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Eddie's on top of Richie, straddling him as he kissed and bit at Richie's neck. Richie's hips shifted up against Eddie's grinding with a groan.

 

Eddie kissed up Richie's neck and Richie wrapped his arms around Eddie, clawing at the undershirt he was still wearing. Richie needed as much of Eddie as he could possibly get. He was desperate and they both loved it.

 

When Richie moaned again, hips thrusting up harder, "Fuck, Richie, you're so desperate. Such a dirty little slut for me."

 

Richie's hips stilled, but his clutch around Eddie's torso tightened. He let out a quiet whimper.

 

"What baby, are you shy now?" Eddie asked as he pressed his ass down again. "It's okay, baby, I love what a slut you are for me."

 

"Eds-" Richie choked out. He moved his head, trying to pull away from Eddie's mouth on his neck. "Eddie. I- I can't."

 

"Richie? Are you okay, baby?" Eddie asked, quickly pulling away, sitting up to look down at Richie. His eyes were teary, but instead of looking into Eddie's eyes with desperation or love, he was staring up at the ceiling completely frozen. It reminded Eddie of the deadlights look.

 

When Eddie pulled away, Richie let his arms drop by his side to the bed, his chest was heaving up and down.

 

"Shit, Richie, I'm so sorry," Eddie whispered through clenched teeth as he climbed off of him, sitting next to him on the bed. "I'm sorry, Rich. Was that too much?"

 

"No, no, I'm sorry. I just-" Richie sat up and trailed off, his breath speeding up. He scooted back to lean against the headboard. He pulled his knees into his chest, trying to shrink down to how small he was feeling.

 

"It's okay, you don't have to be sorry. Just try to breathe," Eddie whispered. He wanted desperately to reach out and touch Richie, pet his hair or cup his cheek- anything to reassure both of them that Richie was okay. He didn't though, because he couldn't be concerned about making himself feel better, he needed to help Richie find some stability first. "I'm going to get you some water, okay, Rich? I'll be right back."

 

Richie didn't respond until Eddie shifted his weight to climb off the bed. Immediately then, Richie reached out and clasped his arm around Eddie's forearm, almost shouting as he said, "No! Don't!"

 

"Okay, okay," Eddie said quietly. "How can I help then, baby? Do you want me to sit here or closer or further?"

 

"Closer," Richie answered. He closed his eyes and let his head rest on his knees. Still breathing heavy. He was trying so hard to stop. Crying during sex because you're in love is one thing, crying in the middle and stopping because you're a fucking pussy is another.

 

"Do you want me to touch you?"

 

Richie nodded. Eddie sat against the headboard next to Richie. He put his arm over Richie's shoulders and started playing with his hair with his other hand. He asked quietly, "Is this okay?"

 

Richie nodded and leaned into Eddie's touch but didn't uncurl himself at all. Eddie breathed slowly and pointedly, trying to give Richie a model to follow to calm himself down.

 

When Richie's breath eventually started to slow down naturally, Eddie murmured, "Richie, baby, can we talk about it?"

 

Richie took in a shaky breath and picked his head up from his knees, looking up at Eddie. With still teary eyes, he smiled, ignoring the way his bottom lip quivered, "Talk about what, Eds? I'm trying to spice things up, are you saying a panic attack during sex isn't your secret kink?"

 

"Richie," Eddie sighed. He reached up and cupped Richie's cheek, willing himself not to be frustrated at Richie's defense mechanism. "C'mon, really. We don't need to talk tonight, but if you want to it might help."

 

Richie's smile dropped and he closed his eyes and he leaned into Eddie's hand. He placed his hand over Eddie's. 

 

"It wasn't your fault," Richie mumbled.

 

"Even if it was, it's okay," Eddie said quietly. "I'm not going to be mad or upset or whatever. I just want to help."

 

"I felt- I've never- before you…" Richie breathed in a deep, frustrated breath and opened his eyes to look at Eddie again. "Sorry, I just- For so long, being the way I am, you know… gay, it was wrong. It was scary. It was dirty . But when I got you back in my life, when we started- you know- it wasn't. Even when it was kinda dirty, it wasn't, not really. Not with you."

 

"So when I said.." Eddie started quietly.

 

"It's not your fault!" Richie said quickly. "It's totally something that seems right up my alley, it just, you know, hit me in a weird way."

 

"Well thank you for telling me," Eddie murmured, thumb gently stroking Richie's cheek. "If there's anything that's too much, you know I want to know."

 

"Thanks," Richie said. He laughed a little and said, "Sorry I was such a pussy about it, I-"

 

"Don't say that," Eddie interrupted. "You didn't do anything wrong, you're not a pussy, don't make yourself feel like shit about it."

 

"Thanks Eds," Richie murmured. He leaned forward and pecked Eddie's lips. 

 

Eddie smiled and leaned in, forehead resting against Richie's. "Richie, you're not dirty or bad or gross. Love like this could never be dirty."

 

"I know, Eds. I just, I felt… I dunno. I wasn't here anymore, I was… It was like back then. I mean, not really, but all the feelings…" Richie's words came out slowly and carefully as he struggled with the genuine expression if his pain.

 

"I know, I just had to make sure you were here again," Eddie said quietly. Richie nodded in understanding, so Eddie smiled and pulled away from Richie. "Okay, I'm gonna get some water for both of us. And a washcloth."

 

"Eds, we didn't even-"

 

"You're sweaty, babe. We still have to get cleaned up." Eddie said with a teasing smile. Plus, Eddie wouldn't say it because Richie would probably get defensive or embarrassed, but aftercare almost felt more important this time than most times when they actually have sex. 

 

Richie groaned and shifted down in the bed to lay down. Eddie came back and placed the glasses of water on the bedside table on his side of the bed, immediately sitting down next to Richie, wiping off his forehead, where is curls stuck to his sweaty skin. 

 

Richie yawned and leaned into Eddie's hand, keeping his eyes closed.

 

"You're so beautiful," Eddie murmured. "I love you so much."

 

Richie smiled sleepily. Shit, Eddie was so lucky to have moments like this with Richie. He could remember being a kid and feeling nauseous at just the idea of genuine softness towards Richie. Moments like this felt so cathartic, so healing.

 

After Eddie had wiped off Richie's forehead and then his chest, he tossed the washcloth into the laundry basket across the room and said, "Sit up, Rich. Have some water, anxiety can take a lot out of you."

 

Richie sat up, opening his eyes just barely. Anxiety had taken a lot out of him, Eddie could tell. After Richie placed the emptied glass on his bedside table, they both laid down, Richie pulling Eddie as close to him as possible. 

 

Richie kissed the top of Eddie's head and mumbled, "Love you, my Eddie Spaghetti."

 

"If you loved me, you'd stop calling me Eddie Spaghetti," Eddie answered, but the smile was evident in his voice, it was clear that his objection was more of a tradition than a true aversion to the name. "But I love you too, Richie. I love you so much."