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fellas, is it gay to jack a bro off?

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To tell the truth, Richie has no idea how it’s gotten to this point. Eddie on his knees, khaki shorts stained green from the wet grass underneath as he hurriedly jacks him off, pausing ever so often to take Richie in his mouth, the fucking tease.

“Hurry up,” Eddie says to him, and when Richie looks down the wind is ruffling his fluffy hair. Shit. He kind of looks like an angel like that, brown eyes peering up at Richie through dark lashes. Eddie opens his mouth again. “The bell’s gonna ring in like, five minutes.”

They’ve skipped class to do this. This; meaning the two of them sneaking off from fourth period to blow each other behind the school, down near where the property ends and the grass starts to run high.

It didn’t start off so crass, with Richie’s pants hoisted around his waist and his head thumping against the brick of the school. He’s completely out in the open and shivering because he left his windbreaker in his locker, warm only where Eddie’s hand and Eddie’s mouth is on him, fuck. It’s completely ridiculous. Absurd. Insane. And now, apparently, it’s the new normal.

“Don’t finish on my face, I’m serious,” Eddie warns, tilting away. “I swear to god, Tozier, I’ll use your own goddamn shirt as a rag and you’ll have to walk around smelling like jizz and everyone’s gonna think you’re some horny half-wit who can’t keep it in his pants.”

“Your dirty talk transcends all,” Richie manages, because even when Eddie’s being a shithead he still looks beautiful, somehow--his lips are red and puffy from Richie, cheeks flushed because of Richie. Like...he did that. And it sort of hits him right in his heart, the idea that he’s the one ravaging Eddie like that, even though all he’s really done today is a shoddy blowjob that somehow, by a stroke of luck, managed to get Eddie off. Thank god for high school libidos.

Eddie’s right, though. They only have a few more minutes before it’s time for next period and Richie doesn’t really want to push his luck any more than they already are, out in the open like this. The back of the school faces a large, overgrown field bordered by woods at the far end. It’s rare for anyone to come wandering back here, but still. Richie reaches down and takes over, gently pushing Eddie off him. He can’t even begin to imagine how mortifying it would be for someone to catch him in such a pathetic position, Trashmouth Tozier hunched over and jacking off into Eddie Kaspbrak’s open mouth--wait.

“Eddie,” Richie says, and he feels his flush reach all the way down his chest. “Are you sure?”

Eddie shrugs and grins, sticking out his tongue cheekily and letting it rest on the underside of the head of his cock. Fucking Kaspbrak--who would’ve thought? Eddie’s started to get weirdly confident after he’s gotten off and it’s unexpectedly hot. Especially right now, because he’s never let Richie finish in his mouth before.

Richie wants to memorize the image of Eddie kneeling before him as the soft grass sways around his thighs and his shirt ripples across his chest, sparkling eyes and a sly smile and shit--he’s kind of perfect, Richie realizes, and comes with a muffled groan, aiming down Eddie’s throat.

He’s not sure what the protocol is now--what do you say after you’ve just shot yourself down your best bro’s waiting gullet? But Eddie takes it in stride, which is very surprising (see: post-coital confidence), and wipes his mouth with tissues he’s grabbed from his pocket.

“Gross,” he says, and grimaces at Richie’s undoubtedly dumb expression, eyeing him up and down. “Ugh, tuck yourself back in. We gotta go.” Richie grumbles, eyeing Eddie’s neatly clasped and belted shorts, feeling dirty in comparison as he zips himself back up. Which really isn’t fair because he knows for a fact that Eddie’s just as gross as he is, considering not twenty minutes ago their positions were switched and it was Eddie lowkey face-fucking him before emptying himself into Kleenex he brought along special for the moment, apparently.

Whatever. Richie can’t really complain, all things considered.

“Always a pleasure, Eds,” Richie says, swinging his backpack on and throwing an arm around Eddie’s shoulders, steering them back towards the entrance of the school.

“Do not touch me without cleaning your hands first!” Eddie wrinkles his nose and reaches behind himself to grasp at the PocketBac hand sanitizer he’s got dangling from his zipper. “Here,” and he squirts a healthy dollop of Frosted Cranberry into Richie’s waiting palms.

Richie rubs his hands together vigorously, even between his fingers because he catches Eddie eyeing him. Once the kid’s satisfied Richie replaces his hands back on his shoulders and marches Eddie forward. Eddie doesn’t protest, letting his weight sag against Richie. He loves when he’s like this--sated and pliable, slow and smiley with all his tension drained out of him.

“Same time tomorrow?” He asks, and Eddie lets his head drop back until he’s staring Richie in the eyes, upside down.

“I have a presentation in English tomorrow,” Eddie muses. English is Eddie’s fifth period, and Richie knows that he’ll probably want to spend all of his fourth--which is Chemistry--revising.

“No worries,” he says easily, and tacks on, “maybe this weekend, then.”

“Sounds good to me.” They smile at each other, and maybe it's a bit more than the norm for best friends, and maybe he’s a little too charmed by the lazy way the curve works around Eddie’s mouth, but that’s all a problem for Later Richie.

--


If he had to pinpoint an exact starting point, Richie supposes it was when Eddie had kissed him randomly one cloudy afternoon in February almost a month ago.

They were fucking around on an old swing set in Richie’s backyard and Eddie had twisted his seat tight enough to send Richie twirling and careening into the wooden post holding the entire thing up.

“Ow, fuck,” he had laughed, head spinning, and Eddie had stepped into his space, determination clear even to Richie’s dizzy eyes. Hands grasped the chain and suddenly Eddie was kissing him--a slight thing, gentle, and before Richie had time to process anything Eddie had stepped back, gathered his bag and wished him a “good night, I’ll see you tomorrow, Richie.”

“I’m trying out this thing,” Eddie had said the following week, only a few days after The Incident, “where I push through my fears and try new things and talk about my feelings. My therapist says it’s a good mental exercise to rid myself of the unnecessary anxiety my mom’s bred in me. I’m also saying this because admitting I have a therapist is a huge step.”

The rest of them had sort of gaped at him like idiots until Bev shook them out of it by clapping a hand to Eddie’s shoulder.

“Thanks for telling us, dude,” she’d said, and Eddie’s grateful smile was enough to shake the rest of them out of their funk, surrounding Eddie in cheers and words of encouragement.

Later, when they were filtering out of the cafeteria, Richie had grabbed Eddie’s arm and hauled him close to the vending machines.

“Is this why you kissed me last Saturday?” he had asked. No use in beating around the bush. “Cuz your therapist said so?”

Eddie had blushed and scuffed his shoe on the tiled floor. “Yeah,” he had started, shrugging his shoulders. “So what? Studies show that kissing actually is a great de-stressor, you know, and it reduces blood pressure, actually, did you know that? Which are all super important things in my road to recovery, my therapist says. I figured you’d be a good enough friend to help me out.” He had delivered the words with confidence but looked anything but, eyes darting around complete with a red flush that bloomed across his nose.

Richie blinked. On one hand, it sounded like complete fucking bullshit. On the other…

It’s a little-known secret, but Richie, for all his bragging and showing off, is all talk. So, really, what Eddie proposed held nothing but benefits for the both of them. Richie saw no reason to look a gift horse in it’s mouth. Dude...he’s just helping his friend out. That’s normal, right? Hell, it’s downright nice of him, honestly. Fuck, he really is the best friend ever.

“Sure, Eds,” He had said, clamping a hand down on Eddie’s shoulder. “Out of the goodness of my heart, I’ll help you out.”

--

It had started out with small kisses--cute ones, innocent ones hidden in the shadows of the hallway before class, or in Eddie’s car before he drops Richie off. Those were nice. That was back when the world made sense.

But then Eddie started lingering a little longer. Richie started pushing a little harder. And within two weeks they had progressed into full-on making out, hot and heavy in the backseat or some secluded park bench because they’re randy as fuck eighteen-year-olds.

Eddie straddling his lap, jerking Richie’s head back because he’s got fingers twisted in Richie’s curls. It’s a slippery slope with the way Eddie grinds down against his thigh, and Richie’s not nearly strong enough to reign in his imagination at night when he’s got memories like that. So, one day making out turns into some sort of weird, mutual masturbation episode in which their pants don’t even come fully off and Richie gets come all over his favorite fingerless gloves.

“Take ‘em off next time,” Eddie says when Richie whines about it, running them under the tap. “That was rough as fuck, I thought I was gonna have to borrow Stan’s poison ivy ointment.”

Richie ignores the jab. “There’s gonna be a next time?” he questions, turning around to beam at Eddie. Eddie flushes under the gaze Richie’s pinning him with, shifty.

“I mean--I dunno,” he says, crossing his arms.

They sort of look at each other a moment. Richie isn’t quite sure what Eddie wants him to say.

“I am feeling really de-stressed,” Eddie says after a long moment, side-eyeing Richie, and that’s as good as go.

--

Now Richie finds himself sitting in his fifth period--which is AP Physics--squirming in his seat and thinking about Eddie. He doesn’t care about rotational motion and angular momentum and whatever the fuck Mrs. Price is on about now. Honestly, all Richie really wants to do is scoop Eddie up and cradle him in his chest, which is really stupid because Eddie’s not even here--he’s in English. And also, that’s not really a conventional action for platonic best friends.

Like, yeah, they help each other out once in a while, and sure, “once in a while” is starting to mean at least three times a week, but they’re friends. Richie’s not about to ruin the best (and only) lay he’s ever had because he gets cuddly after shooting his load. Get a fucking grip, he thinks to himself, which is a laughable thought at best. How the fuck’s he supposed to concentrate when not even ten minutes ago Eddie fucking Kaspbrak was blowing him--outdoors, no less! Richie doesn’t know how they’re supposed to top that--it’s risky, and risqué, because for some reason the threat of discovery gets them hot around the collar.

Actually, lately Eddie has been...really surprising Richie with his actions. What the fuck kind of therapist is he seeing, making him all sultry and sensual and shit? Not that Richie has any idea what that means in practice, not really, because he’s barely legal virgin and honestly the simple act of Eddie dropping to his knees has him sporting a half-chub.

But, still--either Eddie knows what he’s doing or is bullshitting an insane amount of confidence because when they’re alone he’s somehow incredibly attuned to Richie’s body. He knows just where to kiss, where to grip, ohhh, where to suck…Richie’s probably touch-starved and hypersensitive enough that if Eddie focused all his attention to like, his bicep or forearm or some shit, he’d probably come eventually. Still, though. It’s hot--super hot, especially when they really get going and Eddie’s panting above him or under him or against his neck because they’ve started getting creative with positions.

Oh, yeah--Richie can hear him now, the way he groans softly and bites his lip. Or even better, when he bites Richie’s lip, fuck, that’s the stuff of wet dreams right there. Eddie really is totally out of his league. Richie feels like he should be repenting or some shit for all the times he’s had his dick in Eddie’s deft hands or down his throat. And even though the last time was about half an hour ago Richie’s face is getting hot, and he shifts in his seat, trying to be discreet.

The weekend can’t come fast enough. Sundays are great because that’s when the lovely Mrs. K. goes to church like the devoted Bible-thumper she is and gets her shopping done for the week, even though the Kaspbrak’s pantry is already stocked to the brim with canned food and snacks like they’re Doomsday preppers. She’s out of the house by nine and doesn’t return until at least five in the evening, and the first thing Eddie does when he wakes up is call Richie over because they have the house to themselves. Poor Sonia. Richie’s sure she thinks her darling boy is at home reading the sermon for the day and cleaning his room, not crossing swords with Richard Tozier. He wants to laugh at her ignorance. What a dumbass! For the past month Sundays have become an all out fuck-fest for the two of them.

Well, without any actual fucking, per se--but the sentiment stands. They’ve explored a lot, even without sex, and Richie isn’t sure but with the way things have been going lately he wouldn’t be surprised if he’s balls deep in Eddie’s ass by the time May rolls around.

Sex. Sex with Eddie. Should this feel as normal as it does? Is he supposed to be this blasé about it all? He’s excited at the prospect of having his dick in something that isn’t the circle of his right hand, don’t get him wrong--like, over the moon, absolutely thrilled--but it also feels a little bit established. Like he and Eddie were inevitably going to end up like this--wrapped up in one another. But that train of thought gets dangerous, toeing the line of something akin to Romance and not the No-Strings-Attached Fun With Friends, No Homo, No Way bit they’ve been pulling recently. Like he said--a problem for Later Richie. He’s cool. He’s chill. He’s...got one sole thought flitting through his head right now and it’s the mental image of Eddie’s dick.

“Richie,” says a voice, and Richie turns and is met by the full force of Stan’s stare. “What are you doing? You’re zoning out. Where were you in P.E.?”

Second semester senior year means Richie’s got all but two of his classes with Stan--AP this, honors that, and a few bullshit credits sprinkled between to top off their high school careers. Normally he likes it, because Stan’s one of his best and oldest friends, so it’s great to have a companion throughout the day. But also, Stan’s one of his best and oldest friends--which means he’s privy to the most obscure of Richie’s expressions, including his “I’m-thinking-about-porn” face.

“Nothing,” he says hastily, running a hand through his hair. “I just skipped--that class is trash, anyway.”

Stan raises his eyebrows. “That’s like, the third time you’ve skipped in the past two weeks,” he says, and turns back to his desk. He seems to be done with the conversation and Richie’s grateful. Stan reads him a bit too well sometimes.

But luck is, as usual, not on his side. “You know,” Stan continues after a while, eyeing Richie. Oh, jeez. “Mike says Eddie’s been skipping out on English a lot, too. When does he have that class again? Do you know?”

“Uh, no,” Richie says, jiggling his leg. Fucking fuck--if he looks Stan in the eyes the jig’s totally up. “Why would I? And why do you even care, huh, Stanny boy? Mrs. K. payin’ you to keep tabs on her little boy?”

Stan grimaces. “Don’t call him a ‘little boy’, Richie, you sound like a pedo.”

“You’re the one stalking him...Stalker.” Ah, deflection. An age-old friend in his years of emotional swerving.

Stan seems to know this, too. “Ugh!” He throws his hands up in frustration. “Forget it. I can’t keep talking to you when you’re like this.”

Richie grins. Stan can be so easy to rile up if he’s in the right mood. Thank god for that, though, because he’s not really sure if the rest of the Losers are allowed to know about him and Eddie’s little tryst.

It’s not like they’re homophobic or anything. Well, Richie assumes. They’ve never really talked about that kind of stuff, not really. A couple years ago Eddie made a face when they saw two guys holding hands in Portland but no one else really reacted, and the moment passed. Richie doesn’t know what that means at all, except maybe that Eddie’s a bit old-fashioned. Ironic, now, you know--considering everything.

And even if they were somehow closeted assholes, it wouldn’t matter anyway. He’s not datingEddie. They don’t even like each other like that. They’re just two dudes with a common goal who just happen to work together really well to achieve said goal, alright?

Richie’s not gay.

--

“No homo,” Richie says on Sunday from his spot sprawled on Eddie’s bed, “but I kinda wanna suck you off.”

Eddie pauses in his actions of tracing patterns on Richie’s forearms. “Yeah?” he says, ducking his head and grinning at his sheets. “Do it, then.”

Richie immediately flips so he’s on top of Eddie, reaching down and nosing under his ear. “Yeah,” he breathes, and glows with confidence when he feels Eddie shiver. “And...uh, I was kind of thinking…” he trails off, suddenly unsure.

You see, the thing with Richie Tozier is that once he’s got an idea in his head he can’t move on unless he’s at least attempted to act on whatever hair-brained scheme he’s concocted. And right now, a big train of thought consistently at the forefront is sex. Like, real sex. The kind where he fucks Eddie, honest to god dick-in-the-guts banging. And Richie’s pretty sure Eddie’s on board too--he has to be, with how raunchy things get between them. It’s the next logical step in whatever bullshit friends-with-benefits schtick they’ve been pulling and Richie has enough of a handle on the idea to know that it’s gonna be both messy and difficult, so he sees no harm in trying to sow the seeds of success now.

But as Mags always says--theory is much, much easier than practice.

“What are you thinking?” Eddie asks warily. He’s shifted so he’s looking Richie in the eyes, frowning.

“Umm…” Richie says, blooming red. “I was thinking...you know, we’ve been doing the same sort of stuff for a while now...and uh, maybe we could…y’know…”

“Spit it out, Richie!” Eddie’s nervous. Shit, shit--that’s the last thing Richie wants. Nervous Eddie means Anxious Eddie and Anxious Eddie means Blue Balled Richie.

He takes a breath. “Um...well...maybeIcouldfingeryou?” he says it in one breath, biting his lip and meeting Eddie’s wide eyes with his own. Eddie doesn’t say anything, mouth open. “Like...not in a gay way, or anything, but like maybe it would be good, right, in the long run…” He’s rambling. Sue him, he’s fucking worried, okay? Eddie isn’t doing anything but staring up at him with those big brown eyes. He looks vaguely disgusted. Aw, fuck. Richie can feel Eddie’s apprehension rolling off him in waves. And even worse, he can feel his erection flagging.

“...Eddie?” Richie ventures, after a long while during which Eddie says nothing at all. “Are...is that a no?”

“Yes.” Eddie says. Richie raises his brows.

“Yes, that’s a no, or yes you want to--”

“It’s a no.” Ouch. Eddie’s tone offers no room for arguing. Worried that he’s killed the mood, Richie draws on the last of his confidence and leans back down to suck on Eddie’s neck.

“No problem,” he breathes against Eddie’s skin, trying to get him to loosen up. Jesus, he’s like a board. “Your mom isn’t due home for another hour, at least…” Maybe we can still fool around...

“Richie, can you get off me, actually?” Or maybe not.

“Hm?”

“Seriously--get off!”

Fuuuuuck. Richie pushes himself up and off Eddie, propped up on his elbows. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” Eddie says, and looks anything but. His eyes are big and he’s skittish, darting glances everywhere except Richie’s face. “But--um, I think you should go home. I’m...not feeling too well.”

Richie’s not an asshole, or stupid. He gets it. “Sure, Spaghetti Man,” he says easily, sliding off the bed and gathering his shoes.

“Like, right now.”

“Gotcha, Eds.” Eddie watches silently as he shoves his sneakers on and swings himself onto the windowsill. “And, uh. Sorry about...you know,” he offers, one leg already out on the roof.

“It’s okay,” Eddie rushes to say. They both look at each other and it’s the most awkward Richie’s felt in a long while.

“Well, see ya,” Richie says, and hoists himself outside before Eddie can respond. Fuck, that went worse than expected. So much for avoiding Blue Balled Richie. Shit. Richie huffs out a breath at the sky. Now what?

--

It’s a blustery day in mid-March when Richie and the rest of the losers troop down to the track to watch Eddie and his teammates compete against Dedham and Holden. It’s fucking freezing, at least to Richie, but Derry High’s got their spring track team decked out in that stupid shorts and tank combo that grants Richie full view of all of Eddie’s toned legs and thighs.

Of course he’s looking. Of course. Half the reason he showed up to this shit is so he could ogle. Richie’s not really that invested in watching a bunch of kids run around and pass batons. Things have slowed down significantly between him and Eddie since last week when he asked, with absolutely zero tact, if he could shove his fingers up Eddie’s ass. “Slowed down” as in, halted completely. Fuck, he really is an idiot. And now he’s had to get reacquainted with his right hand like the pathetic loser he is, jacking it into tissues and feeling depressed as all hell because he misses Eddie.

Like, only because Eddie’s weirdly kind of really good at blowjobs. He’s not out here fuckin’...pining after Eddie or something. It’s not like they broke up, Jesus. It’s just hard to revert back to the same one-man-band routine you’ve been pulling since you were twelve. Anyone would feel the same.

Aw, shit. Richie really wishes he kept his mouth shut because looking at Eddie laughing with his teammates, watching him hop in place as he warms up his muscles...it sucks. Big time. Richie wants to be over there too, making Eds laugh. He feels like a total jerk, springing that whole up-the-butt thing on him. What really gets to Richie is that even their friendship has taken a bit of a hit, Eddie ducking out of any and all of their after school plans to run home--even the innocent ones, like sneaking into the Aladdin or cramming themselves full of greasy pizza.

At least he’s not rude to Richie’s face. If Eddie hates Richie’s guts, he’s hiding it pretty well...especially considering the beaming smile Eddie just shot him from across the field! Granted, Richie had just cupped his hands and whooped his last name. Still, though--progress! And god, that smile. Yowza. Richie tries not to read into how warm it makes him feel, directed right at him like that. Still, he lets out another incomprehensible yell of excitement.

“Sh-shut up, Richie,” Bill says, but he’s grinning. “I thuh-think they heard you all the way in Canada.”

“I can do better,” Richie promises, and Bill rolls his eyes, but he’s laughing. They clamber up the bleachers where the rest of the Losers are waiting, bundled up to escape the chilly weather Derry seems insistent on dragging out.

Eddie’s fast. Like, really fast. He’s competing in a few races--“dashes”, he’d called them, when telling the rest of the Losers at lunch--and DHS holds their own. Home turf advantage may have a part in that. Richie just about loses his voice screaming with the rest of his friends when Eddie whizzes by them during the 200 meter sprint.

“Second place!” Mike yells afterward, when Eddie jogs over to them. He’s flushed and sweaty and his shirt clings to him around his middle. It’s unfairly hot. Eddie goes through some cool down stretches in front of them, chatting away, and Richie watches as the muscles in his legs ripple. He swallows. Eddie’s got the biggest, dopiest grin on his face, and his hair is loose and flopping down on his forehead. Richie can’t look away, not until Eddie brushes it back and catches his eye.

Oof. They hold contact for a moment, and Richie heats up. Eddie’s gaze is heavy and, oh shit, he licks the bottom lip of his pouty pink mouth.

“Congrats, Spaghetti,” Richie says, needing to break the moment. He lurches forward suddenly to scoop Eddie up and spin him. It’s nothing out of the ordinary, but Richie has a strong, undeniable urge to keep Eddie against him and press his smile against his cheek, public be damned. His hands dig into Eddie’s thighs where he’s supporting him. Richie can feel his muscles shift under his palm, and it’s too much. Especially since he hasn’t gotten the chance to touch Eddie like this in what feels like forever. Especially when he looks up to meet Eddie’s eye and sees his darkened gaze. Richie settles for setting Eddie back down on his feet and shoving him into Beverly’s waiting arms.

“Thanks, guys,” Eddie says, breaking eye contact with Richie and smiling hard at the ground. His hair is back and hanging over his brows. “It was cool of you to come.”

Later, when Stan starts to head up the hill towards the street, Eddie catches his eye again. Stay, he mouths over Ben’s shoulder, and shoots Richie a little smile. Oh. Oh. Richie knows that smile. Could it be…? Richie hugs his jacket tighter around himself and bites his cheek to keep from smiling too hard. One way to find out.

“Oh,” Eddie says, as everyone starts gathering their things to follow Stan, Bill already halfway up the hill, “I think I forgot something in the locker room.”

“I’ll come with you to get it,” Richie announces immediately, and is overwhelmingly glad Stan’s already by the parking lot. “You guys go on, we’ll catch up.”

Hasty goodbyes are distributed to a somewhat bewildered Mike, Ben, and Bev, and within two minutes he and Eddie are speed-walking through the empty halls of Derry High. “So, Spaghetti,” Richie says when they’ve entered the thankfully abandoned locker room, sweeping his arms wide, “what brings us down on this here fine day--”

Eddie shuts him up fast by looping his arms around Richie’s neck and tugging him down for a kiss.

“Uhh...what was that for?” Richie asks when they break away, secretly ecstatic. He tugs Eddie closer and adds, “not that I’m complaining, no siree, it’s just, after a week of radio silence a guy’s a little out of his depth, you know what I mean?”

Eddie sighs. “I know,” he says, and worries his lip. Richie’s momentarily hyper-focused on the way his his mouth moves. “I’m sorry for freaking out last week.”

“Hey, no worries about that shit,” Richie says. He means it, too. “We can still have fun.”

Eddie grins up at him. “Hm,” is all he says before he’s dragging Richie back down.

Ohh, damn. Richie’s missed this. Eddie’s hips in his hands and his chest against Richie’s, mouth and lips and tongue and teeth--he could die happy, seriously, if Eddie kissed him like this every day. He swears it, on a stack of Bibles and Torahs and Bill’s diary.

They stumble back against the ugly concrete walls and Richie tries to ignore the way everything reeks of old socks. It’s not the sexiest place they’ve made out in, but there’s something undeniably hot about getting it on in secret in the locker room with Eddie in his sweaty uniform. Like those movies where the geeky girl and the star jock get together. Which is kind of fitting, honestly, considering the two of them. He’s arm-wrestled Eddie before. Kid’s got gains.

Richie makes an embarrassingly high-pitched whine when Eddie pulls back right as things start getting a bit more down and dirty--he’s about three more licks into Eddie’s mouth and a few racy thoughts away from popping a stiffy. Eddie laughs at him before tilting up and whispering into his ear.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about what you said last week,” he says, and his breath tingles against Richie’s neck. He swallows.

“Yeah?”

“Yeah,” Eddie says, “and I think it’s a good idea.”

Richie just about has an aneurysm. “You do?” He shakes his head like he’s got water in his ears. “Wait, what? Last week you totally freaked, and I--”

“I know, I know,” Eddie interrupts, “I was just caught off-guard.”

Richie eyes him. “But…?” he prompts, feeling a telling heat grow in his lower stomach.

Eddie grins up at him. “But,” he says, and pushes back into Richie’s space, his lips gently brushing against Richie’s jaw. “I think I’ve come around to the idea.”

“Here?” Richie asks, and the pitch of his voice rivals that of a ten year old girl. Eddie has the audacity to laugh at him, actually laugh, like he didn’t just take everything Richie thought he knew about both the world and Eddie Kaspbrak and flip it on its head. “Are you sure you’re like...I mean, is it safe if you…”

“It should be okay,” Eddie reassures him, taking his hands and walking backwards towards a bench. He grins up at Richie, coy. “I’ve been practicing.”

What.

This is how, twenty minutes later, Richie’s got a pantsless, half naked Eddie squirming underneath him, one hand placed along his jaw and the other clutching a tiny bottle of the cheapest drugstore lube Keene offers. Lube Eddie went out and bought, used on himself, then packed in his backpack specifically for the two of them today. Oh, Jesus. The fly of Richie’s jeans is about to break off because his dick is straining against it so hard.

Eddie hooks his socked feet around Richie’s back, crossing his ankles, still sweaty from the meet. God, that uniform tank. Richie isn’t sure he can show up to another track meet and handle himself. Not with memories like these. Eddie’s heels rub against Richie’s lower back and welp--that just might be another kink in the making.

“My therapist says,” Eddie says slyly, grinding lightly against Richie’s thigh, “that an orgasm should help as a relaxant after a workout.”

“Oh, really,” Richie murmurs, surging up to suck a bruise onto Eddie’s neck. Right. This therapist. Richie’s pretty sure they’re both on the same page that Eddie’s ‘therapist’ is just a weak excuse that they use to justify hooking up. No one so far has tread into talking about shit like emotions or attractions or anything. Not that Richie needs to. It’s not like he likes Eddie, or something. He’s not queer. They’re both just present and willing--it’s convenient. And fun. And it feels great, jeez, is that so wrong? People can be friends and still fuck! Shit happens all the time.

“C’mon, c’mon,” Eddie urges. He’s laying down on the bench and has the hand not on his dick dug into Richie’s shoulders.

“What’s gotten into you?” Richie mumbles into his neck. He still flicks open the cap of the lube with one hand, though.

“You, hopefully.” Richie pauses in coating his fingers before letting out a loud laugh.

“Eds gets off a good one!” He cheers, and Eddie’s looking immensely pleased underneath him.

“Shut up, idiot,” he says, and draws Richie back down to his mouth. Richie licks into him, one hand on Eddie’s ass, his lubed up fingers tracing his hole. He tests the first one, gentle, and Eddie jolts a bit before settling back.

“Is this okay?” Richie asks. He’s nervous as hell and simultaneously like...ten seconds away from coming prematurely.

“Yeah,” Eddie breathes. His whole chest is flushed a pretty pink. Richie sinks his teeth into his lower lip so hard he’s surprised he doesn’t start bleeding. “I think it’ll be better if I do it first, though.”

Well, o-kay. Richie’s on board with that idea. He fumbles around with the lube, passing it off to Eddie and scooting back on the bench to watch, hands folded in his lap like he’s a grade-schooler.

Whatever Richie thought it would be like, having a first-row seat to watching Eddie finger himself, dick bobbing against his stomach and thighs tensing--it’s nothing compared to the real thing. To actually be sitting in front of Eddie as he gasps and writhes until he’s three fingers deep, drying out his eyes because he’s trying to stave off blinking. He doesn’t want to miss a moment of this. It’s the hottest thing Richie’s ever seen. And he’d love for it to last forever, really, he would, but fucking hell. You can’t just have someone like neurotic Eddie Kaspbrak rutting against his own fingers in front of someone like Richie Tozier and expect him to function normally.

“Do you want to try now?” Eddie says, pulling out and propping himself on his elbows to gaze at Richie, one hand creeping back down his stomach to his leaking cock.

“I think I just came in my pants,” Richie answers.

--

It gets a lot better after that. Leagues better. There’s probably nothing more satisfying than making Eddie come without even touching his dick. And they’ve introduced shit like...nipple play. Richie feels like a loser even thinking that cringy phrase in his own mind, but it’s honestly a whole different ball game, having Eddie’s hands or teeth down there. Whoo boy, Mama, he’s a real woman now!

The highlight of March for Richie is probably--no, definitely--losing his virginity. The first time, to make short of a long story, was kind of...well. It wasn’t terrible. But it could have been better. Richie thinks Eddie might have cried in frustration at one point afterward. But they are nothing if not determined (and horny), and it seems every time they try success rate goes up about...forty percent.

Which means that now having sex with Eddie is...really fucking good. Way better than any crazy porn mag or fantasy he used to jerk it to, back when he was a stupid kid.

And now that they’re pretty much in “no-holds-back” territory, the floodgates have opened. Richie’s got his dick in Eddie’s mouth or ass five out of the seven days of the week. They’re insatiable. It’s honestly a little gross, even Richie can see that, but fuck if he gives a shit. It’s good. It’s fun, especially because with all their practice, they’re kind of skilled at hooking up now. Richie’s figured out that it takes about three tries for them to get a new position down pat.

They had first tried sixty-nining on a Tuesday. God, that was a struggle in itself--trying to convince Eddie to try it out. It was weird and Richie got a cramp in his leg and Eddie almost had a panic attack. But by the following Sunday they had rolled around in the sheets for like an hour until Eddie crouched on top of him with his elbows braced on either side of Richie’s knees. Ooh, fuck. That was a good Sunday.

They’re getting reckless, too. Richie can admit that he’s got zero self-control. He feels like some sex-fueled addict, with the way him and Eddie sneak off to the field or into janitor’s closets or the boy’s bathroom for a quickie. Like they can’t wait the two fucking hours until school gets out. It’s ridiculous. Richie’s ready to whip his dick out at the drop of a hat.

And Eddie. Jesus Christ. Out of all the Losers Eddie’s the last person he ever expected to be this eager about any of this shit. But he’s got the evidence in front of him more often than not. No homo, Eddie’s a pretty good lay.

Okay, some homo.

Richie pauses in his thoughts. Is Eddie gay? It would make sense, if he was. Eddie’s never like...said anything about it. Maybe he’s just straight and horny? But Richie can’t really imagine Bill or Mike or any of the other guys being comfortable enough to mess around like how he and Eddie have been.

The real kicker is...is he gay? Fuck, he’s rarely this introspective. He probably is, since lately the only thoughts that get him off at night are primarily centered around memories of Eddie. But like...Richie’s never been one to turn down a quick eyeful of Sally Mueller’s tits when she’s perched in the seat next to him. And it’s not like he hangs around to watch the girls volleyball team practice like the other sleazy pervs they share hallways with, but Richie can’t deny his gaze doesn’t linger a little bit if he walks by them on his way to the parking lot when they’re doing their warm ups stretches.

Is it possible to like both? Bev would know, but Richie would literally rather shove forks in his eyes than open up about his apparent sexuality crisis. Not that it really matters, honestly. His dating prospects have been at an all time low for the past seven years.

He can’t shake the curiosity, though. It follows him the rest of the day, sticks in his head the rest of the week until he finds himself leaning against Eddie’s headboard on a Friday afternoon and all he can do is double-guess all of Eddie’s moves, even though he’s currently straddling him.

“Eddie,” Richie says, because he has almost no filter and his thoughts have been bugging him for days now. “Are...are you gay?”

Eddie pauses from his position of easing himself onto Richie.

“I--excuse me?”

“Are you gay?” Richie repeats, flushing. He feels immensely stupid at the look Eddie’s giving him, but no going back now.

Eddie doesn’t say anything for what’s probably the longest ten seconds of Richie’s life. “Am I gay?” He says, and makes a show of looking between Richie’s face and downwards, his face blank. “Am I--Richie, are you serious? You’ve got your dick in my ass right now and you’re asking if I’m gay?”

“I don’t know!” Richie says, covering his face with his hands. He feels like laughing. He feels like throwing up. “It’s just--we’ve never talked about it, so I was like...confused…”

“Oh, my god,” Eddie says, and looks at the ceiling. “He’s an idiot!

Richie can’t help but laugh, peeking at Eddie through his fingers, and after a moment Eddie laughs too.

“Are you gay, Rich?” Eddie asks, clearly teasing, but Richie is immediately on the defensive.

“No,” he says, way too fast, and the playful air of before disappears. Eddie raises his eyebrows. “I mean, not completely,” he amends.

“How can you be ‘not completely’ gay?” Eddie says, and crosses his arms. The smile slips off his face and he frowns slightly. Oh boy. They’re really doing this right now, huh. “You either are, or you aren’t, right?”

“Yeah…” Richie trails off. They’re both so out of their depth here it’s laughable. “I mean, I like what we...you know...uh, do together…” both of them burn red which is really fucking stupid because he’s literally inside Eddie right now. Richie hastily continues, “but like...I’d still be into it if you had a rack and a cooch to match, ya know?”

Eddie looks like he’s smelling some rancid, moldy garbage. “I’m going to wring your neck,” he says, and Richie takes that as a cue to keep talking.

“Is that weird?” He frets, running a hand through his hair. “Like...is it possible for me to want to go two rounds with you, and then two more with Mrs. K, or am I a freak?”

“I don’t know,” Eddie muses, then--“Hey, wait--Richie, eww, oh my god, can you take anything seriously?” His shrieking, the look on his face--it’s enough to break whatever tension Richie’s carrying, and bursts into laughter again, the force of it jostling Eddie on top of him. “What on earth is so funny?” says Eddie’s voice from above him, but Richie knows him well enough to hear the amusement hidden in his tone.

Richie wipes at his eyes, opening them to find Eddie frowning down at him, but his mouth is clearly trying to tug up into a reluctant smile. “We’re both so stupid,” Richie says, chuckling a bit, and Eddie relaxes, face softening.

“Yeah,” he says, and shrugs a bit. “You’re not a freak, Richie. Who cares if you’re gay or straight or some hybrid of both, honestly, as long as you’re happy,” and his reassuring smile hits Richie a bit hard. Eddie’s so warm on top of him--it’s scarily comfortable--they’re not even doing anything but in a strange way it’s nice, being connected like that. God, Eddie’s something, alright. What a kid.

“Are we done here?” Eddie says, and rises up a bit. “Like, can we get on with it already? Because we have to meet everyone else in half an hour.”

“Yeah,” Richie says, wheezing a bit when Eddie starts doing these slow little bouncing motions. “Yeah, we’re good.”

“Good,” Eddie says, and he reaches forward and plants both his hands on Richie’s chest.

--

It’s starting to be a problem.

Like.

An actual issue.

Richie isn’t sure how he let it get this far but he sure as fuck isn’t complaining, not when he’s got Eddie braced against the trunk of one of the many maple trees that surround the quarry.

It started like this:

They had all gathered down at the quarry, all seven of them, for a dip in the glittering green water because it’s one of those rare surprises of a day when the temperature climbs into mid-seventies range, a taste of what’s to come in summer even though it’s late April.

As per tradition, they stripped down--but they aren’t gawky preteens anymore, standing around like morons in their briefs and pretending not to sneak glances at Bev’s training bra. Years of haunting the same handful of spots Derry has to offer has led to a guess-and-check method of discovering the most effective way of swimming in optimized comfort with minimal baggage. For Richie, Bill, and Mike, that’s simply wearing trunks as shorts. For others, like Stan and Eddie, it’s carrying a tiny drawstring bag with extra underwear and shorts because while Richie doesn’t mind, they don’t like waiting around for their suits to dry. Ben and Beverly usually dive right into the water in whatever they’re wearing. Bev only busts out the bikini when she’s feeling extra pale and suspiciously freckle-free.

Richie’s seen Eddie in swimming shorts dozens, if not hundreds of times in the course of their friendship. But it’s different now. Now, when he catches sight of the material clinging to Eddie’s ass, he knows exactly what Eddie looks like without that scant covering. When the waistband starts to slide ever so minutely Richie’s eyes track the movement, focusing on the very slight V of Eddie’s hips and the trail of dark hair disappearing down into his shorts. Or even the cut of Eddie’s jaw, the slope of his shoulders and the planes of his back. He’s really grown into himself, thanks to track practice and his newfound confidence and it shows. The slight firmness of his chest and the dimples at his spine, skin golden and glowing--he’s so undeniably boy that Richie’s mouth waters. It’s a lot. And Richie’s shorts aren’t baggy enough to hide what’s about to be a big problem.

He rises out of the water and wades to where Eddie’s splashing around with Mike and Bev. “Hey guys,” he crows, leaping the last distance between him and them and soaking them up to their chests.

“Ugh, Richie, watch it,” Eddie stumbles backwards and pats his head. “I didn’t want to get my hair wet.” Mike takes this as a cue to attempt to dunk him, and Richie laughs at Eddie’s shriek.

“Princess has a blowout, take pity,” Bev grins.

“What’s wrong with wet hair?” Richie purposefully drags a hand through his hair, tousling it and shaking it out because he knows Eddie likes that shit. He can’t help but grin smugly when Eddie blinks up at him, distracted.

“Cocky ass,” Mike says.

“Richie thinks he’s some hot shit,” Bev agrees. “Right, Eddie?”

“Hm?” Eddie says. Then, “oh, yeah, no, I totally agree.” He’s flushing. Richie widens his smile. He’s practically leering and Eddie’s eating it right up, eyes up and down his body. Richie clenches his stomach to give the impression of abs. It’s futile, but Eddie’s brows rise anyway.

“Do you now?” Richie says. He wants to say more but checks himself because Beverly and Mike are right next to him. “You’re losing out, Spaghetti.”

Eddie scowls. “I’m not losing out on anything.”

And now they’re here, sneaking off from their friends and their day of innocent fun so Richie can shove his and Eddie’s trunks down their asses and fuck him in the woods.

He’s got one hand clamped over Eddie’s mouth and the other gripping his hip to snap him back.

“You fuckin’ tease,” he says, and groans way too loud--the others aren’t terribly far away and Richie would literally die a thousand deaths, get resurrected, and killed a million times more by Eddie if anyone catches them like this. He digs his teeth into Eddie’s shoulder to silence himself instead.

Eddie mumbles something against his palm, and Richie relents, removing his hand and placing it on Eddie’s waist.

“What?”

“I said,” Eddie says, and gasps a little. “I said that I wasn’t the one parading around...in those tiny trunks.” His back arches a bit and his head falls against Richie’s shoulder.

“Yeah,” Richie grunts into his ear. “You like my old swim shorts, baby?” Eddie hums in response, and yeah, Richie gets it. Too much talking. He buries his face in Eddie’s exposed neck and focuses on trying to hit Eddie’s sweet spot. He knows where it is...he just needs to get the angle right…

“Ah!” Eddie says, way too loud. Richie’s hand is immediately snaking back up his side to cover his mouth. “Mhm, Richie.”

Ooh. Well, when Eddie says his name like that…

They’re really not thatloud, are they? The others are far enough away. They’re fine. “Say my name again,” Richie says, and bites the shell of Eddie’s ear.

“Richie, Richie,” Eddie chants, eyes closed. One of his hands comes off the trunk of the tree and reaches down towards his crotch. Richie squeezes his eyes shut, too, because if Eddie starts jacking himself off Richie’s going to come in about two seconds. Time is of the essence, here, but he isn’t sure how close Eddie is and he doesn’t want to be that guy who finishes first. He’s not a hitter and quitter. Richie Tozier is an excellent lover, thank you very much.

Richie bends his knees, adjusting a bit. Eddie makes an encouraging, high-pitched noise, his hand working himself faster. He buries his grunts into Eddie’s back.

“I’m--” Eddie starts, and stutters. “I’m close.”

“God,” Richie says, barely aware of what’s tumbling out of his mouth. “Hurry and finish, Eddie, fuck. I’m...I’m about to lose my m-mind.”

Eddie’s orgasm is almost instant, and his hips jerk a bit as he aims into the grass. Richie sinks his teeth into Eddie’s shoulder, following quickly, almost silent save for a few moans that get lost among the rustling of the branches and leaves above them. They stand there, fully exposed and breathing heavily for a few moments.

“Oh, shit,” Richie says when he draws himself out of Eddie. “Where am I supposed to put this?” He waves around their condom, tied off and limp. Eddie levels him with a disgusted look so he winds up and chucks it as hard as he can further into the foliage. Fucking gross, but he’s not about to waltz back to the quarry with his load on display.

“How,” Eddie pants, as he ties the string on his trunks. “How long was that?”

Richie checks his watch. “Like...almost ten minutes.” Eddie sucks in his bottom lip.

“Do you think they’re suspicious?”

Richie shrugs, at a loss. He didn’t really think this through. The two of them never do, really.

“This was stupid,” Eddie says.

“Honestly? Yeah, it kinda was,” Richie says, cracking a grin. “Nice to christen our old hangout spot, though.”

“Do not sexualise our childhood!”

“Too fucking late!” Richie laughs, and Eddie swats at him in faux annoyance, but his crinkled eyes give him away.

Do they smell like sex? Richie attempts to flatten his hair as he and Eddie jog towards the spot they claimed when they got there. Fuck. They totally smell like jizz. The game’s probably over the minute they get within two feet of the others.

Thankfully, if anyone notices, they don’t breathe a word. Richie’s grateful, for once, to not be the center of attention--everyone’s distracted because Stan thinks there are leeches in the water.

“Hey,” Eddie sidles up next to him amidst the chaos. “Do you...Chelsea’s Diner is having a two-for-one special tomorrow, if you wanna go.”

The question carries weight. For some reason, a thrill of excitement shoots through Richie, down his spine and pinging around in his stomach when he takes in Eddie’s nervous glance.

“Sounds gait,” he says. “I mean good. Great. Yeah. Uh, that’ll be cool.”

“Yeah?” Eddie’s smiling.

“Of course, Eds.” They’re both red--and it’s not from any sunburn. It’s ridiculous. What’s there to be nervous about? Not that Richie is--it’s just Eddie. But he’s undeniably shaky, face warm. Fucking stupid. Weren’t they just having sex like, half an hour ago?

Eddie grabs his hand, squeezes once, and ohhhh. Richie suddenly understands.

Oh, he thought he had problems before. This is the beginning of the end.

--

The ever-elusive scapegoat of Later Richie has become Now Richie.

Their sex is starting to change. It’s not the desperate, balls-to-the-wall thrusting from their early days. Nah. These days Richie finds himself pressing Eddie slowly into his mattress, kissing his face as Eddie clutches at his shoulders and smiles at him, breathy and slow. Brushing hair around Eddie’s ears and letting his palm cradle Eddie’s jaw. It’s not really what lusty, horny bangin’ bros do, Richie’s aware. He’s really not starting to give a fuck.

It’s like, yeah, he’d tap that, but he’d also take that out to dinner and maybe hold hands and shit, you know?

Somehow, he’s still not really expecting it when he catches Eddie laughing at something Ben’s said, and fucking hell he’s a cringy motherfucker because he finds himself admiring the way Eddie’s hair turns golden orange in the sunlight that filters through the window behind their lunch table.

“Fuck,” he mutters, because Eddie’s smile is all sorts of charming and his nose is scrunched and Richie can feel his cheeks burn.

This isn’t what he signed up for. Sure, it’s always been a slippery slope, especially after he figured out he was half-gay or whatever, but it’s like he was on the slope with sneakers and then midway down the mountain someone strapped butter to his feet and sent him careening into the canyon below. Richie isn’t sure, but it kind of feels like him and Eddie are dating. They ate at that Chelsea’s Diner together a little over a month ago and Eddie had neglected to tell him beforehand that the “two-for-one” special was couple’s only.

Richie’s jumping the gun a bit. They aren’t dating. They’ve been incorporating things like movie and dinner nights into their routing slowly since that day, and sometimes they go home together and don’t even do anything but kiss each other until someone falls asleep. But they aren’t together, even if Richie maybe wants that.

Are Eddie and I only hooking up just because we’re both into guys? The thought flies into his head, unbidden, and it’s enough to derail him for the rest of lunch.

He spends most of May worrying if they’re Richie and Eddie or RichieandEddie because he’s a lame crybaby who’s gotten way too used to falling asleep wrapped around Eddie. He keeps wanting to ask Eddie out officially, but every time he starts he chickens out, or something interrupts them, and one time Eddie changed the subject before he could speak...okay, pretty much the only reason he hasn’t brought it up is because he’s an insecure sissy. But they’re graduating in like, two weeks, and he most definitely isn’t prepared to send Eddie off to UMaine free of charge, like Richie didn’t spend all of second semester falling in love with him.

He’s getting ahead of himself.

It all comes to a head one sunny, lazy Thursday afternoon that he and Eddie put to good use by napping together. Napping! Like they’re sixty years old and married. Well, Eddie’s sleeping. Richie’s wide awake because he thinks he might be having an internal meltdown.

Eddie’s curled into his side, breathing against his neck and Richie is on. Fire. He can’t even move, he can barely form a coherent thought...Eddie isn’t even touching him, not really, just letting out little puffs of air that shiver down the entire length of Richie’s long, scrawny body.

This is more than he thought it would be.

He’s literally been in Eddie’s mouth--why is the gentle brush of Eddie’s lips on his neck sending him into overdrive?

Is this normal? Do people just...take naps together these days, without liking each other? Richie doesn’t think so and that clue enough has his head spiraling into a stupid fucking loop of he likes me, he likes me not…

Eddie shifts and yawns and Richie tries to look like he hasn’t been watching Eddie sleep like some creep.

“Afternoon,” Eddie mumbles, cracking his neck and laying back down on Richie’s arm, their faces inches apart. He smiles and blinks in that lazy way people do when they’re in that hazy cocoon between being awake and asleep.

“Hey,” Richie mumbles back. He wants to kiss Eddie’s nose. He doesn’t. “How was your nap?”

“Mhm, good,” Eddie says, burrowing deeper into the blanket. “Not over.”

Noooo. Holy shit. He’s too sweet. “Cute, cute, cute!” Richie sings, and Eddie giggles. Richie feels like a king. If he were more awake, Eddie would probably have scowled and/or hit him.

“Do you want to go to the farmer’s market together for lunch this weekend?” Eddie asks, his face half squashed into Richie’s bicep. Richie wants to kick his legs in excitement.

“Yeah, of course,” he says. “Obviously.”

“Obviously,” Eddie echoes back, smiling.

“I’m honored.”

“Who else would I have asked?”

It’s quiet for a moment.

“Eddie?” Richie ventures. It’s now or never, he supposes. Eleventh time’s the charm. “Do...do you want to go out?”

Eddie lifts up his head and peers down at Richie, which is entirely nerve-wracking, so he starts rambling. “Like, with me. On a date. Cuz, you know, I know we’re graduating soon, but like, I think we work really well together, and I’ve had a lot of fun these past few months with you. Like, if you want to, I mean. I dunno. It could be fun. Honestly, I think we’d be a really good couple if we started dating.” He cuts himself off before it gets embarrassing, glancing up to Eddie’s confused expression.

“Are…” Eddie says, and pauses for a long while. “Are we not already?”

Richie gapes. “What?” he splutters. “Since when?”

“What do you mean, since when?” Eddie says. “You think I’d let some rando mess around with me like you have these past few months?”

“You didn’t say anything about it, though!” Richie feels like he’s been electrocuted. His entire being zips with energy. He can’t stop the stupid, goofy grin stretching his cheeks.

“I thought it was implied when I asked you to Chelsea’s at the quarry!” Eddie shoots back, flustered.

“The quarry?” Richie asks, incredulous. “Dude, we literally just finished banging in the woods. You think I had the state of mind to read your mind?”

“I guess not,” Eddie says, looking amused. “Oh my god, Richie, I should’ve known you’d be like this. We have designated movie nights! And sometimes we hold hands! In public!

All extremely true. What the hell? He’s been so worried about him and Eddie all of May but of course it turns out Eddie is like, ten steps ahead of him. “How did I not pick up on this?” Richie wails overdramatically, flinging a hand over his eye. “I’ve been dating the cutest little gremlin in the entire world and no one even told me.”

“Richie,” Eddie laughs, pink in the face. “You didn’t even know you liked boys even after we started hooking up.”

Fair point. “Details,” he grumbles, but it’s for show. He quickly flips over on top of Eddie, pinning him down. “What was all that ‘therapist’ shit, then, hm? Do you even have one, Eddie?” he teases, blowing into Eddie’s ear.

“Yes!” Eddie laughs, squirming. “Okay, that shit was stupid--obviously I wasn’t telling her that I was hooking up with one of my best friends, though.”

“Best friends, eh?” Richie says, shaking his head in mock disappointment. “Not anymore, Spaghetti. This little scheme of yours definitely crossed a few platonic lines.”

Eddie blooms bright red. “It--it wasn’t a scheme,” he protests, eyes big and wide and oh-so-sorry.

“You see me complaining?” Richie says. He gives in and kisses Eddie right on the tip of that cute little honker.

“Then what was all that about not being friends anymore?”

Ah. Well, he’s come this far, hasn’t he? Might as well go all in. “Yeah, I was thinking…” It’s Richie’s turn to be embarrassed and he burns red with the intensity of like, five traffic lights. “It would be cool, I think, if we made the switch over to...like, boyfriends? I guess? If you want to?”

“Boyfriends?” Eddie’s eyebrows perform some incredible acrobatics.

“Uhh...yeeeeah?”

Eddie sighs. “We have this all backwards,” he grumbles, but he’s pink and smiley and his arms snake up to cradle Richie’s neck and that, all of that, is a very good sign.

“In a classic Tozier-Kaspbrak fashion,” Richie proclaims, overwhelmingly relieved and hyper at the same time. He slides his arms under Eddie’s shoulders and rolls them around until Eddie’s on top, giggling like mad at Eddie’s shout of surprise.

“Oh my god, you idiot, you’re gonna break the bed!” Eddie says, but he’s settled quite nicely on Richie’s chest, so he knows it’s all a facade.

“Wouldn’t be the first time,” Richie sings, and immediately grows still because Eddie buries his face into Richie’s shirt to laugh, curling his hands around Richie’s ribs, nose nuzzling into his chest. “This...just might be the best feeling ever, holding you like this.”

Eddie blinks up at him, and Richie can see the moment he melts. “Richie…”

“Well, besides the feeling of hittin’ it from behind. What? A man can have more than one favorite--I’m a complex being.”

Eddie just looks at him, entirely unamused as Richie almost chokes on his own spit from laughter. “I’m breaking up with you.”

“A world-record time for relationships!” Richie uses his announcer Voice. “What was that--like, two minutes tops? I gotta cash in on this, Kaspbrak, don’t hold me back.”

“Richie,” Eddie sighs, and then to Richie’s immense surprise, he leans up and kisses him lightly on the cheek. “Can you please stop talking so we can make out?”

Hm. Make more sex jokes, or actually have sex? It’s a no brainer. “Can scooby-dooby-do, Eds, my boy,” Richie says. He cradles Eddie’s expectant, waiting, cute cute cute face and draws him in.