Title: The Strange Attraction Syndrome - Chapter Nineteen
Summary: Ten years is a long time to have an unrequited crush, but Tweek’s wait is just about over. So much for Craig being asexual.
Point of View: Tweek
But I learned that there’s a certain character that can be built from embarrassing yourself endlessly.
Tweek’s point of view:
Ten at night found us huddled in a circle—short the fiancés. That particular couple had stolen away to have a moment with themselves some time ago. The girls in their dresses plus Cartman sat on the bench while the rest of us occupied the soft, downy grass.
“This is good for them,” Wendy commented. She cleared her throat and added under her breath, “Better than I would’ve been.” If that wasn’t a good laugh, then I didn’t know what was.
“Can you imagine that being you instead of Kyle?” Red asked her, humoring the idea.
“I used to,” she admitted, shaking her head as though she couldn’t understand why that was. “We’d just end up getting divorced like five times, though.”
Kenny sniggered, “Five times is an understatement.”
“And then you would’ve gotten—bastard—pregnant and had little black haired, blue eyed babies,” Thomas added. Cartman pretended to gag and beat the shit out of one of the imaginary babies.
“At least they would’ve been smart and strong,” Wendy prophesied.
Snorting, Cartman jeered, “Well don’t you two just have the golden genes?”
“W-Where do you think they’ll get married?” Butters wondered.
“Iowa, here we come,” Bebe mused, referring to the ordeal between same-sex marriage and Colorado. Same-sex marriage and practically everywhere.
“Iowa? Fuck that,” Cartman boasted.
“Their options are kind of limited, bro,” Kenny said.
“Yeah. But Iowa? That shit’s all the way over there.” He pointed in the wrong direction, but I got the gist of his meaning.
“Well, wherever it is, you’re going.” Kyle’s order signaled his and Stan’s return. Our circle expanded, welcoming them in. I thought I might’ve been the only one staring, fixated on that slim ring around his ring finger, but when he blushed and said “Cool it with the eyes guys,” it occurred to me that this was not the case. It took me a second before I could divert my attention. I just really liked the three tiny silver bands of rope making up its body.
Abruptly, Kenny came to a stand, his phone buzzing in his pocket. Kyle sighed amongst the relief of losing the spotlight. I expected the blonde to walk away to continue the call, but instead, he came around to my side of our collected group. “We got a call for Tweek Tweak!” He announced, kneeling down behind me where he held the phone out and said, “It’s on speaker.”
Wonderful. Now the attention was all mine. “Hello?” I asked, speaking to no one in particular. There was some shuffling and that was it. More than anything I was confused. Everyone was looking at me as though I knew what was going on, but I didn’t want them thinking that because it wasn’t true, so I shook my head, lifted my shoulders, and took the phone in my hand. “Hello?” I repeated.
“Tweek!” Immediately I thrust the phone away from my face. It was Clyde’s girlfriend, loud and clear.
“Hey.” My greeting came out as confused as I felt.
There was the sound of a door opening, the water running, and then Pretty Lady calling out, “Your butt is so cute, Craig!” Kenny clapped me on the back, Thomas covered his mouth to drown out his laughter, Kyle bit his lip, leaning into Stan who smirked at me—there were many reactions and all of them were thoroughly embarrassing. “You’ve got to see his butt. He’s got dimples!” Yeah, okay, I thought, internally ripping my stomach apart. That is really cute.
“O-Oh,” was all I gave her and everybody laughed at me. I had to clear my throat before asking, “What’s going on?”
“I’m giving the phone to Craig so that you two can talk! I hate having to wait for your stupid letters to go back and forth.” I was about to retort that I thought the letters were fun when she said something to Craig about taking the goddamn phone because his mom was on the line. Then came the sound of the door again, and I figured that meant that she’d left.
This time, it wasn’t Pretty Lady’s voice that spoke and everyone scooted closer to hear the voice of the guy who left four years ago and never came back. “Yeah?” His tone was deeper through our connection.
He really thinks I’m his mom. I joked without even contemplating it. “Hey, honey. Just c-checking in to see how you’re doing.” The group found it humorous and I was kind of proud of my sense of humor.
For a moment, there was no reply, just the sound of the water.
“Wow, mom. You sound more feminine than I remember.”
It was my turn to remain silent. Fortunately for Craig, he’d made a wonderful first impression. Everyone got a kick out of his insult.
“It’s Tweek,” I grumbled.
“Yeah, I know. Your stutter kind of gave it away.”
I pouted, irking Thomas into patting my cheek. “I thought you liked my stutter.”
You fucking idiot. I hadn’t meant to flirt like that. I really hadn’t. Not in front of all of my friends at least. As though it would help, I blocked my face from view with my free hand.
“I do,” he said. “It’s my favorite thing about you.”
“My stutter?” I asked incredulously.
“Well,” it sounded like he got in the tub from the way the water sloshed around, “that and your eyes.”
His confession only caused them to bug out. “What?”
“I like their color. It’s pretty.” Because of that, practically everyone within range landed a punch on either one of my arms. I guessed it was supposed to be congratulatory, but instead it was just humiliating. That and it hurt.
“Just s-stop talking,” I told him, cheeks reddening. Sweet Jesus, why did he have to tell me that? ”You’re on speaker and everyone can hear you.”
“Oh. I see.” My pulse picked up speed. He saw what? “I’m only supposed to say things like that in private.”
My hand dropped to cover my mouth. In disbelief, I shook my head. “N-No, that is definitely not what I was trying t-to say, dude.”
“No,” he disagreed. “I think you were.”
“No. I r-really wasn’t.” Why did we have to be having a conversation like this in front of everyone?
“Your stutter got worse. I think you’re nervous because you know I’m right.” There was an amused lilt to his voice. He was just teasing me. He had to have been.
“Well, I t-think it’s time to talk about s-something else, so…” I trailed off, hoping he’d show me at least a little bit of mercy.
“You really shouldn’t have said that.” Oh God, no. My stomach plummeted. “Because my next conversation piece is about how I’m naked in a bathtub.” Thomas whistled to the side of me and I had to punch him to shut him up. His laughter was about as helpful as his whistle, though.
I mouthed the word thanks to him. “And your n-next one after that?” Please don’t say anything about your penis. Please don’t say anything about your penis.
“I suppose I could tell you that I’ve got a pretty big—” Fuck, he’s going to say something about his penis ”—loofa.” My heart skipped a beat, I swear. “Naw, I was going to say dick.” And then he started laughing, telling me, “Its funny because you’re gay.”
“You’re like a child,” I scolded, trying to frown because all of my friends—or our friends—whatever the fuck they were—thought he was just as funny as he thought he was.
Eventually, he hummed amusedly, simmering down from his comedic streak. “So when are you coming back down here?” Everyone was eyeing each other, sharing secret smirks. It made me nervous watching their exchange.
“I don’t know, I-“
Kenny interrupted me. “I’m thinking this weekend. How does that sound?” My head snapped around so I could gawk at him. We never talked about this. The last thing I heard was that we’d go when I could actually afford to travel to Lakewood, and that was certainly not this upcoming weekend.
He smirked down at me, but I wasn’t going to put myself in debt to him. For all I knew, he’d want payment in the form of my body. “You’re not p-paying for me, dude! I just paid you back! I’m broke.”
“It’s alright, Tweekers. We’ll figure something-“
Just as I was about to object for the second time, Craig beat me to it. “Yeah, my apartment’s definitely not big enough to take in two extra people.”
It was silent for a second. And then I asked, “Is he being sarcastic?”
Thomas quirked his brows at me, Kyle mouthed get that, Kenny fastened a hand around my shoulder and shook me violently. The phone nearly fell between my fingers as I realized that Craig was offering to let us stay at his place. I’d sleep in the same vicinity as Craig Tucker. My life was suddenly perfect.
But of course I had to ruin it. “I—I don’t know. I mean, I’m weird when it comes to…” Everyone was glaring at me. Sweet mother of God. ”…sleeping, uhm.”
“We’ll take the couch, Tweek,” Kenny assured. “That’s better than some random motel bed, right?”
“W-Well, I—uh—shit. What if,” my cheeks were ablaze, “somebody’s fucked on it?”
“Do you want someone to fuck on it?” Craig asked.
“God no!” I shrieked. The sound echoed violently against the trees, might’ve even stirred the pond. Snickers erupted all around me. What came next was an onslaught of rushed words and panicky breaths, disgust and the need to clean my body relentlessly. “I just—the particles and the— It’s the f-fucking body fluids, okay? Semen, and—and vagina juice and lubricant and I don’t even know. Dead skin cells o-or spit or something! I don’t want it near my face, dude!”
As though it would solve the problem, he suggested, “Then just take my bed.”
You don’t understand! I wanted to scream. Instead I said something even worse. “But you—I mean, don’t you—? I, uh.” Across the circle, Stan pinched the bridge of his nose.
I had just made the inclination that Craig masturbated in his bed. And of course he did. It’s just very… impactful when mentioned so… awkwardly.
“You’re impossible, Tweek.” Humiliated didn’t even begin to describe how I felt right then. “You’re kind of screwed wherever you go, if you know what I mean.” Well, I certainly understood that now. “If you really need me to, I’ll take the couch with Kenny and I can buy some new bedsheets and you can take my bed. Fresh and never jacked off on.”
The worst part was that even Kenny was cradling his head in his hands, embarrassed for me. Second hand embarrassment sucked. Feeling second hand embarrassment towards the second hand embarrassment already felt because of your embarrassment was even worse. “I’m so sorry,” was the only thing I could say.
“Are you? Because I just lost my bed to the couch, got stuck sleeping next to a pervert, and I’m naked. What else do you want from me?” When I started mumbling incoherently, he said, “I’m just fucking with you, dude. Stop being so easy to mess with.”
I said “Okay,” completely serious, and he laughed at me.