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Love, Actually, Is All Around

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Eddie shook the snow out of his hair gratefully when he finally made it to the studio and out of the cold. He thanked every god that was listening that Bill leant him his car to get here; he hated the snow, so much. He was cold even in the summer, with his shitty circulation, he really didn’t need literal ice falling from the sky to make that worse.

But unfortunately that seemed to happen every winter in New York, no matter how much Eddie complained about it.

“Eddie!” Beverly, one of the directors of the film, called out to him, “You’re here!” she sounded relieved and Eddie sighed. He hated being late, but traffic was awful.

“So sorry, Bev, am I really late?” he asked, pulling off his gloves as he followed her to set. He wouldn’t need make-up or anything today, they were just going over blocking.

“Not too bad, you’re just usually early so I was a little worried. But it’s no big deal, the other guy just got here too.” She explained with a smile and Eddie breathed out heavily in relief. At least he hadn’t kept anyone waiting. “Eddie, this is Richie, he’ll be working with you today.”

The man, who had been talking to Mike, the movie’s other director, looked over at Eddie and smiled widely. Eddie didn’t really believe in love-at-first sight, despite what his recently watched list on Netflix might imply, but he sure as hell believed in lust-at-first sight and fuck all if that wasn’t what he experienced just then because hot damn this guy checked off every box on Eddie’s list.

Tall? Check.

Broad shoulders? Check.

Charming smile? Check.

Killer cheekbones? Check.

And Eddie had to spend a significant amount of time in the future with him… naked and faking sex. Awesome.

Honestly, that wasn’t sarcasm. Eddie had been a body double long enough to get over any squeamishness he had about nudity. At this point it was literally just his job, and now he got to do his job with a hot guy who would hopefully flirt with him a little.

“Hi, Richie, nice to meet you.” Eddie smiled, holding out his hand. Richie stared at him for a beat too long before moving quickly and taking his hand, blushing slightly.

Wow, nice to meet you too.” He replied and Eddie thought it was cute, how the deep rumble of his voice was totally counteracted by the hyped-up way he spoke. If that made any sense.

“Okay so, if you could two could just go right over there, we’ll just move through the first scene. Eddie you’ll be against the pillar and we need to move kind of fast, so we can get the actors in, so we’ll let you know when to start.” Bev explained, speaking pretty much a mile a minute. She was always like that, though. Eddie was used to it now, even if once upon a time it stressed him out.

Eddie shrugged off his jacket, leaving him in only a long-sleeved pink t-shirt, and followed Richie onto set and into the bright lights. They stood together awkwardly for a moment, as PAs and techs ran around them, getting things into place. They both shuffled their feet and avoided eye contact, until-

“You got caught in the traffic too, Bev said?” Richie asked and Eddie nodded amiably.

“Yeah, it fucking sucks this time of year, you know? Especially with all the snow. I hate the snow.” Eddie said, rubbing his hands which honestly were still feeling the chill. Richie looked at him with raised eyebrows, genuine shock on his face.

“Seriously? I love the snow.” Richie emphasized and Eddie scoffed.

“Literally what is there to love about snow? It’s just this cold, wet thing that falls from the sky and ruins my day.” Eddie argued. Richie spluttered as he thought up a response and Eddie took the moment to admire all the different emotions that ran across his face. He was just extremely expressive.

“Okay Bella Swan. Come on, you have to admit it looks beautiful at least, and… what about snowmen? And snow angels? You gotta love a good snow angel.”

“A snow angel? Richie, where the hell am I supposed to make a snow angel? Just lie down in the busy streets of New York and go for it?” Eddie asked, making Richie laugh. He laughed with his whole body, which Eddie found very endearing.

“No, you gotta go to Central Park, do the whole cliché thing,” Richie explained and Eddie rolled his eyes, “I’ll take you sometime. We can get hot chocolate and make snow angels and maybe even have a snowball fight.”

“That actually sounds like my worst nightmare.” Eddie grimaced just at the thought of the cold that would slip through his warm coat if he were to lie down in snow and then get pelted by it. Why would that be a voluntary activity? Sounds more like torture.

Maybe he needed to move to California or something.   

“Your worst nightmare to go out with me? Man, if I had a nickel for every time someone said that to me before.”

“That’s not what I meant and you know it.” Eddie said with a laugh and Richie flashed a shit-eating grin, opening his mouth to say something else, but he was cut-off by Mike calling for them to start. They immediately moved to get into position, Eddie leaning his upper-body against the pillar by the bed and Richie gripping his hips behind him.

“Um, Eddie, can you take your shirt off? We just want to make sure we get the lighting right.” Bev called out and Eddie made a noise of agreement, stepping back to tug his shirt off. He tried to ignore the slightly broken noise that Richie made behind him when he moved forward again to grab his hips, this time his fingertips touching bare skin. They moved together for a few moments, keeping up a gentle rhythm as people moved around them and took whatever measurements they needed to. Eddie honestly almost found himself getting sleepy, surrounded by Richie’s warmth.

“Richie, can you touch his nipples please?”

“Um, yeah.” Richie spluttered and Eddie couldn’t see him, but he knew he was blushing. Richie moved his hands up slowly, finally touching Eddie in one swift moment. “Hope my hands aren’t too cold.” He whispered in Eddie’s ear and Eddie laughed a little.

“No, you’re fine. Nice and warm,” Eddie assured him and Richie choked out a laugh against Eddie’s hair, “You seem a little nervous. Have you done this before?” Eddie asked him as gently as he could.

“Oh um, yes, I have, it’s just usually with girls.” Richie explained and Eddie nodded in understanding.

“Are you straight then?” Eddie asked, trying not to sound disappointed by this prospect.

“Oh! No, I am very gay. That’s the issue, actually. Never done this with someone I might actually want to… oh god, I shouldn’t have said that. That’s… I’m not saying I’m thinking about… or that I want to…. not that I don’t want to! Oh fuck, I don’t know what I’m saying, I don’t want to make you uncomfortable, I’m sorry.” Richie rambled and Eddie tried not to laugh but he didn’t one hundred percent succeed.

“Richie, it’s okay. I understand what you’re trying to say.”

“Oh thank God, because I’m not sure I do.” Richie sighed, making Eddie laugh again. That seemed to be a common theme, Richie making Eddie laugh. He liked that.

###

There had been a lot of times in Richie’s life that he’d taken a step back and wondered: how the fuck did I get here? One moment like that in particular was when he found himself naked in bed, being filmed by a set of cameras as a very cute boy bounced in his lap.

And they were having an in depth conversation about Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

“I literally don’t think I’ve ever met someone who doesn’t like Tara.” Eddie said, casual as ever. Richie had to try a little harder to not focus on the flexing of Eddie’s thighs in his hands, but somehow he found a way to look unaffected.

“I didn’t say I didn’t like her! I just miss Oz! No lie, I think I adopted a third of my personality from him. When he left the show I was heartbroken.” Richie explained and it wasn’t even a lie. Oz was everything young Richie wanted to be: cool and aloof but also the funniest fucking guy in the group. Of course, Richie had never been cool or aloof one day in his goddamn life but that didn’t mean it wasn’t something he thought was dope as fuck.

“Oh, so you didn’t want Willow to date Oz. YOU wanted to date Oz.” Eddie teased.

“… fuck, you’re right. Oz was my first gay crush and I didn’t even fucking know it until now!” Richie exclaimed loudly. Eddie laughed at his dramatics and Richie smiled in return because Eddie had the fucking cutest laugh. His eyes got all crinkly and stuff. So cute.

“This is nice,” Eddie admitted with a soft smile and Richie tilted his head a little in confusion, “I mean it’s nice to have someone to be able to actually talk to. Most guys barely even acknowledge me while we do this.”

“Well, they’re damn fools. Missing out on the whole package, they are.” Richie said simply, flexing his hands on Eddie’s thighs instinctively when the boy looked down at him all fond and shit.

 

“Eddie, could you… lower the nipples please and then maybe just put your hands in his hair? Thanks.” Mike called out to them. Eddie nodded and began to shift but Richie stopped him with a rather not-sexy yelp. Eddie paused, resting with his elbows framing Richie’s head and he looked down at him like he was insane.

“Um, does he have to put his hands there? Is that mandatory?” Richie asked, voice just barely cracking. He could just see Mike past the camera glaring at him.

“Yes, Richie. It’s in the script, it is going to happen.” And Richie knew that, he read the script, but when he read the script he didn’t think it was going to be the embodiment of every wet dream he ever had engaging in Richie’s biggest kink.

“What if he just-” Richie grabbed Eddie’s hands and brought them to his chest, making him hmph a little as he fell into him, “put his hands here? That’s still hot, right?” his voice sounded more desperate than he really wanted to and of course he heard Eddie stifle a giggle above him.

“Richie,” Bev’s voice chimed in, “Stop being a baby, this is going to happen. Your dick is strapped down, you’ll be fine.” Richie groaned but collapsed back into the bed, signaling his defeat. Eddie laughed softly again as he rearranged himself. He was moving slow, seemingly for Richie’s benefit, as he tangled his hands in his hair. Of course, no matter how slow or gentle he went, it was still fucking heaven for Richie.

“So, what do you do when you’re not pretending to have sex with strangers?” Richie asked, voice kind of strangled. But at least now he didn’t have to talk so loud, since Eddie was hovering right over his face. No one else on the crew had to be privy to his embarrassing attempts to be cool.

“I’m in school still. Getting my Masters in philosophy and then hopefully after that my doctorate. I wanna teach at a collegiate level.” Eddie explained, a small smirk on his lips.

“Holy shitballs, so you’re like… really fucking smart.” Richie said on instinct. He probably shouldn’t be cursing so much in front of his coworker, but they were faux-fucking so he didn’t think regular workplace rules applied. Plus if Eddie had a problem with it, Richie was pretty sure he wouldn’t have a problem saying something about it.

“I mean, I try to be. Sometimes it doesn’t work that well.” Eddie joked.

“Please, I took a couple philosophy classes when I was in school. They were a mind-fuck.” Richie allowed and Eddie raised his eyebrows.

“What’d you major in?”

“Oh, I was a physics major but, I dropped out two years in. College isn’t for everyone, you know?” Richie said and Eddie nodded in agreement, thank God, “Now I bartend nights downtown and during the day I do… this.” Richie stuttered out and he knew despite his efforts he sounded tense as fuck. And Eddie obviously noticed.

“You’re still a little uncomfortable aren’t you?” Eddie whispered, resting his forehead against Richie’s.

“Um… I actually think I might be a little too comfortable, that’s the problem,” Richie wheezed, making Eddie blush slightly, “I just don’t wanna embarrass myself in front of you… although I don’t seem to be doing a very good job of that.” Richie admitted and god, he was being so stupid, but he couldn’t help it. Something about Eddie made his usually quick tongue feel heavy, made his tummy feel all soft.

“How about you go back to shamelessly flirting?” Eddie offered, tightening his grip on Richie’s hair slightly, “You seemed to be really be in a confident place when you were doing that.” Oh man, how did this guy know him so well already?

“Oh okay… sure, make it seem like you want me to go back to flirting for me. You know it gets you hot, that’s why you want it.” Richie responded, trying to find that usual fake-confidence.

“Yeah, there we go, gimme some more of it, Rich.” Eddie encouraged with a wide smile.

“It’s hard to do with those pretty eyes staring down at me. You’re just too distracting, you know that, Eds?”

“Ooh, Eds? I don’t think I like that. Scale back a little.”

“No-can-do, Eds. You drive me crazy.” Richie teased.

“Okay,” Bev cut in, and honestly Richie had forgotten they were even there, watching them, “I’ve officially had enough of this. We’re calling it for today. Nice work guys, see you tomorrow.”

###

“Hey, can I sit here?” Richie asked, interrupting Eddie’s thoughts. He looked up at him and almost choked on his sandwich because glasses.

“Oh my God, you have glasses on your face.” Eddie managed and Richie laughed at how flustered he was as he sat down at the table next to him. He nodded as he opened a lunch box filled with boxes of left-over Chinese food.

“Yes I am. That’s where I think they look best on me. Thanks for noticing.” Richie replied and Eddie barked out a laugh because how could he not notice them? They were big hipster things, with thick black frames that made Richie’s eyes stand out like crazy. “I don’t usually wear them on set because… well because they make me wear contacts. But sometimes I’m just too lazy to put them in, so. Glasses.” Richie explained, punctuating the end of his sentence by a shoving a shit ton of chow mein in his mouth.

“Hmm, you should wear ‘em more often.” Eddie mused, leaning a little forward towards Richie. The boy smirked around his food and echoed the movement.

“Really? You like them?” Richie asked after a very loud swallow and Eddie wanted to snap at him for being a gross eater but… maybe it was too soon to nag.

“Of course. They cover up more of your stupid face.” Eddie said smugly and Richie immediately groaned.

“Ugghh, why do you have to hurt me like this, Eds?” Richie groaned.

“Sorry, you walked into that one.” Eddie shrugged and Richie just laughed and nodded, focusing on his food again. Eddie grimaced as he shoveled food into his mouth. “Good God, you look like an animal.” Eddie said instinctively, apparently no longer caring if he was a nag.

That’s who he is at his core, why hide himself from Richie anyway? Richie looked up at him with wide eyes, actual noodles hanging from his mouth.

“Huh?” he asked, slurping up the chow mein loudly.

“God, I’m forgetting every reason why I ever thought you were sexy.” Eddie frowned and Richie choked out a broken noise.

“You thought I was sexy?” he asked incredulously and of course that’s what he would hang onto. Eddie rolled his eyes and started gathering his trash to leave.

“No, that’s not what I said. Lunch is almost over by the way, you should really hurry up.” He said, climbing over the bench.

“Wait, Eds, don’t go! Let’s talk more about how sexy I am!” Richie called after him and Eddie just threw a middle finger over his shoulder and walked back inside.

###

Richie hadn’t been talking much today. He’d blamed it on the fact that he’d had a late shift at the bar the night before and Eddie wasn’t sure he was telling the truth, but he didn’t really have any choice but to believe him.

It was their last day of shooting and Eddie was kind of bummed about it. He liked seeing Richie every day, liked talking to him and messing around with him. Richie was interesting because he somehow managed to be a huge dork and a sexy mess at the same time and Eddie was endeared. But now he was barely talking to him, just looking straight ahead or up at the ceiling as Eddie sat on his knees in front of him, bobbing his head back and forth.

“You sure you’re okay?” he asked for the third time. Richie was mumbling under his breath and Eddie was bored as fuck so he really needed to give him more attention. His knees were starting to ache too.

“Oh, yeah,” Richie gave him a sheepish smile and bit his lip, “Um, I’m just kind of bummed this is ending, you know? I’ve liked this, working with… you.” Eddie smiled up at him.

“Yeah, me too, Rich.” He agreed softly and Richie grinned widely, nodding to himself.

“I don’t know if… maybe this is too forward but, maybe you’d want to get drinks after this? Nothing implied, of course, just… us doing something with our clothes on? Or not, I dunno, it’s up to you honestly-”

“I’d love to. That sounds really nice.” Eddie responded, cutting off his rambling before it got weird and self-deprecatingly funny, like Richie had a habit of doing. They both smiled at each other for a long, cheesy moment and it felt far too innocent for the setting, Eddie literally on his knees in front of him.

“Really? Wow… that was way easier than I built it up to be in my head.” Richie muttered and Eddie laughed. 

“You’re a fucking dork.” Eddie teased and Richie scoffed.

“Okay, that’s not what your mom said last ni- oh shit.” Richie face-palmed as Eddie glared at him.

A mom joke? Really? After I just agreed to go out with you?”

“I’m sorry! They’re my default, fuck do you know how many times I’ve stopped myself from using those throughout this whole week? Just because I wanted to impress you?” Richie insisted and Eddie just rolled his eyes.

“Wow, what the fuck did I get myself into?” Eddie mused and Richie waggled his eyebrows.

“Ask your mom, she knows pretty well what’s inside of me.”

“Are you implying my mother was inside of you?” Eddie asked immediately and incredulously.

“Fuck, I guess I am, I don’t know.”

“Jesus Christ you’re ridiculous.”