I think I got It!
The words seemed to echo as Richie blinked up at Eddie, dazed from coming out of the deadlights. Then there was an awful squelching noise as Eddie was impaled. Time seemed to still as the shock, pain and horror crossed Eddie's face.
Honey, he's dead.
Richie was struggling, screaming himself hoarse as he called out to Eddie, trying to fight against his friends to go back to him. He couldn't leave him here even if he was….
Richie, honey he's dead.
He didn't belong down here.
"He's not waking up!" Eddie's voice was panicked. He was kneeling over him, his hand gently resting on Richie's cheek. He’d tried everything from shaking him to slapping him in the face, and nothing.
"Is he…" Ben swallowed.
"No! He’s fucking alive and we aren't leaving his ass!" Eddie shook Richie hard again, "Wake up asshole!"
"W-We ha-ave to go." Bill looked up at the collapsing cavern, "We don't have much time!"
Stan placed a hand on Eddie's shoulder, "We'll worry about waking him up when we get the hell out of here. Let's hope all that working out paid off, Ben." He offered Ben a light smile.
Beverly helped Eddie to his feet, "Hey, it's okay. He'll be okay."
Ben walked over and picked Richie up, throwing him over his shoulder with a light grunt before they started to run.
Eddie led the way. It was unspoken knowledge that he would be the best one to lead them all out of here without getting lost. Though if he kept looking back to make sure they hadn't dropped Richie, he might run right into something.
"Eddie, we've got him, go !" Mike yelled from beside Ben, the two now supporting Richie's limp body between them.
If Eddie were here...
They were in the quarry, washing off the blood and sewage. The five remaining losers. Stan… where was Stan?
Guess Stanley Could Not Cut It
That was right. He was dead too, he never even made it to Derry. Maybe Richie was losing his mind, he swore Stan came. And Eddie… Richie looked around at his friends, the empty spaces impossible for him to ignore. He took off his glasses, cleaning the blood- Eddie's blood - off of them. But he mostly couldn't handle seeing the lack of two of his friends. Losing Stan hurt more than Richie thought he could bare, but now he'd lost Eds too. He couldn't hold back the tears despite how hard he tried.
"I don't know if I can get up the well with him." Ben said breathlessly.
"Can you lift him up?" Eddie asked frantically.
"Not that high...and it's not like he's gonna reach up and grab someone's hand to help him up Eddie." Stan looked down the tunnel as the destruction headed their way.
"So we wake him up." Beverly said from above, having already climbed up.
"I've tried!" Eddie responded.
"Ben kissed me when I wouldn't wake up." Beverly pointed out.
Eddie looked at Richie, still being supported by Mike and Ben. He took a breath and stepped forward. He could try to pass this off on someone else, but Ben loved Beverly.. Maybe that was the only reason it worked. If nightmares exist, maybe there’s some truth to fairy tales too.
Richie probably shouldn't have gone through Eddie's things, he should have sent it all to Eddie's wife but… fuck her. It wasn't as if Eddie was using this jacket anymore… and if he had a problem with it he could fucking come back to life and bitch at Richie all he wanted… it would be music to Richie's ears. He went over the letters he carved into the bridge so many years ago with his pocket knife. Tears slipped down Richie's cheeks. He could finally accept who he was… but what did that matter when the only person he'd ever loved was dead?
Eddie took a slow breath. This better work. This had to work. He cupped Richie's cheek and pressed a soft kiss to his lips, pulling back to examine Richie's face.
After a moment, Richie's eyes opened as he took in a deep gasp of air, "Wh-What the fuck-"
Eddie quickly stepped back, moving away from Richie.
Ben grabbed Richie's arms and pulled him up, "No time, climb!"
Richie looked over at Eddie for a moment, "I need half a second, go shortshit." He wasn't sure if he this was reality or he lost his mind to the grief, either way he wasn't losing Eddie again.
Eddie had a similar train of thought, "You're the one that almost died you go!"
"Guys!" Bill shouted, "We don't have t-time, go!"
Richie wasn't budging.
Eddie sighed and grabbed the rope, "Fucking asshole." He began to climb.
They barely made it out before the Neibolt house crumbled to the ground. The seven of them stood in the street, gasping for breaths as they watched the house turn to rubble. Ben was holding Beverly close. On their right was Stan, feeling relieved as he watched the house crumble. Mike was beside him, watching with something like determination, not blinking a single time. Bill held the same expression as Mike, he looked like he was waiting for Pennywise to jump out from the rubble. Eddie seemed more interested in his shoes than anything, but he wasn't avoiding looking at the house. He was avoiding looking at Richie. Richie was still a little dazed from the deadlights, the scenes he saw in them playing over in head.
They were all silent as the rubble stilled, though the silence didn’t last long.
“All that interior decorating for nothing.” Richie joked tiredly, referencing his earlier joke. *I love what he’s done with the place.* It wasn’t particularly funny, but all the losers laughed, if only in relief. It was over.
The rest of the losers filled Richie in on what he missed while he was caught in the deadlights as they walked to the quarry.
“You’re telling me we could have ended this shit 27 years ago by bullying him to death!? What the fuck kind of bullshit is that?” Richie scoffed, “It sounds like one of Bill’s bullshit endings!”
Bill scowled, “At least none of us d-died.”
The image of Eddie’s dead body still clinging to Richie’s jacket hit Richie suddenly, and he fell a few steps behind.
“Rich?” Mike looked back to him, “You okay?”
“Peachy.” Richie forced a smile, “Just fuckin’ exhausted despite the nap.” He started walking again, “How the fuck’d you wake me up anyways?”
“You just woke up… He died, the connection must have died off once we got you further away.” Eddie spoke quickly, cutting Ben off.
For a second, Richie remembered feeling someone’s lips on his own. “Right… makes sense.” Eddie must have kissed him. That was how Ben woke up Beverly. It didn’t mean anything, obviously it was just a desperate attempt. Eddie didn’t want him to know… so he’d pretend he didn’t. It hadn’t meant anything. Not to Eddie at least. Hopefully Eddie didn't think too hard about why it did work. Beverly might have been mostly hooked on Bill at that point, but she had feelings for Ben back then too. If nothing else Ben had certainly loved her. Maybe only one person had to love the other for it to work. Or maybe any of the losers could have kissed them both and it would have worked. Who fuckin’ knew? “Sorry for being no fucking help.”
One day Stan’s eyes might get stuck rolling them so much at these two idiots. But he couldn’t force them to confront their feelings, as agonizing as it was to be in their presence sometimes. He looked over at Mike and shook his head, showing his annoyance with the two of them, “So now that you don’t have to be the Guardian of Derry.. Florida?” He smiled.
Mike grinned a little, knowingly. He then nodded with a bright smile, “I might start packing up tonight… or I’ll sleep for three days first. I’ll have to resign and get things taken care of here but… I’m ready to leave Derry and never come back.”
“I’ll fucking drink to that.” Richie muttered, “Or drink to anything- honestly step one for me is getting super fucked up.”
Beverly looked over to him and let go of Ben’s hand, walking over to loop her arm with Richie’s. She pressed a kiss to his cheek and didn’t ask or comment on it. She understood. She was afraid she might even know what Richie had seen in the deadlights. He gave her a small, saddened but grateful smile.
“What about you, Eddie Spaghetti? Gonna rush home to your wife?” He hated the bitter feeling that gave him. He could probably handle it if Eddie was happy with his wife. If you love someone, you want them to be happy, right? But he wasn’t. It was pretty clear he was miserable with her. Richie couldn’t point that out though, he might seem jealous. He was, but that wasn’t the point. “Get back to the thrilling world of analyzing risks?”
“Why are you giving me so much shit? Stanley’s a fucking accountant !” Eddie huffed.
“Hey!” Stan looked over at him.
“Picking on Stan isn’t as fun Eds. Plus his job, while dull as fuck isn’t likely to make him afraid of every goddamn thing in the universe! You’re just feeding your fuckin’ anxiety. Maybe you should look into accounting or something.” And a divorce from the wife it seems to physically pain you to mention.
Eddie hated it, but Richie had a point. A good point. Fuck. “Yeah? What about you, asshole? Gonna keep using other people’s material for your standup? Which- by the way? Why? You could do way better yourself.”
Richie pushed up his glasses and shrugged, “You say that but you never found me funny, Eds. None of you did.” He shrugged, not wanting to dig too deep into it.
“Y-You’re actually pretty funny Rich… when you aren’t trying too hard.” Bill piped up.
“Thank you!” Eddie huffed, “And all of your act seems like someone trying way too hard.”
“Do you hate-watch me or something?” Richie teased.
Eddie rolled his eyes, “No I just… watched a few because there was something weirdly familiar about you and I didn’t know why… I did know that your jokes sucked though.”
Bev let go of Richie’s arm and climbed over the fence blocking off the cliff, “I felt that way too… with that and seeing Bill’s books. I didn’t understand it, and sometimes I’d feel like I was so close to knowing why you seemed familiar.. And then it was just gone.”
Richie nodded and looked over to Bill, “Yeah… I understand that.” He climbed over, “Fuck was it this high up when we were kids?”
Eddie climbed over as well and frowned, “You know, I think that sign is there for a reason jumping over like this could kill us.”
Bev grinned and nudged Richie, “Not scared are you?”
Richie huffed, “Not a bit. Race ya!” He and Bev took off in a run to the edge, both jumping into the water.
As the rest of the Losers jumped in, Eddie sighed, “Fuck.” and started running to the edge as well.