Eddie was a good fucking guardian angel. No, he wasn't just good. He was the best. Every case he was given, he would make sure he took care of it like the god damn perfectionist he was and he had never once failed yet. He had a clean record of humans who he had helped and he had always managed to pull them out of the gutter and get their life back on track. His record was even better than Stanley's and Stanley was the guardian angel with a fucking OCD. Failure certainly wasn't part of his vocabulary.
And then came then day when Eddie found the file on his desk and he almost fainted. The most notorious file. The worst of the worst. Richard Tozier.
Now Richie Tozier might've been a genius with a mouth filled with profanities, but by no means was he the smartest guy around. He had managed to lock himself up into a freezer when he was four, almost dying as his parents didn't notice his absence, he had set his chemistry class on fire, twice, and he had a habit on stepping on broken glass. His bad luck mixed with parents who had neglected him his entire life, now twenty-year-old Richie Tozier was the most difficult case the Guardian Angels™ had ever come across. No one had succeeded. Everybody seemed to give up at some point.
And now it was going to ruin Eddie's perfect record.
"No way," Eddie said as he marched into Mike's office, throwing the case back to him. "Get me someone else, get him someone else, I don't care. I'm not going to do it." Mike might've been Eddie's boss, but he was chill and they were friends - Eddie hardly viewed him as an authoritative figure.
"You're literally the only one who hasn't tried yet, Eddie," Mike sighed. "You're my last hope. We can't leave this poor kid - he would literally kill himself, even if it would be accidental. You know his story, you can't say that you don't feel at least a little bad."
"Don't try to appeal to my high morals," Eddie shook his head. "The answer is no." As much as Eddie felt bad for the poor kid, he had heard all about Richie Tozier from Stan. The guy might've been one with bad luck, but he also was extremely annoying. Eddie wouldn't last a week.
"What high morals? For an angel, you have shockingly low ones, my friend," Mike smiled and even Eddie had to let out an unattractive snort.
"No still means no Michael."
The amused expression disappeared from Mike's face and was replaced with a rare, yet stern, one. "It's an order Eddie, not a request. You're the best in what you do - so do this well."
Eddie got absolutely no sympathy from Stanley. After hearing the bad news concerning his next job, he went straight to his friend and gave him a big fucking rant how this was a bad thing and was going to demolish his perfect record. Stan’s response was a malevolent smirk, which did nothing but prove Eddie’s growing suspicions that Stan was actually a demon in disguise.
”If anything it actually serves you right,” Stan said, inspecting his perfect nails like the asshole he was and giving Eddie an absolutely catty grin. God, how Eddie would hate the guy if they weren’t such good friends. ”Everybody has to fail sometimes. It’s about time that you do too.”
Eddie gave the boy such a heated glare that anybody else would have quivered already – but not Stan. Stan was made from the same material as Eddie (perhaps Eddie was a demon in disguise as well, although he doubts he would be as good of an angel as he is if that was the case). ”We both know that failure isn’t a part of my vocabulary Stanley.”
”Maybe it’s time that you get yourself a new dictionary then,” Stan answered and raised his eyebrow in that annoying way he did and gave him the annoying smirk he always had when he won an argument.
Eddie came to the conclusion that Stanley Uris was a bitch, but he wouldn’t say that out loud because he loved the bastard that much.
Eddie’s back-up plan was to get Ben to do the work for him. With enough pampering and nice words Ben wasn’t able to say no to anyone or anything. And so he got a pile of some quality books from Mike (refusing to tell his boss to what purpose, although he was fairly sure that Mike knew) and practiced a speech in his head, talking about all the good qualities Ben had. And Ben had a lot of good qualities. He was perhaps the most angelic angel Eddie had ever met.
”What’s all this?” Ben asked as Eddie presented him with the enormous pile of books from all over history.
”Oh, nothing much. Just thought I’d get my good pal Ben something nice,” Eddie shrugged, marveling in the way that Ben’s face lit up at the sight of the books. ”I know you happen to like reading and I just happened to have these laying around...”
”I’m not doing the Richie Tozier case for you.” Eddie’s face fell at the words.
”How did you know that’s why I’m here?” Eddie asked, astonished, already filling a list in his head of possible angels that might have guessed what he was up to and warned Ben. Stan filled all of ten places in the list.
”Mike warned me that you might do something like this,” Ben hummed and gave Eddie a genuinely apologetic smile.
”Oh, I should’ve known, the cruel bastard. They all just want to see me fail.”
”He also told me not to help you – not that I would have either way. I’ve had my go on that case and he almost drove me mad,” Ben confessed, and Eddie was truly surprised by that. It took a lot to get on Ben’s nerves, Eddie had already deemed it impossible.
”Oh for fuck’s sake Ben! Help a friend out, please,” Eddie whined, possibely resembling a four-year-old child whose parents refused to by them a lollipop from the store. ”You’re my last hope.”
But Ben stuck by his words and Eddie was forced to accept the reality of the situation. He was going to have to take the case and the inevitable failure that came along with it, no matter how sour taste the thought left in his mouth.
Eddie had given himself some false hope that Richie Tozier wasn’t as bad as everyone said. He made himself believe that the rumors were just gently exaggerated and that the boy was actually pleasant and funny. But no. It turned out that the rumors weren’t at all exaggerated, now were they? No, the rumors were a palliated version of the truth – reality was ten times worse.
”Take the fucking spoon out of the microwave, you idiotic cock-box,” Eddie repeated for what felt like the tenth time, but the boy wasn’t listening. No, Richie kept the spoon in the microwave with the bowl of soup and Eddie was running low on nerves. He was a millisecond away from strangling the overwhelmingly tall boy, whose attention was completely on his phone.
Of course Richie couldn’t actually hear Eddie – not unless Eddie wanted him to. Eddie job was to guide Richie’s actions towards the safe and morally correct once – but Richie had a habit of not following through with these. Eddie had once succeeded to stop Richie from walking into a glass-door, but that was only a feeble success.
Bet Stan is real fucking pleased right now, Eddie thought bitterly as he watched Richie’s friend Beverly walking into the kitchen.
”Richie what the fuck?” she screeched as she noticed the situation – there was small sparks already forming in the microwave, slowly building up to a proper explosion. Beverly quickly turned off the microwave and took the bowl and the spoon out. ”Are you daft?” she demanded as Richie gave the contents of her hand a blank look.
”Damn, I was wondering where I put my spoon.” Eddie was ready to slap Richie fucking silly, but Beverly beat him to it, scolding the taller boy with such intensity that Eddie could only be impressed.
”Do you have any alive braincells left in that head of yours?” Beverly asked the question Eddie had been wondering for the four days he had been on the case. ”Or have you turned your common sense off?”
”In my feeble defense, I sold my common sense along with my soul to devil in order to get more money to buy weed.” Beverly punched Richie on the shoulder, but a smile appeared on her lips anyway.
”Don’t you dare go soft on him Beverly, don’t you dare,” Eddie said, for a moment forgetting that he wasn’t Beverly’s guardian angel. Unfortunately so. ”Stay strong and give him a piece of your word. Slap some intelligence into that head of his, god damn it!”
”Shouldn’t you scold me some more?” Richie asked. ”Give me a piece of your word? Slap some intelligence into me?”
”Oh, so now you listen to me? Not in the face of an actual emergency?” Eddie complained, already exhausted by this.
Maybe I should just give up. Just go ahead and accept defeat.
”Like that’ll get me anywhere. You still coming to the movies today with me and Bill?” In Eddie’s opinion, Richie would be better off, never leaving his house. Preferably never leaving his bed. There accidents were highly unlikely to happen, and Richie would be in no serious danger, unless you count the possibility of obesity. Eddie could work with obesity.
”No. You are not leaving this house today. Or tomorrow. Or ever. Drop out of school. I don’t care,” Eddie said, knowing that his instructions were received by deaf ears and Richie wouldn’t listen to him. It was worth a shot.
”Yeah, sure. What are we going to see?”
”I swear to god, if it’s another slasher-” Eddie started.
”I heard there’s a new slasher in the theaters and it got surprisingly good ratings,” Beverly answered, making Eddie literally bang his head against the wall, out of pure frustration. Richie liked to play a though guy when he was watching horror flicks and slasher movies with his friends, but boy, when they lights went out for the night, Richie would get absolutely zero sleep, every single noise his apartment let out making his heartbeat go from zero to one hundred.
And why is Richie not sleeping a bad thing, you may ask? Besides the obvious, Richie seems to be paying even less attention when tired than he is normally – that leads to him forgetting his ADHD medication, not looking both ways when crossing the road and almost getting hit by a truck, putting the spoon into the microwave, dropping things that are made of glass or porcelain and the list goes on.
Eddie wasn’t having that for the second time, and it had only been four days. If Eddie didn’t go mad by the time he was done with Richie, he’d definitely apply for an early retirement.
Two weeks. It had been two weeks and Eddie was on the verge of an amotional breakdown. He wasn’t a being that acquired a lot of sleep, but fucking hell, being Richie Tozier’s guardian angel was like babysitting a toddler. You had to be constantly alert in case he does something stupid that could possibly get him hurt – Eddie couldn’t catch a break.
In the span of those fourteen days, Richie had done what Eddie told him to do all of five times, and Eddie now considered those his greatest achievements yet. Richie obeyed Stan only two times, and Ben none. Eddie shouldn’t have felt as smug as he did.
But five times were not a lot, and Eddie decided that it was time for desperate measures. Guardian angels weren’t supposed to show themselves to humans, unless it was absolutely necessary. Eddie thought that this counted as one of those times.
Of course things like that didn’t happen so easily. You had to write an application to Mike, have it approved and if, and only if, the application is accepted you can show yourself to the human you’ve been assigned with.
And that’s how Eddie ended up sitting at the foot of Richie’s bed, making sure that the dumbass didn’t fall down from it while he was filling the application form.
Does the client have difficulties obeying simple commands? Cross yes or no.
”Yes, yes, a hundred time yes,” Eddie muttered to himself as he assaulted the right box with his pen and taking a glance of Richie, who never was the most peaceful sleeper.
Have you managed to reach out to the client more than seven times in the span of one week?
”Absolutely fucking not.”
How many times do you succeed to reach out to the client daily on average? Stupid question, really.
How difficult is it for the client to comprehend pieces of advice on the scale of 1 to 10?
”Ten is not a big enough number Mike,” Eddie muttered, fully aware that Mike could hear him if he wanted to.
How much improvement does the client show compared to your first day working?
By the time Eddie was finished with the form, it was almost five a.m. Taking Richie’s normal sleep schedule into consideration, Eddie figured that he’d have just enough time to drop the form to Mike before Richie woke up.
Let’s just hope that the possible serial killers steer clear from this neighborhood for a couple of hours, Eddie thought before leaving Richie to fend for himself for a couple of hours.
Eddie’s plan was to make sure that no one noticed him sneaking into Mike’s office – that would start false rumors about Eddie giving up on Richie, and Eddie wasn’t planning on doing that before he had ripped the last remaining strand of hair off his head. But luck still wasn’t on Eddie’s side, for Stanley Uris had the eyes of a hawk and the reflexes of a cheetah.
”Oh hey Eddie,” Stan grinned as he stepped in front of Eddie, cutting his way to Mike’s office. ”Funny to see you here.”
”How so? I work here after all.”
Stan tilted his head to the side, still grinning like a shark. ”How’s Richard Tozier been doing? To a talented guardian angel such as yourself he must be a piece of cake.”
”He’s just fine Stanley, thank you for asking. He just needs a little work,” Eddie said, trying his best to not sound like a growling dog, but Stan could always see through his facade.
”Oh, so you’re not here to let Mike down by telling him that you’re giving up?”
Eddie shook his head. ”Hell no. Unlike some here, I’m not a quitter. Now, if you excuse me, I have a word for Mike.” Stan stepped aside and made way for Eddie to march straight into Mike’s office, where he was sitting behind his blindingly white desk, writing something down.
”Eddie! I’d say it’s a pleasure to see you, but I have to admit that I’m a little concerned for why you’re here,” Mike greeted him with a small smile. ”You’re not giving up yet, are you?” Mike asked, a slight quiver in his voice, as if he was genuinely worried about what was going to happen if Eddie did decide to quit now.
”Why does everybody assume that I’m giving up?” Eddie groaned and slammed the application on his hand on Mike’s desk.
Mike took a hold of the paper, looking it over with pursed lips. It was obvious that he wasn’t pleased with the idea – he never was. But fuck, it was literally Eddie’s final card at this point. It was either this or he’d actually have to give up and accept the bitter taste of defeat and Eddie refused to do that.
”I’m going to have to run this through my superiors...” Mike said slowly, giving Eddie a careful glance. ”It won’t necessarily go through them.”
”I’m serious Mike – it’s the only thing left. I might as well give up if you turn down the application! The guy doesn’t listen, he’s thick as a brick and I’m down to my last nerve cell,” Eddie whined, something he figured he did a lot, but it usually worked out for him pretty well.
Mike stared at Eddie with pursed lips, glancing at the application in his hands before putting it down with a long sigh. ”Eddie… you know this is just for desperate cases...”
”And you’re saying Richie’s not a desperate case? For fucks sake, he’s driven everybody here mad, if he’s not a desperate case then nobody is!”
”You’re literally the first one to requesting this-”
Eddie groaned and rolled his eyes. ”That’s because everybody else just wanted to get rid of him. I’m the one who has something to lose from giving up on this,” Eddie reasoned crossing his arms across his chest, the frustration in his chest growing by the second and it was all Mike’s fault. Richie must wake up soon and he needed the positive answer now.
”You mean you have your reputation to lose?” Mike said, raising his eyebrows accusingly. Mike must’ve forgotten who he was talking to, because that look might’ve worked on everybody else, but not on Eddie.
”I’m not leaving until you put the stamp on that paper,” Eddie said, putting his foot down both figuratively and literally. There was a silent staring contest between Eddie and Mike, neither willing to give up on the case. But Eddie had never lost a staring contest in his life, and soon enough it was Mike who gave in with a heavy sigh, opening one of his drawers and taking a golden stamp out and pressing it on the paper once.
”Don’t make me regret it,” Mike warned.
Richie’s day, like any normal day of the week, didn’t get off on a good start. Falling out of his too small bed was an excellent way to start of the Saturday – or was it Friday? - morning. Almost immediately after that, Richie walked into his bedroom door which was weird, because he was pretty sure he left it open last night – like he always did.
Then he nearly dropped a knife on his toes. Well, not nearly, he definitely dropped the knife on his toes, but the knife never had the time to slice Richie’s big toe, which resembled a potato in an eerie way, off, because somebody managed to catch the knife before any damage was done.
Of course this was Richie’s time to start screaming his lungs out.
Now, normally when he has a cute guy in his apartment, his reaction was not to scream bloody murder. But the thing was, normally he was aware that there was a cute guy in his house. Now, however, the cute guy had appeared out of fucking nowhere, staring at Richie blankly as he screamed until his throat was sore.
”Are you done?” the guy asked, his voice sweet as honey. The irritated tone in his voice however, didn’t sound as sweet.
”Who the fuck are you and what the fuck are you doing in my home?” Richie demanded, his eyes wide and heartbeat going fast as a racehorse.
”I’m Eddie – your guardian angel, and I need you to get your fucking act together.”