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It's in a Name

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Soulmates was a pretty common topic. Every ad that showed up had a mention, every movie trailer, almost every magazine had at least one article with pictures regarding the subject. It was something that couldn’t be avoided, even if someone tried.

They were interesting, and no set of circumstances was even completely the same. There were so many different ways that someone would be able to tell, from having your world be colorless until they touched the other half to their set. Some people didn’t know until their name was on their tongue and there was a sudden zing. Some people had matching images while others could communicate through drawings on their skin! Then there were those that got flowers blooming where their soulmate’s got hurt, and the aftermath of dead flowers or thorns… he was glad that wasn’t his case. He didn’t think he’d be strong enough to deal with the constant worry of how severe they might have been hurt.

All things considered, he’d gotten it pretty easy. He actually had a name that would help him connect those dots. A name to the person who was supposed to make his soul light up and be a matching set. He’d find them when the time was right, and that was that. You couldn’t rush a connection like that, and it would have to have buildup, they’d have to get to know one another and they’d have to see how they’d clash-if they’d be able to make one another happy or if they’d part ways and only share an occasional greeting. He couldn’t wait to leave this small town and find them .

Call him soft all you wanted, but he wanted what his parents had had. The moments when he’s sneak out of bed just to catch a glimpse of their hidden little world. Where his dad had spun her around and they slow danced in the kitchen to a tune only the two of them could hear. The mornings when he’d wake up early and find one of them in the kitchen making breakfast that he sometimes got to help with. The look of love and how soft they were when the breakfast was served in bed. The moments when they had been at the store and one of them just stopped and picked up something small because ‘It reminded me of them,’ complete with the soft eyes.

He wanted the sense of closeness and the inside jokes and the feeling of rightness that they spoke about whenever he had asked… his fingers went over the name that was written over the inside of his wrist. Leopold… that was an entirely new can of worms for him to open. How was their name pronounced? Would they enjoy dancing, would they be affectionate, would they care what he looked like? What little quirks did they have, how was their life, were they just as excited to meet up with him as he was? Would they be the same age, or would there be a big difference? Was he one of more soulmates that they had? He had so many questions and no way of getting answers until they met up. If they met up… after all, it was a coin toss, a stroke of luck that decided the meeting, no matter what you had to mark your soulmate.

He let his head fall onto his friends shoulder, remaining zoned out from the assembly that he probably should have been paying attention to. He didn't startle when fingers tapped against his knee, only relaxing further when things clicked. Each of his friends had a different way of doing this, of reacting to his touch. The fingers against his knee only proved it was Token, and the tapping was to keep him grounded. Token, who was his cuddle buddy, and had never shied away from being the little spoon or letting him drape himself over him like an ill shaped weighted blanket. The words had stuck with him after Token had mentioned it jokingly... Token who knew of the name hidden underneath the multitude of bracelets under his right wrist.

He adored his friends though, and he couldn't help but wonder how they'd interact with his soulmate if he got a chance to introduce them. How would his soulmate would react to him being so touchy, would they look at him weird when he mentioned laying his head in Jimmy's lap to let him pet his hair, or at how casually he'd hold Tweek's hand even when the other squeezed or rubbed his thumb over his knuckles too fast and hard? How he and Craig would laze around in the same bed and he'd tuck his head into the small of his back and just bask in the feeling of being close to such amazing, dickish people? The way that Kenny would link pinkies with him when he needed something to help keep him in the moment, or how he's able to throw an arm around Bebe without a second thought and pull her close.

Would it be taken badly, or would they be just as touchy as he was? Would they cherish every moment they had, and would they have friends who were just as fine with it? Or were they touch starved due to a lack of willing friends? He supposed that if they resented the idea of touch then he could just not touch them as often. Their comfort level was more important than him wanting to be touched, and companionship could be just as valuable even if they didn’t make themselves into a two person puppy pile.

He pressed closer to Token, linking their ankles together as he felt someone nudge his shoulder, oh… it seemed like it was time for the awards, which meant that the students who thrived in academics and pressure would be going to stand in front of everyone… which meant that his current resting person would be getting up and he had to untangle himself so Token wouldn’t be seen as slighting the other students who wanted the award, if he even got it, but as far as he knew, Token was the smartest student who put too much effort into things--Wendy got distracted by other issues, and Kyle’s temper got the better of him more often than not-leading to him not being the smartest on record.

He moved from being almost in Token’s lap to leaning back and resting between Tweek’s legs, feeling his fingers going through his hair and pulling a bit too roughly in the process, but he didn’t mind, it kept his attention on the people around him, and Tweek obviously needed the comfort as much as he did. He watched Token wait to be called up, already ready to stand up and accept the useless piece of paper that would give him pride and likely join the others in frames on his academic achievement wall. Said it helped keep him motivated and all that junk, what a nerd.

He waited for Token’s name, but it didn’t get called, what was called, was a name that resonated with him, that made his stomach twist and his heart simultaneously stop in his chest and beat double time. His soulmate… that had to be the pronunciation, his Soulmate was here, and they must be new but he hadn’t gotten any word of a new student--his sudden increase in breathing got the attention of his friends, and he realized that this was not in fact the shining moment he had been waiting for since childhood. This was awful and twisted and his chest was starting to hurt and it felt like the air was being crushed from his lungs because he already knew him .

He watched the blonde step down, the gym seemingly silent when matched up against the blood rushing to his head. It was. His soulmate was Butters. Butters.

Butters, who’s name was not in fact Butters, like he had assumed his entire life growing up with him. Butters, who had been regularly bullied by a lot of their classmates. Butters who went with him to Somalia when they had been tricked by Cartman, Butters who chose to be a villain when playing superheroes, Butters, who he had seen at Raisins more times than he could count, Butters, who had a nice smile when it was genuine, who’s eyes shone and got his attention on more than one occasion.

Butters, who’s name had been on his wrist for as long as he could remember. His soulmate was trapped here with him in this dumpy mountain town that destroyed the people it held…

On his next breath he made a mistake as a glob of spit went down the wrong pipe, turning the heavy breath into a wheeze, his body shooting forward so he could press his chest to his knees in hopes the change in position would draw less attention to him and help draw more air into his lungs. He didn’t care how much attentino he was drawing to himself, he didn’t care about the worried expressions of his friends or the disbelief on Token’s, not when he was focusing more on trying to breathe


 

So, he could have taken finding out that his soulmate had been right beside him since preschool a little better, as in, he could have not panicked and worried his immediate friend group while simultaneously gaining the attention of a lot of the other students in the auditorium. Both good and bad, worried and cutting.

Yes, he was a crybaby with a flair for the dramatics he fucking got it. He was emotional but he refused to rein himself in, his mom would have wanted him to stay true to himself, and if that meant refusing to bottle up his emotions and becoming a ticking time bomb then that was what he was going to do!

This still didn’t help him figure out how he was going to talk to Butters about this, if he was going to talk to Butters about this. It was no secret that Butters’ parents were soulmates, and really dysfunctional ones too. They’d forced a romance without anything healthy to build off of, and Butters was reaping the consequences. He’d suffered because of the old timey view that soulmates had to be romantic, that they had to get married and pop out a kid for it to be valid when that had never been the case.

How would he be able to woo someone who had such a twisted view on soulmates, who viewed them as a curse, something that wasn’t a necessity. How could he even come close to breaching the topic without being shut down or having Butters think that it was a joke! Their views on this were on completely opposite sides of the spectrum, and it was inevitable that they would clash on this if the subject came up…

So he just wouldn’t bring it up. It was a great decision. He’d woo him without the influence of their soulmarks, and prove that they were meant to be in one another’s lives in some shape or form. Clyde was a fairly common name after all, and there was no last name that would be a further clue! As long as Butters didn’t see his wrist, things could go flawlessly while he brought out the old Donovan charm… maybe take a leaf out of his mom’s book and he could bake for him, her signature lemon bars, or he could make a small cream cake… and he knew that Butters was allergic to some kind of nut and he had to find out about that before he started baking to avoid any sort of cross contamination… and maybe find out if there were any sorts of desserts that he’s been craving lately.

Operation ‘Woo the Soulmate’ has officially begun.


Now if only he could figure out how to get closer to him without him or someone else figuring out his somewhat ulterior motive… his grades were pretty average if on the lower side, and Butters had gotten an award for doing very well on the academic side of things… asking him to tutor him would be a win-win for him that way. Spend time with a cute boy who he had liked before finding out, sweeping said cute boy off of his feet, and then living happily together once they left this town and it’s shitty examples behind.