Disclaimer – I do not own or profit from Ed, Edd N Eddy. If I did, do you think I'd be here? (smiles)

Rated PG-13 for slightly adult themes, mild kissing, and major slash.

Dedicated to Angel Reid, who wanted something sweet and is instead getting something bittersweet. I promise I'll email you as soon as I can, luv.

Thanks to darthelwig for letting me 'borrow' Ed for this fic. I hope you like what I did, sweets.

I conceived and wrote this in one hour, and though it was originally going to be Ed's version of Names, that's not really how it turned out...

Anyway, enjoy. Peace, all.


Gave

by Ghost Helwig


Ed gave and gave. It was what he was used to; what he was good at. He knew he'd never be the gifted scholar that Double D was, or have Eddy's unbreakable determination, but giving – he could do that. It came to him naturally.

He had an image in his head, acquired who-knew-when, of an unidentifiable person with long dark hair kissing his forehead and whispering, "and you shall have the gift of giving." The unknown glowing creature with the whisper-voice comforted him, soothed him – and reminded him of Double D.

He told his friends of his strange vision only once. At the end of his recitation Eddy, who'd stopped listening halfway through, started going on about another scam, while Double D, who'd blushed upon being told of his resemblance to the changeling, only smiled at him. But Ed was happy. He knew his role, and it was something he could do.

But then a new awakening, and he nearly fell out of his bed, clinging to the sweaty bedsheets to keep himself from falling. And this vision was kept private, a solemn, secret thing to be examined only in the darkness and shadows of the night, ignored and pushed aside in the heat of the day.

But it haunted his waking hours, and soon Ed had to face it, and wonder why of all the people he could've seen in this vision, it had to be the boy with the glow.

He watched Double D after that, even sneaking into his house to watch him sleep, wanting to speak but bound tight by his fear. Double D was far smarter than he – maybe he'd know the real reason Ed had dreamed what he had, maybe he'd say it and the magic Ed felt when looking at him would be gone. Better to keep quiet, to hold back and keep the beauty inside rather than risk losing it.

And then the day came when he heard strange sounds coming from Eddy's room. Thinking that his friends might need his help with whatever they were doing, he walked in-

And it was only then that Ed knew what it was like to have his heart get broken.

His new knack for moving quietly allowed him to leave without making a sound. But the image of Double D sprawled on Eddy's bed, topless and gasping as Eddy kissed his neck, would not leave his head.

He was unavailable to his friends after that, avoiding them, abandoning them to their own devices without a word of explanation. Why should he explain? They obviously had no need of him. And he could not face either of them with that image locked in his mind.

But one day, his sister had told him, in one of her more charitable moods and concerned over her big brother's unnatural silence, that Eddy and Double D had been avoiding each other, and the thought gave Ed the chills – had they been hurt somehow? Had they fought? It would be terrible if they'd fought, Ed knew it would wound them both deeply...

So that night, restless as usual, he snuck in Double D's house yet again. And in Double D's room he found his friend curled up on his bed, tear-streaks staining his cheeks and that familiar look of worry creasing his brow. The thought that Eddy and Double D had fought, that his friend looked so miserable even as he slept because of Eddy, gave him no joy; and the thought that he could've caused this actually hurt. Was this part of his gift, giving pain? Was this going to go on forever? Was there nothing he could do?

And it hit him, and he smiled. And Ed walked to Double D's bed and pulled the sleeping form up into his arms; gently, so as not to wake him. But the cool night air that hit Double D's face when Ed carried him outside did wake him, and he blinked his green eyes up at Ed, startled but quickly brightening as he realized who held him. His arms wrapped around Ed, and Ed smiled again, grateful for this bit of warmth. He knew he'd be cold again soon.

It wasn't long at all before they were in Eddy's room, and Eddy was blinking sleep out of his eyes as Double D was gently lowered from Ed's arms. Ed expected him to immediately move to Eddy's, but instead he scuttled into a corner of the room, head hanging, hiding his face. And Eddy wouldn't look at him, either, though he did smile crookedly once at Ed before lowering his gaze to the floor.

In all their time together nothing had ever been this awkward; not their first meeting, not their first viewing of one of Eddy's brother's adult magazines, not even the many times they'd inadvertently been naked in front of each other. This was worse than being naked – it was a nakedness of the soul. And Ed found that, despite the awkwardness, it comforted him, too.

Like the person with the whisper-voice. Like the feel of Double D's hands in his dream, his awakening. Like the smell of his bedroom, the sight of his mother, the presence of his friends before everything had changed.

Ed didn't know what questions to ask, didn't know how to discover what had went wrong. But Double D solved his problem, blurted out the truth of how he'd figured out the reason Ed was avoiding them and broken up with Eddy because of it. He spoke without looking up, so Ed watched Eddy's suddenly lifted eyes instead. The blue gaze was shadowed, haunted – Ed knew that look. He'd felt that look. And he knew he was the only one who knew how to banish it for good.

He walked over to Double D, and took him by the hand. The fingers in his grasp were very tiny; they felt breakable. Ed knew he could never care for something so frail and fragile-

But he knew who could.

He reached out, and transferred Double D's hand to Eddy's. It fit better there. He could see that.

He met Eddy's curious gaze with a whisper.

"I give him to you."

And the dawn broke over Eddy's face.

(/0/)

So Ed smiled as he watched Eddy and Double D kiss while they were supposed to be building the podium for a new scam. He smiled as he watched them hold hands as they entered a movie theatre. He smiled as they exchanged vows by the creek on the anniversary of the day they'd met, holding his sister as she gave in to the joy of the day and let herself cry tears of happiness. He smiled as they loved, happy in having fulfilled his role.

What no one else had done, he had accomplished. He'd used his gift. He was as special as his two best friends were.

For even though it had hurt him terribly-

He gave.