so let's go to bed before you say something real
let's go to bed before you say how you feel
'cause it's you, i always, always knew
oh, i always knew, oh, it's you
“Are you done with that stupid thing yet?” Richie whines.
Eddie affords him a glance. “You mean my… homework? As if I’m doing it for fun? Asshole?”
Richie shrugs, yawning into it. He flops back on his bed, making the mattress shake, dislodging Eddie’s text book a little.
Things have shifted between the two of them. Eddie isn’t sure exactly when he started feeling comfortable staying over at Richie’s place. Sleeping in his bed with him like it’s nothing. Saying hi to Beverly on his way in, as if it’s normal for two straight platonic male friends to make a habit of sharing a bed. For a while, it was excuses-- it was ‘my apartment is being fumigated’ or ‘my car won’t start oops guess i have to stay here overnight’ or sometimes, after a night of drinking, Eddie would simply pretend to be drunker than he actually was. But somewhere along the line-- somewhere after that first night, which was the night of Stan’s bachelor party a handful of months ago-- Eddie stopped with the excuses.
(nope. doesn’t matter. nope nope nope don’t think about it or you’ll ruin it, don’t say anything or he’ll admit he thinks it’s weird that you keep staying over and he only meant you could stay after stan’s party because you were so drunk he was legit worried you might actually die if he didn’t babysit you, that’s all this is, he’s just a good friend, the occasionally kissing thing is just casual okay if you were actually into each other you would have had sex by now)
(only you’re a big dumb virgin!!!!!!!)
“I’m tired,” Richie complains.
“I’m almost done but I would finish faster if you would stop nagging me,” Eddie says, clicking his pen a few times. “Like I could probably be done by now except you keep talking and ruining my concentration with your big huge mouth.”
(anyway it’s not like we snuggle or anything, eddie qualifies further; we just both sleep in the same bed it’s really not a big deal we don’t even touch. it’s like when you’re a kid and you have a sleepover. it’s just like i’m here and i don’t want to drive twenty minutes to go home just to go to sleep so i might as well just stay here since i’m here already)
“Why did you even come to my place to do your damn homework in the first place?” Richie demands.
(because i wanna be with you, because i haven’t seen you in like two days and that shit sucks, because my apartment is always cold, because i’m sick of listening to the old people above me bickering all the damn time, because homework sucks and if i have to do it at all i might as well do it someplace more fun than my stupid apartment)
“You want me to leave? You want me to pack my shit and go home?” Eddie snaps back.
“Fuck off, dickwad,” Richie huffs, which is code for ‘no don’t go’.
Both of them ignore the fact that Eddie could simply go do his homework in the living room and then come back into Richie’s bedroom to go to sleep once he’s finished. Or the fact that Eddie could easily just sleep on the couch under one of the many blankets that clutter Richie and Bev’s living room.
Eddie turns back to his history reading. He jots down another vocab word and its definition. (i’m gonna fail this test i’m totally gonna fail, he can’t help but think; this is the only studying he’s even done and he’s barely paying attention, all he’s even doing is writing down the bold words)
He hears plastic on plastic. Glances over. Richie is taking his glasses off, folding them, putting them on the night stand. His dark eyes face the ceiling of his bedroom. They’re smaller without the magnifying lenses of his thick glasses over them.
Eddie’s pen hesitates over the notebook page.
(eyelashes, his mind shouts at him-- eyelashes, look at ‘em they’re all dark and thick and long why are his eyelashes so long he looks like a cow in one of those commercials about happy cows making good milk or whatever, the close up shots of the cow’s eyes and their eyelashes)
(he looks younger without the glasses)
Richie always has the glasses on. He can’t see for shit. Like his vision is bad bad. So this really is a rare occurrence-- something most of their friends probably haven’t seen more than a few times--
“Eddie,” Richie whines again, rubbing at his eyes. “I’m fuckin’ tired. Finish your homework so we can go to sleep.”
“Okay, it’s not even midnight, and I know for a fact you regularly stay awake until three in the morning, why are you so tired,” Eddie asks, feeling his cheeks toast right up for no clear reason.
(he probably can’t even tell i’m staring at him, he’s so goddamn blind)
“I couldn’t sleep last night because there was this weird buzzing sound coming from the parking lot.”
“What was it?” Eddie asks. Still staring. Pen frozen in his hand.
“What was what?” Richie’s eyelids flutter closed for a second.
“Fuck if I know.”
(those red spots on the sides of his nose from his glasses, are they just always there? i wonder if it hurts)
“Why aren’t you doing your stupid homework? Hurry up and finish it, dickface.”
“How can you tell I’m not doing it, ‘cause I know you can’t see without your glasses on,” Eddie protests.
“I can see that you aren’t moving, dipshit.”
“You’re a dipshit.”
“Your mom’s. Now finish.”
“I’m done,” Eddie lies, closing his textbook and his notebook and clicking his pen closed. He puts the three items back into his backpack and nudges it onto the floor.
“Cool,” Richie says, sliding under the blanket. “Then turn the light off.”
“Yeah,” Eddie says, hesitating, eyes still locked on Richie.
(i’m really the person who’s seen him without his glasses on the most huh, his mind muses. like probably even more than his own mom. that’s kinda cool. it’s like a secret for me.)
“Yeah,” Eddie says again. He reaches over to turn the light off and shuffles into the other side of Richie’s bed.
They’ve done things in the wrong order. They kissed for the first time at age thirteen and then hardly touched each other until college. They shared a bed platonically after Stan’s bachelor party. Eddie woke up at five in the morning, shivering from Too Much Alcohol; Richie wrapped an arm around him to warm him up. That was the only time they slept in a bed together without keeping their distance.
They’ve kissed a handful of times. Sure they have. If they were drunk or stoned or if it was totally dark and just the two of them. They’ve never discussed it. Never just done it without pretext.
But they share a bed all the time. Just because.
A quiet rebellion against the world, a test, a leap of faith-- Eddie shifts his body toward Richie and places himself against his friend’s chest. Almost immediately, Richie’s arms close around him.
(yeah, his mind says for a third time; a secret just for me)