Apparently it was no secret that Eddie was in love with his best friend, and according to his friends, it was no secret that Richie returned those feelings. He certaintly fooled him with all his jokes about fucking his mother and his constant teasing.
“The problem is that none of you are willing to make the first move,” Stan sighed, not once looking up for his book about Blue Jays, the pages turning under his nimble fingers.
“He doesn’t like me like that,” the brunet whined, the cry enough for Stan to dog ear his page and shut his book.
“Eddie, you’re insulting my intelligence with this conversation,” Before Eddie could think to say anything back the door bell was ringing, they both would have moved to get it if they weren’t so used to the other losers just letting themselves in.
Bev appeared a second later, picking up on the atmosphere the second she walked through the threshold to Stan’s room.
“Let me guess, the Reddie conversation again?”
Both Stan and Eddie spoke at once, voices overlapping, “Yes,”
Beverly ignored the smaller boy, turning her attention to Stan. “It might be easier having this conversation with Richie,” Stan was already shaking his head before she’d even finished her sentence.
“Trust me, it’s not,”
That had the hypochondriacs head shooting up, “You’ve had this conversation with him before?”
The pointed look Eddie received from Stan was one he and the other losers had seen a thousand times, the only difference being this time his throat went dry at its implications.
“That dick,” Eddie stomped angrily, pacing back and forth with a pout on his lips. The slur not enough to deter from the boy’s cuteness, not with his robin egg blue knee high socks and matching sweater. His white shorts and converse didn’t make it any better, the two other losers in the room felt as if they were watching a Sanrio character come to life.
“Eddie, Richie’s an idiot. If you want him, make the move,” Stan finalized, picking his book back up and resuming his reading.
“Why don’t you force him to make the first move?” The red head suggested, perching herself on Stan’s bed. The words had the smaller teen stop in his tracks, facing his friend with a confused yet intrigued look on his soft features. An audible groan sounded from behind Stan’s book, but that didn’t stop Beverly from elaborating.
“Do something that will force him to step up,”
“Like make him jealous?” The pastel boy simplified, sitting beside her with his hands nervously perched in his lap. “How do I do that?”
Her green eyes sparkled in thought, before she was intertwining her hand in his own, pulling him up. “Stan did you want to go shopping with us?” They didn’t receive an answer, and before Eddie knew it he was riding shotgun in Beverly’s Camaro.
“You never answered on how we make him jealous or whatever we're doing,” Eddie pointed out softly, his voice barely audible over Dounia’s ‘Royal’ blasting through the speakers.
“First, we’re getting you even more pastels, if that’s not enough: start clinging,” Bev stated, ‘I don’t want it at all’ queuing next on stereo.
“Wouldn’t me clinging to him be me making the first move?” Eddie couldn’t help but ask, face alight when he thought of all the times him and Richie were pressed together in a more than friendly way. Not that it got them anywhere.
“To us, he’s used to you hugging him and brushing against him. Start with us, cuddle up, he’ll eventually get upset you’re not hugging him,”
“You’re oddly okay with making him jealous considering he’s your best friend in this group,” Eddie couldn’t help but point out, not wanting to admit at times when he found out they were smoking together he’d get jealous.
“Getting you two together will benefit all of us, plus it might get Ben to step up too,” she murmured the last part under her breath and Eddie should have known she’d use the situation to benefit herself as well. To be fair he’d do the same.
Pulling into the mall parking lot, Beverly parked the car and stopped her friend from exiting. Eddie quickly realizing what she was doing when she procured her phone and opened the camera, taking a quick selfie of the two of them. Somehow always able to get the perfect shot, Eddie honestly didn’t know how in every picture she took everyone seemed to always look perfect.
His phone buzzed the second she’d posted the picture on instagram with a glowing filter, his own account tagged and the caption ‘Me and this cutie are going shopping!’ was followed by a plethora of heart emojis and a single kissing emoji.
“And this Eddie is how we set a trap,” Beverly lips pursed around her words, exiting the car with the other teen in tow. Their hands absently finding one another as they entered the building. They always held hands in public, something about safety in numbers.
Beverly pulled them into the first shop she saw with the softest colors she could find, already grabbing the long sleeve sweaters and shirts and folding them over her arm. One was a soft cerulean blue, another sea foam green, watermelon pink, coral, and a lavender that his brain fizzled into a lilac in the harsh lighting.
“We’re going to need a basket,” she announced suddenly, grabbing a pair of knee high socks in white before tucking them under her arm as well.
Eddie rushed to get one, wondering how in the hell was he supposed to afford all the clothes she was picking out for him. The minute he got back, he could already see the new colors that had been added to the pile: Lemon yellow, vanilla, mocha, burnt sienna, and a snowfall grey.
“Can I help you with anything?” A sales associate suddenly appeared, looking between the two of them.
“Yes actually, can we have a dressing room please?”
“Certainly,” the blonde girl grinned, leading them to the back and handing them a placard for the stall. Beverly all but shoved Eddie in, pilling the clothes in his arms.
Carefully placing them on the hanger, Eddie picked the coral long sleeve first. The second he opened the curtain Bev was squealing in delight. His cheeks heated up at the praise, likely matching the shirt that was loose on his skin. He knew it was intentional on Beverly’s part to get him the small rather than the extra small.
Each color was met with a sharp, “I knew it!” and an applause that even had the passerby workers laugh. The seventeen year olds eyes widened at the sight of the basket, stuffed with matching knee high socks to all his new shirts.
“How are we going to afford all of this?” Eddie couldn’t help but ask, closing the curtain to slip his own shirt back on.
“I’ve been rolling in sponsorship money Eddie, I got this,” The red head assured, Eddie had almost forgotten the modelling gigs her aunt had set up for her. Her beauty was always evident, it wasn’t a surprise she was raking in some dough. But Eddie never saw her as some model or influencer, she was his friend.
“Don’t worry about it,” She brushed off, taking the basket to the counter to be rung up. The cashier wasn’t at all abashed as his eyes raked over Eddie’s form. Nor was he discreet when he grabbed a sticky note and wrote down his number, stuffing it in the bag as Beverly swiped her card before they were walking out of the store.
“Well that would have made Richie really jealous,” she couldn’t help but state. “Lucks on our side today,” Beverly’s free hand found Eddie’s again, pulling him toward the craft store where she knew there was a plethora of flower crowns to plant upon the boy’s hair for each outfit.
“Flower crowns, really?” Eddie groaned, silencing himself when she fitted a crown of fake forget-me-nots on his head. The fake flowers so real that it’d take more than a few moments of staring at them to tell they were artificial. Not that them being plastic mattered, he didn’t want wilted dying flowers in his hair anyway. Too dirty.
Again a bag was filled, a matching crown of different flowers for every single shirt he’d gotten. This time Bev had actually bought something for herself too, upon her fiery head was an equally as fiery crown. It was decorated with flowers you could only find with the ‘birds of paradise.’
“Oh and by the way, my views app says Richie saw my post...several times,” a smirk was prominent on her face, loud in her words.
Eddie’s eyes snapped up at that, “He didn’t like it or comment?” She shook her head, lips turning down at the frown that tugged on the pastel teen’s lips. Luckily the sight of the frozen yogurt shop caught her eye.
“I have an idea,” The robin egg blue boy would be an adoring contrast to the pink shop in front of them. Beverely’s next photo did get a like from Richie, how could it not? A flower crown upon his head, a pink berry on the table, and a neon green spoon sticking out of his lips. His perfect smile wide enough to make angels sing.
“He screenshotted it, oh my god he screenshotted both,” Bev nearly screamed, earning some odd looks from the other patrons. Blush not only painted itself on the seventeen year olds face, it might as well have been tattooed on.
“Ready to head back?” Bev hummed, licking at her raspberry cheesecake flavored yogurt. Eddie nodded, following her back to the car and all the way back to Derry. By the time he got home, he was lugging two large bags of clothes up the stairs.
He’d neglected to check his phone all day, and when he did he wasn’t surprised to see the sheer amount of followers he’d gained due to Bev’s posts. The comments were filled, asking who he was, why wasn’t he modelling, and compliments that had falling asleep a challenge. Hopefully he’d sleep better at the sleepover tomorrow.
When Eddie woke that morning, he knew what outfit he’d be wearing. The lavender/lilac sweater and knee high socks, along with the lavender flower crown that seemingly weaved throughout his hair. His white converse were spick and span, he didn’t like to get dirt on them.
They’d be sleeping over at Bill’s, his house was always the easiest to sleep at. His parents were kind, they hadn’t been when Georgie had passed away from his cancer but that was understandable.
The pantry was constantly stacked with the best snacks, not to mention the healthier snacks that they knew he liked. They also were persistent enough to assure his mother that their house was clean and he was safe. His father Zack had also been nice enough to let them watch rated R movies since they were thirteen. Bill’s was the ideal house to get together always.
His duffel bag didn’t match his outfit, the lollipop pink duffel was small enough to fit at least three days worth a clothes, much more if he folded it right. His closet a menagerie of soft heues, all calling to him to pack away for the next day. Considering tomorrow they’d all be at the clubhouse, he decided to go with the lemon outfit. It’s brightness would hopefully lighten up the space, while also blending in with the yellow flowers on the way there.
Folding it quickly, Eddie packed it away before opening his dresser and pulling out a new pair of pajamas he’d ordered. They were silk black bottoms, and a white and black striped tank top. He’d never worn anything of the sort around his friends, but they had accepted his girly clothes long ago. They’d defended him more than enough times when people teased him for it too.
Why would they care if his pajamas had a little lace lining? Plus it could only help further his cause. They’d get Richie’s attention and that’s all that mattered.
Taking one last scan of his room, the thin boy grabbed his phone charger and package of wet wipes, sleeping pills, assorted pain relievers, and his spare inhaler and toothbrush. He didn’t need the inhaler anymore, having found out it was fake. But it was a comfort, along with the pain pills. Once he was packed, Eddie headed downstairs, feet light as he passed the living room where his mother was watching TV.
“Eddie-bear, you know the rules!” She called out as his hand reached out for the doorknob. Begrudgingly Eddie complied, walking to her side and pressing a kiss to her cheek.
“I’ll text you when I get there,” Eddie promised, hating how at seventeen he still needed to tell his mother he made it down the street. Opening up the door, Eddie startled at the tall boy in front of him. Hand poised and ready to knock, his mouth agape.
Richie’s heart thudded in his chest at the warming sight of the younger boy. Sure he was only younger by a few months, but Richie didn’t care. It was still enough for him to hold over the other teen’s head. Eddie smiled up at his crush, warmth filling up his gut at the slack jawed expression on the other boy’s face.
“Thanks for driving me,” Eddie praised, figuring they couldn’t just stare at each other without his mom saying something.
“No problem Eddie spaghetti,” Richie’s voice wasn’t as strong or loud as it normally was and Eddie couldn’t help but take that as a win, he hadn’t even thought to tell the boy to knock it off with the nickname. His inner cheering came to a halt when hurried steps sounded behind him as he walked to the car, Richie had rushed forward to open the door for him!
Eddie’s giggle wasn’t at all hidden, nor was the bright smile that lit up Richie’s face at the sound. Stepping into the Impala, Eddie buckled his seatbelt and stuffed his bag beneath his feet, waiting for Richie to shut the door and run around to the drivers side.
The drive was barely five minutes long, but Richie always insisted on driving him. Ever since that one night on his way back from the pharmacy Bowers had jumped him, luckily Richie had been driving by, nearly hitting Bowers with his car in his anger.
Eddie knew it shouldn’t be looking back at the memory with such fondness, he’d gotten his ass kicked and nearly stabbed, but Richie had doted on him hard. When he thought about it he could still feel Richie’s hands gentle with his wounds but shaking in anger.
“You coming Eds?”
“Don’t call me that,” He insisted, getting out of the car and heading up to Bill’s porch with his bag swaying on his arm. There wasn’t a retort back, it could have been because the front door opened to a smiling Bill, or because Richie was still so enthralled in Eddie he felt the need to actually do as he said.
“H-Hey guys, c-come in,” Eddie and Richie were the last to arrive, and the others were already applying sheets to the mattresses strewn around the living room floor.
“Wow Eddie, you look good,” Ben spoke up, earning nods of agreement from the rest.
“Thank you, but thank Bev for picking the outfit out,” Eddie insisted, setting his bag down besides the others.
“We got a bunch of scary movies to watch tonight, Midsommer, Hereditary, we got the Babadook too so we could also laugh at it,” Mike explained, “Stan also brought his firestick so we can use Kodi and watch other stuff,”
“Sweet,” Richie hummed, pleased at the thought of holding an easily frightened Eddie in his arms all night. He really would have to thank Bev, he would have never thought to put the boy in a flower crown.
The lavender had his brain fizzing, Richie couldn’t help but imagine one of those scenes in every cliche romance movie where they’re in bed and the suns shining down. Eddie beneath him and looking up with a bright smile and shining eyes. Hair tousled and wavy with petals surrounding him, his laughter a distant echo.
“So Eddie are you going to call that cute cashier that gave you his number?” Beverly spoke up, earning the attention of all the boys in the room and abruptly tearing the trashmouth from his thoughts.
“No, I um...I have my heart set on someone else,” Eddie admitted, feeling silly at his whole plan. He really just wanted Richie, did it really matter who initiated it?
“Anyone we know?” Stan finally spoke up.
“Yeah does Eddie have a secret boy toy?” Richie finally cut in, the waver in his words absent to the untrained ear but Eddie heard it as clear as day. It was all he needed to act, Stan had been right. Richie liked him too.
Eddie didn’t waste another second in grabbing the taller boy and pulling his head down into a kiss as he rose on his toes.
Cheers erupted from the other losers, Richie absolutely frozen until his arms snapped around the smaller boys waist, lifting him fully off the floor, kissing back with such fervor Eddie nearly went for his inhaler.
“You took too long,” Eddie gasped when he was set back down, lips swollen into a gentle pout.
“Sorry spaghetti, I’ll make it up to you,” Richie floundered, his glasses askew.
“C-congrats,” Bill spoke up.
“It's about time,” Stan harrumphed. The seven of them giggling madly at his grumpiness.
“Maybe we should start the movies,” Mike broke through his laughter. Both Eddie and Richie made themselves comfortable on one of the many mattresses. Every scare on the screen sending the pastel teen further into Richie’s arms.
Eddie couldn’t wait for Richie to see his pajamas.