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a very losers club holiday season

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December 1st was a Friday.

All of the Losers had classes, so they couldn't take the time to celebrate "the beginning of the holiday season!", and Bill and Eddie had refused to decorate and get a tree while it was still November, so the house they shared showed no signs of the holiday season. They all hurried up and down the stairs, trying to remember everything for class, and they all just barely remembered to eat a piece of the advent calendar chocolate that Richie had bought on sale the week before.

Eddie Kaspbrak actually woke up late on December 1st. He and Richie shared a room with Stan, who was usually pretty good at waking them up, but somehow he has slept through the alarm or Stan had left early (Stan had woken up early, decided it was better to be early to class than lay around in bed for twenty more minutes, and turned off the alarm), and Richie had a later class so he would be waking up later. That left Eddie to frantically dress in a polo and jeans, grab a protein shake and granola bar, and sprint out the door to catch the subway.

As he ran down the street, he could somewhat appreciate New York in the wintertime through the frenzy of activity going on on the sidewalk and in his brain. Bev loved the Christmas lights everywhere, and he resolved to ask her if she wanted to walk down to the corner store with him, just to see her reaction at the city all lit up at night. It was slippery, which would be bad for Ben's weekend runs, but Richie had suggested they all go ice-skating together the next day, which made Eddie smile in anticipation.

He sat rigidly on the subway, got off at his stop, suffered through class, emailed Bill during a boring lecture, and sat rigidly on the subway home. He slipped and slid his way back to the house, dropped his things on the couch, and collapsed unto the pillows. Stan, the first one home, came into the living room with his hands full of bread dough.

"Eddie-" he started hesitantly.

"Yes, I will walk down to the store to get you something for dinner. What do you need?" Eddie grumbled in reply. Stan smiled.

"I'm making a bunch of spaghetti and meatballs, and Richie made bread dough for some reason before leaving this morning, so we're having breadsticks too. I wanted some parmesean?"

"Yeah, okay," Eddie said, pulling his coat on again. The store wasn't that far away and they usually averaged a trip per day- wether it be a crucial ingredient Richie or Bill forgot, some Red Bull to keep them awake during late-night study sessions, or candy Bev stopped for on her walk home. Eddie carefully stepped around ice, gum, and god-knows-what as he hurried down the street, finally warming up a bit as he stepped into the store.

He found the cheese easily, and was standing in front of a shelf of cookies and debating wether or not to buy some, when someone grabbed him from behind and lifted him up.

"Richie!" he admonished when he saw it was his friend. "You could have given me a heart attack!"

"Yes," Richie deadpanned. "A healthy nineteen-year-old boy died from a heart attack after his friend does something he has done at least once a day since he was old enough to lift him." He smirked, and picked Eddie up again.

"What are you doing here? It's not on your way home," Eddie asked once Richie put him down.

"Mike got home around the same time as me, and wanted some dessert for after dinner. Bev ate all of the ice cream in a midterm-induced stress attack, so I offered to run down and grab something. Seems you already got the bases covered, though," he finished.

They got to the register and paid for the food and started the walk home. "Wait. If Stan knew I was at the store, why didn;t he just text me? He didn't need to send you."

Richie blinked. "Uh, I think he said you forgot your phone? I dunno." Eddie felt around in his pocket and realized he had, in fact, forgotten his phone.

"Oh my god, what if I had been kidnapped? I would have no way to contact you guys, you wouldn;t be able to trace me. Or if something happened to me and they didn't have my medical ID?" Eddie started to ramble.

"Again. Perfectly healthy nineteen-year-old boy. Five minutes away from his house. In a not-terrible neighborhood."

"Brain aneursyms, Rich. They can happen at any moment," Eddie argued.

"Oh, Eds-"

"We've talked about calling me Eds!"

"Have we? I'm pretty sure I call you Eds, and then you say 'don't call me that!' and then I call you Eds even more, Eds."

"I'm divorcing you." Eddie started to walk faster, away from Richie.

"Eddie Spaghetti, we're not even married! Or dating!" Richie yelled down the street.

"Fine. I'll marry you and then just divorce you right after." Eddie shot a grin back at Richie, then stopped so that his best friend could catch up.

"Sounds good to me. Three conditions, though- Mike caters. Bev designs our suits, Stan officiates."

"What about Ben and Bill?" Eddie asked, chalking up the warm feeling in his chest to the general holiday spirit.

"Um, Bill is my best man. Ben is yours, and Georgie is the ring bearer slash flower boy."

"How is Georgie both?"

"He wears a flower crown with his suit, throws the petals, and then Bill or someone can hand him the pillow with the rings and he stands there until Stan says 'the rings please' and then he does the ring bearer thing," Richie explained.

"You've really thought this through," Eddie commented jokingly as they walk in the front door.

"Thought what through?" Bev asks from the chair. She'd obviously just gotten home, she's still wearing her scarf and hat.

"Why, my wedding to the lovely Edward Spaghedward, my dear!" Richie announced grandly. "Oh, boy," Bev sighs with a smile as she finished pulling off her winter things. Richie gave her a sort of half-hug and pranced into the kitchen to give Stan his groceries. Then he picked up his bag and ran up the stairs to the room Eddie shares with him and Stan, hopefully to do homework. Eddie knew deep down, though, that Richie will watch three episodes of the Simpsons, procrastinate his work, and when Stan yells "DINNERTIME!" he'll call back "STAN! I WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF MY HOMEWORK!" and then blame him later when he has nothing done.

Bev was on her phone now, scrolling TikTok and Instagram. Eddie pulled out his laptop and decided to get a head start on a project. While they sit together, in silence except for Stan's humming, Eddie felt peaceful. It's that holiday spirit, he thought. Then Bev shattered the relative quiet.

"So, wedding, hmm?" she asked teasingly, looking up from her phone. "How did he pop the question? Ring in your champagne? Down on one knee?"

"Shut up," Eddie replied, knowing and hating the fact that he's blushing. "I said I was divorcing him, he replied that we weren't even dating, I said I'd marry him just to divorce him the next day. He got carried away, like he does with literally everythig in his life."

"Romantic," Bev chuckled, returning to her social media.

Ben came home next, kissing Bev on the cheek and going to help set the table. He was followed by Mike, who brought food from his culinary arts class, and finally a grumpy and cold Bill, who boldly declared that "it's not that cold out, you guys are just weak" and went out without his jacket. Bev ceded the blanket to him, and they all chatted while Ben played Christmas music. Bill had an essay due Tuesday, and he was going to wait to start it, but Bev warned him to at least get something done before Monday night. By the time Stan called for dinner, Bill was warm and Richie had actually gotten a head start on his homework.

Dinner was delicious- Stan, Mike, and Richie could cook the best out of all of them- but Stan was usually busy in the evenings, and Richie liked to "experiment in the kitchen" a lot, so it was usually Mike doing the cooking. He had taken a culinary arts class for fun this year, and was thoroughly enjoying it, but couldn't be persuaded to change his major.

That night in their room, Eddie typed on his laptop while Stan made pie charts for his finance class. Richie was working on a new comedy routine, and he tried it out for them several times before he got it right. He had an open mic coming up, but Eddie was convinced Richie could headline.

Around midnight, he started to hear the sounds of the household going to bed: Mike showered at night, the ferocious sounds of Bill's computer keyboard stopped, Bev's sewing machine turned off, and the light in her and Ben's room went off. Richie swallowed a melatonin pill and hopped into his twin bed, Stan settled in the bottom bunk, and Eddie climbed the laddet to the top one. They all had bunk beds in their rooms, Richie was the seventh bunk-bed wheel that got a bed to his own. Stan turned on a podcats like he did every night- it interested Stan, provided a kind of background noise for Eddie to fall asleep to, and bored Richie to sleep in about an hour.

And that is how December 1st ended.