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Smash or Pass?

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After taking a swig of water, Richie addressed the monitor before him, “alright Gucci gang, that’s enough of that game. What else should we do for say, the next 30 minutes before I go to snoozeville?”

Every weekend he would stream a couple of games and had already gained quite the following in the past year. Who would have guessed a bunch of people actually liked watching him play video games; even to donate money for it? His parents would have had a conniption if they even understood how streaming worked. 

It all started as a fun little past time playing online with friends to doing the exact same thing only with a bunch of strangers watching them through a website. For some reason, they stuck around for the gameplays and the constant trash talk, not that he was complaining. Richie loved to entertain ever since he was a kid. He even pulled his friends into creating a squad and calling them together, The Losers, to co-op or make ridiculous content on youtube. 

Yep, what he had going was pretty sweet. 

He scanned the comments, purposely bypassing the bad ones - he’ll trust his moderation team to take care of that. Being bullied is nothing new. He was always picked on for being queer as a child and in all truths, he was bi and proud. If someone had a problem with it, well, they could go suck a big fat one. Despite the negativity, he received an even larger amount of supporters in comparison. Things have definitely changed since he moved away from Derry, a bland and largely homophobic town. It was one of the best decision he ever made. 

From the long list of suggestions, he decided to pick something short and easy. “Smash or pass? Alright, folks, hit me up with some good ones,” he leaned back into his seat, stretching his arms behind his back as he waited for the stream delay to catch up, and within the next minute, the chat provided all sorts of names, including the usual meme jokes. 

“Danny Devito? You fucking know it. Who in their right mind would pass that?” 

He responded with a couple more options as time passed. 

"Bev? Absolutely, especially when she commented herself, you beautiful ginger. Ben if you're watching, I'll smash both of you, all you have to do is hit me up,” he winked coyly at the webcam.

One moment longer, he noticed a name appearing more than five times, a name he wasn’t familiar with. “Eddie Kaspbrak? Who’s that again?” he sat up, fingers already typing the name to search. A twitter handle and youtube channel came up as results and he clicked through to the images tab, eagerly soaking up the photos of a pretty guy. 

“Oh hell, he’s a cute,” he said out loud, as he peeked back over to the youtube channel. 

Apparently, this guy made mostly review content from what Richie could tell and the views were pretty high, even the sub count was close to his own. How had he not come across this person before, he wondered. Richie looked back at the chat in the stream for more details. 

Pennynonthewiser : he's a smol cute lad and reviews things! Go watch!!
Justaclown : Listen to Mike Hanlon's podcast with him in it! He swears so much lmao
BillHaderbitch : He's gay and single just fyi (¬‿¬)
Bevinator : sounds like your type, Rich. Get in there, young boi
Vibecheck : PLZ. You'd be such a power couple. KINGS
Benana : I sent you something on discord you need to see and you're welcome.

Richie absorbed the responses with a laugh and grabbed his phone, "alright guys, hang on, Ben sent me something. Let's see.” 

A notification popped up as an attachment from Ben and he couldn’t deny the thumping in his chest as he saw the photo of Eddie pop up fullscreen, holding a skateboard in his little hands with a cute smile gracing his pretty face and wearing possibly the shortest shorts Richie had ever seen, which of course awoke something within him until he saw the little bag around their waist, and he couldn’t hold back, “holy shit, is that a fanny pack? Are you kidding me? That’s insane.” Where has this cutie been all his life?

He pulled himself from his phone and dramatically placed his hands on the desk dramatically, “chat, I have made my decision.” For flair, he waited for a few seconds before he spoke, "okay, so for this Eddie Kaspbrak person, my answer will be..." he paused for even more suspense before he clapped on the beat of each word after, "smash, smash, smash, yessir!" 

When the comments caught up, people seemed incredibly thrilled with his choice and he grinned, not quite expecting so much hype for a simple game. It wasn’t like he was going to marry this Eddie or anything, although there were a lot of suggestions on the feed asking him to send a message to Eddie now or watch some of his videos or that they should mutually subscribe to each other’s channel… he wasn’t put off by the idea, but he knew he tended to go full force when there was something on his mind. 

"Looks like you guys have given me some homework to do, but for now I’m gonna leave the stream on a good note. This is Richie 'Trashmouth' Tozier and thanks for watching. Hope you have a great day or night or wherever you are!" 

He waited until users started to say goodbye to each other before he signed off and stretched his legs. When he checked his phone again, The Losers chat on messenger was already spammed with Bev’s messages as she linked a couple of videos from Eddie’s channel. She works fast, he thought as he gazed at the thumbnails. Sure the chat surprised him with how pumped they were when he said Eddie's name, but he absolutely didn’t expect Bev to be into this too... 

Now lying in bed casually, he couldn’t stop feeling restless and decided to pick one of the videos Bev linked, out of curiosity. Who’s to say Eddie was simply pretty on paper but dull everywhere else? 

Unfortunately, that didn't seem to be the case as it didn’t take long for him to find the charm and genuineness from the other as they spoke. Eddie was really cute and snarky which meant Bev was right on the money about his type. Richie didn’t acknowledge that he already clicked on other recommended videos, and maybe he ended up watching a whole bunch of them. His personal favourites were the storytime videos. 

The titles alone put him in stitches. 

Why I use an inhaler when I’m not Asthmatic [STORYTIME] (my mother was insane)
I almost got a STAPH INFECTION [STORYTIME] (I’m never going to Starbucks again)
Why fannypacks are so goddamn useful and you should get one too
I have merch now? BUY MY SHIRT "IT AIN'T EASY BEING WHEEZY"
Yes I’m GAY (was it the fannypack?)

Richie found himself captivated with watching Eddie talk and rant and swear
He was a smol ball of rage and it was everything Richie could love for someone he never met.

He was in too deep. Oof.

He sent out a message to his friends.

GETRICH : well, I'm in love now. Fuck
BEVMONEY : oh hun. CALLED IT THO
CashSTANza : lol rip
benjaminfranklin : It was the shorts wasn't it?
GETRICH : it's honestly everything??
GETRICH : He gets so mad and it's hot?
BEVMONEY : dbsuw
BEVMONEY : CUUTE
BEVMONEY : I will fite this for you bb. I'm sure I have contacts!
benjaminfranklin : maybe just start small like follow on twitter or something?
BEVMONEY: My mans is so smart <3
benjaminfranklin : <3
CashSTANza: cease this madness and end my suffering.

Richie snorted and tapped over to twitter, searching up Eddie’s handle and he wasn’t disappointed.

EddieKasp : why would you let your kids have mullets still?? What year do you think this is?

He clicked the follow button and got ready for bed, knowing if he looked any further, he’d never get to sleep.

Chapter Text

Eddie adjusted the headset over his ear and shook his head, pretending to disapprove as he leaned back in his seat away from the video. “That is the dumbest shit I’ve ever seen, Mike,” and watched as the other only laughed harder from the other side of the table.

After settling, Mike brought the microphone back to its original position. “Eddie says that, but he’s smiling. Don’t try to hide that, bud. I need you all to know even Eddie Kaspbrak, of all people, finds it funny.” 

Eddie scoffed but let the other have his fun. He hadn’t been on other podcasts, but Mike always made them enjoyable. It still felt wild that he was even popular to begin with to be some guest on a podcast.

As soon as Eddie turned 18, he made one of the biggest decisions in his life and that was to move far away from his mother. Long story short, she was unbearably over-protective and treated him like a fragile, sick little teacup that only she could take care of. She gave him daily medication that he didn’t need - turned out they were sugar pills for god’s sake - and he knew he had to get out of there as soon as he could legally.  He went through too much for a child but thanks to youtube, he could turn his childhood trauma into something else in his life entirely. Eddie could be himself and not feel like some little freak, he could laugh about the insane things, and surprisingly, people seemed to love his content. His roommate, Bill, was the one who suggested making the videos in the first place, and somehow Eddie gained a large following out of it. He could never answer why these people appeared to like him but he was having fun nonetheless. 

Mike brought the laptop close and began typing. “You know you’re one of my favourite guests on here?” he queried, a mischievous smile in place.

Eddie arched his eyebrow in disbelief from the compliment, “I’ve literally only been on your podcast once, so don’t try and lie to me.” 

Mike snorted, eyes glinting from the glow of the screen, “but I always get requests to have you back. In fact, there’s a particular reason why you’re here today. Can you guess?” 

“Nope, and you know I hate surprises so tell me what it is,” Eddie implored, ignoring the itch to grab his phone from his pocket to google himself. No news about him came to mind but it was the internet; it always kept him guessing.

“You don’t really watch twitch streamers, right?”

Eddie shook his head, but remembered he was on an audio podcast and spoke, “I’m not really into gaming all that much. I’ll leave that to the cooler kids.” 

“Well, something happened a couple of days ago and it relates to you so I thought you’d know but I forgot, and for the people listening who didn’t know, Eddie doesn’t read his youtube comments or use twitter as much.” 

Mike was definitely teasing him at this point but he felt his heart speed up with unease. “Yeah, I’m worried about what I’d read and twitter is confusing,” a nervous chuckle creeped in, “but what happened? What did I do? I’m nervous.” 

Snickering, Mike held his laptop between his hands. “Don’t worry, don’t worry,” he reassured, sliding the laptop to Eddie, “Do you know Richie Tozier?”

The screen, now in front of him, showed a google image search of the guy by the name in question. The person was cute with their dark curly hair and their thick-framed glasses, and, okay, maybe Eddie had a thing for glasses and maybe this person had very kissable lips. But instead of admitting those thoughts out loud, he responded that he didn’t know the person to Mike, scanning the rest of the images with interest. What could link this guy back to him? 

“Without giving too much away, and I’m sure most of my audience are on the edge of their seats. Eddie, what do you think?”

He looked up at the question with a frown, “what do you mean, ‘what do I think?’ What kind of fucking question is that? About what?” 

Mike sat up more properly, and tipped one hand to the other as he provided the options, “What I mean is, would you Smash or Pass Richie Tozier?” 

Eddie sputtered, “What? That’s such a dumb fucking game, Mike. What the fuck.” 

With a playful pout, Mike urged, “Please Eddie, it’s important.” 

"Yeah, important for your content,” Eddie mocked but gave an exasperated sigh. “This is so ridiculous. I can’t believe people still play that. Let me just... I need to look so just give me a moment.”

Mike appeared content with his response, while Eddie scrolled through the images. He clicked through to gifs. He felt like he needed to see how the other moved without watching an actual fucking video. How embarrasing would that be? Mike humming the jeopardy theme song in the background as he waited and Eddie snorted.

There was one particular gif that caught his eye of Richie smiling, and though he hated to admit it, the guy had a killer smile. And he looked tall and his shoulders looked wider than his own and maybe Eddie was thirsting for that a little bit, but only a little bit .

“What’s your type in a guy, Eddie? If you had one,” Mike asked.

He glanced up as Mike attempted to look like the picture of innocence. Eddie started to connect the dots that maybe this streamer had a thing for him, but couldn’t be entirely sure. It wasn’t like sweet Mike would bring him there for a person who publically hated him.

“I guess someone taller than me? Who makes me laugh. Wait a minute,” he pointed at Mike accusingly, “Are you trying to set us up or something? God, the internet is so weird .”

Mike laughed out loud, looking happily guilty. “The internet is weird but you have to answer the big question. Is Richie a smash or pass for you? Be honest!” 

Eddie pursed his lips but as Mike clutched his hands together in a begging gesture, he found it difficult to deny him. “Okay, based on the fact that I don’t know this person and that he could be a total asshole for all I know, and I only have fucking pictures for reference, I’d say.... ” He paused with a smirk as Mike began to squirm in his seat with excitement. “I’ll say smash. Rhetorically, of course. If I had to choose.” 

Mike quickly moved to his soundboard on the table and gleefully played celebratory tunes before he faced back to his microphone, “and there you have it, Mikesters. ‘Reddie’ has begun!”

Eddie laughed as Mike celebrated but it didn’t take him long to pick up on the nickname. Richie… Eddie… 

“Oh my god. There’s a ship name? I am disgusted.” 

Mike grinned at him, looking incredibly pleased, “are you going to follow him back on twitter?” 

Eddie took out his phone, shakily, with a frown, “‘follow back?’ He follows me?”

He opened the app and went to his notifications, easily finding the recent indicator. 

TrashmouthTozier followed you

“Oh, he does,” Eddie murmured to himself. 

“While Eddie ponders if he should follow back, I’ll bring you all to our final sponsor for this audio! Thank you to HelloF-”

As Mike continued on, Eddie scrolled through the other’s feed to inspect. Most of the tweets were about streaming or gaming. Richie had a huge following, but of course Eddie wouldn’t know who it was, there were so many fucking twitch streamers. Sure as a kid, he used to love playing video games at the arcade (unknowingly from his mother who wouldn’t have let him play anything in fear it was too violent for her ‘ Eddie-bear’ ), he couldn’t imagine how terrible he’d be now if he played something.

He scrolled through the feed again and questioned if he was mulling a simple follow back too hard. It was a silly game, and although Richie was maybe his type, it didn’t actually mean something. Richie probably forgot about him already, Eddie reasoned to himself. 

His eyes, however, were automatically drawn to a tweet with his name mentioned...

TrashmouthTozier : I’m feeling pretty shitty rn. Remind me to never eat at AmazingBurrito again.
AmazingBurrito (✔) : Day three and @ EddieKasp hasn’t responded, huh? ;) @ TrashmouthTozier
TrashmouthTozier : Woe is me

Okay so maybe it was still a thing. Whatever this was. It was probably just an ongoing joke… Either way, he quickly hit the follow button in case he changed his mind and searched his name on twitter. He was incredibly shocked to see the amount of “ Richie and Eddie ” and “ Reddie ” results that came through. 

Richie drooling over Eddie is the cutest thing
Imagine if Reddie met in REAL LIFE? I’d die!
WE NEED A PETITION FOR EDDIE KASPBRAK TO NOTICE RICHIE TOZIER.
GUYS. They live in the SAME AREA. REDDIE COULD BE REAL
Reddie would be THE power couple
Imagine if they’re already dating and we nEVER KNEW????

Eddie underestimated the amount of attention this Richie guy brought to him, no, to them . He felt out of depth and a familiar panic creeping in. He routinely went to his fannypack by his side to reach for his inhaler for a puff to calm him, waving away Mike when the other looked over in concern as he continually spoke.

Mike signed to Eddie that he was finishing with a gentle smile. “And that’s the end of this podcast with the ever wonderful, Eddie Kaspbrak. You guys should check out his videos on youtube and go subscribe! Anything to say, Eddie?”

“Well I followed Richie back, thanks to you assholes,” he chuckled, “but give all your blessings to Mike Hanlon, and don’t forget to share the podcast or whatever the fuck people do!”

“You heard it here, Mikesters. Thanks for listening!” After signing off, Mike lifted his earphones away. “I can’t believe you didn’t know about any of this, that’s hilarious.” 

Eddie removed his own headphones and stretched, “this is why I don’t read comments. I didn’t know how big this was? Why does Richie have so much power?”

Mike grinned, “he’s pretty big. I didn’t make you uncomfortable, did I? I saw your puff-”

“Nah, it’s fine. I think I was just shocked to see my name everywhere all of a sudden.” Eddie said, interrupting him. 

“I just don’t want you to feel pressured or anything. This doesn’t have to mean anything.”

“It’s cool, whatever this is. It’ll be content for me to use anyway,” he said with a reassuring smile and a shrug, although he was trying to reason that more to himself than to Mike. 

He quickly sent a tweet, ignoring his heart thumping out of his chest, and stood up. 

EddieKasp: @TrashmouthTozier So apparently people think we’re a power couple?