Categories > Cartoons > South Park > Learning to Swim - A Creek (Craig x Tweek) Fanfic

Chapter One - In Uncharted Waters

by CrimsonCrowCreek 0 reviews

Over the course of several years, our faves Tweek and Craig support each other as friends and as lovers, from grade school to college, Colorado to California, to go through a lot of challenges that...

Category: South Park - Rating: R - Genres: Angst,Drama,Romance - Warnings: [V] [X] [R] [Y] - Published: 2022-04-27 - Updated: 2022-04-27 - 4544 words - Complete

Chapter One
In Uncharted Waters (a situation that could be difficult or dangerous because it is new to you.)
Colorado, May 2012, Spring
Tweek sat at his desk, shoulders hunched over a pile of textbooks. He furiously scribbled down some equations, his eye twitching with anxiety, and roughly screwed the piece of paper he had been writing on into a ball. He threw it over his shoulder, where it landed on the ground next to his bed.
Sitting cross legged on the end of Tweek’s bed, Craig silently sighed. He closed the manual he had been engrossed in, and softly swung his long legs onto the floor.
“Tweek,” he began quietly. “It’s OK. You’re doing really well.”
Tweek made an incoherent yelping sound in response, tugging at a lock of unruly dark blonde hair.
Craig silently shook his head and walked towards Tweek’s desk. He gently placed a warm hand between Tweek’s shoulder blades and began working out the tense knots that had formed there. The shadow of a smile crossed Craig’s face as he felt Tweek began to relax a little.
“I can’t do this, Craig,” Tweek groaned. He placed his head in his hands and began rubbing his eyes with the heels of his hands.
“Yes, you can. Of course you can. But right now, you need to come to bed and get some rest.”
“But I -”
“Please, Tweek. I need to be underneath a car by eight tomorrow. If you aren’t going to sleep soon, I’ll need to start heading back to my trailer and sleep there. And you know I don’t want to do that.”
Tweek nodded. “OK. You need your sleep, Craig. I’m sorry to keep you up. You’d better go. I need to do this. Take my car. I need to finish these equations before I can go to sleep. I can’t sleep now.”
Craig sighed, inwardly this time. This wasn’t the response he had wanted.
Tweek was sitting his final exams before his high school graduation, and was consequently in a constantly heightened state of anxiety. He wanted to pursue physics, and while Tweek would deny it, Craig knew he was damn good at it too. Craig suspected that with all of Tweek’s nervous energy, he was fascinated by exactly how energy worked. That nervous energy, coupled with the several cups of coffee that Tweek drank per day, had led him to stay up studying and he had topped his junior class. While he had gotten into Caltech the previous year, he was striving for a prestigious scholarship. Frustratingly for Craig, who just wanted Tweek to be able to see how intelligent and talented he was for himself, Tweek still panicked that he would fail at everything he tried.
Craig had left high school nearly two years previously, at the beginning of their junior year. His job as a trainee mechanic was something he had always excelled at, and he would follow Tweek to Pasadena, California after his graduation
Craig ran a hand through his short dark hair.
“Tweek, you need your rest too. You will feel so much better if you leave it now and start fresh tomorrow. So, come to bed. I’ll spoon you up and we can fall asleep together. I promise you’ll sleep. Please.”
Tweek turned around in his chair to look up at him, his eyes ringed by sleepless nights. He saw the dark shadows under Craig’s deep brown eyes, and thought of him piled under a dozen blankets in the trailer Craig lived in, freezing cold even as the summer approached. Tweek weakened. He nodded, carefully marked the page he had reached in his textbook, and closed it.
Craig had seldom smiled as a child. Despite feeling a lot more settled and contented now with Tweek, and with a promising future, he still didn’t smile as frequently as Tweek would have liked. But a small smile crossed Craig’s face as he padded across Tweek’s bedroom floor, his boyfriend beginning to stand up from his desk and follow.
Pulling the plain white t shirt he had donned after his post-work shower over his head, Craig shivered. He took off the rest of his clothes and quickly climbed under the bedclothes, warming the bed up for Tweek. Craig yawned and stretched his arms above his head.
Tweek forced himself to put down the pen he had been chewing on, still not entirely sure he was willing to stop for the night. Craig was in his bed now, though, and Tweek wasn’t about to send him out into the cold. Tweek turned towards his bed to see Craig shirtless, stretching his strong arms skyward, his callused hands open and his bare broad shoulders rippling.
Finally sold on abandoning his physics study for the night, Tweek took off his clothes and crawled in next to Craig. While Tweek wasn’t the type who could easily switch off from work mode, Craig had taught him to be kinder to himself.
He drew Tweek in now, wrapping those strong arms around Tweek’s slight frame and pulling him close. Craig winced slightly, feeling how cold Tweek was. One of the effects of Tweek’s insomnia was poor circulation, and his hands and feet in particular were freezing. Once Tweek had wrapped his arms tight around Craig’s narrow waist and nestled into him, Craig gently moved his thumbs over Tweek’s cheeks, softly pushing stray pieces of hair behind Tweek’s ears and tucking them into place.
Tweek sighed softly, his bony body relaxing in Craig’s immensely strong yet unfailingly gently embrace. “I wish my parents would just let you live here full-time. I mean, I told them you’d pay rent and outgoings. I don’t even do that. I fucking hate how cold it gets in that trailer. I need you here so I can keep you warm.”
“Hey, it’s ok. I’m tough. You know that.” Craig stroked Tweek’s cheek, and Tweek rubbed Craig’s back.
“I can’t believe they think you’re a distraction.”
“Babe, I really don’t think it’s that.” Craig said quietly. He drew Tweek in closer, hiding his face in Tweek’s neck. Tweek planted a kiss on the back of Craig’s hair. Strengthened by this, Craig pulled his head back to look at his boyfriend.
Craig took in the delicate, elfin features he had come to know so well. Tweek’s large, sea-green eyes, framed by long, light brown lashes. The high forehead, no longer creased with worry, and marked by the natural arches of his narrow eyebrows. The sprinkling of light freckles over Tweek’s delicate nose and the subtle cleft in his delicate chin. Craig’s gaze lingered over Tweek’s lips. The full, bee stung lips that still twisted into a smile whenever he saw Craig. In the dim light given by the midnight moon, Craig gently pressed his mouth to Tweek’s. He gave a soft, husky laugh and kissed Tweek’s hair.
“You taste like ink. Again. Aww, Tweek. We’ll get you some more pens tomorrow, OK?”

California, December 2013, Winter
Craig walked into the kitchen, pressing together the last two domes of his blue mechanic’s overalls. He watched the California winter sun stream through the kitchen window in their bottom floor street-facing apartment, and reflect off of the golden natural highlights in Tweek’s hair.
Absorbed in the paper he was reading, Tweek jumped slightly as Craig passed him, and then turned to smile up at Craig. Craig flicked on the jug and put an Earl Grey tea bag into a mug. For whatever reason, Craig had never liked coffee.
“How did it go, then? Are Caltech behaving?” Craig asked, taking the seat opposite Tweek at their kitchen table.
Tweek didn’t say anything in response, instead raising the paper and showing it to Craig. A+. Craig burst out laughing and shook his head.
“I told you, didn’t I? For God’s sake, Tweek.” Tweek laughed too, shakily. Craig nudged Tweek’s arm.
“More coffee?” he asked, glancing at Tweek’s empty cup.
“Yeah, please. There’s a package on top of the fridge. Thanks Craig.”
Craig nodded and reached up to take the FedEx package down. He opened it, his expression a sort of bemused, slightly irritated humour. Ever since they had moved to California a little over a year and a half ago, Tweek’s parents had kept sending Tweek their special blend of coffee in the post. Craig didn’t understand why they felt this was necessary, but didn’t think it right to query it.
“All good, babe.’
Tweek smiled up at him, watching him pour the steaming hot water from their 70s style cream and bronze kettle into the little French press and over the grounds.
‘I love that sound. It’s like ASMR.’
‘You know it.’
‘Oh, hey Craig, when you get home can we book our flights back to Colorado for Christmas?’
‘Oh, yeah, you’re right. Hopefully they’re not too pricey.’
Tweek pulled a face. ‘Dad was going to chuck some money into my account for the air fares, he insisted.’
‘Oh, that’s super nice. I’ll make sure to thank them.’
‘Yeah. Man, I feel kind of bad. I know that technically this is my last exam today, but I told a bit of a white lie to Mom and told her it wasn’t until next week.’
Craig chuckled. ‘Ha. Naughty. I won’t tell. But the hell you mean technically?’
Tweek restlessly tapped his thumb on the side of his empty coffee cup. ‘Mm. I mean, I’m so excited to see them, but I wanted to spend a bit of time just hanging out with you and having fun before we head back.’
Craig gave a little smile and nod and turned back to the counter. Tweek understood, and chose his words carefully.
‘It’s no big deal. They just wouldn’t shut up about getting us home for winter break as soon as I finish the term, ha. It’s super wholesome, but I don’t know if I can deal with their overbearing Christmas cheer just yet.”
Neither of them had to say it, but Craig knew that Tweek was being sensitive to how Craig felt. Holidays and returning to South Park were really challenging for him. A few seconds passed, the only sounds the hum of the fridge and the metal teaspoon clinking against the glass sides of the French press as Craig stirred it.
‘That’s cool baby, no dramas. I should be done about 4, it’s a shorter day. When do you get out of your exam?’
‘It finishes at 12:30.’
Craig turned back to face Tweek. Their eyes locked and a thousand conversations passed between them. A car revved outside, breaking the spell. Craig started slightly and glanced at the cheap plastic clock ticking next to the ancient fridge.
“Oh, shit. I have to get to work.”
‘Ha. You can’t just be a hot piece of ass all the time.’
Craig drained the rest of his tea and gave Tweek a quick hug before hurrying out of their apartment.

. . .

Only his feet were protruding from underneath the 1989 Corolla he was working on when the receptionist came looking for him. He reluctantly rolled himself out as he heard her calling his name.
“Hey, Judy. What’s up?” Craig smiled. He wiped his greasy hands on his overalls and started to make a stupid joke about her interrupting him while he was on his creeper, but stopped when he saw the look on her face.
“It’s Tweek. He’s on the phone, he called the front desk. He’s hysterical.”
‘Wait, he rang the office? That’s really weird.’
They had sent a few quick texts earlier, a little before 1pm, after Tweek got out of his morning exam and when Craig was sitting by himself on the street, eating a filled roll and swigging some iced green tea he had made. Craig had then been too swamped with work to text him back right away after he had returned to work, but it couldn’t have been more than twenty minutes since their last messges.
Craig began to feel sick as he took the phone from Judy. He got on well with her, and she had met Tweek a few times so she knew his anxious default disposition. Something was wrong.
“Tweek, are -”
“Craig? Is that you?? Craig!”
Craig jumped slightly at the volume in Tweek’s voice.
“I’m here, Tweek. What -”
“It’s my parents.”

. . .

They flew back to South Park. Not for the holidays, but for the funeral.
Even the thick calluses on Craig’s palms weren’t entirely able to withstand Tweek’s fingernails digging in as he squeezed Craig’s hand throughout the procession.
Tweek drew blood from Craig’s hand as he spoke with the police about what had happened to his parents.
Unbeknownst to him, his parents had been running the biggest meth ring in Colorado since before he was born.
While they had begun selling meth out of the back of their coffee shop, they had eventually expanded their business to Wyoming and Nevada.
By the time they made it to Santa Fe, New Mexico’s largest meth dealing gang were well aware of their competition. Tweek’s parents were shot to pieces in the Tweek Bros coffee shop.
Tweek and Craig returned to California as soon as they were able to. News travelled fast in a town as small as South Park, and Craig was tired of everyone prying. He knew Tweek wasn’t coping.

. . .

Tweek clung to Craig’s arm for support as Craig pulled his keys from his pocket. He unlocked the front door and they stumbled into the dark, empty apartment together.
He saw that Tweek was shaking, and gently took Tweek’s bag from his hand. He slipped an arm around Tweek’s shoulders and slowly guided him to their bedroom, leaving their luggage by the front door.
Tweek collapsed facedown onto the bed as soon as they entered the bedroom, still in his shoes and the heavy jacket he had worn in the snowy Denver airport. Craig sat on the edge of the bed and placed a hand on Tweek’s back. “Tweek,” he said softly. “Please let me unlace your shoes.”
Tweek moaned and slowly rolled onto his side. He met Craig’s eyes and sat up, running a hand through his hair. It stuck out at all angles, like it had ever since they were kids.
Sitting next to Craig, Tweek unbuttoned his jacket and kicked off his shoes. He stood up, hung his jacket on the back of the door, and motioned for Craig to hand over his own jacket too. Frowning slightly, Craig obliged.
“I need to keep living, Craig. I can’t let this defeat me. Even though...”
Seeing Tweek begin to crumple, Craig automatically opened his arms. He scooped Tweek up before he hit the floor and drew him onto his knee. He held Tweek tightly as Tweek buried his face in Craig’s neck, shaking uncontrollably.
With one arm around Craig’s neck, Tweek ran the fingertips of his free hand over Craig’s straight black brows. He cupped Craig’s cheek in his hand, running his thumb over the stubble that had grown since Craig had shaved for the funeral. Craig slowly blinked at him, his dark eyes creased behind his soft black lashes.
“I love you, Tweek. I know it seems impossible, but I promise we’ll get through this.”

Tweek spent the next sixty-four hours in a deep, dreamless sleep. He rose only very briefly in that time to use the bathroom, and to drink the bottles of water and protein shakes and electrolyte-replacing drinks that Craig pushed on him in his brief windows of coherent consciousness.
He finally awoke, alone and disorientated, the late afternoon sun spilling in through the cracks in the curtains. Tweek sat up and hugged his arms around himself, crying out softly as he suddenly remembered all the events of the last two weeks. He glanced at the alarm clock on the bedside table. 4:17 pm.
A note had been left next to the clock.
Tweek - Gone to work. Will be back around six with dinner, if you’re awake. It’s Friday, by the way. Love, C.
Tweek groaned, rubbing between his eyes. He screwed up his eyes against the light, his head throbbing. He reached for the bottle of water that Craig had left by the bed and chugged half of it. His stomach churned, black dots pricking his vision. Tweek crawled to the ensuite bathroom and was violently sick in the toilet. He threw up over and over again, until he was bringing up nothing but bile and stomach acid.
His stomach continued to heave, but he dragged himself up to sit on the edge of the chipped stained bathtub, shaking. He wore a black t shirt of Craig’s and it clung to his back, drenched in sweat. His hair stuck to his forehead. As he pushed it out of his eyes, he felt the burning heat of his forehead. Despite this, he shivered in the Californian heat. His heart thumped in his ears, and he forced himself to take deep breaths.
Turning on the shower, he peeled off Craig’s t shirt and threw it at the laundry pile. He stepped out of the boxer shorts he had worn to bed, and into the stream.
Tweek was sick again in the shower, and rinsed it down the drain. He washed his hair and soaped himself all over, still sporadically retching.
He was towelling off when he heard his mobile phone ringing. Wrapping the towel around his waist, he hurried into the bedroom. He dug it out of the drawer where Craig must have put it for him, and sat on the bed to answer it.
“Tweek Tweak?”
“This is Officer Smith of the Colorado PD. We’ve been investigating the drug ring your parents were involved in. Now, I know this is a difficult time...”
Tweek sighed. “Go on.”
“Thank you. Mr Tweak, we initially thought that your parents were just selling methamphetamine in unadulterated crystals. But we received intelligence that they may have been lacing their coffee with it too. We’ve gotten hold of some of it, and tested it. They were adding meth to their coffee, Mr Tweak.”
The room was spinning around him. He thought he might be sick again.
“Have you consumed any coffee of your parents’ recently, Mr Tweak?”
“No, I moved to California about eighteen months ago. I -”
He remembered the care packages his mother had been sending him.
“Mr Tweak?”
Tweek hurried into the kitchen and rifled around in the cupboards. He located the nearly-full bag of filter coffee and grabbed it.
“Mr Tweak!”
He quickly picked his phone up from the bench.
“Yes. Sorry.”
“We’d like you to undergo a medical examination, and a psychological one. You might have consumed some of their meth-laced coffee. If that’s the case, you might require rehabilitative treatment, depending on how it’s affected you”
Tweek stared at the bag, his blood pumping.
He thought about having to go back to South Park.
He thought about how hard Craig had been working at his job, and how they were already talking about promoting him.
He thought about his Physics course, his scholarships, and how his grades had caught the attention of the Dean.
Craig’s face swam in his mind. Loving. Patient. Eternally understanding. Sad and exhausted.
There was no way he was going to let Craig down.
Tweek upended the bag of coffee over the sink and emptied it, rinsing the grounds down the drain.
“No. They never gave me any of their coffee. They were good parents to me. I don’t need to be tested. I’m fine. Now, if you could please leave me alone. I’m trying to grieve. Thank you, Officer.”
He hung up the phone and vomited in the sink, rinsing it down the drain with the last remaining grounds.

. . .

When Craig returned home an hour and a half later he found Tweek in a fresh t shirt and jeans. Tweek had changed the bedsheets, put a load of washing through and put it in the dryer, done all of the dishes, cleaned the bathroom, and vacuumed the whole apartment.
Surprised, Craig put the bag he was carrying on the kitchen bench and bent down to kiss him. “Hey. You’re feeling better then?”
“You bet,” said Tweek, beaming at him. He laced his arms around Craig’s neck and gave him a more lingering kiss, his mouth faintly tasting pleasantly of toothpaste and Listerine.
“That’s really good to hear, Tweek.” He put his arms around Tweek and pulled him close, gently resting his chin on the top of Tweek’s head. Craig had always been tall, and now that they were both nineteen he’d hit six foot. Tweek was lucky if he was five six.
“You were out for a long time. I kept an eye on you, obviously, but I missed you. I really did, Tweek.”
Unbeknownst to Craig, Tweek struggled to stand up straight. He gritted his teeth together, fighting the shakes. He tightened his grip around Craig and leaned into him, using him for support without being obvious about it.
“But anyway. It’s the weekend now, and I don’t have to work Saturday morning. Everyone’s been asking about you. They’ve been really worried. I told them you just needed your rest.”
Tweek turned his face up to Craig and forced a smile.
“That’s right. I was just tired. Delayed shock or something, I guess. But they don’t need to worry. I’m ok.”
Craig bit his lower lip, frowning.
“Craig. I’m fine, really. I feel a lot better for sleeping.”
“Well, that’s why I let you sleep. But it’s so much to deal with, Tweek. Jesus Christ.”
Tweek sighed, weakening in spite of himself. He buried his face in Craig’s chest, feeling the tears come at last. He had felt totally numb since leaving Colorado.
“I know, Craig. It’s so much. It’s too much. It’s too fucking much.” Suddenly he was sobbing.
Craig held him while he cried, rocking him gently. Tweek was shaking hard.
“Would you feel better if I made some coffee?”
“Um...I think we’re out” Tweek mumbled, his voice muffled against Craig’s overalls. He sniffed hard and swallowed.
“No, we’re not. We’ve got that new bag, remember?”
Tweek didn’t respond. He stood silently, his face carefully blank as Craig poked through the kitchen cupboards, looking bemused.
“Huh. Oh well. I guess you’re right. How about some tea then? We’ve got lots of that stuff you call ‘herbal crap’, but you’ll probably like Earl Grey. We can put milk in it, and sugar too if you want. I’m going to take a quick shower and get the grease off, but don’t wait for me – I picked up some Turkish, dig in. I got you one of those falafel wraps you like. It’s time you ate something.”
Tweek forced a smile as Craig squeezed his shoulder and left the room.

Colorado, November 2008, Winter
Craig would always remember the first time Tweek had told him he loved him.
They were both fourteen, and they were in Tweek’s bedroom. Craig had nicked a bottle of his dad’s Jack Daniels, and they’d been passing it back and forth between each other. Neither of them had drunk much before, and eventually they both ended up flat on their backs on Tweek’s bedroom floor, their unfocused eyes eventually meeting as they weakly giggled.
Even now, Craig didn’t know what he had expected to happen. He’d known for a long time that he was different to the other boys, and had known for even longer that he was inexplicably drawn to his best friend Tweek like a moth to a flame. He had other friends that he cared deeply for, but this was different. Tweek, with his darting smile, his warm green eyes, the way his voice broke when he spoke with anyone but Craig. When Craig was around Tweek, he didn’t feel dark and empty. For years they had been inseparable.
Craig remembered Tweek dragging himself up to lean against his bed, giving Craig a sheepish smile and hiccoughing weakly as he tilted his head back to look out the window. Craig’s head was spinning, and uninhibited by the alcohol they’d drunk, he dragged himself to lie with his head in Tweek’s lap. In a movement that felt natural, automatic, Tweek slipped his arm around Craig’s waist.
For how long they stayed like that, lying together in the late afternoon sun that filtered through the blinds, Craig had no idea. It must have been at least an hour, because Craig felt himself beginning to sober up. He felt Tweek’s bony body, for once so relaxed earlier, beginning to tense as they began to realise they’d crossed some sort of invisible line in their friendship. Craig began to panic, and quickly pointed at the window.
“Hey, Tweek. Look at that bird outside in the tree. He’s watching us. He’s judging us so hard. We can’t hold our fucking Jack, can we? Ha, ha ha ha.”
Tweek didn’t respond.
Craig felt the colour drain from his face and started to try to get up. He needed to run before he did anything else so stupid, and he hoped like hell that Tweek wouldn’t remember this tomorrow. But Tweek’s arm was draped around his waist, surprisingly heavy and strong. Tweek looked like a stiff breeze could blow him over. Craig could feel Tweek breathing hard, and knew he was breathing hard too.
Then, out of nowhere, it came.
“I love you, Craig. I really, really fucking love you.”
Nobody had ever told Craig they loved him before, and he certainly hadn’t told anyone he loved them either.
Joy flooded him as years of confusion, in that moment, suddenly made sense.
He was in love with Tweek.
This conclusion suddenly seemed so natural, so simple, so perfectly right.
He was in love with Tweek, he was in love with him, he was in love...
Suddenly their lips were crashing together, their noses knocking together and their front teeth clinking painfully. Craig found himself beginning to sob as he felt Tweek’s hands gently cupping his face and stroking the hair back from his forehead, gently shushing him. His whole life, Craig had never cried in front of another person.
“Fuck, Tweek. Tweek. I love you too. I love you so much. I love you.”
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