An increasingly maddening event, Friday night dinners with Stan and Wendy will end in inevitable mixed drink depression.
Kyle has already pleaded with Bebe to let him stay home. He could be reading one of his campy fantasy novels or playing on MystifyNet – without Stan, which he should really start doing more often, he thinks. But Bebe is relentless as always.
"You're not throwing me in the lion's den alone, assface," she snips, pouring some serum from a fancy bottle into one palm. She rubs it together in her hands and scrunches it into her curls, which are still damp from her shower. Kyle doesn't know what difference that product will make, but then, he refuses to have his long anymore. It's too much of a hassle.
While Bebe is fully dressed in going-out gear, Kyle still wears his pajamas, trying to convince her that he's suddenly fallen ill. He exaggerates a cough to help his cause, but all this earns him is a cocked, penciled-in brow.
Kyle exasperatedly sighs, "Please?"
"Goddamnit, Bebe," Kyle complains.
"Don't be a drama queen," she says, flipping her hair over her shoulder. She checks herself out in the mirror with a content little smile at the result. Kyle rolls his eyes.
But he doesn't like being called a drama queen – and so, reluctantly, he retreats to his bedroom. He doesn't put nearly as much effort into his appearance as Bebe does. He merely slips on a pair of jeans and a fresh t-shirt, throwing a jacket over his shoulders and shoving his feet into sneakers. Bebe, on the other hand, has donned a floral dress and a pair of satin pumps. She always outdoes Kyle in dressing herself. Kyle is an awkward dresser, and always has been.
To contrast her pink pumps and fruity, bubble-skirted dress, she drives a pickup truck, something that doesn't look at all like it belongs in downtown Denver, but from their hometown. Her truck, with it peeling powder-blue paint and rust stains, fit right in in South Park, whereas Bebe herself, primped and constantly fashion forward, did not.
Kyle loads into the passenger's seat, still wishing that he was back in bed, on his laptop, or with a book in his hands. Friday's dinners with Wendy and Stan are nothing short of torture. It isn't because they're overtly affectionate or twee. Stan and Wendy both dislike public displays of affection, finding it lowbrow and immature. It's that Stan and Wendy are so in sync with each other – that's what bothers Kyle. He's certain that that is what bothers Bebe, too. The fact that Stan and Wendy know everything about each other is worse than any sticky, public kiss.
That, and Kyle's in love with Stan.
He always has been. At least since he hit puberty, anyway
And Bebe's been in love with Wendy.
He gives a soft, almost inaudible sigh as Bebe starts the car. They don't drive all that far – only to a parking meter a few blocks further into the city. They could have walked, but Bebe wore heels and it's chilly outside.
Café Rialto makes damn good food. Expensive, but good. Bebe and Kyle switch off with Wendy and Stan for covering the bill every weekend that they choose this particular restaurant. Inside, the lighting is dim and the atmosphere warm. Kyle spots Wendy and Stan already seated at a table just over the half-wall that lines the entry way. Wendy looks pulled together and perfect as always, a contrast to Bebe's more chaotic good looks. Beside Wendy is a glass of wine. Stan, on the other hand, drinks only a Coke. He relinquished drinking years ago and started going to therapy and taking medication for his depression, much to the collective relief of the entirety of South Park.
Stan waves when he spots them come in.
Something is suspiciously off. Kyle doesn't like it. Wendy's grin is too wide, and Stan looks too dressed up for their usual Friday dinner. Even their muscles seem tenser, with something like anticipation.
They have news.
And Kyle would bet a pretty fucking penny that he is not going to like this at all.
"Hey guys," greets Stan, raising his Coke glass as Bebe and Kyle slide into their seats and pull the chairs closer to their table. A waiter comes a few minutes into the conversation, stuck still on how are yous and how's life treating you? and takes their orders.
Kyle finishes a story the irritating hipster kids he catered to at his shift earlier today. Stan and Wendy give him light pity laughs, while out of the corner of his eye, Kyle watches Bebe massage her temples, because he already told her the story and she already told him that it wasn't all that amusing.
"Guys," Stan says, "We have some awesome news."
Awesome news. That sounds appropriately ominous, and Kyle begins to feel that tight feeling in his chest at the sight of Stan's easy, warm grin. He looks so happy with his hand resting on Wendy's shoulder, so in place, so perfect. People shouldn't be allowed to look as flawless together as they do. They're nearly the same height, Wendy being on the taller side and Stan being on the shorter side. They both have beautiful hair and classically beautiful faces. For fuck's sake, the shade of Stan's tie even matches the color of the stripes on Wendy's blouse. They go together, like cards in a matching game.
Meanwhile, Bebe and Kyle are the outcast cards that lost their matches.
Wendy pulls her hand off of her lap and sticks it out, "We're getting married!" On her finger is a bright diamond ring, simply cut and very much Wendy's taste.
And Kyle's heart drops into the bottom of his stomach, feeling as though it's being dissolved by acid.
Okay, sure. This was inevitable, wasn't it? They're perfect together. So why shouldn't Stan and Wendy be engaged with a perfect fucking ring, and why shouldn't they have a perfect fucking wedding, make perfect fucking babies, and live happily fucking after?
If Kyle wasn't certain of his status as a mature, responsible adult, he'd stand up and walk out of the restaurant. But, unfortunately, mature, responsible adults don't do things like storm out of places when their best friend since childhood tells them that they're going to have a long, happy life with the love of their life.
Fuck being an adult, Kyle thinks, but what he says is, "That's fucking fantastic, you guys!" He plasters a smile on his face. For a moment, when Stan looks at him, Kyle thinks that he might know that Kyle is putting on a show, but Kyle has been putting on this show for Stan for over half of their lives. He's not about to be discovered right now.
"I want you to be my maid of honor," Wendy says, smiling brightly at Bebe, who looks like she's trying to choke back that same devastated surprise that's wriggling around in Kyle's gut.
Stan follows up with, "And I want you to be my best man."
"You guys will do it, won't you?" Wendy asks, and then makes a vague gesture with her hand, "Who am I kidding? Of course you will."
Kyle has never been more grateful to see food coming their way. As long as he has food in his mouth, he won't have to shout and scream like he wants to, like a toddler would. He makes sure to space out his bites so that he doesn't have to speak more than strictly necessary, and can tell that Bebe is doing the same, probably silently wishing that her burger was bigger.
For both Kyle and Bebe, the meal is painfully long, especially as Stan expresses interest in dessert, as he always does – he has a weakness from crème brûlée, and insists upon having it any time that it is on the menu of the restaurant that they pick out for the week.
It's Kyle and Bebe's turn to pick up the bill this time, but Stan and Wendy take it from the waiter and tell them that it's their treat, and not to worry. It's the least they can do, of course, since they've broken a couple of hearts and made two people want to get so drunk that they vomit forever afterward.
They exchange a round of strained hugs outside of the restaurant before parting ways. It feels colder outside than it was when Bebe and Kyle entered the restaurant, and Kyle finds himself wrapping his arms around his middle.
Together, Kyle and Bebe pile into her beaten-up truck, but they don't speak. She doesn't start the engine up for a few quiet moments, almost as if she's waiting for one of them to say something – anything. Kyle remains silent, though, and so she does, too. She revs up the truck and pulls out into the street, ignoring the shout of a driver that she cut off. She doesn't turn on the radio like she usually does, and for that, Kyle feels grateful. Bebe likes pop music (he does too, occasionally), but he knows the sticky beats and catchy, sexual lyrics would just grate on his nerves right now.
Kyle stares out the window. He's angry. He's always angry, but now, it's much worse. It's worse because he's hurt, too. It's not the typical bullshit that he knows he shouldn't take too seriously (but does anyway), it's his best fucking friend.
Stan is getting married.
It isn't as though this is a surprise. Stan and Wendy have been dating solidly since they were sixteen. They lost their virginity to each other when they were seventeen, after they went to prom as each other's dates. They've been together forever, and they're in love. Kyle doesn't know why the inevitable should feel this disappointing, should make his temper flare this much. Kyle only interrupts the silence to roll down the window and curse at jaywalking pedestrians – assholes. After that, they fall back into noiselessness.
But when Bebe pulls into the garage of their apartment building, she asks, "You wanna get shitfaced?"
"God, yes," Kyle answers, "Please."
If you'd asked a teenaged Kyle Broflovski where he'd be living at almost twenty two years of age, he would never in his life have said ‘with Bebe Stevens.' In fact, he wouldn't have thought he'd be living with her even right before it happened. Somehow, he'd gotten it into his head that he would always be living Stan. Always. The idea of marriage hadn't even crossed his mind for an instant, no matter how many anniversaries Stan and Wendy collected under their belts. But in their sophomore year of college, Stan and Wendy decided to move out of the dorms and into their own apartment together.
Kyle could have remained in the dorms at school, he supposes, but he didn't because as soon as Stan had vacated their room, he felt lonely. He felt stupid for feeling lonely, too. He'd always needed his space, and until then, he'd believed that being alone would be the best thing he could do for himself.
But then he'd run into Bebe at the library. They'd ended up outside, talking together about how much it sucked to be alone, veritably ditched by their best friends.
A month later, they packed their shit up and moved into a shitty apartment together supported by their equally as shitty jobs (Kyle at Starbucks and Bebe at Target). They'd had to explain to everybody they knew that they were strictly roommates.
Well – there was that one time. They were drunk. It had been excruciatingly awkward in the morning, especially after Bebe refused to take back her first words of the day ("Dude, your ass is damn fine").
After that, they'd never tried anything with each other again.
And Kyle likes Bebe. She's a little high maintenance at times, but nothing when compared Stan. When issues arise with Bebe, it's usually that Kyle's making coffee and struggling with small talk in the morning with some one night stand while Bebe showers. Or, Kyle reassuring her that she looks fuckable in whatever outfit she's chosen to wear out to go clubbing (ventures on which he is inevitably dragged along, even if he'd rather be back home reading).
They've become symbiotic over the years. Kyle makes the coffee in the morning and takes care of basic chores and household upkeep, while Bebe ensures that Kyle doesn't become a hermit trapped in his fantasy novels, Farmville or MystifyNet. And shit, sure, they annoy each other from time to time (all the time, really), but at heart, they take care of each other.
And now –
Now, they're going to have to care for each other even more.
Bebe slips her arm around Kyle's shoulders in the elevator and slips off her satin pumps, sighing as she lowers back to her natural height. They still don't want to talk about it. That's fine. They can talk about the Marsh-Testaburger marriage when they're well and thoroughly drunk. That way, they won't remember the details of what they discussed, just that it occurred, and the feelings will not have to arise again.
Except that the feelings are always there, a nagging voice in the back of Kyle's head tells him. He scowls off to the side so that Bebe won't see him pouting. Fortunately, he thinks that she might be pouting, too.
Bebe had confessed it to Kyle after about a year of their living together: She was hopelessly, deeply in love with Wendy Testaburger. It had all come spilling out after they'd had Stan and Wendy over for drinks and board games, since he and Bebe were (and continue to be) too poor to afford a gaming system. They had alcohol in their systems.
Naturally, once Bebe's secret was out, Kyle's came out, too.
Kyle, too, was in hopelessly, deeply in love with his best friend.
"This sucks!" Bebe shouts, as soon as the door is closed safely behind them. She throws her heels into the middle of the floor and runs her hands through her hair, pulling out clips and pins and placing them on the kitchen counter as she stoops down to retrieve a bottle of their finest vodka. Neither Bebe nor Kyle can abide beer – Bebe openly scorns the drink, while Kyle grins and bears it because he doesn't want to admit that he can only tolerate the taste of liquor when it's masked with sweet, fruity tastes.
"Can we talk about this after we're drunk?" asks Kyle tiredly.
"Why aren't you pissed?" demands Bebe, "You're always pissed."
"I am pissed. I just…feel like shit, I guess," Kyle shrugs. It's killing him, too. He can't stand being sad for more than just a little while, and he has a feeling that this marriage will totally destroy him before Wendy and Stan have even said ‘I do.'
A Sex on the Beach will fix that right up, baby," Bebe reassures him. She's the drink mixer of the household. Kyle tried once to make himself a drink while Bebe was working a graveyard shift at Target, broke their electric juicer, and was henceforth banned from touching the alcohol paraphernalia.
Bebe brings their drinks and cuddles up next to Kyle. He used to feel weird about having her snuggled beside him, but became used to it after he lost the count of how many times it had happened. Bebe is extremely touchy-feely. She likes hugging and spooning – she's just physical, especially with close friends. Kyle passed the point of no return on that front once he learned about Bebe's feelings for Wendy. He supposes that her affectionate nature is also the reason that he finds himself in a constant state of explaining that he and Bebe are platonic roommates, even after all these years.
She leans her head against his shoulder and mumbles, "At least we can be bummed together."
Kyle downs some of his drink so that he doesn't have to speak again.
When he does speak, he says, "We might have to go for shots."
Bebe frowns, but replies, "Fuck. Yeah, I think you're right. Shit, this is the worst."
When their glasses are drained, Bebe gets up to stash them in the kitchen sink. She returns to the couch with vodka and shot glasses in hand. She pours them each one and they tip back on the count of three. Kyle wishes that he'd thought to ask her to bring a chaser over. He admits it: he's a wimp when it comes to drinking.
"Why did I fall in love with a straight dude?" laments Kyle, as he returns to the couch with a glass of orange juice.
Bebe wrinkles her nose, "Why did I fall in love with a straight chick? At least you and Stan have kissed. Wendy and I never did anything."
"That doesn't count," Kyle argues, "He was drunk and he doesn't remember it. Unless you're talking about that one spin-the-bottle game we played at your birthday party when we were what, twelve?"
Bebe laughs and hiccups, "Oh, fuck, that. You know, I thought that was the hottest fucking thing I'd ever seen at the time? I was a horny little shit already."
"Jesus Christ, why? I was covered in acne and my voice hadn't dropped," Kyle lifts a brow. He knows that he's a relatively attractive man. As soon as he was out of his mother's dictation, he hacked off his fro and went for shorter, tasteful curls – though they still only cooperate under the command of expensive gel that he can only get from his hairdresser.
Bebe pours herself a second shot and cocks a brow in question before pouring his, answering, "You put your hand on his leg. I fantasized about it for years."
"Dude, I lost my balance and grabbed him so we wouldn't fall on top of each other," Kyle says, pouring his own shot this time, and washing it down with as much juice as he can manage in one swallow. He's only now starting to feel better. He's cloudier, lighter. He doesn't need to worry about the fact that he's in love with his straight best friend and has been since they kissed when they were twelve during that fucking game of spin-the-bottle.
His straight best friend who is engaged.
"That would have been ever hotter," sighs Bebe.
Kyle pours them more shots. He says, as they clink their glasses together, "They're fucking engaged, dude."
Bebe pours her shot back and wipes her mouth with the back of her hand before agreeing glumly, "Yeah. They are."
"You think they'd be pissed – if you know, they knew about how we feel about this bullshit?" Kyle asks. He ends up dashing a generous dose of vodka into his orange juice and sipping at it, wondering when he'll start to feel less miserable.
"Shit, I dunno," Bebe slurs, "Part of me wants to think like, they'd take our opinions into consideration? But I guess I know that once Wendy has her mind set on doing something, she goes for full fucking steam ahead. We're fucked, Kyle."
"We could always…I dunno, try?"
"Breaking them up," clarifies Kyle.
"Would that make us bad friends?" Bebe asks, but he can tell that she's as interested in the idea as he is.
"Probably, but," Kyle considers his next words. He's always thought himself to be more of an optimist. If he still identifies as that, why wouldn't he think that getting Stan to give him a chance is possible? "I wanna give a shot, dude. I wanna see if I can at least get him to understand."
"It's kind of selfish," Bebe points out.
"I'm kind of selfish," shrugs Kyle.
"So am I," Bebe mutters. She perks up, then, getting a devious look on her face. She bites down on her bottom lip and continues, "I bet you that I could get Wendy to fuck me before you could get Stan to fuck you."
"Bullshit," retorts Kyle, feeling a little offended, "You said it yourself, Wendy's got her heart set on this marriage. Stan and I are super best friends." He uses the term even though they dropped it when they hit middle school (they were worried that having such a title would make them uncool, and dropping the ‘super' ended up sticking).
"You and Stan may be super best gay for each other or whatever," Bebe says, "But Stan is dumb as fuck."
"Stan isn't dumb," protests Kyle.
"Oblivious, whatever. Same thing," Bebe waves him off. Kyle still disagrees. He's found that he tends to be the oblivious one out of the two of them, at least when it comes to feelings, but he doesn't want to bicker about it.
"Fuck you. I can totally get Stan in the sack."
"I'll get Wendy between the sheets faster."
"How much you wanna bet, bitch?" Kyle folds his arms.
"Don't call me bitch, bitch," Bebe snaps back, "I'll bet you my half of the rent, motherfucker."
"I'll win," Kyle says.
"I will," Bebe returns, "Let's drink on this shit." She doles them a shot each and hands one to Kyle.
"Whoever fucks the love of their life first pays the rent," Kyle somberly says, "May the best man win."
Bebe grins, "I will." They click their glasses together, tip back, and smirk at each other.
The deal is sealed, and for the first time tonight, Kyle doesn't feel like his life is over.
The rest of the night flies by in colorful drinks and shots. He and Bebe laugh and slur and giggle over stupid, irrelevant things, but it helps them forget why they're so sad. Sometime during the night, they stumble over each other to answer to door to a neighbor's noise complaint, which takes the energy out of them in a few mere seconds.
After Kyle throws up for what feels like the fiftieth time in the bathroom, he joins Bebe on the couch, where she's sleeping in her dress. He flops over and crawls next to her. Though typically he isn't one to be physically affectionate, a resounding loneliness punctures him through the stupor his brain is marinating in. He wishes desperately that he didn't feel this way anymore. He's felt it for so long, this fucking love for Stan, and it's never done anything but hurt him.
All he can hope now is that it doesn't kill him.
Bebe begins to debate the pros and cons of getting hit by a semi when Wendy asks her to "help out with the wedding." As far as she gathers, Wendy intends to plan the entire affair by herself, but needs assistance in the areas of Bebe's expertise – decorations, colors, entertainment – Bebe has always known how to throw a good-looking, fun party, so why not a wedding?
Why not a wedding, indeed? Bebe has always thought that it might be fun to get into wedding planning as career, but she didn't expect her start to begin with the love of her fucking life marrying a man. At least she's getting something positive out of the crappiest experience of her life, she supposes.
"How are you feeling?" Kyle asks from the kitchen table, when she emerges from her bedroom in one of her snappier ensembles, prepared to face Wendy looking as damn good as she possibly can. He asks it as though the question in an obligation, not bothering to tear his gaze from his laptop to look at her as he sips at his coffee.
This is how he copes, she supposes. He retreats into himself, into his online gaming and his campy fantasy novels and pretends like nothing's wrong. Bebe wonders if he's even thought of the bet since they learned of Stan and Wendy's engagement, or if he even remembers. Maybe the point is moot. Maybe they should stop while they're ahead.
It's been a week, and neither of them has made any progress in pulling this marriage apart. With each passing day, their bet sounds like a more and more terrible idea. She feels like an asshole for even considering it, but fuck, she was drunk, and how the hell is she supposed to feel about this? Happy, she guesses. Wendy will want her to be excited.
"I feel like shit, and you?" asks Bebe. She pulls her coat off of the hook by the door. She knows that she didn't put it there – last night, she draped it over the back of the couch. It's Kyle that insists upon being incessantly neat to the point of insanity.
Kyle sips at his coffee and holds up the mug, "This is spiked. Does that answer your question?"
"I'm going out for coffee with Wendy," Bebe says, "Don't drink all the alcohol. Or if you do, text me, so I can bring some back."
"This is pathetic," mentions Kyle.
"I forfeit dignity when I fell in love with my straight best friend," Bebe responds.
Kyle tips his mug toward her and remarks, "Amen to that."
"I'll be back this evening. Don't have too much fun without me," Bebe says carefully, surveying Kyle as he expertly presses the arrow keys on his laptop.
When she's halfway out the door, he calls behind her, "Have fun storming the castle!"
Bebe walks to her destination in lieu of braving the struggle of parking downtown. It'll be hard on her feet since she's wearing her favorite black, heeled leather boots, but she's always been willing to suffer for fashion. She's especially willing to suffer for her pitiful, unrequited love. Wendy always compliments how Bebe looks, and Bebe always finds herself wishing that Wendy knew how much effort Bebe puts into her appearance just for her. For example, these boots make Bebe's legs look incredible, even though she's on the shorter side and has thicker thighs than Wendy does.
Christ, that woman is perfect. She's as smart as whip, she always gets done what she says she will, she's prompt, and she's drop dead gorgeous. Bebe has grown into her looks, has come to accept that she's curvier and looks heavier. And she does like how she looks, years of insecurities aside. But Wendy – fuck, Wendy – Bebe swears that she waters at the mouth every time that she lays eyes on her. She's willowy and tall, effortlessly put together and elegant even in her t-shirts and sweats. It's no fucking wonder that Stan fell for her.
Bebe stares through the front window of the coffee shop at Wendy before she pushes her way in. She's already seated, holding a to-go cup in one hand and a thick book in the other, probably a book of real substance, and not the fluffy shit that Kyle always leaves around the apartment.
"Hey," Bebe greets, snagging the seat across from her, "What're you reading?"
"Full Frontal Feminism," responds Wendy, but she doesn't elaborate. She marks the book with a folded slip of paper and tucks it back into her purse, a canvas and leather contraption that Bebe thinks she must have found at a thrift store.
"How are you, hun?" Bebe asks. Her brows sweep together as she looks over Wendy, who is more disheveled than Bebe has seen her in a long time. Her long hair has been thrown up into a sloppy bun, and shadows smudge underneath her eyes.
"Ugh," she expresses simply, "I need your advice."
"You need my advice?" Bebe quirks a brow. This isn't a usual thing by any means. Bebe tends to be the one that seeks help, because Wendy tends to be the logical mind that knows how to steer people like Bebe (who is all over the place) in the right direction. Bebe ventures, "Um, with…wedding stuff?" The only instance in which Bebe's advice is sought is in clothing, but Wendy's tone suggests that this relates to more than flattering cuts and whether or not an outfit needs a pop of color.
"Well, sort of," Wendy says, "Can we go for a walk and talk about it? I feel like everybody is listening."
Bebe's feet are killing her in these boots, but she says anyway, "Of course."
They stroll along the Sixteenth Street Mall, walking at a leisurely pace, with no place in particular to go. Wendy is silent as they move along, her arms crossed over her small breasts. In the sunlight, Wendy's distress is even clearer: she's wearing ratty sneakers that Bebe would swear haven't been seen since their senior year of high school, and a tossed-together ensemble of jeans and an oversized sweater, which Wendy can pull off because she's skinny underneath those layers.
Bebe ends up steering them into the pavilion, if only because shopping will make Bebe feel better if she has to listen about what planning a wedding with Stan Marsh is like.
"I'm having second thoughts," Wendy deadpans.
"You're what?" Bebe sputters, before she can manage a composed response. The initial feeling that sparks inside is surprise, then delight, then hope, and then – "Why? What happened?"
"Nothing happened, really," Wendy says, "It's more that…Stan seems disinterested?"
"So, tell me if I have this right – you're having second thoughts about getting married because you suspect that Stan is having second thoughts? Hun, the guy is nuts for you," Bebe says. The only reason that Bebe has put up with Stan being in the picture so long is that he treats Wendy like a queen. He's never once showed any interest in straying, and his romantic ability has never faltered. He is, essentially, perfect, and that is why Bebe hasn't put up a fuss. He makes Wendy happy.
Wendy frowns and answers, "I know. I mean, I think so. But I feel like maybe it's weird between us? You know, because I asked him to get married? I just thought he'd never get around to asking me because he's so nervous about these things. And now, out of nowhere, he's been quiet and tired, he has zero interest in sex – which is killing me, by the way – he just sits in front of the television after he comes home from work and watches that show about animal cops or whatever until we go to bed. That's not normal, right?"
They turn into one of Bebe's favorite haunts, a store called Fusion Federation. It fuels her need for flashy clothes and adorable shoes, both of which sound like incredibly tempting purchases at the moment. Bebe doesn't want to think about marriage, and she doesn't want to think about Wendy. She'd rather sit and shop until she's put together a new, perfect outfit.
"He doesn't want sex?" Bebe asks. She's secretly convinced that she could make Wendy come harder than Stan ever could, but she doesn't tack that on. She'll just blab about it to Kyle tonight, over a margarita.
"No! Every time I try and get him in the mood, he's all like ‘not tonight, baby.' It's been going on for the last three days," Wendy says, "That doesn't sound like a lot, but God, it's like, I just want to get off, and he's too depressed. Oh, shit, do you think he might be relapsing?"
"Back into depression? I thought he was on meds," Bebe responds. Across the store, an incredible black and red corset catches her attention. She makes a beeline for it and holds it up in front of her torso, "What do you think?"
"I think you should try it on," Wendy says, "He is on meds. I make sure he takes his Zoloft before we go to bed. Maybe it's stopped working. The doctor said that something like that could happen. But he's been on them for two years, and this is the first time that I've seen him so despondent since he stopped drinking."
Bebe gets the attention of one of the sales associates to open a fitting room. Wendy slumps against the wall beside the door and asks, "What do you think I should do?"
"Um, have you asked him about it?" Bebe's had her fair share of experiences with bad communication, and often the simplest route is to be to the point. It always seems harder than it is, she thinks.
Then she realizes that she's been secretly in love with her best friend since the beginning of high school and hasn't said a word. God, it kills to be a hypocrite.
"Yeah," responds Wendy, "And he was like ‘I don't know what you're talking about.' But all he's been doing is watching TV and sitting on his computer playing this game –"
"He's been playing a computer game?"
"Yeah, some World of Warcraft knockoff," Wendy answers.
That's what Stan's been doing?
That's also what Kyle has been doing.
"You're kidding," Bebe says, because it's the only thing she can say. She doesn't want to give away her knowledge (or suspicions) on what may be happening. She'll confront Kyle tonight.
Fuck, they shouldn't be doing this. Wendy wants this marriage to happen. She was the one that proposed, for fuck's sake.
Yeah, Bebe should really call the deal off.
After she loosens the lacings on the back of the corset, Bebe hooks the front together. She opens the door and pulls Wendy inside to help her lace it up, as they've done on many occasions before. Bebe has a thing for corsets. It's because they make her tits look fabulous on a whole new level. Bebe's boobs are her best asset, and she would be lying if she said that she didn't adore using them to her advantage.
Wendy ties the corset strings into a bow in the back, and Bebe checks herself out in the mirror. She's wearing her tank top underneath the corset, but there's no denying – she looks fucking hot.
"Damn," Bebe says, smoothing her hands over where the steel boning has flattened out the little bit of paunch she has around her belly.
"Wow," Wendy breathes, "You look great. If you don't buy that, I'm buying it for you."
Bebe flushes and sputters out a thanks in the way that one does when their crush compliments them.
Bebe shells out the cash to purchase the corset, even though the price is a little steep. If Wendy hadn't said anything, she might not have done it. Kyle will be pissed that Bebe will have less money to contribute to their weekly grocery shopping trip (If it were up to Bebe, she'd just go to the store when they actually needed food, but Kyle insists on a meticulous routine), but she's sure that he'll get over it. She has enough to cover her half of the rent, and that's what counts.
She and Wendy spend the rest day shopping around and walking along in Denver. They discuss what is to be done about Stan, but Bebe tries to push the topic back in favor of happier things, hoping that she'll distract Wendy from the stress and at least manage to get her to enjoy herself.
Instead of walking to Wendy's car at the end of the outing, they end up wandering toward Kyle and Bebe's building, Stan forgotten, discussing how Bebe thinks she might have wasted her time in college and wants to go to school for fashion design instead, or Wendy's new book – everything. Bebe's always at her happiest when they can talk and talk and never get bored. They can discuss anything under the sun and never run out of things to say. When Wendy falls back into speaking of Stan, Bebe steers the conversation away, for both their sakes.
They take the elevator up to the apartment, and outside the door, Bebe gathers Wendy into her arms, maybe squeezing too tightly and maybe lingering too long. Bebe doesn't know that she cares about proper hug protocol. It's these little moments with Wendy that keep her from crashing into a downward spiral of self-loathing for being in love with this woman.
Wendy pulls back first hastily, like she always does, but she holds Bebe's hands in hers and smiles tiredly.
"You take care of yourself, hun," Bebe says.
"You too," agrees Wendy, "I'm gonna be pretty swamped with wedding shit here soon, but you'll help me with that, yeah?"
"Of course," Bebe's grin is brittle. But she'll do anything for this woman.
They fall into a comfortable silence, before Wendy drops Bebe's hands, leans forward, and kisses her on the cheek.
They're both blushing when Wendy pulls back. It's not like Wendy to be this affection. That's typically Bebe's shtick.
"Hey, Wendy?" Bebe says, when Wendy turns to walk toward the elevator and return home to Stan.
"Mm?" Wendy pauses.
"Whatever's bugging him, I'm sure that you'll get him back," Bebe assures her, "Why wouldn't you? You're like, perfect." As much as she could have used Wendy's doubt to her advantage, Bebe doesn't feel like it. It doesn't feel right to turn Wendy on Stan, especially when Stan means so well – and if he's having a depressive episode, Bebe doesn't want to aggravate it. She's a head bitch in charge, but she's not that kind of mean – the soulless, evil kind of cruelty, where some people get a kick out of intentionally upsetting others.
Wendy goes pink in the face at that. She shakes her head, and her brows furrow. Bebe wonders if there's something much more wrong than Stan acting a little strange. When Wendy speaks again, her fists are clenched into tight balls, her knuckles white. She says, "Argh – I'm not fucking perfect!" she shrieks, loudly enough to receive a ‘shut up!' from inside one of the other apartments.
Bebe doesn't know what to say to that. She knows Wendy sometimes gets irritated with others' expectations of her, but Wendy really is one step away from being a flawless human being. Bebe decides to soothe her with, "Of course not. Nobody's perfect. But you're smart, and you're beautiful. You can accomplish anything when you set your mind to it."
"Yeah? And what if I can't, Bebe? What if everybody's expectations of me are just too fucking high and I end up fucking up everything?"
"That's not what I meant," Bebe weakly says. She doesn't know where to steer from here.
Luckily, or maybe unluckily, Wendy beats her to be the next to speak, "What if I can't handle this? You know how depressed Stan was. What if that happens again? I'm not cut out to deal with that."
"You're cut out to deal with anything," Bebe responds, because it's the truth.
When Bebe was in her own bad way, back in high school, she got into trouble. Too much trouble. A combination of her parents' divorce and her unrequited love drove her into partying and too many recreational drugs – and into the arms of Kenny McCormick. Kenny isn't a bad guy, but he at the time he seemed to have a death wish. He'd try and do anything, especially if somebody offered to pay him for his stupidity. And Bebe would follow, doing crazy, dangerous things just to impress Kenny and a bunch of North Park goons whose names she can't even remember.
Wendy pulled Bebe out of that world, exactly two nights before some of those nameless friends drove themselves into a tree, with no survivors. Wendy sat with Bebe when she went through nights and nights of withdrawal, through bad dreams and sweating and shakes, and Wendy never said a word to Bebe's father. Bebe loves her dad, but he's a hardass – if he'd ever found out what she'd been doing, Bebe would have been locked up in a military school or prison-like rehab center, no questions asked.
Bebe still avoids Kenny if she can, though it's difficult when they still run in the same circles, despite the fact that he lives awhile away in Golden, where he's rooming with Lola and Red.
"I'm not!" Wendy near-yells in response, "I can't handle everything. I can barely handle this! Why does everybody think I'm so fucking perfect? I'm a human being, goddamnit."
"You've always been able to do anything you wanted," Bebe says.
"And in the process, I ripped myself to shreds with the anxiety, Bebe," Wendy exasperatedly says, "You've seen it happen."
They're arguing, sort of. Bebe believes in Wendy more than she believes in herself, and Bebe thinks that she's the shit. But she doesn't want to fight, as much as she'd love to defend Wendy's ability to handle it all to her grave. Bebe replies, "Okay. What do you want me to do?"
"Just be here for me," Wendy says. She sounds so close to breaking, and her shoulders quiver with the words.
"Oh, Wendy," Bebe sighs. She brings Wendy in for a bone-crushing hug and smooths a hand over her hair. She kisses the top of Wendy's head and says, "I'll always be here for you."
Wendy looks up at Bebe. The lids of her eyes are dangerously low, and her dark eyes are filled with something a little like…lust. Wendy's tongue darts out and wets her lips. She leans up just a little.
They're about to kiss.
They about to –
The sound of footsteps on the staircase startles them, causing both Bebe and Wendy to leap away from each other. Bebe's middle-aged neighbor from down the hall appears. The sleaze gives her a once-over, and she flips him off.
"I'll see you later," Wendy rushedly says, pressing the down button beside the elevator several times in a row.
"Yeah, text me," she responds, and Bebe watches Wendy climb into the elevator with a little wave before she pushes her keys into the door and turns.
"Holy shit," Bebe exclaims, because no other reaction can describe the scene before her.
A video of two men fucking each other is definitely playing on their precious big screen TV.
Stan and Kyle are definitely sitting on the couch watching it.
They both definitely have their hands down their pants.
They don't hear her at first. The volume on the television is too loud. They're absorbed in each other, fully and completely. At least, Stan is absorbed in Kyle. He's staring down at what Bebe assumes, judging on the rhythmic movement of his right arm, must be Kyle's penis. They sit close, too close for friends. Oddly, it's Kyle that isn't paying attention to his best friend. Maybe he's doing it on purpose. Bebe can understand that. She's had to act before, act like there's no crackling in the air and no feelings to be had. She knows the moment when you panic, thinking that you've taken it one step too far, taking it beyond friendship and into something much deeper, and a thousand times scarier.
Bebe throws her keys at Kyle's head.
Stan and Kyle veer in sync, eyes going wide.
"Afternoon," Bebe says. The look on Stan's face, all flushed and wide-eyed, suggests that he thinks she might have seen him staring at Kyle's junk – which she did, but will not be mentioning.
Kyle recovers first, tucking himself back into his jeans and zipping them back up, clipping at her tartly, "What the hell, Bebe? I thought you were gonna be out later."
"Excuse me, you have no right to be shouting at me. I'll have you know that I bought that couch that you both were just fucking masturbating on," Bebe snaps, "Put it back in your pants, Stan."
Kyle looks like he wants to argue but that he knows he's in the wrong. He reddens from his neck to his ears and glances back at Stan, throat working tightly.
"Okay," reasons Bebe, "If you jerk-offs need me, I'll be in my bedroom, clawing my eyes out so I never have to see something like that again."
Stan recuperates an instant later. He follows Bebe, stumbling as he zips his fly over his too-obviously half hard cock. He pants out, "Bebe, wait."
"Sorry, I have clawing to do," Bebe says, moving to close her door.
Stan jams his foot between the door and the frame before she can close it entirely and begs, "Please don't tell Wendy what just happened."
Bebe eyes him, "Why? It's not like you were doing anything weird."
"I wasn't?" he creaks.
"Chill. You weren't fucking him or anything," Bebe shrugs, "then again, Kyle would probably top…"
"Who the fuck says?" protests Stan.
"Everybody ever," responds Bebe, and she kicks his foot, closes her bedroom door, and flops onto her bed. She reviews in her head what she just witnessed happening between the two of them. She is almost fully certain that Stan has an interest in Kyle, now. It would make sense that Kyle wouldn't see it. He's an absolutely failure at interpreting emotion through body language and even directly spoken words. The real question is how hadn't she seen it before?
Fuck giving up the game. Kyle has a leg up on breaking this wedding the fuck up, and she just can't let that happen.
She has to win this.
Kyle's morning proceeds in the manner that most of his mornings have lately. He doesn't sleep well, and ends up waking up at the crack of dawn. He makes a pot of coffee, pauses on how caffeine is the only substance keeping him alive, sits on one of the cheap plastic chairs arranged on the square of concrete that he and Bebe refer to as their deck, and reads his book. After graduation, Kyle felt burnt out on science journals and business theory, and now firmly refuses to pick up any text but fantasy and science fiction. He likes it better because it's so far from reality that he can escape, if only for a few quiet minutes. In actuality, he slouches in a plastic lawn chair in his pajamas and bathrobe, reading a seven ninety-nine paperback so that he doesn't have to think about how hopelessly in love he is with his best friend since childhood. Said book takes him someplace else, a place where he's tricked out in armor and shoots a bow.
In fantasy novels, the villains are clear. They're slimy-skinned and gruff-voiced and cruel-eyed. In his own life, there are no villains, even the people that he sometimes wishes could be villains – like Wendy. He wants to be pissed that she's attractive and smart, but he can't be, because Wendy's nice, too. She's a good person. If Kyle had a reason to hate her, this whole shitstain of a situation would easier. Like a book. All he'd have to do is expose her evil side and ride into the sunset with Stan.
That's not how it works. If Kyle intends to truly follow through with the bet he made with Bebe, he'll have nothing but his own charms and his own good points to push him through.
That is a debacle indeed, because Kyle is neither pretty nor nice. He's intelligent, but he's got a big nose and he's an asshole on multiple levels. Not the kind of person that you'd break off your engagement for, and this is assuming that Stan is something other than straight.
Kyle is having the kind of day that makes him wish it was socially acceptable to get plastered at six in the morning.
Tragically, it is not, and so he returns to the kitchen for a second mug of coffee. On the kitchen table, his phone vibrates with a text alert. He opens it to a text from Stan, asking if he's awake and wants to get online. They've been playing this game together, a fantasy game called MystifyNet that's eerily close to World of Warcraft but with shittier graphics and a less advanced world. But hey, it's free, and it has been distracting them both from the humdrum of their lives.
Kyle logs on, texting Stan to ask him where he is.
From: Stan: at the temple of azkurath
From here, they can IM each other through the game, though Kyle prefers to have Stan on speakerphone when they get into the stickier situations with boss battles.
But that isn't all that MystifyNet does.
There's a romance element to it. It's nothing special. You can make your avatar kiss other characters, and you can invite players to your house, where they can agree to fuck you, sort of. Mostly, you both just click on a bed and there's a blackout video sequence with poorly recorded porn moans.
Kyle and Stan's characters have been accordingly romantically involved, almost since they began playing.
They don't talk about it. It just…happened. It's stupid that Kyle should be getting so worked up about a couple of virtual villagers getting it on, but he is. It's why he can't stop playing this fucking game – not because of the battles or the rewards or the function that lets you decorate your house, but because of fake fucking makeouts with Stan's character.
It should be noted, at least, that Stan's avatar looks like him.
Kyle will take his joy where he can find it.
He doesn't know how long he and Stan have been playing when Bebe surfaces from her room, dressed in a lacy, flattering top, skintight jeans, and high heeled black boots. She looks good, and she knows that she looks good, leading Kyle to believe that she's heading out to visit with Wendy.
As if on cue, his cell vibrates on the table.
From: Stan: you wanna play at your place? wendy says shes going out with bebe
He means playing on MystifyNet, of course. From time to time, they sneak out and play it across from each other, in coffee shops or at Stan and Wendy's place, or sometimes here. Last time they did was almost a month ago, though. Kyle thinks they stopped playing in the flesh because they had their characters fuck again, during which above-the-laptops awkward eye contact ensued.
As soon as Bebe is gone, Kyle peels off his pajamas and showers, risking a quick jerk before Stan arrives. He's embarrassed by his recent masturbation material, all fantasies that seem to involve he and Stan wearing the same clothes as their avatars on the game, leading to what actually happens during the blackout sequence. He pictures Stan's voice in his head, calling Kyle instead of Wendy. When he comes against the tile wall, he lets out a humiliatingly loud groan, "Stan."
Kyle washes away the evidence and shuts off the water. He wraps a towel around his waist and saunters back out to the kitchen for another cup of coffee. His brain is feeling the burn of another sleepless night. It actually fucking sucks. He wishes that just once, he could get through the night in a deep, dreamless sleep, instead of waking up in a cold sweat every time he has an erotic dream that involves his best friend naked in Kyle's bed, or a nightmare in which Stan is marrying an orc in a wedding gown.
Stan is setting up his laptop at the kitchen table already. He glances up when Kyle enters the room dripping wet, in nothing but a towel.
Did Stan hear him jerking off in the shower? He couldn't have. Right? Right.
Even if he did hear Kyle calling his name, he isn't indicating that it happened, or that Kyle jacking off to thoughts of Stan changes anything between them.
"Hey," Stan gives Kyle a boyish smile.
"Um, hi," Kyle greets, "How did you get in here, dude?"
"Spare key?" Stan says it like he's asking a question, his brows lifting.
Kyle flushes and mumbles, "Oh yeah," because he feels stupid for being so occupied with the fact that Stan may have heard him masturbating that he forgot that he'd given him a damn key. He runs his fingers through his wet hair, wincing when they catch in his curls, and says, "I'm gonna put some clothes on."
Freshly clothed in jeans and a t-shirt a few minutes later, Kyle is cursing his lack of finesse. He is the least graceful person on this planet, the least seductive, the last person that somebody would call off a wedding for. He wants to win his bet with Bebe, but he doesn't even know if she's taking it as seriously as he is. A conference is perhaps in order.
"I need to stock up on mana potions," Stan says absently, fingers already flying on his laptop's keyboard.
"That's a good idea," agrees Kyle, "You want coffee?" he asks, even though the pot he's made is stale and unappealing, now. Kyle pours himself another mug.
Stan looks away from his monitor at this and queries, "Hey, you okay?"
"Can't sleep for shit," Kyle admits, "It's all this fucking job hunting, man. I can't get anything with BA. I think I need to go back to school. Because that's just what I need: More debt."
"Hey, the Occupy people are a short walk away," Stan says, "You could always join the protest. I saw a guy wearing a pig mask on the way over. You could make friends with him."
"I'd rather bitch about it," Kyle responds, "but thanks for the suggestion."
Over the next couple hours, Kyle and Stan plow through two entire quests on the master level, returning to Kyle's virtual house with a hell ton of loot, most of which is lower level crap that Kyle either already has or doesn't want. As he's sifting through his inventory and rearranging the items that he's going to take to the merchant in town, a notification pings onto his screen with a chirp.
Stan_the_Man56 would like a kiss. Accept/Decline?
Kyle presses ‘Accept' like he always does, refusing this time to venture a glance over at the man himself. He stares straight ahead at the computer screen. In these moments, he feels a rush of adrenaline. He feels as though he could be rejected at any second, as though the romantic actions of their digitalized selves could change them forever. He robotically works through it how they always do, and a mere few moments later, their laptops black out and the stupid, porny moans start up.
"Is gay porn as bad as straight porn?" asks Stan, out of nowhere.
Kyle still won't look at him. He says, "Uh, yeah, I think so. There's a lot of boring crap. I feel like I probably own everything halfway decent."
When Kyle came out, Stan was the first person that he told. They were fifteen, and Stan was drinking. Kyle confessed all kinds of things to Stan when he got plastered, many of which included Kyle's admission that he loved Stan in a different way than best friends are supposed to love each other. That wasn't what he'd said when he admitted to general attraction to men, though, because he wanted Stan to remember that he'd said he was gay. He didn't want it to be another late-night declaration that Stan wouldn't recall when he woke up hungover, he wanted his best friend to know.
He waited until Stan was tipsy to say, "I don't like girls."
Stan looked confused, and then asked, "Then who do you like?"
"Guys," Kyle said, "I mean, I guess some girls are alright. I could maybe find one I liked if I wanted. But I don't want to. Because I'm gay. And you're the first person I'm telling, so please don't be a dick."
And Stan, despite the alcohol that he had imbibed, seemed to understand that Kyle was serious. He'd looked him dead in the eye and said, "It's doesn't make a difference to me. You're my best friend, dude." He then proceeded to belt out a terrible version of Yankee Doodle. It had never been weird between them, not even for a moment. They could do anything together and there was no question of whether it was okay or not, as long as they both said it was.
"Jesus, dude, how much porn do you have?" asks Stan, reminding Kyle of where he is and what he's doing.
"I dunno. A reasonable amount?" guesses Kyle, because the only porn collection he has to compare his own to is Kenny's, and Kenny's collection is more of a library.
"What is it like? Does it have a story, or like is it just a couple of guys having sex?"
"They're all different, Stan," Kyle says irritably, rolling his eyes, "I don't own anything with a story. I just own a bunch of DVDs that keep me from wanting to kill myself when I feel desperate and alone."
"Nevermind," Kyle says, waving him off, "You wanna do that quest from the old guy with the huge beard?"
"No, I'm serious, dude. What?"
"It's just hard to find guys I'm attracted to, is all," Kyle says, "I'm picky as fuck. Like, I just want a regular guy that doesn't comment on my nose. Just a guy. That's why I like them. Because they're guys. It's more difficult than you would think."
"So you watch porn instead?"
"I guess," shrugs Kyle, "Or I read. What's with all the questions?"
"I'm just curious. The game made me wonder about – you know," Stan goes a little pink in the cheeks, though he should know better than to be embarrassed around Kyle.
Kyle doesn't give himself time to think before he says, "If you're that curious, we could always watch it."
Stan's reaction to Kyle's suggestion that they watch gay porn is admittedly not what Kyle expected. He turns a little pinker before he says anything, but when he does speak, he says, "Okay." Nothing else, just ‘okay.' They'd watched porn together before, a long time ago, before Kyle had come out and admitted he didn't care for straight porn.
Kyle selects his favorite DVD – it's only his favorite because the guy on the bottom looks a lot like Stan. He wonders, when he's already pushed this disc into the player, if he should have chosen something else, and prays that Stan doesn't notice the resemblance.
It starts at simple hand jobs, but works into the heavier stuff quickly. Kyle likes this one because it doesn't pander around with anything boring, just gets right to the good stuff. He doesn't notice that he's rubbing himself through his jeans until he catches Stan staring out of the corner of his eye. He's panting a little when he gestures to the slight swell against his fly and asks, "Do you mind?" They've jerked off together plenty of times. It's never been weird. It's never changed anything. But Kyle feels like Stan is looking at him strangely.
"Nah. Um, do you mind?" asks Stan, pointing to his own crotch.
Stan is hard too.
Allegedly straight Stanley Marsh has a hard-on, while watching the two men on Kyle's television screen fuck each other into oblivion.
Kyle calmly tells himself not to overthink this as he and Stan unzip their flies, pulling their erections out into the open with practiced fingers. Kyle forces himself to look straight ahead at the television as he begins to work a rhythm on himself. Christ, his mind is moving at about eighty miles an hour, thoughts and questions whipping through his brain and disappearing almost as fast as they arrived. Could this mean anything? Is Stan not nearly as straight as he lets on? Or is this just like their characters on MystifyNet – just fun and fooling around without meaning?
Fuck, and he told himself he shouldn't overthink.
Kyle settles back into the couch cushions, spreading his legs a little wider with a long sigh. On screen, there's a close-up shot of the actors faces. The one that looks like Stan has his mouth open a little, like a silent scream. Kyle pictures Stan looking like that, looking like that while Kyle fucks him better than any woman has ever done it.
Kyle's head whirls around. Bebe stands behind the couch, arms crossed, one brow raised, shopping bags in hand. She's looking at Kyle like she's his mother that just caught him with his hand in the cookie jar.
It's one hell of a cookie jar.
Kyle stuffs himself back into his underwear, Nevermind that he's painfully hard and he really wanted to get off with Stan beside him. He barks out, "What the hell, Bebe? I thought you were gonna be out later."
"Excuse me, you have no right to be shouting at me. I'll have you know that I bought that couch that you both were just fucking masturbating on," Bebe snaps, "Put it back in your pants, Stan."
Kyle flushes. He wants to tell her to get the fuck out, but the apartment belongs to both of them. He spares a glance at Stan, who is more delicately replacing his cock back in his pants, lingering on each move like he's mourning the loss of their moment. Kyle is mourning it, too. Fuck. It was perfect, so fucking perfect.
Bebe rolls her eyes and shakes her head like she's dealing with a couple of middle school age children and sighs out, "Okay, If you jerk-offs need me, I'll be in my bedroom, clawing my eyes out so I never have to see something like that again."
"Bebe, wait!" That's Stan. Probably telling Bebe not to spill the beans about what she just witnessed to Wendy. Kyle hopes that Bebe does tell, because if Kyle were to tell Wendy, she wouldn't give him the time of day. The only two people Wendy trusts are Bebe and Stan. She trusts Bebe more than anyone, which Kyle knows makes Stan nervous and upset. He wants to be Wendy's number one wholly and unequivocally, but he just isn't the place she goes when she needs somebody to listen.
Stan returns, looking confused and torn up. He starts to mechanically pack away his laptop and accessories. Behind them, the TV is still playing the porn DVD. Meanwhile, Kyle is still hard.
"Look, dude –"
"Don't worry about it, Stan," Kyle says, holding up a hand, "I'll walk you out to your car. And I'll make sure that Bebe doesn't tell."
"Yeah. Okay. Thanks," Stan's smile wobbles when he raises his eyes to meet Kyle's.
Kyle claps Stan on the back and pulls his laptop bag out of his grip, slinging it over his shoulder. He takes his keyring off of the hooks beside the front door and pockets them, resisting the temptation to touch himself while his hand is stuffed into his pocket.
The elevator opens with a ding on their floor, releasing the single mother and her hellion twins that live three apartments down. Kyle thanks God that they're not trapped in a metal box with those kids.
"Hey, um, Kyle," says Stan, when the metal doors close behind them. He's uncomfortably close.
"Sorry," Kyle mutters, not sure what he's apologizing for.
"I need to tell you something."
"That sounds serious," remarks Kyle dryly, but he's listening, now. A part of him – a tiny part, but still there – thinks he's about to be told that they can't be friends anymore. Kyle is too gay and loves Stan too much and it's ruining their friendship. Those are the words he expects.
Stan looms forward, even closer now. Their chests are mere centimeters apart. Stan brushes his fingers against Kyle's fly.
"What are you doing?" hisses Kyle. He slaps Stan's hand back, suddenly afraid, "You're getting married, you stupid fucker."
Stan looks so fucking puzzled. He reaches forward again as he speaks, and this time, Kyle doesn't have the willpower to bat him away. As Stan pulls open Kyle's pants, he says, "I don't think I like women."
"Stan, you can't have a sexual identity crisis now," Kyle tells him, "You're engaged!"
"This isn't new," Stan breathes. He dips his hands into Kyle's underwear, wrapping his sturdy fingers around Kyle's half-wilted cock, bringing it right back to hard in a handful of seconds. Kyle can't think. Or maybe he can, and it's just that he can't move. He should move. They're in a fucking elevator, for Christ's sake – which comes to a halt when Stan begins to touch him. Stan presses the ‘close doors' button before the elevator even opens.
Stan starts pumping him. His touch is shy, and he clearly hasn't ever done this with another man before. He begins to speak as his hand works, whispering, "I love Wendy. I do. But I don't want to marry her. She's like my sister. It's just that I – I said yes because she's all I know. I've always been too afraid to try what I've thought about. You were never afraid. You always know what to do. It's one of the reasons that you're so fucking hot, Kyle."
"Stan," Kyle says, in what is meant to be a tone of warning, but melts into a soft moan.
"I heard you moan my name in the shower," Stan tells him.
Of course he did.
Stan keeps speaking after hovering his lips over Kyle's like he isn't sure if a kiss would be appropriate while Kyle's cock is in his fist. He says, "All those times I was drunk. You always said things. You always told me that you loved me more than what you'd tell me sober. I never said anything because I knew you wanted it to be a secret, but I wanted what you told me. I wanted it so bad, Kyle."
Kyle whimpers and slumps back against the wall. He clutches at Stan's arm and says, "Stan, you can't – we can't – Oh, fuck."
He comes into Stan's palm with a shuddering groan, and closes his eyes. It takes him several seconds to regain his senses. When he does, Stan is looking at the come in his hand like a curious kid following a cricket. It's endearing, really, until Stan shrugs and wipes it off onto the back wall of the elevator. Thank God this complex is too cheap for security cameras.
"Before I get married," Stan says, "I just need you."
Kyle blinks incredulously at him, "You're still marrying her? If you're gay, dude, that isn't fair to anybody. You'll break hearts. Including mine, you dumbass." His hands shake as he tucks himself back into his underwear and zips his fly, mourning the loss of his dignity. He's mad, and still in post-orgasm afterglow, and the only thing he can think to do is slam his palm on the button to open the elevator doors, flounce out, and say, "I'm not your fucking experiment!" loudly enough to garner several curious glances from the people in the lobby.
Kyle is trembling all the way up the stairs. He stops in the stairwell just below the floor that he and Bebe live on, and wills himself to breathe. Breathe in, breathe out. He commands himself, trying to guide his brain through what the hell just happened.
A couple of weeks ago, Kyle was certain of everything. His world was set in stone, it had seemed. He thought that he would forever be in love with his straight best friend, and even if their avatars on MystifyNet fucked each other, they never would. Kyle would forever be doomed to drowning his feelings in science fiction and pink drinks. Now none of it seems as it did.
Stan just jerked him off.
Stan just jerked him off.
Stan actually physically took Kyle's cock out of his pants and jerked him off.
What the hell is going on here?
Kyle wills himself out of his trance and walks up the last stairs, dazed, and clutching onto the metal railing like he might fall backwards if he lets go. He knocks on the door quietly, and Bebe answers. She looks just as dejected as he feels. And, as soon as she closes the door behind him, Kyle can't help but blurt out, "Stan just stroked me off in the elevator!"
"What?" Bebe's eyes bug out of her head, "He did what?"
"I don't know," Kyle half-sobs, "He just stuck his hand in my pants and I told him, I said, ‘Stan, you're getting married' and he was like ‘I think I'm gay.' But he still wants to marry her. What the fuck just happened to me?"
After Kyle's hand job confession the previous afternoon, Bebe and Kyle drank themselves stupid and retired early, which was becoming an all too common occurrence in their household. Bebe wakes up sometime midmorning and sticks her headphones into her ears. She has work today, and there's no getting out of it, even if she does have a hangover. She pops a couple of pills for the dull throb and chugs a glass of water before hopping into the shower for a quick rinse and for a little adventure with the extendable showerhead.
She rolls out feeling much better than she did when she woke up, dresses in the standard khakis and red shirt, and busts out of the apartment before Kyle has even woken up.
Work goes by more quickly than expected. It's a busy day, and Bebe doesn't find a moment of down time in it. When she parks her car in their garage, she's ready to make herself a Sex on the Beach and kick it in front of the television.
Except that when Bebe opens the apartment door, there's already somebody on her couch.
Somebody that is not Kyle.
"Uh, hey Bebe," says Kenny, giving a slight wave.
She feels her breath seize up a little. She doesn't like being around him, though it's inevitable a great deal of the time, since he's still best friends with Kyle and Stan. Every time she sees him, she marvels at how little he has changed since high school, at least in his boyish good looks. Even during their stint with hard drugs, he managed to look constantly fresh and not at all like she had, like a tweaked-out addict.
Now, he's smiling awkwardly, wearing a black muscle shirt and torn-up jeans that he must have acquired before the end of high school and kept all this time.
"What are you doing in my apartment?" she asks, trying to keep her voice even as she sets her purse down on the kitchen table and kicks off her shoes beside the door. She slides her gaze over to her roommate's closed bedroom door and shouts, "Kyle!"
"Bebe, chill out," Kenny says. He stands and approaches, holding up his hands in defense.
Kyle emerges with his big set of headphones resting around his neck. At the sight of her, he softly curses, "Oh, shit."
"‘Oh shit,' indeed," Bebe says icily, "I thought we agreed that if he was ever to be in this apartment that I would get a warning."
"That's why you're never around?" Kenny says absently, not looking hurt, really, as much as he looks like he's just realized something.
"I would have, but –" starts Kyle.
Kenny cuts Kyle off, taking another step toward Bebe. He says, "Look, dude, it was my fault. I got kicked out of my apartment. Kyle said I could stay over here while I try to fix things with Red and Lola. I'd go to Stan and Wendy's, but y'know, they're all like…domestic and shit. It's unsettling."
Bebe rolls her eyes and mutters, "Oh, Lord," not even wanting to know what Kenny did to Red and Lola that warranted getting his ass booted out of their apartment. She retreats to her bedroom without speaking any further, judging that all has been said that can be. She doesn't like the idea of Kenny McCormick in her apartment – it dredges up too many memories of her stupid sixteen-year-old self – but there's little that can be done now, especially as Kyle already promised Kenny a place to crash. She feels silently bitter that Kenny is going to be spending the night on her couch, the one she paid for, but lets out a huff and decides to let it go.
She changes out of her work clothes and into a pair of pajamas, tying her hair up into a ponytail near the top of her head. Despite the fact that she's unwinding, Bebe gives herself a once-over in the mirror. She looks good. Damn good. She knows it's petty, but whenever people she particularly dislikes and knew in high school are around, Bebe likes to reassure herself that she's hot. She knows she is. She has one hell of an hourglass figure and the nicest set of tits within a square mile – at least.
And fuck Kenny McCormick anyway. She deserves to unwind like she planned.
When she emerges from her room, she snatches the television remote out of Kenny's hand and says, "Sorry, honey," before finding her recorded episodes of Criminal Minds.
"Aw, come on," complains Kenny, "I fucking hate crime dramas."
"My apartment, my rules," Bebe simpers.
Kenny looks actually uncomfortable as the episode begins to play on screen. He says, "I hate how they're always looking for cool new ways to kill people. It's disgusting."
"Lighten up," Bebe says, surprised to find that something actually bothers Kenny McCormick, while simultaneously relishing it.
Kenny lets out a frustrated groan and mutters something to Kyle, who is occupied with his laptop and that stupid fucking game. He disappears into Kyle's bedroom shortly thereafter when Bebe remembers – that game. Wendy had said that Stan was playing some shitty Warcraft knockoff, too.
"So, how's Stan?" asks Bebe slyly, pretending to look in the freezer. She is pleasantly surprised to remember that she bought a pint of Ben & Jerry's yesterday that she didn't finish, and pulls it out.
"What do you mean, ‘how's Stan'?" asks Kyle, "I haven't talked to him since the elevator thing."
"Doesn't he play your game, too?" Bebe plies.
Kyle scowls. He replies tightly, "I blocked him."
"Because he jerked you off?" Bebe lifts a brow.
"It's best that I distance myself from the problem," Kyle says.
"What about the wedding?" asks Bebe.
"I'll suck it up. Maybe."
She drops the subject then, recognizing the signs of Kyle about to lose his shit. To be fair, if Wendy had abruptly decided to finger Bebe in an elevator, she'd be equally as confused and pissed off as Kyle is.
Bebe parks herself on the sofa, feeling very much the queen of her domain as she dips her spoon into her ice cream and feeds herself a delicious bite. She watches through the episode, but switches off the television after that, feeling bored – and maybe a little bad that she drove Kenny out of the room. She doesn't understand the melodrama about his issue with crime shows – but she hates being intentionally mean.
So she knocks on Kyle's door and says, "I turned it off, Kenny."
About thirty seconds later, Kenny emerges from the bedroom, looking somber and haggard instead of his usual playful self. He asks, "You guys got any alcohol?"
"Are you kidding?" Kyle says from his laptop.
"Yeah, what do you want?" asks Bebe, opening the liquor cabinet with a flourish. I was thinking of making myself a Lemon Drop, you want one?"
"Why are you being so pleasant?" asks Kenny testily, "And none of that sissy shit that you and Kyle like. You got whiskey?"
Bebe shrugs her shoulders and pulls out their container of whiskey. She pulls down her Tinkerbell shot glass and pushes them toward Kenny, who pours a shot and tips it down in one, clean movement. He pours another while she makes her own drink, and another for Kyle.
Once seated at the kitchen table, she says, "This is unhealthy."
"Drinking?" Kenny says, "Dude, whatever. It's not like we're Stan or anything."
"Kyle and I have been doing an awful lot of drinking," explains Bebe.
Kenny looks over at Kyle for an explanation.
And Kyle, to Bebe's surprise, actually answers, "Stan jerked me off in the elevator."
Kenny barks out a laugh. "No shit?" he says through mirthful, whiskey-scented chuckles, "Fuck, dude. That's awesome for you, I guess."
"Except that he said he's still marrying Wendy," Kyle mutters.
"Meanwhile, Wendy is entirely dedicated to him, and I will never get anywhere with her," Bebe says.
"Jesus," Kenny whistles, "Aren't we all happy fucking campers?" He ticks off problems on one hand, "Let's see. Got jerked off by best friend. In love with best friend that is decidedly straight. Slept with one roommate and got booted when you wouldn't do it again."
"What? Which one did you sleep with?" Kyle asks.
"Red," answers Kenny, "She's…kind of attached. F-Y-I, I am in total support of you breaking those two up. They're not as straight as they think. I'd know. Stan sucked me off when we were fifteen. And Wendy – did her thing with you." He waves a hand at Bebe.
"That wasn't romantic," Bebe insists.
"Nursing somebody through withdrawal is not something that somebody who's just a friend does," Kenny advises, "Make a move. I swear to you, she'll be receptive. And you," he points at Kyle, "Don't just like, block Stan on that dumb game you two play. Try talking to him in real life, instead of having virtual sex."
"What!" exclaims Bebe.
"It's just an animation sequence!" Kyle insists, "And why the fuck did Stan suck you off?"
"We were drunk. Really drunk," answers Kenny. Bebe, despite being best friends with Stan's fiancée and roommates with his super best friend, doesn't know all the ins and outs of what happened when Stan was drinking most heavily – but she supposes that there's a reason that alcohol is called the truth serum.
"And what about you?" Bebe asks, "Any advice for yourself?"
"Yeah – ‘don't sleep with your crazy roommate,'" Kenny says.
"Good work, Captain Hindsight," Bebe responds.
Kyle never unblocks Stan from his game, and Bebe hasn't met with Wendy in a handful of days, but Kenny apologized to Red and Lola, and reportedly solved his woes with a threesome. Bebe doesn't understand the dynamic between those three, but Red and Lola adore Kenny to the point that Bebe is convinced that they would start a cult in his name, a joke that Kenny didn't think was very funny, though it didn't seem to be on Lola or Red's behalf that he was unamused.
They're sitting on the couch, Bebe flipping mindlessly through channels, and Kyle tuning her out as his eyes flick over the pages of a worn paperback fantasy that he bought when he was sixteen and has read and reread any time that he feels particularly down. The main character is gay – and one of the reasons that Kyle finally felt comfortable with coming out.
He sighs loudly, realizing that the familiar text is doing actually nothing to help him stop feeling all twisted up and bent out of shape. Kyle wants more than anything to turn MystifyNet back on and unblock Stan. Stan's texted him about a hundred times since he did that, and Kyle has been diligent about ignoring him – but he feels himself wavering.
Bebe leans over and pets a hand over Kyle's curls and begins to pace. She says, "We need to get out of here."
"No," says Kyle, "I need to be very drunk and read my book."
"Or we could go out! How about Tracks? You could find a nice, cute twink and fuck your troubles away," Bebe suggests.
Kyle considers this. He could go for a guy that doesn't look anything at all like Stan, somebody slim as a reed and blond, maybe with a navel ring or something cute like that. Kyle promptly realizes that he's thinking of a guy like Butters and wonders at his own sanity – realizing that he'll just end up going with a man that's his usual type. Slightly stocky, dark-haired…Stan-like.
The very idea makes him miserable. He doesn't cry often, or even at all, but he thinks he might now.
"Oh honey," Bebe says. She yanks him forward into a bone-crushing hug and says, "Here, you can cry into my boobs."
"That's very sweet," Kyle says, sniffing a little. So he does cry, only shedding a few tears, because it seems impolite to get his stupid feelings all over Bebe's rack. When he pulls away, he does feel better, and he doesn't feel like getting drunk by himself anymore. So he says, "Yeah. Let's go out. I need to – need to stop thinking about this entire clusterfuck."
And so they go. Bebe dresses in the new corset that she'd bought on her excursion with Wendy and a tight, shiny miniskirt. Kyle never dresses that flamboyantly, even when they're headed to Tracks like they are now, where most of the clubgoers are flamboyant. He dresses in a nicer pair of dark jeans and a button-down over a white t-shirt. A classic look for a classic guy, that will lead him to picking up a guy dressed in the same getup and being of the same mind.
Kyle has dated a little over the years, but every time they end it, they always tell him the same thing: I'm tired of playing second fiddle to your super best friend. Always condescending, always spiteful, always mad that Kyle couldn't give one hundred percent of himself because no matter what, part of him is always with Stan.
As Bebe parks her truck in the lot beside the club, she kisses Kyle on the cheek and ruffles his hair, clearly having forgotten that he gelled it into an acceptable shape. As she wipes her hand on the side of the driver's seat, she says, "This is good for us, Kyle. We'll meet some people and we'll get to fuck, and maybe we'll even find some hot dates to their stupid fucking wedding. We'll go, and they'll be married, and then it will all be over. And we'll move on. We will, okay?"
"What happened to the bet?" asks Kyle.
"What happened is that the bet is stupid – was stupid, I mean. It was childish, and we're fucking around in bullshit that we shouldn't be. So it's off, okay?" Bebe says.
Kyle pauses and then nods, agreeing that it's only the best. He stuck his hand in the cookie jar where he knows that it should not have been. Now he may have ruined his best friend's life, because of his own fucking stupid selfishness.
"You coming, or you just gonna pout?" asks Bebe.
Kyle shakes himself out of his daze, and promises silently that he won't be in a mood all evening – which he repeats aloud to Bebe when she chastises him for being a fun-sucker. She's as cheerful and bouncy as ever, but Kyle knows that she's just as morose as he is. He wonders how much effort it takes her to pretend that everything is going to be okay. Did she ever need therapy, like he did? When he was in his senior year of high school, Kyle's mom shipped him off to an expensive therapist in Littleton every Thursday, where Kyle spoke of two things: Being hopelessly in love with Stan, and hating Eric Cartman more than anything in the world. He hasn't spoken to Cartman in years, but here he is, still just as hopelessly in love with Stan as he was when he was seventeen.
Tracks is crowded for a weekday. Kyle finds himself overwhelmed within minutes of being let in, and ducks outside into the alleyway behind the club, where all the smokers and club attendees looking to cool down for a little lounge around. Kyle doesn't smoke often – he does socially, or on nights like tonight, where he feels lonely and stressed – but he mooches one off a girl wearing rainbow knee socks.
Across the way, leaning against the brick wall, Kyle notices that he's being checked out. He can't work up much enthusiasm over the prospect. The guy isn't bad-looking, but he isn't Stan.
Christ, he does need to get laid.
He can't afford to be so fucking hung up on a man about to married.
Kyle meets the eyes of the man. He's tall, maybe a little older than Kyle. He has neat brown hair and wears a respectable outfit, or what was respectable before he took the dance floor. His dark-colored button-down is mostly undone, revealing a thin undershirt, slightly damp with sweat. His sleeves are rolled up to his elbows. He crushes the butt of his cigarette out under an expensive shoe.
Shit, he's coming over.
That's what Kyle gets for staring.
"Hey," he greets as he approaches, "I'm Kyle. You got a name?"
"Yeah. Um…Kyle," Kyle responds.
"No shit! We've got the same name, bro," answers Kyle #2.
Kyle decides that the man, while outwardly put together and definitely handsome, is an idiot. What the fuck kind of pick up line is ‘we've got the same name, bro'? Kyle wishes that Stan were here to laugh at the situation with him.
Instead, Kyle forces out a chuckle and Kyle #2 smiles back. He asks if Kyle wants to come out to the back of his truck to ‘have a little fun,' and Kyle agrees – anything to get his mind of marriage and unrequited love. His life is a goddamn Lifetime movie, and he's sick of that shit. He'd rather his life be an action movie, or at least a comedy.
Kyle #2 performs mediocre fellatio on Kyle in the bed of his truck. Kyle comes early to prevent himself from having to be there for longer than required, and leaves feeling worse than he did before. He makes his escape ungracefully, dodging an invitation back to Kyle #2's apartment and finally receiving a vehement "Fuck you! You taste like shit anyway!"
And to make it all one million times worse, the only comeback that Kyle can think to shout as the truck pulls out of the parking lot and down the road is, "That's not what your mom said last night!"
"You're especially clever tonight," he hears from behind him. It's a female voice, and Kyle wonders what kind of girl would be trying to pick him up at a gay bar – only to discover that it's Bebe. Despite her cool tone, she looks worried.
"We gotta get going," she says, hand on one hip.
"What? But we just got here," Kyle responds, without knowing if he's actually right.
Bebe purses her lips. She scuffs her foot against the pavement. If Kyle didn't know any better, he'd say that she looks embarrassed – but surely she's only blushing because of the heat inside the club. She goes on, "Wendy called. Emergency."
"Oh," is all that Kyle can manage. He knows how she feels. He'd do anything for Stan, any time. Bebe already knows that, and so he doesn't comment. He simply follows her to their own truck and climbs in, feeling resigned to a night alone with a mixed drink and some good porn, maybe the porn he never got to finish watching with Stan.
Bebe drops him off in front of their building.
With a sigh, Kyle trudges inside.
Wendy buzzes Bebe up into the apartment that she shares with Stan. She opens the door looking almost as terrible as Bebe and Kyle have for the past few weeks, with shadows under her eyes and a tight smile forced over her lips.
"Hey," Wendy says, "You want some tea? I made some Earl Grey."
"Why don't you tell me what's going on?" suggests Bebe, "You said it was an emergency. Where's Stan? He hasn't been drinking again, has he?"
Wendy gives a vigorous shake of her head, closing the front door behind Bebe. She explains, "No, no. It's worse. Or maybe it isn't. I don't know. Maybe this is for the best, Bebe. I mean, I'd been having doubts myself – I always have doubts. I thought I should just ignore them. I always do. But he – h-he –" Wendy pauses, sounding on the verge of tears.
"Honey, slow down," Bebe reassures her. She places a hand on Wendy's slender shoulder, and pulls down the zippers on the backs of her boots, scooting them near the short rows of shoes backed against the wall.
Wendy looks to be about a word away from being provoked into tears. Her muscles are tense and she seems as though she might pop at any given moment. It isn't like Wendy to be this way. Usually she's so collected. The fact that Wendy always knows what to do and how to handle herself is part of what makes Bebe's insides melt pleasantly every time that they see each other. Knowing she has brains behind all that beauty – ugh, fuck. Bebe can't be thinking of these things now, not when Wendy's a mess like this, and needs her.
"Okay," Bebe reasons, "maybe you should lie down, okay? And then you can tell me what's going on."
Wendy gives Bebe a glass-fragile smile but agrees, "Yeah. That's a good idea."
Bebe ushers Wendy into the bedroom that she shares with Stan. The décor is mostly feminine – Stan let Wendy have reign of the decorating process, being disinterested himself. It's a comforting room, with dark-stained wood furniture, flowers on the squat dresser by their only window, and tasteful artwork mounted on the walls. The bed itself is made neatly. Since childhood, Wendy has always made her bed in the mornings. Bebe doesn't get it – her philosophy has always been that it's going to get messy again, so why bother?
Wendy flops onto her back on the bed. She pulls a familiar stuffed animal off of the bedside table and hugs it to her chest – a bunny, the toy that Bebe had given Wendy for her tenth birthday. Secretly, every time that Wendy brought it to a sleepover and help it close, Bebe pretended that they were a couple just like she wanted them to be, and that she'd given the plush bunny as a romantic gift instead.
Bebe sits on the edge of Wendy's mattress and strokes a hand through Wendy's sleek hair. She says, "Why don't you start at the beginning?"
Wendy sighs quietly.
She buries her nose into the stuffed bunny and finally replies, "Stan…he, ugh, fuck. I'm so pissed, Bebe."
"He gave Kyle a hand job!" blurts Wendy, pulling up into a sitting position, "And that's not even the worst! He was like ‘I really like him, Wendy.' Oh, okay, asshole. Maybe you should have told me that before we got engaged. Right?"
Bebe's brows lift high. She admits, he didn't expect for Stan to confess what he'd done to Wendy. She doesn't know why – Stan is basically a good guy, and he does mean well. Bebe merely finds herself resenting him from time to time, because he has something that she can't ever have. But he's sometimes emotionally clumsy, and Bebe had thought that he would continue to try and juggle Wendy and Kyle for much longer than a few days.
Maybe Kyle's silent treatment actually did the trick.
"What'd you do?" asks Bebe. She lifts her legs up onto the bed and places her head on one of the numerous throw pillows decorating the bed, willing herself not to curl up and cuddle into Wendy like she wishes she could.
"I kicked him out," answers Wendy, "and called you."
"Oh, shit. He's probably at our apartment," Bebe says.
"I know," Wendy says. She doesn't sound teary – not even a little upset – just resigned, and tired, like she knew that this was coming, "Um, Bebe? Can I talk to you about something?"
"You already are, dear," Bebe says dryly.
Bebe genuinely grins when Wendy rolls her eyes and exaggerates a sigh. She says, "I mean – fuck, you know what I mean. God, I don't even know how to explain this."
"What I'm trying to explain," Wendy snips back, frustrated.
Bebe opens her mouth to whip out a saucy retort, but is cut off –
By Wendy's lips.
Bebe's first instinct is to seize up without moving. Wendy tastes good, better than Bebe ever could have expected. She tastes like expensive MAC lipgloss, cheap white wine and Oreos, all three being comforting things that Wendy falls back on in times of chaos – like Bebe. Bebe is Wendy's comfort that she reverts back to when everything else is falling apart. That's what this is. She's confused, and she needs love.
But Bebe can't give Wendy this kind of love, or she'll break her own heart.
And it's damn time she took care of her own fucking heart.
Bebe pushes Wendy back. She feels heat splotch across her cheeks and blinks her eyes a couple of times, focusing on her resolve. Bebe holds out her manicured hands and takes a deep breath. The only thing that she can think to say is, "Whoa. Honey."
"Shit," Wendy swears. She's red in the face, looking even worse than she did when she opened the front door. She goes on, "I'm sorry. God, I really need to explain. I'm so sorry, Bebe."
"By all means," Bebe says, "please do explain."
Wendy takes a deep breath. She sits back up and places the stuffed rabbit back on the now-mussed throw pillows. This action leaves Bebe feeling a little empty, and she resents herself for it. Wendy says, "I'll make more tea."
They move to the tiny kitchen, where Wendy puts a kettle on the stove and pulls down some serviceable but expensive-looking bone china teacups, placing them on the counter beside her cast iron teapot. Wendy's always been staunch in her tea-making ways. Bebe's always been okay with Lipton and a mug of water from the microwave. And in typical form, Wendy insists on being more highbrow, more traditional, more Wendy.
After several minutes of uncomfortable silence, Wendy places a hot cup of Earl Grey in front of Bebe and across the kitchen table, setting the teapot between them.
"You know I've always been very…set in my ways," Wendy says.
"Mm," remarks Bebe, for lack of a more diplomatic response.
Wendy sips at her tea and fidgets with a strand of her dark hair. She says, "When I was like, twelve? I got a crush on a girl. I didn't tell you because I thought it would pass, and that I loved Stan. And it did, and I did. But the feelings resurfaced every so often, and…I guess. Damn. When Stan told me what he did with Kyle, I thought – I guess I realized something."
"And that was?"
"That – um. I love Stan. I really do. But the way I love him isn't the same way that I love you."
Those words are a blow to Bebe. She feels her mouth unhinge and her brows crunch together as she scrambles for the right words to say. She thinks that perhaps she's just in her bed, that Wendy didn't actually call her, that she never went to Tracks with Kyle, and instead just got drunk and went to sleep. Underneath the table, Bebe pinches her thigh – and definitely feels it.
"Come again?" Wendy says. She chews on her lower lip, looking like she's trying to prepare to be hurt.
"Honey," Bebe says, "Are you sure you're not just upset because of Stan being a dumbass?"
Wendy rolls her eyes at that and sets her teacup down on the table. She says, "No. I'm sure."
"How?" Bebe lets out, before she can stop herself. She knows that Stan seemed to only want to fool around with Kyle – maybe Wendy wants to fool around with her and get married to her nice, straight man and have a brood of adorable dark-haired children. That's always been Wendy's plan, and damn, that woman sticks to her plans.
"How? The same way you know that you like women, Bebe," Wendy cuts back, "I just do. And the crush I always had was on you. I thought it would go away, but it never really did, and now we're here, and I feel like you deserve to know."
"Wendy, I –" Bebe swallows the lump in her throat.
Wendy takes advantage of the silence and interrupts, "You don't have to feel the same way, you know. I realize that you don't –"
"Hun, shut up for a second," Bebe says, holding up a hand, "If you really mean everything you're saying, then you should, um, know my side too. I love you, honey. Like, real, actual love. I…thought you were straight."
Wendy smiles wistfully, "I'm a good actress."
"Can I kiss you?" Bebe asks, and then corrects, "I mean, may I kiss you?"
"Yeah," Wendy breathes.
Bebe leans over the small expanse of kitchen table and brushes her lips over Wendy's. A beat passes, and she crushes their mouths into each other, licking along Wendy's lower lip and tasting tea and lipgloss there. It's sweet at first, something hesitant on both of their sides for different reasons. Bebe worries at first that maybe Wendy is thinking of Stan as she's kissing Bebe. It's like Kyle said before about Stan – she doesn't want to be an experiment.
But she still wants this so badly.
The edge of Bebe's tooth catches on Wendy's lower lip. Wendy whimpers into Bebe's mouth and deepens the kiss. Bebe hasn't felt like this in ages, like she's on fire, like every nerve in her body is sparking.
Wendy paws blindly at Bebe's skirt, pushing it down. Underneath, Bebe wears a tiny scrap of lacy underwear – she'd expected to get laid tonight, but she hadn't realized that it would be with Wendy.
"Couch," Bebe hoarsely mutters, pulling Wendy back toward the cheap faux-leather sofa in the living room.
Wendy shakes her head. She's blushing, Bebe realizes. She says, "I want it to be romantic."
"Yeah. Okay," agrees Bebe, willing to say almost anything to do this. Wendy laces their fingers together and tugs her along toward the bedroom. She sweeps the throw pillows of the bed in one eager gesture. Bebe bites down a grin. She feels like that, too. Throw pillows be damned.
Bebe pulls Wendy back, coiling her arms around Wendy's slender back and tangling them in Wendy's long, dark hair. Her hair is soft, much softer than Bebe's nest of curls. Wendy kisses back. The pressure of her lips lifts something inside of Bebe, something that has been weighed down and heavy for so many years. She herds Wendy onto the bed, instructing her in a soft voice to lie on her back.
"I'm not as sexy as you," Wendy mumbles, when Bebe's manicured fingers scrape along the edge of Wendy's sweatpants.
"Don't be ridiculous," Bebe scolds. She hooks her fingers under the elastic waistband and dispenses the pants onto the floor. Wendy's tank top follows closely behind, joining the rest of her clothing in a heap on the carpet. Wendy's undergarments aren't as overtly sexual as Bebe's, perhaps, but one of them expected sex tonight, and the other did not. In any case, the cotton floral-printed pattern panties and plain, pink bra suit Wendy. She's never been as outright raunchy as Bebe enjoys being. Bebe's body makes it difficult not to be obscene in the first place – no matter what top she wears, her breasts always seem to want to fall out of it.
With her eyes half-lidded and her long hair fanned out on the pillow behind her, Wendy looks like a goddess. Her chest rises and falls in tune with her deep breaths.
She looks nervous.
And why shouldn't she be? Bebe has lost count of how many women she's been in this situation with. Bebe loves women and she loves sex, and she's never been afraid of pursuing either. But Wendy – Wendy has never been anything but traditional. Though she is outspoken, there are some social lines that she has never dared to cross, despite desiring to do so.
Bebe brushes the tips of her fingers over Wendy's cheek, pushing a lock of hair back behind her ear. She reassures her, "Just relax, okay? I'll make it good for you." She kisses Wendy tenderly, a much less hungry kiss than the ones they shared only moments ago. With lips still locked, Bebe skims her hand along the subtle curve of Wendy's side, reaching behind her. She unhooks Wendy's bra with one hand and deft fingers.
Breaking their kiss, Bebe helps Wendy shrug it off. She's seen Wendy naked before – little glimpses here and there at sleepovers when they changed into their pajamas, before dances or dates when they'd help each other get ready, or the incident at the pool when they were fifteen, when Cartman untied Wendy's bikini top (Wendy swore never to wear a bikini again, and has tragically followed through with the threat).
This, though, is different. It's different because Wendy is undressed just for her, all sprawled out with one knee crooked up and a nervous smile gracing her lips.
Bebe ducks down, running her tongue along the underside of one small breast. She works her way up through small sucks and licks, before taking one nipple into her mouth.
Wendy gasps, arching up like a cat into Bebe's mouth.
Through a rattled exhale, Wendy murmurs, "Bebe."
Bebe nips down, her hands sinking into the mattress on either side of Wendy. Wendy gasps. She grips a section of Bebe's hair, pulling as Bebe moves her attention to the other breast, sucking contentedly. When Bebe draws back, Wendy's nipples have darkened, flushed and looking tender. Her cheeks are tinted just a little pink, as though she's afraid of what Bebe might do next.
Bebe doesn't want to do anything that will scare Wendy off. She's been waiting for this so long – so fucking long – that she can feel it in her entire body. Bebe feels the need quivering in her bones, making her breasts heavy and her insides slick. She drags down Wendy's modest panties slowly, torturing herself and Wendy alike with the anticipation.
Bebe strokes a hand through Wendy's hair. She says, "Tell me if I do anything that you don't like, okay?"
"Okay," Wendy agrees.
Bebe has to be careful. She wishes now that she didn't have acrylic nails practically fused to her fingers, because she doesn't want to scratch or hurt Wendy. She can't be as rough as she usually likes to be. Bebe will draw out the pleasure, making it torture for both of them.
She draws her hands down, rubbing her palms over the tops of Wendy's thighs and coaxing her to open them wider, spreading out her long legs enough that the tips of her toes almost look as though they could reach the edges of the mattress. Bebe kisses where the edge of Wendy's hipbones meet her skin. Wendy takes in a shaky breath, which melts into a long, languid moan when Bebe slides a single, teasing finger inside of her. She works her finger in and out, enticing little pants and keens out of Wendy's throat.
Bebe pushes another finger inside and Wendy cries out – but Bebe only gives her this for a precious few seconds, before withdrawing completely.
"Bebe, where are you going?" asks Wendy thickly, as though the absence of Bebe's fingers means that she has completely gone from the room.
"I'm right here, honey," Bebe murmurs. She spreads Wendy's thighs, digging her nails into the tender skin, before ducking her head down. She gives Wendy a long but tentative lick between her legs.
Wendy sucks in lungfuls of air. Bebe pushes her tongue deeper. She laps gently, the taste of Wendy invading her senses and the scent permeating the air. Wendy hooks her legs around Bebe's back, urging her closer. Bebe has never felt something more erotic. She reaches forward with her slender arms and digs her hands into Bebe's scalp, pressing her forward with impressive strength.
It doesn't take long – Bebe knows her way around a woman. Wendy comes with a heaving groan, arching her thin hips up toward Bebe's mouth.
When Bebe surfaces, Wendy is flushed. Her lips are swollen and parted, her brows crunched together.
"Do you want me to – to reciprocate?" pants Wendy, "I've never, um, touched anybody but me, but I can – I can try."
Bebe would love to be touched, would love to have Wendy's mouth and fingers all over her, but she's so spent that all she wants to do is curl up and go to sleep. She gives a short shake of her head and says, "Maybe in the morning," before she realizes that there is the possibility that Wendy won't let her spend the night, and that Bebe will be forced to return to her own apartment, to Kyle and his library of pulp fantasy books.
And so Bebe amends, "If that's okay."
"When has it not been okay?" Wendy asks, seeming more lucid as she cocks a single, well-plucked brow.
"I don't know if it escaped your notice, but we just did the nasty," Bebe breathes out, flopping onto her back.
Wendy leans over. She presses her lips up to Bebe's and mumbles, "It was bound to happen."
And they laugh. They laugh – because it was. Bebe and Wendy have been kidding themselves as much as Stan and Kyle have. They've always had something different than traditional friendship, something slightly off-kilter but perfect simultaneously.
So when Wendy offers Bebe some pajamas and the bed to sleep in, she says yes, and when Wendy loosens the laces of Bebe's corset and thumbs over the angry red creases on her heavy breasts, lowering her mouth to press damp kisses to the pink lines of skin.
The only piece of Wendy's clothing that fits over Bebe's breasts, much to her disdain, is a cast-off t-shirt that belonged to Stan in high school. She wears it with a pair of sweatpants, and slips under the covers with Wendy, who's dressed in a cute little negligée that Bebe suspects only slender women can get away with.
Bebe doesn't know whether or not cuddling is acceptable – until Wendy scoots in and loops her arms around Bebe's neck, pulling her in for a kiss. The bed smells like sex and a little like Wendy's perfume. It's perfect, the most perfect thing that Bebe has ever experienced.
She never, ever wants this end.
And so she resolves not to sleep, to stay awake with Wendy tucked up in her arms after all this waiting, finally hers, at least for a little, at least for now.
They used to have sleepovers like this, for a long time, way longer than Stan and Kyle ever spent the night at each other's house. Wendy and Bebe would tuck themselves into one of their beds together, and they'd spoon against each other, waking up only to hold each other more tightly. That was always Bebe's favorite time, when Wendy wasn't Stan's girlfriend but Bebe's best friend.
And now, now they're maybe more than that.
Now, maybe it could be Bebe's girlfriend.
Bebe falls asleep despite herself, a smile plastered to her lips.
Kyle climbs up the stairs feeling defeated. He hates the feeling of defeat. It's something that he feels so seldom that he isn't used to it. He's accustomed to winning arguments, to finishing projects, to getting shit done that needs doing. That's who he is. But on nights like this, nights when he can't stop thinking about Stan, and he's all alone with nothing but campy literature and mixed drinks to comfort him, an air of being beaten settles over him like a thick, black cloud.
Kyle opts for the stairs in lieu of the elevator. Besides the fact that he needs to forget what happened in that godforsaken contraption mere days ago, he needs the extra few minutes to think. He considers his next move. Where does one go after he's had his best friend's hand on his dick? It's a question that he never thought he would have to ask himself – and always fantasized that if he did have to consider, that he and Stan lived in some alternative universe, like MystifyNet, where they could be together.
This thought collapses in his brain in a heap of shattered pieces when he reaches his floor.
Lo and behold, before his apartment door, is hunched one Stanley Marsh.
"What the fuck are you doing here?" demands Kyle, torn between worry, because Stan looks like shit, and rage, because the wounds of Stan's previous assholery are still fresh.
Stan glances up sharply from a game of Mahjong on his phone. He looks tired, with shadowed eyes and mussed hair. He answers, "Waiting for you to come home."
"Don't jerk me around, Stan," Kyle snips, forcing his keys into the lock, "I'm not in the mood. Contrary to popular belief, I do have feelings, and they're hurt right now. So…fuck off, or something."
Stan scrambles up onto his feet when Kyle pushes open the door, and forces his way through when Kyle attempts to slam it in his face. Kyle tends to dislike stereotypes of gay men, but he's pissed off and a little drunk, and therefore feels entitled to be a little bit of a queen. He kicks off his shoes clumsily, ruining his hair-flip-style exit.
"I told Wendy what we did," Stan blurts.
Kyle veers around during his stomp to his bedroom and asks haughtily, "Which part? Jacking off while you stared at my cock, or in the elevator when you stuck your hand down my pants?"
Stan turns a putrid shade of pink and frowns deeply. He scratches the back of his neck and answers, "Both. Everything. I dunno, she threw me out."
"Good," snaps Kyle. This time he successfully makes his escape, hurling open his bedroom door with more force than intended or necessary. He wants to shower, to get the smell of the club and Kyle #2 off of his skin. He doesn't like feeling like this, all slimy and used by more than one person.
"Kyle," Stan protests. He follows him into the bedroom and says, "Can I at least have someplace to crash?"
Kyle exaggerates a sigh, because even though he's furious with Stan and the sight of his face makes Kyle's stomach turn, Stan is still his best friend, and he can't throw him out with no place to go. After a few seconds, Kyle answers, "The couch is yours. Now fuck off."
Before Stan can complain, Kyle shoves past him and slams the bathroom door, locking it behind him. There will be no more incidents like elevator. Fuck no.
For a hopeless second, Kyle stands in the middle of the bathroom and realizes how alone he is. He doesn't have anybody to talk to, because Bebe is with her own best friend, probably consoling Wendy about the hand job confession, and because Stan is – Stan is –
Well, it's more about what Stan isn't.
Stan isn't Kyle's friend right now, because he used Kyle.
Kyle doesn't understand why Stan did it. It isn't like Stan to knowingly toy with the feelings of another person, especially Kyle's.
With a soft shake of his head at his reflection, Kyle pulls off his button-down and undoes his jeans, abandoning his clothes in a pile on the floor, before switching on the water. He makes it hot, as if to will his muscles to untense and melt back into their normal state. But he's stressed, more stressed than he can remember being in a long-ass time (including college finals, and that's saying a lot).
He lingers under the water so long that he loses track of time – something that Kyle rarely allows himself to do. He likes keeping things routine and timed. He's never late, and he is never caught without a watch. But tonight he makes an exception, because he wants to forget everything, and that includes stupid numbers on a stupid clock.
Kyle remains under the water for so long that his fingers get pruney and wrinkled. It's only then that he sighs and shuts off the water, toweling himself down before wrapping the towel around his waist.
To his dismay, Stan is not on the couch where he should be, he's in Kyle's bedroom, on Kyle's bed, reading one of Kyle's books – it's his favorite book. The one that pushed him to come out to his family. The one that Stan bought him for his seventeenth birthday.
"Stan, I told you to go sleep on the couch," Kyle says carefully.
Having not heard Kyle's entry, Stan scrambles to his feet sheepishly. He's taken off his jacket and shoes. A quick survey of the room tells Kyle that he neatly placed both items next to Kyle's computer chair, instead of shedding them onto the floor like he usually would have done.
"Dude, I'm really sorry," Stan pleads. He does look apologetic, Kyle will give him that, but Stan has natural puppy-like eyes and is too talented at pretending to be sorry when he isn't.
Kyle pulls open his closet door and pulls out a pair of flannel pajama pants, facing away from Stan as he speaks so he doesn't have to look at his face, "Dude, just give it a rest. It only happened a couple days ago – I need some time to process what happened before I get over it, okay?"
Stan doesn't say anything when Kyle loosens the towel around his waist and tosses it onto his bed. But before Kyle can duck down to stick his legs into the pajamas, he feels a warm hand on his back.
"I'm not an experiment, Stan," Kyle tells him.
"I know you're not," whispers Stan, "You know when we were kids? Before I got help for my drinking?"
Kyle doesn't turn around, but he nods.
"You said stuff when I was drunk and you took care of me. Do you remember?" Stan presses.
Kyle feels his heart slam up against his ribcage. He can't be talking about the sordid declarations of love, can he? That would be impossible. Stan was so plastered, so far gone. There is no possible way that he could remember what Kyle told him.
"When I came out?" Kyle says, his voice uncomfortably high. He hopes that this is what Stan is talking about, about the time when they were fifteen and Kyle confessed about his sexuality, "Yeah, I remember that."
"No," Stan shakes his head, "I'm not talking about that, man. And I think you know that."
Kyle does turn around, then. He feels humiliated – not because he's buck naked and Stan is fully clothed, but because all this time, throughout all these years, Stan has known. He's known that Kyle loved and loves him.
"You never said a word," Kyle creaks out, "You never said a goddamned word."
"You know when you get so used to something that it feels wrong when it's gone? That's sort of how Wendy is. We've always been together. Everybody thought we always would be, you know? So I guess I just went along with it, ‘cause I like Wendy. She's pretty, and she's smart, and she always knows what she's doing. She was never lost, like me," explains Stan, "So even when you – you said that you – that you loved me, and even though I felt something too, I just stayed." He struggles with the words, his face turning pink all the way up to his ears. Kyle's chest hurts at the words and at the sight.
And he doesn't know what to say.
Very rarely is Kyle at a loss for words, but he is now. He feels his heart start to ache and he doesn't know what the fuck he's supposed to say back. So, for awhile, he remains silent. But after a moment of consideration, he gives Stan a sardonic smile and replies, "Caught me," holding up his hands like he's been caught in the middle of a bank robbery.
"I love you too," Stan says. He maintains his distance but he reaches out, running the palm of his hand over the damp curls cut close to Kyle's scalp.
Kyle shivers under the touch, and gives Stan a gentle push away. He says sternly, "Don't say things that you don't mean."
"I do mean it," Stan insists, his voice going loud. There's real hurt there. Maybe Stan has deluded himself into believing that he's in love with Kyle, but Kyle won't fall for it. It's too much of a fantasy. The admission of love smacks of belonging to a different universe, a universe like MystifyNet, where their avatars have sex and kiss. But they don't do that, no. Not real Stan and Kyle. Real Stan and Kyle have obligations, like marriages.
"Just go…go sleep on the couch," Kyle orders tightly. He pulls the fleece blanket off of the top of his bed and pushes it against Stan's chest. "Here," he says, "take this."
Stan goes a little red in the face, like he's holding his breath. And then, he blurts out, "I want you to do what those guys did in that video!"
"You want me to fuck you?" Kyle cocks a brow, not quite believing that.
"Yes," Stan clips. He's almost purple with embarrassment now, and Kyle supposes that you'd have to be if you just asked your gay best friend to have at your ass.
"I don't think you want that," chuckles Kyle. He can't help but find it funny. The whole situation is a farce, and he has the misfortune of being a player in it.
Stan frowns and says, "I'm fucking serious, dude. Don't treat me like I don't know what I want."
"You don't!" exclaims Kyle.
Stan lets out a noise of frustration a second before he pounces, grabbing Kyle by his shoulders and crushing their mouths together. The kiss is bruising and forceful. Fuck, Kyle loves it. He loves the taste of Stan, the feel of him pressing close against Kyle's naked body, the denim of his jeans rough as they chafe his skin. Stan's tongue prods at his lips. With a noise of helplessness, Kyle opens his mouth and lets Stan lick inside.
Kyle breaks away, a little breathless, and says, "Okay. Fuck. I'm convinced."
Stan grins. With enthusiasm he yanks his t-shirt over his head, dumping it on the floor in typical Stan form. Kyle would usually tell him to pick up his shirt like a civilized human being, but instead, he ignores it, pushing Stan back onto his bed, and crawling up to straddle his lap.
Kyle pulls his fingers through Stan's straight, dark hair, and warns, "It's gonna kind of hurt, okay?"
"Don't care," Stan says. He grips Kyle's sides and rolls them both all the way onto the mattress. Kyle presses into Stan, bringing their lips together again. He pulls off only to move his ministrations to Stan's throat, where he scrapes his teeth and sucks, lightly kissing the bruise that he leaves behind.
Stan lets out a soft whine when Kyle works his way down his chest, leaving hickeys in his wake, paying attention to every little spot on Stan's skin. If Kyle never gets to do this again, he wants to be able to know that he enjoyed every second of this, that he didn't let a single moment go to waste, that he knows every secret place on Stan. When his lips reach the trail of dark hair that disappears down into the waistband of Stan's boxers, Kyle pries apart Stan's fly, tugging of his jeans with a level of enthusiasm that he hasn't felt since being a teenager.
Stan is hard, trapped underneath the fabric of his Denver Broncos boxers. He looks –
God, he's like a feast, all laid out for Kyle, just Kyle.
Kyle's blood pumps so hard he can feel it in his ears and the tips of his fingers, rushing from his brain and straight to his cock, which curve up toward his stomach, red and shining with precome at the tip. He probably looks wrecked already, and he doesn't even give half of a shit.
Kyle strips off Stan's boxers, sitting back in a crouch and admiring him for a moment. His eyes are little wide, as though he's only registering now what they're about to do. Stan's tongue darts out to wet his chapped lips. That's what does Kyle in.
Kyle ducks down between Stan's legs. He runs the flat of his tongue along Stan's cock, starting from the base and teasing at the head.
"Ngh – fuck – Kyle," Stan gasps out. Kyle takes just the head of Stan's dick into his mouth, and Stan throws his head back against the pillow, thrusting up into Kyle's mouth. He pants, "Fuck. Sorry. I didn't mean to – ah." Kyle cuts off Stan's apology by taking him in all the way, swallowing down his entire length inch by inch until he feels Stan up against the back of his throat.
Kyle works himself into a rhythm. He hasn't done this too often – Kyle doesn't do oral unless he's certain the person he's going to do it for is worthy of his attention, and very few people meet those standards. His talent comes from the amount of porn and instructions that he's read on the matter of fellatio. He'd never have been comfortable doing something that he hadn't at least researched a little first.
But he loves this with Stan, because he's dreamt of doing this for Stan in a way that he's never dreamed of anybody else.
"Kyle, fuck, I might – goddamnit," Stan groans deeply. Kyle pulls off before Stan can come, earning him an offended look.
"I'm gonna fuck you, okay?" Kyle nods, just to make sure that Stan's still alright with this. If he isn't, Kyle will settle for making Stan come with his mouth.
Stan nods hazily. Kyle rolls off of his mattress, fishing around in his desk and returning with his supply of lube and a condom. He hasn't done this in too long, he thinks. He's been too depressed to pick up a guy and bring him home, and hasn't been anything close to stable enough to maintain a legitimate relationship with somebody.
Kyle's hands shake when he pulls open the lubricant and makes a mess of it on his fingers. But then, there's never too much lube on one's first time, or ever, really.
"Turn over," Kyle commands.
Stan blushes and asks, "Do I have to? I want to – to see your face. Fuck, that sounds gay."
"The fact that you just had a dude's mouth on your cock isn't gay?" Kyle gives Stan an are you kidding me look, "And yeah. Just put your legs up on my shoulders, okay?"
Stan nods seriously, as though Kyle has just instructed him on the proper way to execute a math problem, and shifts with Kyle's help, placing each calf on either of Kyle's broad shoulders. Kyle leans forward and kisses Stan's lips. It's awkwardly tender, something that makes Kyle start to hurt again on the inside, feeling all twisted up and sore.
Stan makes a soft noise of surprise when the tips of Kyle's fingers brush against his entrance, coating him with lube on the outside. When Kyle pushes his first finger inside, he goes slowly, watching Stan's face for any sign of discomfort.
"How does it feel?" he finally asks, when Stan doesn't do anything that Kyle interprets as ‘this feels good.'
"Weird," Stan answers, "but good."
Kyle works him finger all the way in, searching a little blindly for Stan's prostate.
When he does find it, Stan cries out in surprise. He jerks against Kyle's hand and grips handfuls of the comforter. He comments, "Holy shit, dude. I didn't know it felt like that."
Kyle wants to comment that Stan has always been far too conventional and he doesn't understand why he wouldn't have at least tried fingering himself, but instead he just smiles and presses a couple kisses to the side of Stan's face to distract him as he pushes in another finger. Discomfort flashes across Stan's face.
Kyle kisses the crease in Stan's brow and soothes him, "It's gonna sting."
Stan swallows and nods. Kyle slides his fingers in and out, paying special attention to Stan's prostate as he stretches him, massaging him open. With the third finger Stan makes a small, unhappy noise.
Kyle frowns and gruffly says, "Sorry. It's gonna hurt, dude. If you don't want to anymore, that's –"
"Just shut up and fuck me," Stan snaps.
Kyle almost laughs, but instead withdraws his hand and responds, "As you wish."
Stan gives him a suspicious look (Something that says "Are you making a movie reference when we're about to have sex?" But of course Kyle is. He has to do something to ease the tension). He follows Kyle's movement as he reaches back and rips open the condom packet, rolling it over his cock with a hiss of breath through his teeth. Kyle knows he's neglected his erection this time around, and he's paying for it, feeling all heavy and pained with unspilled come. The lube just about explodes when Kyle shakes it onto his dick. He slicks it into an even coating before returning to Stan, who's blushing again.
"Wrap your legs around me," Kyle whispers. He braces himself with his hands on either side of Stan's torso, before he grips himself, and starts pushing into Stan.
He's hurting him. He knows he is.
"God, how do you do this, dude?" Stan gulps in air.
"I don't, usually," answers Kyle. This is good. He needs to keep talking, because if he doesn't, he's going to come. He grunts as he sinks into Stan just a little further, and continues, voice strained, "I don't let most guys do it."
"Would you let me?" asks Stan.
Kyle isn't expecting this question. He captures Stan's mouth in another kiss and says, "Probably."
And he thrusts himself forward, completely sheathing himself inside Stan. Stan groans loudly, the sound torn between pain and pleasure. He sinks his short fingernails into the flesh covering Kyle's shoulder blades, as though he's trying to hold them both steady. Kyle stays still for just a little. He combs his fingers through Stan's sweaty hair.
"Okay," Stan says.
Kyle pulls out, and pushes back in. Fuck, Stan feels so good, all hot and tight around him. Kyle doesn't know how long he can last at this rate, and so he tries not to think about it. He propels himself forward, harder than he intended. He must have done something right, though, because Stan lets out a long, happy moan, and commands, "Do that again."
Kyle draws his body out and thrusts hard, again. He starts a rough rhythm, something hard enough that he has to brace himself with a hand clutching the top of his headboard.
He won't last much longer. This is too good, too perfect. Stan is hot around his cock, closed up tight around him. It's a perfect fit, fucking flawless.
"Oh, shit," Kyle swears. He comes, feeling like an asshole, because Stan is still hard. He doesn't pull out of Stan, not quite yet. Instead, he presses their damp foreheads together and grips Stan in a firm fist, pumping him chaotically.
Stan doesn't take long to come. He buries his face in the crook of Kyle's neck and keens, coming on both of their chests, making them stick together.
"Jesus Christ," manages Stan.
It takes some time for Kyle to come down from his high. When he does, he lets out a long breath of air before pulling out of Stan. He tosses the condom into his trash can, feeling a little proud when he sees it sitting there on top of his other trash like a monument to what they've just done.
When he turns and looks at Stan, he's gazing off at the wall, looking fucked-out and exhausted. On his stomach is a messy sheen of come, and his hair is matted with sweat.
"Shower?" suggests Kyle. Even though he only just took, and even though it will be his third shower today, he doesn't like being covered in sweat and come.
"Yeah," answers Stan, "Give me a minute."
A beat passes and Stan slides off of the bed. His walk is just a little funny as he follows Kyle into the bathroom, where he starts the water and turns it to the warm temperature that he knows Stan prefers. They're both exhausted, but Kyle knows that Stan must be hurting. He was rough with him, and he knows it. So he tells Stan to relax and washes the sweat out of his hair and the come off of his chest, kissing along Stan's neck after he's done.
When they've dried off and changed into pajamas, Stan starts heading for the bedroom door.
"Where are you going?" asks Kyle.
"To the couch," Stan supplies.
"C'mere," Kyle says. He pats the bed. Stan looks relieved, like he somehow thought that after sex like that, Kyle could still be mad.
Stan slips in under the covers, scooting in close to Kyle, but not as close as Kyle would like. He pulls Stan in, roping his arms around Stan's back so that they're pressed up against each other. The sheets still smell like sex, but Stan smells clean, like himself and like Kyle's shampoo.
"Hey," Kyle says.
Stan looks up and smiles, "Hey."
"I love you," Kyle tells him. It feels strange, a good kind of strange, to finally be saying this while Stan is sober.
Stan yawns and kisses Kyle's cheek. He replies, "I love you, too."
Bebe wakes to the smell of coffee. At first she thinks that she's in her own apartment, in her bedroom, and that Kyle will be sitting out at the kitchen table playing his dumb online game with a mug of fresh coffee in his hand. She rolls over to grab at her body pillow, but it isn't there.
And then she realizes – she isn't at home. She's with Wendy. Or, rather, was with Wendy. Bebe opens her eyes to find that the bed is empty, Wendy's side wrinkled and unoccupied. Bebe hears her outside in the kitchen, dishware clanking against the sink, and the water running. Bebe hums and rolls over, not quite wanting to leave the bed yet. A little kernel of fear wriggles its way inside her, telling her that it's possible that Wendy regrets what they did and will welcome Stan back when he dejectedly shows up at the apartment door, hat in hand. Wendy will be tactful about the rejection, of course.
Wendy comes into the bedroom, then. She's still in her pajamas, but her hair is wound into a braid, and her face looks washed. She smiles coyly, holding out the trendy-looking, yellow and white polka-dotted mug in her hand with a, "Morning, sleepyhead."
Bebe accepts the coffee, drinking in a long gulp. She probably looks like a mess right now, with her hair all in knots and tucked into Stan's old t-shirt.
Wendy blushes a little, a small smile on her face. Bebe feels relief flow through her at the sight of it, fueled further by Wendy's soft declaration of, "If you don't mind…I can try reciprocating."
Bebe's stomach heats up, tying itself into a happy little knot of pleasure, before she answers, "I'd love that."
She and Wendy wiggle out of their pajamas and lie side by side, only kissing at first. When Wendy finally works up the courage, she cups Bebe's breasts in her long-fingered hands and kisses them too, shyly poking out her tongue to circle Bebe's nipples. Her touch between Bebe's legs is cautious, or maybe it's more unsure. But, when Bebe moans, Wendy's confidence picks up with her movement. Bebe helps her find all the spots she likes to have touched best, and comes soon after.
She's so happy.
Although they're going to have to find some way to explain this to Stan.
What if Wendy tells Bebe what Stan told Kyle? That she always wanted to know what it felt like, but still wants to marry her longtime sweetheart?
"I'm sure Stan went to your apartment last night," Wendy sighs, "I don't think he would have driven out to Golden to see Kenny, and he hates Craig, so he wouldn't have gone over there."
"Maybe we should invite them to breakfast," jokes Bebe.
Instead of laughing, Wendy agrees, "Maybe we should. And we could – well, wait. What does last night mean?"
Bebe's been dreading this conversation. She is torn between shrugging and shouting out a declaration of love, belatedly realizing that she never did say the magic sentence I love you.
"I love you," she says.
"Yeah?" Wendy bites her lower lip.
"Yeah," Bebe says.
"Good," Wendy tells her, "Because I love you too." She rolls into Bebe's arms and kisses her hard, hooking her slender leg over Bebe's bulkier thigh. They kiss lazily, laughing quietly into each other's hair.
As it happens, they never need to call Stan. Bebe's phone goes off in her purse, belting out her loud Lady Gaga ringtone. She pecks a kiss to Wendy's forehead and picks up, flipping it open. "Yeah?" she says.
"I fucked Stan," Kyle says on the other line.
"Oh," Bebe says, not actually surprised. Now she and Wendy have much less to feel guilty about – they didn't have to be the first to confess.
"What is he saying?" asks Wendy.
Bebe holds her palm over the receiver and mouths, "Kyle fucked Stan."
Kyle clears his throat as though encouraging Bebe to speak. When she doesn't, he asks, "You guys wanna do breakfast or something? Wait, do you think Wendy's going to be upset?"
"Nah," answers Bebe, "I fucked her."
"Bebe!" protests Wendy.
"Nice," says Kyle, "So? Breakfast? Wanna hit up Rialto in like an hour?"
"…‘Hit up'? You really did get laid," Bebe says, impressed. Not that she doubted Kyle's abilities – okay, no, she does doubt his ability get laid. Kyle is lucky that Stan thinks the sun shines out Kyle's ass anyway.
"Shut up," Kyle responds, "See you there."
Bebe relays the plan to Wendy, and they get dressed. Bebe, having no clothes besides her slutty club outfit and her borrowed pajamas, steals a tank top from Wendy and apologizes in advance for stretching it out beyond repair. She keeps the sweatpants. Wendy looks much classier, decked out in a belted, high-waisted skirt and a purple cardigan.
Bebe is so happy that she gets to call Wendy hers.
Across town, Kyle clicks off his cell and tosses it onto the kitchen counter. Stan is back sitting at the table in front of his laptop, wearing nothing but boxers. His hair sticks up in odd places and he gives Kyle a lopsided, genuine smile when Kyle slides a mug of coffee over to him, followed by the carton of half and half that typically is only put to use by Bebe. Stan dumps a generous amount into his cup and stirs it in coupled with sugar, spilling a little on the table when he can't keep his eyes off of Kyle.
Kyle smiles back. It's a strange feeling to have the expression on his face after all the years of pining and hurting when he thought of Stan. He nurses his coffee – black, unlike Stan's – and opens his computer.
"I hear there's a hidden quest somewhere on the plains, you wanna check it out?" asks Kyle.
Stan nods through a swallow of coffee, and when Kyle loads MystifyNet onto his screen, he already has a notification.
Kyle presses ‘Accept' like he always has, but this time, he leans across the kitchen table and kisses Stan for real, too.
Bebe and Wendy walk to the café from the apartment – Wendy's shoes are slightly too small on Bebe's feet, squeezing in her toes as they walk. They arrive at the restaurant before Stan and Kyle, sitting next to each other instead of on opposite sides. Wendy reaches down and holds Bebe's hand underneath the table.
Bebe feels like she's sixteen again, like she's bubbly and carefree, free of responsibilities like paying the bills and making sure that they get landlord to fix the fucking sink. But it's better than being sixteen, because she's in love, she's so in love that her heart feels full to bursting.
When Kyle and Stan walk through the restaurant's front doors, Wendy gives Bebe's hand a tighter squeeze. She's nervous, realizes Bebe, when she looks at Wendy's brows crunching together when the boys approach. And why shouldn't she be? Everybody back home was so excited about the engagement, from Randy Marsh to the girls that Bebe and Wendy used to hang out with in high school.
Kyle and Bebe share a secret, giddy look when he walks Stan over the table, holding hands like Bebe is with Wendy. They break their grip on each other only to take the seats across from Wendy and Bebe.
"Well," Kyle says, naturally the first to speak up amid the silence, "This is awkward."
That's true – probably more awkward for Wendy and Stan than for Kyle and Bebe, who have been sitting on this for years upon years. Silence follows as they all scan the breakfast menu. Bebe snaps out of her thoughts only when she hears a clink against the table.
In the center of the table is the engagement ring. She says, "I know you didn't buy it – I mean, I bought it for myself, but –"
"No, I get it," Stan says. He slips off his own ring, the promise ring that Wendy proposed with.
"Well, we're just one big, gay table now, aren't we?" asks Bebe.
All four of them laugh at that. Bebe spares a glance for Kyle, who is already gazing at her, a small smile playing at the edge of his lips. He looks happier than she's seen him look in so long, and she saw the same expression on her own face in Wendy's bathroom mirror that morning. It was the look of unrequited love and hopelessness being turned on its head. It was the look of what once was being what now is.
And what they have now is more than just a silly bet made by two drunken, depressed roommates. It's even more than the sex that happened on two different beds in two different apartments.
What it is – is finally knowing that this feeling that made both Kyle and Bebe feel heavy and used inside is the same feeling that's making them feel light and high right now.
It's being in love.