Craig didn't want to return Kyle; Kyle was a problem and he hated problems, but Stripe was his Guinea Pig, and one of the few things in the world he actually enjoyed.
Clyde watched the normally stoic boy struggle to keep his emotions in check, he knew that no matter what decision they made someone was bound to get hurt.
"Craig . . . lets just take Kyle back, okay?" They had been sitting on the ground outside of the gas station for a while, contemplating their options. Deep in their hearts they knew Kenny wouldn't hurt Stripes, but he had done a lot worse to protect those he cared about in the past.
"Yes! Let's!" their captive shouted angrily from the back of the car. Craig's hand twitched in annoyance.
"Why can't we gag him?"
"Asthma dude. Asthma." Craig sighed, starring up at the sky. Clyde knew that Craig would never be capable of simply expressing his feelings, everything had to be carefully calculated and unemotional.
Clyde stood up, legs aching from sitting so long. He turned his gaze to the outstretch of road - the only road- that ran through Colorado all the way to where they needed to go.
He spotted a brown car, dusty and old speeding down the road. It was going so fast that it took him a few minutes to realize the car was headed straight towards them with no signs of stopping.
"Craig!" Clyde exclaimed, motioning towards the oncoming vehicle. Craig yelped and quickly jumped back, out of the cars path but the vehicle changed directions so it was aiming straight towards the two boys.
The two froze in fear as the car stopped only a few feet away from them, creating loud screeching noises behind it. The passenger door opened and a shakey, wheezy Stan stumbled out and fell to the ground coughing.
"Jesus Christ, Kenny! Kill them not us!" he hacked out, looking pale faced and minorly traumatized. The blonde emerging for the drivers side paid no attention to him.
"Where the hell is he?" Blue eyes burned into Clyde and Craig demandingly.
"Fuck you, McCormick!" Craig glared. "Im not telling you where he is until you tell me what the hell you did with my Guinea Pig!"
"Forget about your goddamn Guinea Pig, Craig!" the blonde shouted back. "I didn't fucking do anything, I just want my fucking foster brother, and you two to take a fucking long hike off a short pier. I thought you knew better than to get involved in Cartmans sick, twisted, fucked up games? We've been at this for over ten years and you still haven't learned!"
The angry look in Kennys eyes fixed them in place. Though Kenny was no saint, he had often taken the role of the moralistic guardian of South Park, and everyone knew that Kenny could take just about anyone in a fight. He advanced on the two boys who tried to shrink away. "TELL ME!" he shouted, fire burning in his eyes.
Craig glared at him, still upset over the threat to his pet, but . . . Kenny had a point. Cartman had never been the most honorable person, and he felt ashamed to have taken him so seriously before. With a grunt, he pointed to the van.
Kyle nearly leapt into the blondes arms as the door opened. He was so happy to see his caring, protective foster brother again.
"Kenny!" the blonde smiled down at him, relief that he was unharmed evident in his eyes.
"Hey, kiddo. I was worried about you."
"I was worried too," he sighed. "You're friends are kinda fucked up, Kenny."
"Those guys? They aren't my friends," he rolled his eyes. "I'm not friends with people who hurt my family."
Kyle felt a sudden warmness in his chest at being called 'family' by Kenny. Remembering the first few nights at the McCormick household, where he had been shunned and neglected by the older male.
"I . . . I still miss my mom, Kenny," Kennys smile faltered. "She's my mom, but my home is with you." Kennys smile returned, joyous as ever.
"And it always will be."