A/N: Just a little one-shot I wrote between class and work today. Simply because I was sold on the idea of Richie/Eddie by the end of the book. Any constructive criticism is appreciated.
An Unimportant Dream
Richie is having a dream. They are playing in the Barrens, children again. All seven, or at least he thinks. Surely Big Bill is there, running around and playing guns like they used to. And he thinks he sees Stan Uris and a girl who must be Beverly. But in the dream, Richie knows they're all there. The whole Losers Club. But most importantly, he knows Eddie is there.
Except Eddie is an adult. And so is Richie now, the two of them sitting by the stream in the Barrens. The one that they dammed up when they first met Ben. But Richie isn't thinking of ol' Haystack or any of the others right now. He is sitting with his feet close to the water, Eddie's head on his lap. Eddie is looking up at him, and Richie thinks that Eddie is too skinny, much too skinny, for a healthy full grown man.
"Me soul be damned te Hell if ye arunt in need of a foin haggus ta fill yer belly. Jay-sus Christ, Eds. Ah say, ah say, Jay-sus Christ!"
Eddie laughs and turns his head in disgust. "Your Voices are shit. Don't call me Eds, ass-hole. How many times do I have to tell you I don't like it. I think haggus is Scottish anyhow."
Richie frowns. Sure, his Voices may not have been so good when they were eleven, but he was making a good living with them now. And his Irish Cop Voice is one of his favorites. As if reading his mind (which honestly wouldn't be too surprising), Eddie raises up a bit with his hand on the grass and says, "I prefer your real voice anyhow."
Now Richie raises his brow. He laughs. He can't help it. Even though he knows Eddie is too skinny and his skin is too sallow, he's still so cute. Unable to restrain himself, he pinches Eddie's cheek. "So cute. So cute cute."
"Ack," Eddie spits, falling back down on Richie's lap and smacking his hand away. "I hate that! I've always hated that!" But there's something in his tone and expression that says maybe he doesn't hate it right now.
For a while they are quiet, content to rest with each other and feel the calm summer breeze blow past them. Richie watches Eddie, who is staring off into the distance, then looks forward. He only looks back down when Eddie speaks again.
"You killed It for me."
Eddie's head doesn't move, but his eyes turn up to Richie's. Richie is almost hypnotized by them. "You and Big Bill killed It, but you did it for me, didn't you Richie? Maybe you woulda done it anyhow, but I wonder."
Suddenly, Richie's eyes begin to burn. He thinks it's the burning from the Smoke Hole, like before. Then he realizes that it's only tears welling up in his eyes.
"Dammit, Eds," he says, gripping Eddie's upper arms. He doesn't want to remember. "Eddie..."
Again, Eddie pushes himself up on his hand. "But we had to do it anyhow, and Bill couldn't do it alone. I truly believe that. He was our leader, but he needed us. Especially you. You were always riding double with him. So I'm glad that I could encourage you. Even though it meant I had to-"
"Dammit man, don't you say that. You're here now, ain't you? You are." His voice is wavering. "So don't give me any of that shit, cause I won't believe it."
"Beep beep, Richie," Eddie says, smiling so contently that it pains Richie. Nobody should be able to say what Eddie is saying and be content.
Richie cups Eddie's face. He wants to kiss him, if for no other reason than to shut him up. He turns his head down, lowering toward Eddie. A tear falls from his eye, hitting his glasses just before they slide off his face. He hadn't even been aware that he was wearing them.
Instead of hitting Eddie's face, the obnoxious glasses fall and shatter on the floor of the pipe he is standing in. The sound of water is rushing in the distance, and thick cords of webbing are draped in random patterns all over the ground. He sees Eddie, but Eddie isn't lying in his lap anymore. He's lying in Bev's. Eddie's arm is missing, and his eyes are nearly closed but not quite. It is that slight exposure of dull eyes that confirms what Richie fears. Beverly is crying, and she turns to Richie. He knows before she opens her mouth what she is about to say.
Richie yells. He doesn't mean to, and at first he doesn't know he is doing it out loud. He sees something in the corner of his eye, and when he turns to look he sees The Spider on the wall. It stares at him before scurrying away.
"You fucking bitch!" Richie screams. "You fucking bitch! You fucking bitch!"
Richie's eyes snap open, and he is lying in his bed as another blubbering, "You fucking bitch," eases its way between his lips.
"Are you alright?" Marissa (a young woman in advertising at the radio station) asks, sitting up in bed and holding the sheet so that it covers one of her perky breasts.
Richie clears his throat. "Yeah, yeah. Fine."
Richie touches his face and feels the moisture in the wrinkles around his eyes.
"You were cussing at someone."
"Yeah, you were. Who were you talking to?" She looks concerned when she asks.
For a second, Richie thinks. "I don't remember," he replies, and he laughs as he rubs his eyes. "Maybe that jackass caller from yesterday who called me gimmicky."
Marissa looks doubtful, but she says no more. But Richie honestly can't remember the dream. Something about someone he used to know. He can almost see a face before it slips away. A minute later, he stops trying to remember because it just doesn't seem important.
Some kid he used to know. It doesn't seem important.