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walk through fire for you

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Stan’s irritated voice comes from his left. He drags his attention away from Bill drunkenly regaling them with the latest celebrity gossip he’s privy to from the set of his new movie. Richie’s already heard the story from his agent, but Bill is so animated, keeps laughing halfway through a sentence, and Richie and the rest of the gang are captivated.

Stan is frowning, lips pursed distastefully. He tends to only look like this when Richie is being exceedingly entertaining, in his opinion, or “pathologically irritating” in Stanley’s.

“Stan the man. What did I do this time?”

“Please go talk to Eddie, before I have to put him out in the yard.”

Richie huffs out a surprised laugh. “Shit. What did he do?”

“He drank an entire bottle of peach schnapps by himself and then lost his mind, and you just let him.”

“Eds is his own man, Stannis,” Richie says proudly. “And good! He needed to relax, his boss has him wound so tight lately that when we fuck, his-“

“Beep beep Richie. Do not finish that sentence,” Stanley warns. “And go talk to him. He’s in the laundry room. Don’t ask.”

Stan stalks away, squeezing between Patty and Ben on the couch. Richie laughs, shrugs at Beverly’s questioning look, and weaves through the gaggle of party goers, aka Mike and Bev, towards where he thinks Stan’s laundry room is. He finds it wedged between the kitchen and guest bathroom.

Eddie is on the floor, back against the dryer, looking forlornly down at an empty bottle of what was indeed peach schnapps. Richie grins, thrilled at the prospect of a happily wasted Eddie. It’s been way too long since he let himself have any fun, and he’s always a fucking riot when he’s drunk.

“Hey Eddie,” Richie greets. Eddie looks up, and Richie is taken aback when he sees tears swimming in his eyes. He kneels down next to him and puts a hand on Eddie’s shoulder; Eddie looks at him like he just gave him the greatest gift of his life.

“Richie,” Eddie says, awestruck. Eddie has never been so weirdly reverent with him. Usually he greets Richie with a warm smile or a scowl, depending on his mood. Richie quirks an eyebrow at him.

“Didn’t know you were such a fan of the schnapps,” Richie teases. Surreptitiously he pulls out his phone, and opens his camera to record what is sure to be an entertaining spectacle. He sets it casually on the shelf with the detergent and dryer sheets, aiming it at Eddie. Eddie looks blankly down at the bottle, then back at Richie’s face, like he’s not entirely sure who he is. “What are you doing in the laundry room? You know there’s a party out there. People have been asking about you.”

“I like laundry rooms,” Eddie answers, slurring pretty bad. “They’re clean.”

“Think they only smell clean. They’re also full of dirty laundry too, Eds.”

Eddie frowns. “Don’t call me that.”

Richie frowns right back. “You don’t- I always call you that. You act like you hate it, but I know better by now.”

Eddie continues to look confused. Richie plucks the empty bottle from his hand to check the alcohol content. “You sure this isn’t like, absinthe or something baby?”

Baby?” Eddie repeats incredulously. “Why are you calling me baby?”

His eyes properly well up now. Richie has only seen Eddie cry a handful of times in his adult life, so he’s fairly concerned. He drops down to sit across from Eddie and takes his hands in his.

“Eddie baby, now you’re scaring me, why are you crying?”

Tears track down Eddie’s cheek, and he all but wails, “Cause you’re engaged!”

Richie stares, waiting, but Eddie doesn’t laugh, or give any indication that he’s joking. Richie chokes on a laugh before he can stop himself, and Eddie’s eyes widen. He looks so hurt that Richie reaches out to wipe the tears away.

“Yeah, I am,” Richie says seriously. He nods and looks down at Eddie’s hands in his, thumb tracing over the ring on his left hand. Eddie doesn’t seem to notice. “How’d you know?”

“Stan told me,” Eddie slurs miserably. “He said this was an engagement party for y-you.”

“Well, kind of,” Richie says. “Bill and Stan can’t make the real one, so this one is just for the Losers. The big one is in a couple of weeks.”

“I don’t think I can go to that one,” Eddie says sadly. Richie resists the urge to kiss the heartbroken frown off his face, and presses his lips together to keep from laughing.

“Why not Eds?”

“Because I love you, Richie!” Eddie cries. He wrenches his hands from Richie’s and covers his face, pulling his knees to his chest. “I’ve always fuckin’ loved you, you idiot, since we were k-kids! I can’t-can’t watch you marry someone else!”

Richie does laugh then, as silently as he can while Eddie’s face is covered.

Eddie pulls his hands from his face, and Richie quickly morphs his laugh into a sigh. Eddie looks mortified, and sways closer. His eyes are so fucking glassy.

“Richie, I’m sorry,” Eddie tells him. He shuffles closer and rests his hands on Richie’s shoulders. He can smell peach on Eddie’s breath, mingled with harsh alcohol. “‘M so fuckin’ sorry, I don’t- just ignore me, I didn’t mean that.”

“Oh, I think you did,” Richie says seriously. Eddie groans and leans forward, pressing his forehead into Richie’s chest.

“No, Richie, pretend I didn’t- I never said anything, okay?”

“But you did, Eddie baby, and I can’t just ignore it.”

Stop calling me baby, Richie, it’s fucking mean,” Eddie snaps. He pulls back, sniffling a little and wiping a stray tear from his cheek.

Richie bites the insides of his cheeks to control his face. If he hadn’t already done it a month ago, he’d propose all over again right here and now.

He sighs heavily, schools his expression into something serious. “Well, Eds, I have a confession too.”

Eddie’s mouth drops open a little, eyes wide. Richie sighs, and cradles Eddie’s face between his hands.

“I’m in love with you too.”

“Stop fucking with me Richie,” Eddie says angrily.

“But I’m not! I’m crazy, madly, balls deep in love with you, and I don’t know what to do about it.”

“Well- you can’t- we-“ Eddie stutters adorably. “You can’t do anything about it, obviously!”

“Yeah, you’re right Eds.” He sighs again, putting on his best approximation of a kicked puppy face and drops his hands. “You’re so strong Eddie, and so noble. I should leave.”

“Yeah, you probably should,” Eddie agrees sullenly.

“Okay,” Richie agrees. He lifts one of his hands back to Eddie’s face, folds it into his hair. “But first… kiss me?”

Eddie’s eyes nearly bug out of his head. “Richie-“

“Just once, Eds. Just let me know what it’s like to kiss those sweet Spaghetti lips before I die.”

“We can’t, Richie,” Eddie laments.


Eddie seems to go through the entire spectrum of human emotion before his eyes. Desire, guilt, longing, more guilt - it all passes over his face before he’s leaning forward and kissing Richie hard.

It’s one of the sloppiest and most passionate kisses they’ve ever had. Maybe even more so than their first, when Eddie had kissed Richie so hard he’d ended up with a split lip. Eddie bites at his mouth, and Richie lets him lick into it, responding eagerly. Richie’s hands are in his hair, and he pulls until Eddie climbs clumsily into his lap. Eddie shows no sign of stopping despite his earlier hesitation, and he moans into Richie’s mouth when their lips slot together again, arms looping tight around Richie’s neck.

They break apart after a few minutes, and Richie is immediately laughing. He feels Eddie frown against his mouth.

“Are you laughing?” Eddie asks. “Richie, we just-“

“I know we just,” Richie interrupts. “I’m sorry baby, you’re so fucking cute but I can’t keep torturing you. Look at your left hand, Eds.”

Eddie blinks at him, then at his hand curled on Richie’s neck. He brings it closer to his face, staring at the gold band like its a sixth finger.

“What- Richie-”

“I’m engaged to you, Eddie baby. God, you’re hammered.”

“You’re- we’re- are you sure?” Eddie asks dazedly.

“I’m sure. I’m going to be Mr. Richard Spaghetti, the luckiest man in the world.”

Eddie shifts back to get a better look at his own hand, holding tight to Richie’s neck with his other so he doesn’t fall back against the dryer. The movement makes something rattle in Eddie’s pocket, and Richie understands with a sudden surge of clarity.

Shit, Eddie, your new pills,” Richie says. He digs in Eddie’s pocket and pulls them out to read the label. “Fuck, you’re probably not supposed to drink with these.”

“Oh fuck,” Eddie says, clumsily taking the bottle from Richie. He squints at it, then looks at Richie in a panic. “Fuck, Rich, I can't read it, it’s blurry as fuck.”

“Its okay Eds. Come on, up we go.”

He taps Eddie’s sides and Eddie crawls off of him, and together they manage to get Eddie upright after a few unsuccessful attempts. Eddie’s swaying so bad that Richie ends up just scooping him up bridal style. Sober Eddie would complain, but he doesn’t say a word. He just lolls his head against Richie’s shoulder, groaning and mumbling about the room spinning too much.

“Alright my little peach. Let’s call poison control and get nice and comfortable in front of Stan’s toilet, shall we?”

Eddie’s face is stony as he watches the video on Richie’s phone. He’d spent the entire night puking in Stan’s bathroom, and then in theirs, and suffered a stern lecture from his psychiatrist on the dangerous effects of mixing anti-anxiety drugs and alcohol. Richie had managed to contain himself for approximately one hour before he’d thrust the phone in his hands and forced him to press play, grinning like a maniac while he relived the night with Eddie.

“You can either delete this now, or I’m going to throw your phone in the fucking lake,” Eddie grits out when it’s finished.

“Wouldn’t help, I’ve already got copies saved in the cloud, baby,” Richie says cheerfully. Eddie’s face darkens even more. “Plus, I sent it to the Losers group chat this morning, so you’d have to do a lot of personal property damage to get rid of it.”

“Fine. I’ll just dump you then.”

“Oh, no, empty threat cutie,” Richie says. “You were willing to home-wreck for me last night. You wouldn’t have the balls to leave me.”

“Fuck you, just watch me,” Eddie snaps. “I’ll call the florist and cancel right fucking now.”

“Go ahead,” Richie says, grinning.

Eddie just shakes his head and goes back to his book, throwing Richie’s phone across the bed at him. Richie lets the moment sit as long as he can, until Eddie seems to have gotten over it, then says, “I also posted it on Twitter. My fans love it, you’ve gone viral.”

He looks over, grinning, and is met with a pillow slapping hard across his face.