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

Chapter Ten - The Mouth of the River

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 - 3500 words - Complete

The Mouth of the River (the place where the river meets the ocean)
California, October 2014, Fall
A few weeks later Tweek nervously found himself back in the Dean’s office. They hadn’t had any contact in the two months since he implicitly threatened to make the Faculty look bad for failing to consider his mental health, and he had been grateful for that. He was still shocked at his own boldness.
Out of a sense of fulfilling obligations and covering his ass rather than any actual desire to attend, he had contacted the grief counsellor the Faculty had given him contact information for. It was clear from one phone call that they didn’t take insurance and he couldn’t afford their rates.
It’s ammo if you need it, I guess?
He had done three assignments that had come back with two A-s and an A. It was better than the previous term, but far from the near perfect scores he had been told he needed.
Professor Moran observed him for a moment before speaking. He could hear his blood rushing in his ears, muffling her sharp voice, though he still heard every word.
“I won’t waste your time, or mine. So far it’s not looking good.”
Tweek took a deep breath. “Professor, I know a B+ average is unacceptable. I’m sure you’ll expect that I was upset when grades came out at the end of last term - I was kicking myself. And I’m kicking myself again.”
The Dean stared at Tweek for a moment and then looked down at his file, slowly turning the pages.
“Tweek, it’s really not looking good.”
He looked down at his hands twisting his khaki jacket in his lap, his heart thumping. “Professor, to be very honest with you, it’s already been another difficult term for me in my personal life. My partner has been dealing with his parents being sent to prison for falsely filing a protection order against him to stop him from seeing his sister when he was a teenager. This was after they’d broken bones after years of physically and emotionally abusing him for loving me, then thrown him out into the street at the age of sixteen.”
She pursed her lips at him, her expression unreadable. “All students are dealing with adversity in their personal lives. You’re all human. We do understand that.”
She continued to watch him, unfathomable. “With your results so far, you would need an average of around 97% this term to get the 95% you were advised you needed for the term.”
She frowned at him. He refused to look away.
The silence was unbearable.
He nodded slowly and eventually broke it, looking down. “I understand, Professor.”
His words sounded so weak to him as they rang in his ears.
He looked up. She had fixed him with a steely gaze, her expression very serious.
Suddenly he felt that rush of determination to fight come to him again.
I’m already in this deep.
“Professor, I appreciate the extra chance after a bad term. But, I have to inquire about the grades required as well as just the process.”
She blinked at him, her composure slightly ruffled.
He softened his gaze as he went on.
“Professor, I never asked for special consideration when it happened to me. And I know my grades went from an A average to a B+. But even with that considered, I have still kept my scholarship A average over the course of my study, despite everything I was going through. Professor, my performance in my first two years was exceptional. I still had the required grade average without any special consideration for my circumstances before I was advised that it looked like I would lose my scholarship.”
When she spoke, her voice was cold and her expression was stern.
“Mr Tweak, you must understand that it’s not just about the grades. It’s also about your attitude, and your behaviour, and the values you are representing in what you do or say within the Faculty, both in public and in private.”
“Professor, the grief counsellor you referred me to is not financially accessible to any of your students.”
“The Faculty has a very broad discretion of the criteria we can set that you need to achieve when you haven’t performed to the standard we require.”
“Professor Moran, are you suggesting this is because my parents were meth dealers who were putting it in their coffee, and were murdered by rival dealers, and then had their estate sued in a class action? Is it because the media reported on this and named me as a Caltech student? One with a boyfriend, like that was somehow important?”
“Ninety seven percent, Mr Tweak. Do not threaten the Faculty again. You’re on very thin ice.”

Craig glanced around the workshop to see if anyone was watching before slipping his phone out of his pocket. He knew he wasn’t really meant to be using it before his break, especially as they’d been talking about promoting him if he got his GED. Satisfied that he could sneak a look, he pressed the side button to illuminate the screen.
Nothing happened. Craig frowned, squeezing harder. Shit.
His mind flashed back to that morning. Grabbing his phone in a hurry. Noticing it hadn’t charged overnight. Checking the power outlet Tweek had plugged it into the following night before they went to sleep and finding the outlet didn’t work. Hoping his phone would last the day if he didn’t use it. Meaning to grab the charger, but being distracted as he noticed Tweek looking particularly ashen-faced and moving close to reassuring him.
Craig wasn’t as assured that Tweek wouldn’t get bad news from the meeting as he had pretended to be. He knew he had to be on hand after the meeting to talk. Tweek had insisted he go to work, looking grim as he admitted that the Department didn’t appreciate uninvited guests. Craig reluctantly had gone to work to appease him. But he’d known it wasn’t a good idea.
He looked around the garage, trying to figure out what work he could get away with putting off until Monday.
Shaking his head, he walked out of the garage and slowly walked towards the office.
He approached Judi at the reception desk.
“Hey, Judi.”
“Craig. What can I do for you?” She smiled at him.
“Look, Judi. I know this is really shitty. But I’m suddenly feeling really sick. I think I’d better go home for the day, I’m worried about making a mistake and injuring someone or something.”
“Oh, ok.”
“Tweek’s had the flu all week, I think it’s finally hit me.”
“All good. It happens. Yeah, you do look a bit grey. Head on home, I’ll let the boys know. Feel better soon.”
“Thanks, Judi.”
He raised a hand to bid her goodbye and stumbled out onto the street towards the car.
There was little traffic on the roads as he drove home. As he unlocked the front door, he hoped for the best.
Luckily the phone charger was still next to the bed. He quickly plugged it in and squeezed the side button on his phone to turn it on, wriggling out of his work shoes and overalls as it loaded.
Two missed calls from Tweek. Craig’s heart thumped as he pressed Return Call.
Tweek didn’t answer. He frowned as he tried to call him again. No answer.
He sent a text.
Hey angel, how did it go? I’m sure it was fine, but I’d love to hear from you. Call me, cutie pie. I love you xoxo
He ran a hand through his hair, feeling slightly queasy. Maybe I am getting sick?
His phone suddenly and violently vibrated in his hand, the sharp message tone making him jump. He eagerly opened his phone to see it was from Tricia.
Hey bro, what’s up? What are you guys up to this weekend? Feel like doing something?
Quickly he typed a message back to her. Hey Trish. That sounds good, can I let you know? Not feeling 100% xx
Craig took a quick shower to wash the dirt of the garage from himself, and crawled naked into bed.
He checked his phone again for a text from Tweek. Nada.
He checked it was on loud, and snuggled down under the covers, his arm instinctively stretched across Tweek’s side of the bed. Out of nowhere he remembered being fourteen and seeing how the mother hen at the petting zoo used to raise her wings to shelter her chicks underneath. He and Tweek had raved to each other about how adorable it was for weeks, and Craig had joked about it when he innocently ‘slept over’ in Tweek’s room that night, the Tweaks’ camp bed set up on the floor for appearances but never once slept in.
Come here and I’ll get you tucked under my wing.

Groggily he awoke to the clattering of the mail slot. Must’ve dozed off.
He heaved himself out of bed and staggered to the front door, blinking hard in the bright light.
He blinked again at the letter he picked up from the worn carpet. Mr Craig Tucker.
He turned it over to look at the return address. None.
As he tore it open, his eyes fell on the subject line, printed in bold. Application for General Education Diploma.

Tweek stepped off the bus onto the cracked pavement and began walking up the street towards their flat. His khaki jacket hung open, the scarf draped loosely around his neck.
He pulled his keys from his pocket and placed one into the front door. When he turned the house key, the lock didn’t give.
Huh. Weird. No way he’s home this early.
He turned the knob and opened the unlocked door.
Craig’s voice called out from deeper in the flat.
“Tweek? Is that you?”
“Yeah, it’s me.”
Craig bounded into view, wearing a red cardigan unbuttoned over a grey t shirt and a pair of boxers. His dark hair was damp. He held up a piece of paper, beaming.
“Guess what?”
“What? Oh wait – is that – Craig! ”
Craig grinned and waved the paper in front of Tweek’s face. “I got my GED!”
Tweek laughed and opened his arms. Craig swept him up in a tight hug, crumpling the paper against Tweek’s back.
“I’m so proud of you! That’s amazing!”
“I know! I was surprised, you know they told us next week at least! But I guess the FedEx Gods have smiled upon us yet again.”
Tweek laughed as he shook his head, his feet trailing above the ground as Craig lifted him above the ground, the toes of his boots scraping against the faded carpet in the hallway. Tweek glanced over his shoulder at the grandfather clock. It wasn’t quite four.
He waited until Craig had gently put him down, still cuddling him and rubbing his back, before he spoke. “You’re home early. Are you ok?
“Scrupulous, Tucker. When did you get in?”
“About ten.”
“Um, again, are you OK?”
“I’m fine, babe. I was worried about you. My phone was dead and I knew you had your meeting. So I was kind of bad, I told the guys I wasn’t feeling well and came home early. But maybe it’s karma. I do feel pretty crappy now. Early night.”
“You’ve been watching Netflix, haven’t you.”
“Maybe. Hey, they’ve got Gilmore Girls and murder documentaries all in one place for a low low per monthly rate.”
Tweek smiled as Craig held him close, stroking his hair.
“Anyway. Playing hooky aside, you’ll have to tell them your GED came over the weekend, won’t you?” He kissed Craig’s cheek. “They can consider you for that day manager opening now.”
Craig squeezed him tighter and they both heard Tweek’s back click.
“Oh God, sorry. But you’re right, they can. I’m so stoked, seriously.”
He drew back and studied Tweek as he squeezed Tweek’s shoulders through his jacket, his face elated.
“So, anyway, how did it go with the Dean? You’re fine, right?”
Tweek forced himself to keep his face muscles raised.
“Well, you know. I need to really up my game.”
Tweek gave a little laugh.
“I need an average of, like 97% this term or I’ll lose my scholarship.”
“Oh. Shit.”
Craig frowned. He saw Tweek’s expression falter and hastily tried to backtrack.
“But hey, you can do that. That’s easy for Tweek Tweak.”
Tweek bit his lip.
“Mmm. Maybe.”
He forced himself to smile properly as he kissed Craig’s wrist and squeezed his forearm.
“Anyway, how are we going to celebrate this awesome news?”
“Oh, I nearly forgot. Tricia’s putting together a get together thing tomorrow night. To celebrate, you know.”
“Oh, right. Cool.”
You told someone else first.
“Tweek -”
“That’s cool, it sounds like a lot of fun.” Tweek fought to keep the edge out of his voice but didn’t entirely succeed.
Craig pulled him in again. “Hey. I just want to spend tonight with you. Please?”
He turned to look at Tweek, his eyes hurt.
Craig’s expression softened his stressed brittle edges. “Hey. Of course. I’m sorry.”
“I only told her because I knew you had the Dean’s meeting. And then we got talking for a while...”
You could have rung. “I know.”
Even if you just texted me. “It’s ok.” He spoke as he gently pulled away.
“Tweek -”
He smiled as he passed Craig, moving into the bedroom and taking off his bag, scarf, and jacket.
“You didn’t answer your phone in the morning and I didn’t want to bug you after the mail came. I know how flat-out you are. What if you had an emergency tutors meeting or something? I don’t know how it works.”
Tweek took Craig’s hands and brought them to his mouth to kiss them.
“Honestly. Don’t worry about it.”
Craig followed him and he turned back to face him. “So. Netflix?”

The late morning sun was already streaming through the curtains when Tweek groggily woke on Saturday. He rolled over, screwing up his eyes against the light, to face Craig’s side of the bed.
Craig wasn’t there.
Tweek felt his heart sink as he untangled himself from the bedcovers. Instantly he felt guilty. Hey, it’s good that he’s so happy. He’s probably out for a run or something, enjoying the sunshine. He doesn’t have to cram anymore. Don’t be a dick.
As he found his slippers and picked up Craig’s dressing gown, pulling it around himself for comfort, he wouldn’t let himself admit what he was worried about. Craig having already gone to UCLA without him.
Tweek padded into the kitchen and saw that it was nearly noon. He moved through the living room, to the little laundry. The flat was silent. Craig was nowhere to be seen.
He sighed and walked back towards the bedroom to clean his teeth and take a shower, trying not to think about how hard he’d have to study all day. Why didn’t you get up earlier? You set an alarm. You must have just turned it off and gone back to sleep. Useless fucker.
Under the steaming stream of water, he closed his eyes as he smoothed conditioner over his shampooed hair. He opened them and reached for the apple-scented shower gel that Craig favoured buying over the brands marketed to men. Tweek found it really endearing, and the smell of it only made him long for Craig more.
He washed his body, his languid depression increasing as the sight of his naked self. His pale thighs had turned red under the hot water, unfavourably so, he thought, to Craig’s easy olive tan that he witnessed daily. His stomach had already begun to soften and bloat with anxiety since waking up. Ugh.
He stepped out of the shower and towelled off, wrapping it around his waist and moving into the bedroom to get dressed. Tweek passed the long mirror on the wall and saw the angry purple stretchmarks that streaked across the sides of his softened waist. He’d really expected them to at least have begun to silver by now. Christ.
His Junior year had marked the transition from training in the fundamentals of modern physics to elective courses. Accordingly he was taking a mix of laboratory-based papers, broad survey courses, and research. The thought of trying to somehow bring his average up to even higher than it had been in his Freshman year made his heart thump nauseatingly. Instead of studying at the kitchen table as he had planned he ended up back in bed in a pair of boxers and the red cardigan Craig had been wearing when he came home yesterday. He piled the covers over himself for comfort as he tried to focus on reading a difficult peer-reviewed article.
His phone buzzed with a text and he reached for it on the nightstand, a sharp pain in his stomach making him wince as he stretched.
Hey beautiful, you’re probably awake by now. I didn’t want to risk you getting woken up if you’d left your phone on loud. Sorry I’m not home, I went for a run and bumped into a couple of the ladies from GED classes. They invited me for coffee. Well, hot chocolate. Anyway, hope the study is going well. I’ll be home soon. I love you.

It was a little after two when Craig came home, panting in a pair of sweat pants and a hooded sweatshirt unzipped over a t shirt. Tweek heard him unlock the door and stumble inside, shutting the door behind him and calling out.
“Tweek? Are you home?”
“Yeah, I’m in bed.”
Craig frowned at his words, pushing his sweaty hair off his forehead as he walked towards the bedroom.
Tweek somehow looked very small and young to Craig as he stepped inside and found him under the covers, smiling weakly at him and surrounded by papers.
“Hey, Craig.”
“Hey. What’s up?”
Tweek pulled a face.
“Just trying to do a bit of work. It’s about as exciting as it sounds. How was your hot chocolate?”
“Yeah, pretty good. I missed you, though. I just felt bad saying no to them, they’re so nice.”
“It’s cool.”
“Remember how I told you about those Syrian Kurd refugees I met, the sisters? That’s who I was with.”
“Oh nice – did they get their GEDs too?”
“Yeah, it’s awesome.”
“Definitely. Hey, you don’t have to explain yourself, Craig.”
“I figured you’d just want to study today anyway.”
“Yeah. I mean, you know I don’t want to. I just want to hang out with you. But, this is really fucking hard. Ugh.”
“Can I hug you? Even though I’m all sweaty and gross?”
“And then I’ll shower. Ugh, I shouldn’t have gone for a run. And I really wish I hadn’t run into them today, lovely as they are. I really don’t feel well now.”
“Aww, sweetheart. Neither do I. Hey, come here. I’ll look after you. Join me in my blanket fort.”
Tweek put aside the textbook and pen he was holding and opened his arms. Craig sat on the bed and lay across him, nuzzling his neck. Tweek sighed in relief as he felt Craig’s warmth.
Craig planted a gentle kiss on Tweek’s collarbone as he spoke. “I feel like I might be coming down with the flu.”
“Me too.”
“Maybe we shouldn’t go out tonight.”
“Hey, it’s your call.”
“I just feel guilty flaking out on Tricia when she organised it for us.”
“I get that. We’ll see how you feel after a rest.”
“How much longer do you want to study for?”
“I could use a break. Why don’t you shower and then we can cuddle up for a bit. Oh and if you could flick on the washing machine when you throw your stuff in, it’s ready to go.”
“Thanks, honey.”
Craig gave him a kiss before walking into the ensuite. As he soaped himself with the apple body wash, he really hoped Tweek would come in and help him get clean, pressing his naked body against Craig’s and gently touching his most intimate body parts in a way that was of nurture alone rather than of sex. But he didn’t.
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