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Chapter Text

It had all happened so fast. One minute all of them were standing, laughing together just like they always did, the next, four of them were gone. They knew, that there was something going on in the world, everyone did. It was pretty hard to avoid when it was plastered all over the daytime, and evening news. The Avengers were on the job though, they were fighting the evil and even Eddie knew that in one of these scenarios, good always wins.

Yet, as he watched Ben disintegrate into dust before him, mid joke, Eddie wasn’t sure that this would be the case this time.

In the space of a moment, their group of seven had become a group of six. Eddie could barely hear Bev’s screams of horror as the dust that once had been Ben, lay on the ground. All around them, cars were crashing, helicopters falling from the sky and Eddie knew, he knew that the people who were in charge of those machines, were in the same state Ben was currently in.

Stan was next. It was as though he knew it were about to happen. Eddie watched as he turned to Mike, took his face between his hands and pressed their mouths together. A goodbye. They hadn’t even parted before Stan was nothing but dust.

Panic was surging up in Eddie’s stomach now, twisting in knots as Mike let out a sob for the loss of his love. The echo of screams coming from homes and buildings echoing in his ear.

Bev only gasped. One single intake of breath before her body turned to ash, scattering all over Ben.

Bill was shaking, covering his mouth in horror as he met Eddie’s eyes. There were only four of them left. Mike, Bill, Richie and himself.

Were they all going to turn to dust eventually?

“Eds”

No.

No, no, no.

Eddie turned around so fast, seeing the look in Richie’s face. It was going to happen. Richie was going to be next, and for some reason he was fighting it. “Rich, Richie no.” He scrambled over to where Richie was, taking his face in his hands, as though that would stop what was about to unfold before his very eyes.

Richie’s eyes bored into his, trying to convey something that Eddie had never seen before. He brought his hand up, brushing his thumb over Eddie’s tear-stained cheekbones and pressed their foreheads together, “Eds. Eddie I love you.”

It had been the first and last time Richie had spoken those words to him. No less than a millisecond later, dust fell onto Eddie’s lap, the ghost of Richie’s fingers still apparent on his cheeks.

Richie loved him.

But he never got to say it back.

 

Chapter Text

“What’s chicken?” Eddie asked, voice breaking through the conversation that Richie was having with Bev. All six of the losers turned to face him, some of their eyes wider than others. “What?”

“You’ve never heard of chicken? It’s a game, someone starts of by just lightly touching your arm, or your leg, but then the touches get more and more sexual. When the person gets uncomfortable, the other one wins!” Bev explained.

Eddie’s face morphed from a confused expression into one of recognition, “Oh.”

“You wanna play Eds?” Richie piped up, raising his eyebrows at his best friend. Before Eddie could stop himself, he felt a blush make its way up his neck to his cheeks. He saw the look in Richie’s eyes, he saw the sparkle that was present there. He opened his mouth to speak again but Eddie beat him to it.

“Okay.”

Once again, all the losers turned to face him, this time, all of their eyes were wide as saucers, as if they couldn’t believe what Eddie had said. “Eddie did you just-?” Ben started, only to be interrupted by Eddie.

“I said okay,” he repeated, crossing his arms and watching Richie intently. He was trying to convey confidence, but deep down Eddie was terrified. He was about to act on his ridiculous crush on his best friend, by allowing him to touch him. “Give me all you got, trashmouth.”

The shocked expression that was on Richie’s face at Eddie’s agreement, vanished in that instant. He took a few steps forward, reaching out and wrapping his fingers around Eddie’s wrist, tugging him close. A shiver ran down Eddie’s spine as Richie leaned down, whispering in his ear, “What do I get when I win?”

“If you win you mean.”

“No…when I win. What do I get when I win?”

Richie’s confidence was excruciating, making every one of Eddie’s hairs stand up straight. “What do you want?”

There was a pause as Richie thought it over, “Mhm, I’ll think about it.” As the words left his lips, Richie sat down on the small sofa he had in his bedroom and pulled Eddie onto his lap so he was straddling him. Behind him, Eddie could sense all of the losers watching, nerves increasing tenfold.

“Tell you what Rich,” Bev started. “We’re gonna go and you can tell us how…this ends tomorrow.” Bev stood up, guiding the boys out of Richie’s bedroom, leaving the two boys alone.

“Still sure about this, Eds? Last chance to back out.” Richie whispered, although to Eddie it sounded more of a taunt other than an act of concern.

“I’m sure.”

Richie’s hand move from its place around Eddie’s wrist to rest on his knee. A soft gasp left Eddie’s lip and he could already sense the victory wheels running around in Richie’s brain. Then, the hand moved up a few inches, torturously slow, causing Eddie’s eyes to drift closed and a blush to spread out over his cheeks. At that point, Eddie expected Richie to make some sort of sexual comment, but instead he just moved the hand up some more until it was covering most of Eddie’s jean clad thigh.

Then the hand stopped moving upwards, instead, it stopped and began rubbing circles into the skin. Richie moved his head forward, lips pressed against Eddie’s ear, “How I wish these pants weren’t in my way.”

Eddie wasn’t sure what compelled him to say it, but he didn’t want to overthink it, “Take them off then.”

Richie didn’t hesitate, with his free hand he popped the button on Eddie’s pants and quickly pushed them down. Eddie raised his hips, allowing Richie to push his pants further down his legs, and he kicked them off his feet. Now the only thing separating them was Eddie’s shirt and his underwear.

“Do you have any idea how hot you are Eddie?” Richie muttered, his hand returning to his place on his thigh, this time skin on skin. “Do you have any idea what you do to me? Because I don’t. How do you do it Eddie? How the fuck are you doing this to me?”

Eddie felt compelled to ask what Richie meant, but before he could he felt what Richie meant. One glance down confirmed his thoughts, as right there, was a bulge in Richie’s pants. “Richie…” he breathed.

“You’re a menace, Eddie Kaspbrak,” Richie breathed, slowly moving the hand upwards, edging towards the bulge that was in Eddie’s own pants. “Looks like I’m not the only one with a problem.”

As Richie slipped his hand closer and closer, Eddie’s body trembled. Goosebumps appeared where Richie’s hand had been and his breathing was coming out in quick, harsh pants. “Richie…”

Richie’s eyes shot up, meeting Eddie’s, a question lying within them. If they crossed this line in their friendship, there was no going back. Eddie didn’t want to go back. He knew what it felt like to have Richie’s hands on his skin, he wasn’t about to give that up now. Without waiting for the question itself, Eddie leaned in, pressing their lips together in a deep, needy first kiss.

Tongues moved together, deep and passionate, sending shivers down Eddie’s spine. He had imagined what it would be like to kiss Richie, to touch Richie, but this was much better than any dream. Eddie moved his hands around Richie’s neck, weaving into his hair and pulling him closer, pulling their bodies so close that there was no gap between them.

“Fuck, Eds.”

“Take me to bed, Richie.”

Richie didn’t hesitate to comply.

Chapter Text

Eddie wished, that when it came to Richie, he had more of a resolve. If he did, if he had the ability to tell Richie no, to toss away his ridiculous ideas, they wouldn’t be in their current position. Their current position being in the back of Richie’s truck, pants undone, hair ruffled, with Richie tugging at the leaver to put the back seats down.

“I swear, Eds, it just needs a little tug-” as Richie spoke, his hand fell loose from the leaver and he fell back onto his ass.

A giggle erupted from Eddie’s lips, and he brought his hand up to cover his mouth. “Richie…are you…okay?” He asked through his giggles.

Richie whipped his head up, eyes narrowing as he glared at him, but soon the glare turned into a smile as he laughed along with his boyfriend, “I’m fine, but stop laughing!”

Eddie crawled across the seat until he was mere inches away from Richie and he leaned in, pressing a soft, yet heated kiss to his lips. When he pulled away, there was still a smile on his lips, “Why?”

A growl escaped Richie’s lips, sending a shiver down Eddie’s spine, “Because,” he mumbled, leaning forward to lick a stripe along his earlobe, “I’m trying to fuck you, so stop making me laugh.” Then one hand moved firmly around Eddie’s back, pulling him flush against Richie, whilst the other moved to the leaver, giving it one final tug.

The seat fell back, sending both of them with it. The tight grip that Richie had around Eddie had their bodies pressed together as Richie’s back hit the back of the seat. Even with the newly acquired space, it was still awkward to move. “Car sex looks so much easier in the movies,” Eddie mumbled as he shifted on Richie’s lap.

“Eh, we’ll make do.” Richie didn’t even wait for Eddie to reply, before he was pushing his hand down his boyfriends pants, wrapping it around is already hard cock.

“Oh fuck,” Eddie breathed, his eyes falling shut as he tilted his hips forward, silently begging Richie to move his hand.

“I’m gonna make you feel so good baby,” Richie hummed, slowly moving his hand up and down Eddie’s shaft, the slow pace driving Eddie insane. As though he could sense it, Richie’s lips turned up into a smirk. “Want more baby?”

“Faster.” Maybe it was the fact that they were out in public, maybe it was the fact that they could be caught at any moment, but god, Eddie was close.

A moan broke out from Eddie’s parted lips as Richie began to move his hand faster, the rhythm becoming erratic as he focused his attention on bringing Eddie to the edge. They could take it slow later, when they were in a bed and could take their time, but right now all Eddie wanted to do was come.

“You close baby?” Richie panted, his other hand moving into his own boxers, bringing him right to the edge, right were Eddie was. “Come for me, gorgeous.”

One more tug of Richie’s hand was all it took, one more tug and Eddie was spilling into Richie’s hand, gasping and clinging to the fabric of his wrinkled shirt. “Fuck, oh fuck.” He felt Richie tense up next to him, signalling his orgasm as he collapsed back against the seats, tugging Eddie forward in the process.

“Holy fuck. That was hot.”

They lay there for a few moments, allowing their breathing to return to normal before Eddie cleared his throat. “Hey Rich?”

“Mhm, Eds?”

“Get the fucking baby wipes and get this come off me before it dries.”

Chapter Text

Eddie wasn’t even sure how it happened. He was certain that it was his suitcase he had collected at the baggage point. It couldn’t have been someone else’s because Eddie made sure to wrap some bright pink tape around the handle so he could recognise it. The suitcase did indeed have some pink tape, and the suitcase was the exact same as his own, but the contents of said suitcase…were not.

Even the thought of what was in the suitcase made the tip of Eddie’s ears turn a dark shade of red. He couldn’t take it home, if he did his mother would flip and send him to a conversion camp. It wasn’t that his mother didn’t know he was gay, she did, she just chose to ignore the fact and pretend that Eddie was still her innocent little flower.

It couldn’t have been far from the truth, but still, the contents of the suitcase were enough to make even the most experienced man blush. Underneath just a few pairs of boxers, pants and t-shirts were multiple packets of condoms, a pair of pink fluffy handcuffs, a vibrator, a butt plug and a ten inch illuminous pink dildo.

He zipped up the suitcase as fast as he could, reaching down to pick up the name tag that had fallen the the floor in his haste.

This bag belongs to: Richie ‘Trashmouth’ Tozier.

If found return to: 646-705-9369

Richie Tozier. To Eddie, he sounded a little bit like a dick, living up to his name he supposed. The number was hand written in scrawly writing and he sighed before typing the digits into his phone and pressing call.

Ring….Ring….click.

Hellooooo?”

The voice on the other end was rather deep, and Eddie felt his voice catch in his throat for a moment before he cleared it, “Hello, yes, is this Richie Tozier?”

Depends who’s asking for him?

Eddie wanted to pinch his nose in annoyance, but he held himself back, “I’m Eddie Kaspbrak, I’m under the impression we have swapped suitcases? At least I am hoping we have.”

Wait…what?”There was a noise on the other end that sounded like rustling and then the voice was back with an aggravated sigh. Looks like it Eds, you have a lot of boring stuff in this suitcase.”

A scoff passed Eddie’s lips and he rolled his eyes, “My name isEddie,” he repeated, putting emphasis on his name. “And I have normal things in my suitcase, less can be said for yourself.”

You were looking in my suitcase huh Eddie Spaghetti?” Richie cooed and Eddie felt his cheeks burn. He didn’t know this guy, but for some reason with his voice alone he was getting under his skin.Don’t worry though gorgeous, those aren’t for me.”

The tips of his ears were burning now, and he was clutching the phone tight in his hand, “We haven’t met, how do you know that I’m not ugly?”

You don’t sound ugly. You sound cute. Cute, cute, cute.” Richie chuckled down the line. Anyway, I would really like my suitcase back, after all, it’s contents are going to a really important cause.”

“And what would that be?” Eddie asked, holding back the urge to comment ‘Your Ass?’.

Best friend’s getting married in a week. We’re having the bachelorette party and I wouldn’t be living up to my name if I didn’t bring along some sex toys.” At the comment, Eddie felt himself laughing. This guy was genuinely funny.

“Well I would also really like my clothes back. I live in Derry, are you close to there?” He asked and there was a silence on the other end of the line. “Richie?”

You live in Derry?” He asked and Eddie’s eyebrows knitted together.

“Yes?”

Freaky. I’m in Derry too. Why don’t we meet at Dot’s. You know the diner that sells the-”

“Really amazing milkshakes. Yes, I love that place.” Eddie was sure he could almost feel Richie’s smile.

How about we meet there say….seven pm? Milkshakes are on me.”

“Hey, that’s not fair!” Eddie protested, shaking his head even though Richie’s could see him.

Eh, it’s okay Eds. You can buy the next time. See you at seven!”

Before Eddie could even comprehend what Richie had meant, the line went dead and Eddie was left alone with a large smile, and a suitcase full of sex toys.

With a shrug, he headed towards the taxi rank to get a ride home and his mind started to wander. Maybe if he played his cards right, Richie wouldn’t take them to the party.

 

 

Chapter Text

It was the evening of November 3rd, Eddie’s 21st birthday, and thanks to not only Richie but the rest of the losers, they were standing at the bar of a prestigious club in Uptown New York waiting for their drinks. As the last of the losers club to turn of age, there was definitely nothing that Eddie could say to get him out of having the night out with his friends to celebrate.

First, at Eddie’s request, they had gone out for a meal. It was to one of his favourite restaurants and as always, they had an amazing time. Yet, they couldn’t sit at the table forever, much to Eddie’s chagrin, so here he was, tipping back shot after shot as his friends looked on.

The music was loud, thumping in his ears, yet the more he drank, the more the music faded into the background. His body was thrumming, both from the alcohol and from the vibrations of the speakers. The dance floor was filled with people, bodies moving to the rhythm of the music. If Eddie were brave enough, he would have sat his drink to the side and moved to join them, yet instead he lifted the glass of vodka and coke to his lips and took a sip.

“Having fun, Eds?” Eddie turned his head to the side, meeting the bright blue eyes of his best friend. Richie. He felt his heart skip a beat at how close he was, even though the crowded club didn’t leave much option for personal space, and silently willed it to stop.

“Not exactly something I’m used to,” he called back over the music, melting at the way Richie’s lips turned up in a smile.

Eddie couldn’t even be sure when his crush on Richie had developed into something…more. They had always been close, Richie’s father being best friend with Eddie’s father causing them to grow up together. They had been best friends through kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, high school and now college. Their friends would joke about them being joined at the hip, and acquaintances would often mistake them for being in a relationship.

Oh how Eddie wished that were true.

He remembered when his crush had developed. Richie was fourteen to Eddie’s thirteen and it was the summer before they began freshman year of High School. All of the losers club had decided to spend the day at the quarry, enjoying the heat and freedom one last time before the horror of High School began. Beverly, Richie, Bill and Stan were playing chicken in the water, Richie on top of Stan’s shoulders and Bev on top of Bills. It was a game that they had played many times before, and yet this time, Eddie couldn’t keep his eyes off of Richie.

It was when Bev successfully pushed Richie off of Stan’s shoulders, and he emerged from the water, pushing his wet curls out of his face that Eddie realised that he saw his friend in a more than friendly way.

Too scared to risk ruining their friendship, Eddie bottled up his crush, pushing it to the back of his mind, ignoring it for the majority of his High School years. Then, one day, Eddie realised that it was no longer just a crush, but he had in fact grown full blown feelings for Richie. Every time Richie smiles, Eddie would get butterflies in his stomach, every time Richie would tell a joke, Eddie would find himself snorting discreetly even if it wasn’t all that funny.

Yet he still remained quiet.

Now here they were, in New York, attending college and the feelings were still as rife as ever. Sure, in the years after discovering his attraction and unrequited feelings for his best friend, Eddie had dated people. However no matter how much he tried, they never seemed to work out.

Richie’s laughter brought Eddie out of his thoughts and he turned his head back to face him, his eyebrows turning down into a frown, “What’s so funny?”

“Oh nothing, Eds. Come on, dance with me?” Richie offered his hand and Eddie hesitated, but only for a moment before he accepted and let Richie drag him onto the dance floor. He never could say no to Richie.

As they made their way through the throngs of people, Eddie felt Richie rest his hands on his waist, tugging him closer so their bodies were pressed together. Eddie could feel his heart rate increase, slamming repeatedly against his ribcage, and if he were sober he was sure he’d have been out the door and into the street. But he wasn’t sober, hell he was sure he was on his way to full blown drunk, so instead of running Eddie did the opposite and grinding back against his best friend.

At that moment, it was as though the club had intensified the heat. All Eddie could think about was the way Richie’s body was moving against his own, the way his hands felt on him, moving up and under his shirt to land over the skin of his hips. Both of their hips were grinding against one another, the two of them completely lost in the way the other felt.

It could have gone on forever, Eddie wasn’t sure, but before he could make any further moves, they were joined on the dancefloor by Beverly. Her arms wrapped around Richie’s neck, breaking the moment and making Eddie hyper aware that he was in desperate need for a drink. He pulled himself out of Richie’s embrace, missing the confused look that graced Richie’s face, and made his way to the bar.

For the remainder of the night, Eddie kept himself seated, downing every free drink that was passed his way in honor of his 21st birthday. He had no idea just how much he had had, but it was enough for him to feel the room spin each time he moved his head. Inhaling deeply, Eddie pinched the bridge of his nose and picked up his drink, moving himself towards and empty booth and laying back on the leather in an attempt to sober himself up. He had no idea how long he lay there for, but the feeling of the leather seat dipping caused him to look up, meeting Richie’s concerned look immediately.

“Had a little too much, have we?” He asked and Eddie groaned, flipping him off and sitting up.

“Your fault,” he mumbled, reaching for the drink that was on the table. Before he could reach for it, Richie had pulled it out of the way and handed him a glass of cold water instead.

“You’ll thank me later.”

Eddie sipped on the water, enjoying the cool taste on his dry lips. He sat the glass back down on the table and looked up at Richie, who was now smiling instead of frowning. “Thank you.”

“Have you had a good night?” He asked, moving to sit next to Eddie and throwing an arm around his shoulders.

Eddie didn’t answer for a while, his mind too occupied on how close Richie was to him, so close that he could feel his body heat through his shirt. “It’s been fun,” he answered, tilting his head up to meet Richie;s gaze. His eyes were still sparkling blue and Eddie wondered if he had had anything to drink that evening at all. Against his better judgement, he moved a little closer so their faces were inches away.

“Eds?”

“I want to kiss you so badly,” Eddie breathed, his words slightly slurred thanks to the amount of alcohol he had consumed. Due to his blurry vision, he missed the shocked look that passed over Richie’s face. “I’ve wanted to kiss you forever. Do you want to kiss me?”

Then, without thinking, Eddie leaned forward to do just that, only to feel Richie’s palm on his chest, pushing him back. “Eds, you’re drunk.”

Then just like that, Eddie had sobered up. The happy high he had been on moments before collapsed around him and he was left with an empty, heartbroken feeling in it place. Without saying anything more to Richie, he moved out of the booth and towards the exit door. Behind him, he could hear Richie calling out his name but he didn’t listen, focusing on the floor beneath him as he reached the open air and hailed a taxi.

Richie had made it perfectly clear in those short moments that he didn’t feel the same way about Eddie.

                                                             *

Much to Eddie’s surprise it wasn’t the morning sun that woke him from his sleep, but in fact the insistent banging of his front door. It wasn’t until he opened his eyes that Eddie remembered the events of the night before, how drunk he was, and how he had told Richie that he wanted to kiss him, only to be rejected.

The heartbroken feeling that had consumed him the night before overtook him once more as he climbed out of bed to answer the door. As he walked through his apartment, that he shared with Bill, he rubbed at his eyes to get rid of any tiredness that remained there. He expected it to be the postman, or a neighbour on the other side, who he didn’t expect to see especially so early, was Richie himself.

As quickly has he had opened the door, Eddie moved to close it, but Richie stuck his foot out, preventing him from doing so. Carefully, Richie pushed his way into the apartment and closed the door behind him. “I want to talk,” he breathed after a moment.

“Well I don’t,” Eddie snapped back, moving to turn around and lock himself in his bedroom, but Richie reached out for his wrist. The hold was gentle, and if Eddie wished he could have pulled it free and rushed off like he planned, but he remained.

“Eds…Eddie look at me please,” Richie begged, reaching his free hand up to cup Eddie’s chin, tilting his head back so their eyes could meet. “It might have taken me longer than it should have to figure out, but I just wanted to clarify that what happened last night was not me rejecting you.”

Richie’s eyes were firm, no sign of a lie there and Eddie felt a surge of hope claw up his chest. “I-”

“The reason I pushed you back was because I didn’t want our first kiss to be when you were drunk. I didn’t want there to be any possibility that you might not remember it in the morning.”

Eddie’s jaw dropped, only slightly and tears pooled in his eyes, threatening to slip down his cheeks. They stared at each other, Eddie trying to think of something to say without sounding like a fool. Eventually, he cleared his throat, tongue darting out to wet his dry lips before he spoke up, “I thought-” he swallowed thickly. “I thought you didn’t want me.”

Richie’s eyes softened and he closed the distance between them with a few small steps, cupping both of Eddie’s cheeks in his hand and brushing his thumb underneath his eyelids, over his cheekbones. “Oh Eddie,” he breathed, leaning forward to press their foreheads together. “Don’t you see? It’s always been you.”

“I-I don’t understand?” Eddie whispered, never breaking eye contact.

“I’ve been crazy about you for years, since we were about fourteen. I was just too scared to ruin our friendship. Then last night, when you said you wanted to kiss me? I was so happy Eds, but you were drunk and I couldn’t have our first kiss be like that…no matter how much I wanted to.” Richie’s voice was soft, the voice that he used for Eddie and only Eddie. “But if you would let me…I’d like to kiss you now.”

Eddie opened his mouth to agree, moving just a few inches closer, so close that he could feel Richie’s hot breath against his lips. Then he stopped, eyes widening as he pulled back. Richie clocked on immediately and started to back away, but Eddie held him firm. “I have to brush my teeth.”

A laughter broke out of Richie’s lips, eyes full of relief and he stepped back, more willingly this time, “Go…I’ve waited seven years for this, I can wait a few more minutes.”

Not wanting to keep Richie waiting too long, Eddie rushed off to the bathroom, brushing his teeth with vigour and rinsing his mouth with the minty fresh mouthwash. He spat up the contents and wiped his mouth with the towel before stepping back into the living room. Richie had made himself comfortable on the sofa, and patted the seat next to him when he saw Eddie was finished.

It was as though they were being pulled together by a magnet. Eddie crossed the room silently, and instead of sitting next to Richie, he climbed onto his lap, facing him. No words were spoken as Richie smiled softly, a hand moving up to weave into Eddie’s curls as he brought their faces closer together, connecting their lips in a soft and gentle first kiss.

Nothing could have prepared Eddie for the burst of emotions that followed, tears spilling from his eyes and landing on both of their cheeks. Richie pulled away from the kiss, breathing sharply as he brushed the tears away with his thumb. Eddie smiled, ensuring Richie that the tears were those of happiness, not sadness and he leaned forward to give Richie one more kiss, just because he could.

This time, when the pulled away, Richie moved his lips around to Eddie’s ear, whispering, “I love you.”

He received a blinding smile in return from Eddie, who moved his own lips to Richie’s ear and whispered back, “I love you too.”

 

Chapter Text

As Eddie slipped out of the cab, passing the driver the $20 it had cost to drive him back from the airport, he took a note of the setting sun. It had cast an orange glow over the small neighbourhood that he lived in with his boyfriend. His heart leapt just a little at the thought of Richie, his boyfriend whom he hadn’t seen in person in just over a week. It had been the longest they had spent apart since they had graduated college, and it had really taken a toll on Eddie.

Thanks to his mother, he had been in Derry, Maine for the week. She had called him in hysterics, informing him that the doctor had requested she go for a CT scan. Even though Eddie had managed to somewhat break away from the hold she had on him, sometimes her manipulation still manages to claw its way into his soul. So no less than a few hours later, he was on a flight to Maine, leaving Richie behind.

He was only meant to be gone a few days at most. He had told her on the phone that he would stay until the result had come in and once he knew she was fine, which he knew she would be, he would be on the first flight back out to California. Yet, as the day that the results were meant to arrive came and went, Eddie grew more and more suspicious. His mother was coddling him, just like she always used to do, encouraging him to take showers twice, daily, to use hand sanitizer after touching everything and asking if he needed her to retrieve his inhaler.

One morning, about eight days after his arrival in Derry, Eddie took a walk to the surgery to ask what the hold up was on his mother’s CT results. He really shouldn’t have been surprised, or shocked, to find out that she had never even been for a CT scan, and that the last time she had set foot in the surgery was to let them know that Eddie himself was no longer living with her.

Eddie had made his way back to his mother’s house, ignoring her begs and cries for him to stay, packed up his thinks and hopped on the next bus to the airport. Once he was in the departure lounge, he had messaged Richie;

On my way home, missed you. <3 - EK

Almost immediately, his phone had pinged with a reply;

Good. I’ve missed you too, spaghetti. - RT

Now here he was, standing on the street outside his apartment, knowing that in less than a few minutes, he would be happily back with Richie. He picked up his suitcase and waved the cab driver away before he began the ascend up the stairs. The lift was still broken, and they lived on the fifth floor, so by the time he had reached the apartment door, there was a slight tinge to his cheeks.

He slid the key into the door and pushed it open, dumping his suitcase into the alcove next to the door and pulling off his shoes. The apartment was warm, and he could tell that Richie had left a window open in the living room, as there was a slight breeze making its way down the hall. He hung up his jacket on the coat rack and made his way down the hall to their bedroom. As he pushed open the door, a soft smile reached his lips as he took in the sight. Richie was laying on his front, on Eddie’s side of the bed, wearing nothing but a pair of three-quarter length khaki pants.

Eddie, in that moment, wanted nothing more than skin on skin contact with his boyfriend. Something that they had found out when they were doing long distance was, ‘cuddles are the best kind of medicine’ and Eddie had firmly believed it. There was nothing better than cuddling up with Richie on the sofa after a long day at work and there was definitely nothing more appealing than cuddling with Richie after he had just had the week from hell.

Reaching for the hem of his shirt, he pulled it over his head and tossed it into their washing basket, which was surprisingly empty. The thought that Richie had done the washing made Eddie’s heart grow ten times bigger, as his boyfriend was always terrified he would shrink something. His pants and socks followed his shirt into the basket, leaving him in his underwear as he quietly walked over to their dresser and pulled out his red sleep shorts.

He pulled them on, revelling in their comfort and crossed the room to their bed. Richie was still fast asleep, his dark unruly curls splayed out over the pillow, just begging Eddie to bury his hands in them. One of his arms was tucked under the pillow, the other laying out at the side, to Eddie, he looked so peaceful. As he climbed onto the bed, the mattress dipped just a little, but Richie didn’t stir. With a hum he settled onto the bed behind him, his right hand making its way up to bury itself in Richie’s curls, and the other tucking under Richie’s arm, reaching out and lacing with the one that wasn’t under the pillow.

A noise left the back of Richie’s throat and Eddie smiled softly, burying his face into the crook of his boyfriend’s neck, relaxing against him and closing his eyes as he flicked his legs up at the knee. Eddie could sense that Richie had woken up, and his thoughts were confirmed as he felt a squeeze on their laced fingers. They lay in silence, simply enjoying each other’s presence and comfort, for a long time before Richie cleared his throat and spoke up.

“Do you want to talk about it?” His voice was scratchy, still thick with sleep and Eddie just tucked his head further into his neck in response. “Eds?”

“No, at least, not right now,” he whispered eventually. “Right now I just want to cuddle with my boyfriend.”

“That I can do,” Richie whispered and turned his head around so their eyes could meet. “Hi spaghetti.”

“Hi, Rich,” Eddie breathed back. He drank in the appearance of his boyfriend, his blue eyes and the slight stubble that was appearing on his skin around his mouth. “You need to shave,” he mumbled, removing the hand from Richie’s hair to run over the facial hair slightly.

“I’m offended, Eddie Spaghetti. What if I was growing a beard, huh?” Richie defended, voice still low.

“Believe me Richie, you’d get annoyed and shave it off eventually, so why deal with all the hassle?” Eddie asked, a smile playing on his lips.

RIchie chuckled and leaned closer, bumping their noses together, and then pressing a light kiss to Eddie’s lips, making him sigh. “You’re not allowed to leave for that long ever again, got it?”

“Deal,” Eddie mumbled against his lips, tangling their legs together. Skin on Skin.

“Cuddling is the best medicine,” Richie hummed, running his fingers through Eddie’s brown locks.

“Yeah,” Eddie agreed, snuggling up against him, closing his eyes once again. The last thing he remembered before he fell asleep was Richie’s lips pressed to his hair.

He was home.

Chapter Text

The walk back to their apartment was quiet. Eddie’s cheeks were flush, both by the cold November air and the anticipation of what was going to happen once they got home. Richie’s posture was stiff, clear that he was still strung up from Eddie’s teasing at the restaurant earlier that evening.

It was risky, teasing Richie in the way Eddie had done that night, but he knew deep down that it was going to be worth it. He could see the arousal sparking being Richie’s blue eyes, and it made Eddie’s stomach swirl.

They stopped outside of their door, and Richie popped the key inside the lock, twisting it to the left and pushing it open. Eddie let his husband tug him inside their apartment, closing the door behind him. Silence stretched over them for a few minutes before Richie cleared his throat.

“You’re really proud of yourself aren’t you?” He asked, tugging Eddie towards him, eyes never breaking eye contact. “Really smug about that stunt you pulled at the restaurant.”

Eddie’s lips curved up into a smirk and he gripped at the lapels of Richie’s dress jacket. “Maybe, just a little.”

“It was risky, what if he had caught on, hmm?” Richie asked, walking them towards the bedroom.

That evening had been an important night for Richie. The dinner they were attending was with one of the producers of Saturday Night Live, who was offering Richie a more permanent contract, as well as his own skit. It was a huge deal, not just for Richie but for Eddie too. So the fact that Eddie thought it was appropriate to pull out every stop in the book to drive Richie completely insane was a huge risk.

Yet, Richie got the contract, and Eddie got what he wanted. A little bit of spiced up action.

“Risky, but fun,” Eddie teased but a gasp soon left his lips as Richie brought down his right hand against his clothed ass.

“But teases get punished, is that right?” Richie asked and Eddie nodded his head, eyes blown wide. “I think you wanted this. I think you teased me at dinner, expecting this exact outcome. Well, you’re going to get it.”

Eddie swallowed thickly as Richie lightly pushed him into the bedroom, kicking the door shut and guided him over to the bed. “Rich-”

“Take off your pants and underwear, but keep the shirt on, it’s cute.”

Quick to oblige, Eddie kicked off his shoes, pulling off his socks and undid his pants, pushing them and his underwear to the ground. He was hard already, the teasing during dinner and the intense walk home working him into a frenzy. He bit on the inside of his inner cheek as Richie wrapped his hand around his wrist, tugging him forward.

“I’m going to give you ten spanks on this gorgeous ass of yours for teasing me at dinner tonight and you’re going to count them. Do you understand?” Richie asked, positioning Eddie over his lap and kneading his fingers into the skin of his ass.

A soft moan worked its way past Eddie’s lips and he nodded his head, “Yes.”

The first spank Eddie was expecting. It wasn’t too hard, light upon his left cheek. Yet it still made him gasp. They had talked about spicing up their sex life, and over the course of the past few months, they had experimented with toys, flavoured lube and a little bit of exhibitionism at the cinema. This however, this was new.

“One.”

The next three came in quick succession, rotating between each cheek, each one more firmer than the last. Eddie rattled off the numbers of each one with a gasp, his cheeks flushed red and fingers gripping onto the sheets in front of him.

When the fifth spank came, that was when Eddie knew he was fucked. Instead of choosing a cheek this time, Richie went straight for the middle, over his sensitive hole and making Eddie jerk forward, “Five!”

Richie stopped, his hand rubbing soothing circles into the swollen skin of his ass, “You okay there, Eds?”

Eddie nodded his head, trying to control his breathing, trying not to rock his hips back and forth on Richie’s clothed pants to gain some friction. “Y-Yes, please don’t stop.”

So Richie didn’t. He kept going and with each spank, Eddie felt himself grinding into Richie’s leg. His breathing was becoming more ragged and the numbers were coming out in more of a stutter.

“Six”

“S-seven”

“Eig-” Gasp. Eight.”

By nine, Eddie knew he was close. He knew there was a fair chance that he wasn’t going to make it to ten without coming all over Richie’s fancy pants. It also seemed, that Richie had caught on to this, as the ninth spank was hard, rough, and right over his hole, causing a loud moan to erupt from his lips. He could feel Richie’s erection against his stomach, and Eddie couldn’t help but feel a little smug that this was also turning Richie on.

“O-Oh fuck- nine!”

“Just one more baby,” Richie cooed into his ear and Eddie felt a bead of sweat run down the side of his face. Richie’s hands were back to massaging the red skin, soothing the sting that had been left by his hand. Yet Eddie couldn’t concentrate on that, all he could concentrate on was how badly he needed to come. All it would take was one more firm smack of Richie’s hand and he would be gone.

The second Richie’s hand came down on his ass for the tenth time, Eddie felt his orgasm wash over him, low moans of pleasure filling the room as he rutted against Richie’s knee. He was so lost in pleasure, that he forgot to count the final number. However, Richie didn’t seem to mind, as the hard on that was once pressed into Eddie’s stomach, was gone.

“Did you come in your pants?” Eddie mumbled, breathing slowly returning to normal as he looked up, meeting Richie’s flushed expression.

“You just came from me spanking you so you’re one to talk,” Richie quipped back and Eddie snorted, sitting up properly and pulling Richie into a kiss.

“I love you and we are so doing this again.”

“If it means I get that kind of reaction out of you? Hell yes. Now lay on your stomach, I gotta put lotion on that perky ass of yours.”

Eddie smirked and saluted Richie with a wink, ‘Yes sir.”

And if that caused Richie to moan? Well that’s a story for another time.

 

Chapter Text

Richie pushed the door open and dropped his school bag by the door before he rushed into the kitchen and wrapped his arms around his mother’s legs. She turned away from the stove, sitting the pot off of the heat and turned her whole attention to Richie, bending down so that she was eye level.

“What’s going on baby?” She asked, running her fingers through Richie’s curly hair.

“Eddie wasn’t at school today again,” he whimpered into her legs. “Is he really sick?”

Maggie frowned and looked up to meet the eyes of her husband, who was standing in the doorway to between the kitchen and the hallway. “I’m sure Eddie is just fine baby, he’s probably just got a cold.”

Richie let go of her legs and wiped his eyes before nodding and rushing out of the kitchen just as quickly as he arrived. Once Maggie heard the door to his bedroom close, she let out a sigh. “Do you think I should call?”

“Do you think that would be wise?” Went asked, hanging his jacket up on the rack. Maggie pinched her nose and covered the pot of stew with a lid.

“Eddie’s been off school almost a week now, and we know what Sonia is like. The poor boy probably coughed and all hell broke loose.” Maggie sighed. She was friends with Sonia in High School, best friends even. All four of them were. Went, Maggie, Sonia and Frank.

Just at the thought of her friend made Maggie’s heart ache. After Frank had passed away, Sonia became more and more protective over Eddie, until one day Maggie had snapped at her, and she had been shut out of both of their lives.

It was a surprise that Sonia even still allowed Richie to be friends with Eddie.

“Just give it one more day, if Eddie isn’t at school tomorrow then we can call Sonia and make sure everything is okay,” Went offered and Maggie could only nod in agreement, hoping that the other boy would be in attendance the following day.

* * *

Eddie wrung his fingers together as his mother made sure his seatbelt was secure around him and his car seat was firm. He was finally going back to school after being off sick for four days. Four whole days without seeing his best friends. It had been long, and boring and Eddie was pretty sure that he wasn’t really sick, but his mommy said he was, and his mommy never lied to him.

He watched as she rounded the car and slid into the front seat, driving off a few moments later. The school was only a five minute walk away, but because of Eddie’s allergies, his mommy told him it was always safer for her to drive him to school. As they pulled into the parking lot, his eyes scanned the playground for Richie, spotting him right away sitting on the steps, his Finding Nemo lunch box held firm in his hand.

As soon as he was let out of his car seat, Eddie jumped out and started running towards his best friend, “Richie!”

However, his screech of his mother brought him to a haul. “Edward! Don’t run or you’ll fall and I’ll have to take you home again!”

At the threat of being taken back home, Eddie reduced his speed to a brisk walk. He smiled brightly as Richie stood up, dropping the lunch box to the side as he rushed down the steps, pulling Eddie into a hug as they met in the middle. “Spaghetti! I’ve missed you!”

“Don’t call me that, Richie,” Eddie mumbled and pulled away from the hug slightly. “I’ve missed you too.”

Please don’t leave me,” Richie blurted out suddenly. “I thought you’d gone away forever! I missed you so much. Please don’t ever leave me okay?”

Eddie smiled and shook his head, making a cross over his heart as he rocked back and forth on his heels. “I’ll never ever leave you Richie. You’re my bestest, best friend.”

“Bestest best friends forever right?”

“Bestest best friends forever.”

 

Chapter Text

It had been the surrogates idea. She thought that it would be good practice for the two of them to take care of a simulator baby for the week, just to give them a heads up for what was to come in the next few months. Eddie had been all for it, agreeing with Sandy the whole way whilst Richie was a little on the reserved side. After all, how could a fake baby be anything like a real baby.

He went along with it though, because it was clearly important to Eddie, and Richie was never one to deny Eddie anything. When they had made the application for a surrogate, Eddie had been so nervous, scared that he wouldn’t be able to be a good enough dad, that he would turn out just like his mother did.

Richie knew better though, Richie knew that Eddie would be the best dad he could to their baby, and after a few weeks, Eddie fell into ‘dad mode’. He started buying baby books in preparation, helping Richie with the applications, and then, when Sandy chose them, he spent as much time as he could with her, bonding with their unborn child.

So it really shouldn’t have come as a surprise that Eddie wanted to have a practice run at the parenting thing. Richie just assumed that they would ask Ben and Bev to babysit Camille for the weekend or something, not take care of a fake baby.

But here he was, walking up and down the hallway as he ‘nursed’ the screaming doll in his arms. How he had even ended up in this position was new to him. All he did was close the bathroom window to stop the cold are drifting in and then the thing had started screaming. There was no way a real baby would have been jostled by that small action, which made this whole exercise all the more ridiculous. Not to mention that it started its screaming at precisely 3:04am every damn morning, so Richie had set an alarm just so he didn’t have to be jolted awake.

Richie gritted his teeth and pulled his phone from his pocket, dialling Eddie’s number. He winced as the doll let out another ear bleeding scream and he scrunched his eyes shut. A few moments later, Eddie’s voice answered the phone with a soft, “Hello?”

I’ve made a mistake,” Richie said immediately.

“What did you do?” Eddie asked, his voice more alert now. “All I did was pop to the store, what could you have possibly done in that time?” Right at that moment, the demon in his arms decided to scream again and he groaned. On the line, Richie heard Eddie hiss.

I made the baby cry,” Richie hissed. “I made it cry and now it won’t fucking stop!”

“What did you do?” Eddie asked again, and it sounded as though he was at the checkout. Good, that meant he would be home soon and Richie would be free from this hell.

“I closed a damn window, and apparently, that’s sufficient enough for it to start screaming the house down.” Richie gritted out and the doll started screaming again. “Ugh, will you be quiet?!

“I’ll be home in ten minutes,” Eddie said, trying to remain calm. “Just…hang on.”

The line went dead and Richie groaned. Hang on. What else was he meant to do. The ten minutes it took Eddie to get back from the store felt like a lifetime, and by the time the door finally did open, Richie was about a second away from throwing the thing out of the window.

“Here, give it to me,” Eddie said and took the doll from Richie’s arms, rocking it back and forth as though it were a real baby. Richie watched as Eddie walked over to the table and grabbed the ‘pacifier button’ and pressed it inside the dolls mouth. Immediately, the crying stopped and in its place, a sucking noise could be heard.

Feeding it. Why hadn’t Richie thought of that?

A few minutes later, Eddie pulled the button out of its mouth and sat it to the side. He made quick work of changing its diaper too, just to be on the safe side, before he sat it on a blanket on the sofa. Then, he turned to Richie. Eddie opened his mouth to speak, but Richie beat him to it, “Don’t say anything Eds, just…don’t.”

He stood up to walk to the bedroom, intending on laying in silence for the foreseeable future, but Eddie grabbed onto his wrist and tugged him into a hug. “It’s okay…so what if you didn’t change the fake baby’s diaper, or give it it’s fake food. We’re learning, we’re going to make mistakes and that’s why we have each other. We’ll learn and help each other on how to be the best dad’s we can be. That’s what you told me right? Back when I was having doubts? It’s going to be okay as long as we have each other to lean on.”

Richie’s eyes softened and he leaned down to press a kiss to Eddie’s forehead, “You’re right,” he whispered. “You’re absolutely right. It’s not going to be a walk in the park, but, can I make one tiny suggestion?”

Eddie looked up and tilted his head to the side, “Mhm?”

“Can we get rid of the doll and babysit Camille instead please?”

 

Chapter Text

Eddie lay back on his bed, staring up at the ceiling. Outside the window he could hear the cars whizzing by on the streets of New York. His phone sat discarded on the bed next to him, still open on the contacts page. His mind was swirling with the events that had just transpired and he let out a harsh sigh.

“That’s the fourth heavy sigh you’ve released since you came off the phone,” his roommate mumbled from across the room. “Either go deal with the issue, or shut the fuck up because I have an exam tomorrow and I need my sleep!” With those words, he turned over on his bed and pulled the sheets up over his head.

“Sorry,” Eddie mumbled and sat up, sliding his legs off of the bed so that they touched the carpet. To his roommate, making a decision should have been easy. Either Eddie closed his eyes and went to sleep, or he got changed and made the short walk across campus to his best friends dorm.

Either Eddie ignore the chance that had been left on his doorstep, or he grasped it and hoped it worked out in his favour. He glanced over at his shoes and jacket that sat by the door, and before he could talk himself out of it, he clambered off of the bed and slipped his shoes on. He was out the door before his jacket was fully over his shoulders, ignoring his roommate’s yell as he slammed it behind him.

He had no idea what he was doing, or even if things would work out. What if he got there, and put everything out on the line only for it to be thrust back in his face? That thought almost made him stop, but he powered through, walking across the campus until he was standing right outside room 306b.

With his fist clenched, Eddie lifted it to knock on the door, but it froze midway. Right on the other side of that door, was the most important person in his life, and the last thing Eddie wanted to do was jeopardize that. Had he made a huge mistake? His heart was screaming for him to knock on the door and finally get years of feeling out in the open, but his head was telling him to turn on his heel and go back to his room. To think rationally about this.

Before he could make up his mind, the door opened and standing right there in front of him was his best friend. Richie. He was dressed in a pair of sweatpants and a hoodie, his hair messed up from laying down and his glasses perched on his nose.

“Eds?” Richie’s voice was tired, and Eddie understood why. “Is everything okay?”

“I know that this might be terrible timing. I know that you’ve just broken up with Jeremy, and I know that you must be feeling like shit, but if I don’t say this now I don’t know if I ever will.” Eddie burst out before Richie could say anything else. “First, Jeremy was an asshole, and I’m glad you broke up with him. He treated you like shit and no-one treats you like shit. Second-”

“Eds-” Richie tried to cut him off, but Eddie kept going, determined to say what he came to say.

“I love you.”

A silence stretched on between the two of them, and Eddie watched as Richie’s jaw dropped just slightly, eyes widening from behind his glasses. Unable to bare the silence, and not willing to take it as a rejection, Eddie kept speaking. “I’ve been in love with you since we were kids…and I’ve been trying to tell you but either it wasn’t the right time, or you were in a relationship, or you were moving to California. I know that this is crazy, and I know that you are just out of a relationship, but I had to tell you. I had to tell you tonight before some other guy snatched you up, or the universe decides some-”

His words were cut off as Richie took Eddie’s face in his hands and brought their lips together. It took a whole five seconds for Eddie’s brain to kick into gear and he wrapped his arms around Richie’s shoulders, kissing him back with everything he had. As they pulled back, Richie rested his forehead against Eddie’s, a soft smile on his face. “Better late than never, Kaspbrak.”

“Wait- does that mean?”

“I love you too? Absolutely.”

Eddie glanced behind him, grinning as he saw no roommate, and with a sneaky glance down the hallway, he shoved Richie back, kicking the door shut behind him with a firm click.

Chapter Text

Taking a deep breath, Richie knocked on the door in front of him before wiping his sweaty palms down his pants. He wasn’t about to back out, this was something he had to do…something he had been planning to do for months now. There wasn’t a doubt in his mind that he was about to receive the answer that he wanted when the door was answered.

He looked up as he heard the chain on the door unlock, and the handle turned. Richie put on his best smile as the door opened, Frank Kaspbrak standing on the other side with a smile of his own. “Richie, what brings you here?”

“I was hoping we could talk?” Richie asked, pushing his nerves down, down, down. This really was no big deal, here he was, standing on the doorstep of his boyfriends dad’s house, about to ask him that all important question.

“If you’re about to ask me for permission to ask Eddie to marry you, the answer is no.”

Just like that, Richie’s stomach dropped and he felt all the colour drain out of his face. Maybe he had picked it up wrong? Maybe Frank meant something completely different. Yet, no matter what, Richie knew what he had heard. He hadn’t even gotten his question out, and Frank had shot him right down into the dirt.

He soon realised that he hadn’t said anything in a few minutes, so Richie cleared his throat and stood up a little taller. He had no idea what to say, he had no witty comeback, or funny response. There was nothing that he felt he could say. Richie had been so sure that Frank would have been on board, and yet, he had never been so wrong. So he swallowed his pride and nodded his head, unsure about what he was going to do next.

“Right, alright, um…I’m sorry to have wasted your time.”

Richie turned on his heel and walked down the steps back towards his car. Behind him he heard the door close and he fought back tears. Frank Kaspbrak, Eddie’s father, didn’t want him to marry his son. Frank didn’t want Eddie to marry Richie. Suddenly, Richie’s future didn’t seem so set in stone anymore, and the little black box in his pocket felt more like a heavy weight than an exciting possibility.

Did this mean he would have to go back to their apartment, the apartment that he shared with Eddie, and break up with him? Was that what he had to do? After all, if there was no prospect of marriage, if there was no future for them then what was the point?

Richie drove back in silence, refusing to even turn on the radio for background music. He pulled into the parking lot behind their apartment and cut the engine. He glanced up at the window, seeing into their kitchen and the light that shining. Eddie was home, probably either making dinner or curled up on their sofa with a glass of wine. It was a Friday night, and he was most likely waiting for Richie to get home.

He slipped out of the car and locked it behind him, walking up the steps to the door and stepping inside. He hung up his jacket and kicked off his shoes. He could see the light filtering through the closed door that would lead to the living room and he smiled just a little. Maybe this night didn’t have to be the end for them. So what if they never got married…he would be happy just being Eddie’s boyfriend for the rest of his life.

“Eds, you home?” He called as he took a few steps towards the living room. There was no answer, so Richie could only assume that Eddie had fallen asleep with the light on again. He sighed and pushed open the door, Eddie’s name on his lips again, “Eds-”

Richie’s words cut off as he pushed the door fully open, taking in the sight. The living room was surrounded with candles, rose petals on the floor. Eddie was in the middle of the living room, a shy smile on his lips, on his knee, and holding a ring box in his hand. “It’s a little cheesy…I know but sometimes you need to be really cheesy.”

“What’s going on?” Richie asked, feeling his heart hammer in his chest.

“What does it look like?” Eddie asked, still smiling wide. “I’m proposing.” He popped open the box, revealing the ring that was nestled there. “Richie, I love you…I love you so much and I had this big speech but I’ve sort of forgotten everything I was going to say so I’m just going to ask…will you marry me?”

Every fibre of his being was screaming at him to say yes, to accept and pull Eddie to his feet, to kiss him and give him his own ring that was in his back pocket. Yet Frank’s words were still sitting in the back of his mind, nagging at him to decline, because he doesn’t want Richie marrying his son. Richie felt tears prick at the back of his eyes and he met Eddie’s hopeful gaze. “Eds…Eddie. I love you and you have no idea how much I want to say yes…”

“Then…say yes?” Eddie coaxed him, the brightness in his eyes diminishing a little. “What’s stopping you from saying yes?”

“I was going to propose…I went to see your dad and everything…and he said no.”

There was a silence, a brief one, before the smile was back on Eddie’s face and he shook his head. “God, you’re kidding me? I asked him to…throw you off course not to tell you that he didn’t want us to get married!”

“What?” Richie asked, frowning in confusion.

“I know you were planning on proposing. I found the ring in your sock drawer. Ps, don’t hide it there, you should know I steal your socks. Anyway, I wanted to be the one to propose to you, I wanted to ask you to marry me…so I asked my dad just to…throw you off a bit.” Eddie explained, his hand reaching out to take Richie’s, squeezing tight.

“So your dad is…okay with us getting married?”

“Yes!” Eddie grinned. “Yes he…he is completely okay with us getting married. Now, for gods sake, will you marry me?”

This time, there was no hesitation in Richie’s answer and he nodded his head, “Yes! Yes of course I’ll marry you.” Eddie reached forward and plucked the ring from his finger and slipped it onto Richie’s finger. A watery laugh bubbled out of his throat and he reached into his back pocket for Eddie’s own ring, slipping it onto his finger. “Now we match.”

“I love you, and I am so sorry my dad freaked you out,” Eddie whispered, slipping into Richie’s lap and wrapping his arms around his neck. “I’ll make sure he apologises.”

“Let’s stop talking about your dad okay? We have an engagement to celebrate,” Richie muttered, closing the gap between them and kissing Eddie deeply and passionately for the first time as an engaged couple. He reached up and carded his fingers through Eddie’s blonde locks, pulling him closer. “Bedroom?”

“Bedroom…but first let’s blow out all the candles.”

“Yes. Lets.”

Chapter Text

I’m moving to Rome”

Those were the words that played over and over in Eddie’s mind as he bundled himself and his suitcases into the cab that would take him to JFK airport. He thought back to the look on his friends face as he spilled the secret that he had been keeping from him, well, from them all, for weeks. He remembered the shock, following by sadness in Stan’s eyes as they sat on the steps that led up to his apartment, sharing a bottle of beer from his fridge.

“What do you mean you’re moving to Rome?” Stan asked, pinching his nose between his fingers. “I- when are you moving to Rome?”

“After the wedding, don’t worry,” Eddie reassured him, sitting the bottle onto the step and placing a comforting hand on his shoulder. “As if I would miss two of my best friends getting married. I leave after the reception.”

“I still don’t understand, Eddie. Why?”

Eddie glanced up at the apartment door, his eyes softening as a lump formed in his throat. “You know why, Stan.”

“Maybe, but I would really like it if you told me.” This time, it was Stan’s turn to place his hand on Eddie’s shoulder in a sign of comfort. Eddie felt a little bit of guilt build up in his chest. Stan was getting married in two days, he should be at home with Mike, enjoying some last moments of peace before chaos set in. Instead he was sitting on a cold step, drinking beer with Eddie as he tried to explain his new life decision.

“I got offered a job-” Eddie started but Stan’s pointed look cut him off. “What?”

“Eddie…come on.” Stan met his gaze, holding it firm until Eddie sighed, running his fingers through his hair.

“Everyone’s moving on with their lives, Stan. You and Mike are getting married, Ben and Bev are having a baby and no matter how hard I try I am never going to get over wanting to be with Richie.” Eddie explained, his voice cracking over the last sentence. “I had my chance, and I blew it. I chose my career over what could have been the best thing in my life, and that’s a decision that will haunt me for the rest of my life.”

“It shouldn’t,” Stan whispered, after a few moments of silence. “It shouldn’t haunt you. This…Eddie this was three years ago. You both wanted different things back then. You were making your way in the medical world and Richie was scoring gigs in clubs to try and make it as a comedian. You were both lost and needed time to figure things out for yourselves before you even thought about entering into a committed relationship with one another.” Stan squeezed Eddie’s shoulder. “What I’m saying is, you’re both older now, settled down in your careers…and you’re both single. You should at least go for it.”

“Don’t you think that ship has long sailed?” Eddie asked, but he was unsure if he was asking Stan that question, or himself. “What if it’s too late?”

“You’ll never know unless you try.”

All through the wedding, Stan’s words were nestled in the back of Eddie’s brain. They were there when Richie stood up to give the best man toast, they were there when he offered Mike’s young cousin to dance and let her stand on his toes, they were there as he walked across the room to Eddie and offered his hand out in a question to dance.

Yet Eddie never said anything. Why? Because he was too scared.

He was scared that if he opened his mouth, and asked Richie for all the things he had laid out on the table three years ago, Richie would pack them all back up into a box and move along to someone else. He was scared of the mere thought of Richie rejecting him, and Eddie was positive that the best decision was for him to move to Rome. To take the doctor job lined up for him and once again, choose his career over Richie.

So here he was, paying the cab driver with the last of his dollar bills and collecting his luggage from the trunk. He still had a few minutes before check in opened, so there was no rush as he made his way through the airport and into a Starbucks.

As he took a seat, Eddie felt his phone buzz in his pocket and he pulled it out, looking at the received text message from Stan.

Your secret is safe with me. Good luck in Rome. Remember and send us a postcard. - Stan

Eddie blinked as he read the message over and over again, a sinking feeling settling in his gut. Was he making a huge mistake? Was he really about to once again, walk away from the best thing that could ever happen to him.

Leaving his half empty drink on the table, Eddie grabbed his suitcase and walked back out into the main check in area of the airport. In the distance he could see that his flight had opened their check in gate, and that a queue was forming, but for some reason he couldn’t get his legs to move.

“God I am such a coward,” he muttered to himself, stopping short and almost colliding with an elderly couple. He barely had an apology out before a voice, a familiar voice, broke through the noise of airport chatter.

“You are a lot of things, Eddie Kaspbrak.” Eddie whipped his whole body around, his eyes wide as saucers as he spotted Richie standing only a few feet away from him, still dressed in his tux from the wedding. “You’re funny, smart, talented, a little bit crazy, feisty and probably a lot insane…but you are far from a coward.”

“Richie…what are you doing here?” Eddie asked, dragging his suitcase over to where Richie was standing, stopping only a few inches from him.

“Stan told me everything…but only because I begged him to. You had been acting so weird these past few weeks and it was really beginning to freak me out and when you left the wedding early, I knew that if you had told anyone in the group what was up with you, it would have been Stan.” Richie explained. “I get that you’re scared…hell I’m scared too. But do you want to know what scares me most?”

Eddie swallowed, nodding his head. He was close enough that he could feel Richie’s breath against his skin as he spoke. “What scares you most?”

“The thought of you getting on that plane without telling me goodbye,” Richie whispered, reaching down and taking Eddie’s hands in his own, lacing their fingers together. “I love you Eddie. I am have been in love with you since I was fifteen years old, maybe even before then. I was in love with you when we dated three years ago, and I am still in love with you now.”

Tears sprung into Eddie’s eyes and he blinked them away, not ready to let go of Richie’s hand for even a second. “What are you saying?” Eddie choked.

“I’m saying that I love you, and that I want to be with you. I’m saying that I’m done being scared. I’m saying…that I’m done dating and I’m ready to settle down…with you. If you’ll have me.” Richie’s eyes were soft, hopeful, and Eddie’s heart was hammering in his chest. This…this was everything that he could have ever wanted, right there in front of him, all he had to do was reach out and grab it.

To this day, Eddie wasn’t sure what possessed him to say what he said in response to Richie’s love confession, but there wasn’t a day that went by that he regretted it.

“If I wasn’t mistaken it sounds like you’re proposing to me.” The moment the words were past his lips, the colour drained from Eddie’s face. How was he supposed to backtrack out of that one?

Turns out, he didn’t need to.

“Not proposing exactly, but more…promising.” Eddie watched as Richie dipped his hand into his back pocket and produced a simple silver band, holding it in between his thumb and forefinger. “I know people would say that…that this is moving too fast, but people also would say that if you get back together with someone it’s just like un-pausing. All the other stuff still counts, all the other feelings and emotions are still there. So…Eddie Kaspbrak, will you hit un-pause with me?”

There was eyes all around them, watching the scene unfold, unknowing if Eddie was going to accept the proposal or turn him down flat. After a few seconds, he let out a puff of laughter, wiping away a stray tear with the back of his hand. “Consider us un-paused.”

Richie broke into a wide grin and stepped forward, closing the distance between them. He took Eddie’s left hand and slipping the promise ring onto his finger before he took his face in his hands and kissing him for the first time in three years. It felt like coming home. Their lips fit together perfectly, Richie’s hands cupping his face as though they were always meant to. This was the happy ending that Eddie had been craving, the missing piece of the puzzle.

“I love you too,” Eddie whispered as they broke apart. “I love you too. I’ve always loved you and I’m sorry, I’m sorry that I chose my career over you three years ago and I’m sorry for not talking to you at the wedding earlier even though I had multiple chances thrown at me. You said earlier that I was anything but a coward, but I felt like one tonight.”

“Eds,” Richie quietened him, running his fingers through Eddie’s hair, making him sigh. “You are not a coward, no matter what happened tonight. As for three years ago, it was something you had to do, and it was something I had to do too. We both had to fall apart in order for us to come back together, and look at us now. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty damn happy right now.”

“I’m happy, god Richie I’m so happy,” Eddie breathed, pushing up to press their lips back together, just because he could. He let out a whimper as Richie pulled away, putting some distance between them.

“As much as I would love to continue this, I believe we have a plane to catch.” Richie’s words caught Eddie off guard and he looked at him. “What, do you really think I’d come all the way here, confess my undying love for you, and then not come to Rome with you?”

“You’re coming with me? But- when did you get a ticket? What about your job?”

“After Stan told me, I called my agent to ask on the off hand if there were any jobs going in Rome, and it turns out there are. I’ll be doing a few skits a week and they pay really decent money. I called them on the way here and they have seen some of my work and offered me the job on the spot.” Richie explained, cupping Eddie’s face with his hands. “I want to come to Rome with you, I don’t ever want to be away from you ever again.”

“I don’t want that either, god Richie I’ve never wanted that.” The announcer came over the speakers to inform them that the check in would be closing in five minutes. With a smile, Eddie held out his hand for Richie to take. “We’re really doing this huh?”

Without a second of hesitation, Richie laced their fingers together, grinning at the feeling of metal against his skin. He nodded his head, letting Eddie pull him through the crowded airport to their check in desk. As the flight attendant took their passports Richie leaned down to press a kiss to Eddie’s cheek, moving up to whisper in his ear.

“We definitely are.”

 

Chapter Text

Eddie kept his head down as he walked through the halls of Derry High to his locker. He put in his combination and pulled it open, switching out his books that he needed for his first class of the day. Looking around the corridor for any sign of the losers and coming up short, he closed the locker over and headed to class. It wasn’t that he was avoiding his friends but-

Okay yeah, he was avoiding the losers. More precisely, he was avoiding Richie. His best friend. Since Richie brought BIll to school and they always met up with Bev and Ben outside the school before walking to Stan’s locker where he was standing with Mike. Therefore in order to avoid Richie, Eddie had to avoid his other friends too.

The reason for him avoiding Richie? The evening before, Eddie had had a dream about Richie. A dream that was far from platonic as one could possibly imagine. Unless you would consider Eddie being on his knees, Richie’s cock down his throat platonic.

No? Didn’t think so.

Eddie had no idea how he was even able to look Richie in the eye again. His best friend always had a gift for reading people’s minds, so if he were to meet his eyes, Eddie knew that Richie would probably be able to tell exactly what he had been dreaming about, right down to the very last detail.

“Eds!”

A chill ran down Eddie’s spine as Richie’s voice echoed down the corridor, turning a few heads at how loud he was. He glanced from side to side, looking for an escape route, but before he could dodge between the two students making out against their locker, Richie grabbed his wrist and turned his towards him.

“Richie! Hi, how are you? Nice to see you! How have things been?” Eddie rambled on, his eyes widening as his cheeks burned. Richie tilted his head to the side, a frown making its way onto his face.

“Eds? Is everything okay? You weren’t at the stop for me to pick you up this morning?” He asked, reaching out to place his hand on Eddie’s shoulder. At the contact Eddie flinched back, an electric shock running down his body. Richie felt the flinch and his frown deepened, “Eddie?”

“I-I’m sorry I have to go,” Eddie rushed out and pushed Richie away from him before he rushed down the corridor and into the mens room. He locked himself into the nearest stall and slid down the door, burying his face in his hands. He could feel the heat radiating off of his face in embarrassment. He was never going to be able to look Richie in the face again.

That thought didn’t last long, as he should have known Richie would have followed him to the bathroom, and his thoughts were confirmed with a light knock on the door. “Eds?” Richie’s voice was soft, concerned. “What’s going on? Have I done something wrong?”

Of course Richie would think that. Eddie shook his head, even though Richie couldn’t see him. “No, no of course you didn’t do anything wrong.”

“Then what’s going on with you? You’ve been acting strange all day.” On the other side, Eddie felt Richie slide down the back of the door. “You can tell me anything, you know?”

“I know,” Eddie whispered, sliding his hand under the door, just grazing over Richie’s on the other side. “It’s a long story.”

“I’ve got time.”

A smile made its way onto Eddie’s face and after a few more moments, he stood up, a hand grazing over the door lock. If he did this, if he opened the door and came clean, then it would cause a major change in their relationship dynamics, no matter what happened. Yet the single thought that Richie might feel the same way was just too high to ignore, so he opened the door, coming face to face with Richie who was scrambling off of the floor.

“Hi,” Eddie whispered, glancing at the floor before finally looking up and making eye contact with Richie. “Listen, and please let me talk okay?” Richie nodded his head. “I’m going to start by just jumping right into it…I like you Richie, as more than a best friend. I have done for a while now…since I was fourteen actually but I was too scared to mess up our friendship to say anything. I thought I was doing really well, pushing my feelings for you down, that is until last night.”

Richie was staring at him with large eyes, taking in every word that came out of Eddie’s mouth. He swallowed and blinked, “What happened last night?”

“Last night, I had a dream about you,” Eddie whispered, clearing his throat as he glanced at the floor. “It was…explicit.”

“E-Explicit?” Richie choked out, blinking repeatedly. Eddie was sure that he had broken his best friend.
“Yeah, and I understand if you need space, or if you want to take a break from our friendship-” Eddie babbled but he was cut off as Richie surged forward, taking Eddie’s face in his hands and pressing their lips together. Eddie froze up, his eyes widening for a moment as he processed what was happening before he relaxed, pushing up on his toes and wrapping his arms around Richie’s neck. Their lips moved together slowly and languidly, as though they were always meant to be like this.

As they pulled away, Eddie could feel a dopey smile make its way onto his face. Richie’s smile most likely matched his own, and a shiver ran down his spine as he trailed his fingers down over his cheek and down his arm. “Later, we’re going to go back to my place, and you’re going to tell me all about this dream you had.”

Eddie felt his cheeks flush, the very thought of the dream making him hot and flustered, “You’ve got yourself a deal.”

“And while we’re at it, I think there is something else we have to talk about,” Richie whispered into his ear, clearly an act meant to tease.

“And what’s that?” Eddie breathed, his eyes fluttering slightly, lips spread wide in a smile.

“Us,” Richie clarified. “You and me.”

“What about you and me?”

“Eds, Eddie, Eddie Spaghetti, you and me, date this Friday night.” As Richie spoke he made his way back towards the bathroom door. At any time now, the bell signalling the beginning of the first class of the day would go off.

“Oh really?” Eddie asked, raising his eyebrow. “We’re gonna reach third base before our first date? Optimistic aren’t you?”

Richie laughed, tossing his head back, “Well darling, I’m afraid we’ve already reached third base.”

Eddie frowned, tilting his head to the side, “What? When?”

Then with a wink, before he left the bathroom, Richie smirked, “In your dreams.”

Chapter Text

“Why don’t you, I don’t know, just ask him out?”

Richie gawked at his best friend, his eyebrows shooting up so high they vanished under his bangs. “Yeah Stan, like it’s that easy. It just doesn’t work like that.”

Stan gave him a look. The same look he gave him whenever he was being an idiot. “We’re not kids anymore Richie, were seniors, and in two months we’ll have graduated, if you don’t do it now you’ll regret it.”

With a shaky exhale, Richie turned his head to look down the corridor to where the object of his affections stood, hanging out by his locker with his other jock friends.

Eddie Kaspbrak. Star baseball player and the guy Richie had been in love with since well, since forever.

The thing was, it wasn’t like Eddie was unapproachable, in fact it was the complete opposite. They were actually friends, they spoke all the time and sometimes even shared a lunch table. He was just too much of a fucking pussy to make the next move from friends to...more than friends.

“-Earth to Richie!” Stan snapped him out of his thoughts and Richie blinked, turning his head back to his friends. “You’re staring, if you keep acting like a creep Eddie will never say yes.”

“He’s not going to get the chance to say yes, Stan. I’m not asking him to prom.” Richie shrugged, closing his locker. “I mean, I know we’re friends and all, but look at me. I’m a mess. Eddie deserves someone who isn’t a walking train wreck to take him to prom.”

Stan blinked and shook his head, “You are such an idiot, Tozier.” He swung his bag over his shoulder. “I’m going to be late. Reconsider, yeah?”

Richie pulled a face but soon registered Stans smirk as he walked off. He was just about to call out, to ask him what he was smirking for, when he felt a tap on his shoulder that made him jump out of his skin.

“Hey, sorry, didn’t mean to scare you.” Eddie spoke sheepishly, shoving his hands into his baseball jacket and rocking back on his heels.

“What- no!” Richie shook his head, a hand rubbing the back of his neck. A nervous tick of sorts. “Just...caught me by surprise there, Eds.”

Eddie rolled his eyes a little, but he had a smile on his lips, “What have I told you about calling me that?”

Richie just winked and leaned against the lockers, trying not to stumble and make a complete fool of himself, “You love it really.”

There was a brief silence, but Eddie was still smiling, which Richie understood meant that he was correct. “Do you want to hang out tonight?” Eddie asked, looking up at Richie through his eyelashes. God he was so beautiful. His short blonde hair, his mesmerising grey eyes, his soft skin. Richie was so fucked.

“Mhm, sure,” he nodded, swallowing thickly. “My place or yours?”

Eddie leaned back on his heels again, glancing from side to side, “Well my mom is at bingo, and my dad is working the night shift. So my place?”

The thought of being in a house alone with Eddie caused Richie’s stomach to flip and he nodded his head with a cough. “Sure thing, Eds, your place it is.”

* * * * *

The second he entered Eddie’s room, Richie tossed his bag and jacket into the corner coven of his room and sprawled out on the bed. “God, Eds, I love your bed.”

“I can see that,” Eddie muttered, licking his lips as he hung his jacket up in the closet. He joined Richie a few moments later and lay down the opposite way, so their heads were side by side. “Are you okay?”

Richie tilted his head towards Eddie in question, and his breath caught in his throat as their eyes met, “What-“ he cleared his throat. “What do you mean Eds?”

“I mean, you’ve been...acting weird around me lately. I don’t like it,” Eddie explained, his voice a little timid. “Is it because I’m on the baseball team? Or because I hang out with Bill? Because you know that you’re always gonna be my number one, right?”

With a shake of his head Richie sat up, running his fingers through his curls, “Shit- no Eds. No that’s...that’s not it. I mean- I’m so proud of you being on the baseball team and Bill...you are allowed to have other friends.”

“Then what is it?” Eddie whispered, sitting up as well and moving closer to Richie. At that, Richie had to force himself not to back of even more. “Talk to me?”

“Everything’s peachy Eds,” Richie assured him. Lie. “Just...trust me. I guess I’m just dreading graduation, everything’s changing.”

Eddie’s eyes softened and he moved to sit next to Richie, resting his head on his shoulder. “I know what you mean, soon we’ll be college kids and well on our way to adulthood.”

No truer words had been spoken in Richie’s thoughts and he reached over to pinch Eddie’s cheeks, “Right again, Eddie spaghetti.”

“Quit it,” Eddie laughed, shoving him backwards. They fell into a comfortable silence and Eddie tilted his head in Richie’s direction. “Rich? Are you going to prom?”

Richie froze up at the words and he let out a nervous chuckle, “Oh I don’t know Eds, I mean it’s not really my scene you know.”

If Richie had been paying attention he would have seen the way Eddie’s face had dropped at his response. But he wasn’t paying attention, instead he kept talking. “What about you?”

“Yeah,” Eddie said quietly. “I’m definitely going to prom.”

This was Richie’s opening. All he had to do was ask Eddie to be his date to prom, but once again he was too much of a pussy and the moment passed. A few seconds later the conversation moved into school that day, and Richie’s chance was once again, left in the dust.

* * * * *

By the time prom rolled around, Richie had well and truly fucked up his chances of asking Eddie to be his date. He tried to ignore the way Stan looked at him, with a frown of disappointment, but he knew he had every right. Richie had messed up and now it was too late.

The school gym had been beautifully decorated for the evening and Richie tugged anxiously on the bowtie around his neck. He really wanted to take it off, but his mother had spent so long getting it right for the photos, he knew he had to last that long.

All the losers were already inside the gym, sitting around a table that Ben, as a member of the prom committee, had saved for them. The first loser Richie spotted was Beverly, looking radiant as always in a deep red gown that touched the floor. She was standing next to Ben, who was in a classic black tux with their arms linked together. The perfect couple. Stan was next, standing by Mike, they were both dressed in simple shirt and ties. Bill was wearing a red suit jacket, surrounded by most of the senior ladies and then...then there was Eddie.

Richie swore he looked like an angel. Eddie was dressed in a white tux, his hair swept back and styled so perfectly that Richie was sure he was dreaming. It was at that moment that Eddie looked up and their eyes met from across the hall and he excused himself from the others, making his way over until he was standing only a few feet away from Richie.

“Hey, thought you weren’t going to show.” Eddie spoke just loud enough to be heard over the music.

“Almost didn’t,” Richie admitted truthfully, rubbing a hand behind his neck.

There was a silence and Richie made a move to step past Eddie, to join the others and hopefully not make a fool out of himself, but Eddie reached out a hand to stop him. “Wait...wait.”

Richie turned his head back, looking down at Eddie, curiously, “What is it Eds?”

“Why didn’t you ask me to prom?” He blurted out and Richie felt the colour drain from his face, his eyes wide. Fuck. “I know you wanted to, and I waited...I waited for you to ask me but you...you didn’t? I didn’t want to ask you either because...I thought maybe you changed your mind, but by the way you’re looking at me I don’t think that’s the case so...why?”

“Eds…” Richie swallowed, his shoulders slumping as he realised he’d been caught out, the game was over, now all that was left was to tell Eddie the truth. “I didn’t want you to say no.” As Eddie opened his mouth to respond, Richie held up a finger, continuing. “Let me talk...I was going to ask you, that night at your place when you brought it up but I freaked out, and then every day after I just kept freaking out. You’re amazing Eddie, and I just kept thinking about how you deserved so much more than me.”

Eddie blinked, staring at Richie as he let his words settle in. Then, he smiled and shook his head, taking a step towards him and closing the distance, “You’re an idiot,” Eddie whispered. “And so am I. I’ve liked you for ages, Richie and...and I really want to be your date to prom. You’re the only person I want to be my date to...well anything.”

Richie let out a breath, his hands reaching out to rest on Eddie’s hips, their foreheads pressed together, “Fuck that...that’s a relief.” He moved one hand up to cup Eddie’s cheek, “Can I...can I kiss you?”

Not waiting for Richie to make the first move, Eddie pushed up on his toes and pressed their lips together in a soft, sweet first kiss. They kept it chaste, after all, they had plenty of time for more when everyone wasn’t staring at them. As they parted, Eddie offered out his hand, “Dance with me?”

Richie could only grin in response, “It would be my pleasure.”

Chapter Text

With a huff, Eddie slammed the car door shut, ignoring his father’s encouraging words as he dragged his oxygen tank towards the Community Centre. After weeks of doctors appointments and talks with his parents it had been decided that the best thing for his mental health would be to attend a local support group. Never in Eddie’s eighteen years of life did he want to attend a support group, but now it seemed as though he had no other choice.

You see, when Eddie was five years old, he was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer. Over the years, it had spread into his lungs and therefore caused him to have to carry around an oxygen tank in order for him to breathe. It was a nuisance for sure, but it was better than dying, he supposed.

Which he was eventually going to be. Dead, that is.

That was the whole point of him attending this group. He had been thinking way too much about the possibility of death that his father believed he was depressed. Which he was not, thank you very much. The answer was simple, he had finally reached the ‘acceptance’ stage of the five stages of grief. He knew that he was going to die, it was all just a matter of when.

He stepped inside the building and made his way to the elevator, only to realise that it was occupied. The man, who was in a wheelchair, began to make a motion forward so Eddie could fit in but he shook his head. “It’s okay, I’ll take the stairs,” he smiled and turned around, only to collide with another person. “Oh, sorry!”

The stranger he bumped into put their hands on Eddie’s shoulders to steady them, and Eddie looked up, meeting the dark eyes of a very attractive male. The man’s eyes were glinting, a smirk on his lips as he stepped back, out of Eddie’s personal space, “No problem, sweetheart. It’s all good.”

Eddie felt his cheeks heat up momentarily, but before he could respond to the flirty comment, the guy was heading towards the stairs. As he passed the door, he bumped into the wooden panel of the door, stumbling a little before he composed himself, disappearing up the steps. Eddie felt a smile grace his own lips and he took a few seconds before he followed him, climbing the stairs to the room where the meeting would be taking place.

Chairs were gathered in a circle and most people had already arrived, leaving only a few seats spare. Not wanting to walk too far, and in case he needed to make a quick exit, Eddie sat on the first chair by the door, next to a blonde haired girl and a boy with birds on his t-shirt.

The man from earlier was sitting almost directly across from Eddie, staring at him with a grin on his lips and Eddie had to force himself not to stare back. However it was almost impossible, the man’s eyes were staring so intently that Eddie could feel them. So he did the only thing he could think of, he stared back and raised his eyebrows...almost like a challenge.

Before anything else could happen, the support group leader stood up, clapping his hands and greeting everyone with a quick introduction of himself for the sake of the new members of the group, like Eddie himself. Once he was done rambling, he opened discussion up to the group. “Now who wants to go first?”

Silence.

“I’ll go,” The boy next to Eddie sighed, standing up and Eddie watched as the stranger gave him a thumbs up. Oh, so they knew each other. “Hi, my name is Stan and I’ve got Intraocular melanoma, which is the most common type of eye cancer.” He ran his hands through his hair. “When I was ten I had my right eye removed and replaced with a glass one, and soon I’ll be going into surgery to remove the other one...so after that I’ll just be completely blind. Which sucks but it’s better than the cancer I suppose.” He smiled at the group. “But I’m grateful because I have a great family and amazing friends like Richie here,” he pointed to the stranger and Eddie perked up. “Who really help me out when I need it.”

The leader smiled and leaned forward, “We’re here for you Stan.” His words were repeated by the rest of the support group and Eddie fought the urge to gag at how cliche it all was. His thoughts were interrupted once again by the leader. “How about you, Richie?”

“Me?” Richie laughed nervously, rubbing a hand behind his neck and he stood up, glancing around the room. His eyes met Eddie’s and they lingered there for a few moments before he moved on. “My name is Richie Tozier, I’m nineteen years old and a couple years ago I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, and as a result I lost my right leg.” Eddie’s eyes widened a little as Richie leaned down and tugged up his pants, showing his prosthetic leg to the group. “I’ve been in remission for six months now and I feel great!” He winked in Eddie’s direction and he ducked his head.

The leader simply smiled and placed his hands on his legs, “Wouldn’t you like to share your fears with the group?”

Richie paused for a moment before he looked back over in Eddie’s direction, meeting his eyes for what felt like the hundredth time that afternoon. “Oblivion.” Eddie couldn’t help but roll his eyes, settling back in his chair as he held back a scoff. “You see, I intend to live an extraordinary life. To be remembered. So yeah, my fear is oblivion, of there being nothing out there after this.” With that, he took a seat, eyes still watching Eddie.

“Okay…” The leader nodded his head. “Does anyone in the group have anything else they want to say to that.”

Against his better judgement, Eddie raised a hand and stood up, “I just want to add that there will come a time when all of us are dead. There was a time before humans and there will be a time after. It could be tomorrow or a million years from now and when it does there will be no-one around to remember President Kennedy or Cleopatra or Mozart never mind any of us. Basically, what I’m trying to say that oblivion is inevitable and if that scares you well...I suggest you ignore it. It’s what everyone else does.”

There was an awkward silence in the room as Eddie returned to his seat and the leader of the group let out a large exhale, “Well...thank you Eddie for that great advice. Anyone else?”

And with that, the group continued.

* * * * *

When the meeting was over, everyone left the room slowly, some staying to chat with others but Eddie wasn’t one of them. He wanted out of there as quickly as possible. As the fresh air hit him he sucked in as deep of a breath as he could muster, looking around for his dad’s car but sighed when he could see it.

“Hey…” Eddie turned his head around to see the form of Richie approaching him, lips turned up in a smile. He stopped a few feet away from him. “First time at a support group?” He asked.

Eddie nodded his head, lifting a hand to adjust his oxygen, “How can you tell?”

Richie just laughed and leaned against the wall behind him. “What's your name?” His voice was soft and it almost took Eddie by surprise.

“Eddie.”

“Nah, what's your full name?” Richie pressed and Eddie stuffed his hands into his jacket pockets, cheeks turning a little red.

“Eddie Kaspbrak…” His voice trailed off as he stared at Richie in confusion. Instead of replying, Richie just stared at him, just like he did back in the support group. “Why...why are you staring at me like that?”

Richie broke into a wide grin, “Because you’re beautiful, and I like to admire beautiful things.”

A scoff passed Eddie’s lips and he turned his head away, “Oh my god.”

“You see, Eddie Kaspbrak, I decided a while ago not to deny myself the simpler pleasures of existence, especially since you so stupidly pointed out, we’re all going to die pretty soon,” Richie grinned cheekily, still staring into Eddie’s very soul.

Eddie just glanced away, rolling his eyes a little as Richie’s words settled in his brain, “I’m flattered really, but I’m not-”

Richie interrupted him with another grin, “Let’s go watch a movie or something. It’s 3pm on a Saturday and I really do not fancy going home this early.”

“I mean- maybe we could sometime this week?” Eddie offered but Richie shook his head.

“No, no I mean right now. Come on,” Richie grinned, reaching into his pocket and pulled out a packet of cigarettes. He pulled one out and popped it between his lips. Just like that, any possibility of forming a friendship with Richie went out the window.

“Ugh, seriously? That's disgusting!” He spat, crossing his arms. “Do you think that it’s cool or something? Because I can tell you right now that it’s not. It's so far from cool. You just ruined this whole thing.”

Even though Eddie was seeping with rage, Richie was still smiling at him, cheekily he might add, “The whole thing?”

Eddie glared, letting out a long exhale, “Yes! I mean you had cancer! You survived and yet you decide to give your money away to a cooperation that would help you acquire more cancer! Not being able to breath sucks!”

Richie was still grinning and it was beginning to get on his nerves. “Eds, you know that they don’t actually hurt you unless you light them right?”

Suddenly, all the anger he was feeling melted away and he looked at Richie with confusion in his eyes, “What?”

“I’ve never actually lit one. It’s a metaphor you see. I put the thing that does the killing right between my teeth, but never actually give it the power to kill me. See? Metaphor.” He cleared his throat. “So how about that movie?”

Just at that moment, his dad’s car pulled into the parking lot and he waved in his direction. Eddie now had two choices, go home and lock himself away in his room like he did every other night, or take up Richie on his offer and go see a movie with him. Not wanting to spend another Saturday alone in his room, he smiled and turned to Richie.

“Okay.”

Chapter Text

It had started out as just a normal day for Richie. He’d gone to work at the radio station, come home, gone out for some groceries and then met up with his friend Bev and her fiance Ben at a restaurant for dinner. A completely normal regular day, that is until he got in the car and headed home for the evening. 

The drive at first was pretty routine, Richie had the radio turned up pull blast as ‘Mr Brightside’ burst through the speakers and he had his window down, a cigarette perched between his teeth. It wasn’t until he stopped at a red light, the noise from the clubs on his left hand side, that it happened. 

Out of nowhere, his passenger car door was flung open and a person threw themselves into the car, slamming the door closed behind him. Before Richie could even comprehend what was going on, the stranger panted out, “Keep driving, please, keep driving.” Just then, out of the corner of his eye, Richie spotted a guy emerge from the alleyway, blood running down his nose and rush towards the car. “Drive!”

Glancing at the now changing lights, Richie pushed his foot down on the gas pedal and sped away from the area, watching in his rearview mirror as the guy stumbled into the road, clearly swearing like a heathen. Richie’s heart was hammering in his chest and as soon as he felt that he was a good distance away from the club, he pulled into a layby and turned the engine off. 

Once he had caught his breath, he turned to the stranger who was in the middle of dabbing his face with a tissue. “What- what the hell?” Richie asked, hoping to receive some sort of explanation now that they were out of the danger zone. 

The boy looked up at him, and Richie felt the breath leave his lungs. Not only was the boy nursing a bleeding nose, and tears were forming in his eyes, but Richie thought he was the most beautiful human being he had ever laid his eyes upon, and there had been many. “I-I’m sorry...I didn’t know what else to do.”

“No, no it’s...it’s okay,” Richie shook his head, popping open his glove compartment and finding some facial wipes. “Here, these might be better than tissue paper at cleaning up the blood. Do you need me to take you to a hospital?”

“Thanks,” The boy said quietly, taking one out and wiping up the excess blood from around his face. He shook his head once he was done. “No no, I...I don’t think it’s broken or anything.” He placed the wipes back into the glove compartment and closed it up. “I’m Eddie…”

Eddie. Richie couldn’t help but feel that the name suited him. He nodded, and ran his fingers through his hair. “I’m Richie...and if you don’t mind me asking. What happened back there?”

The boy, Eddie, looked up at him properly then and Richie could see they were still wet with tears. He wiped them away with the back of his hand and sniffed, taking a deep breath, “I was just out with some friends, having some fun after work. Minding our own business and this guy just starts dancing with me. At first it’s fun you know? It’s just dancing. Then he starts to get all touchy feely and I say no.” 

It didn’t take a genius to know where this story was going, but Richie didn’t speak up, he just continued to listen.

“Anyway the guy backed off, but when I went outside for fresh air he crowded me into the alleyway and tried it again, so I punched him in the nose. However he also got a swing at me, and that’s when I dashed for the car.”

Richie resisted the urge to turn his engine back on and turn around, anger flaring up inside him. “I’m so sorry Eddie, people are bastards and don’t understand that no means no.”

“They really are everywhere,” Eddie muttered and let out a laugh. “I’m so sorry for just...lunging at you like this. I’m sure you have better things to do than comfort me.”

Shaking his head, Richie laughed out a simple, “No, not at all.” He gave Eddie a genuine smile. “I was on my way home from dinner. I’ll take you anywhere you want to go, just pop your address into the sat nav okay?”

Eddie just nodded his head and Richie assumed he didn’t put up much of a fight because he really wanted to go home too. Richie didn’t blame him in the slightest. Once the location was inputted, Richie started up the car once more and they were on their way. Much to Richie’s surprise, Eddie’s place was only about five minutes away from his own. In the same neighbourhood. 

They drove in silence for a while, the radio still playing away the greatest hits, until Eddie spoke up. “You’re Richie Tozier, aren’t you? The breakfast radio guy?”

Richie turned his head away from the road just for a second and gave Eddie a nod, “How’d you know it was me?” He asked. 

“My roommate, Bill? He follows your social media accounts. Twitter, Instagram...you name it, Bill follows you on it.” Eddie laughed. “He follows everyone from the station, I think he’s hoping that if he retweet’s you often enough he’ll get a call out on the radio.”

“I’ll be sure to keep an extra close eye on my mentions then,” Richie grinned, focusing back on the road. Less than ten minutes later, they came to a stop outside of an apartment complex.

Eddie unbuckled his seatbelt, turning to face Richie before he slipped out of the car...and out of his life, forever. “Thanks again, Richie...seriously.” Eddie stressed and Richie shook his head. 

“It’s no problem, honestly,” Richie assured him, flashing him another reassuring smile. He thought that Eddie would have opened the door and rushed out by now, but he was still staring at him, as though thinking something over. “You okay there, Eddie?”

“I want to make it up to you, for saving my ass back there,” Eddie blurted out and as Richie opened his mouth to assure him that it was fine, Eddie hushed him. “I’m serious...maybe...over dinner?” He asked, his voice going softer than it had the whole ride there. 

This gave Richie pause and, thanks to his slow brain, it took him a few seconds to realise that Eddie was asking him out to dinner. “You want to go out to dinner?”

Eddie nodded his head, a nervous look on his face, “Yeah...I mean only if you want to of course.”

Richie just grinned and nodded his head, passing Eddie his phone so he could type his number in. Eddie grinned and complied, passing the phone back before opening the door and sliding out, closing it behind him. Richie waited until he was half way up the steps and rolled down the window. “Hey, Eds?”

Eddie turned back around, a questioning glance on his face, “Yeah?”

“It’s a date.”



Chapter Text

It was like the universe had been testing him for some reason and Eddie wasn’t sure how much more of it he could take. After finally getting together with his long term crush and best friend, Richie Tozier, Eddie was finally looking forward to spending the entire summer with his friends, and spending time with Richie as boyfriends. They even had a plan set out between them all, as well as all the things they were going to do over the course of the summer. 

Then his mother had to go and announce that he was to spend the whole 10 weeks of his summer vacation with his aunt in Michigan. There was no arguments, Eddie was going and that was final. There was a part of him that hoped it was just a weird coincidence, but Eddie knew deep down that his mother must have known about him and Richie, and this was her master plan at keeping them apart for the summer. 

Of course, Richie was pissed, as were the rest of the losers. Eddie’s departure put a dent in their summer plans, but Eddie assured them that things will be easier now, as they had an even number. He said all this with a huge smile, even though he was dying inside. His summer plans were screwed and he’d have to spend ten weeks doing old people things that were extremely boring. 

His suspicions were proven to be correct the second he touched down in Michigan. His aunt was there to collect him, the spitting image of his mother and ushered him to the car. On their way to her house, she explained the numerous rules in place for his visit. He wasn’t to watch television after nine, phone calls home were only to last fifteen minutes and he was to be in bed by ten. 

The ten weeks dragged by, and Eddie found himself wanting to go back to school. At least then he would get to see his friends and spend time with his boyfriend. He divided up his call time between his mother and Richie as well as the occasional call to the losers, but his mother always sounded bitter when he didn’t call her every day. 

During his calls with Richie, he described all the fun they were having, at Eddie’s insistence. He described how they went swimming to the quarry, or went to see the new blockbuster movie at the Aladdin. Eddie felt his stomach churn with jealousy at each word Richie spoke, and he had to hide his tears from his aunt. If she found out he was crying, she might have blocked all calls to his friends all together. 

“It’s not fair, Rich...I wish I was home with you. All our summer plans…” Eddie whispered one day, about five weeks into his visit. His aunt was out shopping so he got to spend a little more time on the phone to Richie. 

“I know baby,” Richie breathed back down the line and all Eddie wanted to do was reach through the phone and grab him, holding on tight. “But you’ll be back the night before the Derry Fair, so we can still go together. We can still play all those rigged games and ride the Ferris Wheel.”

Eddie sighed, but nodded, even though Richie couldn’t see. The Derry Fair was his silver lining in all this mess. He would be home in time to experience it with his friends and that was what kept him going for the rest of the five weeks he remained with his aunt. 

Finally, the day came for him to travel home and his aunt drove him to the airport, planting a huge sloppy kiss on his cheek and reminding him to let her know he arrived in Bangor safely. He nodded with a tense smile, edging further and further away from her until he couldn’t see her anymore. Scared that she would pull him back for another week, Eddie sprinted off towards security, breathing a sigh of relief when he was on the other side. 

Through security. I’m almost home! - E

Can’t wait to see your cute face, Eds. I’m deprived! - R

Beep beep, Richie. - E

Can’t wait to see you too. - E

The flight back home went by quicker than Eddie expected, which was a good thing, and soon he was landing in Bangor and collecting his suitcase from the baggage claim. When he walked through into the arrivals lounge, his mother was waiting for him with her overprotective smile and Eddie deflated. 

“Eddie-bear! You’re home!” She cooed, pulling him into a hug and planting a kiss on his forehead. She pulled back and held him out at arms length, clearly inspecting him for some reason or another. “You look pale, and tired. Do we need to make a visit to the emergency room?”

At the mention of the hospital, Eddie perked up and shook his head violently, “No ma, no need to go to the hospital! I’m not sick, I’m just fine. I’m sleepy from the long flight. A good night’s rest and I’ll be good as new.”

His mother pursed her lips, and Eddie could see the wheels in her head turning before she finally nodded and they headed out to the parked car. “Alright Eddie-bear, but maybe you should stay at home for a few days, I don’t want you getting sick before school starts.”

And there it was...the icing on the cake. His mother knew about the Derry Festival and she also knew that Eddie would want to go with his friends. Not wanting to miss out on the last chance of summer fun, Eddie put his foot down. “I’m going to the Derry Festival tomorrow with my friends Ma. I’ve missed them all summer and I’d like to have some fun with them before we go back to school.”

She clearly wasn’t happy with that, but there wasn’t a valid reason for her to keep him indoors, so she relented. “Fine, but you have to be home by eleven, after the firework display. Understood?”

Eddie nodded his head, exhaling in relief. He understood, and was perfectly fine with that. 

* * * * *

The following afternoon, Eddie got himself dressed for the day before rushing out of his house to meet his friends, not giving his mother a chance to change her mind. He saw Ben first, who was waiting outside the Aladdin, looking at his phone and Eddie let out a scream of his name. 

“Ben!” Ben turned around and his face broke into a wide smile. 

“Eddie!” They met in the middle, hugging each other tightly and Eddie had to resist the urge not to cry. When they pulled away, Eddie told Ben all about his awful summer, until the other losers were spotted from over the hill. As much as Eddie would like to have said he spoke to all his friends first, he didn’t. The second his eyes landed on Richie, he was off like a rocket. 

The second he was close enough, Eddie jumped into Richie’s arms, wrapping his arms and legs around him like an Octopus, not planning on letting go. “Oh my god, I’ve missed you!”

Richie chuckled into his neck, holding him close, clearly returning the passion of ‘not letting him go’. “I’ve missed you too Eds, so freaking much.”

A clear of a few throats caused them to break apart and Richie sat Eddie back down on his feet, lacing their fingers together instead. “Sorry guys…”

“You’re forgiven, but come on, I’d like to see the fair!” Bev grinned, taking Ben’s hand and walking ahead of the others. Eddie blinked...when did that happen? Richie seemed to sense his confusion and leaned down to whisper as they walked. 

“Last week, during a game of truth or dare. Finally, right?” He laughed and Eddie chuckled along with him. When they reached the fair, it was already busy with families, teenagers and adults alike. All the losers went their separate ways then, making a promise to meet up for the fireworks at the end of the day. 

Richie tugged on Eddie’s hand, leading him towards the stalls where they got some candy floss and attempted to win some prizes at darts and other games. It was almost like Eddie had never been away, how comfortable they were with each other, and soon they found themselves in the line for the Ferris Wheel. 

Luckily, at that point there wasn’t much of a queue, so they were seated in no time and being sent up to the top. When it came to a stop, right at the peak of the wheel, Eddie looked around at all of Derry and for a second he thought it looked rather peaceful. He turned around to voice his thoughts to Richie but when he did, he realised that Richie was staring right at him. 

“That’s not creepy at all,” Eddie teased and Richie nudged his side playfully. “Seriously though, do I have something on my face?” 

Richie shook his head, and in a moment of softness, he reached a hand out to tuck some of Eddie’s hair behind his ear that his blown astray with the wind. “No...no you’re just...you’re beautiful and I’ve missed you.”

Now Eddie’s heart was hammering in his chest. He took in their situation and setting. It was almost considered romantic in every high school cliche movie. Eddie wasn’t a fan of them, not really, but right in that moment, with Richie staring at him, he wanted nothing more than for them to kiss. 

Kiss me?” Eddie voiced, his breathing a little light and he exhaled as Richie moved his hand to cup his cheek, bringing their lips together in what would be their second, but best, kiss so far. Richie’s lips tasted like the candy floss, sweet and strawberry and they were so damn soft that Eddie melted into the Ferris Wheel seat like goo. 

So Eddie might have missed his summer with his friends and Richie. He might have not gotten to do all the things that he wanted to do, but as long as he never had to trade this moment up? He wasn’t going to complain. 





Chapter Text

“Eddie! Eddie wait! Eds!” Richie called after Eddie as he stormed out of the party, his cheeks flushed red with embarrassment and tears streaming down his cheeks. He knew it was a bad idea to go to the stupid party, but Richie had been insisted and Eddie could never turn down Richie and his puppy dog eyes. “Jesus Eds, slow down will ya! I’m not as fast as you!”

Unable to keep his fast pace, knowing that Richie would just end up following him home, Eddie turned around, causing Richie to stumble into him. “Just leave me alone Richie. I don’t want to speak to you right now.”

Richie shook his head, recovering from his stumble and reached his hands out for Eddie, but he stepped back, just out of his friends reach. He ignored the way Richie’s face fell and he looked to the ground. “Eds…” Richie tried again, this time his voice a lot softer. “Why are you so mad?”

Eddie’s head shot up at that, his eyes narrowing as a burst of anger filled him from his head to his toes, “Are you fucking kidding me? Are you- are you honestly that stupid or are you just trying to purposefully make me angry?” He spat, exhaling. Richie was silent and Eddie ran a hand through his already messed up blonde curls. “When did you find out?”

“Find out what, Eds?” Richie asked, his voice cracking slightly and Eddie swallowed, trying not to get mad once more.

“About my feelings for you Richie!” Eddie cried out, more tears filling in his eyes and he rushed to wipe them away with the back of his hand. “Why did you have to say all that stuff in front of everyone, and when you’re drunk. It’s not- it’s not funny Richie.”

Richie was silent, for the first time in well…Eddie couldn’t even remember the last time he had rendered Richie speechless. Yet here he was, staring at Eddie with wide eyes and a shocked expression. Finally, after a few moments of silence, Richie spoke up, “You- you think I’m joking?”

That took Eddie by surprised and his expression shifted, “Weren’t you?” He asked, voice quiet.

“No!” Richie yelled, a little too loud and he groaned. “Yes- Yes I’m drunk but they say alcohol gives you the courage to say things that you wouldn’t say sober! So I did…Greta asked who I had a crush on and I said you, because it’s the truth.”

Eddie was silent now, his heart hammering hard in his chest as he replayed the last hour in his head. It was Richie’s turn to be angry, and in all their years of friendship, Eddie had only ever seen him mad twice. “Rich-”

“I can’t believe you ever thought I would do something like that to you Eddie,” Richie whispered, his voice full of hurt. “I thought we were meant to be friends, to trust each other no matter what.”

“We- we are!” Eddie stammered, completely taken aback by the sudden change in conversation. “I- I do trust you.”

Richie scoffed at that and pushed his glasses up his nose. “Clearly you-”

“Richie, Eddie! Are you guys okay?” It was Mike, who was the designated driver. He had pulled up beside them on the sidewalk and had a concerned look on his face.

With a nod of his head, Richie stepped towards Mike and his car, “Yeah man, we’re just fine. Can I get a ride home?”

Mike nodded his head, unlocking the car door but he had a wary expression on his face. Before Richie could climb in, Eddie wrapped a hand around his wrist, panic on his face. “Are you kidding me? We’re not fine! Richie please-”

Instead of turning back to him so they could finish their conversation, Richie shrugged Eddie off and climbed into Mike’s car, expression still full of hurt and disbelief. Before he closed the door he looked up at Eddie. “Night Eds.”

He closed the car door and Mike looked over at Eddie with a confused expression. He motioned to the car also but Eddie just shook his head, taking a few steps away from the car. “It’s-it’s okay Mike. I’ll walk from here.”

With one last look at Eddie and then back at Richie, Mike nodded and rolled up his window, driving off and leaving Eddie alone on the sidewalk feeling like he had just made the biggest fuck up of his entire life.

Chapter Text

August 29th. The day Eddie Kaspbrak had been dreading for the past three months. Ever since Richie was accepted into the Radio and Entertainment programme at UCLA. At first, he wasn’t sure why there was any other feeling than pure happiness inside him when Richie told him the news, after all Richie was breaking free from Derry! However as the weeks passed, Eddie soon realised exactly what was going on;

He was in love with Richie. He always had been, he was just too much of an anxious wreck to admit it.

Now it was too late, as Richie was going all the way to the other side of the country, and Eddie was going to be attending the community college just a few towns away from Derry. It wasn’t for lack of trying to break free from his hellish home life and his mother, he had applied to almost every university in the country, but they had all declined his applications.

Eddie felt like a complete and utter failure, how could he not be when the only college willing to take him was the one closest to his hometown? He tried not to let it bother him as Bill was accepted into NYU for literature, Bev into Parsons, Ben to Pratt Institute and Stan into Georgetown in Washington D.C. He was happy for all of his friends for being able to go and achieve their dreams.

Mike was remaining in Derry and a small part of Eddie was happy that he would still have a friend to hang out with on the weekends, and Mike had assured him that they’d be meeting up every weekend they were both free. The only other person at that time who hadn’t received any word from their chosen colleges was Richie. He had turned it into a whole thing, claiming that he was going to have to move in with Eddie and his mother since no school would want him either and his parents would disown him. Eddie had scoffed at that because he knew for a fact that Maggie and Went were the nicest parents on the planet, and he also knew Richie was a smart as fuck kid, and any university would be lucky to have him.

Then he received a call from UCLA, asking him if he would accept a full ride scholarship to their radio and entertainment programme and they believed he would be an asset to their team. Unable to come up with a reason not to accept, Richie agreed and soon was packing all of his stuff up for the move to the West Coast.

As the last of the Losers to receive their acceptance news, Richie was the first one to take his leave. Throughout the whole of August, Went and Maggie had arranged for Richie’s things to be driven over to the California so he didn’t have too much luggage when the final moving day actually came. Eddie had even joined them on a weekend trip at Richie’s insurance, wanting to not only spend as much time as possible with his best friend, but also so he could get Eddie’s stamp of approval on his living arrangements.

Of course, Eddie had approved immediately. He was sharing with another freshman called Harvey, and he was just like Richie. Smart, funny and Eddie knew he was leaving his best friend…and crush, in capable hands. The feeling of jealousy was heavy in his heart but he pushed it right the way down. He couldn’t confess to Richie, not now, not when he was about to embark on the biggest journey of his life.

With time running out, Eddie had managed to spend most of the summer glued to Richie’s side, which hadn’t gone unnoticed by the other losers, more specifically, Beverly. She had asked him about it a few times, if he was really okay with Richie moving all the way across the country and Eddie had just brushed her off with a nod of his head.

“Of course I’m sure Bev,” He had whispered and turned away slightly. “Even if I wasn’t, I’d never tell him, that’s not a very friendly thing to do.”

Bev had just blinked at him and leaned over. “But you two aren’t just friends are you?” Once the words were out, she stepped back and walked down the school corridor. A few seconds later, Richie had appeared and slung his arm over Eddie’s shoulder.

Nothing was ever mentioned about it again, but occasionally Eddie would catch her staring at him when he was cuddled too close to Richie on movie nights or when their hands would brush together as they lay side by side at the quarry. It was becoming more and more difficult not to spill out his feelings to Richie as August 29th grew closer and closer, especially when Richie would sneak over like he used to and they’d fall asleep holding each other until the sun came up.

Now here they were, all gathered together at Bangor Airport as Richie hugged each and every one of them goodbye before he had to go through security. By the time he got to Eddie, he could see tears in Richie’s eyes and Eddie had to focus so as not to set them both off. He wrapped his arms tight around Richie’s waist and buried his face into his shirt, breathing in his cologne.

“Have a safe flight,” Eddie mumbled into the material and he felt Richie chuckle at his choice of words.

“Not up to me,” He breathed back before pulling away and pressing a kiss to the top of Eddie’s head. “Take care of yourself yeah?”

Eddie nodded his head, and there was a pause as they both looked at each other. Now was his chance, all he had to do was say those three words that had been haunting him for the whole summer. Yet, he didn’t and Richie picked up his hand luggage, giving everyone one last wave as he disappeared around the corner and towards security.

A part of Eddie imagined himself running after him, like they all do in the romantic comedies. Jumping past security and running into Richie’s arm, apologising for leaving his confession to the last minute and kissing him right then and there. His life, however, wasn’t a romantic comedy and Richie was gone. He took a step back and turned around to see all the losers staring at him with wide eyes.

“What?” Eddie asked. “Do I have something on my face?” His voice was quiet, cracking with every word. He was barely holding on to his control over his emotions.

It was Ben who spoke up, clearly voicing everyone’s thoughts. “Oh my god, you’re in love with him” It was that whisper, a short statement that caused Eddie to break down, crumbling into Bev’s arms as he sobbed into her t-shirt. No-one else said anything, because there was nothing that they could say to make Eddie feel even remotely better.

Until Bill spoke up, “Ice cream?”

Yeah, maybe some ice cream would help mend his aching heart…just a little bit.

Chapter Text

Ever since Eddie was a little kid he had wanted to go to a summer camp, to spend the whole summer away from his mother and with other kids his age doing fun and exciting things. However, each year his mother always had some sort of excuse for him not to go, whether it was his allergies or his aunt was coming to visit, he never got to go to his summer camp.

Now he was eighteen and freshly graduated high school. It was the summer before college and the last thing Eddie wanted was to spend the whole summer at home, so he had applied to become a camp counselor instead, for one of the summer camps in Massachusetts.

Of course, his mother had been less than pleased when she found out, but could do little about it as he jumped on the bus that would take him as close to the camp as possible. From there he would take a cab and finally be able to have an amazing summer.

What Eddie hadn’t planned for, was to meet Richie Tozier, his camp counselor buddy and roommate. At first, Eddie turned his nose up whenever Richie entered a room. He was rude, loud and very obnoxious when it came to his jokes and impressions. However as the weeks went on, Eddie realised that Richie was actually genuinely funny, was great with the kids and was overall a very nice person.

It didn’t help that he was also extremely attractive.

About two months into the three month camp, all the counselors had organised a late night barbecue for the staff, and Eddie had spent most of the night in a corner with Richie, listening to his crazy preschool stories and times when he pranked his best friend Stan by putting washout pink hair dye in his shampoo. By the time midnight rolled around, they were practically glued to one another, stomachs aching from eating too much food and laughing.

“So tell me Eds,” Richie started, looking down at him and brushing some of the hair out of his face. A blush rose up on Eddie’s cheeks at the action and he was grateful for the darkness surrounding them. “What made you want to be a camp counselor for all these crazy kids?”

Eddie let out another laugh and he shook his head, “Honestly? I really just wanted to see what it was like to attend a summer camp. When I was little I’d ask my mom every year to let me go but she’d always have some sort of excuse for me so I never got the chance. Now I’ve graduated and I’m eighteen I can do whatever I want, so I applied to be a counselor.”

“And are you enjoying the experience so far?” Richie asked, his eyes catching Eddie’s and for a moment, Eddie lost all train of thought. “Eds?”

“Oh,” Eddie chuckled and shook his head to clear his thoughts. “Sorry, just a little tired.” Lie. Eddie couldn’t be further from sleepy. “I am enjoying it. I found out I don’t mind working with children and…I’ve met some really amazing people.”

Now it was Richie’s turn to be caught off guard and Eddie mentally high-fived himself at his success in rendering his campmate speechless. When’s Richie’s brain seemed to catch up with him he let out a breath and ran a hand through his curls, the curls that Eddie had been desperate to run his fingers through since well…day one. “Right uh, I think you’re right. I’m sleepy too. Shall we head to bed?”

Unable to come up with a valid excuse for them to stay out in the dark, Eddie nodded his head and they made their way back to their cabin. As they walked, their fingers occasionally brushed together from how close they were to one another and each time contact was made, a shiver would run up Eddie’s arm.

It was both infuriating and exciting all at the same time.

Richie went into the bathroom first, changing into his usual vest and boxers to sleep in before Eddie took his turn. He brushed his teeth and changed into his sleep shorts and t-shirt before returning to the bedroom. Richie was already in bed, scrolling through his phone and probably checking his facebook feed. He was quite active on the social media front and Eddie had featured in a lot of his instagram posts. He climbed into bed and reached over to flick off the light, his eyes landing on Richie for just a second. His face was illuminated by his phone, highlighting his freckles that were scattered all over his cheeks. It really was a sin to look so damn handsome.

“Night Richie,” Eddie smiled and Richie turned his head, their eyes meeting for a moment as he smiled back.

“Night Eds. Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.” He winked and Eddie stuck his tongue out before switching off the light.

* * * * *

When Eddie woke up the next morning, after having the most wonderful dream that consisted of Richie, himself and a romantic walk in the park, Richie was staring at him with a strange expression on his face. Eddie couldn’t quite place it but it was making him feel a little nervous. What was worse, when he was asked about it, Richie just mumbled ‘nothing’ and rushed out of the cabin.

That continued for the majority of the day. Whenever Eddie would move to talk to Richie, he would make up some excuse and rush off. It was beginning to really bother Eddie as he wondered if he had said something wrong the night before, if he had freaked Richie out.

Unable to take it anymore, Eddie caught Richie after dinner on the way to the gym they had on the campsite. He wrapped his hand around Richie’s wrist and pulled him into the empty art room, blocking his exit by the door. “What have I done? And don’t bother making some shitty excuse. Just be honest with me.”

Richie glanced back and forth from the door to the window and Eddie wondered for a moment if Richie was going to risk jumping out of the window just to avoid talking to him. That thought was short lived however as Richie sighed and ran a hand through his hair, leaning back on one of the desks. “Fine…”

“Okay…what is it then?” Eddie asked, coaxing Richie to finally open up and tell him what he had done wrong. “What did I do?”

“You- you mumble in your sleep, you know,” Richie spoke softly and suddenly, all the pieces fell into place. Eddie’s cheeks turned a bright red as he realised exactly what Richie meant by those words. Before Eddie could say anything, Richie continued. “I- you were mumbling my name and I- god Eds I’ve had the hots for you since day one and suddenly you start mumbling my name in your sleep and I couldn’t take it and-”

At that, Eddie held a hand to stop Richie in his tracks, “Wait you- you have the hots for me?” He asked and slowly took a few steps closer to Richie. Seeming to catch on to Eddie’s body movements, Richie moved off the table and did the same, stopping when they were just inches from one another.

“Duh,” he breathed, a hand moving to cup Eddie’s cheek, a soft smile on his lips. “From the very moment I laid eyes on you and you called me a perv.” Eddie chuckled at that, his cheeks going a light red. “You’re so cute when you blush, cute cute cute.”

Eddie swallowed, their faces were mere inches from one another that this point and Eddie knew that this was his chance, he could make his move. “Can I kiss you?” He asked, voice soft but serious.

Richie grinned, wide and happy before he nodded his head, leaning in closer, “I’d be pretty disappointed if you didn’t.”

So Eddie did, he closed the distance between them, kissing Richie deeply, his whole body shivering with anticipation at the feeling of Richie’s lips on his one. They obviously had a lot of talking to do later, but right then Eddie was content with letting his fingers finally slide into Richie’s curls and kissing him just a little bit harder.

 

Chapter Text

“Alright everyone! Get in the car or we’ll leave you behind!” Richie called through his megaphone as two eight year olds rushed out the house, backpacks in tow. They were grinning from ear to ear as they came to a stop next to Richie before climbing into the car. 

Ollie was always first, as he was the oldest and often claimed that he had priority over everything. Grace, the youngest by one and a half minutes, didn’t mind too much about her brothers insistence to be first, as she much preferred to lag behind and enjoy things at a slower pace. 

Richie loved his kids no matter what though, and this was one way to show it. They had never been on a family vacation before, at least not out of the state of California, as the kids were too young to remember anything. Now they were older though, and were able to retain memories, so after a long conversation, a road trip across the country to New York was planned. 

“Ollie did you remember your spare inhaler?” Eddie asked as he walked out of the house last, locking the door to their three bedroom semi-detached home behind him. At first, when Ollie was diagnosed with asthma, Eddie had been scared, after all he had been told his whole life that he had asthma when he, in fact, didn’t.

Richie leaned in the car to see if his son had caught Eddie’s question to find him rummaging in his backpack and pulling out the two spare inhalers. “Yes, papa!” He called back and Richie gave Eddie the thumbs up before closing the car door. 

When Eddie reached him, he wrapped his arms around Richie’s neck and pecked him on the lips, laughing as the sounds of ‘ewww’ echoed from the back seat of their car. “We’re really doing this huh?” Eddie asked and Richie nodded his head.

“Come on, Eds. It’ll be fun. Where’s your sense of adventure?” Richie teased, flicking his nose and pulling back, making his way around to the drivers side. “Anyway, the kids are desperate to see their Grandpa Went and Grandma Maggie, as well as all their aunts and uncles.”

Eddie sighed, a smile still on his face as he checked over everything for the upteenth time before sliding into the passenger side. They had decided that they would take turns driving, six hours each until they reached their final destination. Which was Derry, Maine. 

They hadn’t been back to their childhood hometown since they graduated High School. The day after graduation, Eddie had packed a bag and jumped into Richie’s old truck and they were out of there, heading straight for California. On their way, they stopped at Vegas and in a very cliche manner, had gotten married in a gunshot wedding. 

Now twelve years later they were still going strong, still as much in love with each other and with two eight year old twins that they adored with everything they had. Their life was pretty perfect. 

Of course, Maggie and Went flew out to visit their family every year, but flight prices were increasing and Richie’s parents were getting older. Therefore this year the two of them decided that they would take the plunge and visit them in Derry, as well as stopping by to visit Stan and Mike, Ben and Bev and Bill and Audra in New York on their way home. 

It was a whole month planned vacation, as they wanted to take their time on the way, to stop by at some landmarks and spend some quality family time with their children. Of course they were sure Maggie and Went had a whole itinerary planned for them when they arrived in Derry but it was rare that they got to do things just the four of them.

“Daddy?” Grace asked about twenty minutes into the car ride and Richie looked into his rear-view mirror at his daughter, who was colouring in her Disney Princess book Uncle Bill had bought her for her birthday. It was her most prized possession and she couldn’t wait to show him all the pictures she had completed. 

“Yes, princess?” Richie asked, smiling at her as she sat her pencil down. He glanced over to Ollie, who was tapping away on his Nintendo Switch, happily quiet. 

Grace bit her lip and looked at both her parents. Her silence also made Eddie turn around to see if she was okay, giving her his warmest smile. “What is it, Gracie?” Eddie asked. 

“You know how we’re going to see Grandpa Went and Grandma Maggie?” She asked and both Eddie and Richie nodded. “Well...those are Daddy’s parents and I was talking to Lizzie at school and she said she had two sets of grandparents. Her mommy’s and her daddy’s and I was wondering if we were going to meet papa’s parents too?”

This made Eddie freeze up in his seat and Richie tensed, gripping firmer on the steering wheel. Eddie hadn’t spoken to his mother since the night before he left Derry, when he wished her goodnight. He had gone total radio silent, cutting her out of his life completely. She had tried to initiate contact many times, through letters and even through Maggie and Went, but Eddie had refused to give in.

It wasn’t as though the thought hadn’t crossed his mind now that they were heading back to Derry. It was a small town after all and news travels fast. It probably wouldn’t take long for Sonia to find out about Eddie’s return to Derry from someone at her Bingo group. However, Eddie didn’t want his babies to be exposed to her toxic ways and had decided that he would not be introducing her to them.

“Well, Gracie…” Eddie started, swallowing thickly. “My mommy...she’s not very well.” He closed his eyes and tried to find the right words to explain the situation. “She wasn’t very kind to papa when I was your age and because of that, I don’t think it would be a very good idea to meet her. Do you understand?”

By this point, Ollie was now listening in and staring at Eddie with wide eyes. “Was your mommy like Alfie’s mommy?” He asked and Eddie winced. Alfie was one of Ollie’s closest friends, and less than four months ago his mother was arrested for child abuse and he was put into sole custody of his father.

“Something like that buddy,” Richie piped up, smiling in the mirror at the kids. “It’s complicated and papa and I will tell you all the details when you are old enough to understand. For now though, just focus on this amazing holiday we’re going on, and think of all the late birthday presents Grandpa Went and Grandma Mags have waiting for you.”

At the mention of presents, both Ollie and Grace jumped into conversation with each other, happily forgetting all about the intense conversation that had just taken place, just like children do. Eddie let out an exhale and Richie reached over, taking his hand and pressing a kiss to his knuckles, all whilst focusing on the road ahead. 

“You okay, love?” He asked and Eddie nodded his head, squeezing Richie’s hand back.

Eddie really was fine. He had his husband beside him, his babies in the car behind him and his family waiting for him in Maine. His real family. He didn’t need his mother, or anyone else to make him happy. He had his family. 

“Honestly, Rich?” Eddie smiled. “I’ve never been better.”



Chapter Text

“Fuck fuck fuck!” Eddie groaned and slammed the hood of his car down harshly, wincing at his resounding bang . He was so sure that he had managed to fix the car up, but of course it had to break down when he was only a few miles away from home. Next time he’d be taking it to a damn garage. 

The sky above him grumbled and Eddie swore once more as a few drops of rain landed on his shoulder. Quickly he made a beeline for the passenger side and slipped in before the heavens opened the rain began hammering off of the car as well as the ground around him.

“Today really is my lucky day isn’t it?” He hissed to himself, leaning back in the seat and closing his eyes. He wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon, at least not until the rain stopped so he made himself comfortable and ran over the days events in his head once more. 

He had traveled a few towns over from Derry for a job interview at a magazine. The interview had gone rather well, at least Eddie had thought so, until the interviewers had brought up a phone call they had received from his mother prior to the interview. Apparently, she had told them Eddie wasn’t suitable for the job as the hour would intercede with him helping her as he, according to her, was her full time carer. 

That statement alone was the last straw, and Eddie decided as he stormed out of the building and back to his car, that he was going to move out of the house, and probably Derry as soon as he could. In all honesty, he would have been gone years ago if it wasn’t for one soul reason. Or person for that matter. His best friend, Richie. 

Richie, the one person who had been by his side since they were little kids. Richie, the smartest, bravest, most amazing person Eddie knew. Richie, the person Eddie was completely and hopelessly in love with but too scared to make a move. 

He wasn’t entirely sure when his feelings for Richie changed from best friend to...oh my god I want to kiss you on your stupid mouth, but at some point that’s what happened. One minute Eddie was telling Richie to shut up after another failed impersonation, and the next he was giving Richie heart eyes whenever he walked into the room. According to his friends, it was a little sickening. 

There had been a few times that the words were on the tip of Eddie’s tongue, but he had always pushed them away, too scared that Richie wouldn’t feel the same way, even if Stan was insistent that he did. 

As senior year flew passed, everyone went off to college, all accept Eddie and Richie. Richie had been accepted into a one year apprenticeship at the radio station a few towns over and Eddie decided to apply for a one year course in literature at Derry Community College. He didn’t want to leave Richie alone in that hellhole, and when Richie asked him why he didn’t run away, Eddie had come up with some bullshit excuse about not being ready.

Yes, Richie was the sole reason he was still living at home, in Derry, with his mother. However, in two days, Richie’s apprenticeship would be up, and Eddie was more than ready to take him by the hand and drag him away, whether that be as best friends or...more was to be decided. 

Letting out another groan, Eddie pulled out his phone and dialled Richie’s number, knowing that he was the only person who would be insane enough to come out in this weather and rescue him. The phone only rang twice before Richie’s voice filled the speakers, “Well if it’s isn’t the light of my life. How’d the interview go, Eds” He asked and Eddie could just tell he was laying back in bed, all relaxed.

“Shit,” Eddie sighed, the bitter feeling returning. “My mother called them, told them not to give me the job as I am her full time carer. Full time carer my ass.”

Richie inhaled sharply and then exhaled, “Eds...I’m so sorry.”

“Don’t be,” Eddie shook his head, even though he knew Richie couldn’t see him and he closed his eyes once more. “I’m actually glad, because if I had gotten the job then I’d be stuck here. I don’t want to be stuck here Richie.”

There was silence on the other end of the line, until, “Me neither,” Richie whispered. “You thinking what I’m thinking?”

Eddie laughed and he bit his lip, “You read my mind.” He paused. “Actually, there’s a reason I called. My car broke down just outside of Derry and I’m sitting in a layby. Would you-” 

He was cut off by the sound of what was clearly Richie jumping off of his bed. “Don’t you worry Eddie Spaghetti! Help is on the way!”

A giggle escaped Eddie’s lips as Richie hung up the phone, and of course, no less than ten minutes later a familiar red truck was pulling into the driveway in front of him. The rain had somewhat ceased, only a few drips here and there, but Eddie knew it was only a matter of time before it started up again. 

Richie got out of his car and sauntered over to the passenger side window, a grin on his face and Eddie knew that there was an impression coming. Deciding to play along, Eddie rolled down the window just as Richie reached him, grinning as he placed his hands on the door. “Looks like you’re having some trouble there, need some help?”

“Well if you’re offering,” Eddie laughed and rolled up the window, slipping out of the passenger side and locking the door. “I had a look, but I can’t seem to find out what’s wrong with it. I’ll just call a mechanic in the morning.”

With a nod, Richie looked inside the car, as though checking that Eddie had collected everything since they were going to leave the car there until morning. “I’m sorry about the job, Eds.”

“It’s really okay, Richie.” Eddie smiled, lacing their fingers together. It was something they had done for years and no-one ever questioned it, not even themselves. “I meant what I said on the phone. I need to get the hell out of here. I can’t take it anymore.”

Richie frowned at that, tilting his head to the side. “Eds...if you’re so ready to leave, why haven’t you already?” He asked. “And don’t give me the whole ‘I wasn’t ready’ crap because it’s clear you are more than ready to flee the nest.”

A flush took over Eddie’s cheeks and he realised that his cover was blown. Not able to come up with a valid excuse, he sighed and looked at Richie with a serious expression on his face. “Did you really believe that’s why I stayed?”

Silence. 

Eddie took a step closer to Richie and squeezed their joint hands a little tighter. “Of course I was ready to leave but...but I didn’t want to. I couldn’t.”

“W-why?” Richie stammered and Eddie gave him a pointed look. He bit down on his lip and stared right into Richie’s eyes, pouring his heart out without the use of words. 

“Richie…” Eddie whispered eventually and he watched as realisation settled in and Richie’s eyes widened to the size of saucers. 

“Oh...oh Eds…” He breathed and for a moment, Eddie thought that Richie was going to turn him down. Except he didn’t. Richie stepped closer, closing the distance and taking Eddie’s face into his hands, caressing his cheeks. “You- you stayed here for me?”

A laugh, soft and disbelieving left Eddie’s lips and he nodded his head, leaning up on his toes and pressing their foreheads together. “Of course I stayed here for you, Richie. I- I love you. I’m in love with you. I have been for years.” As the words left his lips, Eddie felt a heavy drop of rain land on his face as well as the rumble of thunder above him. However, he ignored it, too lost in Richie’s eyes to care. 

Their lips were now mere inches from one another, one more move and they would be kissing. One little jolt forward and Eddie would be feeling Richie’s lips on his, lips that he has dreamt about for years. He didn’t want to wait any longer, so he took that final leap, pushing up on his toes and sealing his lips with Richie’s in a first, long awaited, kiss. 

Richie didn’t hesitate to kiss him back, moving his hands down to wrap around Eddie’s waist, tugging him closer as the heavens opened once more and the rain came crashing down, soaking them through to the bone. Even though he was now soaking wet, it still wasn’t enough to force Eddie to part from Richie. It actually was Richie that pulled away, laughing loudly over the sound of the rain.

“I love you too, Eds,” He yelled and Eddie grinned back at him, happiness filling him to his very core. “But if we don’t get inside we’ll catch pneumonia.”

Eddie wanted to say he didn’t care, but he actually did and nodded his head, running with Richie back to his truck and climbing inside. They were both still grinning like idiots, happy that they had finally taken that next step with each other after so long. “I love you,” Eddie whispered, biting his lip.

“I love you, Eds.” Richie whispered back, his glasses steaming up with the change in temperature. “Let’s get home and have a shower before we do catch the cold.”

And that’s what they did...but they still caught the cold anyway.

Chapter Text

“Good Morning, Mr Tozier,” Eddie smiled cheekily from his position at the desk outside Richie’s office. “Your coffee and cookies are waiting for you inside.”

Richie winked at Eddie as he walked past the desk, sliding a piece of paper over to him that was in every way obvious. To both of the men however, they were being as sneaky as they could be. The were completely unaware that the whole office, including the board members, knew of their not so secret relationship.

“You’re too kind to me, Eds. Don’t forget our morning catch up in ten minutes!” Richie grinned before he opened his office door and disappeared inside. Once Richie was gone and there were no lingering eyes, Eddie opened the piece of paper. 

Your ass looks amazing in those pants, baby ;)

Eddie’s cheeks flushed a dark red and he swallowed, sliding the paper into his bag as he tucked some of his hair behind his ear. A nervous tick of his. He checked the clock, seeing that it read 11:00, and he stood up to clear his throat. “I have my morning meeting with Mr Tozier. I’ll be gone for about an hour. Suzie would you hold the phones for me?”

Suzie, the other receptionist, just grinned at Eddie and held her thumbs up. If Eddie wasn’t so focused on getting behind the other side of Richie’s door, he would have caught the knowing glance in her eyes, and the teasing smile on her lips. His mind was though, in fact, elsewhere and he just uttered out a thank you before heading to the door, knocking three times and slipping inside. 

The moment the door closed, Richie was pushing him up against it, sealing their lips together in a passionate kiss. Eddie breathed out, his arms winding around Richie’s neck and fingers sliding into his hair. Richie grinned into the kiss, his arms wrapping around Eddie’s waist and moving down to cup his ass. “D’you get my note?” He mumbled against Eddie’s lips, biting down a little.

“Y-Yes,” Eddie breathed out, tugging a little on Richie’s curls to get him the reaction he so desperately wanted. Richie loved it when Eddie pulled his hair, something he discovered after only their first night together. 

“You know I love you in those pants,” Richie growled and Eddie felt his hands dip under the waistband just teasingly. He knew that Richie wouldn’t go too far, they had made a rule at the beginning to never have sex in the office, even though sometimes they were both very close to breaking it. “Did you wear them just to get a rise out of me?”

Eddie pulled back, their noses just brushing ever so slightly. “Maybe,” he grinned cheekily and Richie groaned, moving his hands to the back of Eddie’s thighs and hiking them up so he could wrap them around his waist. Eddie did so without hesitation, clinging onto Richie’s back as they walked over to the desk and he was sat down on top of it. 

“You drive me absolutely crazy,” Richie breathed, his lips making a trail down Eddie’s jaw and to his neck before venturing even further under his shirt where all the other love marks were hidden from view. “From the very first moment I saw you, you drove me crazy.”

They had met in the elevator of the companies Head Office. Eddie had just come out of an interview with the board members for the position of Richie’s receptionist, and Richie was heading out of a meeting about a plan for a new radio show on his station. Richie had been on the elevator first, and Eddie had gotten on three floors later. They were the only two there and from the second the door closed, the sexual tension could be cut with a knife. 

Then, about four floors from the lobby, there was a power cut, causing the two of them to be stuck in the elevator together for close to three and a half hours. If Eddie had left the elevator with a few new hickeys and a number in his back pocket then no-one needed to know but him.

When Richie had found out Eddie was his new receptionist, it opened up a whole new list of ideas. They would make out in the kitchen when no-one was around, pass each-other notes during board meetings and most recently, have a morning ‘catch up’ meeting twice a week.

It wasn’t like they didn’t want to come out about their relationship, they just really enjoyed the thrill of keeping it a secret, even if it technically wasn’t anymore. Not like they knew that. 

As Richie left another love bite on his collarbone, Eddie tugged on his hair to bring their lips back together, tongue pushing past Richie’s lips as it explored his mouth eagerly. They made out like that for what felt like forever, simply enjoying the feeling of each other’s lips and hands on skin. 

Eddie opened his eyes, and just happened to glance to the door, his eyes widening at the sight. In a moment of shock and adrenaline, he shoved Richie backwards, causing them both to lose their balance. Richie toppled to the floor and Eddie fell backwards off of the desk and onto Richie’s plush leather seat. His cheeks were bright red as his eyes caught the figure who was indeed, standing in the doorway. 

It was a woman, and on further inspection, Eddie realised it was Richie’s mother . She was smirking at the two of them and Richie turned around, gaining his composure as he started at his mother in shock. “M-mom!” He squeaked, clearing his throat. “H-How long have you been standing there?”

“Long enough, sweetheart,” Maggie answered and Eddie felt his cheeks heat up even more. Richie’s mother had caught them making out on Richie’s desk. She had caught him with his legs wrapped around her sons hips as he moaned into his mouth. All Eddie wanted was for the ground to swallow him whole. 

Richie tried to gain some composure and control over the situation, even though Eddie could tell with a single glance that he was freaking out just as much as Eddie was. “What- What are you doing here mom? You- you could have called, or- or knocked!”

Maggie just held up a brown paper bag, “I had some leftovers and I thought I’d bring you lunch, since I know you have terrible eating habits.” She pursed her lips. “Hello Eddie, it’s nice to finally meet you in person.”

Eddie’s eyes widened and he lifted a hand to wave at the woman, “Hello.”

“Well, since you boys are very clearly not busy with anything work related, take a moment to compose yourselves and meet me in the lobby.” Maggie smiled, her invite clearly not one that they could object to. Richie sent her a questioning look and she just laughed. “Richard, don’t you think it was time I got to know your boyfriend? You’ve been dating for four months now and practically live together. Five minutes.”

With that, Maggie left the room, leaving Eddie and Richie alone once again, their cheeks bright red. Their secret was out and according to Maggie, it had been since the day it began. Eddie suddenly let out a laugh and stood up, crossing the room to where Richie was standing, also starting to laugh. He held out his hand for him to take. 

“Shall we?” Eddie asked, biting his lip and Richie laced their fingers together, nodding his head as they walked to the door. 

“We shall.”

Chapter Text

Eddie was glad his mother had long fallen asleep before he made it home. It was just after 2am and Eddie slowly put the key into the lock, opening the door and closing it behind him. Each step he took felt heavy and he quietly made his way to his bedroom, flopping onto the mattress. 

Silence filled the room and Eddie could only go over the events of the night in his head. Fresh tears filled his eyes and he sobbed harshly into his pillow. Eventually, the sobs exhausted him and he fell into an unsettled sleep wishing that he had gone about that evening so much differently than he actually had.

Tap.

Tap.

Tap.

The noise of a insisted tapping against his window woke Eddie up and he rubbed the sleep out of his eyes. They were still swollen with tears and he slowly regained consciousness as the tapping continued against his window. Now that he was more aware, Eddie realised that it was the sound of a stone hitting the glass. 

He also knew there was only one person who ever threw rocks at his window.

Throwing the covers off of himself, Eddie jumped out of bed and to the window, opening the curtains. Just like he had hoped, Richie was standing below his window, a rock in hand as though he was going to throw another one just before Eddie made his presence known. Even from up at his window, Eddie could tell that Richie had been crying just as much as he had and the sight made more tears form in his eyes. He had to fix this.

With one move, Eddie pulled open his window and stuck his head out. “Hi,” He spoke softly, but loud enough for Richie to hear.

“Hey,” Richie called back up, his voice almost just as soft as Eddie’s. “Can we talk?”

Eddie nodded his head and pulled on a pair of shoes and climbed out the window, grabbing onto the tree branch and letting himself drop to the ground and right into Richie’s arms. They stumbled a little but didn’t fall to the ground, Richie’s arms holding onto Eddie’s hips firmly.

A blush ran up Eddie’s cheeks and he ducked his head, taking a small step back to give Richie some space. Things were still a little awkward with them after all. Richie seemed to sense this and he let out a heavy sigh, running his fingers through his hair. “I hate fighting with you, Eds. Ever since we were little, fighting with you makes me feel all yucky inside.”

A breath of relief escaped Eddie’s lips and without hesitation, he wrapped his arms around Richie’s waist in a hug, burying his face into his shirt. He could still smell the faint scent of alcohol on his shirt from the spilt beer but Eddie couldn’t care less at that point. “I hate fighting with you too,” he mumbled. “I’m so sorry, I should have believed you. I shouldn’t have gone off like that.”

Richie ran his fingers through Eddie’s hair and he felt his lips press a kiss to his locks, something that they often did when the other was upset. “Hey, it’s...it’s okay. I shouldn’t have snapped like that. I guess...I was just shocked that you didn’t believe me.”

Eddie pulled back then, looking up at Richie. As he did so, Richie looked down, their lips mere inches from one another. “Does that mean we’re friends again?” He whispered. Even though he could remember Richie confessing, Eddie didn’t want to push it. 

A smile graced Richie’s lips and he lifted a hand to caress Eddie’s cheeks. “Actually...how about we try that whole confession thing again? Properly this time?” All Eddie could do was nod, motioning for Richie to continue. “I am crazy about you, Eddie Kaspbrak. Always have been.”

A laugh bubbled up from Eddie’s chest and he moved his arms up to wrap around Richie’s neck. “I am completely gone for you too, Richie Tozier,” he whispered back, their lips just brushing together slightly. 

“So, dinner tomorrow night? Ivanos?” Richie asked, his hand making its way into Eddie’s hair and pulling him even closer. 

Instead of answering verbally, Eddie just nodded and closed the final gap between them, sealing their lips together in a soft, yet passionate kiss. 

The first of many.

Chapter Text

“Keep your eyes closed for me okay?” Richie breathed into Eddie’s ear as the walked down the corridor of their apartment towards the spare bedroom. For the past week, Richie had been hiding a new item he had bought for them to use in the bedroom and Eddie was, in no way, allowed to see what it was until that very evening. 

Eddie hated surprises, especially ones that involved their sex life, but Richie had been so adament and even used his puppy dog eyes that Eddie had to say yes. So here he was, a week later, standing outside their spare room, with his eyes closed. “They are closed, Richie. Don’t worry. Now can we get moving? I’m horny here.”

Richie barked out a laugh from next to him and unlocked the door, taking Eddie’s hands and leading him into the room, closing the door behind him. Eddie swallowed a little as he could immediately feel the tension build up in the room and he bit down on his lip nervously. He heard Richie walk around so he was standing in front of him. “Okay, open your eyes.”

Doing as he was told, Eddie opened his eyes and blinked at the scene before him. Set up in the corner of their spare bedroom was none other than a sex swing. He had seen them in porn videos before and had been interested but he had never thought Richie would set one up! His cheeks flushed a little and he swallowed thickly. “Wow, does...does that work?” He asked softly.

“I fucking hope so,” Richie smirked, walking over to the set up and running his hands along the fabric of the swing. “I paid a lot of money for it. Wanted it to be the best for you.”

Eddie’s cheeks turned a little red and he looked to the ground. How had Richie known the he had been interested in the sex swing? “How-”

“You don’t delete your browser history babe,” Richie teased, moving closer and placing his hands on Eddie’s hips. “Want to give it a shot?”

Of course Eddie wanted to give it a shot, and as he nodded in agreement, Richie leaned down to capture their  lips in a kiss. It didn’t take long to turn heated, Richie’s tongue pushing past Eddie’s lips to deepen the kiss, pulling him closer and tugging his shirt up. Clothes were quickly discarded between kisses and thrown into the corner of the room until Richie was just in his underwear and Eddie was totally naked. 

Slowly, Richie backed him up towards the corner, where the sex swing was situated. The closer they got the more Eddie’s heart rate picked up in anticipation. With one last confirming look from Richie, Eddie nodded and was soon being strapped into the swing, secure and helpless.

It was really hot, the feeling of being totally helpless as Richie caressed over his skin. Eddie felt himself harden even more than he already had and he let out a harsh gasp as Richie wrapped his hand around him, stroking ever so slightly. 

That was when everything fell to shit. One second Eddie was totally lost in pleasure as Richie stroked him to full hardness, rocking into him, and the next a loud snap echoed through the room and Eddie was laying in a heap on the floor. 

“Fuck!” Richie hissed, bending down to make sure Eddie was okay. “Oh my god, baby. Fuck, are you okay?” Once Eddie got over the initial shock, he let out a giggle, covering his mouth as his whole body shook with laughter. Richie soon followed suit, more relaxed that Eddie was okay and he helped him to his feet. 

“I can’t believe it snapped,” Eddie giggled, trying to calm himself down. “I think it’s trying to tell me something.” He reached a hand down and tapped his, still very much flat, stomach. “Salads for dinner from now on baby.”

Richie growled a little, even though it was clear that Eddie was just joking. “I’ll be going back to the store for a new one! That was guaranteed to be firm and steady!” 

Unable to help himself, Eddie just broke into more giggles, the whole illusion had been shattered and replaced with pure hilarity. “Baby, calm down and come here,” he reached out his hands and Richie pouted, taking Eddie’s hands and pulling him to his feet. “Get me free from this mess.”

With a nod, and a small smile on his lips thanks to Eddie’s giggling, Richie unstrapped Eddie and pulled him into his arms. “I’m sorry baby, I wanted this to be perfect.”

“Hey, it’s okay,” Eddie breathed, taking Richie’s face in his hands and turning his head so their eyes could meet. “It was hot as fuck...but let’s maybe stick to beds for a while huh?” His eyes twinkled a little and Richie laughed, nodding his head.

“Wanna continue this in the bedroom?” He asked and Eddie nodded his head.

“Thought you’d never ask.”

Chapter Text

It had been a week since Richie had moved away to California and Eddie was slowly losing his mind. They had talked on the phone every night, and every night Eddie had his confession on the tip of his tongue. He never managed to get the words out though, and no amount of ice cream was making him feel any better about the ache in his heart.

After spending the day with the remaining losers, Bill and Mike, Eddie headed into his house, glad that his mother was at the bingo that afternoon. He dropped his bag to the floor and was about to head up to his bedroom when the house phone rang. Not wanting to ignore it, in case it was something important, Eddie sighed and headed into the kitchen, picking up the phone. 

“Hello, Kaspbrak residence, how may I help you?” He said tiredly into the phone. He knew it was probably going to be someone from a telemarketing company trying to sell him something. Either that or it was his aunt, since no-one ever called the home phone. 

“Hello there,” the voice on the other line spoke and Eddie was surprised at the tone. He sounded like a professional. “May I speak with Edward Kaspbrak?” 

That caught Eddie off guard, as no-one called his house phone to speak to him as everyone had his mobile number. He cleared his throat, a little nervous as to what the man wanted with him on the other line. “Uh, your speaking with him.”

The man on the other line let out a relieved breath, “Well I am glad to finally be able to speak with you Edward. I have been trying for a few weeks now, ever since I received that call from your mother regarding the letter we sent out at the beginning of July.” 

“I’m sorry sir, but...what are you talking about?” Eddie asked quietly, extremely confused as to what was going on. 

An inhale came from the other line before the man continued. “Mr Kaspbrak, I am calling from UCLA, I am the Dean and head of admissions. I am referring to the acceptance letter as well as scholarship offer we sent you out in July.”

Eddie’s mind swirled with confusion, as he remembered opening the letter from UCLA, and it certainly did not read accepted on the cover. None of his letters did. They all read unsuccessful. Then, the penny dropped and his eyes widened, anger and betrayal filling his very being. “You- I was accepted?”

“Yes, Mr Kaspbrak,” the Dean answered in a soft tone. “We only accept declining offers from the person themselves, therefore I am calling to make sure that you would indeed like to decline the offer to study with us on our English and Literature course.”

No. No he did not wish to decline. “No- no I- no.” Eddie shook his head, even though the man couldn’t see him. “No- I would like to accept. When- when does the course start?” He asked, heart thumping in his chest.

“The semester begins on September 17th, Mr Kaspbrak. Shall we go ahead with the arrangements for your acceptance? We can have a call tomorrow to discuss accommodation.” The Dean said softly and Eddie could have cried right then and there.

He had never said yes fast enough.

*****

Knowing that his mother wouldn’t be home from the bingo until much later, Eddie quickly packed as much of his belongings into a suitcase and trudged it down the stairs. There was only one place he could think of to go, only one place that he knew he’d be safe. 

He knocked on an all too familiar door and the second Maggie Tozier opened up, Eddie burst into tears. She ushered him inside, locking the door behind him and sat him on the couch. Went disappeared into the kitchen and returned with a glass of water and a concerned expression on his face. 

They waited patiently as Eddie calmed down, urging him to take a few sips of water and breath in and out. Once he was calmer, he told them everything. About how he thought no college wanted him but it was in fact, his mother that had been issuing fake letters and getting rid of his real ones. He told them about the Dean from UCLA calling and he told them about how he was planning on taking the offer and moving out to California. 

Maggie was red with rage, and she tried to hold it in, but it was difficult for her. She was so much like her son when it came to handling emotions, Eddie thought for a moment that he was actually in the room with Richie himself. She ranted about how a mother could do that to her child, how someone could be so cruel as to jeopardize their future and make them feel so small and worthless.

After everyone had calmed down, Went left to collect some pizza and Maggie sat with Eddie, making him feel as at home as he always did in the Tozier household. It was strange though, being there without Richie. He kept thinking that he would come running down the stairs any second and pull Eddie into the biggest hug. It had only been a week, but fuck, Eddie missed Richie like crazy. 

It was now after nine in the evening, and Eddie knew his mother would be home and he also knew she would have gone into his room too see half his things were missing. As if on cue, his phone started ringing from where it was sat on the coffee table. Both Eddie and Maggie stared at the device, the name ‘MA’ lighting up the screen until it rang out. A few moments later, it started to ring again, but Eddie wasn’t answering it. He had nothing to say to his mother. Not now, not ever.

Went came back shortly after with the pizza and they all sat on the sofa, digging in. Once all the food was devoured and they had watched Eddie’s phone light up for the tenth time, Maggie caved and picked it up, answering it. 

The conversation that followed was too intense for Eddie to even comprehend. He could hear his mother screaming at Maggie, calling her all the names under the sun but Maggie wasn’t phased, hitting back just as hard. The conversation ended with Maggie telling her that Eddie was going to stay with them until arrangements could be made for him to fly out to California, and that the police wouldn’t care as Eddie was eighteen and legally an adult.

Once she had hung up, Maggie passed the phone back to Eddie with a soft smile and he couldn’t help but stand up and hug her back, “Thank you, thank you so much.”

“Oh sweetheart, you know we’d do anything for you right?” She whispered into his hair, radiating nothing but motherly love. “You were always Richie’s favourite.”

Eddie’s eyes filled with tears at the mention of Richie and he nodded his head. He didn’t know if Maggie knew about his feelings for her son, but something in her soft expression told him that she did. Mothers intuition or something like that. 

“I’m gonna go give him a call,” Eddie whispered, smiling softly. “Is it okay if I sleep in his room tonight?”

Maggie nodded her head and Eddie made his way to the stairs, noticing the look of concern that Maggie gave Went as he reached the first step. They really were amazing parents, and Richie was so lucky to have them.

He opened the door to Richie’s room and winced a little at how bare it was. No ACDC posters on the wall, no pictures of the losers on the bedside cabinet, no mess of clothes on the floor. There was just a bed and an empty room. It was still Richie’s though, and he could still smell him as he crawled into his bed and dialled his number. 

“Eds! What do I owe the pleasure?” Richie’s voice filled his ears after only a few rings. Eddie swallowed thickly, closing his eyes and imagining that he was right there next to him. 

“I- I need to tell you something,” he whispered down the line and Richie went quiet.

“Everything alright, Eds?” Richie asked and once again, the lump had formed in the back of Eddie’s throat. 

Eddie held back the sob that he knew was on the verge of breaking free and let out a shallow breath, “My mom- she- she sent out face unsuccessful letters.” He could hear Richie’s intake of breath but before he could interrupt, Eddie continued, telling him everything, right up to when Maggie yelled at his mother on the phone. 

Richie was quiet for a second, before he found his voice. “So...you’re coming to California?” He asked, and Eddie swore Richie’s tone was filled with hope. 

For the first time that night, Eddie broke into a wide grin and he felt warmth fill him from his head to his toes. “Yeah Rich...I’m coming to California.”

Chapter Text

Eddie Kaspbrak was sick. No, not the kind of sick where he could easily take a few pills and get on with his day, oh no, this time he was really sick. From the moment he woke up that morning, Eddie knew something was wrong, and yet he still went about the day as though nothing was wrong. 

He was heavily regretting that decision as he boarded the subway home, sweat trickling down his pale face and an excruciating pain in his right side. A few people gave him an odd look as he made his way to an empty seat, and some even pulled their kids away from him as though they would contract some deadly disease from him. 

There was no way he looked that bad was there? 

Carefully, Eddie slipped his earpods in, picking some soft music to listen to until he reached his stop. As he shifted however, the pain in his side seemed to intensify and he let out a choked gasp, reaching for it. The action earned him a few more stares but he ignored them, too focused on the fact that he felt as though he was going to die with how bad his side hurt. 

Luckily, the subway was approaching his stop, and he forced himself up off the seat and he stumbled towards the door. The people waiting to disembark the train at the same stop let him off first, and Eddie slowly made his way to the exit. Thankfully, he thought, his apartment was only a few minutes away from the station and Eddie couldn’t wait to curl up in bed with a hot water bottle and hope it all passed. 

Eddie reached the apartment, weaker than he had been all day, tears of pain in his eyes and he tried the door. He frowned when he realised it was locked, which meant that Richie was still at the radio station, probably working late. Great, looks like he was going to have to make himself something to eat.

He never even made it to the kitchen, as he reached the couch, exhaustion took over him and he collapsed, his vision blacking out. 

Eddie wasn’t even sure how long he was sleeping for, but when he woke up, the pain was almost too much to bare, and he felt as though he was going to be sick. He never registered the blanket around his body as he lurched from his position in a scramble to get to the bathroom, only to vomit all over the cream rug that was under the coffee table. 

“Eds are you- holy shit!” He could hear Richie’s voice, followed by the bang of something being dropped before he was at his side. “Hey- hey woah, easy baby.” Richie’s voice was in his ear, but he felt like he was floating away. “Baby, what’s wrong, talk to me?”

He managed to open his eyes, almost sealed shut with sweat and sleep and he managed to croak out a single word, “H-Hurts.” He barely got the word out before he was sick again, coughing as Richie rubbed his back soothingly. 

Richie jumped into action, grabbing his phone and calling 911. Through his pain induced haze, Eddie could make out Richie describing his visible symptoms to the operator on the other side. “Just- send an ambulance. He’s really sick and he needs immediate medical attention!” Another pause. “No- no I can’t ask him because every time he so much as moves, he’s sick everywhere!”

Eddie honestly thought he was going to die, completely in pain, in his boyfriend’s arms. He could barely even talk without bringing up more vomit, which was soon turning to bile at this point as there was nothing left in his stomach. He faintly could hear the ambulance pull up outside and soon enough, multiple people were surrounding him and strapping an oxygen mask around his head.

That was the last thing he remembered before he passed out. 

* * * * *

For some reason, Eddie thought that when he regained consciousness, he would no longer be in pain, but unfortunately that was not the case. He was laying down on a bed, hooked up to an IV line and nurses were bustling around them.

“Eds, fuck, hey,” Eddie’s attention drifted to Richie, who looked as though he’d been to hell and back. “Hey, easy...you’re going to be fine.”

“What- what’s wrong with me?” He asked, his voice raw with how many times he had thrown up. He relaxed a little as Richie ran his fingers through his hair. “Why am I in so much pain?”

Richie brought his hand to his lips, kissing the skin of his knuckles. “It’s your appendix,” he explained and Eddie almost let out a breath of relief, but Richie continued. “You’re booked in to surgery, they need to get them out as fast as possible...before they burst.”

Surgery. Fuck. Eddie hates surgery. He had only ever been under the knife once before, when he was little and he broke his arm, and he hated it. “Richie-”

“Don’t worry baby, I’m going to be right here okay? Right here. I’m going to leave you. I promise,” Richie’s voice was soft and it was clear he had been crying. The doctor came in just a few seconds later, clipboard in hand. 

“Eddie, your awake. That’s good. We’re about to take you in for surgery now.” The doctor smiled and quickly ran through a few questions he had. “Shouldn’t take longer than a few hours, and we’ll keep you in for a few days to make sure you’re recovering.”

Eddie nodded his head, knowing that he had no other choice but to go along with whatever the doctor was doing with him. As the nurses came in to wheel him into the surgery room, he gave Richie one last kiss, keeping his gaze until they were separated by the swinging doors. 

The surgeon talked through everything he was doing as the anesthetist prepared the injection. Eddie felt a sharp prick in his hand and the doctor looked down over him, “Count back from ten, and you’ll be out, okay?”

“Ten...nine...eigh-”

Blackness.

* * * * *

This time, when Eddie opened his eyes, the intense pain was gone, and replaced with a little discomfort. By the look of the room, he was in recovery and the operation was over. Thank fuck. He felt a little giddy, thanks to the anesthetic. He really wanted to see Richie. To kiss Richie. God he loved Richie so much. 

“We’re going to take you to the ward now Eddie, okay?” The nurse smiled down at him and he nodded his head, giggling. 

The nurse wheeled him out of recovery and up to the ward where he would be staying for the next few days whilst he recovered properly. Richie was there waiting for him, and Eddie let out a squeal the second he laid his eyes on him. “Richie! Baby! You’re here!”

A few of the nurses on the ward laughed at how happy he sounded and Richie walked over to them, taking his hand as he was wheeled into his room, “Of course I’m here. I wasn’t going to leave you.”

“Were you worried about me?” Eddie asked, biting his lip, staring at Richie as though he hung the moon. “I almost died .”

Richie blinked, shaking his head, “You did not almost die, but you certainly did scare the living daylights out of me.” He ran his hand through Richie’s hair, kissing his head softly. “But you’re okay, and I’ll be here to take care of you, okay?”

Eddie hummed and settled back into the bed, grinning up at Richie. He couldn’t help it, he was just so in love with him. “Richie-” he started, his words coming out like word vomit. “You wanna know a secret, Richie?” He asked and Richie nodded his head, leaning in closer. “I really don’t like my last name.”

“What?” Richie blinked, tilting his head to the side. “You- why? I love your last name.”

Eddie shook his head again, “Nah, I wanna change it,” he mumbled. “Don’t you wanna know what I wanna change it to?”

Richie chuckled and nodded his head, “Okay, humour me Eddie Spaghetti. What do you wanna change your name to?”

“Tozier.”

Richie blinked, tilting his head to the side, “Eds- what?” he laughed, shaking his head. “You’re doped up baby, you don’t know what you’re saying.”

“What-?’ Eddie shook his head. “No- no I do know what I’m saying,” he whispered. “I’m trying to propose to you!”

With another blink, Richie smiled softly, his eyes filling with tears, “If I say yes, will you lay down and rest for me?” He asked. Eddie paused for a moment before nodding his head, realising he was really really tired. “Then yes, I’ll marry you, Eds, but I fully expect a real proposal when you’re feeling up to par. Okay?”

Eddie just grinned, nodding his head. “You got yourself a deal."

Chapter Text

It was loud screaming that woke Eddie up from his light sleep the following morning. He had managed to fall asleep at around midnight to the sound of Richie’s voice on the other end of the phone. Over the course of their conversation, Eddie had many chances to admit to Richie how he felt, how much he had missed him, but he didn’t. In truth, he wanted to wait until they were face to face to do it. 

Now though, now he had a screaming mother down the stairs, being fended off by both Maggie and Went. With a quick look at the clock, Eddie sighed as he realised it was just after eleven in the morning. He rolled out of bed and crept to the door, pressing his ear to the wood as he listened to what was going on down the stairs. 

“You lied to him Sonia!” Maggie snapped and Eddie could imagine her crossing her arms and glaring at her. “You lied to him and said he wasn’t accepted into any colleges! How could a mother do that?”

He heard his mother scoff. “You listen to me, little miss perfect. Even back in High School I hated your guts. Always acting high and mighty with your perfect hair and your slim body. You don’t get to tell me how to raise my son. He needs me! He needs to stay here in Maine, and be with his mother!”

It was Went who spoke up next, his voice low and dangerous. It took Eddie by surprise, as Went was always so calm and kind spoken. “Excuse me, Sonia, but I don’t appreciate you talking to my wife like that. Eddie came to us . We didn’t sneak into your home and steal him from you. He chose to come here.”

His mother laughed, “This is ridiculous, as if my son would choose to come anywhere near you and your faggot of a son.”

Eddie couldn’t take it anymore of his mothers insults and he pulled open the door, rushing down the stairs to the scene. Went was staring at his mother with wide eyes and Maggie had a hand over her mouth. “Mom!” Eddie snapped. “What the fuck!”

“Oh there you are, Eddie bear!” His mom breathed and tried to step into the house, to get to him, but Went was in the way. “Come on darling, let’s get you away from these people.”

He shook his head, “Away from these people? These people are my family more than you have ever been! Ma, you lied to me to keep me in Derry! I thought no college wanted me because I was stupid, but in fact it was because you were scared of me leaving you!”

His mother blinked at him, at his outburst, and her eyes narrowed, “Now Edward, that is no way to speak to your mother. You come here right now, we are going home and you’re going to call that college in California and tell them you’re not going.”

“No.” Eddie shook his head, crossing his arms and staying firm. “No Ma, I’m staying right here with Maggie and Went, and then in a few days I’m going to catch a bus to California and I’m going to go to UCLA. I am done being stuck here with you, I’m done being treated like a weak innocent child. I’m not weak, I’m not sick. I’m pretty damn amazing if you ask me!”

Eddie felt a hand on his shoulder and he looked up to see Went smiling at him, that strong supportive smile that he had seen him give Richie all through their years of friendship. His mother didn’t like this, and tried to step into the house again, but this time Maggie stopped her. 

“You’re not coming into my house. Not after you insulted my son, and my husband. Never mind myself and Eddie.” Maggie snapped. “I think it’s in everyone’s best interests that you leave.”

“I’m not going anywhere!” His mother hissed, stomping her foot on the porch and Eddie had to physically hold back a shiver of embarrassment. “This is all your fault! You and that- that son of yours! He’s twisted and warped my Eddie bears mind! I never should have let them be friends, look what he’s caused!”

Eddie’s eyes narrowed and he finally moved down the remaining steps, getting closer to his poor excuse of a mother. “That’s my best friend you’re talking about, and he didn’t do anything to me! In fact he’s the one who makes me strong! I love him! I’m in love with him! I’m gay ma!”

It was the first time he had ever said that he loved Richie out loud. All of the other losers had just...guess and he had simply agreed. To finally speak it out loud, even if it wasn’t to Richie himself, was somewhat...empowering. His mother was staring at him with eyes so wide he was scared they’d pop out of her sockets. 

Just as she was about to say something though, a new voice cut through all the squawking she was making, causing Eddie to freeze up on the spot. 

“You love me?”

There, standing about five feet behind his mother in the front porch. Was Richie himself. He looked bone tired, and was holding an overnight back. Eddie was sure he was hallucinating because Richie was meant to be in LA right now...not in his front garden in Derry, Maine.

“Richie?” Eddie croaked and his best friend smiled softly, that smile that was only ever reserved for him. “Oh my god, Richie!” He stumbled forward, pushing past his mother as he rushed down the lawn and all but threw himself into Richie’s arms, legs wrapped around his waist. 

Richie laughed, his hands moving under his thighs so he could support his weight and holding onto him tightly, “Jeez, Eddie Spaghetti, did you really miss me that much?” He asked through his chuckle and Eddie just clung to him that little bit tighter, tears in his eyes. 

God he had missed Richie and his stupid comments. 

“Yes I missed you, you idiot,” Eddie mumbled into his neck, completely ignoring the audience they had in the form of Richie’s parents and his, still angry, mother. “You- you heard what I said.”

“Did you mean it?” Richie asked and Eddie let himself drop down from Richie’s hold, still keeping his arms around his neck and their faces close together. Too close. “Did you, Eds?”

Eddie nodded his head, biting his lip as his stomach flipped, the nagging fear of rejection rising to the surface. “I meant it Richie. I- I’m hopelessly in love with you.”

Instead of replying to Eddie’s confession of love, Richie cupped both of his cheeks and leaned down, closing the distance between them. Eddie gasped, not expecting the kiss, but it was definitely not unwelcome. The feeling of Richie’s lips on his, soft and slightly chapped, was more than any dream or image Eddie could have come up with. It was short, as they did still have onlookers, but as they pulled away Richie’s eyes screamed that this was not over. 

“Get your filthy hands off of my son!” His mother screamed, having finally found her voice and Eddie struggled not to roll his eyes so hard Stanley would be proud of him. 

Richie just laughed and wrapped an arm around Eddie’s waist. “I’m so sorry, Mrs K, but I’m afraid our affair will have to come to its end. You see, I am very much in love with your son, and there is only enough room for one Kaspbrak in my life.” He put a hand over his heart. “I know this may hurt you, but I have made my choice, and you’re just going to have to deal with it.” As his mother stood there in shock, Richie started to lead Eddie back into the house. “Come on, Spaghetti.”

“Please don’t call me that,” Eddie muttered, rolling his eyes. All thoughts of his mother were forgotten as they stepped back inside the Tozier household. He didn’t even give her a second glance back. She didn’t deserve that much. 

“Oh you can’t lie to me, Eds,” Richie cooed, ready to close the door. “You love me.”

And he did. 

Chapter Text

For Eddie, working at the local coffee shop down the street from his dorm seemed like a perfectly good idea at the time. It was close by, it allowed him to work flexible hours and he was offered all the free coffee his heart desired. At first, it really was the dream job. He got to meet new people and improve on his social skills on a daily basis. 

That is, until the customer from hell made it his mission to make Eddie feel like was the size of a pea. 

It all started on a Saturday, a few weeks since he took on the job and his first Saturday on the lunchtime rush. Everything had been going smoothly until Daniel showed up. Daniel was an asshole in every way shape and form. He was the son of a lawyer, and because of this, believed that the world revolves around him and everyone had to stop what they were doing the moment he stepped into the coffee shop.

As it was Eddie’s first Saturday shift, no-one had thought to warn him about Daniel, and therefore he wasn’t prepared for when the man roughly grabbed his shoulder when he was in the middle of speaking to another customer. Long story short, Daniel had berated Eddie for not being at the till the second he walked in, and he screamed right in his face in front of all the customers. 

It wasn’t until after he had gone, huffing and puffing about ‘crappy service’ that the other girl behind the counter told Eddie all about Daniel and his rudeness. She also told him not to take anything he says to heart, as he is just what some people call a ‘Chad’. Eddie had been so confused he’d left work and gone straight to his boyfriend Richie’s place and asked him to explain. 

Once he knew exactly what the girl was talking about, Eddie had to agree. Daniel was definitely a Chad. 

Eddie firmly believed that that was that, and the next time Daniel came in he would just be on his toes. However, it seemed as though Daniel had other plans, and the next time he came in it was with the most complicated coffee order. For the life of him, Eddie could not get it right and Daniel didn’t hold back on his creative insults, both to Eddie’s face and to the other customers that were coming in and out of the coffee shop. 

After that, it became a regular thing. Every Saturday that Eddie was working, Daniel would come in and have a new and inventive method to get under his skin. It was really starting to wear Eddie down and affect not only his school life, but his relationship with Richie. 

This Saturday was just like no other, except this time, Daniel had attacked him about his personal life, not just his coffee making abilities. He had ranted about how useless Eddie was and how he was surprised that he had any friends, never mind someone to have a serious relationship with. After all, who would want to date someone so useless?

That hit a little too close to home for Eddie, and he had to excuse himself into the back of the coffee shop to calm down. The manager, who was working that day, came through and told him that he could leave early, as what Daniel had said was out of line. Eddie hated that they couldn’t do anything, as he was still a valued customer who brought in a lot of pennies. 

At first, all Eddie wanted to do was go home, have a bath and cry, but the more he thought about it on his walk to his apartment, the more he actually didn’t want to be alone. He wanted to be with Richie. So he turned on his heels and headed to the subway station, sending his boyfriend a message to let him know he was on his way. 

Coming over, feeling a little...edgy - Eddie

The reply was instant. 

It’s like you read my mind Eds, see you soon! - Richie. 

When he walked into Richie’s apartment, he didn’t even have to say anything for Richie to know what was wrong. This time though, Richie wasn’t in the mood to sit and talk about the asshole from Eddie’s work, and Eddie wasn’t either. As he stepped into the living room, Richie patted his lap, a smirk on his face. 

“Hey baby, come sit on my lap?”

Eddie let out a sigh and dropped his stuff by the door, crossing the room and climbing into Richie’s lap, letting their lips come together softly, at first, before it turned dirty. Richie’s hands moved under Eddie’s work shirt and pulled it up, aiming to remove it. With a giggle, Eddie lifted his arms, allowing Richie to pull the shirt off and toss it onto the floor to be dealt with later. 

“Eager hm?” Eddie asked and Richie just silenced him with his lips, licking into his mouth, their tongues moving together in harmony. Eddie loved kissing Richie, the feeling of their lips always sent shivers down his spine, no matter what. Richie’s fingers had moved to his pants now, fumbling to undo the button. 

As soon as the button was undone and the zipper tugged down, RIchie dipped his hands down Eddie’s pants and his boxers, wrapping it around his already hardening cock, smirking at the soft gasp that escaped Eddie’s lips. “I have the blue balls baby,” Richie breathed into his ear. “We haven’t been down and dirty in what...four days?”

A flush rose up on Eddie’s cheeks as Richie started pumping his cock, thumb flicking over his head every so often to make him whimper with need. His boyfriend was right, it had been a little too long since they’d been to bed together, and it was clearly showing in their frantic moves to get some action. “Y-Yeah,” he breathed, eyes falling closed. “S-sounds bout right…”

“I can’t go four days without getting a dicking baby,” Richie cooed, quickening his movements. “You should know this about me already.” Eddie just nodded, his breathing becoming heavier as Richie picked up the pace. He wasn’t going to last long, and it seemed that Richie didn’t care. “I want you to come like this Eds, fuck you need it. Then, I’m going to take you to bed and ravage you so the only thing left on your mind is my cock inside your ass.”

“Oh fuck,” Eddie gasped, his eyes rolling backwards as he surged forward, caputuring Richie’s lips. A few pumps of his boyfriend’s hand and he was coming like a fucking teenager into his underwear. He rocked his hips into Richie’s hand, riding out his orgasm until the sensitivity set in and he collapsed against his chest. “Jesus fucking christ,” he panted. 

Richie laughed, “Not jesus baby, just Richie.” Eddie suppressed a groan and Richie moved to stand up, ready to carry him into the bedroom for the second part of the evening. 

Yes, Eddie might still have to deal with shitty customers at work, but as long as he had Richie to come home to at the end of an awful day, he was sure he’d survive.

Chapter Text

“Papa, papa, papa!” Eddie looked up from his book as his daughter Grace rushed into the living room, a panicked look on her face. “Papa we’re all out of peanut butter so we can’t have lunch!”

Eddie covered his heart, his eyes widening in mock horror, “Oh no! Whatever will we do? I guess, there is really only one thing for it, Gracie.” He winked and his daughter gave him a hopeful look. “I suppose I’ll have to go to the supermarket and buy some won’t I?”

Grace breathed out a sigh of relief and nodded her head, “Can I come with you papa? Please, please, please?”

Unable to say no to his daughter, Eddie nodded his head and stood up from the couch. They were on their third day in Derry and so far, everything about their month long vacation had gone swimmingly. They had spent the whole weekend with Went and Maggie, but it was now Monday and both of his in-laws were working morning shifts. 

He could hear Richie and Ollie laughing in the kitchen and he was sure his boys would be okay until they got back. “Okay, go grab your coat while I tell daddy where we’re going.” Grace grinned and dashed off to the hallway, where her shoes and coat were, and he headed to the kitchen. “Knock, knock.”

Richie looked up from where he was busy with the cookie cutters and flashed Eddie a smile, “Hey, Eds!”

“I heard we’re out of peanut butter, so Grace and I are going to go to the supermarket. Is there anything else you think we need while I’m out?”

His husband stepped to the fridge and pulled it open, checking the contents thoroughly, “Maybe pick up some more milk and eggs, we’re running low since I decided to bake some cookies with Ollie here.”

Eddie nodded, listing the items off in his head and out loud. “Milk and Eggs, got it. We won’t be long. We can all watch a movie when we get back, as I think it’s going to rain.”

“Great idea!” Richie agreed and Eddie made his way to the door, where Grace was already waiting. She was such a smart eight year old. “Miss you already!” He heard his husband call from the kitchen and Eddie rolled his eyes, taking Grace’s hand in his.

“Normally I’d say we take a walk, as the supermarket is only five minutes away, but I think it’s going to rain so we’ll take the car okay?” Eddie smiled at Grace and she nodded her head, jumping off the porch step and waiting by the back door, ready to be strapped in. 

Eddie made sure Grace was secure and they were on their way to the supermarket. He decided, on his way round the isles that if there was something he thought they could use, he;d just buy it. Grace was a brilliant help, as always, picking items up and placing them into the trolley with care. 

By the time they made it to the final isle, where the ice cream and frozen food were, Eddie really thought they had managed to make it the whole trip, drama free. That is, until he heard a familiar voice that caused his whole body to freeze up. 

“These products are out of date! How do you expect me to pay full price for an item that is out of date!” The voice screeched and Eddie winced, remembering all too well when that voice was directed at him. 

Right in front of him, standing in front of a store employee, was his mother. 

The employee was red in the face, clearly embarrassed. “Ma’am, that date isn’t the use by date, it’s the date that the product was frozen. The item is still well within date of use.”

Maybe, if Eddie backed away slowly and quietly, they’d be able to leave the store without being seen. With this plan in mind he gripped Grace’s hand tightly and slowly led her backwards. Just when he thought they were home free, his mother turned around and their eyes met across the isles. 

Time froze, and Eddie was sure he was about to throw up. It was one thing bumping into his mother when he was alone, but when he was with his daughter? Who he never wanted to introduce to his mother? That was a totally different story. He felt Grace pull on his jacket. “Papa, why is the lady staring at us?”

His mother’s eyes widened and she began to march towards them, stopping only a few feet away. “Mind your manners young lady,” she spat at his daughter. “I’m an elder.”

“Don’t speak to my daughter like that,” Eddie hissed, finding his voice and he carefully pushed Grace behind him. “Actually, don’t speak to her at all.”

Sonia completely ignored him, grunting as she looked him up and down, “You got fat Eddie-bear. Where have you been all these years, didn’t you even think to call your poor mother? I’ve tried so many times.”

Eddie rolled his eyes, really not in the mood to deal with anything involving his mother. “Thanks, I put on some weight yes, but that’s because I was unhealthily skinny. I’m here visiting family with my husband and my children, so if you don’t mind, I would like to get back to them.” He moved to step passed her, but she stopped him.

“You married that boy?” Sonia gasped, shaking her head. “Oh Eddie-bear, listen to yourself. You’ve spent too long away from me. I knew you’d be back one day. It’s time to come home.” A hand reached out to grab his wrist but Grace’s voice stopped it.

“Don’t touch him!” She yelled, earning a few looks from other shoppers. “Papa didn’t give you permission to touch him, so you can’t do that.”

Sonia looked down his daughter, her eyes narrow, “And children should be seen, not heard.”

Eddie had had enough, “That’s it,” he grabbed the trolley and successfully pushed passed his mother, leading Grace away with him. “We’re leaving now and ...and don’t follow me. I don’t want anything to do with you. Ever.”

They didn’t hang around to listen to what she had to say, his eyes filling with tears of anger at the way she spoke to his daughter. Grace didn’t seem to be affected, as she was skipping along beside him, singing her favourite song from Moana. 

Suddenly, that movie afternoon with his family seemed ten times more appealing than it did earlier that morning. 

Chapter Text

Richie loved his job as a waiter. He got to spend time talking and socialising with a lot of new people, which was his speciality, and because of this he ended up with a lot of tips. Sure, some days were better than others and he’s had to deal with his fair share of ‘nasty’ customers but usually Richie just rolled his eyes when they came in. 

Today was the day all of that changed though. Now, Richie didn’t just love his job, he was good at it too. He took great pride in being able to carry a table of fours meals out to them at the same time and he loved making the kids smile when he brought their drinks out on his head. 

He had never once dropped or smashed a glass. Never in his entire career of being a waiter. 

Until today. 

Today, he was graced with a table of three. An older woman who was seriously overweight he’d be surprised she could even fit in their booths, a younger lady who looked like she bleached her asshole, and the most gorgeous human being Richie had ever laid his eyes on. 

The boy that was with the group looked to be about his age, and his expression was screaming ‘get me out of here’. As Richie was in charge of the table, he put on his best customer service smile and walked over, pad in hand to take their drinks order. Before he even got a word out, the younger lady turned her head to him, her eyes narrow. 

“Finally, god, how difficult is it to get a little bit of service here. It’s not like you’re busy!” She rolled her eyes and the boy’s cheeks turned a dark red.

“Myra!” He hissed, shaking his head. “We’ve only just sat down, what kind of service do you expect?” He looked up at Richie and Richie felt his soul drift out of his body. The boy’s eyes were a dark brown and he was downright stunning. “I’m so sorry.”

The girl, Myra, scoffed. “I was at a steakhouse with daddy last night and they brought us drinks the second we walked through the door. That is the sort of service that I expect, Eddie.”

Eddie.

It was then that the older woman caught his attention, by snapping her fat grubby fingers in Richie’s face. “Excuse me, I would like a white shardony,” she practically growled out and Richie felt himself die a little inside, as they didn’t actually offer white shardony at their branch. 

“I’m so sorry ma’am,” he cleared his throat and smiled. Richie had dealt with these issues before, he could deal with one more. “We don’t offer that here, but I can bring you a white wine if that suits.”

The woman scoffed, “If I wanted white wine I would have-”

“White wine will be fine,” Eddie cut the woman off. “I’ll have a water and Myra will have the same as my mother. I’m so sorry again about their rude behaviour.”

Richie shook his head, “It’s alright, honestly.” He took that moment to pass out the menus he held under his arm and as he passed the final one to Eddie, their fingers brushed. Instantly, both of their cheeks turned red, and thankfully neither of the women at the table noticed. “I’ll be right back with your drinks and to take your orders.”

As he walked away, he could hear the arguing from the table, the women calling Eddie out for being too nice to the staff when their job is to please the customer. Richie had to smile as Eddie defended them, explaining that restaurant staff were humans too, and they should be treated as such. 

Behind the bar, his waitressing buddy Bev gave him a look and walked over, “What was all that about? They seem pretty high and mighty for your standard restaurant, no?”

Richie nodded in agreement and started mixing their drinks. He thought about making Eddie something on the house for being so nice, but he really didn’t want to be called out for it. After all, for all he knew that girl with him was his girlfriend. “Yeah, tell me about it. The guys cute though. Like...really cute.”

“Ohhhh, does Richie have a crush on a customer?” Bev nudged him and giggled as Richie rolled his eyes and picked up the drinks in his usual fashion. 

He stuck his tongue out at her and made his way back over to the table, where the three of them were arguing over the menu options. Myra looked up suddenly and her eyes widened as he got closer to the table. Just as he reached them, and was about to place the drinks on the table, she let out a scream, taking him by surprise. 

Everything seemed to happen in slow motion. The glass he was about to sit down on the table slipped from his grip and toppled to the ground and as he leaned forward in an attempt to grab it, the other one tipped forward, the contents spilling all over Eddie’s lap.

“You have got to be kidding me!” Myra screamed. “What the hell were you thinking, bringing all those out like that! Of course they were going to spill! Oh Eddie, your nice pants are all ruined!”

“I am so sorry!” Richie stammered out, grabbing a few paper towels and trying to help him clean up to the best that he could.

Eddie shook his head, “It’s fine, honestly, Myra shouldn’t have screamed. You know what you’re doing and she made you lose your focus.” He looked up and gave Richie a smile. “Really, it’s fine. I didn’t really like these pants anyway.”

The two ladies burst into yells of horror as Eddie said that and he gave Richie a look at screamed ‘run, get out of here.’. Richie saluted him and rushed back behind the bar, fully intending to make the table fresh drinks. Bev was staring at him with wide eyes and he shook his head, begging her not to comment on the matter. 

He sat the fresh drinks on a tray this time and carried them out to the table, but as he approached, he realised they were packing up. The older woman, Eddie’s mother, glared at him. “This establishment is shocking and you should be fired. I hope you know we’re putting in a complaint to management.”

Eddie opened his mouth to say something, probably to apologise, but before he could Myra wrapped her hand around his wrist in an iron grip and tugged him away. “You’ve said enough, Edward! We’re leaving.”

Richie could only watch as Eddie was dragged out and the door to the restaurant slammed closed. A feeling of disappointment filled up in him and he moved to start clearing up the table. For some reason, the thought of never seeing Eddie again was more devastating that the possibility of losing his job over a bad customer complaint. 

Well, fuck.

Chapter Text

For the first time in what felt like ever, Richie had been silent for more than ten full minutes. Usually, when everyone got together he was spilling out ridiculous stories or over the top events that never actually happened, yet he had done none of that. In fact he was deadly silent, listening to Stan talk about birds, and Mike talk about his plays for the final game of the season.

Eddie was completely convinced that if this day ever came, he would cherish it, but he found himself missing the sound of his boyfriend’s voice getting excited over dumb stories that made no sense. It was rather unnerving for him to be so silent, and not take advantage of the countless bird related puns that have made themselves known.

Maybe it was the thought that in a few weeks, they’d all be going their separate ways after graduation. Maybe it was the thought that this was one of the last moments they would all have together for a long time and it was freaking Richie out. Or maybe it was none of those things, and it was just Eddie who was freaking out at the thought of all his friends leaving Derry for college, whilst he was stuck attending U-Maine.

Pushing that thought to the back of his mind, a promise he had not only made to all of the losers but to himself, he cleared his throat to gain everyone’s attention. Once everyone’s eyes were on him, Eddie spoke up, trying not to let his voice quiver from emotion. “I- I’m going to miss all you guys.”

“Eddie we promised not to talk about this-” Bev started and Eddie shook his head.

“I know, I know but I can’t help it. You guys are my best friends, my only friends and it’s going to suck having to come here all by myself next year whilst you’re all off doing cool new things, exploring new places...making new friends.” Eddie trailed off, looking down at his lap.

Everyone was silent for a few moments before Eddie felt an arm around his shoulders. Bill. “E-Eddie. We might a-all make some new f-friends but no matter w-what...you’ll always b-be one of my best friends. Y-You were there for me when G-Georgie went missing. You w-were there when my p-parent’s got divorced. You’re my brother E-Eddie.”

“Yeah!” Bev piped up, moving closer. “You were the one who rushed all the way to the pharmacy to get me tampons when I ran out, and you also grabbed me chocolate, which I didn’t ask for. You had my back when I needed you most.”

“When Henry Bower’s slashed open my stomach, you were there to tell me how to properly clean my wound and change my dressing. Not even my mother new how to do that. I’d have been totally lost without you.” Ben smiled, placing a hand on Eddie’s shoulder.

“I’ll never forget that one time you helped me help that sheep give birth on the farm,” Mike added. “You were gagging from the smell and the blood, but you still helped me out and if it weren’t for you, those baby lambs would have died.”

“Not to mention that time you sneaked out of your room when you were on ‘house arrest’ to help me finish my school project,” Stan smiled. “We’d all be hopeless without you Eddie, and we’re all going to miss you when we leave.”

Their heads, at the same time, all turned to Richie who was still sitting in the same place he was sitting in ten minutes ago, still silent. “Richie? Got anything to add?” Bev prompted but his boyfriend just shook his head and remained silent.

An awkward silence filled the area and then, like a shoe slamming down right next to him, Eddie realised why Richie was being so silent. He was silent because he was trying to find a nice way to break up with him before he moved off to California. Which, to Eddie, made sense as of course Richie wouldn’t want his stupid hypochondriac boyfriend tying him down with thousands of miles separating them. The knowledge caused Eddie to slump back against the tree he was leaning on and swallow thickly.

“I- um...I have to go. I just remembered my mom wanted me home early.” With that, Eddie stood up, ignoring his friends calls of protest and grabbed his bag. Mike was the one who drove to the barrens in his grandpa's truck, so Eddie had to walk the few miles back into Derry, which wasn’t a problem as he needed that extra time to think over what was going to happen sooner or later.

Richie was going to break up with him. That was going to happen.

“Eds!” Richie’s voice called out from behind him, breathless, followed by the sounds of his heavy footsteps. Eddie wished he could have just kept walking, but he couldn’t. “Eds!”

Eddie turned around, raising his eyebrows as Richie came to a stop in front of him, panting and out of breath. “Richie, what the hell?”

I’m sorry, god, I’m sorry. I was just a dick back there. I just didn’t know what to say.” Richie breathed out.

“It’s fine Richie, don’t worry about it. Go back to the others and enjoy the rest of the night,” Eddie muttered, turning to continue his walk, but Richie reached out and took a light grip of his wrist, turning him back around. “Richie?”

“I couldn’t say anything tonight, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from blurting it out.” Richie continued and Eddie frowned in confusion.

“What are you talking about?”

“I’m in love with you.” Richie breathed, taking a step towards Eddie. “I’ve been trying to tell you for weeks now, but we either get interrupted or I chicken out or something else gets in the way. I didn’t want to say it in front of all the losers because, it’s you and me and the first time I tell you I love you should be between just us.”

Eddie’s eyes widened and tears pooled in his eyes as he stared at Richie. “You- you love me? That’s why you’ve been so quiet tonight.”

“Yes! Why what...what did you think I was quiet?”

“I- thought you were planning on breaking up with me,” Eddie whispered before clearing his throat. “I mean...to me it was logical, you’re going to California and there are so many gorgeous men and women out there…”

“Eds,” Richie cut him off, taking another step towards Eddie and taking his face between his hands, thumbs stroking over his cheekbones. “I’m not going to break up with you for ‘hotter’ men and women becauseyouare the hottest person that I know and will ever know. I love you Eddie Kaspbrak.”

Eddie let out a sob and leaned forward, their lips colliding together softly as he ran his fingers through Richie’s hair. “I love you too. I love you too and I’m going to miss you so much.”

“Don’t worry. We have Skype, and texts and if you want I’ll even write you an old fashioned letter, because I know how happy it would make you,” Richie grinned and Eddie let out a choked laugh.

“That would make me really happy,” he wiped his eyes with the sleeve of the hoodie he was wearing- Richie’s hoodie. “You think we can do this? Long distance I mean?”

“It’s just a year,” Richie smiled positively. “I know we can do this, and this time next year I’ll be taking you with me.”

“You promise?” Eddie whispered and Richie leaned back in, nodding his head.

“I promise,” he whispered and closed the distance between their lips, sealing the promise with a kiss.

Chapter Text

“Will you stop being a depressed weirdo and help me with these orders?” Bev asked as she looked at Richie who was moping in the back of the kitchen. Richie looked up at her and flipped her off, rolling his eyes as he jumped down from the counter. Ever since last week, since Eddie came into the restaurant and then left, he had been in a funk. 

It had been just about a week now, and Richie had been hoping that Eddie would come back in. He was hoping that Eddie had felt the connection too, but he never did. He tried to convince himself that Eddie wasn’t going to come back, because he was out with his mother and his girlfriend. 

“Excuse me for being in a funk Marsh,” Richie sighed and picked up a glass, following the order on the screen. The place was very quiet as it was a Sunday afternoon and they only had one table. “Did you lie to me about how busy it was to get me to work?”

Bev shrugged, sticking her tongue out, “Maybe? I mean if you wanna earn cash you gotta work for it.” She laughed and picked up the drink Richie had finished making. She stepped out from behind the bar and Richie watched her eyes glance towards the door before she turns back to him. “You have a visitor.”

Richie frowned and moved towards the door, stepping into its view. His eyes widened as he spotted the person standing by the door. It was Eddie. He looked just like he did the week before, except he was alone this time and he looked a whole lot more...comfortable. 

“Hey,” Eddie smiled, taking a few steps towards Richie. “I um, I’ve come by a few times this week but you- you weren’t working. I wasn’t even sure you’d be here today but I was close by so I thought I would give it a try.” He ran a hand through his hair and Richie had to stop himself from swooning on the spot. “And here you are.”

Biting the inside of his cheek, Richie tried his best not to break out into a grin, “Here I am,” he cocked his head to the side. “How can I help you?”

Eddie flushed a little and this time, Richie couldn’t help but grin this time. “I wanted to apologise to you about the way my mother and Myra spoke to you last week.” He started, looking down at the floor. “They were really awful, and there was no need to treat you like that.”

“Oh, don’t worry about me,” Richie laughed, shaking his head. “I deal with this stuff every day. I mean, I had a woman scream at me just yesterday for putting tomato on her BLT. Anyway, I should be the one apologising to you, I’m the one who spilled the wine all over you.”

With the shake of his head, Eddie laughed and took another step forward, “That was the least of my worries that day,” he admitted, biting his lip. “I mean...it was just my luck that on the day I meet a really cute guy I’m interested in, I had to endure a date that my mother set up for me.”

Richie stopped and blinked a few times, letting Eddie’s words settle into his brain and he grinned cheekily, “You’re interested in me?”

“I thought it was obvious?” Eddie asked, raising an eyebrow at Richie, causing him to be the one to blush. “I mean, I left my number on the napkin, but when you never texted me I assumed you didn’t see it and threw it away.” He paused and his eyes widened. “Unless you did get it and you aren’t interested?”

Wait, what? Richie shook his head fast, “No no no, that- what? You mean to tell me I’ve been moping about you all this week because I thought you weren’t interested but...you left me your number? I could have been talking to you this whole week? I could have taken you out on a date!”

Eddie’s cheeks were bright red now, and a few of the people seated in the restaurant were staring. He nodded his head a little and once again, tucked some of his hair behind his ear. “Yeah, I- I’m very interested.”

Grinning, Richie pulled out his phone and handed it to Eddie, fumbling with it a little, “Here, uh, please put your number is so we can um, text and stuff.” He watched nervously as Eddie tapped in his digits and passed the phone back to him with a coy smile. “Thanks,” he smiled, typing out a message so Eddie had his number also.

“So, do you want to hang out when you get off?” Eddie asked, tucking his hands into his pockets and pulling out his own phone, hopefully to add Richie as a contact. “Because I am free the rest of the day, and I would really like to have dinner with you, if you want?”

Richie nodded his head, some of his curls falling loose and into his eyes, “Fuck yes,” he agreed. “Dinner with a cutie like you? I’d be an idiot to say no!”

“When do you get off?” Eddie asked and Richie turned his head to look at the clock, breathing out in annoyance as he realised that it was only 11am and he still had four hours left to go. 

He sighed, “I don’t get off until three I’m afraid, which is four hours away.” His tone was rather depressing, and he heard Bev snort at how pathetic he was being from behind the bar. If he wasn’t so focused on Eddie, he would have turned around and flipped her off. “Would you come back?”

Eddie pursed his lips and looked down to the bag he had hanging over his shoulder. “I mean, I have some work I could do while I wait. Would you mind me setting up a base and working away until you’re finished?” He asked and before Richie could answer, Bev was right next to him, pointing to a table set up close to the bar. 

“Of course, you can set up right there and if you need anything, I’m sure Richie would be more than happy to help you out.” Bev winked, walking away once more to tend to some of the tables. 

With a laugh, Eddie moved over to the table, unpacking his bag and setting up his laptop. Richie made a mental note to ask Eddie what he did for a living when they were out on a date that evening. It was a date right? Suddenly, Richie was feeling a little nervous, unsure if Eddie wanted to go out with him as friends, or as a date. 

Unable to help himself, he blurted out his worries before Eddie even had a chance to sit down. “Are we going for dinner tonight as a date?” He asked and Eddie looked up at him. “Because- if it’s not can you please let me know now? Just so I know what kind of dinner it is and I don’t embarrass myself in front of you?”

Eddie was silent for a second before he smiled softly and took a step forward, leaning up and pressing a kiss to Richie’s cheek. “I like you, I really want this dinner to be a date. Just so we’re both on the same page.”

“So it’s definitely a date?” Richie asked, just for double clarification, his cheeks bright red from the kiss. 

 Eddie nodded, “Definitely a date.”

Chapter Text

“Looks like the storm is going to last a few more days, Eds,” Richie sighed as he came off of the phone to his parents, taking a seat next to Eddie on the loveseat by the fire. Eddie wrapped his arms around Richie’s waist, burying his head into his neck.

What had meant to be a nice weekend getaway from the city to a cabin just north of New York, had turned into what would now be a week trapped thanks to an unexpected snowstorm. Not like Richie was complaining about being able to spend more time with his fiance, as they had been so busy with work it felt like Richie had barely seen Eddie. 

Outside the snow was falling steadily onto the ground around the cabin, and Richie slipped off of the couch to add more wood to the fire. It sparked up, lighting the room up more and Richie turned his head, his eyes landing on Eddie as he curled up on the couch, his eyes closed softly. 

Richie felt his heart swell, his breathing hitching just a little at just how beautiful Eddie was. His lightly tanned skin looked golden under the firelight, and his blond hair glistened, making him look nothing short of angelic. Richie knew if he said any of this to Eddie, he’d probably get punched in the gut, but deep down, Richie was aware of how much Eddie liked to be complimented. 

God, did Richie enjoy complimenting Eddie. He loved pressing kisses to his soft, moisturised skin and running his hand through his soft locks. Eddie loved to take care of himself, and had a very serious skincare routine, never once missing it. He also ensured that the shampoo he used had the best ingredients to make his hair look and smell like perfection. 

From the couch, Eddie yawned and cracked his eyes open, meeting Richie from where he was still sat by the fire. Slowly, Eddie raised his eyebrow, “Chee? Why are you staring at me like that?”

“Just admiring how pretty you are, Eds,” Richie answered, not even making an attempt to hide the fact that he had been staring. “You are just so damn perfect.”

A blush rose up on Eddie’s cheeks and he turned his head to the side, avoiding Richie’s gaze, “Shut up,” he mumbled, pulling the blanket over his shoulders more firmly. Even though the fire was blasting, the room around them was still relatively cold since the power went out thanks to the storm.

Richie laughed, smiling wide and he slowly made his way back over to the couch. He didn’t want to leave Eddie alone on the couch for too long, as he was aware that body heat was important when it was less than -4 degrees fahrenheit. At the mere mention of how cold it was outside, a shiver ran down Richie’s spine and he clambered onto the couch, sliding under the blanket. 

 “God, you’re feet are fucking freezing dipshit,” Eddie grumbled, his cheeks still tinged a light red from Richie’s earlier compliment. “Why did you have to get off of the couch into the could in the first place?”

Ignoring Eddie’s protests, Richie just pulled his fiance into his lap, wrapping him up in a hug, soaking in his body head. “Needed to put more wood on the fire, it was getting dim and then we would really be cold,” Richie breathed against the skin of Eddie’s neck. 

Eddie let out a soft sound and he let Richie pull him into his arms, settling rather comfortably, like he was used to it. The whole thing made Richie grin because he had been with Eddie so long, that he just expected Richie to pull him into his lap and cuddle him tight. 

Ever since he was younger, Richie had craved human contact. With the losers, he never made it a secret to hug them or sit on them, or even hold their hands when they were all cuddled up watching a movie together. None of them seemed to mind as it was ust Richie, and that was how he was. Out of all the losers though, Eddie was the one who Richie liked to cuddle with the most, and when they got together it only got worse. 

The losers were a little annoyed at their acts of affection at first, but they soon got used to it too. They never complained when Richie pulled Eddie into his lap, or when he called him pretty for wearing light clothing and styling his hair perfectly. It was just who Eddie was, and Richie fucking loved that about him. 

“What are you thinking about?” Eddie asked, looking up at Richie through his beautiful dark eyes that made Richie’s insides turn to goo. He looked absolutely breathtaking, and the light from the fire was only adding to the perfection that was Eddie Kaspbrak. 

“Just about how perfect you are,” Richie whispered, completely honest and reached up to cup Eddie’s cheeks, preventing him from turning his head away. “I know you hate it when I call you pretty, or beautiful. I know it makes you flustered but sometimes I just can’t help it. You are just so breathtaking, sometimes when I look at you I just...lose control of my thoughts for a few minutes.”

Eddie’s eyes were wide, but they softened as he listened to what Richie had to say. He cleared his throat and bit down on his lip. “You know that...I’m not going anywhere right?” He asked and Richie’s stomach tightened a little. “I- I know we’ve been so busy with work lately and this was why we took this trip but...no matter what I’m always going to love you. We’re getting married in four months.”

Unable to help himself, Richie leaned over and closed the distance between them, kissing him softly. He carded his fingers through Eddie’s soft locks, pulling him a little closer as he parted his lips with his tongue. The kiss remained soft and sweet, both of their bodies too stiff with the cold to do anything more than that, and they pulled away with a smile. 

“I love you, so much Eds,” Richie breathed, resting their foreheads together. “I can’t wait to marry you. You know, if we ever get out of here. Just in case we freeze to death, will you marry me right here and now Eddie, Kaspbrak.” His words were dramatic and he pinched Eddie’s sides to make him squeal. 

It worked and Eddie let out a loud screech, his hands balling into fists and whacking Richie on the arm, “You are such a fucking idiot! I can’t believe you! That’s it, I want a divorce!”

Richie cackled, “We’re not even married yet, Eds!”

“Then I want to marry you, just so I can get divorced from you!” 

Another loud laugh and this time, Eddie was also giggling too. “I love you too, Eddie Spaghetti.”

Eddie rolled his eyes, but there was nothing but fondness behind them, “Ugh Richie, don’t call me that. You know I hate it when you call me that.”

Mhm . Richie thought, his eyes sparking. Eddie might say just that, but Richie...he knew well enough. 

Chapter Text

“Fuck no. Absolutely no. No way.” Eddie shook his head, blocking the door with his smaller, yet somewhat toned body. There was no way he was letting Richie pass him and go out there into what was essentially a danger zone. It had taken them way too long to find a safe space for Richie to risk giving it away. 

Richie wasn’t having it though, and he stepped closer to Eddie, a gun strapped over his shoulder, the blood and dirt still stained on his cheeks. He shook his head at Eddie, trying to push past him but his body was lankier than Eddie’s, and he definitely wasn’t stronger. “Move, Eds.”

The losers were all gathered in a small safe house Stan had located on one of his missions to find food. In the past few weeks, Beverly had caught a cold and it had turned into an infection with a fever. She was getting worse and Eddie, the medic of the group, knew they had to find a safe and indoor place for her to sweat it out. 

Eddie wasn’t even sure what had happened. One moment, he was snuggled up at the Quarry with Richie and the next there was some...dead thing crawling out of the bushes and rushing towards them. When they had made it into town and found the other losers, it was clear that something was terribly wrong. 

In usual Richie fashion, he had made continuous jokes about the whole epidemic. It’s a zombie apocalypse, Eds! We are in a real life zombie apocalypse! None of them were funny because they were true, and no one knew what to do, or where to go. They had all piled into Richie’s truck and drove out of Derry, encountering their fair share of ‘zombies’ on the way. 

They were all alone in a world full of brain eating monsters, and each and every one of them were fucking terrified. Yet, the whole ordeal never really truly sunk in until Bill was attacked. It had happened so fast and Eddie only barely missed being hit himself. It was just Bill and Eddie on the mission, trying to locate a pharmacy for simple medication when a ‘zombie’ had jumped out from the trees, skimming past Eddie and knocking Bill to the ground. By the time that Eddie had smashed the ‘zombie’s’ head in and pushed it off of Bill, he had already taken a huge chunk out of Bill’s arm. 

As much as Eddie didn’t want to do it, he knew deep down that when Bill passed away he would just be reanimated as one of them, and any trace of their friend would be gone. Bill knew it was also the case and only nodded at Eddie, tears streaming down his face. 

With tears in his eyes, and shaky hands, Eddie had pulled out his dagger and proceeded to stab Bill through the chest, before smashing his head in with the boulder, ensuring he would not come back. He had carefully made his back to the group, without Bill and broke the news. That night, they had all sat curled around each other, mourning for their lost friend. 

After that, Eddie became much more vigilant. He always made sure there were at least three people on a mission and that they were well equipped to deal with any sudden surprise attacks. They all did regular exercises to build up their body strength so that if they did in fact, encounter a zombie, they at least could hold their own. 

Guns were also out of the question. Eddie has seen 28 Days Later enough times to know that loud noises would attract them, and as soon as one hears you the others will simply follow. Mike had protested at first, but eventually he realised that Eddie was right, and there was no way they were losing another member of the losers club. No way. 

It seemed though, that right now, Richie had completely forgotten about their system and it was really beginning to get on Eddie’s nerves. “Richie, sit the fuck down and we can figure this out in the morning,” he hissed. He loved Richie, he really did. He was the love of his life, but sometimes Eddie just wanted to smack him across the face. 

“Bev is sick!” Richie snapped, glaring at Eddie. In their whole relationship, the only time they ever really fought was over Eddie’s mother and his need to please her. Since this whole thing began, they had always been on each other side. Until now. “She needs antibiotics and Stan said there was a hospital not far from here when he came back from the mission with Mike and Ben! I could go, get the medicine and be back in no time!”

Eddie held back his need to scream, shaking his head, “You don’t- you don’t understand! You can’t go out there on your own. Now turn around and go back to the group. We can get Bev medicine in the morning, she even said so herself!”

A look passed across Richie’s face before he nodded and sighed, returning to the group. Eddie waited by the door for a few more moments before he followed him. For the first time in a long time, Eddie fell asleep without Richie’s arms around him. 

The sleep must have only lasted around an hour or so, because when Eddie woke up in need for the toilet, he realised that Richie was gone. Panic filled in his gut and he searched the whole house from top to bottom, waking everyone up in the process. Tears were streaming down his face as he realised that Richie had left and gone to the hospital without telling them. He didn’t even leave a fucking note. 

Due to the fact that he was terrified out of his mind that he might never see his boyfriend again, Eddie had no room to be angry at Richie, even though he really wanted to be. The night soon turned into day and the sickening feeling only worsened in Eddie’s stomach. What if Richie had been attacked? What if he was bleeding out on the street? What if he was one of those things? 

Just as the last thought left Eddie’s mind and the sun was just beginning to rise, the door to the safe house opened and Richie stumbled in, bloody and dirty. Stan was the first to his side, wrapping an arm around his waist as he helped him into the living room. 

Still unable to be angry, Eddie rushed over to his boyfriend, searching every inch of his skin for any sign of a ‘zombie’ bite. Richie didn’t object, letting Eddie make sure he was okay for his own sanity before he handed over the bag full of medicine. As soon as Eddie realised that Richie was fine and he had the medicine, the anger was back and he grabbed the bag from him, storming into the room where Bev was. He had to make sure his friend was alright first. 

Once he had administered the antibiotic to Bev’s system, Eddie walked back into the living room, where Richie was chilling on the couch. “You are so fucking stupid. I can’t believe you did that.”

Richie looked up, tilting his head to the side in confusion, “Eds it’s fine. I’m fine. Bev is fine.”

“That is not the fucking point!” Eddie hissed and Richie stopped short, blinking at Eddie as if he had been punched. “I told you to wait until morning when two other people could go with you! I fucking told you that it’s safer in groups and you ignored me and went off on your own! You risked all of our lives!”

“What the fuck?” Richie rolled his eyes a little. “Eds, you’re being so over dramatic. You guys were here and I was the one out there. The only life at risk was my own.”

Eddie’s eyes darkened and he scoffed just a little, “What? You think that if you didn’t come back we’d all just forget about you and move on? You think we wouldn’t have gone out looking for you? Putting ourselves at risk to find you? This- this isn’t a game Richie! This is real life and you fucking- fuck! You are just so fucking stupid!”

With that, Eddie stormed away and up the stairs of the house into one of the bedrooms. Tears of anger were in his eyes and he harshly wiped them away, taking in a few shaky breaths. He had no idea how long he sat up there, alone and in the cold, but it was dark when the door knocked and Richie stuck his head in. “Can I come in?”

The anger was no longer there, instead it was replaced with hurt and the resting fear of losing Richie. “Yeah, come in,” he whispered. Richie crossed the room and sat on the bed next to Eddie, pulling him into his arms. “You were so stupid,” he whispered, his voice cracking. 

“I know,” Richie whispered, running his fingers through Eddie’s hair. His hands were cleaner now, so Eddie assumed he must have washed up before coming to find him. “I know Eds, and I know I wasn’t thinking. I’m so sorry for putting everyone at risk. I just- I wanted to be able to do something for once. It’s always you, Stan and Mike who go on the main missions and I- I just wanted to be useful.”

Eddie looked up, his eyes wide as more tears filled up, “Richie- you are useful. Your boy scout experience and your trips with your dad give you the knowledge of how to cook food. None of us know how to do that, or how to build a fire or how to break into a house. That’s all on you. We’d be screwed without you. Just because you aren’t out on missions doesn’t mean you’re not useful.”

Richie leaned forward, pressing their foreheads together and he leaned in, pressing a light kiss to Eddie’s lips. Right now, life was too short to stay mad at the person who made the world a little bit brighter and Eddie knew that. “I love you, Eds.”

Life was going to get a whole lot worse before it got better. They were going to encounter way more problems and possibly suffer more losses. As long as they have each other though, Eddie was sure that they could take on anything the world threw at them. 

“I love you too, Rich. I love you too.”