The first time Richie sneaks through Eddie’s window he was sneaking out of it. He was surprised as well.
“I saw It I swear!” Eddie was almost hysterical. He’d seen it in the water, those same glowing eyes that had haunted his nightmares, sending him into a panic attack. Fortunately, Richie had had a spare inhaler in the front of his school bag, and even though Eddie now knew his inhaler was bullshit, the placebo effect still worked. However, though the panic attack had now subsided the fear had not.
“We killed the fucker Eddie.” Eddie was only somewhat aware of Richie’s hands on his face. He was mostly focused on his voice, clear and firm, creating cracks in his fear, “and even if we didn’t Mike said it comes back every twenty-seven years, we’ve got time.” Eddie nodded and allowed himself to be pulled into a hug. Richie’s firm chest against him made him feel secure and grounded.
“So, you have a spare inhaler huh?” He asked in his familiar teasing tone once the hug was broken.
“What can I say? I’m whipped,” Richie joked, he was glad to have this familiar Eddie back.
“Damn right,” Eddie agreed, smiling. “Thank you,” he said much more quietly, almost a whisper. He moved to kiss Richie. The kiss was gentle and both boys took comfort in the familiarity of it, Eddie held Richie tight against him, afraid the other boy was going to be a sick trick played on him by whatever they fought three years ago.
“No problem,” Richie breathed, quickly regaining his cool and scrambling up, “we should go.” Eddie looked toward the quickly darkening sky and nodded. He didn’t take the hand Richie was offering however, he’d been dropped that way far too many times.
“I’ll see you tomorrow,” Richie said, the two boys were perched somewhat awkwardly on Eddie’s front step, neither wanting to be alone. Richie pecked Eddie briefly after checking Mrs K wasn’t watching, and turned to leave. Eddie caught his hand as he did.
“Could you- I mean I wouldn’t mind if- Can you- “Eddie started the sentence over and over feeling more and more vulnerable each time he did.
“Have you been Billy Boy all this time Eds? Spit it out,” Richie said though without his usual confidence, Eddie knew he could feel the same dread at being alone.
“Do you want to stay?” He asked sheepishly, “I don’t want to be alone.”
“Sure thing.” Eddie kept hold of his hand and lead him past his snoring mother and the blaring TV and up to his room.
“Gee Eds, your forward,” Richie joked as Eddie placed a chair against the door. A habit he had been forced to get into due to his mother’s habit of not knocking before coming into his room. He rolled his eyes at Richie’s comment.
“Don’t call me that,” he said distractedly, grabbing his own pyjamas and looking for something for Richie to wear.
“You love it.” Eddie flipped the other boy off and while Richie was distracted laughing managed to hit him in the face with a light blue hood.
“Is this mine?” Richie asked, inspecting it.
“Shut up,” Eddie warned as Richie chuckled and pulled him close.
“Your adorable Eddie Spaghetti,” he said softly making Eddie push him away in annoyance.
“And you’re an asshole Tozier,” he shot back before turning to put on his pyjamas. His reaction only made Richie laugh harder. Eddie couldn’t help but smile at the sound, despite it coming from his annoyance, Richie’s laugh was so full of energy it was almost infectious.
“Eddie?” Both boys stopped and stared at each other in panic as the voice of Eddi’s mother came through the door.
“I’m just getting changed Mommy!” Eddie called, gesturing wildly toward the window. Only when Richie was completely out of view did he move the chair.
“Are you Okay Eddie Bear?” His mother asked, “I heard laughter.” She lay her hand against his forehead as if laughter was a sign of illness.
“I was just texting Ben,” Eddie lied quickly. Out of all his friends, Eddie’s mother liked Ben best, even going as far as to become friends with Ben’s mother. His mother nodded, smoothing down Eddie’s hair. Eddie resisted the urge to push her from the room like a stroppy five-year-old.
“Time for bed then Sweetie,” She said before leaving the room. Eddie shut the door behind her and breathed a sigh of relief. Richie rolled back through the window.
“Night Night Eddie Bear,” Richie joked, laughing as quietly as he ever got. Eddie elbowed him in the ribs to shut him up.
That night, curled up in each other’s arms the two boys slept better than they had in months.
Eddie touched his swollen lip and looked toward the firmly shut door. He’d barley gotten through the door before his mother had seen his face and promptly burst into hysterics. After a number or questions and far too much ice he’d been sent to his room without his phone for his own safety. He wondered if it was worth it. He’d know exactly what he was doing when he told Emily Grey to fuck off, exactly what her boyfriend had delivered, a swift punch to the face and gut so he wouldn’t do it again. Then he remembered how Richie’s face fell when he was told to shut up, Richie who had come over the night before, refusing to talk about why and his strong arm around him as he thanked Eddie for standing up for him.
Eddie was lounging on his bed when it happened. He was playing The Smiths (because he was a cliché and he knew it) on the record player Richie had insisted he buy (“everything sounds better on vynl Eddie! That’s real music”) playing Pokémon when he heard a tapping on his window. He looked up to see Richie perched on his window ledge, a familiar grim across his face. Eddie knew what that grin meant.
“What did you do?” He asked immediately, letting him in without a second thought.
“Me and Bev just egged Ross’s house,” Richie told him proudly, leaning in too kiss him but Eddie shoved him away angrily.
“What the fuck Richie?” He demanded in an angry whisper, “do you want your face smashed in as well?”
“Relax Ed’s” Richie said easily, annoying Eddie even more.
“First don’t call me that. Second-“
“We left Greg’s wallet there, you know Greg? Beverly’s asshole ex? Two birds one stone,” Richie explained proudly, Eddie felt his anger slip away.
“You’re an idiot,” Eddie laughed.
“Good Sir, you offend me,” Richie gasped dramatically in his British accent, and collapsed into Eddie’s lap, “if you weren’t so wealthy I would call off this courtship.” Eddie laughed at his boyfriend’s stupidity, making Richie grin like an idiot.
“We are the ultimate power couple, you’re the brawn, I’m the brains,” he said.
“Something like that,” Eddie agreed. Richie sat up to face him, the stupid smile he always got when he made Eddie laugh on his face. He was kneeling up now, which made it easy for Richie to lean over and kiss him. It was forceful and deliberate, their mouths worked together, exploring each other and how they fitted together. It was the kind of the kiss that lingered after the two broke apart. Their faces were inches from each other, Eddie could smell the fresh cigerettes on Richie’s breath. He half expected him to say something romantic, like a movie, or make a joke about his mother.
“Are you seriously listening to the Smiths right now?” Richie asked instead, “god what a mood killer.”
Eddie had been trying to finish the maths extra credit work he’d been putting off due to spending his weekend at the Barrens instead. Thankfully he was distracted by an excited bang on his window. Eddie immediately moved to open it.
“Your going to break that window one day,” he told Richie who sat on the windowsill as Eddie went back to work.
“Guess who just played match maker for the cutest couple of Losers,” Richie said cockily.
“You finally got Bill and Stan together?”
“That’s rig-“ Richie took a moment to process what Eddie had actually said, “well no, but lets come back to that later. No, I’m talking about convincing Beverly to give Haystack a go.”
“Oh, Stan owes me ten bucks then,” Eddie said.
“You gonna take me out for dinner?”
“You wish trashmouth,” Eddie joked, not looking up from his maths notes. He really was happy for the two of them, Beverly had a history of guys that didn’t deserve to even look at her, never mind date her and Ben had been hopelessly in love with her for as long as Eddie had known him.
“It really is like a Molly Ringwald movie isn’t it?” Richie said happily, hopping off the window ledge to stand behind Eddie at his desk, “plucky redhead finally realises she’d been in love with the nerdy nice guy all along.”
“Who would that make you? The annoying ‘comic relief’?” Eddie made sure to exaggerate the finger quotes around comic relief to ensure Richie couldn’t take it as a compliment.
“The awesome best friend, duh,” Richie explained, bending over to hug Eddie from behind. He smelt of fresh cigarettes, something that was beginning to annoy Eddie less and less as he associated it with kisses and affection and… Richie.
“What kind of movie are we then?” Eddie asked.
“Breakfast club. Preppy pretty boy is seduced by the school bad boy,” Eddie snorted at the idea of Richie being a ‘bad boy’ but let it pass without comment. They stayed like that for a moment, Eddie continuing to read over his notes. It was a nice moment, so of course Richie had to interrupt it.
“Okay, I’m going to have to stand up now my back’s killing me.”
Eddie was still trying to understand surds four hours later, and Richie was still in his room. Eddie was sat crossed legged on his bed, Richie’s head in his lap and his hand subconsciously stroking the boys hair.
“You should go to beds Eds,” Richie said sleepily, “it’s been four hours.”
“I have to get this,” Eddie stated though he could feel his frustration taking his concentration. He didn’t even notice as Richie’s long arm snaked around him to grab a pillow, or when he picked it up. He didn’t notice until Richie had hit him in the face with it.
“What the fuck?” He demanded. Richie hit him again, laughing as he did at Eddie’s face. Eddie shook his head,
“You are so chi-“ he was cut off by another smack to the face with a pillow. That was it. He grabbed the other pillow and used it to attack.
It was a vicious fight, as fast as Eddie could block, Richie attacked, full of energy. Eddie couldn’t wait this out, he would have to go on the offence. He started with a swift blow to the legs, quickly incapacitating his enemy. Once he was on the floor Eddie sat on top of him, holding the pillow threateningly over his victim’s face.
“Do you yield?” He asked, a fierce grin on his face, Richie laughed underneath him, attempting to push the pillow away from him. He muttered something.
“What?” Eddie asked, just as dramatically, Richie beckoned him closer. Eddie moved closer, they were face to face.
“Never,” Richie whispered pulling Eddie close and putting a sweet kiss onto him lips, Eddie melted into it, forgetting about anything else besides Richie’s lips against his own, that was until Richie flipped their positions. Richie grinned dangerously down at the boy and hit him in the face again.
“Okay, okay,” Eddie laughed, “you win.”
Are you okay?
Eddie sent the text without even thinking about it. Richie had been weird at school, even more obnoxious than usual. Something about the exchange when Richie had climbed through his window when Ben was over was bothering him.
Just left Stans cn I come over?
Eddie sent as if it wasn’t over.
Fifteen minutes later Richie Tozier was sat on his window sill.
“Are you okay?” Eddie asked again.
“Me and your Mom broke up,” Richie said far too cheerfully, “that’s all.”
“Richie,” Eddie gave Richie Eddie face 3.75 ‘I’m completely done with your bullshit’ with a hint of concern.
“Look I don’t want to make my problems yours Eds,” he smiled sadly and ruffled Eddie’s hair, “you’re fucked up enough as it is.” Eddie wanted to push but left it when he saw Richie’s smile slip in his hesitation.
“Just… Leave it Ed’s okay?” He said more seriously, sounding tiered. So Eddie did. He watched Richie with concern as the other boy folded his legs up to his chest, staring at his worn converse. Eventually he couldn’t bare it any longer and moved to put a record on.
He scoured his collection for something upbeat from the ‘real’ music Richie had given him to listen to and eventually decided. Richie looked as the first few notes began to play. Eddie nodded his head in time to the music as he offered his hand for Richie to dance with him. Richie could see on his face he wasn’t going to take no for an answer and allowed himself to be pulled up.
“Really Eddie, Sweet Child of Mine?” He asked, though Eddie could see the beginnings of a smile on his face, and ignored him in favour of singing. He couldn’t sing at all, and it made Richie laugh and finally begin to dance. The two jumped, barley in time with the music and Richie twirled Eddie despite it not being that type of song. When the time came Richie delivered a dramatic guitar solo, Eddie clapping along.
Once the song was over they collapsed onto the bed together as the opening beats of Your Crazy began.
“You are crazy,” Richie told him.
“So are you,” Eddie shot back with affection.
“Seriously, thank you,” Richie said more softly, “I love you.”
It wasn’t the first time he’d said it, but it was the first time since he’d said it since they’d began dating. Suddenly the three words felt different. Significant.
“I love you too,” Eddie said as if it was that simple. They lay together listening to Guns ‘n’ Roses, smiling insanely.
Eddie hadn’t been jealous. Okay maybe he had, but only for a moment, it was just… It was Bill Denbrough. All the losers (besides maybe Ben) had been at least a little in love with Bill. Eddie could still remember being twelve years old and having a completely hopeless crush on the boy, he could only assume Richie went through a similar phase.
“Do you like Bill more than me?” The question fell from Eddie’s lips before he could stop it. Richie had called to talk to him all about the movie, a review complete with exaggerated imitations of the main characters before Eddie had interrupted him. Now he was silent.
“I’m coming over.” The simple statement did nothing to ease Eddie’s anxiety.
Ten or so minutes later Richie appeared at his window.
“Are you doubting my love Eddster?” Richie asked dramatically. Eddie rolled his eyes.
“Don’t call me that you asshole,” Eddie snapped, letting him in.
“Do you seriously think I like Bill more than you?” Richie laughed, Eddie was feeling more and more embarrassed by the second.
“I don’t know…” Eddie said awkwardly, “he’s good looking and smart and I’m just… Me,” he finished lamely.
“Bill’s like my brother, and I’m pretty sure you don’t make out with your brother unless your really fucked up,” Richie said, “also, of course your you. It’s you being your you that makes me like you. You know?”
“No?” Eddie laughed as Richie tried to figure out what he just said, “that was a terrible sentence.”
“Well I tried,” Richie shrugged, “it’s the thought that counts, right?”
“Yeah,” Eddie said.
“I can’t believe you had a crush on Bill,” Richie brought the topic back up, much to Eddie’s embarrassment.
“Beep Beep Richie,” he groaned.
“If you think Bill’s good looking maybe I should be jealous,” Richie considered.
“Richie! Seriously! Shut. Up!” Eddie snapped, he didn’t think he could be more embarrassed, Richie put an arm around him and pulled him close.
“You’re the only loser for me Eds,” he said.
Once the rest of the Losers gang found out Eddie felt like a weight had been lifted from his chest that he hadn’t known was there. He told Richie as much while the two of them stopped at a McDonalds on the Losers Road Trip Extravaganza (as named by Bev). Everyone was asleep besides Mike who was driving the other car. Despite his protests Stan had allowed Richie to drive his car and fallen asleep on Bill’s shoulder. They’d stopped to grab coffee to keep them awake and chicken nuggets, because Richie has demanded them.
“It’s weird, you know,” Eddie said, sleepily leaning on Richie’s shoulder, as awake as any of the employees preparing their twenty chicken nuggets, “I even like it when they make fun of us, it makes it feel real you know?” Richie hummed in agreement.
“Do you know what is weird?” He asked, Eddie shook his head, “hanging out with you without having to crawl through a window first.”
“You’re right,” Eddie laughed, “Maybe you should climb through the car window,” he suggested jokingly.
Eddie watched laughing as Richie attempted to escape through the window he’d just gracelessly slipped through. He was trying to escape from an angry Stan who he’d woken up of his first time through. He was in love with a complete idiot.