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

Chapter Nineteen - To Carry Your Water

by CrimsonCrowCreek 0 reviews

Over the course of several years, our adorable wholesome 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...

Category: South Park - Rating: R - Genres: Angst,Drama,Romance - Warnings: [V] [X] [R] [Y] - Published: 2022-04-27 - 6353 words - Complete

To Carry Your Water (to support someone without being critical about it.)
California, June 2015, Summer
Craig could tell Tweek was giving everything he could to be strong, but his voice wavered, so subtly that if Craig hadn’t known him so well he wouldn’t have even noticed it.
‘It’s just – it’s a question of you looking out for yourself, Craig, and you need to do that.’
Craig placed a hand on Tweek’s arm.
‘I know it is, honey. I’m not going anywhere. Ok?’
Tweek gently placed his hand over Craig’s on his arm, and nodded. His chin was on his chest and Craig knew he had started to cry again. He didn’t have his long messy hair to cover up his face anymore. Craig went on to try and distract him and take away the self-consciousness he knew he was feeling.
He was at a complete loss for what to say.
Tweek sniffed and squeezed his hand, his eyes kind as he looked up again and went on. ‘So yeah, that first day. It’s the fairly standard stuff to feel better. Keeping super hydrated, electrolytes, apparently. Sleeping and eating a lot at first, apparently I’ll crave carbs as well as meth. I guess they’re basically the same thing.’
Craig shakily laughed, which strengthened Tweek.
‘So yeah, nothing helps you recover from disordered eating like meth withdrawal carb cravings. That’s the silver lining, maybe? I’m probably going to just be a suicidal mess for up to three days, but then I’ll just be craving meth and having headaches and stuffing my face and probably stacking on a ton of weight again, which I just need to suck it up and be ok with. But that’s when the psychosis won’t be as bad and I’ll just have aches and pain, especially in my head, and I won’t be able to focus.’
Craig nodded and squeezed Tweek’s hand gently.
‘So. That’s the first phase, day one to three. Then there’s the second phase, which is like, two to three weeks, probably up to four since I’ve been using so much and I had the parents of the year who gave it to me in kindergarten. So it won’t be as bad, and I won’t be hallucinating and vomiting, but I’ll still feel awful physically, and be depressed and anxious and craving meth.’
‘Oh, honey.’
‘Once I feel a bit better at that point I’ll make myself get some exercise. I’ll need to be really careful at that point, because even though I really won’t want to exercise since I’ll feel really shit, I know my brain will still be telling me to run until I can’t walk so I don’t get fat.’
‘I’m always here for you to talk to.’
‘I know you are, baby. Once I’ve got through that less shit second phase of detox, I’ll get to PAWS.’
Craig frowned. ‘Pause?’
‘PAWS. I wanted to start with the acronym since it sounds so cute and I thought you might not be so fucking sad, ha. It just means post-acute withdrawal syndrome. So even though I’ll be past the acute withdrawal stage by then, it will still be weeks or even months of not feeling good.’
‘Oh, honey.’
‘Yeah. But until then, I’ll set up the room to make sure I’ve got lots of blankets and stuff. They also say stuff like warm showers can help, and the bathroom’s right there. Which is good for all the puking I’ll be doing, woo.’
‘You party animal.’
‘Yeah, throwing up alone in the bathroom while the guinea pigs watch on in concern.’
Craig forced a laugh. Tweek looked up and met his eyes. Craig could see how scared he was, and leaned forward to give him a hug. For a few moments they just held each in silence. Eventually Tweek broke the silence, his soft voice muffled against Craig’s collar.
‘This is going to suck serious ass, and not in the fun way we used to do before I fell back off the wagon and started totally neglecting you like a fucking douchebag. But in like a month? I’ll still feel like shit compared to how people usually do, but it won’t be like it was for this first month. Overall, at that point I should feel much better. Like, my mood should settle, I should be sleeping like a normal person again, I’ll even have some kind of energy.’
‘That’s good!’
‘Yeah. But I’m not out of the woods at that point.’
Tweek gently let go of Craig and picked up his phone off the floor. He swiped it open and pressed the screen a few times. ‘Here. Let me put on the patronising WebMD voice that tells you it’s cancer when you have a stubbed toe. For some reason I imagine someone English and rich. ‘Anhedonia, the inability to experience pleasure, is common among recovering meth users, and it is the biggest reason for relapse.’’
He looked up at Craig as he went on. ‘I know this is really stupid, but it made me realise that the crappy 90s/early 00s counsellors my parents and the school sent me to put me off wanting to figure out how to actively deal with my anxiety. Like, what have we been doing?’
‘Ha, same. Mr Mackey meant well, and I was one angry little fucker back in the day, but Jesus Christ.’
‘Oh man, I know. And as we’ve discussed, it’s not like we could actually afford anything, which is why I’m going to fucking detox from meth at home, ha. But I think there are way better books and things now with coping strategies. The meth websites say things like meditation and yoga to help, and yoga sounds fine, but it occurred to me that I don’t know anything about meditation or mindfulness. I had a look in the app store and I think Headspace would be really good. It was created by a Buddhist monk.’
‘We’ve got a few hours before I’ll start to feel really shit. It’s about 24 hours after your last hit that the withdrawal starts to kick in. I took my last one at about 10 last night. It’s just after 4 now. That cute little campus bookshop is open til 6 during exams.’
‘Are you taking your smelly blue-collar boyfriend to a fancy pants bookshop?’
‘Yes. Can we go on a gay little date, and get some books about mental health?’
‘Sounds great. Yes, I’d love to. Date of the year. And then you can have them with you for when you feel up to reading.’
‘I’ll do my best. But even though they recommend lots of distraction with stuff like tv and maybe reading, it’s going to be really hard to concentrate. It could be helpful though, since I’ll be dealing with insomnia after that first few days. We’ll just have to see how it goes.’
‘I’ll read them too. I know I can’t do it as quickly as you, but I can help you with this. And obviously I need to do something. I need to help you with this, and I need to learn how to live with my brain too.’
Tweek reached out and took his hand. ‘It’s so easy to just coast for years and not even realise it, isn’t it? Like, it just seems impossible that things could ever be better than they are. You feel like you just have to ride it out and wait til you get over it.’
‘It sounds so stupid when you put it like that.’
‘We’re kids, remember. I mean, really, we are. This is way more than people typically have to deal with. At least, white boys in America. But still. We need to do better for each other. We need to do better for ourselves. We deserve so much better than this.’
‘Yes. We do.’
“I mean, maybe we also need to reach out to other queer people. We could make friends who actually understand what it’s like to go through these issues. Not until we’re ready, but I think it might be really nice. I know South Park isn’t exactly known for its thriving queer district but there are groups on campus that I could connect with and we could get plugged in that way.”
“Ha. Yeah, that sounds really good. I know we always said we didn’t want to, but I think we were just too shy to try. We really are disconnected from the fellow gays, aren’t we?”
“I mean, I don’t think either of us are exactly gay. I feel like we’ve talked about this.”
“I’m in love with you.”
“I’m in love with you too.”
“You’re right, though. I notice boys, I notice girls. I notice whoever. I think I always have.”
“Me too.”
There was a heavy pause. Tweek fiddled with the button on his shirt as he struggled with how to best approach the unspoken question he knew Craig didn’t want to upset him by asking.
“It was just Sam. And no, it wasn’t consensual. I wouldn’t have if he didn’t push me. I mean, technically I had a choice, but it didn’t feel like it. It’s not like I’ve been thinking rationally.”
“You didn’t really have a choice. I get it. I mean, I don’t, but I understand why it happened.”
“I really don’t deserve you, Craig.”
“I could say the same about you, Tweek.”
‘You shouldn’t, though.’
‘You can’t stop me, babe.’
‘Thank you.’
Craig took a deep breath and gently placed his palm over the knee exposed in Tweek’s ripped jeans. They had been so tight at one point but now they hung off him. He couldn’t wait for Tweek to put on some weight again.
‘Tweek. Honey. You’ve been so helpful at telling me everything that’s going to happen in the next few days and weeks. But, the depression, the ana -’
‘Thank you. How long – how long will it be? Will it be over pretty quickly?’
Tweek looked so tired as he slowly shook his head, smiling sympathetically, his eyes sad.
Craig had stared back at Tweek, looking like a frightened puppy as Tweek gently answered his question.
“Honey, I’m sure you won’t be that surprised to hear this. I’ve been using meth in some form or another since I was five years old; this will require some pretty serious waiting.”
“How long are we looking at?” Craig had asked, his knuckles growing white around his teacup. It was a brightly coloured clay thing. One of them had made it in grade school, but they had forgotten which one of them years ago. They often joked about how amazing it was that they’d manage to preserve it for so long.
“Craig, it will be about a year before my brain will really start to recover. You know what dopamine is, don’t you?”
“Kind of. Sorry.”
Craig had twisted his lips uncertainly, feeling the heat of the cup on his palms.
“Don’t be sorry. Okay. So, it’s the chemical in the brain that is released when you do something pleasurable. For me, meth use has basically drained my dopamine so that I can’t enjoy anything except for meth. That’s partially why I was so depressed after my parents died before I started using again. It’s called anhedonia, when you have that dopamine fuck up. It will take at least a year without meth, probably two, before my brain has repaired itself. Sometimes it happens in six months, but in my case I doubt it will be that quick. It’s pretty amazing though, that it can even repair itself. Isn’t the brain amazing?”
“Yeah, wow. But, fuck, Tweek. That’s a really long time.”
“Honestly I look forward to seeing what my brain is meant to be like.”
“Me too.”
Tweek sighed.
“This is going to be hard for you, too, Craig. Really hard. Seriously. If at any point it gets to be too much and you want to walk, I’ll understand.”
Craig stared down into his mug of tea, feeling his lip tremble. He gritted his teeth, fighting the tears that threatened to overwhelm him. He had to be strong for Tweek. Craig gazed into Tweek’s exhausted, kind face, and focused on holding his cup of tea tightly to prevent himself from shaking.
“Craig. I need you to understand the extent of this. It doesn’t mean I can’t have a good life. I’ll just have to be really careful. This isn’t the kind of thing I can ever properly get over, even though I’m going to give it my all. I’m going to struggle with this for the rest of my life. It’s like being an alcoholic, you know? You can get clean but you never really get over it.”
Craig squeezed the mug so hard that it suddenly shattered in his hands. He yelped, sounding uncannily like Tweek, as hot tea spilled onto his bare legs.
Tweek jumped up into action, clambering to his feet and grabbing Craig’s hands to pull him up.
‘Shit. Let’s get you in the shower so we can run cold water over your legs.’
‘Ah. Fuck. Right. Yup. Sorry.’
‘Don’t be. Come on, Craig. We need to do it right away, take the heat out.’
Tweek followed Craig into the bathroom where he turned the shower on cold and turned the head over the angry red welts on his legs, letting the sharp cold run over his skin until it finally stopped burning. Tweek grabbed a towel from the cupboard outside the bathroom and returned with it as Craig turned the shower off. Craig smiled at Tweek as he gratefully took it from him.
‘Thank you. You know, you really are good in a crisis, Tweek. You just have to believe in yourself.’
Tweek returned Craig’s smile. ‘Why do I feel like you told me this once before? Like, a lifetime ago?’
‘I guess running the cold tap to flush out the heat is a bit like – nah, that metaphor sucks.’
‘No, it doesn’t.’
‘I can still feel the burn, though.’
‘You might still have a scar from the injury.’
‘I guess I should have expected that.’
‘Maybe this is a good metaphor.’
There was a pause while Craig dried off his legs and stepped out of the shower.
‘I know we both need to shower, but we should get to the bookshop asap. Just let me quickly clean my teeth and throw some clothes on, ok?’

Twenty minutes later Craig pulled into a parking lot on the quiet street. Most of the students had headed home for the break. Craig felt a little pang in his chest that Tweek had once been with them, and they had both gone back to South Park for their first couple of breaks to stay with Tweek’s parents. They had always been so kind to Craig. He still couldn’t quite believe what they had done, even though they were both being forced to deal with the consequences.
‘Craig? ’
He shook his head the way that Tweek did to deal with intrusive thoughts. Tweek had once joked about shaking his brain like an etch a sketch.
‘We’re here, honey.’
The engine was still running. Craig took a deep breath and turned the key. He and Tweek climbed out of the car and walked up the steps to the student bookshop.
Once they were inside the virtually empty store Craig spotted the self-help section first, and steered Tweek towards it. They stood together in front of the shelves, blinking at the dozens if not hundreds of titles to choose from, quickly ruling some out based on gut feeling.
‘Ugh, too clinical.’
‘Too depressing.’
‘Too Bible basher.’
‘Too middle class.’
‘Too soccer mom.’
‘Too aggressively macho.’
‘Too obviously aimed at white women.’
‘Too WASP nest.’
‘Too heterosexual.’
‘Too boomer.’
‘Too patronising.’
‘Too all of the above.’
‘How is that even possible?’
‘Man, I don’t even know.’
Eventually Tweek had chosen a number of books that looked promising. He and Craig gathered them together and moved towards the counter.
You Will Get Through This Night.
Think Like A Monk.
Note to Self: It Will All Be OK.
A series of books on cognitive behavioural therapy from a counsellor based in New Zealand, who called herself Dr Know. The Book of Knowing. The Book of Overthinking. The Book of Angst.
The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving A Fuck.
The Body Is Not An Apology.
Fat and Queer.
He winced at the prices at the back. He had also checked the price of a Headspace subscription in the app store and seen that it would be over a hundred dollars for the year. At least he got a free two week trial, and a student discount at the bookshop.
The woman working was a student Tweek had tutored the previous term. She grinned as he approached.
“Oh hey, Tweek. How are you?”
“Hey, Sally. Pretty good, thanks. And yourself?”
“Can’t complain. Wow, these are pretty different to physics! Are you studying psych now?”
Tweek smiled and slowly nodded, casting his eyes down to the rows of bookmarks and flyers on the polished wooden counter as the scanner beeped in front of him.
“Something like that.”
Tweek felt Craig shift behind him slightly as she read out the total cost. Tweek pulled out his VISA and wordlessly paid, smiling at Sally as she bade him goodbye. As they slipped through the doorway and out onto the street, Craig began to speak.
‘It’s an investment. And it’s still, like, a fraction of the cost of one therapy session. It’s barely a percentage of what someone would pay for rehab.’
‘Yeah, exactly. And, fuck. The alternative? Staying on meth? I mean I wasn’t paying that much cash, especially towards the end, but I was fucking paying Sam for it.’
‘Ugh. I’m sorry, Tweek. I shouldn’t be talking about your goddamn health like it’s a new car.’
Tweek shook his head stubbornly, shouldering the canvas bag heavy with books. ‘First of all, you know a lot about cars so it would be an informed opinion. Second of all, I get it. Don’t worry, I’m thinking about the money too. We don’t get to not think about it.’
Craig’s eyes were sad, and then alarmed as Tweek suddenly heavily leaned against the car.
‘Ooh, man. I’m starting to feel really tired. I don’t think I can drive home, baby.’
‘That’s ok. You can go shotgun.’
‘And we’ll shotgun some beers once we get home.’
‘Nah, no drinking for me.’
‘Not even some wine coolers from the gas station so we can get white girl wasted?’
Tweek laughed shakily as he placed his arms on the car and leaned his head on them.
‘No, sadly it’s part of this new trendy California Instagay diet I’m starting. No carbs after 6pm, no booze, not even vodka soda, and strictly no more meth.’ He shot Craig a cheeky yet exhausted little wink as he opened the passenger seat. He placed the bag on the floor and buckled up as Craig started the engine. They drove home in a comfortable silence, Tweek leaning against the window, the cool glass soothing on his flushed face.
Craig opened the passenger door and grabbed the bag of books when they got home, and held his hand out to help Tweek out of the car. As they slowly made their way to the front door Craig began to speak.
‘I know we were joking about the Daytona Beach No Meth Diet, but seriously. Do you want to order some food? Or I could make you some toast if you just want something small? I think we’ve got cereal? Or even just an apple? I think there are some sad looking carrots in the bottom of the fridge, though you may need to take on Biscotti and Piccolo for them, technically they belong to them. I’ll go proper grocery shopping tomorrow, but I don’t want to leave you alone for this first night.’
Tweek crossed his arms and gently shook his head as Craig fumbled with the doorknob. ‘That’s really sweet. But I truly have zero appetite. I may just be really anxious about starting. Either way, I feel like I’m going to puke.’
Craig nodded and quickly pushed the door open, holding it open so Tweek could enter under his arm.
‘Ok, honey. Let’s get you comfy. When you’re ready, we should probably come up with more of a plan.’
Tweek sighed as he made his way to the couch.
‘I’m definitely starting to come down, hard. I think the start of the plan should be for me to drink a shitload of water, maybe chuck in one of your electrolyte tablets, and go to sleep early.’
Craig nodded as Tweek lay facedown on the couch, breathing heavily.
‘Sounds good.’
‘You’re not working tomorrow, are you? It’s Sunday tomorrow? Have I still got the days of the week right?’
‘Yup. I’m around tomorrow, back to work Monday. I’m just doing a standard 8-5 thing.’
Tweek slowly lifted his head, his previously flushed face taking on an ashen hue that worried Craig. ‘Ok. So. I don’t want you to feel like you can’t see me. But it would probably be best if you gave me a few days to just feel horrendous. I’ll be a real asshole to be around. I’ll try my best not to, but I’d rather not have to talk to anyone much, not even you. I won’t have the energy for it. By all accounts, I’m going to want to die.’
‘I understand. I mean, I don’t, but I get what you’re saying.’
‘I was going to say take my phone so I can’t look for meth. But, I truly don’t think that’s necessary.’
‘Nah, honey, you need memes and YouTube and animal pictures.’
Tweek smiled and slowly rolled onto his side. ‘I’ll block Sam’s number. I’m genuinely excited about doing that. I feel like such a fuckwit but for so long it just didn’t even feel like an option. But I definitely subconsciously wanted this for ages. I never actually memorised it. Isn’t that helpful?’
‘Ha. Yeah, it is. Don’t you have staff email on your phone?’
‘Facebook? IG? Snap? Whatever else the kids are using?’
‘Yeah. I only have Facebook because I’m like, a million years old. I had a LinkedIn at some point but I haven’t been on in ages. It’ll still be up though, I’ll open it. Could you please block him?’
‘Of course.’
Tweek shook his head. ‘Actually, I’ll do it. It feels like a key step. Do you trust me?’
‘I’ll tell you if I want meth. If you’re not around, I’ll probably flush my fucking phone.’
‘I trust you.’
‘I’m going to do it, Craig. But I’m fucking terrified. Craig. Craig - I know all I’m going to want is to get meth. But I’ve already fucked up my life this much. I need to – I just need to get this right.’
‘I know, honey.’
Tweek gritted his teeth as he slowly swung his legs onto the floor and sat up, pressing his head against the back of the sofa.
‘Goddamn, I already feel so horrendous. It’s really scary to think of how much worse it’s going to get. Shit.’
He shook his head, his eyes dark.
‘I’ll just think of you walking in on me letting some creep fuck me so I could get my next hit. Like, I know it’s not as simple as mind over matter like people love to say when they have no idea. But, I really want this.’
Craig took a step towards him. ‘Babe, I understand. Look, I’m not going to force you to stay inside, Tweek. That just seems cruel. How could people think that’s the best thing to do for your mental health, keep you locked up? That’s terrifying.’
Tweek nodded, his brow slightly furrowed with determination.
‘But I’m worried about you hurting yourself when you’re really overwhelmed mentally, no judgement whatsoever, but it’s a real risk and we both know that.
‘Yes, it is. We do.’
‘So, that being the case, I will need to keep a close eye on you. Is that ok?’
‘Of course.’ Tweek smiled as he patted the sofa cushion next to him. Craig smiled back and sat down as he continued to speak.
‘And I’ll need to go through the room with you first and make sure there’s nothing you could hurt yourself with. I’m not going to breathe down your neck as much as possible but I need to keep you safe. I know your brain’s going to be doing scary things. I know it will be really scary for you.’
Tweek reached out his hand and squeezed it. They both had old scars from self-harming. Craig used to cut his thighs with a razor blade he occasionally used for shaving when he was living in the trailer and wanted to cry but couldn’t. He hadn’t self-harmed since they had moved to California.
Craig knew Tweek would occasionally still bite his hands when he was feeling overwhelmed. He knew Tweek hated the fact of the instant catharsis it afforded him, but often craved it. Craig hated occasionally witnessing him doing it, winced as he saw the sharp little red welts on his fingers and palms and occasionally his bony wrists. However, he understood it helped Tweek be functional when he was struggling. He’d been there himself, and probably would have stayed there if he hadn’t gotten out of South Park with Tweek.
Feeling overwhelmed? Want to die? Just hurt yourself. Sharp pain will shock your system. You’ll snap out of it real quick. It’s definitely a distraction.
There have got to be so many better ways of doing it.
Neither of them verbalised the very similar thoughts they were sorting through. They didn’t have to traverse old material.
Eventually Craig gently leaned over and kissed Tweek on his grey forehead.
‘Tricia and I watched The Mist on Netflix. There’s a bit where an addict needs to detox and gets a dude to chain her to a radiator. That did go through my mind earlier, but I really don’t see how it could be necessary. It just seemed cruel and dramatic, but I guess the whole show was like that. By the end I was glad it didn’t get renewed. The movie was a lot better. The book’s probably worth it too, it’s a Stephen King.’
Tweek gave a little laugh. ‘Maybe I’ll watch it. Maybe it can take my mind off things.’
‘Ha, maybe. We gave up pretty early on in The Walking Dead? There’s been a shitload more seasons since then, though everyone says the quality has definitely dipped pretty damn hard. Maybe you’ll finally win Five Nights at Freddy’s?
‘Maybe. Anything is possible. Ha. I don’t even want to win. I just want to make it past 3am on night one.’
Tweek winked weakly. Craig gently took Tweek’s legs and pulled them across his own, carefully wrapping his arm around Tweek’s narrow waist. It was one of their favourite positions for cuddling as they watched TV or individually read or went on their phones together, but though it had only been months since they had last adopted it, it felt like centuries. Despite this, Craig felt Tweek instantly relax into him even as his eyes seemed to grow even darker with exhaustion. He pulled him a little closer and kissed his tufty hair as he began to rationalise out loud.
‘I know it’s no fancy resort rehab with white robes and group therapy with a bunch of rich people. But, even though it sucks, surely if you just chill in the flat you’ll be ok. Most people have to detox like that. It’s what I keep telling myself anyway. I’ll get you anything you need. I can take time off work if I need, I’ll just say I’ve got a horrible stomach flu and I’m sitting on the toilet with a bucket in my lap so I can go both ends at once without wrecking the floors. They won’t question that, ha.’
‘What a romantic staycation, with me puking my guts out and trying not to shit the bed and you lying about being in the same boat.’
‘Ah, I believe it’s pronounced Roman Attic.’
Tweek laughed softly as Craig spoke again. ‘I’ll look after you. I promise, Tweek.’
‘I know you will, honey.’ Tweek’s voice was calm.
Occasionally Craig was truly astounded by the resolute matter of factness that Tweek could muster in time of crisis.
They smiled at each other for a moment. Craig could tell from feeling Tweek gradually sinking down in his arms and the gathering dullness of his eyes that he was fading fast.
‘Carry you to bed, m’lord? I won’t even smack your head on the doorframe this time.’
Tweek leaned into him for a moment. ‘Ha. Nah, I can walk. Thanks though.’
‘Fair enough, I wouldn’t trust me either.’
Tweek chuckled as he slowly got to his feet. Craig followed him as he slouched into the kitchen where he chugged a couple of big glasses of water, and then towards the hallway. Tweek glanced back over his shoulder as he got to the door of their bedroom and shook his head in mock exasperation. ‘I should never have shaved my head. You can see all the dents from all the times that happened.’
‘It was once!’
‘Formative years, Tucker, formative years.’ Tweek poked his tongue out as he pushed the small pile of clean laundry from the bed onto the floor.
‘Sophomore year, you mean?’
Tweek turned back, and paused for a moment before pulling his shirt over his head and nodding. ‘Yes.’
He jokingly threw the balled up shirt in Craig’s direction. Craig let it fall to the floor and let out a dramatic sigh. ‘Anyway, I seem to remember that night I also stuck your drunk ass in my bed with a bucket and a big bottle of water. Is that what you want now?’
‘Please. And maybe some electrolytes? One of them fancy city man tablets you have?’
‘Babe, I bought them from a dude with a mullet who wears Lynyrd Skynyrd under his work overalls. He loves them when he’s been on the Jack and coke RTDs all night but still has to open the garage at 8am.’
Tweek laughed as he unbuckled his belt and started pulling his jeans down over his angular hips. ‘Damn. Did we ever even leave South Park? And more importantly, am I the trashy meth head here?’
Craig leaned on the doorframe, watching as Tweek dropped his jeans on the floor and sat on the edge of the bed in his underwear.
‘I certainly hope so. And, I certainly hope not for long.’
Tweek let out a little laugh. ‘I know what you mean, but the way that was phrased made it sound like you’re hoping to be a meth head soon.’
‘Ha. Babe, how are you so eloquent even when you’re about to drop?’
‘Years of practice.’ He winked again and pulled back the sheets. ‘You know, you can sleep here if you want.’
‘Ok. I mean, are you sure?’
Tweek nodded as he slipped under the covers. ‘Yeah. I mean, I know you probably don’t want to go to sleep right now, but you’re welcome to sleep here. I don’t want to kick you out of the bed indefinitely while I detox. That’s just rude.’
‘It won’t be indefinite. Ok. I’ll start out in the bed. I’ll set up the camp bed in the corner, though, and if you need space I’ll obviously move there. And I’ll go into the hallway if you need even more space.’
‘Thanks, angel pie.’
‘Damn, you haven’t called me that in ages.’
‘I know, I’m sorry.’
‘No, I didn’t mean it like -’
‘It’s ok, Craig. I know I’m sick. But I’m still sorry.’
The silence stretched between them. Craig was suddenly struck by just how weak and sick Tweek looked in the bed. For a moment his expression was exactly as it had been at South Park Elementary. He even looked for a second to be a child again. Craig cast around for something to buoy the mood again.
‘It still cracks me up that you started calling me Angel Pie ironically after that Simpson gene episode, and it just kind of stuck.’
‘Ha, I know.’
‘It’s me, Ralph, your husband.’
‘I’m going to start saying that when I come home every day.’
‘Gotta put a ring on it first.’
Tweek laughed. ‘Let me focus on beating this drug addiction and not killing myself in the next 24 hours, then we’ll talk.’ He spoke with dark ironic absurd mirth but Craig saw the fear in his eyes.
‘Ok, that’s it. I’m not leaving your side.’
‘Ok, honey, but give me the aisle seat in case I get motion sickness from the turbulence.’ Craig nodded and stepped towards the side of the bed near the window. It was a lot easier to get out from quicker, though you didn’t have to climb over the other side of the bed to get into it which he was grateful for. Abruptly he stopped and raised a hand, his index finger pointing upwards.
‘Wait. I promised the standard Drunk Night Out Recovery Package of lots of water and something big to puke in.’
‘Ha. Yes. You certainly did.’
Craig patted the lump of Tweek’s leg in the bed and slipped out of the room. Tweek snuggled down further under the sheets, the comedown tiredness really beginning to make him nauseously fatigued. His eyes ached and he could feel a serious headache beginning. He felt his mind begin to slip…
Tweek jumped slightly as Craig came inside their room, knocking his elbow on the edge of the doorframe with a sharp crack and a sharper intake of breath that jolted Tweek from the edge of unconsciousness. Tweek shot him a sleepily sympathetic look, instantly relaxing when he saw Craig standing there. Craig tried to give Tweek a reassuring smile as he moved towards the bed.
‘Are you ok, Craig? That sounded like it hurt.’
Craig raised his eyebrows in mock angst as he carefully placed a 1.5 litre bottle of water on the floor next to their largest metal mixing bowl. ‘It hurt so much, Tweek. It’s, like, the worst pain ever. Hey, do you want to swap? You can deal with this and I’ll try to get few the next few weeks of serious meth withdrawal symptoms?’
Tweek laughed throatily, closing his eyes and rolling onto his side, facing out of the bed. ‘Don’t you sass me.’
Craig laughed softly as he undressed. It wasn’t even 8pm, however, and compared with Tweek who could barely hold onto his consciousness, he wouldn’t actually be sleeping for a while.
He looked at the pile of books and quickly selected a couple that looked promising to start with.
‘Just try and stop me, Tweeky boy. At least it wasn’t your head.’ He placed the books on the floor next to the side of the bed he’d be sleeping on and slipped under the covers.
Tweek turned to face him, smiling with his eyes closed.
‘Just give me a few months. You know I’ll kick your ass.’ He felt around on the covers for Craig’s hand and squeezed it.
Craig nodded. ‘Oh, cool. I’ll go get my broken bottle and wait in the parking lot. I’ll make sure I rock back and forth slightly like some early zeros PlayStation character.’
Tweek yawned with his mouth closed and settled further down into the mattress.
‘Punk ass bitch….’ he murmured, trailing off as his exhausted face went slack.
The exhaustion finally pulled him under and his clasp on Craig’s hand became weak. Craig gently unlaced his fingers and laid beside Tweek to watch him sleep, carefully wiping his face on the edge of the top sheet.
After an hour of watching Tweek sleep more deeply than he had probably ever seen him before, he was satisfied that he’d be ok without intense surveillance. Very carefully so as not to disturb Tweek (though while thinking it would probably take an apocalyptic blast to wake him), Craig rolled over to pick up The Book of Knowing; Know How You Think, Change How You Feel. As Tweek breathed deeply beside him with the peace of sleep, Craig opened the book and began to read.
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