Who We Are: College

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¿?: WHAT?!

¿?: Really? I didn't actually think you two would get back together.

Edd: We are not, I mean… we are not an official couple to be precise. It… we… guys, I'm not good with words nor these things.

Eddy and Nazz sat across from Edd at Eddy's favorite restaurant: a pretty restaurant that specialized in seafood- their famous dish was lobster. Part of World Avenue, it was a ride from Eddy and Nazz's own college, which simply emphasized how much Eddy loved it. It had rich mahogany wood planks for walls and black marble floor, with checkered red and white table covers and they gave you a bib with a lobster on it. The waiter had already taken their order, and they were simply waiting for the food… and for someone else.

They not only met since Eddy and Edd periodically went out to eat (to catch up), but also because Edd had emailed Eddy that he had something to discuss with him. Eddy was always a dear friend to Edd and had always been the one to hear him and… at least try to advise him. When it came down to it, Eddy was the person he would always run his ideas and doubts by.

He wasn't surprised Nazz tagged along, she was Eddy's girlfriend after all, and he always found it interesting how they had finally hooked up. They weren't opposites nor did they have conflicting personalities, they actually paired up nicely. Eddy was always the greedy, creative and crafty boy, but matured into a responsible man with a knack for economics. Nazz was always the pretty girl, but her looks weren't her best attribute as she had decided to study a double mayor: fashion and chemical engineer. Though they hadn't seen each other since graduation, Edd had always kept tabs on all his peers…and he enjoyed seeing them again.

They looked quite in love, though neither was very public about their relationship- Edd liked that. The demonstration of public affection had always made Edd feel a bit uncomfortable and ashamed, he didn't like the attention or 3rd parties to watch. He had stated this very clearly with Marie, who still hadn't arrived.

Eddy: How did this happen?

Nazz: Well, they were childhood sweethearts Eddy. Besides, I remember even you had…

Eddy: Please, we were young and stupid and neither of us really liked the Kankers. Except him.

Nazz: They all had a crush on you guys for a looooong time.

Eddy: Don't… remind me. Yuck.

Nazz and Edd: EDDY!

Nazz slapped Eddy on the shoulder, and they all giggled as Eddy grabbed her hand over the table. They were very proper and private and their relationship revolved around the details for what Edd could see. He enjoyed watching them, catching those tiny details that said more than they looked. The way they looked at each other, or when Nazz rested her head on Eddy's shoulder. The way they held hands, or Nazz gave a kiss to Eddy on the cheek and he lit up like a Christmas tree. Or, simpler things like when Eddy removed a lock of hair from her face and she just smiled… an honest smile of happiness. They felt so genuine… and it was what made Edd feel even guiltier.

It had been more than a month since Edd last saw Eddy, it was almost Thanksgiving Break. Fall was giving way to winter, the trees were losing their leaves and everyone was trading the jackets and cardigans for thicker clothes. Edd, loved winter and he wore a long coat with a silky scarf, a navy cardigan with a black turtleneck long-sleeve shirt, and black tight pants. Eddy wore a similar attire, but under his long coat he wore a black business suit; Nazz was more girly and wore a black furry with a pink turtleneck sweater, pink gloves and blue, tight jeans. Nazz had not changed much since their years back at the Cul de Sac… maybe a bit more mature.

The sporty and gorgeous girl from their early years had not lost her charm, but she had fallen a bit short against other girls on the puberty department. Short, standing around 1.60, slim with an athletic body, she had toned arms and legs, a very nice apple butt, but she was an A cup, maybe barely a B. Her short, golden hair was still kept short, but it was much smoother and her face hadn't changed a bit, unmarked by any pimples or puberty hiccups. She seemed very petite, with her wide hips and strong legs which were slim, but toned too, gave her a curvaceous look- compensating for her lack of boobs. He remembered she had always complained and disliked the fact that she was flat on her front, but he found it to be unreasonable. She was always a lovely and gorgeous girl, and her soft, warm voice and character just made her lovable and desirable.

As they waited for both the food and their last member, they had talked over many things. Eddy started off by telling Edd how his recent small business on lectures had scaled out of his hands and gotten into the teacher's staff, forcing Eddy to shut down and lie low for a while. Nazz laughed and budged in recalling how silly and desperate Eddy had been at the start and how she had offered to make alibis for him. Apparently, their relationship took off from there as they spent more time together and (according to Nazz) she had saved him more than once from a lawsuit thanks to his ideas. They had all laughed and regardless the topic that followed, Nazz or Eddy came up with some witty comment to add humor. Nazz talked how she was making a collection of gym clothes and her new passion for kick boxing- which Eddy joked he'd become the girl of the relationship and asked Edd "whether he knew where to get very feminine yoga pants". They talked about the Cul de Sac, vacations and if they'd all go back, they asked how each of their families were and they talked of their studies. As much as he enjoyed the talk and laughter, Edd felt an itch in his insides as he wanted to find the way to ask Eddy over his inner conflicts. He felt dearly for Nazz, but he had actually expected a private chat with Eddy and to get some advice. Though he understood Nazz would now be part of the picture, he still felt insecure about expressing deep personal stuff.

Eddy: Hey Double D, how has Kevin treated you?

Edd: Huh?

Edd had been distracted looking just at both of them and his brain has started analyzing and cross referencing their relationship vs his and Marie's. Eddy's voice had snapped him back.

Eddy: Kevin…,not bullying you? Not being an ass…

A slap of Nazz on his chest and the frown she made was enough to get Eddy to stop.

Nazz: Eddy!

Eddy: What?! I just wanted to know!

Nazz: Don't be mean, you know he isn't that bad.

Eddy: I know I'm surprised he's capable of caring for someone other than himself.

Nazz and Edd: Eddy.

Eddy: Nazz, did he call you or ask how you were after you both broke up?

Nazz: Well… no, not really… but… I guess he needed his space…

Nazz sighed and layed her head on Eddy's shoulder.

Nazz: I get your point.

Edd: Wait, Eddy, you mentioned you're surprised he IS capable.

Eddy looked straight at Edd and Nazz lifted her head, aware of what she had just missed.

Eddy: Yeah, he called me.

Nazz and Edd: YOU?!

Eddy: Hey, I was just as surprised as both of you.

Nazz and Edd: How is he? Is he alright?

Eddy: Jesus, more of this and I can just imagine both of you calling each other "hey girlfriend".

Nazz and Eddy laughed as Edd laughly shyly and coyly. His body had again been more expressive than he desired, and again, it was about Kevin.

Eddy: He just asked about you doofus. Asked about how we got along… both before and now. It was weird actually, too many questions about you I suppose you could've told him yourself.

Edd: I… he hasn't talked to me for over a month now. He's been a bit absent and weird recently…

Nazz: Hmm, could explain why he called me too.

Eddy: He talked to you again? That's a miracle.

Nazz slapped Eddy again who giggled a bit as he kissed her on the cheek.

Nazz: SO mean, we used to talk and YOU know it.

Eddy: What? Should I get jealous?

Nazz slapped him again and kissed him on the cheek.

Nazz: I was surprised to hear him to be honest, but he just called to talk… which we hadn't done in a while…

Edd: Seems weird, he just stopped talking to me too for a while. Nazz, did he tell you anything that could explain his behavior.

Nazz: Hey, he is my ex, but he was never that open with me. Just yesterday he finally…

Eddy and Edd: He finally…?

Nazz: Nothing.

Edd and Eddy stared questioningly at Nazz who simply started sipping her drink by the straw. Eddy quickly turned to Edd.

Eddy: When did he stop talking to you and why?

Edd: More than a month ago, when Marie came back.

Eddy and Nazz: Marie?

Both of them looked at Edd in surprise, Edd blushed and laughed nervously; such deep stares simply triggered his social anxiety.

Edd: W-W-What?

Eddy: I'm surprised you don't remember.

Nazz: Well, they never really interacted with him… just you guys…

Eddy: Honey, don't… memories, yuck.

Nazz punched Eddy on the shoulder, which he yelped and made a face of protest.

Eddy: OW!

Nazz: I warned you.

Edd: Marie didn't get along with Kevin?

Nazz: More like, Kevin didn't actually like the Kankers. Don't know why though.

Eddy: He was usually nicer when we were running from the Kankers. Although he usually made us pay for it.

Edd remembered how Kevin usually helped them escape the Kanker's attacks or aggressive affection, and how he'd usually double up his humiliation rate and bullying on them right after. He remembered how Kevin had started avoiding him since the night of Marie's birthday, and how he had tried contacting him. His attempts had been futile, he either got an answer from Lyon saying he had no idea where Kevin was… or Kevin simply saying he was busy. Edd had felt sad, he wondered if he had done something wrong, and remorse filled him. He wondered why he cared so much for Kevin to talk to him, but he also worried about Marie.

Eddy: Wait, Marie is back… Edd, are you and…

The door opened suddenly and a small gust of cold wind swept in.

?: Sorry, I'm late!

Eddy: And that's a yes.

Edd smiled nervously at Eddy across the table, shaking in place. Eddy had a crooked smile and got up from the chair as Nazz jumped to her feet.

Nazz: Hey, wow!

Marie was dusting some leaves off her leather jacket with fur on her sleeves and neck. She looked stunning and stylish with her navy blue wool beanie, cotton black pants, a blue turtleneck shirt and her army boots (which seemed actually adequate for her attire). She smiled as Nazz complimented her and did a quick take of her as well. The two girls seemed opposites, a stylish and rough rouge and an innocent and sexy athlete. Eddy and Edd looked at each other with a quick smile.

Marie: That good… Nazz?

Nazz: I'm surprised you remember.

Marie: You haven't changed at all.

Nazz: Can't say the same.

Eddy: Hello Marie.

Marie quickly shifted her whole body to look at Eddy, still sitting. She brushed her hair a bit, which made her blue nails shine and then smiled in a rather fake way at him.

Marie: Hey.

Eddy got up, he was almost her height, slightly taller, and Nazz was the shortest of all 4 of them.

Eddy: No need to fake it, neither of us has nice memories.

Marie took her smile off and looked at Edd who was sitting looking from Eddy to her.

Eddy: Hey, no need to worry. If Edd, invited you… consider yourself special. You're the first girl he's ever presented me.

Marie looked back at Eddy, her cheeks blushing, and bowed her head.

Marie: Thanks.

Eddy: You are Welcome. You look good… and like you want something to eat. We ordered lobster.

Marie lunged herself at Eddy, who gave a quick step back and Nazz reacted by grabbing Eddy's left arm, almost pulling him away. It was a weird scene and Edd giggled as Marie held onto Eddy's neck in a hug, Eddy with a confused face and Nazz grabbing onto Eddy's arm like a little girl would to her teddy bear. As Marie let go, she gave Eddy a kiss on the cheek and gave Nazz a kiss on both of her cheeks before sitting beside him and grabbing his arm. Eddy and Nazz whispered something between them and, after a giggle, Nazz gave Eddy a kiss on the lips. It was the first time Edd had ever seen such an honest and pure kiss of affection, not lust.

The two couples left the restaurant with laughter, the girls clinging onto their respect man as the wind blew straight onto them. Their meal had gone by quickly and rather friendly. Eddy's humor had livened up a lot of topics and Marie told what she had been up to over the last years. Nazz had been rather curious on both Marie's life and Edd's projects (which Marie had thrown the attention ball at). They all talked about how they had gotten together, though Edd and Marie struggled and choked on telling their reunion since it was rather swift and unexpected. However, they did surprise Eddy and Nazz by clearing up that they weren't officially a couple, Marie blaming Edd and his "I want to know you better" attitude. The food however changed the topic to thanksgiving, and although they all enjoyed it, the topic was a bit serious. Nazz and Eddy were sure about their return to the Cul de Sac this year and spending time together away from trouble (Nazz's point of view) and studies (Eddy's point of view). Edd was cut off by Marie who questioned the need to go. Edd choked his words of returning which quickly made Eddy upset.

Eddy had always enjoyed the trio to hang out and to be together again. They had been best friends since childhood, they had had only each other, especially since the three of them were always bullied. Eddy had always felt he had only survived and felt good in school because Ed and Edd were by his side. Marie on the other hand, argued without being clear on her intentions on the need to seeing everyone. As the argument crossed the table, Edd wondered why Marie could oppose so determinedly to go back.

Ed, Edd and Eddy had valued friendship and family over all things since they were young, mostly because it was what they most desired. They had never had other real friends like each other, and like many other kids in the suburbs and the Cul de Sac, their parents had never been around that much. Going back to see each other was something they felt a need to do since they knew and felt they were changing every day, every week in college and they just didn't want to drift apart. Nazz actually admitted she liked the Cul de Sac because it reminded her of simpler times, and it always allowed her to reevaluate her current life based on how happy she was back then. Marie, was the only one who didn't want to go back. Outside though, the topic seemed to drift away with the wind.

Marie moved to her bike and proceeded to get her and Edd's helmet out. Nazz jolted with surprise and immediately went toward her. As the girls engaged in their own girlish (as girlish as two girls talking about bikes could get) talk, Eddy and Edd giggled and faced each other.

Eddy: I know what you expected.

Edd: About what?

Eddy: Me calling you a traitor. That she was a Kanker. A "how could you" or a "ew"… something mean.

Edd: I am glad that you didn't Eddy.

Eddy: But I don't feel that way anymore.

Edd: You don't?

Eddy: Nah, it's your life. You have always been the smartest of all of us…you wouldn't let a girl make you ignore your goals.

Edd: Thanks Eddy, that's…

Eddy: But i hope you don't forget who your friends are.

Edd quickly got serious as he saw Eddy stare towards the girls with a grin, avoiding eye contact with him. Edd knew Eddy was serious, he always liked to talk face to face with people. When he didn't, it was because he wasn't pleased with them. Edd felt a knot on his throat.

Eddy: You once talked to me about Kevin; I don't know what is between you two, but you aren't the one to lose a friendship over some girl or detail. You pulled us three together more times than I can count… and I've admired you for it.

Edd felt the knot tighten and his eyes watered. Eddy still wasn't looking at him.

Eddy: She seems like a nice girl, and I'd be blind to not admit she's hot… but don't let her control you Double D.

Eddy looked at Edd, and grinned as he saw his teary-eyed best friend. He placed a hand on Edd's shoulder.

Eddy: You once said that we must know ourselves to know what we want. I suppose you were quoting some textbook or something, but that phrase has helped me more times than I can remember. You have helped me more times than I can remember.

Eddy let go of Edd and with his typical laugh, walked toward his car, parked 1 car from Marie's bike.

Eddy: By the way, Ed also called me. He wanted to see us… said he had some big news. Don't let the big o'l bloke down.

Eddy walked up to Marie and hugged her goodbye, taking Nazz with him toward his red car. Edd walked up to Marie and grabbed his helmet as Marie kissed him tenderly on the lips. Together, they looked Eddy get out of his parking space and drive away as Nazz shouted back to them.

Nazz: Be safe!

Marie smiled and shouted back.

Marie: MAYBE!

Edd looked at her with squinted eyes and questioningly.

Edd: Why do I feel that was a sexual pun?

Marie: Maybe.

Edd: Safety isn't…. Oh I get it.

Marie laughed out loud as she put her helmet on and fastened it under her chin. With a mischievous look on her face, she proceeded to fasten Edd's helmet, touching his neck playfully while doing so.

Edd: You are just trouble, Marie.

Marie: But you love it.

Edd: A bit of emotion in life is good.

Marie giggled as she got on her bike, patting the seat behind her to urge Edd to get on.

Marie: Come on baby, I want to get home already.

Edd hopped on and wrapped his arms around her waist, she let out a small moan.

Edd: Will you ever get used to me grabbing you?

Marie: I hope not.

Edd smiled and shook his head. The engine roared a bit and they were soon off, down World Avenue, the sunset straight ahead of them, casting its dreamy and musky light.

Lyon: Hey, dumbass, get up.

Kevin squirmed in his bed, he was half naked and he knew it must be past noon for his roommate to be kicking him out of bed. As he got up, he noticed the sun was actually setting.

Kevin: Fuck, what time is it?

Lyon: Almost 6, you need to get something to eat.

Lyon threw on his lap, nearly missing his crotch, a Chinese box- a delicious steam escaping the little holes and making Kevin's stomach rumble.

Lyon: Thank me later, eat up.

Kevin smiled as he set the box aside and grabbed his roommate from behind, his hands on his chest.

Kevin: How about I thank you now?

Kevin felt a sharp pain on his stomach and his wind being knock out. He stumbled back onto his bed, curling into a ball.

Kevin: W-what the fu-uck man?

His voice came out more like a squeak than actual audible words. Lyon stood leaning on his closet's doors looking at him. He was angry, his face serious, but his eyes glimmered pity.

Lyon: Stop! It happened once, it wont happen again. Cut your shit.

Kevin: That's not what you said last night.

Lyon grabbed his pillow and smacked Kevin on the face with it. Kevin fell on his bed, laughing and grimacing in pain at the same time.

Lyon: Again, it was a mistake, twice is more than enough for me to learn. So cut your shit.

Kevin laughed a while longer as Lyon sat to do homework. The last month had been pretty hectic and tense in their dorm. Since the night when He had kissed Lyon, Kevin had fallen into a manic depressive state and he was constantly skipping class, going out late at night and returning in the morning, or not returning at all. Lyon had followed him more than once and confronted him at least half of the times when he came back to the dorm. He had no idea how to deal with Kevin, and he was worried. Apparently, that fateful night at the Dome had derailed Kevin completely.

Lyon knew what Kevin was doing, it was what he had feared after he had "rejected" his affection so abruptly and aggressively. He had found it ironic. Him, maybe the one who could've understood the most, had reacted so defensively towards Kevin's advance. Yet, he felt it was also something Kevin had to figure out for himself… he had to find himself. Unfortunately, casual sex with both men and women had been Kevin's reaction toward his existential crisis and isolating himself, using him as a shield from both teachers and others. He had always been the kind of friend who'd be loyal to the end, but his temper was starting to wear thin. Lyon had to deal with Kevin's scholar responsibilities and his own… which had him always on edge and stressed. Maybe that was why last night he had succumbed to Kevin's flirting.

As Lyon tried to study, the image of his and Kevin's sweating bodies, entangled in rough, carnal and lustful sex burned in his memory. He remembered the pure bliss of ecstasy, the coarse feel of his hands, the way his back arched with… he tried to shake it off. Lyon sighed out of stress and got up from his seat.

Lyon: I'm going out, see you later. DON'T… do anything stupid.

Kevin: You mean more than usual?

Lyon looked back into their dorm, Kevin sat on his desk, with no clothes on, his fit, muscular and manly body glistening. He couldn't understand how he could've abandoned himself to such an extent… and he felt tired.

Lyon: More than you already are.

Kevin: Dick!

The boys laughed, it relieved Lyon a bit…he exited the door and strolled aimlessly through campus, tears running down his cheeks.

Kevin ate silently in their dorm, sitting in his desk watching his computer. He felt sad, alone, abandoned, and his mind revolved with the eternal question "Who am I?". It had been haunting him since that day of the Dome. It haunted him every day, every hour, every second. He had studied for Midterms thanks to Edd, so he managed to pass his classes, but he hadn't touched a book or notebook in quite some time. He hadn't talked to anyone other than Lyon either. Kevin checked his cellphone, no messages. He opened it, opened the message app and looked at the screen. Right at the top he had Lyon, who he always talked too, and below him was Edd. Kevin clicked on Edd and saw his last attempt was still typed in the space next to the "SEND" button. He had written the message the day after the Dome, but he couldn't find the will to send it. Over the days, he would do the same thing twice a day: open the cellphone, check for messages, find nothing and look at the last message he typed.

Kevin- Edd: Hey, Double D, how have you been?

Kevin felt stupid as he closed the phone once again, indecisive on what to write. Yet again, he had no idea what he wanted to write. His mind felt like it was going to break apart, he felt miserable… he felt… he needed Edd. Kevin remembered his father, he remembered what it felt living in his house… he feared those memories. Kevin stood up from his seat and walked over to his mirror, examining his naked body. He thought of the last weeks… he had been having sex like a mad man. He had black circles under his eyes, he looked thinner than usual, and his skin was pale. He looked sick. Kevin sighed and frowned looking at his deteriorated state, he sat back at his computer and decide to open a tab he had been looking at lately… US Army.

Kevin: What am I doing?

As Kevin looked at the screen, he closed his eyes and leaned back on his chair. A strong vibration on his right pocket almost made him tip his chair, falling backwards. After his little heart attack subsided, he quickly got his phone out. His screen shined with a single message, Edd had written back to him.

Edd-Kevin: Good Afternoon Kevin. It's been a while since I last heard from you. You ok? When can I see you again?

Kevin smiled as he read the message, he felt energized…relieved even. Reading the message again, he noticed he had been worried Edd would be mad at him. He wanted to see him. He wasn't upset. As Kevin looked back at the mirror, he frowned again before typing back.

Kevin- Edd: Well in less than a week it'll be Thanksgiving…you going back Home?

Kevin got up, he felt an enormous need to do exercise, to play basketball, to run, to get mad, and laugh. As he started getting dressed- not bothering to shower- he noticed his phone hadn't rung again. As he walked up to it on his desk, it blinked again.

Edd-Kevin: Yeah, think so. I just need to talk with some people before leaving. When are you leaving?

Kevin smiled, and answered the text after writing a quick note and leaving it on Lyon's desk.

Kevin-Edd: I'm leaving the 24th, Friday. Hope to see you too.

As Kevin exited his dorms, he received a message again, a frown swept through his face and he clenched his water bottle tightly.

Edd-Kevin: I'm leaving the 26th, need to talk with Marie first and help her with some stuff; she might be coming. I think this will be the first time the Cul will be reunited :D.

Kevin didn't change his mind, he walked straight to the campus gym, but he didn't answer back. As he walked down the campus' lawns, shining orange from fall and the sunset, a cold breeze lifting some leaves from the ground, he pulled his cellphone once again.

Kevin-Lyon: What are you doing for Thanksgiving Vacation?

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