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Ghost Rider

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He was eighteen and he was seventeen and they were oh so hopelessly in love. They were practically always seen with one another no matter the time of day, walking side by side with their arms around each other as they talked about their lives to one another as if they were the only two people in the world.

But that was all they knew in this crazy world. They were the other persons support system when no one else had their back.

But of course all good things had to come to an end at some point in time. The tides would turn and the winds would shift that may cause everything to drift.

The news that Tweek had to bare was throwing the weight of the world on his shoulders. He needed to tell Craig, but he needed to figure out when the best time to tell him would be.

Right now they had gone for a ride, stopping under a big oak tree right on the outskirts of the small little town they lived in. Craig’s bike was parked on the side of the road as they looked out at the town, one of Craig’s arms around draped around Tweek’s shoulders as the blonde was snuggled up against his side, Craig’s leather motorcycle jacket resting on his knees.

“Hey Craig?” Tweek glanced up at his boyfriend just as the wind picked up and started blowing his black hair in front of his eyes that caused Tweek to giggle slightly.

“What’s up Tweek?”

“I have to talk to you…”

Craig moved to a distance in order to see Tweek clearly, studying his face with wavering hazel eyes, trying to see if he could get some kind of read on Tweek’s emotions.

“Everything okay?”

“Not really.”

“What’s wrong?”

Tweek bit his bottom lip and starting fidgeting with the sleeve of Craig’s jacket as his head went back against the trunk of the tree, his eyes looking up at the sky through the blowing and rustling leaves overhead.

The sun was on the verge of setting over the city before them and Tweek couldn’t help but allow his eyes to wander that way, trying to avoid Craig’s face the best he could.

But it was getting harder to do. It was getting much more difficult to hold back his tears the more he thought about this whole situation. All the sadness, stress and heartache that was about to be endured. It would be all too much and he wasn’t exactly sure he would be able to handle it.

“Tweek?” He felt Craig pull him close, rub a hand up and down his arm to reassure him. Tweek’s head rested comfortably under Craig’s chin as he started to sniffle and sob silently.

He hoped Craig didn’t hear.

But he was wrong.

“What’s wrong, why are you crying?”

“I- we’re moving. My parents think it’s in their best interest to expand the business, that they’ll have better success in the city. Everything is sold and they just sprung this on me this morning so I don’t really have a choice in the matter...”

“What?”

Tweek pulled away to finally look his boyfriend in the face, tears rolling down his cheeks as he hugged Craig tightly, his face burying itself into his grey t-shirt while Craig rubbed his back and kissed the top of his head.

“So, you’re leaving me?” Craig sounded broken, his voice cracking as if he was struggling to hold back tears of his own as his hands grabbed Tweek’s sweatshirt.

“I’m sorry Craig, I’m so sorry.”

“When?”

“Soon, I think. Like I said, they just told me all of this stuff this morning.”

Craig thought for a moment before standing up and kicking a pebble with his boot, wiping at his face with the back of his hand.

“I have an idea,” he managed to look over his shoulder and give the blonde a weak smile.

Tweek raised a brow, dabbed at his face with the collar of his sweater as he stood, grabbing Craig’s jacket and draping it over his shoulders. “What're you talking about?”

“What I’m saying is, in two day we’ll leave. We’ll meet here, hop on my bike and we’ll just keep going.”

Tweek looked up at Craig with big, hopeful blue eyes. He did his best to muster up his best smile before hugging Craig tightly, the black haired man lifting his arms up before gently placing them on Tweek’s back and kissing the top of his head.

“What about your family?”

“They don’t need me, they don’t need anyone. All I need is you, Tweek, and I’ll be happy.”

More tears rolled down Tweek’s face at Craig’s words. He loved how supportive he was, how much Craig loved and cared for him. He wasn’t exactly sure how he had gotten so lucky when it came to having Craig as his boyfriend but he would be forever grateful.

“What time?” Tweek rested his chin on Craig’s chest as he looked up at him.

“We’ll meet at noon.”

“That sounds like a good plan to me.”

Craig leaned down and placed a light and gentle kiss to Tweek’s lips, pulling away slowly and holding his boyfriend close, swaying back and forth in the wind for just a moment longer until the sun disappeared beyond the horizon.

“It’s getting late you know,” Tweek’s voice was quiet as the last of his tears fell.

“Are you telling me I have to get you home?”

“That’s exactly what I’m saying unfortunately.”

They knew this day together would eventually have to come to a close, they just weren’t expecting it to happen so fast.

But they walked hand in hand to Craig’s bike, the black haired teenager securing the helmet on his boyfriend’s head before putting on his own, starting up his bike to let the engine roar to life, and taking off down the empty stretch of road that lead them back into their quiet and cozy little town.

It was a peaceful drive, Tweek buried his face into Craig’s back and kept his arms wrapped tightly around his waist, just like he had always done ever since Craig first told him to do so.

And time seemed to drift away. He wasn’t sure how long they had been riding for or how much time had truly even passed them by, but before Tweek even realized it Craig was pulling into his driveway and turning off his bike.

“Hate to say it but you’re home.”

Tweek grumbled and held on to Craig’s shirt just a little longer, the scent of Craig’s cologne hitting his nose.

Tweek took off the helmet and secured it safely to the back of the bike, then he started taking off Craig’s jacket.

“Keep it,” he lifted up the visor so Tweek could see his eyes.

“What?”

“I said keep it,” Craig smiled and wrapped Tweek up in a hug.

Soon enough they could leave all of this behind and live their lives they way they wanted to. They could stay by each other’s sides for as long as they wished and no one would be able to tell them anything different.

“Pack, get everything together that you’ll need.”

Tweek nodded, his eyes sparkling.

“I’ll call you tomorrow, maybe we can get some lunch?”

“I’d like that very-“

“Tweek.”

Damn that voice. If it wasn’t one parent it was the other, always ruining the moment at the end of a perfect day.

“Come on inside son, it’s cold out here.”

“I’m coming!” Tweek shouted over his shoulder to his dad, who was standing in the doorway of their house with his arms crossed, before turning his attention back to Craig, “I look forward to lunch tomorrow.”

The blonde gave Craig’s hand a quick squeeze before making his way inside, his father shutting the door behind him even as Craig offered a wave which left the gesture unnoticed.

Craig started his bike once more and took on down the road, making his way home to settle himself in for a good night's rest. To pack up his belonging, and to get ready for a whole new adventure to begin shortly.

But what was waiting for him at home?

Well, that was something that would turn his life in a completely new direction.

Chapter Text

His ride home was short, but it was peaceful. It allowed Craig the time he needed to fully reflect on the events that occurred tonight. How he and Tweek would leave everything this quiet little town had to offer in just two days time.

It was all so surreal to be thinking about. But it was worth it. Tweek was worth it. Hell a lot of the things Craig did were because of Tweek and he wasn’t about to give up any of that because his parents wanted to drag him out to the city so they could better themselves.

Craig pulled into the driveway of his family’s home, parking his bike on the side of the garage and tugging off his helmet.

The lights were off, he assumed everyone was asleep. At least he hoped they were.

He pulled his house key from his pocket, thank god they weren’t in his leather jacket since Tweek still had that, and made his way inside as silently as he could.

He could tell the television had just been turned off probably minutes before he had arrived home. He could still smell the lingering scent of the lasagna his mother had made for dinner, and the humming of the dryer from the basement reaching his ears.

Craig tossed his helmet onto the couch and made his way into the kitchen, opening the fridge and looking at the plate sitting there on the top shelf with a note attached.

‘Figured you’d be home late, here’s leftovers from dinner. Love you, mom.’

Craig smiled a half smile before setting the note on the counter and grabbing the plate, making his way over to the microwave and warming it up for a few minutes.

While he waited he grabbed a can of soda, some silverware and a napkin before grabbing his plate before the microwave started beeping at him. He had gotten pretty good at that over the past few months ever since he started staying out later and later as the days passed him by.

As he sat down at the table something caught his eye that sat under the candle on the middle of the table. He knew he shouldn’t pry but his curiosity had gotten the better of him

He grabbed the piece of paper, his eyes scanning it over and only a few words registered in his mind as he read them, everything else becoming a complete and utter blur in his mind.

...the cancer has spread.

His eyes went wide, his jaw hanging open slightly as he knitted his brows together, trying his best to comprehend what exactly it was he was reading, how long something like this had been and issue and why exactly no one had bothered to mention it to him.

If he was being honest it broke his heart in a weird way. Craig was an adult, maybe not to his parents but he was, and he could handle things like this. Finding out on his own just somehow felt like a swift punch in the gut.

But his sadness quickly turned to anger and frustration as he tossed the paper aside and stood up in a flurry of motions that almost caused the chair he was sitting in to fly backwards and smackdown against the tile flooring.

He left his food sitting there, his appetite suddenly leaving him, as he stormed out of the kitchen and grabbed his helmet from the couch before heading back outside, hopping on his bike and riding back off into the night without a care.

He didn’t really have a destination in mind, perhaps he would just ride until his bike ran out of gas and left him deserted on the side of the road. But he didn’t care where he ended up. He needed to leave, needed to be by himself and fully come to terms with what was happening.

He didn’t care that it had started to rain, didn’t care that there was a strong wind with thunder roaring overhead. Craig didn’t care about anything right now.

His dad had cancer and his parents were trying their hardest to hide that information from him, and quite possibly his sister, and he couldn’t seem to bring himself to forgive them for not telling them. And sure, they probably had their reasons for keeping it from him, but it still sucked and it hurt and he felt betrayed.

And as much as he wanted to keep riding, tears were swelling up in his eyes as he pulled over to the side of the road by the lake they had near town that he and some friends would frequent over the summer as children.

He tossed his helmet aside once he stopped his bike and punched the nearest tree, his body too overwhelmed with one too many emotions to even fully register the pain that he was currently feeling.

And the tears pooled in his eyes before rolling down his face as he kicked at the ground and continued to lightly punch the tree in front of him. And it’s not like he was crying because he was sad, matter of fact it was just the opposite. The tears that rolled down his face were from the anger, the pain and the frustrations that he was currently dealing with inside of himself. His heart was hammering in his chest and he felt like everything around him was crashing down so quickly and he just couldn’t stop it.

“You look like you’re having a hard time.”

Craig jumped at the sudden voice that came from behind him. He wiped at his face as he looked over his shoulder to see a man with black hair and greying sides standing there under a black umbrella that Craig knew for a fact wasn’t there when he had arrived.

“Can I uh, can I help you?”

“Perhaps,” the man shrugged. “Instead I was hoping I could help you.”

“What're you talking about?”

The man didn’t say a word, instead he looked out at the lake with a smile spreading across his face as Craig turned to fully face him with a raised brow.

“Your father, he’s sick right?”

“How the hell do you know about that?”

“What if I told you that I could help him?”

Craig laughed to himself, leaning back against the tree and crossing his arms as he tried to ignore his bloodied knuckles and the pain that was suddenly running through his hands and up his arms.

He had no one to blame for that but himself though.

“No, no, really. I mean that.”

“Can’t say I really believe in miracles, therefore I can’t really say I believe you.”

“By this time tomorrow your father will be as healthy as a horse. But,” the man reached into his coat and pulled out a rolled up piece of yellowed parchment paper. Craig looked at him with an inquisitive look as the man approached the teenager, holding it out to him with a grin. “It’ll cost you your soul.”

Craig didn’t want to take it, didn’t want to believe a word that was coming out of this man’s mouth. But there was a part of him that seemed to be in some sort of trance, like the movements he was making weren’t his own.

He tried to hold back and he tried to resist, but his body wasn’t listening to what he wanted. Instead he wrapped his hand around the paper and took it from the man who, in response, simply grinned at him in a way that made Craig’s stomach flip in an unsettling way.

As he unrolled the paper the blood from his knuckles rolled down his hands, eventually trickling down his wrist and dripping onto the dotted line that was at the bottom of the paper.

It was a weird feeling that washed over him, he felt a type of surge course through his veins as he flinched back, dropping the paper to the ground by his boots and shaking his hand, watching how the paper rolled up.

“That’ll do just fine,” the man smiled up at him as he bent down to grab the parchment, his eyes giving off a very subtle yellow glow as he looked at Craig’s face, standing slowly and placing the paper back inside of the pocket of his jacket.

Craig held his wrist, looking between his hand and the man standing before him with a slight scowl on his face.

And when a flash of lightning lit up the sky and damn near blinding Craig in the process the weirdest thing occurred. As Craig’s vision returned to him the man before him was gone, making it seem as if he wasn’t even there.

Craig looked every which direction, completely dumbstruck and confused as to what exactly just happened.

“What the hell…?”

He cautiously made his way back to his bike, picking up his helmet, putting it on his head and driving back home through the downpour that surrounded him as his head started spinning and questions flooded his brain.

Because that truly was a strange encounter that he had just endured. Every single bone in his body felt like it was on fire and right now all he wanted to do was crash in his own bed and worry about all of this craziness come morning.

Chapter Text

The smell of waffles and bacon hit his nose in a flash and he sat up in bed almost instantly. Craig rubbed the sleep away from his eyes and cracked his back before standing and making his way down stairs, his mother and father already in the kitchen.

“Morning sleeping beauty,” his dad greeted him as he lowered the newspaper in his hands.

His mother gave him a kiss on the cheek as she put a plate of food into his hands before making her way over to the table to pour him a cup of orange juice.

It was kind of surreal in a way, the letter that sat on the table last night no longer there and his parents were acting as if everything was normal.

“Where’s Tricia?” Craig asked, realizing that the clock on the wall read 11:45am, meaning he had slept a lot longer then he had intended to do.

But he had a weird night so no one could really blame him for his actions.

“She’s with a friend, I dropped her off twenty minutes ago,” his mother told him. “But since we have you alone for a moment before you go running off your father and I would like to talk to you.”

His eyes went from his mother to his father. This had to be the cancer conversation. It had to be. There could be no other possible thing that they would need to discuss with him.

“What’s up?” He took a bite of his food, being cautious to make sure he didn’t spit anywhere.

“I’ve been sick son,” his dad started as he folded the paper and set it next to his cup of coffee. “I had an appointment this morning and, well, everything’s fine.”

“Come again?”

“Craig, sweetheart,” his mother placed a hand on top of one of her son’s. “Dad had cancer, and it was pretty serious too. We were trying to think of a way to tell you and your sister but it turns out we didn’t have to anymore.”

“But you’re telling me about it now…”

Craig couldn’t believe it. Everything the weird and mysterious man had told him last night was coming true. It was becoming Craig’s reality that his father was no longer sick and suffering but rather, instead, he was doing better.

“We finally worked up the courage to say something when it turns out we didn’t even need to. However it felt right for us to still let you know about dad’s situation.”

Craig sat there completely stunned as he tried his best to fully comprehend the situation he was being faced with. The words of the man he met last night still ringing loud and clear in his head.

“By this time tomorrow your father will be as healthy as a horse.”

He couldn’t believe that that man had somehow miraculously cured his father’s sickness. It was an amazing miracle that Craig had come to witness, and he was having an incredibly difficult time trying to believe all of this to be true.

“Craig? Honey, is everything alright?”

“I uh… yeah. I- I’m fine…”

He placed his silverware on his plate and wiped at the corners of his mouth with his napkin. Coming to terms with the fact that his father was sick had proven to be difficult, but coming to terms with the fact that he was now better was even harder for Craig to deal with.

“I’m going out,” he stood rather abruptly as he tried his best to avoid eye contact with either of his parents.

He turned on his heels hastily and began making his way out of the kitchen when he felt a strong hand grip at his shoulder.

“Hey hotshot, help your mother clean up will you? I have a meeting I have to attend.”

Craig stood frozen in place as he watched his father walk past him. Craig found it difficult to move, to speak, to even react. But he somehow managed to muster up enough strength to give a curt nod before turning around to clean up his mess on the table.

“Craig are you sure you’re alright?” He felt his mother place a reassuring hand on his back. And her touch made him somehow tense up even more.

But again he nodded, managing this time to speak, “I have a lot on my mind.”

“Want to talk to me about it?”

He wanted to, but at the same time he didn’t. Because it was a difficult thing he was going through with his father and with Tweek… and he wasn’t exactly sure he had the words to talk about either.

“It’s nothing serious, I’ll be alright.”

“Well just know I’m here should you ever want to talk, okay?”

Craig nodded as he placed everything in his hands into the sink and turned on the water, just watching it hit the plates for a while before turning off the faucet and exiting the room, quickly making his way up the stairs and locking himself in his room.

He wasn’t exactly sure how much time had passed him by and truth be told he didn’t really care. But what grabbed his attention was the quiet sobs coming from the living room.

He did his best to stay quiet when he opened his bedroom door, tried to stay quiet when he made his way down the stairs.

And much to his surprise he saw his mother sitting on the couch sobbing quietly. And Craig was surprised in a way, he had never seen his mother cry before. He was cautious with his approach, putting a hand on her shoulder, which in return caused her to look up at him and quickly wipe at her eyes.

“Oh, hi honey.”

“What’s wrong?”

“Huh? Oh, nothing. It’s nothing sweetheart, don’t worry about it.”

“Mom you’re crying, I know something’s wrong.”

His mother sighed in defeat and patted the couch next to her. Craig joined her, and she leaned her head on his shoulder and gripped at his hands.

“It’s your father,” she did her best to hold back her tears that threatened to fall at any given second. “He was in a car accident.”

“Come again?”

“He’s at the hospital right now but they don’t think he’s going to make it sweetheart.”

Craig sat there stunned, completely and utterly stunned. Any way he wanted to roll the dice the outcome was going to be the very same: if his father still had cancer he would’ve died and the other alternative was that this car accident could be the thing that ended up killing him.

That mysterious stranger made Craig gamble with his father’s life. And sure it may just be a weird coincidence that something like this were to happen but Craig seriously doubted that to be true.

He knew that stranger was behind all of this.

And to say that Craig wasn’t furious was an understatement. He was fuming. His body temperature was rising as he felt all of those emotions bubble up inside of him just threatening to spill out onto the surface.

“Do you want to come with me to see him?”

Craig someone managed to nod as his Adam’s apple bobbed up and down in his throat, choking back his tears in the process.

“I’ll drive,” he offered. It was the least he could do provided everything could very quite possibly be his damn fault because of some stupid deal he made with some stupid mysterious old man.

His mother rubbed his back as she grabbed her purse and handed Craig her keys, the two heading outside and into the car.

The ride to the hospital was awkward, silent. The only noise was his mother’s silent sniffles as Craig but the inside of his cheek to hold back whatever he was feeling. Because he didn’t like this feeling.

And he hated hospitals even more.

He sat in the car for what felt like ages as his mother placed a hand on his knee, “do you want to come in with me?”

“I can’t. Not right now… but I’ll be in soon enough.”

His mother gave his knee a tight squeeze before leaning over and giving her boy a kiss on the cheek, “just text me when you decide to come in.”

He nodded, gripping the steering wheel a little tighter as he watched his mother disappear through the doors and into the building.

Craig closed his eyes and dropped his head down to rest on his forearms, groaning loudly only to jolt up at the sound of tapping on the window.

His sadness turned to anger and his eyebrows knitted together in a fit of rage as he opened the door hastily and slamming it harshly.

Anger flooded over his features as his hands became tight fists, knuckles turning white as he started to seethe.

“You,” he pointed at the mystery man. “What the hell did you do?”

“Me?” The man chuckled to himself as he tucked his hands into his pockets. “Why, I’m afraid I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“My dad is laying in a hospital bed dying because of you! Now tell me what exactly you did!”

The man offered up a smile, a menacing and evil smile that made a cold chill run down Craig’s spine.

“I did exactly what I said I was going to do, I cured his cancer. What happened after that was… up to the universe.”

Craig had to control himself, be careful not to cause a scene. And it was proving to be incredibly difficult to not do.

“I want you to stay away from me.”

“Well you see, I can’t do that.”

“And why the hell not?”

“Because I upheld my end of the bargain by curing your father’s cancer so now it’s time you uphold your end of the deal.”

Craig’s heart stopped. His blood ran cold. As much as he wanted to say he didn’t remember bargaining away his soul at the cost of his father’s life he did. He remembered this man saying that to him.

Craig Tucker had messed up.

He had messed up so badly that he probably couldn’t weasel his way out of this terrible mistake. Because he couldn’t do that to his father. He would feel awful about it… but he felt awful about this decision too.

“When I need you, I’ll call upon you to be my rider.”

“Excuse me?”

The man gave him a smile, his face contorting into that of a demon that Craig nearly missed as it happened so fast.

“I’ll see you soon Craig Tucker.”

“You son of a-“ he took a swing, the man disappearing before him and Craig falling forward onto the pavement as a look of bewilderment washed over him.

He rubbed his knuckles, eyes scanning the surrounding area as he stood and brushed himself off.

“Damn.”

With one more look he made his way over to a bench and sat, not wanting to face to reality of his actions. Feeling to ashamed to look at his mother and too disappointed to go see his father.

Craig Tucker, at that moment, felt like a first class fuck up.

Chapter Text

It had been hours of sitting outside. It had started to rain and Craig found himself soaked, his hair sticking to his forehead but his mind already too far gone as he scrolled mindlessly through his phone.

The sound of heels on the concrete approaching him pulled him from his trace. He looked up from the dim screen of the phone in his hand and noticed his mother approaching him with a forlorn look on her features, her blonde hair only slightly wet as she had been inside all this time.

“Craig,” she placed a gentle and loving hand on her son’s shoulder, her manicured nails grabbing at the fabric of his shirt as she gave a light squeeze. “Let’s go home.”

He couldn’t look up at her. He felt too guilty and responsible for everything that had happened that was causing his life to slowly spiral downward.

Instead he offered his mother a nod and he stood up, pulling the car keys from his pocket. He started walking, not even waiting for his mother to keep up with him.

Craig wanted to leave, he wanted out of this terrible agreement that was eating him up inside and slowly destroying his life and his mental state as he knew it.

“Craig,” his mother grabbed his arm and spun him around to face her before he had the chance to get into the car. “What’s wrong with you?”

He finally caught her eyes with his own and the look of sadness and confusion that filled her features just caused Craig to crack. He leaned forward and placed his forehead on his mother’s shoulder as he wrapped his arms around her waist, holding her in a tight hug

“Hun?”

He felt his mother gently touch his back, felt her tangle her fingers into his hair and all around comfort him in a way that only a mother could.

“Sweetheart what’s wrong?”

“I’m sorry…” he grabbed at her shirt, quietly sobbing, “I’m so sorry.”

“What for?”

“Everything.”

Laura pushed him up, wiped at his tear streaked cheeks with her thumbs and kissed his forehead, “Craig you have absolutely nothing to be sorry for.”

She didn’t know the whole story. She could say that all she wanted but in all actuality it was, in fact, Craig’s fault that all of this had happened. Her words were comforting to an extent but they were cutting through his heart like a hot knife.

“I have everything to be sorry for…” he mostly grumbled, “I wasn’t there for you.”

She pulled him back in for another tight hug and rubbed his back, “it's a lot to deal with sweetheart. Please, please don’t let this eat away at you.”

“But-“

“No buts. Regardless of you not going into that hospital room with me doesn’t mean anything. Everyone grieves differently honey and so long as you’re here for me when I need you then that’s all I can ask for as your mother.”

He nodded slowly, understanding his mother’s words with careful consideration. There were so many things that he wanted to tell her, that he wanted to confess… but he knew she wouldn’t understand, knew that she wouldn’t believe him.

So the only thing he could do now is just go along with what his mother was saying, silently nod in agreement while his own trouble ate away at him just under the surface of his skin while every bone in his body burned and the blood flowing through his veins felt like absolute fire.

“Thank you.” He did his best to muster up a smile to let his mother know that he was alright, even though he was faking it.

His mother took the keys from his hands and lead him over to the passenger side door, opening it and helping her son in, “I’ll drive home.”

He managed to nod as he shut the door, his mother walking back over to the driver’s side door and getting in.

“We’re going to be okay,” she placed a hand on his knee and gave it a light squeeze. “And dad’s going to be just fine.”

“I hope so…” he kept his gaze out of the window, watching everything pass him by, watching as the rain continued to fall around him.

He leaned his head against the glass and closed his eyes, listening to the rain hit the windows, listening to thunder in the distance.

But he couldn’t stay asleep for long, images of the strangers face flashing through his mind. That sinister demonic smile that caused him to jolt awake, “ fuck .”

“Craig, honey, what’s wrong?”

“Just…” he did his best to steady out his breathing, did his best to focus on something other than what he had just seen, “nothing. It’s nothing… I’m fine.”

Laura looked him over, biting her bottom lip, trying her best to offer a smile while also holding back all the things she wanted to ask him. She knew that in due time Craig would come around and open up… but she couldn’t force that. It would need to be on Craig’s own terms and Laura could accept that. But she also wanted to make it known to her son that she was there for him.

“Can you drop me off here?” Craig pointed to the intersection up ahead, glancing over at his mother with puffy hazel eyes.

“Why?”

“I just… I want some fresh air is all.”

Laura understood, to a certain degree anyway. She was going to let Craig deal with his emotions in his own way, which is exactly why she pulled over to let her son out.

“Don’t stay out too late, okay?”

He nodded as he shut the door, not giving his mother a second glance as he started making his way down the street with absolutely no idea as to where he was going to go.

But he figured anywhere would be better than just sitting at home wallowing in his self pity.

He watched his mother drive away, watching her slowly get further and further away from him as he made his way down the street. He looked at his surroundings, nodding slowly when a destination idea finally came to mind.

Craig pulled up the hood of his jacket, too little too late as his hair was already soaked, and carried on, hands going into his pockets as he kicked at a pebble with his boots.

Everywhere he looked he could swear he could see his reflection staring back at him, swear he could see that devious smile that lined his features before he disappeared… that smile would forever haunt Craig in his nightmares.

He shook his head, doing his best to rid his brain of the image that was slowly creeping in.

He grabbed at the insides of his jacket pockets, bit down rather hardly in his bottom lip until he could taste the coppery blood linger in his mouth.

But before he knew it he was standing exactly where he wanted to be, standing in front of his best friend’s house, silhouettes of two figures apparent behind the curtain.

Craig almost walked away, but it was wet and he was cold and he needed a friend. He needed to vent and discuss everything that was happening as of late. So he knocked a few times and hoped he would be acknowledged.

Footsteps were heard coming his way on the other side of the door. And that was good. Within seconds a blonde woman stood there, offering a smile that quickly faltered when he saw his distressed face.

“Craig?”

He nodded.

“What're you doing here? Come inside out of the cold,” she grabbed hold of Craig’s wrist and pulled him inside, kicking the door shut before leading him over to the couch and wrapping him up in a blanket.

“Hey buddy,” Clyde offered up a smile as he made his way out of the kitchen. “What brings you here?”

“He’s clearly upset Clyde!” His girlfriend, Bebe, chimed in as she pulled Craig towards her, allowing his head to rest on her shoulder as she rubbed his arm. “Be more considerate for your friend!”

Clyde sat quickly at Craig’s side, his expression softening, then dropping to match Craig’s. “What’s up dude?”

“Got a lot of my mind, needed to get away for a little while so I decided to come here… but I can leave if you’re busy.”

“Can you come back in an- ow!” Clyde rubbed at his head as he glared at his girlfriend who was staring daggers at him. “No, you’re fine dude.”

“What’s wrong Craig?”

Craig bit the inside of his cheek, contemplating whether or not he wanted to discuss his issues with his friend and his girlfriend.

But he had no one else to turn to at this moment, and perhaps it would make him feel better. However, they may not understand his predicament. They may not understand the guilt that was washing over him and eating away at him.

But perhaps it was worth a shot.

“My dad…” he started slowly as he moved several strands of wet hair out of his face, “he was in a really car accident so now he’s laying in a hospital bed fighting for his life…”

“Oh no,” Bebe gave his shoulder a squeeze.

“Dude,” Clyde placed a hand on Craig’s knee. “I’m so sorry.”

“And I feel so fucking guilty about it, like it’s all my fault.”

“It’s not your fault Craig, you can’t predict these types of things to happen.”

She was wrong. Bebe didn’t know the truth behind all of this, and perhaps she never would since Craig would never tell her. But he had to do his best to hold back his retort. Had to do his best to not let them know that everyone really was all Craig’s fault because he was a stupid teenage kid who made some stupid deal with some unknown stranger as he tried to hope for the best possible outcome.

“She’s right buddy,” Craig caught a glimpse of Clyde staring at him out of the corner of his eye and the sorrow he could see in his friend’s eyes just made his chest tighten. “What happened to your dad was an accident. I know it sucks and it hurts and you want to take the blame for it but that isn’t going to fix it. It was an accident, and a horrible one at that, but you can’t let it destroy you like this.”

Craig licked over his lips before standing, keeping his back to his best friend and his girlfriend as he bit at his bottom lip once more.

Their words had helped, but they somehow only made him feel so much worse about himself that he could barely even stand it.

“Dude go home,” Clyde placed a hand on his shoulder. “I’m sure your mom and your sister would really love to have you there right now.”

“He’s right. You shouldn’t be grieving on your own Craig, and you especially shouldn’t be letting your mother and sister suffer on their own either.”

He let out a heavy sigh before finally turning around and embracing his friend in a hug. And it caught Clyde off guard, simply because Craig Tucker was not a hugger. But it made Clyde realize that in this moment Craig was feeling a lot of things and knowing that his friend was there probably meant a lot to him.

“I’m here if you need me man.”

“I am too,” he felt Bebe hug him from the side. And honestly, that feeling helped him to relax. “Just text or call if you need someone to just listen.”

“Thanks.” Craig pulled away from them both and made his way to the door without giving either of them a second glance, “I appreciate it.”

“Do you want a ride home?”

“Nah, I’m okay.”

Truth be told talking to his friend helped a little bit. But it wasn’t enough to help settle his nerves or enough to stop his racing heart. It was still a lot to deal with and leaving tomorrow felt like the lowest thing he could do to his family, but he made a promise to Tweek.

And he wasn’t about to let him slide through his grasp.

Chapter Text

Craig arrived home just as Tricia was rushing in the house, the front door slamming behind her and disappearing inside.

Craig brushed his semi dry bangs aside and gave a slight nod to his sister’s friend’s mother as he passed by her to make his way inside.

He pulled his hoodie off over his head and hung it on the coat rack his mother kept by the door and pulled off his shirt as it was just as soaked as every other article of clothing he was wearing before pulling off his boots.

He could’ve followed the sound of his mother and sister’s voices coming from the kitchen but he opted against it, instead heading upstairs as quietly as he could to not disturb them… but his efforts were futile and he was discovered.

“Craig?”

“Yeah.”

His mother made his way out of the kitchen, leaning against the archway and looking up at her oldest child. She held out a hand upon noticing the shirt hanging over his shoulder and the water droplets rolling down his back, “give me that, I’ll dry it for you.”

He gave a small nod and tossed his shirt to his mother, who caught it with ease, “can I go now?”

“You’re being selfish…”

Craig’s eyes looked past his mother to see his sister standing behind her with her arms crossed. The look on her face made it evident that she was annoyed with her brother and the slight redness of her eyes obvious she was crying.

“How am I being selfish?”

“Because you’d rather be by yourself instead of being with mom!”

“Patricia, please.” Laura was quick to react and to look over at her daughter, “your brother is processing things in his own way and I get that. I respect that decision and I’m allowing him to handle this in his own way… you should too.”

Tricia’s face twisted with several different conflicting emotions before making her way past her mother, and pushing past her brother as she made her way up the stairs before slamming her bedroom door shut.

Craig’s eyes followed her before he turned his attention back to his mother. “And she’s the one who called me selfish…”

“She’s hurting, just like you are.”

“Doesn’t seem like it…”

But of course Craig knew she was right, his mother was always right. But instead he just sighed when he noticed the look on his mother's face, “can I go to my room now?”

His mother walked towards him and placed one of her hands on her son’s arm, smiling up at him. “I’ll call you down when dinner’s ready.”

He gave a slight nod and made his way upstairs without saying another word. He opened his bedroom door quickly, then kicked it shut and flopped down on his bed. He kicked off his boots, listening to them land on the wooden floor with two solid thuds as he looked up at his ceiling that was covered in those plastic stick on glow in the dark stars that had long since faded away and lost their glow.

He should really take them down… but he couldn’t bring himself to actually make the commitment to doing so. He liked them, and taking them down would probably make his room feel a little more empty than it already was.

He pulled his phone out of his front pocket and stared at the lock screen. A small smile was spreading on his face at the memory.

It was taken in the springtime in one of the local gardens. Tweek has a huge smile on his face, a butterfly was on his shoulder and the two had on flower crowns they had bought from a vendor.

And of course Craig had to have on his jacket. The jacket he let Tweek wear. The jacket that he was going to let him keep. The very same jacket Tweek currently had in his possession amongst all of his other things.

The smile on Tweek’s face was so pure, so genuine… and Craig was forever greatful that he managed to also catch the pure joy and happiness on his face. Everything was so in the moment that it was a time in his life that Craig would absolutely never forget.

Craig was looking forward to leaving, having Tweek on the back of his bike as they rode off to elsewhere to finally live their lives and be together without anyone to stand in their way. And he knew it to be insensitive to still plan on leaving while his family was suffering… but Tweek was important to him. Tweek was the most important person in his life and he most certainly wasn’t about to let him go.

He unlocked his phone quickly and typed up a message to Tweek. It was vague, and a pretty boring message but he just wanted to talk. He wanted to say anything and everything while his thoughts were still circulating in his head.

‘Hey.’

‘Hi Craig!’

‘Can I tell you something?’

‘Yeah, anything!’

‘My dad is in the hospital… he got in a car accident earlier.’

‘Holy shit Craig! Is he okay?!’

‘I don’t know…’

‘But it made me realize that life is precious and that I love you and I never want to lose you.’

Craig waited for what felt like an utter eternity as he waited for Tweek to respond to him. He knew he shouldn’t overthink it, he knew that he was most likely busy. But there was a part of Craig that was just dying slowly as he waited.

Eventually he stood and took off his pants, pulling the fabric from his skin as it stuck to him. He groaned in annoyance and tossed them aside before rifling through his dresser drawers and pulling out an old pair of sweats and a t-shirt before making his way back over to his bed.

And just as he did so his phone screen lit up with a message from Tweek.

‘I just finished packing for tomorrow.’

‘Are you sure you still want to do this?’

Craig could understand Tweek’s concern, he could understand why he was asking him such a thing, and Craig was sure Tweek would understand if he had a sudden change of heart and told him no… but Craig had made up his mind. He was going to do this, he was going to leave with Tweek and continue to carry on with his life with the person he loved more than anyone else in the whole world.

He didn’t hesitate when it came to answering. Craig already knew what his answer was, what his heart and his mind were telling him, way before any of this started. He knew exactly what he was doing when he asked Tweek to run away with him. And his answer was always going to remain the exact same.

‘I’m sure.’

Chapter Text

What he was doing was stupid and selfish, and Craig knew that. Of course he knew that. He wasn’t thinking about his mother, his sister or, hell, even his father when he decided to run off to the city with Tweek. These were his needs and his wants. He wanted Tweek to stay in his life. He wanted Tweek to stay with him. It was always all about him and no one else.

But he had just finished packing up the last of the things that he felt he would need for when the day came for the two to run away and leave everything behind.

He had stayed up late into the night checking, double checking, and even triple checking everything before he finally allowed himself to get a few hours of peaceful sleep.

If you were to ask him what time he ended up falling asleep he would tell you that he didn’t know. If you asked him how many hours of sleep he actually got he would probably shrug and, once again, say he didn’t know.

That wasn’t anything new, however. Craig was used to making it through his day running on little to no sleep. He was used to spending time spending time outside fixing his motorcycle under the moonlight.

But that was beside the point.

It was an early hour when he found himself awake, packing the last minute essentials that he planned on taking with him such as his phone charger, deodorant, his wallet, and several other smaller things that he shoved into his book bag.

He had an overriding feeling of guilt wash over him as he stood from his bedroom floor and put his backpack on his back.

But he, of course, shrugged it off.

He grabbed his keys off his dresser and made his way down the steps, hurrying his way out of the door and to his bike before his mother could notice him.

And it proved to be successful. He could hear her quietly humming to herself just before he slipped out the front door and over to the side of the house, right on the side of the garage.

Craig bit his lip as he kept glancing back inside the window nearby, seeing his mother busying herself in the kitchen with breakfast, or so he assumed. But he told Tweek they were doing this. He wasn’t about to back out of his plans just because of a small setback with his father. He had to do this… otherwise he would lose Tweek forever.

And this had to happen because Craig was selfish.

He secured his bag to the back of his bike for when he was ready to head out, then made his way back inside and into the kitchen.

“Hey,” he greeted his mother casually as he sat at the table.

And he didn’t mean to scare her. Matter of fact he felt bad when he saw her jump a little bit at the sound of his voice.

“Oh, sweetheart, you startled me,” she looked over her shoulder at her son as she offered up a small smile.

“Sorry…”

Laura opened the fridge and pulled out the orange juice, then opened the cupboards and grabbed a glass before setting the two in front of her son. She gave him a kiss to the top of his head and sat down beside him.

As he poured himself his drink he kept his eyes on his mother, taking occasional glances down at the cup as to not make it overflow.

“Are you doing alright?”

“Sweetheart I’m fine,” she placed a hand on his arm and gave a gentle squeeze, “but I appreciate you asking.”

“Have you heard anything about dad?”

“No ye-“ it was as if the universe knew. The phone started to ring right at that very moment. But of course Craig was assuming, it could’ve been anyone calling.

Laura stood and made her way over, answering it with hesitation, “hello?”

The smile on his mother’s face faltered a little and Craig took notice in how her demeanor also seemed to shift.

“Yes of course…” Craig could see the tears beginning to roll down her cheeks, “I’ll be there as soon as I can be…”

She hung up just as slowly as she had answered. She gripped at the counter and kept her head down, kept her back to her son and sobbed softly in hopes of Craig not hearing.

But she was so wrong to think she could hide it from her boy. Craig knew. He could hear her quiet tears hitting the sink as they fell from her eyes, he could hear her quiet sniffles, so he stood up slowly and placed a hand on his mother’s shoulder, “mom?”

His mother leaned into his touch before turning around and wrapping her arms around Craig’s waist, before burying her face in his chest and letting the tears fall a little more freely.

“Mom?”

“It’s your dad sweetheart,” she managed to look up at him. Managed to look Craig in his eyes that reminded her so much of her husband’s, “he- he didn’t make it.”

“Wait so dad is…?”

Craig couldn’t say it. It would be even more real if he managed to actually say the word that he had been dreading for far too long.

So instead he gripped at the back of his mother’s shirt and held her in a tight hug for what felt like an everlasting eternity.

But the most messed up thing about the whole situation was that Craig didn’t cry. He didn’t show any form of emotion at all. It was weird for him to feel this stoic and this numb. He almost felt like a monster.

Almost.

“Craig, hon, I have to go to the hospital. Can you call your- Craig?” He was making his way outside without a single word, leaving his mother standing alone in the kitchen. “Craig?”

She followed after him, but the front door slammed in her face, and he didn’t mean for that to happen. But it did, and he felt awful about it.

He practically ran over to his bike when he heard his mother open the front door… and it was at that moment that rain droplets started to fall from overhead.

He should’ve taken this as an omen of sorts, but he didn’t. He just needed to get away, go anywhere that wasn’t here. He couldn’t deal with having to handle his grieving mother or his sister.

Because, once again, Craig Tucker was selfish. He was a monster.

But he let the engine of his bike roar to life before he taking off, but not before giving his mother a forlorn look as they stared at each other from their respective places. He hated that he was doing this but he just couldn’t bring himself to back out of it.

He didn’t look back. He didn’t even seem to care.

All he wanted to do was get away, he wanted to leave and try to forget everything that was happening. Because soon everything would be okay. Soon he would be with Tweek and everything would be okay and he wouldn’t have a care in the whole damn world.

He wasn’t sure how long he had been riding for, but one thing that he did know what that the rain was falling even harder than before. He was soaked, his hair was sticking to his forehead, water droplets were rolling down his face, and his clothes were sticking to his body.

But when the lightning flashed in front of him he panicked, he went to turn and skidded against the pavement at the quick motion. His bike went off the road, the engine still roaring with life as the front wheel turned even in the ditch the bike rested in and Craig rolled briefly on the pavement, landing right at the feet of the man he didn’t want to see today, or tomorrow or ever again.

“Hello Craig,” the man smiled down at him before extending a hand to help the young man up to his feet. “You’re no good to me dead you know.”

But Craig wasn’t going to take the bait. He pushed himself up and kept his distance as he pointed an accusing finger at the man who seemed to bring him nothing but misfortune.

“You killed him,” Craig was furious. His emotions were finally shining through as he narrowed his eyes and stared the man down with a fierce intensity of hatred and malice.

But instead all he did was smile at the teenager, “I cured his cancer, that was our deal. Everything else just so happened to be a coincidence.”

“You son of a bitch,” Craig lunged forward, ready to throw a punch. But instead he was swinging at air, falling forward and hitting the pavement once more. He stood quickly and turned, only to face a vast array of nothingness besides the open rod and the trees that surrounded it.

“One day, when I need you,”Craig turned again and this time he came face to face with the demon who followed him which caused him to jump. “I will come. Until then I’ll be,” he held his hand on Craig’s chest, “I’ll be watching.”

Craig let out a gasp as his head tilted back and his body leaned into the touch. His veins glowed a fiery red under his skin and his eyes started to smoke. It was a weird feeling, almost as if his whole body was doused in flames.

“Forget about friends,” the man whispered to him, slowly making his way in a circle around the teenager, whose eyes followed his every movement. “Forget about family.”

The pain Craig was feeling coursing through his body only continued to get worse, his skin burning and his insides feeling as if they were on fire.

“Forget about love.

The man stopped walking, standing behind Craig and letting his hand rest right between the young man’s shoulder blades. He leaned in close to his ear, keeping his voice a little lower than usual, “you’re mine Craig Tucker.”

He gave Craig a swift poke to the back and caused him to fall forward onto his knees. His veins giving one final red glow before slowly fading to nothing as Craig started to breath heavily, as he tried to recompose himself altogether. But when he felt good and ready he stood up, his eyes looking every which way to try and catch a glimpse of the man who was ruining his very existence… all because of some stupid deal Craig has made with him.

Craig Tucker was left standing alone at a fork in the road while the rain continued to fall around him.

So he did the only thing he knew how to do. He brushed himself off, picked up his bike and continued to ride.

And he rode until he reached the tree just outside of town that he and Tweek has decided to meet at.

He could see Tweek standing there, hair wet and sticking to his face, a bag on his back and one on his shoulder. He smiled brightly at the black haired man, but Craig… Craig didn’t smile back. Instead he just stared, an emotionless and cold look on his face… and Tweek’s smile faded when he realized Craig wasn’t coming to greet him. When he realized that Craig wasn’t turning off his bike.

But what really broke his heart was when Craig started to ride away without even looking back, leaving him standing there alone in the rain with a false sense of hope and a plan that had been crushed.

Chapter Text

He opened his eyes slowly as the morning sun shone through his eyelids. He groaned to himself and rolled into his side, his back now facing the window, and he pulled his blanket up a little further then before.

“Buddy!” The door to his room burst open and a brunette man came rushing inside, a folder under one arm and an energy drink in hand, “you got the gi-“ his eyes were fixated at the man laying under copious amounts of blankets, “Craig?”

“Sleeping, go away.” It was obvious to tell that he was sleep deprived. That he was barely awake and functioning right now.

“But dude you- ow! ” Clyde looked at the pillow that sat by his feet as he rubbed at his face. “Why are you being rude?”

He lifted a hand and gave Clyde the bird as he grumbled, “sleep! Go!”

Clyde rolled his eyes and quietly made his way over to his friend’s bedside. With a careful glance he could tell that Craig’s eyes were closed, that he wasn’t paying him any attention.

Which made this plan even more stupid.

Clyde put the things in his hands aside on Craig’s disaster of a night stand and in one fluid motion Clyde pulled the comforter off his friend and onto the floor, “you got shit to do today buddy. Up and at ‘em!”

Craig sat up in a flurry of motions, staring daggers at Clyde, and the brunette swore he could see a fire burning in his friend’s pupils, “listen fucker-“

“No! You listen to me!” Clyde shocked himself at the sudden bolt of confidence that washed over him. At the way his voice got a little louder and how he watched Craig sink back down onto the bed and crossed his arms like a child getting in trouble. “You’ve been a dick to me lately and that’s not cool dude! I’m your friend… I deserve to be treated better.”

He watched how Craig grabbed a balled up black t-shirt off his bedside table, give it a good sniff and put it on.

“Okay first off, ew…”

Craig rolled his eyes as he stood, cracking his back as he walked to his attached bathroom, shutting the door behind him.

“And second, what’s up with you lately?”

When Craig emerged from the bathroom he had pants on and a pair of old black converse that had most certainly seen better days. The tattoo on his shoulder poking out slightly under the sleeve of his shirt and the chain of his necklace peeking out from under the collar.

“Nothing, I’m fine.”

Craig ran his fingers through his hair to remove any knots or tangles that resided there from his damn near sleepless night. The bags under his eyes a little more prominent than usual and the noise his stomach made let Clyde know that his friend was hungry.

“Have you eaten?”

“Not since lunch yesterday.”

“Jesus man!”

Craig chuckled quietly to himself as a small smirk spread across his face. He was thankful that Clyde couldn’t see it. There would be one too many questions involved and Craig did have the time, nor the patience, to answer any of them.

“You need to eat!”

Craig shrugged and grabbed his leather jacket out of his closet, “I mean I guess so?”

There was an elongated, awkward silence that filled the air surrounding the two of them. As the years passed them by their friendship seemed more strained, like they had somehow managed to drift apart.

Which they did… in a way… after Craig’s whole disappearing act when he was eighteen after his dad had passed the two had lost contact, rekindling their friendship five years later when Clyde and Token accidentally bumped into Craig at motocross event Clyde managed to win tickets to through a radio station.

Token was polite, but Craig could tell he had ruined that friendship for the most part. But Clyde was persistent, always trying to chat his ear off to get back to where they once were.

It was rocky at first, Craig distant and distracted no matter how hard Clyde tried. But they were somehow just barely holding on to what they had left of their thirty two year long friendship.

“Craig, dude, what’s bothering you?”

Craig’s eyes drifted towards the calendar he had on his wall, staring for a while before casting his gaze downward and looking at his shoes while he pulled a loose thread from his shirt.

Oh.

Clyde understood.

His eyes had followed Craig’s, noticing the day on the calendar was crossed off with a giant black ‘X’. It was that day.

The day that Craig was a selfish, rebellious teenager who made a stupid decision.

The day he ruined his relationship with his mother, his sister and his friends. The day the love of his life slipped between his fingers, never to be seen or heard from again.

“I- I’m sorry Craig, I-“

“Don’t, okay? Just don't…” he pushed past the brunette, making his way out into his living space before plopping down on the couch and burying his face in his hands, fingers tugging on his hair.

Clyde hurried after.

“You can talk to me about it, if you want.”

Craig shot him a look that could kill. A look that had flames ablaze in his eyes. A look that Clyde was absolutely scared of  

“Or- or not,” Clyde held up his hands in mock defense. “That’s cool too.”

“Why do you put up with me?”

Craig’s voice was quiet, and Clyde barely understood what it was that he had asked, “what?”

“Why are you still my friend? I fucked up Clyde… and yet you still continue to try and hold onto something that I completely destroyed years ago.”

Clyde made his way over to the couch, sitting down next to his childhood friend and placing a reassuring hand on his knee, which he caught Craig glancing at through the open spaces between his fingers.

“Because you were scared. You were a kid who made a bad decision because something terrible happened, however, I wasn’t going to let that destroy our friendship.”

“I destroyed my friendship with Token… with Jimmy, and Jason… with-“

He stopped talking, sitting up and leaning back against the couch cushions as he looked up at the ceiling.

“With…”

He let out a heavy and shaky breath before glancing over at Clyde through stands if black hair that had fallen over his eyes, “with him.

His name was something Craig didn’t even speak anymore. It was as clear as day that even the mere mention of him made Craig react a certain way. It was obvious to tell when Craig was thinking about him because of the way he carried himself.

Craig Tucker had something good and he destroyed it because he was being a selfish son of a bitch.

“Hey…” he could feel Clyde slightly shaking his shoulder to try and bring him back to reality, but all Craig could see was his smile, his eyes, his freckled skin and then the look of heartbreak. “Craig?”

“I fucked up…” Craig’s voice was quiet, close to a whisper, as he leaned against Clyde’s shoulder. It was the first time in what felt like years (because it kind of was) that Craig had actually opened up to him and showed the tiniest bit of emotion. It let Clyde know that he was still human, that he could still properly feel emotions.

“And I told you that I forgive you. I’m your friend man, you can’t get rid of me that easily.”

Clyde handed Craig the remote to the television as he stood up, making his way into the kitchen to find, or prepare, something for his friend to eat that wasn’t jelly beans, pop tarts, ramen… or anything else that Craig has found himself living off of for years.

Craig turned on the tv, flipping through channels vigorously without even stopping to fully see what was even on.

But something had caught his eye a few minutes into channel surfing that caused him to go back and retrace his steps.

He sat forward, elbows resting on his knees and his hands dangled between his legs holding the remote tightly as he sat forward with wide eyes and an awestruck expression slapped across his face.

“Dude…”

“What did you- oh dude…”

Clyde stopped what he was doing, staring at the screen and noticing the person who was there, the person that Craig was so fixated on.

A familiar shade of blonde hair, big blue eyes, freckles… that voice.

Clyde had never rushed for the remote faster in his life.

But Craig wouldn’t let him have it. Instead he stood up, holding the remote out of Clyde’s reach as his eyes stayed locked on the screen, completely fixated on that one person in particular.

“Clyde is that-“

He knew Craig knew who that was. But he was pretty sure that he was too dumbstruck to even realize what it was he was asking.

But all Clyde could do was nod dumbly, realizing that everything would probably be so much better if he just got it over with quickly.

“That means he’s in town…”

“Yeah… actually…” Clyde was scrolling through his phone before handing it over to Craig, who stared at the screen with nothing but shock on his face as Clyde continued. “He’s covering your next event.”

Chapter Text

Craig flopped down on the couch, still holding Clyde’s phone in one hand while his other pinched the bridge of his nose. The voices on the television set fading to nothingness as Craig did his best to try and phase them out.

He focused on his breathing as he kept his eyes closed. He couldn’t see him … the way things ended was utterly atrocious and unacceptable. Craig was a complete and utter fool. What exactly did he do that caused this to happen now?

Besides the obvious thing of selling his soul to the devil at the young age of eighteen. Because that was certainly a thing that he did, and a decision that he regretted immensely.

He was kicking himself and cursing internally as he tried to wrap his head around all of this. He was about to do a race the day after tomorrow and Tweek was going to be the one who was covering the story.

He shouldn’t really be all that surprised though, because it would be just his luck that the universe would do this to him. It was always him who seemed the find misfortune in the world.

“Craig I need you to talk to me,” he could feel Clyde rubbing his back in a reassuring way. He could feel Clyde gently pull his phone from his grasp.

“I’m not doing this,” Craig grumbled under his breath as he pushed himself off the couch and wandered into the small kitchen.

He rummaged through the cabinets until he smirked in victory, grabbing a half empty bottle of whiskey. He didn’t bother with a glass, instead choosing to just drink it straight from the bottle.

“Dude!” Clyde wasn’t really that surprised, but the notion of Craig drinking at this hour simply wasn’t something he was going to let stand.

He ran to his friend and grabbed the bottle, holding it tightly behind his back, “why?!”

“I can’t face him Clyde, not after how I left things between us…” Craig sounded almost broken in a way. Broken and absolutely defeated.

“And you think drinking is going to just make your problems go away?”

Craig shrugged and leaned against the counter as he crossed his arms, looking down his nose at the brunette man standing in front of him, “if I drink enough then I don’t see why not.”

“Craig be realistic here! Maybe this whole thing with Tw-“

The way Craig glared at him made Clyde silent for a moment, stopping him before saying the rest of his name. Clyde chewed on his bottom lip for a moment before continuing, “maybe this whole thing with him is a blessing!”

“I don’t believe in miracles or anything else like that Clyde.”

“But don’t you want to talk to him, work things out?”

“I seriously doubt he’s going to want to speak to me, not after what I did to him back then. I was a damn fool Clyde and I was too blind to realize that at the time…”

Clyde could see the self hatred flooding Craig’s face, he could see the way the grip on his arms tightened at his blunt nails dug into his skin.

“Listen,” Clyde eased his hands away from his arms before Craig got the chance to break the skin. “Tell him that. I’m sure if you just talk to him-“

“I said no Clyde.”

Craig walked past his friend, grabbing his keys off the hook by the front door and making his way outside of the apartment as he slammed the door behind him, causing the few pictures on the walls to rattle. It left Clyde letting out a long sigh as he looked at the bottle in his hands before taking a quick drink.

He hated that he was about to do this, and maybe he would regret it later, but right now it was the right thing to do. It was the only thing that seemed to make sense in his mind.

Or perhaps this was the small amount of liquor talking.

He looked at his phone screen one last time before punching in a few numbers as he set the phone on the counter. Clyde ran a hand through his hair as he listened to the ringing echo around the otherwise quiet room.

“Thank you for calling Denver News, what can I help you with today?”

“Hi, uh, can I please speak to Tweek Tweak please?”

“Let me see if he’s available, give me a moment.”

He was put on hold, the god awful music filling the room. Clyde let his head hit the counter as he groaned in annoyance. He couldn’t believe that he was actually doing this. It felt like he was betraying the fragile amount of trust that he and Craig shared with one another.

But then the music stopped and Clyde heard shuffling on the other end of the phone, then breathing.

“Hello?”

“Tweek, hey hi! I know you may not remember me but-“

“Who is this?”

“It’s me.. it’s-“ he took a deep breath, “it’s Clyde.”

“As in Clyde Donovan?”

“The very same.”

There was a very long, very awkward silence before either of them spoke. Clyde instantly regretted this decision.

“Why are you calling me?”

“Because a guy I manage is going to be at the motocross event you’re covering.”

“So why, exactly, does that concern me?”

“Well…” moment of truth. Either Clyde tells him the truth now and just let everything fall out into the open… or he bite his tongue and let Tweek figure everything out on his own the day of the event.

“Clyde?”

He felt himself start to become overwhelmed with an insane amount of panic. Felt guilt wash over him. That bottle of whiskey was starting to look really nice right about now.

“If you aren’t going to talk to me then I’m hanging up, I have a job to do.”

“No wait don’t go!”

Another long silence washed over them as Clyde drummed his fingernails on the counter, “you have to promise me you aren’t going to get pissed off and or hang up on me.”

“That’s concerning but alright.”

“It’s- it’s Craig. He’s going to be there… competing actually, and I just wanted to try and make things less awkward on your end of things since I kinda sorta told him you would be covering it…”

“WHAT?!”

Regret. It was a whole lot of regret that was washing over him right now. This was a very terrible, very stupid mistake made by one Clyde Donovan.

“Just listen to me, please? He feels terrible Tweek… it’s just constant self loathing and regretting the past. He’s a wreck.”

“He left me! He left me standing in the rain all alone and I haven’t heard anything from him in the past twenty years!”

“Can you at least talk-“

“No, I won’t. And as a matter of fact I’m done talking to you and I’m not speaking to him! If I have to for the sake of my job than so be it but outside of that? I’m done. Have a good day Clyde.”

“No Tweek, wait!”

But the line was dead. Tweek already having hung up. Clyde groaned in annoyance and took a swig of the alcohol that was beside him as he slammed a fist against the counter.

He had messed up. But maybe, just maybe, he had a chance to fix his mistake. Maybe he could somehow manage to get Craig and Tweek to speak to one another. It was probably going to be a shot in the dark but it was certainly worth a try.

Chapter Text

Craig wasn’t exactly sure where he was going but he had decided to hope on his bike and just ride to wherever it was his mind decided to take him.

It was quiet, and it was peaceful. It was the perfect time for Craig to enjoy his ride on the empty road.

Occasionally he took glances to his left or his right to take in his surroundings, to see where he was in the city of Denver. And, all things considered, it had been a while since he had actually been in the city. He generally avoided anywhere close to home as often as he could.

But something caught his eye, something that caused him to turn into a parking lot and stop his mindless journey.

He stayed on his bike, stayed out of sight… but it was definitely her. He could see his mother in a shop window working on a client’s hair and talking away to someone near her. Craig couldn’t help but muster up a small smile.

He hadn’t seen his mother in years, which was his own fault, and he missed her. He wanted to go talk to her, wanted to hug her and see how she had been over the years.

But he couldn’t bring himself to do it. There was an invisible barrier that was keeping him on his bike as if he was glued securely to the seat.

So he did the next best thing.

Craig pulled his phone from his pocket and looked up the number of the salon he was looking at before dialing the number.

He couldn’t believe he was doing this. Couldn’t believe that after all these years he had somehow managed to muster up enough courage to finally call his mother.

“Thank you for calling Serenity Salon and Spa, my name is Katy what can I assist you with today?”

“Can I speak to Laura Tucker please?” He didn’t mean to be so short and so abrasive but his patience was wearing thin and his confidence slowly leaving his body with each passing second.

“May I ask who’s calling?”

“Just… I’m an old friend.”

He felt bad about lying, he really did, but he knew it would be better this way. And maybe it really wasn’t better but he was somehow trying to get himself to believe that bullshit so he could try and keep himself composed long enough to stay on the damn phone.

“One moment please.”

And then the dressing music started. The stupid hold music that was so generic and annoying that he would be hearing it for the next few days on end no matter how loudly he would listen to his own music.

Yeah… it was just that annoying.

He could see his mother speaking to a woman in the window, see her tell her client something before following after the other woman. 

Moment of truth. 

After what seemed like a goddamn eternity that stupid music finally stopped playing. He heard a bit of shuffling on the other end of the line before her heard he sweet and relaxing voice.

“This is Laura.”

He wanted to speak, but the words weren’t coming to him. Instead he sat on his bike with his mouth open like a fish out of water that was struggling to breathe. He swallowed a lump in his throat and ran his free hand through his hair as he shut his eyes as tightly as he could. 

“Hello?”

“I-“ he knew she could hear him breathing. Hell, he could hear himself breathing. 

“If this is a prank I would advise you to not call here any longer unless you have business to conduct with us. Have a good day.”

And then the line went dead. The beeping of a dead line filling his ears as he pulled his phone away from his ear and ended the call before resting his arms on the handlebars of his bike and throwing his head down in frustration.

He had probably just ruined the one opportunity he had to speak to his mother again. But it felt good to hear her voice again. It had been far too long and he missed it. He missed her. And he would forever be angry with himself for what he did that one stupid day all those years ago that ruined everything for him.

He put his phone into his pocket and lifted his head slightly to see his mother had returned to her station within the salon. Even from the distance he kept he could tell that she was aggravated.

He took that as his cue to leave.

So Craig let his bike roar to life as he took off out of the parking lot and back onto the freeway. He could see the people in the cars that passed him smile, wave and take pictures. The look of excitement that crossed their faces caused him to grin as he continued to ride, occasionally waving in their direction.

And as much as he wanted to stop and take in the wonders of Denver Colorado he knew he shouldn’t. He knew he should get back to the comfort of the apartment he and Clyde were sharing while they were here.

Which is what he did.

He made a quick turn, where he really shouldn’t have been turning in the first place, and started to head back to the other side of town.

But his peaceful ride seemed to shift. The road suddenly shifted, appearing a lot longer and narrower than he had realized it to be before. Everything around him blurred and lights seemed to pass him by as he continued to zoom past them.

But a sudden flash of that monster’s face before him caused him to swerve, to hit the brakes and flip over the handlebars as he lost control over himself and his bike.

His bike skidded on the pavement somewhere in front of him as he rolled into the grass. His vision fuzzy as he stopped, lifting his head slightly to take in his surroundings.

“Hey isn’t that Craig Tucker?”

“I think he’s hurt!”

“Someone call an ambulance!”

He could see the blurry outlines of people surrounding him, he could hear their voices, he could see people making sure he was okay and kneeling and standing near him. He could see cars stopping and pulling over.

Craig struggled to keep his eyes open. But the more he blinked the more he realized that he was standing there, clear as day simply smirking at him with that stupid face of his that Craig so badly wanted to punch.

And as he reached forward he felt himself slowly giving into the hurt and the pain he was feeling. He felt his eyelids growing heavy and his arm feeling like jelly.

And before he could even fully register what exactly was happening everything around him went black as he had finally fallen into unconsciousness.

Chapter Text

There were a lot of things to take in. Thing number one being the bright ass light that damn near blinded him the second he opened his eyes. Thing number two was the quiet murmuring of voices that sounded like they were close but yet… not. They sounded distant, as if they were farther away from him that he expected them to be.

But when his vision stopped being fuzzy and the lights stopped blinding him he realized he was laying in a hospital bed, a hospital bracelet adorning his wrist while he listened to the machines beep and whirl with life.

Then he heard a door open, and the voices he had heard earlier get louder.

In walked a dark haired man with a toothpick in his mouth who was holding a clipboard and-

“Clyde,” Craig practically groaned in annoyance as he threw his head back against the pillows under him.

“Buddy!” He felt Clyde wrap his arms tightly around his neck and hug him tightly as his face buried against Craig’s shoulder.

Craig let out a noise of discontent the harder Clyde squeezed. His hands went into the air and he looked towards the doctor for a little help.

So the man cleared his throat, quite loudly might Craig add, and raised an eyebrow as he stared Clyde down.

It didn’t take long for Clyde to get the hint. He pulled away and offered up a small smile and a soft chuckle, “right. Hurt… sorry.”

“So doc…”

“Christophe.”

“Right… Christophe… tell me what exactly is wrong with me.”

The doctor looked at the clipboard in his hands, not even giving Craig a second glance as he spoke, “for starters you crashed your motorcycle and when the paramedics brought you here I’ve never seen so many people in the waiting room wanting to see a patient in my entire life so kudos on that.”

Craig said nothing, instead glancing over at Clyde who simply shrugged.

“Second is, as you can see, we contacted Mr. Donovan who gave us permission to contact a family member in case something were to happen to you.”

“You what?!”

“Hey, listen… I had good reason to do what I did! What if you died?!”

Craig groaned and rolled his eyes before running a hand through his hair and looking over at the doctor, “what else?”

“Slight bruising, a couple of cuts that were incredibly minor and a sprained wrist. Honestly you’re lucky you didn’t experience a concussion or any type of damage considering you weren’t wearing a helmet. You know, for a professional motocross rider that was incredibly stupid.”

“You sound like him.”

“Perhaps you should take a hint then.”

Craig could hear Clyde stifle a laugh. He glanced over, eyes practically ablaze as he stared the brunette down, watching how he sank down in the chair he was seated in as he mumbled out a ‘sorry’.

“You’ll be good to go in a few hours, we just want to watch you a bit longer. However,” the doctor finally looked up from the clipboard in his hands, “I would like to inform you that your mother is in the waiting room.”

“You had them call my mother?!” Craig threw a pillow in Clyde’s direction, hitting him square in the face as he grew angrier and angrier with each passing minute.

“She has a right to know if you died!” Clyde threw the pillow back, hitting Craig in the stomach.

Craig flopped back against the pillows and closed his eyes as he groaned in complete annoyance, “whatever. Just send her in…”

“Very well.”

Craig listened to the doctor leave. He heard the door close, heard his footsteps recede down the hallway until they disappeared completely.

“Craig you have to understand…”

“Save it Donovan.”

Clyde bit his lip, holding back his urge to speak and defend his actions. But he wasn’t in the mood to strike up an argument. He wasn’t in the mood to start a fight with his best friend. Clyde understood that he messed up and he would have to live with that.

But at the same time he figured this could also be a best case scenario.

Perhaps this would allow Craig and his mother to reunite with one another. Perhaps it would allow them to make up for lost time and really try to connect and become a family again.

Perhaps that would be the best thing to ever happen to Craig in a good, long while.

“Craig…”

“Save it.”

Heels clicked on the tile floor just outside the door. Craig opened an eye and glanced over to the door just as it opened. He closed his eyes tight, he waited for impact when he felt a pair of arms wrap gently around his neck.

“Craig,” it sounded like his mother was crying. “My sweet boy.” She started kissing his cheek, started running her fingers through his hair.

Craig opened his eyes slowly and placed a hand on his mother’s back, giving her a few light pats before she pulled back and looked at him. 

“Mom.”

It was weird actually seeing her after all these years. And she was acting so unaffected by everything. So nonchalant. And that’s what seemed to really bother Craig the most. He was expecting her to be furious, to be so pissed off that she would bitch him out and pull on his ear just like she did when he was younger and did something stupid.

“How could you be so incredibly stupid?!”

There it was.

“Mom I can-“

“You ran off! You left your sister and I behind right after your father died. You never called, you never visited… you just up and vanished!”

Craig looked to Clyde who simply glanced in the other direction, trying his best to avoid the daggers that were being stared at him.

“How do you think that made me feel?!”

“Mom I-“

“And come to find out I end up getting a phone call from the hospital telling me that you were here because you crashed your motorcycle? Unbelievable. I got here as quick as I could, I thought they found you dead on the side of the road somewhere and they needed me to identify your body!”

“Bit over dramatic don’t you think?”

Laura stared at her son, watching how his face was so unreadable and bare of any emotion. If Laura was being honest, it was breaking her heart in more than one way.

“You really don’t care do you Craig?”

“There’s a lot to this story that you don’t understand.”

“Oh, I don’t understand? There’s a lot you don’t understand! You left! You left during an emotional time in our lives without even giving me another glance. You cut me out and you didn’t even bother to contact me. How do you think that made me feel Craig? Hmm?”

“I-“

“I’ll tell you how I felt,” she stood abruptly and gave him a smack to the back of the head.

“Ow, damn it!” He rubbed at his head while his mother stared down at him, her lower lip quivering as she tried her best to hold back her emotions. But the longer Craig stared at her the harder it got to keep herself and her emotions collected.

“I felt like a failure of a mother! Your father’s death felt like your death as well… and I went through each and every day worrying about the worst possible thing or getting a phone call at two in the morning telling me something awful happened.”

“Mom I-“

“I just wanted my son back…”

Craig found himself suddenly at a loss for words. He found himself reaching out and grabbing one of his mother’s hands tightly with one of his own and looking her dead in the eyes with a stone cold expression on his face.

“I’m sorry.”

He watched one lone tear roll down his mother’s cheek, he watched how she did her best to hold the rest back, how she tried to pretend that she wasn’t on the verge of tears.

“I fucked up. I was, am , a terrible son and I’m sorry. I never should’ve done that… and- and I know I can’t change the past but I’d appreciate it if you allowed me to make up for lost time now…”

Out of the corner of his eye Craig could see Clyde nodding, smiling and giving him two thumbs up, to which Craig rolled his eyes and flipped his friend off with his free hand.

“Mom I’m sorry okay? I know I can probably never make any of this shit up to you but I’m going to at least try…”

He felt her arms wrap tightly around his neck again. He felt her bury her face in his neck. He could hear her quiet sobs.

And for some reason those things broke him.

Craig wrapped his arms around his mother, grabbing tightly onto her shirt and holding her in an embrace that he never wanted to release her from.

It had been far too long since he had a moment like this with her. And it all started because he made some stupid deal with the devil that has never actually come into light after all these years.

And he was really starting to regret every stupid decision he had made.

“That’s all I ask of you sweetheart.”

Chapter Text

It had been hours but Craig was finally discharged. He walked out beside Clyde rubbing at his wrist while he kept his eyes forward. He tried his best to avoid his mother, who walked ahead of him. The noise her heels made against the tiled floor was echoing in his head, the noise making him wince every few minutes. It made him close his eyes tightly and grit his teeth together.

He tried to focus on anything and everything that wasn’t any of the surrounding noises that cluttered his mind until he felt everything becoming incredibly overwhelming, felt all the noises shouting at him and echoing even as he tried to suppress it. 

“Stop!”

His mother stopped, turned to look at him as Clyde placed a reassuring hand on his back.

“Buddy?”

“Sweetheart?”

Craig opened his eyes slowly and shrugged Clyde’s hand away. His eyes couldn’t decide who he wanted to focus on, so he instead continued to shift his gaze between the two people who now stood on either side of him.

“Just… I need to be alone.”

Craig pushed past the two of them, shoved his hands into his jacket pocket and made his way outside the hospital.

But then it occurred to him that he had no way of returning home as his bike was who only knew where. He let out an aggravated sigh of frustration as he ran a hand through his hair and the other down his face as he looked around while the moonlight illuminated his form from overhead in a sky that was filled with millions of twinkling stars. 

He was turning to last resorts but he thought against it. Reaching out to him was going to be the last thing he wanted to do. So instead he started on his walking, just walking in whatever direction he felt like going at the time.

He made sure to go unnoticed, pulling up the hood of his jacked and keeping his hands in his pockets as the cars zoomed past on the busy road way he walked down along the sidewalk. He made sure to avoid eye contact, avoid anything that could possibly give him away to the public that surrounded him.

Everything seemed to move in slow motion the longer he walked. And after a while his mind started to feel like it wasn’t his own. His head was pounding, a massive headache overtaking him. But he decided to grin and bare it, decided to suffer through the pain. 

Because Craig Tucker was stronger than some stupid headache.

“Hello Craig.”

Craig spun around, his eyes scanning the old warehouse he found himself in. But the real question was when in the world did he find himself here? How did he get here? How long had he been walking for? There were a lot of questions flooding his head and he wanted each and every one of them to be answered.

“You!” He pointed an accusatory finger in the man’s general direction.

He could see that stupid smirk spread in his face as he stood there, cane in hand that he held in his gloved hands.

“Nice to see you again.”

“It’s never a good day for me when you decide to show your face.”

He could hear his stupid chuckle as he slowly walked forward, making his way towards the young man.

“Remember what I told you Craig? How I would call upon you when I needed you?”

Craig said nothing, instead choosing to watch his every movement carefully. Watching how he circled around him and looked at him as if he were a fresh slab of meat.

“Can I back out of my end of the bargain?”

“Oh, I’m afraid you can’t do that Craig. We had a deal… one that you, unfortunately, can’t back out of. At least… not anymore.”

Craig grit his teeth and narrowed his eyes as he never once broke eye contact. 

“What is it you want of me then?”

“It’s my son,” the devil explained. “He’s… not all there, dare I say. He’s looking for something that could make him far too powerful and you-“

You .” Craig spat at him. 

You… ” the devil corrected at he placed a finger in Craig’s chest and pushed on his sternum, hard , “need to stop him.”

“And how exactly do you propose I do that?” Craig pushed his finger away and swatted his hand back. The urge to grab this sack of shit by the collar of his dress shirt was increasing but Craig resisted. 

“I’m so glad you asked.”

In the distance a bike engine roared to life and within seconds the vehicle was speeding towards the two men before stopping before Craig, his eyes wide with wonder as the bike sat perfectly still while the engine roared.

He ran a hand over the handlebars, over the body of the bike, he admired the paint job and took in everything about the bike as the memories came flooding back to him.

Craig could see Tweek’s smiling face flash in his mind. Could feel his warmth as he hugged his waist and nuzzled his face into his back as they rode down open roads together. But then the look of disappointment and sadness came to mind; the look Tweek gave him when Craig decided to leave him behind.

“Where did you find this?” He looked at the devil with a look of wonder… and anger. 

“You left it in a storage unit, I figured you would want to be reacquainted after all this time apart.”

Craig stared as his brows furrowed together and the anger he was feeling becoming so much more prominent on his features.

“You will find my son…” the devil instructed, “and you will send him back to hell.”

“And what if I refuse?”

Craig’s body moved on his own as he got onto his bike, as he gripped the handlebars and revved the engine on the bike. He kicked up the kickstand and kept his feet planted firmly on the ground.

“You don’t have a choice.”

With a snap of his gloved fingers Craig’s bike decided to have a mind of its own. It took off at a speed that Craig had no control over. The tires were smoking as he rode out of the warehouse and onto the open road in town. Everything around him seemed to cycle into tunnel vision and the lights around him became nothing but a mass blur. Horns honked and cars swerved as he continued riding straight, riding through stop signs and red lights (or so he assumed) all while he held on for dear life.

His head was spinning as he tried his best to focus. His hands gripped tightly and his foot kept hitting the gas pedal, refusing to let up until eventually the bike stopped on its own, throwing him over the handlebars (he really needed to stop doing that) and rolling forward on the gravel.

He had no idea where he was when his eyes adjusted to his surroundings but he looked to be in the outskirts of Denver, somewhere nestled at the base of the Rockies.

Craig felt his insides burning as he clutched at his sides, at his chest. His jacket, his shirt. He grabbed at his hair and fell onto his knees as his body lurched forward.

He was being consumed by fire, heat washing over him as he felt his skin ripping off the bone, felt everything being charred and burned as he tried to fight it. His bony fingertips no longer gripped at his hair but instead rested against a skull. His head was spinning, his vision going black.

Craig looked at his hands, watched how the last of the flesh and muscle burned away revealing nothing but bone.

His chest was tightening, heartbeat quickening. He felt like he couldn’t breathe. He had no idea what was happening to him.

But suddenly he started laughing. A maniacal laughter echoed around him as he looked up at the moon before finally feeling all the heat disappear. Before he felt nothing at all.

Instead he stood, a skeleton of a man that no one would recognize. Not even Craig himself would recognize this… this… monstrosity .

His head a skull, burning in a wild array of flames that danced freely with the wind that blew around him. He turned quickly and took in the bike with the empty hollow sockets of where his eyes should be, shaking his head before reaching forward and letting out a low growl from the back of his throat that made the flames in his head erupt into something even wilder.

And as he touched the body of the bike everything went up in flames. The whole thing changing before his very eyes. The handlebars shifted, the pipes contorting and the body itself shifting into something almost supernatural as supernatural as him. Skeletal hands crawled up the front of the bike and residing over the deep blue and black pearl paint and the engine roaring as flames burst from the pipes.

Craig grinned as he sat on the pleather seat, letting the engine rev before hitting the gas and taking off down the mountain road at supernatural speeds, a trail of flames following him in his wake as he laughed maniacally all the way. The speed of the wind making the flame that encompassed his skull dance wildly in the moonlight.

He wasn’t exactly where he was heading, or who exactly he was looking for but this was just the beginning of things to come. And they couldn’t possibly get any worse.

Chapter Text

It was morning when Craig shuffled his way inside his tiny shared apartment. His head was on fire and everything that had happened was a blur. But the sun was high in the sky and shining brightly as rays of light illuminated the otherwise dark apartment.

Which was weird considering Craig assumed Clyde would be there somewhere running around, maybe in a blind panic trying to look for him.

But he didn’t think about it too hard. Craig closed the blinds, pulled the curtains shut and sat down on the couch. He put his head into his hands as he groaned loudly before dragging a hand down his face and glancing forward. Whatever he did last night… he would rather not remember it.

However, he found himself turning on the television, maybe as a means of a distraction of sorts, but that didn’t come. Instead he was reminded of the events that happened last night, courtesy of the local news stations covering the burned trees and road signs.

The roads looked destroyed, tires track burned into the pavement from the flames that engulfed the tires on Craig’s bike.

People from local businesses that had been burned in the crossfire stood there talking to the slew of reporters who were there covering the scene.

Craig quickly changed channels, finding himself landing on another news station that was showing pictures from a traffic camera. While there wasn’t much to be made out Craig finally got a glimpse of himself, although fuzzy and pixelated, but it made his skin crawl.

That wasn’t him. That couldn’t have been him. That was a skeleton with a skull that was on fire. That was a skeleton wearing a leather jacket… his jacket. And that skeleton was flipping off the camera.

Okay…

So maybe that was Craig. Because, as much as he tried to forget, he remembered very clearly the monster he had become last night. And it scared him.

He flipped the channels once more before stopping on a familiar assortment of wild blonde curls and big blue eyes. He felt his heartbeat quicken in his chest as he listened to Tweek speak to a woman who looked a bit disheveled. Her voice was frantic, and sad with tiny hints of anger. But then Tweek spoke and for some reason his voice just seemed to pull him in as if he was in a trance.

“I’m Tweek Tweak, on scene.”

That was all Craig got before he turned off the television, threw his remote, listening to it made a thud against the wall, and stood up quickly. He made his way back out the door of the apartment only to run into, okay more like bump into, Clyde.

“Oh- Craig!” The brunette threw his arms around his friend’s waist. “There you are! I was worried! Where did you go after you ran off?”

“Went on a ride.”

“Where did you get a bike?”

“My old one was in a storage unit… decided to go get it.”

“You should’ve told me! I was about to file a missing persons report!”

“Uh huh,” Craig rolled his eyes. “I’m sure you were Clyde. However if you don’t mind I was on my way out.”

“Let me come with y-“

“No.”

And with that, he pushed past the brunette and hurried down the stairs. He hopped on his bike, revved the engine a few times then sped off towards his destination before Clyde even got the chance to follow him.


 Tweek was taking it all in. Taking in the wreckage of the small roadside businesses that sat nestled amongst the mountains. It broke him seeing things like this, seeing everybody look so defeated. Damaged property was always something that managed to hurt his heart, and of course this was no different.

But the familiar roar of a motorcycle engine pulled him from his thoughts as he snapped his head forward towards the road.

The familiar looking bike came into view, and so did a mess of black hair.

Tweek stood up and made his way over to the man who got off his bike, offering nothing but a crooked smile as the blonde approached.

“Tweek.”

“What're you doing here?”

“I saw this on the news…” Craig’s eyes wandered as he did his best to avoid eye contact with Tweek. “Figured I would come by and see how I could help.”

Tweek stared up at him for a moment before sighing in defeat and walking back towards his news van, Craig following closely behind.

And maybe that was a mistake. Because the second his face was seen everyone stopped what they were doing a rushed him, asking for autographs and pictures all while snapping pictures of him just standing there completely flustered by the sudden bombardment of attention. Craig should be used to this… but no matter how many years in the business he had under his belt all the attention still came as a shock. 

“Who’s the hot shot?” Tweek’s camera man, Davíd, asked as he gestured to the swarm of people.

The mention of the name ‘hotshot’ brought a small smile to Tweek’s face, even if he didn’t realize it, as he looked over his shoulder at Craig before catching himself and looking back towards his friend. “An ex-boyfriend, his name is Craig Tu-“

“He races professionally doesn’t he?!”

Tweek nodded.

“I had no idea he was your ex.”

Tweek rolled his eyes as he helped load up the van, “I try to avoid talking about him.”

Tweek was trying his best to ignore the crowd and to resist actually looking over his shoulder and while ignoring the other man carry on about Craig Tucker. Instead he choose to focus on Davíd’s voice, even if it did get drowned out with all the noise surrounding them.

He felt a tap on his shoulder that caused the blonde to jump and spin around. He looked up at Craig with his hands on his hips and a disgruntled look on his face. “You scared me.”

“Sorry,” Craig shoved his hands in his pockets as he ignored those who were standing behind him and taking his picture, those who were shouting his name. Hell, he was even ignoring the other reporters who were shouting questions at him. 

Because all he cared about, at this very moment, was Tweek. “Let’s get dinner tonight,” he offered up a smile as he finally looked Tweek in the eyes.

“Excuse me?”

“Do you still like Italian?”

“What the hell makes you think I want to get dinner with you after what you did to me?”

“Look I get it… I messed up. But let me make it up to you. Let me show you I’m different and I’m not just some stupid kid anymore.”

Tweek looked towards Davíd who simply nodded encouragingly as he finished loading up the last of his bags before shutting the back of the vehicle. 

Craig thought for a moment, leaning against the van with his arms crossed as he seemed to lose himself and ponder over a situation that Tweek couldn’t quite put his finger on.

Hey ,” Tweek looked towards Davíd, who was tugged on the sleeve of his shirt. “ I say you do it.

Tweek grumbled as he watched Davíd walk away from him and get into the driver’s side of the vehicle. Then he turned his attention back to Craig, who merely offered him a smile. 

“Tomorrow, 6:30.” Tweek rolled his eyes. “But don’t be late Craig Tucker,” he grabbed a bag at his feet before getting into the van.

“You have my word.”

Chapter Text

He contemplated as he watched from a distance. Watched the interaction between the two, between him and those who swarmed around him like a pack of ravenous wolves about to go in for the kill. But he handled everything being thrown at him quite well. Perhaps the rider had promise.

Perhaps.

A sinister smile crossed his face was one that no one could ignore. Sharp teeth poking out over the corners of his lower lip while a red tint in his eyes seemed to almost spark to life.

This was the rider. This was the one that his father had chosen to hunt him down and send him crawling back to the endless depths of hell. This is the rider that would be his supposed downfall.

He guessed that only time would tell about the rider’s worth, but with what he could see he guessed that he wouldn’t even stand a chance against him.

He listened to the motorcycle roar to life. Watched how the man started to ride off, coming his way. He slinked into the shadows to hide, to really watch and observe it all.

And when the rider passed he finally got a good look at him.

“I hope you’re ready rider,” his eyes followed as the motorcycle rode off into the distance until disappearing from his sight entirely. His voice was quiet, almost a near whisper that could’ve disappeared with a good gust of wind. “Because I’m coming for you.”

When he found himself alone with his target, the rider, gone is when his attention turned back to the blonde reporter in the news van that was coming his way.

He observed his face, his features. Every single little thing about him the stranger took in and engraved into his memory. “And I hope he’s ready too.”

He stepped out of his hiding place, the black shadow that once engulfed his body disappearing as the sun hit his skin as he continued to watch all the movements around him.

There was a reason Craig was warned to stay away from everyone in his life that he cared for. And perhaps in due time he was about to discover why. 


He wasted no time making his way inside the tiny apartment. And Clyde wasted no time standing up and wrapping him up in a hug tightly around the waist

“Buddy!”

Craig lightly patted Clyde on the back before gripping his shoulders and pushing him away. The brunette looked up at his friend with a look of confusion, with a hint of happiness, on his face.

“Where’d you go?”

“For a ride.”

Clyde eyed him suspiciously before making his way into the tiny kitchen to grab something out of the fridge, “you seem, I don’t know, different.”

“What the hell are you talking about Clyde?”

The brunette shrugged as he made his way over to the couch and went back to watching whatever it was he had on the television. So Craig made his way over to the recliner, kicked off his boots and glanced at Clyde.

“Be honest with me Craig,” Clyde took a sip of his soda as he turned in his seat to look at his friend. “Where’d you go?”

“I, uh, I went to go see Tweek.”

Clyde nearly choked. He started coughing and hitting his chest with a fist until he was able to compose himself well enough to actually say something. 

“You went to see Tweek?!”

Craig simply nodded.

“That’s great, right? Does it mean you’re making progress?”

“Depends on if you call a dinner date tomorrow progress or not.”

Craig had never seen Clyde stand up so quickly. He actually never expected him to grab him by the arm, pull him up and force him to follow him into his, Craig’s, bedroom.

“What the hell are you doing?”

“We have to make you look nice for your date!” Clyde pushed Craig down onto his bed before heading over to his closest and rummaging through it. He pulled out shirts, and pants, and whatever the hell else Craig has shoved into the depths of his closet.

“You do realize I can dress myself, right?”

“I’m aware,” Clyde turned and shoved a black dress shirt into Craig’s chest. “But, no offense, you kind of dress like a bum.”

Craig choose to say silent. Instead he simply rolled his eyes and set the shirt aside. If this was one of the little things that Clyde found enjoyment in then he supposed he would allow it to happen 

It was baby steps after all.

“Are these clean?” Clyde held up a pair of black jeans.

Again, Craig shrugged as he reached forward to take them. He set them on top the shirt before he eventually scooped everything up in his arms and made his way into his tiny attached bathroom. 

So Clyde made himself comfortable on the chair Craig had in his room and waited for Craig to emerge.

It only took a minute or two before the door opened. Clyde looked up from his phone and smiled brightly, “that’s what I’m talking about!”

“I look like a jackass.”

“What are you talking about? I think you look great!”

“This isn’t me though Clyde. You have to remember that this is Tweek we’re talking about… he knows how I dress…”

“Okay, yeah, but hear me out here alright?”

Craig nodded as he leaned against the doorframe and crossed his arms.

“This is your first date in years! You want to make a good first, second?, impression. I understand he knows you but at the same time you want to show him that you’ve changed!”

Craig chose to say nothing as he let Clyde continue to ramble on and on about how this is good for him, and how it’s moving forward from the past and blah blah blah… it was easy for Craig to tune him out, he had gotten quite good at it over the years.

“And I- hey, did you see that?” Clyde ran to the bedroom window and peeked out through the blinds and down to the grassy little area that was nestled behind their apartment building.

“No?”

“Dude, is it just me or is the sky like… raining fire?”

Craig pushed Clyde aside and looked outside, his eyes getting wide as his eyes scanned every little inch of the the outdoor surroundings. “Mother fucker.”

“What’s this mean?”

“It means we need to get the hell out of here, and now.”

Chapter Text

Clyde had no idea what was happening. Everything as of late seemed to be so incredibly unpredictable that it was making his life so much more interesting than he ever could’ve imagined.

But then again Clyde wasn’t complaining. He realized everything became crazy and chaotic ever since he and Craig started hanging out again. Everything was hectic and unknown that it made him feel so much more alive than he ever thought to be possible.

He enjoyed having Craig back in his life but sometimes all he wanted was a break. Sometimes he just wanted to sit down, relax and enjoy the finer things in life… such as time with his girlfriend, or his other friends… but he loved going on wild and crazy adventures with his best friend! He loved seeing the world and doing so many exciting things that he probably never would’ve been able to do before.

And then there was this. There was this weird, crazy shit that would happen from time to time with absolutely no explanation that would cause him to feel dizzy. It would cause him to feel so incredibly overwhelmed with a bunch of emotions that he really couldn’t describe properly and it sometimes even made him feel sick to his stomach.

He had no idea what exactly was happening. He didn’t know why Craig was shoving a bunch of shit into a bag and pushing it into his arms as he forced him out of the door but here they were. 

“But-“

“No, I need you to leave and I need you to leave right now.”

“But Craig-“

It was too late for him to finish his sentence. It was too late for him to even try and continue speaking. Craig had shut the door in his face. He wouldn’t dare knock, nor would he even try to unlock the door.

The frantic and frazzled look on Craig’s face was enough of an indication to let him know that something was making him feel uneasy. Of course, Clyde didn’t know what that something was, but he figured in due time Craig would open up to him and tell him. Because they were friends after all, and friends didn’t keep secrets from one another.

So he decided to give him space. And maybe Clyde needed space too. Because after what they just saw, hallucinogenic or not, it would perhaps be best to spend some time with his girl. And maybe this time apart would even allow Craig to get himself into the correct headspace for 1) his date, and 2) the big race he had coming up in two days.

There was a lot happening. Everything was becoming a lot of process… and that was okay! Because Clyde understood all the pressure that was being thrusted onto Craig’s shoulder. He understood everything was probably incredibly scary and weird but he knew that Craig would overcome it. Because that’s what he did best. He overcame obstacles and challenges that presented themselves to him and he faced them head on. 

But this really seemed to shake Craig to his core. He had forced Clyde out with nothing but a bag that was packed with the essentials and his car keys.

So Clyde pulled out his phone and decided to give his girlfriend a call. He listened to it ring for what seemed like forever until she eventually answered the phone.

“Hello?”

“Hey babe!”

“Hi Clyde, how are you?”

“Oh I’m fine, but I was wondering if you were home. I need a place to crash for a few days.”

“I’m at work right now but you know where the key is so go ahead and make yourself at home.”

“Thanks babe, you’re the best!”

There was a long silence before Bebe spoke again, “everything okay?”

“What do you mean?”

“With you and Craig. Is everything okay?”

“Oh yeah it’s-“ he cast his eyes up to the apartment window only to see Craig staring at him before closing the curtains. “It’s great! I just miss you is all.”

“Awe well aren’t you just a sweetheart! Well I’ll be home in a few hours so I’ll see you then.”

“Alright see you then, love you!”

“Love you.”

They hung up at almost the same time, Clyde being a few seconds too slow.he didn’t pocket his phone right away, instead choosing to stare at the screen saver of him and Bebe from a few months ago when the two attended a carnival. He smiled at the memory before he shuffled into his car and took off out of the parking lot and down the road into the darkness and rain... which was weird because it was sunny just moments ago.

But Clyde supposed that was just the weather doing its thing and being forever changing.

But what he didn’t see was the set of red eyes watching him as he drove off. He didn’t see the man dressed in all black standing in the shadows and smiling a wicked smile in his direction with his pointed teeth.

“A friend of the rider… how interesting.”

The black haired mystery man looked over his shoulder at a figure standing behind him. The blonde rushed to his side as the two stared onward.

“I want you to follow him, try and find out what you can about him.”

“Yes sir!” The blonde saluted as he smiled, his bubbly voice and accent filling the otherwise quiet air that surrounded them.

“Oh and Pip?” He placed a hand on the blonde, Pip’s, shoulder to stop him from slinking away into the shadows. He turned his head to look at the demon behind him with a curious expression crossing his face. “Don’t let him know you’re there.”

“Right-o Damien!”

“Good… very good. I’ll be waiting patiently for your return.”

“What will you do while I’m gone?”

“Oh,” Damien glanced up at the apartment building behind him. But more so in particular at the window where the curtains had just closed moments before, “don’t worry about that Pip… I’ve got plenty of things to do.”

“Like what, if I may be so bold and ask.”

“Well,” the demon smiled and showed off his pearly whites, “I have to find out all about our dear friend the Ghost Rider.”

Damien let go of Pip’s shoulder before placing both of his hands into the pockets of his jacket, “just don’t keep me waiting for too long… you know what happened to the last person who did that.”

Pip winced at the thought but he nodded none the less as he tried to push the thought of smoke and ash and bones aside, “I’ll be back before you can say Talley ho!”

“... Talley ho.”

Pip disappeared almost instantly after that, leaving Damien alone in the ever expanding darkness as rain drops, fireballs, fell around him.

“I’m coming for you Rider… and I hope you’re ready.”