They don't talk about it.
After Eddie mashes their lips together to wake Richie up from the deadlights, there isn't time to discuss it- they're too busy trying to kill It and stay alive at the same time. It slashes Eddie's side, just a quarter of an inch away from nicking his lung, the doctor said. Then, later, when Eddie's recovering in the hospital and Richie presses his mouth to Eddie's, gentler than Eddie thought he was capable of, and with more desperation than Richie knew he had in him, they still don't talk about it. And even later when he's recovering in a hotel room in New York, they keep not talking about it. They still don't talk about it when Richie accompanies him to said hotel room. Richie's surprised they still find the words to bicker with all the not talking they're doing.
He knows he can't stay forever. He's got an apartment, a life, back in LA. And Eddie has the business to tend to and a divorce process to start. Eddie drives him to the airport one rainy morning exactly three weeks after they left Derry for the last time. The giant bandage is making an impression through his thin henley.
"Call me," Eddie tells him when he puts it in park at the entrance, "when you land. Or when you get home. Or both. So I know you're safe."
"Yes, mother," Richie jokes, because it's expected of him. Eddie's looking at him with the giant doe eyes that he does and Richie wants to beg him to get on the plane too. He barely stops himself. "Don't miss me too much," he says, going for playful but missing by a mile.
"I won't miss you at all," Eddie lies.
They hold the gaze for about thirty seconds longer before Richie thinks 'fuck it' and leans across the gear shift to kiss him. Eddie's fingertips ghost over Richie's cheek and then it's over.
"I'll call," Richie promises a minute later, out of the car and duffle bag slung over his shoulder.
Eddie nods and shifts back into drive, not trusting his voice.
Richie resolutely does not breakdown watching Eddie drive away. He won't forget, this time, so it's not a goodbye.
He calls. They still haven't discussed what they are to one another but he thinks they must be something so he keeps calling. They talk on the phone for at least an hour every night for six months before it occurs to him that they could have been video chatting the entire time.
"It's a little button that looks like a camera. It'll probably have a slash through it, so you just have to click it and-"
"I don't see it. It's on the keyboard?"
"No, not the keyboard, you absolute moron, the screen."
"Well, you never fucking specified, asswipe."
"I'm sorry, Eds, I was under the impression you were 37, not 97, my mistake." Eddie's face pops up on the screen, looking as disgruntled as ever. "Hey, there he is!"
"You look tired."
Richie's grins. "Gee, thanks for the reminder that I look like shit, man." He leans closer to the camera. "I'm fucking exhausted."
"I didn't say you look like shit, I said you look tired." His eyes are shifting all over the screen, like he's checking to see what, if anything, has changed about Richie since he's seen his face last.
Richie studies him right back, noting that his hair is longer and he's got some semblance of a five o clock shadow. "You look good. Your hair's hot like that."
Eddie runs a hand through it. "I kind of hate it actually. I was thinking- Stop doing that."
Richie blinks. "Doing what?"
"That!" He points. "There, that. You've got a tell."
"A tell for what?" Richie asks with a smirk.
"In the grand total of three times that you've kissed me, you wanna know how many of those times you've stuck your tongue in the corner of your mouth right before? All three of them. You've got a tell, Tozier."
Richie's full on grinning now. He purposely wiggles the tip of his tongue in the crease where his top lip and bottom meet.
"Quit it!" Eddie all but growls. "You can't kiss me, so just quit it."
Richie leans in. "But I want to."
"Well you can't."
Richie smiles at him a moment longer before settling back in his seat. "How's business?"
"Good. Great, actually. Better than ever."
Richie looks away from him. "That's great."
"You don't have to sound so disappointed about my success, ya know."
"It is the only thing keeping you on the other side of the country," Richie says. He gives the camera a pointed look. "The only thing."
"Don't do that."
"And don't play stupid, either," Eddie gripes. "I've got a business to run, Rich. I'm trying to find someone to manage it, so I can come out there. And I'm trying to find a spot in LA to open another branch. And, lookie here!" He grabs something off camera and brings it back into focus. "Divorce papers!" He shakes the stack. "Sent to me by my fucking lawyer today. Myra's refusing to sign them, she wants half the fucking company." He tosses them down. "I've got to be here for all this shit. And it doesn't make it any easier when you-"
"Eddie," Richie interrupts, raising his hands, "I'm not fighting with you."
"You are! You drop those little comments, like you don't believe- like you think I would be dishonest-"
"Eddie! I don't not believe you." Richie watches Eddie's face scrunch as he works out the logistics of that sentence. "I'm not fighting with you," he repeats.
"You're trying to."
"No, you're fighting, I'm not. You're fighting with nothing."
Eddie looks at him a moment, jaw set. He sighs. "You know, don't you, Rich? You know I want to be with- that I'd rather be there."
He's doing that doe eyed thing again. Richie's palms itch with the need to touch him. "I could always come there."
"I don't want you to uproot your life for me."
"How is it any different from you-"
"Because I'd be building a business there, the same way I did here. I want to leave this whole shitshow behind and never look back. That's not uprooting my life, that's starting over. Besides, if you came here... I just can't give Myra any ammunition to say I've been unfaithful."
"You haven't been."
The edge of Eddie's mouth lifts. "Don't sound so bitter about it."
Richie huffs a laugh. They're quiet a moment. "Do I really look like shit?"
Eddie rolls his eyes. "No, you look good. You always look good. Fuckhead."
Richie smiles, leans closer, wishes his laptop's picture quality was better. Wishes he could kiss him. "I miss you," he says finally.
Eddie smiles back, close lipped and sad. "I miss you too. I'm trying, I swear I'm trying."
"I know, it's fine." He shifts back and threads his fingers together behind his head. "Now, take your shirt off. Gimme a show," he says, effectively ruining the moment on purpose.
"You first, asshole."
Richie yanks his shirt up and over his head, tossing it to the ground next to him, never one to back down from a dare.
Eddie laughs, shakes his head.
They still don't talk about it, but maybe they don't really need to. Maybe they already know. Maybe they'd known all along.
122 notes · View notes
1. Send me a postcard in the mail
2. Send me a card in the mail
3. Make a list of things you love about me and email it to me
4. Send flowers
5. Write love notes and take pictures of them and send that to me
6. Arrange random things into hearts and take pictures and send those to me
7. Send me songs that make you think if me when you hear them
8. Send me pictures of the dog with a text from the dog's point of view telling me she misses me
9. Send candy
10. Take pictures of wild flowers and send them to me
11. Take pictures of the sky and send that to me
12. Send selfies
13. Send pictures of love poetry
14. Send pictures of frogs
15. Send pictures of anything in pairs and say that's us
16. Make me a playlist of love songs
17. Tell me any time you use something I've given you as a gift
18. Text me a good memory you have of us from a while back that you just remembered for some reason
19. Send pictures of any time you find the number 19
20. Email me short love letters
21. Mail long love letters
22. Find a restaurant we haven't tried that we can go to in the future
23. Pick a city for us to take a trip to
24. Draw a couple ducks with hats, make one of them a girl
25. Arrange colored things in rainbow order, take a picture and send that to me
26. Send me your favorite bible verses
27. Call me and sing to me
28. Read to me
29. Read me funny stories
30. Learn a new word in Spanish and teach it to me
31. Send pictures of what you're doing when you wish I was there
32. Ask me to send you pictures of myself
33. Ask me to sing with you
34. Ask me to FaceTime you in the bath
35. Take pictures of random things that are me favorite color and send to me
36. Send cute pictures of non human cartoon couples that could be us
37. Write on post-it notes that you love me, post them random places in the house, take a picture and make me guess where they are
38. Send love messages in code
39. Send me pictures of lingerie you'd like me to try
40. Send pictures of any sex position you'd like to try
41. Send good relationship articles
42. Play truth or dare with me
43. Play two truths and a lie with me
44. Send wholesome memes
45. Send recipes I might like that we can make together later
46. Send pictures of jewelry and ask my opinion
47. Ask my advice
48. Tell me something I don't know about you
49. Tell me your favorite outfit on me
50. Tell me when you're cold and you need me
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