Written by Zelda

Author's note: My lousy attempt at humor, heh, but Ed makes it a little easier on me! I own the story, however Danny Antonucci and the fine folks at AKA Cartoon and Cartoon Network own all the characters. Enjoy!

                "Yo Rolf!" Kevin cupped a hand to one side of his cheek, trying to pitch his voice up and over a wooden fence in the alley. "You done with your chores yet? Let's go man!"

                Nothing but a light scuffling responded from the other side.

                Kevin sighed heavily. Rolf probably had his head stuck in the chicken coop, or his shed, and didn't hear him. Standing up on the seat of his bike, he jumped to the top of the fence, scrambling up to sit on it. "Rolf! Where are you already?"

                "Have mercy upon the son of a shepherd!" a voice whimpered from almost directly under him.

                Swinging his legs to one side, Kevin looked down to see the boy crumpled near the foot of one of the trees near the fence. His ringed eyes evidenced that he was clearly in pain.

                "Whoa, are you okay man?" Kevin hopped quickly to the ground, and stood over him.

                "Give me a hand, three-hairs-on-head Kevin-boy?" Rolf asked, reaching one up to grab his. "Rolf has wrenched out his back yet again!"

                "Yeesh, this is like, the second time this month!" Kevin pulled up sharply, able to restore Rolf to his feet, but not to any sort of an upright posture.

                "YEOWWCH!" Rolf squealed, stooping over and nearly bracing his weight on his hands. "It seems as if Rolf will not be able to play go-go-baseball today…"

                "Sucks to be you." Kevin nodded sympathetically. "What'd you do anyway?"

                "Rolf must eventually move this tree to the other side of the yard, yes?"

                "This thing?!" Kevin looked up at the mass of branches over his head. The tree was huge! "You just tried to pick this thing up?!"

                "Tree needs more sun, yes!" Rolf nodded. "Next time maybe Victor will help." Slowly, he tried to straighten himself up, a hand on his back. "My apologies Kevin-boy, go on so you will not be late!"

                "You sure man? Need help getting to the house or something?" The boy blinked under his red hat.

                Rolf waved him off. "Rolf is used to such things now. Begone before the chickens take a liking to your shoelaces!"

                "If you say so." Kevin hopped back up, pulling himself over the fence. "I'll be back later!" With a heft and the whiz of bicycle tires a moment later, he was gone.

                Rolf sighed heavily, resting his weight on a hand for a moment, before he started a long-legged crawl for his back door.

"What are we waitin' for, c'mon!" Eddy growled, tapping his foot angrily on the sidewalk.

                "But Eddy, you said it yourself!" Double D reproached, walking from his front door to stand next to him. "Everyone is playing baseball in the park, there's nobody to scam today!"

                "Oh come on Double D, there's gotta be a sucker somewhere! Maybe we can hit 'em while they're in the dugout…. Hey, do you still have that super chewing gum stuff?! That'd be gold at a baseball game!"

                "Nuh-uh silly." Ed grabbed the shorter boy and put him in a headlock, assaulting him with a noogie. "You can't chew gold!"

                "Lemme go Ed!" Eddy squirmed, having a small fit.

                "The gum you are referring to is no more, Eddy." Edd replied to the earlier question, joining the duo and dusting off his hands. "The formula has been relegated to my files of failed past experiments, never again to see the light of day." He looked at the ground for a moment with a sigh.

                "Yeah yeah, cry me a river." Eddy finally popped himself free and reorganized his hair. "When we finally need something like that, you've got it under lock and key!"

                "So now what?" Ed asked. "Can we go to the zoo today?"

                "How the heck are we supposed to get to the zoo?" Eddy asked. "And zoos are boring, stupid animals. Come on guys, let's just go to the park, I'll think of something on the way there." He scooted off down the sidewalk, Double D close behind and Ed trailing the pack with his odd gait. The park would only be minutes away. He couldn't believe how deserted the cul-de-sac looked with no kids around! Everyone must have been there. How come they weren't invited? They were never invited! Probably Kevin's fault.

                "Hey look!" Ed suddenly skidded to a halt, pointing across the road. In his driveway, Rolf lay splayed out on the pavement, an ice pack on his back. "Aww, ain't that nice, he's giving the ants some shade!"

                "Rolf! Rolf is still here!" Eddy's eyes gleamed with opportunity, and he was off across the road. "Heya Stretch! What's goin' on with the driveway? Need fixin'? 'Cause Double D here has a perfect formula for aspha—"

                "Quiet, noisy short-stuff Ed-boy!" Rolf snarled, only lifting his head to glare at them.

                "My goodness Rolf." Double D blinked at the water bottle. "You haven't hurt your back again, have you?"

                "The roots of the elm have proven too strong for the son of a shepherd." Rolf grumbled. "But not for long!"

                "You tell 'em Rolf!" Ed hopped on one foot.

                "Well, you have our wishes for a speedy recovery, Rolf." Edd nodded.

                "Many thanks, head-in-sock Ed-boy. Papa says hot pavement and cold ice heals everything!"

                "The spine is a delicate system, Rolf." Double D chided. "You had best make sure you recover completely, another injury could send you off to a chiropractor!"

                "… Don't those guys sit in the room at school during tests?" Eddy screwed up an eye.

                "Chiropractor, Eddy, not a proctor!" Double D put a hand over his mouth as he giggled lightly. "They are doctors who specialize in the treatment of the spine! A very exacting and ever-changing field of study."

                "Doctors eh… man, they make a lotta money." Eddy remarked. And with that, the lightbulb over his head went off.

                "Whoo, look at that Double D!" Ed pointed. "A 100-watt 3-way!"

                "Honestly Eddy, you should invest in halogen, they are much more energy efficient---"

                "That's it Double D!" Eddy cheered, before roping the bystanding pair into a huddle. "Doctors roll in the dough for hardly doin' anything!"

                "I must disagree Eddy, medical science is not for the faint of hea—"

                "Ya want that back of yours fixed up Stretch?" Eddy wheeled around to the taller boy on the driveway.

                "Do crazy Ed-boys know of a cure for Rolf's malady?"

                Double D put his hands on his hips "Of course we don't—"

                "Of course we do!" Eddy shoved a hand in his face. "Why, you're in luck Rolfy-boy, 'cause a new chiro-whatever place just opened up down the street! They'll have ya fixed up in no time!"

                "You say these fellows can repair the son of a shepherd? Happy day!" Rolf peeled himself off of the pavement, grimacing in pain.

                "No need to stress those delicate backbones Rolfy my boy, we at Eds M.D. provide our own transportation! Lumpy!" Eddy snapped his fingers.

                "Ho, right-o Doctor Eddy!" Ed scooted over to Rolf and easily tossed the older boy onto his back.

                Rolf scrambled to find a handhold around Ed's neck. "Such modern courtesies!"

                "And away we go!" Eddy pointed, and was racing back towards the head of the street.

Double D was panting as he caught up with him. "Eddy!" he hissed. "Where do you intend on taking him!"

"You've got a cot in your garage, don'tcha?" Eddy raised an eyebrow at him. "Come on Double D, this is a cinch! We'll just pat him on the back, tell him some mumbo-jumbo, and then go claim our jawbreakers!" His mouth was already watering at the prospect.

"Now see here mister!" Edd huffed. "By taking on this patient we have unwittingly sworn to the Hippocratic oath!"

"Hippos don't swear, Double D!" Ed corrected from the rear.

"Relax Sockhead." Eddy grinned. "Trust me, this one's in the bag!"

"Here---we—are---Rolf!" Edd struggled to pull open the simple cot he had dragged out onto the floor of his empty garage. Finally the wooden supports swung into place. "Dusty, dusty, dusty…" he shook his head. "There you go, do lie down and relax!"

                "Weeehooo!" Ed flung Rolf off of his back and he landed on his stomach, with a force that nearly disassembled the cot.

                Double D quickly placed a fluffed pillow beneath his head. "Comfy?"

                Rolf muffled something that sounded displeased into the pillow.

                "Don't get your gloves in a twist, Stretch!" Eddy leaned on the cot. "We'll have ya feelin' better in no time. Lumpy, get our patient here some ice!"

                "Right away Doctor Eddy!" Ed scooted off down the block, to his house.

                "Double D, why don't you go get our – um---file, on the patient!"

                Double D, who was busy donning a pair of latex gloves, glared over his shoulder. "Off to do the research and gruntwork again, am I?"

                "Are you gonna let me in that house with my shoes on?" Eddy smirked.

                Defeated, Double D hung his head and trod inside through the garage door. "I'll be back in a moment, then! But make sure that you wait for me Eddy!"

                "See Stretch?" Eddy addressed Rolf's back as the door closed. "You'll be feelin' better in no time!"

Eddward emerged from his room and trotted down the stairs, happily tapping a short stack of correlated and stapled papers into a neat column. A good stroll through his research books never failed to

cheer him up. He paced out of his front door and down the path, heading for the garage.

"I'm sorry to keep you waiting, Rolf!" he called. "But medical research must be specific, you know! We wouldn't want to be doing anything that might be dama— Good heavens!!!"

Double D was presented with what looked like a cross between Rolf and a rubber band ball as he entered the garage. The lanky boy was balancing himself on just one hand, the only appendage he appeared to have free from the tangle of knots his body was in. "Head-in-sock Ed-boy!" a muffled threat came from the mass. "You will rue the day that you have inflamed the gums of the son of a shepherd!"

"My goodness, I'm sorry Rolf!" Double D hastily set his pile of papers on the floor, scuffling over to help Rolf as the boy teetered off-balance and rolled to the floor.

Eddy was sitting on the cot, rolling in laughter across the canvas.

"I told you to WAIT, Eddy!" Double D protested. "Medical science is not to be attempted on a whim of fancy!"

"Whoo, I did good, didn't I Double D!" Ed was perched on a unit of shelving, grinning from ear to ear and ravenously eating a bag full of ice cubes.

"If by good---you mean the physically impossible--- then yes Ed!" Double D now snarled in frustration as he attempted to pull one of Rolf's limbs free. A head had to be somewhere inside the tangle… With a snap, a leg popped out, and the release of the tension caused Double D to go flying backwards into the cinder block wall, eliciting more laughter from Eddy.

"Is that the best you can do, Sockhead?" he taunted. "Lemme show ya!" He bounced off of the cot and zipped up to Rolf, finding a tuft of his hair that stuck, frazzled, from the twitching ball. With a tug, his entire body came free and was sprawled on the cement. "There ya go Stretch, feelin' better?"

"Your rhubarb is as white as your shoe soles are worn!" the boy seethed, trembling with a combination of anger and hesitancy to move, lest he aggravate his back again.

"Glad ta hear it, Rolfy-boy." Eddy gleamed. "That'll be 25 cents!"

"What?!" Rolf became even angrier.

"Whoa whoa, careful there, wouldn't wanna hurt that back again." Eddy tisked.

"This chiropractor-hobnobbery is nothing more than a sham! I shall shear you like one of Nano's sheep!" Rolf snarled.

"Goodness, you've really done it this time Eddy!" Double D wailed, already scrambling for shelter alongside Ed on the shelves. It was clearly known across the cul-de-sac that its oldest resident was also the strongest, and earning his rage was a sure way to get a beating.

"Pssh." Eddy grinned down at Rolf. "What's he gonna do with his back like that?" He glanced up to a shaking Double D and waved him off. "Farmer boy here's harmless!"

"I would like to prove you wrong, all-for-the-money Ed-boy!" Rolf growled, his voice suddenly coming from above rather than below the short boy.

Eddy looked up to find Rolf standing straight, towering fully over him, his eyes narrowed into slits as he cast a shadow over his form. "Erm… well… I may have been wrong about that!" Eddy was instantly reduced to shaking as well.

"You are in for a good thrashing!" Rolf warned, grabbing the front of Eddy's shirt with one hand, and cocking his fist back with the other. Eddy winced, and Rolf was about to bring the fist forward, when suddenly he relaxed. "By Rolf's great-Nano…" he started. "I have been cured! The curse has been lifted!"

Eddy suddenly found himself in a hug, rather than picking up loose teeth. "Hehe, what'd I tell ya Stretch?" he stammered.

"The son of a shepherd is once again free to war with the roots of the elm!" Rolf cheered and tossed Eddy aside, dancing happily. "Hole-in-head Ed boy!" he pointed up at Ed. "I owe you a great thanks!"

"Aww pishawww." Ed blushed. "Was as easy as tying a shoe, Rolf."

"That's right, you owe us!" Eddy pounced on the statement. "25 cents Rolf, cough it up!"

"Silly Ed-boy, such a feat is worthy only of Rolf's finest candied beets as a reward!" He had grabbed Eddy up before the smaller boy could protest, and was dragging him out of the open garage, back towards the cul-de-sac.

"Help me guys!" Eddy wailed as he disappeared around the corner.

"Whew…" Double D removed his gloves after wiping his forehead. "Well, two bad situations avoided! Ed, how on earth did you know how to crack Rolf's back? Such a thing must have been a product of sheer luck, I should think."

"Candied beets, Double D!" Ed cheered, oblivious as usual. "My toes curl with joy! Let's go!" He slung Edd up onto his back just as he had done with Rolf, and despite the protests of the one he carried, the pair went racing off in tow, rustling a small stack of papers as they went by.

The End