“Pathetic.” Butters said. “Looks like I won’t have to work too hard on them.”
Tweek clutched his shirt at his chest, bunching up the fabric in his grasp.
“It’s just you and me, Tweek.” Butter said, stepping over the unconscious bodies of his victims. “You had your chance! BUT TIME IS UP!”
Butters cast another chaos blast at Tweek, knocking him back once more. Tweek hit the ground, scraping his arm on the asphalt.
This was way too much pressure! He couldn’t do this! He wasn’t strong enough!
Tweek pushed himself up, arms shaking. He didn’t have time to register what had happened as another blast hit him, throwing him back again. He winced as he landed face down in the street.
“I thought you could put up more of a fight than this.” Butters said, slowly stepping closer to Tweek. His footsteps echoed in Tweek’s ears.
Tweek turned over onto his side as Butters stood over him. He curled in on himself, shutting his eyes and holding his head in anticipation of another blast.
This was it.
He was going to die.
He was going to die, and there was nothing he could do about it.
The odds were stacked against him; there was no way he was getting out of this. He let down Craig. He let down Kyle and Kenny. He let down Clyde. He let himself down.
He was completely useless with no control over his life. Like a pawn in a big game.
“I have you trapped now!” Butters laughed once more.
He was trapped. Completely unable to even move.
“That sounds so insurmountable. How would you even start? ”
He opened his eyes.
But he was all they had left.
Tweek kicked his leg out, knocking Butters off balance and jumping to his feet.
“I don’t know.” Tweek murmured to himself, feeling a smile come to his face. “But I gotta do something about this.”
Suddenly, he was standing in his old room again looking at younger Tweek and Craig as they smiled at each other. That was the first day Craig had taken the time to understand his feelings, and, Tweek thought, really took their relationship to the next level.
“What is this!?” Butters asked.
Thank you, Craig. Tweek thought. He snapped his fingers at the same time as his younger self, and the two spoke in perfect sync. “I’ve got it. People aren’t focused on the right thing.”
How had he forgotten this memory? Tweek turned to look at Butters, who was grinding his teeth and clenching his fists. Tweek walked up to Butters, putting a hand on his chest as it all started coming back to him. “I understand, Butters. Do you?”
The room changed, and they were back in the coffee shop. This time, Craig was sitting at the counter surrounded by frappuccinos, and younger Tweek was behind the counter, making another one.
“Babe, I love these and all, but how much do you think I can drink?” Craig took a sip of one sitting on his right.
Younger Tweek set another one down in front of him. “We’re finally adding these to the menu, and I want to put different flavors on! I need a reliable taste tester.”
“Well, this one is pretty good.” Craig said. “Caramel?”
Younger Tweek nodded, smiling.
“What are you doing!?” Butters asked. “What are you showing me!”
The door chimed signaling the entrance of a customer. Younger Tweek greeted him as he took a seat next to Craig.
“What are you fellas doing?” Younger Butters asked.
“Tweek’s trying to give me diabetes.” Craig said, sipping another. “Vanilla?”
Younger Tweek nodded again. “You wanna try one, Butters?”
“Oh - neat-o!” Younger Butters said as Craig slid one of the drinks over to him. Younger Butters smiled as he took a long drink, smacking his lips together as he tried to guess the flavor. “Strawberry?”
“Yes!” Younger Tweek said. “You like it?”
“Stop it!” Butters yelled.
“Watch!” Tweek yelled.
Everything changed again, and they were now standing outside Butters’ house in the middle of the night. Younger Craig was tossing a rock in his hand, and was decked out in a black cap and gown. He was surrounded by Younger Tweek and the rest of their group, including Kyle, Kenny, and friends. Craig threw the rock, hitting Butters’ window.
Younger Butters came to the window, opening it slowly. “Oh, hey fellas!”
“Butters! Come on, we’re going to the graduation party at Token’s!” Cartman yelled. “Get your ass down here.”
“Oh, but guys, I’m grounded. I can’t go!”
“Butters, you’re eighteen! You can’t be grounded. Let’s go!” Clyde yelled.
“Come on, don’t be lame, Butters.” Stan said.
“I also didn’t graduate!” Younger Butters said.
“So what, neither did I.” Kenny said.
“Come on!” Kyle yelled.
Younger Butters hesitated for a minute before closing the window. After a few moments, he appeared at the front door, and the group surrounded him. “Well, okay.”
Kenny patted Younger Butters on the shoulder. “There ya go! Let’s go have some fun!”
Butters and Tweek watched the group walk down the street, chatting and laughing loudly. They disappeared around the corner, and Butters turned to Tweek. “I don’t remember this!”
“Neither did I.” Tweek said. “And this either.” He held his hand out, giving Butters an envelope.
Butters took the envelope, noting his name on the front, and ripping it open. He blinked a few times, trying to hold the tears back as he read the contents.
“I had wondered why you weren’t at our wedding.” Tweek said. “But I didn’t remember inviting you. It seems I was wrong, we did invite you. I feel awful now knowing what you were going through, and not being around to help.”
“I don’t…” Butters started.
“Butters, I haven’t been in a good state of mind for quite some time.” Tweek said, fidgeting with his hands. “And you haven’t been either. I can see that now.”
Tweek took a deep breath. It had come to this, had it? “But I had Craig to help me through it. I didn’t realize at first how much I took that for granted.” He sighed. “Maybe I did, I don’t know.”
Butters dropped the invitation. “I don’t understand.”
“I didn’t either.” Tweek said. “I still kind of don’t. But I realized something. I’ve been focused on all the wrong things. All I think about is what if what if . What if I died? What if Craig died? What if Craig hated me? What if I got fired?”
Tweek put his hands on Butters’ shoulders. “I stopped thinking about the now . I stopped thinking about the good and focused solely on the bad .”
Butters wiped tears from his face.
“You and I are not focused on the right thing .” Tweek said. “And it’s not our fault. These wrong things are bad - we’ve had bad experiences. But we’ve also had good experiences. And we can have more good experiences in the future.”
Tweek took another deep breath. This seemed too easy of a solution. Was this really the problem all along? “It’ll be hard, but I think with practice, we can change our focus.”
“How!?” Butters yelled. “How do you get rid of these intrusive thoughts!? The ones that constantly tell you you’re not good enough! That you’ll never amount to anything!”
“You drown them out!” Tweek yelled, trying to convince himself as much as Butters. “Suffocate them with nicer voices!”
They were back in the coffee shop, only this time, it was completely dark. There was shattered ceramic around them, and two barely younger versions of himself and Craig by the counter.
“I can’t promise that something might not happen to me,” Craig said. “I also worry about you as well, but I try not to dwell on it. I try to focus on the time we do have together, rather than what could potentially be lost. It’s hard, but that’s just the roll of the dice in life, I suppose.”
Barely-younger Tweek grabbed Craig over the counter and held him close.
“Keep going!” Tweek yelled.
Everything shifted again, and they were in the middle of a homeless camp in SoDoSoPa.
“I think we’re alone.” Younger Tweek said.
“Alone, huh?” Craig said, sneaking up behind Younger Tweek and holding him around the waist. He buried his face in Younger Tweek’s neck. “I don’t mind being alone with you.”
Younger Tweek squirmed. “Oh my god, Craig! What are you doing?” He laughed in embarrassment.
“AGAIN!” Tweek yelled. They were in his living room now.
“But we’ll eat the whole thing! We always say we won’t, then we do, then I feel guilty for eating all of it!”
“Who cares if we eat the whole thing.” Craig said. “You want anything else with it?”
“No, it’s fine.” Younger Tweek said. “What kind do you want?”
“Pepperoni and pineapple sounds good.” Craig tapped away at his phone.
Younger Tweek frowned. “But that’s my favorite pizza. What do you want, Craig?”
“I want you to be happy.”
Younger Tweek sat up. “But I want you to be happy!”
“I’m happy when you’re happy, Tweek.” Craig submitted the order.
Tweek wiped at the tears forming on his eyes. “MORE!”
Butters looked over at Tweek as they were now in a large reception hall. Younger Tweek shoved a piece of cake in Craig’s face as people cheered. Craig leaned forward, kissing younger Tweek on the cheek, rubbing the cake on his new husband in retaliation.
The tears fell down Tweek's face.
They were in his house again, only it was completely empty. Younger Tweek and Craig laid down in the middle of the empty bedroom, staring at the ceiling.
“Holy shit - we own a house.” Younger Tweek said.
“Yeah.” Craig said.
Younger Tweek sat up. “And there’s no one here to tell us we can’t do something.” He stood up, jumping up and down. “No one on the first floor!” He screamed loudly. “I LOVE YOU CRAIG TUCKER!”
“And no one to tell us to be quiet!” Craig said. “I LOVE YOU TWEEK TWEAK!”
“But I make a very good Tweek Tucker.” Tweek said, smiling.
That’s right. He was Tweek Tucker. He is Tweek Tucker. He remembered handing over his social security card with his old name on it to the office, and updating his driver's license when the new card arrived. He was so excited to change his name on every official document he owned and to take on his new identity.
How could he have lost all of that?
Butters stared at the scene, then looked over at Tweek. He took off his Professor Chaos helmet, dropping it to the floor. “I remember now. The graduation party. I remember seeing your invitation on the counter - my dad took it.”
Tweek came out of his thoughts. “Butters…”
“You’re right, Tweek.” Butters responded. “The anxiety and depression have made me forget all the good that’s happened. I remember your frappuccinos. I remember all the games we all used to play. I remember everyone saying goodbye as they left for college. And I might not have left South Park, but I remember hanging with Kenny before...well...you understand.”
“I locked myself in my room just as my dad used to do to me.” Butters said. “Not excusing him, though. He really did lock me in my room. Many times.”
“That’s horrible.” Tweek said.
“I know.” Butters responded. “But I want to get past it. I want to...stop thinking about all the bad things.”
“You’re capable of more than you think, Butters.” Tweek said.
“You too, Tweek.” Butters smiled. “Thank you.”
They were back on the street again, Tweek embracing Butters in a tight hug. He didn’t know if he was doing it more for Butters’ comfort, or his own, but it just felt like the right thing to do.
And he knew this wouldn’t be a quick fix. But he felt optimistic about his chances. About both of their chances.
Tweek pulled back, looking over his shoulder. Clyde was standing now, leaning against Kyle, who was holding up both Clyde and Kenny. Tweek coaxed Butters to follow him, standing in front of the three men.
“Sorry, fellas.” Butters said.
Clyde, Kenny, and Kyle all looked at each other skeptically.
“Butters, what happened?” Kenny asked. “Are you okay?”
Butters nodded. “I wasn’t myself. I think I’m going to be okay now, though. Thanks to Tweek.”
Tweek sighed, watching as Kenny and Clyde hugged Butters. Kyle returned a fairly neutral expression to him, but he could tell there was concern behind the glance.
Tweek ran over behind Kyle, kneeling down next to Craig, who was just starting to sit up. “Craig? Are you okay?”
Craig opened his eyes, blinking a few times before settling his gaze on Tweek. “Your lightning fucking hurts, babe. Don’t do it again, okay?”
Tweek laughed, jumping to hug Craig, knocking him back down to the asphalt. Craig let out a pained sound, but wrapped his arms around Tweek’s waist, as Tweek kissed Craig over and over again.
“Okay okay!” Craig said between kisses. “I get it, you like me or something! Let me get up!” He chuckled.
Tweek helped his husband stand up, putting one of Craig’s arms around his shoulders, and putting his own arm around Craig's waist. Tweek let Craig lean on him for support.
“What happened?” Craig asked, motioning towards Butters and the rest of the group.
“He’ll be okay.” Tweek said, squeezing Craig’s side. “He just needed to see things in another perspective. To focus on the right things.”
Craig kissed the side of Tweek’s head. “Is that all?”
“It’s harder than it looks, okay?” Tweek responded. “But with time, he’ll be okay.” He paused, looking over at his husband. “We’ll both be okay.”