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Perfectly Imperfect

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Eddie fixed his white tux, the pink bow on his button up straight as can be. He fixed his hair, making sure it was prim and perfect. Eddie's mom, Sonia, stared at her son as he fixed himself. "You don't need to go to your senior prom, Eddie," she pleaded, "there's germs and other bacteria and someone could try to drug you-"

"Like you're any different," Eddie muttered, more so to himself. Richie was supposed to pick him up in his disgusting pick-up truck, so he wouldn't have to dirty his pristine tux riding his bike to Bill's. Sonia shifted and left him alone, knowing even if she forbade him from going, he'd go anyway. Eddie took a deep breath and glanced at the clock. It read 6:27, a little over thirty minutes until prom started. Richie was supposed to be here by now. The loser's club were gonna meet up at Bill's and take prom pictures there before heading over to the school.

It was 6:42 when Richie arrived, headed to the door and knocking. Eddie threw the door open, huffing. "Seriously, Rich? You couldn't be on time this once?"

Richie grinned. "Nah, you know me, Eds. I gotta always be fashionably late."

"You're fashionably stupid. And don't call me that."

"You think I'm fashionable?" Richie sounded pleased.

Richie did look good, honestly. He wore a black tux with a black tie and a white button up. His hair, though still curly and messy, had clearly, at least to Eddie, been attempted to be tamed. Instead of saying this, however, Eddie just scoffed. "No, I think you still look like a pig."

"You wound me, Eddie Spaghetti."

"Don't call me that either."

Richie chortled and offered his arm. "Tally-ho, good chap! Shall we be on our way, then?" he asked in a horrible British accent. Eddie rolled his eyes and walked past Richie, ignoring the arm. "Bye mama, I'll be back later."

He didn't wait for her response as he shut the door behind him.

Richie scrambled after Eddie, moving to open the passenger side, giving an overdramatic bow. "After you, good sir!"

Eddie snorted but got in. "Thanks."

Richie shut the door and hurried to the other side of the vehicle, opening one of the back doors and taking something out. He slammed the door and got in the drivers seat, shoving a bouquet of flowers in Eddie's direction. "Here. I um...got these. For you," he said, his voice oddly quiet.

"Rich..."

"I know you wanna keep your sexuality a secret, from your mom, I mean, so I waited until you were in my truck to give them to you, I just-"

"Thank you," Eddie gave him a real smile then.

Richie's face turned bright red and he quickly turned away, muttering something about Eddie being too cute for his own good, before he started his truck and drove to Bill's.

They were, evidently, the last ones there.

"Wh-where have you b-b-been? We've been w-waiting on you guys," Bill said once the two came in.

"Sorry. Someone was late in picking me up," Eddie shot Richie a look.

Richie laughed.

"M-mom wants a picture, c-come on," Bill tugged their sleeves, dragging them to the living room.

Stan and Ben both wore gray tuxes, while Bill and Mike both, like Richie, wore a black tux. Bev was dressed up too- wearing an ice blue knee-length dress that was slightly off the shoulders, with a white sash around the waist, and white heels. Her hair, which at current was shoulder length, was curled and pulled back, held by a white flower comb that Ben had given her the year prior.

"Look at you guys!" Bill's mom, Sharon, gushed. She aimed her camera as the three teens joined their waiting friends. Bill, Stan, Mike and Richie stood in the back, and Eddie, Bev and Ben stood between the spaces in front of them, similar to that of a choir. Sharon snapped a couple photos, with Georgie, Bill's little brother, stood by her. By the look on his face, he was feeling left out.

Bill must have seen his look, because he made a hand motion. "C-come stand with us, G-Georgie."

Georgie's face lit up, before falling. "Won't it ruin your picture? I'm not dressed up."

Bill shook his head and smiled. "We w-want you in our picture."

"Yeah, Georgie! You're a Loser too, you know!" Richie grinned.

Stan nudged Richie.

Georgie didn't seem bothered by Richie's words- he seemed very happy, actually. He ran to go stand next to Eddie, who, embarrassingly enough, has only grown about two inches since seventh grade, standing at a staggering 5'3. Georgie was his exact height, and he just turned thirteen!

Meanwhile, everyone else shot up as they grew! Bill was 5'7, Ben and Richie were both 6'1, Stan and Mike were both 6'4, and Beverly was 5'6.

Sharon snapped another picture, of all eight of them. And another.

"There we go," Sharon stood upright. "Thanks Mrs. D!" Richie cheered, slinging his arm around Eddie's shoulders. Eddie grumbled and shoved his arm off of him.

"It's no problem, Richie. I'll have these developed soon," she assured him.

"S-so we going? I can d-drive S-Stan, and B-Bev. Richie, you wanna drive Ben, Mike and E-Eddie?" Bill glanced at him.

"Sure thing, Billy Boy!"

And so, with that, the Losers left for prom.

-

Prom was, Eddie decided, not his favorite place. It was boring, tons of people were just sitting down, some were dancing, some standing and talking...really, he expected more. A couple good songs came on, but none he was really familiar with.

Once the losers got a table, and stole a chair from another table so all seven could sit at one table, they all seemed to dissipate into doing their own thing. Ben, Bev and Mike were at the food table, talking and laughing, Bill and Stan were in a corner, swaying side to side as if they were dancing to a slow song, and Richie was...god knows where. He just sorta disappeared. Which left Eddie at the table, sipping his water in annoyance and boredom.

"Aww, all alone on prom? So sad," an unwelcome voice sneered. Eddie sighed as Greta Bowie and Sally Mueller approached him, both beautiful in their own right, and yet, they were hideous to Eddie. Their personality made their looks less than appealing.

Greta had her hair pulled into a bun, her dress was light pink, with spaghetti straps, barely passing the finger tip length test, and white heels. Sally wore a dress similar, but it was purple, and she wore black heels, and her hair was down.

"My friends are having fun," Eddie muttered, "and I'm just tired."

"Whatever. So if you're here, that means Beaverly is here too, right? Come on, Sally. We have a slut to shame." And with that, the two princesses floundered off to go harass Bev. Eddie took a quick look at where Bev was, relaxing when he saw Ben and Mike still with her. Good. She'll be fine with them.

~

"And, anyway, we were cooking bacon this morning and one of the pigs ran in and tried snatching my grandpa's piece," Mike finished, laughing. Bev chuckled. "That's so bizarre. So are pigs naturally cannibals?"

"I mean, anything can smell good if cooked right," Ben said.

"Are you suggesting you'd eat me if I was cooked right?" Bev teased.

"I'm just saying!"

"Damn Ben, no chill," Mike snorted.

"No, I-"

"Well, well, well. Look what we've got here, a bitch, and her two little shits. I always knew you were a slut, you're the only one here who would have more than one boyfriend," Greta sneered, as she and Sally came closer.

"It's called a polyamorous relationship, Greta, someone as close minded as you wouldn't understand," Bev muttered.

"And you're in a relationship with the fat pig and the ni-"

"Don't you dare finish that word!" Ben snapped, glaring at Greta and stepping in front of his boyfriend and his girlfriend. "Don't talk to Bev like that, and don't talk to Mike like that. I don't care what you call me, but don't call them anything."

"Disgusting trash," Greta shook her head, "all three of you reek. Bev with your sluttiness, Ben with his pig smell, and Mike for more obvious reasons."

"Greta, my grandpa taught me never to hit a woman," Mike said in a low voice, stepping forward, "and I'm not seeing a 'woman' in front of me, so if I were you'd I'd fuck off and go bother someone else."

"Whatever, fucking freak," Greta snarled. Sally, who hadn't spoken the entire time, scoffed. "You're just mad because we're telling the truth."

"And so am I. Fuck. Off," Mike warned.

The two girls rolled their eyes and left them, presumably to go pick on someone else.

"Thanks you guys," Bev smiled warmly at her two boyfriends.

"No problem, Bev, we're always here for you," Ben replied, smiling. Mike nodded in agreement, rubbing his temples. "I'm not really used to bluffing though. So hopefully they'll stay away now."

"I hope so too," Bev agreed.

~

Bill kept his arms around Stan's neck, feeling warm and tingly as Stan tightened his grip on Bill's waist. The two didn't look away from eachother, just kept their gazes locked as they swayed slowly, ignoring the upbeat song playing. "I know I told you already but...you look really nice..." Stan said quietly.

"Y-you do t-t-too," Bill replied, his eyes gleaming in happiness.

The moment for them was pure bliss. They didn't need to go out and dance wildly to have fun- they didn't need to eat a bunch of food to fill in any awkward silence. The two boys were perfectly content in the corner, swaying together. 

"You think Richie will meet back up with Eddie?" Stan questioned, knowing the dark haired glasses wearing male had gone off to do his own thing once arriving. Bill chuckled. "Y-yeah. It's R-R-R-Ri-Ri-Ri- fuck."

"It's Richie," Stan finished for him, smiling patiently at his stuttering boyfriend, "you're doing fine, Bill."

Bill nodded, a tad too afraid to speak. He hated his stutter, and no matter how many times his friends say it was fine with those damn encouraging smiles, he couldn't help but feel like everyone was annoyed at his constant stuttering. Hell, that was his main reason of getting bullied by the Bowers Gang. They mocked his stutter everytime they saw him, and taunted him about how annoying it was. How he was a burden. How he wasn't a leader, because a real leader wouldn't be stuttering so often.

"You're wrong, you know."

"Huh?" Bill looked up at Stan, snapping out of his train of thought.

"Don't pretend you weren't thinking badly. Seriously, Bill, it's fine. So you stutter. So what?"

"I-isn't it an-annoying?"

"Not really, no."

"I j-just w-w-want...to t-talk l-like...you guys..." Bill's voice quietened.

"Bill..." Stan's face softened, "I love you, man. I really do. And I don't care if you stutter or not," he smiled thinly, moving to cup his cheek, "I think it's adorable on you anyway."

"Y-you're spending t-too m-much time with R-R-Richie."

"Two seconds is too much time with him," Stan said offhandedly. Bill snorted and leaned close to Stan, muttering a soft "thank you".

Stan was all too happy to hold him closer.

~

Eddie had been at this seat for forty minutes, and nothing's changed. He drummed his fingers against the table, his brown eyes searching for Richie. Yet, his stupid tall crush was nowhere to be found. Just as he was about to get up and search for him, someone leaned in close to Eddie's face and burped- loudly.

The smell was beyond disgusting. Eddie turned away and gagged, forcing himself not to throw up. Instantly, he knew who it was.

Belch Higgins. Next to him, Victor was laughing, and Patrick and Henry were approaching him. He stepped back and looked around wildly, trying to get the other Loser's attention, however, none of them could detect his distress.

"Sup little faggot," Henry greeted, his smirk wide.

"Don't come closer..." Eddie warned.

"Don't come closer," Henry mocked, making his friends snicker in amusement. Eddie's eyes darted around the room desperately, and before he could think to do anything else, he ran out.

Big mistake.

At least inside, someone could have helped him. But he ran outside- where no one else was.

Eddie wanted to circle back and find Mike, or Richie, someone. But before he could, there was a rough shove from behind, making him cry out and fall on the cement. "Stop!" he yelled rolling onto his back. Henry got on top of him, and Patrick and Victor held Eddie's wrists, while Belch held his legs down. Still, Eddie didn't stop squirming desperately.

"Get off me!"

"Shut the fuck up, girly boy," Henry sneered, and punched him directly in the face.

And again.

And again.

Eddie felt blood gush down his nose, past his chin. His right eye felt like it was swelling up. And why was it getting harder and harder to breathe? It was like his breath was being stolen from him. Suddenly, black spots were dancing in his vision, and breathing was impossible. He could faintly hear Henry and Patrick's loud laughter and cruel name calling. Wheezy, they called him, as if their creative little brains couldn't come up with anything better.

'Oh god, am I dying?'

"Get the fuck off of him you fairy bastards!" a familiar voice shouted.

That got their attention. Their faces contorted into fury, and they turned to the source of said voice.

Richie.

Eddie curled up and wheezed, struggling to breathe. Where was his inhaler- oh god, he didn't bring it, didn't he? He never brought it with him- he didn't think he'd need it.

The next moments were a big blur for Eddie, but he saw flashing red and blue, and a man in a dark uniform scolding Henry, who seemed unnaturally submissive. Even his friends were quiet. The four boys were escorted away, the man in uniform giving them an earful, but not sparing Eddie a second glance.

Hands grabbed Eddie and helped prop him up, a voice murmuring, "it's okay, you're alright Eds..." before something was shoved into his mouth. Barely a second passed before air was puffed into his lungs. Eddie slowly relaxed as breathing became easier. He gripped the inhaler and pulled it away from his lips, looking up at Richie's terrified gaze. "Eds? Eds, are you okay?"

"Yeah," Eddie replied, a little breathlessly.

"Shit, man," Richie slowly let go of him, "your face looks like you got ran over by a meat grinder."

"Feels that way too."

"Come on," Richie helped him up, "we can head to the bathroom and wipe all the blood off."

So, that's what they did.

Eddie plopped on the counter in the men's restroom as Richie got a plethora of paper towels. He ran some of them under the faucet and leaned over, carefully wiping up the blood from his face, his neck-

"Shit," Eddie swore.

"What?"

"Bowers got my white jacket all bloody! I can't go out like this!" Eddie shrugged his white coat off, leaving him in just a thin long white sleeved button up. Thankfully, the blood hadn't gotten onto his shirt. Richie didn't say anything for a minute, opting to finish wiping the blood away before throwing the paper towels away. He studied Eddie and nodded. "Alright, other than your nose and eye looking like a penis infection, you look good."

"Richie!"

Richie just laughed at Eddie's indignant squawk. He stepped closer before taking his jacket off, slinging it around Eddie's shoulders. "Here, wear mine. I was getting too hot in it anyway," seeing Eddie's look, he quickly added, "I was talking to the DJ. If we go back now, we may be in time." He stepped back and gently pulled Eddie off the counter.

"In time for what?"

Instead of answering, Richie dragged him by his elbow out back to the dance. A familiar song had just started playing- Eddie's favorite song. Africa, by Toto. Eddie turned to Richie, wide eyed. "Rich-"

"Dance with me, Eds?" Richie grinned, holding his hand out. After a moment of hesitation, he accepted the hand. Eddie wrapped one hand around Richie's neck, his right hand gripping Richie's, while one of Richie's arms stayed wrapped around his waist.

Slowly, they began swaying just as the lyrics started.

It was...oddly intimate. For the two of them. Couples swayed together. Bill and Stan were still in their corner, but they were leaning against the wall now, cups of water in their hands. Eddie met Stan's gaze and gave him a hint of a grin. Stan saw who he was dancing with and rolled his eyes, but a grin lit his face up, as if to say finally, you dope.

Richie searched for Bev as he gave Eddie a spin. He caught her gaze as Ben spun her, and gave her a wink. She seemed to scoff but gave an encouraging smile.

It was the little gestures for them that mattered.

"Hey, Eds?" Richie spoke as he brought Eddie close again. Eddie hummed and looked up at him questioningly. Richie seemed to swallow a heavy lump in his throat. He leaned in, resting his forehead on top of Eddie's head. "I like you. Okay?"

"...That's the worst confession I've ever heard," Eddie snorted.

"Shut the fuck up, I'm being honest."

"Alright," Eddie tilted his head up slightly, "if you're gonna be boring about it, I like you too."

Richie snorted, but his flustered face gave away how he really felt. "Really?"

"Duh."

"Wow, that's gay."

"You confessed to me first, you fuckin homo."

"No, you."

Eddie laughed. Richie relaxed, grinning. "So...I like you, and you like me. Is this the part where we kiss?"

It was silent for a moment before Eddie decided to admit something. "I've never kissed anyone before, Rich."

"Easily solved. So..?"

Eddie relaxed and tilted his head up to fully meet Richie's gaze. "...Yeah. Kiss me."

Richie did.

It was...overwhelming, feeling his experienced lips moving on his. Eddie wasn't one hundred percent sure what he should be doing. How does one kiss back? Why was Richie so good at this and is that his tongue licking his lips oh my god it was too much-

Richie seemed to sense Eddie's mind in overdrive, because he pulled away with a low chuckle. "Good?"

"More than good. Kiss me again."

Richie laughed and kissed him again.

Tonight wouldn't be so bad for any of the Losers. And once prom was over, they all spent the night at Bill's, and watched movies such as the Karate Kid, and a few others. Each Loser cuddled their respective partners, with Bev snuggled between Ben and Mike.

"Hey, Richie?" Eddie whispered at one point as everyone began dozing off one by one. He was on Richie's lap, his head resting on Richie's shoulder.

"Hm?"

"...Thank you."

Richie simply gave him a warm grin, leaning down to kiss Eddie's temple before whispering, "no homo, though."

Eddie rolled his eyes and giggled. He fucking giggled and goddammit if that wasn't the purest sound ever to Richie-

"So, boyfriend, but no homo?" Eddie questioned.

"Boyfriend, but no homo," Richie confirmed.

The two shared one last laugh before eventually dozing off.