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a very losers club holiday season

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Eddie woke up late. He actually kind of expected the house to be empty, to find Stan and Richie off somewhere and Bev hard at work and Ben and Mike at the library and Bill maybe writing in his room, but Stan was right there in his bunk scrolling on his phone, and Richie still asleep in his bed across the room. He could hear Mike's "Good Morning, Sunshine!" playlist downstairs on the speaker, and he sat up and yawned. 

"G'mornin," Stan said in a sleepy voice. "How'd you sleep?"

"Good. Why aren't we up at the crack of dawn, heading out on a wintry adventure?" Eddie asked. 

"Eh. I guess we're going to have a lazy day today. Ben's on a run and I think he roped Bev into it too. And Mike's cooking breakfast, and Richie's asleep, and I guess Bill is too."

"Okay. Well, I guess I'll take a shower." Eddie grabbed a t-shirt, sweatpants and a hoodie and headed into the shower. 

Of course, they were out of shampoo. He mentally reminded himself to text Ben and ask him to grab some if he was still out when Eddie was done, but for now he guessed he could use Bev's hair stuff. It was actually pretty nice, one of the only things she would spring good money for and not try to make herself. After showering, he hopped out and changed into his comfy clothes, and headed to the kitchen. 

Richie had apparently just woken up. He was still in pajamas and his hair was mussed up, and he was inhaling coffee. Stan was also in PJ's but he looked as presentable as always. 

"Eds, that's my shirt!" Richie announced, seemingly waking up more when Eddie entered the room. "You're wearing my shirt!"

It was Richie's shirt, actually. Eddie hadn't noticed. "No, it's not."

"Yeah! That's my Schrute farms shirt and Stan's swetapants!" Richie grinned. "Eddie, you thief!"

Eddie was seriously considering phisically fighting Richie when Ben and Bev entered from the front door, all chilly and flushed from the cold. 

"We got some microwave popcorn!" Bev cheered as she set the bag down on the table and moved to wrap herself aorund Eddie from behind. "Ooh, you;re a human heater, Eddie," she added as she rested her chin on his shoulder. 

"Wait, why did you get popcorn?" Stan asked. 

"Because Bev wanted to get some, and she's adorable and I love her," Ben explained as bhe hung up his coat. 

"Oh, shit, I was going to ask you if you could grab some shampoo! We're out, I had to use Bev's," Eddie explained. 

"That's why you smell like Mango-Papaya Sunrise!" she exclaimed. "I can run back out and get some."

"Nah, it's fine."

Mike came out of the kitchen with a bunch of omelettes. "Breakfast is served! Soemone go wake Bill up."

"I can do it-" Stan started to say, but Richie yelled "I CAN DO IT!" They heard him run up the stairs and into Bill's room, and then a few seconds later a dull thud, and then a few seconds later the sound of Bill yelling "RICHARD TOZIER I WILL END YOU!"

They came thundering down the stairs a minute later, Bill all tired from sleep but angry nonetheless, and Richie sprinting with a gleeful look on his face. He ran into Eddie's arms, and glared playfully at Bill. 

"Eddie Spaghetti will protect me."

"Not if you keep calling me Eddie Spaghetti, I won't," Eddie countered. He shook Bev and Richie off, and sat at the table to eat his omelette. 

 

They ate in relative silence, because Mike's cooking was just That Good. They finished, and Ben and Bill did the dishes, and that's when they all realized they had no plan whatsoever. 

"Okay," Richie said. "This may be a controversial statement, but I think we should spend the entire day doing nothing prodective whatsoever."

"That's every day for you, Rich," Bill called from the kitchen. 

"Shut up! I mean, no working on essays. No checking things off to-do lists, no deadline fulfilling, nothing. Just being lazy."

"I have things to do! I only have a few days to finish my fifty-book list for the year!" Stan said. 

"I have to write!" Bill argued. 

"Guys, this is mandatory. I'm making this a mandatory event." The Losers could pull a mandatory event if it was needed. When Mike had done the trip to Jersey, or when they had decorated the tree, or once when Bev had had a huge test and made it mandatory for the biys to leave the house for three hours so she could study in peace. Richie was making it mandatory for them to do absolutely nothing all day. 

 

So about an hour later, they were watching The Naked Gun on the couch and eating popcorn. Richie had almost slipped up on his own rule and grabbed his ntebook to take notes on the comedy of the film, and Ben had to hide the notebook at the top of the fridge. 

"Weird Al Yankovic's on the plane!" the movie police captain said, and Richie started laughing. He was doing that laugh he did sometimes, where he wasn't making any noise, just silently shaking in mirth. 

"Get up and take a break, Richie," Mike said. "Drink some water."

The identical second Richie got up, Bev stretched her feet out over where he was sitting. When Richie returned, he looked around and then plopped himself securely on Eddie's lap. 

Eddie blinked for a minute while the policemen onscreen talked about Queen Elizabeth's visit. Then he decided it wasn;t worth the trouble of arguing, and he was in prime position to do little braids in Bev's hair, and having Richie in his lap really wasn't so bad after all. 

 

Anyways, Ben and Mike were whispering. 

"Benjamin? Michael? Something to share with the class?" Richie asked. 

"Would it be productive if we made something to eat? Like, not popcorn?" Ben asked. 

Richie deliberated, and Eddie decided to jump in. "Um, order something to eat that isn't that healthy. Still kind of healthy, but not health food."

"Chinese?" Mike asked, phone out. 

"Sure."

While they waited for the food to arrive, Richie leaned back against Eddie. He really shouldn't have been so surprised at the contact, because Richard Tozier was a cat, but by now Bev had moved to cuddle with Ben and there was a nice, big, Richie-sized space next to him. Eddie was contemplating saying something like "Rich, there's a spot right there, you;re crushing me" but there's also something nice about it. The whole physical affection thing. Richie had sort of leaned against Eddie's chest by now, and even though he was cramming popcorn into his mouth, quoting lines from the film from memory, and wheezing with laughter at the misadventures of Detective Frank Drebin, there was a warm feeling from the top of Eddie's head to the tips of his toes, and he adjusted his arms to go around Richie's waist and pulled out his phone. 

"Geez, move around a bit so I can see my screen," he grumbled in what he hoped was a playfully disgruntled tone, but was actually full of love and affection. For a brief moment he worried that Richie would move next to him, but he just maneuvered so he was laying oin Eddie's chest, alternating between the film and the phone. 

Ben paid for the food, and Mike passed out paper plates, and Stan grabbed some forks and Bill passed out napkins. Bev had never once in her life successfully eaten a meal with chopsticks, but she twirled her hair into a bun and let some strands fall into her face. 

"It's not fair," MIke complained. "Bev, you're in my old shirt and leggings and your hair is held up by wooden chopsticks, and you could still model for something. Like a legging company."

"Bev, I'm gay, and I think you're gorgeous," Stan agrees. THey all settle into silence for a minute, eating, with only the sound of Jane and Frank as background nopise, and then Richie sits bolt upright. 

"Stanley Uris, did you just come out of the goddamn closet?!" he shreiks, dropping noodles on Eddie. And Eddie realizes that yeah, Stan just said that he was gay, and now they've all stopped eating to look at him. Stan himself is eating calmly, but he's betrayed by the bright red stsin on his cheeks. 

"Um, yes, I believe I have." He's doing his nervous thing, slipping into his talking to adults and authority voice. Eddie would walk over and hold his hands if Richie wasn't sitting on his lap. 

Ben has beat them all to Stan's side, wrapping him in a side-hug. "Hey, Stanley? That's great. Seriously. And obviously, you know that we're cool with the gays in this house-" he waves a hand over the giant rainbow flag Richie and Bev put up their first week in the house "-and if you ever want to talk about boys you maybe shouldn't come to me, because I don't know how to do romance, but maybe Bev. Or Bill or Richie! Richie likes boys and Bill knows how to write romance!"

"Yeah, Staniel, talk to be about cute guys anytime. You, me, and Bev can form a club."

"Stan, you can talk to me anytime," Bill adds, complete with voice crack, and a strange look on his face, and his eyes fixated on the credits of the movie. Eddie decided to look into that later. 

 

They finished their food and watched the Simpsons. Eddie's lower thigh fell asleep, Bev actually did fall asleep, Bill and Stan avoided eye contact, Mike and Ben quietly talked about something, Richie lit a candle, and when he fell asleep on the couch his last thought was okay. that was actually a pretty good day.