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Mint and Honey

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1989

"Oh my fucking god. Oh my god. Ohmygod. Shit. Richie wait. This is a bad idea. Push it back in. No don't- ah. Fuck ow. Stop. Stop. Richie, I swear to god." Eddie panted anxiously, his words coming out way too fast as he looked at Richie's pink cheeks and wide eyes. It was dark and secluded around them despite the fact that they were outside. Eddie looked up at Richie's face in the shadowy darkness and natural light and tried to focus on Richie's face rather than the agony that radiated from the emptiness that he felt in his body that he hadn't felt in a long time.

"Eds, I- I can't just push it back in." Richie whispered as he watched a flash of pain run over Eddie's face, "It hurts."

"I don't fucking care." Eddie snapped, "If my mom sees me like this, she will fucking kill me. I can't go home like this Richie. Push it back in a couple times."

Richie nodded, his pouted lips parted as he drew even closer to Eddie than he had been. Eddie trembled as his best friend moved closer but didn't make a move to stop him.

"Wait no." Eddie screwed his eyes shut, "No. Bad idea. I change my mind. I can't do this. It hurts too much."

"For God's sake, Eddie." Richie groaned impatiently, "It's gonna hurt either way. Whether I do it or someone else does it."

"That's unhelpful." Eddie narrowed his eyes up at Richie, "Why did you have to say that?"

"Because it's true." Richie shrugged a little, "Think about it. Get it over and done with with someone who's done it before."

"I- I- Fine." Eddie groaned and then looked at Richie with wide for eyes, "Please be gentle. Last time you did this, it hurt so bad."

"Last time I didn't have any experience." Richie countered as he took Eddie's arm in his own and stepped back, guiding Eddie's arm to place the smaller boy's hand on his chest.

Eddie's lip began to tremble as the pain shot through him again.

"I'm gonna push on 'three' okay?" Richie whispered to Eddie but the latter just nodded vigorously and tried not to think about the invasive pain.

Richie reached out and put Eddie against the wall. Eddie gasped as his back hit the wooden wall behind him.

Richie swallowed hard and pushed his glasses back up on his nose before he took Eddie's arm at the elbow and wrist and pulled gently, aligning the dislocated limb with the shoulder socket.

Eddie cried out wordlessly, mouth dropping open with sheer agony as Richie continued to push. Richie grunted, planting his feet as he pushed even harder to try and pop Eddie's arm back into place. There was an eventual pop of bone in cartilage and the sharp electrical numbness radiated down Eddie's left arm that seemed to stay there.

The tears ran down his flushed cheeks and he cradled his arm to his chest when Richie let go.

"Better?" Richie asked softly and Eddie nodded, wiping a stray tear, "Good job, Eds."

"Shut up, you know I hate that." Eddie replied with a grunt as Richie put an arm around his recently-beat-up best friend.

"Whatever you say, Eddie Spaghetti." Richie smiled as they walked through the rest of the way of the sheltered kissing bridge towards the Barrens.

"Let's go. Before Huggins tries to find me again." Eddie looked behind them for any signs of the large bully or the Trans Am that he feared more than the Chariot of Death. Although, to Eddie, those two things were one in the same.

"Yeah. Big Bill is gonna blow his lid when he sees what happened to you." Richie's voice was gravely at the mention of the Alpha.

"Is he gonna be mad at me?" Eddie asked and watched Richie practically freeze up at the idea.

"Of course not, Eds. The man's no' a reprobate," Richie put on the best accent he could muster as he helped Eddie over the edge of the bridge carefully.

"Hey, that one was pretty good." Eddie commented as he climbed over the wooden fencing and steadied himself over the wet leaves and mulch of the rolling hills that cascaded down.

"Thanks, Eds." Richie helped Eddie down the hill carefully.

"My arm really hurts." Eddie whined unhappily and Richie looked down at Eddie's previously dislocated arm.

"Here." Richie sighed as he took off his backpack and set it at his feet. He removed his favorite button-up, the white one with the blue flowers, and turned to Eddie in just his Freese's t-shirt and his shorts.

Eddie frowned, his lips parted with a puzzled shift to his eyebrows. Richie lay Eddie's arm in the back of the shirt and pushed it gently against Eddie's chest before he tied the rest of it behind his neck in a makeshift sling.

"Oh." Eddie sighed, his entire body radiating relief.

"C'mon." Richie put a hand on Eddie to guide him to the Barrens, "I don't wanna keep them waiting. They're gonna shit when they see you anyway."

"Beep beep, Richie."