play pretend @kuroshou
play pretend it's been less than 24 hours since i watched it chapter 2. this is also the first fic ive managed to actually complete in like a year or more. please clap. anyways dedicated to my friends whom i love very very much and personal shoutout to juliette who i killed by making read this. please look at her art on insta (@juliette.arts) and tumblr (@ivegotnoromeo) there is minimal editing so i apologize if anything is fucky!

Sometimes they were alone. Not necessarily on purpose, but crafted just so – when the others were busy with clubs and homework and sports and work, Richie would somehow find a way to drag Eddie out with him somewhere. A lot of times it was the clubhouse, where they’d grown accustomed to sharing the hammock, head-to-foot on most occasions, but other times leaning against each other when a round of not-quite-real-bickering and scuffling landed them facing the same way; other times it was the arcade on slow afternoons, bare arms pressed together as they leaned and pushed in an effort to get the other to slip up in a game of Street Fighter. 

Today, however, they were walking along the river. Everyone was planning to meet up at the clubhouse after Bev was out of baseball practice and Mike was done delivering to the butcher for the day, but once again a bored Richie had dragged Eddie out of his room and out into the world in the hours prior. After a day of bicycling, ice cream, and causing a racket in the comic shop (again), the two found themselves leisurely walking through the woods in the vague direction of the clubhouse. Eddie strayed a bit away from the creek as Richie bothered himself with climbing along the rocks that surrounded the area. 

“Look upon thee, commoner,” Richie bellowed. Eddie looked up to find Richie situated on the land above him, cliffed off by a wall of rocks that went about ten feet up, once formed by a roaring river that now only had the miniature valley and trickling water to prove that it had once been anything at all. 

Eddie shielded his eyes from the late-afternoon sun that framed Richie from behind. “I don’t think you’re using those words right,” he said. 

Richie sagged a little bit in a way that said c’mon, man, but quickly returned to his grandiose posing and knightly voice. “Join me atop my throne, O Weaselly One!” 

“Weaselly?”

“Oh, don’t worry, you shall soon be adopted into royalty when I marry…… your mother!” Richie rolled his R’s in a mock-posh English accent, then bowed toward Eddie in a way that seemed like he was congratulating himself more than anything. 

Normally when slapped in the face with the thousandth “your mom” joke, Eddie found it best to stubbornly ignore it, but this time there was a spark in his chest (and patience, as well) that compelled him to chase after Richie and absolutely deck him. So he did, spouting profanities all the while he clambered up the rocks. 

Richie continued to give a dramatic speech between fits of laughter. “The wedding shall be in the chapel, and– pfft, hahaha! – a-and, the reception in the b– ha-ha – the ballro oohehehehah!”

Eddie appeared at the edge of the landing. “Help me up, dickwad! I’m gonna beat your ass!” 

Richie leaned down and grabbed Eddie’s hand, still bubbling with wheezing, giggly laughter. Once up, Eddie halfheartedly started wrestling with Richie before falling into a fit of laughter himself. The burning where their skin touched was from more than just the descending summer sun. 

“Do you object to this marriage?” Richie finally said. 

Smiling and out of breath, Eddie said, “I do.” 

Richie’s face fell for a moment, just ever so slightly, as if he were lost somewhere else, before the toothy grin returned to his face. “Well… you’re too late! I’m your dad now, Ed-Bear!” 

“Nooo!” Eddie yelled, and launched them into another wrestling match. 

They tussled playfully for another few minutes before falling back in exhaustion. They lay there side-by-side on the rock, chests heaving. They looked at each other, and Richie couldn’t help but notice the way the sun brought out the auburn in Eddie’s hair. 

Eddie sat up. “We should get going. The others are probably waiting for us by now.” 

Richie stared up at him. He felt very far away.

“Rich?”

“O-Oh yeah! Race ya down?” Richie scrambled up and didn’t even wait for an answer before climbing off the side of the cliff and jumping down the rest of the way. He landed with a thump on leaves and sticks beneath them. He called up to Eddie in victory.

Eddie, after recovering from the shock of both Richie’s eyes and Richie launching himself off a cliff, got up and looked down at his friend, who, from this height, suddenly looked much smaller and much farther away.

“You really expect me to do that?”

“Don’t worry, I’ll catch you!” Richie said, holding his arms out wide.

Eddie scoffed. “Yeah, right, then we’ll both die.”

“You’re not gonna die, dude!” Richie rolled his eyes as Eddie continued to ramble on about god-knows-what. “Here, I’ll help you,” he said, then started climbing back up the rocks again.

“What are you doing?”

“Rescuing the Princess from his tower, of course!” Richie said in a deep, princely voice, flashing a smile.

“Oh my god.” 

“Fear not, fair maiden!” Richie cried, “I shall rescue thee from thy prison in the sky!”

Eddie could only pinch the bridge of his nose in embarrassment. He considered just taking the jump before Richie could get up there and wrangle him down (probably breaking both of their arms in the process), but the very thought of it made him sick. He kneeled down at the edge to plan his descent, but Richie’s face suddenly popped up into view. 

“I am here to… get you down,” Richie said, the haughty voice fading away halfway through his sentence as he found himself face-to-face with Eddie. The bronzing sun cast a halo around Eddie’s head, and the light filtered through his hair (mussed up from their fight and bangs hanging down from kneeling), creating a copper rainbow across his eyes. 

Richie gulped and took one last step up to get his head over the edge of the rock. Eddie, for whatever reason, hadn’t moved, so when Richie looked up again he found himself mere inches from Eddie’s face.

The leap of his heart would have made him think he fell – and he very well might, if things kept going like this. The first thing he noticed were Eddie’s lips, which were at Richie’s eye level. His eyes widened and he looked up to the rest of Eddie, who was frozen in place. His eyes were wide, and he wore an expression that was a mix of panic and confusion.

“What are you doing?” he asked. 

“Helping you down.”

“Why are you so close to my face?”

“You didn’t move.” 

“…”

“Are you going to move?”

“I don’t know,” Eddie answered honestly.

They sat like that for a long moment, one that felt like hours, with just a few inches between them, before Eddie brought a shaking hand up to Richie’s face. Richie inhaled sharply and looked at Eddie with wide eyes.

“Hey, Richie?”

“Y-Yeah?”

Eddie leaned back a bit and looked at Richie very seriously. “Your breath smells like cat shit.” 

Richie, for once in his life, had no words. Eddie cracked a smile at Richie’s dumbfounded expression and burst into laughter. Richie still just looked at him, which made Eddie laugh even more. He took Richie’s face in both of his hands and pressed their foreheads together. Finally, Richie laughed too. 

Eddie’s laughter was the most wonderful sound. And judging by his smile, Eddie must have thought the same about Richie, too.

Their laughter eventually subsided, and Richie propped up an arm to put his hand on the back of Eddie’s neck. The moment quieted, and Richie closed his eyes. 

They sat like that for a long time - faces together, parted lips hovering over each other; frozen in place, scared to disturb the other. For what felt like ages they stayed like that, hardly a breath passed between them. 

Then, as if they’d finally fallen onto the same wavelength, both Eddie and Richie dove in and their lips met. It was desperate, the way they reached for each other, like they couldn’t quite get a hold on. After just a second they pulled back, more shocked than anything. Eddie looked at him with the same doe-eyed expression from before, but softened when Richie leaned forward again. It was like dipping your toes in the water – it’s new and cold and wet but you’ve got to test the waters before you can gain a rhythm. So that is what they did: they tried again and again, not speaking a word, trying to navigate the strange angle and Richie’s glasses and Eddie’s hands that kept uncomfortably squishing Richie’s cheeks in a hold that was a bit too forceful. 

Richie laughed lightly and pulled away, bringing his hand up to his own face. “Dude, your hands–“

“Oh, I’m so sorry!” Eddie immediately pulled his hands away and dropped Richie’s face, who only laughed in response. 

“It’s okay,” Richie said. He looked up and Eddie was horrified to find him crying. 

“Wh–what– why are you crying? Are you okay? Did–did I hurt you?” He immediately unzipped his fanny pack and started to rummage through it.

“No! No, I–I’m okay,” Richie said through another small laugh. He rubbed the back of his hand up underneath his glasses to wipe his face and smiled at Eddie. “I’m great.”

Richie finally hoisted himself up onto the rock and stretched his tense body. Eddie still looked rather upset, but slowly began to relax. 

“Oh, hey guys!” A voice called from a distance. Through the trees, the pair spotted Ben walking toward them. “What’re you doing?”

“Oh, uh–“ 

“Just killing some time before the clubhouse,” Richie took over for Eddie, whose mouth bobbed open and shut like a fish underwater. “Still happening, right?”

“Yeah, I’m heading there now!” 

“Sweet! Hold on, we’re coming down!” He held a hand out to Eddie, who took it and stood up. Richie glanced at him, but Eddie looked straight ahead. Richie opened his mouth to speak, but before he could say anything Eddie stepped forward and leapt off the edge of the rock. 

He landed rather roughly on the ground, but quickly stood up (using Ben as support) and looked up to Richie, an arm raised victoriously. 

Richie’s heart skipped a beat. He smiled, and jumped off after him.

hope you enjoyed!! ty for reading! ummmm feel free to talk to me on tumblr (@aro-alien) or twitter (@mute_link)!
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