Who We Are: College

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Kevin walked into his house, his mind racing on the recent events. He had kissed Double D, the dork he had bullied for most of their school years, the nerd he cheated off of and used, his tutor, his barista…was he using "his"? Kevin shook his head as he walked through the living room of his house, coming back to his senses when the door closed behind him…he had forgotten to close it.

Lyon: Yo, Kevin, so… how was it? Did you try something?

Kevin still couldn't concentrate. His gaze was absent as he lifted a hand to his lips.

Kevin: Yeah… something…

A look of confusion on his face, Kevin kept walking up to his room. Lyon followed him with a questioning look across his face too.

Lyon: That's it?!

Kevin couldn't hear him. His lips felt warm, soft, he could still savor it. He couldn't help himself… he wanted… more? More…why more? Kevin thought back on the moment, Lyon's voice a far murmur in some other place, world, dimension. The moment their lips had met he had felt a warmth sweep his body… as if the cold air could no longer touch them. They were soft lips, moist and tender, surely he used lip balm contrary to his chapped, rough and dry lips. There had been no tongue…did he want there to be? Kevin chuckled at the last as he kept a finger on his lower lip. The kiss had been deep though…surreal. He had closed his eyes, his mind had gone blank at that moment… an eternal and perfect silence. Kevin thought back on the tension he felt, of grabbing him, holding him, their breathing had been even… synchronized. Why?

Kevin put his finger down as he thought of the last. Why? Why did he do it? Peer pressure? Curiosity? Why would he be curious of kissing another man? Did he have a "condition"? His mother's voice rang through his head, his father's image: manly, burly with a deep tone crossed his mind. Kevin quickly felt anger rising in him. To himself? Towards his family? No…or yes? His mind tore itself, questions, doubts, fears, past, present, desire, all mixed into one. Noise, chaos, crashing ideas, colliding ideals, need, want, desire, expectations.

Lyon: Kevin.

With the pressure of Lyon's grasp on his shoulder, Kevin came back to his senses, a deranged look on his face. He was unaware he had ignored Lyon for at least 30 minutes, that he had stood before his door for 30 minutes his hand on the handle and yet he had just stood still, touching his lips.

Lyon: You kissed him.

Lyon's voice was soft, warm, excited like he was about to squeal. Lyon had said the last in a very low tone, almost a whisper. A sudden moment of realization, of absolute hope. Lyon smiled, widely, his eyes simply looking at Kevin, wanting him to spill all the gossip.

Lyon: You did… didn't you?

Kevin's gaze focused on Lyon and his deranged, confused and absent eyes turned to anger. He opened his door.

Lyon: Come on… spill it out. I want to know everything!

Kevin: It was nothing.

Lyon: Bullshit! You liked it, you stood on that door for 30….

Kevin: It's nothing.

Lyon: ... minutes. You were thinking of him, riiiiight?

Lyon's tone was a bit teasing, urging Kevin to talk.

Kevin: It didn't mean anything.

Lyon: Wow, must've been real special huh? What did you feel? Tell me, come on, please?

Lyon had ignored Kevin's words, he was quickly annoying him. Kevin's body tensed up as Lyon kept talking, asking, poking at the subject. He wanted silence, he wanted everything to shut up… he was angry.

Lyon: Was it romantic? French? Peck? A lil, tooongue?

Kevin reacted and lunged himself at Lyon, his hands grabbing his neck.

Kevin: Shut up!

Lyon: Ack- Wha the…

Kevin's eyes were bewildered as he choked Lyon. Lyon quickly punched him in the ribs, making Kevin bend over in pain and allowing him to roll away. Kevin persisted though, as he tried once again to get on top of Lyon. Lyon defended himself, dodging punches, locking his legs around Kevin's waist applying pressure. Kevin grunted. They stumbled, switching positions of who was on top, who was attacking and who was defending. Kevin socked Lyon right across the face, making a clean cut beside his right eye, but his punch made him lose his balance and Lyon locked his arm and grabbed Kevin's neck with his other hand.

Mrs. Barbs: BOYS!

Both of them lay on the ground, breathing heavily as they looked at Kevin's mother standing on the doorway. Lyon had his shirt half lifted, his legs wrapped around Kevin's hips, Kevin had a cut on his lip, Lyon's hand on his neck. They were close, joint by the pelvis as they lay there, just looking back.

Mrs. Barbs: Is… everything alright?

Kevin looked down at Lyon and quickly got up, pushing Lyon down who gave a grunt.

Kevin: Yeah, we're fine mom.

Kevin extended a hand to Lyon to get him up, Lyon took it.

Lyon: Sorry for the noise Mrs. Barbs.

Mrs. Barbs: O-Ok. It's…late. You should both go to bed… to your own beds.

Kevin's mom closed the door slowly, looking from one to the other before closing the door, slowly.

Lyon: I get it.

Kevin: What?

Lyon walked to Kevin's bathroom and turned on the light, he was bleeding from the fresh cut, a purplish mark quickly surrounding it, but there was little swelling… that was good. Lyon opened the faucet and washed his face.

Kevin: What?!

Lyon finished drying his face, being careful not to stain Kevin's towels with his blood. He threw the towel at Kevin's face. It stuck, making Kevin take it off with anger.

Lyon: Asshole.

Kevin: Me?

Lyon: Yes, you dumb fuck.

Lyon was angry as he tended his wound with some tissues and the bottle of alcohol Kevin had in his medicine cabinet.

Lyon: You're pathetic. Choosing appearances and being all "macho" just to make your parents happy.

Kevin scoffed and left the doorway of his bathroom.

Lyon: NO, you're not leaving!

Lyon followed Kevin who let himself collapse unto his bed.

Lyon: You were having sex with guys and girls left and right for 2 fucking weeks. You had sex with me, dammit! What? You were just curious? That excuse only works the first time!

Kevin grabbed a pillow and covered his face. Lyon scoffs.

Lyon: Think I don't know how your parents look at me? Like a disease? A leprous? You afraid of them looking at you that way?

Kevin turned to lay on his side.

Lyon: What are you afraid of? Being gay? Being called a fag?

Kevin didn't answer, Lyon approached him, almost hissing to him.

Lyon: Gay. You fucking fag. You little pussy. Fucking homo. You disgust me, you're not a man. You're a disgrace. Cock-sucking piece of…

Kevin bolted up, choking Lyon again as he pushed him all the way up against the door. Lyon began choking for real as Kevin lifted him up, pinned against the door.

Kevin: SHUT UP! Shut up.

Tears streamed down Kevin's cheek as his strength faded away and Lyon collapsed to the ground as Kevin collapsed to his knees before him. Lyon gasped for air desperately, a hand on his neck.

Lyon: Fuck man.

His voice was coarse and hurt. He swallowed hard.

Lyon: Ok, got it, never get you really pissed off.

He chuckled, grimacing at the strain it placed on his throat. He coughed.

Kevin: Yes… I'm afraid.

Kevin wiped his tears, his head bowed down, looking at the floor. His anger, his energy, gone. He felt lost once again. Lyon massaged his own neck as he looked at his friend before him.

Lyon: Aren't we all?

Edd woke up with a jolt making Marie wake up just as scared, both naked under the bed sheets. His head throbbed, his heart raced, cold sweat running down his body making him arch his back as a cold drop dripped down. Marie, still half asleep covered her bare chest with the sheets, looking confusingly at the basement, lit by the morning light. She was still half asleep but seeing everything perfectly ok, she looked at Edd. He was panting, his eyes wide. Nightmares? Marie smiled dearly as she scooted to him and hugged him from behind, letting go of the bed sheet covering her. She kissed his back, his skin bitter cold.

Marie: You're cold.

Her voice a loving whisper.

Edd: A good observation.

He swallowed hard, massaging his neck as he continued to pant.

Edd: Good morning Marie.

Marie: Bad dreams?

Edd: Night terrors would be the adequate label for this phenomenon. Must be something I ingested or…

Marie: English, Double D.

Edd sighs, and smiles. He straightens the beanie on his head.

Edd: It was just a bad dream… maybe something I ate.

Marie: Feeling better?

Marie moves her hands to his bare chest, his body shivers as her fingers pass over his nipples.

Edd: Marie!

Edd chuckles and turns to look at Marie.

Edd: It's early and we are leaving tomorrow.

Marie pouts.

Marie: But, last night we finally did it.

Edd: You were keeping track?

Marie: Maybe.

They both laugh as Edd kisses her once again, his memory fuzzing over the events of last night. He remembered seeing Kevin leave, being left with Marie in his home. The house had been empty, quiet and reasonably clean for the party that had taken place.

He remembered… remembered… what did he remember? He remembered seeing Kevin leave. Confusion… internal quarrel… his feelings and mind tearing at each other, attacking each other. He remembered… Marie. Marie, always by his side…asking him if he was ok. He remembered Marie always being there… his partner… his best friend… his lover. He remembered himself, kissing her… his emotions unbound, his lust taking over his rationale and logical, scientific mind. His mind that debated over his emotions and inability to correspond to her love. He remembered having sex with her, how their bodies connected and… finally, his emotions were the same as hers. He remembered wanting him. He remembered…wanting… him… him… HIM?!

Marie: Eddward?!

Edd gasped, panting, his hands shacking, sweating cold. He looked at Marie, combing his shaggy, soft and untamed hair…her eyes showing absolute terror.

Marie: Are you ok?!

Marie hugged Edd, tightly. Edd… felt safe. He hugged her back…and closed his eyes as a couple tears trickled down his cheeks. A pit in his chest.

Marie: Edd… what's wrong?

Edd: I-I don't know.

Marie: I'm here… I'm here Double D.

Edd: I know. I think… I think it's just… I don't know.

Marie: Sometimes the unknown is good. Don't you agree?

Marie lifted Edd's face so he'd look at her.

Marie: My mad scientist.

Edd giggled, girlishly, honestly and looked up at Marie with her dear puppy eyes.

Edd: I don't think I am anywhere near being a mad scientist. My motifs and investigations are oriented to the understanding of the human mind… not the control of it.

Marie pushes Edd over, making him fall on his back on the bed.

Marie: You really take the fun out of things.

Edd: Sorry.

They both laugh as Marie rests her head on his chest, kissing it tenderly as she closed her eyes once more.

Edd: Marieee, we need to get up.

His voice had a palpable laziness to it, but also a very clear sense of duty and responsibility. Marie simply grunted and refused to move. Edd chuckled and caressed her head.

Edd: Let me guess… 5 minutes?

Marie: 5 more minutes.

Her voice was a slur of words and they both giggled and chuckled.

Nazz burped loudly, covering her mouth quickly as she gagged a bit. Eddy extended her a plastic bag, which she refused with a firm hand and swallowed hard, grimacing. Eddy laughed out loud as he watched his girlfriend go through the hangover. Dark shades, her golden hair messy, frizzed up, but washed; her attire slightly out of order as she wore a white thick coat over a red sweater and a blue turtle neck long sleeved shirt underneath. Sweats covered her legs and a pair of soft furry boots her feet. She was dead serious and her face seemed more disgruntled and resentful than anything else. Eddy, however, glowed for the both of them. He had a grin stretch up to his ear. As Nazz suffered, Eddy joked and cheered everyone up, hugging her and comforting her lovingly. Nazz smiled…a small and tender smile with each demonstration of affection.

Once again, as the gang had gotten used to by now, they had to wait for Marie to walk down. This time, however, Edd didn't call her to hurry her up. Between Nazz's state, Eddy's teasing, Lyon's wittiness, Sarah, Jimmy and Johnny, everyone was just having a good time talking about old memories and last night. Nazz blushed crimson when she admitted she had little memories about last night and Eddy was quick to blurt out how HE was sure she remembered the best part of last night. As everyone laughed Eddy got a clean punch on his shoulder… but Nazz soon kissed him on the lips, making everyone whistle and smile. They were one genuine couple.

When Marie walked down, elegant, chic and fashionable as usual, Eddy explained what the plan of the day was. A picnic lunch at the creek they had all once swam in and played in when they were kids. Everyone was invited and, though not everyone was there, apparently everyone was going. It wasn't strange since Eddy and Kevin had a car, Rolf had his truck, Ed basically lived with May and Lee… and they had Lee's car. Basically, they were just distributing seats. Johnny glanced once from Edd and Marie to Eddy and Nazz and quickly opted to meet everyone at the creek with Rolf. Sarah, with warm wine red legging, black loose skirt, turtle-necked long sleeved shirt that matched her leggings, black scarf and black vest, with a red French beanie, quickly followed him… dragging Jimmy (protesting) with them, begging Lyon to take him. Lyon laughed and waved, simply parting ways and walked over to Kevin's to "wake up the sleeping beauty." Everyone laughed.

As Sarah and Johnny walked away towards Rolf's with Jimmy, and Lyon was almost at Kevin's, the rest laughed and got into Eddy's car. As Nazz refused to take the copilot seat, it was decided that Edd would be copilot and the girls would hang back. As Eddy drove calmly down the road, towards the new "Kanker" House (which made Marie swat the back of his head)- where they'd all walk to the creek- they all enjoyed the fresh air, away from school life. The girls giggled and gossiped in the back seat, Eddy played around with the radio- tuning in into songs which were either popular or brought back old memories from the past- and Edd pondered on how fortunate they all were. They were together… the Cul was reunited… they were all grown up. They had changed, matured, developed, made their own lives… the beauty of life. Yet, Edd wondered… what made us (humans) act as we do. Biology or Society… the eternal debate… either, or. Yet… he wondered… what if… Society wasn't one thing… but many.

Lyon: Come on pumpkin. GET UP!

Lyon removed with a single fluid motion the bed cover off Kevin's body, revealing a sleeping Kevin in boxers. Kevin cringed and curled up in protest, grimacing.

Kevin: I'm gonna beat the shit out of you!

Lyon: You need to get up for that.

Kevin's hands tapped everywhere trying to find his covers, failing every time. He finally opened his bloodshot eyes and glared viciously at Lyon. Lyon stood his ground and smirked at him.

Lyon: Last day.

Kevin: Of what?

Lyon: Vacation you dumb shit. We need to go back tomorrow or you'll miss classes again.

Kevin let himself fall on his pillow again, hugging his body.

Kevin: I don't miss classes.

Lyon: What about 3 weeks ago when you said you "felt bad"?

Kevin: Medical excuses are valid.

Lyon: You never even got a Medical Permit. And… was 2 weeks ago when I had to walk girls out of our room, also medical conditions?

Kevin: I made it to class every time.

Lyon: at 12pm.

Kevin: Morning classes got cancelled?

Lyon: Before finals?

Kevin got off his bed, slouching and glaring at Lyon.

Kevin: I'm up! I'm up!

Lyon: Good, we're going to the creek.

Kevin: Says fucking who?

Lyon: Double D.

Kevin's eyes opened up in absolute surprise as her heard the words. He got up and looked at Lyon.

Kevin: What?!

Lyon: As goodbye, Double D arranged we'd go to the creek and have a final picnic. Kinda cute don't you think?

Kevin bowed his head as he opened his closet doors, he smiled.

Kevin: That doofus sure likes making plans. He thinks of everything.

Lyon: Sounds like you're praising him.

Lyon smirked as he sat on the edge of Kevin's bed.

Kevin: So?

Lyon: My, my, my!

Lyon's eyes glistened and beamed with interest as he watched Kevin carefully pick his attire and move towards his bathroom.

Lyon: Someone is motivated today!

Kevin: Shut up!

Kevin slammed the door behind him, Lyon let himself fall on Kevin's bed, smiling from ear to ear.

Lyon: Finally.

He mumbled to himself as he moved his arms behind his head.

May: Marie!

Two girlish squeals, followed by a very affectionate hug between sisters signaled their arrival to the Kanker's House. Despite the car barely parking, Marie had jumped out of the car and dashed to embrace her sister. Edd didn't mind, nor did Eddy, but the ever matronly voice of Lee bellowed from the House's doorway as she made both girls shut up. Despite her strict and bossy demeanor, the atmosphere was soon filled with chatter and laughter as Eddy, Nazz, Ed and Double D joined the scene. Despite seeing each other 3 days in a row, the girls couldn't get enough of talking and gossiping: work, school, guys, girls, classmates, colleges, etc. On the other hand, the boys discussed more about their lives, the future and what Ed's marriage to May signaled and meant to them. This was a topic everyone soon dived into as Marie didn't oppose the concept of marrying Double D, while Nazz squealed and blushed heavily as they teased her with marrying Eddy soon (it didn't help he laughed it off).

Soon, everyone found themselves going into the house and moving picnic baskets and blankets outside. As expected from Chef May, she had prepared meals for everybody since…morning. Neither Lee nor Ed gave details but Ed was dozing off constantly and Lee had a rather cranky attitude and dark circles under her eyes. May, peppy and energetic as usual, seemed to be the only one with all the high spirits the occasion asked for.

Rolf was the next to arrive in his truck, carrying Johnny and Sarah in the pickup grill. A rather amusing scene as Rolf had opted for his once famous work overalls and straw hat… he was wearing work boots this time though. The fact that Sarah, dressed so properly and elegantly, had rode in the grill made their arrival even more amusing as a rather red French beanie was on the border of flying away, held firmly by a feminine hand. It pulled attention towards Sarah, who was having difficulty not being blown away herself. If it wasn't for Johnny holding her, Sarah might not have arrived at all… which caused a bit of teasing and for Sarah to blush crimson while glaring with her once childhood rage at all of them. No one wished to summon a demon.

The topic quickly turned to Jimmy as Edd, Marie, Nazz and Eddy pointed out that he had been taken by Sarah and Johnny. With a shrug, Sarah and Johnny explained how he had jumped off and ran away to Lyon and Kevin. Sarah clung a bit to Johnny's strong arms throughout the explanation, explaining why Jimmy was rather unwilling in tagging along. Their laughter was cut short as a new car pulled into the street and stopped slightly before the house. Rather playful laughter and the blare of very pop music came out of the car as the doors opened and 3 individuals came out.

Kevin: Someone get these faggots away from me! I swear, if I hear one more Britney song!

Everyone laughed and horsed around a bit as Jimmy, under Lyon's arm, Lyon and Kevin joined the group. With a bit of laughter and small talk, everyone soon started moving out to the creek. The boys carried the baskets as the girls took the blankets. It was quite the excursion, but everyone laughed and enjoyed themselves. Rolf was nagged a lot by May as he juggled his and Jimmy's basket the whole way, Ed containing his little monster with one arm as he carried a basket on the other. Eddy was teased a lot since he carried both a blanket and basket, Nazz giggled at the teasing but rewarded him with sweet kisses. Edd and Marie were the dynamic duo as they mingled, mostly Marie.

It was a perfect day, the sun shined bright and warm as the cold air dropped the temperature. Everyone laughed, everyone smiled. Edd felt completely satisfied, yet… though Marie kissed his cheek every once in a while… his mind was somewhere else. His gaze was focused on the ginger that walked among them. Snotty, sarcastic and witty… he was always abrasive and harsh… but they all loved him. To Edd, Kevin was a mystery… his mind dwelled on last night once again. To him… his rough demeanor and abrasive personality were just a facade for his warm heart. It was… rather… charming. Edd smiled at the thought, the world drifting away as Kevin turned to look at him, smiling.

Time and space melted away. Their eyes penetrating deep into each other, shining light into the deepest corners. Edd felt small and weak compared to the strong and sure man he looked at. He blushed and smiled girlishly, passing a single hand by his hair, pushing a strand of hair back before he dropped his gaze and the world came back. He looked back at Kevin, only to find his back… the moment had passed.

Marie: What you thinking?

Edd: Uh? Nothing… nothing at all… just…. how beautiful today is.

Marie smiled and kissed him softly on the lips. Edd felt that hollow sensation once again. He couldn't correspond… again. Yet, he had corresponded the feelings last night… right?

The day had gone by in a breeze. The "small" creek they had grown up with had grown with them, becoming deeper and wider… becoming a river. It was funny and interesting for them, how things changed… and others don't. Rolf, disapproving of eating premade food when nature surrounded them, went knee deep into the river to catch fish barehanded. Johnny and Lyon opted to create fishing canes and joined in on the fishing. It was fun to watch the boys do their best in "catching their meal", Kevin and Lee sending snotty comments at them. Surprisingly, and ironically, Rolf managed to catch 6 fish... it baffled everyone. Still, with jokes and laughs, the day moved forward and they all shared May's simple yet divine sandwiches. As night crept up on them, Lyon, Johnny and Rolf implored that they stay and make a bonfire. There was little protest since the idea seemed perfect… and everyone wanted to taste the fish caught by the boys (Rolf).

To no surprise, the Kankers knew how to light a fire… the group was divided. The girls stayed back, organizing and waiting for the wood; the boys were sent hunting for wood. It was a solid plan, Edd even mapped a collection route, a star shaped trajectory each boy would take and circle so no one would get lost in the dark woods. With contingency plans and even Edd explaining a bit on the fauna of the area, they set off. Edd was last to leave as he distributed every of the boy's route. As he set out on his own he noticed his route was beside Kevin's… coincidence? He had never believed in coincidences…had he… subconsciously… arranged it that way? The woods was dark… he had to focus or…

He was lost.

Edd gathered wood slowly and carefully, he breathed steadily and deeply. He had been distracted… did he make a wrong turn? He created the plan… he did not need to worry… he had to stay in the same area. He breathed in once again… his body was shaking. Was it the weight of the pack of twigs and wood he had been recollecting to not think on the problem? Was it fear? Edd thought of his plan… he was sure of it… he just had to wait. Besides… it was too soon to call him lost. Edd yelped, tripping as his foot got caught by a tree root and fell back to the ground as he heard a loud snap coming from the woods. He wasn't hurt… his ankle hurt though. A bear? A stag? There were many species of birds in the area, very little of mammals… the bear was the only dangerous one. A second snap sent his heart racing… it was closer. As he heard the sound of bushes, his paranoia taking over, adrenaline filling his blood stream, his breathing became erratic and terrified. Edd froze. A dark figure came from behind some bushes, Edd closed his eyes and clenched his mouth.

Kevin: HOO HOO!

Though it was very coarse and done poorly, it was the safe way they had all agreed to check if they were near someone.


Edd slowly opened his eyes and saw the figure walk quickly toward him, a pack of stick under his arm.

Kevin: Double D?!

His voice showed clear distress and worry.

Kevin: You ok? You hurt?

Edd: Y-yeah…just sprained my ankle, nothing serious.

Kevin: Fuck man, you had me worried there.

Kevin quickly took the twigs from Edd's arms and threw them aside. He tapped his body and immediately moved down, checking him.

Edd: K-Kevin.

Kevin: You're ok…thank god.

Edd: I told you, silly.

Edd giggled and stood up a bit, pulling his right leg closer to check his ankle… it hurt. Kevin breathed heavily and hugged Edd. He quickly sat next to him, an arm under Edd's shoulder.

Kevin: Think you can stand?

Edd: Let me…OW!

Edd tried to get up, but the moment he moved his weight to his ankle a sharp pain swept him. He collapsed back down, held up by Kevin.

Kevin: You're like a feather.

Edd blushed, the darkness concealing it, as Kevin laughed. Kevin moved to his other side and placed Edd's arm around his neck.

Kevin: Let's try again.

Edd slowly got up, moving his weight on Kevin, supporting himself. He managed to stand up. Edd smiled and looked up at Kevin, their eyes meeting once again. Kevin's strong body was close to his fragile frame, his eyes glistening in the darkness, completely focused on him. Edd felt his heart skip a beat, his breathing becoming heavy… it was hard to breath.

Kevin: H-hey…

Edd: Yeah…

Kevin: Think you can walk?

Their voices were whispers, warm and close. Edd slowly took a step, he grimaced a bit but managed it.

Kevin: I got you.

Edd: Yeah… thanks.

They looked at each other, once again. The sky was filled with stars, the nebula and miky way clearly visible. Edd lifted his gaze, trying to escape Kevin's gaze… he was marveled by the sky. They were so small, the vastness of the universe above them. They were a speck… space dust… and yet… together. Together? Edd smiled and shook his head at the foolish thought.

Kevin: Beautiful, right?

Edd quickly turned to look at Kevin with surprised, wide and glistening eyes. Kevin was looking up at the sky, holding Edd between his arms. When had he moved? Why did he not notice it? Why did… why did he feel so safe? Edd couldn't get his eyes off Kevin, his free hand on Kevin's chest.

Edd: It is.

Kevin slowly moved his head back to look at Edd. Edd's heart raced and he gasped… girlishly as he couldn't look away… the world moving slowly, time stopping. Their eyes slowly met, glistening, reflecting each other like mirrors. Their breathing matching each other. Edd's mind went blank… a single word repeating itself… the last grasp of his rational mind… it said… "THIS".

Kevin: W-we…

Edd had his mouth slightly open, ajar… he gasped at Kevin's voice.

Edd: Yes?

Kevin: W-we should...

Edd's heart pounded, his mind going fuzzy.

Kevin: Go back.

Edd blinked rapidly, his rational mind returning more and more with each blink. He slowly calmed down, his logic and rational mind quickly addressing their peril and the sooner they got to the camp, the sooner his injury would be tended.

Edd: Your observation is correct. It is of utmost urgency that we make it back, we mustn't make the others worry. Which direction did you come from?

Kevin smiled and pointed at the bushes he had come through.

Edd: Very well, we used a circular pattern with a star-shape distribution of routes, so…

Edd closed his eyes, his mind focusing on the scientifical and geometrical equations on how far they were and the direction they had to take.

Edd: That way!

Edd pointed at a tree that stood at the right of the bush Kevin had taken, it was just slightly off from Kevin's direction… but he was sure.

Kevin: OK… let's go.

Kevin held Edd up with one hand as he crouched to grab his pack of twigs. He placed them under his arm and placed his free arm under Edd's shoulder, lifting him slightly. Edd looked at him questioningly but smiling.

Kevin: What! We can't go empty handed.

They laughed and slowly walked back. A couple of minutes later, they saw the fire of the bonfire that had taken form. It raged tall and bright, the other boys had carried from twigs, to sticks to logs. Edd smiled and covered his eyes from the intense light as he and Kevin walked into the camp. Between cheers and cries of concern, everyone rushed to them. Edd blushed and calmed everyone down as he was seated near the fire and Marie carefully bandaged his ankle. She seemed deeply worried and hugged and kissed him profusely when he said he felt better. He smiled and calmed her, comforting her as she hugged him. As Edd held her, stroking her hair, he reassured her he was ok. Her love for him was palpable, crystal clear…and yet… he couldn't feel the same.

As the bonfire lit the clearing, fishes on sticks being cooked, everyone's faces showing clear happiness, Edd smiled. It was an amazing night… they laughed, they ate, they were the Cul. As it became late, and it was time to leave, Edd watched the slowly dying fire, its dying light illuminating their activities in cleaning the place up… and two green eyes looking at him, with a perfectly white smile… a smirk actually. His heart skipped a bit once again. "Kevin", his mind said it again… "Kevin"… was he this person? This person who thought about boys? About this one ginger boy who had tortured him all his life? Who was he? Or… did the circumstances define us this much?

The circumstances? His mind jumped to Lewin's equation of psychology… he thought about it hard… he knew it by heart:

B= f(P,E)

It seemed… incomplete. Doubt… uncertainty… he was doubting one of history's greatest scientist in the field… or was he doubting more?

Marie: Edd? Darling?

Marie passed a hand on Edd's cheeks, making him turn to look at her, his eyes surprised but warm.

Edd: Sorry.

Marie: Thinking again?

Edd nods once as he sighs. Marie giggles and quickly kisses his lips, resting her head on his chest afterwards.

Marie: You've been thinking too much lately.

Edd: Yeah… just… I think I might just found a new focus for my… experiments?

Marie: Finally found how to make mind control a possibility?

Edd: Marie!

They both giggled as Edd wrapped his arms around her, good thing plane seats could have the middle arm rests lifted. The bonfire had been yesterday and little had happened afterwards. Everyone had taken their own way and gone back home, tired but completely happy. However, Edd caught little sleep as his mind stormed with doubt. Doubt about the equation… about himself… his feelings…. and more. Blurry images and words he just couldn't make out. Thankfully, Marie had been there…soothing him, empowering him with warm words. Now… they were going back, back to finals, to college. Edd felt eager to go back… to study and learn and investigate… but he was also afraid. He was afraid of being alone with Marie… of facing his feelings. Were they going too fast? Doubt… why was he doubting so much?

Marie: Hey… how about we cook something when we get home? Some wine, maybe a movie…

Edd: I was thinking of going to my lab. There are some variables and experiments I'd like to develop over a new hypothesis that's… tormenting me… a new possibility… an overlooked detail.

Marie placed a finger over his lips.

Marie: You're ranting.

She kissed him.

Marie: You're so hot when you do that.

She kissed him more passionately.

Edd: Marie… Marie… we're not alone.

Edd moaned softly as Marie kissed his neck. She looked at him with a pout and rested her head on his chest again. Edd smiled and caressed her head, softly and slowly.

Edd: What's wrong?

Marie: I'm tired… someone kept me up all night.

Edd chuckled.

Edd: Will you hover this over my head?

Marie: Maybe…

Edd kissed her this time, laughing as the speakers of the plane chimed, followed by the stewardess's voice. As the plane began to slowly accelerate and move towards the runway, Edd closed his eyes. He was tired, he was warm, he had Marie… what did that even mean? To have someone… to love someone… to be in love? Doubt… a ceaseless storm in his head.

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Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.