A/N: This is my first Ed, Edd n Eddy story, so please don't flame me. It's rated T for future chapters which may contain abusive situations. The first two chapters might be a bit slow b/c I'm introducting new characters and ideas.

Disclaimer: I'm only going to say it once, I don't own Ed, Edd, n Eddy.


Chapter 1 - Times Change

Edd couldn't believe the school year was already half over. It was the Eds Senior year in high school and time was flying by. They would graduate in May. Why, it seemed just yesterday they were only children playing in the culdesac...

These were Edd's thoughts as he walked through the snow toward Eddy's house where he would meet up with his two long-time best friends. In fact, he was so deep in thought that he didn't even notice Ed and Eddy hiding behind some bushes as he mechanically walked up Eddy's drive way. He had been there so many times in his life, he didn't need his brain to tell him how to get there.

Edd was almost to the door when something hit him from behind. He turned around and was hit again in the face by a snow ball, the impact knocking him over. As he sat up and wiped the snow off his face he heard the unmistakable sound of Eddy's, followed by Ed's, laughter. The two came out from behind the bush, still laughing insanely as Edd glared at them. Well, glared the best he could. He was still no good at giving dirty looks.

"Winter break is good for something, huh Ed!" Eddy said, still laughing at Edd's sour expression.

"Ha, ha, very funny," Edd quipped, "Seriously, don't you gentle men feel it's about time to grow up? I mean, you'll be a legal adult in two months, Eddy!"

"Nope! I ain't never growin' up, Sockhead. Besides, I still have to get through college and-"

"College isn't meant for partying, Eddy! It's an institute for higher learning that's supposed to prepare you for life as-"

"A mover," Ed cut in.

"No, Ed, not a mover."

"No, Double-D, look!"

Ed pointed down the street just in time for them to see a white SUV followed by a moving truck drive by.

"Oh! How wonderful! Someone new to the area! We should go welcome them."

Edd took off running in the direction of the truck with Ed running after him.

"Hold it!" Eddy grabbed the two by the backs of their coats and pulled them back to him. "If there's any welcoming bein' done we find a way to make a buck or two off it. You know that's how we work!"

"Oh, come now, Eddy," Edd brushed Eddy's hand off his shoulder. He didn't say another word, he just took off running again, knowing Ed and Eddy would eventually follow.

The moving truck pulled into a house on a corner about two blocks away. It was an average sized one-story house, in good condition, but kind of old. Edd had run out of breath a block ago and now gasped for air as he tried to catch up with Ed, who had just passed him.

They stopped at the end of the drive way. The moving truck was already pulling away, having left several boxes and pieces furniture behind. The white SUV was still there, with all the doors standing open, but no people were in sight.

About that time, Eddy caught up with his two pals. They had gotten quite a headstart, since Eddy had stayed in his yard yelling after them for almost a whole minute. He stood beside them and stared at the house.

"What are you guys looking at?" he asked. Before they answered he continued, "Hey, this was old lady McGee's house, wasn't it? What'd she do, die or somethin'?"

Edd gave Eddy that look that clearly said 'mind your manners,' but was quickly distracted when at last someone emerged from the house. It was a petite girl, about their age, with long brown hair and glasses. She appeared to be talking on a cell phone as she took another box from the car. The Eds watched her go back inside again, seemingly without noticing them.

"Well, let's go say hello," Edd said at last, "It's not polite to stand here and stare."

"Yeah, Double-D," Eddy agreed, smiling, "let's go meet the new sucker. She's beggin' to get scammed."

"Eddy, you leave her be! She's new here after all!" Edd called after his friend who was already walking up the drive way.

They stopped just short of her car when they heard her coming again. She was still on her phone and she sounded angry.

"Yeah, isn't that stupid," she said into the phone, "she's such a crack-whore, I swear. No, not really...well tell her to go to heck! Uh, huh. Well, she better not even say anything to me after break. I gotta go...see ya later. Bye."

She turned off her phone and dropped it into her coat pocket. Then she walked down the drive towards the Eds, who had not gone unnoticed, just ignored.

"Can I help you?" she asked, obviously irked at being stared at.

"Um, yes," Edd answered, "we just noticed you were new to the area and we wanted to welcome you. Um, my name's Eddward with two D's, but everyone calls me Double-D."

He extended a hand to her and she shook it, "My name's Dea. Nice to meet you."

There was silence for a moment. Ed was staring off into space and Eddy had decided maybe he did't want to mess with her. Edd elbowed Ed.

"Hello!" Ed looked around and grinned, "My name is Ed!"

"Also known as the lump," Eddy mumbled.

"Hi," Dea grinned at Ed, confused. Then she looked at Eddy, who had been standing with his hands in his pockets. He just stared back at her until Edd elbowed him too.

"Ow! I'm Eddy."

"Also known as 'loud mouth,'" Edd added. He giggled at his own joke and received a dirty look from Eddy.

"Nice to meet you," Dea extended her hand to Eddy and flashed him a huge smile. Eddy shook her hand, grinning a bit nervously. His first impression of her had been that she was a bit creepy, but now she seemed like she might be kind of cool, as well as pretty.

"Hey, sorry about that," she said, meaning the phone call, "this girl was supposed to help me move, but she's a loser so she's home watching TV and eating bon-bons instead."

"We could help you move," Edd offered.

Eddy looked at him incredulously. Whenever Edd offered help it was always free help. How was he supposed to get ahead in life if Edd kept giving away free help?

"Um, I guess so," Dea answered. She found it a bit strange that three people she just met wanted to help her move, but it meant less lifting for her, so that was just fine. "Ok, let's move all this crap inside first so we don't have to keep coming back out in the cold."

The four of them went to moving boxes from the car to the house. Ed would move the heaviest items, Edd would move the breakables, and Eddy would move as little as possible. Eventually Dea asked him to help move boxes into her room.

Her room was actually a lot like Eddy's. She had a mirror ball hanging from the ceiling, a lava lamp sitting on top her bed, and a magic 8-ball sitting on her desk. Her walls were a light orange and her bed spread was various shades of pink, red, and orange. Most of her stuff had yet to be unpacked, but there were some X-Files poster hanging on the wall already and some pictures of Dea's friends and the marching band sitting on her desk.

"Hey, I like your room," Eddy said, walking around.

"Thanks. You wanna help me unpack CDs?"

The next half hour was spent unboxing Dea's diverse CD collection. She had CDs of pop music, rap, heavy metal, classic rock, even a bit of country. Much to Eddy's delight, she even had some Tom Jones, which is what they chose to listen to.

After all the music had been unpacked, Eddy grabbed another box and started laying its contents out on the floor too. He had uncovered Dea's JtHM comics, along with her knives, animal bones, and other death-themed items. He found it to be a bit strange, so he pushed them aside and tried to start a conversation with her.

"So, you still in school or what?" he asked her.

"Yeah, I'm a Senior."

"Me too. You're switching schools in the middle of the year?"

"No. I'm still going to commute to my old school. Don't go tellin' everyone though. My school still thinks I live with my dad."

"So that's your car outside?"

"Yep. Bought it myself for five-grand."

"Nice. Are you like rich or something?"

"I wish," Dea snickered, "no, far from it. I bought it with some money my grandparents left me and I work full time all summer to pay for insurance."

"I've been savin' up for a car myself," Eddy told her, "I've got a part time job at the candy store."

"The candy store? Really? That's so cool!"

Eddy smiled and handed her the stack of comics he had just unpacked. About that time, Edd appeared in the doorway.

"My, what an interesting room you have, Dea," he said, trying to sound pleasant.

"Thanks."

"You're welcome. Anyway, I finished unpacking your kitchen ware and I believe Ed is done moving boxes. Is there anything else we can assist you with?"

"Wow. You guys are too nice. I think that's all the moving I want to do for today. How 'bout we go get a pizza, on me."

Eddy's eyes lit up at this, but of course Edd had to be polite and protest.

"Oh no, Dea, we couldn't let you pay for it yourself. That wouldn't be right. Really, you don't have to pay us back, it's -"

"Shut up Sock-head!" Eddy interrupted, "let her buy us the pizza!"

"Really, it's Ok," Dea said.

"Well, alright. If you insist," Edd agreed. About that time Ed appeared in the door way holding a plate of cookies.

"Dea, may I have a cookie?" he asked.

"Yeah sure, help yourself."

"Yum, Yum, Yum! Cookies!"

Ed ran back to the kitchen with the plate. Edd exited shortly after while Eddy waited for Dea, who was searching for her car keys and money. Eddy watched her curiously as she searched about. He was somewhat fascinated by her. She was different than other girls he'd met. And beautiful too, now that he really looked at her. Her hair was almost a golden brown and behind her glasses were warm brown eyes. She wore blue jeans and a pink tank top under a white zipped-up shrug that hugged her in all the right places. It was all accented by her pink hoop earrings and bright green eye shadow.

"Ha! Found 'em!" Dea held up her keys triumphantly. She noticed Eddy staring at her and stared back suspiciously. Upon noticing this, Eddy came out of his stupor, blushing ever so slightly.

"Um, that's good! Great! Let's go then!" he said, trying to hide his nervousness.

A loud crash came from the kitchen, followed by Edd's voice.

"Ed! That plate belongs to Dea's mother! Spit it out right now, mister!"

Eddy and Dea rushed to the kitchen and immediatly burst out laughing. Ed had the entire plate of cookies stuck in his mouth. Edd had a hold of one end of the plate, trying in vain to pull it out.

"Oh, that's real mature of you, Eddy. Stand there and laugh. Would you mind giving me some assistance here!"

"Yeah, yeah. Don't have a cow."

Soon both Eddy and Edd were tugging on the plate, but to no avail. Dea just stood in the doorway still cracking up.

"Ed! Let go of the plate, stupid!" Eddy yelled, "Give me it, now!"

"I can't, Eddy," Ed said with his mouth full.

"I said, let go!"

Eddy gave the plate another good tug. The plate dislodged this time and was sent flying through the air, crashing into a wall.

"Good thing that was plastic," Dea said, wiping away tears of laughter. The four of them finally got in her car, with Eddy in the front of course, and left for the pizza place. A few minutes later, they were all seated in a both, munching on pizza and bread sticks.

"So you guys are all Seniors too, then?" Dea asked.

"Yes, that's correct," Edd answered.

"Where are you going to college?"

"The local university in the next town," Edd answered again, "they have an amazing science department."

"Oh really? That's where I'm going! Except I'm going to major in Accounting."

"That's wonderful! It's nice to know I'll already have a friend on campus. Are you staying in the dormatories?"

"Nah. I'm livin' at home. Saves a ton of money. And I think I'd go insane if I had to share one of those tiny rooms with someone all year. Privacy is something I highly value. Plus those rooms are just scummy. I worked on campus this past summer- I know what goes on there."

"I am going to trade school!" Ed volunteered.

"That's cool. To do what?"

"To work for the union!"

"Union people can make a lot of money. Good luck to ya'! What about you Eddy? Where are you going?" She turned to Eddy, who had been sitting beside her silently for the past few minutes.

"I'm going to that University you and Double-D are going to."

"I thought you were going to Southern," Edd interjected.

"Well maybe I changed my mind! Can't a guy change his mind now a days! Geeze!"

"Calm down, Eddy! I didn't know you had even applied there. I just thought you wanted to go to Southern."

"Well, I'm not. I'm staying local. And I'm majoring in business."

Dea smiled at him and they all went back to eating. Little did Edd know, Eddy had applied to the local school and he'd been accepted there. Eddy had never told Edd because he didn't want to look stupid if he was rejected from the private college. And then he had chosen Southern to get away from his family. He was having some serious trouble at home lately, but he didn't want anyone to know about it. He figured if he could keep up the charade and no one ever found out about his diminishing self-confidence, his feelings of insignificance, and the things his dad did to him after losing his job, then maybe things would be Ok. If he played make belive long enough, maybe something would actually change.

Even though he had just met Dea a few hours ago and didn't really know much about her, Eddy felt he had a real connection with her. Like maybe she understood how he felt, or she would understand if he were to tell her. There was something about her that only he could see. If staying near to her and his true friends meant sticking it out with his family a while longer to switch colleges, then he'd do it. Because he suddenly felt there was no way he could make it on his own some 1000 miles away from everything he'd ever known.

Dea dropped the boys off outside Ed's house an hour later, then went back to her own new house for the night.

"Dea seems like a nice young lady," Edd said after she had driven away, "although she is a bit strange..."

"What do you know," Eddy snapped, "You're strange. Look at you, you haven't taken that hat off in 17 years!"

"What is wrong with you, Eddy? You've been snapping at me like that for several days now, and quite frankly I don't appreciate it!"

"Nothing's wrong with me! It's you! You're overly critical and you don't even know what the heck you're talking about!"

"How am I being overly critical? Eddy, I didn't mean to offend you, or anyone for that matter, and I'm sorry if I did, but I don't think I've done anything wrong..."

"Whatever," Eddy turned and started walking away.

"Tell me what I did, Eddy!" Edd called after him, "I can't fix it if I don't know what I did!"

Eddy just kept walking. He knew it wasn't fair to take his anger out on his friends, but he was so frustrated anymore. He didn't know what else to do. He wasn't even sure why he was mad at Edd right now. Maybe because Edd had a perfect life- perfect parents who loved and supported him, perfect grades, perfect attitude. Edd had it all. He'd never experienced anything less than perfect, perfectly functional anyway, which was why he could never understand Eddy's prediciment.

Eddy flung the door to the old van open and flopped down on the water bed in the back of it. This old childhood hide-out in the junk yard had long ago been abandoned by Edd and Ed. Which was precisely why Eddy chose it as his sanctuary. He could go here to be alone and most of all, it provided shelter on those cold nights when he didn't want to go home. He covered his eyes with his hands and sighed heavily. All was silent around him, but it brought him no peace. The thoughts and memories and worries flying around in his head shattered that silence and only brought chaos.

Eddy lay there for hours that night, just trying to forget everything and find some solitude. It was 2:30 in the morning when he finally crept back into his own house and climbed into bed. He pulled the covers up over his head and fell into a restless sleep.


A/N: That's it for Chapter 1! R&R please!