It's the end of the road, folks. R & R, and as always, enjoy.

Edd & Marie: Friday

"It's Friday, I'm in love."

Instead of the hot sun lingering in the cloudless sky, Friday had come dressed in overcast; the typically blue sky was a battleship grey and thick clouds smothered the sun. Despite this, the day was still quite warm as it was July, and the kids of the cul-de-sac were out doing their normal activities. All, that is, except for the Eds.

Eddy had not bothered coming around that morning to Double Dee's house. He didn't blame him for this cold shoulder, as he had clearly expressed his want to be alone, but Double Dee still felt remorse. All he seemed to feel these days was that, guilt, for things that he didn't entirely mean to do. He had scolded himself enough for these half-hearted actions, though, and he knew that if he started, he would just ruin another day. With a sigh, Double Dee took a wistful glance at the window and saw the dreary sky. Perhaps this day would be sub-par regardless of what he did. He stood and crossed over to the window, and he wrenched it up to let air in. A surprising coolness breezed in, foreshadowing a coming rain. Double Dee stuck his hand out the window, felt the nice, breezy air, and decided that he could wallow while it was raining. Wanting to enjoy the weather now, he shut the window and scurried down his steps. He locked his front door behind him and stepped out into the cul-de-sac.

Outside, the rest of the kids were playing a rousing game of kickball. Double Dee took a seat in front of door and watched as the two teams of neighborhood kids faced off. Kevin was the person rolling the ball, which was to be expected, while Sarah harassed Jimmy to step up to the plate to kick. The delicate boy was terrified, shrieking and moving out of the way as Kevin slung the ball in his direction. This led to an argument between Kevin and Sarah, who was yelling about how he couldn't roll a ball if his life depended on it. While the two bickered, members of each team began to talk. Double Dee sighed at their social interactions, slightly envious. He shut his eyes and listened to their conversations until he felt a light tapping on his shoulder. He creaked open his eyes to find Nazz standing before him, a questioning smile on her face.

"Double Dee? You okay, dude?" she asked in that sweet voice of hers, all though it didn't seem so sweet now.

For once, her presence wasn't making him break out in a nervous sweat or hives. He looked up at her and gave her a bittersweet smile. "Oh, Nazz. I'm fine, really."

She bought that. Nazz simply grinned and gestured to the group of kids behind her that was slowly calming down from Sarah's outburst. "Wanna come play some kickball with us?"

Double Dee considered this for a moment, but he had to decline; he would do nothing but embarrass himself playing a sport, even if it was just kickball. "Thank you very much, Nazz, but…I'd rather not. I'm not particularly fond of sports."

She shrugged. "Whatever you want, dude." She waved him goodbye as Kevin called out for her. "See ya Double Dee!"

"Yeah. See you." She jogged back to the group and lined up with her team, as it was their turn to kick. He continued to watch their game for a while before growing disinterested.

He stood from his front steps and stretched, thinking about talking a walk. There was a high chance of rain in this kind of weather, but he decided that he would chance it and go anyway. He waited and examined the game, trying to make sure he wouldn't get hit with the kickball. After successfully crossing the street without any injuries, he ducked into the woodsy area of Peach Creek to enjoy more time alone.

The woods were darker than usual without the sun shining, but it was still beautiful in a gloomy, romantic way. Shadows were everywhere, consuming the trees and the ground, deadening them, but the woods were very much alive. The sounds of birds chirping loudly were ringing through Double Dee's ears, along with the buzzing of insects. He smiled at the wonder surrounding him, not feeling at all troubled for the first time since Tuesday. He continued to walk through the thickets of trees slowly, taking his time for he didn't want to return anytime soon. The air was gently rattling the leaves of the trees, creating an entire forest orchestra. It was all very enchanting. He was distracted, but he snapped back to reality as he stumbled over a rotting log. He came tumbling over, landing face-down on the dry, dusty earth. He coughed loudly and stood up before looking down in disdain at his shirt.

"Oh my…look at those grass stains…" Double Dee groaned. He threw up his hands in frustration, then took a seat on the same treacherous log that had tripped him. He decided that this was a less dangerous way to get engrossed in the sounds of nature and closed his eyes, listening intently.

Among the sounds of birds, insects, and leaves, a single, muffled sound told him he was not alone. Double Dee's eyes shot open and he began to look around quickly, growing nervous. Was there someone else here with him? The sound was barely audible, but it was definitely a voice. He listened closely, but the words were unintelligible. He stood once more, making sure to not trip again and draw attention to himself. He walked slowly to not make any sudden noises and approached a very large thicket of bushes, where the voice seemed to be coming from. He crouched down in front of the thicket and peered through the dense foliage, trying his best to see what was on the other side.

The words were still hard to understand, but not impossible. It was a female's voice, of that Double Dee was certain, and as he pulled a few stubborn twigs out of the way, he could see the owner. He almost gasped aloud, but bit down on his bottom lip to stop himself. Marie Kanker was there, mere feet away from him, sitting cross-legged on a large rock. She had her back turned to him and was facing the flowing, babbling creek. He stared at her, frozen, stuck somewhere between thinking that she was either the most beautiful or terrifying thing he had ever seen.

His conscience was relieved. He thought about how, since she was sitting a few feet away from him, he could apologize to her, rid himself of this guilt that had been plaguing him that week. He could approach her and give her the sincerest of apologies, tell her that he never meant to upset her, and he would no longer feel bad. However, as appealing as that was, there was a small part of him that was still intimidated by Marie. He didn't know what she would do next, and that alone petrified him.

Double Dee swallowed hard and peered through the hole in the thicket once more. Marie had unlaced her sneakers and tossed them to the ground. She was dipping her feet into the cool water, which must've been cooler than she had expected because she shrieked upon contact. She ripped her feet away from the creek and swore under her breath. Double Dee put his hand to his mouth, trying to stifle his giggles at her actions, but the sound escaped. He saw Marie turn her head a tick at this, and he started to worry that she had heard him. She turned around and looked around, eyes closing in on the thicket. In a fit of panic, he backed away from the thicket. He had not gone unnoticed.

Marie herself was perplexed; she had sworn that when she was passing through there were no other bodies in sight. She crossed her arms and stared at the clump of bushes in front of her, the same one she always had to fight to get through. She gritted her teeth and marched over to them, convinced that there was some unwanted guest here. She began to tear at the twigs until she saw the other side, where a quivering Double Dee was balled up, obviously hiding. She reached down and grabbed him by the shirt collar before dragging him through the thicket.

"What're you doing here?" Marie snapped, not wasting any time. She shook him violently; she was rather excited about him being here.

Double Dee was a little more than scared now. He grabbed her by the shoulders to steady himself. "I…I didn't know you were here, Marie!"

She shrugged his hands off of her shoulders, and her mouth formed into a thin, red line. She wasn't going to listen to him, that much he could tell. "I know it was you that laughed," she scoffed. "There ain't anyone else here."

"Um…why, yes…" Double Dee sputtered out. He had to be brave now, he told himself. She was obviously not in much of a talking mood. "I wasn't here to uh, laugh at you though."

"Then why are you here?" Marie stared at him, waiting for the perfect time to send her fist crashing into his face. "Here to tick me off more?"

"No, Marie!"

"Then what?" Marie yelled at him. She let go of his shirt and looked away for a moment. It was unbelievable that her prey had presented itself to her, and she decided that now would be the best time to set her plan into action. She poised herself, ready to slug him at the first sound of one of his silly excuses.

Double Dee straightened his shirt and looked at her. Marie looked so angry, and he knew that he no longer had an option; he had to apologize to her. He wrung his hands as he began to speak. "Marie…I'm really…I've…I'm sorry about Tuesday…" he started, voice shaking. Marie's eyes went wide at his words, and he began to speak again quickly. "I really didn't think about what I was doing, if I had I never would have shoved you…I didn't mean to upset you, honestly. It was all just a mistake, a faux pas if you will…and I've been out of my mind all week, feeling nothing but remorse…"

Marie's face was a cross between astonished and perturbed. She flung her hand back, and he flinched as she clenched her fist. Her hand was frozen there, though. "I…you…" she stuttered out.

Her mind was running away from her; this moment seemed surreal. She moved to send the unexpected blow across his face, but she couldn't get herself to do it. Marie looked up into his dark eyes, wide and full of the one thing she had never expected: sympathy. A different kind of anger built up inside of her, but it brought no violent thoughts with it. Feeling defeated, she dropped her hand to her waist and looked at Double Dee incredulously. "Why do you have to do that?"

He was looking as shocked as she was. "I'm afraid I don't comprehend," Double Dee said in a mousy voice. He was feeling uncomfortable now, this situation as foreign to him as the one where she was crying outside of his house.

"Why do you always have to be so nice!" she cried, frustrated. "How come you can't just be mean, like everybody else?"

"I don't-"

"You don't have to! I don't want you to!" Marie said. She folded her arms across her chest and turned from him. "I don't want you to understand, and I don't want you to feel sorry for me. It only…makes it harder," she said, her final words fading into a whisper. She could feel her tough skin peeling away as she spoke, and it only exasperated her more.

Double Dee approached her slowly but dared not touch her. He was puzzled by her words. "Make it harder? Marie, I really don't understand, I just…wanted to let you know how sorry I was…"

She whipped around to face him once more. "That's what I mean! I don't want you to be sorry, I don't want you to care! I just want to forget about you!"

Double Dee's eyes widened at her words. "Forget…about me?"

"Yes!" she yelled. "How do you forget about someone you love when they just keep leading you on and make you think they care?" Her lip began to tremble and she turned away from him to walk towards the rock she had been sitting at before he came.

Double Dee didn't move to follow her or stop her; her words had left him standing there, even more confused. Love? Leading her on? None of this made sense to him. This was Marie Kanker, a hard girl who enjoyed torturing him because he was "cute" or something. He thought about how she had cried so hard outside of his house, and it hit him like a ton of bricks that she had been feeling something a little different that what he had. He hadn't offended her when he pushed her away. He had broken her heart. He had never felt more like a jerk before. "Marie," he began quietly as he slowly inched towards her, "I had…I didn't even know…that you…"

"What does it matter, anyway," Marie replied back scornfully. "It's not like you really care, or anything."

"It's not like that!" he said back without thinking. She shot him a nasty look. "I mean…it really isn't like that…"

She smirked at him, but it wasn't her typical, seductive smirk. "Oh, really," she said flatly.

Double Dee wanted to be as upset as she was, but he couldn't be. He didn't blame her for not listening to him. It wasn't like he always showed her that he cared. Wasn't he, half the time, helping Eddy scheme for ways to get rid of her and her sisters? Hadn't he wished so many times that she would simply leave him alone for good? Didn't he want her to go away and never bother him again? He pondered this for a moment as she looked at him, distressed. If he had really wanted her to disappear, to leave him alone, to never speak to or chase him again, he wouldn't have felt the need to apologize. He wouldn't have wasted his week sulking and feeling angry that he had upset her.

With a deep breath, he walked over to her and laid a hand on her shoulder. Marie whipped around to glare at him, but was surprised to see such a soft expression on his face. Double Dee gazed down at her, a gentle look in his eyes. "I care, Marie. This entire week, the only thing I've thought about is how I hurt you the other day, only I wasn't aware of the full extent of the damage I had done," he said tenderly. Her blue eyes were bewildered while he talked. "I just wanted to say I was sorry."

"You don't have to pretend," she said. Her voice was nasty, but it didn't match her eyes. "I get the picture."

"I'm not pretending," he replied calmly.

Marie raised an eyebrow. Where was that anger she had felt? And where was the boy that screamed and ran from her when she approached? She reached a single hand towards his face, touched it gently. He flinched just the slightest at the feeling of her fingertips on his skin, but he remained standing there. "You don't like me," she told him matter-of-factly.

Double Dee could feel his heart racing, anxious, at her touch. "I…I like you," he admitted slowly. When he said the words, he believed them; if he hadn't liked her, would he have cared so much?

"But," she started, "you don't…like me."

"I don't?"

"No." He seemed slightly taken aback by this answer and she eyed him curiously. On impulse, Marie turned to face him full front. She stood, and his hand dropped to his waist. Her free hand drifted to his face to hold it, and the other caressed it gently. She turned her head a fraction and leaned in, then she delicately pressed her lips to his. Her arms wrapped themselves around his neck as she kissed him. She pulled her lips away from his and she murmured, "Do you?"

Double Dee was pensive and didn't say anything to her. Marie would have understood if he ran away from her, but his silence was unnerving. She waited, uneasy, for him to either concur or leave her standing there feeling foolish. However, he did neither of these things; instead, he slipped his arms around her waist and pulled her into a loose hug. Marie parted her lips to speak, but no words came out. His eyes were heavy though he remained quiet. "Aren't you going to answer me?" she pried.

His face blushed the color of beets as he spoke. "Actions speak louder than words, I suppose." At this Marie laughed aloud. His blush deepened and he chuckled with her nervously. She locked her eyes to his, a smile plastered on her face, before she planted her lips on his mouth once more.

Double Dee wasn't very experienced, and even though he had been kissed numerous times by her, this felt like something very new. He wrapped his arms around her tighter as she worked her mouth against his, not sure what he should do. He felt her mouth drift away.

"I'm not gonna bite…yet," she teased, and he swallowed hard. Even with their feelings having been expressed to one another, this was all very awkward. He gave her a nervous grin.

"Sorry, Marie. This is just…ah…awkward?"

"You're so cute when you don't know what to do," Marie mused. She was going to lean in once more, but the sound of thunder cracking overhead stopped her. She glanced upwards at the sky, which had turned into a much darker grey than when she had first ventured outside. A brilliant bolt of lightening shattered the smooth monochrome sky and she could feel small droplets of water wetting her hair and clothes.

"Summer rains," Double Dee said, staring up at the sky as well. "You can never predict them."

"I'm gonna get soaked!" Marie squealed. Double Dee let her go and she hurried to get her shoes. She shoved them on her feet and didn't bother to lace them.

"Marie!"

"What?"

"Your shoe laces! They're going to be filthy if you leave them untied!" Double Dee scolded.

"You're kidding, right?" she laughed. She grabbed his hand and dragged him behind her as the rain started pouring down. "We've got more important things to worry about, like…oh, I dunno, getting out of the rain?" Marie broke into a run, hand still wrapped around Double Dee's. He tried to keep up with her without slipping in the process. She maneuvered them around trees and steered clear of thickets and logs, until eventually they immerged in front of the cul-de-sac.

Marie looked at Double Dee, who was breathing heavy from the run. He was completely soaked, and with a glance at her own clothes, she saw that she was too. Her eyes traveled down to her sneakers. Her laces were the color of the mud she had been running through. Double Dee noticed as well and said, "I told you so…filthy!" She began to laugh at him as she wrung out her wet hair.

He smiled at her giggling and couldn't help thinking she was pretty, even if she did look like she had gone swimming with her clothes on. He glanced up at the sky to see the grey clouds parting like a curtain to reveal the fat, yellow sun. Rain was no longer dripping down from the sky. "Summer rains, you can never predict them."

"Mm," Marie agreed. She whipped her hair to dry it some and looked at him wistfully. "I think I'd better leave now. After all, I need to clean my laces."

"Don't mock me," he told her, but she just giggled and waved him goodbye as she walked back into the woods to go to the trailer park. He watched her as he began to wring out his shirt.

"You look like a drowned rat, Sockhead!" Eddy's voice yelled to him. Double Dee snapped his head around to see Eddy and Ed walking towards him. A rolled up piece of paper was clutched in Eddy's hand. "You get caught in the rain?"

"Ohuh, yes!" Double Dee replied. He met them halfway and Eddy handed him the paper. "A scam?"

"Yep!" Eddy said excitedly. "The greatest scam of all time, I can assure you!"

"Right-O," Double Dee said, skeptical. He was glad, though, to be standing there with his friends, talking about scamming. It was as if nothing spectacular had happened, as if today was ordinary. "I'll read over it in a minute, Eddy…I think I ought to change clothes first."

"Alright! But hurry up, I can't have you slackin' anymore!"

"But of course," he said as he trudged to his house.

He quickly unlocked his door and put his dirty, wet clothes into the wash before changing into clean ones. As he was leaving his room, he passed by a mirror that caused him to stop. Around his mouth was a smearing of red lipstick. His hand shot there and began to rub roughly, not wanting either of his friends to know what happened. He reduced it to a hardly noticeable pink and wondered if this was going to be a regular occurrence. He dreamily thought about how her lips felt against his mouth before deciding that he didn't mind if he had to scrub lipstick off his mouth everyday. Remembering the plans that he had, Double Dee shook away these thoughts and turned on his heel to leave.