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i can’t breathe

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“Rich, will you just calm down?” Stan almost let out a laugh at the sight of his friend pulling at his hair pacing around the living room of their shared apartment.

“I can’t, Stan. I mean- I just- I don't… what if he says no? What if I screw it up and he laughs in my face or what if-?” Richie was nervous. No, scratch that. He was terrified. Stan had never seen him quite like this.

“Dude, Eddie loves you. There’s no way he’s gonna say no so can you just relax? It’s gonna be fine. He’s not gonna be here for another half hour or so. Just sit for a little while. Your pacing is driving me damn near insane.” Stan rolled his eyes and patted the spot next to him on the couch signaling Richie to sit beside him.

“I can’t just sit, Stanley. I’m freaking out here, man!” He sits down anyway. “I don’t know what I’m gonna say. I’ve gone over it in my head a million times but nothing seems right. Eddie deserves the absolute best. It should be special and romantic and I should’ve planned this out better. He’s gonna hate it.” Richie wrings his hands together, which is something he does when he’s nervous or uncomfortable. Stan notices and immediately wraps his right arm over Richie’s shoulders and gives him a comforting squeeze.

“You’ll know what to say. When the moment comes I’m sure the words will come to you. They always do, right? That’s why you never shut the hell up.” Stan removes his arm from Richie’s shoulders to ruffle his hair with a smirk.

“Alright! Staniel gets in a good one!” Richie laughs and shoves Stan’s hand away. “You’re right though. I should stop worrying. Otherwise I’ll get all sweaty and then I’ll have to change my shirt. Oh wait… I should change my shirt shouldn’t I? Should I change my outfit? Ah shit, Stan do these shoes even match? This is all wrong. Even if I do get the words out right, he’ll be way to distracted by my poor outfit choice to even notice.” Stan rolled his eyes again.

“Since when do you care about fashion, Richie? Eddie has been with you long enough to know that you’re a lost cause when it comes to style. I also know this. You know this. Everyone knows this. It doesn’t matter what you wear or what you say. The only thing that matters is that you love Eddie and Eddie loves you. For some strange and unknown reason. I haven’t really figured that one out yet.” Stan smirks again and jabs his elbow into Richie’s side to let him know that he’s only joking. Richie let’s out a loud laugh.

“You’re on a roll tonight, Stan the Man. Hey listen… I’ve been meaning to ask you. If it all does go right… wanna be my best man?” Stan raised his eyebrows in surprise. Sure, he and Richie were close. They lived together for Christ’s sake. But he’d known Bill longer. Hell, he was sure Richie would ask Bev to be his best man before he’d ever consider Stan. Richie seemed to read his mind.

“Don’t look so surprised. I love all you losers, but you’re my best friend, Stan. For some strange and unknown reason. I haven’t figured that one out yet. And besides, you’d definitely throw the best bachelor party.” Richie grinned and Stan couldn’t help but do the same.

“Sure. Yeah. I’d love to Richie. But you’re definitely not getting any strippers at the party. Eddie would actually murder me. Can’t be your best man if I’m dead.” They both laugh, but stop when they hear a knock on the front door.

“Oh shit. He’s here. He’s early. Why is he early? Oh shit. Oh shit shit shit. Okay. Shit. Okay. Do I look alright?” Richie frantically runs his hands through his hair and pulls at his clothes.

“You look great, Rich. Chill out. Go answer the door and act like it’s just any other date night. You have the ring right?” Richie’s eyes widen as he manically checks all of his pockets. He finds it in his back pocket and sighs in relief, giving Stan a nod. Stan returns the nod and all but shoves him towards the door. Richie let’s out a shaky breath.

“I can’t breathe.” He whispers.

“It’s gonna be fine. He’s gonna say yes. He loves you. Now answer the door before he gets suspicious.” Stan orders.

Richie huffs out another breath as he pulls open the door to reveal a very cute looking Eddie. He’s wearing that big baby blue sweater that Richie bought him for his birthday and Richie thinks he might die.

“Hey, Bubba!” Eddie steps forward and stands on his tiptoes to press a kiss to Richie’s cheek. Richie blushes and that makes Eddie giggle. Which makes Richie blush even more.

“Heya, Eds!” Richie smiles down at him and he can feel the nervousness that he felt before start to fade.

“Gross. Get outta here you two. Before I start gagging.” Stan dramatically makes a face of disgust while trying to hide his smile.

“You just want us out so you can call Bill over. I know what you two get up to when you have the apartment to yourself. Just don’t have sex on the couch. Or in my bed.” Richie laughs. Stan’s smile disappears and it’s quickly replaced with a deep blush.

“Ready to go, Eds?”

“Sure. Where exactly are we going?”

“You’ll see. It’s a surprise.” Richie says as he starts to close the door behind them. He turns to look at Stan one last time, silently begging for some reassurance from his best friend. Stan sees this and gives him a smile and a nod. Richie uses the gesture as a last boost of confidence and closes the door.
Stan can still barely hear them talking as they walk down the hallway outside.

“Come on, Rich! I hate surprises. You know I do.” Eddie practically whines.

“Well you’ll like this one. I’m trying to be spontaneous. Quit complaining or I’ll leave you here and go by myself.” Richie laughs.

Stan chuckles at the sound of them going back and forth. He’s happy for them. He knows it’ll all work out and that they’ll all soon be attending their wedding with him as the best man. He thinks it’ll probably be in the fall. Eddie loves the fall.

He reaches into his own back pocket and pulls out a small black box. As he looks down at it in his hands he smiles at the thought of it all working out for him as well. All of them attending another wedding with Richie as the best man. Probably during the winter. Bill loves the snow.