Chapter 5 - In which Bebe reveals herself a Kendy fangirl

Kenny had been home playing Chinpokomon on his old gameboy for a while when his battered Nokia rang : it was Cartman. In the middle of a gym battle, too: that fat jerk had the worst timing.

He picked up the call with a small pang of guilt over his forgotten mission. Cartman would surely be upset that he wasn't where he was instructed to stay - not that he really minded upsetting Cartman, but he was getting paid for those so-called missions and he felt a little bad about taking the money while not really doing anything in return.

''Hey fatass''

''I'm not fat, I'm just big boned, shithead!''. Classic reply.

''Yeah, yeah - Look, if you're calling about the mission, I'm sorry.''

''Yeah, you better be, you useless piece of shit. I thought you'd get it on faster than that! It's costing me a fortune, dude, you're totally breaking my balls.''

''Get what on?''

''Either those rumors about you are all made-up or Craig's a lying dick.''

''What does Craig have to do with it? And what the hell are you talking about?''

''Look Kinny - Kyle always says you're smarter than you let on. Well right now, you're proving him wrong. Now that I think about it, it's not very surprising but for the purpose of my fight, grow a brain, will ya?''

Kenny was going to reply something about his dick being so huge that when it got hard there wasn't enough blood left in his body to irrigate his brain when Cartman started whining again.

''And you could have gone at Tweek Bros - Harbucks, seriously? Do you want to ruin me?''

''Well yeah, anything to piss you off!'' he replied with a laugh.

''You're such a huge dick, McCormick.''

''No, I have a huge dick, there's a nuance.'' replied he, glad he could recuperate his joke somehow.

''Fuck you!'' Cartman screamed before abruptly hanging up.

''Well that was weird.''

He sat on his bed with his paused game in his hands, trying to process what had just happened. As made abundantly clear since the beginning, Cartman was working toward a goal, one that he refused to disclose. Kenny was given no instructions on what his role was or what to do. He was simply asked to be in different places at a given time. From what he could gather, Craig was somehow involved in the scheme, probably as an informant of some kind, since Cartman had mentioned him twice in relation with something Craig had said.

Also, Cartman knew that he bought coffees at Harbucks so he knew that Kenny he had met Wendy at the manifestation and that he treated her, but he made no comments about that, except to complain that it would cost him a lot. It was unusual, because the fatass despised Wendy and would definitely complain about wasting money on her. Which meant that, as Kenny suspected before, Cartman's plans had something to do with her. To know what exactly, he would have to ask Craig - or possibly find a way to blackmail him. Well, Mysterion could take care of that. In the meantime, there were more badges to be won in his quest to become Royal Crown Chinpoko Master.

That Saturday evening, Wendy felt so happy and reinvigorated that she did all of her homework in record time. Every task had appeared easier than usual and as soon as 7 o'clock she was all done, which left her clueless as to what to do with her free time. She decided to give Bebe a call and see what the other girl was up to.

''Hi Bebe!''

''Hello sweetie! - hey, you're calling early. Aren't you supposed to be doing your homework?''

''I'm finished already.''

''Really? Wow, you're fast. That essay we have to write for History is going to take me the whole weekend I think.''

''As if you'd spend the whole weekend doing homework.'' commented Wendy sarcastically with a roll of her eyes.

''Okay, the whole night before we've got to hand it. Still. It looks long and painful.''

''You make it sound worse than it actually is.''

''Yeah well, you make it sound easier than it actually is.''

They laughed.

''So what's up with Clyde? Has he been replying to your texts?''

''Yeah, I'm supposed to meet him for coffee tomorrow so we can talk about what happened. But I don't know - don't get me wrong, I love Clyde to bits, but I'm not sure if he's really the one for me. I mean, it's been like, half a dozen times we've taken a break? Maybe that means we're just never gonna work out.''

''Really, Bebe? That's what you said last month.''

Wendy was quite certain that Bebe did not love Clyde anymore the way that she did when they first started to go out. But they had grown so close in the meantime, so comfortable with one another, that their relationship reminded her of an old pair of shoes: a bit worn out, but soft and perfectly fitted. Clyde was a habit that Bebe tried to get rid of but fell back on again and again. It was a bit sad, because Clyde was crazy about her and got his heart broken every time Bebe doubted their relationship.

''Anyway - we'll see how it goes tomorrow. How was that manifestation of yours this morning?''

''Oh. I kind of… missed it.'' Suddenly she felt a pang of guilt nag at her : she hadn't given a single thought to the manifestation since leaving with Kenny.

''You missed it? Was it not today?''

''It was and I did go but by chance I met Kenny on Main, and he - I'm not so sure how he pulled it off - but he convinced to leave the manifestation to go take a walk in the woods near Stark's Pond.''

''Wait - you, Wendy Testaburger, ditched a manifestation to take a walk with Kenny McCormick?'' Bebe sounded doubtful.

''Uh...yes. He took me to see a baby deer with its mom! The fawn was so adorable, we've been able to come quite close to it too! I did feel guilty to leave the manifestation but I really had fun today.''

''You've been spending an awful lot of time with Kenny lately, though. Now that I think about it, you mentioned him quite often in the last few weeks. Is there something going on between the two of you that I - your ultimate BFF - don't know about?''

''What? Nooooo! No! Nothing of the sort. It's just that I got to know him better since he started volunteering at the library.'' explained Wendy.

''He does?'' Perplexity was apparent in Bebe's voice.

''Yes - although he never told me why he did it. Whenever I asked, he brushed it off as a joke about trying to seduce me.''

''Maybe you thought he was joking but he wasn't!''

''I'm pretty sure he wasn't serious. He hasn't tried to flirt with me or anything. He treats me like a friend, nothing more and nothing less.'' replied Wendy.

But Bebe was already enthralled with her theory and nothing her friend said afterwards about only being friends with the boy could alter her mind. She quickly became overly excited with the idea of Kenny courting Wendy - supposedly it was ''exactly like'' something out of those crappy romance novels Bebe liked to read: bad boy Kenny overcoming his upbringing and revealing himself a good man at heart as he struggled to change to win the heart of his belle, and Wendy finding her dull, boring, uptight world rocked upside down by his mere suave presence. By the time her friend was done spurting romantic nonsense about her hypothetical future love life, Wendy had been cringing so much she could feel the beginning of a headache creeping its way up her forehead. She lightly massaged the bridge of her nose, a habit she had unconsciously picked up from Stan.

''Oh my god, Bebe, will you just stop it! You make absolutely no sense whatsoever. Kenny isn't even a bad boy to begin with - do you even know him at all?''

''Not really, no, but Clyde says...''

''Look - let's drop the subject. There's nothing between me and Kenny, allright? Hey - wanna sleep over? Let's do our nails and watch a movie.''

''Cool! Let me just grab my pajamas and I'll be on my way! Then you can tell me all about how your future boyfriend's such a good guy.''


''I know you love me!''

When Kyle called to invite him over to play videogames together with Stan and Ike, Kenny quickly forgot his plans to force a confession out of Craig that night and ran all the way to the Broflovski's, thinking he could always wait until the next day to learn about what Cartman was up to. But as luck would have it, he got hit by a car while returning home on Sunday morning and ended up hanging out with Damien in Hell instead of doing his homework and playing superhero. When he finally woke up in his bed, it was Monday morning and he had to hurry up otherwise he would be late for school.

He arrived last at the bus stop. Kyle greeted him with a smile and a fist bump and asked how the rest of his weekend had been. As Kenny made up stories about playing a vintage Chinpokomon game and flipping through some porn magazines, he noticed that Cartman stood very close to Stan and spoke to him in a low voice, which was very unusual. Normally the fatass spoke loud and confidently, not giving two shits about who heard him or what they heard.

''What's up with Cartman?'' he asked Kyle.

''Oh don't get me started, he's been acting suspicious for days, and now I bet he's trying to get Stan involved. I tried to interrupt their conversation, but Stan told me to leave him be, so I guess I'll have to talk some sense into him later.''

''Wonder what the idiot is up to.'' he mumbled, pensive.

''To no good, that's for sure.''

The whole morning Cartman followed Stan everywhere like their shoelaces were tied together. In class he sat beside him and Kenny noticed they were passing a piece of paper back and forth between the two of them just like Bebe and Red did when one of them was brokenhearted. What could his friends be talking about? Did it have to do with the so-called missions he'd been asked to perform? He wanted to corner Stan alone but that seemed unlikely with Cartman glued to his every step. And why was Stan's face so pale? Worried, Kenny resolved to eavesdrop on them.

Once class was over, he rushed toward the boy's bathroom and hid into one of the stalls. Cartman always took a piss after first period so it was very likely that he and Stan would show up. With a little luck, he would get to hear a fragment of their conversation. He sat down on the toilet seat while he waited, pants around the ankles to make his presence unsuspicious. His mission as his nighttime persona had taught him the importance of such details.

As he had predicted, Cartman and Stan entered the bathroom a few moments later.

''I'm telling you, Stan, I believe you ought to give it a chance. You were in love with her your whole life. It's like your future with her is written in the stars. The chance to have a childhood romance turn into a lifelong relationship is not given to everyone, and I say - you gotta fight for something like that.''

''Yeah Cartman, maybe you're right. But Wendy's the kind of person who knows what she want in life and last time she said she felt we didn't belong together anymore. She said we both needed to move on and find happiness on our own. I really felt that she wouldn't come back, ever.''

''Wendy's a chick, dude, and chicks don't know shit. Their feelings are constantly changing and illogical - they might be feeling one way one minute, and the next she'll be telling you otherwise. But you know better, Stan, you know that chick needs you - she just wants you to prove to her how much you care.''

A part of Kenny raged at hearing Cartman insult Wendy (not to mention women in general) like that, but another, insecure, hesitant side of him, feared that maybe there was a chance that it was true, and that she would return to Stan if he gave it a shot. For a moment he felt his heart strain in his chest, compressed with old feelings of invisibility, irrelevance, inadequacy. Wendy would never pick him, the weird McCormick kid, over someone like Stan. Hell - she would never even think about being with him that way, he knew it for a fact. But it was hard to fight and ignore the feelings he harboured for her.

''Now is not the time to dwell on your pitiful situation, though!'' he thought. The part of him that brought Mysterion to life called his attention back to his friend's conversation. Although Stan kept arguing back to Cartman that there was no way Wendy was still in love with him, it was apparent that he was nearly convinced of the contrary. Cartman had succeeded in kindling a speck of hope in his heart and with a little more effort, would set it afire. At least that's how Kenny viewed it, still sitting on the toilet seat as his friends left the bathroom. He didn't know what to think of what he had heard. He felt confused - first with the force of his feelings for Wendy, then with Stan's attitude and finally with Cartman's involvement in the whole thing. Was this a part of his conspiracy? What was it, that he wanted to achieve by trying to reconcile Stan and Wendy? The only consistent element in all of Cartman's actions lately was that they all indirectly involved Wendy, and this time more than ever, he was determined to learn why.