|Trashmouth Tozier (trash_mouth) wrote in spinningcompass,|
@ 2019-11-09 03:43:00
|Entry tags:||!closed, eddie kasprak, richie tozier|
Who: Richie and Eddie
What: Nightmares and stuff
Where: House in little Asgard
When: Backdated, Nov 2
Closed/GDoc/Low (as low as Richie can be)
Richie woke the way he did most mornings, fast and violently, sitting up so fast that his head went spinning for a moment. He was gasping hard as he grabbed for his glasses on his side table, trying to catch his breath again. He all but shoved his chunky frames on to his face and then lent forward, elbows on his knees with his head in his hands. Once he was awake he could feel them, Bill and Eddie, and knew where he was, but it was like as soon as he fell asleep his subconscious decided to cut off whatever weird connection they had so every nightmare felt real; so it felt like they were really gone.
He took one more deep breath, leveling out so he could sit up again and reach for his phone. Fuck. It was barely past one in the morning and even he would be miserable if he didn’t get more sleep. He groaned and pushed away his blankets, stepping out of bed and then out of his room.
He stood in the hall for a minute. Bill was asleep, but Eddie wasn’t, so that was the door he went to. (At least that’s how he justified it to himself.) He knocked just hard enough that someone awake would hear, but quietly enough not to wake anyone who wasn’t, just in case he was wrong, and then stood waiting, nothing but disheveled hair, a shitty t-shirt, and his boxer shorts.
Eddie was still fully dressed in his clothes; he hadn't even bothered trying to go to sleep. He would have simply laid there, staring at the ceiling and worrying. Instead he stared at a pile of books. At the top was a first aid manual that he'd already read several times. It was missing the most important section, how to fix psycho-clown-inflicted injuries. There were books on fighting techniques, weapons, guide to finding inner strength. None of them were helping his anxiety.
Eddie placed the books in a box neatly and put it with other boxes. Almost everything he had in his room was packed up, just in case. Richie shouldn't have to go through that again.
Eddie reached for a pill bottle when he heard the knock on the door and sensed it was Richie. Eddie needed to keep up appearances, pretend he found the situation funny instead of terrifying. Being a kid had to place a target on Richie's back when it came to Pennywise. The only thing worse than his friends having to pack up his stuff would be if the roles were reversed.
Eddie swallowed a couple of pills, slipped the bottle back into his pocket and opened the door. "Can't sleep or don't want to sleep?"
“Either...both? Who fuckin’ knows.” Richie commented, stepping in to the room without waiting for an invitation, sitting himself on Eddie’s bed. He bounced a little, realized it was the same as his and lay back, draped across it sideways with his legs hanging off.
He could almost feel the anxiety in the room, like it was some sticky fog that hung in the air. He couldn’t really blame him, Richie was nervous as hell that this wouldn’t fix itself in time, but he’d gotten good over the years, at ignoring his emotions, what was one more.
“Planning on getting your own place?” he asked, having noticed all of the boxes. Deflection, definitely not obvious at all.
Eddie stood in the doorway a moment longer. "Come in." He told the empty air dryly. He waited another moment, then closed the door. Turning around, he looked at Richie on the bed, thought back to the hammock in the clubhouse and the twenty-seven lost years of friendship afterwards. He considered sitting next to him on the bed, then sat in a chair instead.
"No. I, uh, I" Eddie looked at the boxes and searched for the right words, the ones to make sure Richie understood that he hadn't given up. "I'm not planning on going anywhere." He kept staring at the boxes, feeling like a coward. "It's just some crap from when I was twelve. I figured I'd leave it in the boxes, since I'm not eating any candy meals."
Richie pulled himself up to lean on his elbows once Eddie sat down, so he could see him. He hadn’t really been even thinking about Eddie sitting with him but he was somehow disappointed all the same when he didn’t. Though, he figured it had to be weird, it was still strange to look down and see his 12-year-old self or reach for something and have his hand come up at the wrong height. Seeing someone that looked like a kid but acted 40 had to be jarring. Not that Richie particularly acted his age, but he was different from his younger self.
“It was one piece! And it was fucking delicious at that. How was I supposed to know it was creepy magic.” Richie could tell that it wasn’t really why Eddie was doing whatever he was, but, for once in his life, he had enough restraint not to push it. There was enough going on that he felt everyone had an excuse for some erratic behavior. “You too then, I guess this is why everyone told me to keep it when mine showed up.” He gestured down to himself. “Did you get your bike too?”
"You couldn't have known. That's part of what makes it so funny." Eddie answered, finally managing to look at Richie again. "And now, even if I find an allergen-free candy, I know not to eat it."
Eddie nodded and managed a smile at the mention of the bike. "Yeah, I did." There were more good memories than bad attached to that bike. Riding around with his friends, able to keep up and not feel sick when he was with them.
"You could ride your bike in one of the parks." It felt ridiculous to make that suggestion, but he wanted at least one small part of this mess to not suck for his friend. "Get some use out of it, because this kid thing is gonna be over soon and you'll be back to being a middle-aged loser like me and Bill."
Richie just lifted one hand, middle finger raised in Eddie's direction, though he was smiling while he did it. "You know, maybe you should get an allergy test, there's all sorts of weird stuff here." he suggested. It played in to Eddie's destructive thoughts some, but he was thinking to himself that the outcome would likely be the opposite. Knowing what he did of Eddie's mother and then wife...he had a feeling Eddie wasn't actually allergic to half the things he thought he was. He'd just always been too afraid to try them.
He laughed a little, "I don't think I've been on a bike in like 20 years." He wasn't sure if he would or not, it seemed a little...lonely to do something like that on his own. Richie had spent a lot of his adult life alone, most of it really. But, doing something that he so closely associated with his friends by himself just felt worse than that somehow. “And you two might me middle-aged losers, I am a loser who happens to be middle-aged. Totally different.”
"Yeah, I should." Eddie thought over everything he'd done since he'd arrived and all the new things he'd encountered. He'd been touching and breathing all of it in. He could almost feel the contaminants, moving around his skin and entering his lungs with every breath, all ready to trigger him into asthma or even anaphylaxis. He rubbed his chest. "Fuck." It was tempting to grab his old aspirator or a few more pills. He thought of Richie and decided to wait it out. His friend was dealing with being stuck as a kid. His own bullshit anxiety shouldn't matter.
Eddie wasn't surprised. A comedian would have a more interesting life than a risk analyst looking for ways to spend time away from his wife. "Not even a stationary bike? You need to take better care of yourself, dipshit." He chuckled. "Riiight. That's the complete opposite."
Richie sat up when he could tell his suggestion had maybe gone too far. "Hey, relax, not like, right now. You haven't gotten sick yet so it can't be that bad. None of us have, and Bill'sbeen here for almost 30 years." He hoped it was reassuring? "Just y'know, something to keep in mind. I can go with you and annoy the shit out of the doctors so they do it quickly."
"Fuck off with that...stationary bikes." He shrugged, "Eh, I used to run sometimes but then that got annoying so I just started drinking less beer." Eddie didn't need to know he'd just replaced it with harder liquor. "Definitely is. Mine's way better."
Eddie moved his hand away from his chest, fighting the urge to start scratching. "I know. It's okay. I'm fine." He knew he should be. There were no more allergens in the room then there were before they started talking. "Just make sure you don't cross the line from annoying the doctors into pissing them off."
The mention of beer reminded Eddie that he didn't truly know how Richie coped with everything. "Have you been drinking any beers, or anything else, since the candy?" He asked with concern evident on his face. "You've got a tiny, baby body. Don't get alcohol poisoning."
"I am wounded Eddie, when would I ever cross that line?" He knew the answer (always), they both did. But that was part of the game.
"No moooom." Richie's voice was whiny and overdramatic, channeling his not-so-inner-anymore teenager. Truth was, he almost had, but figured that might be a bad idea considering he didn't know his tolerance. And he really hated hangovers. "Why do you think I'm here?" He teased. It might have been part of it, finding some way to cope when he couldn't sleep and couldn't numb, but he also just liked being there. Seeing Eddie. Reminding himself that they were both alright. For now at least.
Eddie smirked. "When would you not, trashmouth?" He knew the answer to that too. Richie held back when it really mattered.
Eddie rolled his eyes at the whine and smiled inwardly, glad Richie wasn't self-destructing. He held in a sarcastic response about Richie being there to annoy him. It felt risky. He didn't want him to leave. He stood from the chair and walked over to the bed, sitting down next to Richie. He placed his hand on Richie's shoulder, giving it a gentle squeeze, then moved his hand away. "I'm glad you're here." Here in his room and here in his life again. Twenty-seven years had been far too long.
"It's all just part of my irresistible charm." Richie smirked in Eddie's direction.
He couldn't hide his small smile when Eddie's hand landed on his shoulder if he'd wanted to. Part of him still kept thinking that it was all in his head, that Eddie wasn't actually there and he wasn't real, and could be gone if he kept his eyes closed too long. But the hand on him was warm and solid and real and he couldn't really deny that. "Dork." He teased, because he'd never really figured out how to express himself beyond insults equal affection. But he smiled and leaned over, bumping Eddie's arm with his shoulder, "Me too."
"Geek." Eddie said with a grin. He sat quietly for a few moments, simply enjoying the moment and pretending that the upcoming battle with Pennywise wasn't looming over both of them. He had never been one to keep his anxiety at bay for long though. Richie looked so small and vulnerable. It was all wrong. Eddie was supposed to be the fragile one. No one else. It made it even more frustrating that there was no way he could fix it, no lecture to give on how to treat mysterious age-down candy to make his friend well.. He drew in a deep breath. "Do you want to talk about why you can't sleep?"
Richie didn’t mind just sitting there with his shoulder leaning against Eddie. The silence didn’t bother him, not with Eddie, or Bill or any of the losers really. With other people it felt overwhelming, smothering almost; he always felt a need to fill the void with voices or jokes or just inappropriate words. With his friends, his mind was just quiet, a few moments of calm. It didn’t usually last all that long, but he started talking just because he was Richie and it was what he did, not because he was uncomfortable. But it was Eddie that broke the quiet now, and Richie sighed a little.
“Do I ever?” he commented. And it was true, he never really wanted to talk about things like this. But he did it anyway. Because he knew it would probably help. And it might make Eddie worry less (though he wasn’t sure of that this time). He’d even tried therapy a few times over the years, but it didn’t work. He just ended up frustrated at therapists who told him to stop holding back or deflecting when they asked about the childhood he genuinely didn’t remember. “The nightmares wake me up.” he admitted, “I get a few hours now and then, but never all night.
"The nightmares wake you up and it still feels so fucking real. There's no way you can go back to sleep. You might even still hear things or see things." Eddie said quietly. He could feel the nightmares lingering around him even now. There were memories of the scary shit that Pennywise pulled to torment them and worse, the ways it all ended in his dreams. "You want to be sure that you're not dying after one dream and that you haven't lost anyone after the next dream." He could be talking about himself, but Richie had been the one to come to his room. The feelings had to be similar.
Eddie tried to think of a way to give his friend a real night of sleep. A handful of pills to sleep and another to stay awake could be dangerous for Richie's kid body. He wouldn't even dare to suggest it. He thought for another moment, then he looked away, feeling incredibly awkward. "The rooms here are big. We could probably fit two beds in one room." There. If Richie didn't take him up on the idea of them sharing a room, at least he could mock the hell of him for thinking of it.
Richie stayed quiet while Eddie talked, just leaning in to him a little more, resting his head on Eddie’s shoulder. As much as he would never wish it on someone else, and he hated thinking that Eddie felt the way he did sometimes, it was reassuring all the same. He hesitated for a few moments, squeezing his eyes shut and gathering every bit of will he had to speak without breaking. “The worst one is when you don’t die.” he started, his voice quiet, hesitant and entirely un-Richie, “We...we left you there. I don’t actually remember it, Ben said he and Bill had to carry me most of the way out, but we left you there. And I see you wake up. You’re in that shitty, horrible place and you’re alone and hurt and I can’t get you out. We shouldn’t have left you.” He didn’t know if saying it would help or just give Eddie something else to panic about, but he had to. It was eating him from the inside out and if he didn’t put it out to the world he felt like it would just continue to fester in his chest until he couldn’t deal with it anymore.
He reached up with one hand to scrub at his face, pushing his glasses up to his forehead while pressing against his eyes for a moment. Eventually, he fixed the lenses and sniffed definitavely, pushing away whatever wanted to well up.
He could sense Eddie’s hesitation, the worry about his suggestion. But, if Richie were honest, it was probably what he’d been hoping for in coming over here, without even realizing it. “Yeah, we probably could.” He said, just as quietly but a little less sad. And maybe it would be a little weird, two grown men sharing a room when they didn’t need to, but who else had ever done or seen the things they had. It was a wonder already that they hadn’t all ended up as batshit as Bowers had. (The thought of Henry sent a shiver of nausea through Richie’s gut.) They should be allowed to find comfort where they could.
Eddie did his best to be supportive of Richie. He couldn't hold on long. He leaned forward and rested his head in hands to hide the tears welling up in his eyes. When he left for Derry, he'd had a fleeting thought of returning to Myra in a hearse. It had never occurred to him that he might be left behind with the clown to rot in there, like he was no better than grey water. Ben and Bill should have carried him out instead; Richie could have helped instead of being dragged away.
A few tears slipped down Eddie's cheek as Richie went on. The idea of being trapped down with filth seeping into a giant, gaping wound, no way out and no one there to comfort him was horrifying. He'd completely break down if it weren't for Richie next to him, needing him to be the strong one for once. He rubbed his face and cleaned the tears as best he could without it being obvious. He had to put on a brave front. He swallowed hard, forcing back a lump in his throat and finally looked at Richie again. "You didn't do anything wrong. If everyone else thought you had to leave me behind, it must have been the only choice." His voice was shakier than he intended. "You've got to promise me that you'll leave me behind again if you have to."
Eddie gave him a small smile when he agreed. He was certain there'd be clashes between them; he'd drive Richie crazy with his neat freak, germaphobe tendencies and Richie would annoy him in all kinds of ways. They'd both treasure it too. "Okay, roomie." He glanced around the room, already thinking of rules, as if they were back in the clubhouse. The banter had to start somewhere. It would be a hell of a lot better than thinking about being left behind, then or in the future.
Richie turned to press his forehead to Eddie’s arm, one of his hands moving to rub at the base of his neck, fingers just lightly touching the ends of his hair occasionally. Of everything that had gone wrong, anything that could have happened, leaving him there had been the thing Richie felt like he regretted most. And just because he had come seeking comfort, didn’t mean he couldn’t give it too. “I’m sorry.” he mumbled against Eddie’s sleeve, not sure if he was apologising for leaving him, or for bringing it up now, or both.
He looked back up when he felt Eddie’s eyes on him, looking up to him. Which was a pretty odd sensation if he were honest. He heard what Eddie had said, and part of him was aware that he was right, that if something happened again and it was a choice between leaving someone behind and dying, that Richie should leave him. But he really wasn’t sure if he could bring himself to make that promise. “I just won’t let you get hurt again and it won’t be an issue.” he said instead, and while there was no way to be sure of that, not when that fucking clown was involved, he was absolutely going to do everything he could to try.
Richie was sure they would probably drive each other up the wall more often than not; not in any kind of serious way, but in the way they always had. The way that made them smile and laugh and taught Richie when to keep his mouth shut and Eddie when it was alright to take a bit of risk. As much as the bickering always seemed to annoy the others, it balanced the two of them out. “I am definitely not moving any beds tonight though.” he commented, finally moving away from Eddie to crawl into the bed the right way. They could both fit even if he was his normal size, but, as small as he was now, they definitely wouldn’t have any issue.
"Don't be sorry." Eddie said. "You shouldn't have to deal with any of this on your own. And I'd rather have you talk about it now, then have the clown use it against you later." That was a nauseating thought, conjuring up images of what Pennywise might make them see in Derry or worse, that It would use him to make Richie suffer. He let Richie's soothing touch comfort him and the images slowly faded.
Eddie had to wonder if he had misunderstood the intent of the apology - if it was guilt over his being left behind, and not concern over telling him. "I know you won't. If I die, it won't be because you let it happen." He told him softly. "When I broke my arm and the clown was getting close to us, you told me to look at you. A fucking killer clown was about to eat us and you were comforting me." He wasn't sure he could have done the same if their positions been reversed. He panicked too much, then and now. "I froze up, let you down, let everyone down and you still convinced me I could be brave. There's been so many other times. You've always been there when I needed you the most." He looked into Richie's eyes, hoping he was getting through to him "It wasn't your fault that I had to be left behind. It won't be your fault if it happens again."
Eddie stood up, giving Richie more room to get comfortable in the bed. "Yeah, okay." He told himself that out of respect for Bill's family, it made sense not to move furniture in the middle of the night. It wasn't simply a need to be close. He took off his shirt, leaving his t-shirt on. He started folding the shirt, ready to put it in a box and then stopped himself, hanging it up in the closet instead. He took off his shoes and socks, dimmed the lights and then got into the bed. Taking another dose of pills had completely slipped his mind with Richie there.
Richie didn’t really believe that he had done anything all that impressive. He hadn’t made Eddie brave, he was just the one who saw through all the bullshit he’d been fed by his mother and by Myra. He wasn’t the one who protected them from the werewolf-clown thing when Eddie broke his arm, Bev had done that, if anyone. But, Richie’s chest swelled a little bit anyway, he’d never realized really, how much it all meant to his friend. Between the words and the way Eddie looked at him...he reached out to hug him tightly. “You can’t fucking die.” he whispered, “Stop saying it.” His glasses were crushed between
his face and Eddie’s shoulder and if they came away with water marks on them, he’d deal with that in the morning. He wasn’t sure how he’d do it, but he wouldn’t let it happen. Not again. In Richie’s mind, one way or another, Eddie was getting out of there or none of them were.
He settled in a little while Eddie got himself ready, taking his glasses off finally to give him some semblance of privacy, as unneeded as it was. Once Eddie was in the bed with him though, he didn’t hesitate to move close and lay his head on his friend’s shoulder, arm draped over his chest. He’d always been touchy, probably more with Bill and Eddie and Stan than anyone else, but he’d never been one to shy away from his friends, and it had been a while (longer than he probably would have wanted to admit) since he’d shared a bed with someone. “You’d better not snore.”
Eddie wrapped his arms around Richie gently at first, not wanting to hurt the smaller body. Then Richie spoke and couldn't help tightening the hug. Once again, he was worried and looking out for him. He'd try to stop saying it; it'd be hard not blurt it out when it was on his mind all the time. He was scared and couldn't shake the idea that there was some kind of fate at work. If it wasn't him, it might be someone else. "You can't die." He whispered back. If he lost Richie, he'd die either way. Maybe not right away. He'd fade away, find someone like Myra to walk all over him and use his phobias to hide away from having a real life.
Eddie smiled at the closeness and chuckled at the question. "If I snored, I'd be wearing a bunch of strips across my nose and be hooked up to a breathing machine." It was one of the few conditions he didn't worry about. Perhaps because his mother and wife didn't need to control him when he was already asleep. He doubted he'd mind if Richie snored. It would be a reminder that he was there. "Go to sleep."
“Deal. No dying.” Richie said with a sniff. He was pretty aware that that hadn’t been Eddie’s intention, but he was going to take it because it made him feel a little better. It felt like he had a tiny bit of control over the situation when he knew he really didn’t. He pulled away eventually, straightening his glasses and brushing a hand through his hair before he smoothed down Eddie’s shirt.
“Ugh. Gross.” Richie commented with no actual disgust behind it. He didn’t really mind if Eddie snored, but he would have if he went through all that every night. He held Eddie a little tighter and huffed. “Fine, but only because this shit is exhausting, not because you told me to.” he teased, when really, it was only because Eddie was there and telling him it was alright to sleep that it took less than five minutes for him to doze off.
Eddie made a mental note to find a box of snore strips and leave them in the room for Richie to see and be annoyed by. It could be something to do after the clown was dealt with, meaning that they'd both be around after. "Yeah, whatever." He muttered. The reason didn't matter as long as they both were able to actually sleep. He waited until he was certain that Richie was asleep, then wrapped one arm around him. "Love you,bro." He whispered and drifted off into a peaceful sleep.