The day went by rather... quickly. Or so it felt to Edd, whom had spaced out on most of the events. It wasn't that he wasn't interested in the business idea of his friends, of the family that was developing before him. He just... had his mind elsewhere.
Kevin: You sure you're ok?
Kevin placed a hand on Edd's shoulder who gasped softly at the touch but almost immediately smiled.
Edd: I'm fine... thank you.
Eddy: So! What do you think?!
Marie: Place'll need a shit ton of remodelling... it's... a shithole.
Lyon: Now, now, love...
He'd kiss her cheek.
Lyon: This is a blank slate... an empty canvas. We could shape it as we wish. Besides... we're all pitching in.
Lee: I like him, Marie. A strong man with a right head... you seem to have already thought this out.
Lyon: A vision... should we call it. I can definetly see this place working out.
Eddy would place his hand on Lyon's back.
Eddy: You got a good eye for business.
Lyon: More like... i know what this opportunity means... and... i'm willing to sacrifice for it to work.
Lee: Oi oi, Marie if you let him go, i'm fetching him for myself.
Marie: SHUT UP! FUCK YOU LEE!
As a sisterly...brawl... Kanker style... with actual punches and kicks starts to break out Edd and Kevin chuckle as they walked over some wooden blanks, mossy drywall pieces and electronic appliances. The place was an absolute disaster. The "Great Business Opportunity" Eddy had sold to them was... pretty much a display of his abilities. The place was no where near what he promised would be, nor the costs expected. Expenses wouldn't soar... but they sure had to rethink what they'd have to do with the place. Yet... no one seemed dissuaded nor chest fallen.
It was... actually, a fresh start.
The thunderous voice was always a surprise from the short girl. She combed her short hair back with sigh as the Kanker sisters dusted themselves off and simply grinned at each other.
May: I actually like it.
Everybody's head swerved to look at the petite blonde Kanker sister, held between a giant's arms. She slowly moved foward, leaving his safety, a big smile on her face. She seemed to be envisioning something... a bright future. Tugging him slightly, Ed followed a wide and pure smile on his face. However, his was not because he shared May's vision, his was because he was seeing her happy. Such a kind hearted giant.
She squeaks turning around and tugging him closer and pointing out an area around them, square, long and seeming to be quite magnanimous.
May: The Kitchen would go in this area and that area would be for the customers! Over there would be our stock...
She rambled, on and on as Ed heard her out and even inquired about some stuff like "what was liquid nitrogen again?" or "Why 3 bakery ovens?" or simply saying "I love you". Heart warming would be the ideal word and it actually brought a sigh about everybody.
Lee: It's settled then.
Eddy: Carved in stone.
Marie: If it's what she wants...
Lyon: I think it's what we all want...
They all smile as they look at each other. He was right. The energy May gave off and the couple she and Ed made brought around a peculiar sense of security, of certainty... it convinced them of this ambitious idea of a business. Lyon took out his cellphone and (kissing Marie on the cheek) moved away.
Lyon: I'll start pulling strings and calling contractors.
Eddy and Lee: Or favors...
The two stared at each other, cellphones in hand and giggled, causing Nazz to rustle a bit and quickly cling to his arm with a pout. A solid giggle swept the group.
Kevin: It's so weird...
Edd: What is?
Kevin: This's happening...
Edd: Yeah... it's... baffling yet, i am actually quite happy for them and... to be part of this grand experience.
Kevin stared at them. Busy, happy, excited... passionate. He felt... out of place... a sensation that had crept on him for a long while by now. Different. Abnormal. He took a deep breath and felt warmth wrap around his mid section. But why there?
Edd tightened his hug a bit, bringing a low grunt from Kevin who chuckled noticing him.
Kevin: What ar...?!
Edd: You are also part of this.
Kevin: What? No... this is... you guy's...
Edd: No... no.
He hushed him with a finger on the lips.
Edd: I am going to help out by giving my services... and YOU...
Edd: Are going to help us run this consultation side. That means, you will need to keep me and other psychiatrists working properly and orderly.
Kevin: That's not a job.
Edd: It's what you're studying... optimizing people's abilities.
Kevin: Anyone can do...
Edd: Then you can do it.
Kevin: Stop... using my ideas against me.
Edd: Stop trying to runaway from this.
He tightened his hug a bit more, causing Kevin to grunt.
Edd: I am not letting you sulk nor wander around like you usually do when you're upset. We will work this together, and do THIS together.
He spread his arms to the vast area before them, as a part of the cieling caved in. Squeals, a girlish scream and a cloud of dust swept the area and a grey Edd, covered in soot now stood before Kevin, coughing. They were all now covered in dust. Laughter rose, an honest laugh... one of family. Kevin could only marvel... of his Edd, of this family... his second family... or maybe his first. Happyness... fleeting... yet, he could almost feel it between his fingers.
Edd exclaimed as Kevin began to dust him off with his hands, making the other boy blush and squeak in surprise.
The trip back was noisy... again. Kevin and Eddy couldn't stop quarreling if placed in the same room. Making them pilot and copilot only made things seem as if someone threw a match into a barrel of gasoline... and that was Nazz. Lazying in the backseat with Edd, gossiping, girl talking and laughing at the two boys in front... she was quite the personality. She always had been. But, she genuinely loved Eddy, Edd could see that much. Her eyes sparkled when she looked at him and her usual grin actually turned into a nice and warm smile when he looked at her. The athletic girl, the crush of all or most of the Cul... had fallen for... perhaps the least expected one of them all. Such was life.
Yet, despite all the love and the warmth they had all shared. Despite being able to relate and laugh and joke with these 3 in Eddy's car. Despite talking about future plans, about how many kids Nazz wanted and freaking either (Eddy or Nazz) out. Despite all of this, Edd felt the sharp pain he was trying to ignore ever since everything happened. Since they happened. Him and Kevin.
There was no title... not officially... they couldn't... or wouldn't? Fear. They were both fearful of it. Society still wasn't that kind on such matters. Edd knew, Kevin knew... their careers revolved and touched such issues consistently.
Envy. He was envious. Of all the other couples. They were... free, uncaring and public while he... he. He could change it all. Right? It was a matter of... stripping all the fears away. And... his biggest fear, family... his family. Could he do it? Would he do it? Should he do it?
Edd's soft voice was a surprise for everyone... mostly cause they were actually able to hear him.
Edd: Would you guys be ok if...
Everyone even looked at him... expectantly; Eddy was even staring with the help of the rear-view mirror.
Edd: i were... gay?
Edd sighed heavily, deflating as the words left his lips. The silence in the car was far lighter than he expected as a familiar chuckles came from the front and he quickly felt himself embraced by... strong yet slender arms. Nazz was hugging him tightly, as if holding on to a dear one. Eddy, driver making Kevin nervous and had renovated their bickering, was the one to express some actual words.
Eddy: It isn't a surprise coming from us who've known you so long. Doofus.
Nazz: Silly Edd, we don't care about that. We love you as you are.
Edd's eyes stung, water dripping out of them painfully. He felt his snot loosening and... soon. He wailed. He felt so relieved, so happy. But... it wasn't enough. Not yet. But he was grateful, so grateful. He had such amazing friends. He was really blessed.
Kevin, forcing Eddy to keep an eye on the road and to fucking control himself, simply sat upright and tense in the copilot seat. He seemed more alert than Eddy, who was driving. But, he was the only one who hadn't said a word at Edd's "news". He was pondering. Letting them seep in. He had done it. His Edd had just gotten a huge load of his chest. One even he carried. No. He... didn't. He couldn't. His mind churned with the thoughts, it sickened him. Sickened? This? Edd? No. Fear. As Kevin looked back at Edd, crying in Nazz´s arms, he felt it. Envy. He was always so close, yet so far... leaving him behind. Sand, slipping between his fingers.
Ed: I love you too Double D.
The giant wrapped his strong, muscled arms around the feeble nerd and was quick in demonstrating his crushing affection. Edd squealed, twitched and gasped for air.
Edd: Ed. Ed! ED! Thou are crushing me!
Kevin: Yo, idiot!
Eddy: Enough you big ol' brick.
Everyone laughed as Edd collapsed on his knees, gasping for air. His body ached as he was lifted up into the air again by the gargantuan and helped to stand up.
Ed: I'm sorry Double D.
Always so simple, honest and pure, Ed looked at him with watery eyes. Edd smiled and hugged him back.
Edd: It is all ok my big friend.
May quickly joined them and opened her arms towards Edd. He hugged her tenderly. She was really small and petite once you were this close with her, he couldn't help but laugh at the thought.
May: You'll always be family to us sweet cakes.
Lee: In our own way, sweet cheeks.
She chuckled as she punched his shoulder, softly to demonstrate her affection. She was always rough around the edges, but Lee Kanker sure was the boss of them all when it came to it. However, as the sisters swerved their heads to Marie...
Marie: Oh, yeah... i already knew.
Lee and May: WHAT?!
Marie: Hey, it's his call not fucking mine! I wasn't gonna spill the beans about it.
Lyon: Also, i kept her distracted from thinking about it.
Marie socked him good on the ribs as his left eye closed for the wink. May and Lee laughed, bursting and loudly as Marie pummeled Lyon on the couch. Soon, everyone was laughing, even the teary Edd who was... quite sentimental over the reactions and acceptance he was getting.
He felt relieved. Having reached May and Ed´s house, Edd had asked everyone to gather in the living room. After a couple of deep breaths, he had managed to (more fluently) express his sexual orientation. That he was gay.
However, still, distant and smiling, Kevin stood on the archway that connected the living room and kitchen. He hadn't hugged nor given any type of support. He couldn't. He wanted to. But something kept stopping him. A repulsion. He hated himself, he was repulsed by himself. Memories of his household when he was young kept bombarding his mind. Pain, fear, hatred, love... the last... the last came with a vision of Edd.
All eyes were on him now. He felt his face moist, a hand to his cheeks made him become aware that he was crying. Pressure, nervousness... relief. His body, out of his control, moved towards Edd. No one moved, no one said a word as he walked up to Edd facing him slightly down do to their difference in height.
Edd, blushing, inquired as he tried to avert his gaze, only to find a firm and strong hand clench his chin. He was pulled, slowly toward the red head, or perhaps it was the redhead who was coming towards him. He didnt care. He felt an electric jolt course his body as their lips met, muffled cheering and whistling around them. He didn't care. Neither of them did. Freedom, happyness... they were reaching for them. The stary night blessing the ocasion with a fantastic view of a black canvas with bright sparkly lights.
Kevin: Are you sure?
Edd: Yes... i am positive.
Kevin: We could've...
Edd: Kevin! Please... i need to do this
Kevin sighed heavily.
Kevin: Fine. But... i can't go in...
Edd: I know.
Edd rubbed his cheek lovingly. It was grainy, his beard was growing again. He coudln't help but chuckle at the sensation.
Kevin: Yeah yeah, i gotta shave.
Edd: I don't know. I actually think it is very cute.
Kevin: Shut up.
The two boys chuckled as Kevin grabbed his hand to take it off his cheek. Edd's giggling was cut short by a brief yet loving kiss.
Kevin: I'll go home then. We wont be doing anything else.
Edd took a deep breath after Kevin started to walk away. He was here, infront of his house, the lights were still on so his parents were surely still awake. Probably checking some stuff about work for tomorrow... or watching TV. His parents were absent most of his life, but they had been supportive. The few minutes or hours they spent with him were always cherished. He had grown to be who he was by their support, by their strength, with their help. It was with this mind set that he opened the door to his house. He was sure they wouldn't change their perception of him. They would always love him. That was what family were... right?
Edd: Mom, Dad?! We need to talk...!
Kevin walked down the sidewalk. A few minutes ago, Lyon and Marie had dropped them off on Edd's request. Initially, Edd was to leave only with them, but... Kevin was an insecure person. He didn't know that though. He didn't know himself that much. As his mind battled through with his thoughts, self knowing was being replaced by doubt, fear and anger. He was frustrated.
He was frustrated he was feeling both happy and miserable. He was frustrated he felt happy with Edd, and he hated himself for feeling that way. With a guy. Another male. That made him gay. The thoughts stopped as he looked at his house, the second story lights still shining. His mother was probably doing laundry. He was shaking. It was mid June and he was shaking. He knew it. He understood. Fear... paralyzing fear. Of them.
As he looked back at Edd's house, he felt a knot in his throat. He was worried for him. He was envious of him. He could be so confident and secure. The nerdy, geeky Double Dork he bullied and made life generally hell for so may years was... was more of a man than he was. He was jealous, envious... he hated him. He hated that he loved him. And yet... he did. With all his heart.