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     bill called eddie from a public pay phone to receive the address to his apartment and let him know that he was on his way. eddie panicked, told him the street and everything, and paced around his room for what seemed to be hours.
     it's not that he didn't miss bill, he did. very much. but it's just that, he's such a disaster, today isn't the best time for bill to show up.
     mrs kurt rang eddie up to tell him about what he needs to do to catch up on his 'mental enhancement tasks.' she gave him new songs, a journal assignment, and a warning not to start skipping their sessions. she also forwarded his prescription to the pharmacy instead of just handing it to him.
     eddie went to get the medication, stashing it away with all his other meds without touching a single pill. he knows he shouldn't do that, but he can't be freaking out and popping pills when he has a guest.
     speaking of guests, he hadn't had a guest in years. maybe whenever mrs. kurt came over instead of eddie going to her when he was sick. after that visit she started giving him the medicines and the 'clean room, open mind' tasks he never completed.
     there was a knock at the door, which nearly caused him to jump out of his skin. he got up to open it, only to see a rolled up newspaper. the tension in his shoulders dropped as he picked it up and went back inside.
     this time, there was the ring of a doorbell. this couldn't be a trick. it had to be him.
     he stopped in front of the door, reaching for the door knob. another ring. he closed his eyes, gripped the handle, and yanked it open with such force bill nearly stumbled backwards.
     but instead, bill broke out into a grin and wrapped his arms around eddie. it was so gentle, eddie couldn't help but melt into his grasp. he realized how much he'd longed for human contact. how lonely he was. he needed the familiar sense of warmth no blanket could give him.
     "eddie," bill breathed into his ear. so quiet it could easily be drowned out by a clock or a sigh, but eddie heard. and eddie only relaxed further, feeling safe as the tension soon released again.


     "i called up the other losers," bill dropped the bomb. that was it.
     eddies heart began to race just like it had when he heard the doorbell, just like it had when he got the phone call from bill all those days ago. he was worried for a second that maybe he was becoming a heart attack victim.
     "isn't that great?" bill managed to smile, which eddie felt guilty, and smiled back.
     "wonderful," he said quietly, poking at the ice cream in his bowl. he no longer had an appetite.
     "i invited them all out to eat. ben and bev are flying out to new york, richie already lives here with stan, isn't that great? and mike is only an hour or so awake, but he's already visiting at stan's dorm!"
     eddie tossed the remains on his plate into the garbage, rinsing his plate and laying it in the sink. bill had only just started eating, but eddie being finished didn't phase him. he'd always been one of the last to finish when the losers went out to eat.
     eddie returned to his chair to avoid being rude. "richie?"
     "yeah. i just knew you'd be stoked to see him. been a while, yeah?"
     "yeah, it has," eddie whispered. any second he felt like he could hurl. so much so when he went to say something again, he got up and rushed to the restroom.
     bill raised his eyebrows, eyes wide, and followed him slowly. he could hear him vomiting from the doorway, which laced his expression with concern. he rested a hand upon his back to comfort him, but seemed to only make him puke more.
     eddie is the type of guy to puke at the smallest thought of something gross. so, considering he'd barely eaten anything at all, he'd just lost whatever he managed to down.
bill lead eddie back to his room and helped him lie down. he didn't have a fever, which was good, because with enough rest bill assured he'd be well enough to join the losers at dinner.


the plans didn't start for another two hours, but with the news stan paced around his bedroom.
richie groaned, "listen, stanley, i know you're excited to see bill again but please stop running around like a mad man!" he turned his head, burying his head underneath his pillow.
mike leaned against stan's vanity, on the left side of the room with all of the other belongings of stan's, with clothes piled to his chin in his arms. "really, babe, do you think this is necessary?" he muttered, struggling to catch the pair of pants flying at him.
"listen, i can't look like an idiot! theyre all gonna look so good and i'll show up in the exact same stuff i wore in middle school! maybe i should just take a bath first..."
"maybe, i'm sure mikes getting tired of being your designated clothing hanger," richie scoffed.
stan walked over to plant an apologetic kiss on mikes lips, taking the clothes from him. he dumped them into the empty laundry basket, even though they were clean, and dismissed himself to the bathroom.
"he's crazy," richie muttered, to which mike let out a chuckle and a nod.


eddie kaspbrak had felt fear plenty of times before. when his mother brought home a pastor, or when he saw how many lights and people were at the queen concert. but for some reason, none of the two will ever add up to be as scared as he is now.
     bill is constantly assuring him that it will be the greatest night of his life. and truly, eddie wants to agree, but something about seeing richie again after all those years, and after what happened on the streets, he doesn't know if he'll be able to take it. but he can't tell bill that. he's worked so hard and all the other losers will be so excited. eddie isn't one to ruin the mood.
     so, he doesn't. he wears a red sweater and jeans, along with a scarf and some high top converse to keep his ankles hidden from the wind. bill seems to have improved in his fashion sense quite a lot, because he no longer wears boring flannels. he is now rocking a black turtleneck and jeans.
     "way to embrace the gay," richie would comment, and earn a flick to the ear.
     they are the first two to arrive at mama's kitchen, a hole in the wall diner with outstanding burgers and fries. the milkshakes are spectacular- and really, nothing can top a homemade burger joint with one of the nicest ladies you'll ever meet running it. eddie is a frequent, he often stops by for dinner to catch up on things with mama, as everyone called her.
     they sit in a large booth in the corner of the diner and decide that they should wait for the other to arrive before they order. as if on cue, beverly waltzed in, wearing a white t-shirt and a solid, skintight skirt that goes down to the bottom of her thighs. her hair has grown to be shoulder length, it's curly and fabulous and she's beautiful as ever.
bill is immediately stunned by her features, eyes open wide as saucers. but, he's grinning ear to ear nonetheless, and they hug.
eddie is smiling, which he didn't realize, and he proceeds to give her a hug after bill. something about her touch leaves him warm inside and wanting more. he'd forgotten yet again what being held by someone so dear felt like. beverly always gave amazing hugs.
ben walked in next, following her, and was magnetized to beverly. they kissed and hugged and obviously this was a more important moment for them than anyone else. ben had lost weight. he was significantly skinnier, still chubby, but he'd built up more muscle than fat.
next, stan and mike walked in hand in hand, something everyone was used to. but, eddies eyes focused on the figure in the back. the taller one, taller than stan, shorter than mike. pale as a ghost. wearing shorts despite the freezing cold weather. his legs were slightly hairy. the freckles across his face, hair a disaster. he was wearing that same brightly colored windbreaker he'd seen before...the boy who helped him pick up his medicine.
it was richie.

tiny dancer. //reddie (heartless sequel)Where stories live. Discover now