The Prestigious and Highly-Efficient Academy of Alter Waters
Edd blinked. Eddy's excited cry had attracted the attention of everyone in the room and they had consequently crowded around him. Edd could name all but one, the woman that he had heard before. She was a lot older than the rest of his friends, looked perhaps mid thirties, early forties. She was giving him a curious yet caring look as were the rest of them.
Then Edd noticed Kevin. He was standing further back than the rest of them but his face was stricken with the same look of solicitude. Edd couldn't help to think, however, that the nervous look Kevin wore was spawned from more than just Edd's sudden consciousness.
"How are you feeling?" The women asked with a warm smile. Edd noticed that she was very beautiful when she smiled, the crows feet that deepened at the side of her eyes were endearing and her face looked kind and inviting.
"Who are you?" Edd asked forgetting the original question and unaware of just how rude it sounded until a hindsight he was granted later.
"My name is Pantene." She introduced herself in a casual tone. "I'm a psychologist, I am here to help you."
Hearing the word "psychologist" brought up bitter memories in Edd's mind like bile in his throat and he felt his muscles contract as he pulled himself away, shocked horror crossing his face. He could not deal with a psychologist now. He did not need to be judged and berated.
Edd wrapped himself up in a cocoon of blankets and tried to block the world out, holding his hands to his ears.
Jim gently pushed the others aside, whispering, "Let me talk to him."
Edd felt his weight create an indent in the bed, causing him to slide toward Jim slightly as he crawled onto the bed.
"Edd." He said in a soft voice as he lay a hand on his brother's shoulder. "It's okay."
"Get her out of here!" Edd yelled, trying to sound stern but his voice came out as a scared squeak.
"Edd not all psychologists are bad."
"How can you be so sure Jim!" Edd implored. "I have had experience with one who is to say that this one is not exactly the same!"
"Edd just because one person of a group does something doesn't mean all of them will." Jim reasoned, "You know that. You hate when people assume that you will act a certain way because you're gay so why should this be any different."
"I suppose that that is true, Jim.."
"So logic concludes that you have to test Pantene, to see if she is the same or not. Remember that statistics aren't evidence if only an individual is taken into consideration."
"Yes." Edd responded.
"And to top it off, you have your brother telling you that she is great. So don't be afraid. I'm sure you'll find you quite like her!"
Jim couldn't see it, but behind him everyone was giving him proud or impressed looks.
"O-ok." Edd replied nervously as his limbs slowly stretched out and he lifted the blanket off of his head and looked at Pantene. She looked just as nice and as warm. She hadn't judged him at all for hiding. Maybe... Jim was right.
"Hello." He said, unsure of himself. "My name is Eddward."
Ethan sat nervously as the car pulled with a low rumble into the academy's parking lot. His face was concealed by shadows as was half of his body, but from the small patch of his face illuminated by the moonlight, Ethan could deduce what the rest of it looked like: menacing. He looked as if he was about to kill a man, as Ethan had terrifyingly realised, he probably was.
He swallowed a thick lump in his throat, not knowing really how to act. Sure, he may have some resent toward Kevin, maybe a lot; maybe so much that he was willing to try and destroy his life by revealing one of his darkest secrets to an audience of strangers. But he didn't deserve to die. Nobody, in Ethans opinion, deserved to die.
When he really thought about it, he had done some pretty awful stuff too just because he was frustrated. He couldn't blame it all on his father or on Baldric's blackmail like he had done with so many other things. God, he wanted to expose Kevin at the time, he had more incentive than the family business's potential downfall. But he had done other things too, like hurt that boy Jim just because it was easy to do so. He was awful.
The cold metal of the gun shook in Ethan's trembling gun. Here he was, helping the very man that started it all.
Ethan opened his mouth to try and talk while Baldric just sat there. He wanted to ask, "What are you going to do?" but he knew that would be pointless. Perhaps if he asked anyway he could stall the man a bit, but what good would that way, he'd only be delaying the inevitable. He could not persuade the man against his intentions and he didn't have the strength to stop him himself, so his only choice left was to go along with him because this time he could blame the blackmail, it wasn't his father's wealth at stake this time-
"He'll be alive right, if I help you?"
Baldric looked at Ethan, the change in angle illuminating his entire face, "I am a man of my word, if nothing else."
- it was his life.
"I'm not saying that it is only your ass that is making me date you, but with an ass as perfect as yours, it would be hard to say no if asked on a date."
"You're just digging the hole deeper you fucking idiot." Rave quipped, annoyed. "Go fuck yourself."
Nat sighed. Why did Rave have to be so difficult sometimes? How did he even get himself into this mess. He opened his mouth to say something and inevitably dig his hole even deeper when his phone buzzed. He took it out, viewing the message he was surprised to find was from Ethan.
tell everyone to be careful tonight and make sure kevin is awake
Nat blinked at the message a couple of times, reading it over and over. His brows crossed in confusion.
"Rave, come here a second."
Rave grumbled, "I already told you you can fuck right off tonight! I know you'll miss my perfect ass but your hand will have to do just fine!"
"No, I'm not talking about that! Come look at this text."
Seeing that Nat was serious as he turned around, Rave walked over to see what he was fussing about. Nat passed the phone to him and Rave saw his boyfriends worried expression, feeling a his own seed of nervousness being sown in his stomach.
"What do you think it means?" Nat asked as Rave was halfway through reading it.
He finished it, read it over once more and then replied, "I have no idea, but it doesn't sound good."
"I'm going to go see Kev!"
Rave sighed, "Then I suppose I'm coming with you."
Nat opened his mouth to make a sexual reference out of what Rave had just said but one deadly look later and he shut up.
"Edd," Pantene said. "I would like to talk to you about your issues in-depth some time. You do not have to do it straight away, but the sooner you do, the better."
Edd nodded. "Do you mind if I say hello to everyone first?" He asked.
"Not at all." She replied, "I'll give you guys some privacy and wait out in the hallway." As she spoke, she rose from her kneeling position and left the room at which point Eddy and Ed started talking to him.
"Me and Eddy were so worried Double dee!" Ed yelled as he pulled Edd into a tight squeeze.
"Thank you very much for your concern." Edd replied and then paused.
The subject he wished to speak about seemed fairly... obfuscated and Edd felt a little trepid trying and approach it so soon. And yet he also felt he had to, before it became irrelevant. He took a deep breath.
"Forgive me, but I have forgotten. What was it that he did while I was... out?" He asked, feeling panic rise in him, even after he had said it.
Eddy looked a little worried himself and spoke first before Ed could say anything. "Don't worry about that Double d." His eyes trailed off to the door that Kevin had just walked out of. "You already have enough to worry about."
"Eddy I want to know!" Edd said, "If he - if I did anything regrettable, I'd like to apologize for it."
Eddy's face looked pained, "Just forget it."
That was the last thing Edd wanted! But he didn't press the issue any further, he didn't want to make anybody uncomfortable as he had seen he had done already. His two best friends had no idea what to say to him.
Edd said, "Thank you two for being here. It means a lot knowing I have friends like you." he said partly because he wanted to break the ice but mostly because it was true.
Eddy smiled, "No problem Double d!"
Kevin walked out to meet with Pantene. She gave him a surprised look. Which he returned with a saddened one.
"You aren't going to talk to him?" She asked.
"I don't want to make him uncomfortable when he just woke up." Kevin replied as he slumped against the wall with the lady that had become his friend.
"How would you know unless you tried?"
"Don't manipulate me into seeing him! I don't want to!" Kevin suddenly spat.
Pantene was quite a while, contemplating her next action before she sighed and said, "I wasn't trying to manipulate you Kevin, I was telling you the truth." Kevin gritted his teeth as she shot him a serious look, "This has nothing to do with him, does it?"
Pantene didn't need a response, Kevin expression gave it all away. "Tell me." She said.
"You already know why." Kevin said with contempt. "What, do you want to hear it from me or something fucking stupid like that?"
"No. I want you to hear it from yourself. Out loud."
Kevin blinked, his expectations shredded before his very eyes. Pantene didn't bother hiding her smirk and it somehow didn't motivate Kevin to do the exact opposite of what she asked. Actually, it made him want to do it more.
"I've started questioning whether or not I deserve to be forgiven or not." Kevin said.
"And that is very mature of you."
Kevin was confused, "Really?"
"Yes. The ability, or more accurately, the desire to put yourself in another's shoes isn't something someone your age normally has." Kevin nodded. "If you were in Edd's position, would you forgive a person like you?"
"As I am now, I definitely would. But if I grew up how Edd did, I'm not sure if I could."
Pantene looked very pleased, "So where does that leave you?"
"I don't know." Kevin said, feeling defeated. "... How about you?"
The older woman thought about it for a moment. "As I am now, I definitely would." She repeated, "I don't know Edd though. Assuming sexual assault is not something he is familiar with, I'd say I probably wouldn't forgive you."
Kevin looked even more defeated. His shoulders slumped and he might as well have written "I give up" in a black marker across his head.
"But if I were in your position I would try to change his mind."
"What are you talking about?" The younger boy asked as he straightened his back and looked her dead in the face.
"Do you think rape is bad Kevin?" She asked.
"Of course! I've experienced it first hand."
"You understand how much it affects people?"
"If you were to do it, you'd be aware of the consequences. You'd know exactly how it would affect that person?"
"Why are you asking me this!?" Kevin screamed, tears threatening to spill out of him.
"Did you know all this when you did it?"
Kevin stopped. He had no idea what he was doing back then! "I just, I just wanted him to know what it felt like." Kevin's voice trembled. "I - I wanted him to feel sorry..."
Kevin stopped again. "No, I shouldn't be trying to justify it. But you're right. I had no idea what I was doing and why it was bad. I was just copying what had been done to me." Pantene nodded. "But that doesn't matter. I still did it." He sighed, "I just don't think Edd knows how sorry I am."
Pantene smiled, "Then tell him."
"It's great to have you back, Edd." Plank said and Edd smiled wide.
"I'm very happy to have you actually speak to me Plank!" he laughed as did Jim. "Thank you."
Plank smiled a little and then took a step back to let Jim speak with his brother.
"You really scared me a bit there." He said leaning in for a hug, "But I'm glad you're back."
"Me too." Edd replied and then continued in a lower voice, "Jim, where is Kevin?"
Jim sighed. "I think he's a little worried you might not want to see him."
When Edd thought about it, that seemed logical. He doubted the situation was actually explained to him and with the fragments of memory reminding him what he had done, it probably seemed like Edd really didn't want to see him at all. Damn it, Edd needed to apologize for that.
Just then, Kevin walked into the room. Jim turned to Edd with a smile, "Guess not." He said, and then added "good luck," as he herded the rest out of the room. Kevin looked around with a confused expression as Jim and the rest past him and exited the door behind him, leaving the two alone.
"Hello Kevin." Edd said nervously, and then time seemed to stop.
Baldric was full of anger. He didn't even care about what happened to him anymore, he was obsessed with revenge. The Thames kid, Ethan, followed behind him, looking at the gravel as it crunched beneath his feet. Stupid kid. The older male suspected he'd end up being dead weight in the end but that didn't really matter. He wanted to fuck with the kid as much as he could, The prince wasn't the only person he wanted revenge on.
After all, it was the Thames that suddenly destroyed all records of Baldric ever working with him as they willingly shipped him off to jail. He gritted his teeth.
Looking behind himself, he sighed, a smirk crossing his face. Ethan was cute, maybe he'd serve another purpose if he came out of this alive. It'd been a while, Baldric was hungry. He would have preferred someone younger, their asses were always tighter and they screams were louder but Ethan would have to do. He'd get satisfaction out of knowing just how much it would hurt both him and his father.
He opened the front door. His gun was hidden underneath a jacket that he was wearing. It was green and puffy, easy to conceal things in. He had forced Ethan to do the same earlier.
There was nobody in the front foyer, which was a relief for Ethan. If anybody saw them, the story was that Baldric was Ethan's body guard so they weren't in any real danger but he still felt safer knowing that nobody was there.
Baldric paused and turned to face Ethan, regarding him severely. "Show me where Kevin's bedroom is."
Nat and Rave quickly approached Edd's room, having already checked Kevin's room and finding it empty. They saw the congregation that had gathered there.
"Hey!" Jim said happily as he saw Nat approach.
"Hey. What's going on?" Nat asked, "Why are you all out here?"
"Kevin is talking to Edd." Jim said, "I wanted them to be alone."
Nat looked to Rave and exchanged a nervous glance. "I think you better look at this then." He said, "I'll show Kev afterwards."
"Edd..." Kevin said in a sore tone.
"Kevin before you say anything I want to apologize to you!" Edd blurted out.
Kevin looked appalled and Edd was very confused. "Apologize!? What the fuck for!?"
Relief flooded Edd as he responded. "Thank you for that, Kevin but I do need to apologize. I can't remember exactly what I did when I was in that state, but I do know that it wasn't very nice or respectable. I wanted to apologize if I hurt you in a-"
"Edd, shut the fuck up." Kevin said through gritted teeth. Edd was well and truly confused.
"I'm the one that should be apologizing! How can you even think of whether you hurt me or not when I've done all of this? It was my fault you were so angry, it was my fault it reached the point that you became that - I don't even know what that was."
Edd felt an unfamiliar emotion stir inside him.
"Fuck, listen. I'm the one that's sorry, about everything! About what I did to Nat and because I made you feel like all I wanted you for was sex."
Edd blinked, feeling his stomach jump into his throat. "I know it's probably selfish to ask for forgiveness and that I don't have a right to expect it. But please! I know it probably seemed that I only wanted sex, but I thought it was obvious, from the way I held you and the way I touched you. I asked your permission each time and made sure you were okay with everything we were doing, and maybe I wasn't the best boyfriend, maybe I fucked up a bunch of times - fuck!"
Kevin blinked back tears.
"I might have fucked up a bunch of times, but I wanted you to know how sorry I am and how I've changed now! I've been seeing a counsellor and trying to fix this. I never wanted you to get involved with it. So I tried to hide it from you, I guess you deserved to know from the beginning."
Edd opened his mouth to say something but shut it again as Kevin continued talking.
"But I thought through all this, at least you'd know - I thought you'd realise how much I love you!"
Edd tried opening his mouth again. And then, just to see if he could, he tried closing it and afterwards, he wasn't sure if he had achieved both or whether he had never opened his mouth in the first place. He felt heat creeping up his neck and flushing his cheeks and his palms were sweating. He was so caught up in the this sudden onslaught in fact, that he didn't even see when Kevin had began to lean in. He didn't really notice the hands on his skin lifting his gaze to meet Kevin's. And when he was kissed, he felt like he was submerged into a sea of green before his eyes slowly shut and his mouth was the only thing that was alive.
The clock kept ticking.
Jim hummed in thought as he played the message over in his head. "Do you think maybe Ethan is messing with us again?" he asked.
"I wouldn't fucking put it past him." Rave grumbled. "We don't even need to worry, he's just being an asshole."
Nat wasn't so sure. It was uncharacteristic of Ethan to do something like this. Before it had been different, this somehow seemed serious. He looked at Rave, Jim and the other faces staring at him. He supposed if they hadn't known Ethan as well as Nat had, they thought it seemed completely normal. He decided to message Ethan back.
How do I know I can trust you?
As the message sent, he closed the phone. "I've sent a message back asking him to prove that he isn't lying." Nat said, "But I've got a feeling he's telling the truth."
Jim nodded and said, "We'll wait for his response before we make any moves." He looked over at Plank and found himself falling into the other boys chest. "Things are so stressful." He whispered, so that only Plank would know he wasn't as composed on the inside as he appeared on the outside. "It's just one thing after another."
"I love you JIm." Was all Plank said as he held the younger boy closer and while Jim did appreciate the sentiment, it wasn't helping at all. He sighed, maybe this was something he'd have to deal with alone and maybe that was okay.
He looked back at Nat who had began discussing something with Rave and then Eddy who was talking to Ed. They were staying strong through this and they cared about Edd just as much, so Jim had to as well.
Suddenly Jim heard a voice behind him and jumped in fright. "You don't suppose Kevin is fucking up in there. I heard a bang."
Jim had almost forgot Pantene was there! He looked around and saw that Eddy had heard her comment and was now watching the door intently.
"I don't know." Jim said.
Edd cackled loudly as Kevin swore and held his head in pain. He had pulled away from their kiss and hit his head on the top bunk of Edd's bed.
"Kevin!" Edd giggled, "Who knew you had gotten so tall."
"Gee thanks." Kevin growled, "I'm glad you're finding this funny."
"Wonderful." Edd replied, still laughing. "Because I find it very funny!"
Kevin stopped forcing his eyes shut in pain to look at Edd and to see his face, happy and laughing. It was a nice sight to see it after a very long time. He felt happy.
Edd finally stopped laughing and saw Kevin staring at him with a smile as he caught his breath and then, Edd suddenly felt sad.
"Kevin, I accept your apology." He said and it made Kevin's expression shine even more. "But," it dropped, "While your kiss was very enthusiastic, I am unsure if I can return your feelings just yet."
"Oh..." Kevin replied, looking significantly more depressed.
"It's not that I don't like you!" Edd said quickly, "But please, everything is happening very fast for me and I am still trying to sort things out with myself." Edd paused, "I'd rather find happiness with myself before I search for it with another person."
Hearing Edd's elaborated explanation, Kevin was somehow happy. He didn't expect Edd to jump into his arms straight away, he was just glad Edd was willing to forgive him.
"That makes sense." Kevin said and his calm expression filled Edd with relief, "If you need help with that, I'm willing." He said and with that he left.
Edd replied, "Thank you Kevin." But he was already gone.
Nat was staring at his phone with a strange expression on his face. What did this mean? He had gotten his reply from Ethan but he was left even more confused and worried than when he had gotten the first one.
Then Kevin came through the door. Thank fuck.
"How'd it go?" Pantene asked and he shot her a smile, "I think I'm forgiven." He said and then spared a sombre glance over at Nat, "But there are some people left I think I still need to apologize properly to."
"Kevin." She said lovingly, "I'm proud of you."
For a split second, Kevin mistook Pantene for his mother, the memory of her filling him with a feeling of both pride and dread. He shook the feeling off and smiled at her, saying "Thanks" before he went over to talk to Nat.
"Nat, I have something I need to say to you." He said as he approached.
"Alright." Nat said, deciding that he ould show Kevin the message after he heard what he had to say.
Kevin gave Rave a glance which he replied with "I'm not leaving."
He sighed, "Fine, I just wanted to make sure, Nat, that you knew how sorry I am. For everything I've done to you and how it might have affected you and made you feel."
Nat was taken aback a bit but turned around to smile at Rave. Rave shot a look back that said, "Still don't care."
"Thanks Kev." Nat replied and then his face became stern again. "But I've got something to show you that's probably more important.
Kevin began to worry, "What is it?"
Nat handed him the phone with the message pulled up on it and Kevin began to read it. It was the first message telling Nat to make sure Kevin as awake.
"What's this about?" He asked irritably and so Nat found the message he had just received and showed him that.
Remind Kevin about 11/6 and tell him that he's escaped.
Kevin dropped the phone, his face contorting into an expression filled with more fear than Nat had ever seen.
"No fucking way." He said under his breath.
"What is it?" Nat asked.
"Six years ago, on that date..." Kevin paused, "The man who spent years raping me, was prosecuted and sent to jail."
Nat gave him a shocked look. "He couldn't be, coming here could he?"
"I wouldn't put it past him!" Kevin gritted his teeth, "I'm going to go to my room, if he's coming here he'll look for me there." He continued as he ran off.
"Jesus christ think things through every once in awhile." Nat said under his breath. "Wait Kev!"
Rave groaned and reluctantly followed after.
Jim watched as they ran to leave. "You don't think this has to do with that message do you?" He asked and then sighed, "This joke's gone too far."
"He's not in his room." Baldric said as he and Ethan walked down the hall together, "Where else could he be?"
Ethan panicked, he didn't want Baldric to find anyone, but if he lied and lead him to places where Kevin wasn't, Baldric was going to get angrier and angrier and Ethan might end up being the one that is dead! He bit his lip, drawing blood.
"He might be with his boyfriend, Edd." He said softly.
Baldric smirked, "His boyfriend?" He laughed, "Maybe we won't end up killing Kevin tonight. We could have some fun."
Ethan shivered. Dear god, please tell him that Nat had gotten the messages and he and Kevin were figuring something out. He didn't want anyone to die. Ethan was acutely aware of the gun in his jacket. He didn't want to have to kill anyone.
But soon enough they were at Edd's room and there was more than enough targets standing outside of it. If Baldric wanted to, he could kill anyone. Ethan swallowed.
It was Jim and his friend Plank - the one that followed him around, he might have been Jim's bodyguard. Edd and Ed were there as well but they said a few final things to Jim before entering their room.
"Can you talk them into letting us past?" Baldric asked, spotting them as they spoke to each other.
"No. They won't take kindly to seeing me." Ethan replied, hoping it would dissuade the older man, but it didn't.
"Then there is only one thing to do."
A gun fired. It didn't hit anyone thank god, but it shocked Jim and Plank fair enough. Jim looked like he was about to have a mental breakdown but Plank sprung into action, throwing him through the door to Edd's room before looking for and finding the person who had ran full speed toward Baldric.
Damn it, Ethan thought. Plank, don't be so stupid!
He saw Baldric reloading his gun and knew that if he didn't intercept them, one of them would end up dead. Ethan stepped forward, gripping the barrel of his pistol in his hand he launched at Plank and hit him in the side of the head with the butt of his gun.
Plank was knocked sideways and fell onto the floor with a thud. Ethan would have loved to leave it at just that but he knew if he didn't knock Plank out completely, he'd end up being killed, so he hit him again on the floor. Blood seeped out from under PLanks head and Ethan prayed that he hadn't done the very thing he was trying to prevent.
He turned around to see a very impressed looking Baldrc. "I didn't know you had it in you kid. I could have handled it though." He moved forward.
I wasn't doing it for you! Ethan's mind hissed and he spared one last glance at Plank, relief filling him as he saw his chest moving up and down before he followed after Baldric again, he still had the others to protect.
"Guys someone out there has got a gun!" Jim had screamed as soon as Plank had thrown him into the room. He turned quickly and locked the door. Wait no, if he kept it locked, Plank wouldn't be able to get back in. Damn it! His fingers found the lock again and it clicked.
As the Ed's got up from their seated position, Jim pushed his back against the now unlocked door.
"What are you talking about Jim?" Edd asked urgently and Eddy and Ed were fast behind him.
"I mean -" Jim began but then the door moved behind him, someone was trying to get it. Jim screamed.
Edd furrowed his brows. "Who is it?" He called. There was no answer. "Jim open the door and le me have a word with whoever has scared you."
"No!" Jim implored, "He had a real gun Edd!"
Edd wasn't given the time to really consider the likelihood of someone wielding a real gun outside because soon the door opened and Jim slid forward, he was small and light weighted after all. Edd didn't recognize the man behind the door at all but he did recognize the gun in his hand. Jim was right!
In quick hindsight Edd scolded himself, of course Jim was right! He sprung into action, conjuring Marion in his brain. I need help, he asked and soon his consciousness slipped into the backburner as one more aggressive took hold of the real.
"No problem." Marion replied out loud as he moved forward and slammed the door, catching the mans arm in the doorway as he did, it banging sound could be heard but Marion didn't think he had broken anything.
"Jim, get out of the way." He instructed and Jim did but quickly said, "Plank's out there! What if he's dead. I'm scared."
Eddy decided it was high-time he took action as he guided Jim into a standing position and walked him over to Ed to look after as he cooed soothing things into his ear. "Just stay here with Ed and let me and double d handle the guy outside. Plank will be fine." He said.
Marion opened the door a little more and the arm slipped out and an angry cry could be heard as he shut the door and locked it. Eddy walked up beside him. "What do you think we should do Double d?" He asked.
Marion, I don't think there is enough time to wait around of Plank is out there. We need to make sure he stays safe. Do you think you and Eddy will be able to disarm him before he can do any damage?
"Eddy d'you think you can help me save Plank from that dude with the gun?" Marion asked, Eddy raised an eyebrow. He sighed, "I'm not Edd, but don't worry, he want's me to be in-charge and he asked me to ask you that."
Eddy groaned loudly. "I don't get you anymore Double d! Can't you just pick one personality and stick with it?"
Edd growled within his own head. "Eddy we do not have the time for you to be doubting me now! Just listen to Marion and help save Plank!" This time he spoke it out loud.
Marion blinked within the same body. "What he said."
Eddy was, as anyone would be, completely confused by the display he had just seen his friend make but he Marion (or Edd?) was right. There was no time to waste. Instead of giving some kind of verbal affirmation, he decided to step forward and open the door, planning to charge into the hall and attack. A wrong move.
As the door opened he was met with the butt of a gun and as he fell to the floor, Ethan jumped on top of him and knocked him out in the same fashion he had Plank. Two down.
Ethan had a split second to analyse his surroundings before he did anything. Baldric was currently pacing the hall in anger and pain and Edd looked about ready to strangle him to death. He knew he could try reasoning with Edd, the boy responded well to logic but he'd have to make sure he pacified him first, and he got the door shut. He focused on that last listed, first.
The door clicked behind him and Ethan yelled "Wait!" As Edd approached him with a raised fist. "I can explain!"
"Well you better get to fucking explaining!" Marion hissed. "Both me and Edd aren't happy to see you."
Ethan recalled Edd's alternate personality and supposed that he was the dominant personality at the moment. Made sense, if Edd had known about what was going on, which Ethan's message should have hopefully educated him on, a more aggressive persona would be in order.
"Baldric is the one who want's to hurt you not me." He said quickly and then, sparing a glance at Eddy's unconscious body, he continued. "I've knocked him and Plank out so that he won't kill them. I know it might be harder to stop him with fewer people but I thought it would be safer than letting them act stupid and getting themselves killed.
I better take over for this. Edd said as his consciousness paced back into the forefront of his brain.
"First off, who is Baldric?" Edd asked.
Ethan cocked his head to the side. Maybe his message hadn't been passed on. Damn it! Ethan didn't have time to debate with himself whether sharing information that was meant to be a secret was in his best interests or not. He explained.
"Baldric is the man that raped and abused your former boyfriend, Prince Kevin when he was younger."
Edd gasped. "What does he want with us?"
Ethan ground his teeth. "I don't think I'll have the time to explain it here with him out there. If we hurry, we can get past him and I can explain it to you somewhere else."
Edd thought the information would be valuable, but he didn't want to leave Jim on his own. Edd glanced at the door. Baldric probably wouldn't be able to get through if it was locked, so just as long as Jim locked the door behind him and kept it locked, he'd be safe. Just before he was sold on the idea, he wanted to ask to questions.
"Where is Plank right now?" Edd asked.
"He's sitting unconscious in an empty closet nearby I put him in." Ethan replied truthfully.
"And how do I know that I can trust you?"
Ethan thought about Edd's question, he had no proof. How could he convince Edd that he wanted to help after all they had seen him done. Edd didn't understand why and Ethan didn't expect him too. But Ethan's father's life was riding on this as well and he needed as much help as he could to take Baldric down. If Baldric thought for a moment that Ethan had betrayed him, he'd send a text instructing a man, who was currently sitting with a gun aimed at Ethan's father's head, to shoot. He didn't have much time.
"Both of us are running out of time here." You're just going to have to trust me."
Edd grumbled but nodded. He turned to Ed, "Ed once I leave I want you to lock this door and make sure it doesn't open until I come back. I want Jim safe; look after Eddy too."
As he said it he realised that Ed and Jim both had frightened expressions on thier faces, Jim's quickly turning into one of objection. Seeing that Jim wanted to help just made Edd more urgently want to get outside. He knew he could count on Ed to keep them safe so he was glad when the tall boy responded.
"Aye aye captain!" He said, standing up tall.
Edd nodded, turned to face Ethan and then both of them were running at full speed. Edd ignored Jim's cries for him to come back.
"Someone's been in here." Kevin said his voice full of gall.
Nat sighed, "What now then?"
"Maybe we should go back and fill our friends in on what's going on, instead of running off and leaving them vulnerable." Rave puffed as he caught up with them.
Kevin looked at him and his eye's widened. Of course! How could he have been so stupid!
"Come on!" He yelled, quickly springing into a gallop back toward Edd's room, leaving Nat and Rave in his dust. What if he was too late? Kevin followed his normal route, running at full speed, but stopped as he caught something out of the corner of his eye. In the corridor to his left he saw Edd running and Ethan following him! What the fuck!?
He changed course and trotted after them but just as he was about to catch up, Baldric rounded the corner in hot pursuit. Fuck! Kevin's limbs felt slightly weak at the sight of that man again and he found himself stopping. He couldn't move. Why couldn't he move!? He just watched as Edd, Ethan and Baldric slipped out of view and he collapsed to the floor, feeling himself filling to the brim with poisonous memories.
Rave and Nat had lost Kevin.
"For fucks sakes, he needs to calm the fuck down." Rave said, annoyed as he and Nat walked toward Edd's room.
"Don't worry, we'll see him when we get to Edd's room."
Rave sighed but nodded in agreement as they slowly walked toward the door and tried to open it. It was locked. Nat and Raved shared a worried look and then tried knocking.
"Hey Edd! It's us." Nat said.
"Sorry Nat!" He heard Ed's voice call through the door. "Double dee told me not to unlock the door until he got back!"
Before Nat had time to reply a second voice came through the door. "Nat, Rave, is that you!?"
"Thank god! I need your help. Ed won't let me out but there is a man here with a gun and he's dangerous." Jim's voice sounded weak and vulnerable. "I wanted to help but Edd locked me in here to keep me safe. I don't know where Plank is and now Edd has run off with Ethan."
Nat heard panic rising in Jim's tone, he had a lot of questions, too many to ask a boy under so much stress. He took the one thing he could deduce though and used it to figure out the rest: Baldric, Kevin's abuser was here in the Academy, and he wanted revenge.
"I'll look for Plank, and Edd." Nat promised and then asked, "Did Kev pass through here?"
Jim's voice sounded a little calmer when he responded, "I don't think he has." He said, glumly.
"Ok, don't worry." Nat said reassuringly, "I'll go look for Plank now, I'll be back soon I promise."
"Ok." Jim resigned and Nat and Rave left him behind.
Nat sighed. This day was becoming far too stressful. How did a man with a gun even get into an Academy like Alter Waters? Unless... no. Ethan hadn't been helping him had he? No that wouldn't make sense giving his warnings, that meant that, Ethan had been forced to help.
Edd and Ethan panted as they hid inside an empty classroom. Edd's sides ached from exertion and he puffed heavily.
"I don't think he followed us." Ethan said and then turned to Edd, "I'll keep this quick."
Edd nodded. He hoped that whatever information Ethan had, that it was worth it. "Hurry then."
"Okay. Back when Kevin's mum was alive, he had a servant named Baldric. The family had employed him to tend to all of Kevin's personal matters but they didn't know that he was a Thames spy."
Edd frowned. He didn't like the sound of this.
"More accurately, he was a Thames prisoner." Ethan continued, pausing as he tried to conjour the words for the next part of the story. "He was very troubled. A pedophile, willing to rape and abuse any child in order to feel the kind of pleasure he wanted to. According to my father's documents, he even enjoyed the violence as part of the 'fun'".
Edd seethed t himself and got hot. He had half a mind to go back out their and punch him in the face, Marion's side, but he had enough self-restraint to stay where he was and listen to the end of the story.
"Apparently he had originally been a servant under our house as well but he was caught trying to molest one of my brothers." Ethan's voice softened. "Unfortunately there wasn't enough evidence to criminalise him, my brother denied anything had ever happened ; he was ashamed. So my dad took punishment into his own hands and locked the guy in our basement."
"Eventually my father then set him free on some conditions. He'd work for Kevin's family and he'd molest the prince Kevin, in return, the Thames would provide him with a bypass from the law. Our family would protect him in caught. He got to indulge in his... preferences and my father got to get at the royal family."
Edd was appalled. "Why would he do that though!?"
"Kevin's father has two sisters. One of them is Nazz's mum and the other, is mine."
Edd gasped, "You're related to Kevin? I had no idea!"
"Neither did he." Ethan responded, "Or I for that matter, not until a little while ago."
"I was rummaging through some of my fathers information files and discovered that my mother, the King's youngest sibling, had been disowned. I don't know exactly why but ever since she had been cut from the family records and never mentioned. Kevin knew about his cousin Nazz but never knew about me."
"And so she wanted to take revenge on her brother and her family, by subjecting Kevin to, such monstrosities?"
"More than that, she wanted power. The plan was to destroy the family from the inside out." Ethan explained, "It might have been easier to have killed Kevin and his father in order to gain access to the throne but that would be too obvious, and the investigation that ensued would be sure to bring attention to anyone who might benefit from either one's death."
"So they planned to mess Kevin up, in the hopes that he'd become unfit to rule. If the abuse continued, it might have worked. But Kevin manage to put a stop to it. Althugh his father seemed adamant on ignoring the issue and pretending that Kevin wasn't getting abused, Kevin had different idea's. He solicited external help and managed to get Baldric arrested. My mother gave up on her plan soon after."
"So he's here for revenge." Edd said.
"Yeah... Somehow he was able to get some dirt on my family, something so big my father was scared enough that he gave into the blackmail, resulting in Baldric's bail being paid by him and eventually to this."
Edd was about to respond when Kevin entered the room, "Was it true?"
"You've been listening?"
"Yeah, it's true."
"Okay, I'll help you stop him." Kevin said, still a little skeptical about helping Ethan. "But I need you to do something for me too."
"What is it?"
"I want you to find Nat and tell him about this. I ran off and left him and I want to make sure he's prepared if he runs into Baldric."
Ethan pondered it a moment and then said, "Alright, you guys stay here then." Ethan said as he scurried off and Kevin and Edd let out a puff of breath.
"Are you okay?" Kevin asked Edd and Edd nodded.
"I didn't realise you had such a horrible childhood." Edd said, then he pulled Kevin into a hug. "I'm so sorry for you."
"Don't be..." Kevin replied and then they stayed together for a moment, listening to each other's breathes, when a haunting voice run in Kevin's ears.
"Hello Kevin." Baldric smirked. Kevin and Edd jumped up from their seated position and shuffled backward.
Once his back hit the wall, Kevin paused. Hearing the voice for the first time in years. His stomach turned and the same poison pumped through his veins along with pure terror. He felt like he might vomit. Just from a voice.
Legs weak, Kevin stepped a little closer to Edd to protect him with his body. He wouldn't let Baldric hurt anyone here. He had already decided that, but then, Baldric pulled a gun out of his jacket and Kevin felt his entire body convulse with fear.
Why are you so frightened? He asked himself, wrought with anger.
He felt a hand on his shoulder. It was Edd.
"Try and stay calm Kevin." He said softly as he eyed the gun in the mans hand as he slowly approached looking far too pleased with himself. "We will be okay."
"It's been awhile since I've seen that angry face of yours." Baldric continued. "Get's me hard every time."
Kevin let out a disgruntled growl as his eyes travelled downward to see that the man wasn't lying. "You pig! I'll fucking kill you!"
Kevin felt his heart stop as he looked down to see the bullet hole in the ground beneath his feet.
"I dare you to try, bitch."
A flash entered Kevin's brain obscuring his vision for a moment as he remembered the term being used on him before. The ghost f the burn he had felt in his backside returned and he felt heat prickle under his eyes as he furrowed his brows in anger.
Behind him Edd was trying to speak with Marion.
Marion, I think I may need some help again. Edd asked the recesses of his mind but to his dismay, he heard no response.
The man got closer. "Damn it." He whispered under his breath but then he remembered, Marion was a part of him.
Baldric got closer. Lowering his hand and undoing his fly. Kevin's eyes widened and his brain told him to run, but every time he got a glimpse of the gun, he couldn't move.
The gun was placed on the side of Kevin's head. He felt himself choking but he swallowed and said, "You can kill me."
He had finally come to accept it. He'd die and then everything would be ok.
He heard the click of the gun as it loaded and closed his eyes.
Maybe it would have been better if he had been able to say goodbye to Edd properly. But he was also ok with this. He just hoped Edd had the common sense to run when he had the chance. I'm doing this for you Edd, don't get yourself killed. He thought.
Edd suddenly ran forward and punched Baldric in the face, making a loud crack as he fell to his knees. "Leave Kevin alone!" He roared, the ghost of Marion surging through him.
Baldric reached for the gun and grabbed it, about to fire it toward Edd when Edd lunged forward and kicked it out of his hand. He stepped down and follow through with the momentum to land another solid punch to Baldric's face, breaking his nose. Kevin stood there in awe.
"Fucking kid." He breathed between gritted teeth.
Good job, Edd. Edd heard in his mind as he stomped on the mans chest to keep him in place and somehow Edd knew that that was the last time he'd ever here Marion's voice.
Baldric saw that Edd looked distracted and his eyes darted to the right to see his gun was within reach. He stretched his arm out and touched the handle with his fingers dragging it toward him until he was able to grasp it firmly. The sound tipped Edd off as to what was happening but he was too late.
"No!" Kevin hissed and was about to move forward when there was another gunshot.
The world seemed to be moving in slow motion but this time it wasn't a good thing. The bullet had hit Edd in the arm, thank god, but Kevin's could see the boy he loved screaming in agony as blood splattered onto the wooden floor in front of him and he stepped back, allowing Baldric to jump to his feet.
He moved forward and kicked Edd in the shin, bringing the boy to his knees as he aimed the gun at his head. Kevin growled and jumped forward but stopped as Baldric's finger rested on the trigger.
"Tend to this and I won't kill him."Kevin looked down to see Baldric's filthy cock poking out of his pants.
Baldric looked unimpressed. Panic flooded Kevin, he needed to do something. He needed to act! He couldn't let Edd die.
Kevin dropped to his knees. He was crying though he didn't really notice it. A younger version of himself screamed inside his mind, telling him to stop, fear gripping him and trying to pull him away from every movement he made toward the object of his torture for all those years. But he didn't stop. He wouldn't let Edd die.
His hand grabbed the organ and began to tremble. He didn't want to do this.
Run! A voice said. Forget about Edd!
But he couldn't. He had to do this.
He opened his mouth. It was the only way.
"I don't think I've ever enjoyed something more in my life!" Kevin heard Pantene's voice spit.
She had hit Baldric over the head with a chair, leaving him unconscious on the floor in front of Kevin. Her breathing was heavy and her expression was undeniably angry. It took him awhile to fully process what he had just seen, but when he did, all he could feel was relief and then worry again.
Kevin turned to Edd and hurried to look at his arm. He couldn't really see the wound as it was covered in too much blood. Not that he'd really be able to gauge how much damage it woud have done even if he could.
"Don't worry Kevin." He heard Edd's voice sooth. "Luckily, he wasn't very accurate. It was just a graze." He groaned. "That doesn't ease the pain any, but it does mean we don't have to worry about rushing me off to hospital.
Kevin heard fabric tearing behind him and saw that Pentene had taken her blouse off and torn a strip off of it - wow, she was strong.
"Stay still Edd." She said as she knelt down next to him. "This might hurt a little."
As she had stated, pain shot up Edd's arm as he felt the fabric being wrapped around his arm and pulled tight with a knot.
Kevin watched Pantene and felt his bottom lip tremble. She had saved him. Saved him from the monster he could never save himself from. When the tears came this time, he definitely felt them.
"There." She said, "That should keep it from bleeding out too much."
Edd had opened his mouth to thank her but Kevin beat her to it. Surprised when she heard his voice, Pantene turned to see him throwing himself at her and pulling her into a hug. She was taken aback but instinctively lifted her hands up to hug Kevin back. She felt something hot and wet on her shoulder and knew Kevin was hiding his crying from Edd.
"It's okay." She said as she heard the softest sound of Kevin crying into her, barely audible. "That bastard won't be getting up for a long time."
Kevin sniffed and lifted his head slightly to wipe his tears away from his eyes before looking at Edd. "I know you said you need some time to decide." He said, "But..."
"It's okay." Edd said, "I think I've decided."
Kevin beamed and laughed slightly hysterically before he leaned forward and kissed Edd, pushing him back onto the floor and lying on top of him.
Pantene started laughing, "Don't hurt his arm Kevin."
He broke away, his eyes landing on the arm. "Heh, sorry Edd."
Ethan had found Nat and Rave pretty easily and explained the situation to them, having them tag along under the assumption that extra help would be good.
"I knew you weren't bad Ethan!" Nat said happily as he followed his old friend with Rave in-toe. Rave was still unsure whether he should trust Ethan or not but followed anyway.
"They should be this way." He said as he opened the door to the classroom he had seen Baldric chase Edd and Kevin through.
They all walked through the door to find that Edd Kevin and now Pantene were sitting next to the body of Baldric.
Ethan was glad when he saw that Kevin and Edd were safe, but more so to see that Baldrc was out. He had to admit, he would have liked to have played a bigger part n his downfall, but it was okay. He had been stopped. However, he still had a matter to tend to.
He walked slowly over to the body of Baldric and found his phone in his pocket. He sent a message like he had seen Baldric do before to the person keeping his father captive, instructing the man (or woman) to let him go.
He let out a sigh and said to himself, "Dad is going to be safe now." Then he eyed the gun on the floor. "He's not dead is he?"
"No, he's just unco-" Edd started but stopped as he saw Ethan pick a gun up off of the floor.
A gunshot sounded and then Baldric would definitely not be getting up ever again.
After the incident, Alter Waters had been in a state of panic. Many parents insisted that their children came home until they were sure the situation had been sorted out. THe police came to ask Edd and his friends some questions, at which point Ethan handed himself in for the murder of Baldric Everdeen. The rest never saw him again.
Edd and his friends were shocked, as they were sure to be for a long time and many of them returned home while the ruckus calmed down. Edd had accompanied Jim with Plank to his home and had spent some time with them there, Rave had spent time at Nat's house and Eddy and Ed went to Ed's house together. Kevin went home alone but he saw a lot of Pantene during that time.
Soon enough however, the investigation was over and with Ethan's statements, all the men involved in helping Baldric's escape plan was captured. But that was all Edd was told, he never found out what exactly Baldric's plan entailed, but it didn't matter. He had school work to do.
He fell back into his regular patterns and passed all of his subjects with flying colours. Life returned to normal. Despite the fact that that night was probably one of the most harrwing of his life, life soon faded back into the mundane; he usual. And soon, the night Alter Waters was attacked was behind everyone and it was the final night of their high school lives. At a school ball, five months later.
"P-Plank.." Jim breathed as the much larger boy kissed and bit at his neck.
"Thank you for letting me do this Jim." PLank breathed back, his hands swooping under Jim's shirt.
"Plank, you don't have to thank me."
Plank pulled Jim's boxers down revealing something Plank had been waiting a very long time to see. "Yes I do. I love you."
"Geez, do you have to be so - OH MY GOD!"
"You look nice." Kevin stated as Edd got himself some punch.
Edd looked up and smiled as he saw Kevin in a suit. He always looked good in a suit. "So do you, Kevin. August, as always."
"Do you want to dance?" Kevin asked.
Edd looked to next to him at Eddy. "I think I am supposed to be Eddy's wigman.."
Eddy shook his head, "Just go. I'll have to build up the guts to ask her to dance myself."
Edd smiled, "Okay." and then he took Kevin's extended hand and was swept onto the dancefloor.
Eddy approached Nazz as she was sitting on a bench. "Hey, do ou maybe wanna dance with me... or som'n?"
Nazz smiled a dazzling smile, "I thought you'd never ask. But, no."
Eddy felt like the world was crashing around him.
"I actually want to get out of here." She continued, "Do you wanna come?"
"S-sure! Where to?"
Nazz looked off into the distance as she thought and then concluded, "Anywhere but here."
Eddy gave her a strange look. "This is the last night of my highschool life and I want to spend it with my friends - and with you." Eddy blushed, "but not in a stupid ball. That's so cliche and dumb!"
She smiled again and Eddy was ready to melt. "So round up the guys. Don't worry about them being there though. They're all gay - and I don't know how that happened - so you'll have me to yourself. But I want to be with them. Everyone together one last time."
Eddy nodded. "Ok!"
"I hate dancing." Rave complained as Nat moved back and forth.
"Pfft, you hate everything."
"I don't hate you." Rave said under his breath.
Nat pulled him closer with a smirk, "I don't hate you either."
They swayed a bit more.
"You know I've been thinking, I don't care that my parents are assholes and abandoned me."
"Wow that came out of nowhere. Are you sure? You're allowed to hate them, they are pretty much dickheads."
Rave was about to respond when he heard Nazz's voice. "I hate to interrupt your dancing Rave, but We're gonna blow this punch bowl. Wanna come?"
Rave turned to give her a sarcastic look, "Maybe, if you hadn't said something as stupid as "blow this punch bowl, I'd consider it."
Nazz laughed, "I thought it was fitting of our current situation. Come on, I've got a limo and everything."
Nat and Rave looked at each other, "Yeah fine."
"Good god!" Edd exclaimed as Jim walked toward him on wobbly legs and dishevelled hair with Plank looking smugly pleased with himself next to him. "You - you you didn't!"
"I'm the same age as you Edd, just let it go." Jim groaned and Edd couled help but giggle. Kevin cracked a smile.
Eddy ran up to them with Ed in his wake. "Come on guys. Nazz wants us to come with her and go somewhere."
"Very informative Eddy." Edd said sarcastically. "Thank you."
"Look she said that she just wanted to go somewhere, she didn't say where, and she wants everyone to come along."
"Come on double dee and Kevin and Jim and Plank! We will have fun!" Ed said happily.
Edd shrugged, "Would you like to come?" He asked regarding both Kevin and Jim.
It seemed everyone agreed.
As Rave sat next to Nat in the limo and looked around at everyone else he said, "I don't care because I have everyone hear. Even if I hate most of them, they are my new family." But he didn't think anyone heard him.
Jim climbed in next to him and gave Rave a hug just for the sake of it. "I hope you're having fun!" he said but his mind was elsewhere.
He had just given somebody his body for the first time and it felt so - good! He had got to thinking that maybe making yourself vulnerable isn't that bad. Maybe, with the right person it could even be good.
"You know I kinda miss Marion." Edd said to Kevin. "He ended up being a very nice and useful person - even if he was just a different version of myself."
Kevin laughed, "Only you, double dork."
Nat climbed in next, whispering, "I forgive you." as he climbed past Kevin. Kevin thought he might cry.
"Okay guys!" Nazz announced excitedly. "Let's hit the road!"
The car began to pull forward. Jim looked at Plank and nodded, mouthing, "Go for it."
He nodded back and said awkwardly. "Uh guys." Everyone looked at him. "I just wanted to say that you guys are the best friends I've ever had."
If anybody else had said it, it would have sounded cheesy and stupid, but from Plank, it meant the world to everyone.
"Dog pile!" Ed yelled.
"We can't do that in here Ed!"
"No, no - get off of me!"
"I can't breath!"
The limousine pulled out of the grounds and past them. Alter Waters was one of the most prestigious schools in world housing some of the most noble families, including royalty, and the most intellectual of minds and Edd was just impressed by it and the people in it, as the day he arrived.
HOLY SHIT IT'S OVER. In all honesty I think it's a little rushed but I am at least happy with it for now, and I'd love to hear your thoughts on it too. I realise that with the way it ended, it has definitely been left open to a sequel. If that does happen, it won't be soon. Sorry. What I will be doing next is writing a fanfic for a different fandom, you guys can vote if you want because I haven't decided which I want to perue first.
1) A Welcome to Nightvale fanfic, with OC characters, living out a story inspired by or based upon the events Cecil describes in his broadcast. Cecil and Carlos may or may not make an apperence but it will feature the radio show, the main character will be an avid listener.
2) A JeanMarco made purely for the purposes of happiness. I want to write a fic that can make me forget all the sad feelings I feel when I think of them.
But first and foremost I need to edit this fic, so I will be taking some time to do that. Anyway, I love you all and I hope you enjoyed the story.
Edit 19/04/2014 : It's now been nearly 8 months since I finished this story. I'm revisiting it now just to provide any people reading the story long after it's completion with some information on it and where it's going. Firstly, all the fanfiction related things promised throughout the story won't be happening. This includes the sequel and those other fanfics mention above. The reasons for this are simply because I no longer have the time nor desire to write fanfic - I'm very sorry! I just thought I should come here and state that they will not be coming. I also thought it would be easier to post this here rather than editing out all the notes in the other chapters. Finally, I'm keeping them to sort of document where I was back then. I find them nostalgic and would like to keep them there for fond memory purposes. :P
Also, just once more I'd like to thank everyone who has read and enjoyed this story. Over time I have become rather fond of it, as it is of now, my only completed work.