Sorry this chapter took longer to get out, I had a few real life things pop up that delayed me a little, but yeah, I should be going back to me usual schedule. I was also debating on starting on another story to write and release chapters in between. Just some fun ideas I've been debating. I don't know, I enjoy juggling two stories or so.
"Okay, so do we know where Marie may have run off to?" Edd placed his hands down onto the table after Lee returned from calling her mother about Marie. "Also, when is your mother coming to help?"
"She has to finish up at work, which'll be about two hours, but she called Kroger's and told them she wouldn't make it in tonight, so she'll help us later," Lee explained and lit another cigar out of compulsion. May had to explain that whenever Lee was stressed, she would smoke like a freight train to keep her from punching through the drywall.
"Knowing Marie, she went off to somewhere that she can try and relax before running off, so are there any places that we know she would go?" Penny inquired and sat down into one of the chairs around the table. "Also, why is he here?"
"Because big Ed wanted to help," May puffed her cheek out and gave the lovable big guy a hug. "I didn't tell him why Marie's out, but he said he'd help look."
"Plus I get gravy if I help," Ed said dumbly with a goofy grin as May pat his head softly.
"I'm sure you will, Ed," Edd laughed and shook his head. "Okay, so I think we should take a pill each and split up; that way we can medicate her the moment we find her."
"Gotta hand it to you, Sockhead, you at least aren't stupid," Lee casually half-complimented as she handed everyone a pill hidden inside of a small zip-lock bag. "Alright girls... and guys... If you find out anything make sure to call so we know what the hell is going on." She explained as she took a long drag from her cigar. "Also, don't do anything fucking stupid." Her gaze turned towards Edd when she tacked on that last little bit.
"I call going with Ed!" May grinned and clung to his arm, pulling him out of the house with a dopey grin.
"That girl can always find time to flirt," Penny joked and opened the door for the others, which after Lee had passed by, she held out her hand to stop Edd for a moment. "Look, please don't hurt my sister... I'm not going to make threats like Lee or support you like May, but just don't hurt her again. I won't be able to handle I ever have to see her that depressed again."
Edd just stared at Penny for a moment in surprise from the sincerity in her words. She really was a sharp contrast to the Kankers, proving that there was more different between the girls than just their last names. He only nodded to her though as he spoke, "I'll try not to..."
"Good, now go find my sister and make her happy," Penny grinned playfully and gave Edd a hard pat on the back to push him out of the trailer. "Also, make sure to find her before it starts raining; I don't want her to get sick and hallucinating." She said and pointed to the dark gray skies that were looming overhead.
"So you haven't seen her?" Edd grimaced a little as he talked to Nazz. He figured that the first place to check would be the Nickelcade, mostly because it was a nice place to calm down and he knew that she loved it.
"Sorry dude, I haven't seen her since the last time you were here too," Nazz replied with a shrug. "Why, you and her have a fight and break up or something?"
Edd felt his cheeks heat up a little from her words, but something inside honestly made him not want to deny their relationship status. "No, I just haven't heard from her and am just a bit worried I guess."
"Well, sorry, but hey, if I see her I'll be sure to give you a call," Nazz smirked playfully before turning towards the group of customers that had just walked in. Edd knew that Nazz still had a kind of schoolgirl crush on him, but he just stopped having feelings for her; especially after her and Eddy dated.
As he walked out towards his car, he could hear the roll of thunder in the distance as if it were ominously heralding the storm. 'I better find her soon,' He thought to himself and climbed into his car.
"Marie? Why do you ask?" The manager at Mike's Repair Shop asked. Although everyone knew that the guy owned the place, he still wore that name tag for some reason.
"I'm her... friend, and she apparently just kind of disappeared from her house, so I'm helping her sisters find her," Edd grimaced wryly and fiddled nervously with the hem of his shirt. He honestly was getting upset at the fact that nowhere he seemed to go had any information at all.
"Is that right? Damn, I hope she's okay... I saw her earlier actually; well, I saw her truck drive by, heading south." Edd gave a loud sigh of relief, to which Mike only smirked. "You're that boy aren't you; that one she was talking about the other day?"
"What was she saying?" Edd looked at him curiously.
"She usually talks to me about shit that's stressing her, and she started venting about guy troubles," Mike explained. "You're a lucky guy; she's a sweet girl once you get to know her, just a little gruff on the surface."
Edd smiled a little at his words, "She really is... I just wish I had seen it earlier. I have to go then and find her, thanks again!" He shouted back as he practically ran out of the store, albeit in a horrible looking fashion that made Mike burst out laughing.
"Oh god, who the hell runs like that?!"
"Yeah, Johnny saw Marie driving to the junkyard," May explained over the phone. "Me and Big Ed already looked though, and she's either buried herself in trash or just isn't here."
"How long ago, did he tell you?" Edd asked over the phone as he looked on either side of the road for Marie.
"He said it was like twenty minutes before we got there?" May replied. "Where do you think she would go?"
"God, get your asses down to the junkyard and look around for her, she couldn't have gotten far!" Lee hissed from her end, clearly not in the best of moods from her long day of antagonizing half of the city.
"I'm already on Birchwood Drive, so I'll look to eastward," Edd informed them before hanging up his phone and turning his full attention back to the road that was now being drenched in the summer rain. "Peach Creek really does know how to have the worst weather at the worst times."
It was hardly a moment before his phone rang yet again, which he answered halfheartedly without bothering to look at the caller ID, "This is Eddward."
"Can it Sockhead, I have a question," He heard the distinctive voice of Eddy on the other end.
"Hi to you too, Eddy, I'm a little busy right now though, but what did you need to know?" Edd tried not to let his impatience show through in his voice; after all, he hated being angry with any of his friends, even if Eddy had a horrible habit of calling at horrible times.
"How the hell do you make Sarah stop crying? Like, I can't find a fucking off button on her," Eddy groaned in a hushed voice, which made room for an audible whale that Edd knew all too well.
"Why are you even with Sarah? Doesn't she hate you?" Edd's expression went a little wry in confusion, but he felt like that was a story for another day.
"Look, it's a long story and I don't have time to explain, but she's been crying for two hours now and I think my shirt's ruined from her tears," Eddy explained hastily.
"Okay, let's see," Edd thought back on his and Sarah's relationship, trying to dig up old memories he had with her. "It's going to cost you, but go to Fussolini's Chocolate Emporium and buy her a milk-chocolate bacon bar."
"Fussolini's?! That's like a $10 bar of chocolate!" Eddy half-shouted into the phone in disbelief, but was cut off by another audible whale in the background. "Fine, anything else?"
"Get her a few truffles too, she usually likes to snack on those after she calms down a little," Edd finished. "By the way, is she okay?" Although the two were broken up for quite a while now, he couldn't help but worry about her still, even if it is more platonically.
"Yeah, she's just being a moody woman," Eddy laughed. "Thanks though, Sockhead, I owe you one."
"Thank nothing of it, I'm just glad I could h-" Edd was cut off by the sound of his friend hanging up, which made him just roll his eyes. Out of all of the people he knew, Eddy really had horrible phone etiquette. 'Looks like he hang up just in time though,' Edd smirked to himself when he noticed the dark red pick-up truck poking out from between the bushes on a small gravel side road. "Let's just hope she didn't wander too far."
Marie felt filthy from all of the dirt that caked her clothes, which had only gotten worse the moment it started to rain. It took her a few hours, but she was already around four feet into the ground with nothing but a shovel and a pissed attitude. Despite doing what the assholes around her were saying, they still found it fun to criticize her. "Where the hell is the fucking case?"
"Deeper, dig deeper, stupid!" The woman shouted at her, causing Marie to drop to her knees in exhaustion. "Of course you take a break... So worthless."
"She needs coffee from Coffee Co. brand Coffee," A man chimes in.
"They're coming for you, dig faster before they find you!" Another man hisses at her, only managing to give Marie enough energy to stab weakly at the dirt beneath her, more or less just disturbing the soil rather then effectively digging deeper.
"I'm trying, just shut up and let me dig!" Marie spit out and stabbed the shovel into the ground violently this time, landing with a resounding clinking noise. "Well I'll be damned, I think I found it."
"Coffee Co. brand Coffee is made of fifty-percent cumin to ensure 25% higher efficiency when used as an aphrodisiac in fishing."
"Open it, worthless... Open it and run."
"Marie?" Another man chimed in, making her stir uneasily.
"Who's there this time?! I'm not fucking worthless if that's what you are going to say!" She hissed out and stabbed the shovel into the side of the hole she was now sitting in.
"But you are," The woman spoke, but was interrupted by the man once more.
"Who has been saying you're worthless?" He questioned, and after only a moment she had noticed the man standing on the outside of the hole with a worried look on his face. Although it didn't register who it was immediately, she felt a stroke of relief the moment it had.
"Edd..." She mumbled, staring up at him, "Why are you wet?"
"He knows! Run, he knows and he knows you know!" Another man shouted at Marie, which was almost enough to make her flinch away, but instead she turned to face the man.
"No, you shut up! Edd's not going to hurt me!" She swung and hit her hand against the muddy wall. "He won't..." She mumbled again, with a lot less ferocity in her tone.
"Marie, who are you talking to?" Edd took a nervous step back, watching the scene unfold before him.
"Edd, they said you're going to hurt me..." Marie explained, turning her attention back to the case beneath her, which she pulled out by the handle through the mud. "They're lying though... I know you wouldn't, would you?"
"Of course he will!"
"Of course I won't," Edd stretched his hand out slowly towards Marie, but it didn't escape her notice that look that was plastered on his face. It wasn't warm like his smile implied, but it was something that made her gut wrench at the idea.
"Are you scared of me?" She said somberly while her face drooped, as if to show the pain that jolted through her chest. He was wearing a look that she hadn't seen from him since they were children and she would chase him all over the cul-de-sac.
"I... No..." Edd said with a shaky voice.
"You're lying to me..." Marie said quietly but simply climbed out of the hole with the box in hand and a deadened expression forming on her face. She knew that look all too well, and it stung worse than ever to see it now of all times. "I'm sorry, I'll leave you alone so you won't be scared..."
Edd simply watched helplessly as Marie walked away, step by step towards her truck with the rain pouring down onto her. It was the first time he ever noticed something so simple, but Marie really did have a feminine figure; it took him until her clothes literally clung to her body to realize it, but she really did have one. "Marie..." He murmured quietly, letting that sinking feeling in his stomach weigh him down like an anchor. For the first time in years, he felt dirty, and not the 'I need a bath' kind of dirty, but a feeling driven by the phobia of filth of dirt. He was cold, muddied, and watching the girl he loved walk away because he was too much of a coward to stop her.
If he let her walk away like this, then everyone's fears would come true and Edd would prove that he was doing nothing more than hurting Marie. 'Can you live with yourself Eddward if she hurts herself again?' He thought to himself, and that's when he made his choice. "Marie!"
Marie froze in place from the tone of the voice that Edd had. He wasn't known for being dominant at all, so actually hearing him put on a commanding tone was almost as shocking as seeing a pig fly. It only lasted for a moment though, before she continued to walk towards her car, having a lingering voice speak to her from the back of her head, "He's just like the others, run away and never come back, worthless."
She only made it five more steps before she felt two arms wrap around her from behind, trapping both of her arms to her sides as their grip tightened against her stomach, and despite the voice telling her to flee, she instead froze up in a combination of shock and fear. "E-Edd, let go!"
"No!" Edd half-shouted and squeezed her tighter to emphasize his denial. "Not until we talk and you take your medication."
"Medication?" Marie's eyes widened in horror from what he had said. "How the fuck do you know about my meds?!" She easily broke free of Edd's weak grasp and turned around to face him with a mixed expression of fear and anger in her eyes. It only took her a moment to have Edd down against the ground on his back, pinned with her legs astride his hips and one hand next to his head while the other grabbed the collar of his shirt. "Talk!"
"I know everything," Edd said with a shaky voice, feeling as if his heart was going to beat its way up and out of his throat. If he felt uneasy before, he felt horrified of the infamous Kanker rage that the sisters was known for. "L-Lee showed me the notes from the hospital..."
"What?! God, no wonder you think I'm a fucking freak!" Marie hissed and let go of his collar before visibly drooping and placing her other hand on the other side of Edd's head, shielding him from the rain as it assaulted her. "Because that's what I am..."
"You're worthless too."
"Coffee Co. Employees love the taste of coffee due to an addiction that all employees must have."
"Marie, I promise you're not..." Edd offered her quietly, trying to keep his voice calm. He only stared up at her muddied face for what felt like hours in thought. Everything she had done over the past few days made a little more sense now; even what had happened during their childhood. Marie wasn't something someone could fix, but he knew he wanted to help her get through what was happening, no matter how she felt for him.
Like that, it started with him raising his hand and slowly caressing Marie's cheek in an attempt to calm her, but while her expression had softened a little, he couldn't help but notice the water on her face was far too warm for the rain. "Please don't cry," Edd murmured quietly, doing his best to wipe away the tears with his thumb, although they were only to be replaced by the cold rainwater running down her face. 'Filthy, filthy mud,' He heard himself silently murmur in the back of his head, but he did his best to silence that thought and only focus on the crying girl sitting above him.
Never had he seen her so fragile before; in fact, he always thought Marie was stronger than even Ed, and yet she was in tears and feeling more broken than a shattered mirror. "Double D... I'm so sorry..." Marie croaked out with a hoarse voice, collapsing down onto him, burying her face into his neck and grabbing onto his shoulders with both hands. "God damn it, why the hell do I have to be so crazy?! Why the fuck won't they shut up?!"
Edd just sat wide eyed for a good minute before it registered what he was saying, which he slowly wrapped his arms around Marie's back and softly ran his hand through her matted hair uneasily to try and calm her. He wasn't really sure what to say, so he opted to just stay quiet as she cried, but after what was easily thirty minutes of sitting in the rain, she finally spoke with a hoarse whisper. "Double D, I can't help but love you..."
Her words caught him off guard, and as such had made his breath catch in his throat, but he only pulled her closer for a brief moment before she lifted her head to look at him in the face. "Marie... I-"
"Shh, I know I'm just being bonkers like back then," Marie rolled her eyes softly and gave a soft sniffle. Even though she was crying and her eyeliner was streaked down her face, he couldn't help but notice for once just how beautiful she was. It was subtle compared to how she carried herself, but her cheeks were rounded and feminine and she wore a few freckles that her glasses seemed to draw attention from.
"But it's not delusions this time..." Edd murmured, catching Marie off guard.
"Stop it, don't fuck with my head!" Marie hissed and wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. "God, you make me want to hit you sometimes."
"Run, he wants to hurt you! Run!"
"Marie, I'm not lying..." Edd said quietly with a little shakiness returning to his voice again, but he locked eyes with her to emphasize that he was telling the truth. "I've known you for years now, Marie, and if I wasn't so blind as a kid, I probably would've noticed how funny, intelligent, and attractive you are earlier. Instead I had to learn the hard way and put you through a lot as well... And for that, I'm sorry."
"I... God, you get so sappy," Marie joked a little with another sniffle, but offered him a halfhearted smile. "I swear I'd kiss you if I wasn't hearing five fucking people yell at me right now."
Despite the fact that she was trying to joke, Edd could see the pain in her expression that made his heart melt. He knew he was analytical and preferred cold facts over feelings, but he knew good and well that he wanted nothing more to kiss her, and so he looked up at her and brought his hands to her cheeks to catch her attention.
"I don't..." Marie murmured quietly a she looked into Edd's eyes with a mixture of pain and desire radiating from her expression. It wasn't too long ago that they had almost kissed in that park, but this was different... She didn't care so much now; it was like having him admit how he felt had washed away that fear that he was going to hurt her again. "God damn it, you're making this hard..."
"Good," Edd commented quietly and slowly pulled Marie's face down towards his, which she obliged even if it was just subconsciously. "I'm not good at telling people how I feel, but I do love you, Marie." He murmured and closed the gap, and although it was only for a brief moment, it felt like a moment of heaven to Marie; as if years of her chasing him had met a closure, but she realized that it wasn't a closure from what he had said.
'Oh god, did he really just say that?!' Marie froze up with her mouth slightly open, and once more tears had started to roll down her cheeks. "H-How the hell can you be so cheesy?" She tried to joke halfheartedly, but she honestly wanted to do nothing more than kiss him again and again, but she couldn't bring herself to.
"Marie, let's get you back to the car... Your sister's are going to kill me if they find us like this," Edd joked, choosing to ignore her question out of a combination of embarrassment and worry for Marie.
"Fine, but I don't want those fucking pills right now," Marie deadpanned and slowly sat up, and looked down at the boy beneath her with a sly grin. "You're lucky you're cute or I'd probably be halfway to Lemonbrook right now."
Edd smirked a little and followed her back to the cars, deciding that he would drive her home considering her apparent condition. When he tried to call Lee, Marie told him that she wanted to at least take a warm bath before dealing with her sisters, but he did manage to make her agree to take her medication in exchange... Which ended with him being punched several times before she agreed.
Okay, I'm aware this chapter was a little shorter than usual, but it felt like a good place to stop it... The morally gray area of kissing a hallucinating girl in the rain; but yeah, while this chapter ended relatively peacefully, expect the schizoaffective disorder to play some pretty big roles later on as well.
Anyways, feel free to like, dislike, comment, critique, scenario, or favorite this story; I do enjoy some constructive criticism, so feel free to give it.