Epilogue: Signs of Getting Older: Foreshadowing of a New Adventure?

"YAY!" Ed cheered, jumping up. "I knew Jack and Eddy's brother could save Halloween Town from the Oogie Man!"

"That's my bro!" said Eddy.

"I must admit, that was impressive," said Double D.

"Eh, it wasn't that big of a deal," said Baron. "I mean, at least not compared to you guys. I only fought Oogie once; you guys fought him three times."

"That's correct, boys," said Jack.

"Well, yeah, I guess you can put it that way…" said Eddy.

"Eddy?" Ed suddenly asked.

"What is it, Ed?" asked Eddy.

"I'm hungry," Ed answered. "Can I raid your fridge?"

Double D disbelievingly stared at his friend. "Well, at least you asked…" he said. "Ed, why don't you and I go find something for all of us to eat?"

"Oh!" Ed immediately perked up. "Okay!" He ran out of Baron's room.

Double D then looked at Jack. "Jack, why don't you come and help us?" he asked. "I'm sure these two would like a minute alone."

"What?" asked Jack. He then looked at Eddy and Baron. "Oh," he said, suddenly getting the idea. "I get it. Of course I'll help."

Then Double D and Jack left the room, leaving the brothers by themselves.

Eddy and Baron looked at each other for a second; then…they started laughing.

"Oh man…" Baron managed to say between laughs. "These past few years have been crazy, haven't they?'

"Easy for you to say," said Eddy. "You weren't the one in the line of fire all those times!"

"But hey," Baron shot back, "you got through it, right? Besides, you had a lot more backup. Back then, it was just me, Jack, and Zero."

"Hmm…I see what you mean," said Eddy. He paused. Then, "I really missed you, bro."

"I missed you too, Eddy," said Baron.

"The only thing I don't understand," said Eddy, "is that if you knew about the map the whole time, and you were always planning on giving it to me, why didn't you tell me about it sooner?"

"Well, I was gonna tell you when I left for college," said Baron, "but then I realized that if you really were anything like me, you'd find it eventually."

"Jerk," said Eddy.

"I know," said Baron. "But that's what people love about me."

"Only 'cause they never saw the real you," Eddy shot back.

"And yet you still love me, too," said Baron.

"I know," said Eddy. "What's wrong with me?"

The brothers laughed.

"So," said Eddy, "why'd you decide to suddenly come back, bro?"

"Well," said Baron, "as you already know, I graduated from college the year you first found the map."

"Yeah, okay," said Eddy.

"Well, I knew I was a shoo-in for completing everything I needed to do to graduate. I got a good job in the town where the college was," said Baron. "It was okay, good pay. I even got a girlfriend." He chuckled. "I thought it was getting real serious with her, little bro. I was about to search for an engagement ring, when she suddenly told me that she 'found somebody else.'"

"What?" asked Eddy. "I didn't know that! Mom and Dad never told me anything about a girlfriend!"

"That's 'cause they didn't know, either," said Baron. "I wasn't going to tell you guys about her until after I proposed. At least she told me before I spent money on a ring." Baron gave a sheepish chuckle. "As you can guess, I was sort of a wreck for a while."

"Understandable," said Eddy. "But still, you got dropped? I don't believe it! You've never been dropped! You're…well, you're you!

"That's what I said to myself after it happened," said Baron. "But I still had to finish college, so I made that my priority for the time being. But somewhere in the middle of it, I got your letter. That helped a lot; especially to read that Jack remembered me after all that time."

"All that time?" asked Eddy. "According to Jack, you were only gone for three years."

"Well, you know what I mean," said Baron. "But still…" He paused. "Anyway, after I graduated, I settled down for a while. But as the years went on, and I started getting your other letters about your adventures with Jack, I thought it was only fair that I come and tell you my story."

"Well, I'm glad you did," said Eddy. "So, what are you gonna do now?"

"Actually, I thought I'd move back in the area and find a place to work," said Baron. "While I was away, I realized I missed good ol' Peach Creek."

"Why?" asked Eddy. "This place is so boring!"

The brothers laughed again.

"Hey," said Baron. "What do you say that later, we get that old thing out back onto the driveway?" He pointed to the bright red convertible in his room.

"What?" asked Eddy.

"I said you can have it when you turn fourteen, right?" asked Baron. "Well, if I recall correctly, you're turning sixteen in the near future."

Eddy's face lit up. "Oh, yeah!" he said. "I've been so busy worrying about the play and defeating Oogie that I totally forgot that I'm turning sixteen!"

"Are you serious?" asked Baron. "Wow, that must've been some fight if it made you forget about your own birthday."

"Yeah," said Eddy. Suddenly, he seemed to turn bashful, which was extremely rare for him. "And…actually, now that you mention it…something else has been happening over the years."

"Really?" asked Baron. "What is it?"

"Well, you see…" said Eddy, lowering his voice. "I met this girl, and…"

"Really?!" asked Baron. "You, of all people! Well, who's the lucky lady? Do your friends know?"

Eddy quickly got up and closed the door. "Well, that's the thing," he said. "Ed and Double D are friends with her, too. And we're just friends. We all met her when we were younger."

"And you've been keeping in touch with her ever since?" asked Baron.

"Yeah," said Eddy. "When we first met, we all gave her our e-mail addresses."

"And you've been talking to her?" asked Baron.

"Yeah," said Eddy. "It's just that, now that we're all older, she's wanting to come and visit again, and I'm a little nervous."

"Well, I don't see a real problem," said Baron. "You can all still be friends, I guess. But you still haven't told me who this girl is."

"Well, before I tell you, I need to ask you this," said Eddy. Then, a sly grin appeared on his face.

"How much do you know about a band called…Gorillaz?"

Author's Note: (Stares at the computer screen) Sigh…I can't believe it. I'm actually done with this story. And it only took me a year! (Laughs) But yeah. I'm glad I'm done with this story. Now, I can finally start work on the last story in this saga, Spring Break witb an Ed. And to tell you the truth, I'm glad. This saga was fun to do over the years, but I'd like to work on my new story, Kingdom of Earth, really soon.

Well, on another note, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has reviewed this story, and all the other stories in this saga, for that matter. Thanks to all of you, this story has gotten eighty-something reviews! Thanks to all of you, I was able to keep going with this saga. Once again, thanks again to all who have loved and reviewed my stories, and happy reading! ;)-AMX