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You Deserve Better Than This

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When Dr. Brenner first received the phone call, he was wary, the deal sounded too good to be true.

“I don’t know how you expect me to believe you,” Dr. Brenner finally said with a sigh. “Or why I should even take your weak deal, instead of just going and capturing as many as I please.”

“Because your power is nothing compared to mine. So, believe me, you want to take my deal. I’ll stand aside, defend only Damien from you, and the rest are yours to take. I could care less.” 

“You must know I already have clearance to remove every immortal from South Park. Why else would you do this now?” Dr. Brenner asked, not liking the sound of resistance. 

The voice on the other end of the phone laughed. “Damien has gotten to have his fun on Earth, but it’s time he return to where he belongs, a place where you too, will likely be someday.” 

Dr. Brenner sighed, looking at the evidence he had collected on all of his soon-to-be test subjects. “Very well, you remove Damien Thorn from South Park, and I’ll be free to collect the rest. Are we clear on the terms?”

“Crystal,” the reply came immediately. “See you soon, Brenner.” 

Butters didn’t like the feeling in the air as he and Kenny walked into Tweek’s house, Stan and Kyle on their heels. Damien and Pip were outside, which Butters wasn’t too sure he liked either. But no one seemed to be paying him much attention. Aside from Kenny, of course. 

“Thank god you guys are here,” Tweek cried, rushing everyone upstairs. “I don’t know what’s wrong with Craig!” 

“I’m not a thing on display, Tweek,” Craig groaned, rolling around in his bed in what used to just be Tweek’s room. The bed itself was a formality, for child services and all that, everyone knew Tweek and Craig shared a bed. “Quit parading people through here.”

“They’re our friends, Craig!” Tweek cried, chugging coffee from his thermos. “They’re here because they care.” 

“I just don’t understand what the fuck is going on,” Craig said, raising a hand and flipping everyone off. 

“What happened, Tweek?” Kenny asked, squeezing Butters’ hand. 

Tweek sighed. “We were walking around and ran into Craig’s dad. It got bad pretty fast, Mr. Tucker threw a punch and Craig took it because if he swung a hit, he could get in trouble, you know? But before Mr. Tucker could throw another hit, Craig just...fell over. It was really scary,” Tweek started shaking. “I brought Craig back here, and he’s been like this since.”

Butters took the chance to look at Craig’s eyes, which had been screwed shut a moment ago, but were now slightly opened, and to his surprise, softly glowing. 

At the sight, Butters gasped, and backed right up into Kenny, who turned to see what Butters was looking at. 

“Uh, Craig?” Kenny asked. “Your eyes, dude, you might want to take a look at them.” 

“What the fuck are you talking about?” Craig demanded weakly, as Tweek, Token and Clyde gasped, Tweek rushing to Craig to inspect more closely.

“Tweek, honey, calm down. I don’t feel anything different, other than this ache in my head that won’t go the fuck away,” Craig grumbled. 

“In your head?” Kenny asked. Craig nodded, as Tweek held up a mirror so he could see how his blue eyes were glowing. 

“Well shit,” Craig said, flopping back onto the pillow. 

“You could borrow my parka,” Kenny said. “It would help obscure your eyes.”

“You think?” Craig asked, already reaching for Kenny. 

“It’s not your color but, I don’t think that’s what matters right now,” Kenny said, slipping it off and handing it over.

As soon as Craig was wearing it, he sighed. “Tweek, just say it.” 

“It’s not your color!” Tweek cried, grabbing for Craig’s hand. 

Craig sat up slowly, still gripping the side of his head. “I feel like someone is burning my brain from the inside out. It’s fucking awful.” 

“Oh, you have got to be fucking kidding me,” Token said, clearly occupied with something going on outside the window. “I don’t suppose if I told you Eric Cartman is fighting Pip again outside you’d believe me this time?”

“Wait what?” Kenny asked, pulling Butters over to the window. As Butters glanced down and saw Eric Cartman squaring off with Pip down on the sidewalk, he put a hand to his head, the chaos inside of him giving him a headache as it pushed to be released. 

“I told you, dumbass,” Craig groaned from the bed, Tweek still at his side, “people. don’t. fly.” 

“Says the guy rolling around on a bed with glowing eyes,” Token said, shaking his head. 

“Well, I’m not staying up here,” Clyde said, already leaving the room. Token, determined to have some kind of proof, followed behind. 

Stan and Kyle had been quiet through most of this, but even they wanted to go down and see what was happening with Cartman. “You coming, Kenny?” Kyle asked.

“Yeah,” Kenny said, and Butters watched him take one last look at Craig before heading out the doorway and down to the Tweak’s front door. 

As soon as Butters and Kenny were outside, they took in the scene before them, Pip looking rather satisfied with himself, as Cartman laid in a heap in the road.

Damien glanced at Kenny, gesturing to Pip who had once again flung Eric Cartman away from him at a speed too quick to explain away. “Think we can still convince anyone?”

“Fuck,” Kenny grumbled.

“Gah! What the fuck is going on?!” Tweek cried, limping slowly along with Craig, who was using the blonde for support. 

Damien looked back at them, initially with the same disinterest he’d likely shown Clyde, Token, Stan and Kyle, but when he saw Craig’s eyes, faintly glowing beneath the hood of Kenny’s parka, his expression changed. 

“Who are they?” Damien demanded, turning to Butters.

“Oh! Those are our friends, Craig and Tweek! Has Pip not mentioned them?” Butters asked, speaking much more quickly than he wanted to. 

“Tweek...and Craig,” Damien repeated thoughtfully. He laughed as Craig caught him staring and flipped him off. 

“You know, you’re going to kill him,” Damien said casually, his words directed at Tweek, who was supporting Craig, given the latter couldn’t stand on his own, though the son of Satan’s eyes were still on Craig. “If you don’t allow the power to release from within you, you’ll kill him.” 

“Kill him?” Tweek shrieked, freaking out. “What the fuck are you talking about?!” 

“Pay attention, I’ll only explain this once,” Damien said, leading Tweek and Craig away to converse privately. 

Butters sorely wished he could go with them. He was, of course, generally curious what Damien was talking about, but more importantly given their conversation from earlier, Butters had to know if something similar could happen between him and Kenny, what with his somewhat uncontrollable chaos and all. But he and Kenny had another problem on their hands. 

Token. And by the looks of him, he was pissed. 

Okay, maybe pissed was an understatement, Token looked furious, his face inches from Kenny. 

...

“So you knew ? You fucking knew and you said nothing ?” Token demanded, and Kenny wanted to look away, desperately. 

“…Yes,” Kenny finally admitted, breaking down.

“You’re one of them?” Clyde asked, nervous. Kenny didn’t blame him. "You're...you can't die?"

“I’m Kenny, Kenny as you’ve always known me,” Kenny said, shrugging. “I die. And then the next day, I’m back. Every time.”

“Dude,” Stan said, mouth dropped open. “Our whole lives?!” 

“Yeah, and only two people seem to remember, Butters and Cartman,” Kenny said, gesturing to the brunette who was still lying in the road, his chest supporting almost the full weight of Pip, who was stepping on him triumphantly, an unholy look in his eyes. 

Kyle seemed at a loss. “How could we- God Kenny, we’re the worst friends ever.”

“No, I love you guys, seriously,” Kenny said. “All of you, and if this is going to get bad, I don’t think I can do it without you.” 

“I still can’t believe you lied, Kenny,” Token said. “We could have helped you with this.”

“Yeah, I mean look at Craig!” Clyde cried, as everyone glanced over at Craig and Tweek who were still talking to Damien. “Did I hear Damien right when he said Craig could die?! What the fuck is going on?” Clyde pleaded, not asking any one person in particular. “Couldn’t we have done something if you’d told us sooner?!” 

“Maybe, maybe not,” Kenny said, with a shrug. He looked over at Butters who looked lost in another world. All he wanted to do was protect him, get him away from here and this town with its problems and its awful parents and everyone who wanted to tear them down. But hadn’t Pip been out there? Far beyond the town walls where the rest of the world waited to eat them alive? 

If he’d nearly been turned into a monster, how in the fuck did any of them stand a chance?

"Well, what exactly are we supposed to do now?" Stan asked. "It sounds like...someone could be coming here for Pip, and you as well Kenny. What do we do about that?" 

"We don't give up," Kenny turned to see Butters' eyes flashing as he spoke. He looked angry, and determined. "You guys can be mad at Kenny later. If something is coming for us, we need to figure something out, now." 

"Huh. Never thought I'd see Butters like...this," Kyle muttered, and Kenny felt a smile of pride tug on his face.

"He's right," Kenny said. "We need a strategy, especially if there's no one who's going to help us. And I think I have an idea."