Notes: For c2ndy2c1d, who wanted RolfEd. Even though this isn't exactly romantic, I'd imagine this is how they'd get their spark.
I love these two, okay? Even though they are the two hardest characters to write. Enjoy!
The hot summer sun beat down on Rolf's brow, illuminating the sweat droplets as he worked diligently on his family's plot. He could hear the shouts and gleeful cries of the neighborhood children in the distance. No doubt someone had a sprinkler running on their front lawn. Such commodities were frowned upon in Rolf's household. If one wanted water, one must dig a well. Or an irrigation canal.
Rolf longed to join his fellow suburban mates in their joyful rioting, but he had been entrusted with a long list of chores by his Nana. If he did not finish each of them by sundown, he would not receive the freshly cooked yak Nana was preparing for dinner and would have to resort to eating canned prunes.
His chores did not normally bother him, but on such a blisteringly hot day, Rolf had to admit he needed to draw the line somewhere. He had to finish plowing the backyard and rotate the soil to be rid of the spring crops so that he could make room for his family's summer line. Not to mention he still had Gertrude, Wilfred, Viktor and the other animals to tend to.
"Ah, the life of Rolf is back-breaking work in this heat!" Rolf couldn't help but announce to the sky. Perchance a drifting cloud would take pity on him and provide a bit of rain.
Instead, Rolf was only greeted with more heat—and, if his ears functioned properly, a very familiar laugh.
Rolf whirled on his heel to search the borders of his yard. He knew he recognized that deep, wide-mouthed and throaty laugh. It belonged to none other than, "One eye-brow'd Ed-boy!" Rolf gasped.
Ed, the neighborhood oaf, was currently laughing and leaning over the edge of Rolf's fence, arms outstretched and flailing as he tried to take a hold of Gertrude, Rolf's prized brown hen.
"What are you doing, simple minded Ed-boy!" Rolf shouted as he abandoned his plough and marched through his miniature field toward Ed. Ed didn't even bother to look up from his movements. He continued to chuckle to himself.
"I wanted to see your chicken, Rolf," Ed stated as he made grabby hands for Gertrude.
Rolf reached his chicken first and pulled her away from Ed's grip. The tallest Ed did not recognize his own strength and often hurt not only organic material but inorganic as well. All of his chicken's lives were at stake. "Rolf is busy, chicken thief! Take your eyebrow and leave like my Nana's second pinky finger!"
Ed simply laughed, which should have been predictable considering he did little else. "I want to help. Can I help? I am a good help."
"Rolf's chores require delicate precision—like the handling of goat's milk after the first shedding."
Ed stopped laughing only long enough to smile widely at Rolf. "Is that a yes?"
Before Rolf could even answer, Ed was barging into Rolf's yard, effectively breaking his fence. Rolf shrieked loudly and quickly attempted to cover the hole with his body lest his animals decide to escape. "What have you done, overly large bafoon? Rolf's livestock! They will escape faster than a rhubarb with legs!"
"Oh," Ed stared at the pile of splintered wood. "I forgot to close the door." Ed casually walk back out of Rolf's yard only to step the extra few feet to a nearby tree. He easily snapped off a branch and dropped it in the place of Rolf's broken fence. "I painted the roses red!" he said cheerfully.
Rolf stared awkwardly at the fence. It worked, in a way. It effectively plugged up the hole, so at least Rolf wouldn't have to waste the entire afternoon chasing his animals all around the cul-de-sac. He would have thanked Ed, except it had been Ed's fault in the first place.
"Rolf's chores are as numerous as the hairs on his back," Rolf explained in a way that made absolute perfect sense. "Rolf must ask for you to leave, now, Ed-boy! Where are the other trouble-making turnips?"
"Eddy is dying of the zombie plague," Ed explained, also in a way that made perfect sense. "Double D quarantined him like they did in Zombie Wars Three: Return of the E-coli. I am making sure all the citizens are safe!" Ed beamed proudly.
It was so strange to see Ed off by himself. Without Ed being lumped in with the other two Eds, Rolf had no idea how to talk to him. It looked like Ed wasn't going away any time soon. Rolf should have known. Any chance Ed got to escape from his friends, he came to see Rolf and his chickens. Like magnets. Or his Nana and lard.
"Very well, Ed-boy," Rolf sighed. "You may assist Rolf in his chores. But I must warn you, do not—"
Rolf couldn't even finish his sentence before Ed flew past him so fast, he was nothing more than a red, white and green blur.
It didn't surprise Rolf at all to find Ed waist deep in chickens. He'd taken a few of them and was currently rubbing them all over his face. "Stop that!" Rolf shouted. "The oils from your face will ruin my chicken's complexion!"
"Soft, soft, soft. Like a bunny without itches."
Rolf was about to snatch his prized hen back from Ed's grip, but just as he reached the chicken-loving soul, he noticed a strange sight.
All of his chickens—every one of them-had gathered around Ed as if he were a friend. Even the chicken in Ed's arms had a look on its face akin to that of a purring cat. Rolf stopped his shouting and flailing and just watched as Ed gave each chicken a pat on the heat with a happy giggle.
Well, so long as the chickens weren't bothering Ed and vice versa, maybe Ed could stay and help. Maybe.
Rolf went back to plowing his field, but he'd only been at it for a few minutes when he heard an almost calculated cluck at his shoulder. Rolf turned around to see Ed waving frantically at him. One chicken sat on his head and another roosted comfortably on his shoulder. "I want to help. Mom never lets me help. I am a good help."
"Yes, you have said these words already," Rolf muttered. "Rolf is tending to the fields so that his corn may flourish. What does the tall Ed-boy know of traditional farming?"
Ed didn't even reply properly. He just yelled, "Dirt!" and began using his hands as a plough.
Rolf took a step back and let out a low whistle. Ed worked quickly. His rows may not have been straight, but they could be fixed with very little extra work from Rolf. Ed essentially saved him hours of labor. "You are quite adept at the hand-plowing, deep laughing Ed-boy! What other talents do your oafishly large hands possess?"
"I can make music with my armpit."
"Ah, yes!" Rolf squealed with delight. "The poor man's percussion! Rolf's forefathers used this instrument well. Play Rolf a tune, yes?"
"Ode to Joy! Ode to Joy!" Ed chanted. Despite his hands being completely covered in soil and bits of dead plant, Ed still danced and laughed in the middle of the recently plowed field. Rolf could not help but clap and tap his foot to the merry beat.
Perhaps he had been mistaken about the clumsiness of Ed. Generally speaking, Ed was always messing up Rolf's farm—but only when the other two Ed-boys were present. Rolf had, after all, lent Ed his shed for a while when Ed had attempted to move out of his home. It wasn't so much Ed who had even gotten on Rolf's nerves. It was Edd and Eddy who'd stolen his bed and demanded work from him.
Ed soon grew tired of his dancing and stopped completely when a thunderous gurgle sounded from deep within his stomach.
Rolf seconded the notion as his own belly growled with hunger. He clapped his hands together and looked to the sun. "The high noon sun awaits us! It is time for us to break for the mid-day feast. Could Rolf fancy Ed with a wiener?"
"Ed loves wieners!"
"As does Rolf!"
"As the moth once said to the fly, I cannot see the light."
Rolf raised his eyebrow. "Your mouth words confuse Rolf, but please. Follow Rolf inside for the washing and Rolf will prepare for you the wieners."
"Wieners!" Ed called out and began running for the door. The chickens that had been sitting on him fluttered to the grown and clucked angrily at the fact that their walking perch had deserted them.
As Rolf followed Ed inside, he could not help but be amused by Ed's sheer enthusiasm. Most of the children in the cul-de-sac had very little good to say about the customs of Rolf's family. Many of them frowned upon his ways or mocked his sayings. Ed took everything in stride and actually actively sought out Rolf, which was unparalleled.
Yes, Rolf felt slightly guilty for being so rude to Ed, before. Even as Ed tracked mud, cluttered his sink and broke his garbage disposal, Rolf saw each of these things as superficial commodities of the modern world. Just so long as Ed did not ruin the doilies his Nana crocheted or touched any of the older pieces his father had on display from his home country.
Rolf pulled out the wieners from his refrigerator and began separating them so that he could warm them up over the stove. As he worked, Ed appeared and greedily stole a sausage or two and stuffed them in his mouth, chewing happily.
"Rolf must cook the meat, first, eager, Ed-boy!"
"I love wieners, Rolf," Ed pointed out guiltily.
"Yes, they are scrumptious and fill the belly nicely, but Rolf must warm them first. Sit on Rolf's couch, impatient Ed-boy while Rolf prepares a feast."
Ed quickly ran into the living room and Rolf could just see him sitting in the middle of the couch, hands in his lap as he twiddled his thumbs. He stared blankly at the wall in front of him, the doofy smile never leaving his face.
Satisfied that Ed might actually hold still, Rolf went to work cooking the sausages for the two of them. He actually enjoyed working when the gratification was instant. Besides, being inside cooled not only his body but his temper.
Suddenly, a loud crash came from the living room and Rolf had to rush toward the sound, leaving the sausages alone to boil on the stove.
"Rolf, I do not think your couch likes me," Ed muttered.
Somehow, when Rolf's back had been turned, Ed had managed to turn his entire couch upside down with him pinned underneath.
"How did this happen!?" Rolf shouted. Couch cushions littered the floor and his coffee table had been scooted all the way to the other side of the room.
"It was an attack!" Ed shouted. His feet poked out from the other side of the sofa and he wriggled them helplessly. "The couch is alive!"
Rolf would probably never know just what it was that Ed did, but he easily lifted his couch off the tallest Ed. Years of manual labor had granted him strength in his otherwise scrawny looking arms. Ed wriggled out from under the sofa and wiped his forehead with his sleeve. "I found three pennies and a sandwich!"
Ed held up some bottle-caps and an old hairbrush.
A laugh gurgled up, deep from within Rolf's belly. "You may keep your currency, strange Ed-boy!" he chuckled and set his couch back in place. "Come. Stay in Rolf's sight and squeeze the life out of lemons."
"Murder is bad, Rolf."
"Not for the lemons."
As it turned out, squeezing lemons for lemonade was the perfect job for Ed. He happily crushed the yellow fruit in his grip while Rolf collected the remains in a bowl. After a while, they had a heaping plate of boiled sausages and a fresh pitcher of lemonade.
Rolf stepped back to admire his work. "Shall Rolf and Ed toast to the success of the morning's work?"
"I like buttered toast."
"So Rolf has heard."
The two of them carried their feast outdoors to sit under Rolf's shade tree. Rolf happily munched on his sausages while Ed alternated between inhaling them or trying to feed them to the chickens who were uninterested.
Rolf calmly sipped on his lemonade. Ed's company seemed to pull him from his troubles. He wasn't even angered by the rest of the cul-de-sac either playing in the water or, like Ed had said, quarantined by the plague. It was nice. Rolf decided that he wouldn't mind having more of it. A thought struck him. "Tell me, Ed-boy. Do you appreciate the succulent juices from a nice roast leg of yak?"
"Is that like a talking cow?"
"The yak cannot talk as it is now dead and skinned."
"Oh boy! Oh boy! That is just like being a zombie but without all of the barfing."
"Yes…" Rolf said slowly, but smiled anyway. Ed was willing to communicate and that was more than enough for him. "Rolf would like to invite you, amusing Ed-boy, to stay for dinner tonight. Rolf's nana is making yak."
"Yikkity yak, don't talk back," Ed said suddenly, quoting a song Rolf may have heard once on his papa's old radio. "Can Eddy and Double D come?"
Rolf frowned. "Rolf thought Eddy was sick with the fever?"
"Oh yeah!" Ed's ears perked up and his twitched in the direction of Eddy's home. "Eddy is dying, Rolf! I have to save him!"
"No," Rolf interjected. He reached a hand out to tug Ed back before he got up and began running. "Rolf needs the strong Ed-boy to help him with his chores. Let the smart one take care of the three-haired scam boy. Rolf will help Ed, as you said, watch the perimeter."
Rolf could see the realization cross Ed's features as he remembered his explained duty from earlier. Rolf could easily pick up on the lingo from the others if he so desired. Sometimes it wasn't worth it, but in this case, he could see the merit.
Ed sat back down and plopped a wiener in his mouth. "I will stay, because I am a good help, Rolf."
"Yes," Rolf agreed. "You are, like the hired hands during the harvest season."
For the first time that day, a gentle breeze swept through the cul-de-sac, effectively cooling it from the blazing summer heat. As it rolled through the trees, it finally reached a small, awkwardly leaning shade tree, but the two recipients sitting beneath the leaves could not have been more grateful.
As they sat and rested, completely content and surrounded by Rolf's livestock, Ed leaned back and sighed. "I love chickens, Rolf."
Rolf mimicked Ed's actions and placed his hands behind his head as he leaned against the trunk of the tree. "And Rolf's chickens love you, Ed-boy."