August in New York was something beautiful. Unmatched by anything Beverly had seen before in any other state. Maine, California, even Illinois had nothing on fall in New York. Looking out the big bay window of their 7 bedroom house, she smiled.
"Why can't we have a fall wedding? Just push everything back a few months, and do it outside under the tree's with the different colored leaves everywhere?"
"Because, we've already set the date, and paid a lot of money to have it in May." Ben said coming over with a cup of coffee for both of them in his hands. They sat at the bar in the kitchen and chatted, what they were doing at work, what Bev's aunt was doing with her dogs this weekend, nothing huge. It was about the time they were getting ready to put their empty mugs in the sink and get ready for the day when Bill came down the stairs. He mumbled a good morning and made his way to the coffee as they smiled big at him.
"Yeah, Bill, congrats, we heard about the big movie deal!" Beverly got up and went over hugging him and kissing him with a smile.
"Don't do that, I'm still all sleepy." He swatted her away, both knowing he didn't really care.
"But this is really cool Bill, really, we're sorry we couldn't be here last night when you got back, the trip back took longer than we expected." Ben sighed, looking at Beverly with an eyebrow raised.
"Whatever, we're here now, and Eddie should be back tonight too, so we can all have dinner tonight." Beverly nodded and made the plan in her head right as Stan walked in.
"Good morning." He walked right over to the coffee maker, finishing off the pot and cleaning it out so it would be ready for next time.
"Morning Stan." The three of them repeated as Bill sat down at the bar and Ben started getting his bag packed.
"Don't forget we have that dinner at my office next week Bill." Stan looked up at the man as he spoke. Bill's hair was messed up and he had a few different cowlicks sticking up in different places, his shirt was to big for him...probably because it was Mike's shirt. He smiled.
"And you have a dentist appointment coming up in a couple week's Bev." He closed the refrigerator as he started putting together his lunch, packing it neatly into the glass container.
"Ugh, I don't want to go." She whined and banged her head down on the counter.
"Oh, don't do that, no, no, no, you're much too pretty for that." Mike said coming in from the back door, stopping by the counter to kiss Stan, working over through Bill to get to Beverly. He came up to her and hugged her, kissing her temple.
"Morning Mike." Ben came up behind them and gave him a side hug on the way to the kitchen. Putting his mug in the sink he wished everyone a good day and he headed towards the door.
"See you tonight Richie, have a good day, be funny!" Ben called at the figure still at the top of the stairs as he closed the door behind him.
"How is everyone doing?" Richie said walking into the kitchen, kissing Beverly good morning, he purposely walked past Mike and Bill who just rolled their eyes. When he got to Stan he held his hand out and Stan gave him the last bit of coffee. They had a system. Stan was the only one that liked coffee how Richie did, and he never finished a full cup before it was time to go, so Richie finished the cup off, never having time himself to finish a whole cup either.
"No one made lunch?" He pouted noticing his usual lunch container still on the drying rack.
"Rich you're 28 years old...you can make your own lunch." Bev said and got up, putting her mug in the sink and started gathering her things.
"Richie is not capable of making anything food related except that damn pasta dish." Stan said, as he grabbed his lunch and left to get his own things ready.
"He loves my vodka rigatoni…" Richie said looking to Mike with a confused expression. Mike walked over and grabbed his wrist pulling him in close.
"Would you like me to make you something for lunch?"
"You did yoga this morning. You stink. I love it." Richie did a dramatic wink. Kissing him finally, he then moved out of his grasp, and called over his shoulder that he would be back with Eddie later tonight. Bill followed him out of the kitchen to get ready.
Mike waved above his head, not bothering to look behind him, they were all gone, or about to be. He just started out on the few dishes in the sink, putting them in the dishwasher before heading to the bathroom to get ready to leave for his own job.
When Richie got out of the cab he looked up at the huge building and smiled. He still couldn't believe he had made it here sometimes. Walking into the 30 Rock building was exhilarating every time. He put his pass up to the scanner and got in the elevator.
"Hey Richie!" "Trashmouth, what's up?" "Morning Rich." There was a chorus of hellos and good mornings. His coworkers were some of the best around. They were funny and smart, and talented! He couldn't understand how he had gotten so lucky.
When he finally got to his desk he started going over his material, preparing for the meeting they had today. He hadn't been working for more than an hour when Susannah came up to his desk.
"Hey Richie, you're being summoned for a meeting." She smiled and giggled as he cracked some jokes with her. He started gathering his stuff and she shook her head.
"No not for the staff meeting later, that's at 1 remember? This is a private meeting with John and Brian." She said and then turned and headed back to her own desk. A private meeting? Richie felt sick suddenly. This was it. He had used up all his jokes and good luck, they would fire him, tell him he would never make it big. Kick him out, tell everyone how much he sucked.
Before he realized he was at the door. He didn't remember getting here. Knocking right below the name he was granted permission and he took one last look at the door.
"Brian Reynolds" was the manager for all of the c and b list comedians and writers the show used. Sitting across from him in one of the big brown leather chairs was John Mulany. Richie had loved working with him, their styles worked well together. Their characters they created were known as some of the fan favorites. They were a great team, and to know that John would be part of this meeting hurt, a lot.
"Hey Richie, come on in. You're not in trouble, so you can relax." Brian spoke up sensing his uneasiness.
"I asked Brian to be here because he is your manager, and I don't want anything to be done under the table." John started talking.
"I am going on tour again. Not for another year, maybe two, but I want to ask you to come with me, as my opening act." John said smiling big. Richie did a double take. He wasn't getting fired? He was...being asked to go on tour. On a real comedy tour, with a real comedian. A comedian he loved and found hilarious.
"Uh, that sounds...I mean, how? Like what does that, like how would that, what?" He was tripping over his words and the two older men laughed.
"That's usually the response he gets." Brian nodded towards John who just rolled his eyes.
"There are some things to work out of course, but if you want it then we need to start making arrangements now, and your job here will be secured while you're out on tour." Brian added, answering some of the questions Richie had partially asked. He just nodded along to what they were saying, listening and trying his best to maintain himself instead of jumping up and down.
"This all sounds...amazing, thank you John, and Brian, it means a lot that this is okay with you, I, yes, thank you." Richie finally added as they all stood up, meeting over.
John made a joke that Richie played off of, and they all left the office laughing.
"One more thing, try to keep this quiet, we don't want it getting out until we actually release the tour information to the public." John mentioned and clapped his hands, heading off back to his office. Richie walked back to his desk in a daze, sitting in his chair it might as well have been cloud nine.
Across town Bill was just starting his meeting. The first meeting of the directors and producers of his movie. They were talking about the general plan, starting everything up. How it was going to work, who they were thinking of, who they wanted, and a general big picture.
Bill was shocked at how many people were involved in this meeting. He knew there were hundreds of people that helped with the real movies, but it was crazy seeing how many people were involved in this particular meeting. Bill shook so many hands. There was the director, producer, assistant director, artistic director, casting director, all of their assistants, and quite a few other people Bill didn't know the title of.
When the meeting got started someone came around and handed out a small packet of information they were going to go over. Names, deadlines, bigger money figures than Bill had ever worked with before.
It was like a dream. Here he was, about to be the writer behind the next big movie.
Almost as quickly as the meeting had started Bill realized this was nothing like he had expected the meeting to go. People were talking over him, not acknowledging him, and basically figuring out how to change the story. By the time they broke for lunch Bill's dream meeting had turned into a nightmare.
A couple blocks to the south Ben was just about finishing up lunch. He was sitting in the break room, looking on his phone at different flower arrangements.
"I would go with the shorter ones. It let's people still be able to see each other, and is still pretty and elegant." His coworker Elizabeth came up behind him, startling him.
"Jeez Beth, way to give me a heart attack… Really, you liked the shorter ones better? I liked the taller ones.." He said flipping back to the arrangement he had seen previously.
"Yes, also I think the shorter ones are cheaper, generally speaking." She got her lunch out of the fridge and set it in the microwave.
"Oh, well Mike is going to do our flowers, so no matter what we go with we will get a discount."
"Oh how is Mike?"
"He's good, he finally found a home for the last of the kittens we found. Eddie was insistent we keep it, but Bill is allergic, so…"
"Can I ask you something?" He nodded at her question. "When are you and Beverly going to move out into your own home? I mean, you two are about to be married, you're both coming up on what 28? 29? And you still live in a college party house. I mean it's a nice place, but you've been there with all of those other guys for years now."
Ben hated this talk. He had had it with his father, the others parents, his cousin, his boss, and various other friends over the years. He knew they meant well, and it wasn't their fault. They weren't public about their relationship. People barely accepted or understood a three person poly relationship. But a seven person relationship? There was no way. He cringed thinking about some of the awful things they had been called over the years when different people had found out.
"I'm not sure, I mean we're comfortable there." He said getting up and throwing his trash away before returning to his desk. He had a meeting with a client in an hour, and then a deadline he had to meet before he went home that day. He was leading the project, and everyone had done their part and turned in their assignments, but he now had to go over them all, make final adjustments, and polish everything up. Nothing he couldn't handle, he was great at his job, and he loved it, so he knew time would fly by.
The idea of time flying when you're having fun is how Mike ran his shop. He owned a not so small, neighborhood flower nursery. And to those who knew, he was also a safe option to drop off stray animals if they couldn't go to a shelter.
"Mike, where do you want this order for the Dawson wedding?" Charlie called from the back of the shop.
" Uh, just put it in the back of the van, I have to drive them by tonight after I get off." He answered as he turned back to the man who was wanting to get something for an anniversary.
"Sorry, anyway, I think these are going to be your best option, they are a nice price, and we can wrap them in the blue color you're wanting to add." He finished ringing the guy up and had just sat down, trying to look up the address of this wedding venue when a woman came in in a frenzy, holding a blanket close to her. Mike and Charlie both looked at each other.
"Ma'am can I help you?" Mike said walking around the counter, giving her a big and reassuring smile.
"Are you Mike? My friend Kathy said you helped her when she came in with some puppies she found in an alley. Well, they aren't exactly puppies, but I could let them stay out in that trash can." She gently lowered the blanket, and lifted the top fold back to reveal a bundle of very young baby bunnies.
"Oh my god!" Charlie immediately had big eyes and was reaching in to pet one.
"Wait, we can't touch them yet, they need to stay together, not be scared, and they need to be much warmer than this. Charlie will you go get the heating pad and blankets we have in the back." Mike started speaking clearly, showing off the years of experience he had.
He took the blanket from her, explained that they were going to get the babies stable, and she could come back for her blanket in about a week. She nodded and was hesitant to leave, but he assured her they would be taken care of as best he could.
Sighing when she finally left he picked up to call his only other employee, who was supposed to be off today to see if he could run the flowers to the wedding venue.
"Marsh Studio, this is Carolyn speaking how can I help you?" The girl answered the same question they always got. Yes they did alterations, no they weren't related to the Carl Marsh brand, and they were open until six p.m. Monday through Friday.
"Beverly, this woman would like to know if we have any leggings? Are you wanting to put the winter leggings out for sale yet?" The girl asked, holding the phone away from her face.
"Let me talk to her." Beverly said, getting up from her desk, she worked her way through her small studio and store, and taking the phone. By the time she got off the woman had ordered two pairs of their leggings, a new athletic hoodie, and a few of their custom shirts. She was great at what she did, and she loved it.
"You are great at that." Carolyn said smiling as she walked over and leaned against Beverly's desk.
"Are you working on a new design?" She said looking at the sketch book Beverly had half covered up. She never hid things, so she didn't hesitate to pull the notebook out and she squealed.
"You're going to start making wedding dresses?" The girl was so excited and Beverly sighed, smiling.
"I don't know...I know I'm making mine." She sat down and started going over the design aspects of the dress as she smiled big.
"Oh it is going to be just beautiful Beverly...but what are the boy showing to wear?" Carolyn was one of the people invited to the wedding, she had been a friend of Beverly's through school, and when she finally opened up her own shop Carolyn was right there ready to work. She also had a few online shops she managed, so it was a good fit for both of them.
Carolyn had been one of the first girls Beverly had ever told about her poly relationship. She was understanding. And not judgemental at all.
Beverly was happy to take a break and gush over the wedding plans. The boys were all going to wear tailored tuxedos, all different colored tie's that fit with their color scheme. The ribbon that held her corset together would include all the colors. The ceremony would be private, intament service. They would do their vows, her and Ben, and then the seven of them would do their commitment ceremony, do the tying of their hands, finish with the rings and then it would be done!
"Oh Beverly that sounds beautiful, I can't wait. You and the boys are going to look so good!" She went back to her desk as the phone rang again and they got back to work.
It was now a little after 5 now, and Stan sat at his desk, still working on a file. His phone rang and he sighed, picking it up.
"Where is he?" Eddie asked annoyed.
"Ugh, you weren't supposed to be there yet, did you get an earlier flight?"
"Yes, and I texted him, told him I would be here by 5:15, it's 5:18 and he won't answer my calls." Eddie huffed, sitting down with his bag in front of him.
"Then he's probably on his way Eds. I'll text him now."
"Okay, why are you still at work? Are you going to be home tonight?"
"Yes I'll be leaving shortly, I'll beat you guys home. Don't worry. Let me go so I can text him." Stan said goodbye, and pulled his phone out of his drawer and sent a text to Richie to check if he was on the way. He was. He finished up some notes he had to copy, and then closed his desk down for the day, cleaning off the top, it looked spotless.
At the airport Richie was frantically walking through baggage trying to find Eddie's plane.
"Are you Richie Tozier?" A smaller teenage boy asked, stopping in front of him.
"Uh, yeah I am." He said looking around and then remembering what his agent said. He smiled down at the kid and asked if he wanted a picture. Then as soon as one picture was taken there were three more people wanting pictures, requests for autographs, and while it wasn't a huge crowd, it was enough for Eddie to follow the commotion.
"Eds! My love, my star, my sun and moon, how was your flight?" He said pulling Eddie in for a hug, kissing his forehead. The people around them all seemed pleased with the show of affection.
"It was fine, you're late." He said under his breath.
They finally started making their way out to the cars when there were actual paparazzi there taking pictures of Richie laughing with Eddie, holding him close, kissing his neck, and finally when they realized they were there they got polite smiling pictures until they got in their car and headed home.
"I don't know how you handle being famous."
"I'm not like super famous, I just have a cute boyfriend that everyone likes." Richie smiled pulling Eddie close kissing him again.
"Come on, get off Rich, I'm all airport-y. Just wait till we get home." He said putting a hand on his chest, and then answering a text from Stan saying they were on their way home.
By the time they got home everyone else was already home. When they came in they saw Bill on the couch holding a bottle of tequila, and the other losers spread out throughout the kitchen and living room. They listened to everyone's days, helped Bill let go of his death grip on the bottle and find out what was wrong. They listened to Eddie talk about the horribly small town he had been sent too, and Richie explained that sometime in the somewhat near future he might be going on tour with John.
Overall the night was easy, and once they were all back together they enjoyed talking and laughing with and at each other. Bev sat with Richie, and Stan had his head in Mike's lap as they all hung out for the first time in the last week and a half. It was peaceful being all together. They felt safe, and complete.
It was a few days away from Thanksgiving when Stan walked downstairs to find all but Richie downstairs drinking coffee at various stages of ready for work.
"I just don't understand why they had to change his hair color. A blond? Does he seem like a blond?" Bill was talking about the newest change they had made to the movie.
"Would you rather keep his brown hair, or her height?" Ben asked having remembered last week when they made the female lead shorter than the main character instead of an equal height.
"Why can't I keep my movie they way I wrote it? All of it!" Bill groaned and let his head fall to the counter. Mike rubbed his back trying to comfort him.
"What are you guys doing today?" Stan asked as he made his own cup of coffee.
"I have to go in and work on a new ending, but nothing major, why?" He said looking up.
"Why don't I take a long lunch and come and have lunch with you, we can go to that little cafe you like down the street from your studio." Stan knew how much the changing of his movie was hurting Bill, and they had a bit of money because neither of them were flying home for the upcoming holiday.
"Aw, look at that, what a sweet boy Stan!" Beverly smirked as she put her mug in the sink, hugging Stan on her way by and she headed upstairs to get ready.
"Mike you've closed up shop for walk ins right? Why don't you go with." Ben suggested as he cleaned his mug out.
"I would but Mr. Clayton is coming in to pick up her Thanksgiving sets today right at lunch." He shrugged. Part of the upside of being closed to the public after the second week of November was that he could make his own schedule basically, and he was the only worker, so he didn't have any extra costs, the only downside was that he was still open at all.
"Maybe another day." Mike says kissing Bill's temple as he went to start making a lunch next to where Stan stood.
"At least you can all come home to your own beds after hating your job. I hate that I travel so much, I never get to see anyone anymore. It’s not as satisfying coming back to an empty hotel room and ranting about your day.” Eddie said, finally putting down his work phone. He was checking into his flight he left for later that afternoon after finishing up some paperwork at the main office.
“Aw, must suck getting to travel all over the place, staying in nice hotels, making lots of money. Who would ever want to do that?” Mike gave him a look and they all laughed while he glared at his boyfriend.
“They’re not fancy hotels, and it’s not nearly as much money as I should be making. They ought to be paying me double what I make now for all that I do for them.” He said walking off, to go finish packing. As he got to the top of the stairs he kissed Richie on the cheek, with a promise to text him.
“Aw, did I miss Bev?” Richie said as he walked into the kitchen immediately going over to Stan and taking the half empty mug.
“Everyone has already had their coffee and is almost ready to leave Rich.” Stan said putting the last of the food away as he cleared breakfast dishes.
“I’m almost ready to leave.” He said matter of factly, despite being seemingly unable to find his right shoe. Both Mike and Bill looked down at his foot for emphasis.
“It’s this pair I swear!” He said moving around the house looking for the damn thing.
“I’m out! Bye everyone!” Ben said as he shut the front door behind him. Stan rolled his eyes as Richie called out in excitement for finding what he needed. Bill laughed and took the lunch bag from Mike and took it to the living room for Richie.
“Here, Mike made you lunch.” He said holding the bag out. Richie took it and tilted his head giving Bill a sweet smile.
“Well, tell Mike thank you, and give him this for me.” He leaned in and kissed Bill deeply, smacking his ass before he pulled away, grabbing his jacket and keys from the entryway and making a general goodbye noise, out of the house in a flash.
“Mike where is that blue silk tie at?” Eddie called down the stairs.
“It’s under the foot of Stan’s bed.” Beverly whispered in Eddie’s ear as she headed down the stairs saying goodbye to everyone on her way out.
“Oh my god guys, that’s a work tie!” He huffed. Mike blushed and Stan smirked as he grabbed his bag and turned talking to Bill as he walked towards the door.
“One th irty? I’ll catch a cab and we can walk to the cafe? Don’t be late!” Stan chided as he pulled on his jacket and hat and scarf and gloves and headed out. Bundled up more than any of the others, he still managed to look slender and fashionable. Beverly often told him how much models would kill to look good in winter gear and actually remain warm.
By the time one fifteen came around Stan was texting Bill, saying he was pulling into the studio now, waiting at the front gate for him. The day had been relatively boring, most of his assignments were for young adults trying to figure out payment plans for school loans, and Stan could do that in his sleep. When Bill pulled up on the little golf cart they drove around the studio they both thanked the worker for delivering him safely. They chit chatted as they walked to the nearby restaurant. It had warmed up a bit, and Stan left his gloves in his pockets as he held hands with Bill as they walked.
“Good afternoon Bill, Stan, would you two like your usual patio table? I believe it was just reset.” Their usual hostess asked as she grabbed two menus. They nodded and she showed them the way to the table they always sat at. It was outside, but the giant space heaters they had kept everything warm enough that they could sit comfortably as they ate, and enjoy the natural light.
“Jack will be out soon to take your order.” She said and returned to her podium as they started to complain about the lack of progress Bill was making on the new ending they were insisting on. It wasn’t very long before there was a man with a camera outside the gate of the patio, calling for Bill to give him information on the potential casting choices. As if he had any say in that. As soon as he started the manager came over, claiming the man had to leave, and as they argued over whether it was legal for him to be there or not the hostess came back over and asked if they wanted to be moved inside. Stan and he both agreed that they would be fine, really, they could ignore an obnoxious asshole. They had plenty of practice.
“Do you think they have any idea that you sleep next to “ best new designer Beverly Marsh!” last night?” Stan laughed as they checked the menu. After ordering Bill thought about it.
“I don’t know, I think if it weren’t for Eddie they would have already claimed Rich and Bev were sleeping together after getting pictures of them at that Halloween party at that club.”
“I think if it weren’t for Eddie they would be saying he’s getting it on with John. Especially after they got pictures of him and John at the bar the other night.” Stan raised his eyebrows and Bill just glared at him. He was not happy that night. Too much attention being given to someone else.
They kept talking, discussing the rest of their days, and talking about possible dinner plans. It was a peaceful lunch, definitely one that got Bill’s mind off of his work. When they got back to the studio and were kissing goodbye there were more than one camera going off getting the cute sight on film.
After the holidays were over it seemed like they hadn’t even gotten a break before Valentine's day was here, demanding their time and money. The agreed not to do gifts, seeing that the wedding was fast approaching, but they did want to celebrate so they were headed out to dinner.
Bill had made the reservation back in January, knowing exactly where he wanted to take everyone. They all loved the food, but the place itself was Mike’s favorite. It was an upscale farmhouse looking place, with rustic decor it still stood as an expensive place. Perfect.
The paperazzi was already on the street trying to get pictures of another celebrity couple at the same restaurant. Bill’s movie was generating lots of talk now that some teen heartthrob had been cast as the lead. Pulling up in two slick black town cars the losers slowly got out one by one.
As soon as Richie was spotted they were all over the group in a second. Richie had his hand at Eddie’s back, keeping him calm while they asked a million questions. All the different people talking and taking pictures made Eddie uncomfortable sometimes. Beverly was being accompanied by Ben, who looked especially dashing tonight. The press was interested to find out as much as they could about Ben, who was happy to just smile and let Beverly talk. Bill and Stan were also fighting off their own reporters who had taken a liking to Stan as much as Bill. They loved his dry humor, and fast wit. Especially when he made a comment defending Bill. But Mike was the star. Someone new. They had never seen Mike with any of them, at least not any of the famous three. They were all friends spending the romantic night together? Was Mike third wheeling with one of them? What was his story? What did he do?
Before Mike got a chance to respond they were ushered inside and to their table in the back of the second level of the restaurant. Far away from the stress of the paparazzi they all moved to sit together how they wanted. Beverly and Mike, Eddie and Stan, Richie, Ben, and Bill made seven. Biggest table at the restaurant they had a great night. Old wine, rich flavours, and great laughs, by the time they got up to leave the cameras were gone and they could all head home for a different kind of fun just meant for their eyes.
April Fools day had well past by the time Richie got around to remembering it at all. He was bummed, but there was no time to mourn. All of the losers were so stressed that any kind of prank, even a harmless one was bound to be disastrous. For as calm and collected Beverly had always been under pressure, wedding stress proved to be too much to handle, adding Beverly Marsh to the list of brides cracking under the weight of everything they had to do. She was snapping at her friends, arguing with her aunt, and crying over not getting the last bagel as of yesterday morning. She was doing a good job of balancing all of the constant calls from her family, friends, business partners, the regular work she had, and the making of her dress. However that meant like things like going swimming at the gym she did three times a week was getting maybe one day a week, if that, and any chores around the house were being ignored by her completely.
That would be no problem as easy for her one of her six roommates to pick up the slack if it weren’t for the fact that they were all part of the wedding/ceremony and all doing extra things at work and at home already. Poor Ben was just as stressed, trying to make sure that he was taking care of as many things having to do with the wedding as he could, while his work was trying to make sure they could squeeze as much work out of him as possible before he took off for 2 weeks for the wedding and honeymoon. They wanted his help on various different projects, wanting him to get all of his current projects to a trusted team member who could keep up the work while he was gone, and have him meet two different deadlines all in the next two weeks.
Ben wasn’t the only one working long hours at work though, both Stan and Eddie had taken on extra hours, to help cover the cost of the trip they would all be going on at the end of Ben and Beverly’s honeymoon and the lack of work for that long from all of them. Stan had been pulling almost 70 hour work weeks the last few weeks, and poor Eddie hadn’t been home in nearly a whole month, bouncing from one state to the next, taking on as many assignments as he could. He wasn’t scheduled to be back in town for another week and a half, which was not helping anyone’s stress levels. He would only have been back home for four days before the rehearsal dinner. Meaning that Beverly would only have three days to finish his alterations on his tuxedo before he had to wear it.
Mike was pulling a lot of extra weight around the house. He was making dinner for people to eat at all different hours of the night, packing lunches, making to-go coffee and breakfasts. Cleaning, and trying to make sure that people were not sleeping through their alarms he was so tired, but someone needed to keep everyone in line, and it was not going to be Bill. He was miserable at work, drinking at home, and doing all he could to keep going trying to make the best out of the situation he had. The writing he was doing on other projects had ceased altogether, and he and Richie were constantly at each other’s throats seeing as neither were really sleeping well. Things were getting rather hectic in the house, and the closer it got to May 11th the crazier things got.
When Richie woke up on Saturday the 11th he wanted to smile. He wanted to feel the warmth of his boyfriend next to him, and lazily get up and get ready for what was supposed to be the best and most important party they had been to yet. Instead he yawned, reached out to feel cold sheets and sighed sitting up. He hadn’t slept well. Tossing and turning all night as he usually did when he was nervous. Usually Eddie could help him wind down, but they had all decided to be more traditional for once in any of their lives, and spend the last little bit before the wedding separate. Beverly was with her aunt in a hotel room, Ben with his mother in her hotel, Mike in his yoga space next to the living room, richie upstairs, and Stan and Eddie were with two friends. Bill was upstairs a few rooms down from Richie, they were to leave at different times so they wouldn’t see each other.
Bill was the first at the venue. He looked great, and like shit. He was tired and overworked lately, and as excited as he was, he was still so nervous. His stomach was upset, and he was sure he wasn’t going to make it through the whole ceremony without throwing up. Talking to some guests, he casually made his way up to the altar. Shortly after Mike showed up, and then Eddie. Richie and Stan showed up together, having apparently thought about going to the same coffee shop on the way. The five of them were talking to themselves about nothing in particular when someone from behind them cleared their throat.
“How do I look?” Ben asked, doing a full spin for them.
“You look amazing Ben.” Stan stated simply. Richie however was taking a more old school approach.
“I don’t know who you are, but you better get out of here before my boyfriends see you.” He said moving his head to clearly check out his backside.
“Too late. We might have to cancel Beverly’s role in this whole ceremony, I think I want to be married to that.” Bill said just as bad as Richie. Mike smacked his arm playfully.
“You look great, but how do you feel?” Mike spoke up then, smirking. They could all tell there was a weird nervous energy around them.
“I think I’m ready to be married...and committed.” He added on at the end to make sure not to leave the boys out. Eddie smiled and like usual was complaining that the officiant should have been here by now, because Beverly should be here any minute.
As if on cue the man they had chosen to do the service came through the back door and smiled, shaking all of their hands. They had all already met, but now it was finally here, the day. Looking around the small room it was decorated beautifully. Mike’s flowers lined the few rows they had, they surrounded where they would be standing, and there were even more in the reception area. The guests they did have in the seats were all dressed up in their Sunday best. There were friends from school, work, Richie’s cousin from Indiana was there with his boyfriend. It was really lovely. Finally the small band they had started the procession and Beverly was walked down the aisle by her aunt, who looked lovely.
Beverly however took the group’s collective breath, and freeze. She was in the most beautiful dress any of them had ever seen, and knowing that it was handmade in her shop, by her was the most impressive. Her make up was minimal, and made her eyes pop. The delicate flower crown in her hair was just the accessory needed to pull the whole look together. As she walked she smiled at each of the boys, finally landing on Ben as she stood in the center of the six boys.
When the officiant began to speak the small crowd sat down and Beverly stood center stage, with Ben to her right, followed by Stan and Mike. To her left was Bill followed by Richie and then Eddie. The man said a few words about love, and how he had never met a more loving and well rounded family. Beverly got the microphone then, for her vows. She brought up the first time she met Ben, what he was listening to, which got a chuckle from the audience. She explained how over the years Ben, and the other boys had become the most important people to her, and the people that showed her that she was a whole and complete person, deserving of love, respect, and happiness. Her and Richie were in tears when she finished. When it was Ben’s turn he cleared his throat and looked around, finally landing on Beverly.
“Beverly showed me what it meant to love someone. Richie taught me how to laugh. Eddie, you taught me how to take care of myself. Stan, you helped me how to balance my busy schedule. Mike helped me to relax despite my busy schedule. And Bill you continue to inspire me to shoot for the stars every day. So here I am. Shooting for the brightest star I’ve ever laid my eyes on. Beverly you are so brilliant, so funny, drop dead beautiful, and I am so lucky to have met you, and if I spend the rest of my days getting to tell you, and the other five, how much I love you then I will have had a life worth living. Boys, I love you all, but Beverly...Beverly Anne Marsh, I am so deeply in love with you, and I always will be.” He finished off and the whole room took in a shaky breath. They thought Richie was crying before.
After the vows they stood in a circle, joined at the hands while the officiant tied their hands together with a silk ribbon. They did their commitment ceremony, Beverly and Ben exchanged rings, and they finished it off with a kiss. First with each other, and then a few rounds of kisses and hugs to all the others. As they walked down the aisle together they smiled and waved at their friends and some family. They piled into the giant limo they had rented to transport them all to the reception. As soon as everyone was inside they all started giggling, and kissing, and talking very loudly all at once. Any trace of nerves, or bad energy was long gone, replaced with a lively, fun, and chaotic energy they all shared.
They had a little while before they actually went out to the venue where guests were starting to arrive. They opened and killed a bottle of champagne by themselves. By the time it was time for them to go out they were all on their second or third glass of the night. The reception was a beautiful rooftop lounge. The weather was perfect, the sunset was gorgeous, and the fairy lights and flower arrangements everywhere did its job to make the space seem less like a club area, and more like a wedding reception. There was a DJ, an open bar, and the wedding cake in the corner of the space.
After an appropriate amount of mingling and saying hello, it was time for dinner. A light, but delicious option of either salmon or chicken next to perfectly grilled vegetables and scalloped potatoes filled the tables and plenty more drinks were brought around. As dinner was being cleared away the DJ took it upon himself to get the party started. Playing all of their favorite songs. Ones that reminded them of them of each of the Losers, ones that different couples claimed as ‘their’ song, stuff to make the whole crowd jump up, and ones that everyone just had to belt out.
The night went off without a hitch. People laughed, and sang, dancing without a care in the world, and keeping her promise to herself Beverly did get a chance to eat a decent amount of her dinner. Everything had gone smoothly, and it was one of the best nights they had had in a long time. The reception technically ended fifteen minutes ago, but the band and the group had rented out the space for another hour and a half, knowing they would run a little long.
Eddie was dancing with Mike to a beautiful song about angels. Beverly was yelling at Stan over something he had said, both of them deciding to end the argument with a shot. Richie was looking for Ben, unable to have danced with him earlier, only to find him having the last slow dance with his mother. It was a sweet sight, but with his target already dancing he wasn’t sure what to do, he was about to go bother Eddie and Mike when he noticed Bill, nursing a beer, he looked quite sad.
“You know this is supposed to be a happy occasion.” Richie said standing next to Bill. They had both lost their jackets a while ago, but Bill looked much more put together, typically disheveled, but the tie was still around his neck, and his shirt was still tucked in. Richie had thrown his tie in with Beverly’s heels as soon as they hit the dance floor hours ago. His shirt had not only come up and out of his pants, but also undone, revealing his white undershirt. He still looked gorgeous though Bill noted.
“I am happy, I just, ya know it’s hard with the job sucking and all to know that as soon as the party is over we have to all go back to real life.” He finished off his beer and Richie sighed.
“Alright, let’s go.” Richie held out his hand. Bill hesitantly took it, but was quickly whisked away onto the floor. There were only a few other couples dancing now. The song almost over. They pulled each other close, foreheads resting together as they moved elegantly. When the words faded away and the band started putting their instruments away Bill and Richie just stayed there swaying with each other. Slowly the other five found themselves watching the two dance, touched by how much love they all shared. Finally when the lack of music caught up with the two they looked up surprised to find the last remaining people staring at them. They laughed and Richie leaned in kissing Bill deeply. It was a passionate kiss, one that was long over due. With as much as Richie and Bill were working they had seemingly forgotten about how much they cared about each other. Finally they pulled away and started clearing things away like everyone else.
On their way home Beverly was singing along with the radio, drunk and happy. Stan was sleeping against Bill’s shoulder and the rest were talking about their options. When they got home they all said goodnight to Beverly and Ben who made their way to the room upstairs that they had all worked on making into a sweet (and spicy) “honeymoon” room. Once the door was shut the cards came out. Starting up their semi-traditional game of strip poker after a big party they all kept playing until someone was totally naked. Finally around 4 am Stan was already asleep on the couch, Mike had been naked for a while now, covered by one of the blankets on the couch, they were all just talking, finally splitting off into two groups. Those who wanted to sleep, and those who wanted to play something a little more grown up.
The next morning was a quiet one. Beverly was the first one up, making coffee she jumped in the shower quickly and wrapped herself up in her favorite giant robe. Ben joined her in the living room where they did their best to not wake up Stan, who was still lying on the couch, if only just barely. Rich was the next one down. They all laughed that the one time he didn’t need to wake up for anything in particular was the day he was up before Eddie. Sipping on coffee and checking out all the pictures their friends had posted and taken of the wedding they were all generally pretty quiet.
It was almost 11 am when the loud ring echoed through the house. It was Richie’s work phone. As he walked over to his bag where the phone was, Stan stirred, rising slowly unsure of what had woken him up, or even when he had fallen asleep. They talked for a while as he woke up when Richie came back in the room, one hand on his forehead, and the other still holding the phone to his ear. He was clearly distressed and he kept getting cut off before he could get anything out.
“I don’t understand, what do you mean ‘fix it?’ I am dating him too, you know this!” Richie said and then they could tell he was being yelled at more. He dropped his head in frustration. Mumbling a goodbye he set his phone down and groaned as he rubbed his face.
“Well we should probably wake everyone up…” Richie said and looked up to see three very confused faces.
“The press apparently knew where the reception was and got pictures of me and Bill dancing and kissing. There are reports everywhere claiming we are cheating. I’m supposed to ‘fix’ this press nightmare. But I don’t know what it means for Bill and I’s career…” They all realized the seriousness of this new development and Ben made more coffee while the other two woke everyone else up. As soon as Stan tells Bill what is up Bill is racing downstairs to see if it is true. They are already looking at the headlines.
“SNL star Richie Tozier spotted kissing up and coming author Bill Denbrough”
“Trusted author B. Denbrough disappoints with secret kiss to young SNL writer R. Tozier”
Once everyone was sitting together, awake, most sipping coffee they explained what was going on, and within minutes it was complete madness.
“How did they even get pictures it was on a roof?”
“Why are they saying it was a secret, I was clearly dancing with Mike!”
“What does it even matter if they kissed, that shouldn’t affect their jobs!”
“Why are you all upset, you aren’t going to lose your movie deal!”
After about twenty minutes of an attempted conversation they all walked off in opposite directions. Richie went to the backyard and had a cigarette or two or three. Bill headed upstairs to try to cool off in the shower. Eddie had to call some people he still knew in Derry to see who had already seen the news.
Stan found himself in the kitchen when everything hit him at once. Mike, Bev, and Ben were all in the living room talking about what could happen. Coming out as a poly group could be disastrous for all of them, but especially Richie and Bill who already had a spot in the public eye. Mike was headed to get more coffee when he walked in the kitchen and heard the crying. Setting the mugs down carefully, he went around and found Stan on the floor in front of the sink.
“Baby, shhh, it’s okay.” He started trying to comfort him, but Stan wasn’t having it.
“No it’s not. Those awful people pry into our lives and have the chance to ruin Bill’s career, not even thinking of the personal turmoil they’re putting him in. Eddie is neck deep in Derry drama trying to explain to his mother what is going on. My father will surely be calling once Mrs. K get’s to him. And now Richie has to either lie and say he’s not also dating Bill and the rest of us, or risk losing his chance at being some big comedian! Bill’s already so stressed with work, he’s barely had any time for all of us anyway…” The worry of Bill denouncing all of them, including Stan was silent but understood. Mike just held him, rocking them both slowly until Stan gathered himself enough to splash some water on his face. Mike took his chance and sent Beverly in to collect Stan.
Mike found Richie sitting on the old table they hadn’t used in almost two years.
“Look, I don’t know about being on T.V. or knowing all these famous people, or whatever, but I know that the sevon of us have been through so much worse than losing a job. I know it’s not the best option, but should something like that happen we will get through it. We are tough, and if you are ashamed to be part of this family then you should have said so before you participated in the ceremony yesterday. Now I’m going to go get Bill, and try to talk some sense into him, but I think you’re smart enough that you will make the right decision.” He said turning to head back inside.
Once upstairs, he passed the room where Eddie was arguing with someone on the phone, most likely his mother, or aunt, or other aunt, or just about anyone in that damn town that wanted information. After knocking he let himself into the bedroom that Bill and usually Stan slept in together. However, with all the weird hours Bill was pulling he had started staying in the spare room so as to not wake Stan up.
“Hey.” Bill spoke first. He was only wearing his boxers, the shower running in the bathroom, but he was totally dry.
“I was so mad when I found out. I thought that the idea of being public about our relationship would be the worst thing.” Bill handed Mike the picture frame that usually sat on the bookshelf across the room.
“I haven’t thought about this day in forever.” Mike said sitting down on the bed next to Bill.
“I had just signed the paperwork for my book. I was so excited. I called Beverly first to tell her. I was so scared to tell Stan of all of you. I was worried that he wouldn’t want to be seen by any press I might get that I didn’t want to tell him because he might want to take a step back from me. I know it was a crazy thought, and all of you mean so much to me, obviously, but…” He trailed off and let his head fall.
“I know we all got caught up in this. Years of having to hide our relationship has been a tricky game to play. Ben is always getting harassed to move out with Beverly, everyone keeps asking when I’ll be coming back to take over the farm. I think Eddie and his mother are both about to have an aneurysm. But Stan is the one that is scared now. He knows how much this movie means to you, he wants you to do what you need to do, but he is also so scared of losing you. You’ve been so distant lately, always drinking, or passed out that we’ve all been scared of losing you. I think this is a good thing. This is giving you an opportunity to be free. And if something does happen with the movie then at least you hated how it was going anyway.” Mike finished off his little monologue with a shoulder bump. They smiled at each other and Bill turned the shower off as they went downstairs and were joined by the others.
“...I think we should go public. At least me and richie should. But if we do that it involves all of us. We are all going to be at the public’s scrutiny, and all have things on the line that could be hurt by doing this. But I think it’s time. It’s almost 2020, I think people can handle a poly relationship.” Bill said and Richie nodded. Beverly gave them all a sad smile, knowing that this was going to be hard, but she was ready.
Eddie was still nervous, and Stan wasn’t sure either, but once Bill saw Stan with the tear stains on his cheeks he was right up next to him, holding him close, kissing him all over.
“I love you. I love all of them. If people don’t like that then that’s on them. But i’m not ashamed of loving you or them.” Bill said quietly just for them. Stan gave his signature sly smile, and they all talked briefly about how they would do it.
After they all got dressed Richie and Bill both called their agents and decided to talk to some reporters, to set the record straight. Bringing the other five along they all sat their on the firm white couch, and explained that they were all involved, the seven of them. Not just Richie and Eddie, or Stan and Bill, but all of them. They politely avoided all the sexual questions, calmly explained that while they were poly, they were not an open relationship. That in fact, none of them had had another partner since Richie tried to get with a girl in his freshman improv class at the start of college. Almost 9 years ago. Overall the interview went fairly well. They kept it nice and simple, saying that they weren’t worried about the backlash anymore.
As they left the interview they all had a sigh of relief. It was out there now. They were officially the first publicly open poly relationship. And with so much success, they were showing how easy it could be if done right with the right amount of respect, boundries, and ridiculously stupid amounts of love.