They agree to keep it a secret mainly because of Eddie’s mom. Bill isn’t sure what to even call their relationship and Richie, well Richie is too happy that both of his favorite people want to keep him around to worry about telling everyone. Eddie is the one who brought it up while they are holed up in his bedroom one late night.
“Bev says we’re acting weird.” Eddie whispered into the dark. Richie and Bill are wrapped around him like body pillows and he knows they haven’t fallen asleep yet. “What are we going to do?”
“What do you mean? Bev doesn’t know anything.” Richie scoffed but the gears in his mind forced him to think about his own behavior since he started seeing Eddie and Bill.
“M-m-maybe we s-should hang out w-w-with everyone more?” Bill proposed, snuggling closer to his boyfriends. He let out a soft yawn and Eddie echoed it with one of his own.
“I’m telling you there’s nothing to worry,” Richie had to stop to give a yawn of his own and he frowned at the others who clearly caused it. “nothing to worry about. But I’ll go along with whatever you want.”
The next day Richie snuck out just after sunrise. He rushed through a shower at his house and changed clothes before biking over to Stan’s. The curly haired boy woken up after Richie lobbed pebbles at his window and grumbled as he opened the front door to let Richie in.
“Good morning, Stanley!” Was met with a groan as Stan stumbled through fixing himself breakfast. His parents were out visiting his great aunt according to the note on the fridge and Stan has never been a morning person. Richie tapped a beat on the kitchen table, giving his best friend time to wake up. One too many angry rants about talking too much taught him better than to push Stan before he ate breakfast.
“What do you want, trashmouth?” Stan spoke up eventually. His eyes were still tired and his voice gravely but the question was all the prompting Richie needed to start up talking for the both of them
“I thought we could hit the arcade! I have enough saved up to beat your high score on Pacman.” Richie beamed, “Not that it will take more than one quarter to knock out your puny score.”
“Yeah, yeah. That’s what you said last time and whose name is in the top spot?” Stan chuffed. He dropped his dishes in the sink and shuffled back toward his room to get ready for the day. “What about Bill and Eddie?”
“What about them?” Richie called from his spot laying back on Stan’s comforter. The other boy poked his head out of the bathroom, giving Richie a funny look. “Don’t talk with your mouth full, Stan the man.” Richie quipped when Stan’s mouth opened around his toothbrush.
“Don’t you want to spend time with them? You guys have been attached at the hip lately.” Stan dug out a clean shirt from his dresser and searched for a pair of socks. “I want to spend time with you, broski. My main man. Stanley the manly.” Richie grinned. He jumped up from the bed as Stan sat down and tossed his friend a pair of tennis shoes from the neat row in his closet. “Whatever you say, Rich.” Stan shook his head and dropped it.
Bill woke up to Ms. Kaspbrak knocking on the bedroom door. He barely had enough time to roll off the bed and onto his sleeping bag on the opposite side of the room before she cracked it open.
“Good morning, Bill.” The woman smiled. On the bed Eddie grumbled and Bill fought a smile at the cuteness of the smaller boy.
“Up, up, up an at ‘em, Eddie bear!” Ms. Kaspbrak cooed at the buddle of blanket that was holding her son hostage. “I’ve got pancakes downstairs. Hurry before they get cold.” She directed the last bit to Bill and he nodded.
“C-c-come on, Eddie.” Bill shook Eddie’s shoulder slightly, drawing a moan of complaint from the blanket. “If y-y-you get u-u-up, I’ll l-l-let you ride on t-t-the handlebars later.” A grumpy face peaked out, squinting at Bill.
“Duh.” Bill smiled as Eddie and his messy dark hair tumbled from the bed.
“Coming, mommy!” Eddie called down. They dressed quickly and hurried down to the kitchen.
“Faster!” Eddie laughed, clinging to Silver’s handlebars for dear life. Bill huffed, but complied peddling faster to pick up speed on their ride. “Look, there’s Stan.” Eddie pointed across the street as they sped through town.
Behind Stan there was a crash and Bill nearly fell over at the noise. Richie bolted from the alleyway and stopped when he spotted the other boys. He waved with an enormous grin, but it suddenly fell away when Stan yelled to get his attention. By the time Stan got over to him Bill was nowhere in sight and Richie shrugged when he asked who he was waving at like a dork.
“I-I-I’m just saying, S-superman is b-b-better!” Bill declared patting the stack of comic books spread out on the floor of Mike’s grandparent’s living room.
“No way. Green Lantern has better powers and a cool alien planet full of people just like him.” Mike argued back. The boys occasionally picked up a comic to flip through and point out parts to defend their argument. Eddie focused on the hand in his lap and sighed.
“Do you understand what they’re talking about?” He asked Beverly as he carefully painted every other nail with the bright blue polish.
“Not really, no. But I don’t really care about superheroes.” Bev stuck out her tongue and Eddie smiled back.
“Me either. You want the other’s black or the green?” Eddie fanned his hand above her painted nails and looked through the collection of polish.
“Let’s do green. I’m feeling adventurous.” Bev giggled and Eddie nodded reaching for the color.
“Are you going to finally ask Ben out?” Beverly stiffened. Eddie didn’t look up from his task but heard her sputtering. “If you don’t do it soon, I’ll do it for you.” He joked. Eddie glanced up at her pink face.
“W-w-what are you two t-t-talking about?” Bill interrupted as he came up behind Eddie. He sat down behind the smaller boy and Eddie leaned back against him without a thought.
“Nothing you need to worry about.” Eddie chimed before Beverly could say a word. Neither boy noticed the wide-eyed look on the girl’s face. She met Mike’s eye and he only shrugged.
At school Monday Richie showed up 15 minutes late to homeroom. It was entirely normal behavior from him. Eddie tripped into his class late and all eyes landed on him as he hurried to take his seat. Bill was absent from his homeroom. When the Losers spotted the lanky boy, he was leaning against his locker flipping through his required reading for English.
“Are you okay?” Ben whispered as he an Eddie moved to History together. It was hard to miss the small boy’s flushed face and the disheveled state of his clothes.
“I’m fine!” Eddie snapped. He practically slammed his books down on his desk and Ben avoided asking again.
“And just what were you up to this morning that made you late?” Bev leaned across the table and questioned. Richie smirked and watched Bev’s ears go red at the tops.
“Nothing you need to worry about, Molly Ringwald.” Richie wiggled his eyebrows and Beverly muffled as laugh against her hand. The teacher cleared her throat, looking down at the two and Richie mimed locking his lips.
“Okay, start explaining Denbrough.” Stan grabbed his friend by the shirt and hauled him away from the bustle of the hallway.
“Ex-ex-explain what?” Bill gave the other boy a bewildered looked and shifted his books.
“Why are you so late?” Stan ushered Bill down the hall more and stood outside Bill’s next class.
“My a-a-alarm d-d-didn’t go off.” Bill tried but Stan and shook his head with a frown.
“I saw you on your bike on my way to school.”
“I’m g-g-gonna be late.” Bill hurried inside the classroom and Stan stood flabbergasted in the doorway.
“Hand it over!” Bill shouted but Richie only laughed. Bill grabbed for the notebook again and missed it by a few inches when Richie yanked it out of his reach. Richie stuck his tongue out and danced away from Bill, holding the book above his head.
“C’mon, Big Bill! Just grab it.” Richie waved the notebook and Bill lunged for him. What Richie was not expecting was for Bill to grab at him instead of the book. Bill’s arms snaked around his waist and he smiled at Richie.
Before he could think of anything smart to say Richie was lifted up in the air. He let out a squawk as Bill heft him off the ground and started back towards the school building. “If y-y-you won’t give it back. I’ll t-t-take you to class w-w-with me.” Bill announced, holding Richie tight enough that he couldn’t get loose.
“Bill!” Richie wiggling and struggled to no avail. He gave up with a huff, going limp in the taller boy’s arms. “This is child abuse.” He groused but Bill ignored him. Richie found his feet back on the ground and was ready to make a break for it when Bill trapped him against the brick.
“Y-y-you’re a menace.” Bill shook his head, looking at Richie with an expression that did not agree. He leaned down, pressing a chaste kiss to Richie’s mouth and grabbed his notebook back while his boyfriend was distracted.
“That was a dirty move, Bill.” Richie glared when Bill replaced the notebook in his bag. “How could you do me like this?”
“Shut up, r-r-Richie.” Bill kissed him again and Richie was quiet.
"So, you saw them?” Ben whispered furiously behind a stack of books. Beverly, Stan and Mike sat with him in the library in order to discuss the serious matter of the other three.
“They were kissing and playing around.” Stan nodded, “Out by the picnic tables.”
“I thought Bill was with Eddie.” Bev’s mouth pulled down in an unhappy expression.
“Eddie was pretty cranky this morning. Maybe that’s why?” Ben suggested. They had originally planned to meet and figure out why Bill, Eddie and Richie were late to school but things had quickly gone another route entirely with Stan’s discovery.
“Why would Bill do that to Eddie? Or Richie? That doesn’t seem like them.” Mike shook his head, not willing to believe his friends would do something to hurt one another.
“I’ll confront Richie about it. Bev, can you see if Eddie will talk to you?” Stan suggested looking at the group.
“I’ve got P.E with Bill.” Ben spoke up. The bell signaling the end of lunch rang out startling the group and they scrambled to gather up their things.
“Sooooo.” Bev started eloquently. Eddie looked up from his worksheet at her with his brows raised.
“So?” Eddie continued to scribble answers to the equations while he waited for Beverly to talk.
“You know I like Ben.”
“Everyone but Ben knows you like him, Bev.” Eddie snorted. He flipped his paper over and gave Beverly his full attention when he was finished his work. “Why?”
“Is there anyone you like, you know like I like Ben?” Beverly leaned close with her face framed between her hands. Eddie looked at her like she had grown a 2nd head.
“What? No. Why would you ask me that?” Eddie shook his head so hard it made him dizzy.
“Who on Earth would I have a crush on?”
“Oh, I don’t know. Bill maybe?” Beverly’s face didn’t hold any emotion while she looked at Eddie.
“What!?” Eddie shouted. The teacher looked at them angrily and pointed at worksheets on the table. Eddie shook his head again, not meeting Bev’s eyes. “I don’t have a crush on Bill.” He grabbed his bag and threw his paper on the front desk before running out of the classroom.
“Mr. Kaspbrak!” The math teacher called after him but Eddie was already gone. Beverly tapped her colorful nails against the desk and wondered what was going on.
“She KNOWS, Richie!” Eddie practically screamed. The third-floor boy’s bathroom was empty save for himself and Richie. Eddie paced in front of the sinks and Richie reached out a hand to stop him.
“Hang on, Eds. Tell me what she said, exactly.” Richie sat in the sink and held one of Eddie’s hands in his own, brushing his thumb across the back of it comfortingly.
“Don’t call me that.” Eddie took a deep breath and started relaying the conversation to his boyfriend.
“Okay. This is fine.”
“Fine? Richie Tozier, what is wrong with you this is not fine!” Eddie’s breathing quickly became erratic with his yelling. Richie was on his feet in an instant, unzipping the small boy’s fanny pack and grabbing his inhaler.
“Breathe.” Richie’s eyes were clear and mirthless as he pressed the inhaler to Eddie’s mouth. Eddie took it from him and sucked in the medicine in deep calming breaths.
“No, don’t talk right now.” Richie held up his hand to stop Eddie. “If Bev thinks you have crush on Bill, then she has no idea we’re all together.” He explained
“Oh…Th-” Eddie tried to agree but Richie cut him off again.
“Hush. I have to get back to Art before Stanley has a conniption. He’s been on my case all weekend.” Richie undid the lock and went to leave when Eddie grabbed him and kissed him on the cheek.
“We need to have a talk.” The words stirred something uncomfortable in Richie and he kept his focus on the water colors in front of him.
“Oh yeah? What’s on your mind pal?” Richie did his best to sound normal. Stan’s gaze didn’t travel from his mockingbird painting.
“What’s going on between you and Bill?” A line of green swiped across Richie’s canvas as he whipped around to look at Stan. His friend was looking at him with an intensity that Richie wasn’t familiar with.
“What the hell are you talking about, Stan? There’s nothing going on between me and Denbrough. Hell, maybe less than nothing with all the time I’m paired up in classes with you.” Richie joked, but Stan’s expression didn’t falter.
“I saw you guys. Out behind the track field.” Richie knocked over the cup over water he was using and it spilled in his lap. Stan watched him jump up from his stool.
“What the fuck! Jesus fucking Christ!” Richie shouted. Their teacher hurried over with paper towels and Richie glared at Stan. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” His voice was so low that Stan almost had to strain to hear him.
“No, Stan. There is nothing going on. I don’t know what you think you saw but you should just forget about it.” The harshness from Richie was startling. His usual gruff demeanor was all show and his friends had learned to expect it from him but this, this was different. Richie stormed out of the classroom without bothering to talk to the teacher and Stan sat there in shock staring after him.
Ben only hesitated a second before jumping in front of the dodgeball. The coach’s whistle was a shrill noise and he knew he was out. He took a seat on the bleachers next to Bill with a grin.
“What are you writing?” He asked when he noticed the faded notebook in Bill’s lap.
“J-just notes.” Bill replied. He stopped long enough to look like he was watch the game and turned his attention back to the book.
“Can I talk to you about something?”
“Of course, Y-y-you know that.”
“Are you dating Richie?” Ben blurted out the question with no conversation buffer. No one else was close enough to hear or seemed to be paying attention but Bill’s eyes darted around the gym.
“N-no. T-t-that’s r-r—ridiculous.” Bill’s stutter was heavy suddenly. Ben set a gentle hand on Bill’s shoulder and spoke quietly.
“It’s okay, if you are. No one would mind.”
“I h-h-have t-to go pick up g-g-Georgie.” Bill stood up suddenly and ran to the locker room. When the coach asked Ben what was wrong he lied, making up a story about Bill having an upset stomach.
“Stan knows. He saw me and Bill during lunch.” Richie didn’t even bother greeting his boys when he showed up in Bill’s room after school. Eddie looked horrified and Bill cringed.
“I t-t-think Ben has a-a-an idea.” Before anyone can reply there is a knock at the front door. Bill got up and opened it to find an angry looking Beverly.
“You are a jerk, Bill Denbrough!” She said, pushing past him into the house. Behind her the rest of the Loser club came streaming inside.
“I don’t know what you think you’re doing, but leading Richie on is not okay.” Stan shut the door behind himself and stared down Bill with a seriously disappointed stare.
“You’ve got Eddie in a wreck. He couldn’t even stand to talk about you in Math today.” Beverly interjected. Bill held up his hands, mouth open to defend himself but no words came out. Bev, Stan and Mike were talking over each other as they argued about who should speak to Bill first and Ben stood awkwardly to the side not meeting Bill’s eyes.
“What the fuck is going on?” Richie shouted from the foot of the stairs. His glasses were nowhere in sight and wearing a pair of Bill’s much too long sleep pants as he glared at his friends. Eddie was hidden almost entirely behind him, staring over Richie’s shoulder at the gang. It went completely silent in the Denbrough house. Bill was really glad his brother had a dentist appointment today.
“I said, what the ever-loving hell is going on here?” Richie said louder. He stomped over, pulling Bill from the clump of their friends and took a deep breath before interlocking his fingers with Bill’s. Richie didn’t have to look back to know Eddie was still stuck to the banister by the stairs and he called him over. “Eddie spaghetti, come on down!”
Richie’s voice was wobbly, but he’s the only one with enough courage to speak at the moment. Eddie was decked out in Bill’s basketball jersey, practically swimming in the damn thing. He shuffled over to Richie’s side though and held the other boy’s hand in his own.
“What…is going on?” Ben spoke up, reminding everyone of his presence. The Losers looked at each other is confusion and Bill could hear his heartbeat in his ears.
“W-w-we’re dating.” Bill managed to spit out. He squeezed Richie’s hand and smiled when Richie did the same back.
“You and Richie?” Mike asked, clearly confused as the rest of their friends. He looked between the three boys holding hands and rubbed his forehead like it might made the information easier to process.
“I’m dating Richie and Bill.” Eddie’s voice is not the one anyone expected. “They’re dating each other. We’re all together.” Eddie’s voice was strong and he looked up at Richie with a beaming smile that threatened to knock the other boy over.
“Bill is dating Eddie, and also Richie, who are dating each other. Did I get that right?” Stan looked calmer than the rest of them. He didn’t look relieved or particularly angry but he didn’t really look much of any emotion.
“That sounds about right, Stan the man.” Richie looked down at his pajama covered feet and responded.
“Jesus fuck. That is so much easier.” Beverly laughed and everyone looked at her. She smiled at the boys and reached up to ruffle Bill’s hair. “You hurt them and I’ll make sure you regret it.” Bev moved her gaze to Richie and pinched his cheek. “Same goes for you, trashmouth.”
“Oi! What about Eddie?” Richie huffed indignantly. He forgot about worrying and instead gave Beverly a pout. “Don’t you want to threaten him not to hurt me and Bill?”
“If Eddie can put up with you, he’s already suffering enough.” Eddie let out a laugh at the statement and a few of the others snickered.
“I’m not going to threaten you, but you know.” Stan rolled his eyes and pat Bill on the shoulder. He stumbled back when Richie jumped at him, wrapping Stan in a hug. “I don’t know what’s happening.”
“Just let me apologize, dick.” Richie mumbled against Stan’s chest and the taller boy chuckled.