Realms Adjoined: Adulating Retention

"Messy, messy, messy."

The Peach Creek youth exited his bathroom, wiping off the final trace of lipstick from his features.

"Be it cel animation or written fiction, there's always that clichéd ending for which we have become known."

He carefully dropped his washcloth down the specified laundry chute in the hallway as he continued to his room.

"Goodness, what a day. I didn't think that we'd ever get away from those cantankerous Kankers, not to mention the minimal payment we received from our services in today's scam."

Tired from all of the activity he had that day, they boy took his time in opening the door to his room.

"And, what's worse, I didn't even get to say good-bye to…Mandy!"

Upon entering, he saw the girl in question standing before him. Standing in the middle of his room, Mandy stared back at him, both of her hands behind her back.

"Hello Double D," she began, "I have to admit, your room is well kept…though one would think that you had OCD by how orderly you keep your belongings."

"Oh, hello again," Edd said nervously, "It's nice to see you…in my room…without ever coming through my house…did my parents let you in? How did you get up here without me knowing?"

"Calm down," she replied, "The reason I came back was because you're the only person in this neighborhood that I can actually tolerate."

"You 'came back'? What do you mean?"

"I had left shortly after you and your friends were chased away by your fan club. When I returned home, I thought all that had happened and came with a proposition."

It was then that she took her hands from behind her back, revealing two watches to him, one in each hand. He stared at them quizzically, shutting his door as he fully entered the room.

"A gift? Why thank you. Oh, you really didn't have to."

"Yeah, well, I kind have to if this is all going to work."

She placed a watch on her right hand and, after twisting a dial, a small portal appeared before them both. Edd was amazed by what was before him, yet worried as well.

"What anomaly is this? Something of this magnitude produced by a small timepiece? What is it for?"

"It's a portal that leads to a different realm," Mandy explained, "Similar to the one that brought me here in the first place. I talked to a 'friend' of mine back at home about what had happened, and I liked the idea of expansive exploration."

She then held out the second watch in her palm, extending it to Edd.

"I offer you an opportunity to embark to different worlds, Double D. You're one of the few people that have interested me in any way, so I wanted you to share in the spoils of knowledge that is to be had from all of this."

The light from the portal reflected off of multiple surfaces in the room, colors flickering all about. Every so often, a small pulse from the portal would return the room's colors to normal, just before causing the hues to change yet again. In this light, Double D pondered the possible outcomes by all of this, hesitant by both what she was saying and the possibility of her being right.

"Well," he started, "This is all so sudden. I don't think that mother and father would really approve of me going on such an extensive outing as such."

"That's already taken care of. These watches were altered so that we can adjust the time of departure and arrival. I could have used this to stop myself from coming here altogether; I could have also used it to arrive here while you were sleeping. With this capability, it can be set so that no one will ever realize that you've left. You can return to the time right before we embarked on all of this, allowing you to virtually explore the world in the time it would take you to tie your shoes."

Double D was amazed by all that he was hearing. Such technology and opportunity before him, yet it all seemed so…made up, too good to be true.

"Look, if you don't want to go, then fine," she said, arm still outstretched, "But I figured that you'd be the kind to actually want something like this. You've got all to gain, and nothing to lose. You can stay or you can go, it's up to you to choose."

He looked at the watch in her grasp before looking back at her, noticing the look in her eyes. She wasn't smiling, but her eyes weren't that of someone upset or angered. It was as though there was another reason that she was giving him this watch…this opportunity. He couldn't tell exactly, but he felt something within that told him so…a feeling that he was sure she felt as well.

Reaching out, he took the watch from her grasp, applying it to his own wrist.

"I accept your offer, Mandy," he replied, "I'm sure that this peregrination will hold many possibilities for knowledge and discovery…and it may be quite enjoyable as well."

"Good," she replied, lowering her arm, "Keep in mind that this'll also keep tabs on where we are so that we can find each other if we get separated. You have control of these portals as well, so don't think that I'm going to be doing all of the work on this little venture of ours."

Looking out into the portal, Double D felt an excited rush through him, both from what had just happened and to all that would eventually take place. Even though he didn't sense it, the same rush went through Mandy as well, a small grin appearing for but a brief second.

"So," Edd asked, "Shall we embark on our journey?"

"Sure," Mandy replied, "Let's go."

At that, the two walked through the portal, each one with their own expectations for what was about to happen. As they left that particular world, the portal closed behind them, leaving behind no trace that anyone had even been there in the first place.

It was from a single accident that this whole journey began, and many realms were adjoined in order to bring it to a conclusion. Now, a whole new journey begins, one between two youths curious as to what more is to be had beyond their individual worlds. That, however, is a journey for the two of them to take for themselves. The thanks for an attentive nature have been given, and the involvement of new happenings shall unfold within the realm of imagination from the attentive themselves.

And that, my friends, is the conclusion, of Realms Adjoined.