is my command.” Kenny replies. He begins to push in, gentle at first as to not hurt Craig. Eventually after a few soft thrusts the get rougher. Another finger added. Craig cries out as his sweet spot gets hit over and over with the quick jabs. He buries his face in the others neck. Riding the others fingers.

 

Eventually Kenny pulls out, he’s moved his hands onto Craig’s hips and he pulls him closer. Craig can feel Kenny dick inches from his ass. He closes his eyes, they’re a bit watery. After trying to catch his breath, he positions himself, letting Kenny’s dick sink into him.

 

It hurts at first, truly. Kenny is big, thick and decent length. Craig starts slow, rolling his hips down onto Kenny. As he adjusts, he goes faster.

 

“Fuck.” Kenny spits out as Craig rides him. He dick slides in and out of Craig’s tight hole. Kenny’s hands run up Craig’s sides, across his chest and to his mouth. Kenny presses his thumb between Craig’s lips; Craig takes it. Sucking on Kenny fingers as he hits it. Moans fall from Craig’s parted lips. Kenny runs his thumb against the soft flesh, it’s absolutely beautiful. For someone so quiet Craig is loud in bed. Craig wants to be embarrassed but he’s too into into it to care. 

 

He bounces on Kenny dick, all reserves thrown out the window. His lips are parted, face flushed red. Kenny moves his hand to play with Craig’s dick. Fingers curled around the length, pulling on it until Craig cums all over himself.

 

Kenny goes for a little while after. Fucking Craig’s ass as he whines on top of him.

 

Eventually Kenny cums and his sharp intakes of breath come to a halt. He grips onto Craig as he releases. Fingernails digging into Craig’s back. Running down the flesh. Craig can feel the sting, is sure that’s going to leave a mark. 

 

They stay like that, Kenny inside of Craig for a few minutes. Just trying to come back down. When Craig is ready he gets off, collapsing next to Kenny. He stares up at the cracked ceiling. The patterns in moonlight.

 

Kenny reaches over, balling up his wife beater to clean Craig off. He then cleans himself off with the other side. It’s quiet after, just the sound of Kenny’s electric heater whirring and nature noise.

 

Craig closes his eyes, the everyday sounds of the McCormick residence a lullaby.

Chapter Text

Kenny wakes up before Craig. He’s nude, a beaten down blanket draped across him and the other. There is a distance, never closed in slumber. Craig has his back turned to Kenny, his shoulders rising and falling with each gentle inhale. Falling with the exhales.

 

Kenny looks at him, the sun filtering in through blinds. It hits Craig’s soft, tan skin. Making it almost golden under its light. Kenny can see everything. The birth mark on the back of Craig’s neck, the hickeys visible on his shoulders. Even the marks on Craig’s back from where Kenny dragged his fingernails down it.

 

Kenny wants to reach out and feel the raised flesh underneath his yearning fingertips. He doesn’t. Instead, he turns on his other side and stares at his closet door. Left open after Craig rummaged through it.

 

Why isn’t he bored yet? It’s the first coherent question that he can really formulate in his head. Kenny got it out of his system, he fucked the life out of Craig. However, he has a desire to pull the other close to him and breathe in the scent of cheap shampoo. 

 

It makes him angry.

 

So angry, and he can’t even comprehend why. Kenny sits up, fingers bunching up his blanket. He lets his grip go. Hand falling on Craig’s shoulder, and he shakes him awake. Those dark browns open as Craig looks up over his shoulder at Kenny. 

 

“What...” Craig starts, only to be sharply cut off.

 

“Leave.” Kenny says, he feels like his face has to be red. He’s shaking, body quivers.

 

Craig blinks, eye lids hanging low. He sits up and feels around for his pants, his shirt. 

 

Is that all it takes?

 

People leave Kenny’s life all the time. He’s alone. Always fucking alone. He watches Craig’s movements. How his own hands shiver gently, Kenny is too shaken to understand where it stems from. Again, there is a repression to Craig’s whole being that Kenny can read all over. He conveys his emotions through his body, however subtle it is.

 

It’s like reading comprehension. When you try to read a book and don’t understand it, then come back to it years later. Mind sharper, the words easier. Craig is becoming increasingly easier to turn pages to.

 

Craig’s tugging on his sweater. The stupid, baggy thing that hides his body. His boney hips and the beauty mark above his navel. Soft tan skin that runs on and on and on. Kenny knows, though. What’s underneath, he doesn’t know if that’s a blessing or curse. 

 

As Craig pulls the door shut behind him, Kenny left in an empty bed. He can’t help but think it’s a curse.

 

*

 

Karen is at the kitchen table when Kenny finally leaves his room. He’s pulled his parka over his frame and tugged on some old gym shorts. Kenny swears they used to be Kevin’s. The thought of that makes him feel queasy. 

 

“Was that Tricia’s brother?” Karen questions as she picks at her pop tart. Kenny knows the answer but shrugs his shoulder in response.

 

He digs around the worn down cabinetry for something to eat. Kenny comes across a box of Tootie Fruity’s. Shakes it to see if there is anything left. To his surprise, there is.

 

Karen remains quiet as Kenny fills up a bowl with water and cereal. The milk is chunky and sour again. Leaving this his option.

 

Kenny sits down, fiddling with his spoon. Lifting up water and stale, colorful cereal.

 

“Was he not a good lay?” Karen penetrates the silence. Kenny drops the spoon he was holding. It makes a splash as it falls into his cereal. He then lets a laugh escape his lips. It’s weird hearing that question come from his sister. He remembers buying her dolls with the money he’d get from City Wok.

 

“No. I mean. He was hot.” Kenny responds truthfully. Karen lets out a scoff at that. She places her food down.

 

Karen is automatically distrusting of anyone Kenny brings home. She doesn’t vocalize it, but it’s in the way she talks, looks. Her arms folded, lips pressed firmly together. Body language tense and closed off.

 

Kenny guesses it’s because of his reputation. She knows of it, but doesn’t want to see it as true. He’s a pig, Kenny knows he’s a pig. However, Kenny will always be Karen’s guardian angel. He guesses she sees the side of him that isn’t shady, cruel and dark.

 

Karen’s sees a lot in Kenny. She’s just as masterful in reading human emotions and body language as him. More so. She knows Kenny more than anyone who knows the stories of Kenny.

 

“Ok.” She responds. She taps a few buttons on her little flip phone. Probably texting Firkle again. 

 

Kenny pulls his own phone out of his pocket. An outdated android that he got sometime in freshman year. It’s age shows, collecting small scratches externally and an abundance of files he has to delete internally.

 

The last song played was something by a band he found awhile back. Free Throw.

 

Kenny thinks of dark brown eyes that are tinted electric blue. Repressed but looking ready to burst. Quivering hands that he would see from his rear view mirror. Nails digging into thighs. Those same thighs wrapped around him...and the opening lyrics of the song.

 

He’s not sure it’s a night he regrets.

 

*

 

Kenny [12:03PM]

I’m sorry

 

It’s 4 pm, an Kenny still hasn’t received a text back.

 

He lays on his back, eyes taking in the cracks of the ceiling. Trying to make patterns and coherency out of the jumble of lines. 

 

Tammy texted him too, she’s always been somewhat of a hookup. On the side, nothing too emotionally investing. 

 

He ignores her dirty words, her pictures sent of her breast. Instead he stares at Craig’s Facebook. It’s barren, lacking really anything but that stupid, artsy photo. Kenny can’t help but look at the exposed collarbones and Adam’s apple captured in pixels. The dark eyes, looking away from the camera and pink lips slightly upturned into a smile. 

 

Here he is again, hands down his pants as he stares at Craig’s picture.

 

Kenny lets out a sigh as he cums. 

 

It’s all too familiar, even the fact that he has work. Kenny feels around for his parka. Slips his orange sweats on, a wife beater. Grabbing his keys and the stupid alien lanyard on the way.

 

 

It hangs around his neck as a reminder. A fuck you. Kenny closes the door behind him, crosses the distance from his front door to his car.

 

Kenny climbs into his truck, hand gripped around the steering wheel. He turns his car on and backs out of his lawn.

 

He’s expecting to die. Expecting another car coming to crash into him, so he can just be in hell for a few days. Be away from everything, maybe talk to Damien. Who is all knowing, all seeing. 

 

Except he parks in the back of city wok, perfectly intact. He hasn’t died so much as of late, it used to be so frequent. Kenny still remembers his last death clearly. He remembers slipping into starks pond and drowning. He remembers waking up again in the murky water. It’s weird, he usually is resurrected in his bed. Sometimes, though, it’s the same spot he died in. 

 

Kenny remembers his eyes snapping open at the bottom of the pond, swimming upwards and breaking the surface. Gasping for air.

 

No one ever believes him.

 

Not Kyle, not Stan, though Kenny has an inkling that Cartman knows. However, if he does he doesn’t say much about it. Hasn’t really had a real conversation with him since they were freshmen.

 

Maybe it’s a part of why Kenny shut everyone out.

 

He’s bitter.

 

Snow is beginning to fall again, little puffs of ice just swirling with the gentle pull of wind. Kenny steps out of his truck, slamming the door shut behind him. He leans against it, pulling a box of cigarettes out of his pocket. He takes one of the sticks, light it and puts it between his lips.

 

 

Kenny’s eyes fall on the shops around City Wok. The print shop, the small antique store, and Tweek Bros.

 

Blue eyes fall on the front of the infamous coffee shop, and Kenny can’t help but notice a figure pushing towards it. The wind pulling them away, but they take steady steps to the destination.

 

It’s then that Kenny realizes it’s Craig.

 

He feels his stomach drop down, way down. He shouldn’t care. Kenny really shouldn’t. If Craig is going to go back to get his man, good on him. They are nothing more than an thought, an idea, a concept. Him and Craig? Laughable.

 

Sure, they fucked. Kenny wouldn’t be able to provide him with any stability in a relationship. He’s not the relationship type. He’s a pig, at least that’s what everyone perceives him as. It’s why he’s the one to go to, to make exes jealous. The one to go to when you need a release of sexual frustration.

 

He’s always the one night stand, never the one to invest in.

 

However, he finds himself running towards Craig anyways. The wind whipping his messy, blond hair back as he closes the distance. The frigid cold biting at his exposed cheeks.

 

“You’re not going back to him.” Kenny breathes out, cutting off Craig’s path to the shop. Craig’s brown eyes, always tired looking and dark rimmed take Kenny in. His brows furrow, and he moves his hand to push Kenny out of the way. Except Kenny grabs onto his thin wrist.

 

“Why do you even care?” Craig lets out. He’s angry, Kenny can tell he’s angry. His eyes are electric blue. Looking ready to explode again. 

 

It’s beautiful.

 

“I...don’t.” Kenny lies through his yellow, crooked teeth. Craig tries to yank his hand free from Kenny. But he doesn’t budge. 

 

“I’m not playing this stupid game anymore. You either want me or—“ before Craig can even finish his sentence Kenny has his lips on his. He lets go of the hold he has on the others wrist. And Craig’s eyelids flutter shut, black lashes resting on the apples of tan cheeks.

 

He doesn’t care how he looks to other people, he doesn’t give a shit. It’s a very in the moment thing, but he knows what he wants in this second more than anything, and it’s Craig.

 

Kenny has his fingers underneath Craig’s hat, curling into his black locks. Not straightened like usual, slightly curly. They back up against the surface of some building, Kenny pushing Craig against the cold brick. 

 

He’s pressing kisses down Craig’s neck, already bruised from what he did last night. Craig is resting his hand on Kenny’s shoulder.

 

“It’s ok.” Craig breathes out. Kenny pulls away from his neck, planting a kiss on his lips. He stares at those still, electric blue eyes. They’re softer now, flickering from dark brown to blue, to a more honey colored brown.

 

“Let me take you somewhere.” Kenny spits out before he even knows what he’s saying. It’s stupid, he never takes anyone out. However, he decides he wants to do that. He doesn’t care, maybe it’s the deeply concealed romantic in him. A side he seldom shows. Who knows.

 

“Ok.” Craig replies. They step away from the brick wall, away from the coffee shop, away from city wok.

 

And away from South Park.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

It's ok”

 

Craig reassures Kenny as he rubs circles into the others shoulder. He's kissing a path from his neck to his collarbone. Lips tickling Craig's yearning flesh. It is, it's okay. He's referring to the text Kenny sent him, a simple apology that at the time, Craig didn't think much of. He was pissed. Craig stepped into his parents house, storming passed Red who calls out to him, a concerned look slapped on her pretty face. He flipped her off, opted to slam his door shut and sit his ass on his bed.

 

He told himself to forget this ever happened. Kenny and him? Erased. Gone. Poof. It was nothing more than a fleeting affair. It was dangerous from the start, Craig knows what people say about Kenny. Here he is, another line crossed on his list of cheap fucks.

 

It's what you wanted, right?

 

Craig did, so much, so bad. The sex was amazing. It was distracting, it was hot, it was everything he needed. He hadn't thought about his abrupt falling out of love with Tweek for awhile, losing his best friend. All he could think about was Kenny. His fingernails running down his sides, his dirty mouth, his knowing eyes. His soft, tangled blond hair, pink lips, blue eyes. Craig would bury his head in his hands. STOP .

 

Craig seldom gets pissed. He keeps his emotions to himself, mostly. Something about being told to just leave, the tone in Kenny's voice, dripping in hatred made Craig ready to burst. He hates losing control of his emotions. He feels mad with it.

 

Isn't that exactly what love is supposed to do?

 

Yeah right, love. Kenny is far from falling for Craig, and Craig won't allow himself to fall for Kenny. Combat boots hit the soft carpeting of his bedroom floor. Craig made his way to his mirror, taking himself in. He was shocked to see his eyes electric blue. The tears on his cheeks glowing the slightest. This is new. Anything pertaining to his lasers hasn't happened since he was a kid. He hated Kenny and his friends for dragging him into that scenario.

 

He would pull out his cellphone, pulling up the contact of the one person he feels like he could talk to. It sucks, he doesn't want close the space that he and Tweek made. He found himself typing in a text to him anyways.

 

Craig [2:10PM]

I need to talk to someone

 

Tweek [2:10]

What?? Why? Aren't we like. Not friends anymore???

 

Craig [2:12]

I...don't care. I just don't fucking care. I need to talk to someone.

 

Tweek [2:20]

...ok. I'm at the shop.

 

That was a few hours ago.

 

Now Craig is having Kenny pressing his lips to his, soft. Like he means it, like there is sincerity and he doesn't give a fuck who sees. Craig can't find it in himself to feel angry. It is ok, it is. There is some kind of answer Craig was seeking.

 

“I’m not playing this stupid game anymore. You either want me or—“

 

Kenny pressing his lips against his open mouth, cutting off any inquires, taking the charge and control that Craig desperately needed. Answering the question without any words, just pure, unbridled emotions is everything Craig needed to hear. He’s not good at reading language of eyes or movements, or body. However, Kenny makes it very clear about what he wants in that instance: It’s him, Craig Tucker.

 

“Let me take you somewhere.”

 

It sounds breathless, and Craig is taken aback by it. Kenny’s not known for taking anyone on dates. Craig tries to remember the last time he heard rumors of Kenny even having a significant other. Nothing comes up though, nada.

 

Maybe Craig should focus less on what other people think and more on what he thinks and wants. He reaches a hand up to push blond bangs away from blue eyes. His heart stammering in his ears. He wants Kenny. It dawns on him that this is a truth that has probably been in his veins since they first slept together. It starts with one thing, a small nudge or shove to cause a domino effect. To plant something that will eventually grow and grow. It took one night of intoxication. He’s been sleepless, restless, mad with it, with one person on his mind. Why should he deny himself that, especially if it’s mutual?

 

Fear is a poison. It looks like Kenny is slowly putting down the bottle that he’d take steady gulps from. Maybe Craig should, too. He’s tired of drinking in fear like water.

 

Be impeccable with your word . His dark eyes, half lidded and always tired look into the others.

 

“Ok” he responds. Hands reaching for Kenny’s, interlacing their fingers together. His forehead is resting on the others and he can feel Kenny’s breath against his lips. So close, inches apart. Gentle inhales and exhales; Craig presses a kiss to Kenny’s mouth.

 

They eventually pull apart, step away from the brick wall and City Wok, Tweek Bros and the neighboring stores. Climbing into Kenny’s truck and Craig pulls the blanket that was thrown sloppily behind Kenny’s seat across his legs.

 

It’s quiet but not uncomfortable. The sound of Kenny’s truck purring, tires crushing snow and ice under its weight. Wind licking at the windows. Craig watches the scenery of South Park as they leave it behind. Everything is familiar. Craig could probably name every shop they pass, who works there and who’s parents own them.

 

It’s not long before they are passing the “Welcome to South Park!” Sign. Craig looks down at his cellphone as it comes into sight, feeling the electronic vibrate in his pocket.

 

Stan Marsh [5:50PM]

Are u w/ Kenny?

 

Craig’s brows furrow at that. Stan rarely texts him unless it’s pertaining to their ‘be a better neighbor’ club. Why would he suddenly care about what he and Kenny are doing? The two of them aren’t friends anymore, anyways. He stuffs his phone back into his pocket. Opting to ignore this. He may not have any beef with Stan anymore, but he wasn’t going to get wrapped up in any schemes he may have.

 

“Who was that?” Kenny questions as the scenery that passes changes from heavy snow to damp foliage, bare trees. His eyes are focused on the road, but they flick to Craig rather briefly. Craig rests his head against the cool window. It’s sweating, their breath causing perspiration to gather from the contrast of its heat, and the cold outside.

 

“Stan,” Craig responds simply. He takes his finger and presses it against the glass. He writes his name in the fog. Drawing a small alien next to it.

 

“He wanted to know if I was with you.” he adds in. Kenny’s expression changes from one of calm to perplexed. Craig notices it from the view he has of the other profile.

 

“I haven’t talked to him since Kevin disappeared.” Kenny scoffs, he makes a sharp turn down a road that leads to the highway. With another sloppy twist of the wheel they’re on the main road. Signs guiding the way.

 

“Your brother?” Craig questions. Kenny’s confused expression drops. Craig notices him tensing, like it’s the worst possible thing to bring up in this moment. The other lets out a hum, fingers tapping the surface of the steering wheel.

 

“Yeah...he just. Up and left, one day.” Kenny starts. Craig blinks, unsure if he should say anything. His mouth is open, getting ready to say ‘i’m sorry’. Like it’ll make a difference. Instead, Kenny continues on.

 

“Stan kept trying to talk to me, but I just. Didn’t want to, you know? I didn’t. I feel like my parents know where he is. But they just...they erased him.” Kenny’s got his bottom lip in his two rows of crooked teeth. Craig rests a hand on his shoulder. Unsure of what the proper thing to say is.

 

“Erased?” is all that can come from his mouth. He gets it, though. More that he wants to admit.

 

“Pictures gone, room given to Karen. Everything thrown out.” Kenny admits. He lets out a sigh, and Craig looks down at the space between their thighs, and he suddenly gets the distance. Not the physical one, but the one Kenny created between everyone.

 

“My biological father left my mom and I,” Craig starts. He doesn’t want to turn this about him, but he feels like there is something comforting in knowing you aren’t alone.

 

“It’s not the same, but I get it. Sort of.” he tries to console the other. It must have worked, because Kenny smiles. It’s a sad one, half of a full heart. Craig takes it anyways. He remains quiet. Thick, almost like you can cut through it with a knife.

 

“I hate lies.” Kenny finally breaks it. A smooth cut down the center. Craig’s eyes flick to his face, watching him as he watches the road.

 

“Everyone lies. I know what you’re thinking, i’m some tragic case with abandonment issues. Maybe I am, but fuck that. Everyone fucking lies. Everyone has secrets, Craig Tucker. I didn’t reach out to anyone, but especially to Stan because he was lying to everyone. It came out, you know? Remember when he got alcohol poisoning in school, and Kyle flat out told him they couldn’t talk anymore? I saw that a mile away. I see most everything, i’m not psychic. It’s just in body language.” There is another sharp turn, and the scenery around them changes to more cluttered buildings. Pressed closely together. They’re in denver.

 

Craig again remains quiet, and Kenny lets out a laugh. They’re stopped at a red light, and he turns to him. A smile on his face, though it’s saccharine. Laced with bitter. The light turns green again and he takes his foot off the break.

 

“Like how when you get emotional, when we have sex, you’re uncomfortable. or you’re worried. Your eyes glow blue. That’s the most interesting, I think it’s the first time I saw it since we were kids. Sometimes you dig your nails into your skin, or bite your lips. Or look away. Right now you must be worried, though. Your eyes keep turning back from blue and brown.” Kenny rambles on. Craig reaches a hand up, touching the skin under his left eye. He’s noticed it earlier, he didn’t know it happened so frequently, though. It causes a wave of insecurity to wash through him.

 

“I think you’re body language is beautiful though. I think everyone’s is, in a way.” Kenny admits as he pulls into the parking lot of a roundly shaped building. He finds a parking spot, turns his key in it’s ignition. His hands are still placed on the wheel, though. He rests his head on top of it. Craig runs his hands through Kenny’s blond locks, and he reaches into the touch. Nuzzling into Craig scratching at his hair.

 

“But I really like yours.” He says as he sits up, Craig feels concern swim throughout his whole being. However, he also feels flattered. He doesn’t know what to say, though. It’s a lot of information to take in, but he does take it. It’s a part of Kenny he doesn’t think he’d ever see, but now that he does, he makes a lot more sense.

 

Kenny is smiling at him and it isn’t false. His eyelids hang low, blond lashes partially shielding blue orbs. Craig smiles back, soft. His eyes flick to the building, dome shaped. He nods his head towards it.

 

“Where are we?” Craig questions. Kenny’s smile grows bigger, a grin spreading across his face. Craig notices that he has dimples when he smiles. Although his teeth are yellow and crooked there is something really charming about it.

 

“The planetarium. Come on, space cadet. You’re going to tell me about alien conspiracy theories.”

Chapter Text

“And that’s all you need to know about the allagash abductions.” Craig finishes as he leans in closer to an exhibit on mars. His fingertips brush against the sign that reads all the information anyone could possibly want on the planet. Kenny watches him, a little lost for words. He leans against the railing in front of the huge model. His eyes flick to it, and he looks at the colors of oranges and reds bleeding together. The round spherical model that replicates the red planet.

 

“I didn’t even know hypnosis therapy was a real thing. I thought that a gimmick, or something only in movies.” Kenny starts, he looks back at Craig, who keeps his gaze on the illustration and text on the sign. Craig’s dark eyes fall on the pamphlets, and he takes one. Handing it to Kenny to stuff in his large pockets. Kenny complies, unzipping his parka to put the paper in the hidden space in his coat. He’s been doing this their whole visit to the museum. Handing pamphlets to Kenny for safe keeping. His own pants lack storage, Kenny’s noticed. He’s took a peek at Craig’s ass. Confirmed.

 

“I love how that’s what you’re fascinated by. Three men get abducted by aliens on a camping trip. And you’re more focused on the fact that hypnosis therapy is...a real thing.” Craig scoffs and Kenny lets out a laugh. He nods his head to the next exhibit. They walk side by side, a mother with her child passing by. She has the little girl balancing on her hip.

 

They arrive to the large picture of Orion’s belt, and Craig picks up the pamphlet for it, hands it to Kenny again. Who repeats the process. Opting to leave his parka unzipped from now on. He’s got a white tshirt with a logo for the band Modest Mouse on it. It’s tight, stretching across his thin frame.

 

“Aliens are old news.” Kenny says as he sits on the bench in front of the display. Craig sits next to him. Their thighs press together and Kenny finds himself resting his hand on Craig’s knee. The other rolls his eyes at the comment, Kenny can feel it. He turns to him, and Craig’s got his attention on the large print in front of him.

 

“I like that about you, though.” Kenny admits. He finds himself putting his arm around Craig, pulling the others thin frame closer to him. Craig rests his head in Kenny’s side. He closes his eyes, dark lashes resting on the apples of his tan cheeks. Kenny slips his hand under his chullo hand, pulling on Craig’s dark curls a few times. His hand than makes a path to Craig’s chin where he pushes the others face, so his gaze is on him.

 

“Look at me.” Kenny demands, and he does. Craig’s dark orbs are on Kenny’s blue ones. Kenny’s thumb rests on Craig’s lips. Pulling it down, feeling the soft, pink flesh under his finger tips.

 

“What do you like?” Craig questions as he kisses Kenny’s thumb. Kenny’s tongue darts out to wet his lips. Stare on Craig’s face. He’s beautiful, with dark, fuck me eyes and plush lips. Black lashes that rim his brown gaze. Tan skin and a splattering of freckles across the bridge of his nose that you can really only see if you’re up close to him

 

Kenny likes a lot about Craig.

 

“I like that you don’t give a fuck. I know you don’t care that I think aliens are old news. I like that.” He answers, it makes Craig smile. Soft, a little upturn of the lips. He closes his eyes.

 

There is a easy silence that falls between them. Kenny drops the hand he was using to touch Craig’s face to the side. His other still slung over Craig. He turns his attention Orion’s Belt.

 

He remembers floating between the suns on his way to heaven one time. Remembers being at the pearly gates, welcomed by pretty woman, motioning for him to come further. He also remembers dropping down to hell. The fear and anguish, crushing weight and tearing of his being as he was slammed to the underworld.

 

Kenny remembers the changing coloration of Craig’s eyes. Wonders if he’d believe him if one day he told him about his deaths. He’s revealed so much about himself today, just unloaded a garbage truck on Craig. It wasn’t intentional; but once he started he couldn’t stop. It was like these secrets and thoughts ripped through the confines of his bone cage.

 

His deaths wouldn’t be the strangest thing Craig has heard or seen in South Park. Kenny knows this as fact. His fingers curl into Craig’s bare shoulder. His shirt way too big, exposing the flesh. He’s not tense under Kenny’s grasp. Loose, flowing easily. Gentle inhales and exhales as he falls asleep in Kenny’s hold. Kenny can tell Craig is comfortable around him, can tell he’s starting to trust him. He can read it in body language. Kenny thinks he wants to trust Craig, too.

 

But this moment, them sitting in a cozy silence. Knowing but also barely knowing each other is not the time to drop the bomb about his immortality

 

But maybe. Maybe one day.

 

*

 

Kenny’s got a bunch of texts from Mr Kim. He’s angry, spewing hate at him. The last message he received was nothing more than a simple ‘don’t let it happen again.’

 

When he dropped Craig off, Red saw them. Peeked a gaze out of the blinds in front of the window overlooking the front yard. Kenny waited for Craig to disappear behind his front door. Than waved to the red head. A grin spread across his face.

 

He quickly types a text back to Mr Kim. Apologetic. Then makes a path to home. It’s clear out tonight, the snow finally coming to a halt. The wind still whistles, though. When Kenny pulls into his lawn, hopping down from the truck, he is almost knocked over by it.

 

He tugs his parka tighter around his frame, closing the distance from his car to his parents house. When he steps in his sister is watching a movie on the couch. Her feet up on the ugly, faded coffee table. He’d hair pulled back in a sloppy bun, clad in footie pajamas. His father must be out drinking again. Leaving the living room open territory.

 

Karen ignores him as he walks passed her, making his way to his parents room. Kenny turns the handle to the door, peeks into the dimly lit room. His mother is asleep, a bottle of painkillers laying next to her, spilled out.

 

Kenny steps into the space that he is so familiar with. He pulls his mothers blanket over her slumbering frame. Cleans up the mess of medication and places it back on her nightstand. He’s learned a long time ago hiding his parents fix was really to no benefit. They’d find it, somehow.

 

When he’s finished, he sits next to her unconscious body. Places his fingers to her neck, feeling for a pulse. It’s a soft flutter, one he feels beneath his fingertips. Relieved, he lets out a sigh. Then makes his way back to his bedroom.

 

*

 

Craig isn’t in gym class. It’s the first thing Kenny notices when he takes his usual seat on the bleachers. He wants to give him his pamphlets, maybe ask if he wants to go for a ride after school. Tammy is, though. She sits next to him, her long hair tickles his arm as she rests her head on his shoulder.

 

“You bored of me?” She questions. Her gaze on the basketball court, where people who actually partake in gym class are.

 

Kenny lets out a laugh, but scoots away just a bit. Creating a space between them. He doesn’t want to give her the wrong impression. They used to date, way back when. He genuinely did and does like her. Though, probably not in the way she wants. They haven’t really fooled around much as of late. That mostly has to do with Kenny’s fixation on Craig. Somehow, he almost feels guilty about talking to her, her dirty texts sitting in his phone. It’s almost like cheating. Though he and Craig aren’t together.

 

Maybe you might want to be one day, though.

 

The thought almost scares Kenny. However, he wants to be brave. Braver. He’s still sipping on the poison of fear though. Little gulps of it, climbing down his throat and making his way to his internal organs.

“Maybe.” he answers. She lets out a soft laugh, then pulls out her phone. She swipes through some pictures. Kenny looks at her delicate, manicured nails as she stops, pointing at one specific photograph.

 

“It’s okay, don’t lie. You’re notorious for boredom. Anyways, as soon as I sent you that, my ex told me he wants to get back together. This is us.” She explains. Kenny takes it in, a picture of Tammy with her hair in an intricate braid. Her favorite red shirt with the sweat heart neckline. Her lips pressed into the cheek of Butters. Kennycan’t help but laugh at that.

 

“Butters? Really?” he pries. Tammy punches his arm, her smile really big. Kenny can read the affection radiating off of her as she stares at their picture. All he can think is good for her. He watches her countenance and her smile dropping as she looks behind them.

 

“Uh-oh. Red alert.” she says, standing and dusting off her red dress. Kenny looks behind him and there stands Red Tucker, Craig’s cousin. She’s in her gym attire. Short grey shorts and a t shirt with the school's name printed on it. It's tight on her, showing off her frame. Tammy throws him a look, an almost sympathetic one as she scurries off to bother someone else.

 

Red sits on the opposite side of him that Tammy sat. She flips her head down, pulling her long red locks into a ponytail. When she comes back up she pulls a few loose strands away from her face before turning to Kenny. Kenny can see the hatred written all over her. The distrust. 

 

“Listen,” she starts, her body tense. She looks like she wants to punch Kenny in the face. Like her fist is made to come in contact with his cheek.

 

“I don’t who the fuck you think you are. I know your rep. And you’re not shit. Craig may have come home happy, but if I ever . Ever find out you hurt him, I swear to god Kenneth I will knock your fucking yellow teeth out.” She spits out, furious. Kenny looks at her, her red brows knitted together in anger. Her lips pressed into a scowl. Her language speaks anger, no trust or desire to gain trust and Kenny can understand it, really. He knows his own reputation.

 

He’s a pig.

 

“I won’t hurt him.” he consoles, it doesn’t do much, really. Red rolls her pretty blue eyes at him.

 

“I promise.” the thing is, though.

 

He means it. He means it more than anything he's probably ever said in his life. Kenny is brought back to Craig's slumbering frame. To jerking off to his facebook picture. Sleepy eyes on patterns in ceilings. To the loneliness of it. To Craig pushing through the hail and snow to go to Tweek. To how fucking insane it drove him. How in some weird way, he likes Craig. He likes him, he likes when his body language is open around him. Not cut off or reserved, more easy. Like when he fell asleep on him at the planetarium. Like how when he rode him the night before and threw all repression out the window.

 

 

He means it. 

Chapter Text

Craig listens with half attention to whatever the leader of “be a better neighbor” is going on about. He should be in gym. Instead everyone in the club was pulled out for an “important” meeting. Meaning there was some kind of roadside clean up.

 

Craig taps his fingers against the surface of the table he’s seated at. His dark brown eyes flick to the clock on the wall. The hand moves achingly slow. It’s strange how when you don’t want time to pass, it seems to speed by with ease. When you want it to pick up it’s pace, it seems to be like a snail making its way across someone’s lawn.

 

Finally, finally. The woman—Craig can never remember her name. Knows it’s something very simple, generic. Like Smith. She makes a motion with her hand to dismiss them. Craig lets out a sigh of relief as everyone begins to stand, chatter picking up as they discuss their newest goal. Getting the road leading into town clean.

 

Craig usually cares more about this, he’s an all or nothing guy. Right now he’s nothing, his head is consumed in finding Kenny. He’s left something of his in his car. Craig will tell himself this.

 

Be impeccable with your word.

 

That agreement out of the four seem to rear its ugly head for Craig a lot. Maybe he wants to see Kenny more than he’s willing to admit.

 

As soon as the bell rings, Craig pushes his arms through the straps of his backpack. He makes a beeline for the door.

 

The hallway is always crowded. The student body of Park County is North Park and South Park. For some reason the high school was meshed into one some time in middle school. Otherwise Craig is sure it wouldn’t be half as flooded as it is. He weaves his way through the crowd. Eyes scanning the premises for orange Parka. It’s dangerously close to the final bell ringing and Craig knows he shouldn’t skip out on AP literature.

 

He’s about to toss in the towel and search Kenny out after school, throw him a text and tell him to meet him by the bike racks when Craig feels someone grab onto him.

 

Craig is being spun around and pressed into lockers before he can even comprehend what is happening. Craig feels lips on his, and automatically he sees and knows it’s Kenny. His eyelids flutter shut. Kenny’s fingers tangle into Craig’s black locks, his lips trailing to the side of his mouth and to his chin.

 

“Kenny—Kenny. Should we...be doing this here?” Craig questions, Kenny has his lips on his neck. Barely kissing him, just inches away from pressing against it. He speaks with his face buried in Craig’s neck.

 

“I’m Kenny fucking McCormick.” Kenny says easily. He pulls away and looks up at Craig from the few inches he has on him. His blond lashes partially veil his blue eyes. Lids low.

 

“Do you think I care what anyone here thinks?”

 

Craig lets out a scoff and doesn’t reply. Instead reaches a hand up to Kenny’s face. His thumb brushing against the surface of freckle adorned skin. Kenny’s flesh is soft and warm underneath his touch. He nuzzles into Craig’s hand,

 

“Lets skip.” Kenny suggests. Craig looks down at him, he should say no. Really, he should. Wasn’t he just thinking how he can’t be late? But his tongue darts out to wet his lips and he nods his head anyways.

 

“Okay.”

 

*

 

The ride to the poorer side of town takes about ten minutes on Craig’s bike. He didn’t drive his dads vehicle to school. Sometimes he opts to ride his bike through the frigid cold. The wind will nip at his exposed face and he’ll feel that similar burning, the one familiar to the licking of fire. He can’t comprehend why he likes it so much.

 

Kenny hops onto the back of his bike and wraps his arms around Craig’s middle. They pedal away from the school to the direction of the McCormick residence. Passing by storefront after storefront and eventually the tires to The bike roll over the train tracks.

 

Kenny’s house is in view, soon enough Craig is hiding his bike in the back of Stuart McCormick’s truck. It lays on the bed, open for anyone to steal if they were to peek into it. Though Craig doesn’t know why anyone would.

 

It’s an ugly thing. Old and rusted.

 

“Lets go for a ride.” Kenny says as he pulls on the handle of the truck. He has the alien lanyard around his neck. It’s a wonder if Kenny has been taking it off. In the back of Craig’s mind the thought of ‘it reminds him of me’ comes up. Craig stifles that. They climb into the car and Kenny nods his head to the glove compartment.

 

Craig pulls it open, and the first thing he sees is the pamphlets. He collected them at the museum they went to. Little illustrated info papers on the universe. Craig picks them up. The first one is of Orion’s Belt.

 

Craig remembers resting his head on Kenny’s shoulder, drifting off into slumber.

 

It’s a vulnerable thing, sleep. A time of unawareness, of unconsciousness. Kenny could have left Craig in that museum to sleep on the bench they stopped at. Left him abandoned in Denver. Could have drawn dicks all over his face, or something much crueler. However, when he woke he was still in Kenny’s hold. Kenny’s fingers curled into the fabric of Craig’s baggy sweater.

 

Sleep well ?” Kenny had asked him as Craig’s eyelids had fluttered open from his power nap.

 

In this exact moment however, Craig turns to Kenny and smiles. It’s unrepressed and even shows a little metal adorned teeth. Kenny is pulling out of his front lawn, looking behind him to make sure nothing is in his path.

 

“Thanks.” Craig says. He turns his attention back down to the pamphlets and flips through one about mars carelessly. He wants to think about the red giant but his thigh is pressed against Kenny’s and his thoughts are more directed on: I wonder if this will last. There is a closeness physically between them in this moment. Only being separated by cloth. Closeness emotionally, although Craig can’t say they know each other inside and out. They were friends as kids, strangers as teenagers and here and now— budding something. Something growing underneath the soil, feeding on light from desperate need for someone as they enter life as adults.

 

“You’re quiet.” Kenny interrupts Craig’s thinking. He’s riding over the train tracks at this point, entering the side of town that isn’t run down. Passing City Wok and The Tweak’s coffee shop.

 

“I mean, you always are.” Kenny adds in as an afterthought. He looks to Craig briefly, blue eyes on Craig’s countenance. Trying to see, no—read, the language that Kenny is so proficient in.

 

Craig wishes he had more to say. He likes what Kenny admitted to him about the tell tales of body language. Maybe words stumbling out of lips really meant shit. Maybe actions were a more tell tale way of knowing things. Craig gets it, in a way. Words aren’t the only way of communication.

 

It just makes things clearer. So Craig blinks, eyelashes kiss the apples of his cheeks and he drags his gaze down to the pamphlets. Maybe there is something he should be brave enough to say.

 

Stop drinking fear like water and be impeccable with your word. Don’t take it personal if the response hurts. Just a little.

 

“I feel like everything happening fast, Kenny.” Craig admits. His tongue darts out to wet his lips. It came out wrong. It’s not bad that it’s happening fast. Their friendship—romance? Didn’t exactly start off the way of expectancy or a slow pace.

 

“I don’t dislike it. Don’t take it that way.” Craig assures Kenny. He bites at his lower lip as Kenny pulls into the parking lot of Starks pond. It’s still quite early and the sun is high. It sparkles down on the small little body of water. Craig remembers ice skating here as a kid. Blades of his skates running over the surface of frozen water.

 

“I want you. You want me. That’s now. But…” Craig stops there. Unsure of how to finish that sentence. He looks at Kenny, who has his attention on him. They’re still close and Kenny closes whatever distance that is between them. He kisses Craig’s forehead. It’s soft, Kenny moving Craig’s bangs out of the way so his lips come in contact with his skin. Craig closes his eyes as he does it.

 

“I can’t promise that.” Kenny replies. Craig was expecting that, truthfully. Kenny is notorious for getting bored of people, Craig  wouldn’t be surprised if he woke up tomorrow and decided Craig wasn’t what he wanted to pursue.

 

“But that’s not what relationships are about, Craig Tucker.” Kenny adds in. Craig looks up at him and feels Kenny’s fingers pushing his hair behind his ears. Craig kisses the inside of his wrist, remaining quiet.

 

“I can’t promise we will fall in love. I can’t promise we’ll be something. I can’t promise you won’t hate me after everything. I can’t promise there will be nothing or an after. I can’t promise anything about our future. But relationships aren’t that. Okay? It’s just about enjoying this. Now and here. I can be dead in a second. And...I think I’d rather just be happy living in this moment than worry about what could be. What could happen. In this moment, I don’t want to go anywhere. I can promise that. I can promise that no matter what happens I don’t want to hurt you.” It’s long. It’s a lot of words that Craig listens to and drinks in. He closes his eyes, Kenny’s thumb is rubbing into Craig’s ear, slipped under his hat.

 

It’s weird because Craig never thought of in the moments. The future always scared him. It’s unpredictable, evidence found with his family. Laura and Thomas loved each other until one day when Laura found out he cheated on him. It was cold and quiet, not the usual silence that falls in the Tucker residence. Craig remembers when his biological father left. Another example. He thought everything was fine until his father was gone. Until the only time he ever even was spoken about was when Craig saw his abuelita. He thinks of that a lot. Everything is fine until it’s not. He remembers the silence and it’s the sound of his mom falling out of love.

 

He never stopped to consider that maybe that is okay. Not in that moment, but in the grand scheme of things. That although it hurt Laura and hurt Craig, that the seconds there was of hurt, there was an amount of those same seconds that didn’t.

 

“Okay.” Craig chokes out. It’s quiet and nasal but not devoid of emotion. Kenny smiles at him, and Craig smiles back.

 

“Okay.” Kenny repeats him.