Con Te Partiro

BY : Lore
Category: +S through Z > South Park
Dragon prints: 3463
Disclaimer: I do not own South Park, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Note: For the sake of making this more realistic, I decided on a few details that were left somewhat fuzzy in the actual episode. For instance, the episode states that Kenny is dying from a terminal disease, but doesn't tell us which or what symptoms it has beyond Kenny's cough and that his “muscle tissue is wasting away.” A freakishly accelerated case of Duchenne or Becker's Muscular Dystrophy seemed to make the most sense, given Kenny's symptoms, treatment, and age. Details fitting this were added accordingly. Mind you, my research was only cursory, so I might screw up a little. On top of that, I took literary licence and figured, if the series I'm writing about has a character that dies at least once an episode for five seasons straight and respawns every time, anything goes.

At least I'm not one of the idiots who came up with poliomyelitis (polio) as a diagnosis.

Amusing side note: In an interview, one of the Staff from South Park said in regards to what Kenny had died of, “The diagnosis was a bit cloudy, but we're guessing that is was Ass Cancer.”

Con te Partiro
Chapter 1

It began with that cough. A dry, weak coughing that, at first, seemed insignificant. However, when it hadn't gone away after more than a week, Kenny began to suspect that something was wrong. After awhile, that cough was joined by a fatigue and slight trouble breathing. He did his best to hide it, not wanting to worry anyone, but truth be told, he was feeling pretty crappy.

One night, his lungs seemed to give out, and Kenny couldn't take more than short, shallow breaths. The lack of oxygen made him dizzy, and he passed out on the living room floor. He awoke in the whiteness of a hospital room with his mother hovering over him.

“Kenny? Are you awake, baby?” she asked tenderly.

He was dimly aware of the beeping of a heart monitor and the slightly ticklish feeling that he recognized as a nasal cannula. He took a breath and felt the tube push more air into his lungs than he could take in on his own.

“What happened?”

“You passed out, baby.”

“Am I in the hospital again?” He knew he was, but the question was usually good for getting more information.

“Oh, Kenny...” his mother reached over and squeezed his hand. “Kenny, the doctor says you're pretty sick.”

The machine helped him take another breath. “What's wrong with me?” He cringed inwardly, not quite sure if he wanted to know.

A familiar doctor stepped into view. “Hi, Kenny.”

He should have known the doctor's name by now, considering how often he'd been in and out of Hell's Pass, but the name escaped him. “Hey doc,” he replied. “Tell me what's going on.”

“Kenny, you've been diagnosed with Muscular dystrophy.” The doctor gave him a long-winded explanation Kenny's diagnosis. He didn't understand all of it, but what little he could comprehend worried him. Progressive illness. Rapid degeneration. No cure. Palliative care. He'd been hanging around the hospital enough to know that this was doctor-speak for “you're probably going to die.”

“So what's this disease doing to me?”

“Well, what this disease does is cause muscle degeneration. Your muscles will get weak and eventually you will lose control of them, you'll probably feel tired a lot, and you'll more than likely be on that breathing machine for the rest of your life.”

Time to stop dodging the question. “Am I going to die?”

The doctor sighed. “Normally, a boy your age would have at least five to ten years ahead of him, but in your case, the onset was pretty rapid and went straight for your diaphragm instead of starting with your limbs. We're going to be monitoring how swiftly the disease progresses from here. If your condition stabilizes, we might be able to send you home soon, but there's no guarantee.”

“'Stabilize?' You mean there's no chance I'll get any better?” An edge of fear crept into his voice.

“I'm afraid not, son”

“And if it doesn't stabilize?” he ventured.

“If the progress of your illness slows down, you might have a year or two. If it keeps progressing at this rate...”

Kenny didn't like the doctor's tone. “What are the chances of that? Be honest.”

The doctor shook his head. “From what we're seeing now, it doesn't look too good.”

Shit. “How much time do I have?”

“Well...” The doctor hesitated.

“Goddammit, how long?!”

“If your illness continues to degenerate at this rate, you have a few months, at best. We're doing everything we can, but there's really not a lot of options available. I'm sorry, Kenny.”

The boy took a breath, sighed, and nodded. Okay, he could deal with that. It wasn't like he was afraid of dying – why be afraid of something he did every other day? His deaths were almost always swift – terror as imminent doom approached, a flash of pain, and then...darkness. He'd wake up somewhere between a few hours and a few days later, refreshed by the break from life he had come to regard as something like a dreamless sleep. He was, however, unfamiliar with the experience of dying slowly, and wasn't sure what to expect.

He asked the foremost question on his mind. “Will it hurt?”

“There will be physical therapy to keep your muscles in shape, and that might hurt, painful muscle contractures could develop later, and there might be surgery to correct that, but for”

Well, that would be something new. A slow death that wouldn't hurt. He decided he could live with that. Or not. The irony of the thought amused him slightly, but Kenny wasn't sure if he should laugh or cry.

End of Chapter 1

Please review, and be as brutally honest as possible. I'd rather not turn out crap, but if I'm doing it, let me know so I can fix it.

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