A/N Holy shit this is something that isn't yaoi. This is a fic, and it doesn't have yaoi in it, at least except for Jimmy coming out. Oh my shit, I can't believe this!

Disclaimer: I don't own Ed Edd n Eddy

I hate growing up. I don't know of any other way to say it. It's childish, and I know that I'm in high school (I'm even a senior, weird huh?) and that I should give up on thoughts like that, but I can't help it. I miss the old days, the days where me, Ed, and Double D were just kids, making up silly scams and trying our hardest to buy candy. What was that candy called anyway? Damn, I can't even remember that much… I bet Double D does. Maybe Ed does too, he's always been sentimental. But I'm not going to ask. That'd make me look like a pussy, and I can't have that, not when I finally broke five feet and definitely not when I finally got a little respect around here. Hell though, right now I'm by myself, I can reminisce about all that's changed, yeah? It won't hurt anybody to look back on all the shit that's happened to us, about how fucking different everything is now, because this cul-de-sac is so fucked up now, and everyone in it is so fucked up now and… damn.

I guess I can talk about how I've changed first. I've always been selfish, you know? People always point that out as my main fault. I haven't seen my brother in years, and I've got no idea where he's gone. Mom doesn't either, and she worries for him all the time. Dad does too, but he doesn't show it nearly as much. I miss him a little, I guess, even after all he's done to me, but I don't worry for him. If anything I know my big brother can take care of himself, no matter what he has to do, and that's something I've always known about him. He always was the clever brother, the devious brother, the resourceful brother, and I've been the one in his shadow, but after that adventure we had a long time ago, where I sought him out, most of the cul-de-sac thinks I'm the better one. Maybe I am a little nicer, but I figure there's something to be said for cruelty, and I still love the guy. Shit, I can't imagine how bad he'd wanna beat me up if he heard me say that! I still try to scam the other kids sometimes, but now they see it as sort of a joke and toss me a quarter even if I ask for ten bucks. I don't know whether that should piss me off or make me laugh anymore. I'm waiting for whenever I can get out and be a business man, start up something that people take seriously, and take both of my best friends, Double D and Ed, with me. I wonder, sometimes, if they'd even want to go and that makes me almost feel like crying. I can't believe how much we've fucking changed sometimes…

I think Double D has changed the most… I don't know why I still call him that, since in tenth grade he stopped correcting teachers when they called him Eddward. He told me he thought it was time to give up such a childish nickname when I asked. He's still wicked smart, that hasn't changed, he's the top of our class. But I've expected that for as long as I've known him. He was always the brains, always the planner, always the voice of reason. He's a lot quieter now, I think. I joke sometimes, about doing something stupid, about running away like my brother did, and instead of freaking out like he did when we were in middle school he just sort of flinches and looks away. The most he ever does is tell me, "Eddy, don't say that, please." I feel almost sad about it sometimes, because where did that high-strung Double D go, where did one of my best friends go? Me and Ed also found out about how his dad beats him. We weren't supposed to, but we were going to visit him one day, we had a scam, and we heard it. We heard him crying and screaming, and we heard his dad yelling. We heard him call Double D a little faggot, a bastard, useless, unwanted, we heard the sound of skin striking skin. I still regret that we never did anything, and I still regret that we never told Double D we knew, but I think he's figured out that we do. I think I mostly regret that neither of us never noticed all the fucking bruises before that, even though we claimed we were his best friends. I still admire how he was always able to laugh with us, but he doesn't do that so much anymore. He did finally ditch that hat of his though, and we found out that his hair is insanely long. He always wears it in a ponytail or a bun, but I think if he were to let it down it would reach his ass, or maybe even farther. It's weird to see it after so long of it being a mystery. He told us once that he kept it that way, at least originally, because his parents always forgot to take him to the barber, but now he says it's his one method of escaping his parents, the one thing they let him keep. I remember when he came to us crying one day, telling us about how they threw out his lab equipment as a punishment, and he still hasn't been able to get together enough cash to buy it all back. I remember the cut he had on his side the next day too, and I think it's a scar now. I hate it, I hate his dad, I want to kill him. Before that day I found out about what was happening to him, I don't think I'd ever felt real anger, but damn, I wanted him dead even as I was running away. I don't hate anyone but that motherfucker.

Ed is different too, he grew up the most. You never hear him talking about comic books or gravy or chickens now, it's all about his job and food and shit, will he have enough for rent this month? His parents died, see, in a car crash a little after he turned sixteen, and the state didn't bother to do shit for him, so for the passed two years he's been looking after Sarah. My family and a lot of others have helped him out when he thought he'd be late on rent or when he ran out of food, of course, but it's still been tough on him. He's even had to drop out of high school, even after Double D started doing his homework for him so he could do overtime. I think a lot of the reasoning was actually for Double D, to take away a little of that stress, and in some ways that one act of dropping out brought us all a lot closer together, even though in some other ways it may have screwed up Ed's life for good. I found out Sarah was actually a pretty sweet kid, and she's still got a crush on Double D. It's funny to watch him be so gentle with her, to try and turn her attention to someone, anyone, but him, but she can't ever seem to get over her attachment to him. She shows how much she loves her big brother a lot more now too. Once I even walked in on them crying together, but I left before they noticed me. Shit like that, you don't need an intruder like me. In some ways though, I don't like seeing the 'all grown up' Ed. I miss that naivety he had, those thoughts of brain eating zombies and apocalyptic aliens. I miss trying to steal chickens from Rolf for him. I miss being a child, because his innocence made me feel innocent and it held together the illusion that everything was the same between the three of us, the three musketeers of the cul-de-sac. I found out too late that that innocence was what made us Ed-boys the Ed-boys, and without it what were we? Three fucked up teenagers who don't have a damned idea what we're doing, I guess.

Jimmy came out to everyone not too long ago, and most of the town congratulated him, but everyone knew his parents weren't happy. He got away with it for a while, sneaking kisses with a boy he liked in the school bathroom, but as soon as he brought that boy to his home, to introduce him to his parents, he got sent off to some 'special school'. I remember how Sarah bawled, because Jimmy was still her best friend, the only one she could really talk to about a lot of things, like how she could get Double D to like her and how Ed wouldn't let her wear make up (he's given in now; Ed can't seem to deny Sarah anything, no matter how hard up for cash he is). When Jimmy came back last week he spouted some bullshit about how being gay was wrong and that he'd just been a little sick before, but I caught him just yesterday with that same boy, kissing childishly and holding hands. He begged me not to tell and I smiled and told him my lips were sealed. He smiled and hugged me, even though his boyfriend was pouting. I thought it was cute and left, thinking on how fucked up it was that Jimmy's parents had seriously sent him to one of those goddamned 'get rid of your gay' things. I'd thought this place was at least a little more open minded than that, but when I think on it now I can't help but remember a couple of hate crimes that happened way back when, when I was still a toddler, that had resulted in some guy getting stabbed for being gay. I didn't know what that meant at the time, of course, but my mom told me it didn't matter what it meant, no one deserved to get hurt for being who they were, and I've sort of stuck to that mentality ever since. I think now Jimmy's sort of like my little brother, even if he doesn't see himself that way, and maybe I hate his parents as well as Double D's dad.

Kevin's still a jock, but I expected that too. What I didn't expect was that he'd get charged with dealing coke out of his locker and get sentenced to five years in juvie, and I definitely didn't expect that he'd start up a gang and get fucking Rolf, naïve country boy Rolf, involved in it (I still remember the day everyone on the whole damn street heard his Nana crying about the life he'd gotten himself into). I didn't expect there'd be a miniature gang war right here in Peach Creek, with the Kanker Sisters, who'd joined up with Kevin after giving up on me, Double D, and Edd, all getting shot and fucking dying in the middle of the street. I remember the funeral really well. Kevin put a red flower in every one of their coffins, along with a shiny pistol, and Rolf gave each of them a lily and cried his eyes out. Double D cried too, soft, hiccupy sobs, and Ed comforted him. I was too busy holding back my own tears, because damn it, I wasn't showing that weakness in front of everyone, even though I had cared for the three girls. They were sort of sisters to me, they took care of everyone around the cul-de-sac, they kept them safe, and now they were dead. I remember their faces were too damn white and I remember I put a tube of red lipstick Lee had left in my house a long damn time ago in her cold hand. I hadn't fucking wanted to give it back that way. I remember, too, that all three of them were dressed in white, and that made me feel sick. They didn't look like themselves in white, they needed bright colors that stood out sharply against their skin, bright colors that made you look at them and smile a little, because they were different and they were unique and they were beautiful in their own right. I also remember a newscast the next day that told about how the other Peach Creek gang had been found, all dead, in a warehouse just outside of town, and I also remember that Kevin and Rolf and a few other people were in jail for a while after that, but I couldn't help but smile. They were nothing if not loyal, those two, and in some ways I saw them, and still see them, as friends.

Nazz got pregnant in ninth grade, but who the hell didn't see that coming? She was always a bit of a whore, always threw herself on people, and to this day not even she knows who the father is. There's even been some speculation that it was Double D, but I just laugh at that thought. Despite how much he has changed, Double D is still shy as hell, and he hasn't really ever even had a girlfriend, or a real, long-lasting crush for that matter. Sure, he played at liking Nazz for a while, but what guy around here didn't? In some ways getting a crush on Nazz was like a right of passage or something. Now me, I've always figured Kevin was the dad, since he always seems to want to be around the kid. He seems like he's being a pretty good dad, or at least trying to be, even if he isn't the biological father. I hope he gets out of the drug shit before the kid gets too old though. It'd be hellish if the poor thing got involved in that so young, when he's already become a staple around the neighborhood, when we all treat him like he's family. I'd hate to see something happen to him. It's pretty nice though, it seems like he'll have a decent life. Nazz has settled down a lot since he was born, and her parents are doing everything they can to help her. As far as teenage mothers go, Nazz is definitely one of the few damn lucky ones, and I think she knows that. That's probably why she has calmed down so much. I've even heard she's planning to become a pediatrician, which I figure is a pretty decent goal for her to work towards.

There's one more guy who isn't around the cul-de-sac anymore: Johnny. We found out not too long ago that he was fucked in the head, that Plank, who we'd all thought was just an imaginary friend he'd soon grow out of, was really the product of Schizophrenia. Turns out he had voices, lots of them, demons that followed him no matter what he did, and Plank was his way out. Plank was the voice of reason that kept him from listening to what they were telling him. When his parents threw Plank away he broke apart and killed them. He was found the next morning covered in blood, crying and screaming, and everyone, including me, felt so fucking sick. While the cops dragged him off he yelled about how he wanted to kill every one of us, how we were lucky, how we hated him, how we fucked with him, how we needed to goddamn die. We all felt guilty and wondered if it was our fault that this happened to him, if how we'd teased him so much about Plank, about everything, was the birth of his disorder. A few people are still seeing counselors, and Johnny himself is locked up in some hospital for the criminally insane. I visited him once, not long after he got put in, and he cried when he saw me. He told me to tell everyone he was so sorry, that he hated what he'd done, that he wished he hadn't threatened us because we were his friends and to please, please get him out of there because it was hell. I know he was doped up, I saw the IV, I saw the pill bottles, but I was never able to bring myself to go back there again and I was never able to tell anyone that I visited him in the first place. I did make my own Plank though, but I keep it under the bed, and it has Double D's hair and Ed's smile and Lee's eyes and Kevin's hat and Jimmy's gentleness and Marie's wit and Sarah's doll and May's clothes and Rolf's voice and Nazz's mothering love and above all it has Johnny's memory, it has the memory of all of us, of how we once were and how we are now. It's got our past, and maybe, just maybe, it's got our future, it's got what will happen to us when we finally escape this hellish reality and move on to that bigger, better life that's awaiting us.