Disclaimer: I do not own or profit from Ed, Edd N Eddy. The Eds belong to the Cartoon Network. Rated PG for implied slash.
Written for the "Gracious Eds" challenge at the Ed, Edd N Eddy slash group (groups. yahoo. com /group /ed edd n eddy slash/ ). Check us out if you love Eds slash (& who doesn't?).
Dedicated to 'embrio' at DeviantArt, who is a beautiful person, a beautiful artist, and a beautiful friend. I can only imagine what leaving and moving on felt like for you, how scary it must have been, so consider this my tribute to your courage...
The memory in this story is from the latest episode, "Take This Ed And Shove It", the one where Eddy 'imagines' everyone he knows is over ninety years older...
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).
Anyway, enjoy. Peace, all.
Into The Sun
by Ghost Helwig
He sat at his desk, staring pensively down at the thick envelope resting in his hands. Who knew something so important could be held within the paper innards of so small a thing?
But it was his ticket out of this place, this so-small-minded place. It was his ticket away, from everything.
Better not to think about that, though, to imagine a life without them. Better to just not... think... at all...
He dropped the envelope on the table and frowned at the rain falling outside his window. So many memories, involving that rain... And even more involving sunshine, and clouds, and the beautiful light of belonging...
"Summer rains... you can never predict them," he whispered.
Funny how in all his dreams of leaving this place he'd never really thought about what that would actually be like. He, the boy who thought through everything, never once considered the consequences, the ramifications...
He'd never once thought it would hurt.
But it did. And as he watched the rain fall he found himself fervently hoping that he was the only person who would suffer for his utter lack of foresight.
...but he doubted it.
And he knew why he hadn't thought it through; as he lay in bed that night, that fact glared out at him. He knew why he hadn't seen where this would eventually lead.
He hadn't wanted to.
Whoever said games of pretend were only played by children?
He tried so hard to tell them. The words were there, caught in his mouth, making it impossible to speak. They just hung there, heavy, filling his throat.
So he said other things, left hints and clues. But they were not just misunderstood – they went ignored.
And when, really, had he not been? Even by them?
He'd tried so hard... He remembered, after moving to this place, how his parents had left him countless sticky notes imploring him to try and love it here, in their new home. And he'd tried. He really had.
When he met them, it got easier by far. They made living here almost... worth it.
But now, even they were stifling him, strangling him... Killing him.
"So maybe this will be better," he whispered as they ran off, expecting him to follow. The lump of unsaid words rose again, quieting him.
In his dreams that night, he was lost in an unknown city, filled with unfamiliar people, a veritable cornucopia of different cultures, and countless accents that flew by him on breezes that smelled like foods he'd never even heard of.
He had never felt more at home.
The next day he sat at his desk, poring over a thick book filled with nearly miniscule text, ignoring the knocking on his door and the ringing of his phone. If he finished this, he could move on to the next, even harder, book - and if he finished enough of them, he'd be free.
Which he needed, because he'd woken yet again feeling suffocated by his own skin.
But they would not understand. And that thought was as horrific as he'd always felt being stuck here was.
"I need to do this," he murmured to the blank walls. They gave him no answers.
He sincerely wished there was an easier way, a better way, a way that let him stay with them for even a little bit longer. But there just... wasn't.
It was over.
Tears fell down his cheeks as his sightless eyes pored over that interminable, insufferable book. He wished, suddenly, that he'd documented his life up 'til now. Books were there forever-
Much as he wished his memories of the most important people in his life to be.
But they couldn't come with him – they'd become just another chain around his throat, like the sticky notes that wouldn't die. And he'd rather lose them than begin to resent them.
And this was just... something he needed to do, for himself. One day, he hoped that at least one of them would understand.
...but he doubted it.
Which he understood – if positions were reversed, there would be no way to make this seem like anything other than what it was.
He'd mentioned it to them once, his desire to travel, to see the world. He wondered now if either of them remembered.
Another thing he doubted, because he also doubted that they'd even heard.
But it was a long-held desire, a fervent, furious, deep-seated wish. To breathe ocean air, to feel his skin drink up the sunlight in a way that was unique to the tropics-
It was more than a dream.
It was a need.
And he could get there. On his own, needing no one... You didn't raise yourself in order to become dependant on others.
And surviving that, the travel and the risk and the adventure – that was part of the reason he had to do it. Only that could ease the chokehold on his throat that woke him every morning before the sun was even considering rising.
Only that could stop this place from strangling him with its limitations.
So he'd do it.
And one day... his friends would understand.
Because one day... he thought they'd want to leave, too.
In the end, a sticky note written by his mother told them, accidentally gave away the words he could not utter. And his larger, more open friend cried.
The other simply stopped speaking to him.
He tried to explain, left notes under his friend's door and messages on his answering machine, actually mailed him a very long letter detailing exactly how trapped and airless he felt. But he was thoroughly and completely ignored.
Always intelligent enough to take a hint, he gave up.
But it kept him up nights, stopped him from waking breathless because if you never slept then you could not wake.
A week before the change was to occur, his other friend, the one who cried every time he saw him now, gave him a long, wordless hug. And that night, for the first time in too long a while, he slept.
The next day he spent perched on a rock right outside his silent friend's bedroom, determined to say what he needed to - even if he went unheard.
"I need this," he whispered after hours of stating the more complex of his reasons, knowing the other was now listening, could hear. "I love you, but I need this."
The door stayed closed. Daunted and down, he returned home.
"Everything is lost," he muttered to his empty room. It was funny to him that he half-expected an answer. It had been too long since he'd been truly alone.
But that, of course, was true no longer.
The following day, he had to visit the new place he'd be spending all his time. It was a monolith, terrifying in its girth, its history-
Its silence even when he knew people were speaking.
But he couldn't go back, no matter how scared he was. That door, though beloved, was shut tight to him.
Much like the one of his very best friend.
And in some strange way, the terror freed him. While visiting there, he felt he could even run without choking on air.
He suspected he'd awaken there actually breathing, too.
And after that... the world was open to him. Billions of places waiting to be seen, things waiting to be done, history waiting to be written – he had no idea where he would begin, and that thought made him the good kind of breathless.
Only one thing still bothered him... well, two things. Two people.
He knew he needed to move forward – but why did that mean they had to stay behind?
They couldn't come with him; that was true enough. But visits, and calls, and meetings later on in life – they were not out of the question.
His weeping friend, the one who had begun to make tentative peace with the change, agreed.
He did not get the chance to ask the other.
His leaving day came. As he packed the trunk of the cab that would carry him to the airport, he was hugged by the friend who still spoke to him, hugged and hugged until he was gasping, but still he was not released. Finally his friend's sister came and dragged him bodily home.
When he turned for his last bag, he saw it grasped in another's hand, felt that person's free hand caress his cheek ever so lightly. For a second, he flew.
He looked up to see his silent friend staring at him, a torrent of emotions crossing his face. He himself couldn't speak. The lump in his throat had returned.
Words flashed through his mind, lightning-letters, but they couldn't get out. And he'd never been good at any other type of expression.
Finally he leaned close, a hot-quick brushing of lips, and with that their goodbyes were said.
His friend walked away. He watched him go, not thinking, just committing the sight to memory, trying to make it as forever as a book.
It was dark inside the plane, as it had been inside the cab. Darkness was all he was surrounded by. It consumed.
He glanced out the window as the plane rose into the air, wondering what the scientific explanation was for why the sunlight was darker than moonlight to him now.
Below him, he could see the only home he'd ever had melting from his vision. His suddenly blurry vision, for he could not help but cry.
The person in the seat beside him, obviously concerned, struck up a conversation, asked him his name. And when giving it, he made sure to spell it: two d's, never only one.
For though he was moving on, going forward, he could never forget who he was. And he wouldn't want to.
But he was on his way. On his way to a new world, a new beginning...
A new life.
Yes, there is terror, he thought, but there is also joy.
He missed them, though. Already. But his larger friend would call.
And he got the feeling that his other friend, the one who was usually so loud that his anguish rendered him quiet, would visit.
The plane landed. He was there.
He stood and stretched, seeing the college campus spread out before him though he hadn't yet even exited the plane. He was ready.
He stepped outside, feeling the bright sunlight warm his face.