As Kenny walked, he dried the rest of his tears so Butters wouldn’t get worried about him. The stains on his face were hard to get rid of, but he kept rubbing at them to make them vanish, or at least less noticeable. The last thing he wanted was to scare the kappa more after what he witnessed when he had rescued Token. Kenny was not looking forward to explaining that one.
After walking at a somewhat brisk pace he finally saw Butters exactly where Token had said he would be. He was hunched over as if he was bowing to someone. Kenny couldn’t help but chuckle slightly as well as wonder how he hadn’t fallen over.
‘How many times have I told Leo to be careful about this? It’s sweet but boy is he too polite for his own good sometimes.’
Kenny quickly used magic to hide his scythe, before he carefully picked Butters up, wrapping his arms round the boy’s torso, before he took off, flying close to the ground in case his grip slipped. He knew he had to get to the lake so that Butters could fill his water bowl again.
It only took a few minutes, but soon the two were back at the familiar lake. Kenny carefully placed the kappa on the ground next to the lake before he turned and dipped his hands in the water, cupping them to collect as much water as he could. When he was satisfied he had enough, he then quickly transferred it to Butters, moving with precise speed as to not lose any.
The second the water touched him, Butters leaned up.
“-I could help. Are you okay Token? You haven’t got any scra.... Ken? How’d you? But you were fighting that thing? Wait, when did we get back here? Oh hamburgers, did I do it again?”
Kenny chuckled again, “Welcome back Leo. Allow me to fill you in on what happened. After you freed Token, you must have bowed to him so you became frozen. You really need to be more careful. Token then managed to catch up with me and help me out. I came to find you after that so that I could refill your water bowl.”
Butters then hugged Kenny, causing the Shinigami to blush.
“I’m just glad you’re okay! Did you get rid of that thing? What even was it?”
Kenny blush vanished as he had been dreading this question, but he still answered, “That thing was Leslie, and she is a Kumo Yōkai. As a spider demon she wants to catch other spirits in her web. Unfortunately I didn’t kill her again, so I want you to promise me you’ll stay safe. She’s bad news Leo. I don’t want her hurting you like she did with Token.”
Kenny’s eyes looked at the ground, “I’ve been hunting her for years now, but every time she manages to get away. I’m sorry I didn’t say anything. Damien and I just wanted to avoid panic so we didn’t say anything. Can you forgive me?”
Butters pulled back and looked at Kenny’s eyes, “Of course I can Ken! I’m sure you always do your best, that’s all that important! I know that you give everything your all. I can see why you didn’t say anything, but you can trust me!..... Wait, Ken have you been crying?”
Kenny’s eyes widened for a second before he started wiping his eye once more, “Dammit, I thought I dried them. I’m fine Leo. Really, you don’t have to worry.”
Butters didn’t like that answer however. He simply took a hold of Kenny’s hands in his own webbed ones.
“Oh jeez, don’t lie to me Ken. I want to make sure you’re okay. You’re my friend, and friends confide in each other. Why were you crying?”
Kenny smiled warmly but shook his head, still rubbing his eyes, “I am okay. I talked to Token about it. I just broke down as I was so worry about her hurting people I care about. If she had hurt you Leo or Karen or... I’d... I don’t know what I would have done.”
Kenny then finally moved his arm and looked at Butters, “Now come on, let’s not worry about this anymore and just go for a swim, you were talking to me before I felt danger after all. I want to hear what you were going to tell me.”
Butters looked at Kenny sceptically, but he knew that Kenny was being honest with him.
“Well, if you’re sure Ken.”
Butters then carefully got into the water. The minute the moisture hit him, his body seemed to cease aching as the water rehydrated him.
“Well Ken, I was going to tell you about my dream I had when I was human. A dream that I worked really hard to try and achieve.”
Kenny smiled as he sat down and swung his legs into the water, “Oh, what did my little Leo dream about doing?”
Butters swam back up to Kenny as he leaned on the shore bank.
“More than anything, I wanted to be a teacher. I enjoyed learning stuff in school and I remember when one of my old teachers would look after me when my parents forgot to come pick me up. They were so kind and would always ask me how I was. One time, when my dad had been yelling at me for not folding the laundry right and had grounded me, I escaped out my window to try and run away. My teacher found me after I hurt my knee and looked after me. He didn’t get my parents and instead stayed with me until my knee was cleaned up. They went the extra mile for all of the students.”
Butters face then soured, “I was so upset when he had to leave. They were offered a job closer to the capital, and they needed the money so they took it. Before they left they said that if I worked hard I could be a teacher too. He said he saw talent in me and that if I did my best I could do anything. I took those words to heart and started doing my best. I wanted to be there if any other kid was treated like I was. I loved my family, I just wish that I had been a better son to them.”
Butters then lifted his hands out of the water and looked at them, “Now my dream is impossible as I’m like this. How can a spirit be a teacher when his students can’t see him? It’s impossible.”
Kenny carefully turned Butters round as he placed both his hands on his shoulders, “You can still work towards that dream Leo. You can teach spirits. Eventually more are going to be born here as the centuries go by. We live forever after all. You can pass your wisdom on and teach a new generation. Let’s face it, every spirit is scared when they are first born, if you wanted you could show them how to adapt. I know someone as kind as you could do that.”
Butters chuckled, “I doubt it Ken, but thank you.”
Kenny’s face turned serious, “No, don’t be like that with yourself. Nothing is stopping you. You could even teach Karen! She has trouble in school thanks to being bullied by some other kids. Ike and Tricia may look after her, but you could still teach her when she misses classes from looking after her mother or something like that. I know you can. When you put your mind to something, you can do anything Leo.”
Butters couldn’t help but smile at Kenny, “... Thank you Ken. No one has ever been this kind to me before. You’re the bestest friend I could ever ask for.”
Kenny’s chest tightened at the look on his face. His mind drifted to Token’s words.
‘Kenny, you spend a lot of time with him and you obviously protect him. You aren’t bad like Craig and Tweek were, but I can tell that you care. Don’t waste this chance.’
‘I won’t waste this chance Token. Not anymore.’ Kenny thought with a slight smile on his face.
Kenny slowly moved his right hand off from Butters’ shoulder and placed it under his chin, tilting his face up so he was looking directly at him.
“You deserve all the kindness in the word Leo. You are by far the sweetest soul I have ever met.”
Butters face was confused for a second. Kenny started to sweat, but he wasn’t going to waste this chance.
“Ken, what are-”
Kenny placed his thumb over Butters mouth, “No talking. I need you to stay still. Can you also close your eyes for me?”
Butters, still confused, slowly nodded and did as he was asked.
Kenny swallowed the lump in his throat, ‘You can do this Kenny. You aren’t just talk, let your heart have what it wants for once.’
Kenny slowly leaned forwards. His face started to flush.
He glanced at Butters’ beak as the space between them started to close. Kenny’s chest continued to hurt where his heart used to beat, but he knew he couldn’t stop. He was determined to show Butters how he felt.
His lips were now mere centimetres from touching Butters. Kenny’s breath was trying to become erratic, but he still pressed on, willing himself to calm.
‘I may have failed killing Leslie, but I will not fail in this!’
Kenny could feel Butters faint breath on his face now. He started to count in his head the last few seconds before he closed the gap.
It may have been a few seconds, but it felt like an eternity to Kenny.
Kenny moved his hand off of Butters mouth.
He closed the gap to just millimetres.
He prepared himself for the final movement so that they would finally be connected.
Kenny immediately leaned up and turned to where the scream had come from. His hands quickly returning to his own sides.
Butters’ eyes darted open as well as he quickly looked around, trying to determine where the noise had come from.
“Ken, what was that just now? Oh hamburgers, I didn’t imagine that right?”
Kenny’s face contorted into a snarl, “I heard it too!..... I think that sounded like Ike Broflovski!”
Butters touched his beak for a second and looked at Kenny, ‘What was he going to do?’
Butters then saw something in the top of his vision. He placed a webbed hand on his head and pulled off a stray leaf that was in his hair.
‘Oh! He must have been trying to get this before it hit me in the eye! That’s why he made me close them and stay still! Oh boy, that’s so sweet of Ken to do something like that for me.’
Kenny however was fuming with rage, ‘LESLIE YOU BITCH! I AM GOING TO FUCKING KILL YOU EVEN FUCKING HARDER THAN FUCKING BEFORE! NOT ONLY ARE YOU SHITTING HURTING SOMEONE, BUT YOU BASTARD CUNT OF A BITCH YOU ARE, FUCKING INTERRUPTED ME WHEN I WAS THIS PISSING CLOSE TO KISSING LEO ON THE FUCKING LIPS! I AM GOING TO RIP YOU TO FUCKING SHREDS WITH MY BARE FUCKING HANDS YOU ASSHOLE!’
Kenny quickly turned to Butters, trying his best to not let his anger show, “Stay here! I’m really sorry but I have to go sort that out! I don’t want you getting involved and getting yourself hurt! Every fucking time!!!”
Butters nodded, “I know you’ll sort it out! Why, you are this place greatest protector Ken! Show this Leslie how powerful you really are!”
Kenny nodded before flying off.
Butters looked concerned, ‘Was is just me, or where is eyes glowing with hints of red? He must be really mad. I’ve only ever seen Damien’s eyes do that.
Kenny growled as his wings flapped, ‘I WAS THIS FUCKING CLOSE! MARK MY WORDS LESLIE! I AM GOING TO FUCKING END YOU!’