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“It’s over!” He yelled, nasally voice echoing in my ears.

Those fateful words still haunted me.

Suddenly, the whole world came crashing down. My whole world. I fought the overwhelming urge to cry, silently stepping out of Craig’s room. After all, he didn’t want to see emotions,not mine anyway. I guess I should’ve expected it.

I practically ran all the way to my house, the sound of my footsteps pattering on the snow-slicked pavement  oddly comforting. Most people would’ve fallen over at least thrice, but growing up in South Park, I knew how to get around it. No sooner I had reached my room, the soundless stream of tears on my face turned into pitiful, heartbroken sobs. I didn’t know how long I cried. I didn’t care. Many times, I tried calming myself; thinking of an analytical solution on what to do next, but that just resulted in a fresh wave of agony, because that’s always what I relied on Craig to do. So I did the next best thing, shedding bitter tears.

After seemingly a lifetime, I heard a tentative knock at the door. Just for a second, a small part of me wished it was Craig, but the I knew it wasn’t. He never knocked, he never needed to. My mother entered the room, frantically rushing to kneel down next to me in the corner.

“Oh Tweek, are you okay? Was it another panic attack? Where’s Craig?” She enquired, relentlessly dabbing my face.

At the sound of his name, I couldn’t help moan pitifully, tears overflowing at a faster pace.

“Tweek, I don’t know what to do, do you want some coffee?” She asked. My mother was never good at handling my emotions, instead opting to ignore them and pumping me with caffeine. That’s what Craig said, anyway.

I nodded. I knew I wasn’t supposed to, but I nodded. Gleefully, she ran down to make me some. She was happy that her son finally stopped abstaining from drinking the family beverage of choice.  For her, whatever my pain was, it was a silent victory.

My throat was raw, my head throbbed, my heart was in shards. Coffee. Oh, how I longed for that familiar bitter taste, that undeniable warmth, that heated blow. Craig tried to get me to quit, and it actually worked, for a while. Now, all that hard work was going down the drain, as my mother bounded up the stairs, bearing a steaming cup of my favourite Americano. Hastily, I brought it up to my lips, savouring every drop as it glided over my parched throat. The burn was so incredibly good. And just like that, I became addicted once more.

“Mom, where’s my thermos?” I croaked out.

Smiling enthusiastically, she reached out and pulled it out of her apron, filled to the brim with my lifeline. Gladly, I drank the whole litre of coffee inside. She petted my wild hair as I did, murmuring praises of approval.

“Mom,  we aren’t together anymore.” I whispered shakily.

It didn’t faze her. My mother pulled me into a tight embrace, but I felt her lips on the back of my head-curved into a smile. After learning that Craig tried to stop me from drinking coffee, she gradually stopped talking to both me and him unless absolutely necessary. Now, she was behaving like she was before: caring, soothing and kind.

“See, this is what happens when you stop drinking coffee, honey.”

I nodded. It was hard to disagree with that logic. Craig did. Craig disagreed. Shut up! I shook feverishly.

“Yeah. You were right. Mom,” I quivered, “I don’t really feel like going to school tomorrow. Can I stay home?”

“Well, I don’t think so, honey, you need your education.”

I pretty much expected that answer.

“But the shop hasn’t released a new flavour of coffee in ages. I thought I could help.” I sniffled into her, shaking. As I anticipated, she pulled me closer, before wiping a happy tear off her face.

“Honey! In that case, you can stay as long off school as you like.” She beamed, finally satisfied that her son was back, helping the family business. Gently, she let me go, placed a tender kiss on my forehead, and walked out of the room, turning round to say,

“You should probably get to sleep, honey. It’s late, and you’ve got a big day ahead of you tomorrow. I’m going to call your father and tell him the great news! Our Tweek is back.” She said softly, closing the door behind her.

It was stupid, but I didn’t want to go to bed. There were way too many memories there, and I wanted to forget. Alone, I curled up into a ball in the corner of my room, as the accusations started hitting me, one by one. It was my fault. I was needy. I should’ve given Craig more space. I shouldn’t have doubted him. I should’ve stopped being paranoid. I was an emotional mess. A broken mess. No one wanted something that’s broken. GAH! No one wanted- would ever want me.

I could hear laughing. Those unmistakable, malicious smirks. At once, I knew what they were. The monsters. They were back to terrorize me. To torment me. Black shadows crept up my wall, as I trembled involuntarily. They haven’t been able to visit me for ages now, and they were livid, eager to make up the time lost, when I had Craig protect me. I had no Craig now. I was going to get shredded alive. Then again, that’s what I deserved for being a stupid, needy spaz.

//

Astoundingly, I made it through the night. I stood up, stretching my sore limbs. All of me hurt. Terribly. Still, I had to bear it, because, what else was there to do? A loud knocking disturbed me from my thoughts, as my father opened my door, peering in.

“Mornin’ son. How are you?”

“Good.” I lied.

“I heard that you’re getting back into the business.” He stated coolly.

“Yes, Dad. I’m going to carry on the family tradition, carrying on the unique way Tweak Bros makes their coffee, fresh, like morning dew.” I decided to go with one of his metaphors that I hated so very much. Still, I knew he liked them.

“Oh son, I’m proud of you. You really are growing up. Get ready then, we’ve got to get going.” He cracked a genuine smile, closing the door.

Without a second thought, I dressed myself in my usual ensemble; grey jeans and haphazardly buttoned green shirt. I rushed outside, and nearly flew into the car. We had to get to the store as quickly as possible, lest my parents changed their minds and decided to send me to school. I couldn’t help twitching as my father kept glancing at me, still smiling. His smile grew as I muttered,

“Dad, can we get to the store any faster, please?”

Long at last, we reached Tweak Coffee Bros. A sense of nostalgia washed over me, as I stepped into the backroom. As a child, I wanted nothing more than to escape that damned place, to play stupid pretend games involving a stick with Craig and his friends. Now, I wanted nothing more than to stay in it forever, and forget those memories. The one good thing about this room was that it didn’t have any reminders of Craig. He never went in it, as my parents forbade any distraction whilst I was working. I was so thankful for that.

All day, I worked, either preparing brews for the customers, or taste testing different recipes that my father gave me. After the fifteenth, I couldn’t tell the difference anymore, but that didn’t matter. It was coffee and the burning sensation it left behind felt good. Working at the shop was great. Both my hands and mind were fixated on making coffee, the taste of it still lingering in my mouth. A delicious aroma of coffee beans drifted throughout the room, and I could only barely hear the voices of customers outside. Best thing was, I didn’t have to look at any of them. It was quite numbing, but that was the effect I desired. With all my senses occupied, I couldn’t think about anything else other than what was happening at the moment. This happened day after day, and I was secretly glad my parents were too thrilled with me to object. They were waiting for the day that I would put the family business over any other goals I may have had in my life. And that day came. Happily, I drowned myself in coffee, until all my thoughts became coffee related. What else was there to live for, if not the taste of my life-saving beverage? My father noticed this change, eagerly telling me that I could drop out of school, since he was positive I was going to go into the business whether I finished high school or not. I didn’t object.

However, I couldn’t stop my thoughts late at night. Then was the time for the destructive monsters to roam freely, petrifying me. I had abandoned my phone long ago, in case anyone actually tried to contact me, or the FBI was trying to kill me. Mostly the former. My only salvation were books, which I immersed myself in keenly. I read all night long, essentially blocking out their snarls and screeches.

About two weeks in, people started worrying. Honestly, I didn’t want them to, but I didn’t want to go out there and face them either. So, I remained stationary to the outside world. At least I didn’t need to deal with them, my mother and father did that. Nervously, I sat in the backroom, as I heard my friend’s voices become louder and more agitated. I didn’t want to recognise what they were saying. Fortunately, my parents were adamant about the ‘no visiting while Tweek is working’ rule. For the most part, they were doing it for themselves- just in case I were to change my mind. Nevertheless, I was appreciative. I didn’t want to change my mind.

I could hear my mother patiently explaining to some of the people that I knew that if they wanted to see me, they were free to do so when I was out of work. Another thing I didn’t appreciate about the coffee shop as a kid was the stupendously long hours we had to work. Now, I was immensely grateful. No one in their right mind would actually walk all the way from the other side of the town to the shop after dark, just to see me after work.

I was right. The people that did do that were notorious for their insanity.

//

One night, I made a fatal mistake. Instead of rushing into the car and slamming the door shut before anything could get me, I decided to double check if the front door of the store was definitely shut. If it wasn’t, someone would definitely break in and steal everything. GAH! For the sake of what little sanity I had left, I walked towards the door and double checked. Phew, it was closed. I turned around. Oh sweet Jesus! I nearly had a heart attack; four faces stood there, peering at me; one condescending, one malevolent, one concerned and one covered by a parka. They had me cornered.

“AH! DON’T KILL ME!” I screamed, covering my face.

“We won’t, if you stop ignoring us, you asshole.” The malevolent one said. Huh, was that Eric Cartman? I didn’t dare look up. Knowing his tendencies, he still could kill me.

“Be nice!” One of them said, swatting what I presumed to be Cartman.

“Ow! Kahl, stop it.” Yup, definitely Cartman.

“Tweek, we need to talk. And not when it’s dark out. We’re coming over tomorrow, and this time, you actually need to get your parents to let us in dude.” A concerned voice spoke- voice identical to Stan’s.

 “O-okay.” I replied, trembling.

A few muffled words came out of the person next to him, and I flinched as he tried patting my arm.

 “Great. See you tomorrow.” Kyle said.

And just like that, they were gone.

That night, I couldn’t sleep- which wasn’t unusual. The villainous shadows actually stayed quiet, leaving me alone to analyse what Stan’s group wanted from me. In a way, that was worse. I was left to my own thoughts instead of trying to blot out the constant obscenities and shrieks. They left me with no other option than to see them, they knew I didn’t work on the weekends. They also knew that I couldn’t go outside of my house to avoid them. Those assholes. That ambush was an intricate plan. I sighed. However they planned to kill me, I just hoped it was relatively painless. They were probably mad at me for avoiding society, and Cartman was involved with them, so I knew that some form of torture was inevitable. Oh well.

Just as I started drifting off to sleep, a pained wail awoke me. I shot up, petrified. A shadowy creature grinned cruelly, as an orchestra of triumphant cackles erupted. Covering my ears, I slammed my head into the wall. That only made them laugh louder. Oh, how I couldn’t wait to die.

//

Grumbling, I went downstairs to open the door. Usually, on the weekends I slept, waking up only to eat a bite of food, go to the bathroom or take a quick shower . Other than that, I would cry until I became numb, and eventually let the pain lull me back into the realm of dreams- or in my case, nightmares. Waking up from those chilling horrors was the worst- most of the time panting and covered in a sheen sweat. My parents said it was astounding that I could shower over five times in one day. I disagreed. At least I didn’t need to change the covers on my bed, as I didn’t dare go near it anymore. The knocking became insistently louder.

The same faces from yesterday barged in, not hesitating. They pulled me up into my bedroom , pushing me into my desk chair and sitting on my bed. I stayed silent, twitching slightly.

“Hey Tweek!”

I didn’t acknowledge them. I didn’t want to. But that didn’t seem to work.

“Spaz! Answer meh or I’ll kick you square in the nuts!” Cartman said.

I shivered, wrapping my arms around my torso protectively.

Kenny made a few muffled noises, and Kyle nodded, pulling Cartman out of the room. That left only me, Stan and Kenny.

“Hey dude.”

“Hey. What are you doing here?” I answered curtly.

Kenny made a long string of muffled noises, and I turned to face him.

“What? I don’t understand what you’re saying.”

He tried again. I looked at him, trying to decipher his words. After the third time, he exhaled audibly. The look on my face must’ve still been blank; he decided to take pity on me, taking the hood off of his parka. My heart hammered. Finally, I could understand.

“We’re here because you haven’t been in school for nearly a month.”

“Oh, yeah. That. I um- I don’t think I’ll be going back to school, you guys.”  I stammered, looking down at my lap. Oh God! I made Kenny take off his hood. He probably felt weird and wanted to kill me, what have I done?

Stan raised one eyebrow, “Why?”

“Uh. Bec- because. I don’t need to. I’m going to be working at my parent’s coffee shop.”

“Oh really?” Stan asked, “That’s strange. I thought you hated that place, dude.”

“It’s not so bad.” I responded. After an awkward moment of silence, I looked up. They both looked equally unconvinced.

“Why do you even care?” I exclaimed.

They looked at eachother, then back at me.

“Why wouldn’t we? Everyone at school misses you.” Stan answered, “Friends help eachother when they need comfort.”

“Yeah! They also scare the living crap out of eachother and barge into their house when the other wants to be alone. For your information, I’m fine! Thanks for asking. Just go away. Please.” I practically yelled. I was sick of his bullshit. Not that many people missed me, and if they did, they’d get over it pretty soon. I wasn’t anything worth missing. I was a mess.

“I don’t know dude,” Stan continued, “ We heard that-“

 I stood up, fists clenched. I may have looked skinny, but I could fight better than Stan, and he knew it better than most. “Get out of my house! I’m perfectly happy. Now kindly fuck off!” I cried.

Stan obeyed instantly, backing out of my room like he just angered some ravenous beast. Kenny stood up, looking me in the eyes. It made me feel uncomfortable. I shook. Cautiously, he approached me,

“Excuse Stan, he didn’t mean it like that. I’ll be back in fifteen minutes, alone. You better quit bullshitting me then, okay?” With that, he put his parka hood back on and walked out of my bedroom.

//

I was expecting Kenny to come in like any other person. Instead, he decided that going in through my bedroom window was better. Not only did he frighten me, he chuckled when he did, taking off his parka.

“Not cool.” I spat.

“Well hello to you too.” Kenny replied, sitting down on my bed.

“Why can’t you leave me alone? I’m not that special, you know.”

“I disagree.” He gestured for me to sit down next to him. I shook my head. “Do you want to tell me anything?”

“Why should I? What’s in it for you?”

“Oh Tweekers, ever the paranoid. Not everyone is cynical, you know? I’m trying to make you feel better.” He literally pulled me into his lap, trapping me in his grasp, “Now, tell me, how are you feeling, without lying.”

Under normal circumstance, I would’ve yelled, hit him and threatened him. I would’ve fought back. But instead of that, I melted into him. He was tall, strong, and comforting. My body convulsed out of its’ own accord. I missed human contact.

Everything jumbled out of my mouth in gasps, every pent up emotion escaping. I told him everything.  How it was all my fault. After I did, I wrapped my arms around his neck and completely broke down, sobbing and shaking uncontrollably. Kenny didn’t even try to stop it, he just clutched me tighter and rubbed reassuring circles into my back. Eventually, I pulled away, and he smiled. It was a smile unlike any other. Even though he had slightly angled teeth, his smile lit up the whole room. Infectious happiness flared through him; for a split second his smile pierced through all the bad in my life, making me feel like maybe, I wasn’t so insignificant after all.

“See, was it that hard?” He asked.

“Honestly, yeah. I still don’t know who you might sell that information to.” I answered, sniffling.

I guessed he was uncomfortable with me sitting on his lap, but out of politeness made no attempt to push me off, so I moved before he had a chance to voice it. His response was to wipe a stray tear from my cheek, before continuing,

“Well, now that you’ve calmed down, we should probably talk about you going back to school.”

“Kenny, I’m not going back to school. I’m happy working-“

“Tweekers, I just let you cry into me for a solid hour straight, I can see exactly how happy you are. Besides, I see through your bullshit.”  Kenny interrupted, blue eyes boring into my own.

 I stopped, looking back into them. It had been difficult to get a good look at them before, but his eyes were seriously blue. Almost sickeningly blue - full on Prince Charming, field of cornflower, perfect, cloudless sky blue. Worse yet, they glittered like sapphires. I gulped, averting my gaze.

“I know it’s hard. But avoiding people for the rest of your life seems a little dramatic, don’t you think?”

“Yeah. You’re right.” I mumbled, “But I can’t sit next to Craig anymore.” It was the first time I said his name without tears cascading down my cheeks. Kenny obviously noticed my achievement and gave me a thumbs-up.

“Simple. You sit with us. You hang out at lunch with us. You do shit with us.”

“ Why?” I asked, “You guys don’t usually do this. You guys go on fucked-up adventures, nearly get yourselves killed and swindle people out of their money.”

Kenny laughed, “Has Craig told you that? Damn bastard, will never forgive us. Want to know what actually happened?”

I stared in awe as he told me about their adventure in Peru. Once he finished, I burst out laughing. Proper, stomach aching, body shaking, immature laughter. In the span of three hours, Kenny McCormick actually made me laugh. I couldn’t help myself.

“So, you going to go to school?”

“Yeah!” I exclaimed excitedly.

“Great. See you tomorrow Tweekers!” Kenny replied before throwing on his parka and flying out of the window.

For the very first time in my life, I fell into a peaceful sleep on my bed whilst dark demons invaded my room.

//

Morning came way too quickly. I wondered if that’s what normal people felt too. Unlike any other normal person, I went into a full-scale panic attack as soon as I remembered. Oh god. Kenny was just pitying me. In reality he didn’t really care. The last thing he wanted was me hanging around him and his friends. Oh sweet Jesus. They would ignore me. They would brush me off. It would be like Craig all over again. Then, I stopped.

“Craig.”

No tears came. I repeated his name over and over until it became a meaningless blur. The pain was still there, and it hurt like crazy, but I thought about his name without breaking down completely. Kenny McCormick helped me do that. Kenny McCormick who I was going to hang out at school with today, whether he wanted me to or not.

I began getting ready for school. My hair was still slightly damp from my shower, but I decided I didn’t care. At least it smelled nice. I grabbed the biggest thermos from the cupboard and filled it completely with coffee, no sugar or milk. At that, my mother smiled.

“Morning Tweek, are you going to help your father today?”

“No mom, I’m going to school.”

“Oh. Are you going to see Craig?” She looked visibly stricken, though she tried to hide it.

“No mom, I’ll be with other friends. New friends, who don’t mind me drinking coffee.” I answered, smiling.

“That’s great.” She spoke calmly. “Are you sure, though?”

I didn’t know what she meant, but the overwhelming urge to back down instead grew rapidly. Maybe they didn’t want me after all. Maybe I was just a burden after all.

“Tweek, you’ve been twitching for the past five minutes, do you need more coffee to calm you down, honey? You didn’t eat breakfast either, again. Oh honey, are you sure you want to go?”

“Yes. No. GAH! I want out, I want out!” I frenzied.

She seemed to have noticed my distress, and being Mother of the Year, gave me some coffee and chocolate muffins she just baked instead of substantial advice.

“Give these to your friends.”

“Mom, I don’t think I want to-“

A sharp knocking interrupted me.

“Go, honey. You’ve been working hard enough as is.”

In one gulp, I downed the coffee she gave me, picked up the muffins and walked to the door. Kenny’s tall figure stood there. Oh God!

“Hey Tweekers! Not backing out now, are you?” He asked, pulling me out of the comfort of my house and down the street to school.

“Not that you’re here, I’m not.”

He laughed, putting on his hood. For most of the long walk to school, I couldn’t understand what he was saying, but eventually could recognise sounds, then words. It all went easily from there, I could piece together sentences, and with one final corner to turn before reaching the school, I fully understood  fluent  Hooded McCormick. It seemed like a special triumph, deserving of a special muffin. I took two out of my bag, handing one to Kenny.

“You serious? Thanks!” he said, wolfing it down.

Before I could even attempt to look at mine, a looming figure approached us. Oh God! However, it wasn’t who I expected it to be. As it came closer, I realised he was more well-rounded, bordering on fat.

“Kenny! You poor traitor! Ditching us for food? Weak.” Cartman accused.

“Fuck you, fatass.”

Running up, two more people approached, Stan, accompanied by Kyle.

“Cartman, you fat pig, how the hell is it possible that you can smell food over a goddamn mile away?” Kyle asked, panting slightly, “By the way, good to see you Tweek, nice that you’re here.”

Everyone else laughed. Stan took a deep lungful of oxygen, before stating,” Man, but it sure does smell good here.”

I held out my muffin to Stan, who gratefully accepted.

“Oi! What the fuck! So poor boy and hippie get muffins, but what about me?” Cartman complained.

“Bitch, you got enough muffins in you already.” Kyle laughed, grabbing his chubby waist. Everyone laughed at Cartman’s offended face. I took another muffin out of my bag, handing it to Kyle, who made exaggerated noises of pleasure while he ate.

Cartman glowered. “You’re making unwarranted enemies, spaz. Not even the Jew will protect you when you feel my wrath.”

GAH! Enemies already? Involuntarily, I shuddered, reaching into my bag, pulling out my last sugary treat, tossing it to the chubby brunet.

“Mmm, this shit’s so good. Like seriously, better than an orgasm.” He stated, mouth full.

“You know what an orgasm feels like?” I asked, honestly intrigued. The others burst out laughing, mistaking it for me bashing on Cartman.

“Watch it, spaz. If these weren’t so good I’d kick your ass!” he threatened.

“AH!”

“Don’t listen to him Tweek. As long as you’ve got food, he’s your bitch.” Kyle stated coolly.

We all walked into the school building together. I trembled. It was frightening, to say the least. Lots of people gaping at me, certain I was rising up from the dead. Some even tried coming up to talk to me, but Cartman made an effective shield, barging into anyone who dared come too close. I didn’t see Craig. Maybe that was for the best.

“Okay, today, we’re going according to plan. “ Kenny said once we stopped at our lockers.

“What plan?” I asked. Oh God. I was sure to fuck something up.

“Nothing much, Tweekers, just who gets to escort you where. Just wait patiently for one of us at the end of class.”

“You’ll mostly be hanging with me today. We’ve got the most classes together.” Kyle smiled reassuringly, “I’ll fill you in on the details. I’m already used to three people copying my answers.”

At his salty comment, the rest of the group couldn’t help but grimace.

“You’re all too kind to me.” I admitted.

“ You’re getting the wrong message spaz. “ Cartman sneered, “Kenny’s helping you to fuck you. Stan wants you and your vibrator ass to have a threesome with the she-hippie. I’m doing it for your mom’s sweet muffins, and Kyle? Kyle wants someone to listen to his Jew bitching.”

All three of them gave their fat friend death glares. He was right. There was no way they’d actually want to hang out with me. Craig was right all along. I was worthless. Frantically, I grabbed my hair in hopes of finding solace.

“Don’t listen to him.” Kyle snarled, and Kenny carefully disentangled my fists from my head.

“And definitely keep all the baked goods for us. Don’t give any to that son of a bitch.” Stan added.

Before Cartman could protest, the bell rang. Kyle held my hand as he navigated his way through the packed corridors to our first class. It was nice sitting next to Kyle. He was smart and patient, letting me read through his immaculate notes. Occasionally, he reminded me that I was shaking, or he tapped the hand curled into a fist on top of my head. It wasn’t long before I caught up with the rest of the class. Every so often, he looked up from his work and smiled at me. The lessons I had with him went by rapidly. Even if I was still frightened of his known temper.

Stan had a different approach, he didn’t calm me with smiles and gentle taps. With him, I felt totally at ease, as he chattered away, filling me up on stories of their wacky adventures. I couldn’t help but bite my tongue at some of the hilarious stunts they pulled, in fear of disrupting the class. For the first couple minutes I tried to ignore him, but after some coaxing and promises of copying Kyle later, I listened intently. As petrifying as some of the things they did were, I couldn’t help but wistfully wish that one day, I’d get to go on adventure with them too.

Thankfully, I only had one lesson with Cartman, but even that was fun. Jealous of my drawing skills, he resorted to calling me a twink. The first couple times he said it, I shook nervously, but after hearing him call me a twink fifty seven times in the span of an hour, I eased off. Most of the time, he was the centre of the conversation, boasting about all his skills. However, he did seem impressed with the fact that I could play piano, suggesting that we jam out sometime. He informed me; Kenny could play drums, Stan played guitar, he sang (awesomely) and Kyle couldn’t do anything because he was a dumb Jew with no rhythm. I couldn’t help but snicker at his catty remarks.

Not once did I think about Craig. It seemed trivial, honestly. I didn’t need to numb myself with coffee; I just listened to one of the guys and instantly absorbed myself with their problems. In the cafeteria, I wasn’t an honorary guest at their table. I was almost one of them.

“Twinkle Twink,  you have to remember; on Wednesdays we wear pink.” Cartman chanted in his best mean girl voice, stroking my cheek affectionately.

“Oh god. We are never watching that movie with you again.” Kyle chortled, trying to stay serious at Cartman batting his pretend lashes.

“It’s alright, Kahl,” he drawled, “ We all know that I love you best!”

The whole table erupted into giggles, as Stan explained the time Cartman professed his undying love for Kyle to get two black people to date eachother. Man, that was hilarious! Spending time with their group was great. Sure, they were being kind of assholes –Cartman especially- but it was all loving. Everyone got some sort of backlash, no-one was spared.

“Spaz, sorry for prying into your business yesterday. We cool though, dude?” Stan asked.

“Sure!” I replied.

“Not his fault, he was PMSing real hard.” Kenny added, likely grinning behind the hood of his parka.

“So you didn’t fuck him into oblivion then?” Kyle enquired, faking genuine interest.

“Yeah, Kinny, how the fuck did you get the sand out of Twinkle’s vagina without fucking him?”

“Not every problem is resolved by fucking, you know?” Stan retorted.

“Yeah, you and your celibate ass would know.” Kyle teased, “Besides, no one ever goes to Kenny without getting raped.”

I rolled my eyes. They were being immature, but I couldn’t help laughing along with them, whether I was the butt of the joke or not.

“Dudes, we have to find out, We’re going over to your place after school, Spaz.” Stan decided.

Kyle smirked, “You’re only saying that so you can calm down Wendy when she’s freaking out.”

“You fucking bet, dude. She’s a nightmare then. All her bitching drives me crazy.”

“That’s what you get for dating a she-orc, fag.” Cartman butted in.

That started up an entirely new memory, when Kenny was a Nazi zombie princess half-orc, Cartman a grand wizard, Kyle an elf king and Stan a ranger. Lunch went by in a flash; an unexpected shriek escaped my lips when the bell rang. Oh god! They all started sniggering as they went off in different directions, though not wickedly.

Kenny steered me to our last class of the day. Craig was in that class. Deep inside, I knew it would be futile to avoid him forever. Yet, I couldn’t help shuddering. Every cell in my body screamed for me to turn away and run, back to the safety of the backroom of Tweak Bros Coffee. Kenny sensed that fear, edging closer to me in his seat. His attempts at petting my hair and caressing my fingers were counterproductive; I only shook harder. Craig was in that class! Oh sweet Jesus!

Finally, Kenny decided to comfort me in a way only he knew how- placing his hand on my lap and slowly inching his way to my inner thigh. I shot him a murderous glare. What the fuck was his hand doing on my inner thi- on my crotch. His hand was resting atop my jeans, fingers teasingly rubbing small circles on top of my dick. He had to be kidding me.

“Kenny, stop.” I hissed viciously.

“Make me.” He muttered, fingers dipping inside the waistband of my jeans. GAH! That bastard. Was he seriously going to do that; was I seriously going to let him do that? Shockingly, yes.

A hand gripped my cock, discreetly stroking. There was barely any movement, my jeans were too tight for that kind of pleasure. Nevertheless, it felt really, really good. Relaxing at his treatment, I let him touch me, as the inattentive teacher droned on.  Never had a biology lesson been this interesting before. I tried looking once at Kenny, but he was pretending to be absorbed in whatever the lesson was, one hand innocently placed beneath his chin, one hand doing unvirtuous things to my body. In the middle of a class. And it was amazing. I let my guard down, letting out hushed sighs and silent whimpers for the remainder of the lesson. Fortunately, no one noticed. Or so I thought.

The bell rang, and, as quickly as they slid inside my pants, the fingers retreated. The rest of the guys were waiting outside of our classroom. Automatically, I pulled my shirt lower, to hide the unfortunate start of a hard-on.

“Hey Kinny! Twink!” Cartman called, gesturing us over.

Oh god. What did I let Kenny do? I blushed, covering my face in embarrassment. It was all my fault. It always was.

Stan looked uneasy, “Kenny, what did you do to Tweek? He looks redder than Kyle’s hair.”

“Oh, nothing much.” Kenny smirked.

“My hair isn’t that red.” Kyle pouted, as he turned round to look at me, “Okay, fuck, I take that back. Tweek, you’re scarlet. What happened?”

I opened my mouth, but no words came out. I just stared at the floor.

“Kinny, how bad did you molest Twinkle?” Cartman asked.

“Not that badly. Just a light handjob.” Kenny replied, nonchalant as ever.

“Dude! In the middle of biology?” Stan yelled.

“Jealous, Marsh? I’ll do you sometime, provided Wendy doesn’t rip my balls out.” Kenny flirted.

Kyle’s arm found its’ way around my shoulder. “Don’t mind Kenny. He’s just a pervert like that.”

“Yeah, Twink, if you want a real man, you can come to me. I’ll do you nice and hard, like I do Kyle every night.”Cartman teased.

“You know I wouldn’t let you touch me with a thirty foot pole.” Kyle retorted.

Cartman, always quick to think of a quick comeback, replied, “Oh Kyle! I know it feels like it, but it’s not actually that big.”

Kyle groaned, and I chuckled, retracting my hands from my face. We started heading toward the exit, oblivious of a person glaring daggers at us. At least, I was. After a couple steps, my body convulsed. I shook so hard I nearly collapsed onto the floor. Oh Jesus! How did that happen? It was like my body was trying to punish me. Luckily, Cartman yanked me upright before I could faceplant into the floor.

“God damn it Twink, are you sure Kenny didn’t fuck you in there?”

“Tweekers, are you alright?” Kenny asked, anxious.

I nodded my head unsteadily. Kenny took my backpack from me, and Stan hoisted me up onto his shoulder, holding me by my hip. I was tremendously grateful for Stan and his quarterback physique; he carried me all the way back to my house. Once there, he deposited my shaking ass onto the couch, while the other three crowded around me. My body was trying to punish me, and rightly so. I realised I hadn’t eaten anything for ages, nor have I drank anything after ‘breakfast’. They were going to hate me for making them concerned over nothing. They were never going to talk to me again! Maybe, I didn’t have to tell them? Nope. My telltale stomach growled.

“I’m so sorry.” I yelped.

Kyle responded calmly, “First time I actually heard someone apologise for a basic human need.”

“By the way, when was the last time you ate something, Tweekers?”

I lied, “Around a day.”

Cartman did an over-exaggerated double take.

“Jesus Christ, dude. We’ve got to get you something to eat.” Stan hurried off into the kitchen, bringing back armfuls of baked goods my mother made.

“Thanks so much, you guys. Help yourselves too.” I mumbled, picking up a donut, turning it around in my fingers. Cartman happily obliged, along with Kyle and Stan. Kenny stared at me expectantly.

“Kinny, aren’t you gonna eat, poor boy?” Cartman asked with a mouthful of food. One look at the fatass and I wanted to throw up.

Kenny ignored the large boy, taking off his parka and looking at me. Ice-cold blue eyes bore into my hazel ones, glancing at the food, and back at me. The glaze on the donut dripped onto my fingers, making them disgusting and sticky. Hesitantly, I took a bite out of the excessively saccharine concoction, chewing it over and over until it became a sugary pulp-before finally managing to swallow. GAH! Why was he looking at me like that? He didn’t know, why was I worried? Why did he look like he knew?

He crossed his arms, “Tweekers, there’s no bullshitting me. Tell us why you’re looking at that donut like it just murdered your family.”

The other boys stopped gorging themselves, looking at me. Oh god! Those pairs of eyes on me were too way too much pressure!

“I-I lied.”

“Yeah, I know that, Tweekers. How long was it actually?” Kenny demanded.

Trembling, I lowered my gaze until I was guiltily staring at the floor. “Two weeks and three days.”

A pained cry escaped Cartman’s lips. The others paled instantaneously.

“Oh my god. I should’ve noticed. You’re lighter than my backpack, dude!”

Kenny stopped them before they could make any more remarks, “Not necessary right now, Marsh.”

Everyone half-expected Cartman to interrupt him and make fun of the situation, but the chubby boy sat there, looking at me, appalled and dismayed. I felt like such a failure. I was such a failure. Worthless, needy disappointment.

“Why?”

I shuddered.

Sinking my teeth into the glorious glazed bun, I heard footsteps. Craig stood behind me, wrapping one hand around my stomach, touching and prodding at it.

“Lay off, man!” I giggled.

“Nope.” He answered, pulling me in for a hug, the top of his chin smothering my gold locks. His hands reached up my shirt, digging his fingers into my flesh.

“Will you stop?” I wriggled around to look at him.

“Fine.” His hand reached out and groped my ass. “Wow, you’re getting fat. You should lose some weight, babe.”

Was I? I didn’t really think so, but then again, Craig knew me better than I knew myself. Yeah. I was getting fat. Oh god, what if I gained so much weight Craig wouldn’t want me anymore? Craig wouldn’t leave me because of that, would he? I panicked.

“Babe, happy thoughts, remember?” He deadpanned, as I clutched his shirt desperately, dropping my donut in the process, “Just stop eating your mother’s sugary shit and you should be fine. Though, to be honest, I wouldn’t mind if you were skinnier than me.” He added.

 I decided that was my goal. Gradually, I ate less and less. My fast metabolism helped greatly. Craig helped me, I asked him to. Every time I ate around him, he’d cast me an accusing glare. Whenever I felt hungry, I’d hang around him. That quickly made me lose my appetite.

There was one thing I loved more than myself, and that was Craig. I just felt so immensely proud when he trailed his fingers over my angled hip-bone and over my visible ribs. Happy thoughts filled my head when he snaked his arm around my shoulder, easily wrapping his whole hand around my forearm. His satisfied smile when he kissed my protruding collar bone made me want to scream in ecstasy.

“And from then on, nothing tasted the same. Food still gives me weird vibes, even now.”  I concluded.  I really didn’t want to tell them that, but they shared their embarrassing moments with me all day. I felt I could trust them, which didn’t happen often. I looked remorsefully at the floor.

“Dude, that’s messed up!”

“Craig’s such an asshole.”

“Fucking bitch. Guys, get the meat grinder ready, we’re making chilli.”

“Cartman, no. We are not killing Craig’s parents.” Kenny spoke. I forgot Cartman was a psychopath.

“It’s best to leave it alone.” I mumbled.

“Oh hell no, Twinkle Twink. I know what it’s like to be you. Once, I didn’t eat or drink anything for three weeks straight and it was torture.” The brunet said.

“Really?” I asked, disbelieving. Cartman was impossible to imagine starving himself, “When was that?”

“When these assholes nailed me to a cross and left me there for three weeks!” he fumed.

“You had enough fat on your body to last you a while.”

“Shut up, Jew! It was a traumatic experience.”

“Any experience without food is traumatic to you, fatass.”

“Stop fighting.” Kenny interjected, “We need to focus on Tweek now. We’re here for you Tweekers, you can trust us. Tell us, what other fucked up things that manipulative cunt made you do.”

“If I do, we’re going to be here a while. Besides, it doesn’t matter anymore.”

“Tweek, we’re your friends. You are obligated by friendship code to tell us everything, no detail missed.”  Kyle prompted firmly.

They all sank comfortably in their respective places, as I began talking:

I was happy. I really was . Craig always calmed me down in public, holding my hand a little tighter, whispering sweet nothings into my ear. He always analysed the situation I was in and offered a solution. At three in the morning, I would go to his house and wake him up, to explain my fucked up thoughts, to ask him for help. Groaning, he’d wake up and help me. Of course, he complained about it the next day, repeatedly calling me a hopeless case; but after a while, I learned to expect it. Progressively, his insults increased, as he felt more and more frustrated with me and my pointless problems. He didn’t tell me, but I could tell by the way his eyebrow arched slightly whenever he heard me talk. So I stayed quiet. I stopped coming over to his house in the middle of the night. When I did talk, it was strictly about him, never steering the direction of the conversation to my issues.

I never questioned him or his decisions. Most of the time, he was nice to me, kind, caring and loving. But there were times when he closed himself off, shutting himself in his room, or avoiding me completely. Then, I was translucent to him, both in public and when I tried to text him. Speaking of, he always liked checking my phone. He’d always say something along the lines of, “Honestly, you’re so senseless sometimes. I know how many assholes want to take my place. I want to make sure you’re mine.” At this, my cheeks always flared up, and I willingly let him check through it. Never the other way round. One time, I asked for his; he called me paranoid. I didn’t ask again.

That’s just the way it was. He had his friends, and I had mine. Until he drove them all away. Whenever I hung out with someone that wasn’t him, he’d insist on joining. Afterwards, he criticized them, laughing at my stupidity, until I agreed with him and ostracized them. I became completely dependent on him. And I didn’t mind. Craig loved me, that was all that mattered.

He cared about me. He helped me lose weight and tried to help me get over my caffeine addiction. Every time I wanted to kiss him, he protested, saying that my mouth tasted like coffee. So I gave my parents the cold shoulder. Tweak Coffee Bros became the last place I wanted to associate myself with. They had coffee, and Craig didn’t like that. Everything about me changed; Craig became the sole purpose of my existence. I didn’t say no to him. I really loved coffee, but I loved him more. I don’t know whether he realised that.

I decided to ask him.

“Craig, do you love me?”

“Babe, my insane little mess, of course I do. No-one else could.” He answered, kissing my collarbone affectionately. He stopped and smiled. But it was all wrong. His lips twisted upwards, as he exposed his pearly white teeth. They looked dangerously like fangs. His cheeks were in the exact same position as they were when he glared. I would’ve let it slip if it weren’t for his eyes. Although they were creased exactly as if he were genuinely happy, they gave him away. I saw through his mask. Though I daren’t question it- returning a fake one of my own before things got awkward.

And then we broke up. I mean, he broke up with me. He called me over to his house just to tell me he was done with me. I couldn’t read his expression. But it didn’t matter. My existence faltered. I was too focused on trying not to break down in front of him to notice a strange gleam in his eyes.

“And I know it’s wrong, but I miss him. I want to have him back.”  

They all stared at me, open mouthed. Surprisingly, Cartman was the first to speak,

“Twinkle Twink, stop being a pussy. It’s over. The only thing left to do now is get revenge. And then let go.” He fluttered his fingers.

“Yep. He fucked you over real hard, dude.” Stan agreed.

They started animatedly discussing different plans to avenge me; I shivered in my seat.

“No. The best revenge is doing nothing at all.”

“Kahl! That is the stupidest shit I heard from you, ever.”

“Think about it. If we try to do anything, it might backfire like-“

“Oh My God! Just pussy out you goddamn ki-“

“LIKE IT DID WITH YOUR FATHER.” Kyle yelled over Cartman.

That shut him up.

“We make Tweek happy.” Kyle continued as if nothing happened, “ That’s the last thing Craig expects. A cheerful, healthy Tweek. It’ll piss him off more than any petty vengeance ever will.”

Kenny was of the same opinion, “I second that. It’s a really good idea.”

“But guys. We have to at least show Craig that Twinkle’s over his dowdy ass.” Cartman whined.

“True. But how do we do that, dudes?”

A sudden thought struck me. “What if you pay him?”

All four of them turned to me, equally confused.

“We get that hundred bucks you owed him and-“

“Burn it in front of his face! Twinkle, we’re genius.” Cartman chimed in eagerly.

“What, no! That’s not what I meant! GAH!”

I looked to the others for help. They all seemed content with Cartman’s plan. Oh god!

 “You grab everyone’s attention,” Stan said, pointing at Cartman, “I tell him about payback, Kyle holds up the money, Kenny burns it and we chuck it at him –hopefully, he lights on fire- Tweek gives him the middle finger and together we carry Tweek out of the cafeteria.”

“Guys! No! I can’t. I’ll mess it up!” I begged.

“How? This plan is brilliance at its finest, dude.”

“I’ll shake like a wet Chihuahua. I can’t go through with this. He’ll look at me and I won’t be able to do anything.”

“Well, you’ll have to act. Can you do that?”

For a long moment, I said nothing. But I knew how to act, convincingly too. To do that, I just had to blot everyone out, like I did with the tormenting monsters. Then, I was able to contort my facial features and movements to the emotion I tried to portray. I could act.

I glared at Kyle, eyebrows raised. Full of confidence, I stepped forward, elegantly extending my middle finger for a couple seconds. Turning around on my heel, I walked back a couple steps before asking innocently, “Good enough?”

They cheered.

“Gentlemen, we have a plan. Have a good night, for on the morrow, we execute it.” Cartman concluded, grabbing one last pastry before exiting my house. Stan and Kyle followed, waving.

Kenny pulled me into a tight, soothing embrace, whispering in my ear, “I believe in you Tweekers. Stay strong. Goodnight.” before rushing off to join his- No. Our friends.

That night, I trembled in fear and anticipation. A part of me kept doubting myself, but that part spoke in Craig’s nasally voice. Patiently, I waited for the screaming ghouls to invade my room. As expected, they did, so I practiced blocking them out for hours. I worked so hard, that as soon as my head hit the pillow, I fell into a deep, dreamless sleep.

//

“Honey, it’s time to wake up. ”

“Five more minutes, mom.”

“Come on, hon.” With that, she held a mug of coffee beneath my nose.

Instantly, my body jolted, sitting up to chug the whole thing in two quick gulps. So addictive. I smiled and passed it back, jumping out of bed and bounding into the bathroom. Today was going to be a great day. Energetically, I finished my usual morning routine, without so much as a shake. I could do it. I would do it. Nothing could stop me. I actually ate some breakfast as well, because why the hell not? It felt weird going down my throat, but I was sure the guys would appreciate the fact that I ate a slice of toast. Kenny especially, I hoped. Also, I grabbed five tarts from the cooling rack, placing them in my bag, for our celebration later. I would eat a whole one of those and smile. A knock on the door. I checked the clock. Kenny was a bit early.

I opened it, throwing myself at the tall figure in front of me without so much as a second glance. I landed in familiar arms. Today was going to be marvellous- the best day of my life. They tightened their grip, refusing to let me breathe comfortably.

“Miss me already, babe?” He breathed into my ear.

GAH!

Chapter Text

The thing about Tweek Tweak was that he was different from other people. As cliché as it sounded, Tweek was special. And that’s why I decided he had to be mine.

After about half a minute of Tweek panting into my back, he finally collapsed.  I brought chloroform with me, just in case he didn’t, but he seemed to be passed out cold. It was fortunate that Tweek lived near the woods. It didn’t take long before I dragged his body into the dense shrubbery, both of us unnoticed. I picked him up then, bridal style, and carried him to my desired destination. Another great perk of having had planned things beforehand- it wasn’t too hard to carry him for the next ten miles or so. Tweek was lighter than most skinny people, bordering on anorexic. Still, he managed to have a round face with plump cheeks and dimples that sent everyone swooning. Myself included.

The hours ticked by, but every time I looked at his resting face, I knew it was worth it. I was going to make him completely dependent on me, until he wouldn’t be able to breathe without my consent. It seemed psychopathic, to say the least, but that was Tweek’s own fault for being so intoxicating. He was like a sacramental wine, and me, being the sinful alcoholic I was, couldn’t resist him.

Like any other normal person, I could’ve had a healthy relationship with him. I, however, was not a normal person. Normal people didn’t crave him nearly as much as I did. Normal people didn’t have the urge to ruthlessly murder anything that he paid attention to for more than a couple seconds. Normal people didn’t spend nearly as much time devising the best way to capture him so that he could never get away. That’s when I realised how sick I was. At the crack of dawn, scheming away on how to kidnap my boyfriend, as said boyfriend was plaguing me with his problems, expecting answers. He just didn’t understand that he’d have the rest of his life to ask me them. Innocent little pet. As time passed, trying to stay focused became increasingly more frustrating. He never ran out of things to worry his pretty little head about, distracting me, almost as if he knew what I were doing, and was trying to postpone it.

There was no use trying to stop the inevitable. This day was bound to happen. It was written in the stars. I couldn’t help sighing as I looked at him. He always made things so hard for himself, without meaning to. It made me lust after him just that tiny bit more.

I didn’t mean to break up with him. He brought it onto himself, really. One day, he just came up to me, asking me outright if I loved him. What kind of question was that? Of course I didn’t love him. I couldn’t. Love was strictly between a man and a woman. And we were both men. Though he seemed more like a demon to me, a personal imp sent straight from the fiery depths of Hell. His sole purpose was to taunt me. He was a test given to me by the Lord, and I failed every single time, never being able to reject my impure desires, succumbing to him. That day, I lied to him; he looked through the window to my soul, seeing the truth. So I broke up with him, so that he didn’t have the opportunity to replace me for at least a couple of weeks. He’d be much too busy trying to drown himself in coffee and avoiding the world. As much as I hated not being able to know what he was doing and who he was hanging out with, it bought me more time. Time was valuable.

Tweek stirred slightly. I reached into my pocket, digging out the faded rag, and placing it over his adorable button nose. I smiled contentedly. Long at last, the person I coveted would finally belong to me. Only to me. He would be mine.

I was a strange person. I didn’t care about nearly anything at all, not my family, not my friends, not even myself. There were scarcely any things that occupied my mind, but the things that did, rapidly turned into a morbid obsession. They went in the order of: Tweek, the almighty Lord, outer space then lastly guinea pigs.

We were nearing our destination. It would’ve been so much quicker if Tweek willingly walked beside me. However, I knew my mischievous imp wasn’t quite ready to open his heart to salvation. Yet.

In all honesty, I didn’t want to abduct him at that time. Although everything was about ninety percent complete, I didn’t want to take any risks. Tweek could be quite cunning when he wanted to. He proved that to me, when hanging out with those deranged lunatics. I was positive he was just trying to get a reaction out of me. Those asshats were always dragging someone down into ‘adventuring’ with them. It just so happened, wherever they went, chaos and sin ensued. No wonder my pet was drawn to them. He was cursed to be a malignant spirit. Everything was going to be all right though. His sins would be forgiven and his soul would be cleansed, I would adhere to his repentance. No one was going to find him. Ever.

Tweek spending a single day with them was enough to get me worked up. Throughout the day, I lurked in the shadows, aloof. In biology, I could barely sit in my seat without turning around and checking up on him. On the outside, I remained my usual, disinterested self. However, on the inside I was burning with curiosity. I wanted to know why my Tweek was making soft whimpers all throughout the lesson. And, more importantly, why all of his attention wasn’t on me.

I thought I’d get my answers after school. Whatever it was, I couldn’t understand. Not with McCormick speaking with his fiendish orange parka on. It was impossible to understand the muffled noises he made instead of communicating like a human. Couldn’t he just take that Godforsaken thing off? I was irritated already, due to the fact that my dear Tweek was flaunting his ass like a whore all day. More than irritated. I was jealous. Horribly so.  It took all the self-control I could muster not to go up to them and beat the four boys senseless.  Especially when they flirted back with him. I noticed. I wasn’t going to let them get away with it either. As much as I cherished Tweek, he’d have to get punished too.

As if that weren’t enough, those sons of bitches actually invited themselves over to Tweek’s house as well! They were asking for trouble. Naturally, I followed them. Someone had to watch over Tweek, after all. Like I didn’t do that already. Not only did they try to unpick all of my hard work, encouraging Tweek’s gluttony; they also began planning intricate ways to get revenge. Luckily I was one step ahead. But that wasn’t the worst.

 Listening to my darling devil talking about me, as if I were some sort of monster was like salt being rubbed over my wounds. The way I treated Tweek wasn’t the best, I had to admit, but it was all for the greater good. In the end, the ends justified the means, right? It was all for Tweek. I had to manipulate him slightly, bringing down his self-worth myself, so that when I complimented him, he’d be grateful. If he didn’t doubt himself, he wouldn’t be a compliant pet. Those little details were crucial. I suffered more whilst breaking him more than it hurt him. There were many sacrifices I made, that not even my family knew of. Like taking a considerable amount of money from my parents’ pay checks. For Tweek. That boy was going to make my soul rot in Hell. Cartman could laugh his fat ass off all day about how ‘poor’ my family was, but he didn’t know the sinister truth. It was better that he didn’t. Besides, for Tweek, I would withstand anything and everything. Nevertheless, it pleased me to hear Tweek referring to himself as a mess. That meant my plan was working. He was my broken mess. Only I could fix him. Nothing and no-one would ever change that.

I felt inclined to kiss his plump, chapped lips, but ultimately decided against it. Our first proper kiss was going to be mutual. My boyfriend already tried kissing me, being the needy little pet he was, but I turned my head and made up some half-assed excuse until he stopped trying. Impatient. If only I could’ve told l him right there and then that he just had to be meek and wait patiently. But that would defeat the whole purpose of abducting him. It was good training for him too. I meant, there was no doubt I was going to adore our first kiss, and bending Tweek’s fragile mind into thinking that he wanted it too wasn’t going to be difficult. It was going to be almost like a true love’s kiss.  How romantic was that? Besides, I sinned enough already. Adding sexual assault onto my ever-increasing pile of misdoings wasn’t something I was going to do.

Long at last, I saw it. The abandoned cottage that I put so much effort into. From the outside, it looked derelict and neglected, overgrown with weeds and thwarted with ivy, bars on the windows, but that was merely a facade, beneath which lay the interior. Inside, it was modernized, turned into a perfect haven just for him. Amazingly, I managed to get running water in the taps and electricity to light up the rooms. There were only a few, a kitchenette, a bathroom, a bedroom and a room leading down to the basement. None of the rooms were large or abundantly stuffed with materialistic items. As an aspiring pastor, I had to at least try to abide by God’s other laws. I reminded myself not to let Tweek  in the well-kept kitchenette; until I was absolutely sure he didn’t want to cut himself with a knife out of sheer desperation. The bedroom was cosy, with just a neatly made bed, a wardrobe and a bookshelf filled to the brim with books. I knew he’d like it. There really wasn’t much to say about the bathroom besides the fact that it was sanitary and clean. All of the house was, I vigorously scrubbed it from top to bottom. Cleanliness was next to Godliness.

  I opened the decrepit wooden front door, carrying Tweek through the small house and descending the rickety steps, down to the basement. Carefully, I lay his body on the floor and placed his arms behind his back and through the handcuffs, which were chained to the wall. Then, I sat opposite him contentedly, paying attention to his lips, as breathless murmurs escaped. God, what did I do to be able to call such a beautiful being my very own?  Every inch of him was exquisite, celestial, from the pale soles of his feet to the very tips of his fair hair. He reminded me of an archangel- Lucifer, to be exact. Lucifer, one of the Lord’s perfect creations that turned round and became Satan. It was alright, I was going to cleanse him of his evil spirit. He was going to repent.

I could hear Tweek moan, and I knew he was gradually regaining consciousness. Finally! As fascinating as he was whilst asleep, he was more fun to interact with awake.

“Long time no see.” I chuckled.

Upon hearing my words, he sat up. Unlike other people in his situation, he didn’t start thrashing around, trying fruitlessly to escape. Perhaps he knew that it would be pointless anyway. He didn’t start screaming or fighting, or anything at all, for that matter. Frozen in place. More accurately, chained in place, but that was beside the point. I took his brief glance at me as my sign to continue,

“Good boy, so willing for me. Listen, I know this looks bad, but I’m doing it for you. All you need to know is that you’re mine now. Forever. Okay?”

“You broke up with me.” He mumbled groggily. I felt secretly relieved that he didn’t go straight to fight the undisputable fact that he was indeed, mine.

“Ah. See, you actually did that. You went around asking questions I can’t answer. I had no other option than to stage a fake break up with you. But I never stopped wanting you.”

“I knew you didn’t love me.” he accused.

Snickering, I took out my hand bible, flipping through the pages, “Such a smart pet. Loving you would be wrong. As it says right here, ‘You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. ‘ Hear that, my little imp? You’re my personal, special abomination. Aren’t you proud?”

“I don’t think you should take that stupid bible so literally.” My heathen gently tugged at his restraints. Sounds of metal clinking against the concrete wall echoed in the dim room.

“Aren’t you going to ask me anything?” I enquired.

“N-no.”

I was genuinely surprised with his answer. Tweek was original; once again proving why I was so unable to resist him. I knew his tongue was scorching with questions waiting to be asked. “Don’t you want to?”

“I do. I could ask about a million things right now. But I already know the answers, so, it’s pointless.” I raised my eyebrow and he continued, “ Where am I? Why am I here? Are you crazy? What are you going to do to me? Do you think you’re going to get away with it? When will you let me go? ”

Before I could open my mouth, he cut me off, glaring at me.

“I’m in a dark, scary basement without any windows. I’m here only because you abducted me. You are a-a psychopath. You’re going to torture me. The smirk on your sm-smug face shows you think you will. And you won’t le- let me go. Ever.”

He shook and stuttered as he spoke, but he looked me in the eyes bravely. I had to admire him for that.

But his attitude was worrying me. He understood the power I held over him, but blatantly ignored it. “Smart little demon. Anything else?”

“Yeah! Explain yourself.” He spat.

“It’s your fault. You shouldn’t be this invigorating. Yet you are. Everyone wants you, but I did this so that you understood that you’re mine. I’m jealous. Every smile of yours directed towards me is a smile I’m prepared to die for. You don’t know how much self-control I need to have to not rip off the heads of every person that had the opportunity to experience it. Oh Tweek! It’s alright now. Everything’s going to be alright. You’re away from them, your smiles are mine now. Mine.”

He slumped back against the wall, kneeling, relaxing himself as best as he could. I thought that by now, he would’ve complained about the handcuffs. It was painful for him, hands high above his head. It reminded me.

“Repent for your sins and I’ll loosen your chains.”

“I don’t believe in God.”

“I don’t care! I’m not forcing you to believe in the almighty Lord, I’m forcing you to apologise for your sins. Do you want to those shackles slackened or will I have to leave you here with your arms up?”

“Wait!” his harsh tone dropped, “You’re not thinking about leaving me? Craig, as much as I hate you, you can’t leave me here alone.”

Why, hello upper hand! There was distinct fear in his quavering voice. I couldn’t help but abuse it. Nonchalantly, I stood up, turned my back to my pet and started heading up the wooden staircase. It creaked with every step. I turned off the light switch. Behind me, I heard him thrash wildly, metal banging against the wall repeatedly. As I was turning the handle to open the door, he let out a distressed cry.

“No, Craig! NO! Please. I’ll do anything.”

“Repent, bitch.”

“Okay! Fine. Just don’t leave me here. You know I don’t like the dark.” He pleaded.

Victory. I turned around, flicking the light back on and walking back down to join him. He knelt in front of me, defeated. I was going to cleanse his corrupt soul. He sighed.

“Forgive me Father for I have sinned. It has been eight years since my last confession.”

To hear Tweek say those sweet-sounding words hit me with a wave of euphoria. It was almost nauseating.

“What have I done since then? I have, and am still denying the Christian faith in favour of Buddhism, but am forced to pretend that I care because of a lunatic that’s keeping me chained to the fucking wall. I used the lord’s oh-so fabulous name in vain many, many times, because I don’t even think he exists. “ he scowled at me.

“Stop spiting me, you infidel, and actually confess, or I’m leaving. And lose the attitude. Otherwise I’ll let you stay here for longer than needed. Alone.”

“You actually want me to confess? To you?”

I tried calming him down, taking on a soothing tone,“ Why shouldn’t you? It’ll make you feel better. Give it a chance.”

We were both silent. He took a deep breath.

“I have sinned, Craig. I abused my body with caffeine.  I didn’t use my judgement. I lied to people that wanted to help me. I pushed away my family and friends. I was vengeful and immature, wishing ill upon you.” His stance relaxed, and finally, he began blurting out sins. After a good five minutes, he decided he was finished, but I knew he hadn’t told me everything. At least he stopped making snide remarks.

“That’s it? Are you sure? ”

“That’s it.”

“Tweek, I would appreciate it if you didn’t lie to me, babe. You were doing so well!”

“I really can’t remember anything else.”

Deceitful beast; I wanted to accuse him, but he was calm for once in his life and I didn’t want to induce panic. But I had to find out what happened in biology class the other day. Aiming for stabs in the dark in the dark was my only option.

“Did you commit any other sins recently? Did you steal anything? Advise anyone wrongly? Given yourself sexual gratification?” I asked impassively, hoping for the best.

At the last one his faced flushed. It was honestly delightful, he was so embarrassed, cheeks pink and rosy. Though I had a feeling that it wasn’t the reason for his behaviour in biology. Tweek would never have acted on an impure thought amongst other people. I was right.

“No need to be ashamed babe, we’re both sinners here.”

“I’m supposed to be honest, right? I don’t know whether it was a sin or not.”

“Babe, if it felt wrong, it was most likely was. This is space is a confessional.”

“I-I don’t know how to explain. It didn’t feel wrong-I think?”

“Start from the beginning.”

“So, uh, I was really scared in biology class..” He stopped. “Are you sure you want me to confess?”

What linked my paranoid freak and sexual acts together? And why was he so hesitant to tell me?

“Only if it’s comfortable with you.” I stated coolly, my insides knotting with tension.

“I was panicking, and Kenny helped me out. I didn’t want to at first, but he slipped his hand in my jeans anyway and when he touched me it made me feel really good inside. All the anxiety I had melted away.”

“So that’s why you were moaning.” I stated. My teeth grit in anger.

“You heard? Oh God! I’m sorry, Craig, I’m sorry! Don’t hurt me.” he begged, head bowed down. I dearly hoped he was ashamed of himself.

He trusted me enough to tell me. I couldn’t mess this up. I had to get him used to sharing every thought with me at our confessions. In other words, I had to stay calm so he wouldn’t freak out. Deep breaths. Unclenching my fist, I replied collectedly,

“Tweek, it’s alright; the whole point of this is for you to repent your sins. You told me, and now you need to understand the fact that what you did was against God’s will. It was bad, but there’s still hope for you. I’ll save you. I can save you. You’re not like Token, Clyde or Jimmy. You’re salvageable. I’m a deadly sinner alongside them, but you’re not. Remember that.”

Gingerly, he lifted his head up. He looked puzzled for a moment, like he was surprised why I wasn’t punishing  him. A spark gleamed in his hazel eyes. He smiled innocently, blurting out something that I didn’t quite grasp.

”But Craig, I don’t think what I let Kenny do was bad. In fact, given the chance, I’d let him do it again.”

What? Did- did he just? That devil.

My body moved faster than my mind could comprehend. So much for not freaking Tweek out. Before I knew it, my palm connected with his cheek. It would’ve sent him sprawling across the room if not for the fact that he literally couldn’t move without breaking his arms. He was lucky that I managed to unclench my fist beforehand, otherwise he would’ve ended up with a severely broken nose.

“You hit me!” He stated, offended, one side of his beautiful face marred with a blooming hand indent.

I hit him. Oh dear Lord, I hit him! I hit my pet. How careless was I? A part of me wanted to strike him again, to take out the whip hidden in the cabinet in the corner of the room and lash out at him repeatedly, until the demon inside of him knew not to ever mention Kenny McCormick’s name in my presence again. On the other hand, it wasn’t his fault. I was supposed to be in control of my goddamned emotions. Guilt won, but only by a small percentage.

“Oh babe! I’m sorry, forgive me.” I dropped to my knees, immediately loosening his binds. His arms dropped to his sides woefully. I embraced his shivering body. “I’m so, so sorry. Babe?”

“Don’t touch me.” Came the sniffling  reply. My eyes narrowed. I held him in my lap protectively. He was mine. I had every right to do touch him, whether he wanted me to or not.

“ I’m so sorry. See what you made me do? You got me so angry at those assholes that flirted with you, and you had to pay the price.”

After a short pause, he replied, “They weren’t flirting with me.”

I rolled my eyes. “I say they were, babe. I saw them. Kyle held your hand. Cartman stopped you from falling on flat on your face. Stan lifted you up and carried you all the way to your house. And Kenny sexually assaulted you in the middle of a classroom. But fear not, my pet. They’d have to be immortal to not declare themselves dead men after I’m finished with them.”

Determined to avenge Tweek, I stood back up. I tried to wipe away a few stray tears off of his face, but he jerked his head to the side, not letting me. Bad decision. I gripped his chin so that he had no other option than to look at me.

“Tweek, I don’t think you fully understand. You’re mine. Every single part of you. If I want to, I can comfort  you. If I want to, I can touch you. If I feel like it, I can beat you with my whip and rape you until the demon inside of your body wilts away. Don’t make me do that, pet.” I hissed venomously, wiping away his tears as new ones cascaded down his face.

I pulled away, going back up the steps. “I’ll see you later Tweek, okay? Try and rest some, darling.” The door closed with a satisfying thump. Kenny McCormick was going to get it. I fingered the knife in my pocket, as a malicious grin spread across my face. I already had a plan. Time to execute.

//

“Tricia! Come ‘ere!” I called out.

My younger sister positively beamed as she walked in. “The fuck do you want?” she grumbled.

“Your help. Come sit down.” I patted the space beside me.

Reluctantly, she perched on the end of my bed. I explained to her what I needed from her.

“Okay, and I should help you because..?”

“Because you’re my lovely, kind sister who doesn’t share my bitter passion for hurting stuff. Not at all.” I replied sarcastically. “Besides, you still technically owe me for the last time I covered your ass at the police station. Seriously, Trish, what the fuck were you thinking? Dead bodies float, you should know that.”

“Well, now I do. But okay, I’ll help you-because I love you.” We both laughed scornfully. She backed out of my room straight after.

It wasn’t our fault we were like this. Emotionally depleted. We blamed it on our parents; at least I did. Honour thy father and mother. As if. Our father was a dispassionate parasite that committed many mortal sins in his life. At one fateful party, he met our mother, a manipulative, frenetic, cunt. One mistake lead to another, and they ended up in an unhappy marriage with two fucked up anathemas named Craig and Tricia. Apart from occasionally going on unethical pet-murdering sprees around the neighbourhood, she wasn’t too bad, I thought. Just a parasite- a manipulative one. But at the time, it came in handy with what I wanted her to do.

For a second, I wondered what those assholes were up to. I flicked the penknife my sister gave me open and shut again. No doubt they were wondering what happened to their precious ‘friend’. Shame I wasn’t in school to see their shocked faces when they realised Tweek wasn’t there. Tweek. My pet. That I was going to protect at all costs. Especially now that I knew they were going to look for him.

Any minute now, they were going to bang at the door, demand to see me, and blame me for his disappearance. I was going to deny everything, and they’d storm back out of the house, more frustrated than when they came in.

A couple sharp thuds at the door. Knew it. Throwing the knife onto my bed, I went to answer it.

I raised my eyebrow at the figures on the doorstep. Exactly who I expected it to be.

“Where is Tweek? Let us in.” They ordered.

“What?” I deadpanned.

“We know you’ve got him, Fucker!”

“I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.” Oh Lord, how fantastic lying to their faces felt.

They burst in through the door. I decided to entertain their assumption, letting them look through every nook and cranny of the house.

“Well? Check in the freezer, I might’ve hid him there.” I spoke, arms folded.

As if on cue, Tricia meandered into the kitchen.

“Ew, gross, are you having an orgy in here?” she asked, grabbing a glass, “At least Craig will get some action for once in his pathetic life.”

“Shut up.”

As expected, Cartman couldn’t resist the temptation of ripping on me, “Ha! Tweek didn’t let you tap his sweet ass. What a surprise!”

“Haha! You’re totally right, Eric. No, I’m actually being totally serious. Once, my loser of a brother tried to take things a step further. Tweek let him fondle his dick, but Craig obviously failed miserably. After half an hour of soft moans they finally fucking finished.”

“Tricia, will you shut your trap?”

“Fuck you! Tweek went cherry red afterwards. He acted fine, but I knew he was lying. As soon as he left Craig’s room, he nearly fainted. It was kinda scary.” She took a long gulp of water, as all four boys looked gravely at eachother.

“What happened after?” Stan asked.

“I don’t really know. I think he had to go to therapy. Yeah, he kept mumbling something about being dirty, though never in front of Craig himself. It was hilarious, actually. He acted perfectly fine one minute, but as soon as Craig left the same room he literally broke down shaking. The weirdest thing was- ugh, never mind. I don’t want to bother you guys with this bullshit.” She placed the glass in the sink, walking out of the room.

“No, Tricia! Tell us. We need to know.” Kyle implored.

“I’d love to, but I can’t.” She turned her head in my direction discreetly.

Cartman understood the motion, “How much do you want?”

“Sixty bucks, plus full coverage of medical expenses when I get my neck wrung.”

Instantly, Cartman negotiated, “Ah! You’re breaking my balls here Tricia. We can offer you twenty. That information is useless to you, and Craig’s already going to kill you for exposing his sex life –or lack thereof. What do you say,deal?”

“Deal.” She agreed. Though she was good at mind games, she wouldn’t ever get to Cartman’s level of expertise, and she knew it.

Kenny handed her the money.

“Tricia, I swear to God, don’t you dare betray me right now.” I muttered, twisting my left hand into a fist.

“Too late. You should’ve thought about before you let your stupid guinea pig crap in my room.” She faced the assholes, “Where was I? Oh yeah! Weirdest thing was, he disappeared for like a week afterwards. Not a trace of him anywhere. Even though he asked Craig to do it. He came back eventually, all flustered, like he just tried to commit suicide. He was, like, so melodramatic. I can’t help but wonder what would’ve happened if someone actually touched him there against his will. What do you guys think?” she asked naively.

“How are we supposed to know?” Stan piped up defensively.

“I don’t know, I was just asking rhetorically. Why, you got something to hide?” She giggled. “Anyway, pleasure doing business with you. When you kick Craig’s virgin ass be sure to send me a picture.”

They all left the house after that, grimacing and surely frustrated, at least according to the slam of the front door. Everything went smoothly, as planned. My sister agreed wholeheartedly.

I held up my left hand, and she fist bumped it.

“Think those idiots bought it?”

I smirked, “Hook, line and sinker.”

//

That night, I prayed. Yet no matter how many times I recited The Sinner’s Prayer, I still couldn’t shake off a strange feeling in my chest. Exhausted, I flung myself onto the bed, wincing sharply as a metal object stabbed into me. A knife. In my back.

What an odd coincidence...

Chapter Text

Oh God! My body recognised the voice. Sparks of pure horror travelled down my spine, as every fibre of my being screamed at me, demanding a fight or flight reaction. He held me close, my arms restrained from the sheer force of his grasp. I was trapped. Hopelessly trapped. My pulse accelerated, quickening further with each rapid beat of my heart. Tears welled in my eyes. I was petrified. But I couldn’t make myself react. There was no way to escape this person. And they weren’t Kenny.

I nearly gagged. With every passing second, the world spun faster, objects becoming blurred, until I could only see colours. They faded into obscurity. As did I.

//

He left the room, thankfully leaving the light on.

My body burned; he slapped me hard enough to hitch the breath in my lungs. I fought back tears when his blow made me twist my upper back, in turn nearly rupturing my arms. The pain. It wasn’t like a needle point or a knife. It burned my innards better than boiling water. Any coherent thought I had halted. The pain. It licked up my spine and upper limbs, searing through. I couldn’t feel one side of my face, but maybe that was for the best. If I did, I would have burst out crying. I had to stay strong.

Oh God! Why couldn’t he do this to one of his friends? His words replayed in my head, like a broken disc.

“You’re not like Token, Clyde or Jimmy. I’m a deadly sinner alongside them, but you’re not. Remember that.”

What kind of drugs was he on? His friends were all normal. Weren’t they? Obviously Craig thought not. I pondered his words, trying to decipher them. When we were a couple, he wasn’t keen on me hanging out with them. He wasn’t keen on me hanging out with anyone else, for that matter. He was envious, full of jealousy. That didn’t mean his friends were bad.

 I cringed internally. I was supposed to be trying to find a way out of this place, not analysing my abductor’s words. But there was no way out. There were no windows and I couldn’t move because I was still chained to the wall. Dejected, I curled up into a fetal position on the floor. The dark phantoms crept up and began their ritual of screams. No matter where I went, they’d follow. It was tiring. This time was no different. Except for one major change. Instead of ear-splitting wails, they chanted over and over.

‘Envy! Envy! Envy!’

I slammed my head against the floor, resulting in a thundering crescendo of voices. They just wouldn’t shut up! Envy... Wait, wasn’t that one of the seven deadly sins? The voices stopped for a good minute before returning to their usual shrieks. What? I started thinking of the others. Gluttony. Clyde was the second fattest kid in school, even as a kid-did that count? After his mother’s unfortunate death on the crapper, he let other people do his bidding for him. Sloth, perhaps? I heard applause. The shadowy monsters applauded me. That never happened before.

What about Jimmy? What did he represent? I thought. Jimmy always wanted everyone to get along, but was extremely competitive. One time, he wanted to win the Paralympics so badly he started using steroids, and that fucked him up. I heard that he beat his girlfriend and mother without mercy. Of course! Wrath. I didn’t know much else about him. Or did I? Cartman did. Cartman helped him when Jimmy needed tips on how to fuck girls. If that wasn’t lust then I didn’t know what was.

That left Token. And two more sins, that actually fitted his personality. Greed and Pride. His family were the richest in the town, yet he never seemed to give any donations to charity. When we were kids, he got so upset that we made fun of him being well-off that he actually went to live with lions. Because he couldn’t stand his pride being hurt.

 What? Was..was Craig onto something? Jesus Christ! No- he wasn’t! He was a psychopath, and I wasn’t about to agree with him on anything. He was crazy. But maybe, he was right. GAH! No. He couldn’t be. He was mentally deranged- but it had to be true. The shadowy monsters that haunted me agreed. With him. No. He was wrong. His friends were normal people and he was just trying to confuse me. I couldn’t let myself be brainwashed.

They slid up the walls, humming and buzzing, forming strange silhouettes. I refused to think about anything. At all. Craig’s friends weren’t representations of the seven deadly sins and that was fucking final!

For the first time, I glanced at those shadowy creatures without much fear. What else was I going to do alone in an empty basement, chained so that I couldn’t move? I observed them. They weren’t actually that gory. Frightening, yes, but a lot calmer now. At least they weren’t shrieking at me mockingly. That was always a plus.

I closed my eyes hesitantly, expecting them to start haunting me as they would any other day. Still cynical, I began falling asleep, waiting for one of them to scare me awake. The humming slowly dissolved. It sounded comforting, almost like a lullaby.

//

The door creaked open. Where was I? Oh, yeah. Craig descended the steps and stood in front of me. Without saying a word, he freed my wrists and picked me up. GAH! I wanted to move, to make him let go, but my body was weak and dehydrated. I had no other option than to sink into him as he took me upstairs.

Gently, he lay me on a bed. It was comfortable and warm; I stretched my aching body, my spine cracking satisfyingly after what I presumed long hours in one position. He chuckled.

“You’re so beautiful. You know you’re mine, right?” He asked.

I gave no response, too content in feeling the soft, silky fabric of the quilt. Besides, I wasn’t his.

“Tweek?”

I lifted my head up to see Craig scrutinize my body. As soon as I did, the atmosphere around changed. He was only at the foot of the bed, but I suddenly felt suffocated. Before I could even think of shifting myself, he crawled on top of me, essentially confining my body between him and the sheets. This was not good. I tried squirming out of his embrace as best as I could, but the only reward for my efforts was a patronizing chuckle. Arrogantly, he turned my face with his forefinger, so that I looked straight at him. That fucking jerk.

“Babe, you’re mine. Say it.”

My lips stayed sealed. I was my own person.

“You’re in no position to disagree with me right now. Do you want to say that you belong to me or do you want me to help you admit it?” He asked, looking straight into my eyes. He wasn’t joking. There was a strange glint in the grey irises, that, quite frankly, scared me shitless. I gulped.

“I-I’m yours.” The words left a sour taste in my mouth.

“Mmm, yes.” He purred, breath hot on my face, “Tell me you love me.”

His faced inched closer to mine, my own terrified expression reflecting in his blue pools of azure. GAH!

“N-n-no.”

A pair of hands gripped my throat, squeezing tightly. I couldn’t breathe. My own hands shot up, trying to retract his. Inhale. I tried clawing at his wrists, but that only resulted in him pressing his palms into my trachea. Exhale.

“Say it!”

“C- Cra-HAH-ig.” I pleaded. His response was to add even more pressure. Inhale. Craig was going to kill me! Oh god, why? With every breath I took, less oxygen entered my lungs. His hold on my neck was one of a boa constrictor’s; I was his powerless prey. Exhale. And I was going to die. Inhale. Inhale. Inhale. No air entered my breathing passage.

 “I l-love y-you” I choked out, deprived.

 He let go abruptly, smiling like a maniac, as I gasped, filling my body with much needed oxygen.

“Sorry babe, couldn’t hear you with all that defiance. Care to continue?” Teasingly, his fingertips grazed my cheek. “Now, tell me exactly how much you love me.”

He really didn’t expect an answer, did he? After all he did, he wanted me to say I loved him. After he abducted me, after he abused me and was keeping me here against my will, after he fucking hit me and just strangled me! He wasn’t just a lunatic.. he was beyond that. But I had to play along, if there was any chance to escape. Luckily, I knew how to act- I knew that much.

“I love you Craig. With all of my heart. More than anything else in this world.” I replied as coolly as I could muster.

He leaned down to kiss me. I thought of turning my head, but I didn’t want a repeat of the last time I did that.

 His lips brushed against mine chastely. I barely had a moment to react before he pushed his tongue onto the seam of my lips and delved inside my mouth. It was fast and passionate, as if he had been waiting an eternity to do so. I couldn’t help stifling a moan. Not from the action, but from the fact that he tasted like coffee. Eagerly, I sucked on his tongue as he pushed it deeper inside of me.

 Soon, the taste wore off, leaving me with just the taste of him. I didn’t know what to do. Craig noticed and pulled away; I fought the urge to wipe his thick, unflavoured saliva off my lips. He sat up, grabbed a cup from the bedside table and filled his mouth with whatever fluid was inside. Grimacing at the taste, he shifted back in place on top of me, our foreheads touching, his cheeks puffed out. Our lips were mere centimetres apart, and he let a drop of liquid escape onto my lips.

 It was coffee. Bitter, dark, extremely strong, coffee. It was delicious. I couldn’t control myself, wrapping my hands around his broad shoulders and pulling him down to taste more. However, being the asshole he was, he paused just as our lips were touching, a tantalizing expression on his face. He wasn’t going to make me do this, was he? Evidently, he was. I swallowed (both spit and any dignity I had left) and licked his chapped lips, before hesitantly entering his mouth. Immediately, I began sucking my favourite beverage out of him. He made the task as difficult for me as he could, letting it flow halfway down his throat as I desperately rubbed my tongue against his, in hope for more. After a couple minutes of torment, he pressed my body further into the bed and allowed it to discharge freely into my mouth. Greedily, I swallowed it all, hardly caring whether it was laced with his saliva or not.

“So good.” I breathed out.

“Yeah?” He cooed, “ If you’re a good pet for me then I’ll let you have more. Do you want more, babe?”

I nodded. If the result of being compliant was coffee, I was willing to accept. Besides, I was just acting; it was my only way of getting out of this prison. He nuzzled his face in my neck, kissing and sucking at the skin there. Meanwhile, his hands snaked up my shirt, and I shuddered as the pad of his finger ghosted over my nipple. He noticed and pressed down, toying with it, eliciting an involuntary gasp from me. Elated at my reaction, Craig unbuttoned my shirt and flicked his tongue over the other one. The contact generated a spark of heat that flowed through me.

“Craig! You, yo-Ahh” I whimpered as his mouth enveloped it fully.

He smirked, “Me what?” pulling away, blowing cool air over the spit-soaked nub. An electrical current circulated through me. I spasmed. He stopped, took another swig of coffee and kissed me hard, our teeth clashing together. As soon as the taste withered away, he pinched my nipple, and I kissed him back enthusiastically, another spastic heat igniting. How could he hurt me so badly yet cause me so much pleasure? He started forming a trail of kisses from my chin downwards, which felt extremely soothing. Until he reached my lower abdomen. Instantly, I recoiled.

“What are you doing?” I enquired, attempting to push him off.

“What do you think I’m doing? I’m going to prove that I’m better than that stupid fuck Kenny McCormick.” He punctuated his sentence by kissing the edge of my jeans.

“Craig... Stop!” I said sharply.

“Nope. As far as I’m concerned, you let Kenny touch you. Why can’t I?” He answered, tugging at my belt more harshly than necessary.

 “Because I don’t want you to!”

This was a bad thing to say to Craig. A very bad thing. In the span of ten seconds, I was laying on my stomach, kicking and screaming as he tied my skinny wrists up to the headboard bar-using my own belt.

“Fine.” He deadpanned, before his voice faded away and the door to the bedroom shut with a thump.

I froze. Was he still in the room? I tried turning around to see. It didn’t seem like it. I relaxed slightly. But then sinister thoughts started plaguing me, and despite my stomach rumbling, I felt sick to the core.

Where did he go? Was he going to come back? What was he going to do to me?

 Oh sweet Jesus, I was definitely going to die! I tried to repress those thoughts, but after a good half-hour of trying to free myself without success, my mind wandered as I lay helplessly on the bed. Time ticked by. I gulped. It didn’t seem like Craig was coming back any time soon...

//

 I heard footsteps, gradually nearing closer. Suddenly, the door burst open. It was exactly who I expected it to be. Without a word, he ripped off my jeans along with my underwear and tied my legs so that they were spread wide apart, unfazed by my struggling.

“Craig, no! Please don’t!” I begged.

He stepped forward, whispering ominously in my ear, “It’s alright Tweek. I won’t touch you. Not unless you wanted me to. But trust me, I’ll make you wish you had.”

GAH!

Leisurely, he walked back to his original position, right behind me. My shirt bunched all the way up to my neck, so I knew he had a good view of my bare back, ass and legs. I craned my neck round in an attempt to look at him. It was so much more terrifying  that I couldn’t physically see him at all. I tensed up. Whatever he was going to do, I most definitely wasn’t going to enjoy.

 

Crack!

Numbness clouded my lower back.

Crack!

And my legs.

Crack! Crack! Crack!

Only then did I start feeling it. The searing, throbbing burn. The wetness trickling down my body. The unbearable sensation of my skin splitting as the whip slashed through it with ease. I didn’t know how badly I was shaking until the stroke meant for my upper thigh grazed both it and my ass.

Crack!

 GAH! My body convulsed, jutting forward. I shuddered helplessly. This is what hell felt like. Oh god, make it stop!

“Feel free to scream as much as you want, babe. I don’t mind.”

So I did. I yelled and cried and bawled. That didn’t stop him. What did I do to deserve this? What could I do? Obviously, I couldn’t move; screaming my lungs out didn’t help either. I had to talk to Craig, calm him down, which wouldn’t be an easy task. What a role reversal. It wasn’t helped by the fact that every couple seconds I received a new slash on my body, making me hiss in pain. Oh god! Acting my way out of this situation was going to be difficult. I had to be more than convincing. I had to make him believe that I loved him. I had to at least try. There was no other way.

“Ah! Craig!” I sobbed noisily, “Please...More!”

He stopped. I racked my brains for how to react. He liked that idiotic bible, didn’t he? I mean, I guessed he did, since earlier he did try to convert me. I just needed to make him think that he succeeded in doing so.

“Bullshit. You’re lying, you heathen!”

Crack!

“Ooh! More.. Please, more. Hurt me, Craig. I need to be pure.”

Was this working? Either that, or I was going to die by whipping. If he hit me one more time, I was going to pass out. This was too much pressure. Way too much pressure! I never tried to act seductive before. And I never even thought of enticing my crazy, religiously obsessed boyfriend. I meant ex-boyfriend! Yeah. This was just a performance- I needed to remember that. As soon as this was over with, I could escape and find Kenny. He’d avenge me.

Only then did I start feeling exposed. And vulnerable. While being whipped, I barely thought about the fact that I was nearly naked, but now it consumed my thoughts. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all. But earlier, I told Craig to stop and he did. He did say he wouldn’t touch me without permission. Besides, I couldn’t back down now. Craig could see all of me anyway. And I had a way to use it to my advantage.

He stepped closer, wiping off all the blood from the gashes, cleaning out the wounds. Surprisingly, there were few of them- at least-fewer than I had expected. Then, he untied my legs and arms.

As soon as I had my hands free, I pulled down my bunched up shirt- the only article of clothing left on me. I sat up and turned around to look at Craig.

“Well? Aren’t you going to hit me some more?” I pouted.

“Tweek-“

“No, it’ll make me feel better, man. I mean it.”

 I lifted up my backside, presenting it to him. He swallowed audibly, backing out of the room. It was working! Freedom, here I come!

“Thank you, Craig. I feel different. Like, better different.” I continued, smiling coyly at him. He looked like he believed me. It seemed too good to be true. It was.

 He stood in the doorway, staring at me blankly. I slid off the bed, wobbling unsteadily on my way over to him. Quickly, he returned to his senses and rushed over, picking me up and setting me back down on the soft duvet.

“Tweek, are you alright?”

GAH! What did he just say!?

“Huh? I-I I’m just... Just..uhh.” I stammered. Oh god! I didn’t think this through enough- I didn’t think he’d ask me something like that. I wasn’t skilled enough. He was going to find out that I was pretending. Then, he’d surely kill me. Oh Jesus! I needed to check his expression to see if he caught on. It didn’t seem so. I wasn’t really convincing him, was I?

 I glanced straight into his eyes, and they were..filled with emotion? GAH! This couldn’t have been Craig. Craig Tucker was emotionless. This imposter was looking at me without a fake expression of nonchalance. More so, he, of all people, was asking me if I was okay. But it was Craig himself. I quickly turned my focus elsewhere. A strange sense of belonging filled my heart. Never had anyone seen him like this.

 And an insane part of me wanted to keep it that way.

“Craig, do you love me?”

“Babe, my insane little mess, of course I do. No-one else could.”

He meant it. His face looked earnest, his lips curved into a light smile. All of his features were contorted in a perfect resemblance of a genuine smile. He loved me. That’s all that mattered. I draped my arms around his neck, unable to tear my gaze away from him.

“I’m so sorry, Craig, for everything. I love you too.”

“If you’d let me make it up to you, I’d be sooo happy.” He trailed his fingers over the buttons on my shirt suggestively. The welts on my skin were burning up, but I ignored them.

“I’m yours.”

What else could I say? I was his. Until I found a way out of here, I belonged to him. He would do whatever he wanted to, with my permission or without. The stings subdued slightly, but were still there- red, angry marks on my flesh. The least I could do was make this whole experience easier for myself.

With those words, Craig ripped my shirt off my body, eyeing me up hungrily. I pulled his neck down to kiss me, which he did with pleasure. His taste was as delicious the richest coffee in the world. I was stupid not to have noticed that before. My traitorous body gave into the sick pleasure, and I felt the start of arousal forming. Our mouths interlocked, two tongues merging into one. I completely surrendered; Craig could kill me and would still have an honorary place in my heart. Because he loved me. Everything he ever did was because he loved me!

Wait. Why exactly did I want to leave again? No. I wanted out. I did? Yes, I did. Really? AGH!

My mind split into two, thoughts and emotions that conflicted, battling eachother ferociously. It was Craig. My boyfriend, Craig, who made it quite apparent that he wanted me. Yeah, Craig totally loved me-look at me! He was a sociopath. But I couldn’t get enough of him at the current moment; the vivid scent of his cologne integrating with the outlandish aroma of charcoal flames-billowing right into my nostrils. He wasn’t coffee, but he might’ve just as well been, judging by the compulsive need it brought out within me. To have more. Anyways, it wasn’t like I was going to get Stockholm syndrome any time soon, and I had to play along to earn my freedom. Who said I couldn’t try to enjoy myself?

I reached up to tug his blue chullo off. Before I could get near his hair, I was thrown further back on the bed. I stared disbelievingly at Craig, who glared at me in return.

“You’re not fooling me, Tweek. Try harder next time.” He stated accusingly.

“AGH! But- Craig, no! I want to.” I yelped.

“Definitely.” He turned his back on me, muttering. As usual, I fucked things up. Why didn’t I want Craig to touch me in the first place? Sweet Jesus, I was such an idiot. Craig risked everything for me, and I was just ungrateful- I thought I wanted out. Guiltily, I padded closer to him. He didn’t seem to notice, rambling away, head in his hands, leaning against the wall.

“Lord, I see what I’ve done wrong. I loved. I cared about someone, for the first time, and they lied to my face. This is my punishment, right? It hurts.” He carried on muttering wretchedly, “Next time, I won’t. I won’t try to fix anyone. Even if I think I love them.”

Oh God.

I finally understood. I was the psychopath. I was the mess. I only took my feelings into consideration. I was selfish. Needy. Broken. And all Craig ever wanted to do was to help me. He had feelings too. I abused them- I made him hit me! I tried to toy with his emotions for my own benefit. I really was going to hell.

 “Craig. You’re right! You were right all along. I’m sorry. I’m a worthless, idiotic, arrogant mess. Please. Forgive me. Don’t give up on me!”

Craig looked up, startled by my presence; immediately shoving his middle finger in my face.

“Go fuck off to McCormick, Tweek. I’m done talking with you. Exit’s third door to the right.” He deadpanned.

“No!” I yelled determinedly, “I’m yours, Craig. I love you, and you’ll always be my life. I can’t exist without you, and I’m not going to leave you.” Tears welled in my eyes and I stamped my foot like a brat.

“Oh really? Because I’m pretty sure you said that you’d let Kenny touch you again. Go ahead. I don’t fucking care anymore. We both know it’s for the better.” He retorted.

“Don’t use that lame shit on me, man. I don’t want Kenny!”

“Then what do you want?”

What did I want? Silence filled the room. A couple minutes ago, I was positive I wanted to escape this place, get as far away from Craig as possible. I wanted to go to that bastard Kenny and have him comfort me. I wanted to go back to his gang, let them use me until they got bored and went off on another idiotic adventure. If they cared about me, they would’ve tried finding me by now. They probably didn’t even notice I was gone.

Craig did. He was the one that took me. Because he cared about me. He knew about that stupid plot to humiliate him, and forgave me. Patiently, he waited through my struggles, helping me along the way. He opened himself up, let me see through his mask, and was letting me decide what to do. But, no, I had to listen to their lies and try to convince myself that Craig was the bad guy. I was sick, I let them brainwash me. Craig proved he loved me. It was my turn now.

“You.” I declared with finality.

Forcefully, I pushed him onto the bed, following shortly after. My shaking hands unzipped his hoodie, as I pressed my lips to his. They were unresponsive. I needed to be bolder.

“Craig? Please?” I asked in desperation.

“No.”

Just like that, my hopes shattered. I broke. If Craig didn’t want me, who would? A single tear slid down my cheek, threatening a waterfall.

He tilted my chin up, chuckling, “Babe, you’re my pet. I’m the one who should be asking that. Hey! Babe, don’t cry. I was just kidding, I wanted to make sure you really meant it.”

In one rapid movement, he pinned me down, attempting to take off his clothes simultaneously. I felt slightly claustrophobic, but then again, Craig’s weight on top of made my body shiver with anticipation.

My face was pampered with mellow kisses, as my trembling fingers clutched at his shirt. It landed on the floor with a suspiciously audible bump, but neither of us cared at the time.

“Relax babe, I want to make you feel good.” Craig breathed languidly in my ear, disposing of the rest of his clothing.

Both my left eye and my cock twitched in unison, only one voluntarily. Craig reached for something in the bedside table drawer. He nipped at my lower lip, one hand caressing my face, and the other making a slow descent down my body, pausing to tease my nipples. I sighed contentedly.

His hand reached my erection, and with one final glance at my dazed face, began stroking at a swift speed. The contact roused a thunderstorm deep inside. Overcome with a sudden thrill, I arched my back up in a catlike manner, whimpering mutely. Craig must’ve noticed, as his face turned into a Cheshire grin, slowing down his brisk movements to an excruciatingly painful pace.

“Nghh.. Craig!”

“Hmm, babe? What is it you want?” he growled in my ear.

I writhed and moaned wantonly in his hold. Twisting his wrist, Craig began circling his thumb over the slit of my-now throbbing- cock.

“Aaah! Craig.. Fuck! Please.” I mewled pitifully.

Instantaneously, he flipped me over onto my stomach, my knees and elbows digging into the mattress. Wasting no time, he peppered dawn sweet kisses on every single one of my cuts before spreading my ass and plunging his tongue deep inside. I flinched sharply at the unexpected intrusion. The muscle probed around my innards uncomfortably. It felt weird-to say the least. Albeit not entirely unpleasant. Craig didn’t stop, nor did he intend to, holding my hips in place. Every electron in my body was overcharged, like sparks about to start soaring. Progressively, my groans of discomfort transformed into something that could be described as lewd begs for more.

I felt his tongue leave my body, and its’ place, a slick digit toyed with my asshole, pulling in and out delicately. An obscene yelp departed my lips as a second one was added, both delving deeper inside. They were stretching me to my limits. And it hurt. Terribly. Desperate for some pleasurable feeling, I wrapped my fingers around my aching cock, only for them to be harshly tugged away.

“Craig!”

“Tweek, sweet pet, you’re mine; only I get to touch you.” He soothed, as an unexpected third digit was added.

 I quivered. After a few more minutes of varying between quick, minute thrusts and scissoring his fingers whilst they were buried to the hilt, he finally pulled them out, and I breathed a sigh of relief. That was horrible! Yet as they departed, my ass clenched around them, determined to embed them inside.

“Babe, do you want to stop?” Craig asked, acknowledging my lack of positive response. “Because if you want to, it’s okay.” He lied expertly, one hand holding my battered thighs and the other digging his fingernails into them possessively, drawing out blood. We both knew I would only suffer more if I refused.

“N-no. Keep going.”

//

Breathless, I lay next to him. My insides were starting to sting unbearably, but it was ultimately better than the alternative. Craig stood up, and I whimpered at the sudden loss of warmth that his body provided. Without a word, he left the room; I slid underneath the covers, calling out his name. No response. I waited a minute before calling out once more. Again, no response. So I waited some more. GAH! What if Craig never returned? I was going to die alone in this room! Abruptly, I sat up, ignoring the faint burn in my rear.

The doorknob turned, and Craig walked back in the room with a large tray filled with mouth-watering food. He placed it on the bedside table beside him, joining me, pulling me into his lap. The delectable scent of pancakes and maple syrup wafted in the air.

Craig picked up a fork, slicing off a piece of the stack. “Thought I’d make you a treat, babe. You deserve it. Open up.”

Obediently, I opened my mouth, as Craig fork-fed me breakfast. Maybe him trying to get me skinny was just a ploy. He had an unrecognizably intense expression on his face as he lifted the food to my lips, eagerly trying to get me to eat more. After every bite, I nuzzled closer and closer to him, kissing him firmly after every forkful. Unsurprisingly, I barely managed to eat one out of the several pancakes on the plate.

“You sure you don’t want any more, babe? You really should have some more.” He prompted.

I took one more mouthful before I shook my head defiantly. Craig cast the food aside, wrapped both of his strong arms around my torso and pulled me in a secure hug.

 “Remember our Stripe?” he whispered in my ear.

“Yeah, of course I do.”

“Yeah, Stripe #4 was the best. I mean, he lasted the longest. My mom stepped on my first guinea pig by ‘accident’ and broke his back. Tricia killed the second Stripe after I let it out in her room while she was having her fit.”

“What about Stripe #3?”

“ I don’t know, babe. I suspect my dad poisoned Stripe the Third when it pooped in the dining room. Good times.”

“That’s not something you can claim was good, man! That’s messed up.”

He chuckled, stroking my hair affectionately. A loud yawn escaped my lips as I sunk further into the mattress. This had to be a dream. I was full, exhausted and safe. With Craig. There had to be something else going on. Just hours ago I was chained up; lying in a bed was a drastic change. What a change of attitude once he got what he wanted! But the bed was so warm and comfortable and my eyelids were getting heavier by the minute. I couldn’t be bothered to think rationally anymore.

“Craig, can I ask you something?” I asked, quivering just slightly.

“Go ahead, babe.”

“So, AGH, how do I say it?”

“Calm down babe. You can tell me anything.”

“What the fuck is it with you and Christianity? I’m not some sort of sacrifice, am I? Oh god, what if-“

“Tweek, honey, no.” He cut me off, “You’re not some sacrifice.”

“Then why-“

“Because, babe, you’re my entire world. And I need you to love me too. I want you to know that everything I do is for you. Do you believe me?”

“Yeah, but that doesn’t explain the religious thing.”

“Oh, about that. Don’t worry babe, I’m not going to try anything like that anymore. I don’t need to; I sinned way too much already.”

“Oh really?” I asked, suddenly drowsy, “Like what?”

“The fact that I hurt you was the biggest one.”

Somehow, the bed was making me more and more lethargic. I mumbled something incomprehensible and Craig stood up, kissing my forehead.

“Mmm.”

“I’ve got to go, babe. I’ll see you when you wake up.”

“ Craig.. You goin’ to wha? But wh-” I stammered. Oh god. I was so dazed.

 Desperately, I tried hoisting myself in a sitting position, but both my mind and body were becoming unbelievably sluggish and uncooperative. In one moment, Craig’s lips were on mine, and a fraction of a second later he was fully dressed and standing in the doorway. Time was moving too fast, and all I could see were indistinct forms. What was happening? Having had insomnia for all of my life I couldn’t deal with whatever the hell this was. Luckily, even through the thick fog that clouded my vision, I could make out the vague outline of Craig’s face- keeping me from breaking into panic. I trusted Craig.

“Close your eyes, babe. I’ve got some assholes that I need to..take care of.”

“Go get ‘em, tiger.” was my last listless response before unconsciousness overcame me.

//

God damnit. GOD DAMNIT! Craig drugged me! That sly fuck. How could he? AGH! Why was I always so, so stupid?

Still weak in the knees, I shot out of bed like an arrow. More like, stumbled out, and very nearly cracked my head open on the bedside table because I was still shaking, and really badly too. But freaking out about dying wasn’t an option. My one and only thought was on how to escape this place. I was going to do it.

After yanking back on my clothes, I bravely ventured into the hallway. Thoughts of serial killers roamed in the back of my head. Just because I couldn’t let myself go into hysteria about them didn’t mean that they couldn’t be there. Nothing was ever definite. I passed a small kitchen, which actually looked cosy. Everything was immaculate, brand new utensils and all. But what surprised me most, was a certain appliance. On one countertop was a work of art. A pristine, exclusive coffee maker. Craig must’ve stolen it, because that machine was worth well over five grand. That, and exotic grounded coffee beans from the gulf of Mexico. When did Craig even obtain such delicacies?

I wanted coffee. Really bad. I know it didn’t ever calm me down, and in reality, was probably extremely counterproductive, but I liked to pretend it helped. My throat ran dry. Coffee. Now was not the time for coffee! Jesus, I needed to get a grip on myself. Maybe those beans were poisoned with something worse than sedatives. I had no way of knowing.

At the side stood an ancient door, which, under closer inspection, was bolted shut. What a surprise. I needed to find an exit, and fast. Who knew how long I was out for, and when Craig was going to return? My whole body hurt. What if Craig..Shut up! No time to panic; analytical thinking only. What to do, what to do? My gaze wandered to a lone window. It reminded me of the way I escaped the back room in my parent’s coffee shop as a kid. Perhaps it was big enough for me to fit through? I could try.

Promptly, I rushed over and grabbed a wooden chair, hoisting myself on top. The aged window wouldn’t budge an inch no matter how hard I yanked and pushed. That left only one option.

Clenching my fist, I drew back my hand. Just like I did in boxing practice years ago.

With an astounding CRASH, the window pane shattered into a thousand shards. All of them went flying off in different directions, some sheathing themselves in my face and hands, some falling to the polished floor. The chair wobbled precariously beneath my weight. I had to get out of this place and get myself a first aid kit-before my open wounds got infected. Of course, I could’ve stayed in the house and rummaged around for one, but I’d preferred not be there once Craig saw the patterns of broken glass decorating the floor. Cautiously, I scanned the room one last time, and I froze.

That coffeemaker was coming with me. So were the grains. It was not up for any mental discussion; I leapt over most of the clear fragments, the soles of my boots crunching disturbingly as I made my way to the other side of the kitchenette. Under any normal circumstance, I would never bring myself to steal anything. Panic would overrun me, as well as guilt. Living with culpability for being a criminal would be way too much pressure. But if ‘Feldspar’ could be a level 12 thief, taking from him wasn’t so wrong. Besides, fuck Craig! He was a manipulative asshole. I couldn’t believe I opened myself up to him.

Grabbing those items, I made my way back to the window and squeezed through. It was a tight fit, but I managed to fall on the soft, luscious green grass, relatively unharmed. The sun shone brightly, and hurt my eyes as I picked myself and my belongings up. Oh Jesus! It felt like forever since I last felt those cancer-bringing rays on my pale skin. Not that I welcomed them. Far away, birds chirped happily, and I rolled my eyes. They were so lucky, they didn’t have to deal with the daily stress of life.

I looked around, shielding my face. So, I just escaped what looked like an overgrown cottage, was standing in the middle of a clearing, surrounded by a thick forest. Oh god. Craig had certainly done an excellent job of ensuring I didn’t run away that easily. There was literally nowhere to run to. The trees stretched out as far as I could see, probably further. Not a single sign of human life for what seemed like miles. I was in the middle of nowhere.

AGH! Maybe it wasn’t too late to turn back? Maybe Craig would forgive me? Oh god! I couldn’t go back! But I couldn’t stay here either! My only decision now was to explore the woods, and hope that any potential beasts living there wouldn’t feel particularly hungry. Not that I would make a very satisfying meal anyway. Disgustedly, I fingered my visible collarbone. Ugh! Craig made sure to leave a lot of unwanted hickeys there. I needed to gain some weight, but the thought put me off. What if all of the food I was offered was drugged? It wasn’t impossible.

The pancakes made my stomach flip over; I decided it would be best if I got rid of them. Sticking two fingers in my throat (like I had done so many times before), I heaved up all the content inside with minimal effort. Usually, I had to shove my whole fist down there, because my stupid body actually got used to the ministrations and ceased my convenient gag reflex. I realised I hadn’t had the opportunity to regurgitate anything for the past couple of weeks; I didn’t have the opportunity to do so.

At once, I felt better. Pancakes were officially going on my blacklist. They looked sickening, and I stood up before the stench reached my nose. It was bad enough having bile slide back down my throat, I didn’t need to puke again from the odour.

Walking in a random direction was my best bet. Predictably, my breath stank, and I decided to take the risk of chewing on a few coffee beans. If I were to die, death by poisoned coffee would be my choice. The rich taste of it was delicious, and the bitterness was an accurate representation of my life. All bitter now. But I naively believed it wouldn’t take a turn for the worse.

Admittedly, the woods were more mesmerising than bloodcurdling. It's canopy was so dense that I could only see the occasional streak of sunlight pierce through. Sounds of mushy and dead leaves whispered from beneath my shoes. The dark shadows of the voluminous trees and the surrounding bushes had become the backbone of the forest, standing as passive protectors of a peaceful place. Walking among them was a joy and a fearful experience at the same time. If only I could share this extraordinary sight with anyone.

 Henrietta would most likely jokingly complain about tearing her already ripped dress, yet continue to take the most brambly path. Michael and Pete would accuse me of trying to turn them into faggy vampire kids, yet would look around in silent awe at the gothic demeanour of this place. Firkle would stroll along silently, applying his purple lipstick. Those would be their reactions, if only they were here.

But they weren’t, because I ditched them when Craig told me to. I didn’t even protest when he burned the few black articles of clothing in my possession. And now, the Goths wouldn’t want me back. It was a real shame, I liked hanging out with them. Whenever they weren’t smoking behind the school (I’d refuse but keep them company), we’d be at the Village Inn, drinking coffee. It seemed ludicrous, drinking a competitor’s beverage, when we could get better made brews at my parent’s shop, but they seemed adamant about staying there, so we did.

Mostly, they just droned on about death and despair, whilst Henrietta bitched about her mom. We actually had quite a few things in common. All of us despised nature, normal people and the Vampire Kids. Personally, I didn’t have anything against the Vamps, but their plastic fangs freaked me out. The Goths had a long history with them, which I listened to with mild interest.

I don’t really remember how we became friends in the first place. It just sort of.. happened. One day at school, I couldn’t mentally handle an algebra equation, so I stormed out of class on the verge of a panic attack. Craig wasn’t in that class, so there was no-one who would care enough to follow me to the back of the school. Outside, four pairs of depressed eyes glared at me. Oh god, they looked like they wanted to skin me alive! Taking a long gulp of coffee, I turned to head back, but was stopped by the tallest, curly-haired Goth. He prompted me to sit with them in the midst of all the hazy smoke, and I did. My erratic breathing subdued, and Henrietta rested one of her manicured hands on my jeans. The rest of the hour passed in companionable silence. How I wished they were here with me.

I walked. The further into the woods I got, the more hopelessly lost I became. It seemed like time had stopped, nothing changed. More trees, more insects buzzing, even more trees. Jesus! Was there even a way out of here at all? My legs ached from over exertion, but I daren’t stop, for I feared the real aching I would feel if Craig caught me. The more distance between me and the place he trapped me in, the better. The only indication of any time passing at all were the streaks of light illuminating the gloomy forest, turning into darker hues of orange and brilliant red.

//

I heard a voice. Not quite sure whether it was in my head or not, I steered clear of whoever they may have been. For all I knew, it could’ve been Craig. And, oh god, that encounter would’ve been awkward.

It was dark and it was petrifying. The gloom hid all of the shadowy monsters, and I couldn’t tell what was shrubbery and what was just a fragment of my imagination. Low hanging vines and twisted knives were indistinguishable. An owl hooted, and something ghosted over my back.

AGH!

Cold tremors ran down my spine. Oh Jesus! Anything within a mile radius could hear me. That meant that whoever was out here could find me! I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. Oh fuck, fuck, fuck! What if it was The Ghost of Human Kindness? What if it was a serial killer? Underpants Gnomes? Manbearpig? The possibilities were endless.

I couldn’t deal with the pressure. Not anymore. Dropping to the ground, I rocked myself back and forth, like a lunatic. They could hurt me. They could rape me. They could kill me. I just didn’t care. Not anymore. Let it be whoever the hell it was. Kenny, Craig, what was the difference? Both should hate me equally. Once again, I was reduced back down to being a needy, broken, spaz. And I deserved it. Every single horrible that happened to me in my life.

The thoughts accelerated inside my head. I wanted them to fade, to suppress them, but they reappeared stronger than ever, leaving me emphysematous. My head was a carousel of fears spinning out of control, each one pushing my mind into blackness. There wasn’t enough oxygen.

A hand touched my shoulder. GAH!

“There there little buddy. Just let it all out.”

“Bu-But- Butters?” I choked out. A heavy thump landed next to me on the leaves.

“That’s me.” He giggled childishly.

Oh, how thankful I was. He held my hand as my heart rate gradually slowed down. The world loved fucking with me in mysterious ways.

“Butters! I want out!”

“Sure thing. Where do you want to go?” Butters chirped, as if being in the middle of the woods in the middle of the night was a socially acceptable thing.

“Away from here! Home!”

“Aw hamburgers. Can we please go to my place first? I’ll need an excuse for being out so late, or my dad will ground me for sure.”

I nodded consent. A saviour had arrived. A blessing in disguise. Butters leapt to his feet, pulling me up with him. With his arm around my waist, supporting me, we began our long journey out of the forest.

“Are you sure you know the way?” I asked cynically. As nice as walking with someone was for a change, we could both end up dead.

“Why, sure Tweek! I was lost in these woods so many times as a child, I know it like the back of my hand.”

“Really?”

“Really! Like once, when I had to find my way out after my mom drove her car with me inside into the lake, or when we were playing Texans versus Indians and I went the wrong way. And even after the guys and I tricked Cartman into bringing all his electronics and breaking them, though I found my way back after a couple of minutes.”

“Nggnn, Okay.”

 I had to remember that Butters Stotch had an even more fucked up life than I did, but stayed optimistic no matter what. It seemed hard to trust him; I was sure no one was this genuinely positive and cheerful. He was trying to hide something. It was just a matter of trying to figure out what. Then again, that may have been my paranoia talking.

“Hey Tweek, do you want to maybe stay over at my house for a while? You don’t seem too good.”

I nodded. Anything to escape. Butters rambled on as we trekked through, but he was true to his word. Soon enough, we were free. The houses were all dim; the streetlamps illuminating the familiar neighbourhood. Oh sweet Jesus, I survived!

Gratefully, I pulled Butters into a crushing hug, which he joyfully reciprocated. After a solid, five minute embrace, I tugged at his sleeve and we headed toward his house.

“Aw gee! It seems like Dad didn’t notice I was gone. Let’s sneak in through my window. I’d hate to have to explain everything to him.”

“Sure.” At that moment, I was happy to do whatever Butters commanded.

In no time at all, I was sitting on his desk chair as he rummaged around his wardrobe for a change of clothing for me. Full of glee, Butters pressed the clothes into my hands along with a towel and sent me off to the bathroom. Eagerly, I scrubbed myself clean- though only on the exterior. I could only hope time would erase the cuts and bruises on my body, as well as the memories latched onto them.

Fresh, and with a change of apparel, I went back into Butters’ bedroom, who was patiently waiting for me.

“There you are! Are you feeling better?”

“Yes, thanks a million Butters.” I replied, joining him beneath the covers.

He turned the lights off, and began stroking my arm. After a minute or so without stopping, I decided to intervene.

“Stop it, please. You’re freaking me out.”

“I am? I’m sorry, I was just trying to get you to calm down. You’re shaking awful bad, fella.” He chirped, though he pulled away like I was red-hot.

Indeed, I was. He was actually more concerned than me. He was actually concerned.

“Oh, yeah. It’s alright though. Goodnight Butters.” I twitched.

“Goodnight Tweek.”

Within minutes, he fell asleep, which I gathered by the fact that he practically threw himself on top of me, one arm wrapped around my midsection, and one leg between my own. Gentle snores filled the room, and I breathed in his soothing lily scented hair.

I couldn’t sleep. I assured myself it was because I had already slept earlier, but a troublesome  feeling in my stomach wouldn’t subside. Butter’s blonde hair tickled my nostrils...

Blonde.

KENNY!

Chapter Text

Aggravated beyond belief, the four boys stormed out of Craig’s house, slamming the door. Craig was so full of shit! Like, full of fucking shit. But Tricia was trustworthy, at least from what Karen told Kenny about her. He’d have to remember to tell his little sister to watch out for them. The Tucker family was known to be nearly as bad as theirs  in terms of family arguments.

“Well Kinny?” Cartman spat, as they ambled along the road. “You care to explain what the fuck we do now? Little Twinkle’s gone! Gone!”

“I don’t know.” He mumbled back abashedly.                      

“Well, you better think of something, dude. Technically it is your fault.” Stan said, eager to pin the blame on anyone but himself.

“Like, totally! I get it that Twinkle’s a twink, but you just had to get your dirty hands all over him, didn’t you, poor boy? No wonder he fucking vanished.”

“Sorry, fatass! I wanted to calm him down, and it was the only I knew how to. Like, he even stopped trembling and shit. He seemed okay!”

“Yeah, until he fainted in the middle of the hallway, and we had to haul his ass all the way home.” Kyle seethed, joining the conversation.

“Ky, not you too.”

“Yes me too, Ken, he was our friend! You’re going to rot in hell for pulling this shit. What if Tweek?- What if? What. if.“ Kyle started, but daren’t finish his sentence. Not even Cartman probed for the ginger to finish what he was going to say. Saying it out loud would make it a possibility. And Tweek couldn’t be.. It wasn’t possible for him to be..

Kenny gulped. The thought was terrifying. Knots coiled in his stomach, squeezing tighter and tighter. It was Kenny’s fault. Everything matched up, Tricia’s story, Tweek’s reaction after class, his sudden absence.

Kenny didn’t even get to see Tweek the day he disappeared. Karen had gone down with the flu recently and was still recovering; Kenny couldn’t refuse to make her a cup of hot water with a teaspoon of sugar (The McCormick version of tea) before going out to school. Her sunken face lit up instantly at her brother’s kind treatment. He was going to be late, but it didn’t seem like a problem at the time.

Panting, he arrived at the Tweak household. After three solid knocks, his mother answered.

“Mrs Tweak, where’s Tweek? We need to get to school.”

“Huh? I’m sorry hun, could you repeat what you just said?”

Oh. Kenny forgot. She most likely only heard a jumbled gargle. Kenny took off his hood, and asked again, to which Mrs Tweak’s reply was,

“Tweek’s gone already.”

“What do you mean, he’s gone?” Kenny questioned, perplexed, “Please could you tell him to come here so I could speak to him? He has to be here.”

“Listen sweetheart, Tweek’s been gone for a solid ten minutes. Perhaps he wanted to avoid confrontation and went off.” Mrs Tweak answered, blasé as ever.

“But he can’t be! It’s impossible!”

“Calm down, have some coffee. It really soothes the nerves. Maybe he wanted to see you at school? Check there.”

 She held out a mug filled with dark liquid. Kenny politely refused, tugged his hood back over his face and sprinted to school. Tweek wasn’t going to back out on them, was he?

Unlike Craig, Tweek wasn’t an asshole. Tweek was kind of cool, though confusing as fuck. Kenny could never tell what Tweek  was thinking- especially with his thoughts being so fucked up. Now he just vanished without a trace.

Twenty minutes later, it was confirmed. He wasn’t at school. Undoubtedly, all four of the guys were shocked, jumping to conclusions and accusations. Unfortunately, they couldn’t escape the school until they were let out, and the next six dragging hours were spent in harrowing disbelief and unanswered questions. Not even Cartman felt like eating; but he pretended to be interested in the food in front of him at lunch all the same. None of the boys had much of an appetite for fun and jokes. It was astounding how the atmosphere around them changed when Tweek was gone. All they had managed to experience was a slither of happiness, but that had been ripped away as well. The world would never tire of ways to make them miserable.

“Hey Cartman, at least you didn’t lose a million dollars like you did when you opened that theme park.” Kyle said with a dry laugh.

Because it was dry. Humourless. Without Tweek to curiously ask them what that meant, the memory was just a joke- and not a very good one at that. Cartman just sighed. What? Not even a ‘Shut up, Jew!’. Kyle personally vowed that he would change that.

As soon as the final bell had rang, they marched to Craig’s house, who magically also happened to be absent during school. That aroused suspicion amongst the four friends. But their unwelcomed visit lead them nowhere. Craig had denied all allegations against him, but his sister leaked out the truth. That it was all Kenny’s fault.

Over the next couple of days, they flipped the town upside-down, but Tweek just wasn’t anywhere. Not in the park. Not in the coffee shop. Not at home. None of the adults seemed to care, but that was the harsh reality of living in a town like South Park. It was the fourth day since Tweek’s mysterious disappearance, and the boys were starting to get desperate.

“Oi, Kinny! Kinny! KINNY!”

“My name is Kenny, you fat sack of shit.”

“Ooh, fat sack of shit, good one, Kenny. I’ll have to remember it for next time, dude.”  Stan tried to ease the tension, which could be easily cut with a knife.

“I’m sorry, Kinny. And I’m not fat you poverty stricken rat! What are we going to do now? Use your brain.” 

Silence.

“Oh look, you guys! Kenny’s so poor he had to sell his brain to pay for frozen waffles to feed his family. HA!” Cartman snarled maliciously as Kenny grit his teeth in frustration.

Recently, Cartman was unleashing all his pent up hate on Kenny instead of Kyle, and this was just one example it. Of course, Kenny being quite inexperienced with the psychopath and his  tendencies, tried to ignore them. Not as if that’d last long.

“Seriously! Kenny, you’re so poor that when I lit a match, all of the cockroaches at your house sang out ‘Clap your hands, stomp your feet, praise the lord ‘cause we got heat!’”

Stan had to block Kenny from hitting their fat friend, as aforementioned fat friend continued taunting ignorantly,

“HAHA! You’re so poor even the Mexicans make fun of you!”

Kenny was on the brink of murdering Cartman if he pulled one more stupid joke out of his blubbery ass.

“Hey, hey Kinny! Guess what? You’re so poor that if you didn’t get a hard on when Christmas came, Karen wouldn’t have anything to play with.”

 Cartman brought it, bitch. He brought it, set it down on the table and opened it, bitch.

 But he took it too far.

“YOU LEAVE KAREN OUT OF THIS!”

 Kenny’s raw voice was brutal against Cartman’s high pitched shriek. The brunet struggled against him, shooting his right leg out-but his movements were far too slow. Hands moving agilely, Kenny threw his fists with trained precision, straight into Cartman’s face. The blonde boy pushed his chubby counterpart roughly further into the alley, where he landed on his fat ass with a thud. Livid, Kenny threw himself on the other and pummelled him with no mercy, met with weak cries and pleas.

The other two had started laughing hysterically, though whether it was because of Cartman’s bitchy yelp of horror or his bloody, bruised face, neither one was sure. Both were equally hilarious to the boys whose emotions weren’t currently clouded with blinding fury or pain. Normally, they would help out, but during the time that Tweek was absent, they needed some sort of comedy to help veil their internal bitterness.

Eventually, the punches slowed down to the point where Cartman could push Kenny off, but only barely. Gingerly, the battered boy sat up. His sneer was wiped clear off his face, but was covered in blood, a fountain gushing from his –most likely broken- nose.

“Fuck you, Kinny.” He mumbled, hand clasped over his wrecked face.

Out of nowhere, Butters ran over, helping both Kenny and Cartman to their feet.

“Fellas! What did you do to Eric?” He exclaimed, producing a first aid kit out of his backpack and dabbing at Cartman with disinfectant wipes.

“Well,” Kenny started, “Cartm-“

“Eric.” Butters glowered, “You should have at least a little respect for him Ken, he’s your friend!”

Eric deserved it.” Kenny answered, rolling his eyes extravagantly, not that anyone would see, “And I shouldn’t have a gram of respect for him after what that fat fuck says about everyone.”

“The only grams you know are the ones to measure crack.” Cartman wheezed, voice distorted from being hit in the throat. Repeatedly. Kenny was lining up for another kick, until Butters, being the peacemaker he was, stepped in-between them, ruining the perfect opportunity for Stan and Kyle to have a second round of laughter.

“Eric, don’t tease! It’s not nice.” He prompted, taking out bandages and plasters, sticking them onto the worst areas, “And you Kenny, better watch out. Gee, you’re in big enough trouble already, doing such dishonourable things to others. I’m not the only one ashamed. Consider this your first and last warning-from all of us.”

With that, Butters left, throwing his first aid kit on the pavement, ominous threat hanging in the air.

“Since when did Butters become part of a group?” Kyle enquired.

“And since when is that group not a bunch of sourpusses?” Stan added. “Last time I saw him, he was playing with that annoying Frenchie kid and Dougie in the basement.”

“You mean Pip? Yeah, he was a real shit. Tea at a baseball game? Seriously, who does that?” Cartman bitched, cracking his back. His face looked a lot better, but that was just Butters’ uncanny skill at healing people’s wounds.

“Look. Dudes, if we have any hope whatsoever at finding Tweek, we need to split up. Kyle, go find Butters, and make him explain whatever the hell that was. Everyone knows, you’re scary as fuck when you’re mad. Cartman, see if Tricia knows anything more. You and her seem to have the same mindset, you’ll be able to see right through her. I’ll go and look around town. Perhaps Wendy can locate his phone? If Tweek still has it, that is.” Determined, Stan spoke.

“Sure thing bro.”

“Finally, a decent plan, for a hippie.”

Kyle and Cartman sauntered off together, Kyle sidling up to Cartman, who, uncharacteristically, backed away; leaving the blonde and raven-haired boy alone.

“What about me?” Kenny asked, thoroughly offended, “What do I get to do?”

“Maybe you should stay out of this one, dude. You kind of messed up already. We’re having to deal with this shit because of you.” Stan shrugged.

“If it weren’t for me, Tweek wouldn’t have joined you guys in the first place!” Kenny snapped, “It was me who convinced him to go back to school, if you care to remember, asshole!”

“Don’t make this mess only about you, dude.”

“What?-But-you! You started it! Fucking jerk!” Kenny growled, turning his back and marching off.

He didn’t care in which direction he was headed. Kenny’s head was filled with hatred and contempt for his so called ‘friends’. How many times had one of the others screwed up, and no-one had accused them? Everyone forgave those three cocks without so much as a second thought. But now, all of them were hurling accusations at him! For fuck’s sake, Kenny understood he fucked up! Did they really need to be such hypocrites?

Kenny ventured on, calling Kyle, Stan and Cartman every horrible insult he could think of. The streets turned into walkways, which turned into trails, then into dead leaves that no-one had stepped on before. The sky rapidly grew dark, as more and more trees crowded around him comfortingly. It was easier to shout out strings of curses in the midst of the forest without people glaring at him condescendingly.

No one was acting like themselves. Stan wasn’t usually that much of a self-righteous piece of shit. He was usually quite a chill dude, except when Wendy broke up with him. However, it never lasted long before he returned to his usual, joyful self. It had not been longer than a couple days but everyone was already starting to change.

Cartman was acting extremely out of character lately, at least towards Kyle. No smartass comments, no petty revenge plans, not even a single Jew joke passed his lips in the past four days. Kenny noticed, though he had absolutely no idea what happened. Kyle obviously noticed too, getting Cartman riled up in whatever way he could, without much success. Which lead to Cartman passing his emotions onto someone else- in the form of catty remarks directed at Kenny. Out of the four of them, only Stan was oblivious, though that was most likely because he was wallowing in despair at his loss of Tweek. He really took a liking to Tweek, didn’t he? Kenny didn’t approve. Who the fuck did Stan think he was? He had a girlfriend. It wasn’t like Tweek ever paid that much attention to him anyway. It was Kenny who he trusted the most.

Kenny grinned at that. Poor Stan would be so heartbroken when they found Tweek and he would run straight into Kenny’s waiting arms. Which Kenny would eagerly reciprocate, of course. As soon as they found Tweek, Kenny wouldn’t let him out of sight again. Tweek would tell Kenny everything that happened, and anyone who ever tried to hurt his little twitchy friend would get a well deserved ass kicking. Together, he, Tweek and Karen, would wait the next couple agonizing years, until Kenny could find a job and get the three of them out of South Park. Their lives would be perfect- Kenny would make sure of that. Anything to protect the two people dear to him. His lifelong dream of having a happy little family would come true. No alcohol, no drugs, no cults, no more misery. As soon as he found Tweek.

//

The moon was out, Kenny’s phone switched onto silent after seven missed unknown calls. He didn’t stop for a second, walking further and further into the dense surroundings filled with trees. On his way, he found a cherry red coffee maker, left behind in some bushes. Rather strange, but not worth thinking over twice. The only sounds were ones of grasshoppers and Kenny’s mindless whistling. Other than that, the forest was quiet.

The shrubbery thinned out, dotted around in sparse clumps, as Kenny reached a small clearing. A deserted hut stood there, probably abandoned for years. In the darkness, he could only make out vague outlines of ivy coiling itself round the chimney and the thick entryway into the house.

Intrigued, he knocked on what he presumed to be the door. No response, as one would expect. It was locked. Sighing, he flung himself onto the grassy area near it, wincing as shards entered his body. Glinting shards, clear ones. Glass. Above him was a window- or what was left of one. Judging by the way the glass fell out, it was clear that someone wanted to get out of that place. Though, who?

Tweek. It had to have been Tweek! After pulling out most of the fragments that were sheathed in his skin, Kenny flew through the window, to search the interior of this mysterious cottage. He landed with a bump, and more crystals pierced into his thick brown boots, but he didn’t mind. Not with more important things to preoccupy himself with. Tentatively, he stumbled around the unlit room, hitting objects, reaching around the walls, ‘til he found a light switch. Kenny flicked it on, the unnatural brightness distorting his senses for a good couple of seconds.

A loud moan resonated throughout the place. A moan that Kenny was sure belonged to Tweek. It was primitive and needy, as if someone was fucking him with so much vigour that it was unwillingly forced out of him. The voice distorted and stopped immediately after. Tweek was here!

Multiple pairs of pattering footsteps, creaking on wooden floorboards.

 He wasn’t alone.

 Slamming of a different door.

Whoever he was with, didn’t want Kenny to know their identity.

Who could’ve it been? There was only one way to find out.

Hastily, Kenny followed the sound reverberating in the unnecessarily long corridor. He paused at the end, an engraved door on either side of him. One from which Tweek’s audio emerged,  and the other which was closed, multiple sets of lungs breathing shallowly, in a futile attempt not to be heard. Blood boiled beneath his fingertips. Kenny would decapitate every single person inside that room. He kicked open the door to his left, facing the monsters who took Tweek from him.

What Kenny was certainly not prepared for, were the faces of the people inside.

And the knife that flew through the air.

-

“What the hell Cartman!” Kyle raged when Cartman moved swiftly away.

“Hmm? It seemed that you wanted some more space. You were walking into me.”

“Don’t belittle my people, you fucking fatass!”

Cartman just stared blankly at his phone, as Kyle came to the realization that Cartman didn’t just yell out loud an anti-Semitic remark in public- one of his favourite things to do. Some people turned their heads, shooting Kyle odd glances, as if he were a lunatic. To them, he was behaving like one, so who was he to blame. It was just that he expected Cartman to yell something along the lines of ‘Fuck you Jew! Move out of mah way!’ that he responded the way he usually would. But without Cartman to carry on their mantra, he really only made a fool out of himself.

This behaviour was really starting to piss Kyle off. Whatever that fat fuck was planning to do to Kyle, it was working a little too well. Kyle’s pale face flooded red with anger. With some effort, he pushed Cartman into a tree and pinned him there. Cartman didn’t struggle, just stood limply as Kyle scrunched his red coat up in the palm of his fist. Passers-by that were new to this town were staring, but the good old citizens knew not to interfere, walking briskly past them, letting them continue.

“What the fuck is wrong with you?”

“I don’t understand what you mean, Kyle.”

“Quit it, fatass! For the last couple of days, you’ve been acting strange. You don’t get mad at me. You don’t call me Kahl. You treat me like a normal person and I’m losing my mind. So, tell me. What. The. Fuck. Is. Going. On.” Kyle shrieked, pulling Cartman away from the oak and back into it more forcibly with every word.

Leaves fluttered around them like confetti. Cartman didn’t even smirk. It was like it was never his intention to make Kyle this angry in the first place. But that couldn’t be true. Ever since pre-school, Cartman made it his personal obligation to ruin Kyle’s life every single day. And now he wasn’t reaching his quota, nor was he complaining about it. Kyle had no idea what to do.

“Is it bothering you that I’m worried about Twinkle? I guess I am a bit preoccupied. It’s just that I’m worried about him, you know?” Cartman voiced softly, obviously feigning concern, “I miss Tweek just as much as all of you guys do.”

“Really?” Kyle rolled his eyes. Cartman would have to do a better job at convincing anyone in this redneck mountain town that he felt worried for a person other than himself, let alone Kyle, the boy who experienced the very worst of Cartman and his misdeeds toward other people. “What do you like about Tweek so much?”

A slight hint of pink coloured Cartman’s cheeks. Embarrassed, he looked down, and began telling what Kyle thought to be complete bullshit. The fact that he couldn’t look Kyle in the eyes as he spoke suggested just how vulnerable he might’ve felt.

“I like his hair. It’s wild and untamed and crazy and I love it. I like his skin colour, it’s white like marshmallows, or icing, or butter-cream. I like that he has a few freckles on his nose, like drops of caramel- that only highlight the brilliance hidden deep in his eyes.”

“Enough food analogies, fatass. What about his personality?” Kyle asked, still suspicious.

“He’s strong. He’s kind. He’s brave. He’s compassionate. He’s an amazing person, Kyle, both inside and out. I could go on and on about him for centuries. I just wish he’d give me a chance. It doesn’t help that he knows I’m a psychopath. And that his hippie black-haired boyfriend is totally crazy for him. But I’m not ready to have my stone heart crushed at their wedding.”

 The revelation was news to Kyle. Cartman with feelings for someone other than himself? The Eric Cartman, the one that inadvertently murdered his own father? He had a crush on Tweek? Of all people?

“You have a heart? Since when?”

 “Ever since I saw him, Kyle. Since day one, when he made fun of me for the very first time. Something in me snapped, Kyle. And I’m not the same because of him. My life revolves around him, whether I want it to or not. I’m trying to fight it, I really am, but some things are inevitable.”

Cartman exhaled deeply. Not looking at Kyle’s perplexed face, he disentangled his shirt from Kyle’s long, alabaster fingers.

“I’m going to Tricia. I suggest you find Butters, like Stan suggested.”

He walked away.

Kyle stood there, more than confused. Bewildered? Shocked? Aghast? No, those weren’t the right words to describe the turmoil bubbling up inside of the ginger boy. Alas, it was more than that. Multiple emotions tore through his body, some expected, some surprising to him. Resentment. Disgust. Outrage. Anger, so much anger.

There was one more feeling, much more prominent than the rest- but Kyle couldn’t quite put his finger on it.

It wasn’t one of the three strikes- ginger, Jersey or Jew.

But it did begin with the letter  ‘J’.

-

Well damn, Kenny was rude. It was his own fault that Tweek disappeared. Besides, it was weak of him to bring up the point of their beloved, twitchy friend joining their group only for him. That wasn’t true. Maybe at the beginning, Stan would’ve agreed, but Tweek became their friends just as quickly. Tweek liked them all equally- didn’t he?

If Tweek was romantically invested in Kenny, oh god help him. It would be awful seeing those two together. He was against that relationship completely- and that was coming from a person who fully accepted his gay dog. Kenny was a player, and most, if not all people in South Park knew. His flings never lasted long, and Stan could never understand how he could throw away people like they were tissues. Bebe? Just for the boobs. Red? He was drunk. Nichole? Always wanted to try it on with a black girl. Kevin Stoley? Experimenting. That experiment seemed to turn out well, because from that time on, the string of broken hearts expanded to include both genders. Annie? Great ass. Jimmy? Kenny mentioned he stuttered even more in bed than usual, with a devilish grin. Millie? Smoking was hot. The list went on and on. He always went into great detail about his sexcapades, which annoyed Stan greatly. What was so appealing about being a man-whore? Any day now, Kenny was going to start saying ‘Oh Jesus Christ’ and letting Mr Garrison shove gerbils up his ass.

Stan couldn’t let Tweek join the others. Love was a thing Kenny just didn’t understand. Loving someone wasn’t just a crush that faded as soon as he was done with them. Love was so much more complicated. Like, being there for eachother, through thick and thin. Accepting their faults and trying to make them a better person. Being honest with one another- faithful too. Stan knew a whole lot more than Kenny, being with Wendy. Of course, they too had their arguments, but would always wind up together anyways. Speaking of, he texted Wendy to ask where she was, to which she replied that she was at home and had an important project she had to finish. Stan, being the gentleman he was, decided to not disturb his love, instead, going to Tweak Coffee Bros for the third time today, in meagre hope that Tweek would be there.

On his way, he stopped everyone that he could, consistently asking them if they’d seen a petite blond boy around anywhere. No-one had. It was just his luck that two streets away from the coffee shop, he bumped into four depressed figures smoking.

“Tweek’s missing. Have you seen him anywhere?”

They all laughed scornfully.

Michael looked at Stan, “Look what the cat dragged in. Long time, no see, Raven. Did your bitch break your heart again?”

“Of course not, dude. We’re doing fine. I’m here to ask if you’ve seen Tweek.”

“No way. They finally decide to look for Tweek three months after he disappeared.” Pete said coldly.

“What’s that supposed to mean, dude?”

“Run away, conformist Nazi cheerleader. What we know about Tweek is ours.” Firkle spoke up, followed by taking a long drag from his cigarette.

“Not until you tell me everything you know.”

“Wow. You sound just like my mom, you know that?” Henrietta stood up, brushing off the dust on her dress, stepping closer to Stan. “She’s a conformist, but at least she doesn’t pry her big nose in our affairs.” She blew a thick cloud of smoke into his face before continuing, “She doesn’t know that razors have so many interesting uses. But Tweek does. Interesting stuff, huh?”

Stan backed away, coughing and spluttering.

“Please. What do you know?”

“First, tell us why we should tell you anything.”  Pete ordered, his red brooch glimmering in the sunlight.

“Because, I want to find him. Before anyone else does. I want to find him, keep him away from Kenny and Craig. They’re not good for him, and I need to warn him.”

All of their faces contorted into a look of despair and disdain at the mention of Craig’s name.

“Well duh,” Firkle deadpanned, “Of course Craig’s bad news. If I could get my hands on him, I’d slit his conformist throat right open. I’d let his blood trickle down my fingers, relishing its’ sweet metallic taste.”

The others nodded.

“We have a common enemy, Raven. We’ll tell you all that you need to know.” Michael stated, “As long as we are the ones that get to kill him.” He outstretched his pale hand, which Stan shook.

“Okay. What did you mean when you said that he was gone for a couple months already?”

“Simple. We haven’t seen him at all for the past three months.” Pete said.

“Oh, that’s all? Okay. Why exactly do you hate Craig?”

“For the same reason you do. He took Tweek away from us.” Henrietta stated, “Tweek was actually kind of fun. He’d let me manicure his nails and everything, though he chewed them down afterwards. He was a true non-conformist, just like us, not some heartbroken pussy in need of a rebound. We were quite close.”

“Until that asshole came along and ruined everything.” Michael frowned, creases forming on his forehead.

“One dismal day, Craig decided to come along with Tweek. That subordinate little fuck thought we were after his boyfriend or something. He kept eyeing us up suspiciously, even though he was acting all smiley-smiles. Conformist bitch. Tweek was so freaked out that I tried to comfort him, he wouldn’t stop shaking no matter how many times I ran my fingers over his leg. Craig only smiled, flashing his white teeth like he would bite me if I dared go any closer.”

“Which you did.” Pete commented.

“Yeah, which I did. You should’ve seen the look on his face when I stumped out my cigarette and sat his precious boyfriend on my lap. Priceless. Tweek doesn’t even like girls, so I had no idea why he was mad at me. Jealousy, I guess. Two days later, I got a picture of all of Tweek’s black clothes burning. Haven’t seen either of them since.”

Damn. Craig Tucker really was an asshole.

“Well, do you dudes know where to find him? I’ve checked all over town, no trace of him anywhere!” Stan complained, as the others looked at him as if he was an infidel. “What?”

“You looked all over town and haven’t found Tweek? What a shock.” Sarcastically, Michael responded, “You really thought Craig would leave him out in the open? Come on, Raven. Clearly, you weren’t trying hard enough. Think about it for a second. He would’ve driven Tweek to the next city over.”

How come Stan hadn’t thought of that four days before? It made so much sense. Gratefully, he thanked them, and rushed home to borrow his mom’s car. He was going to find Tweek. In the span of fifteen minutes, he was on the highway, driving as fast as the speed limit would allow.

The Goth kids stayed behind, cackling menacingly.

“No way. He actually believed that!” Pete spoke after taking a drag, “We were supposed to be honest with him.”

“It was his own fault he was stupid enough to believe us.” Michael said, “Everyone knows you hide dead bodies in the woods.”

 “Yup. We couldn’t tell him the whole truth, Pete. Did you see that depraved look in his eyes? He wanted Tweek to become conformist. And then fuck him.” Added Henrietta.

“By the way, when do you think he’ll finally realise his cheerleader bitch is still fucking Token behind his back?”

“It’ll take him a while.”

In unison, they infused their lungs with nicotine.

“Should we go look for Tweek?”

The other three stared at Firkle disbelievingly.

“Why the hell would we want to do that?” Pete and Henrietta chorused.

“We won’t find him.” Michael groaned.

Little did they know that Michael was absolutely right.

“We have to do it.  If we don’t we’re conforming to that asshole Craig. We can’t let him get away with whatever he’s doing. Plus, Tweek’s ass is to die for.”

-

Tweek’s ass, which that very morning, was splayed over Butters’ bed, as the other blond boy tried to pick out all the glass fragments embedded in his body.

Tweek didn’t sleep at all the night before, but was comforted by Butters’ quiet snores. Without them, he would’ve gone insane. Tweek felt trapped. Not knowing what Craig was planning next was terrifying. He threatened to kill Tweek’s new friends. At some point, he’d also find out that Tweek escaped his prison. The monsters dancing on the walls weren’t scary at all compared to Craig’s wrath.

Morning came, and Butters held Tweek’s hand, using tweezers to pick everything out. The process was quite lengthy, as Tweek wouldn’t stop shivering. Butters stayed positive, murmuring quiet praises as each shard was pulled out.

“There we go. You’re doing so well. All finished now.” Butters chirped, holding the glass up for Tweek to see. Then, he threw all of it carefully in the trash. “I’ll go make us some breakfast. What are you in the mood for?”

“Nothing, thanks. I’m not hungry.” Tweek muttered hastily.

“Tweek, you’ve got to eat breakfast! It’s the most important meal of the day. Come on, I’ll make you something real yummy, I promise.” He pulled Tweek downstairs into the kitchen.

“Let’s see. Cornflakes? Bagels? Pancakes?”

“GAH! Pancakes are going to kill me!” Tweek shuddered.

Butters laughed naively, “My cooking skills really aren’t that bad. How about some waffles? We can squirt whipped cream on top.”

“Butters, I’m really not that hungry. I just need some coffee.”

“Oh no, mister, I’m not letting you anywhere near the kettle.” Butters crossed his arms. “And anyways, coffee can’t be good for you. I’m considered small, and you’re even shorter than me, which makes you tiny. Like a shortcake!”

Tweek looked at him with mournful eyes. Refusing Tweek his beverage made Butters feel like he just kicked a puppy, never a good thing. Which was why it didn’t take long for him to change his mind.

“I’ll make you a deal. You eat some breakfast, and I’ll let you have a cup.”

“Ngnn, okay.” Tweek grumbled, sitting down at the bar table, watching Butters take out ingredients, “But not too much food or I’ll throw up.”

In reality, Tweek had no intention of eating any food whatsoever, but he didn’t mention anything to the occupied boy in front of him. Watching Butters cook was actually really soothing. He was steady, not making a mess at all. Not a single drop of batter spilled over when he poured it into the waffle maker. Tweek was thoroughly impressed. If it were Tweek cooking, he’d be covered in flour, and the kitchen would look like a war zone. Butters fished out two plates from the cupboard, arranging washed strawberries on them.

“Strawberries for my shortcake!” He giggled, popping one into Tweek’s  unsuspecting mouth. Out of reflex, Tweek bit into it, the sweetness making his mouth tingle. When he turned back round, Tweek spat out the fruit, despite its’ taste. The pancakes tasted good too, he reminded himself. Nice and sweet. Leaving Tweek nice and sleepy.

Butters flipped the kettle switch on, preparing coffee, taking the waffles out and placing them on their plates. They looked really appetizing, golden and sprinkled with powdered sugar, but Tweek wasn’t fooled. That white substance was most definitely not what it seemed to be. Butters sat down next to him, and eagerly began eating, whilst Tweek gulped down coffee.

Tweek was sitting next to him, scraping his fork on the plate. Butters was quite offended. The waffles didn’t turn out too bad, at least he thought so. After finishing chewing his mouthful, he turned to Tweek.

“Are you going to try some? I didn’t even burn them!” He huffed.

“I-I can’t.”

“Well sure you can. I fulfilled my end of the deal, now it’s your turn. It’s only fair, Tweek.”

Tweek stared at the waffles.

“Please? Just a few bites?”

Begrudgingly, Tweek held up one of them, scrunching up his face, started chewing. He took one bite, then another and another, before putting it back down.

“You see? It wasn’t that bad, was it now?” Butters flashed a smile that was so genuinely sweet with just the right amount of satisfaction that made it impossible for Tweek not to trust him.

//

After spending some time in Butters’ room, the boy announced that he wanted to go outside for a walk. He invited Tweek to join him, but was met with refusal.

“Oh, okay then. I’ll go alone.” He replied, slightly disappointed. It would’ve been such a nice surprise for Tweek to join him, but Butters guessed it wasn’t that much of a big deal anyway.

“See ya later, Shortcake!” Butters exclaimed, hugging Tweek and walking out of the house as Tweek retreated back into Butters’ room.

Singing to himself, Butters skipped down the road. It was Saturday afternoon, the sun was out, birds were flying, and the dandelions seemed to wave in response to the breeze. Everything was just fine.

How could anyone be angry on such a wonderful day? Well, the guys could. Stan and Kyle standing there, as Kenny hit Eric over and over. Just looking at them made Butters want to slap them all. Not only were they ruining a perfectly divine day, they were enjoying themselves. At least, Stan and Kyle were. Immediately, Butters rushed over as Eric freed himself from Kenny.

Kind of funny how someone who he once thought of as the only reasonable guy in school turned out to be the biggest asshole in town. Butters was extremely upset when Craig told him what happened, but wasn’t exactly surprised at what Kenny had done. It was just such a Kenny thing to do; try to steal someone else’s boyfriend. And act so innocent afterwards.

Craig called him up in the middle of the night, promptly explaining that due to Kenny and his misconduct, Tweek was stranded in the forest, alone, and Craig had no clue where he was. There was so much uneasiness in his strained voice that Butters felt like it was his personal duty to climb out of the window and help to search for Tweek-or he’d go to heck. He and Tweek never spoke much until Butters found him, petrified, curled into a ball, about three quarters of a mile from the outskirts of town. It didn’t take long before they were back in his room, huddled next to eachother beneath the covers, safe and sound.

He was just heading over to the Tucker family, but was being delayed, fixing Eric’s face. Even now, Kenny didn’t have any respect for anyone else, hurting Eric’s feelings by calling him Cartman. Maybe it was the way Kenny had no remorse for feeling Tweek up in the middle of a classroom, or the way he acted so guiltless after he abducted Tweek and left him in the middle of a forest; Butters just had to say something, even though Craig advised him not to.

Thoroughly annoyed, he continued on for a good fifteen minutes, before he heard a person running towards him. That person being Kyle. Panting and sweating, red all over, he gripped Butters’ shoulder, leaning against him.

“Why, hello Kyle!” Butters said politely. He was in no mood to get involved with him and his moral problems. Craig informed him that all of the fellas took part in the abduction, and that, they too, had their fair share of sexually harassing poor Tweek.

 “Where are you going?” Kyle asked, slightly out of breath.

“I’m going to Craig’s house. I’ve been really worried about Tweek. He’s such a great guy, and what happened to him was totally uncalled for, you know? But everything should be alright, as long as all of you keep away from him.”

“Oh my god. Not you too!” Kyle lamented.

“Excuse me, Kyle,” Butters retracted his shoulder, “I need to get going.”

Craig greeted him warmly, his expression changing to relief once he heard that Tweek was okay. His face lit up when Butters told him that he would obey all of his requests. They were weird, but since Craig insisted so firmly that Butters commit to them, he would. After all, they didn’t harm anyone.

“Keep Tweek at your house until I get him. Don’t tell anyone at all that Tweek is there, not even your parents. Take good care of him. Tweek’s my special pet and I’ll rip whoever hurts him into shreds. Don’t let him have too much coffee; I’m trying to get him to quit. If he’s any trouble at night, give him these sleeping pills. They easily fit in your jean pocket. Most importantly, don’t believe anything bad he says about me. I’m his boyfriend, and I know him better than he knows himself. Sometimes he recounts things, mixing up the people-don’t pay attention to him when he does that. Okay? If you have any other questions, text me.”

“Okay!”

“Thank you Butters. How could I ever repay you?”

“You don’t need to. I’ll gladly help you and Tweek. It makes me so full of creamy happiness when I know I’m not being lied to. I just can’t believe the fellas would do something like that.”

“Kenny McCormick is a sneaky liar, along with his asshole friends. Don’t trust them. They love abusing people, as you know. It’s just a real tragedy that it was Tweek who was their victim. I don’t want you to end up being one too.” He said earnestly, before bidding Butters farewell.

Craig was such a good boyfriend! Tweek really was one lucky guy.

-

This town was falling to shit. First Craig, then Kenny, then Cartman, now Butters too? The only person missing from this list was Stan. Hell, he’d be okay with everyone in South Park fawning over that coffee addict, as long as Cartman stayed the fuck out of it. It just wasn’t right! Cartman didn’t have feelings. Cartman shouldn’t have feelings. Especially towards Tweek.

It was kind of their thing, to make fun of people with crushes or couples, but that bastard just admitted to Kyle exactly how much he liked Tweek, effectively ruining that bond. Not cool. Like, what the fuck was he supposed to do now?

Grumbling, he headed back to his house, ignoring his little Canadian brother, Ike.  Disheartened, he threw himself onto his bed. Everything was much easier when they were all nine years old, when they didn’t give two craps about shit like that. In a way, Kyle stayed like that throughout his adolescent years. He never fully took part in listening to Stan’s girl problems and Kenny’s one night stands. Both just seemed so unappealing. Kyle had been taught that the only person you could ever rely on is yourself, and kept to that rule.

Cartman was like that, too. Cynical, uninterested in having a relationship, but insanely obsessed in playing cupid, for some reason. Not that Kyle objected particularly. Until he ‘admitted’ to everyone in a crowded basketball match that he was head over heels for Kyle. It was exasperating. For weeks, Kyle had to refuse going to the mall with girls, and glares being shot at him in the boys’ changing room. Cartman found it insanely hilarious, laughing at Kyle the entire time. In response, Kyle would start hitting the fat fuck, at least until someone shouted at them to get a room. That lead to questioning himself in the dark of night, but after years of lying to himself, Kyle finally accepted the truth.

Kyle hated Cartman. He was a racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, fat piece of shit, and they both knew it. Their dynamic was unconventional from the very start, but deep inside, Kyle cared for what people assumed was his ‘friend’. Without Cartman, he would be dead, and vice versa.

They depended on one another, feasting on each other’s venom laced words; one thriving off of the other’s failure, whilst the other grew stronger with every passing second of defeat. Every battle was a battle well fought from both sides, neither party conceding without exhausting every option.

As sick as it sounded, it wasn’t the worst. For when Kyle and Eric were together, they were a force unstoppable.

But then Tweek came along.

 The phone in his pocket rang. For a split second, he envisioned the screen name to say ‘FATASS’ before blinking and seeing Stan’s caller ID.

“Hello?”

“Hey dude! Tell my mom I won’t be home for the next couple of days.”

“What? Why?”

“Goth kids helped me figure out how to find Tweek. I was so dumb before. If she asks, tell her I’m in Denver.”

“Denver? How are you going to locate Tweek there? That city is huge.”

“If I have to, I’ll knock from door to door until I do. I’m going to find him if it kills me. Make sure to tell Kenny that I’m not going to let him use Tweek. Send Wendy my kisses, call Cartman a fat pig for me, will you? Got to go now. Love you, dude!”

Click.

Fucking fantastic!

Tweek crossed the line.

Kyle wanted to scream until the walls tore down. What the fuck made Tweek so bloody special? Was it that he couldn’t protect himself? Or his addiction to caffeine? Was it because he trembled and shook? Kyle wanted to know, he really did. What made all of his close friends swoon around him like flies to honey? Was it his smile? His inability to do anything wrong? Maybe it was due to his ‘oh so pitiful’ relationship?

It was vexing of the soul, inhumane passion. It was twisted and distorted but it was something strong. It burned so bad, fire lacing Kyle’s veins and creeping up his spine. His freckled skin was a sore looking red but all he could feel was desire; desire to hate. Intoxicated with emotion Kyle had no intention of ever feeling, the acidity of it was residing in his core, waiting to be spat out of his mouth in foul and vulgar words. But Kyle wasn’t going to say them out loud. He was going to screech them with every ounce of breath that dwelled in his lungs.

How dare he take Kyle’s place, take his friends, take his enemy? Tweek deserved to be mistreated. He deserved every single bad thing that happened to him. He played so hard to get, but in reality, only did so because he was hard to want.

He obviously didn’t know what Kyle was like in a temper, or he wouldn’t have done this. But he would soon find out, and never, ever, repeat that mistake.

Kyle’s rage held all the power of a wildfire, anyone could practically see the flames roaring in his emerald eyes, ready to ignite anything that he came in contact with.

 And he would personally ensure that that thing would burn brighter than his blazing auburn curls.

Chapter Text

It started when we were nine. The obsession. The insatiable lust I felt reverberating in every cell of my body. The craving- no, the need to have Tweek beside me. At first, I denied it. I convinced myself that Tweek wasn’t worth emotions. I’d just treat him with the same level of apathy as I treated everyone else. Of course, that didn’t last long. Every single time he twitched in class, my own hands twitched in response, and before long, I had to sit on them to ensure that I wouldn’t reach over and stroke his beautiful, bright locks. They gleamed, like my own personal sunshine. Tweek was my sunshine, my moonlight, my everything, my one and only. If anyone else said that, I’d roll my eyes.  Other people were pathetic. Their relationships were doomed to end eventually, but the spark that I held for Tweek was eternal. Not that he’d ever notice.

That’s why I was so shocked when the town became engrossed in the latest fad- Yaoi. Nine year old me had no idea what the meaning behind all those weird flutters in my body was. Nine year old me definitely did not want to find out what the fuck was going on in my head every time I looked in Tweek’s eyes. So mesmerising. Wide, hazel orbs, that glittered when he smiled, splattered with gold flecks. I never looked at them for longer than three second intervals, (Tweek had an astounding ability to sense when someone was watching him) turning my gaze in the other direction and analyzing the complex intricacies of a plain classroom wall before turning my head to stare at him again. But nine year olds from Japan, or Korea, or whatever fucking country they were from, apparently knew what was up.

When the trend started, I couldn’t believe it. Tweek wasn’t gay, and neither was I! Yeah... Even the mayor of this shithole knew my sexuality before I did. How fucking pathetic. But soon enough, I accepted the truth. And it was great. Both our families knew, so it wasn’t a big secret we had to hide from everyone. In fact, the whole town knew, and supported us fully. It was nice knowing that we were the only couple in town who got to get away with PDA without any consequences. Seriously, I could’ve pushed Tweek into a locker in the middle of the hallway and grinded against him without restraint, and no-one would’ve batted an eye. Quite the contrary, a group of people would’ve formed around us, ‘aww’ing and cooing at our love. PC Principle would’ve yelled out something about affirmative consent and continued on his merry way. I never did get the opportunity to do so, mostly because Tweek was really uncomfortable to do anything other than hold hands in public. Not that I minded. My pet was perfect, in every way, shape or form. If he panicked at the thought of people watching us be affectionate, then that was fine by me. Every mannerism of his was purely adorable.

But as I grew older, so did my insecurities. I really wanted Tweek to be confident and happy and loved by everyone, I truly did. My Tweek was so amazing; I only wanted the best for him. I didn’t care if the entire universe recognised him for what he was; an exquisite, scared little poofball that inspired others, that just had so much love to give. And it worked for a while. During the phase of Yaoi insanity, we became CraigandTweek, only known for being together, nothing else. Everyone admired him from a distance, and I was content with that. The plan to secretly spread rumours about me being able to kill for Tweek must’ve worked. Although, my pet did seem quite annoyed after two weeks of being joined at the hip, because no-one talked to either of us while we were apart. Not that I minded. All the more reason to spend time with him.

 After the fad wore off-slightly, we were back to Craig and Tweek, our own separate identities, but we stayed together. It was then that he joined the drama circle, became friends with Bebe, Jason, Wendy and others. I thought I felt so proud of him. With each passing day, he was gaining more confidence, bless his sweet little heart. But with each day, Bebe’s shirts became more suggestive, her skirts evolving into even shorter monstrosities  and manicured hands treading marked territory. My territory. Fucking spoiled, stupid, whore. It wouldn’t have bothered me if I knew that Tweek, along with the rest of us, didn’t go crazy for her boobs back in fourth grade, but he did. And now they were making an unwelcomed reappearance. Jason White was also apparently unaware of Tweek having a boyfriend, slinging his ugly, sweaty, hairy arm over my little angel’s shoulders, crushing him nearly to death every time they met. It made me twitch inside to see Wendy spewing her feminist propaganda whilst flirting with Tweek too. Everyone was. If they weren’t stealing glances at him in the halls, they were talking about him, as if I didn’t exist. Oh, but I heard the things the girls were saying about his ass; and the topic of what to get Tweek for a birthday present common amongst the guys. Many sexual innuendos were made on both ends- too many for my liking. None of them knew Tweek like I did, or they would’ve known that he wasn’t comfortable enough to go past making out. Or maybe he was, and I wasn’t aware. It wasn’t unlikely, he was slowly spending less time with me, opting to hang out with his friends. His tic was starting to lessen around them too, which was infuriating. I was the one who could make Tweek calm. I was the one who he felt most safe around. I was the one who he trusted enough to keep secrets with. At the exact moment that I thought that, I saw Bebe lean over and whisper something in his ear. Bebe, the school slut, pushing her chest closer to my man, saying something that left him smirking coyly.

I wanted Tweek to be happy. But at the same time, I didn’t. He was supposed to do that around me, not those assholes. It slowly drove me to the depths of insanity. He didn’t need me anymore. He didn’t have a reason to need me. There was nothing to break him, so there was nothing to fix.

 I couldn’t go up to him and talk everything through. Another thing about Tweek was how oblivious he was to subtle allusions. He wouldn’t understand the true meaning behind their intentions, but I didn’t blame him. He was pure like that. And it would only make me out to be jealous. I had to find a way to break him, and I did.

It was honestly thrilling to see how quickly he ostracised himself. My heart thumped with pride when I knew I had his undivided attention. No more distractions. Soon, I realised that an anxious Tweek was hot, if not sexier than a calm one. A terrified Tweek needed me. And I couldn’t help feeling a spark of arousal every time I had the pleasure of witnessing him having a panic attack. He would cling to me, as if he could never let go, and I would hold him, rocking him in my lap, breathing in his sweet aroma. He had the essence of coffee with caramel; I could spend an eternity inhaling it.

Once I got rid of his stupid friends, his family was the next on my hit list. As appetising as it was, the coffee had to go. As expected, his idiot, materialistic, meth-head parents were extremely disappointed and wouldn’t speak to their son. Fuck them. Tweek had my family. Well, he didn’t. Dad didn’t give two shits anymore, I could’ve been with a prostitute and he wouldn’t have noticed. Mom was way too pushy, but after a few stern glares and middle fingers, she backed off. It was only Tricia that was a problem. Thing was, she genuinely liked him. I didn’t mind her admiring my pet for his acting skills, or for his cooking, or anything at all. He was amazing, after all.

But he was also mine. It was that she wanted to have conversations with him. She wanted to be his friend, and I didn’t spend all of my time at school pushing them away from Tweek only to have her ruin my hard work. She was a nightmare to live with. The main reason why Tweek never got laid was because of her. Every time mom and dad took the opportunity to go out, she wouldn’t go with them, staying at home and watching movies with Tweek, perching on his lap. Every time after Tweek left we’d argue. The worst time lead to the death of Stripe the Second, and we didn’t dispute since.

“What the actual FUCK, Tricia!”

“What do you mean?” she asked, feigning naivety.

“When mom and dad go out, I expect you to go with them. So Tweek and I can have the house to ourselves.”

Tricia laughed cruelly, dropping her disguise promptly. “Well you’re going to have to find a better way to fuck him. You’re not doing anything nasty while I live in this house.”

“Fuck.” I growled. “How much do you want?”

“Nope.”

“What the fuck do you mean, ‘Nope’?” I hissed maliciously, “Bitch, I’m asking nicely. Appreciate it while you still can. Next time Tweek comes round, you fuck off along with mom and dad- or else.”

“Or else what?” she spat.

“Or else I’ll personally lock you out in the garden, and convince Tweek that spending quality alone time in your room is a good idea.”

 “Hmm. You know what?” She glared at me in the usual Tucker fashion, before a light smile appeared on her face. “Having Tweek naked on my bed would actually be kind of kinky. The other girls would be soooo jealous. You, on the other hand, should watch your mouth. I may or may not be recording this conversation right now. If Tweek ever thinks that the only reason you invite him over is to try and screw him, he might be upset.” She inched closer to my face, eyes bright and threatening. “So upset, in fact, that he might want someone to comfort him. And your friend Bebe still owes me a favour or two. Not that she’d mind getting closer to Tweek.”

I thought she was bluffing. There was no way in hell she’d actually be recording anything. But I decided to entertain her lie. By adding the little speech that was engraved in my memory.

“You wouldn’t dare. If Tweek heard this, he’d see how much of an insufferable brat you are.” I deadpanned, “ He actually doesn’t think of you as a friend, did you know that? You wouldn’t believe the shit he talks about you. My boyfriend thinks you’re a bitch, but is too nice to tell you. How sad is that Tricia? You should leave him alone.”

“Oh my god, really? Craig, if you’re going to try to bullshit me, at least don’t use the same thing you said to the last seventeen people. I’m your sister, and I can be friends with your boyfriend if I want.”

I scowled, flipping her off. Fuck Tricia.

“Is something wrong? Is it because you’re afraid that when Tweek realises that there are better people out there, he’ll dump your sorry ass?” She said impassively, smirking once she saw the faintest hint of red on my cheeks, “How sad is that Craig? No, I won’t leave him alone.”

I couldn’t handle her anymore. If there was one emotion I wasn’t afraid of showing, it was anger. In an instant, she was up in the air, held up by my hands on her neck. Tricia didn’t move, just pointed her middle finger in my direction, face slowly changing colours, from rosy pink to a subtle shade of grey. When she reached a light-bluish hue, my mother’s shrieks arose. Turns out that she went upstairs to go to the bathroom and saw me choking my dearest sister. Fuck both of them. I was so close to killing her, as well. But then again, hiding bodies involved a lot of effort, and I wasn’t prepared to go to juvenile hall for some stupid miscalculation or an inconvenient fingerprint. Reluctantly, I set Tricia down. Of course, she went running up to mom and began crying her innocent heart out. Pathetic.

“Oh Trish, are you okay?” Mom uttered, flipping me off with one hand and holding Tricia with the other.

“No! Mom, Craig doesn’t want me to talk to his boyfriend.” She drawled, as if getting me into trouble caused her voice to melt into a pool of sugary syrup.

“Craig. You let your sister talk to Tweek as much as she likes.” Mom barked at me, “You’re so damn possessive sometimes. It won’t do you any harm to let Tricia say ‘hi’ to him from time to time.”

She was wrong. So very, very wrong. But I didn’t know that at the time. Motionless, I stood, hunched against the wall, rolling my eyes, as a tuft of orange hair strode up the staircase, analysing the commotion.

“Our son just tried to strangle his sister.”

“Oh.”

“Don’t just ‘Oh’ him, Thomas!” Mom screeched, voice nasally.

“I’ll ‘Oh’ whoever I want!” He flipped all of us of before going to their bedroom. Mom followed, not even bothering to reprimand my behaviour. Tricia looked at me and sneered, all traces of tears wiped away.

“Truth hurts, doesn’t it?” she giggled.

“Shut the fuck up or I’ll break your legs.”

“Go ahead. When Tweek hears how aggressive you are he’ll freak right the fuck out. And hate you forever.” Tricia flipped me off, turning to go to her bedroom, sticking out her tongue and swaying her hips in a triumphant way that I couldn’t ignore.

The one good thing about being nearly as tall as my father was that I had really long limbs. Out of its’ own accord, my leg lurched forward, right in front of her.

Thud.

She landed face-first into the floor, her shriek of surprise muffled by the carpet. The face she made when she looked up at me was priceless.

“You ath-hole!” Tricia sputtered in a voice identical to Scott Malkinson’s. She must’ve bitten her tongue pretty hard. If only I could make her get diabetes too.

“Try and tell Tweek now.” I challenged, “Nice lisp, by the way. It suits you.”

“You’re tho fucked, Craig. You, and your thtupid guinea pig, Thtripe!”

I was laughing way too hard to take her seriously, retreating to my bedroom and slamming the door behind me.

I wasn’t laughing when two days later, we were burying Stripe the Second. It was a private ceremony, with only Tweek and I in attendance, huddled under the old willow in my garden. He was sobbing into my shoulder, as I kneeled in front of Stripe’s grave with a sombre expression. I knew Tricia was watching us from her window. I also knew that if I told Tweek that she did it, he’d go running up to her and she’d tell him I tried to strangle her. Little bitch.

Though, when I went to her room, I saw her sitting on her windowsill, peering out at Tweek, who refused to join me in going inside. If I didn’t know her any better, I would’ve thought she was actually remorseful.

“Well? Are you proud of yourself?”

“No.”

“Oh.” I deadpanned without any emotion, turned back to go out of her room, but before I closed the door, she spoke up, still looking out of the window.

“Craig?”

“What?”

“Just so you know, it wasn’t Tweek that I wanted to cry.”

“Well damn Tricia, isn’t life a bitch for not giving you what you want?”

A wave of silence flooded the room.

“I’d say I’m sorry,” She finally said, facing me, “But we both know I’m not. I know you don’t want to believe me, but I love Tweek too. He’s like this older brother I never had.”

I flipped her off. Tricia returned the gesture.

“I want him to be happy.” She sighed.

“You’re not the first, genius. If you really need a hint, he’d be really happy if you left us alone for two minutes.”

“In your dreams.” She said, “Can’t you go to his place or something?”

“You don’t get it.”

For a second, Tricia looked like she wanted to pry further, but decided against it when she saw the figure outside walk to the door and we heard a small ‘Gah’ from downstairs. “Too right I don’t. Now fuck off.”

I was grateful for that response.

I doubt I would’ve been able to explain it to her. It just wouldn’t be the same if we did it at his place. As weird as it sounded, it wouldn’t have been as special if we did it anywhere that didn’t have any sign of me on it. I wanted to lay Tweek down on my bed. Fuck him into my mattress. Have him sweat and pant on my duvet. So much so that he’d try to cover his moans with my pillows. I wanted him to make a mark on all of my belongings, so his sweet smell would linger for days after. And in a way, I got what I wanted. Years overdue, but I did finally got to experience Tweek. It only took an abduction, some chains and coffee.

Tweek’s body was flushed all over, as I eagerly spread apart his cheeks and pushed in.

The world around crumbled into dust. My only focus was his eyes. His wide, beautiful eyes, tearing up in pain. Our noses bumped together when I leaned down to kiss the pain away. He smelled amazing, and tasted even better. Desperately, I tried to slide my tongue into his mouth, stroking his cheeks until he complied. I was motionless inside of him, but the tightness of his body was already driving me crazy. It took everything I had to at least try to make this special for Tweek. He deserved it. Groaning in frustration, I lifted up my face and pressed it against his ear.

“Tweek.” I murmured, “ You’re so amazing.”

“I am?” He gasped noisily. “But you said-“

“That was then. Now, I’m saying you’re amazing.”

I nibbled his earlobe and felt him tighten around me. Breathing in his ear, I whispered every single thing I loved about him. A long list of everything that he did to make me happy. With each compliment, I could swear he was clenching his sweet ass around my cock harder and harder. I carried on, for what seemed like an eternity of torture, before he finally cracked.

“Babe, you brighten up my life.” I muttered roughly, “ I want you. I need you. Right here, right now. Please Tweek. Please. Let me fix this.”

He came to life. Licking his plump lips, he raked his fingers through my hair, pulling himself up and initiating a kiss. My flesh was burning with desire, and his mouth felt like ice. Searing ecstasy travelled down my spine, lower and lower. The way his lips locked against mine was unreal.  The rest of the world fell silent, and I was on the edge of it, falling. Falling through the galaxies of billions of dying stars, spiralling and colliding with each and every one of them. Falling into a deep oblivion where only one thing existed. Tweek. Only Tweek, with his clear skin, his gorgeous hair and his saliva-slickened mouth.

Slowly, I pulled out and thrust back in looking at him as I did. He whimpered in response, grabbing my forearms and quivering as he arched his back. I found him searching for every contour of my body as I put on a gradual pace, his fingers tracing my biceps, my chest, my neck. As soon as his fingers glided past each furrow of my skin they disappeared into nothingness, just a lingering memory, spurring me on.

Suddenly, he cried out, jolting upwards.

“AH! There! Craig, there! Ngnn, more, more!” he pleaded, pushing his hips into mine with surprising ferocity.

I obliged cautiously, and once again, his breath hitched as he begged, “Oh sweet Jesus! Faster! Deeper! More!”

“Babe, are you okay?” I asked, pausing. The whine that escaped his mouth as I did was..something. Something wild, primitive, needy. So full of lust. I don’t know what the fuck I did to deserve such a beautiful sound. Luckily, it would stay with me until the end of time.

“Craig,” He drawled wantonly, lips slick and reddened, “No. Don’t stop. Ugh- I need it!”

I would’ve been seriously concerned if he didn’t change my train of thought; wrapping his arms around my torso and scratching my back, nails scraping along my skin. Goosebumps formed on my shoulders, and I did as Tweek asked, angling his hips higher, thrusting into him without restraint as he moaned the whole place down.

Shoving my camera recorder in my shirt pocket was a great idea. Recording him was an even better one.

//

Lying down on the bed, earplugs in, I replayed the audio again. And again. It was nearly as good as the real thing, but there was no way to replicate it now, since Tweek decided to run away, and it would take ages to get him back up in the woods again. He was safe now, albeit not with me. But I knew Butters would take good care of him.

Butters was the first person I contacted when Tweek went missing. I would’ve told him the truth, but he couldn’t keep a secret to save his life. That, and I don’t think he would’ve helped me otherwise. Fortunately for me, it didn’t take long for him to find my naughty little pet and notify me about it. I was calmer now, as the sounds of Tweek’s moans played in my ears like music.

A knock on the door.

Fuck whoever it was. I wasn’t about to move from my bed, pull on some boxers and go downstairs to open the door to some asshole that didn’t understand the concept of not going to someone else’s house without telling them first. If Butters could text me before he arrived, so could the asshole that decided to visit.

After a good half-minute of insistent banging on the door, I heard Tricia grumble and the creaking of stairs under a twelve year old’s weight. Maybe it was one of her flaky little friends. For a while, I didn’t hear anything. Not that I wanted to. I was far too preoccupied with Tweek’s voice and the effect it had on me. My stomach rumbled, distracting me from the stir of heat in my groin. My morning had been productive thus far; I re-affirmed a common statement. People always told me that they could get off on other people’s moans. This proved to be true, as an extremely obscene yelp from Tweek threatened to resurrect my spent dick. I bought myself back to my senses. Enough was enough. Jacking off to that recording for the fourth time today was going to kill me.

Groaning, I pulled on some sweatpants and went downstairs to make myself a sandwich. Nice, simple, sandwich. Just the way I liked it. Without a second glance, I headed to the kitchen and starting taking out ingredients. Slightly burned pancakes were as far as my culinary expertise went, but they were too much effort to make. Pulling out some lettuce from the fridge, I pondered who was at the door. Tricia’s room wasn’t blasting some stupid tween music, so it was safe to assume it wasn’t any of her stupid girlfriends. They all knew not to come near me anyway. As I closed the fridge, turning towards the chopping board, an ungodly sight met my eyes.

“Hey Craig!”

“Who let you in?” I puffed. Way to ruin my morning.

“Tricia did. Why? Are we interrupting anything?”

Clyde looked at me like a puppy who just got a bone, Jimmy waved with his crutches, and Token peeled his gaze away from his new phone to nod at me.

“I’m kind of busy right now.”

“No you’re not!” Clyde pouted, “You’re always ‘busy’ now. We’re your friends, don’t ignore us!”

I started cutting the lettuce.

“Hello? Earth to spaceman Craig, I repeat, Earth to spaceman Craig!” He called out childishly, jumping up and down.

“Okay.” I grumbled, “What the fuck do you guys want?”

“Craig, we want to help you. And Tweek.” Token stated, tucking his I-phone away into his Diesel hoodie.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” I deadpanned.

“B-B-Bu-Bull- Bullshit!” Jimmy accused.

“We’re on your side, Super Craig!” Clyde exclaimed cheerily.

“Don’t call me that.”

“Jesus guys, looks l-like someone is S-Super Cranky this morning.”  Jimmy joked, grinning lopsidedly. “Wow, what a great audience!”

“Craig.” Token stepped forward and squeezed my shoulder. I turned around and flipped him off. “Craig, you need to tell us.”

“Tell you what?” I asked.

Token’s brown eyes pierced into mine uncomfortably. He was an exact image of his father when he was angry. I could tell by the way he furrowed his brow, like Mr Black did every time we witnessed Token bring back a grade lower than an A. He knew I was lying. “Craig, what happened to Tweek?”

“I don’t know. Fuck off, and let me make my food in peace.”

“What you’re doing isn’t right, a-a-and you know it.” Jimmy stuttered, hobbling over.

“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day Jimmy, you should know that.” I grumbled, facing all three of them, butter knife in hand. I knew that wasn’t what he meant. He knew that I knew that wasn’t what he meant. Still, he laughed heartily, trying to ease everyone’s frazzled nerves.

“Craig!” Clyde called, even though he wasn’t further than a meter from my face, “We want you to be happy. Let us make you happy.”

“If you can’t tell us everything, tell us what you can.” Token said, finally replacing his disappointed frown for a more neutral expression. Thankfully, he retracted his hand from my shoulder too.

His advice actually didn’t sound too bad. After all, I doubted that Clyde, Token and Jimmy would leave until I told them something. Token did say I wasn’t bound to tell them everything. And I trusted them. Foolishly.

“What do you want to know?”

“Where d-did you ta-take him?”

I shook my head. My answer to that would only lead to further questions, and I didn’t feel as if they needed to know all the details. What they didn’t know wouldn’t hurt them.

“Okay Craig. Then, why did you take him?” Token asked.

“What makes you think I took him?”

“Craig! Stop deflecting and answer his question!” Clyde said in a manner that he thought was intimidating. It wasn’t.

“Because.”

They all stared at me, waiting for a more adequate answer. I cleared my throat.

“Everyone was after him.”

“Craig! How many times have I told you that the girls at our school aren’t into him?” Clyde proclaimed, “They don’t like skinny blonde boys. Girls like popular guys, men with style, and with muscles!” He pointed to his thick bicep, which I was sure consisted mostly of fat. I don’t think anyone ever had the heart to tell him that the list the girls made -back in fourth grade- was fake.

“Not the girls, Clyde.” I said, “The guys.”

Clyde stared at me as if I were completely mental, mouth agape. He seemed to be frozen, and a different voice spoke up,

“Let me guess, Stan’s group?”

“How’d you know?” I asked disbelievingly.

“Wendy told me. That, and that Stan guy acts like a total faggot half the time anyway. It wasn’t too hard to figure out.” Token replied, “Wendy says he’s more fit to take it up the ass than to give it. I guessed that the rest of his friends were raging homos too.”

“Well, you guessed right.”

“E-Eric isn’t gay, though. He d-does know how to get a g-girl into bed rather eff- effe, rather effectively.”

“That’s because his mom is a whore, Jimmy. I’m not surprised if he went in her footsteps.” Token huffed.

Clyde returned from his mental shock to glare at Token, acquiring a British accent that always appeared when he defended Cartman, “You sir, mocked Cartman before, and yet you sit here, demanding answers. Now, damn you, let Craig speak!” He cleared his throat, arms crossed, looking at me expectantly.

“Cartman stopped him from falling. That must mean he likes him a bit, since he’s acting like a normal human should.”

“Wh-what about the o-others?”

“Kyle held his hand and Stan carried him. How gay is that?”

“Pretty damn gay. And Kenny? What’d he do?” Token enquired, still slightly befuddled from Clyde’s defensive statement.

“He gave my Tweek a handjob.” I said, without any emotion whatsoever.

All three of them had varying expressions, from disgust to anger. A few seconds later, Tricia bounded down the stairs, placing her phone on the countertop, filled herself a glass of water from the sink. She drank it in three gulps and wiped the excess from her lips with her sleeve.

“Tricia, could you bring me the cheese platter from the fridge? I need it out for my book club meeting.” Mom called from the living room.

“Sure.” She answered, placing her glass in the sink and lifting up the platter with both hands and carrying it out. As soon as she left, our conversation started up again.

“Well, in my humble o-op- o, humble opinion, Craig, it should be Tweek that you sh-should be mad at. Isn’t he to bl- bl- bla-blaaa--isn’t he at fault too?”

“No.”

“And I gather that you won’t tell us what happened to Tweek?” Token stated rhetorically.

“You didn’t kill him, did you? Craig! You didn’t kill Tweek! I can’t live without him!” Clyde burst into sudden tears. The guy was overly emotional. Since when did he take such an interest in Tweek anyway?

“Tweek is alive and safe. Stop crying, you little bitch.”

“Craig?” piped up Jimmy hesitantly.

“What?”

“Are the g-guys al-alive and safe too?”

I replied with the barest hint of a smile.

“For now.”

Clyde looked like he was about to shit himself with fear, Jimmy was confused, probably as to why I didn’t blame Tweek, and Token had a contemplative facial appearance. I wondered what he was thinking about. I wondered what all of them were thinking about. Hearing a death threat from one of their friends must’ve been unexpected.

“Which one of you assholes is going to go running up to them and nark?”

“Cr-Craig, I can’t run.” Jimmy said cheerfully, though the look in his eye was sombre and sharp. Like he was planning something.

“Don’t worry Craig. I hate them as much as you do. But if we’re in court, I didn’t hear nothing about this.” Token added, more blasé than I thought was normal. It was almost as if he expected me to say something of the sort, and that seemed off. Very off.

That left Clyde, who was wiping the tears cascading down his red cheeks.

“I-” He paused and sniffled loudly, “I know where my loyalties lie!”

“Great. Now fuck off, I want to finish making my sandwich.” I shooed them away.

My plain, boring sandwich consisted of ham, tomatoes and lettuce. It was delicious. Sitting alone in the dining room let me reflect on what I told them, and what their reactions were. Damn, I thought to myself; I shouldn’t have said that I was going to murder Stan’s group.

I was an absolute idiot for not knowing straight away which one of them would betray me. Still, who would’ve expected the one individual that I honestly trusted the most to do that?

Tricia’s phone beeped, and I realised she left it on the countertop. Jesus, she just had to leave her stuff lying around everywhere. No matter where I looked, there would always be a bobby pin or ribbon splayed in some corner of the house.

I decided to be a good brother for once in my life, and picked it up. The screen flashed a bright message.

MEMORY FULL

Great. It didn’t surprise me, she took that phone everywhere she went, and took the weirdest pictures and videos with it. I took it upstairs, and I heard a hushed voice from inside her bedroom. Weird. The voice didn’t sound like one belonging to a girl. Without a warning, I swung open her door, waving the phone up. The room was empty, except for Tricia, sitting cross-legged on her bed, glaring at me as if I just caught her doing something bad.

“Knock next time, asshole!”

“The one time I try to be nice, you bitch at me. Be grateful for once.”

“Get out!”

“Who were you talking to?”

“No-one!” She screamed, blushing.

“Oh, really?” I asked, leaning against the frame, “It seems to me like you’re bringing a boy into the house.”

“Like you don’t do that.”

“Touché.” I replied, tossing her phone onto her bed and walking back out.

Maybe I was starting to go crazy, hearing random voices and shit. Just showed how bad not having Tweek around me was. Speaking of, I still needed to clear up the glass on the floor. Last time I was up there, I was more focused on trying to find Tweek than anything else, so I didn’t get the opportunity to clean up the cottage.

After a quick shower and change of clothes, I walked back into the corridor. Quiet murmurs erupted from one of the rooms. I pressed my ear into Tricia’s bedroom door. There was definitely someone there. The sound of another person whispering was unmistakable. Once more, I opened the door without warning, ignoring her privacy. Fuck her privacy, she didn’t ever respect mine.

Inside, Tricia was doing something on her phone, fixated.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“Nothing. Fuck off.” She replied curtly, transfixed on the screen in front of her.

“I heard voices. Who was in your bedroom?”

“No-one. You’re going mad.”

“Tricia, don’t bullshit me. Or I’ll tell mom.”

“What are you going to tell her? Honestly, you’re so fucking dumb; there was no-one in here. It really makes me wonder...” She trailed off, pulling the phone closer to her face, tongue sticking out in concentration.

“Wonder what?”

She said nothing, waving me away with her hand, nose pressed against the glass screen of her phone. What was so important about it to her anyway? She never struck me as a person who was glued to their device. Still, I didn’t pay much attention to her anyway, so she might’ve been one all this time.

Sighing, I retreated out of her bedroom and went outside. The sun was blazing, scorching hot, and I couldn’t wait to hide in the shade of the trees. Inside the woods, a slight breeze caressed my back, as I put my hands in my pockets and began speed-walking to my destination. It seemed quiet. Too quiet. No birds were singing, not a sign of a squirrel scurrying around, no brambles shaking. Was it just me, or did the air seem more polluted than usual? Maybe it was just in my imagination. Though my imagination never played tricks on me before, it was just as plain and boring as the rest of me. Someone must’ve scared off the animals before I came. It was the only logical solution. I was sure it was Ned and Jimbo; those assholes were always contributing to the extinction of wildlife species.

A twig cracked.

Hastily, I turned around. No one was there. What a fucking surprise. If the sun weren’t setting, I would’ve investigated, but it was getting dark pretty damn quickly, and I wanted to get to the cottage as fast as possible. The woods were way more dangerous at night. Instead I just scoffed, walking further, not glancing back. I coughed. Jesus, there was a shit ton of smoke. My eyes watered out of their own accord. It was like someone deliberately setting fire to this place.

Footsteps. Fast paced thuds clomping on the dried-up mud. Great.

I stopped abruptly. There was someone behind me, right behind my back. I could feel their breath; short pants and wheezes. This was way too cliché. I would turn around and see a fearsome monster, ready to devour me. Or the robot, mecha-Streisand, back to destroy South Park. Fuck that. I walked onwards, flipping off whatever the fuck was behind me. Whatever bastard it was, they could wait until I cleaned up the bits of glass that littered the floor. I was nearing the cottage now, feeling my way through the thicket. I couldn’t see anything.

//

Finally, I reached the clearing, the moon illuminating the sky, stars twinkling. The cottage looked stunning, old, barren and forlorn. Thick ivy twisted around the chimney and draped itself around the walls.

Shame that I couldn’t see it well. Or at all, in fact. Thick haze clouded my vision nearly entirely, and I couldn’t stop spluttering and choking on it. Venturing forth, I finally made out the shape of something. Or some things, in my case. Indistinct shapes moved around inside the house. I could see them through the broken window, as well as the smoke billowing out. I ran through the unlocked door, rubbing my eyes in an attempt to see better.

“What are you two doing here?” A strangely mundane voice called. I could’ve sworn I heard it before.

Two? I spun my body a hundred and eighty degrees, trying to see who followed me here. Surely enough, there was a large person behind me, smirking cruelly.

“Hey Craig..” he chorused, still a little out of breath.

Squinting, I looked at his face. I couldn’t see any of his features, save for his eyes. Orbs that glittered with malice and acrimony. Eyes that could twist and bend reality- that wanted nothing more than to control the universe. That would stop at nothing to get what they want. Ones that have witnessed so much mayhem, caused so much destruction. Those eyes, when closed, left their owner to picture all the horrors of the world. I immediately knew that only one person in this shitty town wielded them.

And that meant I was fucked.

Chapter Text

“Cartman? How the fuck did you get here? How the fuck did all of you get here?” I accused, turning back around and trying to figure out who else was there.

Five pairs of eyes were staring at me. A thick vapour billowed out of four –what I assumed to be- mouths. Instantly, Cartman and I began coughing as nicotine enveloped our lungs.

“Stop smoking,” he wheezed roughly.

“Why? We’re all going to die anyway.” they replied in unison, voices as thick as the haze surrounding us.

“Because we aren’t going to get Craig to talk,” he rasped, pausing to splutter, “If he’s dead from your faggy smoking.”

Reluctantly, they lowered their cigarettes and stumped them out with their feet. No one said anything as the room began to clear. I wondered whether I should’ve made a run for it. But what was the point in that? They were going to have to kill me before I admitted anything. As the air cleared, the faces of the four Goth kids became more visible. God damn it. I didn’t think I’d have to deal with those assholes again. Wasn’t driving them away once enough?

“Well Craig, do you have anything to say?” Cartman asked, as if he had some sort of authority over me. It was quite comical, he was a good couple inches shorter than me, and nowhere near as threatening. Yet.

I flipped him off.

“You’re not going to get him to talk like that, fatass.” Firkle spoke up, eyes glazed.

“Then please, do a better job, midget.” Cartman responded cattily, pointing at me.

Firkle sighed, then walked up. He looked up at me, and I had to fight the overwhelming urge to squash him. Something about his demeanour, or his dwarf-like height, made me want to stub him out with my foot like he did to his cigarette. He crossed his arms, knife blade sticking out from under one of his arms. That made positively shit myself with laughter, though I didn’t show it out loud. I glared back at him with a mocking smirk. As if he would have the balls to do shit to anyone.

“I’m so fucking scared.” I deadpanned.

“Yeah, you should be.” Pete piped up, running his hand through his greasy black hair, stopping at the red roots.

“That’s called sarcasm, you moron.”

Pete huffed, offended.

Putting my hands in my pockets, I walked over to the bedroom door. They were being assholes, and I wondered when they’d go the fuck away. I opened it and went in, closing the wooden door behind me immediately after. The room smelled like him. Tweek’s sweet coffee aroma mingled with sweat lingered around, most prominent near the bed. I inhaled deeply, starved for his scent. It smelled so fucking good.

I’d have to get him back sometime soon. Probably not back here, as five assholes found out about its’ location. There was no way I’d risk anyone like them finding him. I would take him somewhere special, somewhere where he’d be safe.

They were talking. The walls weren’t that thick; I could clearly make out muffled noises. Being the gentleman I was, I ignored them and decided to text Butters, see what he was up to. Well, to see what Tweek was up to. I took out the phone from my pocket, my fingers grazing against my favourite penknife.

No response. I waited a minute. Then another. Still no response. I texted again. I waited five minutes. Another five. He wasn’t replying. I called him. Voicemail. I texted again.

What the fuck? It was unlike Butters not to respond to a text immediately. Maybe his phone battery was dead?  Not very plausible. Butters was one of those people prepared for every occasion.

I called him again. And again. One more text. Switched my phone off and back on. No response.

A range of worrying thoughts reverberated through my mind. Tweek was safe with Butters. Was he? Butters was supposed to have his phone on him at all times, text me whenever he could. He clearly wasn’t returning my calls. Deep breath. Mmm, Tweek’s smell was so soothing.

 Most likely, Butters’ parents took his phone off of him when they grounded him. Yeah, tomorrow morning I’d receive a dozen messages of apology. I wouldn’t let Butters get away with that shit, he was meant to help me, not make me worry. But I was sure Tweek was in safe hands. Butters wasn’t the type to let go.

After one final text to Butters, I heard the bedroom door slowly creak open. I whipped around to see Cartman.

I scowled at him. As he slowly inched the door open and crept into the room, I put my phone into the back pocket of my jeans.

“Did you take Tweek here?” he asked, almost gently.

“Do you see Tweek anywhere here?”

“Craig-“ he started, before biting his lower lip.

Leisurely, he placed his fat ass onto the bed. I clenched my fists. Any moment now; the scent, Tweek’s scent, would wither away -and be replaced with whatever intense deodorant he used. It pissed me off. Cartman didn’t deserve the privilege of being able to experience the result of my hard work. More so, he didn’t have the right to fuck it up. He inhaled sharply. I winced.

“Smells like sex in here.” he stated blatantly.

I raised my eyebrow.

“And coffee.” he added, after a moment of hesitation.

“No shit, Sherlock.” I responded in monotone. “Where are the other assholes?”

“The Goths are in the bathroom, bumming a few fags. They saw that there was a ventilation system in there, so they decided to use that opportunity to smoke without making this whole place infested with smog.”

“Mhmm.” Even my hum sounded nasally. I stared at Cartman, who stared back, looking really uncomfortable for some reason. The silence dragged on for a little too long.

“Being gay is so cool. Like-“

“Can you quit the bullshit?” I asked.

“I have no idea-“

“Quit. The. Bullshit.” I spat harshly. “I’m not one of your flaky friends. I don’t get the point of you pretending.”

“Jesus, fine! I guess some people don’t know how to appreciate someone being kind to them.” Cartman retorted.

“What do you want to ask me? Just get on with it.”

“Firstly, where is Tweek?”

“Not here, obviously.”

“Craig, don’t be an asshole.” he sighed in exaggeration.

“It’s in my blood.”

With a dark chuckle, Cartman replied. “I know that.”

What was that supposed to mean? Wait, wait.. The fuck? What did the fatass know about me and my family? I must’ve looked a little perplexed, because he took it as an excuse to rip on me.

“I also know that lack of hair doesn’t run in your family, Craig.” he winked teasingly.

“Were you playing around with the Stotch’s drone again? Because I swear to God, if you were, then-“

“Chill out, Craig. Your mom’s bush is too shaggy and gross to be looked at more than once without puking. Didn’t stop Kenny, though.”

At the sound of his name, I tensed up. So Kenny couldn’t decide on which person to pick? What a faggot. He should’ve chosen my mother. I wouldn’t have felt inclined to hurt him if that were the case. But he tried going after the bigger prize. After my Tweek. It wasn’t going to end well for him.

“How would you kill Kenny?”

“What?” I bleated. It was almost like he read my mind.

“You heard me. You have the chance to kill Kenny, how do you do it? And don’t lie, I know you want to.”

“There are a number of ways.”

“Painful ways?”

I folded my arms over my chest and nodded. Why did he want to know such a thing in the first place? But yeah, the thoughts of murdering him were usually pleasantly torturous.

“How would you kill Stan and Kyle?”

“Why are you asking me shit like this?”

“Uh.. Friendly conversation?” he stammered.

I snickered, although only on the inside. My outside appearance stayed the same as ever. It was around one in the morning and I was talking to Eric Cartman about killing his friends as a mean of ‘friendly conversation’. Ah, to hell with it. Cartman was one of those people that could talk about shit all day and people would listen. He was the town’s source of amusement. And if he felt like amusing me with stupid questions, then that was fine.

“Probably slit their throats. Or shoot them. Can’t decide.”

“Nice.” he stated, showing a thumbs up, “How would you kill me?”

“Starve you. It would take a long time, but it would be worth it.” The corners of my lips turned upwards.

“Starve me? Like Tweek?”

My half-smile turned into a frown instantaneously.

“He is way too skinny.” he continued.

“Like you’re not way too fat.”

“I’m not that fat! Not anymore! Stop avoiding the topic, you asshole.”

It was kind of true. Cartman was still a hefty guy, but he wasn’t obese. He had meaty thighs, and plump arms, but there was no doubt that there was some form of muscle there. Quite a bit of it, to be absolutely honest. Shockingly, he had the traces of abs on his torso, and although his double chin was there, it was nowhere near as conspicuous as it was in childhood. That fucker got lucky that his father was a football player, and that he inherited his genes. However, his nickname stuck around, courtesy of Kyle Broflovski, repeating it multiple times a day for...Well, ever since he could talk.

If Cartman was skinnier, smaller, had blond hair and hazel eyes he might’ve even been considered handsome. Like Tweek. Tweek was handsome. Tweek was beautiful, in every way, shape or form. I missed him. Especially now, that I didn’t get any response from Butters. And that the smell in the room started to fade. Cartman was a God damn asshole, ruining the air for me.

“You think Tweek looks better as a skeleton?” he asked impassively.

“Tweek isn’t a skeleton, fatass.” I glowered, “He just doesn’t eat much. Not that you’d know what that means. You’re a fat pig.”

“Wow Craig! What a great comment you’ve made. I’m impressed, seriously. Please enlighten me more with your outstanding wit and satire.” he claimed. It almost sounded like he wasn’t sardonic.

He looked at me. The instant our eyes connected, I felt a distressing feeling of.. fear? No, not fear, but something close to it. Whatever it was, it wasn’t a good emotion. His eyes sparked like they were charged with bolts of lightning. In that moment, I vowed to refrain from calling him fat. Because he had the exact same spark during his childhood, and that, unfortunately, meant some sort of twisted adventure.

“You didn’t answer my question, though. Skeleton or not?”

“Tweek always looks amazing. Didn’t you know that?” I said.

“Then why did you do it?”

“Be specific, asshat. Do what?”

“All that shit you did! Like, for one, turned him into a bigger anorexic than the girls at our school. Is it so that he’d be easier to be pinned down to the bed?”

I flipped him off.

“Craig. Tweek’s gone. You know where he is. I’m sure that he wants to come back to us. Are you seriously going to keep him to yourself?”

“Yep.” I replied, popping the ‘p’. “Why do you need him so badly, anyway. Oh I know. It’s because no-one else at school wants to be a part of your group.”

“That’s bullsh-“

“Do you know why nobody else at school likes hanging out with you?” I talked over him, “Because you’re always doing stuff like this. You’re always coming up with some stupid idea to do something, and then it backfires. And then you end up in some foreign country, or in outer space or something.” I deadpanned.

“You’re being extremely negative, Craig. And you started all of this! If you had a normal relationship with him, none of this would’ve happened, you stupid asshole.”

“Tell me one normal thing that exists in this town.” I asked, with no emotion.

He was dumbstruck for a good couple of seconds, before giving up and pouting.

“My turn to ask questions, fatass.” I said. “Why do you want Tweek so much?”

In reality, I was curious, and I wanted to know the answer as soon as possible. He opened his mouth to respond.

Thump.

The door slammed against the wall. The Goths stood in the doorway, extremely belligerent.

“You fucking asshole!” Henrietta screeched, her black dress swaying in front of her when she stepped up to Cartman. Pete and Michael followed swiftly behind. “You locked us in that bathroom for over an hour!”

“Did one of you need to piss or something?” I asked scornfully, ignoring the quiet knocking noise I heard. Was it a knocking noise? Maybe it was just the wind blowing against the door.

Cartman leaned back as Henrietta suddenly surged forward, grabbing onto his red coat.

“Calm down bitch! I left you guys some joints to smoke as well.” he complained, writhing and twisting from the fingernails piercing his clothes.

“Do we look like hippie conformist trash to you?” Michael hissed, lifting up his cane, probably to swing it at Cartman. I swore I heard a distant noise. Distant noises, bumps and thwacks. Pete just grit his teeth, flipping his fringe out of the way. He looked like he wanted to hit Cartman too. Not that I’d blame him. The bathroom wasn’t a big space at all, and I doubted it would fit any more than four people in it.

“Shut up Michael.” Firkle snapped from the doorway. All three of the Goths moved away from Cartman to look at him. He turned, purple lipstick slightly smudged as he made sounds that were supposed to be words directed toward me. He spoke with a level of fake dignity that pissed the ever-loving hell out of me. I didn’t even bother with smartass comments to his probing questions, the same answer every time.

“Did you take Tweek?”

Was I going crazy or did I hear footsteps? Everyone was here though, and no-one was moving.

“No.”

 “Do you know where he is?”

“No.”

 “Have you seen or heard from him recently?”

“No.” I said exasperatedly, hurling myself onto the bed.

 My ass hit the mattress first, and a loud moan echoed from inside my jean pocket. Judging from the fact that we all knew exactly who it was, it was safe to assume I forgot to turn off my voice recorder app. In addition to the fact that I just butt-dialled it for everyone to hear Tweek moaning. Great. Five pairs of eyes turned in my direction, boring into me. Those were the least of my concerns. Speedily, I turned my phone on silent. And then we all heard it.

There were footsteps. Getting louder. Getting closer.

Oh shit.

In a split second, we were on our feet, legging it to the bathroom. Whoever was there wasn’t normal. It was three in the morning and there was a person storming down the hallway, clearly, either mental or looking for revenge. Probably both. We barely fit in, squashed together in such an enclosed space. Cartman and Michael squished together in the bathtub, Firkle perching on the sink and Pete on the closed toilet lid. That left me and Henrietta standing on the tiled floor, and although I was standing right in front of the door where the person’s field of vision would, I didn’t envy her position. She stood on the side of it, and there was no doubt that as soon as the fucker that was outside opened it, it’d slam right into her fat face.

Frantically, I tried locking the door, only to be met with the realisation that I couldn’t.

“The fuck!” I muttered, trying again and again. Thuds were getting obviously nearer, as I fumbled with the stubborn lock.

“We broke it.” Henrietta whispered, voice quavering slightly. “When we were trying to get out. We broke it.”

Heavy silence crowded the room, accompanied by our erratic breathing and that God damn pattering of boots.

“We’re so fucked.”

Firkle jumped down from the sink, pulling up the knife from his pocket. He pushed me to the side, and gripped it tightly. Waiting. It was excruciating, not knowing what to do. We could only wait in suspended silence until the sounds stopped. Everyone’s breathing quickened. The air became stuffy, and hard to breathe. Firkle raised the knife slightly. No one moved an inch. Like statues, we were frozen in place, as the seconds slowly ticked by. Agonizingly.

A face. Hooded. The slam of the door and the cracking of a nose. A sharp object that glinted as it glided through the air. Until it hit him. Everything turned into colours. Blood. Gushing in all directions, staining the fluffy white rug. His face, as he picked up Firkle and slammed him against the wall. White. Firkle’s pale face as he struggled like a fly caught in a web. Grey. The small, lifeless body sliding down the tiles and slumping on the floor. Black, clothes that moved to pin the killer down. Sparkling, of a glittery brooch in artificial lighting. That same sparkle as Pete was pushed away from the figure. Into Henrietta. Whose cursing sounded around the room like church bells. The grunts of Cartman and Michael trying desperately to get out of the bathtub. Cartman succeeded. Michael yelled. Two bodies landed on him. A combination of white and black, displayed for everyone to see. The figure took out the knife from his body. More blood. Oozing out from his wound, from his stomach. The slow steps of him walking toward three petrified people. Brown, Cartman’s eyes. We looked at eachother helplessly. Gulping, I looked back at the murderer. More precisely, at what he was doing.

Red. On the walls, on the floor, on the bodies, on the bathtub, on the knife. That was repeatedly slashing and slicing into what was left of the Goths. Screams, pleas and cries. The metallic stench of it all. I swore it was all red too. Too much red.

Green. Vomit covering my shoes, as the contents of my stomach heaved up. The foul odour stayed in my mouth. I looked up.

The figure looked back.

His parka was barely orange anymore. It was coated with blood and guts, that dripped onto the tiles as he took slow, calculated movements towards me. With every step he stumbled, clutching at his open wound as more and more red spilled out.

I couldn’t think. I took a step back, right into a wall. My arms clasped around my torso protectively, and I felt it. The penknife. Automatically, I yanked it out and hurled myself at the hooded person, both of us falling to the floor. He pushed up from beneath me, trying to get me off. I only gripped tighter. His own knife flew across the room. This was my chance. I stabbed into his gut. Then his chest. And his neck. Red, red, red.

His breathing stopped. I let out a deep sigh, falling onto him fully. There was no noise. Not from his heart, not from any of the hearts around the room.

“You.. You killed Kenny.” Cartman hobbled over, falling to his knees in front of his dead face.

“Self defence.” I replied, sitting up, grunting.

For a long time, neither of us said anything. What was there to say? I killed Kenny, who killed the Goths. Whose fault was it? I would’ve blamed Cartman, for locking the Goths in here earlier, but if there was one thing that I learned about Cartman was that he was never at fault. He was a hero in his own mind, and always able to do some mental gymnastics to convince himself that he was a good person. Always able to justify his flaws through his thinking. The whole world was messed up, according to him, because the views of many didn’t line up with his own.

“I didn’t think you’d have the balls to do it.” he stated, taking off the hood of Kenny’s parka. Even his dirty blond hair was spattered with droplets of blood.

“You see? One of us has to have some.”

“Craig, I swear to God. I’m going to get you a special training collar, and every time you’re an asshole, I’ll give you an electric shock.”

“Is it one of the tactics Cesar Millan used on you?”

“Shut the fuck up Craig.” he blushed at the embarrassing memory of the Dog Whisperer training him. He regained his composure quite quickly, looking at me. “What are you going to do now?”

“We’re going to bury the bodies.”

“To hell with that. You’re in this on your own.” Cartman stood up, brushing off his legs, also stained, and started to walk away.

“Cartman!” I warned, rushing after him. That fat asshole was not getting away. “You’re helping me.”

“Why should I?”

“Because...” I started. Shit, he got me there. I always hated him, and vice versa. He had absolutely no reason to help me hide their bodies and clean up the mess. God Damnit. “Your DNA is on their bodies. Cops find us, we’re both fucked.”

He laughed heartily. “I’m not black, Craig, I don’t need to worry.”

Fuck that asshole and his racism. But he was right. The police in South Park wouldn’t give two shits if we killed some people -as long as we weren’t rich black guys. Those people were the true criminals. Not some teenager that killed someone, or one that tried to commit genocide on multiple occasions. The African-Americans that the police wanted to feed to the Shub-Nigurrath for their cult.

Huffing, I followed him out of the cottage. It was going to be a long walk back, but at least no-one would be up before the crack of dawn to see the state of our clothes.

“What are you doing later?” Cartman asked, hands in his pockets.

“Nothing much.”

“Just planning on where to kidnap your boyfriend next?” he smirked. “Nice recording, by the way. Can I get a copy?”

I flipped him off, quickening my pace to get away from him. Also, I wanted to get back home. My hoodie was soaked in blood, all over, my jeans were dirty, and my socks squelched uncomfortably in my trainers. No doubt, they too, were filthy red.

His question got me thinking. An idea struck me; I was surprised why I didn’t think of it earlier. If I killed him too, then I could take Tweek back up to the house. Everyone who knew about its’ existence wouldn’t be able to locate him. They would be dead, and I’d just bury them. That idea was great, and actually justified the fact that I was going to murder Cartman. Well, the fact that he was a shitty human being in general justified that. I was just going to do humanity a favour. Besides, then there would be two down, two more to go. Kenny’s death wasn’t as slow or arduous as I wanted it to be, but in the end, he was dead, and that was all that mattered. Anyways, Cartman could make up for it.

Gradually, I slowed down until my footsteps were in line with his. We walked in a comfortable silence, as the stars in the sky glimmered. They looked almost as mesmerising as Tweek did. For a while, none of us said anything. I slid my hand into my pocket. Small animals scurried around in the shadows, and Cartman hummed absent-mindedly. I fingered my knife, releasing the switchblade. I was a genius.

This time, I wouldn’t fuck things up. As much as I hated having my pet chained up, he’d stay there until he behaved himself. Then, nothing bad would happen to him. He wouldn’t try to run. He would stay put there, waiting for me. Of course, I wasn’t a heartless bastard. I’d let Tweek sleep in the bed upstairs sometimes -provided he made it worth my while. But I’d watch him. I’d hold his sleeping body in my arms. Tightly. Securely. But not possessively. I wasn’t possessive. I was caring.

I cared about Tweek, and I wanted to care for him too. I would care for him. No matter how much he tried to lie to himself that he didn’t want me to, I would care for him. There wasn’t a thing in the world I wouldn’t do to protect him. Beautiful things were always in need of protection. And he was beautiful. Very, very beautiful.

Warily, I pulled the knife out of my pocket. Grasping it in my hand, I walked steadily, not arousing suspicion. Attentiveness was key. If Cartman saw what I was about to do, he’d be able to pin me against one of the many trees and make me let it go. Then, he’d be the one to kill me. He swatted a fly from his face, unperturbed. I stepped closer to him.

With one swift move, I tripped him up. He fell to the ground instantaneously, and I sat on top of him, holding his wrists in my hands and pushing his face into the dirt with my knee.

“Craig! Craig, you don’t have to do this!” he yelped like a little bitch. He was pathetic, flailing his legs in the air like it’d stop me. It made me want to kill him just that little bit more.

I pressed the blade to his nape. I would go slow with Cartman, let him suffer. I’d break his life so skilfully even Kyle would be impressed. I let it sink into his skin slightly, pricking it, not hard enough for blood to draw out, but hard enough to make him stop bucking up against me.

“Craig, if you’re going to murder me, at least tell me why, asshole!” he whimpered.

I decided that was an acceptable last wish. “Why wouldn’t I? Think about it, fatass.”

Birds began chirping quietly, the first signs of the world waking up. It was still dark, the sky still illuminated by stars, but it was a deep shade of navy, opposed to pitch black. I dug the point slightly deeper into Cartman’s neck.

“Craaaig.” he drawled in that annoying tone of his when he wanted to be manipulative. He stopped instantly after my wrist, accidentally, twitched and I made a small incision in the back of his head.

“Oops.” I said, not bothering to fake any concern. “I’ll tell you why. It’s because I hate you. I hate all of you assholes. I fucking despise the shit you do together. But I tolerated you. Until you dragged Tweek into your shit.”

“We didn’t do shi-AAH!”

The blade gouged deeper. Cartman let his head fall forward limply in submission and he sniffled, trying not to cry.

“I’m not going to let you assholes ruin Tweek. But because you’re stubborn bastards, you just don’t understand not touching someone else’s property!” I all but yelled in the end, hand shaking, opening up the slit in his neck.

Thick blood began dribbling out. He started mumbling something to himself. Although I wasn’t sure he was listening to me, I continued, looking down at the back of his head. The earth beneath his face was slightly wet. For someone who loved inflicting tears so much, he sure cried like a pansy.

“Tweek is mine. Do you understand?”

More tears pooled beneath him, and I revelled in the sight. Muffled by the mud, he murmured ‘Mama’ over and over again. Such a mommy’s boy.

“Are you listening to me, fatass?”

Cartman didn’t respond, his chest moving up and down shakily. I grabbed him by his chestnut hair and yanked his neck upwards. Impaled him straight into my knife. He made a soft sob and shook helplessly.

“Well you should. You’re going to die real soon now.” I whispered into his ear, rejoicing in the way my nasally threat made him tremble.

Roughly, I let go of his hair and pushed his face deeper into the mud he created with his tears. “It’s alright,” I soothed, “Tweek and I will be happy now. I love him so much. He makes me so happy.”

Cartman just carried on muttering to himself.

“What are you saying, fatass? Tell me. I’m the last person you’ll talk to anyway.” I demanded, playfully dipping my knife in his blood and smearing it around. Who knew killing someone was so much fun?

“I’m ready..” he whined so mutely that he had to repeat himself.

“What?”

“I said I’m ready to die. I don’t want to live in a world where he isn’t mine. Just hurry the fuck up, Craig.” Cartman whispered defiantly. “Hurry up and get this over with.”

Was this some kind of manipulation tactic? Some kind of reverse psychology? He surely didn’t want to die. Cartman was one of the most strong-willed people I ever met, and the only time he wanted to kill himself was back in fourth grade. He actually rapped a whole song to compete for attention against distracted driving.

“No. I’m not giving you that satisfaction. Tell me why you want me to kill you so quickly. I might reconsider then.”

“I just realised something.” He spoke, voice thick from crying and muffled from his face in the ground.

I waited for him to go on, pulling up his neck –dripping in blood- so that I could hear him better.

“I can’t do what you do. He doesn’t want me. No matter how hard I try, he’ll never, ever, want a psychopath like me.” his voiced cracked pitifully.

“Too right. Tweek doesn’t like crazy people.” I replied, though I don’t think he heard me.

It was like he was in his own separate bubble, saying his thoughts out loud. His own, private monologue. By the looks of things, it was a well practiced one.

“I can’t do this anymore. Every single moment of my life, Craig, he’s somewhere in my mind.”

I understood what he meant. Tweek had that effect on people. On me, especially. The unpleasant thought of Cartman thinking about him made me slash the knife against his skin tauntingly. He didn’t seem to notice.

“I have photos of him. Too many of them. I burned off all the faces of the black-haired asshole next to him. He appears in most of those pictures, unfortunately for me.”

“I’m not an asshole.”

He carried on rambling, sounding more resigned with every word.

“No matter how hard I try, I can’t change. And neither will he. But I understand why. He’s destined to be with someone calmer than him, someone less neurotic. Someone who can pacify his temper, not someone who adds fuel to the fire.”

I hated Cartman. I really, really hated Cartman. However, it was extremely difficult to convince myself of that when he sounded so heartbroken, so lifeless, already. There was an edge to his voice, and he kept swallowing when his pitch went high. Those words weren’t fake. Those were real, raw emotions that poured out of him.

But it was Tweek he was talking about. Tweek could and would only have one boyfriend, one future husband. And that was me. He seemed to accept that, though, and for a fleeting moment, I thought that maybe I could let him go. Cartman wasn’t one to make the same mistake twice.

“Cartman, do you want me to let you die or not?” I asked more sympathetically than I intended. Killing him would be fun, for sure, but if he wasn’t a threat, there really wasn’t a reason to do anything to him.

“I don’t care.”

I slid off his back, and pulled him into a sitting position. Dismally, he leaned his head back against the trunk of a tree, as tears cascaded down his face. He was in such a state that he just sat there and wept, not bothering to cover his face.

“Craig.. He won’t love me! He’ll never fucking love me! Do you know how that feels? To know his heart belongs to someone else? No you don’t, because you’re a fucking asshole.” He sobbed loudly, face cherry-red, nose scrunched up.

Awkwardly, I patted his large arm. Comforting crying people wasn’t my forte. I didn’t know how to deal with heartbreak, and didn’t plan on intending to.

Bright orange rays began piercing through the darkness of the sky, creating shadows in the trees.

“Everywhere I look I see him. I’m sick of it, Craig, I’m so fucking sick. I keep lying to myself, pretending that maybe, I have a chance with him. But there is no happy ending for me! I won’t have him. I’ll never have him.” he basked in self-pity, sniffling and snorting.

“Yeah. You get to live though, isn’t that, like, cool?” I tried to console him.

Cartman ignored me, and began calming himself down. After a few minutes, he finally stopped bawling, and wiped his nose on his sleeve. Eyes puffy, he looked at me, as if he were seeing me for the first time.

“I don’t know if I want to live.” Cartman spoke, not breaking eye-contact. “A life filled with misery is hardly a life at all. I don’t want to accept the fact that he doesn’t want me. It’s just that, I love him. There. I said it. I’m a fucking homosexual.”

What a surprise. Cartman, not straight? No-one would’ve thought of such an absurd thing. The dude sucked Butters off in fourth grade, took a picture, and then showed it to the entire class. Most of the school thought that was his unique way of coming out. Apparently not.

“Cartman, we all kind of guessed you were gay. No straight person sings Lady Gaga with that much finesse.”

He glowered at me incredulously, then placed his head in his hands, muttering a ‘Shut up Craig.’

“So, you never answered my question from before. Why do you like him so much?” I asked.

He took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. “Because. He’s fucking amazing. Like, so magical. He’s got crazy hair that reminds me of the sun. It’s so big and poofy. I love his physique, even though he’s stupidly scrawny. He’s got a one in a million personality. You couldn’t get another person like him Craig, you just couldn’t.”

I nodded in assent.

“But I think I like his complexion the most. He’s so fucking pale, almost see-through. It just makes him awfully cute. And the freckles on his nose-“

“What?” I asked, mortified.

“Freckles. You know, annoying little dots on your body.“ he answered, befuddled.

“I know what they are, you moron. I’m asking if you’re serious.”

“Of course I’m seriously.” Cartman said, still slightly confused. “Why?”

“Tweek doesn’t have freckles.”

Chapter Text

I wasn’t sleepy! My eyes were open wide as I paced around Butters’ room, the floorboards creaking quietly with each step. I wasn’t drowsy! My mind raced at its usual pace, not slowing down, not becoming sluggish. I wasn’t lethargic at all! And I wanted nothing more than to scream it out to the world that I was back to normal. Back to normal meaning I was back to my insomnia. Which in itself wasn’t good, but it was better than forcibly being put to sleep. Which also meant that Butters didn’t try to poison my food.

Oh sweet Jesus! I couldn’t wait for him to return, so I could thank him properly. Butters was a real angel, and I foolishly didn’t trust him. But now I would, I vowed to myself solemnly, I would listen to every word he said and believe it. Because out of everyone in my life, he was by far the sweetest, most caring person I encountered. He found me alone in the woods, took me home, borrowed his clothes, let me sleep in his bed and made me breakfast. All out of his own free will. And me? I was an ungrateful jerk who wouldn’t even eat the food he made for me. I didn’t deserve a friend like Butters. GAH! Was he even my friend? Oh god, what if he wasn’t my friend? What if he was an alien, or a vampire, or something even worse? All of those thoughts were equally terrifying. I shook my head, trying to shake the thoughts away. Unfortunately for me, that only worked in movies.

I sighed, plopping down on Butters’ bed. It was quite large, and neatly made, with plump pillows and a blue duvet with white spots. I pushed aside some of his hello-kitty plushies that were dotted around, taking one and pulling it up to my chest. It seemed childish to hold a stuffed animal, but I was I was sure that when Butters returned, he wouldn’t laugh at me. After all, he was the one who owned them.

Relaxing my body, I melted into the bed. I was okay. Everything was okay. The sun was mostly blocked out by the blinds, streams fluorescent orange pouring through the cracks, as I heard the thumping of feet downstairs. Probably his parents. I let my mind wander, meditating, thinking about grassy meadows and puppies. And Butters. I don’t think I ever felt so calm before.

//

The sound of a door opening startled me. Some time must’ve passed, the room was dark and only a faint glow from the setting sun illuminated the space. A shadow moved. Butters walked in and I leapt into his arms.

“Heya Shortcake!” he laughed, hugging me back enthusiastically.

“Oh Butters! Thank you, man! Thank you!” I cried, legs wrapped around his waist and fingers clutching his shirt.

“Why Tweek, what are you thanking me for? I didn’t do anything. Aw, Shortcake, don’t cry, it’s alright. What’s wrong?”

His affectionate words made me realise my cheeks were wet. Really wet. I opened my mouth to reply, but nothing came out, just empty gasps of air. Gently, Butters disentangled me from him and set me back down on the bed. He sat down and nudged my shoulders, face full of genuine concern. They.. they were back.

“Tweek? Are you okay?” Butters asked, perplexed.

I shook my head, silent screams pouring out of my mouth. My head started spinning, vision shimmering as black spots formed in my twitching eyes. GAH! An intense pressure squeezed my intestines, and I wanted nothing more than to escape my body. The walls moved closer and closer, closing in on me and my supply of oxygen. In an instant, the room burst into flames. My heart raced. Out! I wanted out! They were back. All of them. The monsters, glaring at me, feeling me up, pulling me down. They were back. And they were going to kill me. They morphed into one big splotch of darkness of impending doom, nearing, spiralling, disfiguring. Cold fear struck my body. I had to get away. But I couldn’t move. GAH! My mouth went dry. A smile formed. Jet black lips twisted upwards, exposing white fangs that were supposed to resemble teeth. Bile rose up in my throat. They knew exactly what they were doing to me. The darkness grew, shadows spinning out of proportions, eating me alive. I scratched my tingling face, drawing out blood with my fingernails. It usually worked, but not this time. Hands gripped my shaking wrists, pulling them away. I thrashed around wildly as they cackled, as those inky lips extended, grimacing, splitting open, blackness pouring down, covering my vision entirely.

Oh, how I couldn’t wait to die.

Hyperventilating, I slumped my head into his lap limply, as he massaged my scalp with one hand and rubbed my back with the other, frantically trying to calm me down.

“Breathe easy now, Shortcake. In, and out. Good, and again. In and out. There we go! Just like that Tweek, deep breath in, and out. You’re doing great. In and out.”

Closing my eyes, I listened to Butters’ instructions as best as I could. His voice seemed to pierce through the darkness, like my own personal saviour, and with each word he spoke, I felt better.

“No, no Tweek, not just in. Breathe out. Good, steady now. Breathe in, and out.”

Within a matter of milliseconds or centuries, (I couldn’t tell) my breathlessness subsided. I daren’t open my eyes. Butters stroked my hair softly, murmuring to himself. Slowly, I stretched my limbs, eyelids fluttering open. Everything ached. Apart from my head; nestled on Butter’s plush thighs.

He stroked my forehead tentatively. His face was pale with fear, cheeks remaining their usual rosy pink, along with the horizontal scar on his eyelid. Lips moved quickly, too quickly, and I couldn’t understand the rushed gargle he spoke. Though his eyes spoke volumes, more than any words ever could. The blue-grey of stormy skies right before lightning hit. It wasn’t the colour of them that was so breathtaking, but what was inside them. Bright, shining with torrents yet to fall. Pupils dilated, thick lashes catching stray raindrops. One slid down his cheek, and I reached out to wipe it away. Why was Butters crying?

“Oh Tweek,” he whispered faintly, “Tell me what happened.”

I looked up at him and tried to articulate my thoughts, unsuccessfully. In the end, all I managed to say were two words.

“Thank you.”

“Shortcake, I don’t really understand. Can you explain what you mean?”

“Thank you, Butters. Thank you for stopping me from hurting myself. Thank you for caring about me. Thank you for helping me breathe. Thank you for saving me from them. Thank you for being a good person. Thank you for not killing me.” I replied, voice croaking.

“Aw, Tweek, as nice as that is, you’re not making very much sense.” he pulled me upright into a sitting position, my head on his shoulder, “What did you see?”

“Flames.”

“Flames? Anything else?”

“A smile.”

“A smile and flames. Okay, now, tell me, what exactly about those things made you panic?” he asked.

“The shadowy monsters.”

He stood up, and the upper part of my body slid onto the bed lifelessly.

“Tweek, I’ll be back in a minute. Will you be alright?”

I was too thoroughly spent to bother acknowledging him with a response when he walked out of the room. My entire body felt numb. Not like that time when my legs fell asleep from sitting cross-legged too long, but actually, fully, numb. A strange, listless sensation from the tips of my hair to the soles of my feet. As if I were dead already.

And it would’ve been possible, I had a panic attack worse than any other. Although, saying that, every new one seemed worse than the last. I lay on the bed, body still trembling out of its’ own accord, waiting for Butters to return.

He came back with a sketchpad tucked under his arm, a pencil in his ear, holding two steaming mugs of drink. There was so much whipped cream on top it was oozing off the sides of the porcelain, the fluffy whiteness was blanketed with a thick layer of chocolate shavings and topped off with pink heart-shaped marshmallows. It smelled mouth-watering.

“Here, have some hot chocolate. It looks like you need the extra sugar, Shortcake.” he smiled, the bed making a squeak and the mattress dipping down.

I sat up and he passed me one of the cups. Carefully, I placed my lips on the rim and began lapping at the sweet beverage, as he giggled and dipped his marshmallows in the melting cream dribbling off the edges. Hot chocolate wasn’t normally my go-to, but this was heavenly. Sugary and milky and so, so delicious. My taste buds positively danced in appreciation. Why couldn’t my family make such delicacies? Probably because it was made with so much love it was unreal. Without hesitating, I downed the whole thing, enjoying the lingering taste of melted chocolate on my tongue. The numbness mostly faded away, replaced with an intense, burning sweetness.

“Tweek, I’m going to ask you to do something, and you may not like it, but please, it’s for your own good.” Butters spoke gravely, after which he took our mugs and they landed on his desk with a gentle clunk and returned, pencil in hand.

I gulped. GAH! He wasn’t going to kill me with that pencil, was he?

“I need you to tell me exactly what you saw. In detail, so I can draw it.”

“Why!” I yelped. The last thing I wanted was to relive that vivid hallucination, let alone have someone recreate it.

“Tweek, do you trust me?” he asked, his lips in a tight line, forehead creased, eyes big and pleading.

“Ngnn.. I.. I don’t really know..” I said, making the mistake of looking at him. As soon as the words escaped my lips, his face turned into a crestfallen expression that didn’t suit him at all. Only a second of hesitation and I changed my mind, “I guess.. I guess I can try.”

“Thank you Tweek.” Butters’ face lightened instantly, and he plopped himself down, pencil at the ready, pressing against the smooth, white paper. “Whenever you’re ready.”

“So, umm, the floor, kinda lit up in flames and then the monsters moved on the walls, and they came closer and closer and I couldn’t move and they changed into one big smile and, and...”

“Gee, Shortcake, hold your horses! Give me a second to finish the outline of the room first, then we can get on to what was inside. Calm down and don’t rush it. It’ll only make it worse. We’re going to go through this, together.” He stated, finding and squeezing my left hand reassuringly whilst the other was making sure strokes along the paper. “Okay, start again. Slowly.”

“So there were flames and-“

“How big? What colour? Were they spiky or soft? Where exactly were they? In what direction were they pointing? Tweek, I need details.” Butters huffed, fixed on the sketchpad in front of him.

“Umm.” I closed my eyes and forced myself to remember. I spoke, vision still clear in my mind, “They started off small, just tiny embers on the floor, tiny flickers. But with every breath I took, they grew bigger, and brighter. Stronger. Scarier.“

“Mmm..” he hummed contentedly, transfixed. “Got it. Carry on Shortcake, you’re doing great!”

“And the shadows crept up from the flames, reaching upwards, GAH! high up on the walls, darkness spreading to the ceiling from their fingertips.”

“Mm, any specific shapes?”

“Their fingertips were pointed, really, really sharp. And their bodies were deformed, kind of blurry near the edges. Does that help?”

“Yeah!”

Butters looked fascinating to me, pencil loose in his grip, as dark lines appeared on the sheet of paper like magic. I leaned over to see that Butters left a large blank space in the middle, and was scribbling extra ripples on the outlines of the demons.

“Wow.” I breathed. It was nearly an exact replica of what was in my head. How could someone, anyone be that talented? “You’re really good.”

“Aw gee, thanks a million, Tweek. I’m not that good, but I just love art, even if it’s for gaywads. Okay, so what about that smile you saw?”

Involuntarily, my body shook as the image flashed in my mind. GAH! I didn’t want to see it, nor have it on a piece of paper. “No, I can’t. I’m sorry, I just can’t.”

“It’s okay Tweek, I understand.” he rubbed his thumb over my palm. “You did well enough for your first attempt. Excellent, even. Can we carry this on another time?”

Before I could respond, his phone pinged on the bedside table. Reluctantly, he gave my hand one last squeeze before pulling away, casting his drawing on his desk and picking the vibrating phone up. I wondered who texted him, but before I could ask, he smiled.

“Ooh,” he squealed, “The ladies are having a girl’s night out, and they want me to join. Are you coming with us, Shortcake?”

I shook my head. “Aren’t girl’s night’s out you know.. for girls only? And we’re both guys. ”

Truth of the matter was, I didn’t want to go out at all. There were way too many possibilities of Craig being out in town on a Friday evening, angrily searching for me. I didn’t want to see Craig. The consequences would be way too much pressure.

An innocently playful grin crept up on Butters’ face. “Well, we can change that real quick, buddy.”

GAH!

“I’M NOT LETTING YOU CASTRATE ME!” I shrieked suddenly, pulling my knees up to my chest and backing away as Butters tried to put his hand on my shoulder.

“Shh, Tweek. My parents might hear us, and then we’ll both get grounded. No-one’s going to castrate you.” he said.

“I don’t get it.” I replied, more quiet, “What are you going to do?”

“Well, I can’t let anyone see you like you are now, but if you were a different person, then we could both go out and have some fun!”

“And how would we do that?”

Butters looked at me. Intensely staring me up and down for a good couple of awkward (on my part) minutes. Then, it was as if a light-bulb flashed over his head, and he ran to his closet, tugging it open and pulling out clothes. He turned to face me, his expression changing to serious.

“Tweek, you do trust me, right?”

“Yeah.. I think I do.”

Great! Then I know exactly what I’m going to dress you in.” he stated without hesitation, turning back and tugging more clothes out. A few articles of clothing later, he finally moved away, and let me see the monstrosities he picked out. It wasn’t anything that I could call a disguise; no oversized hoodie, no sunglasses, no fake moustache. His previous statement suddenly made sense. In his arms, he cradled a lacy, short-sleeved, black blouse, a chiffon green skirt and glittery gold-coloured kitten heels with an equally shiny belt.

“Man, I’m not wearing that!”

“Aw, Shortcake, don’t be a sour apple!”

“Butters, no! Sweet Jesus! Just because I’m gay doesn’t mean I’m, Ngnnn, some goddamn fruitcake!” I retorted harshly.

If Butters thought he could dress me up as a girl and parade me around town, he sure had another thought coming. That was beyond humiliating. And the clothes he picked wouldn’t work very well at covering me up. I glared at him as his face fell, only the slightest feeling of guilt creeping up and pulling at my heartstrings. Maybe I shouldn’t have responded in such a nasty tone.

“Look man, I have nothing against people cross-dressing, but I’m not getting involved in it. If you like it so much, why don’t you do it?” I added as an afterthought.

“I am.” Butters sniffled, voice barely above a whisper. “I already have my clothes picked out. I just thought that maybe we would go together.” He let the clothes fall to the floor, his lips trembling, shoulders heaving, blinking rapidly.

Well damn, that made me feel like a Grade-A asshole. Oh god! Instantly, I was on my feet, trying to take back my words, trying to make the situation better.

“Oh shit! I’m sorry, I’m so sorry! Please don’t hate me! Oh shit, I’m so fucking useless! I’m sorry! I’m a pathetic mess!” I wailed, tears forming in my own eyes.

“No, Tweek, it’s fine. I shouldn’t make you do anything you don’t want to do.” Butters snivelled, and somehow, that sentiment everything worse. He wasn’t even going to punish me for what I did, even though I deserved it. There was going to be no retaliation in the form of anger from him, no way to hate him for hurting me.

“Don’t say that! I do want to, it’s just that... What if someone sees me? And then they look at me like I’m a freak. Or if Craig comes along. Or one of the girls. And they think I stole women’s clothes because I’m a sicko. My face is still the same! They’ll be able to see!”

“Shortcake, I’m not mad at you, calm down. I’ve got a way to fix that problem,” he soothed, wiping his face, “Do you trust me enough to make you into a pretty lady?”

“Okay. Yeah, I do.”

Butters gave me a smile in return.  A smile so genuine, so pure, so trustworthy. There was something about the way he his dimples crinkled; it made all my worries insignificant and low. The sun had somehow toppled down from the sky and made a home right there in his heart, and he spread its’ warmth onto me. He had the kind of smile that made me feel happy to be alive and just that tiny bit more human.

“Then get that cute butt moving, Shortcake!” he suddenly beamed, picking up the fabric and throwing it to me. “We’ve got a girl’s night out to get to, and we can’t be late!”

//

Five replays of ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ later, I stood in front of Butters’ closet, dressed in the clothes he gave me, as he attacked my hair viciously with a hairbrush. It was a battle he was clearly losing, and one that no amount of De-Tangle spray could help with.

“Ugh.” he grumbled, thoroughly frustrated, “Sorry Tweek, it seems that you’re not going to get your hair braided. We’ll go for a messy topknot instead. On the bright side, that means we have more time to spare. Tell me, when was the last time you even looked at a hairbrush?”

“Umm, too long?”

“Exactly what I thought.” he sighed, though I saw the corner of his lips twitch, as if he were fighting a smile. “So, what are you going to call yourself?”

“What? Man, you already know my name, it’s Tweek.”

“No, no! Gee, Shortcake, don’t you know? You need to think up of a girl name, one that’d suit your new look.”

“Jesus Christ, I can’t do that. Especially when you’re not letting me look in the mirror.”

“I told you already, you’ll see yourself at the end, and not before, because you’ll start doubting me. You’re so impatient!”

I pouted in response. With one final tug at my hair, Butters stepped back, nodding to himself.

“What do I do now?”

“Now you can put on your heels and practice walking in them while I go to the bathroom and get myself done up. They’re not too high, so you should be fine.”

“Ngnn, fine.” I agreed, slyly glancing at the mirror on the other side of the room. I couldn’t see my reflection.

“And if you even think about going up to look at yourself you’re going to be in real big trouble!” Butters warned, though not entirely seriously.

“Yeah, yeah.” I muttered as he stepped out of the room.

The shoes in front of me looked harmless. Until I walked in them. Putting them on was a task in itself, fiddling with the tiny clasps at each side, fingers at an awkward angle as I bent over to give myself better access. I realised it was extremely unladylike of me, ass up in the air, as I struggled to loop the damn buckle. Why did they have to make them so small? It was horribly unpractical.

I stretched back up, enjoying the extra height the heels gave me. They made me bow forward slightly more so than usual, and out of reflex I leaned backwards. Of course, that made me end up ass on the floor, as I flailed my arms helplessly. The bruises and healing welts added to my pain.

“Argh..”

I pushed myself back up. This time, I shuffled, hunched over, to the bed and back. It was a good attempt, but girls didn’t walk like misshapen beasts. They had their backs straight, so I tried to copy what I knew. The first steps were a success, and, gaining more confidence, I began to pace quicker. Apparently, high heels weren’t made for faster strolling, as I ended up with one foot straight up and the other twisted to the side, ankle bending out towards the carpet. Gritting my teeth, I tried again. And again. Soon enough, I walked around the room nearly effortlessly. By nearly effortlessly, I meant that I still had my bumps and stumbles, but I was a clumsy person in general, and I figured I’d need a lot more practice to get rid of that.

Tiredly, I walked over to Butters’ bookshelf, leaning against one of the books for support. It came falling down with a crash, and I immediately went to pick it up. Oh Jesus! What if I broke it? Butters would hate me! Quickly, I checked the book over, searching for any splits along the spine or crumpled pages. It was very majestic, if that was even the proper word to describe a book. Hardback leather, expensive for a book the width of a shoebox. Layers of dark blue piled on top of eachother to create a marble effect on the cover. I turned to the back to read the blurb, only to find that there was none. Hesitantly, I opened to the first page of the book. It was faded slightly yellow with age, but the letters printed clearly in blue ink:

Diary Of Leopold Butters Stotch

I almost dropped it. Almost. I bit my bottom lip, to put the book back in its’ place, unread. However, my arms refused to co-operate, holding it even tighter. No! I wasn’t going to breach Butters’ privacy. I respected him. But, if I had a quick skim through it, then I’d know if he was trying to kill me or not. Why was I so selfish? I bet Butters didn’t even mention me in his diary. I wasn’t worth mentioning. Then, who did he write about? The book had to be filled with something. Oh god, Butters could’ve come back in any second, and what would I do if he caught me? No, no, no. It was too big of a risk. Just one page? One paragraph? One sentence even? To cure my curiosity? He wouldn’t ever have had to find out. The edge of the page glistened, waiting to be turned. GAH!

I opened the page to the latest entry. A short passage. I knew it was wrong, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to peer into Butters’ inner thoughts. Besides, if he didn’t want his diary to be read why did he put it on his bookshelf for everyone to see? Exactly. That’s how I justified it to myself, anyway.

Dear Diary,

I’m being a good friend to the fellas. Being a good friend to Dougie. A good friend to Wendy and the girls. Good friend to Token. To Clyde. To Jimmy. To everyone. At least, I try to. It’s gosh darn hard sometimes, them being stubborn and all, but I manage.

Oh, it was just a normal diary. I honestly didn’t know what I was expecting. I skimmed down the page guiltily, trying my best to ignore the words written in Butters’ neat penmanship. I succeeded in doing so. They weren’t particularly eye-catching. Until I stopped, right at the very end of the page. The words were splotchy and botched, but unmistakably wrote:

 I’m happy for them, I really, truly am.

Then why do I feel like crying?

The words burned into my retinas. I slammed the book shut. Oh god! Instead of quenching my interest, I only fuelled it. And now that I knew something I wasn’t supposed to, Butters would think I was acting strange. I shouldn’t have read that stupid page in the first place. At least then, it wouldn’t have tempted me to read more, learn more. Once was enough. Meticulously, I placed the book back in its’ place and stepped away. I turned back round, and there it stood, silently urging me to come closer. To find out who the ‘them’ were.

Soft clicks of high heels. I sat back down on the bed and patiently waited for Butters to return. The door to the bedroom opened. GAH! A girl entered, curves accentuated by the flowery pattern on her blue dress. She wore emerald stilettos with small bows that matched the one big one in her immaculate blonde hair. Her face was perfect, no signs of any scars or imperfections.

“So, whaddya think?” she curtseyed.

“Butters?”

“Call me Marjorine!” he giggled sweetly, coming closer to me with a heavy make-up bag. “Okay, let’s do you now.”

He sat me down on the floor, kneeling in front of me, tilting my chin upwards.

“Don’t blink.” he instructed, holding my face with one hand, and putting his forefinger with a contact lens on it right onto my eye. He did the same to the other.

“Great job! Okay, now close your eyes for me.”

I did as I was told. The next half hour consisted of him giving me directions on which way to tilt my head as he smeared a number of substances all over my face. By the end, all I wanted to do was rub it all off. I didn’t mind so much when he coated my cheeks with powder, or ‘contoured’ the edges of my face, but anything to do with my eyes was a nightmare.

“Tweek, can you stop twitching? I’ll poke your eye out with this eyeliner if you don’t stop.” he scolded lightly for the seventeenth time. Butters was surprisingly patient, going over the same notion over and over, adding to my distress. Because no matter how hard I tried, I would flinch whenever that black eyeliner pen came into contact with my face.

“Jesus man, I’m trying! Can we skip this part?”

“Wait,” Butters said, “I’ve got a better idea!”

He went over to his desk and retrieved his sketching pencil, kneeling back down in his original position.

“What are you going to do? That’s not make-up! Butters, what if that pencil burns my eyelids off?”

“It’s alright Tweek. It’s safe, I promise.”

He held that pencil a couple millimetres away from my eye as my eyelids fluttered. With one long stroke, he made a mark that he was satisfied with. The same was done to my other eye. He then proceeded to use something called mascara on my lashes, before, long at last, he decided he was finished.

“Ta-da!”

I looked in the mirror. My reflection was unreal. I wasn’t me anymore. I looked like a short, angular girl with electric jade eyes and blonde hair in a messy bun. My skin looked flawless. No eye-bags, no blemishes. Pearly green lipstick, dark eye-shadow, cheekbones and jaw-line so sharp they could kill. The black top I had on fitted loosely around me, as the gold belt gave me a dip in my waist, before flowing out in a streaming emerald skirt. There was no way anyone would recognise me as Tweek Tweak.

“What d’ya think, Shortcake?” Butters asked, eagerly awaiting approval.

Instinctively, I grabbed at my crotch. Luckily for me, I only looked like a girl. Butters laughed.

“Now, now. That’s not how a lady should behave!” he reprimanded lightly.

“How did you do this?” I asked, pointing at myself.

“Been practicing since I was nine.” Butters stated, a cheekily-smug smile on his lips.“So, Tweek. What do I introduce you as?”

“I have no idea.” I replied, still awestruck.

“How about Mary-Jane?”

I scowled briefly at him, still too pleased with his transformation to be properly angry. Both my real name and drag name were supposed to be allusions to drugs? Great.

“Ugh.. Fine.”

“That’s the spirit, Shortcake! Let’s go!”

“Marjorine?” I asked, “What if I forget to call you that and call you by your real name instead by accident?”

He laughed lightly. “Doesn’t matter. The girls know who I am, so they’ll probably slip up a few times as well. But your identity is to be kept a secret, okay? Promise me that while we’re out you’ll play the role of Mary-Jane –and won’t tell anyone who you really are. Otherwise I’ll be awful sore at ya, I mean it.”

“I promise.”

“Great!”

He held my hand as we snuck downstairs and out the door. He didn’t let go as we walked together through the dark streets, chattering and giggling like girls. The streetlamps lit up his face in an oddly peculiar way, and I could’ve sworn that I saw a tear form in his eye. But that was probably because it was dark out, and because of the contact lenses blurring my vision slightly. He gripped tighter when we reached Wendy’s house and rapped at the door.

Wendy opened it almost immediately, ushering us inside without so much as a second glance, straight into her bedroom. Her bedroom was different from what I expected it to be. It didn’t suit her personality at all. For a person claiming to be the biggest feminist at our school, her room was a waking stereotype of what a teenage girl’s room was supposed to look like. It was pink. Really pink. The carpet was deep and luxurious, along with being fuchsia. Along the bubblegum-coloured walls there were plenty of pictures of her and her girlfriends outlined with photo frames that were almost magenta. The corkboard above her matching rosy pink desk and chair was coloured in using highlighter to make it almost purple-y in colour, but it was still, undeniably, pink. There were plenty of candyfloss bean bags strewn around for people to sit on, and the light that illuminated the room turned out to be a chandelier so flashy pink it was positively neon. But the big, juicy cherry on top was her bed. A rosy, four poster bed with flamingo pillows, and a bedspread that looked shockingly...white! Ha! As if. Upon closer inspection it turned out to be the palest shade of pink imaginable, something called champagne pink. But it was pink, nonetheless.

Inside, there was a whole stampede of girls. A few were sipping on white wine demurely whilst applying makeup. Some sat on the beanbags passing around vodka whilst others lay on the floor, wasted already. A few sat on Wendy’s bed, manicuring their respective nails and chattering away. All of them turned around to look at us as we arrived, and many looked like they wanted to greet Butters personally.

“Hello, ladies! Gee, aren’t we all looking stunning tonight!”

Most of them giggled back some form of greeting, slurred depending on how much they’ve drunk. A few turned to look at me, and I didn’t know which form of judgement was worse. Some looked at me with fake smiles so wide they could bite my head off, whilst others were openly glaring at me, looking me up and down. GAH!

Butters squeezed my hand reassuringly when he saw the look of terror on my face as I scanned the room for subjective eyes. Not one of the girls looked at Butters like that. Everybody in the room liked Butters. A lot of them were moving themselves over to make room for him, but he made a beeline for the bed, dragging me along with him.

“Would you mind if we sat here?” he asked politely, winking at the four girls sitting on the duvet. They all shuffled over, as Butters and I sat down. “I want to introduce you to my special gal here, Mary-Jane. Mary-Jane, meet Wendy, Bebe, Red and Heidi.”

Shyly, I nodded my head to each of them. I’m not sure exactly what I was shy of, seeing as those were girls that I knew from kindergarten. I was positive that I knew exactly what each one of them acted like. To a boy, yes. Not to a girl.

“Hi! I’m Heidi, so nice to meet you!” she spoke, extending her hand for a handshake. Gratefully, I shook it, only to hear a small gasp from the girl next to her, and for my hand to be pulled up to her face for closer inspection.

“Sweetheart, no. Your nails look terrible.” Red mimed puking for a moment before resuming twisting my wrist around. Her own fake nails dug into my arm in a way I was sure to be on purpose, and if I had a nagging feeling she didn’t like me before, now I had solid proof.

“Nothing a file and nail polish won’t fix, Red. You two look thirsty, what do you want to drink?” Wendy asked.

“The usual please, Wends.” Butters said, before going back to some animated discussion with Bebe about high heels.

“And you, Mary-J?”

“Ngnn, I don’t really drink.” I replied truthfully, as the slight ache of Red’s nails on my skin turned into a dull throb and those fingers digging deeper. She made it really hard to exercise self control and not hit her.

“It’s alright, I’ll get you some Sprite, that sound good?” Wendy said, getting off the bed. “Heidi, come with me.” To which Heidi followed after.

“Wow, you don’t drink? You’re obviously not a smoker either, look at you. You don’t weigh enough to have any pot. God, you’re no fun, are you?” she tsked irritably, pulling my hands along with my body, which trembled under the force of her grasp. Roughly, she took a nail file and began working. A couple of times, the file slipped from between her fingers, apparently, because she ‘wasn’t very strong’ which was virtually impossible from the way she gripped my forearm with her other hand. Those jabs at my wrist were calculated, and we both knew it. Sly bitch.

Thankfully, Wendy and Heidi returned shortly after, bearing drinks.

After a couple more minutes of aimless chatter, Red pulled at my other wrist and began harshly prodding at my fingernails there. It didn’t take long before she finished up on that hand, and I finally could get away from her and her blatant disgust toward me.

“I’ve got an idea!” Bebe jumped out of nowhere. “Let’s play Truth or Dare!”

Truth or dare, one of those stupid party games that always ended up in disaster, no matter how small. How it happened to be a staple at all parties was a mystery to me. However, the girls and Butters seemed enthusiastic, and I faked joining them in celebration.

“Okay, Wendy!” Bebe said, “Truth or dare?”

“Truth.”

“Is it true that you’re jealous of my bra size?”

Wendy flushed a crimson red, before stammering out a flushed reply. “Yes.”

Bebe squealed excitedly, chanting, “That’s why you have implants!”

Red’s arm pulled her into a half-hug, as she comforted Wendy. At my expense. “It’s fine, everyone’s jealous of Bebe’s jugs and she knows it. Especially Mary-J, look at her itty bitty titties.” Red laughed haughtily. “Flatter than an ironing board.”

I knew it was biologically impossible for me to have breasts, since I was of the opposite gender, but I couldn’t help grimacing at her remark. I knew that she didn’t know, but all the same, did she really just need to use it as a reason to make fun of me? Were all girls that petty, or was she just an insufferable bitch? I was starting to think it was both.

The bed began shaking as the rest of the group began tittering. It hurt me to see Butters laugh the most, voice more shrill and louder than the rest. It was like a personal betrayal that cut deeper than Red’s ugly nails. He was the one who was supposed to be a peacekeeper, not gang up on me. I had to stop myself from wishing that Craig was here. He never laughed at anything anyone said. If anything, he just responded with a well-deserved middle finger. And god forbid the joke was about me, because that person would end up with their jaw broken. But because tonight I wasn’t Tweek, and Craig wasn’t here, I had to endure the pains of being mocked.

“Heidi, truth or dare?” asked Wendy.

“I’m feeling adventurous. I’ll go with dare.”

Wendy handed her a wet-wipe. “Take off your makeup using only this wipe and don’t put on any more.”

Heidi looked disbelievingly between Wendy and the cloth in her hand. Unwillingly, she scrubbed her face clean, as we cheered her on. GAH! I was so lucky. What if that dare had been directed toward me? Everything would’ve been ruined.

Heidi then turned to Red; “Truth or dare.”

“Truth.”

“Red, which boy do you have a crush on?”

“Can I do dare?”

Our little group whooped and we shook our heads extravagantly. There was no way any of us were going to let her get away with valuable information. Especially me.

“Clyde.” Red admitted sheepishly after a lot of eager prods and pokes. The other girls stared at her,  and upon revelation began pestering her with questions. “Jesus! Ever since fourth grade, after he stopped going out with Lisa Berger. Yeah, it’s so embarrassing.”

“It’s nothing to be ashamed of hun,” Bebe giggled, “Wendy used to have a crush on Cartman, of all people. Remember, this is a safe space. Sunshine!”

“Oh my god Bebe, it was sexual tension, not a crush!” Wendy moaned, jabbing at Bebe’s side. Heidi stared at Wendy as a flicker of hatred sparked in her eyes. Butters either didn’t notice or didn’t comment, sipping his raspberry cocktail indifferently.

“Sparkle!” Red replied, cheeks still rosy. “And you know what? I’m going to tell him. Tonight, I’m going to make Clyde scream my name!”

“Woohoo! You go, Red!” Butters encouraged cheerily.

Clyde, huh? Well, knowing him, if he was drunk, he’d talk happily to any girl that paid him attention. Unless a prettier girl came up and whisked him away by accident. One that knew exactly what to say to him, what topics to bring up, what to compliment him on, and what to do to make him go crazy.

“Mary-J!”

“Huh?” I came back to my senses at once.

“Truth or dare, are you deaf or something?” Red barked. The others giggled, Butters being the loudest of them all.

“Dare.” I snapped back. That girl was really testing my patience. I ignored the burning, fleeting glances from her little friends, looking straight at her.

“Wow, you actually got the balls to complete my dare?” Red condescendingly replied. That was an opportunity I couldn’t miss.

“Yup. Bigger balls than you think.” I smiled back disingenuously.

 Butters coughed into his hand, shooting me an apoplectic scowl. If Butters wanted to take Red’s side, he was welcome to do so. He taught me a valuable lesson; I found out that only beside other people he showed his true colours. It was funny how he was so sweet when we were alone, but as soon as a red-haired skank showed up, he took her side in practically everything! GAH! If only someone who actually cared about me was here.

“Confident, are we?” More snickers from her cronies. “Then drink this.” She held out a small bottle filled with clear liquid.

“And that is?”

“Rectified spirit.” 

“Great.” I, took the small flask out of her hand, turning my nails to chip against hers. That orange nail polish didn’t suit her anyway. Fuck it. If she was going to give me a spiked drink, then at least I knew I had witnesses.

Our circle turned into a hushed silence. Where were their stupid smiles now?

“Why are you looking at me like that?” There were plenty hostile and disbelieving glances shot in my direction.

“Because that’s one of the strongest alcohol types there is.” Bebe muttered, eyes fixed on the bottle.

“Mary-Jane, you shouldn’t drink that! It’ll only do more harm than good.” Heidi warned, fearful.

Tweek Tweak would’ve panicked at their statements, would’ve refused to drink a single drop and went home sober. No-one would’ve called him a party pooper though, no-one would’ve dared, for his boyfriend’s wrath was known throughout the school. But I was Mary-Jane, and she didn’t have Craig to protect her from dumb hoes and their meaningless opinions. So that meant I had to drink it.

“Have a little fun in your life, not-so Merry-J. Loosen up a little.” Red urged, sneering at the nickname. As if I needed convincing.

I unscrewed the cap, enjoying the discomfort on their faces. Slowly, I lifted it up to my lips, eyes locked with Red. I’d show her fun.

Flames in liquid form trickling down my throat, entering my lungs, spreading everywhere like a wildfire. It burned; but not in the way I assumed it would. It wasn’t hot, neither was the flavour bitter, but it reminded me of coffee. And coffee was always good. The twitchy sensation it left behind was almost identical. My head swam for a brief second before I noticed there was no more left. Triumphantly, I threw the empty bottle back to her. The girls looked horrified, and I revelled in the resentful look Red gave me. I wasn’t even started in putting her back into her place. Once I was done with her, she’d know not to mess with me.

A car honked, and Wendy looked out of her window to confirm that the limo to take us to Token’s party had arrived.

“Let’s get going, girls.” She spoke uncertainly, still staring at me. What was her deal?

I felt fine.

//

I’d never been to one of Token’s parties before, although I kept the invitations for every single one of them. Craig claimed that parties were stupid and pointless, so we always decided to stay at either one of our houses, either snuggled up watching ‘Queer Eye for The Straight Guy’ in my room, or in the living room at his house, watching Disney movies with Tricia. Both of those alternatives suited me just fine, as they weren’t draining in any way, nor did it bother Craig that we didn’t go, because boringness and monotony was his lifeblood.

Craig was right. The Black’s mansion was trashed with drunken idiots dancing around, blearing music, and everyone’s stuff strewn about everywhere. His party was about as stereotypical as Wendy’s room; the usual- beer pong, kegs, sprawling limbs on the dance floor, smoke machines, messy fights and even messier make-out sessions.

Time was of the essence. I had to find Clyde before Red did. Looking around, I noticed she was already gone. Damnit! She may have had a head start on me, but I wasn’t going to give up. Butters called after me as I weaved through the masses of sweaty people in the garden and patio. I had to calm down, and think. I knew Clyde, only where to look to find him? He could be anywhere. Damn, I needed coffee.

I set off to the kitchen, passing Bebe who squeezed Red’s shoulder encouragingly in one of the many living rooms the Black’s had. Was she giving Red pep talk to boost her confidence? How sweet.

Speak of the devil, I found Clyde in the kitchen, raiding the gargantuan fridge. Of course. His large stature was impossible to miss as he scoured through the contents. The music mellowed out to a quiet thrum here, and we were the only two people in the room. I started having second doubts. What if Clyde recognised who I was? What if I’d only make a fool out of myself? Oh god, what if I failed? GAH! That would be embarrassing. No. I wasn’t Tweek anymore, I was Mary-Jane, and she didn’t tremble or coward out. She went straight for the gold. Even if with every step she took, the world swayed slightly.

I walked to one of the cupboards that I knew contained coffee grains. However, even in heels, I couldn’t reach up high enough to grab the handle. God damn it! Where was Craig’s height when I needed it most? After a good few grunts and struggled, I gave up, as an arm wrapped around my waist, and another reached up to open the cupboard.

“Oh.” I mumbled as I realised who it was. I twitched out of reflex, but didn’t flinch away.

“How can I help you, Babydoll?” Clyde smirked, rummaging around and pulling items down onto the counter. I made a quick analysis- Clyde was hammered, but sober enough to piece together the facts if I told him I wanted coffee- and that I knew exactly where the coffee was.

“Something to drink.” I said, looking up at him with a shy grin. “Can you make me something nice and strong?”

“Sure thing!” he replied heartily, glad that I didn’t make him move his arm off.

I sat up on the counter, legs swinging back and forth as he grabbed some rum, Coca-cola, ice and a red solo cup. Graciously, he filled it to the brim, handing the drink over with pride. I sipped it, watching his reaction. With each bob of my adam’s apple, he swooned more and more, much to my delight.

“I don’t think I’ve seen you around. Who are you?” Clyde asked, practically salivating as I put my index finger on my lip and contemplated.

“My name is Mary-Jane, but I think Babydoll suits me better.” I winked teasingly, “How about you, Hot-stuff? Can I call you mine?”

He laughed, pinching my cheek with his thumb and forefinger, slurring his words slightly and taking a sip out of my cup. “Sure! Tell me more about yourself.”

“Well, I don’t think there’s a lot to say about me. I hate maths, love tacos, and I can pee while standing up.” I said, listing them off on my fingers.

The kitchen was becoming awkwardly stilted, and even looking around caused the edges of it to blur out of my vision. Those were the things that were definitely going to win me some points. As a boy. It took me a couple of seconds to realise my mistake.

Clyde’s jaw dropped. “Are you kidding me?”

Oh shit. Oh god. Oh sweet Jesus! He knew who I was! Oh lord no, no! Oh fuck, I was going to die!

“No...?” I replied hesitantly, voice rising with panic. My brain felt like it was slowly replaced with cotton wool, and then unravelled one bit at a time. People came into the kitchen to grab some snacks, but I didn’t even notice. They weren’t important at the moment.

“Marry me.”

“What!”

“Marry me.” Repeated Clyde loudly, taking a huge gulp out of the red cup, “I fell in love with you, Mary Jane. You, Babydoll, are the definition of a perfect woman. You’re hot, you think I’m hot too, you love tacos and you won’t ever nag at me for leaving the toilet seat up.” he hiccupped, “I feel like I’ve known you forever, even if we’ve only been talking for two minutes. It’s like you know me so well already. I’ve found my soul mate! Marry me!”

Without waiting for a response, Clyde pulled me onto my feet and pressed my back against his large chest. The badges and pins on his maroon jacket dug into my sides uncomfortably as he took his phone out, turning it to video us.

“Hello people! I’m now engaged to the most perfect person in the world! I love you so much, Babydoll! Smile bright for the whole world to see!” Clyde exclaimed, full of joy.

Clyde was truly and totally drunk. Still, he was my friend, and instead of shattering his hopes by pushing him away, I chose to entertain him and his drunken ideas. Besides, I wasn’t thinking straight, I was having fun, and I was starting to become more than just a little tipsy.

“You may now kiss the bride.” I giggled feebly looking up at him.

For a second, he looked blank before processing my words. A switch in his brain flicked on. He flipped me around and pressed his lips to mine.

Clyde’s kiss was like the forbidden cookie jar. I wasn’t supposed to try out the delicacies it offered, but I reached in and did it anyway, unaware of the consequences. I enjoyed it more than I should’ve, since I knew that in the end, it was just a kiss. Just a warm, sloppy kiss with both of our mouths reeking of alcohol. Perhaps I should’ve stopped, pulled away, but I was drunk and his mouth tasted like tacos. Tacos were delicious, as far as my boozed up brain was concerned. It made me giggle to think that Clyde, the straightest guy I knew, was kissing a dude. Those giggles translated into moist puffs of air onto his lips, which he reciprocated with loving nibbles back. One of his large palms was pressed against the small of my back, and the other held his phone that live-streamed everything. I wasn’t sure how long we kissed for, most of it becoming a blacked-out blur, dizzying near the end. I steadied myself by gripping onto his chest, pulling back for air, when I saw Red, standing in the doorway, along with a blonde.

To say she was angry would’ve been like saying the sun was yellow. Sufficient, but nowhere near accurate enough to capture the burning. I decided to add more salt to her gaping wound.

“But seriously though,” I told Clyde, “What do you think of the other girls?”

“Like who?” he asked breathlessly.

“Red. She likes you.”

“Oh please, Babydoll. You must be retarded to think that I’d want to date a hideous troll.” he replied, oblivious to the way she covered her face and ran out the room.

My head swam as I was suddenly ripped away from Clyde and out of the Black residence.

//

“Well gosh darn I hope you’re proud of yourself!” spat Butters. “How could you do such a thing!”

The blonde beside Red must’ve been him. I opened my mouth to explain, as a nausea overtook me and I was violently sick. Everything sweet was hurling back up, turning sour, onto the already littered gutter.

“Well?” Butters asked, arms crossed.

He looked furious. Well I could be furious right back at him.

“Well what? Fuck Red, she deserved it.” I swore, clenching my fists.

“Do you not realise how much you hurt her?”

“I do! That’s why I did it!” I slurred, “And stop trying to defend her!”

“I’m defending her because you kissed the boy that she liked for years!”

“No, you’re defending her because you like her. You’re fine with me being miserable as long as you get to laugh with her.” I accused, stumbling forward and poking Butters in the chest.

“No I do not!” he stepped back, “And what about Craig? You know, your boyfriend? The person you should stay faithful to?” Butters held out his phone, waving it in front of my face

“Oh Marjorine, shut your dirty trap for a goddamned minute will you?” I shrieked belligerently, slapping it out of his hand with all of my strength. “Are you jealous of him or something?”

Butters froze up. He turned away for a minute, before turning back, looking deep into my eyes. There was no more anger in his words, just pain.

“You are the most beautiful boy in the world, Tweek. But gee whiz, you sure make a hideous girl.”

I bit my lip, pouting. I had no idea what he meant, but I didn’t care. Like a child, I stormed off in the opposite direction, stepping on his phone as I did so. It cracked satisfyingly under my heel. Everything blacked out, as I carried on walking through the neighbourhood in the night. I was too drunk and frustrated to care about anything anymore. Maybe it was for the best...

Chapter Text

Where the fuck was Tweek?

The sun was making its’ slow ascent, bright rays of colour bringing everything to life. Intently, I pressed my nose closer to the window, observing what was happening inside the room. Just Butters, sleeping soundly on his bed. I only wanted to check up on Tweek before I made my way home to clean myself and my bloody clothes. I’d finally finished what I had to do to make that whole experience go away, but I was impatient, so I decided to see if he was there before officially going to pick him up. Maybe Tweek was curled up in a small ball somewhere, or went to the bathroom? I had to check for myself.

Stealthily, I snuck in the unlocked window, inching inside. Looking around, the room was void of anything resembling Tweek, which worried me. Immensely. Not a trace of him anywhere. Not hiding in the closet, not shivering under the bed, not huddled up and gnawing at his fists in any corner. Without a sound, I crept into the Stotch’s immaculate bathroom. He wasn’t there either. Oh fuck! Where the fuck did he go? Panicked, I rushed back over to Butters, waking him up with a slap to his sleeping fucking face and the middle finger.

“Wah!” he yelped, sitting upright and cradling the side of his cheek. “Craig? What are you doing here, buddy? Did you just hit me?”

“Where is Tweek?” I snarled.

“What do you mean? He’s right here.”Butters replied, still slightly dazed, eyes glassy, gesturing to the empty space beside him. He looked at the side of the bed. “Oh hamburgers..”

“Where is Tweek!” I growled, gripping Butters by his plump shoulders and shaking the ever-loving shit out of him.

“Shh.. Craig, please! Dad will hear you and I’ll definitely be grounded!”

“Good.” I said, glaring at him fiercely. “Have you broken any of our rules?”

“No!” he squeaked like a small animal. It would’ve made me let go of him if it weren’t for the fact that Tweek was gone and he was the one responsible for taking care of him.

“You better not have. Listen here, Butters. You have four hours to find Tweek and bring him back here. And trust me, you want to tell me as soon as you do find him. If you don’t, I’ll personally make sure your life is a living hell.” I threatened, pushing my middle finger further into his terrified yet confused face before turning on my heel and climbing back out of the window, going back home.

“But Craig!” he called after me; with the middle finger as a response.

Butters was going to find Tweek –he had to. Butters was going to bring him back to me without so much as a hair out of place if he wanted to live. I’d take Tweek from him and get him home. Back with me. Where he belonged.

Recently, I talked to the town’s ass-obsessed lunatic by the name of Dr.Mephesto, and after negotiation, I managed to get him to produce a short-term memory loss medicine for my pet. It wasn’t easy, but it was done, and the tablet was securely hidden in my bedroom out of the reach of any members of my family. Tweek would forget all about that horrible failure of a plan, and I’d convince him that everything before was just a figment of his imagination. Of course, adding a few details about some people that Tweek should avoid. Not that any of that was important when Tweek couldn’t take the pill, because that fucking asshole let him run away!

//

After reaching my house and stepping inside the small living room, I heard voices coming from upstairs. One of which was my sister’s, and the other –still unrecognisable. A low, lazy drawl. Frustrated, I bounded up the wooden stairs and flung open Tricia’s door; in hopes to find whoever she was talking to at quarter to five in the morning.

Tricia gasped at me from her bed, sitting cross-legged on the duvet. She was dressed up in a blue halter-top and tight red leggings, which would’ve been okay if it were the middle of the day, and not some ungodly hour. Tricia was supposed to be sleeping in her PJ’s, and not dolled up as if she just came back from a party.

“Craig.” she spoke cautiously. “Why are you covered in blood?”

I disregarded her. “Who are you talking to?”

“Craig.. Can you hear me? You’re soaked in it.” Tricia asked, shifting herself further up her bed as I stepped closer to her.

“Who else is here?” I repeated myself in a darker tone. One step closer to her. Two steps closer to her. Three steps closer.

Tricia opened her mouth and gaped like a fish out of water as I impatiently awaited an answer. It was apparent that she was frightened, though she was trying her best to hide it. Unlike Butters, her mind obviously wasn’t clouded with sleep, and she clearly understood the implications behind every word I said.

“Well?”

“No-one.” She answered nonchalantly.

I wasn’t having any of her bullshit. Not today, Satan! I dirtied her blue top as I twisted my fingers into it, pulling her closer to me, faces apart by mere centimetres, eyes locked in a steely glare that she wasn’t quick to drop.

“Who are you hiding?” I muttered.

“Craig..” she tried wriggling herself and pushing at my hand. “I swear.. I’m not hiding anyone!”

“Great.” I replied, letting her go and drop back onto the bed. “Then you’re going to help me.”

She opened her mouth, but I cut her off.

“I’ll explain shit to you later. Now, get your lazy ass moving and start a search party to look for my Tweek.”

I was halfway out of her room, before she answered.

“No! I want to know now! Why the fuck is there blood on your fucking bloody-ass clothes!” Tricia exclaimed, crossing her arms.

I looked over my shoulders. The face hidden beneath the strawberry-blonde hair seemed pretty damn intent on getting what it wanted.

“We’re alone here.. Right?”

“Yeah.”

“I had to kill some asshole. Before you freak out, no, I’m not a psycho. I took pity on the other one. And why aren’t you asleep?”

“You killed a person?” she questioned disbelievingly, not answering my question.

“There are worse crimes to commit.” I deadpanned, facing away.

“Like what?” she huffed.

“Like being a ruthless, vicious, guinea pig murderer.” I stated, heading back out.

I could almost feel her middle finger penetrating my back as I entered the bathroom.

Hot droplets cascaded down my back, as the water swirling beneath my feet converted from a vibrant red to clear. I didn’t ever want to leave. Graciously, I lathered my hair with shampoo, wringing out layer after layer of caked blood from it. It felt nice. However, it would’ve been nicer if Tweek was with me.

Naked, vulnerable, shaking, as I pulled him closer to me, seeing the water dampen his beautiful blonde mane. I’d lean down and wash his slim torso with one arm as I used the other to carefully massage his scalp, adding shampoo bubbles to his golden frenzy of hair. My pet would whimper and sigh as I made my way down his midsection, trailing closer and closer to–

“Craig! Get the hell out of that fucking shower! You’ve been in there for over half an hour!”

Fuck.

Gritting my teeth, I rinsed off quickly, turning the temperature down, thus effectively ending my daydream and hardening length. Didn’t Tricia have any decency? Then again, she was going to help me find Tweek and inadvertently help my fantasy become a reality. I sighed as I wrapped a towel around my lower torso and brushed my teeth.

I went to my bedroom, chucking my filthy clothes into the laundry basket, hoping my mother wouldn’t ask any questions about it. I didn’t have any intention of telling her because the less she knew, the less she’d enquire. And the less Laura Tucker enquired, the less overbearing she was. The last thing I wanted her to know is that I murdered some douche bag. For all I knew, I wouldn’t put it past her to send me to a mental institution. Then, I’d never see Tweek again, and that’d be.....I would kill myself. If I didn’t have Tweek beside me, there was nothing stopping me from grabbing a knife and slitting my wrists wide open. Tweek was allowed to not like me, (I tended to have asshole-ish tendencies sometimes that Tricia kindly pointed out) but he had to love me like I loved him. I had no intention of becoming a pastor anymore. Becoming one would’ve meant that I had to tell myself that what I felt for Tweek was wrong. But it was right. Nothing was going to convince me otherwise.

A knock on my bedroom door.

“What?”

“How long are you going to get dressed for? Today would be nice. Oh yeah, and you’re still not done explaining yourself. I want to know exactly what’s been happening in that fucking dumb head of yours.”

“What are you? A therapist or something?”

“Very funny. Just remember, the longer you stand in your room retorting witty comments, the more time Tweek has to get away from you.”

In a flash, I was out of my bedroom and with Tricia, heading out the door.

“So.. Any explanation?”

“Long story short I took Tweek to a little house but he ran away and the asshole Goth kids and some other asshole were there instead and another asshole joined the party and killed off the Goths so I had to kill him while yet another asshole found Tweek and was supposed to take care for him but Tweek’s gone and I need to find him.” I puffed out in one long breath.

“Jesus, Craig, slow down with your talking; take a deep breath or something. Okay. Do I get to know who the three assholes are?” Tricia asked.

“Not while they’re alive.”

“But you said you killed one off!”

“If I tell you, you’ll immediately figure out who they are. And that’ll mean a shitload trouble for me.”

“Craig. You can trust me. I’d never betray you.” Tricia simpered, tugging at my sleeve.

“Nope.”

“Ugh. You’re unbearable.” she took out her phone and started scrolling as we walked through the dim streets.

“What the fuck are you doing?”

“I’m searching for signs of him on the internet, dipshit.”

“Tweek doesn’t use the internet. FBI monitoring him or some shit like that.”

“That doesn’t mean other people don’t. It’d be much easier if you told me the asshole’s name that was supposed to be with him.” Tricia murmured, eyes glued to the screen.

“Nope. Where are we going to search for him?” I asked, hands in my pockets. “He could be in another state completely.”

“Well where do you think Tweek could be?”

“Tweek could be anywhere, you know that, you absolute bitch.”

Tricia tutted quietly. “Detective Craig, I’m asking who else Tweek could be with. We go from there.”

I flipped her off.

“I’m guessing you don’t know.” Tricia sneered. “What an amazing boyfriend you are.”

I rolled my eyes in response, even though we both knew her sarcasm was on point. Tweek could be on the other half of the globe by now, which was fucking terrifying. For a person who was adorable, he was scared shitless nearly every waking moment, and knew exactly where to hide so no-one would find him. Tweek was special like that. My pet was a lot of work to take care of –like, a lot. As high-maintenance as they came really, in need of constant care-taking, medication, reassurance, all that stuff. Which I was more than happy to do, if only I could fucking find him!

Tricia halted in the middle of the street as a car headed our way. Her face paled and eyes positively burst out of their sockets. But she wasn’t looking at the driver. Her eyes were transfixed on the screen in front of her. I stepped onto the sidewalk before I realised that Tricia was unmoving. The car was speeding closer and faster to her. Impulsively, I sprinted to her and yanked her back as the car drove by, honking conspicuously. It was like she was frozen in place, looking at that damned screen.

“Tricia? For fuck’s sake, what were you playing at!” I hissed, hoping my nasally voice would revive her from her stupor.

It didn’t. No eye contact from her. She was still glued to her phone, as if it held the answers to all of the universe’s questions. Enraged, I reached out to grab it from her. Magically, she came back to life, switching it off and cradling it across her chest, my fingers trying to pry it out of her grasp.

“What is on that phone?”  I asked after she swatted my fingers away and put it in her pocket.

“Nothing.”

“Tricia.” I threatened. “Don’t you fucking dare pull that motherfucking bullshit on me.”

“I don’t know what you mean.”

“I fucking saved you from being run over, you little bitch! Is the shit on your phone related to Tweek?”

“I..I..”

“Answer me, Tricia. Is the shit you saw related to Tweek in any way?” I seethed, pulling her closer to me.

“I don’t know.”

“What the fuck do you mean, you don’t know! Show me.”

“No.”

Another good thing about having my father’s genes was that I had quite a bit of muscle. Which I used to hold Tricia’s hands behind her back as I grabbed that cursed phone.

Tricia stood motionless as I stared disbelievingly at the screen.

It was... locked.

“You absolute cunt!” I raged. “What the fuck is on that fucking phone?”

Tricia spoke. “Look, it was nothing important about Tweek himself. ”

“I don’t believe you.”

“Well you have no other option than to believe what I’m saying. We’re going to Token’s; I think Clyde is still there.”

“What? Tricia? I’m not going anywhere until you tell me what you’re hiding.”

“Just come on!” Tricia exclaimed, speed walking toward the Black’s mansion.

To say Token’s place was trashed would’ve been an understatement. It was filthy, from top to bottom. Bottles covered the yard, toilet paper draped around the roof, clothes were strewn around the patio, graffiti covered the walls and little embers of bonfire coal were chucked around the green grass. The security guard was blacked-out; there was no trouble in getting inside. What was harder was trotting along the path without stepping on people’s bile. The only people around were Mexicans hired by Token after every party; cleaning up. No doubt it would take them the better part of the week to get the house up to order.

The inside of the mansion was even worse –it must’ve been a pretty fucked-up party. It only went crazier from someone taking a crap in the ceramic flowerpots. Tricia gagged. Slowly and carefully, we made our way up the stairs, avoiding red blots on the carpet that could’ve been either wine spills or blood. Neither of us wanted to know which one they were. Holding onto the banister would’ve made our hands turn blue, due to the amount of paint that oozed off of it, so we had to dodge the droplets of green slime dripping off of the ceiling without the extra support. I looked up and wondered how exactly did people get chewed up chewing gum stuck to the chandelier. This was the reason I hated parties. They were unpredictable, loud and took up a lot of attention. Only Tweek could be like that.

We reached Token’s room relatively unscathed. There, Token sat on his bed, popping some Ibuprofen tablets, Jimmy sprawled out all over the armchair, chugging a water bottle for dear life and the sounds of someone retching in the en suite bathroom. Surprisingly, the room was somewhat clean and decent.

“TOKEN!” Clyde’s voice called out from the bathroom followed by more heaving.

“What?” Token asked miserably.

“TOKEN!”

“What!” Token yelled, clutching his head.

“My hangover! Token, my hangover!”

“Oh god.” Token muttered to himself before calling out loud to Clyde, “What about your hangover?”

“Token! I’ve got a hangover so epic George R.R Martin is writing a series of novels about it!” Clyde appeared in the doorway, bright and chirpy as ever despite just vomiting.

“N-not fuh- fuh, not funny at all, dude. That’s n-n-n-not very original.” Jimmy sputtered, shielding his eyes with his sleeve.

“Oh my god! Look who’ here! Hi Beautiful, great to see you!” Clyde turned to us. He wobbled over and dropped to his knees to be the same height as Tricia, planting two wet kisses on her cheeks as she draped her arms around his neck in response. Tricia always liked Clyde, he was the nicest and most lenient with her when we were around. The sly monster knew just the way to wrap Clyde around her middle finger so that he would bend to her will. I could never take him to my place when we hung out, as each time I tried, Tricia would start beaming at him coyly and begin her orders: ‘Clyde do you have chocolate for me?’ ‘Clyde, I want to play too.’ ‘ Clyde, swap drinks with me, I don’t want this anymore.’ ‘Clyde, tell Craig to order pizza that I like.’ And every single time she asked something, Clyde would obey without hesitation. Tricia would then clamber onto his lap like a cat and affectionately nuzzle into him until she wanted something again. The poor guy was so lacking in female attention that he would do anything just for a girl to hug him, even if it insinuated nothing but friendship.

Although Clyde’s willingness annoyed me to no end, it was useful. When my parents went out I was supposed to look after Tricia. Every time I tried to negotiate with her she’d shut me down, effectively locking me in the house with her, not letting me go out anywhere. I even offered to clean up her bedroom for a month if only she didn’t tell mom that I would leave her alone for an evening to go to Tweek’s house. She remained adamant about me either taking her with me or staying at our place.

That’s where Clyde came in. Tricia actually preferred Clyde staying with her; he’d always bring some form of Mexican food and a shitload of sweets, ranging from chicken enchiladas and M&M’s to burritos and Haribos. They got along like best friends, playing board games, giving eachother relationship advice, painting each other’s nails. Clyde was surprisingly good at that, for the huge klutz he was, since his older sister made him do hers, he was now an expert and could do whatever intricate designs Tricia wanted. Lucky her.

At first, I was a bit hesitant about the babysitting thing, but Clyde quickly became the only person I would trust in our house alone with Trish. Best of all, he actually enjoyed himself too, so I didn’t even need to pay him for putting up with her. I would come home after spending time with Tweek to see the pair of them giggling like schoolgirls or Clyde sat on the couch, Tricia nestled into his plump stomach, watching some stupid chick flick that he always claimed he hated afterwards. Clyde was an awful liar, he loved those movies more than Tricia did, but he was a stubborn bastard who would never admit it. More often than not, I’d see the two of them gossiping or dancing wildly to tween music. It didn’t really surprise me, both of them had bratty tendencies and strong desire to be in the centre of attention.

Soon, separating the two of them after I returned became a painful experience. Clyde would get teary-eyed, and Tricia would cling to him like it hurt for her arms to be detached from his leg. I had to remind them every single fucking time that they would see eachother again. Still, they grasped at eachother until I positively pushed Clyde out of the front door, and only then would Tricia let go, waving to him as he called out a “Bye-bye, Beautiful! See you, Craig!”

“You moron, get up. You’re drunk.” I said.

Big mistake.

Clyde stood up, swaying on his feet and rushed over to me, pulling me into the tightest bear hug possible, lifting me up and spinning me around. It ended up with him tripping up on his own feet and landing on the soft carpet, dragging me down with him.

“Idiot.” I muttered, brushing myself off, and standing up, hauling him up too.

Clyde only laughed. “Hello to you too, Sunshine! Aren’t you in a good mood this morning, Craig?”

We sat ourselves on the edge of Token’s large bed, Tricia sprawling herself all across Clyde’s lap and me in the middle next to Token.

“What happened here last night?” Tricia enquired.

The three of them groaned pitifully.

“No, go on. I want to hear the drunken disasters you got yourselves into.” I prodded.

“W-well, I do remember rocking some kara-, rocking some kara-, rocking some ka- –doing some singing on the countertops. And the taste of chewing gum.” Jimmy answered shamefully.

Tricia snickered. “What else?”

“I’m not quite s-sure to be perf- perfectly honest.”

Token checked his phone and swore. Loudly. We turned our heads to look at him.

“Token?” Jimmy asked.

“Well I’m done for, you guys. I texted Nichole two paragraphs about how our love was the best and how we should get back together.”

“Well that’s great!” Clyde chirped.

“And when she didn’t answer I called her a stubborn bitch and sent her a picture of Wendy’s tits.”

“That’s even better.” I remarked. “What about you, Clyde?”

Clyde burst into sudden tears. All of us turned to stare at him incredulously and Tricia perched on his knee. He sobbed into her chest unceasingly, hands clutching at her like a teddy bear. A tiny lapse let him pull away, blinking lashes heavy with tears, before he collapsed again, his howls of anguish exacerbating. The pain must have come in waves, minutes of sobbing broken apart by short pauses for recovering breaths, before hurling him back into the outstretched arms of his grief. Every time he we thought he was on the verge of halting, he cried louder. He was a pathetic sight if there ever was one.

“You moron, stop that weird thing you’re doing.” I demanded.

“Crying?” Token asked, eyes still on the blubbering mass.

“Yeah. Stop it. It’s fucking weak, Clyde.”

Clyde only bawled louder.

“Wh-why are you cr-crying?” Jimmy asked.

“Because I.. I” Clyde took a moment to compose himself, snivelling and gulping for air before resuming. “ I remembered that I met this girl, and I love her, but she didn’t even leave me her number. She promised to marry me!”

“There there, Clyde. It’s okay.” Tricia soothed, voice straining.

“No Beautiful, it’s not!” he whimpered, pulling her closer. “She was amazing and special and magical and even better than tostadas! I need to find her.”

“Let’s have breakfast first, okay?” Tricia suggested breathlessly. “Craig, go downstairs and get us all something to eat.”

“Why the fuck me? You’re not the top bitch here.” I retorted.

“Fine!” Tricia glowered. “You can comfort Clyde then, let him hug you and get your shirt soaking wet with tears and whatnot while I make the food. Just note that I’ll spit in yours.”

She had me there. Emotions were not my thing.

“Make some tacos.” Tricia ordered.

At the mention of the dish, Clyde started blubbing again. “Babydoll loved tacos too!”

I fled out of the room faster than the speed of light. I had no idea what we were doing at Token’s when there were clearly more important things to do. More important people to find.

Reluctantly, I went into the reeking kitchen. There was alcohol everywhere. The sheer amount of it nearly made me sick. Of course Tricia would ask me to make something as time consuming as tacos. Wasn’t some toast enough? Nevertheless, I obeyed her, wondering what on earth was she going to talk to with my friends. I opened the fridge and pushed past all the cans of beer and spritzers to grab some lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and beef. Heating up the beef on the frying pan, I mixed it with the salsa and pulled some pre-packed taco shells out of the pantry. They were next to some coffee beans.

Tweek liked that brand of coffee. If Tweek was here, the kettle would have been boiling, the whistling sound covering up the sound of me sucking on his neck ravenously like a wild animal. My arms encasing him like the softest quesadilla, his wild hair pouring out. I would’ve placed him on the countertop, softly peppering his sweet face with kisses, as he kicked me playfully, finally pulling me to him and wrapping his thighs around my midsection. I would’ve leaned over above him, smirking, and he’d give me that look. The look that portrayed how dazzling he was, doe eyes sparkling like champagne, cheeks rosy pink, skin aristocratically pale and glamorous, save for the splotches on his neck that would’ve been red and burning. Burning...

Fuck.

The tacos! I retracted my hand from the coffee beans, rushing over to the stove and assessing the damage. The meat was slightly overdone, but I doubted that anyone would mind particularly. Focused, I chopped up the vegetables and assembled the tacos. Shell, meat, lettuce, tomato, cheese. No coffee. I tried to control myself, to get myself to think of anything but coffee, but before my brain could figure out what the fuck I was doing, my hands were around the bag and my face in it, inhaling the bitter scent. Oh, Tweek!

My eyes rolled into the back of my head, nearly doubling over in ecstasy, yet I knew it wasn’t quite Tweek’s smell. Contrary to popular belief, Tweek didn’t just smell like coffee. He also smelled like vanilla in the summer, pumpkin in the fall, ginger in the winter and lavender extract in the spring, mostly due to the fact that those were the specialty drinks in those seasons. If the basic bitches in their Uggs and Clyde didn’t get their pumpkin-spice lattes every morning in October, they couldn’t even for the rest of the day (Clyde included). That meant that for the whole month I wouldn’t set foot in the coffee shop, waiting for Tweek outside. As much as I hated the stench of artificial pumpkin, it wasn’t too bad on Tweek. Who was I lying to, it was sinfully delicious on him, my own personal specialty. Tweek’s aroma was always invigorating, varying in intensity slightly depending on how many times he spilled beverages on himself each day.

I placed the tacos on a large platter, carrying them upstairs with both of my hands. Token’s bedroom door was closed. Those fuckers. Instead of calling out for someone to open it for me, I put the platter down. I heard hushed voices. Curiosity got the better of me, and I pressed my ear to the oak door, listening in on their conversation.

“It didn’t work. The Goth kids did nothing.” Tricia said. “They’re dead.”

“A- At least you won’t h-have to pay them for their ser-services.”

“Too right, Jimmy. But now Tweek’s disappeared.” replied Token. “At least then we knew that he was safe, even if he was with him. Now we don’t. We have no clue where Tweek is at. What are we going to do now?”

“I suggest we try to keep Craig away and try to find him for ourselves. Craig is a fucking psychopath and outright fucking dangerous. Besides, Tweek has to be somewhere, and not too far from here.” spoke Tricia.

“How are you so sure?” sniffed Clyde.

“Are you sure you want to know?” Tricia asked. “You, of all people, Clyde, should. More than the rest of us.”

“What?”

“Take a look at this.”

Small sounds emanated, too quiet for me to hear.

“Oh my god! That’s–“

The sound of someone slamming their hand over Clyde’s mouth.

“Hot damn. How could you be so stupid, Clyde? You recorded it?” Token seethed.

“I was drunk! And she was hot! Oh damn, why didn’t I piece it all together?”

“Clyde, y-y-you are r-royally scre-screwed.”

“Oh no! What are we going to do now?” Clyde frenzied.

“We’re going to keep quiet. Act normal. He’s not going to notice, as long as we keep calm and collected.” Token ordered.

“But I have to tell him! I k-“

“You’re not telling Craig anything. Do you want to end up a dead man?” Tricia hissed.

As far as I was concerned, they’d all end up dead. Those fucking traitors. The people I called friends and family were in a conspiracy. Against me. In my eyes, they were as good as dead. I felt a sudden urge to poison the tacos I carefully prepared for them. I’d give them fucking psychopath! Silently, I tip-toed to the bathroom, taking out some laxative pills and crushing them in my hand. They weren’t as good as poison for those lying rats, but they’d do enough to make me mildly amused. I turned to head back out and recognised something.

In the corner lay the solution. I saw it with my very own eyes. Rodenticide pellets, waiting there. I checked its contents. There was a high dosage of Strychnine in each pellet. Deadly, even.

I couldn’t.

That’d be an awful thing to do. They didn’t try to kill me. But they did try to take Tweek away from me, and that was worse than a death sentence in my eyes. And I would do everything in my power to protect Tweek.

I wouldn’t.

I could still talk it through with them. Maybe I misheard something. Perhaps it was just my imagination or something. I was hearing weird voices recently, maybe that was just one of them.

I did.

After shaking the crushed pills in my hands into the toilet, I reached out to grab the pellets. I wasn’t going to mix the two. What use was rat poison if they were going to shit it all out? No, the point was to make them suffer slowly. They would pay dearly for their secrets. Their conspiracy would mean nothing.

I took two handfuls and returned to the taco platter. Liberally, I sprinkled the poison on as an added condiment. I took out my phone and checked the brand on the internet. Plenty of five star reviews saying you only needed one or two to kill a rat. Judging by the amount of black on each taco, I could’ve safely killed about a hundred. Oh well.

I lifted the platter up and called out. The door opened instantly, and I entered Token’s bedroom once more, pretending I never heard their conversation.

“What took you so long?” asked Tricia.

I wanted to punch her.

“Kind of burned the meat. It might taste a bit off.” I replied collectedly.

“Craig! You ruined the tacos!” whined Clyde.

I wanted to punch him too.

“You haven’t even tried them yet and you’re already moaning. At least you’re not crying.” I deadpanned. “If you don’t want any, there’s more for me.”

I took the biggest one with the most pellets off the platter and guided it toward my mouth, looking at Tricia as I did. Just before it touched my lips, she grabbed it out of my hand and took it for herself. Stupid bitch. Jimmy hobbled over to take one, followed by Clyde and Token. I took the last taco and held it in my hand, waiting. Waiting for Tricia to finish hers so that he’d take the bait and take the second one as well. Not even a full minute later, she sauntered over and took the other one out of my grip. I frowned.

“I’m a growing girl.” she simpered, taking a bite.

Internally, I was doubling over from laughing from her stupidity. On the outside, I stayed cool and distant, acting just like they did. But that didn’t mean I didn’t want to stir the pot just a bit. There was something about a girl, which I supposed was a good place to start.

“So Clyde, what did the girl do to break your heart this time? Why did you like her, anyway?”

“Uhh.” Clyde flushed a deep beetroot colour. “She said she liked maths and tacos and uhh.. yeah.”

“A girl after your own heart?” I asked.

“Yeah.”

“Damn. What’d she look like? What was her name? Was she hot? Tell me you actually got some action.” I pestered him.

None of the others dared question my unusually inquisitive behaviour, looking apologetically at Clyde. I was sure I could break him into telling me with enough awkward tension.

“She wasn’t anything too special.”

“You were just crying because you wanted to marry her. She must’ve been something.”

“Uh... I was drunk, y’know?”

“Yeah, except that when you’re intoxicated you want to get into girl’s pants, and not get them into wedding dresses.” I said. “So you can tell me a bit about her, can’t you? I made you food. You’re obligated to answer.”

“Yeah, I guess  am. She had crazy blonde hair and bright green eyes.  She was skinny as fuck, but she had a cute, perky butt.”

Tricia slammed her hand against her face as Token and Jimmy looked at Clyde as if he just made a major fuck-up. So what if the girl had a great butt? It didn’t even matter. I knew that Tweek had a better one.

 “As for getting it on, we just kind of made out a bit, nothing more, I swear. I was drunk.”

“What about her name? For fuck’s sake, tell me you didn’t make out with a stranger.”

“Her name was Mary-Jane.”

I faked a laugh. “Dude, apart from the eye colour, you found yourself a girl Tweek! Even the name matches up. Congrats, man. I’ll help you find her. That’s what true friends are for, anyway.” I clapped him on the back.

The rest of the room was silent, and Clyde looked like he was about to burst out crying any second now. I wasn’t exactly sure as to why, since the girl that he kissed and made him uncomfortable wasn’t anything to do with me. Or so I thought.

 “When we find her and Tweek, we can go on a double date. Or a triple one if you want to get Wendy to tag along.” I gestured to Token. The both of them widened their eyes. Nearly there. Just one more little comment and one of them was sure to crack.

“I’m sooo happy for you.” I continued. “She actually sounds pretty great. I wouldn’t mind meeting Mary-Jane. Do have a photo of her, or a video or something? I’m pretty sure I’d love her.”

Clyde burst. What a surprise. He started crying again, face square, snot and tears streaking his face unattractively.

“What’s wrong with you?” I asked, back to my usual offhand demeanour.

Clyde fell to his knees and shuffled over, resting his head on my knees and holding his hands on my thighs as if he were worshipping me.

“Oh Craig! Oh please! Please! I’m sorry! I’m so, so sorry! Please, I didn’t mean anything! I was drunk! I didn’t know, I swear!” he bawled, apologising over and over.

“What is he on about?” I asked Token.

“Show him the video.” he told Tricia.

“C-Craig, j-just remember wh-who your friends r-really are, o-okay? It t-takes two t-to tango.” Jimmy warned.

Tricia walked over to me, stroking Clyde’s brown hair as she spoke, “Don’t freak out. Craig, promise me you’ll stay rational. Remember that Clyde loves you. We all love you, even if you’re an asshole. Don’t be an asshole and don’t freak out.”

If they really loved me, they wouldn’t have conspired against me in the first place. They wouldn’t have tried keeping secrets from me and they most definitely wouldn’t have hired the Goth kids to do something which they failed at. They were going to pay.

Tentatively, Tricia handed me her phone, as Clyde clutched my knees tighter, sobbing.

I played the video.

“You may now kiss the bride.” Mary Jane giggled in a way Tweek would, only an octave or two higher.

I was right, she was a spitting image of Tweek’s silhouette, but her face was different; sharper jaw line, rimmed eyes, bigger lips- the magic of makeup. And she was a girl, obviously. With jade eyes. Clyde turned her around and they began kissing passionately. Good for him: why was he apologising to me?

The girl opened her green eyes. One of the contact lenses she was wearing moved slightly to the left. Exposing a slither of a hazel iris that I knew extremely well.

It hit me like a ton of bricks.

Clyde. My best friend. Kissing. Tweek. My boyfriend.

I didn’t know what to say. After a prolonged moment of silence, I changed Tricia’s phone password, put it in my pocket and sighed. The phone would come in handy when I talked to Butters. Clyde was still weeping on my legs and I kicked him away in disgust. I wasn’t even angry. Not even the slightest tinge of animosity. There was no reason to. I was sure the pellets were going to affect him pretty quickly.

Et tu, Brute?” I whispered to no-one in particular. All of the conspirators frowned and shifted uncomfortably.

I trusted Clyde. I didn’t care if he was drunk off his ass, Tweek was mine. He should’ve known. He did know, only he decided to go ahead and make out with him anyway. How could he? And he wanted to hide it from me. And they were the ones trying to conspire against me. Well, I wanted to wish them luck when the poison in their souls mixed with the one I gave them; resulting in a nasty demise.

“Craig!” Clyde sobbed, “Please! I didn’t mean it! Listen to me! I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I didn’t tell you!”

Without a word, I walked out of the room, ignoring Clyde’s tears, Token’s calling, Jimmy’s pleading and Tricia’s swearing. I didn’t need to wait for the consequences. They were dead to me.

Dead.

All of them.

With no exceptions.

//

The breeze blew gently, swaying my chullo hat back and forth as I stepped on the sidewalks. God, Tweek was so much trouble when I wasn’t around. But that was okay. I would watch over my sweet pet until the end of time, as soon as I found him. I didn’t need Tricia to help me. Besides, I was pretty sure that Tweek wasn’t in a deadly situation at the moment. At the very worst, Tweek would be with some asshole who wanted to touch him up. The thought of someone else breathing in Tweek’s general vicinity made my slow stroll turn into a quick-paced jog. The picture of Clyde and Tweek burned past my retinas and engraved itself into my brain, turning my jog into a sprint.

My poor Tweek! Clyde made him like that. There were no circumstances in which Tweek would’ve willingly gotten himself drunk. He always told me not to drink more than just one beer and always refused when I offered him any. He wouldn’t even take a sip. My sweet little angel. I was going to care for him. Dominate might’ve been a better term for it. But that sounded worse. Caring for him was okay. Care was normal in any relationship. And I, if anybody, had the right to feel protective over my boyfriend who was so cruelly abused by Clyde.

Butters better have found Tweek if he knew what was good for him. A beating definitely wasn’t good for his face –or his insurance, for that matter. In no time at all, I reached the Stotch residence and flung myself in Butter’s bedroom through his window.

He was sat on the neatly made bed; hands covering his face. But he was alone.

“Well?” I asked.

Butters gulped, shaking his head.

“That’s a shame.” I spat. “ I’m going to ask you a few questions. And this time, you better answer me fucking honestly. Understand?”

Butters looked up at me fearfully and nodded.

“Did you take Tweek dress Tweek up like a girl and take him to a party?”

A tiny part of me hoped, wished, longed for him to say no.

Butters nodded timidly.

“So you did break our agreement.” I stated.

Butters nodded again.

“And you did see Clyde kissing Tweek?”

“Aw gee. I knew there’d be trouble.” he squeaked.

“I’m taking that as a yes. Are you in their conspiracy?” I asked harshly.

“Wha- What conspiracy?” Butters mumbled, looking at me with tear filled eyes.

“Don’t fucking try to lie. Are you with them? Are you the one that Tricia was talking to all this time? Are you the one that planned on Clyde hurting him like that? Are you the one who’s trying to keep me away from Tweek?”

“No! I swear, Craig, I don’t know anything about a conspiracy!” Butters squealed, holding his hands up in defence. “Please calm down!”

I took Butters’ advice. With a few breaths I steadied myself only to see my reflection. Raging red, fist bloody and full of splinters. A smashed hole through his door. Fuck. Since when was I not in control of my god-damned emotions? Ever since Tweek got involved in my life.

“Well shit.” I unclenched my fist slowly and reached into my jeans for my wallet. I handed a scared-shitless Butters two hundred dollars. He nodded meekly.

“I’m going to go now. Let me know if you have any news of Tweek, okay?” I said as he shuffled to his bookshelf and took out a large blue book.

I was half-way out of his window when he called my name. At first, I thought it was just the breeze, but Butters repeated himself. I turned my head to him.

“Craig?”

“Yeah?”

“You really love Tweek, don’t you?”

“Of course. What were you going to say?”

“Oh, nothing. You’re just one lucky fella is all.” Butters answered passively.

I climbed fully out, landing on the ground beneath with a thud. There was only one problem now.

Where the fuck was Tweek?

Chapter Text

Ughh..

Sharp throbs resonated within my skull, like a stampede charging through my head, crashing in waves. I opened my eyes only to have a blurred out view of white. Not for long though. My eyes squeezed shut and small stars started dancing around. I couldn’t remember anything. Vision shimmering, I attempted to try and rub at them. However, someone beat me to the punch.

Gently, deft fingers caressed my twitching eyelids before sliding around to the back of my head and delicately propelling me upward. I screamed bloody mercy. Who the fuck was this? What did they want to do to me? Oh Jesus! Oh sweet Jesus, why? No-one was supposed to touch me –especially not my hair!

“GAH! DON’T! NO, PLEASE! AHHH.. STOP! OH GOD, MAKE IT STOP!”

“It’s alright,” a sweet voice reassured. “Calm down, Sweetie.”

Why was the voice of my current captor oddly familiar? I felt like I haven’t heard it in years, but it had an idiosyncratic playful ring to it. The air was strangely comforting too; a strong, musky perfume along with the underlying sweetness our kitchen had whenever mom was baking. Except a thousand times stronger. And a thousand times more nauseating.

Before I knew it, my mouth was open wide and I was hurling everything up. Eyes squeezed shut, I barely whimpered as mouthful after mouthful of vomit billowed out of me, flowing out of my nostrils as well as gliding over my stimulated tongue and clinking against my teeth before finally making its exit . It was horrible, ghastly even. Bitter and sour, with the burn of alcohol making its grand reappearance. I couldn’t breathe, there was not enough time between gagging to take a single inhale. I became a fountain of vomit, the stench making me retch even harder.

Finally. Oh, finally, it ended. With a couple more heaves, I was pretty sure I was finished. Frenetic as always, I was positive I threw up all my organs in the process, and I didn’t want to open my eyes to see my guts sprawled all over the... Where even was I?

“Well, I can’t say I ever thought I’d be an emetophiliac, but here we are.” The person chirped.

The small, sweet snicker that followed roused my attention. I decided that sooner or later, I had to face reality and actually check where I was. I opened my eyes.

“OH GOD! OH SWEET JESUS!”

My vomit was everywhere. Covering the bedspread, streaming off the edges of the bed in which I sat, dribbles slowly descending the bedposts. Pooling in my lap. Trickling down my chin. The stench of it everywhere. But worst of all was the figure before me.

The person in front of me was covered in my vomit, strands of their long, brown hair uncurling from their usual hairdo and clumping together. Their face was absolutely drenched, only bright red lips and short, thick lashes poking through. Suave as ever, they used their nimble fingers to swiftly wipe it away from their eyelids and smiled.

“AGH! I –I’M SO SOR- ACK!” I started manically, only to be interrupted by a leak of puke from my nose crawling down my face, falling into my mouth. I started coughing, spluttering and blowing my nose simultaneously. It was all just so disgusting and humiliating at once.

“Oh my! It’s fine, Sweetie! We’ll clean this up in no time at all.” She simpered kindly.

At least, I was sure it was a lady. I didn’t know how old she was, the reeking puke still covering her face, but from what I could tell, she was tall, slim and... motherly?

“Sweetums!” she called. “Could you come help mommy for a second? Pretty please?”

A loud sigh and a couple of grunts followed. Grumbling to himself, something along the lines of “I swear to god, I don’t know how to fix your crack pipe. And if you have ‘company’ in there, I’ll puke.” a very familiar face opened the door, looking from me to the lady.

And it all fell into place.

//

Still swaying, and in a very strong fit of conniption, I stumbled along the dark streets. I didn’t know how long I wandered for, time wasn’t important. Fuck Butters! Fuck Marjorine! Fuck the both of them! Fuck all! The sky was a deep navy-grey, littered and illuminated with fading stars, just like Craig’s eyes. I giggled outwardly. Craig would’ve been proud of me, if only he were here. He always seemed amused by my sudden bursts of swearing. But seriously, I hated Butters! How, Ack, how could he? Stupid fucking Red. If Butters wanted to bone her, then that was none of my business, but he didn’t have to act like her knight in shining armour. I didn’t want Butters to bone Red. But if he wanted to be an asshole to me, then that was his goddamn fucking problem. Goddamn fucking problem. I laughed.

I didn’t need anyone. I wasn’t a damsel in distress, I told myself, as the world spun and something hit my side.

“You fucker!” I screeched, very much in need to calm myself down, by beating the hit out of whoever felt like barging into me.

I turned around and saw my opponent. A gigantic colossus, sturdy and greying with age. Looking up, I saw their yellow roundness. Bright. Too bright and happy. How dare that motherfucker try to hit me and just stand there, shining in my face? Little bitch. Or big bitch. Tall bitch –there we go! Frustrated, I growled, and they didn’t even respond. I’d get them to, oh I would. Unleashing my pent up rage, I threw myself at the statuesque silhouette and began pummelling my fists and kicking them over and over. They didn’t even respond, fuelling my anger further. The skirt I was wearing ripped right down the side, and the blouse I had began splitting at the seams. AGH!

Every blow was subconsciously directed toward someone. Fuck Butters and his stupid diary that I read! Fuck Clyde and the kiss that I insinuated! Fuck the Goths and their friendship that I rejected! Fuck Stan and his strength that I let him carry me! Fuck Cartman for trying to plan the revenge because I agreed to it! Fuck Kenny for comforting me when I needed it!

Most of all, fuck....

Me.

Oh. My. God.

I used them all. I used them. GAH! That made me an awful person. It wasn’t their fault. It never was. It was all about me. Because I was selfish like that. I was the one: who breached Butters’ privacy, who led Clyde on, who ostracised my Goth friends, who felt so sick that needed to be carried in the first place, who made them worry about me, who gave no indication to stop. I was the one who deserved to be punished. And I was going to let myself be punished.

Silent tears streaming down my face, I slid down onto the street, leaning back against the lamppost that I was hitting only moments ago. The blood gushing out of my knuckles felt good. I deserved the pain. All I deserved was pain for what I did.

After all, I was a mess. A broken, pathetic mess. Craig was right. All along, he was right. He was never going to forgive me now. Not after what I did. None of them were.

My tears turned into pitiful sobs. Oh sweet Jesus! Why didn’t I see before? I regretted everything. I should have never doubted him. I never should have gotten away. I wanted to go back there, to let him do anything to me as he saw fit. I would’ve even asked him to be harsher, to go harder on me, because, after all, when he was with me, he was fixing me. Fixing my mistakes. Making me whole again. That’s all Craig ever wanted to do. To fix me. All of that shit happened because I wasn’t being a good boyfriend. All of it was because of me.

Using my bloodied hands, I wiped at my face, to be greeted with remnants of makeup on my fingertips. I had to find Butters. Or any of them. Only thing was, I stood somewhere far away from South Park. Still, my best chance was turning around a hundred and eighty degrees and hoping I’d get back sometime before sunset. However, as most things in my unfortunate life, it proved to be more difficult than anticipated. The earth swam, and every time I blinked the world would black out in whiteness or white out in blackness –I really wasn’t sure. With every step, it became harder to move without falling, having to uphold myself on anything within my reach.

An agonizing eternity later, I happened to grab onto a moving object – a person- in the middle of a dark alleyway. Between blinks, they looked kind enough to trust. Wasn’t I lucky it wasn’t some deranged lunatic? Just a crack whore. With a car.

As I stepped into the vehicle, a thousand thoughts spiralled in my brain. I wasn’t supposed to go anywhere with a stranger, but then again, what did I have to lose? If she wanted to steal anything from me, I’d have burst out in a drunken laughter and help her search. If she wanted to rape me, I’d tell her to go ahead, and would’ve told her that I would even help her, as long as she had a dick. If she wanted to kill me, then I was sure I definitely deserved it anyway.

And that crack whore who was now covered in my bodily fluid turned out to be the one and only Liane Cartman.

“Oh my fucking god, Mom!” Cartman screeched. “You got Tweek back!”

He flew out of the room and returned only moments later with a ton of paper towels and washing up liquid. Hastily, he threw the cleaning supplies at his still-drenched mother and picked me up by the sides, hauling me to the bathroom where he began to strip me down.

“Cartman! Don’t!” I yelped as he tugged the vomit-soaked shirt I was wearing over my head.

“Lil Twinkle, I’ve seen you naked hundreds of times, chill out.”

“WHAT!” I sputtered.

“Yeah, I got both you and Butters in my photo book. You should see the picture when I put my butt all over his face. That was hilarious!”

Grimacing at the present odour in the air, he placed me in the bathtub as I desperately tried covering my body. My vision shimmered. I knew that feeling all too well. The onset of a coffee withdrawal migraine.

“That’s so ga- GAH!” I whined, shrieking when cold water started spraying down my back. Cartman cackled, although not maliciously, throwing me a bottle of all in one body wash and shampoo as he strode away, my soiled clothes in his hands.

Fiercely, I started scrubbing at the vomit on my face and neck, working my way down my body. Only when I was absolutely positive that all of my stomach contents were down the drain -and were not planning to transform into a huge tsunami and go back up- did I turn to the bottle. I quickly scanned the ingredients, checking for poison. None, assumedly. Just lemon extract with some other science-y sounding words that I hoped weren’t going to kill me. Hopefully. It actually smelled quite nice.

What was I going to do now? I fucked up. On a major level. All of this was a mistake. I couldn’t help it. I, Tweek Tweak, was a mess. That’s what Craig always told me, and that’s what I always believed. And he was right. That’s what I should’ve stayed believing. I had an awfully sickening bad feeling in my gut despite having just thrown up. Something was wrong. I was sure of that.

Shivering, I stepped out of the bath. My teeth chattered the second my wet feet touched the cold, tiled floor, and I grabbed the nearest towel to dry myself with. My headache was still prominent, though nowhere nearly as much as when I first woke up. I reached over to help myself to a toothbrush on the counter. Getting rid of the lingering vomit in my mouth was perhaps the most satisfying thing I ever experienced. Well, right after coffee. But a close second, nonetheless.

Covering my lower torso with the towel, I walked out of the bathroom and stood in the hallway, awkwardly. Where was I going to go now? In both, which room, and where to go after this whole ordeal has been dealt with. I had no idea what I wanted to do. Craig was the one always giving me suggestions. I groaned. Well, I had to start analysing, as much as I hated it.

 Butters, Stan, Cartman and Kenny were out, for the obvious reason that I used them. They did so much for me already. I didn’t want to make myself a burden on them –and I was also still mad at Butters. Craig’s friends were out of the picture; I didn’t trust them, nor did they know me very well. Suddenly, a strange pang of longing arose in my chest for my friends before. The Goth kids! Did they hate me? OH GOD! They hated me! Would they forgive me? No. Probably not. It was a nice thought while it lasted. But, there was still hope. For some unbeknownst reason, I felt that staying with Craig was not a very good idea. Just a silly little thing, you know? Maybe it was the fact that he tried to kill me. Then again, maybe I deserved it.

“Sweetie?” Mrs Cartman waved her hand in front of my face.

I jolted back to reality. She held a mug of coffee in the other, and gave it to me. Scalding. Harsh. Delicious. The cup was empty in two short gulps. There it was. The best feeling in the world. Followed by sweetness. So much sweetness. Too much sweetness. I was positive I was going to get diabetes any second now. OH JESUS! HOW WAS I SUPPOSED TO LIVE WITH DIABETES? I started coughing at the extreme intensity of it. The sugar overload in my drink was too much. Oh fuck! Mrs Cartman quickly grabbed the mug as my own hands flew to my face. Luckily, there was no crash. She caught it expertly with one hand and patted by back with the other.

“Oh Sweetie, I’m so sorry!” She grovelled in a syrupy voice.” I knew I should’ve added more sugar!”

She wasn’t joking. I stopped my coughing to look at her momentarily with a ‘what the fuck’ look that Craig taught me. Mrs Cartman was dead serious about adding more sugar into my drink.

“How much did you add already?” I asked, clearing my throat. I was positive that the remnants of sugar particles were still there, scratching at the inside of my oesophagus.

“Not too much! Only a couple of tablespoons. Like, seven, maybe? I’m so sorry! My Poopsikins is more of a hot chocolate type of Snugglepuss, so I thought that maybe it would work the same way!”

“Actually, Mrs Cartman-“

“Call me Liane, Sweetie.”

“Okay, Liane, it was a little too sweet for me.”

The woman added seven tablespoons of sugar into around one hundred and fifty millilitres of water, and thought wasn’t enough. No offence to Cartman, but if that’s how she made his food and drink, then he wasn’t big-boned, but fat.

“Oh! Really? Are you sure you didn’t start choking because it was too bitter?”

“I’m pretty sure it was too sweet.”

“So how many tablespoons am I supposed to add?” she asked earnestly.

I tugged at my hair. “Well, I think two teaspoons is more than enough.”

“Okay Sweetie, I’ll remember it from now on. Hop on into Eric’s room, he’ll give you some clothes to wear. Are you sure it’s only two teaspoons?”

“Yes, I’m sure. And thank you. For everything.” I stumbled over my words, giving her a meek nod and scurrying into her son’s bedroom.

Cartman was laying sprawled out over his bed, phone in his hand, excitedly chattering away.

“I’m seriously you guys! I found Twinkle Twink!”

 He gave me a quick glance before continuing.

“I’ll even show you!”

He propped himself up and snapped a picture. I squealed, afraid, and he laughed, pulling up his legs and patting the empty space for me to sit down whilst he manoeuvred his phone into the other hand, pressing the screen a couple of times. He ended the call straight after.

“Well, are you going to stand there or what?” he snorted. “I’d ask you to explain what the fuck you were up to, but I’ll wait until everyone is here.

“What about some- Ack- clothes first?”

He started laughing so hard it was almost manic. “I’d say that I missed you and give you a hug, but that would be faggy as fuck. Pick an outfit out for yourself, I’m pretty sure that that’s what gay people are meant to be experts at.”

Carefully, I rummaged through Cartman’s closet, picking out some clothing. He watched me with a pained expression, sighing and grunting at each of my choices, until he finally broke.

“Jesus Christ, Tweek, leave it! You can’t act gay to save your life! Here, let me help.”

With a heave, he stumbled out of bed and helped me choose. In the end, we decided on a vest shoved in the corner that didn’t swallow me whole. Actually, it was on the skinnier side. No way Cartman would have fit into this, even as a kid. The vest was made for a small, skinny child around twelve. It still fit me. How the hell did something like that get into his closet, I had no idea. But this was Cartman, so I assumed that was the least weird thing about him. However, we were both stuck when it came to the trousers. His jeans were so big I could fit both of my legs in one of the leg holes. His cargo shorts shrouded me like an umbrella on my thighs. Finally, we decided to go for some sweatpants. They were huge, but they’d have to do.

“Uh, I know this sounds weird, but do you have some underwear that I could borrow?” I squirmed.

There was no way that I’d forgo underwear. No fucking way. It was a staple, a must, even if they mysteriously disappeared most of the time. He threw me a pair of his, but they slid off before I even had the chance to let go of the material. Blushing embarrassedly, I gave them back to him.

Cartman sighed. “Desperate times call for desperate measures.” He crawled under his bed, groaning for a few minutes, before re-emerging with a pair of smaller sized boxer briefs.

 “Spaz, I’m only doing this because I don’t want you running away anywhere. And I want them back after, got it?” He threw the underwear at me.

I checked the label quickly. This was an adult pair, thank God. Eric Cartman was known for being many horrible things; being a child molester was not too far of a stretch. They fit loosely around my waist, but actually fit, which was a good thing.

He gave me a mildly amused look.

“Turn around, Twinkle. I wanna check out your ass in these.”

Obediently, I turned around slowly, in a circle, looking back at him. Cartman’s facial expression changed into something unreadable. A half-frown, almost forlorn look. He bit his knuckle.

“Put on the pants, they’re gonna be here any minute.”

“Who?” I asked.

“Hippie, poor boy and Jew, duh. Twinkle, I know you’re a twink and want to show off, but your booty is way too small to look good in these boxers, so hurry up.”

“Okay!” I obeyed him, tying the drawstring so that they didn’t fall off. “Whose are they, anyway? I don’t want to get some infection and die from wearing stranger’s underwear!”

“Chill out Twinkle, and stop bloody shaking for fucks sake! I’m not gonna tell you whose those are, so just suck it up and take my word for it that they aren’t gonna kill you.”

The doorbell rang.

Thuds resonated throughout the house, coming closer, until the door slammed open with surprising force. I barely had a chance to acknowledge the person there before I was pulled into a bone-crushing hug. I eagerly wrapped my hands around Kenny’s torso and felt him pick me up before moving to sit us down on Cartman’s bed. He refused to let go, so I was stuck on his lap as he threaded his fingers through my hair and held me close. The only thing preventing me from enjoying it was the underlying guilt I felt. Finally, Kenny pulled back, but instead of letting me get off of him, he shifted me so that my back was against his torso and his arms wrapped around mine.

“You guys finished being fags?” Cartman spat. “Nice to see you too, poor boy. Where have you been for the past couple days?”

“In hell.”

“Figures.” Cartman huffed.

“What!” I yelped out.

Kenny explained;“So basically, Tweekers, I can’t die. No-one remembers me dying except for fatass over here, because he kind of ate my soul when we were younger, so we’re intertwined. Yes it sounds totally lame and I know you don’t believe me but-“

“I do.” I said, shocking even myself. “Crazy shit goes on in this town all the time. I swear that my underwear constantly gets stolen by gnomes. But how did you die?”

“Never mind that. Just stay the fuck away from Craig, okay, Tweekers? The guy is fucking psycho.” Kenny said, hugging me more tightly, nuzzling his nose in my hair. It felt really soothing, to be honest. “Cartman, how much longer until Stan and Kyle come?”

“I don’t know. It takes at least an hour to get from Denver to South Park. Knowing the Hippie, he’ll probably drag Kyle into shopping for an apology present for Twinkle too, so, ages until they arrive.”

“Kyle?” Kenny questioned him, peering into his uncomfortable expression. “Just Kyle? No mean nickname?”

“No. I’m done with trying to fight with him. Just done.” Cartman grumbled. “So, movie?”

 “Sure. You got any Rob Schneider specials?” Kenny nodded contemplatively, shooting him a look.

Cartman groaned audibly. “Kenny, your taste in comedies is total shit. Rob Schneider sucks ass. We’re watching Mean Girls.”

Kenny laughed, impish smirk on his face. “Well I guess Kyle was right in saying that he’s never going to watch Mean Girls with you again.”

Cartman flinched. “That’s totally not what he said, poor boy!”

A moment of silence passed.

“Do you want the one where he’s a stapler, or a carrot?”

“Carrot. And some popcorn too.”

“Fuck’s sake, poor boy, you’re demanding. You know how to obtain food in this house, you practically live here anyway.” Cartman grumbled, setting up the TV on his wall opposite the bed. “Poor ass motherfucker..”

Kenny moved his hands and placed them over my ears, before bellowing out, “LIANE!”

Liane rushed up into the room. “Yes?”

“Could you be a sweetheart and make us some popcorn?” Kenny smiled politely.

She pulled a disappointed frown. “Just popcorn? You’re too skinny, boys! You need to eat! I’ll make you some cookies too. And I’ll bring you some Snacky Cakes.”

“And Cheesy Poofs.” Cartman added.

“Of course, Snookums. Anything else?”

“Maybe some coffee?” I piped up.

“Sure thing! How much should I make?”

Cartman grunted, leaning over to connect all the cables properly. “Just get him the whole pitcher. He’ll inhale it all anyway.”

I blushed slightly. As quickly as she came into the room, she sped out to get us some food. Cartman pulled back and mopped his forehead in exaggeration. He flopped over beside us, taking the remote control in his hand and turning the TV on. The opening credits began playing when Liane returned, bearing extreme amounts of food.

“I’m sorry boys, I didn’t know what type of popcorn you wanted so I got you all three; salted, sweet and caramel!”

She put the armfuls of food onto the bed and put an enormous pitcher filled with coffee on the bed stand beside us, with a long bendy straw in it. This was a dream come true for me. I wriggled out of Kenny’s grasp and took a hesitant sip. This coffee was much better, less sweet for sure, but much more creamy –but that was still an improvement to no coffee at all. It was definitely less hot; and less coffee like in texture, more thick. In fact, the usual bitterness was cloyed with an additional buttery feeling to it. Really buttery. Not that I was complaining, coffee was coffee. Just, kind of weak, and really smooth, as if I were sucking on a stick of butter. She must’ve substituted all the sugar with dairy products instead.

“Thanks Liane. Tastes great. What did you add to it?”

“Oh, just a cup of heavy cream. And a little butter.” She waved her fingers farewell, “I won’t disturb you boys. Let me know if you’re still hungry after, okay? Have fun!”

Briskly, she stepped out of the room, closing the door behind her. An entire cup of heavy cream. ‘A little’ butter. There are some things in the universe you can’t control; weather, getting older, love. And Liane Cartman’s portion control. Or lack thereof.

I hauled the pitcher of coffee onto the bed where Kenny and Cartman lay on their backs, shoulder to shoulder, propped up by an insane amount of pillows and plushies. I crawled over their legs and settled myself so that I was lying horizontally across them, my body positioned to the side, head higher up, resting on Cartman’s taught stomach, coffee pitcher between his thighs with the straw bent at the exact right angle to suck on. The rest of my torso lay on Kenny, as he alternated between stroking my hip and grabbing food. Cartman rested one of his hands on my head, stroking through and untangling knots, whilst he chomped on snacks with the other. I appreciated that a lot. It was nice knowing a clean hand was petting me, not one covered in Cheesy Poof dust and crumbs.

The movie was nice. Not the funniest thing ever, but it got a few giggles out of me. Cartman kept groaning at the cheesy one liners whilst Kenny snorted with laughter at each and every one. I kept drinking the coffee. With every sip, I began feeling heavier. But not a drugged heavy. Like a, Grandma feeds you too much but you’re happy anyway, heavy. Or like a, I could totally have nap, kind of heavy. A bit sleepy. I yawned, sucking out the last dregs. Kenny’s laughs with the gentle hip strokes and Cartman’s steady hand entangled in my hair were both nice. Really nice. I yawned again, snuggling further into Cartman’s stomach. It was so soft. So nice. My own personal pillow. I felt Kenny shuffling out of his parka and the warm material atop of me. I mumbled out a quick ‘thanks’.

Kenny placed a quick kiss on my inner hip in response.

“God, Kenny, you’re so gay.” Cartman whispered huskily. I could feel the genuine smile in his voice.

“Love you too, Eric.” Kenny responded, and they chuckled together, their bodies making me bounce up slightly.

It felt nice.

//

What wasn’t nice, was the rude awakening. I was yanked away from the slumber, and jostled into consciousness. GAH!

“What the fuck!” A condescending voice whined.

I opened my eyes to find myself staring at Stan at the door, Kyle next to him, fuming. He was redder than blood, fists clenched. Stan himself was pale as paper, on the verge of slightly green, covering his face with his hands. Hastily, I sat up, Kenny and Cartman following shortly after.

“Hmm?” Cartman mumbled lethargically.

“What do you mean ‘Hmm’? Get up, fatass!” Kyle commanded harshly. Was it just me, or were his eyes glassy?

I rubbed at my own eyelids. No, must’ve just been his anger doing that. Why the hell would Kyle be sad? In fact, Stan looked more sad than Kyle was, face scrunched up, nose pinched with his forefinger and thumb.

Compliantly, Cartman lifted himself off the bed, hands in the air. “What’s bothering you this time, Kyle?”

“The fact that you’re being subservient, you asshole! What the fuck is this supposed to be? Since when do you listen to me?” Kyle seethed.

“Calm down, Ky.” Kenny soothed. “ We were just watching some movies and dozed off.”

“Mmm. Yeah. You’re acting like you’re on the rag or something. Have some coffee.” I added sleepily, grabbing the pillow Cartman was just laying on and nuzzling into it. The scent of sugary sweets lingered on the pillow, and without thinking, I moaned out, “Mmmm, Cartman, you smell so good.”

Cartman and Kenny burst into peals of laughter, and I glanced briefly at Kyle. Even through half-lidded vision, I could see that his expression was positively murderous, if it wasn’t so already. Half asleep, I stiffened. Those facial features meant nothing but trouble.

“What the hell did you do to him, fatass?” Stan spoke up, coming closer to the bed and prying my hands away from the pillow. I protested sleepily, but it all bettered when Stan lifted me up and let me snuggle into his neck instead. My arms draped loosely around him and he rocked me gently.

“I don’t know what the fuck you mean, Hippie!” Cartman retorted, stretching. “I found Tweek, and instead of being happy like Kenny over here, you guys decide to go full shithead on our collective asses.”

“Yeah!” Kenny cheered, stepping up to pull me from Stan’s embrace. “Let him go.” He said, tugging at my leg gently. Stan looked at Kyle meaningfully.

“Stan’s not speaking to you, Kenny. But he told me earlier to tell you that there’s no fucking way he’s letting you anywhere near Tweek. He forbids any type of contact.” Kyle sighed, rolling his eyes at Stan’s immatureness.

“Stan, we’re not twelve years old anymore. You can’t just ignore me because you’re mad! And you’re not his mother, so fuck you and your bullshit contact rules.” Kenny spat, reaching over to wrench my torso away. Stan tightened his hold, squishing me. The drowsy feeling began to wear off as they started pulling at me like some kind of ragdoll. Cartman quickly joined in, and they started yelling at eachother, like children fighting over their favourite toy.

“Stan, drop him!”

“Let go, Hippie!”

“No fucking way, dude! No fucking way! I bet you brainwashed him! I know what you are Cartman. A monster! Remember when you blackmailed Kyle into eating your farts in front of everyone? I bet you’re doing the same thing now!”

I glanced over at Kyle. He stood with his arms crossed, eyebrows knitted. Other than the red colouration on his cheeks and the furious glare in his eyes he didn’t look that mad.

“I’m not a motherfucking monster no more, so fuck you!” Cartman retorted, yanking my leg harder.

Oh God! They were going to rip me into shreds! I was going to die! All the people that I abused were fighting over me! It was horrible! It was all my fault!

I writhed away from all of them, landing in a heap on the floor.

“DON’T TOUCH ME!” I shrieked when they all simultaneously leapt over to help me. The three of them reluctantly obeyed, still keeping a close distance in case I changed my mind. “I want to talk to Henrietta. Or Pete. Or Michael or Firkle.”

Kenny and Cartman exchanged a knowing look with eachother. Kenny cleared his throat. That was never a good sign. Oh God!

“Tweek..” Kenny moved an inch closer, lifting up my chin to meet his gaze. “How do I say this? The Goth kids are dead. All of them.”

“OH SWEET JESUS!” I screamed, flinching away. “NO FUCKING WAY, MAN. NO FUCKING WAY!”

They were dead! Oh God why? It felt like a punch to the gut. I was so stupid! So, so stupid! Why did I stop being friends with them in the first place? Because of Craig!

“Was it Craig? Did Craig kill them?” I asked, lump in my throat, voice squeaky.

Kenny and Cartman exchanged another look. A series of facial expressions that I couldn’t figure out, after which Cartman turned to me.

“Yes, Tweek. Craig killed the Goth kids.”

A broken sob escaped my lips. I was fucked. So fucked. If Craig killed the Goth kids, what was stopping him from killing all the rest of my friends too? It seemed so barbaric. It was almost like I helped him kill. Death by association with me. I was a monster!

Through the mist of my tears, I could see them all pout. Even Kyle’s expression changed from anger to a sort of indifference. Well, that was good. I didn’t want Kyle to be mad. The three guys beside me pulled me into a tight hug, smothering me with their warmth. I didn’t deserve to be treated like this! I deserved to be locked away in jail for killing my ex-friends.

Finally, I gathered the strength to push them away and sniffled, going to sit down on Cartman’s bed. He followed, licking his thumb and wiping tear-ridden cheek with it. He glanced at his thumb for a moment, before wiping it on the duvet.

“You’re not even going to taste his tears?” Kyle asked disbelievingly, “The tears of unfathomable sadness. The ones you like so much?”

“Oh Kyle.” Cartman sighed. Kyle winced at the lack of nickname. “They wouldn’t taste good at all coming from Tweek.”

“You sure?” He asked, as if he was anticipating a certain answer. A certain joke, maybe?

“Positive.” Cartman replied easily.

Kyle inhaled sharply. In a flash, he was out of the room, but the sounds of him screaming were still extremely audible. He sounded like a wounded animal, with ear-crushing crashes reverberating in our ears.

“What’s wrong with Kyle?” I asked.

“No fucking idea.” Stan replied coming over to sit beside us, Kenny following. “But we’re all here for you if you need us, Tweek. And Kenny, I’m sorry for everything.”

“It’s all good, man.” Kenny laughed, punching his shoulder playfully. “I know your temper tantrums never last long.”

Another hug ensued, me squashed in the middle again. God, this was so gay. Kyle returned, still red. Quickly, I stood up, arms outstretched, to hug him too. I stepped closer, but magically ended up tripping over the sweatpants on my legs, pulling them down to my knees and landing on the soft, carpeted floor.

I could hear Kenny and Stan howl with laughter. When I looked up, the two were oblivious to the intense stare shared between Kyle and Cartman. Oh Jesus! The former swallowed audibly, and turned to me.

“Since you’re not staying with the Goths, I say you should come over to my place for a while.” Kyle gave me a strained smile, “It’ll be less likely for Craig to find you at my place.”

He took a few calculated steps toward me, leaning over to whisper in my ear. “If you stay here, Stan will get mad at Cartman for hogging you. You wouldn’t want that, would you?”

I shook my head fervently. Kyle hoisted me up, and I immediately went to pull up the sweatpants.

“And besides,” He chuckled darkly, “ It seems that my clothes would fit you better than Cartman’s.”

What the hell did he mean by that?

“Come on.” Kyle said, reaching to grab my arm. “We’ve got to get going.”

Obediently, I waved goodbye and went with Kyle. Maybe I could help him with whatever he was mad at! In fact, it seemed like a really good idea. I was already a piece of shit for using the other guys, but Kyle and I were good. I didn’t want to use him. That would be awful. I was determined to fix everything, even if I had no idea how to. Still, Kyle was a good thinker; I was sure he could help.

And I was positive the unusual glint in his emerald eyes was just a trick of the light.

Chapter Text

“Butters!”

I could tell that voice apart from a thousand others. My heart became erratic in the span of a few milliseconds, the organ slamming into my ribcage hard enough to pump the dread into my thin veins. Oh goodness. I couldn’t control the shaking. I had to. He didn’t like it when I shook too much. Just enough to let Him see the authority He had over me, but not enough to make me seem like a wimp. But I was always a wimp in His eyes. Always.

“Mister, what the hell is that?” He pointedly accused, facing the door.

“S-s-sorry Sir.” I trembled, looking down in trepidation.

Remember Butters, He likes when you’re submissive. Not that you’re not submissive already. You’re a wimp, Butters, a sleazy little brat who lets himself be stepped all over.

There they were. The thoughts; that snaked their way into my brain and strangled tighter and tighter until they coiled themselves all over, leaving me nothing but their negativity. I didn’t like it, but like many things in my life, I had no control over them.

He grabbed me by my hair, tugging at the roots painfully, pulling me towards the door. I let myself be dragged over, not saying a single word. Maybe, just maybe, He would let me off if I played his game? As if.

He shoved my face into the door like you do to a dog that pissed over the carpet. The disgrace wasn’t there, it rarely ever was, but the humiliation was ever-present. He yanked my hair left and right, my nose scraping against the wood, gathering splinters. It didn’t hurt, I assured myself. I’ve been through worse. He pulled me back to look at Him, my body flush against the door, with my neck bent back.

“Well, do you care to explain yourself, young man?” He snarled, foaming at the mouth rabidly, droplets of spit flying.

“I- I-“

“Don’t you dare think up of a lie to tell! You’re bad enough as is. I don’t need a liar in my house as well as a deviant.”

“Sorry S-Sir.” I repeated stupidly, bracing myself.

“Sorry isn’t going to cut it this time!”

I took a deep breath in for what was to come.

He smashed my face into the door.

Once. My body heated up, but otherwise didn’t recognise what was happening apart from the sound of me hitting against the object of torment. Force of habit, I guessed.

Twice. The pain sprang forward, prominent in the bridge of my nose and the tips of my cheeks. Tears welled in my eyes unwillingly.

Thrice. I didn’t want to give Him the satisfaction. I jolted in the spot, begging myself not to do it.

Four times. I crossed my legs, blood dribbling down my chin, the sharp sting of pain spreading all over my face. Don’t do it! Don’t do it!

Five times. This was the hardest blow off them all. He pushed me in so hard that my face indented in the wood. I was way past having anything but numbness in my crushed nose. More splinters jabbed themselves into my skin, pricking through my eyelids in an excruciating way, just grazing against my eyes. I opened my chapped lips to let out a squeak that transformed into a pitiful wail when I did. The wood struck into my oral commissures, digging itself deeper the more I opened my mouth, hurting. A paradox, really. The further my lips went in protest the pain, the more I received.

He decided that was enough. He tugged my hair back, tripping me over so I landed on the floor. I looked up at him reproachfully, a hard thing to do with my nose busted and splinters digging into my pupils.

“Butters, you know I only did this because I love you.” He soothed, patting my tufts of hair.

“Yes Sir.” I replied, relieved that this was it. Oh boy, I was lucky today.

“Now, in case anyone asks what you did to your face, tell me what happened.” He ordered calmly, all traces of anger dispersed.

“I tripped and fell over while I was playing with my Hello Kitties.”

“Good boy.” He held out His hand and I hesitantly let Him pull me up. “Now go get yourself cleaned up, you stupid klutz. I’ll take care of the door, but I’m taking the money to repair it from your piggy bank.”

“Oh geez. How much?” I asked, wincing at the blindness creeping up around the corner edges of my eyes. I had to get the splinters out quickly, before worse happened.

“Well, since I think you learned your lesson, two hundred and fifty dollars should cover it.” He answered simply.

Well, that was all of my money gone. I was lucky I had Craig’s money too, because if not, I would never hear the end of how much in debt I was. I pooled out the money from the underside of my piggy, and along with the two hundred dollars, I had just about enough. Vision deteriorating, I passed the goods to Him, and scurried away.

Blindly stumbling into the bathroom, I locked the door behind me and quickly relieved myself. I was overjoyed that I didn’t let him take joy in me disgracing myself before his eyes. Oh boy, I would be in so much trouble if She found out as well. Feeling my way around the walls, I reached into the first aid kit, taking out the antiseptics along with a few cotton buds. I put them on the sink beside me and rinsed off all the blood off my face. Then, I set my nose straight, a task I did many times before. I took Her tweezers and used them to pull at the wood shards stuck in my face, placing them in a neat-ish pile. My eyelids were the hardest to do, partly because my hands were still shaking, partly because it was hard to do them with one eye open, teary and blurry with exertion. Still, I managed. Practice does make perfect, after all.

The familiar burning sensation of antiseptic put me at ease. It was okay now. Carefully, I placed all the items back in their respective places, throwing away the wood chips. Then I double checked if they were still there, peering for any blood spots. Goodness knows what She would do if the bathroom wasn’t picture-perfect. The cuts on my face bubbled up, and I knew the antiseptic was doing its’ job. My reflection wouldn’t look too pretty for the next couple of days, but no-one in this town would notice anyway. And if they did, one simple lie was enough to convince them that I was fine. After all, I was Leopold Butters Stotch! It was my job to make sure that everyone was happy, and they had enough of their own problems and didn’t need to deal with mine. I trudged back into my room, slipping underneath the covers.

I smiled my signature happy smile up at the ceiling.

It felt numb.

//

“Butters!”

Another voice I recognised all too well. A knock at the door. Quickly, I rushed out of bed and made it, arms flailing. Other than that, the room was up to standard. I thought. I hoped. I begged. Please, let the room be okay. I shouldn’t have selfishly fallen asleep. I knew She was coming, and I knew She would inspect it. I should have stayed awake and cleaned it up some more to make her happy.

“Yes Ma’am?”

The busted door opened and She stepped in, tentatively tip-toeing around the room like a detective, searching for any traces of dirt or grime. She skimmed her fingers across every item I owned, checking for dust. With a huge sigh of relief, I noticed she wasn’t trembling. That  was good.

“Butters, do you know where your dad is?” She questioned.

“Yes Ma’am. He said He’s going to get my door fixed.” I mumbled.

We shared a glance.

“Well that’s okay then,” She tittered taking sharp inhales. The thing She and I had in common. The basis was still the same. We didn’t cry with other people around. For very different reasons. I did it to reassure others. She did it to reassure herself. “In that case, we’ll leave him to it, won’t we, Butters?”

We all learned our lesson about following where He went. I just hoped He wouldn’t spend all the money at the White Swallow Bathhouse. But I never could be sure. Silently, She nodded and walked out.

“Breakfast will be ready soon, champ!” She called out through the hole in the door.

I sat back down on the bed for a moment, hurting face in my hands. But before I could let a single tear leak out, I stood back up and heaved myself downstairs into the kitchen. The smell wafted up into the air but I didn’t feel very hungry.

“Can I help you, Ma’am?” I asked Her politely, as I always did.

“No Butters, you just sit yourself down.”

I did as I was told. I ate the toast with scrambled eggs obediently. It tasted like cardboard. And it hurt to open my mouth. The taste was overrun with metallic blood, whilst I listened to Her prattle on about all the other mothers of South Park.

“Honestly Butters, you’re really lucky!”

“I know I am, Ma’am.”

“You have two parents who love you a whole lot. Not like that Tucker family. They are a disgrace to this town. That Laura interferes with her husband too much. No wonder he cheats on her. Still, poor woman. I bet she’d give an arm and a leg to have a happy family like ours. Our perfect family. Am I right?”

“Yes Ma’am.” I fiddled with the crusts, crumbling them into little pieces. I watched Her fill up a cup of green tea.

“Butters! Don’t play with your food!” She huffed, taking the plate away from me promptly.

“Sorry Ma’am.”

“It’s okay, Butters. You can go play outside now.”

“Thank you, Ma’am.”

I stood up and pushed the chair under the table.

“Ma’am?”

“Yes?”

“My phone broke.”

The plate she was holding landed in the sink with a splash, soapy water escaping everywhere. She started visibly shivering. I didn’t enjoy doing it to Her sanity, but it was a much better alternative than telling Him about my phone.

“Oh no! Oh no no no! Oh Butters! It’s alright! Mommy will get you a new phone right away. Then, we can go back to being all perfect again! It’ll be alright! We’ll be fine, Butters. We’ll be fine.” She laughed, turning her attention back to the dishes.

“Thank you Ma’am.”

I walked out of the house. Sure, my face hurt like heck, but there were more important things than my own selfish butt. People who were hurting more than I was. The sun shone high up in the sky, thinly veiled under a blanket of clouds. The sounds of nature were particularly nice today, a heavy breeze bringing the scent of marigolds up into the air. The walk to Skeeter’s house was quite short. A few townsfolk stared at my face, but I just smiled and waved. They were back to being reassured I was the happy fella I always was. Along the way, I picked a couple daisies. I would’ve bought some chocolates if I still had the money to buy them.

I knocked on Red’s door. She gave a few sniffles and I took it as a sign to enter. Curled up into a ball on her bed. I sat next to her; letting her rest her head on my thighs.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t get you more. Or sweeties or something nice.” I sighed, stroking her stomach. Red relaxed, holding her arms around my torso.

“It’s fine. I don’t want to get fat. And besides, you’re more than enough, Butters.”

No you’re not.

“I’m sorry I brought Mary-Jane along.”

She stiffened slightly at the sound of the name. Letting out a breath, she nuzzled back into me.

“No. It’s fine. I mean, it’s obviously not, but it’s not your fault Butters.”

You know it’s all your fault. You’re the reason why everyone’s sad. You’re a burden. And you know it.

“Do you want to talk about it?” I asked, ignoring the squeezing tightness in my stomach.

“I guess.” Red pulled herself up, sitting next to me, letting her mahogany locks lay on my shoulder. Her weight made me feel claustrophobic. But this wasn’t about me. If me being mildly uncomfortable made Red feel better, it was worth it. After all, it was my mistake to fix.

“I think she did it on purpose. She was mad at me, though I have no idea why!” Red complained.

“Do you have any clue as to why someone wouldn’t like a wonderful girl like you? What do you think made her angry?”

“Well...” Red glanced around the room helplessly. “I think she got jealous of me. Yeah! She totally got jealous because she’s got small boobs.”

“Do you think she knew that you were joking when you said she had itty bitty titties?”

We both giggled childishly; though personally I didn’t find it funny.

“Keep in mind that she’s a bit self-conscious and doesn’t understand girly humour too well.” I continued.

“Uhh...” Red trailed off contemplatively.“But that doesn’t mean she had any right to do what she did!” She continued after a moment of hesitation, crossing her arms.

“I never said she did. In fact, I had a right go at her. But remember she admitted she wasn’t a drinker and we both know she had more than a little alcohol.”

“Yeah. I shouldn’t have dared Mary-Jane to drink that spirit. I knew she didn’t do hard drinks but I dared her to do it without thinking.” Red said dejectedly.

“Red, you did nothing wrong.” I reassured, hugging her.

But you did.

After a moment, she pulled back with a gasp.

“Oh fuck!”

“Red, what’s wrong?”

“Oh my God, Butters! She thought I didn’t like her!”

“What do you mean?”

“You know how I don’t usually wear long fake nails?”

“Why, sure.” I turned to look at her and her epiphany.

“And you know I have no idea as to how to do anything while I have them on?”

“Yep.”

“Mary-Jane must’ve thought I dug my nails into her on purpose! That makes me feel like shit.” Red lamented, cuddling into me. “I didn’t mean to be horrible to her. She must hate me now!”

“Let me tell you, Red. I doubt she liked Clyde at all. And Clyde was drunk. He didn’t mean what he said. I bet if you ask him, he won’t remember a single thing from last night.”

“Oh Butters! Clyde is the least of my worries! I need to apologise to Mary-Jane before I can even think about him!” Red leapt to her feet.

Good job, Butt-hole. Now you made Red feel guilty. When it’s really your fault and you know it. How selfish can you be to pin the blame on her?

“I’m sure she’s already forgiven you. Next time I see her, I’ll tell her, okay?”

“Sure thing Butters. Want to go to the mall?”

“I should probably get going. And I don’t have any money on me.” I made up excuse after excuse, but Red remained adamant.

“Butters, don’t make me beg!” Red batted her lashes imploringly, “And do you really think girls buy every item they like? Of course not. We can go window shopping!”

“Oh, okay then.” I agreed grudgingly. If I ruined Red’s mood, I could at least fix it.

Patiently, I waited for her to get ready, sitting on her desk chair, listening to her and agreeing, but inside I couldn’t bring myself to really care.

You’re a horrible person.

I sure was.

//

“Come on Butters! What milkshake do you want?” Red demanded.

“Aw gee, thank you, but I don’t want one. Use the money to buy yourself something nice.”

“Nonsense! I’m getting you a milkshake and there’s nothing you can do to stop me. Now, what flavour?”

“I don’t deserve to be cared for like that!”

“Butters.” Red growled, “Flavour.”

“Oh boy, a small plain strawberry one, if you absolutely have to.”

“Sure thing.” Red smiled cunningly.

We waited together until we reached the till. The lady taking our order looked downcast, black greasy hair tied back, worn features not fitting her young face. Gee, the world was a harsh place.

“One large banana blast with pecan nuts and caramel drizzle, extra whipped cream.” Red ordered.

“’Kay, anything else?” the lady spoke with a heavy Mexican accent.

“One large strawberry delight with marshmallows and white chocolate drops, extra whipped cream.” She continued passively.

I stared between Red and the lady, taken aback.

“Red, I just wanted a-“

“No need, Butters.” Red didn’t even look at me as she took her purse out of her leather bag and paid.

The lady held out her hand to take the money. Her wrist looked like it could snap any second, fingers bony, malnourished nails, bitten right down. The poor lady. She gave me a hesitant look and I smiled at her earnestly. As earnestly as I was able to. That was the least I could do.

Red and I walked over to the other side to collect our drinks. She chattered about some jeans she saw that apparently lifted the butt up better than implants did. I nodded politely, and thanked profusely for the drink she ordered for me. The same lady passed us our drinks along with two cookies.

“Oh no, we didn’t order these.” I desperately tried giving the lady back the cookies. She pushed her hand onto mine and gave me a wink.

“On house, mi amigos. On house. Galletas para nice smile.”

“Muchas gracias.” I answered graciously and begrudgingly took the cookies, passing one to Red.

We made our way around the mall, going into shops where Red tried on different clothes and I told her what I thought. She looked good in everything, and I told her exactly that. To me, her full hips and thick thighs looked great but her opinion seemed to differ.

“I’m so fat!” she complained, shimmying out of another pair of jeans. I saw her feet and how ungracefully she hopped around under the curtain separating us.

“You know full well you’re not. Shame you can’t see how stunning you are.” I called out to her.

A couple changing cubicles down, Lola exited, twirling around in a sparkly turquoise dress, showing off to Kevin Stoley, who seemed mildly disinterested. Lola looked disheartened at his apathy and I decided to at least try to make her day better. I stepped up to her, wolf whistling.

“You look drop-dead gorgeous!” I exclaimed.

“You really think so?” she blushed, fingering the seams at the sides.

“Why, sure. I wouldn’t lie to such a pretty lady now, would I?” I smiled at her. “I know where you can get the perfect pair of shoes to go with it. Clyde’s dad’s shoe store is the best. Check the seventh aisle there; third row down.”

“Thanks Butters!” Lola giggled, retreating behind the curtain.

Kevin tore his gaze away from his phone to frown at me. He gave me a warning finger slitting the throat motion and I backed away slightly.

 “I’m so sorry, fella, don’t be sore. I wasn’t trying anything, I swear. Here, have a cookie.”

I passed him my cookie. He snatched it out of my hand, took a bite, nodded at me and returned to his phone.

He still hates you. Everyone here does.

 Rapidly, I rushed back to Red, and we made our way around the mall, saying hello to Wendy. It was weird that Token wasn’t with her. The two were always milling around eachother. Anyways, Token or no Token, we still had a jolly good time. If only I felt happy. I smiled at each and every person we walked past. They deserved to see a smile to brighten up their day. The drink was in my hand went untouched. I didn’t deserve that drink. Neither was I in the mood to taste blood. When Red finished hers, I passed her that one as well, which she drank without hesitation.

“You sure you don’t want it?” Red asked, halfway done.

“No!” I smiled at her.

Red took another slurp.

We bumped into Stan along the way, who was jumping around excitedly, Kyle at his side, less impressed.

“Hiya fellas.” I smiled at the pair of them.

“Hey Butters! Do you think this will fit Tweek?” Stan held up a shirt with a printed spilled mug of coffee on it. “Kyle isn’t the best model for someone like him but he’ll have to do.”

Kyle scowled briefly.

Stan put the shirt up against my torso, peering down at me with a smirk on his face. For a brief moment, my heart skipped an uncertain beat, but still I smiled.

“I’m afraid I don’t know, buddy. But why are you buying clothes for Tweek anyway?”

“Oh Butters. Don’t get involved, you’ll only end up hurting yourself. But be happy, because we found him! We won’t let anything hurt Tweek now; will we, Kyle?”

“Not at all, Stan. Not at all.” Kyle assured with a smile when Stan turned to look at him.

I walked on without a second thought.

//

Long at last, I reached my bedroom. My cheeks sagged, at rest from all the strain. I lay on top of my bed, relieved to finally be free from everything. From everyone. No-one suspected a thing. Drained, I stared up at the ceiling, mindlessly thinking, if that were possible. Everyone I saw today was happy, right? Except from Craig, but I’d talk to him soon enough, and make him happy too. Then I could be happy along with them.

The front door opened and a few moments later, I heard my name being called out. Quickly, I rushed downstairs where He was waiting, She at his side with an enormous bouquet of flowers; ranging from freesias to tulips to gardenias and even lilies. He held out a teddy bear with a blue knitted cardigan. Carefully, He placed it into my outstretched palms, beaming smile directed at me.

“Oh gee whiz! Is this for me?” I asked enthusiastically, my smile matching His own.

“Nothing less than perfect for my family!” He proclaimed, pressing a quick peck to Her lips. Despite everything She did to me, I admired Her bravery. Who knew what else His lips touched? If it were me, I doubt I would’ve been able to keep that still.

“May I please go upstairs and play with my toy?” I asked obediently. Anything to get away from Them.

“No Butters, dinner will be ready any moment now. I want you to set the table like a good boy. Off you go!”

I scurried off into the dining room and set the table, polishing the cutlery once more before placing it down. In my private opinion, it was all perfectly clean, but She never liked things to be even the slightest bit below perfection. And I wanted to make Her happy.

I wanted to make Them both happy.

But the only thing you ever do is make everyone miserable.

We sat at the table like a happy family should, laughing and chatting. He complimented the food She prepared, kissing His fingers while She batted at Him semi flirtatiously. I ate silently, and even though the food looked appetizing and luscious, it tasted like garbage. Prawn cocktail salad didn’t go well with the lingering blood in my mouth. Neither did the mash potatoes or beef. She made it well-done for the specific reason not to have any blood on it. The mash potato slush wouldn’t go down no matter how hard I tried to swallow, so I ended up pushing it from one side of my cheek to the other, as more and more blood flooded over it, turning it pulpy and even grosser. I spat it out into my napkin as discreetly as I could.

“Oh dear, Butters, you aren’t eating anything at all! Are you okay?” She asked.

“Yes Ma’am.”

“Young man, you need to finish at least that piece of steak before we let you go and play with your new toy. You want to go and play with your teddy, right Butters?”

“Yes Sir.”

I took the piece He pointed to and put it in my mouth. And I chewed. And chewed. And chewed.

It turned into some form of bubblegum, but it grew bigger and bigger, filling up every crevice inside, sickeningly tough and sanguine. I shivered. However, I kept going, jaw aching, teeth protesting, mind set on finishing that piece of food. Whatever made Them happy made me happy too. I felt like I chewed it over for an eternity, but it was still there, He and She looking at me expectantly. I nearly choked as I swallowed, but luckily managed to get it down.

“Atta boy!” He said triumphantly, granting me permission to leave.

Darting back up the stairs, I threw myself on the bed, teddy bear discarded in the corner. I let the familiar numbness overtake me. Emptiness clouded my vision, my mind, my lungs. I felt hollow. My own parents didn’t say anything about the state I was in. About my well-being. Maybe they just didn’t notice. Maybe they just didn’t care.

I don’t know how long ago I stopped referring to them as ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’. The words seemed so foreign to me now; not suitable for them at all. The only time I did call them that was to other people. ‘So everyone knows we’re a perfect family’ They said. But now, they were no more than He and She, ruling over me with an iron fist.

I wanted to write in my diary, but I couldn’t find the energy in me to move. It seemed like all of my power was drained by constantly being cheerful. The emptiness was all too recognisable. I never knew exactly how to define it in words, on ink. I want to laugh and be carefree but something always grabbed at my stomach tight, crushing my intestines and crawling up into my heart. The creamy goo inside swallowed alive by something dark. No –not dark. Just empty.

Sometimes, I couldn’t help but wonder if my smile –my horribly plastic smile- was ever seen through. If someone could care enough to see what I saw in the mirror. Peer past my upturned lips and into what I really was. But no one ever looks too deep into perfection.

 I took a sharp inhale of airless oxygen and let out a small breathless laugh. My surroundings were the same as ever but gave me not an ounce of emotion. If I couldn’t be happy, then at least I wanted everyone else to be.

She opened the busted door. “Hello Butters. Oh my, you’ve got a mess here!” Immediately, she picked up the bear and placed him on my desk, rearranging the immaculate papers on there again and again. Heavily, I sat up.

 “How are you feeling?” She asked, looking at me with a sweet smile.

I couldn’t believe my ears. Did She ask me how I was feeling? She did. She asked me how I felt! Oh golly, I could finally get rid of the burden on my chest and tell her that I–

“I feel fine.” I smiled back at her, dying a little more on the inside.

“That’s great. Mrs Cartman called, Eric’s a bit down and she’s asking if you could come over and cheer him up. You could be a real good influence on them, show Liane what a family is supposed to be like.”

“Yes Ma’am.” I replied.

She patted my shoulder as we exchanged dazzling smiles, both as fake as the other. Neither of us said anything else. No other words were needed to explain the fact that her question was just a ploy, and not that she was genuinely interested in what I had to say.

//

I held Eric’s hands between my own a little awkwardly. He sobbed and sobbed, open mouthed and ugly, snot drooling down his square face. I passed him another tissue. He was on his third box already, with no intention of stopping. I envied him.

It was a long time since I last went to the Cartman household; and by that, I meant; a long time since I was last invited to the Cartman residence. Admittedly, not much changed, save for the bits of paint peeling off the walls and small dust mice gathered in the corners. Eric’s room underwent a few changes; a bigger bed, a new TV, more bookshelves, but the basics stayed the same. The main four together. I didn’t want to help Eric today, not particularly. I was always the backup, the extra. The one who could be replaced, or called upon whenever they desired. It was extremely heart-warming to see that some things never would change. That I would be used and disposed of as quickly as the last two packs of tissues had been. Sent away until I was needed again. It made me wonder what made me come back there after all.

“There there now, Eric.” I comforted, patting his large palm with unease. God, what was he crying about this time? And did I really need to be there for it?

“It’s not okay! I’m fucking sad, Butters! Fucking miserable! And you’re not comforting me!” He wailed.

I squeezed his palms tighter. “Better?”

“No!” Eric bawled louder.

“Then what do you want me to do?” I asked, exasperated.

“Butters you idiot, comfort me!”

I wasn’t usually a violent person, but in that moment I felt like slapping Eric.

“Maybe I could comfort you better if you told me why you’re sad.” I proposed.

“No! I just feel like crying –for no reason. Don’t you understand that?” Eric accused between sobs, pulling his knees up to his chest.

“But there has to be a reason why you’re unhappy. If we go through it, it’ll make you feel better, I promise.” I explained.

“O-okay.” Eric sniffled, using up another tissue. “I uh Tweek was here, and I tried being nice and let him borrow an important thing of mine, but Kyle found out about it and I don’t know what to think. He’s left me in the dark. Fucking ginger asshole just won’t leave!”

I let him cry into my arms for another ten minutes or so, before asking. “Do you feel better now that you told me?”

“No! I don’t!”

“Well, let’s rationalize it, then. What was Kyle’s reaction to you being nice?”

“Weird as fuck! He glared at me, but didn’t say anything!”

“That’s a good thing, right?”

Eric sat dumbfounded for a moment.

“Okay, let me try a different way. Do you think Kyle was right in staying quiet?”

Eric didn’t respond. He looked up at me with a blank look on his face and shrugged his shoulders. “Have no fucking clue.”

There was just no hope for Eric. I disentangled my arms from his, holding them up in the air.

“Well if you don’t know, then neither do I.”

I started walking towards Eric’s bedroom door. Helping him was pointless. First of all, if he didn’t want to help himself, then I sure as heck wouldn’t either. Second of all, I couldn’t deal with his whiny guessing games. They were beyond childish. Third of all, why did I want to help him in the first place? Best case scenario, he would dump me straight after. Worst case, I would be the butt of the jokes until they got bored of me and dumped me.

“Oh my God, Butters, are you seriously leaving me right now!” Eric screamed. “You fucking asshole!”

“I’m sorry Eric, I’m done with your shit.” I said, not even wincing at the use of a swear. If He saw, I would’ve surely gotten a beating for bad language.

Eric darted out of bed like a bullet, standing in front of the door, blocking my path.

“What’s wrong with you?”

“Huh?” I queried.

“You’re different.”

“What? No! I’m still myself, but I’m just tired of you. How does that feel for a change?”

“You’re way different. You can’t comfort me for shit, you start analysing me instead of bringing me Cheesy Poofs, you look strange, and you’re not acting like a full blown pussy.” Eric said, expert mode on. “So, what’s wrong with you?”

“Nothing at all, Eric! Let me leave, I’m fine!”

“Bull. Shit.” Eric crossed his arms.

I smiled at him.

“I have the same look on my face when I tell Mom I love her to get her to buy me a new game.” Eric said simply.

“Well good for you, but I’m not an undeserving manipulator like you are.”

Are you sure about that?

Eric rolled his eyes, begrudgingly stepping aside. “Fine, go away and carry on your miserable life, Leopold Butters Stotch.”

“Will do.” I answered storming past and back home.

I wasn’t going to buy into his mind tricks. I knew Eric was always sneaky, always alert, and always ready to use someone for their own benefit. He probably thought that I would refuse his offer to leave, and be his cuddle blanket for the next half-hour. It felt satisfying to beat Eric at his own game.

“Oh, you’re home early!” He said, peering away from the TV in the living room to look at me.

“Yes Sir.” I acknowledged, standing rooted to the spot.

“A friend of mine will be here tomorrow to fix your door.” He said, focusing back on the late evening news.

“Thank you, Sir.” I said, walking up the stairs.

My room was even more spotless than before, if that were possible. The carpet was still fluffed up, as if someone hovered the imaginary dirt away from it just moments before I arrived. All my pillows and teddies placed with meticulous precision on my bed, and on top, a new phone.

I sat down, eyeing the phone with caution. Gently, I caressed the screen and turned it on. It wasn’t the newest model, but it was a definite upgrade from what I had before. If only that made me happy.

I decided to text Craig. He was always so nice, and I wanted to make up after I completely broke his faith. I wanted to make it all right. Then everyone would be happy. And maybe I would be too.

[L.B.S]: Hey Craig! This is Butters, I have a new number. Hope you’re not too sore with me. I just wanted to let you know that I found Tweek! He’s with either at Stan’s, Kyle’s, or Kenny’s house. I checked Cartman’s myself.

After I sent the text, I decided to busy myself with my diary.

I opened the precious marble cover, stroking the pages one by one until I reached a blank one, ready to be written on. I picked up my pen. I wasn’t in the mood to write, but diaries were for writing in every day, no matter how dismal. And laying in bed looking at the ceiling wasn’t a very nice alternative.

 

Dear Diary,

Today, I was a good friend to Red, Lola, Kevin, lady at the milkshake bar, Stan, Craig, and maybe Eric too.

 I even got a free cookie from the lady, but gave it to Kevin instead, because I tried making Lola happy and he got upset with me. So did Craig, but I think I fixed it. Craig loves Tweek, so being around him makes him happy. I wonder when I’ll find that special person. To feel happy around. No wonder Craig wants to be around Tweek so much. If it’s truly as magical as people say, then I’d be as determined as he is.

Gee whiz, I’ve been tired lately. It’s like I can’t find a reason to get up. But on the bright side, He gave a new teddy bear. I like the blue splotches on his sweater. I hope I don’t get splotches like that on my face. Oh geez that would be awful. I seem to be okay and splotch-free for the moment. I’ll check again tomorrow.

Eric was acting real mean when I went over to his house to cheer him up. He got into another fight with Kyle, I think. Those two are unbearable! I have a hunch that Eric secretly likes Kyle, but won’t tell him. It makes me think if Kyle likes Eric back. Probably not. The only thing I don’t understand is why would anyone want to like arguing? It’s not very perfect.

I got asked how I’m feeling today. I said fine.

I’m fine.

I wonder who would show up at my funeral.

There’s only one way to find out.

 

I closed the diary shut with a snap. I read on the internet that writing was therapeutic. The words wriggled around on the page menacingly, even if the diary was out of my reach. I would never do anything like that! I wouldn’t want people to worry over me. Not that many did, but still.

Quickly, I changed into some PJ’s, determined to forget what I wrote. I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth, spitting out toothpaste foam along with blood. I decided to forgo mouthwash. It would’ve stung my gums too much. Back in my room, I snuggled under the duvet. Warm, comfortable, empty. An early night in would do me good. My eyes were closing out of their own accord, when I heard a ping, that I had to check out before I fell asleep.

[C.T]: Thanks.

Chapter Text

Well, Butters wasn’t as shitty as I gave him credit for. Only now, to find my Tweek. Instantly, I jumped out of bed like a wound up spring, throwing on any old hoodie I could get my hands on, followed by sweatpants and shoes. I stopped only after I noticed I put everything on backwards, wrong foot in wrong shoe type of scenario, and slowly undressed myself.

I had to think. I dressed myself again, this time looking at what I was going to wear. Tweek wouldn’t want me to look like a total slob when I rescued him. The assholes that kidnapped him from me were.. well.. Assholes (deserving of a capital A for royal assholiness), but at least Tweek and I would have something to laugh about once we got out of this mess.

Okay, now to contemplate. I could’ve just barged into their houses one by one, in hopes to find my love. See, that would have been the problem. Going to one of the assholes’ houses would be a sort of Russian Roulette. If that asshole wasn’t harbouring Tweek, he would know which friend was, and text him a distress warning signal. Then, the asshole that decided to covet my boyfriend would break out into a run and ‘protect’ him someplace else. One thing for sure, I was too smart to play a stupid game of hide and go seek with the three of them.

I needed an alibi; a person who could get the info on Tweek’s whereabouts for me.

Rubbing my forehead in concern, I sat back down on the bed. I was fucked. There was no-one in their right mind who would go with me. Butters was stupid, but not so much as to not catch on onto what I was doing, so he was out. There really wasn’t anyone else apart from him. Mentally inane to help me without getting the bigger picture. Unless I went back to Token’s place to check there. I was positive his parents were still on holiday somewhere in Paris, and the Mexicans wouldn’t have gone to clean his room, as per request. This could’ve gone one of two ways. Find a room full of corpses, and be fucked. Or find a room full of live people who were pissed at me and be fucked. Either way, I was surely fucked over. Still, maybe, possibly, they’d understand. Worth a shot.

I strode out of my room, stomping down the stairs with a renewed sense of purpose.

“Craig, you’re going to break the stairs!” My mother yelled from downstairs.

I let out a short laugh. There were more important things than her stupid stairs at the current moment. I would worry about something as trivial as stairs when Tweek and I would get our own house and have our very own stairs there, for our own family.

“Craig, don’t you laugh! Come here! We need to talk.”

With a sigh, I walked into the kitchen, Mom waiting for me, my father sitting at the table, reading something. Usually, the ‘we need to talk’ type of conversations didn’t have any type of effect on me, but this time was slightly different. Every second I wasted with that bitch, I could’ve spent saving Tweek sooner, because God knows he needed it. But no, I had to spend my precious time listening to whatever she was ranting about. However, if I played my cards right, I could save Tweek even faster.

“What the fuck do you want.” I stated as calmly as I could without busting her fucking nose.

“Watch the tone, young man.” My mother said, arms crossed, coming closer to me. That intimidation tactic would’ve worked if it weren’t for the fact that I was a full head taller than her. “Tell me, why are there bloody clothes in your laundry basket?”

“I got my period.”

“Craig... I can’t tell if you’re kidding me or you’re an imbecile.”

“Fine. Tricia got her period.” I replied, tapping my foot in impatience.

“On your clothes?” She said, waving the dirty hoodie around.

“Mom, it’s not my fault that Tricia was mad at me for some stupid shit and decided to period all over my clothes.”

“Son, that’s not how periods work. ”

“That’s exactly how they work.” I said nonchalantly. “A woman gets all pissed off for no apparent reason, then turns into a mega bitch that bleeds everywhere and turns a man’s life into utter misery, whining and moaning and complaining. Oh my God, Mom, are you on your period?”

My father chuckled, tearing his eyes away from whatever he was reading to enjoy our conversation. Good. The plan was working. My mother was less impressed.

“Craig, I have no words for you.” She said, glaring daggers at me. “Tell him, Thomas.”

“Son, you’re right.”

“Thomas!” My mother turned to him. “Our son comes home with blood on his clothes, calls me a mega bitch and this is how you react?”

“Well, Laura, he’s not wrong. How’s he supposed to know what a period is supposed to look like? Look at that faggot! If you were a better mother to him, then maybe he’d bring a girl home for once, and have the joy of experiencing her bleeding all over his shit!”

“Thomas! Don’t call our son a faggot!”

My father stood up, slamming his fists on the table, as both of their voices rose.

“I’m going to call that fruitcake whatever the fuck I want! In fact, I’m proud of him! He’s finally acting like a man should. Beating kids up at their age is normal!”

“Thomas his clothes have enough blood to look like he’s killed someone!” My mother shrieked. “You need to be a better father to him!”

“Well maybe I would take better care of our son if you took better care of me, you insufferable, selfish bitch!”

“Is sex all you ever think about, you pig?”

“A man has his needs, Laura! It’s not my fault that you can’t do your damn job as a woman!”

“FUCK YOU!” My mother cried out, running out of the room.

My father was red all over, fists slamming on the table. He regained his composed stature in less than a minute, sitting back down and reading with only a slight frown to signal that anything was wrong with him.

“Hey Dad.” I said, awkwardly coughing.

“Oh, Craig. I didn’t mean what I said. I like gay Craig. I love you, Son.”

“Yeah, right, sure you do. Give me your car keys; I’ll go make you proud some more.” I said, extending my hand.

Without a word, he handed me the keys and went back to reading. The plan went as predicted, flawlessly. I rushed out of the kitchen and into the freezing Colorado night, turning the heating on as soon as I got in the car. In the span of a couple minutes, I was in the Black’s driveway, marching up to the door and going inside.

I was impressed. The Mexican cleaning team had done a splendid job thus far. I rushed up to Token’s bedroom, peering around the spotless mansion. Everything was back in its’ place, and it made me hope that the people inside Token’s room weren’t poisoned nor dead.

Carefully, I opened the door, inch by inch.

Well, at least the rat poison had done its’ job. Their corpses were spread out on the floor, except for one. They looked peaceful, laying there, unmoving, unthreatening to break my relationship with Tweek. I didn’t even mind the odour of decaying bodies and shit. I could bathe in it and not care. They would never harm Tweek again. No-one would try to harm my Tweek again.

The sound of a toilet flushing made me turn around. I ran to the bathroom and found one of the conspirators alive, rinsing their mouth in the sink. Obviously, I was in luck. God knew that Tweek needed me and decided to spare me a cretin that would help. Thank God for hangover throwing up.

“Hi Clyde.”

He screamed like a girl and dropped to his knees as soon as he heard my voice.

“Craig! Oh God, Craig! I’m so sorry! I knew you were saving me ‘till last, so I stayed. I’m your best friend, and I accept the fact that I fucked up and you want to kill me!” Clyde trembled, fear inconspicuous.

“Not really. You fucked up, but you’re my best friend too, you moron. Why do you think I saved you?”

“Really Craig?” Clyde said, pitch wavering. “You forgive me?”

“Yes Clyde. I forgive you.” I said, watching his face light up and eyes glisten with tears.

The same eyes that watched Tweek. The same lips that kissed Tweek. The same mouth that wanted Tweek to marry him.

He pulled me into a crushing hug, sobbing into my chest.

“Clyde! Clyde let go!” I gasped as he squeezed me without mercy. Finally, he caught on and did as he was told.

“We have more important things to do right now. You can cry like a pussy later; Tweek needs our help now.” I said, gesturing him to follow me. He did, bouncing up and down like an excited child.

“Okay, I have no idea what they told you, but most likely it was wrong. I’m not the bad guy here.” I stated as we got in the car.

“Tricia told me that you kidnapped Tweek.”

I started up the ignition. “What? Oh God no, he was having some bad mental health days and wanted a safe place to go to. I was just helping him.”

“Oh, I get it now.” Clyde chirped. “I always knew you were a giant softy. But wait, weren’t you guys broken up?”

“Tweek gets a little psycho when he’s being plagued by his demons. He didn’t mean it.”

I revved the car up, backing out onto the streets.

“Anyway, now we need to save Tweek from the assholes that are actually abusing him. Are you going to help me?”

“I mean, I guess I don’t have anything better to do at ten at night.” Clyde laughed, fiddling with the radio. “But why would Tricia lie to us?”

“I may or may not have burned all of her MaxFactor makeup.”

Clyde fake gasped, pretending to be offended. “You monster! Have you got any idea how much MaxFctor means to a girl?”

“Does my boyfriend look like he wears makeup?”

We both froze up at my words. Well, shit. The rest of the drive was spent in silence, Clyde facing away from me, tears spilling down his face. No doubt he was mourning Tricia and the others. It actually surprised me that he was so quiet. Personally, I couldn’t bring myself to care. They were dead, and they were sure as shit not going to magically reanimate themselves. Instead of bawling, Clyde should’ve been ecstatic about the fact that due to his hangover, he was able to get rid of the poison in his body. Some people were just born to be cry babies. It made me wonder how my parents would react to Tricia’s death. Eh, I could think about that another time. Right now, Tweek was more important.

Our first stop was the McCormick household. It seemed like a good place to start with Kenny being the Asshole team leader. It made me think back to before, with Cartman and the Goth kids. How did they die again? Oh yeah, I stabbed them. Did I? I was positive I did. Yeah, I killed them. A strange sense of unease washed over me. The story didn’t seem to add up, but it was the way I remembered it. It had to be true, right? I went to clean up the house and they were there. Cartman tricked us into hiding in the bathroom by replicating the noises of someone coming, where the accusations started, so I killed the Goths in a vengeance. That sounded about right.

I parked before the abandoned train tracks, headlights on to reveal the utter wreck beyond.

“Clyde, you know what to do, right? Go up to Kenny’s room and ask him personally if he’s seen Tweek. Sound innocent.”

“Sure thing.” Clyde sniffed, getting out, slamming the door shut and running up to the McCormick’s ugly ass house.

I waited patiently, observing the stars high up in the sky through the windshield. It was a beautiful night, no clouds whatsoever to block out the view. I had to take Tweek on a date to stargaze sometime. Well, I had to get Tweek first, but still. I could almost imagine the feeling of his fingers intertwined with mine. The thought made me shiver pleasantly.

Clyde came back after a couple minutes, shaking his head. “He’s at Kyle’s house, though Kenny doesn’t seem too pleased about that. He wanted to join us, but I told him a quick lie.”

“Oh thank fuck.” I said, getting away from the shitty part of the neighbourhood with astonishing speed. Maybe it was the fact that I didn’t want any drug dealers to jump on top the car, demanding money. Maybe it was because Tweek was so, so close, and I couldn’t help going twice over the speed limit.

In no time at all, we were parked in front of the Broflovski’s garage. I sprinted out of the car to the tree next to one of the first floor windows. It didn’t shock me to see a discreetly made path from branch to branch, making for easier footholds. If anything, I was in pleasant awe to see that someone did all the hard work for me, and I could easily pull myself up the tree and peer inside the window.

Alas, there was my darling. Sitting on a chair, head bowed down with Kyle in front of him, brandishing a knife in front of his pretty face. A knife. Oh fuck no! Without sparing a glance at Clyde, I threw myself at the window, smashing through the glass and into the bedroom. Hastily, I stood up, the room swirling in my eyes,  and launched myself at the first orange thing I saw, Kyle’s stupid frizzy hair. I tackled him to the floor as he wrestled against me, kicking, screeching and punching. Too pissed off to care, I retaliated with equal, if not bigger force. Too bad the only thing his scrawny arms were good at was shooting hoops. With a few pained grunts I pinned him to the floor as he thrashed about. A couple minutes and a few bruises later, Clyde hauled his ass up into the room and helped me. He held an animalistic Kyle in a firm headlock as I rushed over to Tweek, untying the rope from around his gorgeous arms and legs.

I pulled his head up. My Tweek’s face was covered in blood from the middle down, spilling from needle sized flecks on his nose and cheeks in waves. He mumbled something groggily as I hugged him as tight as I could. In that moment, I thanked God that that was the extent of his pain. At least, what I thought was the extent of his pain.

“Why the fuck would you do that?” I snarled, looking over at Kyle, who stopped fighting due to the restriction of blood in his body.

He smiled. If you could call it that. A Cheshire grin lit up his pale face as he exposed a set of all too perfect teeth. It was a smile truly terrifying, bloodcurdling, and every other word in the book. Because it wasn’t a smile, per say. There were no laughter lines and his emerald eyes remained sunken no matter what. In that moment all of his motives were laid before me, and the smug expression told me all too much. He already achieved what he wanted to achieve. Question now, what did he want in the first place?

“Why. The. Fuck. Would. You. Do. That?” I growled, clenching my fists.

Kyle’s response was a quick glance sideways to his desk. I followed his gaze and found myself looking at two bottles of hair dye. Auburn and blonde. I picked them both up and looked at Clyde at a complete loss of words. He stared for a moment before looking behind me, eyes wide.

I turned around.

A foot in my face. A hand in my hair. A fist in my groin. Completely unprepared, I could only let out pained groans as the assault continued. A knee in my ribcage. Spit on my face. Ah fuck, it hurt. A hand squeezing my throat. Oh fuck no. I pushed the relentless figure off me, panting and gasping for breath. I stood up, blinking. The one and only Kenny McCormick. That fucker.

We threw ourselves onto eachother, kicking, screaming, groaning, grunting. Tweek was mine! I pulled Kenny’s dirty blond hair so hard that I ripped a whole hank out, he retaliated with his fist in my stomach. We fought like rabid beasts, getting in kicks, punches, pushes wherever and whenever we could. Glass shards dug in uncomfortably, but neither of us cared to notice. The asshole was fast, I had to give him that. He also had a high pain tolerance too, though maybe that was just the adrenaline. He didn’t even blink when I busted his nose. Then again, the only pain I felt when he hit my eye was the pain of not having my sidekick Tweek help me. Another yank, another kick, another shove, another punch. It all blurred into one form of twisted pain, spurring me on. My nerves stopped registering my agony, as they focused on one thing and one thing only. Tweek.

Footsteps followed. I could vaguely recall the bedroom door slamming open before I was yanked back, as was Kenny. Frustrated, I tried squirming but the hold on my shoulders was tight.

“Craig! Craig you asshole calm down!” Cartman whined. I should’ve killed him when I had the chance.

Through the haze of a scrunched up eye, I saw Stan on the other end, doing the same to an equally frustrated Kenny. I was proud to say that, he too, was impressively beaten down.

“Let me go and I’ll knock his fucking teeth in!” Kenny writhed around in Stan’s relentless grip.

I spat on the floor. As if that asshole was going to get a rise out of me.

“Guys, guys! This isn’t going to help anything!” Clyde complained, struggling against Kyle.

“You’re right, Clyde.” I said, letting myself go limp. “You can let me go, fatass.”

“I’m not fucking fat!” Cartman whined, casting a questioning look at Stan for approval.

Stan nodded, “We’re not going to sort anything out if we’re all one step away from fighting eachother. We need a calm, civil conversation.”

And like that, I was released into a heap on the floor. Quickly, I picked myself up, checking myself over gingerly. Kenny was doing so likewise. He glared at me. I glared back. One wrong move and that asshole would be going down. The fucker probably thought the same thing and smirked. He must’ve had his teeth knocked in a good couple times already. I returned the false flattery, exposing my well aligned teeth, cocking my head to one side. Kenny scowled. He got the message. It made me feel that much superior.

Kyle and Clyde joined us in a weird semi-circle type of thing; Kyle perching on his desk, Clyde leaning against him, Stan holding Kenny against the bookshelf, Cartman between us on the bed, and me against the busted window, with Tweek in the middle of it all, head still bowed down. It seemed a safe position to stay in.

It was silent. Eerily silent. One wrong use of a word and hell would break loose. A whole shit storm.

“So,” Clyde started awkwardly. “Where do we start?”

Cartman rolled his eyes extravagantly. “We start from the beginning. Come on, have you guys never been to therapy before?”

“No, but I can try.” Stan said, smiling nervously at everyone. “Hi, I’m Stan, and I’m one of Tweek’s close friends.”

“This is supposed to be therapy –not an Anonymous Alcoholics meeting.” Cartman scoffed. “Let’s start with Clyde, since you were the one to tell Kenny to come here in the first place.”

I stared disbelievingly at Clyde.

“I –no –I –ugh I’m sorry, Craig, but you know, you’re –umm not in a very good mental state, and I didn’t want you –uh yeah.” Clyde stammered, looking at me with puppy eyes. “We’re best f-friends, and even though you don’t app –appreciate it now, you’ll thank me l-later.”

I’d thank him later with my foot so far up his blubbery ass it would implode on itself. Clyde was on thin fucking ice; but he just broke my trust completely. That asshole lied to me. He fucking lied to my face twice over! If he got a step closer to me, I would’ve choked him right there and then, in front of everyone.

My face remained stoic.

“Craig, p –please understand. It’s no –not normal to not care if you k-kill people. Especially your f-f-friends and f-f-family.”

“Well you’re neither of those.” I said, voice monotone.

Clyde burst into tears.

“Ouch!” Cartman sniggered. He would be in drama heaven if only he had a bowl of popcorn and  a chair to sit on. The rest gave him a warning look and he promptly stopped.

“That was great,” Cartman grinned sadistically, “Now, who else wants to get roasted by Craig? I mean, want to talk to Craig.”

“I do.” Kenny spoke up.

Cartman rubbed his hands together enthusiastically. Some people don’t ever get rid of their psychopathic tendencies. Cartman was one of those people.

“Bring it on, McCormick.” The fat fuck said, looking at me evilly.

“What the actual fuck is wrong with you? Can’t you see how broken Tweek is? How crazy you are?”

“Ooh, Craig, what is your answer to that?” Cartman asked excitedly.

“Question one and three, fuck off. Also, Tweek was fine until you got your filthy hands on him.” I replied.

“Craig.” Stan said, “We all know Tweek wasn’t fine.”

“He was when he was with me. You didn’t hear him complaining then.” I said.

Stan shut up promptly. Kenny, however, didn’t seem nearly as convinced.

“Anything else to say? Any other elephants in the room we need to address?” Cartman laughed heartily, only a hint of desperation in his voice.

“My, aren’t we a hypocrite.” I turned to face Cartman, as a wave of red flooded his face.

“Why don’t we ask Tweek what he wants?” Kyle said out of nowhere. I didn’t like his suggestion. It seemed suspicious. Probably because as soon as he said it, he turned to wink at me.

In turn, everybody looked at Tweek, unmoving, in the middle.

The terse atmosphere was palpable at best. Tension amongst all of us could be easily cut with a knife. In moments like those, a light hearted person was needed. Someone cheerful, happy, able to calm everyone down. Like Butters.

“Wait.” Kenny interrupted. “Before we do, can we address the fact that Craig here was trying to swap out Kyle for Tweek?” He pointed to where the two bottles of dye lay. “Can we even trust him?”

Cartman whooped. “Damn Craig, you’re getting to top notch sneakiness. Like J-“

I think I was the only one who saw Kyle’s head perk up.

“-apanese levels of sneaky. Pearl harbour style. Sneaky, sneaky Craig.”

I remained apathetic. Honestly, I couldn’t be bothered to explain the situation to them. They could think of me as a monster. The only person’s opinion I cared about was Tweek’s.

“Before we do anything, we should get everyone patched up.” Stan said, gesturing to Kenny, Tweek and me.

Unfortunately, the asshole was right. My body hurt like hell, and Tweek’s pretty face was still punctured, even if the blood was drying up. As for Kenny, I couldn’t give two craps about him.

“And Clyde, maybe you want to go home?” Stan asked tentatively, looking at the sobbing mess that consisted of my once best friend. He nodded and shuffled out of the room.

“I’m going home too.” I retorted, stepping closer to Tweek.

“Oh no you’re not!” Kenny growled when I tried to pick my baby up. He grabbed the scruff of my hoodie and pulled back. Fucking asshole. I flipped him off and returned to what I was doing. At least, I tried, until Stan and Cartman had to ease us both up, before we started mauling eachother again.

“So are you suggesting we sit in the hospital until the crack ass of dawn?” Kyle asked.

“No! I have a better idea. We can go to Butters’ house. I’m sure he’ll get us all fixed.” Stan suggested.

“Beats sitting on our asses for hours in Hell’s Pass.” Cartman stated.

True.

We drove to Butters’ house with Cartman beside me (Because of course he called shotgun), Kenny, Kyle and Stan in the back, Tweek sitting on the latter’s lap. I was less than happy about that, but I didn’t say a word. Still, I shifted my rear-view mirror to be able to see my darling. And to check if those assholes were doing anything bad to him. The temptation to crash the car was overwhelming, until I remembered that I had precious cargo with me, and I wouldn’t forgive myself if anything happened to him. Tweek was mine.

//

Going to Butters’ house seemed like a good idea. We thought he would make the whole situation better. No-one said why Tweek was unresponsive, but at least we knew he had his eyes slightly open and understood what was happening.

Stealthily, we climbed through Butters’ window, into the darkness of the room. One of us managed to find the light switch, only to find that Butters wasn’t in the room. His bed was neatly made, with a blue book on top, along with an envelope. Tweek sat down, playing with the hefty envelope.

“Butters?” Kyle stage-whispered.

Tweek opened the envelope.

“Hey! Hey Butters! Where the hell are you?”Cartman called, looking under his bed.

Tweek began reading the paper inside.

“Maybe he’s in the bathroom?” Kenny said, after which he tip-toed out of the room.

Tweek started crying silently.

“Babe? Babe are you okay?” I rushed over, focusing all of my attention on him.

Tweek only sobbed harder, pointing to the closet.

“Butters isn’t nine years old anymore Tweek, he’s not hiding in-“ Stan opened it nevertheless.

Tweek was right.

Butters was in the closet.

Hanging from the ceiling.

Kenny returned to see all of us staring at his body. Stan was puking his guts out, and I had to admit, the sight made me queasy too. Cartman bit his fist until his knuckles turned white. Kyle covered his face, as if he could make the image disappear with enough willpower. Tweek’s cheeks turned redder than before, as he hunched over, holding his stomach. Gently, I pried the letter out of his grip.

 

Dear Everyone,

I guess I should start off by saying I’m sorry. I really am.

But I’m not fine.

There, I admitted it! The only thing I just don’t understand is why. I’m trying my best, like I always do, but something’s wrong with me. I feel like I’m on the verge of breaking. Well, if you’re reading this, then it’s safe to assume that I broke. For that, I’m sorry.

I appreciate how all of you think  I’m fine. Truth is, I’m the farthest thing from fine right now. I hope you understand that this is a never ending cycle of misery that there is no live escape from. All my smiles for the past four years were fake. For that, I’m sorry.

If you must know, I’m hanging out in the closet. Speaking of, I think I would like to expose some of the skeletons in there. I have written personal letters to some of my friends. Unfortunately, I have not included everyone. For that, I’m sorry.

I’m sad, but at the same time I’m really happy that something can make me sad. It makes me feel alive, you know? Well, as alive as I’ll ever get. In my will, I leave my one valued possession to anyone who wants to read it. For that, I’m sorry.

Thank you to all of you that made my life worth living.

Which is none of you.

None of you caught on.

 I hope you’re happy.

Love, Leopold Butters Stotch.

 

I wouldn’t ever admit to anyone that I had to blink away a tear. Silently, I passed on the letter to Kenny. We stayed in silence for what seemed like an eternity, the letter being passed on from person to person. Only once everyone read it, Tweek shook out a dozen letters from the envelope. With trembling fingers, he sifted through them, placing three aside. He didn’t seem to be able to move any further than that, so I took the two remaining letters from him and distributed them to Cartman and Kenny.

We waited in silence as they read their private messages. Kenny finished his first, tucking it into the pocket of his parka, eyes downcast, sniffling.

Tweek finished after, with a suppressed sob, he lay on Butters’ bed, clutching the blue book, letter crumpled in his palm.

Cartman finished his last, with obvious tears spilling out.

“Craig, Kenny, Tweek, come on. I’ll try to get you fixed up. It was my idea to come here after all.”

Obediently, we followed, Tweek holding onto stable objects on the way to stop him from falling over. It was an unspoken rule that we’d do Tweek first. After cleaning out the wounds, he didn’t look too bad. Maybe I was a bit biased because I found him beautiful no matter what, but still.

My brave darling didn’t even flinch when the antiseptic bubbled up on his face, foamy and frothy. He was too busy crying. Nevertheless, I was so proud of him.

“Should we tell his parents?” Kenny mused mournfully.

“No.” Stan replied. “Let them find out for themselves. And we don’t want them to think we staged his death, you know how mental they are.”

We went back into Butters’ room to find Cartman and Kyle totally gay-ing it out with a firm embrace, both of them holding and sobbing into each other’s shoulders like they could never let go. Weird. I was always under the impression that you don’t hug someone you claim to hate. Still, the pair of them were always the exception to every rule; like two planets orbiting, unable and, most importantly, unwilling to stop. Two broken magnets both attracting and repelling eachother without mercy, in ways no-one would ever understand. As soon as we stepped in, the pair pushed each other away, standing nonchalantly at attention. In their books, that would be erased, but not forgotten. Shame that neither of them didn’t have the balls to tell the other the truth. They never would.

Tweek looked like he regained his composure. His eyes were bloodshot red, but he stood proudly in the middle of the once Butters’ bedroom. He took a deep breath and everyone fell into an anticipatory silence.

“I know what I want to do. Butters helped me figure it out.” He waved the crumpled sheet of paper. “I’ll read out some of it for you. The poem. He wrote me.”

Tweek cleared his throat.

“Roses are red, violets are blue,

Shortcake, don't you let your smiles be untrue.

Like flowers your words will soon die-

Don't you then tell me that I didn't try,

Be honest and open, try not to lie.

 

Sugar is sweet, but you still protest-

Starving yourself more than I can digest?

That's where you're wrong, I know much more;

Trust me darling, you won't get an encore,

The furthest you'll get is life nevermore.

 

True love on true friendship is built.

Throw away your mistakes, your inner guilt.

Darling I love you more than all,

Pick yourself up, strong whenever you fall;

I'm sorry, my name you shall never call.”

 

All of us applauded as quietly as we could in the dead of the night in a dead kid’s bedroom with their parents sleeping next door. He didn’t stutter even once, like his mind was set on something.

Tweek walked up to Kenny. “Kenny, thank you for everything, but I’m not Karen. I don’t need a guardian angel. I hope you understand.”

It would’ve filled me with a deep joy to see him reject Kenny like that if I dodn’t have a horrible pit in my stomach already.

Kenny nodded once as Tweek moved along, stopping next to Stan. “Stan, as a friend to a friend, you need to know that Wendy’s just not right for you. She’s cheated on you more times than I can count. Break up with her, but don’t break down.”

Stan wiped a tear off his face, Tweek gripped his shoulders tightly before going on.

“Kyle. You mutilated my goddamn face in a jealous rage. You’re insane. I guess that’s why you and Cartman fit eachother like adjacent puzzle pieces. Also, don’t come near me again, you lunatic.”

The redhead scoffed, glancing away. Bravely, Tweek ventured until he reached Cartman, giving him a playful punch.

“Cartman, you evil, evil bastard. We both know that all of your ignoring was on purpose. All of it. You planned the whole thing out meticulously, don’t lie to me.”

Cartman grinned, putting both of his hands up in the air in mock defeat. Kyle glared at him, open mouthed.

“You motherfucker!” he hissed, launching himself like a rocket onto Cartman’s body, punching and hitting with surprising ferocity. Cartman could barely keep his screeches down, until they both toppled over the windowsill into the snowy garden below.

Tweek gasped, but Stan just shrugged. “They’ll be fine. They always are.”

Tweek turned to them. “Can we have some privacy please? You guys can go home.”

And that was when my heart started racing, beating faster without my permission. When the pair of them exited the room, and Tweek and I were left alone together, without being forced to, without any power struggle. He wasn’t chained up but managed to look even better than when he did. The blood that pumped through my veins was filled with nothing but devotion and adoration for the cute blonde; no jealousy, no rage, no nothing. Just love. Pure, love, finally quenching the disgusting hate I held within me, seeping away.

I felt so much lighter, so much better. I wanted to get on my knees before Tweek and apologise for every little thing that I did wrong, grovel for his forgiveness. He was beautiful. So, so beautiful. I yearned to touch him, but after all that I did, I didn’t want to push it. I would’ve done anything to keep him by my side, with me. But did I deserve it? Of course not. After every misdeed that I did... I wanted to throw up. How could anyone be such a monster? Well, somehow I managed becoming exactly that. A dark, demon-like creature, feasting on Tweek’s fear in the dead of night. I was a mess. A broken, pathetic mess, for trying to do such horrible, ghastly things.

I had a sudden epiphany. People were not guinea pigs, they wouldn’t come to love you no matter how long you would’ve kept them captive for. But I tried to make Tweek into a guinea pig. Tweek was a person, with his own will, motives and goals. But no, I had to be a stubborn fuck and keep treating him like a goddamn guinea pig. I fucked up. There was no going back now. All I could do was hope, plead, beg for him to forgive me. And even then I would feel the guilt of what I did. What misery I caused. Tweek hated me. But what truly hurt was that he was absolutely justified in doing so. In hating me.

Tweek stepped closer to me. Despite my body screaming at me to embrace him, I stayed rigid. We weren’t Kyle and Cartman. Those two had an unbreakable bond. They’d seen the very ugliest the other had to offer and still kept coming back for more. Both of them had done some pretty fucked up stuff in its’ own regard. And both were there to witness it all. But we were Tweek and Craig, and we were the ones meant to have a perfect relationship.

Gently, he placed his hands on my chest, looking up at me with those wide, hazel eyes of his. In that fleeting moment, I forgot everything; how to blink, think, breathe. His eyes were mesmerizingly affectionate, and I stood, transfixed. No doubt he felt my heart thumping in my ribcage; every beat directed toward him, for him. Only for him.

Then, a miracle happened. He stood up on the tips of his toes and pouted slightly. I couldn’t believe it. It was too good to be true. Unbelievable. I leaned forward, until our faces were mere centimetres apart, his breath hot and intoxicating and everything I could possibly want, better than I could ever imagine. His eyes, half lidded, so close I could count every beautiful lash of his, beneath, a slither of iris exposed. Ever so carefully, I placed my palm on his flushed cheek, the very tips of my fingers grazing the roots of his glorious blonde hair. The mere thought of the pressure of his lips on mine was enough to send me into a dizzying spiral, stomach filled with millions of butterflies, fluttering. Perfection. He was perfection.

We kissed.

Chastely, sweetly, childishly even. Nothing more than pressing our mouths together, yet somehow it was more nerve-wracking than any of the dirty kisses I forced out of him. He pulled back and I couldn’t help grinning like a fool mad in love.

What I felt for him before was far from love. It was more of a need, a twisted want to keep him with me. Even by force. I shuddered. How dare I even think about such atrocities.

“Oh Craig.” He sighed wistfully.

He opened his luscious lips and I eagerly awaited what he was going to say. I already had a response:

I love you too, Tweek! I love you so much! I love you more than anything and everything. I love you, I love you, I love you!

He looked down at the floor for a long moment before back up at me. His mouth formed words that I didn’t quite comprehend at first.

“It’s over.”

Those fateful words still haunted me.

Suddenly, the whole world came crashing down. My whole world. I fought the overwhelming urge to cry, silently stepping out of Butters’ room. After all, he didn’t want to see emotions, not mine anyway.

I guess I should’ve expected it...