I do not own Ed, Edd, n' Eddy.

"Rider? Rider? Are you ignoring me?"

Rolling his eyes beneath his loose cloth mask, the perched hero put a finger to his ear, turning back on his com unit.

"Well, Input, I sort of had been. It wasn't really anything personal, dude, it is just way too cold right now to deal with wait for this freaking meet up and listen to what I'm doing wrong at the same time."

"If you are truly so cold, why don't you just use that ridiculous cape of yours to stay warm?"

"..."

"Is there any particular reason you are not responding?"

"Why the hell didn't I use my cape to stay warm?!"

"You are kidding me."

"I have only ever used this thing for dramatic effect!"

"You do realize that I designed that cape with a heat source built in it, correct?"

"... You what?"

"... The button on the back of your belt. It turns on the heat in your cape."

"... That's what that button does? Man, that is so choice!"

Rider heard a heavy sigh over the com link, and knew that his partner was pinching the bridge of his nose, barely resisting the urge to hit his head into the keyboard laying in front of him.

"I had explained this all to you after the costume had been made."

"I... wasn't really paying much attention, dude..."

"... How about you focus your efforts on your mission for now? We can discuss your listening tendencies when you return to base."

Rider glanced back down at the alley he was surveying, only to swear under his breath when he realized that the meet up had started while he was conversing with Input.

"Shit, it started. Talk to you later, dude. I have some scum to clean up."

Just as he clicked the communicator in his ear off, he heard his partner's desperate voice from the other end.

"Wait, Rider-"

The sound clicked off, making it too late for Input to say whatever he needed to. Rider was already jumping from his spot of concealment, his cape spread around him, his masked eyes narrowed. He could hear a sudden silence below as the gangs surely realized that they were caught.

The continued silence once he landed, however, was not quite as normal as the previous absence of noise was. Usually, the criminals would pointlessly try to fight against him. Why wasn't anyone moving?

Glancing up from his crouched position, the sound of footsteps echoing on the slightly wet concrete met his ears, and he could see worn white sneakers approach him.

"Well, well, well, I did hear that there was some little hero running around this joint when I showed up. I just didn't think I'd get the absolute honor of meeting the city's savior himself on my first night!" An unfamiliar voice drawled out the words, each syllable dripping in sarcasm and confidence.

Standing up, Rider was surprised to see a man at least twice his height, a grimy brown hat resting on his head and shades covering his eyes from view, grinning down at him cockily.

"No one told me, though, that this was some pipsqueak in tights! I mean, really, a baseball hat? A cloth mask you just tie around your head? Do you honestly think that just because you've got some fancy smancy belt and a cape that you can make it with the big boys?"

Rider scowled at the unknown adversary, his anger at the insults distracting him enough that he didn't notice the larger man's hand reach behind his back.

"I think it may be time..." The man's grin widened as his hand came back into view, a shining crowbar firmly clenched in his hand. "To teach this kid a lesson. You with me, boys?"

As a cheer rang out through the alley, Rider's eyes widened underneath his mask. For once, he may have been slightly overwhelmed.

"Wait, Rider-" The line of was cut.

"Damn it, Kevin!" Edd growled out in frustration, using even a swear in his burst of fury. "You are supposed to listen to you partner, especially if your partner is trying to give you information that could very well save your life!"

A scowl firmly in place on his face, Edd swiftly typed on his keyboard.

"Come now, surely there are some sort of security cameras near Kevin's area..." he muttered to himself quietly, searching through the city's system. "Ahhhh ha! There!"

As he hacked the nearest camera to Kevin, his triumphant smirk slowly shrunk, his face paling as he watched the screen.

Bustling out of his chair, Edd sprinted to where Kevin kept his spare costume pieces and weapons.

"I may not be properly trained in many of these tools, but Kevin was were forceful in his demands that I learn some self defense in case anyone ever followed him back to base... Hopefully that will be enough to at least give him a distraction..." he muttered to himself as he hesitantly reached for a bo staff, weighing it in his hand. Content that he could preform at least minimal fighting with the weapon, he reached for one of Kevin's masks, tying it on as he dashed for the exit.

"Oh, I do hope that I'm not just reacting foolishly in the heat of the moment..." he groaned, despite knowing that, if this did not work, there may not even be a way to save Kevin from the mess he had gotten himself into.

Pain exploded in Rider's mind as the first swing made contact with his stomach. He had tried to jump away from the arc of the crowbar, but he had not been fast enough, which was why he was currently laying on the ground, struggling to regain control over his body. Anytime he tried to move, the pain only returned in a blindly hot flash, searing through his body like a lightning strike.

He'd been hurt on missions before, sure; Input got pissed at him when he came home with rips and blood stains on his costumes, resulting in the other male muttering 'filthy, filthy, filthy' as he stitched him up and threw his costumes in the wash. However, it had never been this bad.

He honestly had not realized it could be this bad.

Since he was still off guard, the others were able to come in and get their own attacks in easily. He was defenseless to every kick in the ribs, jabs to the face, and swing of any damn crowbar that came his way. As he curled up to try to protect himself, laughter and jeering filling his ears, his world just became hurting...

When suddenly it stopped. The noise was directed somewhere else, footsteps running in a different direction... The distinct sound of metal hitting flesh... And then, he was being lifted from the concrete by slim arms, feeling the one holding him breaking into a dash as angry yells rang out behind them. As he was bouncing in the unknown savior's arms, he blacked out.

As Kevin slowly opened his eyes, light came streaming in instantly. Reaching up to cover his sensitive eyes, he was initially horrified to find that there was no fabric underneath his fingertips. Sitting up, his limbs wildly flailing, he froze when he realized he was in the familiar setting of his very own bed.

Glancing down, he noticed that his stomach was wrapped in gauze, a little bit of blood staining the noticeably thick bandaging. Wincing as he moved to leave the bed, the opening of the door stopped him.

"Kevin, I swear, you better not be even considering leaving that bed in your condition."

Rolling his eyes, Kevin laid back down.

"Is this better, Edd?" he asked, exasperated and already tired of being inactive.

However, he felt these emotions drain away as Edd approached him, his eyes red and still visible tear tracks running down his face.

"I would say so," Edd sniffed, observing the bandages. "These need to be changed again..."

As Edd gently leaned him up, removing the gauze, Kevin bit his lip nervously before voicing a question that had been running through his head ever since he had woken up.

"...Edd, how'd I get out of there?" Pausing momentarily, he groaned when one possibility came to mind. "You didn't call Melon, did you?"

"There was not adequate time for Johnny to make the trek here, Kevin. He does live a few cities away from us."

As the new bandages were taken out, Kevin wrinkled his nose in confusion.

"Who saved me, then?"

"When you ignored me trying to warn you of the new gang leader in town, I immediately took action. Thankfully you had me take those self defense classes, otherwise I highly doubt this would have ended as well."

Kevin froze as Edd finished changing the bandages, processing the words he had just heard.

"You mean... you saved me?"

"That would be what I am implying, yes," Edd clipped, turning to the door. He stopped, however, when Kevin grabbed his wrist.

"Dude," he whispered. " You... you didn't have to put yourself in danger like that for me."

"... Yes I did," Edd sounded more confident in those words than he had in anything in a very long time, surprising Kevin even further.

"But... why?"

"Because I love you, you idiot," he hissed out, trying to retrieve his wrist from Kevin's grip.

However, even injured Kevin was much stronger. And, hearing those words, even if he already knew them to be true, made him instinctively pull Edd down to the level of his head, covering the other man's lips with his own.

When they finally pulled out from the kiss, both leaned their foreheads against the other's.

"I love you too, you dork."

They just stayed there for a moment, before Edd spoke softly.

"With a new gang leader in town, you are certainly going to have your work cut out for you,"

"Hey, we can handle this. There's never been something too big for us before, and I don't think there is going to be now."

"I do hope you're right, Kevin..."