A/N: I just wanted to take a quick moment to thank everyone who has read, reviewed, and favorited and followed this story. This is going to be the final chapter of this story and as promised, everything will be answered. I especially want to thank BarthVader for sending me a PM to continue his/her review of my story. I am honored that you gave the time out of your life to read my story and really go in depth with it.
Without further adieu, the final chapter awaits!
6 months later...
Marie never went back on her promise to take care of Double D. As promised, she took it upon herself to always be there for him. Through rigorous physical therapy, he was able to gradually improve his condition. Marie made sure that Double D could still stand and do minor tasks, but the heavier tasks proved too much for him for some time. Like a guardian angel, Marie watched over him and made sure to help him only when he asked or needed help. Gradually, little by little, instead of a wheel chair he could make do with a cane. His Doctoronce commented that it was a miracle that Double D wasn't wheel chair bound. Marie knew deep down she was that miracle.
It was on a warm September day that everything changed. After his appointment, he was alone in his room as he wrote the letter. He couldn't help but have one woman in mind. In his head he thought about the previous 6 months and marveled at the events.
Ed almost sent him back to the hospital after hugging him too hard. Double D didn't blame him. He would be excited to if his best friend was just released from the hospital. Eddy actually learned to accept Marie's new role in Double D's life. It took all summer to do it but Marie proved her sincerity. Even Lee and May helped out, which led to the unification of the Kankers and the Ed boys. They all had a common goal: help Double D and assist Marie if at all possible.
The underaged drunk driver, Kevin, was formally charged with DWI, attempted vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, speeding, reckless driving, hit and run, resisting arrest, and public intoxication. Due to the circumstances, Kevin got 20 years in prison. In civil court Kevin's family paid dearly. All medical expenses, legal fees, and compensation for Marie taking care of Double D were demanded, the Judge happily obliged.
Double D could only shake his head as everything was played out in his head. Though he always focused back onto Marie. She turned from bully to protector overnight. There wasn't anything Double D needed that Marie couldn't get for him. When he would yell at her, she would be by his side. When he would cry, she would hold on to him. In his heart, he knew that he had fallen in love.
Suddenly, there was a knock on the door.
Marie slowly opened the door and she had two cups in her hand. He could smell the hot chocolate with whipped cream coming from the cups. When he looked at her, he saw the smile on her face as she set one of the cups down a coaster on his desk. Her smile made his heart beat faster.
"I accidentally made two cups instead of one. I figured that you would like something to drink."
Double D smiled as he saw the drink before him. If there was one thing Marie was good at it was how to cook.
Marie watched him take a sip. When his eyes opened and a moan of satisfaction came from his body, she knew she got it right. She got herself comfortable and sat down on a chair next to him and the two enjoyed each other's company. They didn't need to say a word to each other for them to feel comfortable.
Double D and Marie never spoke of what happened nor the words that were said. Those words dug deep, and Double D was the man at fault. He had never forgiven himself for what he told her, and perhaps never will. Half way through the drink, Double D's expression soon changed from happy to nervous. Marie's expressionturned to curiosity as she looked at him.
"My Doctor and my Therapist said that I'm well enough to live on my own again."
Her expression turned to surprise. Marie knew that the day would come when he would no longer need her to help him do things. She had a feeling that the day had already arrived when she picked him up from his appointment. He didn't say much or give her the rundown of what the Doctor told him.
"So you mean you don't need me anymore?"
Her voice reflected her hurt feelings and the suspense of wither she would actually hear those words from Double D.
"In terms of you having to watch everything I do and help me out, then yes I don't need you anymore."
Marie put her cup down and she started to shake, but Double D quickly reached over to grab her hand and he held onto it tightly.
"That doesn't mean I don't need you in other ways."
Marie looked confused when she noticed Double D's nervousness as he took a deep breath.
"You never told me what you said to me before the ambulance arrived."
Marie also took a deep breath and she got extremely nervous. She didn't look at him, instead she looked at the floor.
"Please, Marie. I need to know."
Marie set the cup on the desk and held onto both of his hands. Memories of the accident came back to her. The pain she felt by his words. The anger when she felt his hand on her shoulder. The fear she saw in Double D's eyes. The sounds of aluminum bending, glass shattering, tires squealing, and Double D screaming all came back to her. Through that chaos of noises, she was able to hear herself screaming.
"I love you. I'm sorry. Please don't die. I'm sorry."
Her voice was barely registering, but Double D could hear every word. Again, he was speechless. Marie then raised her head to look at him in the eyes. Tears ran down her cheek.
Her hand came up to his face. Double D didn't even flinch as she touched him. The scrapes and the bruises on his head had healed. His broken body had recovered. His precious brain lost some memories but his knowledge and his IQ remained intact. The only thing that would remain is the scars that were on his hands.
Marie then felt something she has not felt in a long time: a man's touch on her cheek. Double D's hand rested on her cheek as he stroked the tears away. Their eyes locked onto each other, never veering away. Their bodies naturally started to come together until their foreheads touched, their eyes closed.
"I will never forgive myself."
Double D whispered to Marie, who nodded slowly.
"Everything has a price, including forgiving yourself."
Double D held her closer to him, their lips agonizingly close to each other.
"I don't know what the price is."
Their breathing synced. Their lips brushing against each other.
"Let me show you."
Edd Vincent and Marie Kanker then did what 6 months prior would be unthinkable. They kissed. It wasn't forced or given by reluctance. It wasn't timid or unnatural. The kiss between two lovers is a unique one. The outside world no longer matters, time passes by while they are in the still of the moment. It was love that they were feeling. Deep, tender, unadulterated love. The teenage Marie was finally jumping with joy that she finally had her Edd. The teenage Edd in turn accepted Marie's love and affection.
When their lips broke contact, they back of each other so they could clearly see the other person's face. There were no regrets, no reason for Double D to run away. It was only then that Marie heard the words she had so desperately wanted someone to say to her.
"I love you, Marie."
Marie's heart raced and then stopped. The shutter in her breath and her eyes opening wide told Double D that she was not expecting him to say that.
"I love you too, Double D."
Their eyes closed and returned to kissing each other. Through everything that had happened and will happen, one thing will always remain the same.
Even forgiveness has a price, and that price is love.