Spoilers: This is the chapter where EVERYTHING gets revealed! That's right, shit gets real today, but will it do smoothly? Of course not, nothing in South Park ever does. Also, this is a Craig and Clyde chapter, so you can guess how that's gonna go.
Chapter 21 – Craig/Clyde
Cartman's betrayal shook the entire group, but Craig knew Stan took it the hardest. They were friends after all, and he couldn't even begin to imagine why he would do something like that. Then after Cartman was kidnapped, likely to keep him quiet, Stan spiraled right back into despair. Token had said that they should go to the police and have them arrest Jackson and his gang, but Stan rightly pointed out that they had no proof other than Cartman's word. And Cartman was gone.
"So how do we get the culprit to reveal themselves?" Craig mused to himself as he laid on his couch, "There's still when Mr. McCormick shot them, but how do we get them to trip up?"
Craig strongly suspected it was one of their teachers. All the clues they had found so far pointed in that direction. He was almost certain it wasn't Mr. Biggleston, unless he was one of those psychopaths who kidnapped his own sons. But he had seemed sincere when they had been talking to him. That left Mr. Adder and Mr. Johnston. To be honest, Craig suspected Mr. Adder than Mr. Johnston. The science teacher was a little… off at times, but he was friendly and cooperative. Mr. Adder on the other hand had been cryptic and dodging. He claimed to have nothing to do with the kidnappings, but he had been a suspect in the North Park kidnappings! If they had to start with someone, Craig wanted to start with him.
He was dragged out of his thoughts when Clyde came into the room, looking contemplative. Craig sat up and stared at him.
"Hey dude. What's up?" he asked.
Clyde bit his lower lip before sitting down next to him. "Craig, you know I love you," he said slowly, "And I would do anything to make you happy."
Craig blinked at him, confused. "A-Are you going somewhere with this, Clyde?" he wondered.
Taking a deep breath, Clyde closed his eyes before opening them and looking at him. "Craig… will you be my boyfriend?"
Craig's breath hitched. Was he… seriously asking that? He felt his heart pounding and he took a shaky breath. "Clyde, I'm honored that you would ask me," he began, "And maybe in another timeline I would say yes… but I can't."
Immediately, Clyde's face fell. "Why not?" he asked.
"Because if I said yes to you and started going out with you, then I would basically be saying that I'm giving up on Tweek," Craig explained, "That I have no hope of ever seeing him again. And I can't do that. I'll never give up on Tweek. Not as long as there's a chance that we can still save him."
Clyde stared at him for a long moment before standing up. "Thank you, Craig," he said, his voice blank, "You're a truly loyal friend. I'm glad I can depend on you."
Craig watched in confusion as he walked out of the room and went upstairs. That was… odd. He had expected Clyde to react much differently than that! Had he been testing him or something? To see if he would remain true to Tweek? What was going on here?
"That was so weird," he muttered to himself. Well, whatever. He had somethings to do anyway. He had to catch a kidnapper.
Clyde sighed heavily as he collapsed on the bed. He didn't know what to do anymore. He really thought he had captured Craig's heart and had made it so he didn't care as much about Tweek anymore. Well, compared to him at least. He thought asking Craig out would be the final nail in Tweek's coffin. But it wasn't. And now Clyde knew.
Nothing he did would ever make Craig love him more than he loved Tweek.
It had all been pointless. Clyde had just been delaying the inevitable heartbreak. Why had he bothered trying? Huffing, he rolled onto his back and stared up at the ceiling.
There were glow-in-the-dark stars and planets sticking to the ceiling. He wondered if Craig bought them on his own or if Tweek gave them to him.
I should just confess what I know, Clyde thought, The more this drags on, the worse it gets. He's going to hate me when he finds out anyway, so better to rip the bandage off now.
With a heavy sigh, Clyde picked up his phone and headed back downstairs.
"Classes postponed because reasons," Craig read on the school website for Mr. Adder's class. Well, if that wasn't suspicious, he didn't know what was. What "reason" could Mr. Adder have for not having class other than he was shot and didn't want anyone to see his injury?
Craig was just picking up his phone to call Stan and Token when Clyde came back downstairs and into the room. He looked very serious.
"Are you all right, Clyde?" Craig asked him. Clyde took a deep breath before speaking.
"I need to tell you something," Clyde said. His voice was devoid of any emotion. "Something I should have told you a long time ago."
"Uh… ok," Craig replied. Really, what was going on with Clyde today? Was he affected by the rejection worse than Craig thought?
"I want to start by saying that I make no excuses for this," Clyde began, "I should've said something immediately instead of keeping my mouth shut out of jealousy."
"What are you talking about, Clyde?" Craig asked. He was starting to freak him out a little.
There was a long pause before Clyde spoke again.
"I know who kidnapped Tweek and the others," he finally said. Craig's eyes widened.
"What?" he breathed, "H-How?"
"Because… I saw Tweek get kidnapped," Clyde at last admitted.
Immediately, rage started boiling up inside of Craig. He stood up, glaring down at his friend. He saw-? "You what?" he snarled.
"I saw Tweek get kidnapped," Clyde repeated, his voice faltering a bit, "I-I know who the kidnapper is. In fact, I have a recording of him on my phone."
Shakily, he pulled out his phone and opened a video. "I-It happened at night, b-but my phone has a night vision mode, so y-you can see who it is in the video," he explained to Craig as he pressed play and showed it to him.
There was tree very close to the foreground, so it was clear Clyde had been hiding behind a tree while he filmed this. Craig's breath hitched as he saw Tweek walk into view. Then a black car pulled up and a man got out, stepping up behind him and pressing a gun to his back. A very familiar man.
Mr. Johnston, the science teacher.
Craig glared as he threatened Tweek and made him get into the car. He smashed Tweek's phone on the ground and got into the car and it drove away. Then the video ended.
There was tense silence as Craig tried to compose himself. He didn't speak until he stopped trembling.
"You knew," he said slowly, "You knew and you had video evidence this entire time, and you never told anyone!" He leveled his narrowed gaze at Clyde. "The entire town is in a panic! Everyone is scared out of their wits! Countless of people are suffering! And you could've stopped it all before it even began!"
"Craig…" But Clyde was cut off when Craig socked him in the jaw, sending him to the floor.
"Don't 'Craig' me!" Craig snarled, "You're as bad as the kidnapper! What could possibly possess you to think with holding this information was ok?!"
Clyde was still laying on the floor, not even attempting to get up, and holding his jaw. He was breathing hard. "I… I was jealous of Tweek," he panted, "I'm sorry… I thought that… if Tweek disappeared… or if I could solve the case… then you would fall in love with me… and forget about Tweek… I'm sorry Craig… I'm so sorry…"
Craig glared down at him in pure anger. "That's your reason?" he growled, "That's the reason why you put so many of our friends and classmates in danger? Brought so many people heartache? Because of your petty jealousy? You're… pathetic!"
He spat at Clyde before snatching up his phone and texting Stan and Token to meet up at The Burger Joint. Then he dashed out of the house without a backwards glance at Clyde.
Clyde laid on the floor, tears stuck in his eyes.
Craig ran through the streets, not stopping for anything as he sprinted towards The Burger Joint. Stan and Token needed to know what Clyde had just told him. Mr. Johnston was the kidnapper! Together they could make Clyde give them the video and take it to the police! Then he would finally be reunited with Tweek!
He decided to take a short cut through an alley. He was almost there when a man stepped in front of him and he skidded to a halt. Craig stared in shock at who it was. No…
"Hello, Craig," Mr. Johnston greeted in a calm voice, "Where are you headed in such a hurry?"
"Oh, just going to hang out with my friends," Craig replied, trying not to sound nervous, "Nothing special."
"Is that so?" Mr. Johnston said, taking a step forward. Craig took a step back. "I have a different idea. How about you come with me, or you'll be gravely injured. Oh! Or maybe your boyfriend Tweek will suffer some… horrible accident?"
Craig glared at him, not saying anything. His head was swimming with questions, but he didn't dare to ask any. Instead, he continued to glare as Mr. Johnston smirked.
"Good boy," he said in a slimy voice, "Now, hand me your phone. You won't need that."
Craig silently reached into his pocket and handed him his phone where it was immediately smashed on the ground into a hundred pieces.
"Now, turn around and quietly get in the car," Mr. Johnston ordered, "If you try to run I will make sure your boyfriend is killed before the police get anywhere near him."
Hissing with hatred, Craig turned and did as he was told. He walked over to the black car parked on the street and got in, followed by Mr. Johnston.
"Drive," he ordered the driver, who Craig recognized as Jackson.
"I don't like this, dad," Jackson muttered, "What's the point of taking this loser?"
"I don't care about your inane questions, boy!" Mr. Johnston snapped, "I said drive!"
So, that's the connection, Craig thought as they took off, Jackson is Mr. Johnston's son! Figures. Doesn't explain why they're doing all of this, though. But I suppose I'll learn soon enough. He took a deep breath and steeled his nerves. Hold on, Tweek! I'll see you soon!
Ok, be honest: how many of you knew who it was? Also, did anyone figure it out right away? Write in a comment your thoughts on the reveal! We're closer to the end, folks! It may look bleak, but it actually starts looking better from here! Look forward to more coming soon!
PS. I lied. Not everything got revealed, like Mr. Johnston's motivation, but almost everything got revealed.