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In the pink house on the hill in the little town of Rínn an Scidígh in southern Ireland the air is heavy with food smells and alcohol fumes. Cherry’s gran has loaded the wooden table with every Irish holiday delicacy imaginable; meat rich in fat and cakes filled with fruit soaked in brandy, pudding and a mountain of seafood, pies, and chocolate pralines in perfectly arranged piles - Cherry smiles a little at the alliteration, changes it. Perfectly pyramidic praline piles. It is the only contribution she has been allowed to make to this table on New Year's Eve, her grandmother refusing help from family who has travelled to far to be with her, and she has taken such care to calculate the angle to make the structure a strong one.

She sits, carefully, watching the others as she has been watching them the entire holiday for she is so afraid to make mistakes with her mother's hard eyes trained upon her. It is worse than the few times they go to visit her maternal grandmother - a woman far stricter than her daughter - and Cherry does not understand why, as Granny Hayes is very kind and forgives every transgression so long as it is not made with malicious intent.

Perhaps she was not meant to understand her mother.

The others begin to take food, and Cherry accepts what is offered her so as not to seem impolite but takes only very little - she claims it is so she can taste as much as possible, and her relatives - her uncle, his and her father's cousins, and their cousins' children and spouses - laugh warmly, believing her even though she only eats a minimum of fish and vegetables while trying to keep up with the conversation.

These dinners are so different from what she is used to, with loud laughter and animated conversation and, oh, the swearing. Her uncle Declan tells her father to send the feckin' beak and is told by Padraígh, in quite a serious tone, to not act like such a feckin' langer in front of his girl, Jaysis, Dec. Cherry is not quite certain where to look and her second cousins laugh at her discomfort - not in a rude way, but it makes her feel very self-conscious and she can feel how her cheeks grow warm.

"Ah, boys, yer makin' Rachel and Beth go scarlet with the way yer talkin'. Now shut both yer traps and eat", granny Hayes says, smiling as she passes a pot of potatoes to her oldest nephew and so dinner goes on and the kitchen slowly gets warmer as alcohol flows and plates empty only to be refilled again. Even Cherry gets offered alcohol - white wine since it's a special occasion and she is, after all, fifteen now. She is careful to pretend as though she is not used to drinking, eliciting more laughter.

After a while - perhaps an hour and a half, if not more, she thinks - no one has room for any more food and the dishes are taken to be washed and Cherry, excusing herself, does as she has been doing every night and goes for a walk. Her mother disapproves but chooses to say nothing - walking the heavy food off is, after all, better than sitting still even if she is well aware that her daughter's portions are very meager.

As she exits the little house called Ard na Cuain - Above the Harbour - Cherry can feel the taste of salt in the air and walks down the path through the garden, follows a low wall covered in ivy, still green despite being only a few hours away from January, and starts walking along the harbour. Large ships are resting by each pier, waiting to be filled with cargo and people to go to England, France, Spain, America. On the other side of the dark water she can see the island of Cobh, from which Titanic once sailed, now just a cluster of lights.

She takes a turn, walks onto a small strip of beach. There is nothing but partially dried seaweed and shells of veneridae here, breaking against each other under her weight. Quietly, she listens to the waves, the sounds of her heels sinking into the layers and layers of remains of mollusks, the sounds of laughing people far away and she draws a shuddering breath into the night air.

Trembling fingers reach into her pocket and she thinks how it must be the wine making her so bold as she pull out her phone, removes a glove, opens the Facebook app and with a feeling of nausea finds Lucy's profile and looks at her list of friends.

It is easy to find the dark-skinned boy from South Park and Cherry nearly gasps when his profile is public. She looks at his friend list as well, nausea getting worse and mixing with excitement and the sound of the waves is loud loud loud and she almost cannot focus on his name.

Eric T. Cartman

The air is not enough to fill her lungs. The entire night sky lies dark and vast above her, the ocean penetrating her mind with its smell of salt, but there is not enough oxygen in the world to make her feel as though she can breathe freely. Her chest feels hard and constrained, her ribs trapped behind steel and thick fabric tied tightly around her, and she needs to grab onto the steel railing behind her, so immense is the feeling of knowing his name.

She breathes, slowly, wondering at the logic of a boy's name making her weak and strangely invigorated at once. Perhaps it is the strangeness of the place from where he hails.

Perhaps it is something far worse.

Swallowing, she touches his name, lets out the tiniest groan as also his profile is public and she almost feels like crying over the fact that she holds him in his hand despite the distance between them. Oh, how did she ever become like this? Is this the sin her mother has always warned her about, the terrible terrible desire that only bad girls feel? She must be a very bad girl, perhaps the worst of all, because the way her heart is pounding - oh, oh, oh, it is making her chest ache and she whispers his name as she scrolls down, reads the harsh words he has spilled into his status updates, thinks of the first time she saw him and wonders what sort of a boy can be so rough and bold and wonders why she is so soft and silent.

Wonders what sort of a boy can have such blue eyes and if other people get goosebumps when he stares at them, wonders if he looks at others the way he looked at her that one morning in September, wonders if his gaze ever softens, wonders why on Earth she is so wrapped up in someone whose name she only just learned. Wonders why his mere existence gnaws at her bones.

She has not been gone for long, cannot have been gone for long, and still her father's number lights up the screen as he calls her. It takes her a moment to compose herself, and her voice is shaking when she picks up but the wind from the open sea must distort her words, as he does not seem to notice.


"The same. Did you go down to the harbour?"


"Ah, good. We're goin' down to the Middle House, Dec and your mammy and I, and the others are coming once the dishes are done. They have a family thing tonight. Come meet us there, alannah."

"Yes, of course, I shall go there right away", she says, and the half-truth slips of her tongue too easily for her liking. As the call is terminated, she walks with quick steps to the end of Main Street, to the little chapel, and touches the face of the Jesus statue just outside.

Perhaps she can be forgiven. Perhaps it is already too late.

Steadying her breathing, Cherry turns around again and goes to the Middle House Pub to await the new year.


The bus rolls into South Park and it feels like every particle in Lucy’s body is telling her to run run run back to safety. She is not certain if there is actual danger here, or if it is just the old superstitions of her home town. She knows there have been things going on in this place, things supernatural and extraordinary, but does that make the sleepy mountain town as inherently evil as others would have her think?

Can people like Token and Clyde be the sort of people who'd start a war with Canada over swearing? Can their parents? She doesn’t think so, but every hair on her body is standing on end and her stomach feels as heavy as though she has swallowed lead and no matter the reason these streets have been stained red with blood more than once.

She gets off the bus, considers getting back on but she’s determined to see this through, now, and follows Clyde’s instructions to his house. It looks like any other on his street, moderately large, two floors, a free-standing garage. Remarkably unremarkable save for the fact that it is louder, brighter than the other houses and the snowy lawn is full of teenagers with cigarettes in their mouths and red cups in their hands. It’s like any other party. Lucy smiles a little, starts searching in the crowd and all the faces are just regular teens like herself, everything’s so normal and she relaxes as she sees Token whose smile is wide and welcoming, Clyde who hands her a drink and the taste of vodka and sweet strawberries fills her mouth as Craig says hey, Lucy and the blonde boy - she can never remember his name, doesn’t even remember if he’s ever said it himself - behind his shoulder nods, his left eye twitching.

It’s all so normal. Why was she afraid?


Lucky sort of just drifts, going from one room to another, trying to look like she’s searching for someone or something. It’s weird, not having the menacing shadow of her step brother looming over her, and she’s at a loss. What does she do when she doesn’t have to hide?

Kenny isn’t there to talk to her either, which he sometimes does and pretends like he was making sure she didn’t have too much fun. She likes him for that. Not so much for the innuendos, but now that nearly everyone looks away… she’d rather hear him mumble gross things about Annie Polk than walk around this guy Clyde’s house.

Maybe she should thank him for inviting her. He seems nice, in a jocky sort of way, and it’s just polite to thank your host, right? Yeah, can’t go wrong.

She moves with purpose, now, and soon realises he’s not inside so she grabs her jacket and steps out onto the porch, It’s cold, but not too cold with all the smokers huddled together and just off the driveway Clyde stands with his friends and a dark-haired girl, his arms thrown out to show the magnitude of something and Token and the girl laugh, heads thrown back, and the only person who sees Lucky is Tweek.

In a way, he reminds her of Butters - poor Butters who is even more isolated than she is and barely seeks her gaze anymore - with the way he avoids looking her in the eye and the way he shuts his eyes sometimes. But right now, standing a little behind Craig, he just blinks very hard and says hi, Lucky a little too loudly.

“Hey”, she says, holding up a hand in greeting. “Just wanted to thank you for the invite”, she says to Clyde, whose brown hair is lying unevenly all around his head.

“Yeah, sure, no problem!” he replies, his smile wide. “Fatass isn’t back yet, huh?”


“Sorry, what’re we talking about?” asks the other girl and Lucky thinks she recognises her from school but hasn’t seen her take the bus. Maybe her parents drive her. Maybe she lives close enough to take a bike. It doesn't really matter.

...Except she should know about the Nazi Menace anyway, right? So maybe she's not from South Park, which would be weird considering how the people from the other towns usually act around South Park kids.

"Lucky here is blessed with living in the same house as the most bigoted guy on Earth", Token says, "since their parents got married this summer. Right now Fatass and the other assholes are - where were they going?"

"Russia", Craig says.

The other girl looks confused, turns to Lucky. "So, what, your step brother and his parent went on holiday or...?"

"Nope", Lucky says again. "I think some cult had chosen Stan - that's a friend of his, for lack of a better term - as their spiritual leader or somethin'."

"Fucking Stan", Craig sighs. "What's the deal with religious freaks and him?"

"Shit, hold on", Clyde interjects. "Lucy - hey, it's not as bad as it sounds."

Lucky watches the other girl, who's taken a couple of steps back from the circle, her eyes wide and horror-stricken. She must've looked something like that herself once, when the strangeness of her new home revealed itself. And suddenly, looking into this girl called Lucy's face, she gets why no one in the other towns wants anything to to with anyone from South Park. They know about this place... and in a way they have no idea. They never come here.

She can't really blame them.

"I moved here from Savannah", she says then, softly. "I've never seen a place like this. It's weird, and you start expectin' things not to be normal anymore when you've been here a while, but it's not... bad. You don't have to be afraid of it."

"You know Thomas", Craig says suddenly. "He lived here. You know he's cool."

Lucy still isn't saying anything, but her shoulders are sinking a little lower, like she's relaxing.

"And that douche, the other blond one - he was even in our class for a while when we were kids. Gregory", Token adds. "He was pretty terrible when he got here and I don't think he got worse, so that's kind of a point in our favour."

"You are all so fucking weird", Lucy says, looking at them. "Back home everyone's scared of you. My friends Isaac and Cherry, they're really smart, and even they don't know how to explain this place. What's the deal with it?"

"Is there a deal?" Clyde asks, his voice so oblivious, so innocent.

"The deal is not about us", Craig tells Lucy flatly. "It's the four assholes off in Russia. They're the kind of people who cause giant robots to shoot lazers at people. I was with them once. We got to Peru."

"I went to Somalia", Clyde confesses. "It was so bad."

"I got roped into a Christian rock band", Token says.

Tweek makes a small, hurt noise and shakes his head. "I hung out with them for a while", he says, and his words are being pushed out through his teeth, like they want to slip back down his throat. "It was the worst."

"Basically, Lucy", Token explains, "most of South Park is just... normal. Those assholes, though? No one likes them. You ask anyone here about Cartman and they're gonna tell you they're glad he's not here. Same basically goes for Stan and Kyle."

"Kenny's allright though." The others look at Clyde for a second, nod in agreement.

"I can't even follow." Lucy shakes her head. "Just give me another drink. If I get fucked up and my 'rents get me home in a box, that's on you guys. It's New Year's and I just want to be at this party and not think about your weirdness for a bit."

"I could use some lack of weirdness myself", Lucky says, and Lucy grins at her.

"I like you. What's your name again?"

"Lucky." She hesitates. "Day."

"Get out of here, that is so cool!"


"Hey, Cherry?" Lucy says as they sit together on the Java Moose Café, a couple of days before school start again. They are alone for a moment, with Vivi in the bathroom, and Lucy's gaze is somewhere outside the window.

"Yes, love?"

"I wanna tell you something but you can't get upset."

Cherry is quiet for a moment. She thinks of all the things that could be wrong, feels guilty for not already knowing. "I will not get upset."

Lucy smiles. "You can't promise that."

"Perhaps not. I can assure you I will do my very best to keep it to myself, though."

"I was in South Park. On New Year's."

The silence lies heavy between them, a lack of words filling up every space in the conversation and Vivi crashes into it like a car over which the driver has lost control. She is sudden, bright, full of stories about her trip to France and laughs at how both hers and Cherry's accents are a little more pronounced, and in the middle of her stream of words Rylee shows up as well and Lucy looks as though she hasn't said anything at all.

Cherry's mind is working fervently behind controlled smiles, however, and she thinks of all the time a boy's name has rested on her tongue unspoken, thinks of risks and probabilities and wonders if Lucy thinks she is judging her, condemning her while she is only wishing she had an ounce of her friend's carefree bravery.


Vivi and Rylee turn down their street, leaving Lucy and Cherry alone again and Lucy feels her stomach drop even further. She wishes she had never said anything. She's relieved she opened her mouth.

"Are you mad?" she asks.

"Oh, Lucy, no."


"I am just..." Cherry trails off, looks towards the mountains. "We have been fearful for so long. It is strange to know this... change."

"Yeah. I met a girl there I think you'd like by the way."

"I am certain she is lovely. I would like some... some time, though, before you introduce us, if that is allright."

"Of course it is. I wasn't thinking I'd do it, like, tomorrow anyway. I've got to tell the others first. Isaac's going to have my ass for going there."

Her words make Cherry smile a little, and that smile makes Lucy feel better, like she hasn't fucked up too bad. Neither of them speak of Lucas. Neither of them need to.

"I will be with you, if you wish it", Cherry says, a gentle hand taking Lucy's.

"Thanks, Cher. You're a rock."
itwod, chapter eight
oh my gosh i am fINALLY GETTING SOMEWHERE and it only took like two years and eight chapters

i hate myself lol
only part of it has to do with the way i make my baby ache sigh. also please tell me i didn't fuck Lucy or Lucky of their boys up too bad i am just feeling all over the place with characterisation lately blergh

(fun fact: i've lived in rínn an scidígh and it's gorgeous and none of the beaches have sand, it's all seashells and rocks and pools with crabs and sea stars ♥)
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.



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."


"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
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.
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.


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."




"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?"


"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


boethiahs's Profile Picture
I mean I have other places to whine now but still, it's been since... uh, december last year.

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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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.
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 ♥)
tazrrr Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013
boethiahs Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2013
tazrrr Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013
oh my
night-faery Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013  Student Writer
thanks for the watch hozi!!!
boethiahs Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013
thank YOU ♥
tazrrr Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2012

tazrrr Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012
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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