Well, here we are, with the final chapter of The Double-D Dare.
I can't believe it's over! But this seemed like the appropriate place
to end it, and this portion of the story has run its course.

This chapter is shorter, as it is an epilogue. But, don't fret
lovelies, because a sequel in currently being written!
Go check it out, it's called A Double-Eddged Sword.
If you follow my Tumblr (the link is on my profile)
then you can keep up with what's going on!

Without further ado, I present the final chapter of
The Double-D Dare. Thank you all for making this a
wonderful experience!

The Double-D Dare

Chapter Fourteen

The baseball field was eerily quiet. Everyone was perched upon the edge of their seats, Eddward included. Cyan eyes were focused on the tense game unfolding before him. He could only imagine the pressure that Kevin felt at this very moment.

Somehow, Peach Creek had landed themselves in the final game of playoffs, and the championship title was on the tips of their fingers. With the absence of school – Edd proudly acknowledged that with his consistent tutoring, Kevin's lowest grade was a C – Kevin could devote himself to practices, and Edd enjoyed watching him partake in something he was so adamantly passionate about. His hard work had certainly paid off. After seven long innings of playing center field, Kevin had been brought in to close the game. He had given up not a single run in the previous inning, but now, in the ninth, it seemed as though the other team had partially caught onto his pitching style. Kevin stood on the mound now, in the bottom of the last inning, with Peach Creek ahead by only one run and with runners on all three bases. There were two outs. As far as Edd was concerned, there were only two logical outcomes; either Kevin retired this batter, or he would hit the two winning runs in.

With his baseball cap turned backwards on his messy ginger hair, Kevin took his sign from the catcher in complete silence. Edd noted the look of absolute concentration upon his face, and he found himself praying for the former situation. Kevin wound up and heaved the ball in. Strike one. Edd gripped the strap of his bag so tightly that his knuckles were beginning to turn white. Another pitch; a ball. 'Come now, Kevin. You have struck out many batters. This is an easy task for you.'

A third pitch flew in toward home plate, and the batter swung, fouling it off directly behind him. Edd exhaled in relief. He was well aware that, depending upon the speed and trajectory of the ball, an adjustment of mere centimeters would have resulted in a decent game-winning hit. Now, Kevin had two strikes on the batter. They were so unbelievably close; Edd could taste the victory on his own tongue. Never would he have predicted himself to be one to get excited over a simple sport, but it seemed as though there was a competitive side to him, after all.

Another pitch, another ball. The count was now 2-2, and Kevin didn't have much room to fool around. He could not afford to walk this batter, for it would force the tying run to home plate. Edd leaned forward on his seat in the bleachers, holding his breath. As Kevin turned around to settle himself on the mound, emerald eyes darted up to where Edd sat. The teen smiled slightly, and gave a single nod of encouragement.

Kevin wound up and pitched; a change-up, judging by its speed, as it floated through the air. The batter swung – far too early – and Edd heard the pop as the ball hit the catcher's mitt.

The reaction was spectacular. Edd jumped up with the rest of the crowd, clapping his hands together furiously. He found himself grinning amongst the cheering fans as the infielders tackled Kevin to the ground in a celebratory pile. After a moment, they dismantled themselves, Nat pulling Kevin to his feet and embracing him. The two teams lined up to shake hands, and as soon as the final hand was slapped, Edd saw Kevin beeline around the back of the dugout. Edd climbed down the bleachers to commend him before he had to return to his team to celebrate.

"Congratulations," Edd murmured, followed by a squeak of surprise as Kevin jogged up and lifted him into the air as he embraced him, spinning them around quickly before setting Edd down on solid ground.

He said it then, breathlessly, for the first time. Whispered it in Edd's ear, excitedly, chest heaving against Edd's smaller frame as he held him flush against his body.

"I love you. I love you, Edd."

And it was only the first of many times that Edd's heart would skip a beat, his cheeks would flush and he would feel as though there was no better feeling than hearing Kevin speak those three words. It was better than getting the highest grade on an exam, better than a 4.0 grade point average, better than first place in the science fair, all combined. It was only the first time that Kevin would utter those words and see a smile curve Edd's lips, because it would be said many more times over the next year. They would spend summer together, packing duffle bags onto Kevin's motorcycle to travel to the beach, lying out in the sun, and when it became too hot outside, they would retreat into Edd's air conditioned house to sip lemonade. When Edd went away for science camp, he called Kevin twice a week from the pay-phone at the mess hall. And at the end of each phone call, they would say those three words.

When school started up again, they spent their senior year together. Edd went to all of Kevin's football games in the fall, and Kevin actually got an A in math class with Edd's help. When Edd's parents didn't come home for Christmas, Kevin ushered him into his house and they watched old holiday specials all night, and when April rolled around, Kevin showed up at Edd's locker after school to give him a note. Edd had unfolded it with a smile upon his face.


You and me, Thursday night. I'll pick you
up at 7. Dress cute, 'cause we're going out.

Love, Kevin

P.S. Happy one-year anniversary, dork.