Trudging home, Stan felt the wind at the back of his neck. He wished he'd worn a scarf, but with Kyle's surprise visit that morning, there's been little time to prepare for anything. Stan had barely remembered his backpack, now full of the worksheets and textbooks he'd need to consult to finish the work he'd put off all week, raking. He didn't expect it would take long; this children's busywork was so easy. Stan wished it had only been so easy when he was actually in school. He'd have wasted so much less time putting it off.

If Stan thought he was cold, it was nothing compared to how chilled Kyle looked, sitting on Stan's front stoop. Stan had certainly not been expecting to see Kyle again that day, and while he was glad, it was also a bit of a shock to witness Kyle's cheeks reddened from the wind and his lips greasy with chapstick. Stan wondered if it was the chapstick he'd bought for Kyle earlier in the week.

"Jeez," said Stan, taking off his backpack at the front door. He felt awkward towering over Kyle, and sat down beside him, the cold surface of the concrete very distinct and uncomfortable through the ineffectual thinness of Stan's jeans.

"I don't honestly know," said Kyle, who Stan believed to be blushing under the cold. "I just, um. Wanted to talk to you."

"Cool. Because that went great last time."

"If you're going to be a dick, I'll go!" Kyle exclaimed, though he did not get up to leave, or move at all.

"Do you want to go inside? You must be pretty cold."

"I'm fine." Kyle paused, breathing heavily. "I am a bit cold," he corrected.

"Let's go inside and have a hot drink, or something."

"I don't want a drink," Kyle insisted.

"Well, come inside anyway."

"Fine!" Kyle stood up. "Fine, I already agreed, anyway. I already said I would!"

Stan used his house key to unlock the front door, and immediately his mother called out to him: "Stanley! Is that you?" It sounded as though she was in the kitchen.

"It's me," Stan confirmed, pulling off his gym shoes. Beside him, Kyle removed his coat and carefully folded it before placing it on the ground next to his shoes. "Um, Kyle's here."

She emerged from the kitchen wiping her hands on a dish towel, scowling. "Oh," she said, balling the towel, "Kyle, you're back."

"Yeah," Kyle said, sounding rather uneasy. "I'm sorry, I just — I had to talk to Stan."

"It's all right, honey, you're always welcome here."

"I know it's crazy—"

"No, it's fine, don't worry about it. Are you cold? Did you want me to make you something?"

"No, I'm fine. Um — thank you. I'm not cold."

"We're going upstairs now," Stan announced.

"All right, Stanley, do whatever," she said, as if she suspected they were up to something unforgivable.

Upstairs, Kyle immediately sat down on Stan's bed, crossing his arms, scowling.

"So what's up?" Stan asked, shutting the door behind him.

"Fighting this morning." Kyle didn't shift his position at all, kept perfectly still. "Doesn't sit right with me."

"Doesn't sit right with you?" Stan kept his back firmly against the door to his bedroom. "You started that shit, you know. Not me."

"But I had a point."

"What was your point, that I'm a bad person?"

Kyle turned away, swallowed.

"I guess," Stan agreed. When Kyle didn't reply, he added, "I told Craig to fuck off."

"Great," said Kyle. He shifted so that his legs were crossed. "After everything I did to help you! And you just tell him to fuck off?"

"Yeah," said Stan, "because my options were, what, just let some little shit walk all over me? Play some middle school power game? That kid's a fucking loser."

"But everything I did—"

"I didn't ask you to do it! I didn't ask you to do it for me, Kyle! You did it because you wanted to! You did it because you wanted to be in control of the situation. You think after all this time I don't know you?" Stan felt his hands sweating. He knew he might not be speaking to the Kyle sitting on the bed over there, exactly — but these were things he needed to say." I'm — I'm not saying it wasn't good of you, or the right thing to do, or that I don't appreciate it, and love you for it. But, man, I could write you a fucking song about how all you ever do is make decisions for both of us and then get pissed at me for not being sufficiently grateful. It's not that I'm not grateful, it's just, you're an adult, for fuck's sake. If putting your own life aside to micromanage mine makes you happy, fine. But don't fucking sit there and pretend that I forced you to do it, or that you don't fucking love it. You love being in control, Kyle. Admit it."

Stan waited for Kyle to say something as Kyle fidgeted. Finally, he thought he saw Kyle eke something out. "Sorry?" Stan asked. "What was that?"

Kyle cleared his throat. His posture now was decidedly less offended and sadder. "I said, I'm not an adult," he croaked.


Stan came forward, and joined Kyle on the bed. He regretted that his boyish frame was not heavy enough to sink into the mattress fully. That would have made this next conversation fittingly dramatic. "Well," he said, trying to catch Kyle's eye. "I dumped Wendy."

A confused expressed came over Kyle's face. Then he shook his head. "Oh," he said, scooting away from Stan, putting distance between them. "Did you?"

"Yeah. Because, you were right. I was a shitty boyfriend to her. And, I don't think I could ever be a good one. So, I dumped her. She was fine with it."

"Oh! Well, good." Kyle slid farther away.

"And another thing," Stan continued. "I'm sorry I wasn't more supportive of your interest in world history. I think if you want you could grow up one day and be a historian. You could write a book if you wanted, you know?"

"I guess?"

"I mean, you've always been very supportive of my interest in — you know, piano. So, I just wanted to say, um, thank you. And, I'm sorry. But mostly thank you."

"Okay." Kyle's face seemed blank; Stan noticed that he was crossing his legs as tightly as possible, and clenching his fists. "You're welcome, I guess, dude — yeah."

"How do you feel?" Stan asked. He got up and sat down again right next to Kyle, so that their thighs were touching.

For a moment, Kyle was unable to answer. Then, in a small voice, he said, "My downstairs feels pretty confused."

"That's one way to put it," said Stan, although he smiled at it.

"You don't understand," said Kyle. "I feel like there are all these different things building up inside of me, almost physically, and I'm not sure which one I'm supposed to expel, but something has to go."

"You're horny."

Kyle took massive offensive to this. "I am not!" he hopped off the couch, backing away from Stan. "And even if I am, don't you dare talk to me about it like you know what that even means!"

"I know what it means," Stan said quietly, and at least in an academic sense, he did. He had to remind himself that he'd had sex, a lot of sex, with multiple partners, across a span of many years. He regretted the fact that he couldn't mention this to Kyle, who was now scarlet, hints of tears in his eyes. Kyle wouldn't believe him anyway.

"You are so full of shit!" Kyle yelled. "You are so full of shit, Stan!"

"You are," Stan insisted, "and you wouldn't be freaking out and yelling at me if you weren't."

"I'm what, I'm full of shit?"

"No, you're fucking horny."

"I have to go," Kyle choked out, tears falling for real now. "I have to go, you're an asshole, leave me alone!" He fled the room, and Stan waited only a moment before he got up to follow. He expected to hear the slam of the front door, but then he heard Kyle on the steps, running back upstairs.

Stan merely stood there.

Kyle tripped on the landing, and Stan was prepared to catch him, but then Kyle got up and repeated, "You're an asshole!" and ran right into Stan's bedroom. Then he slammed the door.

"Dude." Stan knocked at his own door. There was a peeling construction-paper sign affixed with scotch tape that read, "No girls allowed!" Wendy always told him it was babyish and stupid. Or maybe that had been his sister. He couldn't remember. He was so exhausted, so sick of this shit. "Dude," Stan repeated. "Open the door."

"No, fuck you!" was Kyle's muffled reply.

So Stan shrugged and opened the door himself. Kyle hadn't locked it. "Come on," he said, stepping into the room. "Kyle, I'm sorry, I was joking."

"You weren't joking," Kyle said. He was sitting on the bed, cross-legged like an Indian princess in some pencil-illustrated children's book about the frontier. His face was puffy and wet with trails of tears. Stan wanted to kiss him, so much.

"Well, I sure didn't want to do — this."

"Bullshit you didn't," Kyle wept. "What's wrong with you? What's wrong with you, Stan, what's wrong with me?"

"Nothing's wrong with you," Stan said, quietly shutting the door. "I'm an asshole, but nothing's wrong with you, Kyle, you're great just as you are. I swear. I promise."

"I'm not," Kyle said. He'd stopped crying and was now wiping snot from his nose with his sleeves. "I'm not, you're right, I am horny."

"Oh." Stan came over and sat on the bed.

"You might not want to sit there," Kyle said. "You might not want to, because I'm a sick freak and I think I might like it."

"Well, yeah, we're friends, I like sitting next to you, too." Stan scooted closer.

"I mean more like, later, when I go home..." Kyle's voice lowered to a conspiratorial whisper. "I'll be thinking about this, about sitting on your bed, and you telling me I'm horny because I feel all confused about — about all this shit — and me realizing, well, yeah." Kyle sniffed, sucking in dribbling mucus and tears. "Oh, I'm disgusting, you don't want to sit here with me."

"I do," Stan insisted. His voice was low, too.

"Why," Kyle said, "why would you—"

"Because." Stan turned to face Kyle, grabbing one of his clammy hands. Kyle's fingers tensed in Stan's and he looked away. "Oh, no," Stan said, using his other hand to tilt Kyle's head back. It was slightly forceful, but Stan figured Kyle liked that sort of thing. He wondered if Kyle became harder when Stan touched him. Certainly Stan was conscious of his own arousal, half-formed but very present, threatening to bloom into a full-on erection. Stan tried to pay it no mind. He took both of Kyle's hands into his, and he said, "Always remember who you are."

This time, Kyle didn't look away; he leaned in as Stan kissed him, light on the lips.

They lingered for a moment, Stan conscious of the clock ticking, of Kyle inhaling and exhaling through his nose. Stan could feel it on his upper lip. They were breathing in the same air, and then Kyle pulled away. It had only been a few seconds, but now he seemed more confused than ever.

"Why would you do that!" he demanded.

Stan thought for a moment. Why had he done it? It wasn't a prelude to sex; Stan wasn't sure if he could have sex with this stunted little body, and he didn't think he wanted to. He tried to remember his first kiss with Kyle, not the one that had just happened but the one Kyle had initiated years ago, over aglio e olio in a little Tuscan restaurant near campus, freshman year of college. A single candle had been flickering on their table. Kyle had been extremely stressed over a history paper; Stan had kept repeating, "It's only four pages," but Kyle had always had trouble forcing himself to get his ideas down. They weren't roommates that year, not yet, and Stan went back to his quad and slept contentedly with the lights on as his suitemate wrote a response paper on Sartre. It bothered Stan that he knew this only because Kyle had repeated it to him later. Stan claimed not to remember, not even the part about Sartre. He couldn't recall where Kyle would have heard about the Sartre thing. Maybe he had just made it up.

Stan wished he had the capacity to even invent memories about that period of their lives, their early years in Boston. The only ones Stan retained were about helping his mother pick out a wig, having to buy his sister a last-minute flight home from Germany that took layovers in Madrid and Newark before landing in Denver. Stan had a strong memory of Kyle sitting in his lap in a gray hallway with matte prints of irises on the walls, Stan's father emerging from a room with a pink door and saying, in a brittle voice, "Sharon's not—" and then that was it, "Sharon's not," and no further information. Stan resented him for not finishing that sentence, for not pulling Stan into the room with him even 10 minutes prior, for calling her fucking "Sharon," like Stan wasn't there, like he wasn't her son, the last thing anyone would ever say to him about his mother in the present tense denied him. Sometimes Shelly would say, "If it makes you feel any better, no one even told me! I was on a plane!" As Shelly probably suspected, that did not make Stan feel better in the least.

Kyle was looking at Stan, and Stan was looking at Kyle. A feeling came over Stan, a feeling of relief, that there was no one in this room with them; it was not a hospital corridor or an Italian joint with red-and-white-checked splatter-resistant tablecloths. They were in Stan's little bedroom, and it was night, and Stan's parents weren't here now. "Why would you do that," Kyle repeated, "what are you doing to me?"

And Stan breathed out, "I kissed you," the words startling to him, as if he hasn't kissed Kyle a million times before. He had to remind himself that, in fact, he hadn't.

"Why did you kiss me?" Kyle asked.

"Because," Stan said, "because I want you to remember who you are."

"And who am I?" Kyle asked. His lips were a little plump, and in them Kyle saw an echo of the man this boy would grow to be, his lips swollen after an evening of rough sex, sucking down a milkshake, ordering the help around.

"You're the boy I'm in love with," Stan said, his voice shaking with tears of his own. Don't cry, he told himself, please don't. Of course, Stan couldn't help it. "Stay over tonight," he pleaded, grabbing one of Kyle's hands, yanking it into his lap.

Kyle's fingers brushed Stan's erection, and Kyle said, "Okay, yeah." He swallowed, wetly. "Let me go call my mom."

Kyle picked up his cell and left the room, looking back to send Stan a shaky smile.

Kyle Broflovski awoke sweating, the ceiling fan circling above his head. It was morning, the pale light of 8 a.m. shining behind the curtains, and Stan was twined around Kyle's torso, their flesh so clammy it felt stuck together.

There was a moment of haze through which Kyle tried to recall his dreams; at first he knew only that they were memorable, but not why or in what regard. Slowly it occurred to him that he'd been dreaming of himself and Stan, their first kiss together, an afternoon 25 years ago (almost to the week, if not the day) when Stan had said in a quiet voice, "Remember you're the person I'm in love with." Since then above all else Stan had meant the world to Kyle, but until the night before following their strategic dinner party, it had been quite some time, years even, since Kyle had truly felt that Stan was in love with him. Now, with Stan's warm breath smelling of clean mint against Kyle's shoulder, Kyle thought about the sex the night before, and he felt whole. He was chubby, bored, listless, out of his mind with jealousy, certain Stan was having an affair, obsessed with the void in their small lives: no pets, no children, their families miles away and years behind them. But this much Kyle somehow knew: Stan loved him.

Kyle wanted to say something to Stan in this moment, something like, "I love you too," but the poor man looked exhausted. Feeling altogether too alone to stay in bed another moment, Kyle removed Stan's arms from his waist and slid away. There was a moment of unrest as Stan stirred, and Kyle felt bad for waking him. But then Stan rolled over, and Kyle shrugged. Perhaps Stan was just determined to fall back asleep? Either way, Kyle figured, he wasn't getting up now. Kyle went to go pull on his bathrobe.

In the bathroom, Kyle stood in front of the mirror, sighing at his own reflection. This was his life now: the very beginning of jowls, hair thinning, eyes deep and ringed with sallow skin. Robe hanging open, Kyle could see the shape of his stomach pressing against the bathroom marble, nearly sitting at the edge of the sink. Briefly he was horrified anew that there was enough to perch there, until he considered the sex he'd had with Stan the night before. In front of the mirror, Kyle began to grow hard. He thought, for a moment, of waking Stan and asking sweetly for a blow job; the very thought of Stan's mouth made Kyle harder, his dick beginning to leak between his very legs. But rarely was Stan in the mood for that lately.

Brushing his hair from his eyes, Kyle lurched to the toilet, not bothering to shut the door. He straddled the seat with his robe hanging astride the bowl, skimming the marble on the floor. Something about keeping the robe on as he took his cock into his hand and stroked heightened the eroticism. Thinking about the night before, it wasn't long until Kyle was spilling into his hand, wiping the evidence away with a wad of toilet paper he dropped into the toilet. He considered flushing, but thought better of it, wondering if Stan might spy it in the toilet and feel, for just a moment, a shock of envy, or at least of disappointment, in Kyle's masturbating alone over the toilet as Stan snored in the next room. Washing his hands, Kyle sighed at his reflection again.

Knotting the belt of his robe Kyle swept downstairs and into the kitchen, wincing at the daylight. The house was buzzing with mild sounds: the dishwasher, the ceiling fans, the sprinkler system outside splattering against the window panes in the dining room. Kyle noted that he'd have to speak to someone about that. Stepping barefoot across the floors Kyle thought he heard a certain faint creaking sound, and he banished the idea that it was coming from his own body by reminding himself that the heat and humidity of Southern California brutally warped foundations, that the house itself must be groaning. That had to be it.

As a pot of coffee brewed Kyle thought about how much he missed printed newspapers. Ink on his hands made him feel productive somehow, though it wasn't due to having done anything, per se. Stan was judgmental about this, always going on about preservation and sustainability, but then Stan refused to write music on anything but antiquarian lined paper. They both had their things, Kyle supposed, spreading the paper out on the kitchen counter as he held his first cup of coffee. The sprinklers seemed to have shut off, and as he set down the mug after his first mouthful, the house felt very quiet, very still. For a few minutes Kyle wondered, hoped even, that Stan might come barreling into the kitchen, saying good morning by taking a handful of Kyle's ass. But as the moments slipped away this felt increasingly unlikely. Kyle folded the paper back up and grabbed his mug, fleeing to his office.

With the party out of the way there was little left to do. He wrote e-mails, short ones, to his guests:

Last night was such a success! Thanks for being a part of it. Stan and I always appreciate good company. Best wishes on [here he filled in something appropriate to personalize the note]! Please let us know how it goes. Our home is your home.

This couldn't have been less true; Kyle felt it was mostly his home, but he was used to writing what he had to write. Finished with this task, he closed his e-mail account and stared at the screen. It was sunny out, the shadows of paperweights tall across the surface of his desk. Licking coffee from his lips, he opened the file that contained his life's meager work.

And there it was:

Only with the advent of technocapitalism did the concept of global history truly come to light. It is my aim in the present work to discuss and analyze the

Kyle began to survey the document, scanning the bits and pieces of thought he'd jotted down over the years. Some pages were laden with footnotes; others bore only stream-of-consciousness observations. Some ideas, after several months away from the project, embarrassed Kyle in their simplicity. He hated how he phrased things, and especially despised the false confidence in most of his writing. Really he had no idea what he was doing.

Determined to impose some kind of structure on this project, Kyle opened a new document and began to construct an outline. If he could come up with actual chapters organized around coherent points, maybe he could actually finish a chapter, then another, finally completing the project in this manner while repurposing his text where necessary. As he skimmed what he had, it occurred to him that he wasn't a bad writer, and in fact, some of these things he'd jotted down over the years made an awful lot of sense, or they sounded plausible while Kyle read them aloud to himself.

Stan stirred in bed, stretching. It was morning, and he pulled the covers tightly over his head, wondering what fresh hell the world had in store for him today. He stretched, hoping his mother wouldn't come in to demand he get up and go to school, feeling for the wall with his open palm. When his hand reached into nothing but thin air he shrugged the linens from his head and gazed up, seeing the diaphanous wrap of fabric around the canopy on a four-poster bed. Stan felt shocked, to say the least. He turned over onto his belly, burying his head in one of a wall of pillows. There was a moment of unfamiliarity when his cock became trapped under his weight. He was used to having a small one now, and a slim little body to boot. Suddenly a number of sensations became tangible at once: The coolness of high-quality sheets; hair on his chest and stomach; the long-term bite in his sides and back of decades sitting hunched over a keyboard. His head felt heavy, the slight ache of a hangover behind one eye. Perhaps it took several minutes to admit the truth to himself because the best was empty beside him. He longed as he gaped at the empty space for Kyle, young Kyle, the boy he knew back in South Park. Then he thought of Kyle, his Kyle, with his pert ass and care-worn features, the gait of his body uneven. Stan's thoughts turned from whimsical to carnal as his dick hardened, beginning to drool. It had been a long time! The sensation was unfamiliar at first, but as he rolled over onto his back and into the fading warmth of Kyle's side of the bed, he breathed a sigh of relief.

He was home.

The hardness subsided after pissing, slamming the toilet seat shut before flushing. This was his bathroom, his toilet seat, his fucking house. He heard the whir of a vacuum and wondered how long he'd slept for. Whatever had happened, Stan didn't want to know. He longed for Kyle, and the thought of finding him revived Stan's erection, stretching the wafer-thin linen fronts of his softest yoga pants even as he pulled them on. There was only a pang of longing when Stan thought of his childhood wardrobe, its primary colors and childish irony. Here he slid on a fitted T-shirt of pure cotton, a wheaten color and texture that made Stan feel rich. He didn't put on any shoes. Being in his own wardrobe filled him with gratitude and relief. He felt the urge to look through his hanging slacks and, after telling himself it was stupid, gave in, feeling the weight of every fabric against his hands. Stan knew in that moment that he had forgotten what it was like to be an adult, to have a home of one's own.

Stan's thoughts turned to his would-be husband. Where was Kyle? He hated getting up unnecessarily. Stan wasn't sure what day it was. Kyle could be busy, but he was more likely downstairs. He was unlikely to be out; that, Stan was sure of. On his way downstairs he passed Rosa, who was vacuuming the dust from the narrow crevices in the stairs. Stan greeted her with a polite, "Hello, good morning," which was all he really ever said to her. She was Kyle's business.

She smiled at him. "Good morning," she said, a warmth in her voice Stan didn't recognize. "Was it a good party last night? There were plenty of dishes—"

Having not been to any party the night before, Stan certainly had no idea, but he felt it was right to return her smile and say, "Oh, yes, wonderful! Thanks for getting that," and keep walking. Two steps down, though, he thought of something and turned around, asking, "You haven't seen Kyle, have you?"

She snapped off the vacuum cleaner with the heel of her bare foot and said, "I saw him in the kitchen about an hour ago."

Nodding, Stan said, "Oh, thank you," and she thanked him, too, and turned the vacuum back on.

The kitchen was vacant, but it smelled of coffee; Stan helped himself to a mug, wincing at the weight of the pot as he poured from an awkward angle. Kyle would harangue him about seeing an orthopedic surgeon; there was apparently a procedure that relaxed the strain on the metacarpals, would ease his radiocarpal joint. Though Stan generally disliked pain as much as any sane human being, his wrist discomfort was like a badge of accomplishment, as the more and harder he played the more his joined ached. Plus he felt so long as his wrists hurt he had a handy way to excuse himself from giving hand jobs, which he found monotonous. Maybe those should hurt anyway. Kyle was the sort of person who saw problems and had to find a solution. Stan preferred to live with his problems; Stan came to love them. He went to the fridge and withdrew a pitcher of almond milk, from which he poured but a thimbleful into his coffee. The color was now a muted kind of burnt sienna. The warmth felt good on his wrists and he carried the mug with two hands to Kyle's office.

Stan knocked at the door, though it wasn't shut; Kyle's hair was visible over the monitor, his ankles locked as he typed. Stan stood there and watched for a moment, feeling lecherous, his dick continuing to jut out, evidencing his arousal as he sipped his coffee, leaning in the door frame. It got worse when Kyle poked out his tongue as he typed, causing Stan's cock to jump.

Stan announced himself by saying, "Knock knock," and stepping into the room. Kyle paused in his typing and looked up, locking eyes with Stan. As soon as they'd made contact, however, Stan's gaze dropped to Kyle's chest, then his belly and lap, everything on display where the robe has fallen open. For Stan, the real treat in this sloppiness was Kyle's cock, which was just as Stan remembered and idolized it: pale, long, and naked, looking good enough to swallow whole if Kyle would let Stan. Stan's gaze hopped from Kyle's dick to his eyes and back again, each time noting that Kyle's dick was thickening just slightly, barely resistible.

Clearing his throat, Stan took another step closer, leaving his coffee on the desk.

"What are you staring at?" Kyle demanded.

"Well, you," said Stan.

"Thanks, but I'm not worth looking at."

"Oh, Kyle." Stan was genuinely hurt. "I want you so bad." He cringed at the way his voice softened, betraying how much he'd missed Kyle, his wonderful particular Kyle, over however long it had been, a mere week or whatever. "What are you up to?" Stan asked, to bolster his confidence.

Kyle picked up his mug of coffee and, when he peered into it, found out it was empty. He refused Stan's proffered cup, saying, "Not with that gross almond shit in it, no thanks," and set his mug back down. He rubbed his eyes. "I'm working on my book," he said, like he did that all the time. "Nothing cool."

That just about did it. "I think that's great!" Setting the mug back down, Stan flew to Kyle's side, wedging his full weight against the arm of Kyle's chair.

"Knock it off," Kyle said, pushing at Stan — but it was lazy, and he ultimately accepted the encumbrance, wrapping his arms around Stan's torso and saying, "Good morning."

"Morning," Stan repeated, kissing the top of Kyle's head.

"What?" Kyle asked.

"Nothing," Stan said, thinking back to his past week. "I'm just so happy you're working on it!" He ran a hand through Kyle's hair.

Around Stan's waist, Kyle's grip tightened, and for a moment, he stilled. This sentiment felt familiar to him, and at the same time it felt as if Kyle had never heard Stan say anything of the sort. Then he buried his head in Stan's cotton shirt, and inhaled deeply. "You smell different," he said, the words coming out muffled.

- paramécie -

"Why would I smell any different?" Stan asked, though there was a nervous quality to Stan's voice. He wondered what had happened to Kyle while he was away, or if any time had passed at all. In a way, Stan was sure, things were exactly the same as he'd left them.

Kyle reached for the keyboard, then suddenly withdrew his hands. "Are you going to score today?" he asked. "While you were sleeping we got a delivery by courier. I think it's your script."

"Script for what?"

"Churchill Downs," Kyle said. "Working title only."

"Oh!" Stan continued to tussle Kyle's hair. So time had passed, but things seemed the better for it. Stan told himself not to mourn for whatever he hadn't been here to bear witness to. Everything seemed to have worked out. "Well, you can't score off a script, you know, I at least storyboards for that."

"Right, okay."

They sat for a moment, Kyle sighing into Stan's neck, his dick pressing into Stan's thigh, slicking Stan's cotton pants.

Sitting up straighter, Kyle yanked at a loose piece of Stan's hair and said, "I'm not trying to chase you out of here, but I'm trying to write—"

"Oh!" said Stan. He slid off the chair, feeling a little hurt. "Well, yeah, sorry. I'm glad you're writing."

"Yeah," Kyle agreed. He looked up. "Could you get me some breakfast? Like, a bowl of Chex or something?"

Stan readjusted his pants. "With almond milk."

"Pffff, no, not with almond milk, Stan, jesus." Kyle shut his eyes, but when he looked up, he was grinning. "I deeply considered having ice cream for breakfast."

"Well, I'm glad you didn't. That's really not a very healthy breakfast." Stan started to leave the room, relief coming in the form of Kyle's fingers on the keyboard, a subtle clicking sound that Stan hadn't heard in ages.

Kyle called after him, "Thanks!"

Stan turned to take one last look at him sitting there, typing away.

"No problem."