~*Make a Wish*~

He wondered how many nights he'd spent staring at the ceiling and wishing he was anyone but himself. He really did have self-esteem, once upon a time, but what was that now? In a world where you are the company you keep, that made Eddward a nothing.

He wished upon stars now, as silly as that seemed. He, of all people, fell into the habit of asking favors of gaseous masses suspended in space. Truth be told, it wasn't only stars; Edd wished on "wish flowers", yet those were simply Taraxacum officinale,―dandelions―common weeds. He threw pennies in water fountains when the opportunity presented itself. Hell, he even threw quarters if he got desperate enough, which he knew would just make Eddy's blood boil.

Ah, Eddy. That was another problem altogether, though―oh, listen to him, trying to shelve his childhood friend somewhere else and chalk his problems up to teenage hormones. No. Eddy wasn't another problem, because Eddy was the problem. Or, rather, what Edd thought of Eddy. Edd might as well say it:―because what the hell did it matter, now that he was alone?―He was in love with Edward Skipper McGee. Of course, his feelings were the catalyst for everything that went wrong after he had discovered their presence, which was why the blonde member of the Ed Boy trio found himself being yanked out of his beloved cul-de-sac and in his current state of affairs.

He supposed he ought to recount the story in his head, because that's what all good scientists do when they try to find out what they did wrong.

It started in middle school―Peach Creek Junior High, sixth grade. The Eds had been friends for six years by then, mind you, but that was the first time Edd had truly realized how much he liked being around Eddy. At first, that made him feel bad, because Ed was his best friend, too, but it just felt...better to be with Eddy. To Edd's credit, he really did care about Ed, just not (which he would discover later) in the same manner. By the end of the year, the only thing he'd figured out was that he felt more for his height-challenged companion than anyone else, and this, frankly, puzzled him.

Seventh grade brought along a startling epiphany when Eddy started dating Nazz. It didn't take a lot of brain power, or even a very long attention span, to see that Kevin was jealous. What no one knew was that Edd was silently plagued by the same horrid envy―only it wasn't Eddy he was jealous of, but Nazz. The couple's breakup later in the year came as a relief to both Kevin and Edd, which was exactly when the realization hit that the latter's feelings for his friend were definitely not platonic.

Edd's eighth grade year inched by at an agonizingly slow pace. Every single day, he was joined in the cafeteria by the other components of their infamous trio, and he would listen to Eddy babble on about how "rad" Nazz's end-of-the-year party was going to be, and how excited he was to have been invited. Meanwhile, Edd simply pretended to care and tried not to look dejected at how obvious it was that Eddy still had some sort of feelings for Nazz. Eventually the conclusion of their final year as middle schoolers came along, as did the highly-anticipated celebratory event that Eddy seemed oh so intent on dragging both him and Ed to.

Edd believed he would regret it―and, in some ways, he still did―but he tagged along for Eddy's sake. By the end of the night Eddy was drunk, and Edd came to the late realization that the punch had been spiked, only to counter his discovery with another realization: That he really ought to have foreseen that, because poor Ed had drunk the juice as well, and the poor, oblivious thing had no idea, even when he was stumbling around like a man aboard a lurching ship. Edd hadn't had a sip, so, naturally, he was stuck having to excuse himself to Nazz's backyard so he could call his friends' parents and tell them that Ed had passed out and Eddy was plastered. Right as the second call ended, the latter male wandered onto the back patio.

After a few slurred questions, Eddy had smiled at him. (Edd still remembered exactly how the boy had looked, dressed in his pinstripe tuxedo with his black hair slicked back and his eyes clouded beyond belief.) Yes, Eddy had smiled at him, and then he plopped down onto the patio beside him, grabbed his chin, and kissed him full on the mouth. "Sorry I got drunk, Double D," he whispered, giggling. "But the punch was just so good~"

Edd took no notice to his friend's slurring, stammering, or hiccuping―he was much too busy staring at him with wide eyes and his hand covering his mouth.

"Double Deeee," Eddy drawled, a goofy grin present on his face. "I have a secret." He hummed, then clumsily grabbed a hold of Edd's free hand. "I like you, like, uh, like a lot." With those words out of his mouth, Eddy was out cold, leaving Edd with still-wide eyes and a heartbeat that was much too fast to be healthy.

Eddy hadn't talked to him for a month after that. His father was absolutely livid when he picked his unconscious son up from the party, which Edd believed he had a right to be, but he hadn't realized that his helping ensure Eddy's health and safety would've made him so upset. Ed was only mad at him for about an hour...

Regardless, things got back to normal fast. Eddy, from the looks of it, didn't remember a single thing from that night; Edd planned to keep it that way.

When the Eds' first year of high school began, they came to find out that they didn't have a single class together. Ed and Eddy shared math and English, but Edd's schedule was a world away with a complete agenda of advanced courses. The trio saw each other every morning before homeroom and every afternoon at lunch, but that was it. They spent the entire school year making empty promises to hang out outside school more, but Edd was always spending his free time doing schoolwork, and Eddy, for the first time in his fourteen-year-old life, spent his free time studying. Edd would later find out that Eddy had done it just to get into classes with him.

It worked―sort of. For all of Eddy's hard work, he managed to bump half of his subjects up to advanced level, and in tenth grade, he and Edd had one class together. The classroom, as Edd recalls fondly, was where Eddy confessed. ("Hey, Double D?" "Yes, Eddy?" "Remember that night a couple of years ago, when I told you I liked you?" …. "Yes." …. "I meant it.")

They had their first (sober) kiss under the peach blossom tree in the school's courtyard, and their first date at the local science museum. A few dates and several kisses later, they gathered the courage to tell Ed about their relationship. Ed told Sarah; Sarah told everyone.

By eleventh grade, Edd was sure he was in love, but he decided that, unless Eddy ever said anything beforehand, he would wait until their senior prom to confess. Throughout the whole year, Edd dropped subtle hints about his desire for them to go to prom together, while Eddy feigned annoyance at that very fact, even though he'd already had his heart set on that since they were in eighth grade.

That summer, Edd's parents came back home from their extended vacation to their son's coming out speech. Edd told them that he was dating Eddy, and that he'd be "positively elated" to have their approval.

In retrospect, this was something that he found he should have saved until he'd moved out. His parents were uptight, yes, but he had been hoping―hoping on at least five dollars worth of pennies, a pound of Taraxacum officinale, and every star in his sight―that they wouldn't reject his lifestyle. As it turned out, pennies were hunks of metal, dandelions were weeds, and stars were balls of illuminated gas. His parents told him to pack his things, and, within the month, they had uprooted him from the cul-de-sac and moved an entire three states away.

Goodbyes were unpleasant. Ed cried; Eddy lost the light in his eyes; Edd had already done both before he'd broken the news.

And here he was, laying in his bed three states away from the cul-de-sac, from Peach Creek, and from Ed and Eddy.

When his cell phone went off at one that morning, he was less than thrilled, and he refused to answer. His entire day was spent the same as every other, with that less-than-thrilled feeling hanging off every inch of his person. The only thing out of the ordinary was a sticky note on his bedroom door cheerily wishing him a happy eighteenth birthday.

"Nothing says 'happy birthday' like Sharpie and sticky notes," he said aloud, surprised at how flat his voice sounded. Making the smallest bit of an effort to perk up, he announced to his empty house, "Happy birthday to me."

With a fake smile, he donned his tux for his school's graduation ceremony, stopping by the mirror that hung on the wall on his way out the front door. "Look at you, Eddward. How grown-up." He was answered by a long stretch of silence, during which he decidedly removed his tattered old hat and gave the reflection of his now-uncovered blond locks a tight-lipped smile.

That evening, after he'd returned from the ceremony, metal, weeds, and gaseous masses all became wishes that had, after so long, been granted. It started with a knock at the door, and ended with him standing less than two feet away from a tux-donning, starry-eyed boy named Edward Skipper McGee.

Edd doesn't remember dying, but he's sure he's found heaven. "E-Eddy! You're here!"

"I texted you this morning to tell you I was comin'. I thought you knew."

"H-h-how...!"

"Shut it, Sockhead," Eddy replied fondly, a wide grin decorating his face. That proclamation was enough for Edd to leap across the space separating them, laughing a bit out of pure disbelief.

"Eddy! Three states! You―why―but― Gracious!"

Eddy rolled his eyes good-naturedly. "Hurry up and get in the car, 'cause Ed's waitin' to see ya."

Unable to contain his excitement, Edd rushed out the door, spotting Ed's trademark green jacket the moment he'd gotten outside.

"Double D!" Ed exclaimed, sounding as dopey and merry as Edd remembered him.

Eddy walked up behind the blonde, snorting in Ed's direction. "Why'd you wear that old thing with your suit, Lumpy?"

Edd blinked. "Wait...how peculiar. You two are all dressed up..."

"Well, duh," came Eddy's reply. "Pretty convenient that you are, too―'cause we're going to prom, baby!"

Edd's eyes promptly widened; he spun around to face Eddy with his mouth agape. "Wh-what?"

"It's prom night, Double D," Ed replied, clapping. "We have to go now, or May will yell at Ed for being late..."

Eddy nodded, helping Edd into the car with a genuine smile. "I always knew we'd go to prom together, Double D. I've been wishing on stars."

Prom was just as Edd had pictured it: Streamers, balloons, teens shamelessly grinding on one another, and a cheap buffet table with more trash than food on it. Despite the lack of charm, he was simply happy to be back in Peach Creek again. Which reminded him...

"Eddy?" he began meekly, feeling his face heat up a bit when he backed up from their slow dance to look at him properly. "What if my parents get home early and find out I'm gone? O-o-or, what if we get back late? They'd be looking for me, and o-oh, dear, they'd be livid...!"

Eddy chuckled, of all the things in the world, replying with, "You're a few hours away from being eighteen, so, y'know what? Your parents can't do shit." He smiled at the weak protest Edd tried to give, but it was evident by the way the corners of his mouth quirked upward ever-so-slightly that he was quite fine with that.

As that particular song faded out, and the event neared its end, a soft chuckle left Edd's mouth. "You know, I've been waiting to tell you something, and it's so peculiar to think that, just a few hours ago, I was under the impression that I'd never get to say it."

"Well, now's your chance."

"Edward McGee,"―Eddy raised an eyebrow at having his full name used, but didn't interrupt to question why it had been―"I love you."

Eddy was silent for a moment, then chuckled and replied, "Sap." A pause. "But guess what?" He smiled a little wider, leaning in and kissing the other softly. "I love you, too. I betcha there'd be no better time to admit it. We're eighteen, and we've got the whole world in our hands." Another kiss; another smile. "Happy birthday, baby. Make a wish."