I feel the need to apologise for the short length here, but I took this with thirty six hours to spare, in which time I had this other exchange thing to complete that I wasn't making any progress on at all and it was horrid. But I couldn't turn it down. I mean, this is three quarters of my ot4, I can't say no to that. My dear beta assures me this is fine, while I don't think I've done the picture and Blood-Self-Star justice, but as I say I was on a silly tight schedule. I hope it's enough.
Lunch break at the high school was a noisy time. The closest thing they had to a yard were various grassy patches around the building, and the students who didn't do things in the break were crowding around there playing ball games, doing things that were technically against school policy, or just plain socialising.
Kenny was one of the socialisers. He'd bounce around the building, having two minutes of conversation with as many people as he could, or sometimes he'd just stick with his closer friends.
That's what he would do. Today, though, he'd been intercepted.
On his way out of metalwork class, he'd passed the only other boy in school who wore an orange jacket, who had promptly grabbed him by the arm and pulled him away from the people he'd been enjoying a nice long conversation about the merits of weed smoking with.
Kenny grinned - it had been a while since Kyle had last pulled him aside, and he did rather enjoy it when he did.
Kyle led him down the back corridor and out the rear doors of the school, where people only went either to smoke or have private conversations. Then he dragged him around a corner in the wall to where there was a slight offset. He pushed Kenny back into the corner.
Behind his hood, Kenny grinned. "You're getting rough with me, Kyle," he observed, teasing. Kyle pulled the hood down, making a glorious mess of Kenny's hair. "I like it."
"Shut up," Kyle ordered, standing in front of Kenny with his hands on the wall at his sides. Kenny couldn't move any way even if he'd wanted to. "It's been, like, two days since the last time we talked."
"We talked on the bus," he shrugged.
Kyle glared at him, something that might have worked a little better if Kenny didn't have almost an inch on him once extravagant Jewfros were disregarded. "In private."
Kenny's smile went from cocky to warm. He put one hand on Kyle's hip, and almost felt the anger slip away from the other boy. "Okay, Kyle," he said amiably. "What is it?"
"Well," Kyle said, breaking the eye contact neither of them had realised they'd been maintaining as he glanced around, just to be sure nobody was around, "I wanted to go out. Soon."
Kenny nodded. "Sure, you know I'm always free for you." He leaned down ever so slightly, resting his forehead on Kyle's. Kyle smiled slightly at that, and Kenny felt one hand start tangling in the blonde mop he had on his head. "Where and when?"
"Saturday. I've got Saturday off, the parents are out." Kenny lifted Kyle's jacket and shirt up in the brief pause there was, running one hand along the skin by his waistband, prompting a small shudder. "We could go down town," Kyle continued. "Watch a movie, get ice cream, stuff like that."
"And I'm paying, of course." Kenny had to chuckle as what had been something of a romantic gaze reverted to a minor glare briefly. Of course, Kyle always paid for everything - it was one of the downsides of dating someone whose family was on welfare and relied on stamps for food.
In response to the glare, Kenny just placed his other hand equally carefully to the first on Kyle's other hip. He started rocking gently side to side. Not by much, being backed into a corner and all, but Kyle - after a second - mimicked him and for a second everything was rather sweet.
"You just can't stay mad at me, can you Kyle?" He felt, rather than heard, the hum of an agreement that Kyle hated having to make.
Kenny was partial to days like this. When he could just get with Kyle and sway in private for a few minutes, with nobody around to see them. He could hear Kyle humming some tune in time to the swaying, too - he found that to be really cute.
He felt Kyle's arms snake around his back a little, and he stepped closer. Kenny pulled Kyle in, and gazed deep into his eyes. "I'd love to do that," he said quietly in response to the proposition. "I can meet you in town, two o'clock?"
"Two thirty?" Kyle countered, absently tucking some of Kenny's unruly hair back to absolutely no net effect on his overall style.
Kenny smiled a little. "Sold." Then he leaned forward and lightly pressed his lips to Kyle's. Kyle responded immediately, pushing Kenny back into the wall to the point that Kenny could feel the roughness of the bricks even through his coat.
Kyle coaxed Kenny's mouth open and, for a brief moment, their tongues flicked together with barely any force at all. Kenny felt Kyle moan into it, and that almost made his insides melt. Then they split. Kyle smiled. "I'll see you later, yeah?"
"Cool." He stepped back, finally allowing Kenny to move around a little more than the few inches he'd been able to move in that corner. On the verge of leaving, Kyle turned back, smiling. "I love you, Kenny."
Kenny grinned at him. "I love you too, Kyle."
The thing about geography class was that it was fucking useless.
Kenny had expected geography to be learning about maps, not about how rocks formed and certainly not, as today's lesson was about, the spatial distribution of elementary education in Denver at the turn of the century.
That was the kind of shit he didn't want to dedicate a respectable portion of his brain to.
His phone hummed in his pocket. With the teacher distracted by writing stuff on the board, he checked the message. Three. That's all it said. Kenny knew exactly what that meant, though, given who it was from. He put his hand up.
The teacher, of course, didn't see. "...so as you can see," she droned with about as much enthusiasm as Kenny had for the topic, and then she turned around. "Education was more- Yes, Kenny?"
"I need to use the bathrooms."
"Can it wait?"
"Not unless you want this room to smell like something died in it." Kenny didn't even break a smile. The teacher withered.
"Alright, hurry up." Kenny bounded out of the room and turned left, towards the toilets.
He then bounded past the toilets and on to the fourth door down from it. JANITOR'S CLOSET 3 read the sign. Kenny checked around, but of course it was the middle of lessons - nobody was around. He slipped into the closet.
"About time," droned the voice from inside, just as Kenny closed the door.
"I came as soon as your text came through," Kenny said quickly. "Besides, like you give a shit."
He heard a short and sharp exhalation from Craig, which was probably the closest he ever came to a laugh. "Fair enough." Kenny locked the door.
By the time he turned around, though, Craig was in front of him. Kenny grinned and pushed him back against the opposite wall. Without giving him a chance to speak, Kenny pushed his lips to Craig's, immediately forcing his mouth open.
He pushed his tongue straight in. Craig managed to hold back the yelp at the suddenness of it. Kenny felt Craig's own tongue pushing back at his, fighting for dominance. It could go either way - sometimes Craig would win, sometimes Kenny would.
Then Craig grabbed Kenny by the arms and turned them around, slamming Kenny's back into the wall. He held the back of Kenny's head so that he couldn't move away. Kenny had to admit it, Craig was clearly going to win this one.
Kenny ran his hands down Craig's sides as he pulled back and made for his neck, sucking at the join of his neck and his shoulder.
He moved one hand to Craig's jeans and cupped his crotch, feeling Craig harden through the material. Craig moaned, and moved down to Kenny's neck, moving his tongue up along his skin to his ear then nibbling at his earlobe.
Kenny started moving Craig's zip down, but was promptly swatted away. "No." Craig said firmly, glaring.
"Come on!" Kenny mock-whined, knowing it would get on Craig's tits.
"No," Craig repeated, moving back to glare directly into Kenny's eyes. "I love you, but-" He caught himself there, as he fully processed what he'd just said.
Kenny grinned at Craig then, before squeezing at his crotch. "I love you too, Craig," he replied honestly. Craig batted him away again, and narrowed his eyes.
"Shut up." Craig sighed. Kenny knew how much he hated getting like that. Craig wasn't big on the admissions of love and such. He was a much more physical person, which Kenny appreciated a lot.
Kenny slid his hands up Craig's shirt and pulled him close, resting his palms on the taller boy's shoulder blades. "It's nothing to be ashamed of, Craig."
Craig narrowed his eyes a little, but softened a little. Then he said "Take me out."
"What?" That had startled Kenny a little.
"You heard me. Take me out. I don't want this to just be meetings in the closet." But that was what Craig liked more, Kenny thought to himself.
Kenny - still uncertainly - smiled. "Sure. When?"
"I'm open Saturday." Kenny paused and thought. He had Kyle booked for that day.
"I'm good for Saturday evening. Seven o'clock in town?" he asked, after some consideration over how long an ice cream and movie date would take.
Craig considered for a second, then nodded. He moved in again, kissing Kenny long and passionate. It was Kenny's turn to moan into the kiss. Then Craig broke off and pushed Kenny's hands out from under his shirt.
"See you then?"
"Sure," Kenny promised. Craig backed away and unlocked the door. He poked his head out of the door then darted left, back towards presumably his class. Kenny did likewise, pivoting right, and trying not to think about the mess that may have now been impending.
Kenny checked his phone. It was way too late.
Maybe it was his own dumb fault for not foreseeing that Kyle may have wanted to see The Hobbit, and that was a good three hour chunk of the day. It was now a quarter to seven. Craig would be around soon.
He needed to shed Kyle quickly, but without coming off as rude. He didn't want to lose Kyle. He didn't want to lose either of them.
"So where'd you want to go now?" Kenny asked.
"Ice cream, dude, we sorted this out last week," Kyle said, wrapping his arms around one of Kenny's. Nobody they especially knew was around - they were safe. "Come on."
Kyle pulled Kenny towards the nearest ice cream parlour and promptly splashed out a full ten dollars on humongous ice cream sundaes for the both of them. Kenny tried to eat quickly, but he kept getting brain freezes - much to Kyle's amusement.
"Kenny, stop eating so damn quick," he chuckled.
"Sorry, it's just..." Kenny paused. "It's really nice, alright?"
"Glad to hear it," Kyle said. "It cost damn near enough." He ate another spoonful of his own ice cream. "You owe me."
Kenny grinned and stood up. He moved around and bent down, kissing Kyle briefly and managing to scoop the smallest amount of ice cream from out of Kyle's mouth in the process. Kyle did notice.
Kenny shrugged. "Not the worst thing we've ever done." Kyle nodded, remembering that little game his mother had made them play that had ended with him getting chicken pox.
While he'd been doing that, of course, Craig had seen him and come over.
"Hey," came the nasal voice. Kenny's heart sank.
He turned around, but Kyle managed to cut him off. "Fuck off, Craig."
"I'm not here for you, Broflovski. I was meeting Kenny tonight."
Kenny held an arm out. "Yeah, about that-"
"He's with me," Kyle cut off. "And he's staying with me until I'm done with him, so why don't you fuck off?" Protectively he wrapped one arm around Kenny's.
"We're meeting tonight," Craig droned, putting one hand around Kenny's other arm.
"Oh, god..." Kenny muttered, thanking whichever god was watching that he'd only opened his hood enough to eat the ice cream and that his voice was still muffled a little.
Kyle stood up and eyed Craig. "No you're not," he said.
"Kyle-" Kenny tried, but Craig got in there first.
"Saturday night, seven o'clock. I know I'm a couple of minutes early, but we had a date."
Kenny gave up. This was a fight he wanted no part in.
Kyle started glaring much more dangerously. "A date? How funny." There was no humour in his voice at all. "He's staying with me, Craig. Back the fuck off."
Kenny saw Craig's head tilt to one side ever so slightly. "Or what?" he asked.
"Or I will break my foot before I tire of kicking you in the balls." Kenny admired that. That was a threat he'd have to remember and recycle at some point.
He saw Craig's stare harden. "Try it." Kyle promptly did, but Craig blocked it, pushing Kyle's leg away. Kyle kept his balance since he hadn't let go of Kenny's arm at all. Before Craig could finish moving - and Kenny was pretty sure that it was before Kyle's foot was even back on the ground â€“ Kyle threw a punch.
It made contact with Craig's jaw before Craig could react. It was a warning shot. Not enough to break teeth or even skin, but enough that there'd be a nasty bruise there in a while. Craig did stumble back a little, pulling Kenny and Kyle with. He still wasn't relinquishing his claim.
"Ow," he said as he cricked his neck. Not a genuine "ow", just an expression of that had hurt his feelings. Kenny saw Craig's own free hand clench into a fist, and his right foot move back a little so that he was on balance.
The inevitable fight was bearing down on them. And Kenny couldn't watch this. He couldn't watch two people he loved fight each other, least of all over him.
A pair of headlights turned a corner - a municipal bus. That was the way out. Kenny jerked his arms out of their grips and started running.
"Dammit, Craig, I will fu- KENNY!"
Kenny had broken free. He ran down the road towards the bus, intending to at least temporarily rectify this.
He leapt out in front of the oncoming bus. He felt his bones crunch as the windscreen hit his left side, sending that entire portion of his body exploding in pain. He dropped and went directly under one wheel. He felt his ribcage collapse and something sank into his heart.
The most painful part, though, was that all the time he heard two voices crying his name. He could even hear Kyle crying actual tears.
Slowly, his vision whited out.
Kenny woke up. He stared at the cracked and leaking ceiling for a few seconds before he sprang dizzily into full wakefulness. He sat up in his bed and glanced around. He was alone.
He rolled out of bed and landed flat on his face, before forcing himself upright and pulling on his pants. Then he did his usual post-death routine.
He opened his cupboard door and looked at his reflection. Nothing. No blemishes. He was in perfect health, if a little underweight as usual. Then he checked his phone. No angry texts.
He knew what the rules were. Or, at least he had guessed sufficiently well that it had come close. Kyle and Craig would forget everything. Kyle might forget that they'd even seen each other, and for Craig, Craig would just remember....something. Some excuse that let Kenny be missing for the rest of the day.
Kenny sighed and collapsed into his cupboard, sitting on heaped up orange winter clothes. He loved them. Both of them. He loved them equally but in such different ways. He loved Kyle, who liked dates and dinners and the more romantic things. But he loved Craig, who was more into action and getting physical pleasure too. He reminded him, in a strange way, of himself.
If he had to predict, Kenny guessed that he'd be having sex with Craig long before he would be with Kyle, and then only if both relationships lasted. He couldn't break either of them off.
If they both lasted...
Kenny glanced at the wall and etched a small mark into it with his nail - a vertical bar. A tally that now read eight.
How many more times was it going to take?
He so wanted to be able to just say to one or both of them. Craig would take it better, of course, he'd seen Craig take it better so many times, but he felt Kyle would need to know first. And even then, he just didn't have the balls to do it.
Eight times now, they'd found out and forgotten. Eight times he'd gotten away with it. Eight times Kyle and Craig had fought each other, rather than fighting him.
Maybe if they were to turn on him he could sort this out. He could make it right. Maybe he wouldn't be able to keep Kyle, but Craig might understand.
That was far too many maybes and mights. And he still had right now.
He knew his luck, or maybe it was his lack of it, wouldn't last. At some point he wouldn't be able to kill himself in time.
But he needed them both. He needed Kyle's emotions and tenderness, but he needed Craig's physical lust too.
And he just couldn't tell them that.
Kenny sighed, ground one palm on his forehead for a few seconds, then put it to the back of his head where it belonged and pulled out some clothes. It was a school day, and almost time to be ready to go in.
If you enjoyed this story, remember to check out the original artwork that inspired it!