Craig was driving Tweek crazy. Like actually crazy, off the deep end, cuckoo for cheesy poofs insane. It had been bad enough that Craig was always taller than Tweak, that he had hit his growth spurt first and was strong enough to pick Tweek up easily, but summer had tanned Craig golden all over, muscles lingering from baseball conditioning, as well as an undercut that Tweek never got tired of running his fingers over.
This summer they'd also discovered making out. During South Park's ten colder months a year, they were limited to spending time at either of their houses, where there was a constant threat of someone walking in on them, or places like school or the coffee shop, where they always had an audience. This summer they'd taken an old blanket out to the fields past Stark's pond and spread it out in the sun and quickly realized that there was nobody around for miles. The quick, sweet kisses they'd been exchanging since sixth grade gave way to slow, lazy ones that left Tweek feeling like he was melting from the inside out. They spent hours that way, Tweek rubbing fingers along Craig's undercut or winding his fingers in the longer pieces on top, while Craig dragged his palms down Tweek's spine, the heat soaking through Tweek's T-shirt until he was sweat-damp and light-headed.
Tweek had been dreading going back to normal when school started again and cooler fall weather arrived, but the reality was much worse: he couldn't stop thinking about Craig's hands. More specifically, about them touching him all over, about the two of them skin to skin, going the rest of the way. He felt like he couldn't concentrate on anything else, daydreaming about it during class, forgetting coffee orders halfway through, waking up rock hard in the middle of the night. During geometry, Tweek had spent a solid ten minutes with his eyes glued to the way Craig's fingers were wrapped around his highlighter.
"Who gave him the right?" Tweek whined in despair during chemistry, his cheek pressed against the lab table. He was paying zero attention to Token, his lab partner, steadily completing their experiment, gaze focused on Craig and Clyde across the room, trying to ball tap each other rather than working on their own lab. Tweak was kind of jealous, how fucked up was that? "Jesus."
"Just tell him, man," Token commented. Tweek squinted at Token. "That you want his hot body."
"What?!" Tweek jerked upright, rattling his lab stool. "Token! Why would you—ERK—say that?!"
"I might be straight, but I'm not blind," Token laughed. "Craig's only been on the top of every 'cutest boys in the class' list since third grade. Plus he has a really sweet ass."
"Uuugh," Tweek groaned. He picked up his pen to at least write down some of the data for Token, he didn't want Token telling everybody he was the world's shittiest lab partner, but ended up just clicking the pen arrhythmically while watching Craig and Clyde snicker together. Craig looked up, caught Tweek's eye, and gave him a quick smirk. Tweek fumbled the pen, dropping it with a clatter. "For fuck's sake, nngh."
"What's even taking you two so long anyway?" Token asked, bending to scoop up Tweek's pen and handing it back to him. Tweek mumbled something noncommittal. "You two were so hot and heavy over summer I was sure you'd have done it by now."
Tweek shook his head, staring at the lap tabletop, his fingers leaving smudges on the black surface as he rubbed at it. That would be normal, right? They'd been dating so long they should have definitely done it by now, so it must be something wrong, or something wrong with him, because if Craig wanted Tweek the same way, he would have already—
"Tweek," Token said, snapping Tweek out of it. He was looking at Tweek in concern when Tweek looked up, and Tweek realized Token must have called his names a few times. "Hey. It's okay, man, there's nothing wrong with taking it slow if you need to."
"It's not me," Tweek said without thinking, then went bright pink at Token's surprised expression, one hand sneaking up to yank on his hair. "Shit. Don't tell him!"
"Have you talked to him about it?" Token asked, folding his arms on the table to show Tweek he had his whole attention. Tweek shook his head miserably. "Then you should. You know he gets overprotective of you sometimes, he's probably worried about freaking you out."
"Or he doesn't want to," Tweek muttered.
"Talk to him," Token insisted. "He's not a mind reader. Promise?" Tweak nodded, eyes still glued to his hands. "Good. And if talking doesn't work, you can always write him a song. You know he's crazy for you singing." Holding his pencil like a microphone, Token started in on one of Chef's old songs. "I'm gonna make love to your body, I'm gonna lay you down by the fire..."
"WHATTHEFUCK, TOKEN!" Tweek hollered, making every head in the room swivel towards them and the teacher yell at them for screwing around in the lab. Token doubled over laughing, while Tweek banged his head on the lab table a few times.
"What was that all about?" Craig wanted to know at the end of class as they were leaving.
"Token's a black asshole," Tweek snapped with feeling, making Craig laugh.
The next day after school, Tweek came home with Craig for a rare afternoon of having the house to themselves while his mother and sister were out at a movie together. Craig flopped into bed without any pretense of another activity, holding open his arms until Tweek crawled into them, fitting himself in against Craig's chest. Craig kissed him long and slow, one hand on the small of Tweek's back and the other smoothing Tweek's hair back from his face, and it was hard to remember what Tweek had even been so worried about when they were like this.
Tweek leaned back, pulling Craig with him with his arms around Craig's neck, until Craig's weight was pressing him into the mattress. Craig had been worried at the start that he was too heavy, but Tweek loved it; he felt safe and protected with Craig blocking out the rest of the world. Sometimes if Craig kissed him long enough, it even drowned out the constant loop of worries in Tweek's head, replacing it with their heavy breathing and racing heartbeats. Today Craig seemed just as desperate as Tweek felt, their kissing turning messy, fingers digging into each other's shoulders and backs. Tweek thought in the very back of his mind that maybe the problem was going to work itself out after all.
But then Craig pulled back, despite Tweek's annoyed whine. "We should stop."
"I don't want to," Tweek said, grip tight enough that Craig couldn't go more than a couple inches. The panic from earlier was sneaking back in, filling Tweek's chest and making it hard to breathe. Why was he the only one who wanted to do more? Why was Craig looking at him so calmly when all Tweek wanted to do was rip his hair out? Why didn't Craig want him?
"Tweek, come on." Craig put his palm against Tweek's chest to push him down more firmly, and Tweek's patience snapped suddenly. In a move straight out of Mexican wrestling, Tweek gave Craig a shove so hard it flipped them over entirely, dumping him on Craig's chest in a painful tangle of elbows against ribs.
"What the FUCK, babe?!" Craig demanded, struggling, but Tweek had grabbed his wrists and forced them down already, one knee down in between Craig's thighs as he struggled to gain some leverage against the give of the mattress. All at once he realized Craig was hard against him, his dick digging into Tweek's thigh, and Tweek went limp with relief against Craig's chest, all the fight knocked out of him.
"You're hard t-too," he said. It didn't explain anything, but just the knowledge that Craig was into it, that he found some part of this physically desirable, drained away the worst of Tweek's panic.
"No shit! Why do you think I was trying to get off you?" Craig said, giving another shove to Tweek's shoulders. Tweek was like a sack of wet cement, unmovable. "Wait, you are too?"
"Yes," Tweek said with relief. "Thank god, let's just, ngh, fucking do it already."
"No," Craig replied. "Get off me." He pushed harder, and Tweek sat up enough to peer at him in confusion.
"What?" Tweek asked.
"You heard me." Craig glared. "I don't want to 'just fucking do it already.'"
Tweek heaved an irritated sigh. Apparently Token was right and they did actually have to talk about it. "You don't have to baby me. I'm ready, I…" Tweek had to look away, his face heating up. "I've been jerking off to you for weeks."
"For fuck's sake, Tweek," Craig groaned. "Stop."
"No! Stop worrying about me, Jesus, you're too over-protective!"
"Maybe it's not about you," Craig said, so sharply Tweek looked down at him in surprise. Craig's face was locked in neutral and his voice was flat, but he had a pink stripe across his nose. "Maybe I'm the one who isn't ready, did you think of that? No, you didn't."
Tweek really hadn't. He opened his mouth, but Craig was already going on.
"I worry about stuff too, you know, you don't have some kind of monopoly on freaking out. I worry about stuff all the time."
"What do you worry about?" Tweek asked, honestly baffled. "You're all strong and h-hot and, fuck, good at shit and calm."
"I'm worried about whether I'll need a job next summer, and how I'm going to ask you to homecoming, and what's going to happen when we apply to colleges," Craig informed him. "I'm worried that you'll think my dick is weird. I'm scared we'll do it and I'll like it better than you do, or you'll like it better than me, or we won't like the same stuff at all. I'm worried we'll do it once and you'll realize you like girls after all and I'm an asshole and you don't need me at all."
"Oh." Tweek grabbed for Craig's hand, lacing their fingers together. Craig wouldn't look him in the eye, but he squeezed Tweek's fingers hard. Tweek had no idea what to say to even half of that. "God, I don't want girls, eurgh, touching me like, like that. Jesus. And I've seen your dick before."
"Not for a while," Craig muttered, which was true. Tweek had stopped playing baseball in middle schools, and they hadn't had gym class together in a few years, by chance. Craig heaved a sigh that sounded like it hurt. "I didn't tell you because being scared sucks and I didn't want to give you more shit to be scared of."
Tweek thought, incongruously, of the first time Craig forced him on a roller coaster, how Craig had yelled at Bebe when she'd called Craig an asshole for not letting Tweek weenie out of riding it. "But being a baby about it won't make it less scary. You don't want to never do it, right?"
"Yeah," Craig said. Tweek reached down with his free hand to trace the outline of Craig's dick with his fingertip, gently, but enough to make Craig inhale.
"You like it when I touch you everywhere else, right?" Tweek asked.
"Yeah," Craig said again, quieter. He still looked kind of helpless, and Tweek honestly didn't know what else he could do or say. He was such shit at being encouraging. Out of ideas, Tweek laid back down next to Craig and edged in closer, their faces on opposite ends of Craig's pillow, just far enough apart not to go cross-eyed.
"Please?" Tweek squeezed Craig's fingers, still wrapped through his own. "I'm going crazy."
"Nah, you're already there," Craig teased. His eyes fluttered shut. "Fine. But if you hate it, swear you'll give me a second chance?"
Tweek shivered at the idea of there being a first time and a second time, maybe back to back. "A hundred, if you—ACK—if you want them."
"Damn, you're exhausting," Craig complained, but he was already pulling Tweek in for a kiss. "I'll show you mine if you show me yours?"
"Ugh, don't compare, that's too much pressure." Tweek slid his hands down Craig's back and into the back pockets of his jeans, giving a tentative squeeze. Token had sure been right about one thing, anyway.
It didn't go perfectly on the first try, or the second, but Tweek didn't care. Being curled up under Craig's blankets and figuring it out together felt safe just as much as it was messy or weird. Even having to shyly ask each other if it was okay or say sorry made Tweek feel cared about, and like he was taking care of Craig too, just this once.
"You okay?" Craig asked, smoothing Tweek's sweaty hair back from his face.
"Mmhmm," Tweek answered, flopped on his back. He felt sticky, boneless, and amazing. He squinted at Craig's face, hoping Craig felt the same way. "Are you?"
"I'm glad it's over with," Craig admitted, and then before Tweek could panic, added, "But I want to do it again." Tweek made a dubious face. "Not right this second, stupid."
"Me too," Tweek assured. Just to be a dick, he asked, "Sure you don't want to try it out with girls? Just the once?"
"Babe," Craig growled, rolling over onto Tweek and squishing him against his chest possessively. Tweek gave an "EEK" of surprise, but it was mostly one of pleasure. He wrapped arms around Craig's neck and held on tight to keep him right there. "Don't joke about that shit, or I'll give you something to be scared of."
Tweek kissed Craig in apology, and then while he was being held tight and before he lost his nerve, he asked, "H-hey. That other stuff, mm, that you said. Homecoming and college stuff. Were you just saying that to argue with me, or, nng, do you really worry about it?"
"It's stuff I think about," Craig said slowly. "Worry's too strong a word, probably."
"D-do I, um…" Tweek pressed his cheek against Craig's shoulder. "Make you feel like you c-can't talk about it? With me?" Craig stroked Tweek's hair without answering right away, which was all the answer Tweek's brain needed. "Ugh, I'm sorry! And you have Token and Clyde, if you wanted to—AGH—to talk, you don't need me, and I'd just, just freak out anyway and—"
"I haven't," Craig interrupted, giving Tweek's hair a harder tug to get his attention. "I haven't talked to them, or anyone, about college or homecoming or sex. It's not because I don't think you can take it or something. I just like to think about stuff on my own."
"This worked better when we talked about it," Tweek pointed out. He splayed his fingers out on Craig's chest, feeling the steady thump of Craig's heartbeat under his palm. "Just, maybe the big stuff. Homecoming you can surprise me with."
"Thanks so much," Craig said, his eye roll almost audible. "You know I have to come up with some cute fucking way to ask you in front of everyone every fucking year."
"We're a team," Tweek insisted. "Gah! Aren't we?"
"Yeah, babe, we are," Craig said. He squeezed Tweek tighter for a second, although that wasn't much different from how much he was squishing Tweek before. "If something's really bothering me, I'll tell you. Good?"
"Yes," Tweek agreed, light with relief. He let Craig kiss him to seal the agreement, and keep on kissing him until he wondered if maybe they were far enough past 'not right this second' to possibly go again.
Suddenly Craig picked up his head, smirking down at Tweek. "Oh man, I just had the best idea for homecoming proposal."
"What?" Tweek asked nervously. He didn't like that look even a little bit.
"No way, you said I could surprise you." Craig's smirk got even bigger, making Tweek groan.
As if he didn't have enough shit to worry about already.