"Did you hear about last night?" Kyle couldn't help himself from mentioning the recently released news on the town's newest craze; a masked hero by the name of Mysterion. He'd be lying if he said he hasn't been doing research of his own. In fact, almost every night has been spent in front of the his bedroom window, looking out of it just in case he'll see a glimpse of the hero in action, and looking up any indication of who could be the figure behind the costume. It's only now, during lunch with his friend group, where he finally finds the time to unleash his passion over this fascination of his.
"What do you mean?" After taking a large bite from his baloney sandwich, Stan muffles the question through his mouth full of half chewed food.
"The masked hero!" It takes everything in Kyle to not practically yell the words, "Mysterion!"
"Oh." And then Stan goes back to eating.
Everything gets a little quiet for a couple split, slow seconds after that. It's strange, Kyle finds, that no one seems to be as interested in the superhero as himself.
"What did that douche do this time?" Cartman is never expected to put up a good attitude in favor of anything Kyle likes, so it's expected from him to respond this way. But thankfully he had asked that lucky question, because Kyle nearly broke out in the biggest smile ever before stopping himself to just answer the damn question without making a show out of it.
"Mysterion was spotted at the nursing home talking to some old ladies and cleaning their rooms! And then he was spotted giving a homeless cat to the shelter where it'd definitely get a home!" The words seemed almost rehearsed at this point, but Kyle didn't care. In his head, he kept going through these statements over and over again during class, waiting for the perfect time to bring them up.
"Cool." Stan mumbled, obviously rolling his eyes even from the tone of his voice. Kyle didn't need to look him in the face to know he wasn't interested. But Kyle looked at his face anyway, making sure to give him an over exaggerated facial expression that showed how hurt he was that his best friend wasn't as excited about this news as he was.
"Dude! Mysterion is making this town better! I thought you wanted that!"
"Yeah, I do. But that was before you wouldn't shut up about it." Stan rolled his eyes again, taking another bite from his sandwich.
Cartman elbowed Stan with a wide smile on his face, an occurrence that Kyle saw from across the lunch table. The fat boy's hiccuping laugh echoing loudly through the cafeteria at his next words, "Yeah! He's all you ever talk about now, Kahl! You're all like," and then his voice went high pitched and dreamy, "wow I sure do hope that Mysterion saves us all and then kisses me and makes me his slave!"
Kyle was about to interject and remark that he was in no way saying such obscure things, but then Kenny spoke up behind his parka, his muffled voice right on Kyle's left ear.
"Why'd you like him?"
Kyle turned to his left to face Kenny, a panicked expression on his face as if he was just caught stealing, "Wha-- I don't li--" But then Kyle cut himself off.
I don't like him.
Kyle was not about to say that, was he? Was he really going to assume that Kenny's question involved romantic feelings towards the masked hero. That wasn't the case at all, obviously. Kenny asked why Kyle liked the superhero. Why he liked the things he did. Not the superhero himself. Not in that way.
"I mean..." he needed a moment to compose himself, looking to the ground to ignore the stares from his friends, "I do like Mysterion. The things he does, I mean. Yeah. Sorry."
And that was it. Conversation over.
As sad as it is, none of his friends agreed to hang out tonight.
Stan said he might get another chance at a possible date with Wendy tonight, while Cartman had said he had boring plans with Heidi the same night. Kenny, on the other hand, just said he was busy, and then left to go home.
It's saddening to see his once close knit group of friends start to tear apart because of all the girls in their lives, and it's even more saddening that Kyle has yet to score any girls while all the other guys (even Cartman) had girlfriends to spend their time with. Hell, Craig and Tweek both liked guys, but at least they had each other.
With everyone being in their own little worlds of girls and dates and romance, Kyle was left stuck at home by himself, on his computer doing what bored kids usually do.
Or it might just be what Kyle does, but research tends to be the one thing that stops him from going completely insane with untamed potential for each passing moment. At the same time of not doing anything, he was learning and gaining information that could possibly be used. Admittedly, he didn't need to know the exact date of when The Bill Cosby Show ended, but that is just where research got you sometimes.
Tonight's research topic: Mysterion. Of course.
It's only the beginning of the night so not too many new reports were up on the news website at the moment, but this was a perfect opportunity to go back and review through previously found information on the masked hero.
There's no denying that the hero is a student at the same school that Kyle goes to. Everyone knows this, mainly due to his small stature and how his body isn't quite built enough to be anything older than fourteen or so.
Just thinking about how one of Kyle's classmates could be the mysterious superhero that everyone must be raging about is exciting. He remembers when the first couple of nights that this superhero's dent first started to be made upon the town, how Cartman seemed insistent that it was Kyle who was behind the mask. Of course it was not him, but it's amazing just thinking how people thought that it could have been him. How really anyone could be Mysterion.
Maybe Mysterion was Clyde or Craig. The superhero did have a deep and raspy voice, and although Craig has a nasally voice, he still has a deep enough voice where he could possibly pull off Mysterion's dialogue.
But then again, maybe Mysterion could be a nobody. Just some face in the crowd.
If Kyle knew, if he were to find out, there is no way he wouldn't dump his current friends to become Mysterion's friend instead.
Only on occasion has Kyle thought about it, but the temptation to dress up as a superhero and become Mysterion's sidekick has been harder and harder to resist everyday. To fight along side him and to become partners in justice - and let's not forget to hold an actual intellectual conversation with him - would mean the world to Kyle.
Day dreaming of this, he'd often wonder what superhero would match him the best.
Maybe his name could be "Brain Boy" and his powers could do something with his smarts and A+ grades. As tempting as that name sound, there is also the fact how geeky and stupid it sounds. Shouldn't being a superhero include forgetting about grades and your alter ego in favor of helping others from their own less than sustaining way of living?
Thinking of this, Kyle was roughly shoved from his thoughts at a "ding" was came from his computer, alerting him of the recently published news article about Mysterion. At this, Kyle situated himself in a more comfortable spot on his chair, preparing to be given a long article on the most courageous things that the masked hero has gotten up to lately tonight.
However, when he clicked on the notification, he was given a short status update rather than a whole column.
The status update read as such:
"Mysterion, local masked superhero, was found early tonight standing on the rooftops of..."
And then there was Kyle's street name.
Mysterion was in his street, probably near his house, and just barely out of reach.
Kyle closed out of the tab and went to bed, too afraid to go outside and check for himself to see if Mysterion was still out there, searching for crime.
"Not gonna lie. You're pretty stupid for not catching up on that opportunity." Stan may be Kyle's best friend, but that doesn't stop him from being brutally honest. Kyle had just told him about what had happened last night and how close he was to meeting Mysterion in person, only to bail when the pressure became too much.
"I know." Admittedly, he felt stupid. He felt as if he had just missed watching the solar eclipse while it was happening right outside his window. Not saying that Mysterion was his solar eclipse, for it was just an analogy, but the statement stills stands.
"Hey," Stan shut his locker after retrieving his textbook for Biology, "don't beat yourself up over it too much. I bet you he wasn't there by the time that status update was released."
That did little to soothe his self pity, but nonetheless Kyle had controlled himself enough to stop acting as if someone had just died. No had died, especially not under Mysterion's watch. So, with Stan leading the way to their next class they had together, Kyle picked up his pace and followed suit to the science hall.
And as soon as they got there, they were met with two open seats next to the fattest boy in school.
"Guys, Guys!!" Cartman's whisper-yell was no where near being a whisper.
"What?" Stan set his stuff down next to the desk farthest away from Cartman, leaving Kyle to take the open seat next to the annoying jerk.
"Did you see Mysterion last night? I saw him, I did! He was so kewl! I think he can fly!" Just as these stupid, made up fables from Cartman were said, Kyle was officially back into his sad stupor again. If Cartman really was telling the truth, then it would be as though he was the only kid on the block who hadn't seen the town's masked hero. "Too bad K'nny isn't here! I bet he saw Mysterion too!"
"Kenny doesn't even live in the same neighborhood where Mysterion was seen, Dumbo! Shut up." Kyle snapped, feeling his teeth clench in his jaw. He wasn't going to be the last man on earth to see Mysterion.
"You're just jealous because you didn't get to see your stupid fuck boy!" The fat boy erupted in short bursts of chuckles and loud gasps, as if the funniest thing had actually just came out of his mouth.
"D'awe, did I hurt you'w'r fweelings?" Putting on a baby voice, Cartman made it pretty clear his intentions on making Kyle's class period today a living hell were going to be put into action. Too bad, because Kyle's whole day was already ruined. And for reasons that came nowhere near being concerned with Cartman.
It was only a couple more minutes of slander where Kyle decided he had enough and promptly excused himself to the bathroom.
He felt like a weakling as he walked down the halls, his footsteps making loud stomps that echoed the deserted hallways of the school. Aren't heroes supposed to be strong and not get so angry where they are represented a situation that made them uncomfortable and upset? Weren't heroes supposed to beat down the bad guy, no matter the cost? Suppose that's why Kyle would not be fit to be a partner in fighting crime with Mysterion; he's too much of a wuss.
At least he wasn't going to the bathroom to cry. He just needed some time to splash cold water in his face and relax before going back to class to face Cartman again.
However, upon entering the bathroom, he was met by the unexpected.
Okay, so maybe it shouldn't be too unexpected to find Kenny probably skipping class, what with keeping in mind all his other offenses. Although skipping class was uncharacteristic of Kenny, it was still about time that he started doing it.
Instead, he found the boy sitting on the counter where all the sinks are set up, eating a sandwich that he probably should be saving for lunch.
"Kenny? Aren't you supposed to be Algebra?" Kyle spoke up, catching the blonde by surprise as his head whipped up. Kenny had crumbs all over him, his eyes blown wide and showing off their blue color, and his once relaxed sitting position was much for shaken up and tense upon seeing Kyle enter the bathroom.
"Mph," Kenny tried to speak up, but the bite of his sandwich in his mouth stopped him from doing so and only reproduce more crumbs to topple out of his mouth. He chewed quickly and swallowed thickly, being careful to not talk with more food in his mouth after that first attempt, "uh, I am."
"Oh. Well, mind telling me why you're in the bathroom instead?" Kyle investigated the situation, stepping towards the sinks that Kenny was situated at.
Kenny rose a brow at Kyle, obviously asking a mental question that could easily be found out without telepathic abilities. It's clear he expected an answer out of Kyle regarding the same question, but when no answer came from the red head he decided to go ahead and answer himself.
"I don't like math. And what about you? Why are you in the bathroom?" Kenny took another bite of his sandwich after repeating the question back.
"Huh," Kyle breathed out, the air coming straight from his lungs, "Cartman's giving me a hard time."
Around the barely chewed food, Kenny muffled a response that sounded like "What is it this time?" but it was hard to tell. Does no one know how to eat with manners?
Regardless of Kenny's bad manners, Kyle moved around to sit up on the counter of sinks along side Kenny, resting his back against the mirror on the wall, "He's getting on my back for being too preoccupied to see Mysterion last night. He was in the neighborhood." Although 'preoccupied' wasn't really the word that could fit there, there was no way he was going to let Kenny know that in actuality he was a big, fat chicken.
A few moments were spared with Kenny finishing off his bite of food, but each second was spent with Kyle deep in thought on his own situation.
How did Cartman know that Mysterion was in the neighborhood? Does he research the news as well? Had he actually seen him? Was Kyle overreacting and could have actually seen Mysterion if he had just looked outside his window?
"Don't let him get to you, dude." Kenny's relaxed tone broke through the silence, somehow making the atmosphere much more relaxing than any type of silence could give.
"I'll try, but..." and this is where Kyle had to think before continuing in on his words, but he decided that the first step to being a hero is confidence and sometimes that called for risks, "you know how much I look up to Mysterion, right? It just really sucks that I didn't get to see him. And Cartman has definitely ruined my hopes that today will get any better."
Kenny hummed to let Kyle that he was listening and that he could continue if he wanted. With that little noise of acknowledgment, Kyle was given that little push to continue on with his words.
"I know it's stupid, but Mysterion is kind of a sign, y'know? A sign that maybe everything might get better in the future for our town? And I like this town, despite it literally being the worst place in the world," Kyle looked down at his swinging legs, dangling off the edge of the counter, a small smile on his features, "And if I got the chance, I wouldn't mind meeting him and thanking him."
"Y'know," Kenny spoke after he let Kyle release all his words on the situation, "you can thank him. He's always out in town in the middle of the night, no doubt that you'll find him there."
"Yeah, I know. But my mom would kill me if she found out I snuck out to go to the center of town in the middle of the night." Kyle sighed, a feeling of future remorse for the possibilities.
The thought wasn't a bad one though. Thinking of himself walking down the streets, the stars being outshone by the close by street lamps on the sidewalk, and how alone he'll feel as he walked the empty roads of South Park. And at that moment, where he's just about to pass a street corner, maybe a mugger will come and try to steal his wallet or phone, but then Mysterion will come out of the blue and save the situation from crime. He'll protect Kyle and ask if he's okay, to which Kyle will say of course he is thanks to him, the town's hero. Mysterion will have to stand there and listen as Kyle thanks him over and over again until it practically gets annoying, but there would still be no regret for him if he had the chance to do that. No matter how annoying his thankfulness got, he would not regret talking to a hero. To - dare he even think the words - his hero.
Kenny responded to Kyle's before statement with a hum, which only leads the redhead to believing that he doesn't understand the phrase "you're grounded." Kyle has been grounded for plenty of stupid reasons to understand that if a singular rule were to be broken in his house, that the least amount of embarrassment for his punishment he would be to have him write a whole paragraph explaining how he'll never break the same rule again and for what reasons exactly.
Either way, Kyle decided he probably had enough time to cool down and had jumped down from the counter for that exact reason. He had his advancements towards the bathroom door, but made sure to turn around just before opening it to face Kenny, an obvious smile stretching across his face.
"Kenny. Thanks." His smile wasn't big for long, quickly shrinking to become a tiny one after his muscles started to hurt from the strain.
Kenny took a bite from his sandwich and spoke through the food, "You're welcome."
Kyle left the bathroom and hoped to god that no one had noticed how long he must have been gone for.
After hours of going back forth between checking the news website's updates and his schoolwork, Kyle has come to the conclusion that maybe Mysterion hasn't been up to any crime fighting tonight. Nothing has been said about him all day and it's starting to take a toll on Kyle.
After that talk with Kenny, the words from their conversation rang through his head and brought him high hopes.
He had an opportunity to thank Mysterion for what he's done for the city.
Kyle wouldn't risk sneaking out and almost getting caught, but there is a little chance that the hero might show up in the neighborhood again and introduce himself to the red head in some way or another.
Even though the news has yet to report on the masked figure's whereabouts and activity, this has yet to stunt Kyle's mood. His hopes were still high, and his fingers have been practically crossed for hours that there were will be even the smallest indication that Mysterion hadn't chosen tonight as a short break from crime fighting.
While considering that maybe tonight wasn't the night to expect things, there came a singular tap on his window sill.
It was loud enough to rise Kyle's attention, because he could have sworn that the tree branch which used to tap against his window was cut down two months ago. There was no way that it had grown back and had decided to tap against his window on this very important night of all nights.
But when he turned his head to investigate on where the tapping was originating from, he saw a near black figure hovering near the widow, a sheet of darker color flapping and hitting against the side of Kyle's house. The figure was small and person shaped, staring directly in the window and possibly even directly at Kyle. Upon this, Kyle's heart dropped and raced and flew into the pits of his stomach, his pulse rapidly hitting against his chest and stomach and legs and neck and even inside his ears. He was frozen in place, stating the window and trying to decode who could possibly be the figure staring at him right now. Was it a burglar? No way. Mysterion better not have chosen tonight to takes break because Kyle needed him now and if he died tonight then he might curse the hero to hell.
The figure lifted up something, only to show it as their bare hand against the glass. They tapped the window again, adding emphasis on to how they want to get inside.
Kyle wasn't an idiot. He knows a suspicious character when he sees it, and this is more than just a suspicion. This could be death knocking at his door (or window for that matter). This could very well be his last remaining minutes alive and whoever he's staring at right now is going to be the last thing he sees as his lights go out and he's released to Jewish heaven.
Okay, wow, this is starting to get very dark all of a sudden.
But staring into the figure's general direction just gave Kyle that sense that his last remaining moments started now.
Maybe nothing will happen if Kyle ran out to retrieve his dad or mom, maybe the figure will remain there and not try to sneak in or run away. Maybe Kyle will live tonight, and live on, if he only just did what any sensible person would do.
But instead he just stood there, completely heart pounded and barely breathing, as he stared at what could very well be the most important of all the tragedies he's been in.
Then suddenly, the figure shifts to the side, edging closer to the window to look into from a different angle. At this slight change in position, Kyle is able to see some of the details of what the person looks like without the cast shadows all over them.
And what he sees is a mask covering the eyes and revealing a mouth set upon a pale and slightly dirtied face, along with a dark colored hood that covered the majority of the person's head if caught in a certain position. The rest was unknown to Kyle, but none of it mattered when he realized who exactly was at his door.
The town's hero.
Mysterion, decked out in his whole attire (as it is customary for heroes to be dressed to impress) and hanging off the edge of Kyle's window sill. Does he want to get in? Or does he want to chat? Of course he wants for Kyle to open up the window, but should he really? What would his mom do if she found out that he had let in the town's hero in his room? There's no telling if she would be proud or punishment him with a long and thought out speech about stranger danger again.
Deciding to be a personal hero and take risks, Kyle acted and did what he believed what was right; Letting a hero into the warmth and comfort of his homely bedroom.
It sounds more scandalous than it probably needs to be.
Either way, the window budged open with little to no effort as Mysterion maneuvered himself to allow Kyle space to get the passage into his room open. When it was done and over with, Kyle had moved out of the way and watched close as the hero stepped inside the living space.
"Thank you." His voice was nonchalant and raspy, but it also sounded as if he was comfortable in Kyle's bedroom. He seemed to know where to place himself, sitting down on the edge of Kyle's bed, a place where Stan and Kenny would often sit whenever they were over to play video games or study.
"Uh... Mysterion," the social icon looked to Kyle, expectantly, "what are you doing here?"
"I'm doing neighborhood watch. Your house is the first one on the list." The words sounded like a duty that was given to him. Either way, one thing that stuck to Kyle was how his house is claimed to be the first to be looked after, yet his house was in the middle of the street. And aren't neighborhood watches to be taken outside and not inside the houses?
But Kyle really couldn't give too much complaints.
Mysterion is right there, right in front of him, and in his room.
This could be a chance to ask him questions on his career as a crime fighting social figure, as well as thank him for his services.
"Hey, can I..." Kyle trailed off, completely forgetting the direction of how he wanted his sentence to go.
"Hm?" Mysterion verbalized his hum by making it much louder and directed soulfully to Kyle.
Maybe rewording his thoughts would help some.
"Why did you decide to come here? Of all houses..." He had honestly thought that his lines would be delivered smoother and his questions easier to answer, but his thought process diminished the moment the hero turned his hard gaze to the red head and went to answer his question.
"I need some crime fighting help and I know you're the smartest kid on the block."
There was a moment where Kyle wanted the hero to elaborate, to have validation, but he realized that there was no way he could start being modest now. He was known to be very aware of his intelligence, always having it be something that's defines him, so it would only make sense that Mysterion know about this trait (especially with him being someone who obviously goes to the same school as him).
"Oh," a pang to his chest filled him with a warm sensation in the palm of his hands and face, "in that case, what is it you need help with?"
Mysterion just stared forward, as if this was his thinking face, and took a couple quiet moments for whatever reason. Eventually he opened his mouth to produce his well formulated words, "Research. I need to know if there is anything going on tonight that I need to put an end to."
Is this something that Mysterion usually does? Research to see what the crime is like in town? Or does he go into kid's homes and ask them to do research for him?
Despite the suddenness of this whole ordeal, Kyle obeys the masked figure's wishes and does the most he can to find if there is anything that needs saving or assistance.
After a few taps and a couple clicks, Kyle reports to Mysterion the abundance of paperwork at the police station that has been keeping them from doing any patrolling. To this, the hero nods his head and seems to consider how he could go about his opportunity to save the town once again.
"Y'know," Mysterion says once he gets up from the side of the bed, ready to take on the world now, "I don't usually do this."
"What do you mean?" Kyle spins around his chair to face Mysterion, now completely done with his duty on the computer.
"You're helpful, Kyle. I like that. That's why I came." There wasn't any indication that Mysterion was about to smile, but his voice showed how satisfied he was with choosing this house to be the place he comes to tonight.
Although the other didn't smile, Kyle certainly did. With a kind and small grin, he found it in himself to calm down enough to say the words he's been itching to say for as long as this fad has been going on.
"Thank you, Mysterion. For everything."
The other nods, turns towards the window, and is about to climb right out. But before he is able to, Kyle catches his attention with his next phrase.
"Hey, uh, if you ever need any help, I'll help you." It was a last second decision to say this, and he almost immediately regrets opening his mouth, but Kyle sees the way the hero has a sharp glint in his eyes behind his mask upon those words.
"I'll think about it." And then Mysterion leaps through the window and, hopefully, lands safely on the ground.
With this, Kyle is happy to say that he has finally thanked the town's hero for all his services. There was a little bit of him that wished he had thanked him profusely, to the point where it was almost annoying, just so his point could definitely be made.
Although tonight obviously had a lot of special occurrences today, there was a feeling of longing that lingered in the air around after the departure of the hero. With this, Kyle decided on something.
He may come off as greedy, especially after only having his one wish to be to meet Mysterion and thank him granted, but he had one more wish.
To find out Mysterion's identity.