Bridge Over Troubled Ed

BY : Worlds_First_Ghost
Category: +1 through F > Ed, Edd, and Eddy
Dragon prints: 254
Disclaimer: I do not own Ed, Edd n Eddy, nor the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

The repeated tapping of Eddy’s shoe against the sidewalk created a tuneless, inconsistent rhythm that threatened to make Edd’s head burst. With one hand over his ear in a hopeless attempt to block out the noise, he lifted the other to check his watch. It was approaching five minutes since he rang Ed’s doorbell, yet there was still no response. Edd could only grumble to himself about the vices of tardiness as he took a seat on the cooler he placed on the front lawn. He could tolerate this flagrant disregard for punctuality if it wasn’t combined with the incessant slapping of rubber on pavement. A nerve on the side of his head throbbed in alternating rhythm with Eddy’s shoe. The desire to scream swelled like a balloon inside of his throat, waiting to explode in Eddy’s face in a singular cathartic burst.

However, years of self-imposed civility curbed that urge and he spoke up, albeit in a strained voice: “Eddy, would you kindly stop that, please?” Much to his relief, Eddy obliged. He placed his hand down to his side and took a deep breath, savoring the silence. “Thank you.”

Eddy lifted his sunglasses to his forehead so Edd could see him roll his eyes. It also didn’t help that the shadow covering the house’s front lawn made it too dark to see with them on. “What’s taking him? We’re gonna waste the whole day if we wait any longer!”

Edd refrained from mentioning the irony of his friend’s impatience. Despite Eddy being the organizer of this get-together and even giving specific times for them to meet up, he was dead asleep and had to be physically dragged out of bed when Edd arrived at his house.

“You needn’t worry so much. As I assume you’ve noticed by the position of the surrounding shadow, the sun has only just begun its journey across the sky.” Edd paused, and then giggled. “You see what I did there, right? I spoke as if it’s the sun that is orbiting the earth. In reality, it’s merely our perspective that creates that illusion when it’s, in fact, the inverse that’s true.”

A pause reserved for an anticipated laugh stretched out for several awkward seconds; Eddy only grimaced throughout. “You’re a real riot, Double D.”

Edd cleared his throat, acting as if he hadn’t heard Eddy’s jab. “In any case, there’s no need to be so impatient. We still have plenty of daylight for a fulfilling, enjoyable time at the swimming hole.”

“Not with how long you’re running your mouth, we won’t.”

The sunglasses slid back over Eddy’s eyes as he plopped down beside Edd and the cooler. Why shouldn’t he be impatient to start the day? According to Edd’s meteorological calculations, today was supposed to be the hottest day of the year before summer started. With the end of the school year approaching, the normally crowded swimming hole would be void of rowdy beachgoers as they all scrambled to finish any last-minute schoolwork. Eager to partake in this chance to beat the summer rush, Eddy had announced to the other Eds that they’d spend the whole day at the creek to celebrate their upcoming graduation from high school. They would end the year in style, he told them, enjoying one last hurrah before the three of them graduated and moved on to bigger scams beyond the cul-de-sac.

Another two minutes dragged on in agonizing pace, yet there was no sign of Ed. Eddy’s towel and sunscreen tumbled out onto the grass after he had kicked his bag in frustration. He didn’t get woken up this early in the morning just to have that big lug shift him like this. This was one of the few plans he made that wasn’t motivated by self-gain and he’d sooner bust down the door himself than see his rare act of charity fall through. Storming past Edd and nearly knocking him over, he approached the door with his clenched fist raised over his head. Right before he could land a punch, the door swung open and the two boys were greeted by Ed’s infectious smile.

“Ready for liftoff!” Ed trundled out the door. An umbrella, a large bag, and several folding chairs were all slung underneath his arms.

The sight of the larger boy morphed Eddy’s scowl into a million-dollar grin. “Thatta boy, Lumpy! Geared up like a regular pack mule.” He stretched out his arms to grab his friends, bringing them in close. “Now let’s get this show on the road! We’re gonna be set like kings, baby! The entire swimming hole just for the three of us!”

“Hahah!” Ed’s wide grin stretched across his face, but soon flattened into a pensive grimace. He raised his hand and counted on his fingers, all while his features twisted in intense thought. “One, two, three, umm… boy Eddy you are pretty bad at counting.”

Eddy gripped the back of Ed’s neck and yanked him down to eye level. “Get your ears checked, lunk head. I said three. Did you forget how to count or something?”

Ed’s gaze shifted to the side to avoid eye contact with Eddy. “I see three, yes siree. But what I mean is that which is not seen.” Ed grabbed the back of Eddy’s shirt collar and effortlessly lifted him from the ground. He turned the smaller boy around so he was facing the front of the house. “Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!”

“Pardon me, Ed,” Edd interjected. His lips curled into a smile bordering on hopeful excitement. “But was that Shelley you just quoted? I never would’ve guessed you had such a poetic side.”

Taking a moment to comprehend his friend’s words, Ed shook his head and laughed. “Nah, I read that in Mutant Horrors Issue #5, where the evil mummy leads the helpless damsel to his tomb before sucking her brains right out of her nose!” Sticking two fingers into his nostrils, he stretched them open as wide as he could to demonstrate, all while the optimism drained from Edd’s face.

Before Eddy could yell at Ed to stop messing around and put him back down, a figure cloaked in a wide shadow stepped onto the porch. Sarah nudged up the brim of her floppy sun hat to get a better view of the boys. Edd was dancing frantically to avoid the spray of boogers being unleashed from the depths of Ed’s now impossibly enlarged nostrils. Ed chortled all the while, oblivious to both his friend’s distress and the thrashing boy lodged under his arm. Eddy’s flailing attempts to free himself from his noxious, swampy stranglehold proved useless as his arms bounced harmlessly off his captor’s torso. Sarah regarded these shenanigans with no change of expression, as if she had seen this exact scene play out before her multiple times.

Eddy twisted himself around in Ed’s grip so he might face Sarah in a slightly less undignified position. A beach bag dangled from her shoulder, heavy with towels and plastic beach toys. “What’s all that for, huh?” he said with a sneer. “You bringing Mono-brow the rest of his stuff for our trip?” The word ‘our’ was emphasized as a means to exclude her from the sentence.

“What are you talking about?” Sarah tugged at the sagging collar of her oversized t-shirt to keep it from slipping off her shoulders. Anyone could tell that it was Ed’s based on the faded alien graphic on the front, which meant it had to be sanitized thrice-over before she got anywhere close to it. “These are my things, bozo.”

“Why the heck would you be all dressed up like that for?” The smug timbre of his voice faltered in his throat. His brain was making the connection, but he refused to acknowledge it.

“What? Didn’t Ed tell you?” She grinned, relishing in knocking Eddy off his composure. If he insisted on playing dumb, she’d gladly spell things out for him. “I’m coming to the swimming hole with you guys.”

“What!?” Eddy wrenched his body back around and grabbed Ed by the shirt collar, shaking him hard enough for his head to jerk back and forth. “What’s the matter with you!? I thought I told you no plus-ones!”

Ed bit his trembling lower lip, looking at Eddy like a scolded puppy. “It’s not my fault, Eddy! Honest! I told my mom what we were doing today and she said…” He cleared his throat and stiffened his posture before continuing in a higher, throatier register: “Edward if you are going out, you must take your sister with you!”

“Parents!” Eddy spat the word out as if it was burning the inside of his mouth. “Always wrecking everything! I can’t believe they’re still making you babysit her!”

“Tell me about it!” Sarah spoke up, her mouth curling into an indignant scowl. “I should be able to stay home alone. I’m not a kid anymore!”

The urge to laugh rose in Eddy’s throat before he stamped it out. Sarah might be going to the same high school as they were now, but that wasn’t enough for him to view her as anything more than Ed’s “baby” sister. Before he could contradict her statement, his eyes twinkled with a devious glint as an idea crossed his mind. “Couldn’t have said it better myself, squirt. You’re all grown up now, so maybe you should just let Big Ed hang with us while you have the place all to yourself. What your mom don’t know won’t hurt her, right?”

“Is that so?” Sarah’s grin returned, wider than before. “Well, then maybe I will stay. But that still means Ed has to be here with me! Rules are rules, Eddy. Where I go, he goes!”

Eddy gritted his teeth. “Why you little…” His insult went unfinished as he plummeted to the ground alongside the rest of the beach supplies. He shoved a towel away from his face while Ed threw himself at Sarah’s feet, hands folded together and wobbling in desperation.

“Oh please oh please baby sister, don’t do that!” the larger boy blubbered.

“Now now,” Edd spoke as he stepped in between the feuding parties. “I’m sure we can all reach an amicable understanding here. Eddy, surely you can respect the fact that Ed is merely fulfilling his obligation as both a loyal son and a responsible older brother. Besides, I see no reason why Sarah’s presence should spoil our little excursion. The more the merrier, as they say.”

These words, well-intentioned as they were, rang hollow in Eddy’s ears. Edd was only playing peacemaker because he was an only child; he didn’t know what pains siblings could be. There was one reason Eddy could name for why Sarah shouldn’t come, but it was the only one he needed: bringing along another person defeated the whole point of the trip. It would just be another routine visit to the creek, not the special pre-graduation celebration he had been envisioning. Why not invite the whole cul-de-sac if it wasn’t going to be the three of them anymore? Eddy’s narrowed eyes bounced between Edd’s pacifying smile, Ed’s quivering lips, and Sarah’s taunting smirk. The sun had changed places over the course of this argument, causing the shadows outlining their respective features to skew at different angles. He turned up to the sky to confirm this, his frown deepening. How long had they been standing here, and how much more of the day did they have left?

“Alright, fine!” Eddy relented, throwing his arms in the air for dramatic effect. The more time spent arguing was more time wasted, so it was best to just give in at this point. “Let’s get a move on. I don’t want anyone slowing us down, okay?”

Rejuvenated glee lit up Ed’s face. Springing up from the dirt and scooping up all the beach supplies, he charged ahead of the group in a manic sprint down the sidewalk. “Onward to victory!”

“Ah, careful Ed!” Edd exclaimed, scurrying after him. “Take care not to drop any of our essentials!”

With only Eddy and Sarah standing side by side on the lawn, Eddy shot a parting leer at her before trudging after his friends. Sarah sauntered close behind, her springy footsteps doing nothing to conceal her newfound sense of triumph. Getting a rise out of him took no effort on her part, but it was enough to make her giggle whenever his face flushed red with anger. This trip to the creek promised to hold many opportunities to get under his skin, which was why she was eager to tag along. If Eddy expected today to be a day of fun, he wouldn’t be counting on her idea of fun to be at his expense.

The balmy summer sun cast a shimmering ripple across the cloudless expanse of sky. Its position overhead had changed very little by the time the group had made it to the creek. As they neared the yellow sands of the lakebed, Eddy bounded ahead toward the shady spot near the cliff. With a beach umbrella held over his head, he speared it into the sand and twisted it with glee. The prime spot was all his and no other kids were around to fight him for it.

“Bingo!” Eddy said with a satisfied chuckle as he unrolled his towel. The others soon joined him and set up their respective places in the shade as well.

“Well it does appear that my calculations were accurate.” Edd made no attempt to hide the pride in his voice as he watched the spangles of light skipping across the water’s surface. “It certainly is a scorcher today.”

“Yeah it is. Let’s hope you don’t burn up this time,” Eddy said through his snickering.

Edd’s brow flattened. “Ha ha, very amusing, Eddy. Fortunately, I have taken extensive precautions to ensure that that mishap would not repeat itself today.” Digging into his bag, he pulled out a bottle of sunscreen and held it triumphantly before screwing off the cap and squeezing it onto his arm. “Aaah, the cool, soothing touch of SPF 50. Let it be known that any ultraviolet radiation attempting to savage my epidermis will have its attempts thwarted by this impenetrable, topical shield!”

Eddy shook his head, unimpressed by the sunscreen’s supposed glory. “Jeez, don’t be so dramatic, Sockhead.”

“Toss that over here, Double D,” Sarah called out.

Edd handed her the bottle and she squeezed a generous glob of the goop into her hand before slapping it onto her face and body. She had since slipped out of her borrowed t-shirt and was now wearing a pink two-piece swimsuit. Even in the shade, her skin glowed with a bright, natural warmness that dazzled Eddy’s eyes. He had never seen so much of her exposed skin before; she used to always wear a one piece back when they were kids. The change in apparel helped accentuate her slender frame and the minute curves of her chest and waist. Those had taken five years to develop, but they might as well have all sprouted overnight as far as he was concerned. After having caught himself staring for a few seconds too long, he swung his head in the other direction, scowling at his lapse of focus. She clearly wasn’t Ed’s “baby” sister anymore, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t the same brat she always was.

“Don’t forget to reapply at regular intervals, especially if you’re planning on entering the water,” Edd’s helpful voice chimed. If he had been watching Eddy at all, it wasn’t evident in his tone.

“Maybe later,” Sarah said as she rubbed the last of the lotion on her face. “I’m going to be building sandcastles.”

“Sandcastles?” Eddy made a squawking laugh. “What are you, ten years old?”

“If you hate ‘em so much, that’s good news for me.” Sarah picked up a pail and shovel before marching toward the water’s edge. “It’ll be the best place to get away from you.”

A smirk cracked across Eddy’s face. If Sarah truly meant what she said, he could pretend she wasn’t even here. It was doubly better that he wouldn’t have to worry about her body either. “Perfect. So what do you want to do first, Double–” He paused once he saw the skinnier boy bring a pen and notepad out of his bag. “What the heck are those for?”

“I was hoping to use this opportunity to get better acquainted with the wildlife inhabiting our humble creek,” Edd explained. “Since there are no unruly swimmers to disturb them, it’s an excellent chance to observe these creatures in their natural state. Why, I’m positive there’s an extensive assortment of lichen making their home on those rocks over yonder that are just waiting to be catalog–”

“You’re jokin’, right? School’s almost over, Double D! Don’t bring the classroom out here when we’re supposed to be having fun!”

“On the contrary, Eddy, I find this to be an enjoyable, and might I add quite productive, use of my leisure time. Of course, you are welcome to join me if you change your mind.”

Eddy’s eyes smoldered as Edd strolled off towards the craggy rocks on the opposite side of the lake. “Fine! Go write a novel for all I care! Ed and I are going to have a day for the record books, all without you! Ain’t that right, Mono-brow?”

But Ed was running off towards the water and laughing all the way before Eddy had even finished asking his question. Ed was, as usual, living within his own world. Eddy wasn’t even a factor in whatever plans he had for the afternoon.

“Prepare yourselves, creatures of the deep!” Ed bellowed. “For I, Ed, have come to plunder your fishy kingdom!”

With a mighty jump, Ed soared through the air and hurtled towards the lake. A towering jet of water erupted from his point of impact, casting a shimmering shadow along the shoreline and steadily growing until it nearly reached the top of the nearby cliff. It soon dissipated into a sparkling shower that rained on the lake like a miniature monsoon. Eddy waited in annoyed silence to see how long it would take Ed to resurface, but gave up after a minute had passed. If he was going to ditch him too, he could stay down there for all Eddy cared. The whole reason for this trip was for them to hang out together, but both of his friends would rather be with the fish than with him. Grumbling to himself, he put on his sunglasses and fell back on his towel. The underlying sand cooled his back, relaxing his knotted muscles while he racked his brain for ideas on how to make the most of his time. It was still a nice day, all things considered. It shouldn’t be gone to waste just because he was by himself.

“Well, well, look at who got left behind!”

The mocking voice burned Eddy’s ears. He rose himself to his haunches, glaring at Sarah from behind his glasses. Water sloshed over the rim of the pail swaying in her hand. Eddy chose to focus his eyes on that hand, rather than the one languidly resting on her hip.

“Alone? No way! I’m just working on my tan, is all.”

“In the shade?” She let loose a giggle that deepened Eddy’s frown. “Why don’t you stop moping and come help me build sandcastles?”

“In your dreams! I’d rather stay here.”

“What’s the matter?” Sarah sneered before resuming in a gruff, bumbling imitation of Eddy’s voice. “Don’t want to look like a baby?”

“Hey! I said ten years old, not a baby!”

“Well you sure cry like one.”

A hot flush consumed Eddy’s face as his jaw clanged shut, his teeth rattling together. Even after five years, her words could still dig under his skin. Now on his feet, he stomped over to Sarah with his fists trembling at his sides. “You’re such a pain! Why’d you have to tag along and stick your big mouth in our business? This trip was supposed to be just the three of us!”
The jab about her mouth made Sarah’s eyelid twitch. “Why are you still such a jerk, huh? You need to grow up!” Her back stiffened, straightening her posture as much as she could to match his height. It was only a two inch difference between them, but she was determined to make it appear non-existent.

“Yeah?” Plucking off his sunglasses, he slouched slightly to meet her fuming eyes. “You first.”

The space between their foreheads grew dangerously smaller. The two of them pinned each other in place with their eyes, silently goading the other into making the first move. A drizzle of sweat slid past Eddy’ nose and his lip grew sore from his fervent nibbling. A long time ago, he would bellow some insult or otherwise throw a few punches if it meant getting her out of his face. His dry throat refused to muster any words and his shaking arms remained glued to his sides. Sarah was similarly frozen, even though she wasn’t one to stop herself from biting and clawing anyone she felt had wronged her. No longer were they the angry kids ready to tear out each others’ throats. They were teenagers now, a little calmer but no less stubborn. Violence wasn’t an effective means of solving their disputes anymore.

Shielded from the sweltering rays of the sun, Eddy’s cool head had time to weigh his options in this stalemate. This day was supposed to be one for the record books and he was on course for sulking it all away. Sarah had offered him a means to salvage it. Rejecting her meant either stewing in solitude or indulging the other Eds with schoolwork or underwater shenanigans. Of all his options, building sandcastles promised to be the least obnoxious use of his time. It didn’t hurt that she wasn’t so bad to look at, either. For the moment, his glare remained fixated on her expectant eyes, not willing to risk getting distracted by the rest of her body during his surrender.

“All right look!” Eddy leaned back and groaned. The remaining shreds of his pride clumped up in the back of his throat and slithered down like a stone. “Those two feebs aren’t coming back any time soon, so we’re both stuck with each other. All’s I want is to try to make the best of this stupid trip.” His voice lowered to a grumble while he let his next words spill onto his chest. “So I’m sorry, okay?”

Sarah’s expression softened once it became clear she had come out on top of this exchange. Wrenching an apology from Eddy was no easy feat, even one as half-hearted and mush-mouthed as this. As cute as he looked earlier with his face bright red and his teeth gnashing together, she found the grimace weighing down his cheeks to be a more endearing expression for him. “Sounds good to me,” she said, embellished sweetness dribbling from her voice. “I’m about to set up our work site, so grab a pail and follow my lead.”

With leaden feet, Eddy shuffled behind Sarah, who skipped ahead and dug up a shallow bowl in the sand to contain the water from her pail. Beside her beach bag laid a spare yellow pail, which Eddy snatched up while she readied their supply of wet, pliable sand. Eddy sat at the opposite end of the hole and plunged his hand into it, grimacing as wet granules stuck to his skin.

Scooping up large handfuls of slurry at a time, he shoveled them into the pail without much thought. The crumbly, uneven lumps weren’t packed tightly enough and would create a castle that would disintegrate the moment he upturned the pail, but he didn’t care about any of that. Every time he tried focusing on his work, an unknown force would pull his attention back to Sarah. She had grown quite a lot in five years, only superficially resembling the runty terror that would menace him and his friends on a daily basis. Although he had poked fun at the size of her mouth earlier, it wasn’t noticeably disproportionate to the rest of her face anymore. Time had allowed all of her parts to fit together quite nicely and, Eddy had to admit, attractively. His cheeks were ablaze, but he wasn’t sure if it was from the blood rushing to them or because he didn’t use any of Edd’s sunscreen.

It wasn’t long before Sarah caught him staring. There was a peculiar, hazy gloss in his eyes as they roamed her body like a hungry dog. He had made that expression before, back when they were kids, but she couldn’t recall from where. As tempting as it was to let him enjoy the view a little longer, she had to keep up appearances. With a sneer, she folded her arms over her chest and purposefully twisted her body away from his line of sight. “What are you staring at, weirdo?”

“Staring, nothing!” Eddy turned his head and rubbed his fist against his eye. “The stupid sand got in my eye, is all. Probably from you digging so much of it up.”

“Yeah right. Maybe you should focus more on your castle instead of what I’m doing.”

Eddy’s “castle” more closely resembled one that had been besieged and reduced to rubble. Using his hands as like a pair of shovels, he pushed the mass together in a feeble attempt to mold it into an acceptable shape. He kept the act up until she returned her attention back to her own work. They each toiled in silence, neither one willing to risk another awkward encounter. The only thing filling the space between them for the next several minutes was the arid pre-summer air pressing down from above. Any word that might have been spoken would’ve been stifled upon contact with the sizzling heat.

With Sarah’s own castle completed, immaculately molded without any fissures or lumps, her eyes wandered back to Eddy. His attention was entrapped by his own castle. With each passing second, the sun was sapping more moisture out of the sand he was using, making his bumbling attempts at molding it even more ineffective. A scathing jab at his intelligence and abilities formed itself on Sarah’s tongue, but it dissolved before she could throw it his way. It was more agreeable to sample some of his natural assets the way he had been poring over hers not long ago. High school had given him the long awaited wish of a growth spurt to rival the other kids in height. Several of them still had him beat by a couple of inches, but he was no longer the pint-sized pariah of the cul-de-sac. Physically, he was developing into a well-formed young man, ignoring the few stubborn remnants of baby fat still sticking to him. Why exactly did she find an oaf like him so handsome? He wasn’t the smartest or the strongest kid in the cul-de-sac, and certainly not the nicest. But he was a lot like her in ways she was embarrassed to admit. He was someone who knew what they wanted out of life, and smarts didn’t matter when he had plenty of charisma and resources to burn through until he got what he was after. Much like how she used brute force and intimidation to get her way, Eddy’s approach differed in execution but was similarly strong-willed and tenacious. If it was somewhat narcissistic of her to be attracted to him just because he reminded her of herself, she’d just have to deal with that.

Loose sand streamed through the gaps of Eddy’s cupped hands before he slammed them down on his ruined castle in defeat. After the cloud of dust settled, he caught Sarah’s distracted gaze locked onto his body. There was a longing gleam in her eyes and Eddy smirked. “See something you like?” The muscles in his bicep twitched as he made a subtle flex of his arm.

Sarah’s lips pursed once she was caught, but her eyes didn’t leave Eddy’s body for a second. Flashing a grin as a shield of assuredness, she leaned closer, scuttling across the sand so that her vision was filled with nothing but Eddy. “Nope! I don’t see anything at all.”

“Man, you’re such a little pest.” Webs of sweat criss-crossed down his brow and traced along his eyelids. She was getting uncomfortably close to him now, but he anchored himself to his spot.

“Oh really? What are you gonna do about it?” Her smirk was defiant. Sultry. She was egging him on to make a move. It was what she had been doing for the whole trip and he was just too oblivious to notice.

That glazed stare had returned to Eddy’s eyes. This time, Sarah recognized where she had last seen it: he looked like that whenever he was looking at Nazz. She forced her face to remain composed despite the heat roiling in her cheeks. Not once had she ever considered herself to be on Nazz’s level, but the way Eddy’s eyes pored over her from top to bottom did plenty to convince her otherwise.

“I’m gonna…” Eddy pushed himself forward and pressed his lips to hers. They were soft, holding a sort of plumpness that shouldn’t belong on a mouth capable of unleashing such rage. He pulled away, half-expecting her to bite his face off, but she chased after his lips and caught them.

No words were exchanged, not with their lips locked together. Eddy’s body continued pushing forward and he was on top of her. Sarah sunk into the sand, her arms coiling around him to keep herself steady. Her fingers curled into his skin, taking hold and pulling him down closer to her. She was determined to not be passive in this exchange, but Eddy didn’t seem to mind. Skin on burning skin, heated by the torrid sun, rubbed together in movements only fueled by hormones and long-ignored desires. They remained like this for what felt like hours before the kiss broke apart with an eruption of gasps and weak coughs. Even though neither of them had stepped foot in the water all day, the dampness coating their bodies was hard to ignore.

“Eddy…” Sarah’s petite breasts pushed up against his chest every time she inhaled. Static engulfed her mind, preventing her from finishing her sentence.

Eddy wanted to respond, but his heavy breaths smothered any word he tried to force out. All he could think about was, after years of being menaced by the Kankers, how nice it felt to finally kiss a girl by his own volition for once.

A shadow draped over them, causing them to disengage and turn toward the source. Edd stood to the side, slack-jawed and his paper and pen fluttering in his shaky hands. Even though his sunscreen protected him from being burnt, it didn’t stop his face from flushing a fire engine red. Eddy jumped off of Sarah, dusting off his moist chest as if nothing had happened. Sarah sat up, twisting her arms in front of her chest self-consciously.

“P-pardon me, I promise you that it wasn’t my intention to intrude. But, um…” Edd wiped away the sweat currently streaming down his forehead. His trembling knees were audibly rattling as he, Eddy, and Sarah remained fixed in this awkward staring match. For the first time in his life, the normally verbose boy was at a loss for words.

“Get on with it, Double D!” Sarah finally yelled.

“O-oh, yes!” Edd tugged at his shirt collar as he cleared his throat. “Well, uh, I thought I’d just inform you that it’s getting rather late. Um… wouldn’t you agree?”

Eddy and Sarah turned toward the sky, which was in the process of changing from red to a deep purple. How long they had spent kissing, neither of them could say.

“Guess you’re right,” Eddy sighed. “Let’s head back.”

“Just a moment. Have either of you seen Ed anywhere?”

Loud, soggy squishes slammed into the sand as Ed tromped toward the group, his body pruned and soaking wet. His hands were raised triumphantly over his head, a large sheet of gristly green film held between them. “Look guys! Pudding skins from the depths!” He brought it to his mouth and took a large bite, chewing happily.

Edd examined Ed’s new prize with scrutiny for a few moments before the recognition nearly knocked him backwards. “Ed! You’re eating a biofilm of algae! That’s utterly insalubrious!”

Ed continued to chew and push the algae along the inside of his mouth. He mulled over Edd’s reaction while trying to discern the flavor. His lips peeled back in a toothy grin, green globs of fuzz lodged in the gaps in between his teeth and gums, as he extended the sopping wet sheet over to Edd. “Want some, Double D?”

Edd’s face went as green as the algae and he placed a hand over his mouth to suppress his retch. “Good lord… Would someone please make him stop before my stomach has a chance to expel all of its contents!?”

Sarah shook her head disapprovingly. “Jeepers, Ed, can you get rid of that thing? It might get you sick or something.”

“Okay, baby sister.” Ed chucked the algae sheet, sending it soaring in a high arc before it landed on the lake with a soggy smack. It floated on the water’s surface for a few moments before being sucked back to where it came from. “All gone!”

Under the cloak of approaching night, the group gathered up their things and set off for the cul-de-sac. As the sun faded from view and the sky darkened into a deep indigo, Sarah offered her hand. Eddy took it with no hesitation, her skin offering protective warmth from the evening chill.

“Eddy and Sarah are holding hands!” Ed’s barely contained excitement caused his whole body to hop with every step. “They will get married and Eddy will be my new brother, just like how I always dreamed!”

“Shut up, Ed!” the two of them shouted. They turned to each other and pulled their hands apart, disgust twisting up both their faces.

Ed continued to chortle as he lumbered ahead of the group. Edd followed close behind, shooting a brief, congratulatory smile at the couple before jogging after Ed. Once the two were a good distance behind, their hands clasped together again. In a way, Eddy’s prediction came true. It was a day worthy of the record books.

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