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The few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas slip by slowly, barely different from any other week except for the way Lucy finds herself alone when she usually wouldn't be. It's not dramatic in a way she can be justifiably annoyed by; there are no bathrooms suddenly going silent as she enters, no hallways where an empty space appears around her, and there's always a seat for her near Vivi, Isaac, and Cherry - Lucas is spending most of his lunches with the jocks and cheerleaders, directing his smiles at a dark blonde girl - but people don't come up to her the same way anymore.

The other kids hanging out by the bleachers, the burnouts and less-political hippies, allow her to enter their groups but don't ask her to join them. Brad, a guy on the track team she's been casually flirting with for a month, has somehow become too busy to try to get a hand up her shirt. I'ts not quite exclusion but that doesn't stop her from feeling left out, and she slowly begins seeking Token and Clyde out in crowds, sometimes just for a quick smile or friendly wave but as Christmas draws close and her childhood friends let it be known that all of them except Rylee will be going away for the holidays, she stops to say hi, chat for a bit.

Craig and Tweek are there too, but Lucy hasn't seen the fluorescent lights reflect in their teeth and only occasionally tries to speak to them - Tweek is too nervous, Craig too unwilling to let her in, and she lets things be the way they are

for a while.

-

Cherry is rushed into her father's car at 4am the morning after her last day at school. She is delighted to be going to visit family in Ireland, breathing the salty air of the ocean and going shopping in Cork, practice her Gaelic on aunts and uncles and go to services in the church her father was baptised in - but as the car leaves her home town behind, she looks over her shoulder. There is home and, further away, South Park glitters brightly in the darkness.

Her stomach clenches ever so slightly, but she ignores it and takes out her phone and earbuds to listen to a lecture on astronomy during the two hour trip to Denver.

-

Later that morning, Vivi and her little brother fight each other over who gets to sit shotgun, carry-on luggage used as weapons, until their mother firmly grabs them by their shoulders, placing them both in the back and declares that if they want anything from the tax free stores at the airport, they're paying for it themselves unless they start behaving.

Of course, with the promise of enough candy to last them the entire flight to Europe, both Sykes children adopt angelic expressions and even make attempts to hold civil conversations.

-

Isaac wishes fervently that he'd be allowed to stay behind, but his parents have decided to go to Wyoming for Christmas and all their children have to come along. It is a tight fit, even with Abraham half-sittin in the boot with his head under a blanket to hide from potential cops, and having Methuselah drooling on either Isaac's or Debbie's arm isn't making anything better.

They stop at nearly every fast-food place too, Alora demanding chips or milkshakes or just little packets of salt and cups of ice.

Isaac tries to sleep, his temple resting against the cold window, wishing Christmas would be over so he can go back to school - at least the teachers pose some intellectual challenge, unlike his too many cousins who are only interested in making the family even larger. But he is cursed, it seems, with others' stupidity and he will have to endure the too many hours going to a different state just as he will have to endure too many church visits.

With any luck, there'll be a library in Greybull outfitted with both computers and an Internet connection, but he's not feeling particularly hopeful.

-

Both Lucas' parents work for a couple of days after school ends for the semester, and with nearly all his friends out of town and the house to himself during the day, Lucas asks his not-quite-girlfriend if she wants to come over.

Kim shows up wearing her cheerleading uniform, determined to lose her virginity wearing it, and Lucas takes it with his lips on hers, hands tangled in her hair. They spend the afternoon in his bed, finding little to talk about but they are young and beautiful and at the moment that is enough, even if they'll barely text during the holiday as they're both in different states with family and their relationship will never be more than a physical one - and only be in effect at parties, during parent-free evenings, once in the back of his father's car on a Sunday.

-

In South Park, Lucky is the sole inhabitant of an eerie white universe, silent except for the squidge of her boots on the snow. If it is just like this, with the edges of reality smudged by falling snow, she likes the town plenty - winking Christmas lights and flashes of bright green and red makes the otherwise strange place look like a perfect postcard, filled to the brim with holiday cheer.

Wrapping the scarf tighter over her mouth, she pushes through the drifts on the sidewalk towards the mall, alone only because she was convincing enough when saying she still had a couple of presents to buy. Perhaps, if the day continues like this, she'll actually be in a good enough mood to give her little brother something.

Perhaps.

-

The days until Christmas Eve pass and the snow falls, burying each house in isolating white blankets. Even the McCormicks' house, with its single-glass windows and thin walls, is bearable to stay in as long as one only thinks of the temperature.

Karen is already asleep, her knees nearly touching her chin, and Kenny pushes a few stray strands of hair away from her cheek when he comes in to check on her. Long, thin fingers places a present on her pillow - a necklace, cheap and with sparkling stones made of glass but pretty enough to make her smile before she gets the necessary things she shouldn't have to wait until Christmas and birthdays to recieve, like clothes and socks and the laundry detergent that won't make her sensitive skin itch.

Kevin is God knows where - although God likely doesn't waste energy keeping track of a glue-sniffer who hasn't been home since his sixteenth birthday - and in the living room their parents are fighting again, drunk or high or both as Carol presses her husband's neck back, back, until the bones must strain and grind and whine under the unnatural pressure and Stuart lands sluggish punches on his wife's torso.

Locking Karen's door and pushing a chair under the handle so she'll have plenty of time to get away if their parents decide to get her involved, Kenny slips out her window and walks down the street.

He has no particular goal in mind, just wants away from the place he reluctantly calls home and the further he comes from the shacks on his side of the train tracks, the brighter the world becomes, lit up by a million little lights that line windows, roofs, trees, fences. One could almost believe in the Christmas spirit when South Park looks like this.

Kenny sighs, arms folded over his narrow chest, nose buried in the thinning fake fur of his hood. Everything is closed - he'd find a lonely young woman to share the cold night with otherwise - and even though there are probably places he could go he doesn't want to share his loneliness just yet. Kyle's and Stan's houses are too messy, too loud, and Cartman... well. Cartman might have mellowed down some, or maybe he's just found that teenagers don't get away with the shit kids do, or maybe he's just directing most of his energy towards keeping Lucky as unhappy as possible but he's still a vile bigot and it's better to be out in the cold.

The worst that can happen out here is death, and death in itself is no longer that big a deal. Sure, it hurts, but...

He falls backwards into a pile of snow, soft, cold and it cushions him better than his own bed. It's pleasant until it slowly starts to melt and cool off again, leaving his back wet and freezing cold and he wonders if he should care.

"Who would have thought you'd meet your Fate in a snow drift on Christmas Eve?" says a mirthful voice like crushed glass and golden honey.

"Wouldn't be the first time", he replies. "Not the same time you use that phrase either."

"Hm. Well, there are only so many words and only so many ways to die. You and I are bound to repeat ourselves a few times."

They lie quiet for a minute or an hour - time lacks meaning when your fingers and toes are too numb to move and fatigue seeps into your bones. Kenny almost forget about the being next to him until she speaks again.

"In your present, have you experienced every death?"

"If I had, wouldn't I be dead-dead?"

"I'd rather think you would be like us."

"A douchebag?" He presses the words out through stiff lips, closes his eyes against the dark night sky.

"Oh, you know what I mean." A pause. "I can make the pain go away, you know. All of it."

"What?"

"I shape the world. I take all of creation and bend it to my will. I can do the same with you."

He laughs, as much as he has energy for. "Some things should never be bent. Dicks are at the top but... I think... that whatever you want to bend on me comes right after." Staying awake is so hard. The familliar call of the empty void beckons him, reaches for him. Has he been here for that long? Freezing is usually slower.

"Don't you trust me, Kenneth?" Fate whispers, her lips brushing his ear, her smile predatory in the corner of his eye.

"Fuck no."

Fate watches as life slips out of the young man's body, watches the shell of what was once mostly human vanish and leaving only an imprint in the snow drift. She stands up, brushing her white coat off, and walks away into oblivion, where Love waits.

"He doesn't freeze to death the way humans do", he remarks, looking off into the opposite direction.

"He is not human."

"True enough."

Standing next to him, Fate folds her arms and rests a perfectly curved cheek against his shoulder, sinks into all that is Love and Hate with the faintest of sighs. "Are you not bored of this game? It goes on forever. Can you not just be present for the important bits?"

"Ah, my dear, I find every second important. Every shaking breath is as sweet to me as every mundane moment of homework or sorting socks. The sock-sorting might actually be my very favourite thing."

"Why? I find it dreadfully dull."

"Because you are not watching the whole of it. See, as a human does something that requires little to no concentration, they allow their minds to wander and suddenly a thought might strike that makes their stomachs turn or makes their throat feel too narrow for air to pass through. They are caught so unaware by their own passions, and it is... exquisite."

"The payoff can hardly be that great. If it was, I would watch them as closely as you do."

"Oh, Fate, you always were more fond of dramatic, defining moments." Love tears his gaze away, smiles gently at the human-shaped creature next to him. "We will have those too."

-

Lucy squints at her phone, having taken it out from under the pillow to check the time and is surprised to see a Facebook notification from Clyde - they speak when they meet but so far she's only been friendly with Token on social media. She hasn't even added the other boys as friends yet; the bone-deep Fairplay fear still rests within her, after all.

As she begins to wake and the world becomes less blurred, Lucy can bear the light of the phone display enough to read the party invitation - for that is what Clyde has sent her - for New Year's Eve.

At his house.

In South Park.

She lies still for a moment, breaths deep and shaky because although she does not want to admit it - especially since she has instigated this - that town worries her. It is one thing to speak to the four boys she's started to get to know, one thing to have them here on her home turf and a different thing entirely to go there. But although she feels fear tingle in her lungs, she is also excited as she selects Attending on the event page and begins contemplating what to wear.

Sitting up and glancing at the closet door mirror, she frowns at the bleached bangs just touching her cheekbone. She hasn't bleached them in a long time, black roots nearly at eyebrow level. Perhaps it is time to dye the nearly-white, dry strands into her natural black and have one less thing to coordinate with her outfits. It might not be a significant change, but it is important enough to Lucy, and she's not even aware that the decision brings a smile to her face.
itwod, chapter seven
wow
okay
that thing with lucas made me feel so incredibly weird because that is my CHILD

but other than that ayyyy kenny finally died and fate&love appeared again!! and there's another party
these are teenagers after all, i was at parties at least once a month when i was their age (when we got our money and could buy cheap Polish vodka out of some dude's car... ahhh, good times) and a lot of Important Things tended to happen at parties. Parties are gonna be a thing for a while. Alcohol makes people care less in general after all, and it's probably a required element for these two groups of cuties to be able to hang out properly. Initially, anyway.

it's only been about two months since my last update, too!! go me.

-

mentioned nerds belong to me, my friends, and a couple of supreme dorks called matt & trey.
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Cherry taps out Fibonacchi numbers on the back of a dining chair, surveying the table with nervously darting eyes. It is Halloween, the weekend after her birthday, and the table before her is neatly set with her mother's second finest china and silver, the tablecloth smooth and white without a single crease, the two cakes delicately decorated with pastel pink frosting and chocolate details. Everything is meticulously placed, clean and perfect like a carefully arranged magazine spread but Cherry is so used to searching for flaws in everything she is and does that she cannot see the beauty in front of her and only worries that everything will be too bland, too boring for her expected company and she immediately wishes she had more time or that everything will be over with as soon as possible.

But the doorbell rings and she has to accept her situation and arranges her features into a smile as she invites Isaac, unsurprised that he is her first guest, and breathes marginally easier when he takes a biscuit from the coffee table platter without ruining her carefully constructed symmetry. If it was just the two of them, she thinks, she would have been a lot less nervous and they could have spoken of the best mathematical formulas to calculate an immaculate table setting and the chemistry of pastries, but someone is at her door again and her peace is disrupted.

It is worth it, though, when Vivi and Lucy chatter excitedly and Rylee mumbles look, I wore a dress for you into Cherry's red curls. It is worth it when four girls from her class arrive and make relaxed small talk, worth it when Lucas comes last of them all and she gently chides him for being late despite living next door.

Cherry might feel distant, other people's words and fingers rarely managing to reach into her bubble of fear and self-loathing, most of the time and she might allow attention to remain on her only for short instances but she cannot deny that she feels safe in the knowledge that the people surrounding her are there because they in some capacity care for her. So she smiles and talks and allow her hands to move through the air, pale birds with broken wings attempting to fly. It is not until two hours later, when most of the cake has been eaten and the remains have been sent home with Isaac to his siblings, that the brightness of the afternoon fades with the sky as the sun sets and Lucy lingers in Cherry's kitchen.

The redhead presses her nails into her palm, red moon shapes forming on her skin. She wants Lucy close, desires her company and approval, but sees the crumbs and smudges of cream and anxiety climbs up through her body like vines, wrapping around her bones, slowly rising through her chest and throat.

"I do appreciate your company", she says gently, "but I need to tidy up and I would not want to be rude and neglect you..."

"Cherry, can I ask you something?" Lucy bluntly throws out, ignoring the words that were hanging between them a second ago.

"Of course, love. Is something the matter?"

"Why didn't you eat anything today?"

They both go quiet, Cherry's face tightening. "You must be mistaken, I had a piece of cake like everyo-"

"You didn't eat it though. I saw you. I know the tricks, Cherry, with the loaded fork halfway to your mouth as you suddenly ask a question. I know." She looks serious, sad, the words because I do it too resting on her tongue for a moment before she swallows them down. "Please don't", she whispers instead and their fingers almost touch on the island counter between them.

Cherry smiles weakly, the curve of her lips as much a lie as her words when she promises that it is only regarding sugar, that she needs to watch her weight, and they both know it isn't the truth but Lucy chooses not to push the subject because she fears her own secret will be revealed and so she leaves, steps as heavy as her heart when she walks down the street.

-

Lucky's hair falls in limp and tired waves against her neck, cheeks, shoulder while she leans against her locker and she considers skipping a class or two, pushing her heavy feet through the snow and walk around Fairplay for a while. Her cheek touches the green metal of her locker door and she wishes it was blue like in her school in Georgia.

"Hey."

She vaguely recognises the nearby voice but doesn't register it, doesn't care until someone taps her shoulder and she turns and it's the pretty boy who sits next to her, the one who knew the AVPM song. She stares, certain he's made a mistake, certain he was looking for someone else.

"That song you played after Hey Dragon?" he says, the question visible in his eyes. "What's it called?"

"Uh, Someday Somehow." She looks at him, green eyes tracing his features and she wonders why he decided to talk to her. "Why?"

He hesitates, almost looking as though he isn't sure why they're speaking either. "It sounded good. And, y'know, it might not've been obvious but music? Kind of a thing I like."

She grins a little, reaches into her bag for a notebook and a pen. "Here, I'll write the band name down for you", she says, and they both fall silent while the pen glides across the smooth paper, say nothing as she rips a piece of a page off and hands it over.

He reads, his face displaying confusion. "Billie the Vision and the Dancers? That's... eh, special?"

"They're Swedish."

"Right, well, that explains it then. Three months without sun makes people a bit weird."

Lucky raises an eyebrow at the serious tone. "You know that's not a real thing, right?" she asks and when he looks at her again he is so genuinely bewildered that she finds it difficult not to laugh.

"What, really? But... aw, man, now everyone's gonna think I'm stupid again. Fucking..."

He leaves, frustration in his steps while he shoves the piece of paper into his right pocket and Lucky tucks a strand of dark hair behind her ear, walks in the opposite direction and realises with some surprise that she feels even better now than when she visited the South Park library.

-

With sweet smoke curling into her lungs, Lucy doesn't mind the cold so much. It still bites her cheeks and wraps around her legs, but the high takes the edge off this as it takes off the edge of everything else and she smiles at the sky when she leans her head back.

Something thumps into the snow nearby, followed by the sounds of someone running and it takes a minute before she can place the boy who stoops to pick the football up. He recognises her though, smiles, walks closer.

"Hey. Didn't know anyone was hanging out under the bleachers when it's this cold."

"Yeah, well, I'm a trooper." Lucy laughs, doesn't know why it's so funny, stops. "What's your name?"

"Token. You?"

"Lucy. Want a smoke?"

"Nah. Football player, you know?" He tilts his head, appearing apologetic, and she nods in understanding. She does know. She's crushed on or dated enough guys on the various sports teams to know that very well, and wonders why she even asked.

"Probably shouldn't even talk to you", she adds quietly to the thought, but not quietly enough.

"'Cause I'm from South Park. Not all of us are weird, you know."

"No?"

"No."

"Okay."

"Hey, Token! Where you at, man?" someone calls from the field. Lucy wonders why the hell they're outside playing when the ground is snow-covered but shrugs it off, nods when Token leaves, and leans her head back to look at the white, overcast sky.

She wonders, with her thoughts swirling, where the fear that is so deeply ingrained in her town has come from. New York is not like that, despite the violence. No other place she's ever visited has had a widespread fear to breathe too deply when the wind comes from a certain direction.

And Lucy is tired of being careful.

She digs out her phone, opens the Facebook app and searches for the boy she just spoke to - there is only one Token in the area and she only hesitates for a moment before she sends him a friend request.

He accepts it within an hour.

-

In November, Lucy sends him a message.

I'm having a party sat. after thanksgiving. Wanna come?

Yeah, sure. OK if I bring three friends?

ok. Send me your number, I'll text you details!

-

Vivi likes to think of herself as fearless in any situation that doesn't involve spiders, wasps, or supernatural monsters thirsting for blood but when the four boys from South Park walk into the livingroom behind Lucy, she can feel how her heart speeds up and her knees nearly give way. It's wrong, so wrong, and the rest of the room falls silent around her.

Lucy is the only one who doesn't seem scared. She looks around, turns towards the blond boy who is the only one who seems as frightened as the Fairplay kids and assures him that they're more scared of you than you are of them.

Quickly, Vivi turns, hurries towards the kitchen where Lucas laughs with two other guys from the soccer team and the syllables escape from her mouth like frightened birds, like the warning signal that an unknown enemy has entered American air space. Her friend immediately moves, the other two following behind along with her, and the air is tense as they walk into the living room again.

"What are you doing here?" Lucas asks, his voice just barely bursting and he reaches for Lucy to move her away from them, bring her close, keep her safe.

She steps out of his reach. "I invited them."

"We can go if-" one of them begins, his hair nearly the same brown as Lucas'. No one listens.

"Luce, what the hell? We don't know these guys!"

"Lucas. Chill. If you don't like it, you can leave. That goes for all of you." Lucy directs the last comment to the rest of the room, her dark eyes burning. She is tired of superstitions and worried glances at the horizon, of lips pressing together every time the school buses arrive and relaxed sighs every time they leave. She has a longing for something new stirring in her chest, and this night will start the rebellion against passive fear. Yes, Lucas' hurt expression makes her sad, but he will forgive her far sooner than she would ever forgive herself if she didn't take a stand right here, right now.

So she smiles too brightly and looks over at Thomas, sitting pressed into the corner of her couch. "Tom, you used to know these guys, right?"

"W-well" - he swallows hard, closes his eyes - "only cocksuckerCraig, really."

Rylee looks sleepily up at the sound of his voice, notices the strangers, shifts her weight as she takes the whole scene in. Something twists in her chest when she sees the way Lucas and Lucy watch each other.

"And they're okay, right?"

"...Yeah."

"So we're good then. Right, Lucas?"

His teeth grind against heach other as he meets her gaze, sees the way her cheeks have flushed.

"Okay. Yeah. We're good", he says, steps aside.

-

"Did you hear Lucy invited some guys from South Park?"

"No way!"

Cherry stiffens, her breath catching, growing erratic and she feels at once rooted to the ground and unable to stand still. She puts the glass of vodka down on a side table made of metal and thick glass, sparkling with frost and her mouth suddenly feels dry but she's not sure if it's from the alcohol or anticipation.

She passes the girls who are standing in Lucy's room, playing music and drinking raspberry-red drinks in martini glasses, tells herself she is just going to get a glass of water as she descends the stairs with her heart thump-thump-thumping hard against her ribs, so hard it almost hurts, and it gets worse when she starts moving through the bottom floor, her gaze searching every shadow.

Disappointment washes over her like a tidal wave when she sees the two boys Lucy is talking to. Cherry knows their faces, knows who they are usually around - knows, more importantly, who they keep very far away from and feels suddenly sick, hurries to get her water, quickly moves upstairs and out onto the balcony again where she can be alone with the stars and mountain silhouettes.

The emptiness of the sky is comforting, infinite and familliar. Cherry empties the vodka, relishes in the burn, imagines how the alcohol burns away everything that is wrong inside of her - the sickness, the germs she can never escape, the uneasy longing - and decides she needs to go home even if the night has barely started. No one will notice, they will all think she is safely tucked away in a corner somewhere, and that is the way she prefers it.

Gentle fingers dig through her small clutch purse, finds the heart-shaped pill box. Cherry gets out the capsules with bentonite and activated charcoal, feels how they burst over her tongue when she presses them against the roof of her mouth. She allows the flavours to linger for a moment before she washes it all down with water, safe in the knowledge that as long as she walks slowly she shouldn't smell very much when she comes home. Just like a girl who's been at a party, hints of popcorn, perfume, smoke in her hair and her parents will not stop her to ask questions, will just let her slip away to shower and study and sleep - if she still can when her heart feels so hollow.
itwod, chapter six
i haven't updated this since october last year

i can't fucking believe myself

i can't fucking believe how much i love these brainchildren oh my g o d

-
cherry + lucas - mine
lucy - SkaterSkittle
lucky - Leo-Kid
rylee + isaac - tazrrr
vivi - WaitingInTheRain69
other nerds - matt&trey
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boethiahs's Profile Picture
boethiahs
celeste
Sweden
Interests
I mean I have other places to whine now but still, it's been since... uh, december last year.

LET'S JUST TALK ABOUT TODAY BECAUSE TODAY WAS THE BEST OK
because I found that my wife was back among us, I found a four-leaf shamrock and I went to pick up my new puppy who's adorable and reddish-brown and my roommate agreed to call him Lucas.

like, how do you beat that?
  • Watching: puppy!!
  • Eating: strawberries

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:iconorangehush:
OrangeHush Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
YES :heart:

I only hope all has been well with you, my north star. Please say you've only been graced with the most wonderful things in my absence.
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:iconboethiahs:
boethiahs Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2013
I wish I could tell you thus, moon of my life, but alas. Life is often cruel to us poor humans.

I cannot read your life falling apart as positive, obviously, but I really hope you've had some joy in your life all the same?

(sdkfhsdf never leave me again omg ♥)
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:icontazrrr:
tazrrr Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013
:iconlazydanceplz:
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:iconboethiahs:
boethiahs Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2013
:iconlazyinviteplz:
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:icontazrrr:
tazrrr Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013
oh my
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:iconnight-faery:
night-faery Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013  Student Writer
thanks for the watch hozi!!!
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:iconboethiahs:
boethiahs Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013
thank YOU ♥
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:icontazrrr:
tazrrr Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012
HOZI
I FINISHED MASS EFFECT

I
AM
SO
FUCKING
ANGRY
RIGHT
NOW
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:icontazrrr:
tazrrr Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012
HAVE U SEEN THIS
[link]
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:iconboethiahs:
boethiahs Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012
omggg it's that guy who does the best My Immortal reading ever : D

also what a quality fic, wow
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