Disclaimer – I do not own or profit from Ed, Edd N Eddy. The Eds belong to the Cartoon Network, not me. Rated R for heavy slash, sexual situations, violence, some foul language, and major homophobia. You were warned; never say that you weren't.

I just happened to listen to the song "Living In Sin" by Bon Jovi a few weeks back, & I've been working on this story ever since. It's very sappy & very anti-bigotry... Just so you know what you're in for going in...

Dedicated to Mysticlynx (go & read her stories! You won't be disappointed!), who needs cheering. I hope you like this, sweets.

Because this site is cracking down on a rule I wasn't even aware of, I removed all song lyrics from this fic and reposted it, rather than get my account deleted. Therefore, if you wish to read the actual version of this story the way I'd intended it to be, please go to www. geocities. com /GhostHelwig and read it there (spaces must be removed for link to work). You can also find the unaltered version of this story at adultfanfiction. net under this penname.

Anyway, enjoy. Peace, all.

I Call It Love

by Ghost Helwig

Eddy held Double D close as they sprawled in the back of the van, breathing in the sweet scent of his hair, the headier odor of their earlier exertions swirling around him. Double D snuggled closer, dark head resting on the pale pink skin of Eddy's chest, half asleep but aware enough to know he needed Eddy to stay as close as possible.

This was the only place that was safe for them. It could've been upsetting, limiting-

Instead, Eddy had never felt more free.

He ran his fingers through Double D's long hair, and Double D placed a sleepy kiss on Eddy's chest, a cool-hot thrill. Eddy's hand drifted lower, wandering, questing, needing to feel that smooth, sensitive skin beneath his palm...

Eddy's hand rested protectively over Double D's heart. In a quiet but still fierce voice, he whispered, "Mine."

Double D kissed his chest again, right above his heart.


Eddy's wandering hand drifted still lower, until he was holding Double D's left hand in his. Beneath his fingers he could feel the smooth bump of the ring Double D had worn on his ring finger ever since he was sixteen. He felt like he could feel the silver of the band, the green of the jewel – it didn't matter that neither was real.

The promise he'd made when giving that twenty-five-cent ring, the only thing he'd ever willingly given up jawbreaker money for, was real enough to make up for that lack.

Double D's head rose off his chest just enough so that he could meet Eddy's eyes. He smiled, and it was the most beautiful look Eddy had ever seen.

"You're... too much," Eddy whispered, not knowing how else to express the enormity of what he was feeling. But his best friend understood – Double D always understood him. Double D smiled again, blushing.

"And you're everything," he whispered back. "Everything."

That kind of grandiose statement used to make Eddy laugh when it was uttered by some bland character in a cheesy romantic movie. But right then, out of Double D's lips, it was the sweetest thing he'd ever heard.

He pulled Double D down for a long, tender kiss, his hands traveling over the smooth bare back, wanting more, needing more, wishing they never had to let go, even for a moment...

He took Double D home a while later, decently clothed and without even the flush of sex to give them away. But it didn't matter – their secret was well-known.

Double D's father waited patiently outside the door for his son's return from his date. He waited every time. It was ironic to Eddy, and he was sure it was to Double D as well, that when their son was a good, brilliant, and quiet kid they were always too busy at work to come home, but now that he was good, brilliant, quiet, and gay, his parents found the time to basically stalk him.

It was an irony they never discussed.

Eddy moved to kiss him, but Double D, whose eyes were locked on his father's deadly scowl, turned his face away. Eddy's lips caught him on the ear, and though in other circumstances Eddy would not have minded kissing and sucking and licking him there, that was not what he wanted. When Double D made to go, Eddy grabbed his arm.

"You're mine, remember?" Eddy asked, though that wasn't precisely what he'd meant to say. "Don't run away from me because of him."

It was an unwritten rule that they never discuss or judge each other when it came to dealing with their parents. Eddy knew he was breaking their golden rule, but he couldn't help it – the panic that had arisen in him when he saw Double D growing distant made him feel off-balance, made him desperate. Double D stared at him, for a long time.

Then he took Eddy's face between his palms and kissed him, long and deep.

Double D walked past his father and into his house with his back straight, his shoulders held high, his entire bearing strong and proud. Eddy had never loved him more.

Double D's father was glaring at him, but he didn't care. He walked home feeling like he was floating, whistling a strange tune that he'd heard Double D whistling once when they were kids, a tune no one had ever been able to identify for him. Not that Eddy cared – it was upbeat, and that made it perfect for his mood.

He knew he should be concerned, worried – but Double D loved him. And that was really all that mattered in the end.

He collapsed on his comfortable, circular bed, content in a way he had only ever experienced since he'd kissed Double D that first time. The anger and violence that had once driven him were still there, but they were so quiet now, now that he was happy...

The next day he waited for Double D at their spot by the creek, waited all day, but his lover never came.

Eddy knew that he wasn't being blown off – Double D would never do that. But it meant something was really, really wrong.

Disregarding his better judgment, he walked over to Double D's house and rang the bell.

Double D's father answered the door, glowering down at him. Eddy ignored the look, saying only, "is Eddward here?" Double D's father stared at him, contemplating him in judging silence, for the longest time.

Finally he said, "I don't want you corrupting my boy anymore."

"Corrupting him?" Eddy asked, feeling the rage well in his throat, vicious and nauseating after ages of disuse. "I'm not corrupting him! I love him!"

Double D's father glared at him, and it was a glare that spoke even more than the many harsh words he had to say.

"That kind of 'love' isn't natural," he said gruffly. "Edward is a sensitive boy, and I can understand him returning your affections out of loyalty, but it isn't good for him to participate in something so unnatural simply to please you. If you really loved him, you wouldn't get him involved in something that will only ruin him."

Eddy blinked slowly, feeling like the world would not right itself. How could love be unnatural? It was love. That wasn't something you could create in a lab. It just... existed.

"You don't understand," he whispered. "You just... you don't understand."

But Double D's father just stood, immovable, a statue.

Eddy stormed around his bedroom, throwing anything convenient into the wall, even hitting it when throwing something wasn't enough. How dare that man judge him? He'd seen the bruises Double D wouldn't talk about, run his tongue over the purple and black flesh, caressing and comforting and loving...

And the others were no better. Double D's mother wouldn't look at her son or acknowledge him, and had taken to quoting A.I.D.S. statistics at Eddy whenever she saw him. And his own parents...

He'd heard the yelling at night, when they thought he was deeply enough asleep to not be disturbed, heard his mother blame herself and his father blame her, too. It was disgusting.

But they got to go to bed at night knowing they were in the right, knowing they were beyond reproach, knowing that they didn't sin. While he and Double D went to sleep curled around themselves, wondering why their love, so simple and natural and beautiful to them, branded them sinners of the worst kind.

Being married to a woman didn't automatically make his father happier than he was with Double D – Eddy could see that. Why couldn't anyone else?

Or maybe happiness wasn't what counted. Maybe it didn't matter if they were happy, as long as they were straight. As long as they were 'normal'.

Better to be like his parents, to be lonely and miserable and bitter, trapped in a relationship they were too comfortable to abandon even though it was long since over. Or to be like Double D's parents, who'd married purely because Double D was on the way and resented him for it for the whole of his life.

Better to be any of those things, bitter or resentful or alone, than to be gay.

Which made not one whit of it sense. When was misery ever preferable to joy?

But maybe his parents, both their parents, had just forgotten what it was like to be happy. Maybe that was why they so resented that their son's were experiencing it.

A quiet knock on his door, and his heart immediately lifted, making him forget his troubling thoughts. He knew who that had to be.

Sure enough, Double D was standing in his doorway, looking miserable and needy and so freakin' beautiful. Eddy instantly reached out, pulling Double D into his room and enfolding him in his arms, bestowing on his lips the gentlest, most soothing kiss.

The door was closed, the blinds shut, and Double D was prone on Eddy's bed, letting Eddy slowly undress him. Once Eddy had him clad in only his boxers, the air seemed to shift a little more, offering comfort where before it had been only stifling and airless. Like the air in his house, where his father was, perhaps still icing his knuckles after...

Double D whimpered as Eddy pressed a gentle kiss to the bruise above his breastbone. It had felt like his father was trying to punch him in the heart with that blow...

And in a way, he hit him there every single time.

And why, exactly, had he been beaten this time? For a fact he couldn't alter any more than he could change the color of his eyes. Sure, he could wear contacts, and he could date and even marry a woman, but his green eyes would still be there, beneath the mask, just like his unchangeable sexuality...

And the irony was, he'd come out thinking his parents wouldn't mind. After all, scientists they were, and as such they knew that some animals participated in homosexual behavior, and while it could be argued that those animals didn't experience any homosexual feelings, neither did they experience any heterosexual ones... Really, it was all biological to Double D, and chemical, and it was only Eddy who made it an emotional thing to him.

That was what love was to Double D, the emotional component to the biological and chemical parts of who you were. And he'd promised all of those separate parts, promised the entirety of his being, to the boy now laving loving attention on his nipples.

This was real to him. Eddy's lips and his tongue and his tempered passion – they were all real, whether anyone else in the world acknowledged it or not.

Eddy's lips traveled lower, dipping into his belly button, caressing his flesh, spreading heat through his body, all the way to the tips of his toes. He could feel Eddy, everywhere...

"I love you," he gasped out as Eddy wrapped his lips around him. "I love you, I love you, I love you..."

The freedom to say those words mattered to Double D almost as much as the words themselves. He loved Eddy, and Eddy accepted that without making him regret it or lie about it or feel guilty for it. That was worth... so much.

Eddy could hear Double D's beautiful voice, and it mattered so much to him to hear those breathless words, to know that someone in the world saw through every mask he wore – and loved him, not in spite of it, but because of it. There was something so... important... about being loved for the often weak, melting inside of him as well as the abrasive, obnoxious outside... Trust Double D to be the one who came through for him, in that way and every way.

That voice in his ears was making the sweetest sounds imaginable. Eddy couldn't help himself – he pulled his lips away briefly to tell the boy he loved, "God, Edd, I could listen to you all night." The brief break of contact was worth it when he saw the heat flooding Double D's cheeks, painting them a rosy red.

Eddy resumed his ministrations, listening for the caught moan that meant the end was nearing. When he finally heard it, he added a few last licks and kisses, smiling when Double D cried out, his hips jerking, shoving him even deeper into Eddy's mouth. How could anyone not think this boy was beautiful?

Eddy crawled up his body, not leaning on his bruised flesh, careful even in the throes of his passion. The sweetness of that brought tears flooding into Double D's eyes.

Eddy hovered above him, staring down into his face. Double D could feel tears beginning to trace paths down the sides of his cheeks, leaving trails of hot, sticky wetness leading into his hair, trails that cooled quickly and left him feeling even more sticky and gross. 'Sticky' ranked right up there with 'smelly' on the list of things Double D couldn't stand to be –

But then Eddy leaned down to kiss away one of the tear tracks, and Double D simply forgot to care about them anymore.

"Why the tears, Double D?" Eddy whispered into his ear. "This has happened before, so... why the tears?"

"That's why, Eddy," Double D whispered back. "Because it's happened before."

Understanding and sympathy glowed in Eddy's blue eyes, but he simply leaned down, capturing Double D's lips with his. He couldn't stop Double D's father from beating him any more than he could stop his own father from making his mother cry, but he could comfort Double D in his time of need, could help him to forget and to heal. So that's what he would do.

He kissed him harder, deeper, drawing Double D's tongue into his mouth, ravishing his best friend with his lips. It was sweetness itself, kissing Double D, and he relished every single, blissful moment...

"You're mine," he murmured into Double D's ear as he shifted, preparing to ravish Double D in another way entirely. "Fuck everyone else – who needs 'em?" But even as he spoke, he knew that they couldn't keep going on this way – it was killing them both.

Doubt, never a friend of his, came unbidden into his mind, and he found himself searching Double D's face for a clue to the answer to a question he couldn't ask even in his own head.

But he didn't have to ask – it was written all over his face. With a small, world-weary sigh Double D shook his head, tenderly pulling Eddy back down for a simple brush of his lips.

"No, Eddy," Double D murmured, "this isn't wrong."

If anyone would know, it would be Double D. That truth had been implanted in him from childhood, and his belief in it was only stronger now. If Double D said it was so, then it was. Doubting that would be the height of foolishness-

And Eddy was willing to be a lot of things, but he was never a fool.

...Though speaking of fools...

"Ed called," he whispered between hot, newly reinvigorated kisses. "Seems Lumpy had another fight with Rolf about us." Double D's deft fingers undid his belt, brushing lower, and he lost his train of thought. He grabbed Double D's shoulders as he leaned down to kiss him, only leaving his haze of pleasure when he realized Double D was calling him. It took him even longer to process Double D's worried question, and still longer for him to have regained breath enough to answer.

"He's fine, Edd," he said consolingly, valiantly ignoring the ache in his groin so they could quickly get off this topic and get to more important matters. The fact that it was his fault they were talking at all did not improve his temperament one whit.

"He seemed pretty pleased with himself, actually," Eddy added. "You know how he loves to 'protect' us." Double D laughed at that, the special, affectionate laugh he only ever laughed because of Ed, and for a moment Eddy was irrationally, insufferably jealous.

But then Double D smiled at him.

They kissed, and caressed, Ed forgotten for now. And when Eddy was buried as deep as could be inside him, his head thrown back in pleasure, Double D finally felt...

At peace.

When it was all over they held each other, Double D snuggling into Eddy's chest. Right where he belonged.

It was eerie to Eddy, how changed he'd been by this boy's continued presence in his life. If he stopped to really think about it, he thought it might upset him, upset the delicate balance that kept his anger in check – but so far, it freaked him out a little, but he didn't ever find himself actually... minding.

Double D had given him a focus for his rage in a way he'd never suspected during their childhood, when he took his rage out on Double D by hurting him and blaming him for absolutely everything. Now, he was focused-

And free.

He wished he could properly thank Double D for that, but perhaps loving him would be enough.

"I can't fix this for us," Eddy found himself whispering, his eyes locked on the ceiling as he thought. "I can't think of a way to make this better. I won't give you up," and here his arms tightened around Double D pleasurably, protectively, possessively, "and they'll never accept us."

There. It was out. The words they both knew were true but had silently agreed to never say aloud.

The words swirled around them in the cold air, air that had been so hot only moments before from their combined passion gone cold and unwelcoming from their bitter knowledge.

Double D's warm lips pressed against his chest, thawing the ice in the room with his abiding love.

"I love you, Eddy," he said softly. "We'll find a way. Even if we have to take Ed and just run, we'll be strong enough to do it. We'll do whatever is necessary."

Lips soft as silk brushed over first one nipple, then the other. Eddy sighed, a sound of pure and utter contentment. If Double D said they could do it, then they could...


"You think it'll come to that?" he asked, vaguely dreading the answer. Double D paused briefly to think his words through before he spoke them – his way, not Eddy's.

"I don't know," the boy replied softly. "I just... I don't know."

Eddy smirked up at the ceiling, pulling Double D closer to whisper in his ear. "If it does, I'll just sell my body. We'll be millionaires in a day!"

Double D froze in shock, then finally burst out laughing. Eddy frowned, but his eyes twinkled with mirth as he held his giggling lover against his body. They'd survive this, as long as they stayed together, the two of them and Ed. They'd survive-

It was what they were best at.

Whatever else this is, Eddy thought as Double D snuggled against him, it's love. Even if no one else sees it, that's what it is.

He held Double D even closer, planting a gentle kiss on his forehead.

It is definitely love.