They’re sitting on the sofa in Kyle’s living room.
On the coffee table in front of them sits Kyle’s long-abandoned laptop. The plan had been for Kenny to come over after school so that the two of them could work on homework and watch videos and be generally productive.
Of course, that never really worked out for Kyle and Kenny.
“Alright, no no no. You’re just not picturing it correctly,” Kenny says very seriously, looking Kyle dead in the eye. Kyle rolls his eyes, but gestures for him to continue with a little amused smile that he can’t quite hide. “Okay, so you’re at the bar, right? Sitting all alone. Then I come up to you, tap you on the shoulder and say, ‘Hello my dude, would you mind touching my hand?’,” he gestures for Kyle to play his part.
Kyle sighs. “Why?”
“‘Because I want to tell my friends I’ve been touched by an angel.’”
Kyle snorts. “Kenny, it didn’t get any better.”
“Alright fine, let's see you come up with a better one then.”
Kyle is about to respond when he’s cut off by the sound of the front door opening, and the two of them look to see his father walk in the door. Gerald offers Kenny a quick distasteful look before turning his gaze to his son. “Kyle,” he says simply with a nod, before he heads upstairs.
Kenny looks back to Kyle to see that his boyfriend is seething. Hands clenched into tight fists under whitening knuckles and breath turning shaky in pure anger.
“Why don’t we get outta here, huh?” Kenny says gently, taking Kyle’s hand and running his thumb back and forth over his knuckles soothingly. “Wanna go outside for a bit?”
Kenny stands and leads him to the backyard without releasing his grip on his hand. Once the door shuts behind them, Kyle takes a deep breath and releases his hand in favor of pacing back and forth in front of him.
“He treats you like...like…”
“Trash?” Kenny helpfully supplies.
Kyle looks at him sharply but then just shakes his head. “I’m fucking sick of it. I can’t fucking deal with it anymore.” His shoulders drop, tears filling his eyes in a moment of weakness that very few people in the world would ever be allowed to see.
Kenny takes a step forward so he can hold his face in his hands, thumbs ghosting across his cheeks. “Ky, talk to me.”
Kyle softly laughs, the sound not holding any humor. He lifts his hands to place them over Kenny’s and gently pulls them from his cheeks so he can hold them in the space between them.
“Do you know the other day he gave me a ‘talk’,” Kyle tells him quietly with a shake of his head. “The whole, ‘remember this is only high school and you might feel like you’re in love now but it’s good to have options’ talk.”
“Oh…” Kenny pauses, the meaning of the words sinking in. “Well what did you say?”
“Well I was going to tell him exactly where he could put his advice,” Kyle says in a tone laced with bitterness, “but then my mom walked in and he acted like nothing had happened.”
“Have you talked to her about it?”
“Yeah, but it’s kind of hard for her to do something when she doesn’t see it.” Kyle scoffs, “I think my dad’s fucking afraid of her, he’s always on his best behavior whenever she’s around.”
“Oh, so that’s why he said hi to me the other day,” Kenny mentions thoughtfully, “ I thought that’d been weird.”
Kyle’s expression softens. “Kenny…”
Kenny giggles and finally takes his hands back from Kyle, giving him a light shove. “Relax, it’s really not a big deal.” He plops down in the grass. “I’m not exactly used to being treated with respect around here.”
“Which is ridiculous,” Kyle says adamantly, shoulders stiffening and gaze fierce enough to burn through solid rock. “I won’t have it. You deserve more respect than anyone I know, and I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise.”
“Ky, your Jersey is showing.”
Kyle blinks down at him and crosses his arms defensively.
“Is too,” Kenny laughs, “come on call me cabbage. Might even get me to bring out old the ol’ redneck,” he smiles and falls back into the grass, looking up at Kyle through his lashes. “Roleplay at its finest.”
“You’re a menace,” Kyle says affectionately, finally dropping down in the grass beside his boyfriend. And as he stares down at Kenny, golden hair framing his face and sky blue eyes peeking out from behind full blond lashes, something thoughtful crosses his expression. Kenny reaches up to smooth the line forming across his brow.
“Something’s on your mind.”
Kyle nods with a sly little grin. “You know, if my dad wants me to find the perfect girl, then that’s exactly what I should do. Bring her home and show her off right in front of his face.”
“...Uh yeah hi, it’s me. Your boyfriend?” Kenny says trying not to sound hurt. “I’m not sure I’m following. Where exactly are you thinking of finding a girl?”
Kyle tucks a piece of hair behind his ear. “I’ve already got her right here.”
“Oh,” he pauses, his words sinking in. “Oh! Kyle you absolute devil, you!” he says sitting up and lightly shoving him. “I play the part of your new girlfriend, charm the hell out of your dad, and then he doesn't find out until the end that it was actually me the whole time,” he grins, eyes lighting up at the prospect. “Right?”
Kyle nods, looking smug as to have come up with such an amazing idea. “You act just as you always would, he approves of you, and I shove in his face that everything he has against you is fucking stupid and all in his head.”
“I love it, it’s genius,” Kenny pauses, expression falling slightly, “but, I don’t have a dress I can wear...or anything I can wear, really.”
“Not a problem,” Kyle says immediately.
Kenny gives him a look. “No?”
“Not at all, I’ve got someone who would love to help.”
The mall is teeming with people rushing around like mad with all sorts of merchandise in their hands. It’s kind of like a jungle, Kyle decides from the spot against the wall he’d chosen to wait at in hopes of staying out of everybody's way.
“Dude,” Stan says suddenly from his spot beside him, “I do hope you’re aware that this is a terrible idea.”
Kyle rolls his eyes. “Way to be supportive, Stan.”
“Okay, but what makes you think that your dad’s not going to realize that your new girlfriend is literally just Kenny in a dress?”
Giving his best friend a pointed look, Kyle says, “Well maybe because my dad has never once fucking talked to him or looked him in the eye.”
For a moment, Stan only stares at him.
“Wait dude, seriously?”
“That’s fucked up.”
“Tell me about it,” Kyle says bitterly, before his expression lightens up once again. “But besides that?” He shrugs, “Kenny’s fucking pretty, dude. He could totally pass as a girl.”
Before Stan can reply, he’s cut off by the sound of another voice.
“Oh fellas,” Butters says walking up to them with Kenny at his side, the distinct shape of a light blue dress draped over his arm, “we think we finally got one that looks real pretty!”
Kyle nods, his gaze immediately going to Kenny. “I still don’t understand why we couldn’t see you try them on.”
“Because,” Kenny says without missing a beat, “it’s not the same if I don’t get all dolled up for it first.” He dramatically flutters his eyelashes and Kyle snorts.
Stan looks between them with a fond look in his eye before finally settling his gaze on Kenny. “Do you have a wig and everything at home?”
“Nah,” Kenny admits with a small shrug, “at least not anymore. But Butters said he’d help me out with that.”
“Yup! I’m gonna help Kenny get ready the night of your dinner thingy,” Butters smile falls a margin and he fiddles with his hands a bit. “And well, gee I’m sure Wendy would love to help out too!”
At his words, Stan offers him a smile, slightly pained, but true. “I’m sure she’d like that.”
Butters offers him a gentle look and he nods.
Meanwhile, Kenny was looking at the price-tag on the dress still held in Butters hands with wide eyes. “Guys, there’s no way I can afford this.”
“Relax, Ken,” Kyle says with a roll of his eyes. “This was my idea so it’s only fair that I buy it for you. I’ve got it covered.”
Kenny looks up, brows furrowing.
“Besides,” Kyle cuts him off, knowing the old argument well and going straight to his wildcard. “Butters has coupons.”
“Sure do! I like clippin’ them outta the magazines,” Butters says proudly, making a little clipping motion with his hands.
For a moment, Stan looks at him like he’s the most precious thing he’s ever seen. Kyle’s eyes drift back to Kenny, knowing the feeling.
It’s the night before the day of the execution of their amazing plan. The two of them are in Kyle’s room, their previous conversation having lulled into a comfortable silence.
“Ky,” Kenny says softly into the quiet air, “what if this doesn't work? What if I mess up or...you know, what if your dad still doesn't approve of me in the end?”
Kyle’s gaze narrows, picturing a very certain person yet staring out at nothing in particular.
“Then fuck him,” he says vehemently, not an ounce of hesitation, “I’m done after this.”
Kenny’s eyes grow wide at his words and he looks at his fiery boyfriend in shock.
“What? But Ky-”
“No.” Kyle’s voice is firm. Resolute. “No, you’re the best thing to have ever happened to me, and if he can’t own up to what a fucking ass he’s being then that’s it,” he looks over at the blond, both tone and expression softening with affection. “Kenny, this is the last chance for him, not for you. Not ever for you.”
For a second, Kenny is struck speechless. His heart is pounding fiercely in his chest, as fierce and strong as the boy in front of him. Fire and passion.
“I love you,” Kenny finds himself saying.
They’ve said the words before, so it’s not exactly new. Yet they hover in the air between them, sweet and true.
Kyle smiles adoringly, moving over so that their shoulders press together from where they’re sitting.
“You’re such a dork.”
Kenny giggles, leaning in to gently kiss him before pulling back with a wink. “But you love me for it.”
“Yeah,” Kyle says very seriously, “I do.”
Kenny’s heart melts and he settles in against his boyfriend’s side. “So,” he says after a moment's pause, “you ready for tomorrow then?”
“Yeah, I paid off Ike and I told my mom.”
With a startled laugh, Kenny pulls back to look at the redhead's sheepish expression. “You told your mom?!”
“I had to!” Kyle defends, voice having a distinct whine to it. “I told her I was bringing a girl over for dinner and she started crying because she thought we broke up.”
Kyle shakes his head. “Actual tears, dude. I couldn’t deal with that.”
Not quite believing what he’s hearing Kenny says, “I mean I knew she liked me, but holy shit.”
“Dude, apparently she even started planning our wedding.”
In response to his words Kenny bursts into giggles, attempting to muffle them with his hand. “I wasn’t aware we were engaged.”
“Me either!” Kyle gives him a fake horrified look that only makes him laugh harder. “Look, if for some reason we ever break up, you’re the one that’s telling her.”
“Yeah,” Kenny says, playfully grinning and throwing an arm around his shoulders, “and then me and your mom will sit and watch TV together as we lament our lost love.”
“Oh shut up,” Kyle says slightly pushing him with his shoulder, “you’d totally be the one to break up with me.”
With a shake of his head, Kenny smiles at him. Soft and true. “Not in a million years.”
Kyle seems speechless at Kenny’s sudden seriousness, and so in answer, he just leans over and kisses him.
It’s a kiss that goes on for a long time.
“So, how do I look?”
Walking into Kenny’s room the next night, Kyle was abruptly left stunned. Wendy and Butters had left a little while ago, if their emoji and ‘good luck’ filled texts were to be any indication. Clearly, they knew what they had done.
Before him stands his boyfriend transformed into the most exquisite and angelic picture of femininity. The dress is a pale shade of blue that accents his sparking eyes to the height of perfection. The wig matches his natural blond color, tinged with gold and pulled up into a ponytail that falls gently over the slope of one bared shoulder. The dress is long, but flows over the shape of his body accenting curves normally hidden beneath baggy jeans and his signature orange parka.
Kyle says as much.
Kenny giggles at his reaction, lip gloss painted lips tilting up in a dazzling smile. “Is that all?”
“You’re beautiful,” Kyle says, unexpectedly serious and Kenny flushes. Kyle’s lips slide into the shape of a smirk as he walks closer to him. “But then again you always look beautiful, just a different type of beautiful.”
“Kyle Broflovski,” Kenny says, wrapping his arms around his neck and acting shocked, “are you trying to get under my skirt?”
“Why, is it working?”
Kenny smiles against his lips when he leans in. “You know it.”
The kiss is achingly gentle, and Kyle pulls away far sooner than usual in fear of messing up Kenny’s makeup.
“So,” Kyle says, taking a step back, “did you finally decide on what you want me to call you?”
Kyle blinks, looking at his very serious boyfriend with fond amusement.
“Kenny, I am not introducing you to my family as ‘Princess’.”
Kenny’s fake seriousness cracks and he erupts into a giggle fit.
Kyle sighs, but his smile is full of true affection. “How about we just make it Kelly?”
“Good enough for me,” he responds through his laughter.
They walk out of the room together only to be met with Kevin. The two brothers make eye contact.
“This for some kinda occasion?” Kevin asks, eyeing his brother’s state of dress in surprise.
“Just dinner,” Kenny says slowly, slightly wary. “With Ky’s family.”
Kevin moves his gaze over to Kyle, eyes narrowing.
He snorts, crossing his arms. “He’s a real asshole, ya know that?”
Kyle nods without hesitation. “Yeah, I know.”
“Long as ya know.” Kevin shifts his gaze back over to Kenny, giving him a slight nod. “You look good little bro, go knock em’ dead.”
Kenny smiles at his brother, touched.
The first thing Kenny is met with when he and Kyle arrive at his house is the large form of his mother. She lets them in, and the minute Kenny steps in the door Sheila wraps her arms around him and hugs him. “You look great, hun,” she whispers before she pulls away.
Kenny swallows a lump in his throat. “Thanks.”
They settle in at the table. Ike smirks the second they sit down and opens his mouth as if to say something when Kyle quite noticeably kicks him under the table. Ike glares and kicks him back, but stays silent.
The first few moments pass by in idle chatter, Gerald introducing himself to ‘Kelly’, and very clearly believing the lie. It was certainly a good start. Better than Kenny had hoped for.
Then of course, came the questions.
“Have you known each other long?” Gerald asks.
Kyle had told him to be truthful. Just to omit the really specific and telling details.
Kenny takes a deep breath.
“Uh, Yeah,” he starts somewhat awkwardly, remembering to keep his voice higher-pitched. “We knew each other since we were kids, but we didn’t start getting real close until a few years ago. I was going through...a rough time, and Kyle helped me through it.”
“Oh,” Gerald responds, looking slightly surprised at something, “because we haven’t seen you around before.”
“Dad,” Kyle quickly jumps in, saving Kenny from that particular question, to his relief, “you’ve just been working too much. She’s been around,” he turns to his brother, “right, Ike?”
“Oh she’s been around all right- ow!”
“Right,” his dad says slowly, pointedly ignoring the strange behavior of his sons, “so, Kelly, do you have any plans for college?”
Ah, of course, college. Kenny had been prepared for this one.
“Yeah, I’m planning on going to community. My baby sister's education comes first, but Ky helped me get my grades up enough to get a couple scholarships.”
“Oh, really?” He turns to look at his redheaded son. “Well that was nice of you, Kyle.”
“It was nothing,” Kyle says with a shrug and a gentle smile directed at Kenny. “She’s incredibly smart, just needed a little motivation.”
Ike fake gags. Kyle kicks him again.
“So,” Ike finally speaks up, ignoring Kyle’s warning look, “what’s got you so interested in my stupid brother anyways?”
Honest. He just had to be honest.
“Uh, everything I guess?” Kenny says, thinking hard and looking down at the tablecloth as he speaks. “He believes in me in a way that no one else does. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up and it’s hard to see yourself as valuable when you can hardly afford to feed yourself,” he smiles down at the table. “But Ky never seemed to care about any of that. He’s always treated me like I’m worth something, listens when no one else does, and cares about me enough for me to start caring about myself.”
When he finishes the table is silent, and he finally looks up with a small shrug.
One by one, he looks around the table. Gerald nods at him with a small smile. Sheila was busy trying to discreetly wipe tears from her eyes. Ike, for once, didn’t have anything smart to say and seemed somewhat impressed. And finally, Kenny dared to look at Kyle, wondering if maybe he had been a little too honest; although, his boyfriend was looking at him with one of the softest expressions he’d ever seen him wear.
“Well dad,” Kyle says, turning to look at his father, “she’s great, isn’t she?”
Gerald seems to seriously consider his question, caught off guard a bit. But eventually he smiles at Kenny and nods, “You clearly care a lot about Kyle, and so I want you to know that our house is open to you anytime you’d like.”
And so that’s that.
All they needed.
Kenny’s so busy being shocked by the words that just came out of Gerald Broflovski’s mouth that he doesn’t even notice Kyle standing until he too is pulled to his feet.
Kenny knows a cue when he sees one.
He takes off his wig.
“Uh, hi Mr. Broflovski,” Kenny says, returning to his normal tone. “It’s me. Kenny.”
From beside him, Kyle crosses his arms and looks absolutely smug at his father floundering for words.
After a moment he turns to his wife. “Did you know about this?!”
Sheila gave him a look. “Of course, I knew the entire time. Kyle told me, but even if he hadn’t, I’ve known Kenny since they were kids, so of course I’d be able to recognize him in a dress. I was more surprised that you didn’t.”
“Well,” Kyle finally speaks up, without tearing his gaze from his father, “if he did more than give us disapproving looks and run out every time Kenny comes around, then maybe he would have.”
The room is silent. Well besides Ike’s snickering at least.
“Gerald,” Shelia is the first break the quiet, “I think you owe these boys an apology.”
Gerald gives his wife a long look before he seems to crumple with a tired sigh. He turns to Kenny, looking at him fully for perhaps the first time in his life.
“Kenny...I’m sorry,” he starts, actually sounding apologetic. “I was wrong about you, and I’m saying that honestly. I let my feud with Stuart cloud my judgment and that was wrong of me to do,” he pauses, offering a slight incline of his head, “I’m sorry.”
“Oh,” Kenny says, unsure of how he’s supposed to respond exactly. He’s touched, but the entire situation is starting to get kind of weird now that it turned heavy, “Um, thanks?”
Gerald nods, as if that was an appropriate response.
“So,” Kyle says, not breaking the glare he still has settled on his father, “you’re going to be okay with us dating from now on?”
“You have my full approval.”
There’s a pause, and Kenny thinks that’s it.
But Kyle looks at him, something bright and fierce in his eyes, and he turns back to his dad with that determination that Kenny loved so much lining the set of his shoulders.
Kyle wasn’t finished.
“I still don’t forgive you,” he tells him. “I love Kenny, and you treated him like he was trash.” He crosses his arms once more and takes a firm step forward. “And so I want you to know this, if you ever made me choose between you or Kenny, I’d choose Kenny. Every time. This is your second chance, Dad. I don’t give thirds.”
Kenny is in a state of shock. The love he has for the boy beside him burning bright and strong within his chest. He feels a bit like crying, but tries to squash the feeling down for a time when he’s not surrounded by his boyfriend's shocked family.
Gerald is once again speechless, something that might very well be hurt lining his expression. He looks to his wife who just stares back and does nothing to defend him. Kenny has a sudden feeling of affection for the woman, maybe she really did see him as another son.
Eventually Gerald sighs, a long and tired sound. “I...understand.”
Kyle uncrosses his arms. “Good.”
They’re back on the couch again, just as they had been not even a week ago, the laptop left abandoned on the coffee table.
“You know,” Kenny suddenly says without preamble. “If he was this bad over us dating, how’s he going to be when we get married?”
Kyle laughs, but looks at him with no small amount of light in his eyes. “One thing at a time, Ken.”
“What?” Kyle asks in confusion, seeing the excited look Kenny is giving him, “Why are you looking at me like that?”
“Can I tell him dressed as Mysterion?”
Kyle nearly chokes. “Kenny, no.”
Kenny smirks and leans in closer. “I want to be the hero of your son’s heart.”
“I swear to god,” Kyle says, but despite his words he’s nearly doubled over in laughter.
“You really shouldn-” But whatever he was going to say, Kyle cuts off with his lips.
And as good as his comeback was going to be, Kenny’s sure as hell not complaining.
After all, there was always time to tell him later.