Ed, Edd and Eddy, all its characters and locations are © Danny Antonucci and Cartoon Network.
Constructive criticism is desired and appreciated.
I don't know if other schools formerly list the special education classes as "Applied," but mine did and so that's what I mean by "Applied."
Warning of considerable importance: Within this text lies spoilers for the movie! Read at your own risk! There are also a couple masturbation references/inappropriate jokes.
"End of Summer"
Eddy was lying in bed, thinking about the evening he'd just spent with his friends. They'd been sitting on the grass near the school, staring up at the sky. It had been a crystal clear night, with lots of visible stars. Eddy rolled over on his side, recalling the conversation he'd had with Ed and Double D.
"Hey, guys…" Ed had said. "Do you think we'll be friends forever?"
"Calculate it for us, Sockhead!"
"I think the odds are in our favor, gentlemen," Double D had replied gently.
Eddy rolled over again onto his stomach. It wasn't that he didn't like Double D's answer, it was hearing him say "I think" instead of "I know" that bothered him. He was shaken up over Ed asking if they'd be friends for life, too. Ed never really doubted anything in their little circle.
"Stupid Ed and Double D," Eddy grumbled. "Makin' me think stupid thoughts…"
Eddy shut his eyes as tightly as he could, remembering that he had to get to sleep soon or he'd never be able to wake up in time to go shopping for school supplies and new clothes with his mother. He pushed the unsettling thoughts out of his head, including his anxiety about starting his junior year of high school, and eventually managed to drift off to sleep.
The following morning, after being awoken by his mother gently shaking him on the back, Eddy pulled what may or may not have been fresh clothes from the closest pile and climbed into the family car. His mom turned on some music that she thought they could both agree on, and they did, but Eddy wasn't nearly as much in a conversation mood as she was.
"Is there anything in particular you want this year?" she asked.
"I don't know," Eddy grumbled. "More button-down shirts and jeans. Whatever's in."
"You can talk to me nicely since I'm paying for all this, Edward," his mother said, irritated.
"Oh, right! Is there anything in particular you wanted today, Mother?" Eddy said, his tone so sweet, it sounded fake.
"Well, don't tell your father, but I'm going to be getting his Christmas present today. I'm going to put it on layaway."
"What're you getting the old ma-I mean, Dad?"
"A new grill! Since it doesn't look like your brother will ever be reimbursing him for the one he broke, I thought I'd just replace it myself. You can pick the color. It can be from both of us."
They arrived in the strip mall parking lot and Eddy got out the car, refusing to remove his sunglasses. He cringed inwardly at the idea of being seen in public with his mother buying his school clothes, but he wanted new ones and he needed school supplies. Double D had made it explicitly clear that he wasn't going to spot him again. Eddy's mother led him into the first store, where they were pleasantly surprised to see Ed, Sarah and their mother.
"Hiya, Eddy!" Ed greeted cheerfully.
"Hi, Janet," Ed's mother said as she approached the older woman. "It's been a while! How are you?"
"I'm just fine, Crystal! How're you? How's your husband?"
"Oh, you know Bill; always working and managing to hurt himself on the job. He dropped a lead block on his foot last week! It fractured three of his toes, but he's fighting through it. Do you want to join us? We're school shopping."
"We are, too. Hm, I guess Eddy can pick out clothes on his own," Janet decided. She looked around for Eddy, who was making Ed tell him which tie was better on him. "Eddy? You can go off with Ed if you want to."
"Yeah, Ed? Meet us at the display in front of the register in one hour, understand?" Crystal said firmly.
"Okay, Mom!" Ed agreed happily.
"And Edward?" Crystal said, her tone even firmer. "You can pick out your own clothes, but I don't want to see another shirt on you with a swear word on it. Am I clear?"
"But it wasn't a swear, Mom! It's an album name!"
"I don't care! That sort of thing is fine on a piece of paper under plastic, but it's just plain trashy on a human being."
"But Sarah has-"
"That is why you may pick out your own clothes and your sister needs to stay with me. Am. I. Clear. Edward."
"Yes, Mom…" Ed said dejectedly.
"Your mom didn't dig the Melvins shirt, huh?" Eddy asked as they walked away from their mothers.
"No," Ed said, still upset. "She doesn't get it. It's just a word. I'd laugh if someone called me- Buttered toast!"
Ed ran over to a shirt with pictures of toast on it. It reminded Eddy of the old flying toasters screen saver. Ed happily plucked it off the rack, checking the size and the price. He grabbed another one with a chicken on it.
"So, what did Sarah do to make your mom stop trusting her?"
Ed flushed bright red and looked around to make sure no one could hear him. He pulled Eddy into the nearest corner and made him promise not to tell. Eddy promised with his fingers crossed, knowing that he'd end up telling at least Double D and possibly Kevin.
"She bought some underwear that had naughty things written on them," Ed whispered. "One thing even had the C-word."
"So? What's the big deal? What does Sarah of all people possibly need sexy underwear for?"
"Ew! Eddy! Sarah's not sexy! She is my baby sister and she's getting into some bad things… I shouldn't say anymore…"
Ed dragged Eddy to the next rack of shirts, absently watching the younger boy pick a few things off of it. Eddy scanned around for a mirror, frowning when he couldn't find one. He got Ed's attention again, asking if the shirts looked good on him or not.
"I don't like the red one, Eddy. It makes you look like a mutant lobster from the deep sea on Fort Cot Nine!"
"'Fort Cot Nine,' Ed?" Eddy repeated flatly.
"Yeah! You know, that movie with-"
"Okay, Mono-brow! We're on the subject of me now! Help me pick out some clothes so I can be a stud for the ladies."
In the women's section of the store, Crystal and Janet were chatting and picking out some things for themselves. Crystal yanked an unhappy Sarah back towards her. She was still furious with her daughter for what she'd been spending her allowance on. She silently prayed that Sarah wasn't doing drugs like she suspected she was. She had her suspicions about Ed, too.
"What grade is Sarah going into, Crystal? This is nice…" Janet said, inspecting a sweater.
"Eighth! Can you believe it? I still can't get over Ed being a junior in high school already!"
"I know… It's kind of sad. Hey, Crystal? Have you seen Double D's mother lately?"
"Yvonne? Yeah, I talked to her when she came home from work last night. I think she might've gotten laid off. Lucky her, though. Her husband's a surgeon."
Sarah pulled a sweater from its hanger, looking at it in disgust. She rolled her eyes at her mother's conversation, wishing she would be allowed to go off on her own like her brother. She inwardly cursed, knowing that her days of doing whatever she pleased were over for the time being. She was eager to get back home to see Jimmy, knowing that he was likely hard at work coming up with a way for her to re-earn her parents' trust. She plucked her cell phone from her pocket, texting him about his progress. She growled at the phone when she didn't receive an instant answer.
'Stupid Jimmy and his clothes! He's probably trying to come up with all these outfits when I'm sitting here in a boiling pot!'
Meanwhile, the third member of Ed and Eddy's group was waking up from sleeping for far too long. Double D stretched, reaching for his hat. He was startled by a noise from downstairs.
He crept down the stairs as slowly and quietly as he could. He made sure the coast was clear and ran across the living room. Grabbing the fire poker, he tip-toed into the kitchen. He raised the poker, ready to strike the intruder, but was even more surprised by who he saw.
"Oh, hi, Eddward!" Yvonne said cheerily. "It's summer, so I decided to let you sleep in. Do you want me to fix you something to eat?"
"…Mother…why aren't you at work?" Edd asked, tossing the fire poker onto the living room floor.
"Well, honey, um, this isn't the best time to be buying a house, so the agency wanted to downsize."
"They fired you?"
"They laid me off. Maybe they'll call me back, maybe they won't."
"I know what 'laid off' means, Mother," Edd said flatly. He knew she wouldn't be hearing from her boss again. "Don't worry; Father makes enough to support us. Where are all the sticky notes?"
"I threw them away. I'm going to be home more often, so I should pull my weight around here!" Yvonne replied with an uneasy laugh. "Has school started yet?"
"No, Mother. It's still August. School starts on the first," he replied with a sigh.
Yvonne bit her lip. She watched her son trudge around the kitchen. He got his usual breakfast items, which consisted of a glass of milk, a piece of fruit (today, it was an apple), and toast. Edd slumped down at the seat across from her, avoiding eye contact.
"Oh. Well, what were you going to do today?"
"As I previously stated in note number two-sixteen, I'm going to be heading over to the shopping center to get my school supplies," Edd said mechanically. "My plans remain unchanged."
"Why don't we go together? Don't you want some new clothes, too? You've got to look your best for any occasion!"
"Are we in a position to spend money on anything other than the bare essentials?"
"Oh, honey, you've needed clothes for a while. I threw out that yellow sweater."
"My good school sweater?!"
"Edd, it was covered in thin spots and patches. Let's go to the mall. I'll buy you a whole new wardrobe."
The thought of changing his look was both terrifying and exciting. Ed and Eddy each had their distinctive looks, and he knew that he did as well, but he'd been finding himself growing fond of black clothing and studded accessories. Yvonne told him to go get changed and when he returned, she asked him what he wanted. Edd shyly showed her his black studded bracelet. He was panicking inside, wondering what she would say in reply, but she merely handed it back to him and told him to start naming items that went well with such a thing. Edd smiled at her, situating himself in the passenger seat of her car. He was relaxing as he grew more used to her.
Yvonne loved fashion and was eager to let her son stretch his wings in that department. She was inwardly panicking at the transformation he was undergoing, unsure if she approved of his new goth look. She pulled out her phone, frantically looking for information on it whilst keeping her face pleasant and her tone encouraging. She was pleasantly surprised at what she found, liking how the statistics said that goth kids were intelligent, well-read and highly likely to go into professions such as law and medicine.
"Edd?" she called. "How do you like this?"
"It looks comfortable," he replied, taking the sweatshirt into the fitting room.
Yvonne glanced down at her phone again. The word "medicine" was glaring up at her. She knew that becoming a surgeon was Edd's dream, as well as his father's for him, but she'd never once thought that it was right for her boy. She didn't think he'd be okay again if he lost a patient. She wanted Edd to become either an optometrist or a pharmacist if medicine was what he really wanted. They were clean fields that didn't put somebody's life in his hands. She also like science for him. She could picture him working with animals or in forensics.
"Hm? Oh, are you ready to go?"
After finishing up at the mall, Yvonne drove Edd to the strip mall in search of school supplies. Once again, she let him lead the way. She smiled proudly as he picked up everything he needed. He seemed to be getting more confident. She felt guilty for not spending more time with him, but staying home was hard for her. She tilted her head to one side when Edd suddenly looked nervous. She looked over her shoulder to see.
"Don't look, please!" he whispered harshly.
"Are you nervous because that woman and her daughters just came in?"
"Those are the Kanker sisters!"
"Doesn't the Kanker family own Peach Creek?"
"Yes, but that's besides the point, Mother! Those girls are…"
He quieted down in hopes that they wouldn't see or hear him. They were grousing over having to go back to school. Their mother irritably told them that each of their fathers had called, demanding that he see a paper from his daughter with an "A" at the top for a change. May's father called her again and she looked at her phone in disgust. She ignored his call and told her girls that they could go pick out their supplies. She reminded them to use coupons.
Much to Edd's dismay, Marie was headed down his aisle. She noticed him instantly and was at his side in seconds.
"Hi there, muffin!" she said in her usual sly manner. "What're you doing here?"
"I'm picking up school supplies," Edd replied nervously.
Marie opened her mouth to speak again, but stopped when she saw Yvonne behind him. She looked at her, then at Edd. Realizing that she was face-to-face with Edd's mother, she ran a hand over her blue hair, trying to make sure it was as presentable as possible, though it wasn't easy to do without a mirror.
"Hi!" she said brightly, holding out her hand. "I'm Marie."
"Hello," Yvonne replied, shaking her hand. "I'm Edd's mother. Nice to meet you."
"Yeah. Uh, I mean…nice to meet you, too," Marie replied awkwardly.
"Edd?" Yvonne said. She was rubbing her hand, amazed at how strong a handshake Marie had. "You weren't going to introduce me to your friend?"
"She lives in the Park N' Flush and she goes to my school," Edd said.
He wasn't sure how he should go about introducing Marie to his mom, but for some reason, when he looked in her blue eyes, he had a feeling she'd be crushed if he didn't make it sound like they were on fair terms. Edd didn't want to risk making Marie cry, so he tried to come up with some sort of redeeming quality she had. He also knew that if one Kanker sister was upset, the other two would come to her side with disastrous results for him.
"She's uh, hm…Marie is…"
"Marie is…?" Yvonne prompted.
Marie crossed her arms over chest, curious as to what Edd would tell his mother about her. Edd bit his lower lip. Marie and Yvonne were each looking at him expectantly.
"Hm, well…she…uh…she has…such broad interests, it's hard to really explain who she is in just one sentence," Edd said.
He offered the ladies in front of him an awkward grin. Yvonne smiled at Marie again. Marie looked puzzled, mouthing Edd's words to herself. An expression crept onto her face that Edd had never seen before. She blushed a little and bit the tip of her painted thumbnail. She smiled at Edd.
"Marie!" her mother shouted from the back of the aisle. "Hurry up and pick out your school supplies! Geez…"
Satisfied with Edd's answer, the blue-haired Kanker plucked a couple packs of pens and mechanical pencils off the shelves, then some notebooks and walked away. She gave Edd a wink over her shoulder as she left. Edd hadn't realized he'd been holding his breath the entire time and suddenly exhaled, gasping for air. He pulled his inhaler out of his pocket, took a quick shot of it, then told his mother he had everything he needed.
"Are you sure, honey?"
"Yes, thank you."
The following week, Eddy and Ed showed up to Edd's house with their class schedules in hand. Edd still hadn't answered their questions over what had happened with his mother's job and Yvonne had done a disappearing act three days after she'd taken him shopping. Eddy and Ed had silently agreed not to mention it.
"Hey, Sockhead," Eddy said, letting Ed and himself into their friend's house.
"Good morning, gentlemen," he greeted pleasantly. He was still dressed in his loose t-shirt and pajama bottoms. A part of him missed the footy pajamas he'd grown out of a few years back.
"We brought you your class schedule, Double D!" Ed proudly announced. "We found it in your mailbox!"
"…You went through my family's mail?"
"We sure did, Double D! We found all sorts of great stuff! Look - Victoria's Secret!"
"That's for my mother!"
"Sure it is, Double D. Sure it is," Eddy said slyly. "Can I borrow it when you're done? Try not to stick the pages together."
"Eddy!" Edd protested, face flushed red.
"Man, I still can't believe the one time your parents were home, they catch you doing that!" Eddy laughed.
"Eddy…" Ed whispered. He elbowed the shorter boy. "We're not supposed to talk about his parents not being home, remember?"
"Well, Eddy," Double D said, rising from his place on the couch. "Thank you for making me relive my most embarrassing moment. Again. I'm going to go get dressed, make yourselves at home."
Ed watched Edd run upstairs, then turned back to Eddy with a frown. Eddy walked into the kitchen, opening the refrigerator and all the cupboards to see what was there. He picked a cup of yogurt and turned around to face the still-frowning Ed.
"What, Lumpy?" he asked, sliding the spoon out of his mouth.
"I think you made Double D mad, Eddy!"
"Naw, he's just upset that he can't fap without feeling like someone's about to walk in. You'd think he'd be over it by now. How long ago was it?"
"I forget, Eddy," the taller boy said. He noticed some bread on the counter. "I can make toast!"
"Are you sure you just want toast, Ed?" Edd asked, appearing seemingly out of nowhere. "We have bagels."
"Toasted bagel? Um, I already toasted my bread…" Ed whimpered.
"You can have both, Ed."
Eddy's eyes widened as he looked Double D over. He wasn't used to seeing him wearing one solid color or a t-shirt that wasn't plain. Edd's black shirt had some kind of white picture on the front. Eddy slowly sat down at the table with the other boys. Edd cheerily pulled the bagels from the toaster and smeared a thick blanket of cream cheese on each side. He set one bagel in front of Ed, then sat down himself. Eddy eyed his black liner for a full ten seconds.
"Is something wrong, Eddy? You don't have to eat that yogurt if you don't like it."
"Uh, no. I'm good. So…what's with the gothiness, Double D?"
"I don't know. I just kind of fell into it, I suppose. Ew, Ed, please chew with your mouth closed," Edd grimaced.
It had been sinking further and further into Eddy's mind that he and his friends were going to be juniors in high school. It was to be their second-to-last year, which meant things would be changing even more. Rolf had graduated the previous year and Nazz and Kevin were going to be seniors. With all the new things happening, Eddy wanted nothing more than for something to stay the same.
"Eddy?" Edd said gently. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I guess."
"I am! …I think."
"Well, which is it, Eddy?" Ed asked.
"Just, um, just don't change too much, guys," Eddy said, looking off into nothingness.
Ed and Edd looked at Eddy, then at each other. Edd smiled, moving closer to Eddy.
"I can assure you, Eddy," he said warmly. "Even though everything changes, and it does have to so life can move forward, nothing in our circle will alter too dramatically."
"…Don't get so close to me, Sockhead," Eddy warned.
Double D smiled with a shake of his head. He pursed his lips together and looked around the room. Ed mimicked him.
"What're you looking for, Double D?" the redhead asked, eager to help.
"Where did you put my class schedule, Ed?"
"I left it on the coffee table. I will get it for you, Double D!"
Ed happily hopped up from his chair, giving the table a violent knock as he did so. The younger boys listened to his overzealous footsteps, wincing as Ed took a nasty-sounding spill. Ed ran back in the kitchen with a fresh bruise on his forehead. He cheerfully handed Edd his schedule and pulled his own from his pocket. Eddy followed suit, laying his on the table.
"Aw, man," Eddy groaned. "I flunked math again. I have to take it over this year."
"I'll help you with it, Eddy," Edd said. "Not that you ever take my help…"
"Hey, Lumpy," Eddy said, purposely ignoring Edd. "Do you have last year's math class again?"
"…Are you kidding me? You passed math before I did?" Eddy asked flatly.
"Yep. Double D helped me," Ed answered casually. "Do you guys have Tech Drawing?"
"I do, yes," Edd replied. "Oh, dear…they weren't able to work in my Spanish class after all… If I was in both the honors classes and the AP class, I should be all set with foreign language credits, right?"
"No, Double D. You're going to flunk high school," Eddy deadpanned.
"Suck it, Eddy," Edd deadpanned back.
Ed and Eddy looked at their friend in surprise. Edd continued looking over his classes, then sat back. He looked thoughtful for a moment.
"Hm, I didn't expect to say that out loud," he mused. "What else do you fellows have?"
"Applied Biology, Applied Algebra Two again, Applied Geometry, Applied History, Gym-"
"You're just taking Gym now, Eddy?" Edd asked.
"I couldn't take it Freshmen year because of French. You didn't have Gym at all."
Double D's eyes widened. Ed and Eddy frantically tried to bring him back from his Dodge Ball Incident flashback. He screamed loudly, then returned to normal.
"…Sorry. Go on, Eddy."
"French, which I want to drop, English, Graphic Design and no study halls…crap, no breaks at all. Maybe I can switch into Tech Drawing. What do you got, Lumpy?"
"Same as you, Eddy, except I have Tech Drawing and Art instead of last year's math and French. And no Gym! I get a study hall and a SPED-room block!" Ed said happily. "What do you have, Double D?"
"I have AP Trigonometry, Biology, History, English-"
"All AP?!" Eddy gasped.
"What does 'AP' mean?" Ed asked, furrowing his eyebrow.
"'Advanced Placement.' Where was I…? Ah, Tech Drawing, Media Analysis and a study hall."
The boys then started comparing where their classes fell. Eddy and Ed frowned when they saw that Edd had no classes with them, with the exception of homeroom. Edd bit his lip, nervous about being without his constant companions for most of the day.
"We'll probably have lunch together," he offered, though more for himself than his friends.
"Yeah, but now you're going to make all these smart AP friends that you can have intelligent conversations with and leave us SPED kids in the dust," Eddy said through gritted teeth.
"You know I wouldn't do that!" Edd retorted, highly offended. "Even if I did make other friends, I would never even dream about leaving you two! How can you think me so shallow, Eddy!?"
"Yeah, Eddy! Double D loves us!" Ed said, frowning.
"I know, I know! I know you're not like that and I'm sorry for saying it! I'm just…"
"Just what, Eddy?" Edd pleaded. "You haven't been yourself all day. What's wrong?"
"I…I just have a really weird feeling about the school year, you know?"
"Beginning of the year anxiety is completely normal, Eddy. Don't worry about it so much," Double D said.
Eddy smiled, knowing that all was forgiven. Edd cleared his and his friends' plates, dropping them all into the dishwasher. He scanned around the kitchen to see if everything was in order. A single yellow sticky note next to the garbage disposal switch caught his eye.
'So we're back to this then, are we, Mother?' he thought.
"Hey, Double D?" Eddy said. "How come you were so weird on IM the other night?"
"I don't recall the conversation, Eddy. What did I say?"
"You just weren't typing as good as you normally do."
"It was almost as bad as me, Double D," Ed added.
Edd chewed the inside of his cheek with his eyebrows knitted tightly together. He asked what they were talking about, but also trying to place the date. He glanced over at the calendar, then looked a bit embarrassed.
"Did you zap yourself on something again, Double D?" Ed asked.
"No…um, well, my mother was home and she insisted that I have a martini with her, so I, uh, I did and I guess I was slightly inebriated when I was talking to you…"
"You were what?" Eddy asked. "You were integrated…?"
"Inebriated," Edd corrected.
He thought the word over carefully, making sure this was a case of genuine confusion and not another "sextant" incident. Certain that it wasn't, he bit his lip, looking sheepish. He watched Eddy and Ed try to figure out what "inebriated" meant.
"Only a little bit, though!" he defended.
"What were you, Double D?" Ed asked, giving up trying to figure out the new word.
"Wait…were you drunk, Double D?" Eddy asked with a toothy smile.
"I can't picture that, Double D," Ed said. "Will you make us martinis?"
"Come on, Double D! Your mom gave you one. She won't mind if you and your friends have a drink," Eddy persuaded.
Double D was somewhat alarmed when he found that he could see Eddy's logic. He coughed into his sleeve, then thought about it some more. His coughing spell returned with a brief vengeance and he fished around his pocket for his inhaler. Eddy and Ed looked at him nervously, hoping that there wasn't about to be a repeat of the time they went to the beach and his inhaler was out of medicine. They knew asthma was a perfectly common ailment, but the incident at the beach had traumatized them. They let out a sigh of relief when the device was produced and functioned properly.
"Sorry about that, gentlemen. I think I just swallowed wrong."
Eddy devilishly looked at Double D again, motioning for him to unlock the liquor cabinet. If he did, he'd be in direct violation of the sticky note's instructions:
Lock the liquor cabinet.
Edd looked at his friends, then the cabinet and, finally, the sticky note. A bout of bitterness welled up in his heart as he stared the note down. He thought his mother should've locked the cabinet herself. He thought she shouldn't have left. He plucked it off the wall and tore it in half.
"Why don't we find a nice recipe?" he suggested.
"Double D," Eddy started. "Have you always known where the liquor cabinet key is?"
"And you've never let us in?!"
"We're underage! It's illegal and immoral! I can't believe I'm even opening it now… Why am I even allowing myself such deviant behavior?!"
Edd looked at the bottle of vodka in his hand in shock. Eddy grabbed it from him before the taller boy flung it somewhere harmful. Ed pulled three tall glasses from the cupboard, nervously setting them on the counter.
"I hope Sarah doesn't find out about this, guys. I do not want her telling Mom…"
"You don't have to have any if it makes you uncomfortable, Ed," Edd assured.
"Can it, Double D! Ed, you can't live in fear of Sarah! Besides, after what she did, your mom won't give a crap what you do!"
"There is a chance she wouldn't believe her, Ed," Double D offered. His green eyes went wide again. "Why am I suddenly becoming such a bad influence?! And, Ed? Those glasses are far too big. We're not sure of our own alcohol tolerance, so we could get pretty sick if we use those. I'll get the…shot glasses, I suppose."
The three boys stared down at the menacing shot glasses. Eddy raised the vodka bottle with a shaking hand. He looked to his left and to his right, then decided that it was time to pour. He poured the strong-smelling liquid slowly, one cup at a time. He recapped it quickly, setting the bottle down as if it were made of the most delicate material in existence. The boys picked up their glasses, each staring at the liquor inside.
"Should we toast something, guys?" Ed asked.
"Yeah," Eddy said shakily. "Um, Double D's the word man. You do the honors."
"Okay…well, to, ah, to friendship and the…future, I suppose."
They looked at each other with uneasy smiles and downed their shots. They cringed and sputtered afterwards, which Eddy tried to hold in. He was the first to force himself to recover. Determined to be the best at drinking vodka shots, he poured himself a second and a third.
"Eddy, slow down!" Edd warned.
"Nn…I'm fine, Double D!" Eddy insisted, swallowing a fourth. "You're just jealous because I can take it all in."
"It tastes bad, Double D!" Ed announced, trying to get the strong flavor out of his mouth.
Edd went to the refrigerator. He fumbled around in it for a little bit, then turned back to Ed with some fruit punch. He pulled two larger cups out, then poured in the punch and only a small bit of vodka. He offered a cup to Ed, who sipped it happily.
"It tastes better, Double D! Still not good, but better!"
"That's good that you don't like it, Ed. It means you'll be responsible at parties. Eddy! Don't vomit on the floor! Use the sink if you can't make it to the bathroom!"
Eddy had had five shots in total, but despite his weight, he wasn't holding it well. Ed and Edd hurried him into the downstairs bathroom. Never afraid of getting dirty, Ed had held his hand over Eddy's mouth so the shorter boy wouldn't destroy Edd's living room carpet. They propped him up against the toilet and let out a sigh of relief that he'd made the journey cleanly.
"I have to pee, guys," Eddy slurred.
He couldn't stand, so a grimacing Edd helped him up and out of his pants. He ordered Ed to get a plastic bag from the kitchen in case Eddy needed to vomit again. Eddy let out a couple pained groans.
"I know how you feel, Eddy. I can't believe I'm holding you on the toilet, either," Edd sighed.
Ed handed Edd his drink and held the bag for Eddy. Edd took a significant sip from the glass. They helped Eddy up and redressed him, then dragged him over to the sink to wash his hands. Eddy reached for Ed's glass.
"No way, mister! No more alcohol for you!"
Eddy ran awkwardly into the kitchen for the bottle. Edd and Ed looked at each other warily. They chased after him, wrestling the bottle away. Eddy yelled abuse at his friends and fought Ed, leaving a few ugly bruises on his arm. He wanted the vodka. He wanted wash away all of his anxiety about losing his friends.
Ed got him in a tight sleeper hold, looking at Double D, silently assuring him that he wouldn't let go until the vodka was locked away. Edd shoved it in the liquor cabinet and locked the door tightly. Slowly, Ed released Eddy from his grasp. The time near Ed's armpits hadn't done Eddy's stomach any favors and he turned around, vomiting on both the redhead and the kitchen floor.
"Father's kitchen floor… Ed! Take him upstairs to the bathtub!" Double D screeched, scrambling to clean up the mess.
Once upstairs, Ed tossed Eddy and his green jacket into the tub. He turned the shower on full blast, then slumped down next to the tub. He wiped the thin sheet of sweat from his forehead and sighed heavily. Eddy had fallen asleep under the spray.
"I'm really excited for you to sober up, Eddy."
A few hours later, Eddy awoke, still in the bathtub under a steady spray of cold water. He looked around, unsure of where he was, then remembered being at Double D's house. He sincerely hoped that the hat-loving boy holding him up on the toilet was just a dream.
He looked up to see Ed's jacket and jeans hanging over the curtain rod. They, like his clothes, were soaking wet. He found a fresh set of his own clothes next to the sink. He rose up on shaking legs, carefully climbing out of the tub. He changed his clothes, tossing the wet ones back into the tub. His head was pounding. He looked in the medicine cabinet, but found no aspirin. He opened the door with a pruned and clammy hand.
He first checked Edd's room, but found it empty. He was tempted to go into Edd's parents' room to see if there was any aspirin in it, since there hadn't been any in the other bathroom. He stumbled downstairs, surprised to see that it was getting dark out. Ed and Edd were sitting on the couch, watching television and drinking tea. Edd shook up his inhaler and Eddy winced at the rattling noise it made. He winced again from the sound it made when in use, but also because seeing Edd using it had always frightened him a little.
"Hello, Eddy," Edd greeted softly from over the back of the couch. "Feeling better?"
"No," Eddy replied stubbornly.
"You slept in the shower, Eddy," Ed said.
"Yeah, I noticed, Lumpy," he grumbled. "So, did you guys rat me out to my parents?"
"No," Edd said, keeping his voice soft. "We told your mother that you fell in some mud and needed new clothes. She believed us."
"I told my mom the same thing, but it wasn't a lie because I found some mud to roll in for real."
"Thanks, guys," Eddy said quietly.
"Eddy, I don't ever want to lie to your mother again, you hear?" Edd said firmly. "Have some tea; it'll settle your stomach. I've got some aspirin for you. I didn't want you to have it right away because I'm not sure how much alcohol is still in your system. The headache may just go away on its own."
"Yeah, I doubt I'll be that lucky, Sockhead. Hand it over."
"It's pronounced 'please,' Eddy," Edd sighed, relinquishing the medicine.
"Is it still today?" Eddy asked, downing the aspirin with Ed's milk.
"Yes, Eddy. It's still the same day," Edd said.
"It's just gotten darker while you were sleeping, Eddy," Ed added. "Don't worry; we didn't let the aliens probe your brain."
"Ugh, the aliens might've been doing me a favor. My head's killing me."
Eddy slumped down on the loveseat next to the couch. He pulled the throw off the back to cover his eyes. The tumbler in the door sounded and Edd's mother stepped in cheerfully. She was carrying a number of bags and had to shut the door with her foot. Edd regarded her coldly out of the corner of his eye. He put on a happier face to greet her. Ed noticed his friend's discord and gave him a pat on the wrist.
"Hi, Edd! Oh, your friends are here. That's fine. Check out these shoes! Aren't they just adorable?" Yvonne said brightly, showing off the strapped pink heels.
"They're very pretty, Mrs. Double D's Mom," Ed replied.
"Where did you get them, Mother?" Edd asked, playing with the string on his sweatshirt.
"In Boston," Yvonne answered. She lit up a cigarette, much to her son's dismay. "Do I smell vodka?"
Ed's eyes grew to the size of saucers. Panic rose up in both him and Eddy, but Edd stayed relaxed. His tolerance for his parents' habits of leaving him for weeks, even months on end and then just coming back; expecting him to welcome them into his life with open arms was waning. A bit of wickedness sparked in him. He wanted to make his mother mad.
"Yes, you do, Mother! We were drinking, which we probably wouldn't have done if you had been home."
"Oh, you boys!" Yvonne laughed.
Edd sighed again. He wondered why he even bothered trying to talk to his mother sometimes. The door opened again and his father walked in. Eddy looked over at him carefully, always afraid he would be wearing bloody scrubs. He was relieved once again to see that his clothes were clean.
"Hi, honey!" Yvonne greeted. Edd rolled his eyes, certain that her bright acknowledgment of his father was purely for show.
"Yvonne, Eddward," the surgeon replied. He gave his son a pat on the shoulder. "Yvonne, the hospital summer party is Friday. Can you make it?"
"I think so," she muttered, checking her PDA. "Yes, I can."
"How was Boston?"
"Fine. Eddward, how's school?"
"It starts next week."
"Oh. Well, I just came home for a bite to eat, then it's back to the OR."
Eddy and Ed looked at each other in amazement. Despite the amount of time they'd spend with Edd, the way his family regarded each other as roommates still struck them as bizarre. Yvonne hurried after her husband into the kitchen, leaving a trail of smoke in her wake. Ed coughed and Double D took another hit from his inhaler. He grumbled something to himself. Eddy decided to break the ice.
"Want to go over to my place, guys? My mom's making duck."
"Okay, Eddy!" Ed agreed.
The three boys left the house in silence. After closing the door, Eddy and Ed looked at Double D curiously. He gave them an awkward smile.
"Is something wrong?"
"Don't you need to tell your parents where you're going, Double D?" Ed asked.
"Does it even matter at this point?" Edd replied bitterly. His green eyes widened momentarily and he bit his lip. "I'm sorry. Let's go."
Eddy's mother greeted the boys, instructing them to wash up for dinner and sit down at the table. She set out her usual large amount of food, smiling when her husband joined them. He said his usual loud and jovial hellos, then sliced himself off a drumstick.
"Have all you want, boys!" he told Ed and Double D. "Janet made more than a whole battalion could eat!"
Edd smiled at Eddy's parents' loud laughter. Happy families had always fascinated him. He wanted to know what it was like to be in one. At the same time, he didn't like the thought of having children. He didn't want to run the risk of disappointing them like his parents had him. In his perfect world, he decided, he'd be successful, have a house of his own and a wife.
Ed munched his share of the food. He liked having a dinner away from Sarah. As much as he worried about her, and loved her, he'd never be able to let go of all the times she'd gotten him in trouble just for the sake of doing so. He hadn't told anybody yet, but he had every intention of moving out when he turned eighteen. He wanted to get an apartment with Eddy and Double D that wasn't too far away from everything. He'd considered visiting home only when he was guaranteed that Sarah wouldn't be there, but he knew he couldn't avoid her forever, nor would he want to. He still had time to work out all his plans. For now, he'd just have a nice meal with his friends.
Eddy also planned on moving out when high school was over. He, like Ed, had dreamed about moving in with his two closest friends. He wanted to have a lot of money and a girl on each arm. He wanted to outdo his brother. He refused to live in a trailer next to an amusement park. He wanted his own car and all the vintage records he could lay his hands on.
His mother smiled at him, noting the determined expression he'd had since birth. She looked to his friends, knowing that each of them would be successful. She hoped they'd be friends forever. She knew they'd have to survive their last couple of high school years to make it, though.