When the Lights Go Down in South Park
CHAPTER TWO - SPRINGwritten by wettermark - illustrated by Bamfcrawler and Mad Tuna
Springtime generally brings little change to South Park, muddled over by the continuing oppression of winter's snow and ice. This spring is no exception, and Kenny has his work cut out for him when he shimmies up the icy tree that he uses to access Butters' bedroom. He's increasingly sure that he's the actual second coming of Christ, but this knowledge comes with no exceptional tree-climbing powers, and his hands are raw and cold by the time he's knocking on Butters' window, his too-human breath fogging the air.
It's the week of Easter, just three days from the holiday, and Butters looks like a candy tucked into a basket, amid fluffy paper Easter grass when Kenny pulls open the window. Butters has pink cheeks and bed-wrecked hair, fluffy with static.
"Shoot, Kenny," he says, reaching out to help Kenny climb inside. "I'm sorry, I was fast asleep."
"It's fine," Kenny says, teeth chattering. "I wasn't waiting long."
Butters' room is warm, almost oppressively so. Kenny shucks off his cheap coat and then his boots, sitting on the edge of Butters' bed while Butters hovers and stares at him, unashamed of the attention that he's focused on Kenny since the night that Kenny drove to the Airport Hilton and helped Butters with the grisly disposal of the body of spongebobpatrick65.
"Any concerns tonight?" Butters asks, kind of breathlessly. Kenny shakes his head.
"I think we're still okay," he says, his heart clenching with the need to protect Butters from the idea that they might not be. "But let's go over the story one more time."
Kenny keeps using this excuse to climb into Butters' bedroom. They go over their story: how Butters was at the Airport Hilton to apply for a job as a bus boy in the hotel restaurant, but he got cold feet, cried in his car, called Kenny to come get him when he felt he couldn't drive himself home, and they spent the rest of the night watching Back to the Future movies on DVD in Butters' family room.
They did in fact watch Back to the Future</I> after dismembering spongebobpatrick65 and throwing his severed body parts in the nearest river. Hollow-eyed, holding hands, they had watched all three Back to the Future movies both of them fantasizing about time travel and imagining what its grace could do for them, if it were only real.
"Good, good," Kenny says when they've got their story straight yet again. Butters has taken hold of his hand, as he usually does when they both silently remember the way some of the body parts they tossed in the river had floated.
"I wish I hadn't done it!" Butters says, not for the first time, his grip on Kenny's hand tightening until it's painful. "Oh, Kenny. I'm going to Hell, whether I get caught for this or not. Hell!"
"Nah," Kenny says, though Butters is certainly going to Hell, unless he converts to Mormonism, which is unlikely. Kenny would encourage a conversion if he thought Butters would have a better time in Heaven than in Hell, but as much as he enjoys charades, Butters is too fond of raunchy sex to spend eternity amid those chaste assholes in the clouds. "You acted in self defense," Kenny says. "God gives you credit for that, even if the law might not."
"I just— I wasn't ready for what he wanted to do—"
"Butters, I know, it's okay—"
"And he was gonna force me, and I ain't somebody that everybody can just force to do that stuff when they want it—"
"Of course you're not." Kenny puts his arms around Butters. They've talked a bit about his uncle recently. Kenny is going to kill that man someday. Satan has a special place in hell for men like that, and Bud needs to arrive there sooner rather than later.
"But it's my fault, really," Butters says, his eyes shining with tears. "I shoulda known he didn't just want to play Cards Against Humanity and role play Sailor Moon. What did I expect, meeting him in a hotel like that?"
"You expected a fellow eighteen-year-old, for one thing. Not a liar who was actually pushing fifty."
"Oh, shoot. I tried to be nice to him when I saw what he really looked like. He said he was insecure about his age and afraid I wouldn't like him. I wanted to like him anyway, to not be so shallow! But then I just bashed his head in with a lamp."
"After he attacked you!"
"Well, yeah. But even so."
"Butters, please. What you did was perfectly understandable. Commendable, even. One less predator in the world, well done. And if none of those body parts have been found by now, I think we might be in the clear. Fish will have eaten off distinguishing marks by now."
Butters looks queasy. Perhaps that was a step too far. Kenny puts a reassuring arm around him, and he's flooded with something all too human when Butters looks up at him and gives him a small smile, moving a little closer.
"I just wanted to believe that a boy my age might actually like me," Butters says, speaking softly. "I guess I shoulda known it was too good to be true, with me being a hopeless Melvin and all."
"You're— Butters, c'mon. You're adorable. Any guy would be lucky to have you."
"Aw, Kenny, you're just saying that because we concealed a murder together."
"I am not." Kenny wants to kiss Butters on his soft, hot cheek, but that would be inadvisable for a number of reasons. However, when Butters looks up at him, pale blond eyelashes fluttering, Kenny thinks: When's the last time something being inadvisable stopped me from throwing myself head first into it, potentially starting the apocalypse or not?
When Damien appears outside, below Butters' bedroom window, Kenny feels it like a hook in his chest: sharp, dragging him away from Butters and his warm blue eyes.
"Shit." Kenny releases Butters and stands, stumbling over his boots when he moves away from the bed. "I, uh. I gotta go."
"So soon?" Butters says, fidgeting. Usually Kenny stays for hours, enjoying the comfort of the central heating and the closeness he's begun to feel with Butters since that night when Kenny held him while he cried on the floor of room 543 at the airport Hilton, blood splattered on the walls and a fresh corpse splayed out on the bed. But Kenny is already putting on his boots, hurriedly tying the laces with shaking hands, ready to run though he wishes he could stay. He's not just risking his own ass here, or the threat of apocalypse. He's putting Butters in danger by lusting after him this way.
"I'll see you at school tomorrow," Kenny says, shrugging on his jacket. Butters smiles sadly and nods.
"Thanks for dropping by. I know you got better places to be. You don't have to spend your time making me feel better about the murder I committed, but I sure do appreciate it."
"Butters." Kenny wants so bad to kiss him goodbye, even just on the cheek, but Damien and hellfire await. "It's really my pleasure. I'll see you soon. Sleep tight."
Kenny bounds across the bed, probably leaving muddy footprints, and opens the window, crouching on the sill. Damien glowers up at him from the snow-covered yard. Kenny winks, smiles. Turns on the charm.
"Hey," he says as he shimmies down the tree, pretending to be casual.
"Hey?" Damien says, fury steaming off of him, melting the snow in a three-foot radius around where he stands. "That's how you address your dark master?"
"Sorry, babe," Kenny says, because he can sense that Damien is wounded right now, and being stupidly affectionate is something he secretly likes. Kenny takes Damien's hands and tries to pull him away from Butters' window, but Damien yanks his hands free and stands in place. "What's wrong?" Kenny asks. "Don't you want to go somewhere and fuck?"
It occurs to him with pure horror that Damien might ask to fuck him right here, in view of Butters.
"What are you doing here?" Damien asks, sneering. "Coddling that sniveling little idiot up there."
"And I'm not fucking jealous, so don't you dare presume that as the cause for my current desire to rip you limb from limb, slave. Jealousy is something only mortals and my idiot father feel. I'm above it. If you want to fuck a warm human asshole, I don't give a shit. I couldn't possibly care less, in fact. Fuck every blond idiot in South Park. But do not keep me waiting when I call for you."
"Master," Kenny says, bowing, relieved. "I'd never presume to think you, in all your fearsome excellency, care where I stick my dick. But you must know that my dick has not been stucketh within that particular blond idiot?"
It hurts to call Butters that, but it's not like he can hear. Kenny has kept his voice low, and Butters' face has yet to appear in the window above.
"Of course I know!" Damien says. "I'm fucking omniscient."
Kenny is pretty sure that's not true, but he continues bowing.
"On that note," Damien says. "I met an interesting person in Hell today, as he suffered through the Initial Trials."
"Oh yeah?" Kenny comes out of his bow then, straightening, and resisting the urge to check Butters' window again to make sure his sweet face hasn't appeared there. Damien's lip curls up.
"He was a man by the name of George Tanner, on Earth," Damien says.
"Cool? You think so? Well, perhaps you'd know him better as — spongebobpatrick65."
Kenny's blood seems to freeze. In a panic, he can't resist looking up at Butters' window. It's still empty, and when he returns his gaze to Damien, he knows there will be hell to pay. Damien's eyes narrow. He smiles.
"Yes," Damien says. "I've met the victim of your sweet little friend's violent murder."
"Victim?" Kenny's stomach curdles. "Forgive me, Master, but even in the glory of your perfect darkness, I had thought that you despise men like that?"
"I despise all men!" Damien says, screaming. "Including you, at this moment, vile slut. My point in mentioning this particular denizen of eternal torment is that the remains of his mortal body are lodged against some rocks in a nearby river, and that you ought to keep in mind that I could easily use this information to doom your precious friend who is named after a dairy product to hell on earth prior to his stay in my Hell. And I think you're well aware that hell on earth can be far, far worse."
Kenny is speechless for a moment. He makes his eyes less wide and forces a smile.
"Babe," he says.
"Why in the fucking hell are you calling me that?"
"I— Sorry, Master. Just glad to see you. Showering you in stupid human affection. You know I can't help it. I'm a weak creature."
Damien huffs and looks away, toward Butters' window.
"I will not turn this other weak creature over to the authorities in your world," Damien says when his gaze slides back to Kenny's. "Because I am not jealous. But I need you to continue to be aware that I can do anything I want to you and to the pathetic mortals you care about."
"Of course, Master." Kenny has to swallow down the urge to rip Damien's throat out with his teeth. He can't do that. Yet. "I submit to your dark power, always."
"Do you." Damien's eyes narrow. He puts out his hand. "Come, slave," he says, "I desire a meal at Elway's Steakhouse. And you have not eaten anything but Pop Tarts and ramen noodles in days. Allow me to feed your body before I plunder it with my cock."
"Yes, my Lord."
Kenny takes Damien's hand. He doesn't allow himself to look back at Butters' window. Doesn't allow himself to flinch or to stop smiling when Damien looks upon him, checking his face for gratitude.
Tells himself: Soon. Not now, but soon.
Kyle likes to think of himself as a patient person, though he knows in his heart it's not true. He's too desperate for everything: for Stan to come to his window, for Stan to slide inside him, for Stan to offer any inkling that he feels something real behind the thrusts that he slams into Kyle when he grunts in Kyle's ear until he's almost whimpering behind each grunt, as if there's something fragile beneath this that he's hiding. Regardless, Kyle comes just from being fucked, spraying all over Stan's tight stomach and shushing Stan when he chokes out a desperate half-shout at the feeling of Kyle's ass spasming around his still-thrusting dick.
"Get me some tissues," Kyle says when they're done, both panting, Stan wiping moisture that might count as tears from the corners of his eyes. "They're on my desk," Kyle says when Stan gives him a hopeless, searching look of deep confusion.
Stan sniffles and crawls over Kyle, walking naked to his desk. Kyle thinks it's so unfair that Stan gets to be the one who acts all torn up over this, just before slinking off with his tail between his legs, back to Wendy. Stan notices the scowl on Kyle's face and stops before he reaches the bed, holding the box of tissues over his dick.
"What?" Stan asks, his voice hard again, eyes dry.
"Nothing," Kyle says. "What are you doing? Give me those."
Kyle uses tissues to mop at his ass, not appreciating the fact that Stan is just lingering there near the bed, watching this. But then again, it's kind of nice for Stan to finally stand there witnessing the state that he leaves Kyle in when this whole thing is done.
"Does Wendy do this after you fuck her?" Kyle asks, sneering, still looking for a fight as the bliss of his orgasm fades far away.
"We don't fuck much anymore," Stan says, looking sad about this. "In fact. I haven't really talked to her in like, a week."
"What?" Kyle is surprised that this news isn't all over the school by now, though he supposes gossip about Stan and Wendy breaking up and getting back together in an endless, tedious cycle grew stale back in middle school, or maybe even elementary school. "What happened?"
"I growled at her."
"I was eating this cheeseburger in her car, and I was really hungry, I've been— Really hungry, and some of it was dripping onto the seat, and she snapped at me and said what's wrong with you, watch where you're dripping that burger grease, and I looked up at her with burger meat half-chewed in my mouth and growled at her like I was an animal and she was trying to steal my food."
Kyle stares, two tissues still perched under his leaking ass, and waits for Stan to burst into laughter and tell him the real reason Wendy is pissed off at him this time. But Stan just goes on staring at him, looking sad. Also: scared.
"I don't know what's wrong with me, dude," Stan says. There's a shake in his voice, then a weird kind of flash in his eyes, like something dark has passed behind them. "I just. Can't stop."
"Can't stop what?" Kyle asks. He balls up the tissues and throws them toward his trash can, misses.
"Eating," Stan says.
"Well. You haven't gained weight."
"Kyle— I'm not worried about my fucking figure! I'm— It's not just food. I can't stop— consuming things. Liquor, too, but it doesn't get me drunk anymore. Even if I finish the bottle. And I can't stop this either."
"This?" Kyle is afraid he knows. He watches Stan bend down and pick up the tissues that are sticky with his own come, wiped from Kyle's ass. The act disgusts him, and yet he appreciates it as Stan brings them over to the trash can and drops them in.
"Fucking you," Stan says, mumbling. "I think about it nonstop. I feel crazy on the way here, like. Like I want to tear you apart. But not— Not really!" He turns toward Kyle again, showing him that terrified gaze. "I wouldn't hurt you, it just. I need it."
"Are you drunk right now?" Kyle asks, though Stan sounds disturbingly lucid. Stan scowls.
"No," he says, his voice hardening. "I just told you, I can't get drunk anymore. Are you calling me a liar?"
"Jesus, no, calm down!"
Some of the rage drains from Stan's eyes, but before it does, Kyle feels truly threatened by it, just for a moment. He pulls the blankets up over himself to hide his nakedness, his heart beating a bit faster when Stan remains standing in the middle of the room, seeming as if he's trying to get hold of himself. His cock is getting hard again, a bit, which is strange.
"Maybe you should go," Kyle says. Stan nods and then pinches his eyes shut so tight that it looks painful, shaking his head.
"I know," he says, his voice strange, as if he's fighting some other words back. "I know I need to just. Leave you alone."
"Stan, what is going on? Do you need an adult? Need to see a doctor or something? I'm so confused, I— Thought we were just fuck buddies."
"Kyle! Of course we're not just fuck buddies! You're my best friend!"
Now Stan sounds like himself, so much so that Kyle holds his arms out. He does it sort of automatically and doesn't expect Stan to rush right into them and crumple against his chest, but that's exactly what happens. Kyle pulls Stan closer and holds him tighter when he feels Stan shivering.
"It doesn't matter," Stan says, his mouth hot on Kyle's shoulder. "I'm fucked."
"What do you mean? No, you're not."
"Kyle, I am. There's something inside me and I can't get it out. It's going to consume me. When I can't eat enough, or drink enough, or fuck into you hard enough— Then this hunger will eat me, it'll eat me whole."
"Stan, you sound—" Kyle hesitates to use the word crazy. He strokes Stan's back and brings the blanket up to cover him, too. "You sound like you need to talk to someone. To a professional."
"I tried, Kyle. My shoes started melting."
"Your— what?" Kyle puts his hand on Stan's forehead, reminding himself of his mother in a not very pleasant way. Stan's skin is hot, but that's been true for months. He always seems to be sweltering. "I think you need a doctor, dude," Kyle says, making his voice soft, needing Stan to actually listen. Stan sits up and shakes his head, pinching his eyes shut again.
"I'm doomed," he says. He pulls himself from Kyle's arms and begins to dress.
"Are you suicidal?" Kyle asks, as gently as he can. The way Stan laughs at this question seems— Unnatural. Unnerving, certainly.
"No," Stan says. "Dammit, Kyle, are you even listening? I'm doing everything I can to survive this for as long as I can. Including— You."
"It helps," Stan says, muttering. "When I go home, I'll be able to sleep. Because I came in you."
"Huh." Kyle is tempted to feel insulted. Mostly he's just confused. "Well. We could fuck again?" He probably shouldn't; he's already sore from Stan really giving it to him tonight, and the night before that, and the night before. But he's addicted to it, too, and he wants to feel close to Stan right now, to help him with whatever the hell he's going through.
"No," Stan says, sharply. "I have to go. I'll see you tomorrow, if I'm still me."
"Who else would you be?"
"Bye, Kyle." Stan kneels onto the bed, headed for the window. He leans and gives Kyle a chaste, somewhat shocking kiss on the lips before reaching for the window. When he pulls back, Kyle searches Stan's eyes, his heart pounding and his mind reeling. Stan blinks, swallows, and goes.
When Stan is gone, Kyle sits in bed for a while and tries to process what just went on. He almost wants to write it all down, in an organized fashion, and then definitely does. He puts his laptop into the bed and opens a new document, types:
- 1. We had sex.
- 2. Stan told me a story about growling at Wendy.
- 3. Stan segued into a kind of confession that he fears he's losing his mind.
- 4. Stan denied requiring help and left, claiming to be doomed.
Kyle stares down at this list of facts, hating all of them. Even the sex, because he knows he'll grab his legs and hold them against his chest while Stan plows him again tomorrow night, solving nothing. Apparently Stan is suffering, too. Kyle supposes he sort of knew that, that this window-climbing behavior coupled with Stan's unwillingness to end the lie that was his relationship to Wendy were already two important signs pointing toward STan being at least a bit unraveled. But this thing about an insatiable hunger is new, and apparently he's distanced himself from Wendy only because he caught himself literally growling at her. Kyle thinks about getting in touch with her, maybe texting that they could meet tomorrow to discuss Stan's current issues, but then he resents the idea that he'd need her help with this, or that she has any real insights on Stan that should be valued over his own.
As he's getting dressed, Kyle hears a car in the driveway. He frowns, wondering if Ike has been out late with friends, and decides to go downstairs to investigate when he hears loud whispering and muffled laughter. Ike is popular and has been pushing at their parents' boundaries lately. Kyle is slightly concerned about Ike, but nowhere near as worried as he's become about Stan over the course of this evening. Regardless, he creeps downstairs intending to tell IKe to keep it down unless he wants to attract the ire of their parents, expecting to find Ike and a few friends slightly baked and scavenging in the fridge. Instead, when he walks into the dark kitchen, he sees his father and Eric Cartman eating ice cream right from the container.
Kyle puts on the light and they both blink against this sudden illumination.
"What the fuck," Kyle says. He glares at Cartman, then at his father. They look at each other, at Kyle, then back at each other, and both burst into laughter at the same time, melted ice cream spilling disgustingly down over Cartman's chin.
"Sorry, Kyle," Gerald says. "We just got back from the Nuggets game and—"
"What? You two went to a Nuggets game together?"
"Yeah, it was pretty sweet," Cartman says, giving Kyle a shit-eating grin that makes Kyle want to throw both of the kitchen chairs that are in within reach at him. Kyle has been aware of his father's weird, verging on creepy "friendship" with Cartman since hearing the news that they both got stuck with volunteering for some legal aid charity. He's against it. Unfortunately, Kyle's mother thinks that Cartman needs a ‘positive male role model' in his life, for the good of South Park and society as a whole, and she's been encouraging this travesty since the start.
"I might have liked to go to a Nuggets game," Kyle says, glowering at his father. "You are aware that I'm a basketball fan, I think?"
"I asked you if you were busy tonight," Gerald says. "You said you had plans."
Plans, right: the nightly rough fuck from Stan. When Kyle's gaze slides to Cartman's he feels as if Cartman is reading this on his face, still giving him that sneering smile.
"You and Stan must have been hanging out, huh?" Cartman says, pronouncing ‘hanging out' in a way that deliberately insinuates they were doing more than that.
Kyle doesn't dignify that with a response. He gives his father one last withering look and turns out the light in the kitchen.
"I'll leave you two to your ice cream," he says, hatefully. Cartman stopped begging him for clandestine ass poundings in the band closet months ago, and though Kyle doesn't miss it at all, something about the fact that this coincided with the start of Cartman's friendship with his father is alarming.
As Kyle heads back up the stairs, he hears Cartman's stupid laugh again. He tells himself that whatever is going on with that vile fat ass is beneath his regard. Kyle has bigger problems at the moment, such as why Stan thinks he's doomed and how Kyle can save him if that happens to be true.
When he hears Kyle's bedroom door close upstairs, Cartman throws the ice cream covered spoon onto the kitchen table, letting the ice cream splatter there. He doesn't give a fuck. Gerald still holds the container, giving Cartman a searching look.
"What if you fucked me right here on the table?" Cartman asks, in a seductive whisper. Gerald looks horrified by the suggestion, but he's probably actually pretty turned on.
"Eric," Gerald says, in a less seductive, kind of angry-sounding whisper. "Please. You promised this kind of talk would— Cease."
"I don't think you really want it to cease, Mr. B."
Gerald likes being called Mr B. Cartman called him that just before their first kiss, the power of which Gerald now wants to deny. That was months ago, on Valentine's Day, when Cartman was crying in the front seat of Gerald's car about how no one has ever really loved him. He'd had half a bottle of cinnamon schnapps and barely knew what he was doing, but when Gerald touched his shoulder it was on. The fiery chemistry between them cannot be denied. If Gerald actually wanted to stop it, he would have ditched Cartman by now, but he hasn't. Cartman knows what he's really waiting for: the bullshitting 1st of July. Cartman's eighteenth birthday. Gerald is a lawful good druid, pretty much. Cartman is a chaotic evil wizard with a mad craving for Broflovski dick, and Kyle's just seems so passe and lame now that Gerald's is possibly on the horizon.
Gerald sighs and puts the ice cream away. He brings a dish towel over to Cartman and holds it out to him, looking said.
"Wipe your chin, Eric," Gerald says.
Cartman sort of loves being given commands by him. There's just— Something about it. It's pretty cool. So he does as asked, licking his lips afterward. Seductively.
"You're driving me crazy," Gerald says, still whispering.
"I know," Cartman says. He sits on the table, the stupid, flimsy thing creaking under his weight. He's gained a bit recently. That always happens when he's happy, or when he's depressed. Maybe once Gerald starts actually fucking him he'll stop teetering back and forth between one or the other all the time. "You could have me right here," Cartman says, leaning back onto his elbows, the table creaking more loudly as he settles his full weight onto it. "Fuck the law. No one would have to know."
"Eric, get up. Enough."
But he doesn't mean it. They sat close at the basketball game. Gerald bought him all the snacks he wanted. Didn't make him eat from a bag of shitty sneaked-in pretzels the way Liane always does. Gerald confessed to Eric, after their steamy make out in the car on Valentine's Day, that he is bisexual and has talked with his wife about exploring outside their marriage. This whole thing is basically going to happen, as long as Cartman doesn't die of lust before his eighteenth birthday.
"Do you think Kyle suspects something?" Cartman asks when he sits up, hoping so. Gerald groans and shakes his head.
"I don't think Kyle has the imagination required to conceive of this," Gerald says. "I certainly didn't, before it— Happened."
"So it is happening! Ha, you admit it!"
"Shh, please keep your voice down. Maybe we should call it a night. Let me drive you home."
"Nnn, but I barely got any ice cream before Kyle barged in here and ruined the moment!"
"I'll buy you an ice cream on the way home."
"But it's after ten, all the shops are closed!"
"Not the 7-Eleven. Don't they have the cookie sandwich things you like?"
"Oh, yeah." Cartman grins and reaches for Gerald, who moves away. "You know all the things I like."
"Come on, Eric." Gerald's tone is scolding and indulgent at the same time. It's like verbal heat that goes right to Cartman's dick as he stumbles out of the kitchen, hoping that Kyle is upstairs worrying that his former pity fuck is about to steal his dad away from his mom. Cartman isn't into this whole ‘exploring outside the marriage thing' — not in the long term, at least. He fully plans to snatch Gerald away for himself. It should be easy once Gerald has known the pleasure of Cartman's newly eighteen-year-old ass, and perhaps even easier if Cartman manages to enclose Gerald's dick in his jailbait ass before then. That would mean blackmail material, after all.
But Cartman doesn't like the idea, somehow, though it's pretty much genius and would work great in terms of making a demand that Gerald leave his wife. It would also kind of ruin things, maybe. This is pure, this is beautiful, and Cartman likes the way Gerald looks at him now. As if Cartman is actually… innocent. Something that should be cherished and protected. Someone who deserves an ice cream cookie sandwich at eleven o'clock on a school night, someone Gerald would rather be at a basketball game with than his own stupid kid.
The 7-Eleven is a glowing oasis in the midst of the shut down shops and dark storefronts of this lame ass town. Someday Cartman is going to blow this popsicle stand and live in the city that never sleeps: Los Angeles, where he will share a mansion with Gerald amid palm trees and famous people, and Gerald will be a big shot celebrity lawyer and Cartman will be a big time celebrity manager, and they'll have a swimming pool in their backyard and sunbathe naked and have their servants bring them cookie ice cream sandwiches. In the meantime, Cartman selects a jumbo-sized one from the cooler in the back of the 7-Eleven and laughs when Gerald gets a stupid rocket pop for himself.
As they approach the checkout counter, another pair making a late-night purchase does the same. It's Kenny and some guy with black hair and dark eyes that also seem kind of —Red? The guy is freakishly pale but also super hot, and he looks like an asshole. Typical. Kenny would go for that type. They're buying condoms and cigarettes.
"You boys go ahead," Gerald says. He seems nervous, fidgeting.
"What are you two up to at this hour?" Kenny asks when the black-haired guy goes to the register to pay. Kenny seems amused, and maybe he shouldn't look so smug while he also has bite marks on his neck and puffy lips that look like they've nearly been sucked off his face by that pale prick who is paying with a crisp $100 bill, as if everyone is supposed to be impressed by him or something.
"Oh, Cartman and I work together at the legal aid society," Gerald says, though that's not true anymore. They both finished their community service hours there months ago. "We're just, ah. Pulling an all-nighter. On behalf of the homeless. They need legal representation, too!"
"Yeah," Kenny says, eyeing Cartman. "They certainly do."
"Who's that asshole?" Cartman asks, nodding to the guy who is buying Kenny condoms and smokes. The guy turns, snarling. Trying to look scary. Cartman could kick his ass, probably. Though actually he's kinda tall, and sort of built, even though he's slender at first glance. He has a broad chest and his teeth are, like— Sharp? But whatever. Gerald won't let Cartman get his ass kicked in a 7-Eleven.
"This is my friend," Kenny says hurriedly. The black-haired guy snorts.
"Please, Kenny," he says. "Introduce me properly. We have nothing to hide."
Kenny stares at the guy. Seems kinda angry. Cartman suppresses a smile. This is about to get humiliating for Kenny, perhaps, which is good.
"I'm his master," the guy says, slinging his arm around Kenny's bitten-up neck. "Damien Thorn. Perhaps you've heard of me."
"Uh, no," Cartman says. "Are you and Kenny doing gay porn together or something?"
"Hardly." Damien smiles. "You really don't remember me, do you, piggy?"
"Hey now," Gerald says. "There's no reason for, uh. Insults, boys."
"Silence, old man," Damien says, hissing behind each word. He turns back to Cartman, who was going to tell this fucker right off before he saw the red shit in his eyes sort of— flicker. "You don't remember how I ruined your birthday party?" Damien asks. "When we were kids?"
"What the fuck?" Cartman says. "I've never seen you before in my life!"
"Let's just go," Kenny says, under his breath. "Sir," he adds when Damien's burning gaze slides to him.
"Fine," Damien says coolly, drawing his fingers along Kenny's jaw. "I desire your hot little hole again anyway, slave."
"Jesus Christ!" Eric says. "Gross!"
"Kenny," Gerald says, looking similarly distraught. "Do you need an adult?"
"I am an adult," Kenny says, looking glum about it. "I'm eighteen."
"He's fine, you mortal fool!" Damien says, the red in his eyes seeming to flare outward again. "Mind your damn business with your own teenage lover!"
"What!" Kenny's eyes go wide and he stares at Cartman, then at Gerald. "Wh— What?" He seems halfway cheered up by this, halfway horrified.
"Now, that's— heh," Gerald says. He drops his rocket pop. It snaps in half inside its plastic wrapper. "That's just silly," Gerald says, bending down to pick it up. Something makes it melt before he can, entirely, as if a laser beam has focused on it. Cartman gets the feeling that Damien did that somehow, and moves away from him when he smiles at the sight of Gerald hold a soggy packet full of melted pop.
"You still have to pay for that," the guy behind the counter says.
Damien laughs. "Enjoy your evening," he says. "Sodomizers. See you in hell."
"Ey!" Cartman says as Damien walks off with Kenny. "You can't— You can't call us sodomizers! You just bought a 12 pack of condoms to fuck Kenny with! You're the sodomizer, asshole!"
He knows he's playing with fire, perhaps literally, but this dickhole can't push his middle-aged boyfriend around, fuck no.
Damien doesn't even turn back, still laughing as he walks out through the sliding doors with his arm around Kenny.
"It's not sodomy if you're immortal," Damien calls back. "It's more akin to bestiality, but the heart wants what it wants. Ta, future denizens of my domain."
"What the fuck?" Cartman says when they're gone. "Mr. B— Are you okay?"
"Of course I'm okay," Gerald sighs and pulls out his wallet, pays for the melted rocket pop and for the ice cream cookie sandwich that Cartman is already unwrapping and sinking his teeth into, needing the sweet reassurance of sugar on his tongue to soothe him after the weird shit that just went down. "What a strange boy," Gerald says, watching Damien and Kenny climb into what looks like a very expensive Mercedes, Damien sliding in behind the wheel.
"Yeah, seriously," Cartman says, chewing. "I guess Kenny's into some weird shit. That doesn't surprise me. He was always a little freak."
Gerald drives Cartman home, and when they park outside of Liane's house Cartman tries to lean in for a kiss, as usual. Gerald mutters a lame protest and lets Cartman kiss his lips in chaste little pecks, then in a full on ice cream-flavored makeout, until they both have erections and Gerald is somewhat literally throwing Cartman out of the car, saying he'll see him tomorrow.
"Soon," Cartman says to himself, hard and standing in the snowy front yard as he watches Gerald peeling away, surely hurrying home to jerk off in the shower like the sadly unfulfilled man he is. He'd better not put the rocks to Kyle's mom while thinking of Cartman.
Cartman grins. He kinda likes the idea, in a fucked up way. He's always been a little freak, too, if he's honest with himself.
Satan is not unaccustomed to waking up feeling hungover after a night that he can't entirely remember, but this is different. The room doesn't smell like sulfur, and what appears to be actual greyish sunlight is streaming in through the window over this mysterious bed, which appears to belong to some mortal. Satan sits up with a grown, his head aching as he searches the sheets for whatever asshole he ended up bending over for after getting too blitzed to remember leaving whatever Seventh Circle bar he'd been cruising in, but there's no one in bed with him, and something else is— Deeply wrong. He feels incredibly weak. Small. He looks down at his hands and groans when he sees they are flesh-toned and tiny, belonging to some human.
Great, terrific. He's possessed some dude on Earth without even meaning to. Again.
Satan rubs his eyes, sighs. Damien is likely behind this, and he's just so tired of trying to reign the little bastard in. Though technically he's not a bastard so much as whatever the equivalent of not having a mother is. Though also Satan might be considered Damien's mother more than his father. He sort of doesn't like to think about the whole thing now, but at one time in his immortal existence he was so determined to have a baby of his own that he did a kind of spell on himself that allowed him to create a child from his own materials entirely. There was a pregnancy, a birth. Those first few weeks were bliss, but babies age fast in hell, and soon Damien was a holy terror unlike anything Satan had dealt with before. In a way he's kind of proud of the man his son has become, as he's fierce and dark and very handsome, but this ‘I'm going to take over Hell, fuck you, Dad' shit is getting really old after several centuries of adolescence that seem as if they really should have ended already.
At the mirror over this human's wardrobe, Satan peers at the body he's now occupying. Perhaps strangely, Damien has chosen a human who looks a bit like himself, though not pale and less sharp-featured: this is a boy verging-on man with black hair and very tired-looking blue eyes, nice features and a good body. Hmm. Satan looks down at himself and nods in approval.
He's always sort of wanted to be human. Well, no, that's not true. He's always wanted to enjoy the pleasures of Earth while inhabiting a mortal from. The trouble is that he tends to destroy the mortals he occupies before long, unintentionally, and though he knows that makes him soft-hearted, he really does feel bad about it. These people have only so long to live outside of his domain, and he's got all of eternity to enjoy the pleasures of Hell that are available to him, as different and sometimes inferior as they may seem to what humans get to experience up here. He sighs and tries to concentrate on removing himself from this mortal cage, but maybe he's just too hungover, because it's not working. Anyway, he's got some time before his human is doomed: he might as well, like, eat some real food, feel the sunlight on his skin, and maybe fuck a dude, since this guy's body is giving off some majorly toppy vibes.
The mortal's consciousness can't really be accessed: it's balled up into a corner, crouched and hiding from him in terror, exhausted after fighting off the possession for weeks. Or months? Years? Something about this is more fucked up than usual. Satan sighs again. Getting the soul of the person he's inhabiting to communicate with him is useless, and this poor kid wouldn't know how to help him evacuate anyway, so he crosses the hallway of the kid's house, wearing the kid's flannel pants and sporting the kid's morning wood, and takes a piss. Even taking a piss feels good, in a human body. Lucky fuckers get everything. It's part of why Satan enjoys torturing them in Hell. They had it so good up here, and it's like, why? What did humans really do to deserve all these riches, God? Other than being His random, drooling favorites? It's the injustice that will haunt Satan for all eternity.
He returns to the human's room and consults some homework assignments on his computer to determine his name: Stan Marsh. Sounds familiar, for some reason. As predicted, the guy's computer is loaded with gay porn. He watches a few videos, wistful, then feels a powerful need to eat that is also sort of arousing, very novel and primal, with the edge of human vulnerability that always gets him off.
Downstairs, there are no parents or other interested parties to keep him from taking what he wants from the fridge, so he makes himself four Eggo Waffles and eats them in a hurry, grunting under his breath at the delicious processed flavors. Back upstairs, he dresses in Stan's clothes and consults Stan's phone, which is beeping with a blue light. He has a new message from Kenny McCormick.
"Ah!" So that's why this Stan's guy's name sounds familiar. Kenny used to be Satan's BFF, and they talked about Kenny's problems up in South Park all the time, along with Satan's troubles in Hell. That was before Damien stole Kenny away from Satan like the sandy little butthole he is.
Remembering this, Satan hesitates to disclose, over the phone, that he is currently possessing Kenny's human friend Stan. He consults the message Kenny has sent:
Dude, Kyle is really worried about you. He says you broke up with Wendy? What's up?
Satan wonders what Stan has been like in the days leading up to his possession. Typically it makes humans unpleasant to be around. He responds to Kenny's message:
Dude, let's meet and discuss. You free?
Hopefully this diction resembles Stan's usual style of communication. Satan supposes it must have been fine, because Kenny's response comes swiftly and he doesn't seem to suspect anything.
I'm actually with Kyle right now. You okay with him knowing that you're willing to talk about it?
Why wouldn't I be? Satan asks, hoping to gain some insight on the situation from Kenny's response.
I thought maybe this alleged weirdness had to do with you fucking Kyle.
Oh, Satan sends back, wondering if this ‘Kyle' is attractive. Nah it's something else, he sends, because he's got to tell them what's really going on sooner rather than later, in order for Stan to be saved. Kenny will help— He's some kind of deeply magical creature who even predates God, Satan thinks, though it's hard to be sure —and this Kyle person probably won't interfere, if he's fucking the actual owner of this body.
Come on over then, Kenny sends. We're at Kyle's, in the backyard.
Satan is not a good driver, since he can normally just bilocate, but he manages to reach Kyle's house by focusing his dark energy on Kenny and determining his location, and he doesn't run anybody over on the way there, though he does get honked at a lot by other cars, their drivers seeming to imply that he doesn't know what he's doing. It's a relief to park the car outside of Kyle's house and to walk through the snow and into the backyard, where he finds Kenny and Kyle sitting on an old swingset, their hot human breath puffing in the cold air. Kyle is a ginger who appears to be Kenny's age, kind of cute but not really Satan's type, and he looks nervous at Satan's approach. Hopefully he can't tell anything is wrong yet. Kenny just smiles.
"You look terrible," Satan says, drawing up short when he's close enough to see the dark circles under Kenny's eyes and the bruises on his neck. Bite marks: Damien. "Who did that to you?" Satan asks, his voice coming out too deep, too unlike Stan's.
"Did— What?" Kenny adjusts the hood of his parka, trying to hide the marks. "It's nothing, dude. Just rough sex with a good lay."
"Ugh," Satan says, wincing when he imagines Damien and Kenny as lovers. It's all wrong for both of them. "Well," he says, hoping that Damien isn't eavesdropping, psychically or otherwise. "I think you could do better."
"Man, whatever," Kenny says. He kicks off and swings a little. Kyle is staring at Satan, looking sad rather than suspicious. "What's going on with you?" Kenny asks, pumping his legs so he'll swing higher. "You've scared the crap out of Kyle."
"Shut up, Kenny!" Kyle reaches over to slap Kenny's arm. He sighs and looks at Satan again. "Do you still think you're doomed?" Kyle asks. "You seem— Calmer, suddenly."
"Uh, yeah." Satan scratches at Stan's ear and glances around the yard. He's never actually announced his possession to a concerned loved one before. At least Kenny is here to mediate. "About that. I've been going through— Well. Stan has been going through a difficult change, recently. An unnatural one, you might say."
"Did you just refer to yourself in the third person?" Kyle asks, looking unamused.
"Well, no," Satan says. "Because, you see. I'm not actually, like. Stan."
"What?" Kenny laughs, then glances at Kyle and looks less amused when his eyes return to Satan. Kyle looks heartsick, like he's contemplating Stan's forthcoming commitment to a mental institution. Satan sighs. He's going to have to demonstrate his powers.
"Kenny," he says. "You know me. We used to be bros."
"We— uhhh." Kenny looks at Kyle again. Kyle is still staring at Satan, studying him, as if suddenly he does think something might be different. "Come again?" Kenny says.
"My son and I are having some difficulties. I believe you are aware, seeing as how you've been fucking Damien for almost six months now."
Kenny frowns and rears backward, grabbing the chains of the swing. "What?" he says. "How did— How do you know that?"
"Dude, it's me. Satan. Damien kicked me out of Hell again, and he's stuffed me into your friend's body. I'm not sure what his game is this time. Do you know?"
"Okay," Kyle says, standing. "No."
"If you're really Satan—" Kenny begins to say, but before he can finish, Satan holds out his hand and makes a ball of fire appear in his palm. It's a dumb trick, but he's impressed a lot of guys he ended up in bed with it, even down in Hell, where it shouldn't really be that impressive. Kyle screams.
"Okay," Kenny says, hopping out of the swing. "What the fuck!"
"Dude, I know!" Satan closes his fist around the fireball, putting it out. Kyle has stopped screaming but is scrambling backward, crashing into the swing he'd been sitting in and then tripping straight through it, landing on his ass. "Tell your friend it's okay," Satan says. "We're gonna figure this out, bros. Damien isn't as powerful as he thinks he is."
"There's something I need to tell you, too," Kenny says. He glances at Kyle. "Dude," he says. "It's okay. We're gonna fix this."
"What," Kyle says, panting. "What—"
"What do you need to tell me?" Satan asks, glad that Kenny doesn't seem to be siding with Damien on this.
"Well," Kenny says. He holds out his hands in a gesture that reminds Satan a bit of his old pal Jesus. "I think I might be the Second Coming of Christ," Kenny says.
"I'm dreaming," Kyle says. He takes handfuls of snow and jams them again his cheeks, shouting when he feels the cold. "I'm dreaming!" he shouts again, anyway.
"Can you give him a Xanax or something?" Satan asks. "And explain what you mean by the— Wait, if you're the Second Coming, where's Jesus?"
"Exactly. I haven't seen him in South Park in years. And I can— Well, you know about my powers."
"Yeah, but— Dude, no. You're older than God. You can't be his son, in any shape or form."
"I never told you that? I mean, it's just a theory, but I have a pretty strong feeling—"
"All right," Kyle says, pulling himself to his feet. "Stan. Kenny. You fucking assholes. This isn't funny. I demand that you show me how you did that trick. WIth the fire in his palm!" he shouts when they both just stare at him. "Show me, now!"
"Kenny," Satan says. "Can I turn you into a platypus real quick? Just so he'll believe us?"
Kenny sighs and tilts his chin up, staring up at the sky as if he has a bone to pick with God right now. "Fine," Kenny says.
Ten minutes later, Kenny is human again, Kyle has gotten very quiet and pale but seems to have accepted what is happening, and Satan is conjuring a portal to hell adjacent to the swingset.
"Get in, losers," he says when it's complete. He hopes they'll recognize the quote. It's from his favorite movie. "We're going to Hell."