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when I awake, you'll disappear

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Richie is the first to wake up, long before their alarms begin to go off. He doesn't remember his dream, but his racing heart tells him it wasn't anything good.

(Eddie, dead and dying. Eddie cold beneath his hands. Eddie's lifeless eyes.)

The warmth that presses against his side and the arms around his waist are proof that whatever his dream was, it wasn't the truth. The truth was Eddie, alive and well in bed beside him.

Eddie mumbles something in his sleep and wiggles closer, his nose ever so softly nuzzling against Richie's shirt. It's adorable and fills Richie with warmth.

I love you.” He murmurs the words into Eddie's hair, and smiles when Eddie mumbles something back. Something that sounds like me too.

Contentment settles over him like a soft blanket and he lets his eyes drift shut. Sleep doesn't come back, and he's okay with that. He doesn't want to risk having any more dreams, he just wants a few more minutes of this. He curls his arms tighter around Eddie, tugging him closer. Maybe if he holds tight enough, he'll never lose Eddie again.

( Eddie with a hole in his chest. )

His breath leaves him in a shaky sigh and he squeezes his eyes shut. Trying to forget. Needing to forget.

Eddie is alive.

Eddie is alive and breathing and in his arms.

He doesn't realize he's crying until he tastes the salt. He sniffles and tries to swallow them back, his shoulders shaking when he can't.

It's then that Eddie stirs. His fingers curl into Richie's shirt and he lifts his head, blinking those big brown eyes as he stares down at Richie.

Rich.” His voice is low, full of sleep and sexy as hell. Richie swipes his hands over his face in an attempt to hide his tears, but its too late. Eddie sits up, grabbing Richie's wrists with a gentle grip. His eyes are soft and a furrow forms between his brows. “Richie, what's wrong?”

He shakes his head, for once at a loss of words.

It's okay.” Eddie's arms wrap around Richie and he pulls him against his chest. His fingers tease at the nest of curls, thumbs brushing the tears from his cheeks. “I'm right here.”

Richie's fingers curl into the back of Eddie's shirt and he shudders out a breath. The tears finally come to a stop but he doesn't move away, taking comfort in the rise and fall of Eddie's chest under his cheek.

You okay?” He feels the soft brush of Eddie's lips over his hair and he nods, hugging Eddie tighter.

Bad dream.”

Eddie hums, the noise vibrating against Richie's ear.

It's okay.” Eddie's fingers stroke through Richie's hair and down his back. “It was just a dream.”

( Eddie dead on the ground as the world crumbles around them. )

Yeah,” Richie manages to croak. “It was just a dream.”

He lifts his head from Eddie's chest, nearly blind without his glasses, but Eddie sees his searching eyes and dips his head. Their lips brush in a soft kiss, and Richie sighs against his mouth.

It was just a dream.

Eddie is alive.