three

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"i think it's cool that we're helping the new kid and all but, i mean, there's an AIDS epidemic going around right now as we speak!" eddie shouts as we ride our bikes to the pharmacy to get ben, the new kid, some help. he splashed and ran down the kenduskeag to escape henry and his goons.

"oh my god, i know! my moms friend in new york city got it just by touching a dirty pole in the subway.. and-and she got AIDS blood into her system through a hangnail!"

eddie gasps. "a hangnail? really?"

"no dipshit, i was just messing with you," i laugh, getting off my bike and helping ben onto a bunch of crates in the alley.

"richie, max, stay here," bill commands, running off with stan and eddie into keene's pharmacy.

"come on, bill!" i call out, hoping for a way out of this.

"glad i got to meet 'ya before you died."

"i'm so sorry," i say apologetically to ben, "he doesn't know when to shut up." i hit richie's chest before he grabs onto my arm, making me face him.

"no i'm sorry," he starts, glancing towards ben but turning right back to me. "she always overreacts. no big deal."

my face heats up as he smiles at me. "are you two dating or something?"

we both turn to ben quickly, forgetting he was there. "what? no!"

"yes, we are."

"no we aren't, richie." i roll my eyes at his comment.

"move out of the way! i have my things!" eddie yells minutes later, moving us out of the way and dropping all of his supplies on the ground.

"just suck the wound!"

"richie, i need to focus right now. can you go get me something?" eddie demands.

"what do you need?"

"go get my bifocals, they're in my second fanny pack," he commands, his gaze trained on the cuts in front of him.

"why do you have two fanny packs?" stan mumbles, richie and i both laughing at him. everyone else rolled their eyes at our reaction. turning to see where bill was, i find him talking to beverly about something.

her eyes make their way over to the new kid and she gasps, "ben from soc?"

"no, eddie, you have to suck the wound before you apply the bandage!" rich rebuttals. eddie scoffs and disinfects the cuts before grabbing a large cloth bandage.

"you don't know what you're talking about, richie."

"are you okay?" bev questions softly. "looks like it hurts."

"no i'm good, just fell," ben blushes. he definitely likes her.

"yeah, right into henry bowers," richie announced sarcastically. i flick him in the head and glare.

"shut it, r-ri-ri-richie," bill demands.

"why? it's the truth."

beverly ignores his remark and turns back to ben. "you sure they got the right stuff to fix you up?"

"you know we-we-we-we'll take care of him. thanks again, beverly."

"sure, maybe i'll see you around," she smiles.

"yeah!" i interrupt, walking to the lovebirds. "we were thinking about going to the quarry tomorrow if you wanted to come?"

"good to know, thanks. see you, maxine," she grins and waves, walking off to wherever.

bill turns to me and narrows his eyes annoyedly. "g-go-good going, max," he huffs.

"what bill? did you wanna kiss her?" i ask him, making kissy faces and laughing at his people skills.

"you know, you and rih-rih-rih-richie are a lot al-alike."

my face starts to burn after he says this. i suddenly feel a hand on the small of my back. "more alike than you know, dollface."

"uh... no?"

"who's laughing n-n-now?" bill smirks, walking back to the rest of the losers, richie and i both following.

"still not you, bill!"

"nice going, bringing up bowers in front of her, richie," stan huffs.

"yeah, did you hear what she did?"

"what'd she do?" i ask, wonderingly.

"more like who'd she do. i heard the list is longer than my wang," richie interjects, grabbing his crotch suggestively. i roll my eyes and turn away, immediately feeling uncomfortable.

"that's not saying much," stan says quietly, earning a laugh from all of our friends.

"now, pip pip and tally-ho my good fellows, i do believe this chap requires our utmost attention," richie continues in a cringy british accent and referring to ben, who was still bleeding out.

"why don't you shut the fuck up, einstein, because i know what i'm doing and i don't want you to do the british guy," eddie remarks, pushing his friend out of the way and going back to finish stopping the bleeding.

"suck the wound! get in there!"

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