Actions

Work Header

Welcome To the Losers Club Asshole - The Losers Groupchat

Chapter Text

RitchieTZ   created a group chat 

RichieTZ   added  _ Eddie.Kaspbrak ThatBxtchBeverly   StanleyUris ,  Mikey-no- Ikey   Bill.Den  and  BenHans  

Richie TZ   made a group chat:  welcome to the  losers  club asshole  

 

StanleyUris  changed the group chat name to: 

  Welcome  To  the Losers Club, Asshole  

 

RichieTZ Ah... 

RichieTZ Punctuation Station it is 

 

_ Eddie.Kaspbrak changed his name to   Eddie  

RichieTZ   changed  Eddie’s   name to  Eds  

 

Eds : Fuck off, Richie 

 

Eds  changed his name to  Eddie  

RichieTZ   changed  Eddie’s   name to  HypochondriSnac  

 

HyprocondriSnac : You know what?  

HyprocondriSnac  Fine. 

RichieTZ : Huzzah! 

RichieTZ   changed his name to   PoorManNamedRich   

Mikey-no- ikey   changed  BenHans ’s name to   Benjamenjamin  

M ikey-no- ikey   changed his name to   JustaBoyFromDairy    

B ill.Den  changed his name to   BillyBoy   

 

ThatBxtchBeverly : No 

BillyBoy : Why not? 

Benjamenjamin : If Eddie can’t, neither can you. 

BillyBoy : Fairs 

StanleyUris : Never say that again 

 

ThatBxtchBeverly  changed   BillyBoy ’s  name to   1-Did-I-stutter-800  

StanleyUris   changed his name to  Stan  

 

HypocondriSnac : Woah original, Stanley 

 

PoorManNamedRich   changed  Stan’s   name to  1-Did-I-Fucking-ask-800  

 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800:  What I ask myself whenever Richie talks 

PoorManNamedRich:  harsh there stanley 

Benjamenjamin [WhyWouldYousaySmthConYetBrave.pic]  

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800:  [I’mRightButIshouldn’tSayIt.pic]  

 

PoorManNamedRich   changed  ThatBxtchBeverly ’s  name to   B(ev)itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo  

-------------------  

Direct Message from  ThatBxtchBeverly   to  RichieTZ  

 

ThatBxtchBeverly:  'HypochondriSnac' ???? 

ThatBxtchBeverly Lol smooth  

RichieTZ Shut up, Marsh 

ThatBxtchBeverly: Oh wow richie using real punctuation!1!!!!1! 

 

-------------------- 

Welcome to the Losers Club, Asshole

 

PoorManNamedRich anywho,,, minus the bullying,,, I created this chat to ask if y’all wanted to meet at the quarry  

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800:  y’all 

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo y’all 

HyprocondriSnac:  y’all 

Benjamenjamin y’all 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800:  y’all 

JustABoyFromDairy y’all 

PoorManNamedRich Who wants to come and  fight  me at the quarry? 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800:   An excuse to fight Richie? Count me in. 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800:  I can 

Benjamenjamin me too 

B( ev )itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo me three 

JustaBoyFromDairy Thirded  

HyprocondriSnac Can’t. Mom’s throwing a hissy fit because I didn’t collect my medicine today 

PoorManNamedRich what?! What will I do without my Eddie Spaghetti? 

HyprocondriSnac What the fuck, richard? 

Benjamenjamin [ WhatTheFuckRichard.vid ]  

B( ev )itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo Ben back at it with the memes 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800:  Is everything okay? 

HyprocondriSnac Yeah you know how she is 

HyprocondriSnac Probably will just keep me inside so I ‘don’t get sick’  

------------------ 

Direct Message from  RichieTZ   to  Mikey-no- Ikey  

 

RichieTZ Do you think he’s really alright? 

Mikey-no- Ikey He says so 

Mikey-no- Ikey Besides Eddie always finds a way out at some point. 

Mikey-no- Ikey Don’t say anything. You know he hates the pity  

RichieTZ :   yea that’s why he never brings her up.

RichieTZ Okay, I’ll be cool. 

--------------------- 

Welcome to the Losers Club, Asshole:  

 

PoorManNamedRich I could always loosen her up for ya, Eds 

HyprocondriSnac I’m going to HypochondriSnap your neck, Richie 

B( ev )itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo you walked into that one Eddie 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800:  Beep Beep Richie 

JustaBoyFromDairy :  It could have been innocent! 

Benjamenjamin Yeah! Richie, explain for us 

HyprocondriSnac NO! 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800:  NO! 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800:  Richie I see you typing you better stop 

PoorManNamedRich Well thank you, my dear gentlemen. I am glad someone has faith my capabilities of being a true man with love and compassion in his heart. Eddie, my good chap, I only meant to relax your mother with the heavenly sight of my face and grace your life with my presence. Why must you wound me so? 

B( ev )itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo Oh that wasn’t too bad  

1-Did-I-Stutter-800:  Sorry richie 

HyprocondriSnac I’m sceptical but 

HyprocondriSnac Sorry ‘Chee. 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800:  Wait for it... 

PoorManNamedRich And also grace eddie’s mom with my wang 

HyprocondriSnac RICHIE I SWEAR TO FUCKING GOD! 

---------------------- 

Despite how disgusting the vulgar jokes Richie told were, it seemed all of them – with the exception of the ones about his mother– had Eddie somewhat amused as he thought about the voices his best friend tried to convey in the message; from the sophisticated and  un-Richie-like phrasing, Eddie would have to assume the British Guy voice was being used. It did seem to be the Trashmouth’s go to since it was the only voice which was deemed to be ‘perfected’. 

Amongst the group chat ghosting Eddie was doing, he had almost forgotten the guilt inducing speech in which Sonia had aimed at her son: 

“Oh Eddie, don’t you see what you’re doing to your mother – the one who has been the only person to care for you?”  Mrs.   Kasbrack  choked up as tears – ones which Eddie had the nerve to think (but not say) were crocodile tears once re-evaluating the situation- welled within her eyes, threatening to tumble down her pudgy red cheeks. Of course, the very simple act of forgetting his medicine had Sonia  Kaspbrak  with her hand over her heart and taking deep breaths to ‘calm her down’ while looking around for a place to sit. Instantly, as if it were clockwork, Eddie felt his stomach drop while silently reprimanding himself for being so careless and negatively effecting his mother - all this while rushing to the larger woman’s side to guide her to the reclining chair in front of the TV.   

“I’m sorry ma-”  

“No, don’t. I understand.” She gasped, “Just like your father you are, Eddie, dear.” Now, that was a new one.  Sonia’s hand reached up to Eddie’s cheek, to which the teen crouched – he was small for a boy his age, but with his mother reclining, the automatic response was to lean so his mother didn’t have to  stretch .  

As Eddie recalled the situation in the safe haven of his bedroom, he began to rub at his cheek as if to dust of the ghosting of her fingers - just the memory had the uncomfortable feeling of delinquency settle in his stomach and producing a shiver.    

  So  caught up with... bad influences that you have forgotten what’s important.”  The ‘bad influences’ was spat in a way which Eddie rarely saw of his mother; she used her kind voice to coax him into a sense of security, when in reality it was isolating him from others more often than not, and if she wasn’t isolating him she was making him take medicines he had refused to take. More manipulation which Eddie had previously been blind to; even now he couldn’t say he was 100% aware of the manipulation unless it being called out by the Losers, which was rare, afraid of upsetting their friend.  How did that correlate with his father? How did that correlate with  him ? Eddie had no ‘bad’ influences, he wasn’t even with the Losers this morning.   

‘She must mean Richie’  Eddie thought silently, hands behind his back and eyes dropped to the floor She never liked Richie – too loud mouthed, too brash, childish...  too Tozier’ Eddie never would agree and even opened his mouth to defend his friends, but Sonia only raised her hand and began to heave again “Eddie-bear, get mommy some water; all this is too much.” One beat passed and Eddie still stood, only to see his mother’s expecting eyes  

“Yes, mom,” he murmured and followed the order.  

Eddie didn’t need to ask if he could meet with his friends to know it would be a negative – especially outside. “Oh Eddie, your hay fever” the teen mocked in a whisper so sickly that he shuddered. The impersonation could give Richie a run for his money, but it was one he hated doing. It showed how close the two were. “If you had your medicine... if you listened... if you... cared.” The sickly-sweet whisper of his mother turned into his own voice again slowly; the pause between each comment being a little longer than the last until Eddie let his body drop to his freshly made bed, fiddling with the asthma pump he kept on his bedside drawer while wondering what to believe.

At times like these, ones with his mother (who had been violently coughing from the self-described stress) suddenly silent and happily sitting in front of the TV, Eddie was unsure how he could have been blind for so long; she used her emotions to make Eddie feel bad, to stay in and get rid of his friends, just like the summer where he broke his arm while defending Georgie from some street clown.  

-------------- 

 

Welcome to the Losers Club, Asshole  

RichieTZ [WishingYouWereHere]   

(Description: Richie being in the foreground while Bev, Bill and Ben were behind him on the right and Mike and Stan were on the left, on a rock; they were all smiling while Richie grinned so wide his eyes were squinting]  

RichieTZ Hope Mrs. K isn’t locking you up all summer, we need you  

JustaBoyFromDairy Yeah! 

JustaBoyFromDairy Plus Richie cut his knee already so we really do need you to stop him 

B( ev )itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo stop this chaotic disaster  

PoorManNamedRich We need Eddie to  encourage  me not stop me 

PoorManNamedRich:  smh fake fans 

PoorManNamedRich also im a chaotic good get it right 

HyprocondriSnac how about I sneak out tonight after my mom’s fallen asleep and we can watch bad films at Bill’s  

1-Did-I-Stutter-800:  Why are you renting my house out? 

PoorManNamedRich Eddie the pimp 

Benjamenjamin:  of houses? 

PoorManNamedRich:  yes 

JustaBoyFromDairy Real estate agents 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800:  Christ. 

HyprocondriSnac Is that a no, Bill? 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800:  … 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800:  of course not 

PoorManNamedRich then its settled. Movies at Billiam’s place at 8:30. 

------------------ 

Direct Message from  Bill.Den   to  RichieTZ  

 

Bill.Den You didn’t need to try to bribe me with a milkshake, but now you offered I want Vanilla 

Bill.Den:  You know I would say yes 

RichieTZ just making sure 

RichieTZ gotta see my Eds somehow 

Bill.Den gayass 

RichieTZ who are you? Bev? 

RichieTZ its Bi-ass aktually 

Bill.Den Aktually 

RichieTZ *Middle Finger Emoji*  

Chapter Text

Despite agreeing to meet the rest of his friends at Bill’s house for 8:30, Eddie quickly realised – as it stuck 8:45 – that his mother was probably staying up in order to see if Richie would dare try and disturb Eddie. The claim wasn’t unfounded as Sonia had found Richie on Eddie’s bed as they played cards when Eddie was forbidden to see his friend– and only him – due to Sonia and Margret Tozier having a fallout over something; whatever it was, Eddie couldn’t it catch as his mother was purposefully quiet when discussing the issue over the landline.  

Ready to send a text to the group chat in order to tell Bill of his tardiness, Eddie pulled out his phone only for the familiar snores fill the home an hour later than typical evenings; he supposed it was his mother’s ‘early to bed, early to rise’ philosophy which caused the matriarch to settle down for bed at 7:30, only to be passed out by 7:50.  

For once, Eddie was glad he had left his phone on silent as he slowly and carefully made his way onto the secure branch of the tree beside his window, climbing down one step at a time rather than easily slide down – the wood could have already given him splinters and if the risk of infection wasn’t bad, the threat of his mother’s questioning would be. That left Eddie’s mind once his feet touched the damp grass as the fading light of the sunset had cast a spray of dew which could be felt by the transfer of heat – or lack there-of – through his converse. Reaching the safety of the earth, Eddie found himself looking at the phone which was constantly lighting up with messages rather than the usual ping. 

---- 

Welcome to the Losers Club, Asshole:

E-Did-I-Stutter-800:  are you on your way Eddie? 

JustaBoyFromDairy We have Little Nicky here 

Benjamenjamin and Daddy Day Care 

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo and popcorn or gummy worms 

PoorManNamedRich we do not have gummy worms 

B(ev)itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo:   … 

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo :   we do not have gummy worms because someone can’t keep their hands to themselves 

HypocondriSnac Why are you all talking in the chat? 

HypocondriSnac you’re literally all together 

PoorManNamedRich Well someone is an almost an hour late  

HypocondriSnac Im late by,,, thirty minutes  

PoorManNamedRich and anything coulda happened, Eds 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800:  Couldn’t have just spelt ‘could have’ ,Richie? 

PoorManNamedRich How about you suck my massive dick 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800:  Maybe if you had one 

Benjamenjamin OOOOH 

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo ooooooo 

HypocondriSnac get fucked, Richie 

JustaBoyFromDairy Why are we ooo-ing in the chat but silent when we’re no more than a couch apart from one another? 

PoorManNamedRich because you all suck??? And we should kick stan out of our chat 

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo don’t be an ass 

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo and for the aestehtic  

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800 What tf is an aestehtic 

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo :   I changed my mind 

B(ev)itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo   kicked  1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800  from the group chat  

PoorManNamedRich get fckn owned stanley 

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo fckn  

PoorManNamedRich   kicked  B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo   from the group chat 

JustaBoyFromDairy why can’t we just get along like we did in middle school? 

Benjamenjamin you didn’t go to middle school with us??? 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800:  HE DOESN’T EVEN GO HERE! 

JustaBoyFromDairy:  oh hell yeah, you got mean girls, Bill? 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800:  I’ll check 

Benjamenjamin why are you still speaking over text? 

------ 

Direct Message from  RichieTZ   to _ Eddie.Kaspbrak _  

RichieTZ Eddie? 

RichieTZ :   Spaghetti man?? 

RichieTZ :   Ed, Edd n Eddie??? 

RichieTZ :   come on, you’re making me worry now 

_ Eddie.Kaspbrak _:  Jesus, Rich, do not bring back Eddie Spaghetti, please 

RichieTZ too late lmao 

RichieTZ what’s taking your pretty head so long? 

_ Eddie.Kaspbrak _:   I only got out at 8:55. I’m two minutes away. 

RichieTZ:  everything okay? 

_ Eddie.Kaspbrak _:   yeah, she’s probably thought she’d find you outside my window like last time and stayed up longer than I thought

RichieTZ She found me in ur room 

_ Eddie.Kaspbrak _:   You know what I mean – she wanted to catch you in the act  

RichieTZ Well if thats what she wanted, all she had to do was ask 

_ Eddie.Kaspbrak _:   I’m taking your rights away, Tozier 

------- 

Welcome to the Losers Club, Asshole:

 

JustaBoyFromDairy   added  StanleyUris   to the group chat  

StanleyUris   changed his name to  1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800  

 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800 : Only the upmost respect for my Mike Hanlon 

 

JustaBoyFromDairy   added  ThatBxtchBeverly   to the group chat 

ThatBxtchBeverly   changed her name to  B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo  

 

Benjamenjamin I’m surprised you didn’t change your name, stan

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800 I like matching with Bill 

 HypochondriSnac kicked PoorManNamedRich from the group chat 

-------

Richie had looked up to give Stan a questionable look at his response, only to look down at his phone and groan "Oh come on!"  which filled Bill's bedroom before laughter followed suit; Bill was glad that Georgie and his parents were out in the hospital for Georgie's check up at that moment, but equally as happy to have a distraction from his underlying anxiety - he wanted his baby brother to get the prosthetic he needed and didn't want to see the look of disappointment or the third time in a row within a year. The teen had no time to question what Richie was annoyed about, nor time to let his mind wander, once he heard the door bell ring; quickly, picking up the copy of Mean Girls from his mother's collection, Bill walked to open the door to find Eddie waiting with his phone in his hand and a triumphant smile on his face before entering the Denbrough household.

"So that was you, huh?" The taller of the two asked, but a shrug was the only response he got other than a non-committal hum to accompany it

Chapter Text

Eddie hung up his coat as the ruckus continued upstairs, which was consisting of Richie’s incessant whining. “What d-did you do then?” Bill asked, waiting for the guest to kick off his shoes as he always did; that was something, Bill mentally noted, that Eddie and Stan had in common; there was no need – his parents didn’t really care considering they typically wore shoes inside – but Bill knew Stan had acquired a habit, possibly out of respect, maybe it was just comfortable 

“Earth to Bill!” Suddenly a hand was being waved in front of his face, only for Eddie have his eyebrow risen in confusion and Bill could only imagine this is how fish felt being ogled at when kids go to the aquarium and peer to see the whole of the tank “You alright there?”  

“Yeah, just – yeah.” 

Eddie was wanted dispute that – they had known each other since first grade, he knew better than that - but had a feeling that if Bill needed someone to talk to, Eddie would be one of the firsts – all of the core four promised that. “Okay. Well, I kicked Richie from the group chat,” 

“Jokes about y-your mom?” he asked with a humoured chuckle as they heard the whines from Richie becoming louder as they made their way to Bill’s room.  

“What else?” 

The two entered the bedroom after saying that, assaulted with laughter as Richie cried “Come on! Add me ba- Eds!”  

“I’m not adding you back,” 

“Rude.” 

“Woah,” Stan cuts in “How does Eddie get a ‘rude’ and we get ‘this is the height of betrayal’ speech?” Bev had leaned over to Richie alone to whisper a teasing  ‘we know why’  before promptly being shoved  

“Because he’s my Eddie Spaghetti.” At this time, Eddie was settling in the spot Bev made – in between her and Richie – so the smaller teen was able to gently shove his best friend “That’s not even a nickname at this point, Rich. It’s longer than my actual name.” Despite the words, they held very little resistance which would normally have Richie feeling like it was a victory, but their grumbling bickering was what they did, so when Eddie didn’t seem up to it, the thoughts of what Eddie may be thinking worried Richie ever so lightly – more now thanks to Sonia.  

It was decided that a rom-com had to start their Bad Movie Nights after finding out that all of their parents seem to have a stash – today it was Bev’s turn and her aunt gave her 10 Things I Hate About You.  

“This is a good film?” Mike said, confused “This is Bad Movie Night. Wait- Bev do you not like it?” Beverly only shrugged earning shocked – almost offended - looks directed at her. 

“I’m disappointed,” Ben shook his head, but smiled as Bev let out a pitiful ‘hey!’ “Okay, I take it back, but that doesn’t mean your indifference isn't misguided.” 

“I haven’t even seen it okay?” 

The shock-induced comments kept coming as they were dumbfounded that such a good movie went over Beverly’s head, but no one mentioned (despite they all knew subconsciously) that it was probably due to her father, and so ‘Educating Bev Night’ had begun. Bev, however, had seen 10 Things I Hate About You with her aunt at least twice, but saw that Richie had been talking to Eddie while Ben and Mike listed off the many reasons why the movie was a 'cinema classic, Beverly!'

 “Eds?” he murmured, trying to let his voice get lost under their friends chatting, for Eddie’s ears only “Eddie?” He asked again once he saw his best friend was focusing on his hands a little too much for someone living in the moment.  

“Huh?” Eddie blinked, looking up to let their eyes meet  

“What’s going on in that noggin of yours?” 

“I-” he didn’t want to burden Richie – that's the last thing he wanted, but saying ‘oh it’s nothing’ would be worse, speaking from his own experiences. Richie knew him too well. “I just don’t want to go home. Not tonight... not ever.” Now that was bringing the mood down.  

“Then stay at mine,” Eddie already opened his mouth to protest “mom and dad love you. They always have.” Richie was so soft when trying to convince Eddie – whether for good or for devious - and Eddie nearly always complied, if not complained. He remembers well enough that he was welcome. When Richie had been out one night and Eddie escaped to the Tozier household only to find his best friend not there, still Maggie made sure he didn’t go back all night – listening to him no matter what he needed to say - while Wentworth had been making hot drinks until Richie came home and took over. 

It had been raining – of course, it had – when Eddie left his mother’s house in a rage. This was different from the last few times, however, as he actually walked out on her rather than escaping from his window as the two Kaspbraks had been in an argument over his friends. Richie and Bev mainly. Where would he even go? He thought about calling everyone, but they seemed to be out or otherwise occupied; Bill was with Georgie and his parents, Bev had been helping her aunt move so they could get a bigger place suited for them both in Derry, Mike was asleep (he worked early in the morning and by this time it was 10 pm – Eddie knew that he couldn’t force Mike to be tired the next day), Ben was on holiday and Stan had his phone taken off of him for a random B he had gotten on a test while Richie had been unresponsive.  

Still, Richie seemed like his best option and so Eddie walked against the wind and downpour before finding himself on the Tozier’s doorstep, politely knocking the best he could as his body wracked with shivers and fear of getting sick. However, it was a woman who answered, looking shocked as ever to see Eddie’s clothes simultaneously clinging to him and weighing him down. She pulled Eddie in instantly without saying a word; the change in temperature had the boy’s eyes drooping   

“Who is it?” A male voice – Wentworth, Eddie recognised – called out to his wife   

“Eddie, dear!” She said back “Get towels” and the quick steps which followed showed he did just that  

“Mrs Tozier, I’m okay I was just wo-wondering if... Rich - he here?” He asked, aching and the look on Maggie’s face made his hopes fall “It’s okay I'll-”  

“Eddie, you will not be going anywhere. You know you’re always welcome here, ever since you were in-”  

“Kindergarten.” The smile on Eddie’s face was natural and stayed despite his whole body protesting staying standing. Suddenly something fluffy and warm covered his shoulders as gentle yet firm hands rubbed his sides, before leading him up the stairs to Richie’s en-suite. Silently, Eddie remembered that Wentworth and his father had been friends when Frank  Kaspbrak  was alive – he also remembered Went and Maggie telling him about Richie saying he had a new friend – Eddie K- and they guessed that this was little Eddie who would have had play dates with Richie before they could remember things, whenever Went and Frank wanted to hang out and Sonia was busy. Before she got like this. Only close to his father’s death did she change; Eddie barely remembered her being anything other than the obsessive woman she was now.  

“You should have a shower to get you warm, I’m sure Richie has some of your clothes from the last time you all stayed over, and we can put these in the dryer.” Wentworth explained, making Eddie smile and nodded, thanking him for everything before being given new, dry towels “Just put the wet clothes outside the door and we’ll make sure they’re clean for  tomorrow  

“I’m sorry th-”  

“Don’t you dare,” Wentworth smiled, tone soft yet left no room for an argument “You’re always welcome here, Eddie. Good and bad times.” Eddie could only nod, a small lump gathering in his throat with happiness.  

After the shower, he found the dry clothes had been placed in a bag on the door handle outside while the wet clothes had been taken. Eddie had to keep his clothes here because the time he had come over last with the losers was when he snuck out – if he took his clothes back with him he’d be screwed – and they were the same as before, only washed, Eddie deduced as he lastly slipped the only item of clothing which wasn’t his on over his head before meeting the Tozier’s downstairs. Richie’s shirt went to his upper thighs and was baggy – even on the owner it wasn’t well fitted – and had been a comfort as Eddie sipped on tea Wentworth made and lightly complaining about his mother; even if he wanted to say worse, Eddie couldn’t bring himself to do it. They looked like they knew already anyway.  

“Thanks, Richie,” he smiled and nodded, breath catching as he realised they were pressed up against one another with Beverly glancing at them – she was one of the two people he had confided in and if she made it obvious now, he’d end her for it – and so Eddie smiled, looking down at his hands, pretending to be embarrassed about anything else. Bev saw that the two were done with their talking and announced “Fine! Educate me about ‘oh how good Heath Ledger was’.” The mocking tone earned her a gentle shove by Stan and mock offence by Mike. Everyone back in their own places (Mike at the front since he was staying over Bill’s and had the air mattress and forcing Stan and Bill to share the double bed, Ben + Bev + Eddie and Richie in between the blow-up bed and the real bed, and Bill and Stan on Bill’s bed) allowed the movie to finally begin and found Eddie resting on Richie halfway through, which only continued as they put Daddy Day Care, but most were nearly asleep and Eddie and Richie opted to leave at 10:45, Bev and Ben staying a little longer. 

“You sure your parents wouldn’t mind?” The sheepish question was asked again and – for the second time that night – Eddie's heart felt like it would burst from his chest when Richie took his hand to drag him up the steps of his porch 

“I think they care way more when you leave.”  

---  

“Mom, Dad, I brought a leprechaun home! Maybe he’ll help us become millionaires.” Richie said, grinning as Eddie’s face grew red with what he supposed was faux-anger, but was – in reality – a blush.  

“Fuck you, asshole,” he hissed, but jaw dropped as he heard Went instantly call back  

“Hello, Eddie!” Needless to say, Richie was in hysterics and couldn’t do anything but laugh – and maybe cry – in the entrance of the household while Eddie made his way into the kitchen – despite worrying he would be a bother, once he entered, Eddie was encouraged and tried to make himself as at home as ever and didn’t feel any trouble navigating his way through to meet his best friends parents after slipping his shoes off. Maggie was sitting at the table, hiding her smile behind her cup while Wentworth had just finished loading the dishwasher  

“Is not sleeping a Tozier family thing?” He asked, jokingly of course, before Wentworth had patted his back and encouraged him inside  

“I have a week off of work and Maggie doesn’t work tomorrow,” 

“We aim to enjoy it,” Mrs Tozier continued as Eddie sat down, crossing his legs on the kitchen chair only for Richie to lean on his shoulders, having Eddie swallow at the typical proximity but ply it off as a groan of annoyance. Everyone saw through it, but the two adults shared knowing looks without the two boys catching on to them. 

“So no objections for Eds over here to stay over?” Richie asked before Eddie softly nudged him, way too comfortable with being so carefree about it for Eddie’s typical standards with his own mother, but the Toziers just looked at him as if he said the stupidest thing ever  

“Of course not,” Wentworth said, but they knew they should make sure  

“Sweetheart,” Mrs Tozier said “Is it Sonia?” Eddie didn’t have anything to hide, he was sure Maggie and Wentworth knew more than he ever could have known his parents ever since they were in high school at least.  

“I just - I can’t be around her.” A frustrated sigh came out as Maggie reached out to meet Eddie’s hand halfway, stroking gently – a silent encouragement to vent. “She lies and keeps me away from the people who care. She tried to keep me away from my friends – twice – and she’s still trying to play the medicine card.” 

“The ones you don’t need?” Mr Tozier asked, shocked; how could a woman keep up this reuse and not feel an ounce of guilt.  

“The very ones.” This was probably the hardest part. Acceptance and accepting a positive outlook on bad things “I’m just glad my dad never had to see this, even if he did die for it.” And then Maggie went rigid  

“I’m- What?” She asked before looking to her husband in an emotion Eddie couldn’t place, maybe too many emotions at once. Richie, for once was silent while confused, the gravity of the situation too hard to make a joke out of. The married couple looked at each other for so long, Eddie was about to ask Richie f this was typical or if the two suddenly acquired telepathic powers, but the quick rush of Wentworth upstairs had Eddie regretting mentioning it at all  

“I- I’m sorry, I thought you knew,” panicking slightly, Eddie bit his lip before Richie held him close, eyes widening slightly as if to beg ‘say something’! 

“When - When did he die?” 

“I-uh- when I was five.” 

Again, opening to say something which never came, Maggie heard her husband thunder down the stairs “Yeah, I know,” he rambled “No shit, Frank, I didn’t know- if I did do you think I would have kept quiet?” A pause “If you weren’t over 500 miles away, I would happily – I swear to all things Christian, Jewish and otherwise holy, Kaspbrak I will not hesitate-” 

Even with the shock, Maggie had to roll her eyes – ever the best friends, always bringing out the 17-year-olds in one another. Eddie began to shake softly, spinning to look behind him at Wentworth in the doorway of the kitchen and then to Richie and finally back again as the gentle bickering of their fathers continued. Then he was being handed the phone, breathing laboured with the inability to say anything and eyes stinging with tears  

“Oh, Eddie, what has she told you?” A soft sweet masculine tone came from the other end – a voice he wished he didn’t somewhat remember in his dreams - and was only met with a sob – for 11 years he has thought his father died from cancer, remember being told that’s what his parents arguments were about and that the day he was gone was the day he died.  

Pre-school, normal, boring and gross – but Richie was there, even if they had been seated tables apart for talking; well, Richie talking to Eddie, but with his loud voice – especially as a child – it caught the teacher’s attention and ‘ disrupted  the class too much’ and now Eddie was sitting next to a girl called Oliva and Richie next to Greta. All-day had the two had been looking at one another, Eddie turned back to see his friend and to look at the digital clock; of course, the five-year-old had no idea how to read time, but knew that when the box had 11:15 on it, the time was to play outside until 11:45 – before that they had basic reading or sometimes art, but now they were doing the alphabet. Two minutes. He looked to Richie, smiling, but was caught off guard when his name was said after some lady stepped inside to talk to their teacher.   

“Oh... Eddie” the whisper came and when Eddie turned back she was in front of Eddie’s desk, looking sad   

“Miss, why’re you sad?” He asked, having no filter at the age of five   

“Eddie, you need to go for the day. Your mommy is here to pick you up.”  

“But Playtime-”  

“Can wait. Richie will be here when you come back.” It made sense to the young boy and he stood, the teacher helping him pack his things as Richie’s face dropped. Eddie left and Richie pouted “Why’s he goin’?”  

“Richie,” the tone was weirdly soothing, sweet as if this affected him as much as whatever it was affected his friend “Eddie is going to be receiving news and you have to be there for him, okay?”  

He didn’t understand, but nodded “Okay.” Eddie heard this before the large door shut behind them, seeing his mother at the reception of the building, hands shaking and alone ‘that’s okay’ Eddie thought ‘Daddy’s at work’, but it still upset the young boy to see his mommy so sad.   

“Mommy?” he asked, walking up to her with his backpack of school work and fanny pack with some blocks Richie gifted him. The response wasn’t unwelcome but not one Eddie expected – a hug before thanking the TA and walking out with him. The trip was silent, as was the home, and Eddie had never felt so uneasy in such a familiar place  

 “Mommy?” Eddie repeated,  “Is  daddy at work?”  

“Honey,” she whispered, “daddy is- he's... he’s going away for a while.”  

“Why?” Eddie began looking around, noticing that the pictures of him were turned face down “I want daddy!”  

“I know, Eddie”  

“No! No, I want daddy, where’s he?” Tantrums were not Eddie’s style, even as a child, but the shock was overwhelming and a child couldn’t process this – his dad was gone. Gone where? With who? Why wasn’t Eddie and mommy with him? Eddie didn’t know it yet, but thinking back, he would realise this is where it changed, where the story of a divorced wife told to the school would change into the longest-running sob story probably ever executed   

“Daddy died... he’s never coming back.”  

The memory made him feel physically sick as Sonia’s cold phrasing kept replaying in his mind for the last 11 years – maybe it was the shock making him ill – but either way, a whimper came and the only word he could process and utter around a sob 

“Dad...” 

---- 

Welcome to the Losers Club, Asshole  

PoorManNamedRich:  You will not fucking believe our night.  

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo :  Y’all finally kiss 

PoorManNamedRich  removed B(ev)itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo’s message 

Chapter Text

Welcome to the Losers Club, Asshole

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: How did you even get back on the chat 

PoorManNamedRich : Stole Eds phone during Mean Girls and added myself back 

PoorManNamedRich : Really not the point here. 

B( ev )itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo: Okay what’s up? 

PoorManNamedRich : I- 

PoorManNamedRich : Eddie is on the phone to his dad 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: Wait, what?! 

JustaBoyFromDairy : what’s with the punctuation? 

Benjamenjamin : It’s kinda freaking me out  

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: They don’t know

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : About Eddie’s dad? I just guessed his mom and dad separated 

PoorManNamedRich : Well, I guess you’re right, but eddie’s been told his dad died when he was five 

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : And he’s not? 

PoorManNamedRich: Eddie has just calmed down enough to actually talk to him, so no. Mr. K is far from being dead. 

PoorManNamedRich : So much that he and my dad talk at least once week  and I never knew.

JustaBoyFromDairy : Your dad knows Eddie’s dad?

PoorManNamedRich : Best friends since high school. Eddie and I actually met when we were babies, but never remembered. 

PoorManNamedRich : Obviously. 

Benjamenjamin: And your mom? 

PoorManNamedRich : Knew he was alive. Frank never came up in conversation so they just assumed Sonia got full custody of Eddie after Frank started the divorce.

JustaBoyFromDairy: And... she didn’t? 

PoorManNamedRich : ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  

B( ev )itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo: I bet not. Let me tell you, unless the guy has done something bad, they would grant joint custody 

Benjamenjamin : Is Eddie’s dad nice? 

PoorManNamedRich : Dad said he was patient and soft spoken for the most part  

1-Did-I-Fucking-Stutter-800: I only remember him seeing Eddie crying and just kept saying how brave Eddie was 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: Yeah! The other dads looked almost,,, shocked that he didn’t tell Eddie to man up 

PoorManNamedRich : I don’t know why. How could anyone think this man would tell his son to man up.  

PoorManNamedRich [ Mr.Frank.Kaspbrak ]  

JustaBoyFromDairy : ,,,,I shouldn’t,,,, 

JustaBoyFromDairy : ,,, but 

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : He’s hot 

PoorManNamedRich: NO!!! 

PoorManNamedRich: That’s my future dad-in-law, you shut your mouth  

1-Did-I-Stutter-100 : ??? Well, Richie has blown being subtle out of the window,,, 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: Was he ever subtle????

PoorManNamedRich: Subtle enough for Eddie to not know so all of you,,, shut your mouth 

Benjamenjamin : All our mouth 

PoorManNamedRich : Your collective mouth  

PoorManNamedRich  deleted the last 6 messages  

---  

HypochondriSnac : Did you call my dad hot?! 

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : TOZIER, WHY DIDN’T U DELETE THAT MESSAGE  

PoorManNamedRich : haha get fucked 

Benjamenjamin: Well,,, he has the masculine pretty vibe  

HypochondriSnac : I’m- 

HypochondriSnac: wait you like guys? 

Benjamenjamin: Oh, I’m pan! 

B(ev)IHopeTheFuckYouDo: Big Bi Mood 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: Imagine not liking 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: Bi here too 

JustaBoyFromDairy: Pan too, Ben! 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Stutter-800: boys 

Bejamenjamin: Pan Boys! 

JustaBoyFromDairy : Pan Boys! 

HypochondriSnac : Oh fuck I thought Stan and Richie would be our token straights  

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: Did you call me a het? 

PoorManNamedRich: Did you call me a het? 

Benjamenjamin : How did you send that at the same time??? 

PoorManNamedRich : The Power of Gays AND bEST fRIENDS  

---- 

Private Message from  RichieTZ  to Ben.Den  

RichieTZ : Wait did he say that Stan and I would be The Losers Club's token straights 

RichieTZ: Meaning....??? 

Bill.Den : He’s gay, Rich 

RichieTZ: You don’t know that 

Bill.Den: I do. I’m his go to guy about crushes.  

RichieTZ: Eddie has a crush? 

Bill.Den : Oh wow,,, is that my mom calling me? Bye Richie! 

RichieTZ: Bill??? 

RichieTZ: WILLIAM DENBROUGH GET UR ASS!!!! 

---- 

Welcome to the Losers Club, Asshole  

HypochondriSnac : Anyway!!! My dad isn’t hot stfu!!! 

---- 

 Eddie just let himself be held by Richie as the news sunk in. Silence was uncommon in the Tozier household - especially when Richie was home - so when Wentworth and Maggie peered in to the living room they were surprised to see the boys still awake, yet more true than ever. It didn’t take a genius to realise the two deflected feelings by bickering at the beginning, soon turning into how they did show affection in some cases, but this was new; Richie laid flat across the arm chair – his legs dangling off one of the arm rests and his head rested on the other so Eddie’s body could curl into one side, head on the taller teen’s chest, with his phone discarded to the space beside his best friend and out of reach. All the while Richie’s fingers gently skimmed up and down Eddie’s torso – the two boys were talking, too quiet for the married couple to hear. They didn’t need to, anyway. 

As they retreated into the kitchen, Went still (very quietly) made arrangements for Frank to come to Derry ASAP, both Toziers nodding to one another; their boys warmed their hearts to no end. 

---- 

For a brief moment, Richie was scared that Eddie would pull away from where they were practically cuddled up on the arm chair, knowing what he now knew about him; sure, it made no sense – Eddie was gay (if Bill was telling the truth) and he didn’t pull away, right? 

“Chee?” Eddie murmured, voice deeper than usual, yet softer  

“Yeah, Eds?” 

“Thank you,” he breathed, the act tickling Richie’s neck slightly “f-for everything.” 

The fact Eddie hadn’t even commented on the nickname had Richie smiling with a sweet triumph, but as Eddie was fit perfectly beside him the messages from Bill replayed over and over again. Eddie had a crush. Eddie didn’t move away from Richie’s embrace like Richie may have done with Eddie if the roles were reversed, fearful of his friend realising how much he ached for the contact. Eddie had a crush. 

And Richie knew it wasn’t him. 

But that would never stop him being there for Eddie. His crush. His first love. His best friend.

“Anything for you, Eddie. You know that.” 

 

 

And even if Richie felt his chest constrict as he tried to exhale, he wouldn't have pushed Eddie away. Ever.

Chapter Text

Private Messages from  Bill.Den  to StanleyUris  

Bill.Den: I fucked up  

StanleyUris: ??? again??? 

Bill.Den : Stan. 

StanleyUris: you’re serious? 

Bill.Den : I told Richie that Eddie has a crush 

StanleyUris : I say this with the most affection I can 

StanleyUris : but what the fuck 

Bill.Den : I know I fucked up 

StanleyUris : No I thought you had a real issue 

Bill.Den: This is a big problem, Stan! 

StanleyUris : Why? 

Bill.Den : He’ll hate me 

Stan scrunched his nose up at the message in confusion; why would Richie hate Bill for saying Eddie had a crush? It made no sense unless - 

StanleyUris : Oh. 

Bill.Den : Oh? 

StanleyUris : richie won’t hate you. Be annoyed, yes, but the core four have been friends since first grade 

StanleyUris: it’s okay. 

Bill.Den : The Core Four* 

Bill.Den : But thank you I needed that 

StanleyUris : anytime 

The paper in front of Stan seemed to glare at him as he drew up his knees to his chest, somehow fitting on his desk chair. The paper in question now not only seemed to be a damning confession, but now a mockery of the teen’s feelings; admittedly Stan was not Bill – he was no artist, nor was he typically good with words, but still tried his damned hardest to make the words flow perfectly. 

B for Bill  

Bathed in sunlight after saving the ones we loved  

Brother in your arms and I put my hands in yours  

But I only ever loved you in this way, like a dove - finally a   

Bird you liked. You said it reminded you of me  

Birds remind me of you too; calm until  provoked,  eye catching, enchanting   

Beautiful. For others   

B is for Beautiful. For me   

B is for   -

“Bill-” he whispered, voice cracking and chest constricting. He couldn’t be here anymore. He couldn’t stand it. Who cared if he had an essay to finish? It was due in a week, he had time. Who cared if it had been raining all day? A walk would do him good. Quickly Stan rose to his feet, putting on his jacket which had been hung on the back of his door before surveying the room, eyes landing back on the poem. He walked over cautiously– as if the paper would manifest into Bill himself just to laugh at him – before standing at the wooden desk for a moment. The sound of crumpling paper registered before the fact Stan had thrown the paper across the room and into the open top trash can. Wincing at the force he had used, Stan rubbed his shoulder and made his way down the stairs, slipping on his ‘wreckable’ shoes.  

“Where do you think you’re going, Stanley?”  

“It’s raining! You’ll come home sopping wet!”  

Had it been another day, Stan would have lied, hoping that Richie could cover for him, but the Tozier’s did not need another mother being passive aggressive over the phone. “I need a walk.” He said calmly, turning to face his parents “I’m wearing my raincoat and not the one for special occasions, my shoes have never entered the synagogue nor school and I have my thick jumper on. I promise I will clean up after myself.” Donald and Andrea Uris had a silent conversation with each other before Donald gave in and gave his son a curt nod  

“As long as you don’t make a mess coming back and have your work done, you may go.” 

“Thank you.” Stan nodded back to his father, not mentioning that there were multiple pieces of work that he could be doing right now or could have been doing for the past hour while writing the poem for his best friend – a project which proved itself mute.  

And maybe on another day, Stan would have grumbled about how his parents only cared if he made a mess and did well in academic areas as he closed the front door of his home, only sheltered from the downpour by the roof of his porch, but – today at least – the only thoughts consisted of Bill. 

------ 

Welcome To The Losers Club, Asshole  

JustaBoyFromDairy : How’s eddie doing now? 

PoorManNamedRich : Good 

HypochondriSnac : I’m right here ya know 

PoorManNamedRich : ??? I thought you were asleep???? 

HypochondriSnac : I’m literally right next to u, I couldn’t be closer if I tried 

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : huh 

PoorManNamedRich : -_- 

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : not everything is about u  

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : Just found it weird that Eddie used the correct ‘I’m’ then used ‘U’ and then a comma , but also no period and Stan didn’t call him out on it 

JustaBoyFromDairy : That is unlike Stan 

Benjamenjamin: He can’t text in the rain 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: What? 

HypochondriSnac : chill 

Benjamenjamin : yeah, I saw him two minutes ago 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: It’s raining! And freezing, what is he doing? 

JustaBoyFromDairy : its alright, he and ben live close 

PoorManNamedRich : yeah, calm down mother hen 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: ...

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: I care about my friends and those aren’t wind they’re gales 

HypochondriSnac : Billy, calm down. He’s okay. 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: Yeah,,, yeah I know. 

Benjamenjamin : I got him to come in. Mike is on his way over 

JustaBoyFromDairy : My grandma made some cakes – Stan liked them a lot so she’s driving me over now 

Benjamenjamin : Stan says thank you! 

 

B(ev)itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo: Mike  – I would die for you  

B( ev )itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo: and your grandma’s baking 

PoorManNamedRich: rt 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: rt 

HypochondriSnac : rt 

Benjamenjamin : Why don’t you come to mine and we can share  

Benjamenjamin : wait, is there enough Mike? 

JustaBoyFromDairy : Do you know my grandma  

JustaBoyFromDairy : of course there’s enough! 

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : catch me crying in the club rn. 

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : @PoorManNamedRich drive me 

Benjamenjamin: why not,,, ask him in a pm??? 

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : bc I’m on this chat, Benny boy and  I cba to switch convos 

PoorManNamedRich: lmao why do u think I’m driving  

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : and what? Let eddie and yourself walk in torrential rain? 

PoorManNamedRich: u rite 

HypochondriSnac : thanks Bev   

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : ur welcum  

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: jesus christ 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: u don’t even believe in jesus??? 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: #NotMyMessiah  

 

 

Chapter Text

Bill often didn’t like his 10 year old brother tagging along in cases such as this, but as Georgie played in the rain-water which had cascaded down the side of the street, the older Denbrough child realised that his presence may actually bring up Stan’s mood. 

“I don’t like Stan being sad,” Georgie commented off hand  

“W-What makes you think h-he's sad?” 

“No one walks in the rain for no reason.” Although Bill had thought the same, he had thought it was an over exaggeration – a sign that he was spending way too much time studying for his English assignments, causing him to analyse every aspect of the situation at hand. “Plus, Stan always says he doesn’t like rain.” 

“He hates how it m-messes up his hair... and his shoes, and clothes – especially his s-sweaters.”  It  was  weird then,  Bill reasoned with himself, letting Georgie walk ahead of him as long as they were able to see one another. The bright yellow of Georgie’s raincoat never went too far anyway, Bill thought as he drew his own blue rain coat closer to himself; the material was perfect for keeping dry, but not warm.  

---------- 

Welcome to the Losers Club, Asshole  

Benjamenjamin: Mike just brought over the goods 

B(ev)itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo: The goods 

PoorManNamedRich: The good good? 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: tHE BAKED GOODS? 

HypochondriSnac : No, you heathens 

JustaBoyFromDairy : Yes??? I did??? You guys aren’t here yet. 

Benjamenjamin: They’re talking about edibles, Mikey 

JustaBoyFromDairy : … well they are edible 

JustaBoyFromDairy : But yeah, not those. 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: It’s true, they’re delicious 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: Georgie says please save him some 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: Hello, tell Georgie I love him  

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: [ILoveYouStanVideo: Georgie holding out his arms while in the rain, close to Ben’s house, while saying ‘I love you thiiiiis much,  Stanny !’]  

Benjamenjamin: Stan started crying while watching a video??? 

Benjamenjamin : I’M CRYING WHILE WATCHING A VIDEO! 

JustaBoyFromDairy: Me too!!! 

JustaBoyFromDairy : I’ll open the door for you guys. 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: Don’t cry! 

------- 

Georgie was bouncing up the steps of the porch when Mike opened the door “Hey, Georgie – Hey Bill!” the boy called as Bill was a whole ten seconds behind his brother, laughing as he also made his way up the porch steps. 

“Oh my God, you guys actually cried!”  

“Billy, don’t be mean!” Georgie pouted after taking off his boots and coat once inside, but was grinning as Bill shook his head, mouthing ‘betrayal’, entering the home and taking off his own coat and shoes  

“Yeah, Billy,” a familiar voice came from behind Mike, but was also smiling gently – the first one Mike and Ben had seen since Stan had come over - “Don’t be mean.” Of course, Stan and Georgie always teamed up against Bill, especially when the two older teens would babysit the younger boy (or when Bill was babysitting his brother but invited Stan over as well – lame excuse to hang out, but it always worked).  

“Stanny!” The younger voice cried with a giggle and ran over to Stan, who had leaned down before scooping the boy up and resting him on his hip; if Bill could fall harder, he may have just done that.  As Stan let Georgie sit on his hip while talking to one another, Mike nudged his slightly dazed friend and whispered: 

“Hey, you’re staring.” To which Bill finally hung up the coat he had taken off a minute earlier as an excuse to tear his eyes away from the smiling pair in front of him, and nudged Mike back playfully  

Ben appearing in the doorway, asking “Okay, so who wants cake?” was what broke the two separate conversations as Georgie took no time at all professing his desire for cake and wiggled gently to get out of Stan’s grasp to which the teen held on lightly, holding Georgie back from the kitchen (which had Georgie in a fit of giggles and  ‘Stan! The cakes! ’  ) before letting him go to receive the treats. “Save me one!” He called, turning back to Mike and Bill, eyes giving away some emotions he was feeling, but the smile showing another; his eyes showed something between tired and sad, but his smile wasn’t fake either – grateful, Bill proposed silently before Stan had nodded his head to the kitchen where Ben and Georgie were and followed. 

Watching the curls bounce as Stan followed his gleefully shrieking brother, Bill could feel the fondness translate onto his features – risen eyebrows and soft curling smile – only to turn into shock as the door was knocked on again. Mike opened the door again to reveal the remaining three in various states – all smiling at something. “How are you wet? You drove here?”  

“Someone left the roof off his car for a good minute,” Beverly laughed, eyes looking to Richie, whose hair was literally dripping, yet didn’t seem too phased by the whole ordeal as his own smile couldn’t be hidden 

“And someone else stole my jumper,” 

“Hm, shame.” Eddie entered with a proud smile, cuddling the mostly dry jumper around himself, waving to Bill with the jumper’s sleeve pooling around Eddie’s wrist; the two remaining losers stepped inside and all three took off their wet shoes. Richie couldn’t not notice – Beverly only noticed Richie’s lingering glance 

“Stole it?” she piped up with a chuckle “You practically put it on Eddie yourself.” Beverly had the respect to only say this once Eddie had joined the others – a comfort for Richie, hopefully, who still looked a little put down – to which Bill only laughed as well “I can only I-imagine.” 

“Did you ride here with the roof down or-?” Mike asked, seeing that their clothes seemed fine, but their hair had been wet.  

“Nah,” Richie shrugged, moving his eyes from Bill to Mike “had to dry the car though,” 

“Which got us wet!” Beverly huffed jokingly as the three entered the largely filled kitchen where they sat around the circular dining table; Georgie was between Eddie and Stan – both who would give him the jellies off the top of the cakes – while Ben was putting the many different cupcakes on the table on various plates and cutting one large cake into pieces.

“Woah,” Richie smiled in a state of somewhat awe “Mike did your grandparents do all of this?” 

“Oh no, the big cake was Ben,” Mike said proudly, explaining why the scent of vanilla encompassed the kitchen; it wasn’t over-powering, yet you couldn’t ignore it if you wanted to. How homes should feel – welcoming. For a brief moment, Richie couldn’t help realise how many of their friends were deprived of that feeling: 

Ben lost his dad and – for a long time – was very poor, until his mother found work. He hadn’t had a home for years and nearly didn’t even have a house to live in for the majority of his childhood before moving to Derry where, now, his mother had a stable and quite well-paying job. Ben often claimed it was the only saving grace about the small town - other than their friends, of course. 

After Georgie’s ‘accident’, the Denbrough household was stiff and emotionally draining for Bill as he blamed himself and thought his parents had also; Richie knew Bill’s parents didn’t think that way and were only paying extra attention to Georgie and accidentally left Bill out as the teenager kept himself locked in his room a lot, unless Georgie visited him. Soon it went back to normal, which was a relief, yet it wasn’t all rosy 100% of the time, but it was better.

Stan had overbearing parents, who were only overbearing with their expectations and the pressure of their son doing well academically; sure, they meant well, but that never changed the times Richie was on the other end of the phone and could hear Stan holding back the tears of stress and anxiety as he faced a B rather than an A. He could be two marks off and Stan would be found still being overly disappointed, losing his appetite, even if his parents weren’t upset. 

Beverly’s father was abusive and mother dead from when she was very young - kind of like Eddie, but for real this time. Plain and simple. It was typically Ben who Beverly talked to for comfort, but Richie when she wants to not talk about it – or joke about it without someone being concerned. He was concerned, but he knew how cathartic joking without someone opting for you to talk about it or live the emotions again was. The only good part of any of this was that she no longer that; her aunt took her in recently and gave her a home – one she compared to Ben’s home. 

Mike lost his parents, barely remembering them, but still had an insane fear of fire indoors; if they camped outside and had a bonfire? Perfect and Mike was often the to orchestrate the event, but Beverly quickly knew to never light up a cigarette inside after seeing Mike shake and stare at her lighter; he had tried to play it off to take the guilt away, but she didn’t forget and made sure everyone was aware. They sing “Happy Birthday” outside if it’s not raining and if it is, they use fake candles. 

And Eddie. Eddie never had a ‘home’ he could remember – a fact Eddie confided in Richie the night before. He remembered vague parts of his father, but never felt as if his house was a home after he ‘died’ - left … whatever happened. Before Georgie’s accident / after Bill stopped letting the guilt eat him alive and pre-the-time-of Stan’s parents’ expectations rising, the two had normal and loving homes with kind parents. Ben had his mother, a home and a sweet little dog called nibbles after the struggles he had faced out of Derry. Beverly and Mike were adopted and introduced into loving homes, and supported by loving family members and therapy – while that didn’t stop the trauma, they now had somewhere to be free and live while trying to move on with their futures. Richie was lucky – bullied horrendously, physically and verbally taunted by Bowers in and out of school (before the asshole was arrested) which stayed with him each time he passed the arcade, the kissing bridge, and the Paul Bunyan statue most notably – but he had loving and supportive parents and friends who help him grow past that without even realising it, never had money troubles that he can remember and had the most wonderful group of friends; Eddie was the only one still stuck where he was when he was five.  

“Stan helped,” Ben added, cutting Richie from his nauseating realisation, and Stan raised the half-eaten cupcake like a wine glass before a toast and lowered it again, chewing on the piece he had bitten off and covering his mouth with the same hand 

“I iced the cake, Ben, you did the hard work.” But the comment only earned Stan a ‘shh’ and a previously discarded whisk being pointed Stan’s way instead of the knife ben had been holding.

“Yeah, Stan, ‘shh’.” Georgie said, recreating Ben’s pose, but used his cupcake as a replacement for the whisk, having all of the losers in hysterics while Ben placed the plate on the table with the slices of the ‘ben-made’ cake on; looking past the vanilla-iced cake, Bill could see Stan ruffling Georgie’s hair before the standing losers took their seats and began tucking in. Richie was eternally grateful he was sitting next to Bev and silently cursing the fact he was across from Eddie; he was in the best shot to see how his jumper was just too big for Eddie – only swamping him because it was baggy on Richie and the height difference between the two was at least three inches by now – and how the usual styled hair started to curl as Eddie wasn’t pressured to straighten his naturally wavy hair into his normal side parting – at least the redhead could nudge Richie ‘accidentally’ when he was too quiet or looking too long.  

----- 

Private Message from  ThatBxtchBeverly  to RichieTZ  

ThatBxchBeverly: Why’re you acting so … off? 

RichieTZ: What? 

RichieTZ : I’m not acting weird 

ThatBxtchBeverly : Dude your staring is normal at eddie but now bill? 

ThatBxtchBeverly: ... 

ThatBxtchBeverly : Do you like him? 

RichieTZ: He’s our friend???? 

ThatBxtchBeverly  : Do you Like Him, richie? 

ThatBxtchBeverly  : Because if you do, that’s okay! You can like two people at once! 

ThatBxtchBeverly  : Like as long as ur not,,, yk cheating or whatever 

RichieTZ: NO! Jesus, no! 

RichieTZ : Fuck Bev, Im so whipped for eddie that I forgot what liking other people is like 

ThatBxtchBeverly  : Then????? 

RichieTZ  : Bill told me Eddie has a crush,,,  

ThatBxtchBeverly: Obvs 

RichieTZ  : YOU KNOW?! 

ThatBxtchBeverly  : Its obvious 

RichieTZ: No,, like he actually TOLD Bill that he likes someone. 

ThatBxtchBeverly : ,,, what’s that to do will Bill? 

RichieTZ: I think he likes Bill. 

ThatBxtchBeverly: ,,,, 

ThatBxtchBeverly : What? 

ThatBxtchBeverly: Tell me you’re joking. 

RichieTZ: ??? 

ThatBxtchBeverly  : There is no way he likes Bill 

ThatBxtchBeverly : He likes you! He’s huddled in your sweater rn 

RichieTZ : But he goes to Bill about feelings. Bill told me.  

ThatBxtchBeverly: ???? He wouldn’t go to u if he likes you ??? 

RichieTZ : He only goes to Bill. 

RichieTZ : Bill is different. He waves to Bill and looks adorable while doing it. 

RichieTZ : I just,,,, we bicker and I love it! But what if he likes Bill bc they don’t bicker Im- 

ThatBxtchBeverly : That’s not what it is. 

ThatBxtchBeverly : Trust me. 

RichieTZ : Okay. Ima check on Stan. 

ThatBxtchBeverly: He’s literally sitting nearly directly opposite you??? 

RichieTZ : But he may not want to talk rn 

RichieTZ: We’re sitting next to one another and we’re texting  

ThatBxtchBeverly : Valid 

----- 

Private Message from  RichieTZ   to  StanleyUris    

RichieTZ : You alright 

StanleyUris: Is that a question or a statement? 

RichieTZ : You alright?* 

RichieTZ : Pedantic prick 

StanleyUris: I guess that’s better 

StanleyUris: I’ve been better, but I’m okay 

RichieTZ : I’m calling bull 

StanleyUris: Why? 

RichieTZ : I’m one of your best and longest friends. 

RichieTZ: I’ve known you since first grade 

RichieTZ: You told me first about liking Bill and not being straight 

RichieTZ : I know when my best friend is lying 

StanleyUris: … 

StanleyUris: Then why ask? 

RichieTZ: It’s polite  

RichieTZ : Now I ask – what made you walk out during the biggest storm in Derry for what had to be at least 20 years 

StanleyUris : I think Bill and Eddie are dating. Or Bill likes Eddie. 

RichieTZ: What makes ya think that? 

StanleyUris: Bill told me that he told you that Eddie has a crush and said that you’ll be mad at him 

StanleyUris : Why else would you be mad at him if it wasn’t because likes or is dating the guy you’ve been crushing on since forever? 

StanleyUris : Fuck, Rich, I shouldn’t have said that 

RichieTZ : No, no... I was thinking the same thing, but,,, yk,,, from Eddie’s side 

RichieTZ: You think they’d date without telling anyone? 

StanleyUris : Maybe bc its new? Or they don’t want to change the group dynamic? 

RichieTZ: That doesn’t really explain why you were out in the rain 

StanleyUris : Like the biggest gay cliché, I was going to tell Bill through a letter or whatever and he texts me that. I just needed to go out after throwing the note away. 

RichieTZ : Understandable, have a good day. 

------ 

Stan’s roll of his eyes caught Richie’s eyes, causing him to snicker. The two looked up as Bill continues his story with Georgie adding in about the time they thought they were being broken in to, but it was just Bev using her spare key to let her and Ben in to make Bill’s birthday cake at 3am. The humour he had felt evaporated as Richie laid on eyes on Eddie, leaning on the table and chin on his forearms while looking up at Bill – ask anyone unbiased, it looked like Eddie was just comfortable, but didn’t want to seem rude, but Richie could only imagine the love-struck thoughts going through Eddie’s head: 

He’s so pretty  
Bill is just perfect / wonderful / the best   
I love him – really and truly in love with him – aren't I?  

They were the thoughts which ran through Richie’s mind whenever he was staring at Eddie. 

Stan saw something so achingly similar, but saw Bill’s eyes flicker to Eddie often – sure, Eddie was almost directly in front of him, but he didn’t get it. Why not him? Richie and Stan’s eyes met again and they met the same conclusion:  

 

They were fucked, weren’t they?  

Chapter Text

Welcome to the Losers Club, Asshole  

Benjamenjamin : It’s the 9 th  and no one messaged about Halloween until now  :(  

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : Look what you’ve done!  

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : You’ve made him sad!  

1-Did-I-Stutter-800:  you’re??? Included in that???  

HypochondriSnac Smh  Bev trying to exclude yourself   

B ( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : I do not associate with you  rn  u made Ben sad  

1-Did-I-Stutter-800:  SAID,,  

PoorManNamedRich : here we go  

1-Did-I-Stutter-800:  THAT WITH US, UR A LOSER TOO!!!   

PoorManNamedRich : OWN IT!!!!  

JustaBoyFromDairy : Yeah Bev  :(( ((   

Benjamenjamin : Pan Boys Sad Hours  

HypochondriSnac : LOOK!!! MY BOYS!!!  

Benjamenjamin : never 4give u guys  

JustaBoyFromDairy : Unless u tell us  something  spooky!  

Benjamenjmin : Galaxy Brain Mike Hours!  

JustaBoyFromDairy : :)  

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo :  The mortifying ordeal of being known  

HypondriSnac : Richie while cooking  

PoorManNamedRich : hey!  

HypondriSnac : YOU MADE A PIZZA IN THE MICROWAVE!!!  

JustaBoyFromDairy thanks  I hate it   

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo   kicked  PoorManNamedRich   from  Welcome to the Losers Club, Asshole  

1-Did-I-Stutter-800:  Wow, Bev  

B(ev)itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : Some Crimes Can Not Be Forgiven, William  

1-Did-I-Stutter-800:  Just for  that,,,  

1-Did-I-Stutter-800   a dded  PoorManNamedRich   to  Welcome to the Losers Club, Asshole  

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800 : Now that is scary, Bill  

PoorManNamedRich : fuck u guys  

Benjamenjamin : I haven’t forgiven you guys yet  

JustaBoyFromDairy : *eye emoji*   

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800 : Did you just type out *eye emoji*???  

JustaBoyFromDairy :  Stope Bullying Me Stan!  

1-Did-I-Stutter-800 : stope  

HypochondriSnac : stope  

PoorManNamedRich : stope  

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800:  stope  

JustaBoyFromDairy :,,, ben is my only friend  

Benjamenjamin : ,,,,,  

Benjamenjamin : stope  

JustaBoyFromDairy : BEN!  

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800 : The real spooky shit is me being fuckin ill  

HypochondriSnac : Stanley!   

PoorManNamedRich : dumbass walking  in the rain  

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800:   Eddie,,,  can we go back to the time u said u would snap his neck pls  

JustaBoyFromDairy : damn, you must be sick if you’re using pls  

HypochondriSnac : Well, before I go back to my place, I’ll make sure to fulfil my promise   

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800 : Thank you  

PoorManNamedRich Woah,,,Eds  

PoorManNamedRich : when you what?  

HypochondriSnac : 1) Not my name  

HypochondriSnac : 2) When I  what,,,,What ??  

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : I think  hes  talking about the fact ur  gonna  go back to ur crazy-ass mom  

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : Sorry that was mean  

HyponchondriSnac : ur not wrong, but I can’t stay at Maggie and  Went’s  place forever  

Benjamenjamin : but is going back wise?  

Benjamenjamin : you know my mom wouldn’t care if you stayed!  

HypochondriSnac : thank you, Ben, but  its  just the fact I shouldn’t mooch off of my friend’s families.   

HyponchondriSnac : I’ll be fine.  

JustaBoyFromDairy : Eddie!  

JustaBoyFromDairy : The farm is huge and I’d love company, you could always come here  

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo :  My aunt loves u too!  

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800:  I think what Eddie is saying is that he feels bad for staying at a place which  isnt  his   

HypochondriSnac : exactly!  

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800:  Even though its fucking dumb  

HypochondriSnac : Stan! I trusted you  

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800:  Tell me I’m wrong  

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800:  Bill also has offered his place. I would but I’d rather you didn’t go from one complicated house to another  

HypochondriSnac : Thank you, Stan, I appreciate it.  

HypochondriSnac : and tell Bill thank you as well  

HypochondriSnac : and to all of you   

Benjamenjamin : Why didn’t Bill just type in the chat?  

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800 : He’s making me soup while my parents are at work  

PoorManNamedRich : we stan Billy Boy  

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : Bitch moves fast   

Benjamenjamin : Zoom  

Benjamenjamin   changed Welcome to the Losers Club, Asshole   to  Welcome to the Creepy Club, Asshole    

Benjamenjamin : just for October  

PoorManNamedRich Aight ,,, only  bc  I fuckin love Halloween Month  

--------------------  

Richie put his phone down, finally, on the kitchen table where he was sitting with his father and mother while Eddie went to shower; it seemed he had gotten out recently due to the texts, but the teen couldn’t find it in himself to go upstairs.   

“Eddie is thinking about going back ho—to Mrs K.” Richie said randomly, having both of his parents look shocked and then almost sad as Maggie’s eyebrows knit together in concern while Wentworth put his mug down slowly. “Is she even legally Mrs  Kaspbrak  anymore? I thought that was Frank’s last name?”  

“Well, if she changed it legally before marrying – which I’m sure she had – then yes.” Wentworth explained, still wrapping his head around Eddie going home before picking his coffee back up and taking a long sip “Sadly, Rich, we can’t stop him. He is under 18, so I’m surprised the police hadn’t been called already.”  

“He’s 16!” Richie almost hissed, but they all knew it was just so Richie’s aggravation wasn’t heard by Eddie, who was directly above them in Richie’s room. “Eds probably called her at some point to say it was a sleepover after the argument. He’s gonna be in so much shit.”  

Maggie looked to her son with a disapproving glance, but knew that he was right; the two  Kaspbraks  fought before Eddie came over; Mrs Tozier would be surprised if Eddie had contact with anyone for the next week, which was not what Eddie needed after finding out what he had about Frank. Feeling her husband’s hand on her own, she had realised her hand shook and a frown appeared on her face from the anger she felt. “Can you keep him here for one day at least?” Wentworth asked and, despite not knowing the thought process of just having Eddie for one more night rather than just stealing the boy, Maggie nodded and eyes almost pleaded to have Richie convince him.   

“I can always try.” Standing from the table, Richie grabbed his phone and smiled to his parents before leaving the kitchen to go up the stairs and into his room where Eddie had changed into his clothes ( thank god for the extra pair of clothes the  Toziers  kept for  him  on the regular)  but, again, one of Richie’s jumpers has created a layer of comfort, which had Richie leaning against the wall smiling – selfishly letting himself take in the sight of Eddie humming while packing. Any other time Richie may have let himself think that this could happen one day - go to colleges in the same area three years down the line and that their lives could always be like this – this close... or closer. “Packing already, Eds?” Richie asked with an almost sad chuckle as his unwashed clothes were packed into his rucksack – no humour behind it at all - causing the smaller teen to turn around and smile slightly back at his friend, dropping the pair of jeans he had folded back onto Richie’s bed and walked up to the other.  

“Not my name, asshole,” Eddie said, swallowing his feelings of fear, anger (both derived from seeing his mother soon), and the blooming feeling coming from hearing Richie’s lacklustre laugh – he felt  bad . “But you know I can’t stay here. The police will be called and drag me home – I don’t need to have that on your parent’s door.”  

“One night.” Richie said without a prompt, thinking back to his father’s words and his mother’s begging eyes “Just - please Eddie, one night won’t kill you, right?” Again, the unsure and somewhat sad smile was back onto the  Trashmouth’s  face and Eddie couldn’t say no. Spinning around, Eddie took his phone into his hands without a word before asking “What should I tell her?” pausing and laughed at Richie confused expression “C’mon Rich, you know I’ll need some sort of lie.” Eddie grinned once Richie beamed and practically ran to Eddie’s side, spouting multiple joke-based lies Eddie would never send to his mother   

‘You won a cruise after tipping the stripper the most’  

‘Richie is taking me to a heavy metal concert where I’ll go back to someone’s hotel room an-’ ‘ BEEP  BEEP  RICHIE !’   

The laughter from above them had Wentworth finally able to let go of his wife’s hand as they looked to one another with a smile - a silent  we’ll be okay.  

----------------  

Welcome to the Creepy Club, Asshole  

HypochondriSnac I’ll have to fulfil my promise tomorrow night  

HypochondriSnac: sorry Stan  

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800:  Boo you whore  

PoorManNamedRich :   ya  basic  

1-Did-I-Stutter-800:   Ya  dumbass  

JustaBoyFromDairy : Did you just come online to defend Stan?  

1-Did-I-Stutter-800 [MaybeSo.pic]  

Chapter Text

It hadn’t been even a whole day before Sonia Kaspbrak had phoned up the Tozier household. 

“It’s nine fucking am,” Richie groaned loudly, muffled by his pillow which slowly began to suffocate him, causing the teen to turn his head to the side. The home phone rang loudly, echoing from where it at on the wall by the kitchen – directly below where he laid half-asleep - sure his parents would be woken if they hadn’t been already. The hand which gently shoved the curls from his eyes in an attempt to hush the grumbling teen by covering his mouth reminded Richie that Eddie laid not far away 

“Which is why,” Eddie began, voice muffled also by his pillow – even if they weren’t touching while asleep, Richie’s heart was leaping from his chest, blinking his eyes open before reaching for his glasses on the bedside table. Eddie’s hand slipped from Richie’s hair as Richie slid on his glasses and put his head down on the pillow again; Eddie turned to face Richie – the pair mirroring one another “you need to shut up.” The words didn’t match Eddie’s voice; even when the two were joking around, Eddie’s tone had a faux pissed of aura to it (which everyone knew sounded nothing like how Eddie did when truly angry), but now the words were spoken smooth as honey with a sugar sweet tired smile; even Richie’s loud mouth and overactive brain couldn’t bring itself to break the moment. 

“That’s fair,” he chuckled, only smiling wider as Eddie nudged the taller boy on his back with a huff, ultimately bringing themselves closer as Eddie needed to scoot loser in order to gently shove the other. Raven curls bounced as Richie softly fell on his back – looking up at the ceiling – to which Eddie silently admired the way the curls contrasted against the white pillowcase (even if the room was barely illuminated, Eddie could make Richie’s features out in the dark with minor difficulties) 

“Your glasses are going to snap if you lay on them like that.” 

“Aw, Eds you care.” The soft voice made the words different – not that Eddie ever was truly annoyed, but the nicknames often had an embarrassing and quite telling flush appear on his cheeks - words which did not need to be combated with faux annoyance. Nudging Richie’s side, having the other laughing around a gentle cough from having a slight jab to his ribs, Eddie rolled his eyes and nuzzled against the pillow again so he could go back to sleep. Although Richie was ready to follow suit as he turned his head, seeing the brown waves which had been allowed to be left untamed, he couldn’t stop himself from staying awake just a little longer, knowing the opportunity to see Eddie like this would maybe never happen again. Another annoying ring pulled Richie from his love-struck thoughts as the ringing was now beside him. Eddie’s phone buzzed against Richie’s bedside drawer which the pair tried to ignore for a mere moment until Eddie realised that only one person would call so early. “Shit,” he hissed, arms rising him from where was in order to lean over Richie to grab his phone.  

Ma  calling ...  

“Fuck me,” Eddie hissed, hand shaking minutely as he answered the call and Richie sat up so they were facing one another. Eddie answered “Hello mommy,” he said with a kind tone – one Richie knows she does not deserve. As he sat up, able to see Eddie’s face as the boy looked to him with a weary gaze, Richie let his hand rub Eddie’s shoulder and arm “Hm hmm, coming home now... yes mom … I’m sorry I-… okay I’m on my way.” The beeps indicated that the line went dead – even Eddie was unsure who had pressed to end the call.  

“She’s pissed, Rich,” he said in a whisper, almost shaken. Looking to Richie, who had been silenced at how tense Eddie looked at a simple phone call, Eddie collected himself and nodded “I have to go.” Scooting to the end of the bed so he could stand, Eddie saw his folded clothes and was thankful that he had packed his bag the night previous, setting out the clothes for the next day on Richie’s work desk. Folded neatly, the clothes were scooped up in a hurry by their owner. He wasn’t an idiot, his mother would know damn well if Eddie came home in previous days clothing or unkempt – Eddie did not want to have another argument straight away, but if he must, he’d keep what Sonia could use against him to a minimum. Changed, combed and teeth brushed, Eddie was back in Richie’s room within the next ten minutes to see he had gotten up, officially awake.  

“I’m sorry, Chee. I would stay, you know I would, but I should have gone home last night.” There would be no changing his mind, so Richie stood and placed his hand on Eddie’s arm again – saddened to see the curls had been flattened once more (although not entirely) - and smiled  

“Just text me when you can, alright?” 

“I’ll be calling you a dumbass in the Losers’ chat by midday... thanks Rich. I’ll keep you up to date with what’s happening with my dad.” 

“Tell Frank I love him!” Richie laughed as Eddie flipped him off as he left the room. 

Eddie thanked the Tozier’s - who had been awake at the time of the phone call – for having him, who hugged him and also asked Eddie to call or message Richie as soon as possible. For once, Eddie wondered if this is what a family should be like – what he wanted with his dad someday. Politely declining Wentworth’s offer of a ride and subsequently waving to Richie from where the lanky boy stood at the top of the stairs, Eddie set on his way to his mother’s home. 

 

Text from Dad (ICE)  

I know I messaged last night, but I just want  

To make sure you have a good  day.- FK  

Thanks dad -EK 

I spent the night at Richie’s again -EK 

Mom’s not sounding too happy - EK 

Eddie. -FK  

You know that if you need to, Wentworth has  

Said he has an  open door  policy -FK  

I just felt kind of bad - EK 

Plus, mom sounded angry which is rare. - EK 

I’ll make sure to tell you what happens after       

I get home. -EK 

I’ll be here. -FK   

I know. I love you, dad. - EK 

I love you too, Eddie –FK  

------ 

Only after having contact with Frank did Eddie realise what he had missed out on; he had a dad who wasn’t overbearing and who cared deeply about him as an individual rather than being owned; Frank asked how Eddie’s day was casually, asked how his friends were and then just hoped his son had fun rather than Sonia pointing the finger at Richie and Beverly if Eddie came home any different from how he left, needing to check up on her son at least once every two hours on where he was and who he was with and just overall being insufferable in the worst way. It was long past endearing. Eddie noted that Frank did give him a night-time text, but let Eddie come to him if he wanted to talk, which over the past three days he had. It was nice to be heard. 

So lost in his thoughts, Eddie hadn’t realised he had reached his house until a familiar “Eddie-bear!” was heard, causing the boy to pocket his phone, so Sonia was unable to see who he had been texting. That argument would come at a later date – when Eddie had somewhere to go.  

“Hello, ma.” 

“Now, Eddie, look at you! Your hair is creasing!” Sonia wasn’t being overly loud any longer as her son ascended the porch steps and walked into her embrace, wincing slightly as he held him a bit too hard and long. Then the anger flared “I don’t like what you did, Eddie. You left me worried sick. You could have gotten ill – did you see that storm yesterday?” The woman asked rhetorically while shutting the door, leaving Eddie to feel trapped. He hadn’t even been able to turn around before being directed into the kitchen where the breakfast laid – her own already eaten “You couldn’t have already had breakfast, I’m sure you’ve just woken up with how sloppy you seem today.” Her son winced inwardly. 

Shut up  the inner voice whispered as he sat down at the table. 

“I don’t like that Tozier boy’s effect on you, dear-” 

Why?  Eddie asked, fists clenching by his side as his mother placed his ‘medicine’ down next to the plate of food which he had left untouched still. On second glance – before lifting the pills to swallow them – he realised one looked different, but not unknown... he just didn’t know why it was familiar. Eddie didn’t question it after that as he looked up to see the expecting glance; it was probably a tablet which he had been prescribed  again  without being told. Typical. Eddie took the medicine, swallowed with the water in front of him.  Keep up the act for now. The  gaz - placebos never hurt me yet.  By now, Eddie began to slowly eat the food in front of him, listening to his mother with the faintest amount of interest, only enough so she didn’t catch on that he was trying to ignore her rambling 

 - not to mention the fact that his attitude is rubbing off on you and I don’t like it one bit. Just like his father, Richard seems to be -” 

“Dad didn’t seem to care about Wentworth’s ‘attitude’.”    

Strike one

Eddie closed his eyes, tensing at the untouched territory. Eddie had been forbidden to mention his father on the accounts that it made Sonia ‘feel ill with grief’.  

Bullshit .  

“Excuse me?” Her tone was beyond shocked – flabbergasted was a better term for the look on his mother’s face; eyes bulging when she turned to face her son from where she stood at the sink. 

“Dad was Went’s best friend. You can’t deny that. He obviously liked Wentworth’s behaviour and would probably love Richie.”  

“Your father had a poor judge of character and didn’t know what’s good for him; if he loved Richie I wouldn’t be surprised! The man could never pick right.” 

“Don’t-" Eddie’s hands shook as he stood, head getting more and more dense as the fight continued. "Don’t talk about him like that.”

“I am your mother! Do you not care about you mother, Eddie-bear? You’re placing him over me?” ‘Him’ - it could have been either referencing his father or Richie, but Eddie knew who she had meant. It always was the same. If Richie’s name was ever said, it was ‘Richard’, but more often than not, Sonia would call him ‘that Tozier boy’ or just plainly ‘him’. 

“He’s my best friend! He was there for me! They all were there for me when you weren’t!” 

Strike Two  

“Edward Francis Kaspbrak! How dare you?” The anger flared on her features in the form of a reddening face, furrowed brow and stiff posture, until it seemed something crashed over her and Sonia burst into tears. It shouldn’t have, but it pulled Eddie in – sucked him up in a whirlwind of shame and horror at making his mother cry “A-All I e-ever do for you; I w-work, cook, ache a-and wo-worry! And you let t-that  queer  take my place in your h-heart?” 

Her tears continued, but Eddie took a step back from the slur thrown at him – the one aimed at Richie like a damning dart. The shame was no longer for making his mother cry – it was knowing his mother would hate him if she knew. The anger wasn’t aimed at himself anymore, but her. Too many emotions swirled which had been why Eddie guessed his eyes no longer could focus and his legs felt weak. He gathered the shock took the energy from him.  

“His name is Richie,” Eddie said, using the table to keep himself upright, trying to focus his eyesight on the woman before him “and he is one of the most important people in my life. No one changes that.” 

Strike Three  

“I’m out of here.” Eddie whispered, rushing to his bedroom as fast as he could, even though the fatigue which seemed to settle in caused the boy to crash into the wall with a hushed curse before entering his room, closing the door behind him. Eddie collapsed, passing out upon impact with barely making it to his bed. He’d call Richie later. 

----------- 

5:13  

Welcome to the Creepy Club, Asshole  

PoorManNamedRich : Stan the man Uris, how’re you feeling? 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: His fever is going down and eating properly.  

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: Just more tired than usual 

Benjamenjamin: Did you just ??? Answer for him?? 

B( ev )itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo: Damn that’s gay 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: BEV!  

B(ev)itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : WHAT? 

JustaBoyFromDairy : GROUPCHAT 

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : fuCK RICHIE DELETE DELETE 

PoorManNamedRich  deleted 5 messages from Welcome to the Creepy Club, Asshole  

PoorManNamedRich : I go away for two seconds  

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: Why did he delete messages??? 

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : He admitted his love for Eddie on the groupchat like a dumbass 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: Should have just left it 

1-Did-I-Fucking Ask-800: Maybe we wouldn’t be in agony with their pining 

JustaBoyFromDairy : hmmm,,,, 

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : phat agree 

Benjamenjamin : yes just them  

PoorManNamedRich: shut up he likes someone else. 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: ????? 

PoorManNamedRich : y’all are really fucking lucky this is incriminating towards me 

PoorManNamedRich  deleted 10 messages from Welcome to the Creepy Club, Asshole  

Benjamenjamin : How do you keep deleting without,,,, yk,,,, ppl seeing 

PoorManNamedRich: Talent 

JustaBoyFromDairy: are we ignoring how Eddie had been MIA all day 

PoorManNamedRich: I came to this GC to forget about that,,,, thank u Mike!!!! 

Benjamenjamin: Isn’t he with you? 

B( ev )itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : Yeah 

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : He was staying at yours 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: Did he go home already? 

PoorManNamedRich : At 9:30-ish this morning. 

PoorManNamedRich: He hasn’t called even though I asked. 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: Weird.

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: No offence, maybe he just forgot 

PoorManNamedRich: I’d believe that if my mom didn’t also ask him to call 

PoorManNamedRich : He always calls when my mom asks 

PoorManNamedRich : Even when he’s been on lockdown 

JustaBoyFromDairy : Well there was my only useful explanation  

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: ?? 

JustaBoyFromDairy: that Eddie was on lockdown 

JustaBoyFromDairy: it’d make sense if he didn’t call or text if he was 

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : Bill chugging that Dumb Bitch Juice 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: Richie shared? That’s nice. 

PoorManNamedRich: Guys I’m serious. 

PoorManNamedRich: I feel like Stan when his dad is being an asshole  

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: When isn’t he? 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: Mood. 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: be more specific, Richie 

PoorManNamedRich : Remember when he said that you’d be carrying the whole reputation of your family and the synagogue on your shoulders and then you tripped during the morning service and he gave you the evils? 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: You feel crushing shame? 

PoorManNamedRich: No the other one  

B( ev )itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : We fight Stan’s dad at dawn 

Benjamenjamin: Why not now? 

B(ev)itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : Damn Ben 

JustaBoyFromDairy : the real ride-or-die 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: Thank you Ben, those arms protect the LGBT community 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: Oh, like your heart is going tofall out of your ass because you’re worried about consequences? 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: That would make more sense. 

PoorManNamedRich : Yeah. 

PoorManNamedRich : Not to mention Sonia would not let me in if I went to check 

B( ev )itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : Why don’t you scale his house to his windows again? 

PoorManNamedRich: And this is why Bev is the only valid loser 

Benjamenjamin : :( 

PoorManNamedRich : And Ben 

JustaBoyFromDairy : : ( 

PoorManNamedRich: And Mike 

Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800 :

PoorManNamedRich: And Stan 

PoorManNamedRich : Just because he’s ill 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: Bitch. 

PoorManNamedRich : no u 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: Uno Reverse Card 

PoorManNamedRich : fuck 

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : these bffs need to gtfo  

JustaBoyFromDairy: Mood 

Benjamenjamin : worm 

PoorManNamedRich : Well, first of all 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: Fuck you guys  

PoorManNamedRich : I miss vine 

JustaBoyFromDairy : Where’s Bill? 

B(ev)itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo:  King of Vine 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: he went up to go make us hot chocolate like a minute ago 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: I’ll check on him  

------ 

Stan, admittedly, loved Bill being with him; the other boy wouldn’t let Stan do a thing despite feeling so much better than before. Bill claimed it was the soup, but Stan couldn’t be sure it was just having Bill cuddle him whenever he got the chills because the blankets caused him to overheat. Bill’s lengths to make sure Stan didn’t lift a finger continued as he made them both endless drinks while watching ‘Spirited Away’, which was why Stan was left in the bedroom alone, waiting for Bill to come back. But Richie’s comments did worry him greatly; Eddie was quick to find alternatives to communicate with the Losers when on lockdown since after spending 16 years with his mother had made Eddie an expert on how to get around the limits his mother set. Often it would be using the house phone while pretending to talk to his aunt, letting the Losers know he was in lockdown, before actually calling the aunt so – if Sonia asked – Eddie would have an alibi. Even Stan wouldn’t have thought of that one. 

Slipping from the makeshift nest of the almost entirely blacked out room, Stan blinked to stable himself while gently holding the side of his desk. Before going downstairs and subsequently worrying Bill, Stan pulled up his blinds and, after wincing from the sunlight which would stay in the sky for a few more hours yet, didn’t see a sign of Eddie. His bike was still by his back garden and he wasn’t with Richie or the other Losers, so he had to be in the house.  That’s odd...  

The trip down the steps took Stan slightly longer than what it would have normally, allowing the sounds of soft wails to be registered near the front door. He paused before turning away to lead to the kitchen, not far from where he was already standing; Stan’s bedroom and the kitchen seemed to be on opposite ends, which was why when Stan turned the corner to step into the kitchen, he froze in shock – mirroring Bill – as they both just stared at the ambulance which was up the street. At Eddie’s place. “Bill?” Stan weakly spoke – the shock affecting him much more than the delivering cold he had gotten. Upon hearing his name, Bill turned to see Stan’s eyes shift from him to the scene outside, and then back to him.  

“It’s Eddie.” 

----- 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: Don’t bother. 

PoorManNamedRich : Why not? 

PoorManNamedRich: Did Mrs K put on those fucking jail bars on his windows? 

JustaBoyFromDairy: Why would she? 

PoorManNamedRich: she threatened to when she found me in Eddie’s room, playing cards, while he was on lockdown 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: There’s an ambulance outside his house 

PoorManNamedRich: tell me you’re joking  

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : Is it not for his mom? 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Stutter-800: No 

Benjamenjamin: Can we be sure? 

PoorManNamedRich : Please fucking tell me you’re fucking around.  

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: Sonia is standing outside. Eddie’s already been driven off. 

Benjamenjamin : that can’t be good 

Benjamenjamin: were there sirens? 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: Yes. Bill and I are getting in the car and following. One paramedic was with Sonia when we left. 

B(ev)itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo:  Why? 

PoorManNamedRich : Frank is the emergency contact; they’re probably calling him.  

JustaBoyFromDairy : If its life threatening, they would get Eddie in and sent off rather than have to wait for Sonia to ride in the back. 

PoorManNamedRich : Im omw 

Benjamenjamin: Get your dad, Richie 

B( ev ) itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo :  He’s right, you shouldn’t be behind the wheel. 

PoorManNamedRich  [Seen 5:56]  

Chapter Text

When Richie called himself fearless, he hadn’t been lying; he fought a homicidal clown under his crackhead of a home in an attempt to  find Georgie and even then his biggest concern was that they wouldn’t find Georgie at all – and sure, people may call that fear, but nothing compared to the selfish fear of seeing Eddie mid-convulsion on a hospital bed, unsure of the reason behind it all. Eddie’s limbs looked so lifeless and out of control - the cruellest juxtaposition – which had Richie trying to run into the room Eddie was staying with only Wentworth to hold himself back. Whatever the verdict was, Richie wouldn’t call his actions an overreaction, he decided as he leaned on his father, both in various states of nerves and numbness.   

For Wentworth, this was the boy he watched grow up and grew into another son for him; the boy who turned into a young man alongside his own son; the person who had Richie babbling over dinner, which turned into talking, which turned into blissful ranting; and finally, the boy who could calm and talk to Richie when even he couldn’t. Eddie was already a part of the Tozier family no matter how he and Richie decided to go about their feelings for one another, and to see him in such distress while still unconscious had the man’s heart breaking maybe just as much if it were Richie who had multiple doctors around him, with various tests being undertaken. The only time Wentworth dared to leave his son was when Bill and Stan entered, the latter going to Richie instantly and hugged him close; just as the man was about to answer Bill’s question about Eddie’s condition (unsure – stabilised, yet still prone to convulsions), Richie’s pained wails shattered his heart. Both Bill and Wentworth looked to Stan and Richie in pure shock.  

Richie’s glasses were in the hand which hadn’t had Stan’s shirt in a vice grip, head on his friend’s shoulder and rocked slightly – whether this was Stan trying to comfort Richie or whether Richie was subconsciously rocking (as he did when overwhelmed) they were unsure, but Stan looked on the verge of tears as his own hands shook while trying to sooth Richie’s sobs. “W-What if h-he's not o-okay?”   

“He will be,” Stan breathed, unsure if he believed himself as he saw the nurses have to stabilise Eddie again from the convulsions. Bill swallowed the lump in his throat, feeling that his words would be mute – Stan's words obviously hardly registered in Richie’s brain at this moment, and those came from someone Richie was insanely close to  # ; no one could comfort him with Georgie and both he and Eddie seemed to be in possible life-threatening situations. At least with Georgie, no one had to wonder if he was truly stable or what the hell was wrong – his arm was missing, but with Eddie there was no sign of what could have caused it. It could be days. Days they didn’t have. Instead, Bill took Richie’s glasses and put them in his shirt pocket before rubbing Richie’s back instead, and holding Stan’s to stop himself from trying to ground himself in the moment - past his anxiety - with the use of pinching.   

It seemed that all at once the other three came into the hospital and found their way to where they waited, not far from where Eddie laid; they all silently hated how Eddie was alone except the use of doctors – they weren’t allowed in without the approval of Eddie’s emergency contact; if it was Frank, that means they probably didn’t ask, and if it remained Sonia, she would have blatantly refused. The sound of footsteps was not uncommon, so it wasn’t a shock when they heard more – no one even looked as  all   six of the teenagers  joined hand s , sitting on the floor of the hallway beside the two seats which Wentworth and Richie had been sitting in  

 (“If we can’t all sit, we’ll sit on the floor” Bev said with a shrug, trying to be strong – as she often did - for others, but the hurt was shown plainly. No one blamed her.   

“Eddie will t ell  us to fuck off if we haven’t sanitised our hands when we see him” Stan chuckled softly. They all agreed, and despite the fact Richie remained silent, he agreed also.)  

But Richie’s head snapped up, previously looking at his knees while playing with the loose threads of the rips in his jeans, as he heard “W-What is wrong with him?”  

The blonde curls  

The concerned brow   

The shaking hands which held Richie’s father’s forearms   

“Frank,” he swallowed, causing Bill and Stan to do the same and were left speechless; yes, they knew that Frank  Kaspbrak  was alive when Richie and Eddie told them, but seeing him was another matter – this was no lie, nor hoax, nor misunderstanding – that was the very man who dropped Eddie off the day they all received the news that he died.   

“That’s Eddie’s dad?” Bev whispered, seeing the similarities in the way Eddie’s father seemed anxious (and rightly so)  since both Eddie and Frank shook while explaining in order to get his point across (whatever he was explaining to Went was unheard this time as the two men were also whispering), not to mention the wavy hair and soft yet angular features. She didn’t say it, but she couldn’t help but thank any Gods, for Eddie’s sake, that he resembled his father greatly.   

“Yeah,” Bill nodded   

“I thought he was out of state?” Ben asked  

“So did we,” three out of the four Core Four said in unison, but Richie didn’t wait to hear the remainder of the loser’s conversation, hearing practical white noise as he stood, gaining Frank’s attention;  the man’s  face fell with sympathy and sadness, capturing Richie in his arms after the teen practically ran into them  

“It’s okay, Richie, it’s alright,” he comforted the boy, acting as his own comfort too; being able to have a fatherly role when his son was hurt gave Frank something to think about, something else to worry about so he wasn’t consumed by one matter. He could help in some way and that was better than being stuck to watch his boy remain harmed. To say that Frank didn’t start crying was a lie, but both parties within the hug were, so neither commented on it, only realising they  both had wet eyes  when pulling out of the hug to look at one another “You’re not allowed to grow another inch,” Frank smiled, holding back the tears still – he justified that there was nothing to cry about yet. Eddie was in a safe place right now - the safest he could be in.   

“I’ll try,” the boy chuckled softly, wet from the strain of crying, but happy to see Frank nether-the-less. Bill was the next to get a hug from Frank and Stan received a pat on the shoulder before  he  was the one who started the hug – mainly because the gentle words had Stan’s sarcastic and often not-talked about strong wall crumble and nearly in tears again. Then the three introduced Ben (‘sweetest friend – couldn’t hurt anyone if he tried’), Mike  (‘could bench press Richie but prefers hugs’) and Beverly (‘The coolest one there’), and despite the fears of being seen as a bad influence – especially for Mike and Bev – Frank thanked them all for being here. It hadn’t been much longer until the doctors had come out to speak to Eddie’s father, taking him inside the room with Eddie. The six losers and Wentworth looked on, seeing Frank graze his hand across Eddie’s forehead, each touch attentive and careful, scared to hurt the  unconscious  teenager.   

“Is he always so … sweet?” Beverly asked, mainly to Wentworth since he would be the one to know the most. Mr. Tozier looked over to where the six teenagers were sitting again and nodded   

“Always,” the man chuckled fondly “Oh you should have seen him when he realised, he was a father – Sonia was kind then, sure she hated me, but she was a nice person overall - Frank was just so happy, already picking out names with me at the kitchen table." Wentworth paused, probably remembering the event in his head "He was allowed to choose the baby’s name if it was a boy – Sonia would choose if Eddie turned out to be a girl.” Richie stuck his tongue out in child-like disgust at the idea; imagining Eddie any different than who he was then was gross – as if the idea left a slimy residue on Richie’s brain. “But Frank was so sure. It breaks my heart he didn’t get as much time with Eddie, especially since he was the one who deserved it.” There was a question there, but Richie had almost been entrapped in the moment, feeling pained at seeing the life Eddie could have had with his father rather than the one he had to lead and unlearn slowly from his mother, and couldn’t ask the words on his tongue. Instead he listened, taking it in as if he was half outside of the room and half inside – his mind somewhere else completely, barely able to work out who was speaking other than his father.

So. .. why didn’t he – I mean get to be with Eddie?”  

“Didn’t they get shared custody?”  

“They did. Frank couldn’t be with Sonia anymore; she was turning into the woman she was today right in front of him – manipulative, overbearing, emotionally abusive,” he said the word with a hesitant pause, probably because it was such a hefty concept, but it wasn’t a lie “and Frank couldn’t take it. The day he got the divorce papers and was sent on with his belongings, Sonia must have told Eddie he died. Anytime he would come to the door, demanding to see his son – threatening court dates – she would threaten that she’d get a restraining order since Frank came over on  days  she was supposed to have Eddie-”  

“But he never saw Eddie on his days?”  

“Exactly, but the evidence wouldn’t show that. It was either leave and possibly have contact or never see Eddie again. If our situations were flipped, I’d done the same.”  Finally  Richie looked away, looking at his father and smiled as much as he could at the present time. “At this time Eddie lived about  thirty-five  minutes away from us; after the incident he moved to where he was now, no more than five minutes from our place, but Frank said – you know, after Eddie found out she lied – that he thought Sonia took him out of the town and only sent Eddie to Derry for schooling because that’s where she went."

"How did he know..."

"We talked at least once a week - I mentioned Eddie a lot and only knew what he did. He only ever heard about his son through me.  He never was able to make contact from the house phone and assumed Eddie didn’t want to speak to him, so he stopped trying and I never asked...I regret it, he regrets it. I can tell.”  

Following Wentworth’s view, the losers saw the doctors speaking to Frank, whose face was filled down in a frown of anger and disbelief. Silently all seven  present  knew it was Sonia – what else could it be? If it had been an accident or something unavoidable, there would have been another reaction than what was present. With a comforting hand on the man’s shoulder, the doctor left the room – each person itching to know.  

“For Mr.  Kaspbrak ?” The doctor asked, looking at all before him, but landed on Wentworth.  Typical,  Richie inwardly fumed – who cared if his father was the adult here, they were all here for Eddie.  Look at me, coward! “ It seemed Edward had sleeping pills – something not unheard of at his age, but considering the time of day and his mother’s story that he fainted – we have to assume this was administered either without his or Ms.  Kaspbrak’s  knowledge. The two possibilities lead us to very different understandings of what happened here.”  

So  he was  drugged ?!” Richie finally said,  voice  echoing in his ears, too loud for where they were, but he didn’t care – how could he?  

“We don’t kn-”  

“We do! Eddie would never take sleeping pills. You give him a blanket and he’s out.” Silently flashes of Eddie in his arms multiple times played; the time when they were watching movies on a cold Autumn night and the cold from the outside mixed with the heat of the home had Eddie out within the hour, laying his head on Richie’s shoulder, having to be woken up after the first film ended; the next one which came to mind, although he was sure more had happened  in between  the two incidents was when Eddie was staying with him, when the pair was in Richie’s bed late the first night he stayed over after talking to Frank on the phone, Eddie claimed the room was too cold, yet also claimed that the heater would cause the pair to develop breathing problems   

(“Come on Eds, it’ll be fine”  

“No,” Eddie said with no room for argument “if we go to California for college it’ll be fine, but if  we move to New York, I still wouldn’t budge. No heater.” Richie didn’t miss how the boy said it as if they’d leave together.

Instead, Eddie cuddled close to his best friend, hiding his face in the process and threatened Richie with castration if he dared to use this against him before falling asleep once hearing Richie would never.  It’s our secret, Eds .)

“Trust me. He wouldn’t.” The direct eye contact persisted until the doctor gave a curt nod   

“That’s what we feared. It seems that the medication is the same his mother is  prescribed . As is the insulin we suppose was injected into his arm. Although we can’t take your word on the likelihood of Edward taking the sleeping medication willingly, the bruise which had formed on his arm shows he was injected with something, not to mention the unusually high level of insulin combined with the lack of reasoning behind his low levels of sugars in his blood … we have to assume some sort of -um- foul play was involved as it seems unlikely that Hypoglycemia would happen in such a typically healthy young man.”  

Resting on his father, Richie looked back up, hearing ‘Hypoglycemia’ and not much else other than Eddie was stable and would be okay. But that was far from true. He was living with a monster.  

-------  

Two Days Later  

Private message between  StanleyUris   and  RichieTZ  

StanleyUris : Richie?  

StanleyUris : You’ve been radio silent on the group chat  

StanleyUris : Please.  Its  been days.  

RichieTZ : [Left a voice message]  

Why isn’t he home?  

-Pause-  

I know the situation is complicated, but  its  been two days. He’s been refused his phone and he’s barely awake still. I don’t want to be overbearing *sigh* I just need to know he’s okay. I can’t pretend to not be worrying about it, Stan.   

StanleyUris : I know.  

StanleyUris : We’re just worried about you too.   

StanleyUris : When Georgie was in hospital, you still tried to make sure Bill was responsive since he’s doing what you are.  

RichieTZ: I am not ignoring you guys  

StanleyUris: Are you checking DMs other than this one?  

StanleyUris : You’ve seen this message for over a minute and haven’t answered so that’s a no.  

StanleyUris : You’re ignoring the  group chat    

StanleyUris : You’ve declined everyone’s calls – even mine.   

StanleyUris : and I heard you tell your mom to say you were too tired to answer your home phone.   

RichieTZ: Okay, fine. I’m just as bad   

StanleyUris : I’m not saying  its  bad or you should feel guilty. We just want to make sure you’re alright.  

RichieTZ: Why me?  

StanleyUris: Ignoring the fact that everyone else answers their texts, you also love Eddie – this is taking a toll on you and you’re our friend  

StanleyUris : I’m not the first to DM you to make sure you’re okay, but you only answer because I rarely DM you.  

RichieTZ: Yeah  

RichieTZ : Also rude!  

StanleyUris: yeah yeah, shut up and come over to Bill’s already before I get Mike to drag you here  

RichieTZ : Okay, okay, let me shower!  

StanleyUris : You have 30 minutes before Mike will carry your naked ass out of your house   

StanleyUris : I WILL NOT! But we hope you're okay – love, Mike  

 RichieTZ: Mike ur the best.

 

Chapter Text

Private message between  StanleyUris   and  Bill.Den  

Bill.Den: Is everything alright?  

Bill.Den: You kept waiting on me today   

Bill.Den: If this is because I helped out when you were sick, you didn’t have to  

StanleyUris : Firstly, it wasn’t because of that   

StanleyUris: Secondly, you can’t expect me to not want to do something in return smh   

Bill.Den: wow,  smh ???? From Stan???   

StanleyUris : I need to stop listening to Richie text  

Bill.Den: Listen to his text, yes that makes sense  

StanleyUris: If it wasn’t for the laws of this land, Bill -  

Bill.Den: anyway, you gave me mixed answers. Did u do it bc I helped out or not???  

StanleyUris : No.  

StanleyUris : I know that this Eddie thing will be taking a toll on you  

Bill.Den : It will for everyone  

Bill.Den : for hell’s sake, you were nearly crying  

Bill.Den : I haven’t see you cry since **that** time  

StanleyUris: That time?  

Bill.Den :  Yk ,,, you r  dad had been pressuring you about your grades and colleges in like ???  9 th  grade??? And you said he must’ve been on edge because he literally screamed at you for knocking over a glass and you ran to mine at 7:45pm on a  tuesday ?  

StanleyUris: I really need to stop making my parents out be such assholes  

Bill.Den: They are assholes.  

StanleyUris : I’m sorry, have you seen Eddie?  

Bill.Den: Stan.  

Bill.Den : Sonia went above and beyond – putting her son in death’s way – for herself, but that doesn’t mean that your parents are angels just because they didn’t choose to kill you. Don’t pent up your feelings because Eddie is in a terrible situation  

StanleyUris : Thank you, Bill.  

Bill.Den: Anytime, Stanley. Okay, so what’s up?  

StanleyUris: ?  

Bill.Den: I was expecting you to be attentive with Richie – you know because he’s in love with Eddie.  

StanleyUris : You know about that?!  

Bill.Den: Everyone does?  

StanleyUris : And you don’t mind?  

Bill.Den : I just want Eddie to tell Richie that he loves him back already  

StanleyUris: Wait what? Is that who he told you he had a crush on?!  

Bill.Den: How did you know  Eddie told me about his crush ?  

StanleyUris: Richie, obviously.    

StanleyUris: You told him that Eddie told you.  

 

StanleyUris:: and he only told me because he thought you two were...  

Bill.Den: ???  

Sta n leyUris: For fuck’s sake Bill, he thought you two were together  

Bill.Den: that’s so dumb  

StanleyUris : And I did too.  

Bill.Den: No offence, but that’s even worse  

StanleyUris: How?  

Bill.Den : I’m not surprised Richie thought that  bc  he’s worried Eddie might like someone other than him. But you? Makes no sense.  

StanleyUris Well, t hat’s what Richie meant when he said Eddie liked someone else on the  losers’  chat  

StanleyUris : Also, the way you two keep glancing at one another makes it super obvious that you like him.  

Bill.Den Shit. Is that what everyone thinks?  

StanleyUris I mean 2/7 of us at least  

StanleyUris: Bill...??  

----------  

For the past ten minutes, Stan’s fingers skimmed through his Instagram, trying to distract himse lf from the fact Bill was obviously not answering his tex t  on purpose , but Stan knew himself too well – nothing would stop his brain from throwing out the inevitable  what if’s.  

What if he’s angry that you know?  

What if he does love Eddie and was keeping it quiet? You ruined it!  

Now you’ve compared yourself to Richie – a jealous crush – you dumbass!  

Dropping the device on the bed where he sat, feet secured on the ground and hands in his bowed head, Stan clenched his hands into fists around his hair and released, doing this for a few times before there were four curt knocks on the door. With no planned visit from  family  or the losers, Stan’s head snapped up before walking to his closed bedroom door and opening it, allowing him to hear the voices from down the stairs  

“William,” Mr Uris began, shocked but not showing any annoyance in his voice at the  visitor  “is everything alright?”  

“I-uh- Yes, thank you,  i -is Stan home?”   

Fuck,  Stan whispered to himself, probably verbally as well as mentally, but he couldn’t shut the door without it making a sound which both his father and Bill would hear.   

“In his room doing his homework. Is this a project?”  

A brief pause was heard, but Bill lied as he said “Yes s-sir, I needed help on my maths w-work.”  

“Maybe you’ll be able to help him with his English while you’re here. We are happy to invite you to dinner.”  

The comment made Stan flinch and clench his teeth while keeping in the anger filled tears – he wasn’t as upset as he once had been, now it was majority anger; Stan was a straight A / B student, rarely ever getting B’s at all, but English was his ‘weaker’ spot – which was totally unfounded and wasn’t that bad after hearing only Bill and Richie actually got A’s in English. Bill was an aspiring author and typically got B’s in other subjects while Richie was just quite naturally smart while lacking the intellectual aspect – on purpose that is, Richie could be intellectual if he wished, but Stan knew that he was much happier the way he was now.   

“I was actually hoping to ask if Stan and I could w-work at my house – he gave me a lot of the resources - and they’re very hard to carry. Mom and dad al-ready agreed they’d be happy to have Stan over for dinner – if it’s okay with you and M-Mrs Uris.”  

With the silence that followed, Stan reasoned that his father was either weighing up the options or wondering how to say no politely, but when he heard a quiet ‘thank you’ from Bill and sock covered feet coming up the stairs, he knew that his father had agreed; maybe on another day Stan would have asked what being let him have his way, but now he knew he was eternally cursed with bad luck. With no option to close his door and pretend to have been working, Stan moved away from his barely opened door and laid on his bed, under the covers as quickly as he could, only actually succeeding in laying majority still as the door  creaked  open   

“I know y-you're awake. You texted me two seconds ago.”  Bill’s voice came in, yet Stan only huffed as the covers were ripped off of him   

“Unlike our friends, I’m not an insomniac,” he rolled onto his back, arms crossed over his chest while looking up at Bill, who had his eyebrow raised – probably due to Stan’s childlike behaviour “I could have had been asleep for the ten minutes it took for you to get here.” Bill looked humoured, but Sta could tell he was trying to keep up the serious nature of why he came over in the first place.  

“Well you’re up,” Bill said as he dropped the cover at the end of the bed so it only covered Stan’s feet, which was only responded to by the other with a gentle huff and a whispered ‘ Obviously’,  which only served to help Bill finally smile and say “Shoes, coat and we’re off to mine f-for work.” Despite the request seeming genuine, the wink and head tilting to the door had Stan convinced Bill had other plans   

“Am I getting out of this?”  

“N-Nope.” And with that Stan was sitting up in ed, grabbing his phone and leaving with Bill only waiting to put on their shoes and say goodbye to Stan’s parents, who’s main concern was Stan being polite and making sure to call if he was planning to stay over. As much as Stan wished he could just let the message go and let himself bask in the sight of the setting sun’s rays brighten Bill’s face, he couldn’t; instead, he walked two large steps in front of Bill after noticing that they weren’t heading to Bill’s at all.   

“Bill!” he huffed and crossed his arms over his chest again, only to have the other teen look at him oddly, giving him enough time to take a deep breath and let his arms drop to his sides “where are we going? You house down the last turn.”  

“Well I was t-thinking that we could get some m-milkshakes,” Bill smiled, but something was off Stan noted as Bill’s hands dug into his pockets   

“Are they even open?”  

“Yeah, Ed-Eddie and I go s-sometimes.” There it was. The sentence Stan  subconsciously  knew was coming but hated to hear it. Turning around and waiting for Bill to catch up, Stan fiddled with his fingers as they continued walking, humming as Bill instantly started ranting about the flavours – well a rant as fast as it could be with his stutter; although Stan personally loved Bill’s stutter (not because it was ‘cute’ or ‘funny’, but seeing him so happy to be either more confident in the stutter or overjoyed when he goes a longer time without stuttering was what made it worthwhile.)  

---  

Bill, it’s okay if you don’t say every word perfectly,” Stan remembered, trying to sooth Bill’s frustrated groan. As the prepared for the oral exam (with many, many jokes about oral, Eddies mom and the two concepts  combined  said at least twice every ten minutes through texts) Bill found himself  growing  evermore annoyed with his speech impediment. He couldn’t tell how many times he had seen the ‘ You don’t have to get over your impediments, you have to accept them   in the speech therapist waiting room –  that’s so dumb,  Bill would mentally sneer  what are my parents paying for then?  

It does, Stan!” Bill whined as he flung his head forward onto his forearms which laid on his kitchen table while his flashcards laid in front; it wasn’t the issue of forgetting the words – no, with how many times he practised to get his stutter to stop, Bill had remembered every word and every acute spelling mistake he had made and corrected “I'm s-sorry, I know you’re trying to help. I just want to do it – r-r-r-r- fuck!”  

“Hey,” Bill felt the soft touch on his arm, the stroking of Stan’s thumb having Bill come back to the moment at hand – him and Stan alone at his table well past 9PM after Georgie had his first ever overnight check-up while practising for his English oral exam – something he needed to do but had been putting off to do in front of an audience, even if it was an audience of one. “It doesn’t. I’m not saying you can’t try, or that you should be 100% comfortable if you do stutter, but I’m just saying you don’t have to be ashamed of it. You and I both know your teacher won’t take your grade down for it.”  

The shining of the kitchen light combined with Bill’s position (chin now resting on his arms as he looked up at Stan) had the rays of light creating a halo around his head and bouncing off of his curls “Thanks, Stanley,” Bill’s voice grew softer as if the sight alone  brought  temporary peace. “I t-think I’m done. Movies?”  

“I’ll get the popcorn,” Stan groaned, yet Bill saw a smile as the teen stood and grabbed the ‘sweet’ flavour as Bill remembered the time Stan drew up his nose in disgust to taste the sweet and salted popcorn be mixed in the bowl together.   

-------  

“Like a date?” Stan asked, side eyeing the boy next to him, unable to directly look Bill in the eyes and ask – the fear was holding him back; the fear of blurting it out when he was so sure –  so fucking sure –  that his two friends either liked one another or were already dating. Suddenly a weight dropped to Stan’s stomach – what he could only assume to be his heart – as the idea of Bill and Eddie dating popped into his head.  Actually  dating rather than some crush which may go away (although his and Richie’s  hadn't  and it’s been years – which was another fear to talk about for another time).

“No! No, Stan n-not like a date!”  

“Wha- … you know you can tell me, right?” Finally, Stan stopped walking as Bill continued for a couple of steps until he realised Stan wasn’t following, causing Bill to walk back so he and Stan were facing one another. It was weird, seeing Stan so inward to himself; sure, Stan was anxious and would fiddle and twist his clothes when he grew nervous, but he was also often very grounded. Bill hadn’t seen the other look so vulnerable as he did then with his shoulders almost shrinking in until Stan had obviously found more courage to say what he needed, shown as he stood at his full height again, just a bit taller than Bill himself. “You don’t have to be scared to tell me.”  

“T-Tell you what?” For a moment, Bill believed Stan truly had caught him out, unsure if he should be happy or upset by Stan’s reaction if he had.  

“That you and Eddie are dating – o-or are crushing on each other. I’m here for you Bill.” It was crushing for both parties involved; Stan hated saying it, knowing that it wasn’t okay and that the whole ordeal fucking hurt, not to mention the fact that when Eddie was healed they would be confessing and in love openly – and Stan  knew  he should be happy Bill is happy but crushes and love do not work that way. It hurts and he’s allowed to be upset. Bill, on the other hand, felt like he had already been rejected without even saying anything since Stan was so... open to Eddie and Bill being together; for a moment, Bill second guessed telling Stan at all, but nothing good would come of it – only speculation and meddling and repression. Bill had repressed his feeling long enough.  

“I’m not!” he said once “I’m not dating Eddie, Stanley.” Without one stutter at all, the urgency was written on Bill’s face and in his knitted brow of concentration. “Eddie likes Richie, Richie likes Eddie and I like you and you-” Bill stopped, mouth moving without a word leaving it, heart in his throat and a certified dumb of ass. Seeing the older boy look like he was about to bolt, Stan held Bill’s wrist to make sure he didn’t flee, eyes scanning his best friend’s face to make sure he wasn’t lying or joking or anything of the sort as he knew he must have looked like a deer caught in headlights (mouth agape, eyes unsure yet unable to look away), while unable to say anything other than a whisper of  

“I like you too Bill.”  

Chapter Text

Welcome to the Losers’ Club, Asshole 

JustaBoyFromDairy: This chat has been dead. How is everyone? 

B(ev)itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : Good! How are you Mikey? 

JustaBoyFromDairy: Tired 

JustaBoyFromDairy: I didn’t sleep much, hoping to hear from Mr Kaspbrak with Richie, but forgot I was needed to be awake at 5am  

Benjamenjamin: gross 

JustaBoyFromDairy: you betcha 

PoorManNamedRich: Sorry Mike 

PoorManNamedRich: but thanks for staying up with me 

B(ev)itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : Should’ve invited me, I couldn’t sleep at all  

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: Us neither. 

JustaBoyFromDairy: us??? 

PoorManNamedRich: Stenbrough be at it again 

Benjamenjamin: Stanbrough* 

B(ev)itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo: GUYS! 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: Our ship name – if we must have one – is Love Birds, Thank You Very Much 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: Stan,,, that’s gay 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800:… Bill, We’ve been dating- 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: Get you a man who gets vine references  

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800:,,,, 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: Unlike Ben 

Benjamenjamin: HEY!!! 

JustaBoyFromDairy: wait,,,  

PoorManNamedRich: are you two,,, 

PoorManNamedRich: together *eye emoji* 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: Just use the emoji, I beg you 

PoorManNamedRich: damn, begging already, Staniel? 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: I will castrate you 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800:  As if you wouldn’t bust one if Eddie begged for anything ever  

B(ev)itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo: He could beg for Richie’s death and he’d die on the spot 

B(ev)itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo: HOLD THE FUCK UP 

B(ev)itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo: STENBROUGH 

B(ev)itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo: STANBROUGH 

B(ev)itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : FCKN LOVE BIRDS OR WHATEVER THE SHIT,,, YALL BE FR??? 

1-Did-I-Stutter- 800: oh shit yea 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: ,,, forgot about that 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask- 800: Hello, I’m here to announce after less than a day of dating, Stanley Uris is back on the market 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: Don’t you fuckin dare 

PoorManNamedRich: jsdhabjdahbdj HOLY SHIT  

Benjamenjamin: Congrats but also ,, 

Benjamenjamin: Thank Christ 

JustaBoyFromDairy: mood, Ben 

B(ev)itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo: one down,,,, one to go 

JustaBoyFromDairy: only a few days and Eddie is gonna be out of it 

PoorManNamedRich: ,,, fuck I miss him 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: me too 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: I think we all do  

JustaBoyFromDairy: rt 

Benjamenjamin: rt 

B(ev)itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : rt 

PoorManNamedRich: Imagine his first message to the gc  

PoorManNamedRich: I’m betting its him complaining about the hospital  

Benjamenjamin: I think its gonna be about Stenbrough  

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: Love Birds*

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: I think it’ll be complaining about his mother  

B(ev)itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo: what would he even say about her? 

B(ev)itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo: more importantly  

B(ev)itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo: what would he say TO her? 

HypochondriSnac:

HypochondriSnac: also 

HypochondriSnac  I WAS GONE FOR A FEW DAYS AND I MISS MY GAYS  

PoorManNamedRich: EDS! I’M ON MY WAY! 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: Eddie, are you feeling okay?? 

Benamenjamin: I hope you’re alright Eddie 

JustaBoyFromDairy: We’ve missed you  

1-Did-I-Ask-800: It’s alright, you focus on getting better 

B(ev)itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo: I hope you’re feeling better. How are ya, Eds? 

HypochondriSnac: only Chee calls me Eds 

PoorManNamedRich: only I call him Eds 

B(ev)itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo: holy shit  

HypochondriSnac: CHEE! I’M SO FUCKING SJHB WOOO 

PoorManNamedRich: lmao he’s on morphine  

B(ev)itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : ??? How do yk that ??? 

PoorManNamedRich [PictureOfEds.pic]   

(Description: Eddie is in bed, Frank by his side with one hand in his hair and Eddies phone in the other hand while Richie holds Eddie’s hand as he pouts, trying to reach for his phone)   

JustaBoyFromDairy: How did you get there so fast? 

PoorManNamedRich: I was omw to visit him since Mike mentioned him, so I wasn’t far. 

PoorManNamedRich [ILYLC.Vid]  

(Description: It’s Eddie, who is  not longer  pouting and leaning on Richie as he waves to the camera and grins, almost passing out from the morphine as he says ‘I love  yooooou  losers!’  

PoorManNamedRich: Frank says he may be irritable soon or tomorrow depending on how it works out. 

PoorManNamedRich: The only reason he’s like this now is because the pain of where he hit himself when passing out from the sleeping pills had him in tears 

PoorManNamedRich: Frank says there's bruising on his chest and arm from the fall and where he may have been semi conscious and hurt himself by accident

B(ev)itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : Fuck I don’t wanna imagine that 

Benjamenjamin: I’ve never seen Eddie cry 

Benjamenjamin: nor do I want to  

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: its not nice. 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: its kind of scary too. I hope he’s okay. 

PoorManNamedRich: the pain should lessen when the morphine wears off since his first administration of morphine was over 24 hours ago, so the pain shouldn’t be as bad.  

PoorManNamedRich: Frank says maybe to wait a day or two after today before visiting – Eddie will probably suffer the after effects of the hypoglycemia  

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: What are they? 

PoorManNamedRich: There’s a few, but if I had to say ones which Eddie is most likely to show: 

PoorManNamedRich: Anger, irritation, anxiety and possibly tiredness. I’ll be here so if he’s anxious then he has someone other than Frank, but I can take the anger if it comes. 

JustaBoyFromDairy: and he might get overwhelmed if there’s over 6 people in the room with him at one time  

Benjamenjamin: not including doctors 

B(ev)itchIHopeTheFuckYouDo : who he fears, which wouldn’t help either 

1-Did-I-Stutter-800: we don’t want to make it worse 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: I think we’ve agreed we don’t want to exassibate the situation 

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: Take good care of him, Richie. 

PoorManNamedRich: is that a threat  

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: don’t make it become one.  

1-Did-I-Fucking-Ask-800: I’m only joking because I know you wouldn’t ever hurt him 

PoorManNamedRich: I’ll keep you updated 

PoorManNamedRich: Thanks guys 

--------------------------- 

A private message from RichieTZ t o StanelyUris

RichieTZ: Thank you, Stanley 

StanleyUris: We all know you care for Eddie deeply. If Frank trusts you as well? That just shows  you  should be there more than anyone 

RichieTZ: Also,,, 

RichieTZ: Have fun playing sport with Bill 

StanleyUris: ????? 

RichieTZ: Tonsil Tennis 

StanleyUris: I hope you choke when you finally find your balls and tell / kiss Eddie 

RichieTZ: R00D! >B( 

Chapter Text

Richie hadn’t been wrong in assuming that irritability and anxiety would ensue; with Eddie’s nature, it wasn’t hard to predict, but the question which one would happen  first.  Refusing to leave Eddie’s side, Richie had stayed the night only to wake to the sound of Eddie tossing and turning in the lightweight hospital bedding. The feeling of sleeping in the chair had Richie’s back cracking once he sat up right to stretch his hands over his head, blinking his eyes open to expect Eddie still asleep, but was unpleasantly surprised to see Eddie beginning to sit up with a frown and a quivering lip. “Eddie?” he whispered, touching the side of the bed, but knew better than to assume Eddie was comfortable currently.   

“It’s not f-fair, Rich,” Eddie huffed, blinking back the tears while clenching his fists “It’s so fucking-” the sentence was cut off as the patient kicked the blanket to the end of the bed while his hands aggressively readjusted the gown he was forced to wear. “Everything is so fucking  bad .” Richie was lost as he saw Eddie almost have a breakdown about the sensory overload inducing irritation. “I-It’s like I was n-numb and then everything comes at once and it just  wrong !”   

“I’m sorry,” Richie murmured softly   

“What?”  

Richie paused, making sure Eddie didn’t have anything else to say “I said I’m sorry,” he repeated “It’s not okay. It’s not okay how you got here, and it’s not okay that you’re feeling this way. I just- I don’t know how to help.” Richie let his fingers dance against his knee silently after seeing the tapping from his nails against the metal bed frame had caused Eddie to scrunch his nose and hands ball into fists again, but couldn’t stop the overactive action. Looking at his hands Richie had an idea, seeing Eddie zone out “E-Eds?” he whispered, hoping to gently verbally  pull Eddie back from where the boy’s head was in his hands, gripping gently, having Eddie pull back  to look at his friend  with a pressed groan before inhaling deeply. Richie went to the backpack that his parents had sent and took the pencil out from the sketch book he had doodled in while Eddie slept, the squishy memory foam  frog  on the end pulled off with ease before putting it in front of his friend, earning a gentle raised brow.   

“Just … just squeeze it. Just squeeze and talk.”  

Eddie looked sceptical, but nodded, venting about how the whole thing was uncomfortable and how he was angry and wanted to rip the skin off of his bones with how purely gross his skin felt. What had Richie choked up was when Sonia was brought up mid rant.  

“She’s put laxatives in my food, ‘accidentally’ broke my phone, threatened Went, put a humidifier in my room to cause a fever. I’ve thrown up, shit, ached and cried and cried and  fucking cried -”  the foam frog was spun in between Eddie’s vice grip as a gentle hiccup interrupted the flow of words “and I can’t separate the times of love from the times of coddling. I hate my brain every time it over thinks about health and how dirty things are a-and I can’t stop, Richie. I c-can't stop.” The tears finally fell over slowly, but steadily while gently  swaying  to calm himself down, gasping in each breath and suddenly Richie knew the anxiety was setting in even if Eddie wasn’t really voicing what was going through his head   

“Eddie-” Richie whispered, not moving from where he had been after sitting back down once he had handed the soft foam frog to the other, his hands clutching his knees instead of fluttering across his kneecaps “Do you want a hug?” He had been about to say how it was fine if he wasn’t ready or if it wasn’t  wanted right then, but Eddie opened his mouth to speak and – despite what was shown typically – Richie knew when to shut his mouth.   

“I don’t want to hurt you.” The weakness of Eddie’s voice was telling – he was completely draining of energy to zero  

“You won’t,” he said surely “I ran, tripped and fell in an empty dustbin and broke my nose, but I was okay.” Both boys chuckled as Eddie shuffled to the side of the bed so Richie could sit on the edge, letting Eddie wrap his arms around his friend ; t he gentle   touches turned  shaken before, finally, Eddie’s  hands fist ed  into the oversized ‘bed top’ Richie stole from his father, the shaking of Eddie’s shoulders broke hi s  heart as the tears tra n slated through the thin fabric   

“W-What if I turn out l-like her?” Eddie heaved, looking up to Richie, who was finally able to see the splotchy skin, irritated eyes and bruised lips from where the anxious biting had taken hold. The reality is he would need help through therapy  in order to vent and  to really understand that there were  consequences to  Sonia ’s actions which she  had hidden once they arose, but definitively Richie found himself saying   

“You won’t.”  

B-”  

“I’m sorry, Eds,” he said as his hand trailed deftly over Eddie’s back, teetering on the balance of not hard enough and too much – not necessarily perfect but it was comforting rather than irritating and he guessed that’s all either of them could have asked for “but you won’t. You won’t because you’re kind, you care - do you remember when you got in that rock fight? You knew how  gross  that water was-”  

The water  bordered   on the bank of dirt, Rich,”  

“Yeah, but you got in, you told any doubt in your mind to fuck off and you hit that cap wearing asshole straight on his head.” Richie grinned as a watery smile finally appeared  as he looked down at Eddie  “There it is,” he whispered softly.   

“T-There’s what?”  

“Your smile. Missed it, but don’t force it. I’ll be here.”  

“I’m just so drained, Rich,” Eddie nodded against the other boy’s chest  again , the curls bouncing gently as Richie tried to catch a glimpse of how Eddie looked   

“Then sleep.”  

“No,” Eddie sighed “I’m  drained  not sleepy.”  

“Then just lay down.”   

By the end of the to-and-fro comments, the boys were both laying in the bed, the covers still pushed to the end and Eddie shielding his eyes  with Richie’s shoulder as  the faint moonlight and lights which minutely entered from the hallway  irritated his eyes , ears plugged with Rich i e’s earphones  blocking any sounds of the machines with  Richie’s playlist  filled with songs  labelled ‘ soft ’  .  Richie had fallen back asleep within the hour once Eddie had assured him that he wasn’t going anywhere   

“Not that I have a choice.”  

“That’s the spirit, Eds!”  

So ,  it couldn’t be helped that when he heard his name, Eddie was sure his medication was causing him to  hallucinate  and hear another voice, but removing one earbud only dulled the voices which were singing his name again.   

Eddie my love, I love you so,   

How I’ve waited for you,  

You’ll never know,  

Please Eddie, don’t make me wait too long-  

The lyrics had the first emotion which was almost too much for his recently overwhelmed state to handle, but the tears faded as his heart ached – in a better way – when looking up where Richie slept, glasses dangerously close to  bending out of shape as the owner was  laying too heavily on the thick frames which were still on his nose. Eddie smiled with a lump in his throat a the melody pla yed  in the background a nd  his slightly unstable hands took the glasses and carefully tossed them to where Richie had been sleeping previously, glad they hadn’t bounced off the chair  before settling down and selecting to have the song on repeat.   

---------------------  

_ Eddie.Kaspbrak created a group chat  

_ Eddie.Kaspbrak added  Mikey-no-  Ikey   and   Bill.Den  

_ Eddie.Kaspbrak changed his name to  I’m Gay  

I'm Gay  changed the group chat name to Trifecta of Gays

Trifecta of Gays:

Mikey-no- Ikey What’s this?  

Bill.Den Hold up  

Bill.Den   changed his name to  Bi- ll  

Bi- ll   changed  Mikey-no- Ikey' s  name to  Michael  Panlon    

Bi- ll continue  

I’m Gay:  I’m gay   

Michael  Panlon [BenGaveMeThis]    

Michael  Panlon is this because he stayed with u in hospital?  

Bi- ll Stan asks how are you by the way  

I’m Gay:  He doesn’t know about the chat does he?  

Bi- ll nah  

Bi- ll he’s at his place right now, but he wanted me to ask how you are when you complain about Richie  

I’m Gay:  how tf would he know I would?  

Michael  Panlon It’s more that we hope you will   

Michael  Panlon two pining Losers finally got together   

Michael  Panlon chop chop   

I’m Gay:  I'm sorry we can’t all be functional gays   

Michael  Panlon ??? Have you met Bill  

Bi-ll:  have u met Stan???  

I’m Gay:  Touche   

Bi- ll so what’s this about anywho?  

I’m Gay:  fucking ‘ anywho’  

I’m Gay:  Richie helped me calm down when I woke up from the medicine making me overwhelmed   

Bi- ll sweet :)  

I’m Gay:  yeah ig

I’m Gay:  so  he was laying with me in the hospital bed afterwards   

Michael  Panlon gay   

Bi-ll:  gay  

I’m Gay:  shut up   

I’m Gay:  and I was listening to his music and a song came on and I jsjak;jnsdk  

Bi- ll ugly ass keysmash   

Michael  Panlon leave him alone!!! He’s venting!!!  

I’m Gay:  Time to kick Bill out ig   

Bi-ll: I  have too much blackmail on u  

I’m Gay:  try me   

Bi- ll remember when Richie said that yellow was pretty and you ate yellow paint???  

Michael  Panlon IM WHAT SKSKSK   

Michael  Panlon HOW DID U NOT DIE BY 5?  

Bi- ll he was 8 at the time   

I’m Gay:  FUCK OFF!  

Michael  Panlon 8!  GODDAMN EIGHT EDDIE?!  

I’m Gay:  u both suck, but Bev would tell Richie, Stan would just tell me to tell Richie and Ben would tell Bev and the cycle begins so LISTEN!  

I’m Gay:  The song was called ‘Eddie My Love’ by The Teen Queens   

Bi- ll Tell him  

I’m Gay:  go kiss Stan, traitor  

Michael  Panlon tell him  

I’m Gay:  Go kiss,,, Ben!  

Michael  Panlon I will when you kiss Richie   

Bi- ll wow,,,  can u believe that  am the functional gay here   

Michael   Panlon its Stan   

I’m Gay:  It’s Stan  

Bi- ll :  I said HERE   

I’m Gay:  ….   

I’m Gay:  Its Stan   

Bi- ll I hate u  

Bi- ll Seriously, I believe that you can tell him, but maybe wait until you’re better   

Michael  Panlon ^^^   

Michael  Panlon You should wait until you feel better and comfortable  

I’m Gay:  thank u guys   

I’m Gay:  maybe when I know where I stand with the whole dad situation, I’ll focus on the richie  situation   

Bi- ll *Reddie situation   

I’m Gay:  ???Reddie???  

Michael Panlon:  Richie and Eddie   

Michael Panlon:  Reddie  

I’m Gay:  that’s cute  

I’m Gay:  you tell anyone I’ve ever said this I will kill u  

Michael  Panlon >:)