Opening A/N

Now, before I begin writing the sixth chapter of 'High School Escapades', there is something I would like to address…

I'm aware that a few people were confused by the closing of the school in the previous chapter. Originally, I'd planned on closing the school because of a boiler malfunction (y'know, due to extreme cold). However, by the time I'd come to writing this, I'd already described the weather overnight as 'fine'. Therefore, the boiler could not possibly have exploded. To cut a long story short, I'd not planned as well as I should have done - sorry!

Now, back to Chapter 6, entitled 'The Free Day'. Thanks to the closing of the school, everyone now has a day off. Obviously, they don't want to waste it; and so they all decide to do some stuff together… even Cartman.

Anyway, I hope you all enjoy this chapter. At this point in my A/N, I usually remind you all to review. This time, however, I'd like to thank all of my more consistent reviewers for their support - that's Random-George, Raspberry Girl 90, Robert 3, Sugar Daddy Stan and Tigger 56 Bounce, by the way (sorry if I've missed anyone out but, if you've actually reviewed, then you have my thanks).

Don't forget to review, people!

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Stan was slumped at the table, his upper body hanging over a bowl of cornflakes like a limp marionette. His hat was plopped lopsidedly onto his head, his black hair, though sleek and clean from a recent shower, protruding messily from beneath it. Huge bags hung under his eyes like garden hammocks, heavy enough to pull his face down into his hands. Only his elbows, though tired and weak, propped him up; preventing his face from joining his cereal. Every so often, they'd suddenly give way, and he'd have to call upon every ounce of strength in his body to haul himself back into an upright position, or a semi-upright position, at least. Stan looked down at his cornflakes. After festering for twenty minutes or so in the warm milk, they'd gone very soggy, and were no longer even partly desirable. He grabbed his spoon, which felt like a small weight in his hand, and plunged it into the bowl. Groaning, he pushed body the bowl and the spoon aside. It was fair to say that he wasn't in the best of moods. Sure, he'd heard that the school had been closed; but the fact that his parents had confined him to a day of chores kind of put a damper on it. Sighing, Stan lay his head down on the table, closed his eyes, and prepared to go to sleep…

A few minutes later, Randy Marsh stumbled wearily into the kitchen from the living room. Although he'd been awake for an hour or so, he was still lounging about the house in his turquoise robe. He was carrying a large, steaming mug, presumable filled with coffee, in his right hand, and the morning newspaper in his left. Scratching the mat of disorganised, messy black hair on his head, Randy walked across the room. As he lay his mug and newspaper down on the table, he noticed that Stan was sleeping there. Grinning, he leaned over, grabbed his shoulders, and then began shaking him violently.

"Hey, Stan! Wake up!" He yelled, trying his best not to laugh. "Wake up! Wake up!" For one reason or another, Randy found the whole thing very funny. That was until Stan eventually did wake up. Startled, he bolted upright, and the back of his head collided with Randy's chin with a heavy thud. "Ow! Shit!"

"Argh! Fucking Hell!" Stan groaned, rubbing the back of his head. Already, a large bump was beginning to form there. "What's the Hell is the big idea, dad?!" Randy was clutching his chin, and so found it hard to talk.

"I… was trying to… wake you… up," he began, groaning as he spoke. "But… YOU head-butted… me!" Stan, shocked that he was getting the blame, quickly retaliated.

"What do you mean, 'but I head-butted you'?!" He exclaimed. "It wasn't my fucking fault! I wouldn't have 'head-butted' you if you weren't being such a dickhole!" Randy's eyes widened.

"I… wasn't being a… 'dickhole'!" He argued back, still clutching his chin. "I was trying… to wake… you up! You… shouldn't have been sleeping… on the… table!"

"I wouldn't have been sleeping on the table if you hadn't woken me up in the first place, despite knowing that the school was closed and that I didn't even have to be up!" Stan shouted, raising his voice. Randy, defeated, stormed out of the room, kicking a kitchen chair over as he passed it. Stan grumbled to himself, and then thumped the surface of the table with his fist.

There was, as was obvious before, during, and after that encounter, an air of bitterness and general unpleasantness hanging about the Marsh household. From the moment that Stan's parents had woken him up for no good reason, and then ruined his day by assigning a Hell of a lot of chores, he'd been doing his best to act like a real asshole. No good reason… except to spite them. Both he and his dad knew that their argument was completely unnecessary, but each of them just wanted an excuse to let the other have it. Sure, Randy hadn't originally intended on pissing his son off, nor did he really think that he'd head-butted him. Once again, he just wanted an excuse to let off steam, and Stan had given him the perfect opportunity to. Stan again lay his head down on the table, again closed his eyes, and again prepared to go to sleep…

Just then, the telephone began to ring. In his mood, it seemed to Stan that the phone was screaming at him. Almost screaming in frustration himself, he pulled his hat down over his ears, attempting to drown out the sound and ignore it. After a few seconds, he rose from the table with such a jolt that his anger was blatantly evident. Storming over to the phone, he tore it up from it's hook.

"What?!" He almost yelled into the receiver.

"Jesus Christ!" Came the startled reply. "Did I catch you at a bad time or something, dude?" Stan, realising who it was, immediately calmed down.

"Oh, I'm sorry about that, Kyle," he said. "I guess I'm just in a bad mood, so I suppose you could say that you caught me at a bad time, yeah."

"It's alright, dude," Kyle replied. "But, how could you possibly be in a bad mood?! Haven't you heard about the school?"

"Yeah." Stan yawned, scratching the back of his head. He propped himself up against the wall, alongside the phone.

"Then what are you so pissed off about?" Kyle asked, a little confused. "We've got the whole day off school, dude, you should be pleased!"

"I know that," Stan began, "the school's closed, but I don't really have the whole day off to do what I want."

"What do you mean?" Stan sighed.

"Well, it's a long story," he began. "My parents heard about the school being closed, but they woke me up anyway. I got washed and ready for school, and then they told me that it was closed. I guess I was happy at first, but then I asked them why'd they'd woken me up if they knew that the school was closed…"

"Yeah?"

"Because they want me to do a Hell of a lot of chores today, and they knew that I wouldn't have gotten up to do them if they'd told me that the school was closed. Those bastards." Kyle gasped.

"Oh, dude! That's a dirty fucking trick!" Stan nodded.

"I know," he began, "that's why I'm so pissed off. There's no way that I'm spending my entire free day doing gay ass chores!" Stan paused for a moment. "So, what's this all about anyway, Kyle?"

"Well, me and the guys are gonna go check out that new arcade in the mall; and then we're gonna go to Happy Burger, or something," Kyle began, "and I wanted to know if you'd be coming along, too." Stan groaned.

"You know I'd love to, dude," he began, "but I've got those chores to do."

"Maybe you can get outta doing them, or something?" Kyle suggested. Stan again paused for a moment, and then shook his head.

"I doubt it," he began, "but I guess it's worth a try…" Stan heard someone descending the stairs. "Here comes someone now, I'll be right back, dude." Slowly, he put the phone down on the table.

Just then, Stan's mother, Sharon, walked into the kitchen from the living room. She was quite small, with short brown hair and similarly-coloured eyes. Fully dressed, she was wearing a brown sweatshirt (with red trimmings), and a pair of dark blue trousers. She walked across the kitchen, slamming her mug of coffee down on the table. She was pissed-off, and Stan gulped. Unlike Randy, Sharon had a very powerful character. It was almost impossible to argue with her… especially when she was in a bad mood. Stan, figuring that it was worth a try, cleared his throat.

"Mom?" He caught her attention, and she looked over at him. The look on her face said that she was, indeed, pissed-off.

"What is it, Stanley?" She asked, her voice filled with a kind of bitterness. Stan again scratched the back of his head, quite nervously.

"Err… the guys are going to the arcade, and then to Happy Burger," Stan began, "and they want me to go with them…" Sharon groaned.

"Let me guess," she began, still sounding bitter, "you want to know if you can get out of your chores, so that you can go with them?" Stan, after a few moments of hesitation, nodded quickly.

"Yeah… kinda…" he replied. Sharon took her mug up from the table, almost smashing it down into the kitchen sink. Just like everyone else in the house, she was really pissed off about something.

"Do what you want, Stanley," she said, not looking at him. Stan smiled briefly, but Sharon had yet to finish. "But don't think that you're getting out of those chores - if they're not done by the end of the day, you're grounded for a month." Stan nodded.

"Alright… thanks, mom," he walked back over to the phone, picking it up from the table and holding it to his face. "Good news, dude," he began, "I've gotten outta those chores… for the moment, at least."

"Well, that's good to hear," Kyle replied, still on the other end of the line. "Now I won't have to spend my whole day with Cartman and, on top of that, I've got another ass to kick at the arcade!" Stan laughed.

"Yeah…" he trailed off, before catching on to what Kyle had said. "Hey, wait a minute…" Kyle laughed, interrupting his friend.

"Forget I said that, dude," he said, before pausing. "Like I said, we'll be going to Happy Burger as well - do you have enough money?" Stan thought for a few moments.

"Yeah," he replied, nodding, "I think I've got twenty dollars upstairs… somewhere." He laughed. "It's gonna take me a while to find, though - my room's in a mess!"

"That doesn't matter, dude," Kyle began, "we won't be leaving for at least another hour, so you've got plenty of time!" Stan nodded again.

"I know, I know," he looked up at the clock. It read '10:27 AM'. "Well, I'd better go now - I've got quite a few things that I need to get done before we leave."

"Alright," Kyle said, "I'll see you later, dude."

"Later, Kyle," Stan replied. Hearing Kyle hang up, Stan put the phone down himself. He yawned, scratching the back of his head, and walked out of the kitchen. All of a sudden, things were starting to look up again…

-

"Goddamn it!" Cartman was kneeling in front of his chest-of-drawers, rummaging through the contents. Some of the drawers had been ragged out and emptied onto the floor, with articles ranging from t-shirts to underpants strewn about the room. It looked as if the chest-of-drawers had been blown apart, but it was just that Cartman had lost his socks… and, in searching for them, most of his mind. "I know they're around here someplace!" He pulled out the final drawer and began looking through it, but, having no success, he tossed the contents onto his bedroom floor. Cartman was getting really pissed-off. He looked across the room to where Kenny was sleeping. His friend, and new housemate, was lying in Cartman's sleeping bag, snoring loudly. He'd woken up earlier that morning but, when he'd heard that the school was closed, promptly went back to sleep. Cartman stormed across the room, arriving at Kenny's spot and kicking him in the side. "Kenny! Wake the Hell up, you poor piece of crap!" He kicked him again, this time with a little more, and Kenny bolted upright.

"Holy shit!" He exclaimed, a look of alarm slapped across his face. He shook his head a few times, waking himself up, and then glared at Cartman. "What are you doing, you fat turd?!"

"Kenny, where the fuck have you put my socks?!" Kenny shot him a bemused glance, but Cartman shook his head. "Don't give me that 'I don't know what you're talking about' look, you Goddamn POV!"

"I don't know where your fucking socks are, you fat bastard!" Kenny began, his expression darkening, "what makes you think that I would?!" Cartman rolled his eyes.

"Because, dumb ass, you're the only other person I share a room with! Does it really take that much to figure it out?! Jeez!" Kenny growled, and then looked down at Cartman's feet.

"I'm not sure," he began, grinning slightly, "but it obviously takes a lot more to realise that your socks on are your fucking feet!" Cartman raised his eyebrow, and then looked down. His socks were, indeed, on his feet.

"I'm going to get something to eat," Cartman said, bluntly and emotionlessly. He turned his back and began to walk towards his bedroom door.

"Wait a minute," Kenny said, lying back down again. "The school's closed, remember?! Why are you in such a hurry to get ready?" Cartman sighed.

"Because all of those Goddamn hippies, like Stan, are going to arcade… and then they're going to Happy Burger. And we're going with them, duh!" Kenny's eyes widened, and he immediately shot to his feet.

"What?!" He exclaimed, "why the fuck didn't you tell me?!" By this time, Cartman had already left the room, and so didn't hear Kenny's question. Kenny, grabbing some of his clothes, rushed out of the room himself, slamming the door behind him.

-

Wendy was still sitting up on her sofa, watching television, and occasionally sipping coffee from the mug in her hands. The morning news still droned on, repeating the same stories over and over again. It was a good job that Wendy had some caffeine, otherwise she would've most certainly fallen asleep again by now! She yawned, sinking deeper into the soft sofa. It was very comfortable… possibly even more so than her own bed. Then again, it did cost a pretty penny. At that moment, Ms Testaburger walked into the room from the kitchen. Setting her own mug of coffee down on the table beside the sofa, she sat down alongside her daughter. For quite a while, neither of them spoke - they just sat and watched the television, even though they both felt that the news was incredibly dull…

"So," Ms Testaburger began, eventually ending the deadlock of silence. "Do you have a good sleep last night, Sweetheart?" Wendy thought for a moment, and then shook her head.

"Not really," she replied, "I was so tired that I forgot to close the curtains, undress, or even make use of my bed sheets." She paused. "I guess I was just real tired." Ms Testaburger nodded.

"I knew that when I spoke to you after school yesterday," she began, "you really looked it." She paused. "You've had a lot on your mind." Wendy, too, nodded.

"Yeah…" once again, the room fell into silence. Mainly because of the conversation with her daughter the previous night, Ms Testaburger found the silence to be incredibly uncomfortable. After a few seconds, she decided to break it…

"Are you watching this?" She asked, motioning towards the television set. Wendy shook her head and Ms Testaburger, taking the remote control in her hand, began flicking through the channels. "So," she began, "do you have anything planned for today?" Wendy thought for a moment, and then shrugged.

"No, not really," she replied, taking another sip of coffee from her mug. "I don't really have anything to do so, unless Bebe or someone decides to call, I guess I'll just sit around here." After another beat of silence, Ms Testaburger spoke again…

"Oh, okay…" she trailed off, "I suppose it'll do you good to take a rest and save some of your energy - especially with that party coming up on Friday…" Wendy nodded.

"I guess it might…" she sighed, and Ms Testaburger, concerned, looked over. "It's just that, well, I'm still really nervous about it. Our talk last night didn't help all that much…" Ms Testaburger nodded.

"I know, I know," she began. "Like I said last night, the only thing that you can do about your anxieties is, well… it." Wendy nodded and then, after a brief pause, shook her head.

"I find it hard to believe," she began, sounding a little downbeat. "I find it hard to believe that, even after so long together, Stan and I still aren't completely comfortable…" Ms Testaburger shook her head.

"Now, Wendy, it's perfectly normal for a couple to be nervous and uncomfortable about their first time… especially if they haven't really talked about it." She paused for a moment. "And I suppose that, if you've been together since you were very young, it's going to be even harder."

"How's that?" Wendy asked, looking and sounding a little bemused.

"You two were together when you were kids," Ms Testaburger began, "to be honest, I didn't expect you to last any longer than the fourth grade…" she paused for a moment. "But then, you just kept on going. And, as you did, your relationship got more and more serious; your first real kiss, your first date…" she trailed off. "Now you two are thinking about sex. Just think about it - you started off as two lovesick nine year old kids, and now you're thinking about sex. I can't even imagine how strange it must be…" Wendy thought for a moment, and then nodded.

"You're right," she began, "I remember when we were only nine, and we weren't that serious at all." She paused, smiling a little. "It is strange that I'm thinking about sex with my childhood crush. I mean, we've known each other since we were nine… since we were little kids - little, innocent kids with no dirty thoughts and no sexual desires or urges." She shook her head, almost in disbelief, "we've come a long way, I guess…"

"Exactly," Ms Testaburger replied. "You have come a long way. You've grown and grown, passing all sorts of milestones and reaching new levels of seriousness. Sex is just another one of those levels, but it's probably the most important and difficult of the lot… especially for a pair like you and Stan - for a pair who've grown up from childhood together." She paused for a moment. "But I suppose that, for a couple like you, the sex must be extra pleasurable…" Wendy laughed.

"Well, that's encouraging!" Before the smile brought on by her laughter had passed, Wendy spoke again. "Thanks, mom," she began, "you've been really supportive over this whole thing…" Ms Testaburger shrugged, and smiled herself.

"That's what I'm here for - to support you," she said. "I suppose you didn't expect this kind of reaction?" Wendy shook her head.

"No, I didn't," she replied. Ms Testaburger laughed a little.

"If you were underage, say about fifteen, and you'd already had sex, then things would've been pretty different! But you're a seventeen year old girl now," she said. "Don't forget, I was in your situation, too, once… except that I didn't have such an understanding mom, or such a great boyfriend." For a few seconds, Ms Testaburger looked a little downbeat, but then quickly cheered back up. "Well, that happened a long time ago, and now I have so much more than I had then." She smiled at Wendy, who smiled back.

"I know," she said. "I guess that, now, all I can do is wait for the party… I'm pretty sure that Stan…" She trailed off, and Ms Testaburger shook her head furiously.

"Look, just don't think about it," she began, "if anything at all, try to look forward to the party. Wendy, I know you, and I know Stan; if you two sit down and talk about it, you'll overcome your dilemma in no time." Ms Testaburger rose from the table, collecting the two empty mugs. "And, when you do, you're gonna have one Hell of a time." She paused for a moment. "I can understand you being nervous about this - I'm sure Stan's the same. But you shouldn't worry about it… because there's nothing to worry about. Stan's a great guy and, chances are, he's thinking about this too." She began walking towards the kitchen. "In the meantime, you should try and concentrate on something else… why don't you go out for a while? It'll do you a whole lot of good." With that, Ms Testaburger walked into the kitchen.

Wendy, lying back down on the sofa, sighed. Her mom, as was always the case with her, was right. It was one thing to be nervous about her first time with Stan, but it was a completely different thing to be worrying about it. But she couldn't really help it - Wendy was so desperate to make her first time with Stan perfect, that the thought of fucking up was too much to bear. Then again, with a body like her own, how could she possibly fuck up? Wendy, sitting back up again, groaned loudly - her mind was all over the place, and so she had to clear her head. Leaning over to the side of the sofa, she reached for the telephone. Lifting the receiver from the hook, she began to dial Bebe's home number. After a few seconds of ringing, Wendy heard someone pick up the phone.

"Hello?" Came Bebe's voice, from the other side of the line.

"Hello, is that you, Bebe?" Wendy asked. She knew quite well that it was Bebe, but she always started telephones conversations by asking such stupid questions.

"Oh, hey, Wendy!" Bebe replied, sounding a little more upbeat all of a sudden. "Thank God you phoned - I was getting SO bored!" Wendy smiled.

"I have a good sense of timing, I guess…" she said. "I was just wondering, seeing as the school's closed, if you wanted to come to the mall, or something?" Bebe didn't hesitate before answering.

"Sure!" She replied, "it's something to do, and I have a little money to burn, anyways." She paused for a few moments. "Speaking of the mall, how come you didn't show up to come with us yesterday? I didn't go myself in the end, but I was just curious…"

"Oh, about that…" Wendy began, scratching the back of her head. "I had a lot on my mind, and fatigue got the better of me…" She paused for a few moments herself. "That's the main reason I wanna do something - I've gotta clear my head, and concentrate on something other than… never mind…" Bebe, for some reason or another, laughed a little.

"Okay," she said. "Seeing as the mall's closer to your place, I'll drop by in about half an hour. Is that alright with you?" Wendy nodded.

"Yeah, it's fine," Wendy replied, "I'll see you in half an hour, then."

"See you later, Wendy," Bebe replied, before hanging up. Upon hear this Wendy, too, hung up. Yawning, she lay back down on the sofa again. Stan's party was fast approaching, and she has a sneaking suspicion that it was going to be the biggest night of her life so far. Wendy needed all the rest she could get and, if resting her body was important, then resting her mind was vital…

-

Stan was standing in the middle of his room, scratching the back of his head contemplatively. The room itself was a complete mess. Every chest, cabinet and wardrobe had been ransacked; and every pocket in every shirt, jacket and pair of jeans had been turned inside-out. Stan could've sworn that he had twenty dollars… somewhere. He groaned in annoyance, plunging his hands into his pockets. He groaned again but, this time, in disbelief. He drew his left hand from the corresponding pocket and, just as he'd thought, he had grasping two ten dollar bills. His clenched his fist around the bills, and chuckled to himself. He'd completely turned his room on it's head when, for the whole time, the money had been in his pocket.

"Stanley!" Stan heard his mom's voice booming up the stairs, and headed towards his bedroom door. He opened it, popping his head out into the hallway.

"Yeah?" He called.

"Stanley, hurry up - you're friends are here!" His mom yelled back, almost cracking the double-glazed windows. For the same reason, or a completely new one, she was still really pissed off. Stan stepped out of his room, closing the door behind him, and quickly descended the stairs. Sure enough, Kyle was standing in the front doorway.

"Hey," he said, grinning.

"Hey, Kyle," Stan replied, reaching for his hat and gloves, which where hanging on a coat rack beside the front door. Kyle shook his head.

"You won't be needing those, dude," he said, motioning over his shoulder. Stan gazed out into the street, and the weather seemed fine. "It's pretty cool out today." Stan took a second glance at Kyle, and noticed that he wasn't wearing his hat. The weather must've been exceptionally good, because Kyle ALWAYS wore his hat. Also, he was wearing his hair in an abnormal style. Instead of his usual, disorganised mop, Kyle had damped his hair and combed it straight down onto his shoulders. Stan laughed, bypassing his hat and gloves, and stepped out into the street. "What are you laughing at?"

"It's your hair… it looks so weird," Stan replied, "is this some kind of special occasion?" Kyle groaned, rolling his eyes.

"Why is it that every single person I've talked to today has said that? Does it really look that bad?" Stan shook his head, laughing again.

"Nah," he began, as the two started down the garden path. "It just looks unusual," he paused for a few moments. "What makes you think it looks that bad?"

"Cartman told me," Kyle replied, grinning. Stan looked shocked.

"And you believed him?" He asked, shaking his head in disgust. "You're, like, the second smartest person I know… and you actually listened to Cartman?! I'm disappointed in you, Kyle!"

"Hey! Wait a minute!" Kyle began, looking a little insulted. "What do you mean, 'the second smartest person I know'?" Stan laughed.

"Okay, let me put it this way…" he began. "Aside from Wendy, you're the smartest person I know." He paused. "But don't get me wrong, I'm not just saying that Wendy's the smartest person I know just because she's my girlfriend!" Kyle thought for a few moments.

"You could've at least pretended," Kyle said. "That you were saying that Wendy's the smartest person you know because she's your girlfriend, that is." Stan, too, thought for a few moments, and then shrugged.

"Whatever," he replied, as he and Kyle arrived at the foot of the garden path, walking out onto the sidewalk. Cartman, Kenny, Butters and Tweek were waiting for them. Stan noticed another guy, too, standing amongst the crowd. Well, he wasn't exactly standing, but propped up on two odd-looking crutches. Stan's eyes widened.

The guy was quite short and podgy, with messy brown hair which looked like a large, upturned bowl atop his head, and far out brown eyes. He was wearing a long-sleeved yellow shirt, and baggy light blue jeans. His name was Jimmy Valmer, and he was once South Park's resident cripple. However, at the end of middle school, he and his parents had moved to Denver. Jimmy had always fancied himself as quite the comedian but, because of his gigantic speech impediment, his jokes suffered. Besides, they were hardly ever funny… at all. Noticing Stan, he smiled widely and revealed a set of braces.

"Long time no s-see, S-S-Stan," he said, stuttering.

"Holy shit!" Stan spluttered, sounding as surprised as he looked. He shook his head, as if trying to wake himself up from a non-existent dream. "Jimmy?! Is that you?!"

"No," Cartman scoffed, very sarcastically. Stan threw him an angry glance, and then turned his attentions back to his handicapped friend.

"It's been, like, four years, dude!" He said, "what are you doing back here in South Park? He asked, as he and the boys started off down the street.

"Lets just s-say that D-Denver isn't all it's cracked up to be, S-Stan," Jimmy began. "My parents ran into financial p-pro… my p-parents ran into financial p-problem… r-ran into financial p-problems, and we had to s-se… we h-had to s-se…" He screwed up his face, stumbling on almost every word, and so Kyle helped him out.

"They had to sell their place in Denver," he said, interrupting. Jimmy smiled gratefully, and Kyle continued. "They made enough extra money to pay for a room at that 'Super Seven Motel'. Y'know, the one down on Bernard Road?" Stan nodded.

"Yeah, I know the one," he replied, laughing a little. "It's a fucking mess! I thought that they'd torn it down a long time ago, to be honest…"

"My d-dad is a friend of the owner, s-so we got a s-sp… so w-we got a s-spec… w-we g-got a s-special d-deal," Jimmy began, as the boys closed in on the main street. "My p-parents are already looking for j-jobs, and we should be able to afford an apartment in n-no time."

"Anyway," Kyle continued, "I heard that he'd moved back in this morning, so I invited him along with us… I mean, he does have a lot of catching up to do, after all." Stan nodded.

"Yeah," he said, laughing a little. "Well, I'm throwing a party on Friday," he continued, "I think you should come along - it'll give you a great opportunity to catch up with everyone else." Jimmy thought for a moment, and then nodded enthusiastically.

"T-That's a great idea, S-S-Stan," he replied. "It's been a long time since I went to a p-party." He paused for a moment. "Y-You can count m-me in." Stan grinned.

"And what about you guys?" He asked, turning to face Cartman, Butters and Tweek. They all threw him bemused glances… though Cartman's bemusement was as convincing as it was authentic. Stan sighed. "Weren't you listening? I'm throwing a party on Friday, are you guys gonna come?"

"Well, it's about Goddamn time!" Cartman blurted that out with such abruptness, that it was as if he'd been holding it beneath his breath for his entire life. "I've known about the party since Monday, and I've been waiting fucking days for you to tell me about if yourself! You're damn straight I'll come!" Stan turned his attentions to Butters and Tweek.

"Uh… I don't know, Stan" Butters began, twiddling his thumbs unsurely. "You know that I don't drink… a-and, besides, I don't think my parents would like me g-going to a high school party…" Tweek nodded.

"Argh! Yeah," he said, twitching violently. "And there's no way I'm going near alcohol! You've seen what caffeine does to me; but you don't even wanna know what alcohol does, man!" Stan rolled his eyes.

"You guys, just because you're at a party doesn't mean that you've gotta drink alcohol!" Stan said, "I mean, I'm not gonna drink any…" he trailed off, scratching the back of his head anxiously.

"Y-You're not gonna drink any a-alcohol, Stan?" Butters asked, looking bemused. "H-How come? Don't your parents like you drinking, either?" Stan didn't reply. "Uh… Stan?" Stan shook his head furiously.

"It's none of your business, Butters!" He snapped, though he hadn't meant to. He paused for a few seconds, instantly feeling bad. "Look, forget I said that, Butters," he began. "I've just got a lot of… important stuff on my mind, and I'm a bit stressed-out." Butters nodded.

"That's a-alright, Stan," he said, typically forgiving.

"I know what your parents can be like, Butters," Stan began, changing the subject. "They're pretty strict, and I wouldn't want to argue with them, either. But this isn't gonna be one of those crazy high school parties… I hope."

"A-Alright, I'll talk to them," Butters replied. "B-But I'm not promising a-anything… 'cause they're really against high school parties, and stuff like that… e-even if they're not all that crazy…"

"I'll do the same," Tweek began, nodding. "My parents are much cooler about high school parties, so I shouldn't have any trouble." He paused for a moment, twitching. "But just 'cause I'm not gonna drink any alcohol, doesn't mean I'm not gonna drink any coffee. You know I can't last long without coffee, man!" He pointed at his flask. "See?!" Stan nodded, laughing a little. At that point, the boys entered the main street. Unlike the previous day, it was bustling.

"Hey, you guys," Jimmy began, grinning widely. "You w-won't believe some of the f-fan… you won't b-believe some of the f-fantast… some of the f-fantastic jokes I heard in D-Denver!" The boys, knowing that ALL of Jimmy's jokes sucked, groaning in union.

-

South Park Mall was situated on the perimeter of the town's well-off district. It was a spectacular patchwork of shimmering glass sheets and polished steel girders, sparkling under the rays of the sun. It was linked to the rest of South Park by a long concrete path, which was swarming with would-be shoppers. Wendy and Bebe were walking amongst them.

"So," Bebe began, looking over at her friend. "I've brought about thirty dollars with me, what about you?" Wendy didn't reply, as she was in a world of her own at the time. Bebe cleared her throat. "Uh… Wendy?"

"Huh?" Wendy snapped back to reality. "Sorry, Bebe," she said, looking a little embarrassed. Bebe smiled. "What did you say?"

"I was just wondering how much money you've brought with you," Bebe said. Wendy thought for a moment, and then shook her head.

"Oh… I only brought ten dollars," she replied. The two girls arrived at the entrance of the mall, stepping through the huge glass doors and into the complex.

The interior of the building was just as impressive as the exterior. The ground floor was littered with humble market stalls, selling everything from food to clothing. The other two floors, linked by escalators and elevators, were home to more well-known shopping chains. Each of these had balconies, overlooking the ground floor itself. Wendy and Bebe, upon entering the mall, stopped and looked around.

"Only ten dollars?" Bebe asked, looking a little bemused. "What are you gonna buy with only ten dollars, Wendy?" Wendy shook her head again.

"I'm only planning on buying something to eat," she replied. "To be honest, I only really wanted to come to the mall to clear my head… and to spend some time with my best friend, of course!" Bebe laughed a little.

"I'm glad that you still wanna spend some time with me!" She said. "I mean, over the past few years, we've been spending much more time with our boyfriends than we have with each other…" Wendy nodded, as the two girls started off towards one of the escalators.

"Yeah, I know what you mean," she replied. "When Stan and I were younger, we didn't really do very much together. But now we're closer than we've ever been, and we're virtually inseparable…" Bebe grinned.

"Closer than ever?" She asked, raising an eyebrow, "just how close is that?" Wendy thought for a moment, and then shook her head.

"Don't even go there, Bebe," she said. Bebe laughed.

"I was only kidding, Wendy," she replied. "It's none of my business, anyways…" The two girls stepped onto a escalator and, for a few seconds, neither of them said anything.

"So," Wendy began, eventually breaking the silence, "will you be coming to Stan's party on Friday, Bebe?" Bebe thought for a moment, and then shrugged.

"I didn't even know that Stan was throwing a party…" she replied, Wendy nodded. "Well, I guess I'll go if you are." The two girls stepped off the escalator and onto the second level of the shopping complex. "Because I'll need someone else to hang around with, other than Clyde and his dickhead friends…"

"Huh? 'Dickhead friends'? You mean Craig and Token?" Wendy asked. Bebe nodded.

"Yeah - I can't stand those guys!" She began. "I mean, Craig's a fat asshole who thinks he's God's gift to women, and Token's just really, really arrogant and obnoxious! At least Stan's friends are nice guys…" Wendy nodded.

"I knew I wasn't the only person in South Park to dislike those two!" She said, grinning. "And you're right - Stan's friends are nice guys… except for Cartman, of course!"

"Does he even count as one of 'Stan's friends'?" Bebe asked, laughing. Wendy thought for a few moments, and then shrugged.

"I dunno," she replied, "but I can't imagine Stan, Kyle and Kenny without Cartman…" She and Bebe laughed again, as they passed a clothes shop. Bebe, spotting something in the window, suddenly stopped in her tracks. Wendy walked a few more yards, before she noticed and turned around. "What are you doing, Bebe?"

"Look at this dress, Wendy," Bebe said, pointed at it. Wendy walked over to where her friend was standing, and looked into the window at the dress. It was a red short dress, which appeared to be made of a very fine, silky cotton. It shimmered enticingly, yet Wendy shook her head.

"It's okay, but it's too small…" Bebe grinned.

"So?" Wendy rolled her eyes.

"You're a slut, Bebe!" She said, laughing a little.

"You know me too well!" Bebe replied, laughing too. She looked down at the price tag, which read '$59'. Groaning, she began to walk away, and Wendy quickly followed.

-

Meanwhile, on the ground floor, the boys had just entered the mall. Stan, Kyle, Cartman, Kenny, Butters and Tweek were trudging alongside each other, whilst Jimmy was scurrying just behind them. There were expressions of extreme boredom all around, and it was obvious that Jimmy was still telling his 'f-fantastic' jokes…

"S-So, anyway, if you guys thought that last j-joke was good, w-wait 'til you hear this one," Jimmy began, clearing his throat. "S-S-So, a guy w-walked into a b… a guy walked into a bar, and then he…" he trailed off. "W-Wait, how did this one g-go again?" Cartman groaned.

"Now, were the Hell is the Goddamn Happy Burger?! I'm fucking starving!" Kenny, walking alongside Cartman, rolled his eyes.

"Cartman, we're going to the Happy Burger AFTER the arcade!" He said. He paused for a few moments. "Besides, it's only been, like, half an hour since we ate breakfast!" Cartman, this time, rolled his eyes.

"You wouldn't understand, Kenny!" He began, sounding impatient. "You were brought up on frozen waffles, for God's sake!" Kenny shot Cartman an angry glance but, thankfully, Stan interrupted before he could do much more.

"Uh… I've just gotta go… pick something up…" he said, beginning to walk away from the group. "I'll catch up with you guys in a few minutes…"

"Wait! Hold on a sec', Stan!" Cartman called, reaching into his pocket. He fished out a dollar bill, handing it over to his friend. "Buy me a chocolate bar while you're there, dude." Stan nodded.

"Yeah, sure," he began, again beginning to walk away from the group. "Like I said, I'll catch up with you guys in a few minutes." Kyle nodded.

"Alright," he said, "see you later, dude." Kyle, Cartman, Kenny, Butters, Tweek and Jimmy disappeared into the huge crowd of shoppers.

Stan sighed, as he began walking off towards the nearest escalator. The main area of the ground floor was, for the most part, littered with market stalls. They sold just about everything; from food to clothes. Stan stopped at one of them, a newsstand, to buy Cartman's chocolate bar. It was basically a large wooden desk, which was creaking beneath several stacks of newspapers and magazines, as well as piles of candy, soft drinks et cetera. The shopkeeper himself was short and heinously fat. He had short, messy grey hair, distant brown eyes and a double-chin, which was almost disguised beneath a disorganised stubble. He was wearing a plain white t-shirt, complete with all sorts of off-putting stains, and tight blue jeans. He stunk of sweat and, noticing Stan, grinned widely.

"Welcome to 'Gerard's Newsstand'," he said, snorting like some kind of wild boar, "what can I get you?" Stan, a little off-put, scanned the counter.

"Err… just give me the first chocolate bar you see…" he replied. The man quickly picked up a chocolate bar but, just as he was about to hand it to Stan, he sneezed into his hand, caking it in a thick layer of mucus. Stan recoiled.

"That'll be 60 cents," the man said. Stan reached into his pocket, fishing out Cartman's dollar bill and handing it to the man. "Thank you," he said, grinning. "I'll just get you your change…" Stan shook his head, taking the chocolate bar and shoving it into his pocket.

"That - that's okay," he said, quickly hurrying away from the shop. The man looked on, a little bemused, but then shrugged dismissively. Stan groaned, wiping his hand off on the right leg of his jeans. He just wanted to get what he'd come for, and then get back to the arcade to clear his head. He continued across the ground floor, weaving in and out of the market stalls, until he came to an elevator. He stepped onto it, scratching the back of his head anxiously. His nerves were getting the better of him again…

A short while later, and Stan stepped through the door of the mall's pharmacy. The interior of the shop was like any other pharmacy in the whole of the country. The whole shop was bordered with shelves, monotonously stacked with multicoloured medicine bottles and packages. Several smaller shelves split the rest of the shop into aisles. Stan walked slowly and reluctantly down the central aisle and to the front desk, where the pharmacist turned to face him. He was a tall man, with rich ginger hair and squared spectacles. He was wearing what appeared to be a long white lab coat, along with a pair of black trousers.

"Can I help you?" He asked. Stan again scratched the back of his head, his anxiety growing. The man looked on, a little bemused. "Can I help you?" He asked again.

"Err… y-yeah…" Stan began, his voice shaking a little. This was something he hadn't really planned on doing any time soon, but it was now or never. "I - I n-need some… condoms." The pharmacist nodded, grinning.

"Certainly," he replied, kneeling down behind the counter and began rummaging through a box of supplies. "Any particular preference?" Stan shook his head.

"N-No," he said, "this - this is a first time for me, so just give me something basic…" The pharmacist nodded, and continued rummage through the box. After a little while, he fished out a small pack of condoms.

"This is a packet of ten basic condoms," he said, placing it down on the counter. "Will it do?" Stan took a quick glance at the pack and, though he looking a little unsure, he nodded.

"Y-Yeah, I guess so…" the pharmacist nodded, and then checked the price tag. He punched a few numbers into the cash register and, with the press of a final key, it chimed and sprung open.

"That'll be five dollars, please," Stan reached into his pocket, fishing out a five dollar bill and handing it to the pharmacist. "So," the pharmacist began, "you said this is a first for you?" Stan nodded.

"Uh… yeah," he replied, nodding. He took the packet of condoms, clutching them tightly in his hand. The pharmacist grinned, stuffing the five dollar bill into the tray of the cash register.

"Well, good luck!" He said. "Hopefully, if things go well, I'll see you here again soon!" Stan nodded, and headed back down the aisle. He pushed the pharmacy door open, and quickly stepped out into the mall. At least that had gone reasonably well…

"Well, if it isn't my favourite nephew, Stanley!" Stan, recognising the voice, immediately turned around. A man, who appeared to be in his mid-forties, was walking towards him, grinning. He was had pretty large, bulky figure; with very little brownish-grey hair, dark brown eyes, and an unshaved face. He was wearing an orange sweater beneath a forest green fishing jacket, pale brown trousers, and a pair of clunky hiking boots. A heavy-looking backpack was slung over his shoulder. He was, of course, Stan's Uncle Jimbo. Jimbo was, and had been for as long as Stan could remember, an avid hunter… make that an 'obsessive' hunter. He lived with his best friend (and Vietnam war buddy) Ned Gerblansky, who had one arm and no trachea.

"I'm your only nephew, Uncle Jimbo!" Stan replied, rolling his eyes.

"Yeah, I know that," Jimbo began, shrugging, "but that doesn't mean that you can't be my favourite nephew, now, does it?" Stan laughed.

"Nah, I guess not," he replied, shaking his head. He paused for a few moments. "So," he began, "what are you doing here, Uncle Jimbo?" Jimbo shrugged.

"I'm just picking up some last-minute supplies for my big hunting trip at the weekend," he replied, "you know what I'm like when it comes to planning!" He laughed a little. "Uh…" his gaze fell to Stan's hand, "they're not condoms, are they?"

"N-No," Stan replied, gasping and shoving the pack into his pocket. He shook his head furiously. "It's just… err… cough medicine!" He paused, "it's for my mom - she had a really bad cough…" Jimbo shook his head.

"Well, that's odd," he began, feigning ignorance, "because I spoke to Sharon a little while ago, and she seemed fine." Stan didn't reply for a few moments.

"Uh… I… I gotta go," he said, beginning to hurriedly walk away from his uncle. "G-Good luck on your big hunting trip, Uncle Jimbo…" he paused. "I h-hope you manage to shoot something other than my d-dog, this time!"

"I told you, I thought he was a deer!" Stan didn't reply as, by this time, he had disappeared into the crowd of shoppers. "I always knew that, with a fox of a girlfriend like his, he wouldn't be a virgin for long!" Jimbo said to himself, as he began walking away in the opposite direction. "He's just like his dad… except that Sharon wasn't exactly a fox…" he winced.

-

'Arcadia', the new arcade recently built in the mall, was at the pinnacle of current technology. Standing in the middle of it was like standing in the middle of a circuit board - you were totally surrounded by electronics. From the pulsing lights and muffled sound of the traditional arcade game machine, to the spinning reels of the slot machine; everything was flashy and modern. Kyle, Cartman and Kenny were huddled around some sort of over-the-top shooting game, with Kyle himself at the joystick. He was bashing the buttons frantically, with beads of sweat running down his face.

"Come on…" he said to himself, almost inaudible. Cartman grinned widely, as the words 'GAME OVER' flashed up on the screen in large, bold letters. "Aw, for fuck's sake!"

"You suck, Kyle!" Cartman said, laughing. "Get out of the way - I'll show you how it's done!" He pushed his friend to one side, and leant down to slip a quarter into the machine. He hit the 'start' button and, as an awful rock tune began pumping out, the game began. Two or three second later, Cartman had lost, and 'GAME OVER' flashed up for a second time. "GODDAMN IT!" Kyle was grinning, pleased.

"Yeah," he began, speaking sarcastically, "you're REALLY going to show me how it's done!" Cartman shot him an angry glance and, mumbling some untold profanity beneath his breath, stepped to one side. Kenny stepped in to fill the void.

"You guys BOTH suck!" He announcing, also grinning widely. "I've played this game a hundred times before," he slipped a quarter into the machine, "watch a true master at work!" He hit the 'start' button, and the game began again. Just then, Stan walked up behind them.

"Hey, guys." Kyle and Cartman turned around, but Kenny was far too busy, hammering away on the buttons of the arcade game to follow suite.

"Hey, Stan," the two said, simultaneously.

"Did you get my chocolate, dude?" Cartman asked, bobbing up and down in anticipation. Stan laughed, nodding, and then reached into his pocket. He pulled the 'chocolate bar' out and, handing it to Cartman, turned to watch Kenny. "Oh, very funny!" Cartman said, sarcastically.

"Sorry, dude," Stan began, without looking, "but it's a long story. Y'see, the guy at the newsstand really stunk, and I wanted to get away from him as quick as I could - so I just asked for the first chocolate bar he saw." He paused. "Besides, you didn't ask for any particular kind…"

"No," Cartman replied, sounding a little agitated, "but this isn't even a chocolate bar, you dumb ass!" A little confused, Stan turned to face Cartman. Much to his chagrin, he was holding the pack of condoms. "I don't know about you, but I don't fucking need them!" Stan laughed nervously. "The joke's over - just give me my Goddamn chocolate!"

"Uh… sorry about that!" Stan said, snatching the pack of condoms from Cartman. He shoved them into his coat pocket, and began rummaging around for the chocolate bar. "It's… it's here somewhere…" he reached into the pocket of his jeans, grabbing the chocolate bar. He pulled it out, handing it to Cartman. Scratching the back of his head anxiously, Stan again turned to watch Kenny.

A large crowd of people, including Tweek and Jimmy, was gathered around another arcade machine nearby. It appeared to be a miniature dance floor, complete with pulsing lights and awful music. It was, of course, a dance simulation. The user was required to dance in time with the music, and exactly as instructed by the machine. Good dancers were rewarded with tokens, which could be exchanged for 'fabulous' prizes at the front desk. Thanks to his dap-dancing know-how, Butters was an expert. Every time he played, he smashed the high scores and reaped the rewards. At that very time, he was doing just that. His gazed fixed firmly on the flashing screen, he danced like a pro. His feet shot about like bullets, barely even touching the 'dance floor'. Amidst the awful music, mechanical cries of 'new high score' could be heard every other second, accompanied by the chiming of a cash register. Everybody in the vicinity stood and gazed at Butters' fantastic footwork in awe. Eventually, the simulation ended, and Butters stepped down from the machine. He knelt down, collecting his tokens - there were a good number of them, to say the least!

"W-Wow!" Jimmy exclaimed, a look of total disbelief slapped across his face, "t-that was absolutely in… that w-was absolutely incredible, B-Butters!" Butters shrugged.

"Aw, it was n-nothing," he said, grinning. "I'm gonna go cash in for my fabulous prizes!" With that, he walked off towards toward the front desk. The crowd began to disperse, and Tweek stepped up onto the dance floor.

"Y-Y-You gonna g-give it a try, Tweek?" Jimmy asked. Tweek nodded.

"Yeah," he replied, "how hard can it be?" Tweek reached into his pocket, rummaging about and fishing out a quarter. He slipped it into the machine, and eagerly waited for the simulation to begin. However, nothing happened. Confused, Tweek assumed that his quarter had been rejected. He knelt down to take a look, but that was not the case. "What's wrong with this machine, man?!" He slipped in another quarter, and then another - still nothing. "Argh! It ate my quarter!" In his anger, Tweek gave the machine a hefty kick. Suddenly, an alarm began to sound. "Argh! Sweet Jesus!"

"W-What's going on, fellas?" Butters asked, having just returned from the front desk with a literal bagful of prizes. He glanced at Tweek, and then at Jimmy, and then at the machine. He gulped and, without another thought, the trio darted off to where Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny were standing.

"What the Hell did you do, Tweek?!" Kyle asked, wearing an expression of both anger and panic. Tweek was shaking violently, with beads of sweat running down his forehead. He wiped them away, running his sweaty fingers through his even sweatier hair.

"I… I…" Tweek struggled to explain, his gaze darting about the arcade in panic. "That dance machine ate my quarter, and I… I kicked it!" Kyle slapped his forehead in frustration.

"Excuse me, sirs," a duo of mall cops approached the boys, who turned to face them. The first mall cop, the one who has spoken, was the oldest of the two. He had a threateningly large frame; with patchy, brownish-grey hair, distant brown eyes, and a brownish-grey moustache. The second mall cop was much younger, though he himself appeared to be in his mid thirties. He had much fuller brown hair, and his brown eyes were much more alive. Both men were wearing a mall cop uniform; which consisted of a white shirt beneath a dark blue security guard jacket, and a pair of light blue trousers. They also wore black leather belts, with cans of pepper stray hooked onto them.

"Y-Yes?" Butters asked, trying to sound as polite as was possible.

"I have reason to believe that you triggered that alarm over there," the first mall cop began, pointing over at the dance simulation. The boys didn't reply. "I'm going to have to ask you to leave, sirs." Whilst Stan, Kyle, Kenny, Butters and Tweek grudgingly began to make for the exit, Cartman wasn't all too willing to comply.

"Hey!" He exclaimed, "there's no way I'm leaving!" He pointed over at Tweek. "It was THAT asshole who set off the alarm - why can't you just kick him out?!" Emotionlessly, the first mall cop reached for his pepper spray can. He unhooked it from his belt, shook it, and then sprayed it into Cartman's face. "Ow! Fuck!"

"Please leave, sir," the mall cop repeated, also speaking emotionlessly. Cartman, rubbing his watering eyes frantically, stumbled away with the other boys. The two mall cops, satisfied with their work, returned to their posts. The boys trudged to the exit and, unwillingly, stepped out into the mall.

"Nice going, you dickhead!" Kyle snapped, looking over at Tweek, who was still shaking violently. "Thanks to you, we've been kicked outta the mall! Why the Hell did you have to go and kick that machine?! That's something I'd expect from Cartman, but not from you!" Tweek shook his head.

"Look, I… I'm sorry, you guys!" He replied, his voice shaking a little. Kyle shook his head.

"That's just great, Tweek," he replied, sarcastically, "a whole lot of use that is to us now!" He paused for a few seconds, and then sighed. "C'mon, let's just go get something to eat…" with that, the boys headed off in the direction of the Happy Burger - the mall's number one fast food restaurant.

-

Happy Burger was just like another other fast food restaurant. It was squeaky clean, with seemingly permanent 'wet floor' warning signs, and had flashy, modern architecture. Aside from the toilet, it consisted of one main room. It was spacious (though there was a sickly stuffiness), and was bordered by chairs, tables, and booths. Directly adjacent to the main entrance, which the boys had just stepped through, was the counter. A long queue, just like ever-present lunch line in the cafeteria, meandered between the entrance and the counter. Kyle took one glimpse at it and, then turned to face the others.

"There's no way I'm waiting in THAT line!" He exclaimed, shaking his head. He thought for a few moments. "Tweek," he began, grabbing the attention of his jittery friend. "Seeing as YOU got us kicked out of the arcade, YOU can wait in line!" Kyle handed Tweek a small sheet of scrap paper, which had the boy's ordered scrawled onto it in thinning biro. Tweek took a glimpse at the line and, reluctantly, joined the back of it. The others sat down at one of the larger tables, near to the window. Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny were sitting with their backs to the window; and Butters and Jimmy were sitting facing the window.

"I can't believe that Goddamn twitching douche bag, Tweek, got us kicked out of the fucking arcade!" Cartman exclaimed, still rubbing his watering eyes. "I swear, if I could see him right now, I'd kick him in the nuts!" Stan shook his head.

"Just forget about it, Cartman!" He said. "I'm sure that you would've done the same thing, if the machine had eaten your quarter…" he paused, "kick it, that is". Cartman thought for a moment, and then shook his head furiously.

"But that doesn't matter, you stupid hippy!" He argued, raising his voice a little. "And do you know why it doesn't matter?" He paused for a few moments. "Because I didn't do anything!" He raised his voice a little more. "But I bet that if I had gotten us kick out, you and Kyle wouldn't let me hear the end of it, would you?!"

"I said, 'just forget about it, Cartman'!" Stan replied, raising his own voice momentarily. "For God's sake; you mightn't have gotten us kicked outta the arcade but, with the way you're behaving, you'd think you were trying to get us kicked outta here!" Cartman mumbled something unspeakable beneath his breath.

Jimmy, sitting opposite Stan and Cartman, was staring blankly out of the restaurant window. It felt so unreal to be back. When he and his family had left for Denver, more than four years ago, he never thought he'd see his friends again… let alone South Park. But, now, they were back together again and, just like they'd said, nothing had changed. Stan was still a 'hippy', Kyle was still a Jew, Cartman was still a fat ass, and Butters and Tweek were still, well, Butters and Tweek. Kenny was the only one to have changed considerably. But, with all of the pressure heaped on him by his parents, the only thing he could do was mature… and fast. Jimmy was really looking forward to Stan's party - looking forward to catching up with everyone else. He snapped out of his thoughts, however, as Wendy and Bebe passed by the window of the restaurant. They didn't look in; they simply stood outside and talked. Jimmy, having not seen the two for so long, didn't recognise them. He was almost mesmerised by their beauty, and was quick to draw his friends' attentions to them…

"O-Oh my God, you guys," he began, not looking away from the two girls. "C-Check those two g-girls out; they're h-ho… t-they're h-ho… they're h-hot!" Stan shook his head.

"Sorry," he began, not lifting his gaze up from the table, "but I DO have a girlfriend, and I owe it to her NOT to be checking out other girls." He paused for a few moments. "Besides, with Wendy as my girlfriend, I doubt there's another girl out there who I'd fall for… or even be impressed by!"

"I'm s-serious, S-S-Stan," Jimmy continued, shaking his head a little. He still hadn't looked away from Wendy and Bebe. "These two are r-really, really h-hot! H-Here…" he reached into his pocket, taking out a ten dollar bill. "I'll b-bet you my t-ten d-do… I'll bet you my t-ten d-doll… my ten dollars that, after l-looking at these t-two, you won't think W-W-Wendy's so hot anymore."

Instantly roused from his semi-slumber by the mention of money, Cartman turned around and glanced out of the window. As soon as he saw Wendy and Bebe, he grinned widely. He turned around again, but decided against telling Jimmy who the two girls were - he wanted Stan to realise this, and then get pissed off with him for checking out his girlfriend. Stan shrugged.

"Okay, okay!" He said, nodding, "I could do with another ten dollars." He paused for a few moments. "Besides, everybody knows that Wendy's the most beautiful girl in South Park!" Just as Cartman had, Stan turned and looked out of the window. And, just as Cartman had, he saw that the two girls were in fact Wendy and Bebe. He turned back to face Jimmy, looking a little pissed off. "Jimmy, you asshole!" He exclaimed, "that girl IS Wendy!" All of a sudden, Jimmy was looking a little uneasy. "I should kick your ass for checking out my girlfriend but, seeing as you obviously didn't recognise her, I'll let you off!" Jimmy breathed a sigh of relief.

"Gee, I'm s-sorry about that, S-Stan," he said, "I d-didn't know that s-she was W-We… I didn't know t-that s-she was W-Wendy." Stan nodded, and Jimmy paused for a few moments. "B-But I hope you d-don't m-mind me saying, that I t-think you're the luckiest guy in South P-P-P-Park!" Stan rolled his eyes.

"I AM the luckiest guy in South Park," he began, "but YOU'RE only saying because Wendy's hot! Wendy has an amazing personality too, y'know!" Sighing, Stan looked over at Tweek. His twitching friend was already at the front of the queue, and was being served at that moment. "Uh… I think Tweek's gonna need a bit more money to pay for the for the food, you guys…" Kyle, Cartman, Kenny, Butters and Jimmy all began rummaging through their pockets. They each gave a few dollars to Stan, who headed over to Tweek with the money.

"W-Wow… I had no idea t-that s-she was W-W-Wendy…" Jimmy began, again looking out of the window at Wendy and Bebe. Kyle rolled his eyes. "S-She's really h-hot… and t-that other g-girl isn't too b-bad, either… w-who's she?" Kyle turned and looked out of the window. "T-That's B-B-Bebe, right?" Kyle nodded.

"Yeah," he replied, turning to face Jimmy. "I must admit, she is a really, really nice girl," he sighed. "I've never told anyone this, but I've always had a HUGE crush on her… ever since we were kids." Kyle turned and looked out of the window. "That asshole, Clyde, doesn't even treat her right… she deserves better than him." He looked out of the window again, but saw that neither Wendy nor Bebe were outside. Just then, the two girls stepped into the restaurant. Bebe joined the queue and Wendy, noticing Stan, walked over to greet him.

"Hey, Stan," she said, smiling widely.

"Hey, Wendy," Stan replied, also smiling. He leaned in and kissed her. "I… err… I saw you outside a few minutes ago… what're doing here?" Wendy thought for a few moments, and then shrugged.

"Um… I've had a few things on my mind, and I… I needed to clear my head," she began, "I'm not doing any shopping or anything, though…" she trailed off, her gaze travelling over to where Kyle, Cartman, Kenny, Butters and Jimmy were sitting. "Oh my God!" She exclaimed, spotting Jimmy, "is that Jimmy Valmer?!" Stan nodded.

"Yeah," he replied. "He and his family ran into some financial trouble in Denver, and they had to move back to South Park." He paused, "I think they arrived in town last night." He paused for a few moments. "I invited him along to the party, so that he could catch up with everyone else…" With the mere mention of the party Stan and Wendy, staring into each other's faces, fell into uncomfortable silence. "L-Let's not talk about the party… yet…"

==========

Closing A/N

First of all, can I apologise for being so behind schedule (one-hundred and seventy hours, to be reasonably precise). I hope that this chapter has been worth the wait (My only concern is that the ending is a bit weak). I'll be really busy over the next few weeks, so it could be a while before I begin work on chapter seven (three weeks minimum). As usual, don't forget to review!

Until next time (whenever that 'next time' may be)…