By the hands of the Gods, you have been plucked from your time and from your world, dropped into the box.
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Richie Tozier

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November 16th, 109
@Eddie Kaspbrak

Richie didn't know what the fuck was going on.

One second, he'd had his entire world crushed, and in the next, he was here. Whatever the fuck here was.

He was convinced that he was in some sort of fucked-up dream and just couldn't wake up. He was in a fever dream. He had to be. Richie could find his friends at all after wandering for what felt like hours, and when he finally stumbled across other life, Richie just knew he had gone insane. There were people--humans--and then there were things. Creatures. Trying to even describe it as he saw it was just so fucking crazy that he just refused to. He was sure he had to look all kinds of unhinged, but this was too bizarre. No one even batted an eyelash at his disorientation and lost expression.

Richie had been convinced that he was in some sort of fucked-up dream and just couldn't wake up until he woke up the next day and was still in the same shelter he had miraculously found the day before to rest.

Still as lost and dumbfounded and afraid as ever, Richie stumbled his way through the streets of... what did they call it, Centria or something? Fuck if he remembered anything. He was trying to figure out a way to just get home or at least find his friends when he saw him. He saw him and Richie felt the air leaving his lungs as he stared at him. It couldn't be. As much as he wanted to forget it, his mind replayed the stabbing over and over again; hell, his glasses were still cracked and slightly bloodied from the death of the love of his life.

Yet there he was, walking as if this were any other fucking day of the week.

He would know him anywhere. Richie hadn't realized he'd started sobbing and speeding over towards Eddie until he was there right in front of him, having come in from Eddie's side and wrapping his arms tightly around the other male. "E-Eds...?"

 
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Eddie stared down at the list in his hand. There was a lot of shit to get. He’d told Aaron he’d take care of the shopping just to feel like he was pulling his weight around the house (and because he didn’t trust Aaron to get the right brand of disinfecting wipes - he didn’t want magic ones, thank). He had a certain order he liked to go in to get his groceries - non-perishables first, and then the perishables (and they could NOT touch - he needed at least a solid three inches of separation in the cart, there was no telling whose hands had touched them and honestly, if he really thought about it, he should be carrying wet wipes with him and disinfecting outside containers as he went, so he should probably add more wet wipes to the list). Normally, all this took him a good couple of hours.

He hadn’t even made it into the store yet and he was already going on forty-five minutes. It was not a process that could be rushed.

He was so focused on his list that he didn’t hear the sound of approaching sobbing, not until it was too late and he was being smothered in a pair of long arms. Of course, his first instinct was to screech and flail, his arms coming up in what he hoped was a powerful elbow jab karate chop combo but honestly probably just looked a lot like flailing as he continued to yell.

“Get off me!!!” he shouted, whilst continuing to flail like his life depended on it.

And hey - maybe it did! Pandora was fucking werid there were all sorts of things here.

But then something clicked, sinking beneath the terror.

Eds?

No one here called him Eds.

Except Bev and that was not Bev’s voice….

“Richie?” he choked out.​
 
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Richie Tozier

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Perhaps he shouldn't have approached Eddie like that.

Richie just hadn't been thinking, however. Up until five seconds ago, he had thought that Eddie was dead. He had cradled his dead, lifeless body and that had been in his mind nonstop until he eventually cried himself to sleep. Not even his predicament in this new reality could make him forget what he had seen down in the sewers of Derry. Except, this new reality really was a new reality, because Eddie was alive and, as far as he had been aware of at that moment, well.

But then, maybe this wasn't Eddie. Maybe he had been mistaken because all of a sudden, Richie was being attacked. He was sure he got hit in the face by a karate chop or something, and his glasses went askew as he tried to escape the flurry of flailing in direction.

"Hey!" He squawked, untangling himself from Eddie just as the attack started to abate. "Jesus fucking Christ." The words were muttered as he sniffled and took off his glasses so that he could scrub away the tears that seemed neverending - his nose definitely hurt and probably was bleeding for all he knew.

He had figured that this was just his imagination or that this cruel new world was playing a trick on him - maybe Pennywise had been fooling them the whole entire time and this was just Richie's neverending torture until IT got tired and just ate him.

But then he heard his name being said and Richie's shoulders slumped in relief. "E-Eddie.. fuck, man, is it really y-you...?"

He couldn't take it. He just needed to know that his nerves would stop being frayed. So that he could force himself to get a fucking grip. It probably wasn't really Eddie, knowing his fucking luck.

 
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As the adrenaline started to subside, Eddie felt a little shaky as he stared at Richie. Or - well, maybe it was just because he was staring at Richie - when he’d left Derry (or rather, when he’d been pulled in through a fucking portal) the last thing he’d seen was Richie’s face and he’d been wondering ever since if he’d been okay. They’d still been down in those sewers with Pennywise. Anything could have happened.

But he looked okay.

Well, he was crying, and his glasses had been knocked off (that was his fault though - he’d take responsibility for it) and there was maybe a little bit of blood leaking from his nose (also Eddie’s fault_ but - overall he looked very much not eaten by an alien clown from space.

“Holy fuck,” he said, reaching out, a hand grabbing for him with just as much strength as he’d previously been flailing with. “You’re alright,” he breathed.

It was so fucking good to see him.

“Yeah - yeah it’s me, man,” he added belatedly, just in case Richie thought he was some sort of Pennywise plant and was about to chop him in the nads or something. "God, Richie I never thought I'd see you here." Pandora did bring all sorts of people in (and Bev was here) but for some reason Richie being brought here seemed like something that would always be in the too good to be true pile.​
 
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Richie Tozier

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Richie didn't think he would start crying again. If there were any more tears, he figured, it would be because his fucking face hurt. Except, Richie had been wrong about that, too. He was crying because it was his Eddie. In this weird ass world or dimension or Universe he was in, Eddie was something solid and tangible from what he knew in his own world. He wasn't alone, and Eddie wasn't dead. Edidie wasn't dead.

Once he felt certain that it was his Eddie, he was lunging forward again and wrapping his arms tightly around Eddie's waist, nuzzling into his neck. "Fuck, Eddie. I.. I thought you died. You.. You did die. But now you're here, alive, and I don't know where the fuck here is, but you--You're here." Richie practically babbled as he pulled away to look at Eddie again, his face blurry without his glasses on, but his form unmistakable to Richie.

"I've never been more happy to see you again--wait. Eddie, do you know what's going on?" He finally caught up with the conversational pace and now was starting to assess the situation he was in. Eddie wasn't impaled anymore; in fact, he was wearing fresh clothes and he had been walking like this was any other day in Derry.

 
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Eddie all but melted into Richie’s embrace (it was pretty much his only choice - that or get snapped in half like a twig). It was so good to see him again. He’d been adjusting to life in Pandora again - and it was...it was good. He had his - Aaron, he had Bev - but now? It seemed somehow right that Richie was here. Like he was a piece of a puzzle that was missing.

“You don’t - oh shit,” Eddie said, staring at him - with slowly dawning realization. “You don’t know yet?” Well. Eddie hadn’t had to explain this to anyone yet, so he wasn’t really sure how to put it all together enough to make sense. “Rich - you’re...well, I mean obviously you’re not in Derry any more,” he started, his hand still clinging to Richie’s arm like he thought he might disappear if he let go for half a second.

“This place it’s - it’s called Pandora and it’s fucking weird as hell. I mean I know we were terrorized by a fucking clown from space or whatever so weird is relative or whatever, but it’s - it’s a whole new world, Richie. Like...not Earth. It just pulls you from your own world and then you’re here and - well that’s it. You’re here.”

He stared at him for a moment, the words from earlier trickling back in. “Wait I DIED?he squawked.​
 
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Richie Tozier

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"No shit, Eds. I figured that out when I landed in the middle of no fucking where, and then..." Richie paused and looked around as if he were afraid that someone was watching them before he continued on in a hush, deliberate tone. "I saw these.. these creatures. I thought that fucking clown was toying with us again."

At least, so far, he didn't have to worry about that motherfucker. This really was already too much of a trip for the trashmouth.

As Eddie went on to describe Pandora--Pandora, that was what they were all calling it--Richie couldn't help but frown. He was trying to wrap his mind around the idea of being pulled into a different dimension? Universe? And Eddie, the man he had thought he lost the other day, was here too. He had to wonder if there was a reason for that.

Though he heard Eddie's exclaimed question, he chose not to answer and went on a different diatribe instead. "What the fuck? Eddie, this is so fucking weird. It's weirder than trying to imagine your mom taking a bubble bath or something. How are you so calm? Why are you walking around like you've lived here your whole entire life?"

The reason he hadn't answered Eddie's question was simple; he didn't want to relive that. He didn't want to keep thinking about the despair that that whole situation brought him, especially with Eddie standing right there in front of him. He knew he would cry again.

 
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“Shut the fuck up dude,” Eddie said, the automatic reflex to any of Richie’s your mom jokes, one that had not diminshed at all in between their childhood and now. “I’ve been here before,” he went on to explain. It made no sense. He knew it made no sense, but it was true. Still made his head feel like a pretzel thinking about it. “When I was - the first time with the fucking clown - I ended up here. But I - shit, Rich I don’t know how to explain it - I remember being here but I also remember leaving Derry and moving to New York.”

He still had yet to let go of his arm.

“Honestly, I have no fucking idea but I’ve - I’ve been here a while - this time - anyway. I was on my way to go grocery shopping,” he explained, like it was perfectly normal. And it was. Pandora was weird as fuck, but it was his new normal. And it was - for some reason he didn’t feel weird or upset about living here in this place. It wasn’t like his life back on Earth (he guessed they weren’t on Earth anymore, though he wasn’t about to even try and think about where Pandora could be - his head might explode) had been all that great. He’d been about to be murdered (if he’d heard Richie right) by a fucking clown.

Before that he’d been living with a woman who was basically his mother.

Here he had - well. He lived with his adoptive father (even though he was now older than said father) and spent his time making sure the house was obsessively clean.

Still it was different from back home.

Better.

Even better now that Richie was here.​
 
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Richie Tozier

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Richie had to refrain from smiling when Eddie told him to shut the fuck up, knowing now for sure that this was his Eddie. It was the same Eddie who had no problem telling him to fuck off when he was being a nuisance. The same Eddie who would take one thing Richie said and rant to him about just how wrong he was. Even though they were here, in a place that was terrifying and unknown to Richie, Eddie was the one comfort he had to keep him from losing it completely again. Even though they were here, Eddie was alive.

He didn't have too much time to dwell on the brief reprieve, however. "Been here before?" How had Eddie been here before? Why hadn't Richie? And when did he come here? It was too much for Richie's brain to try and process, and it only seemed to get worse as Eddie continued to explain.

For a long time, Richie tried to understand any of what Eddie had told him. He was sure he must have looked like an idiot with the deep frown on his face and the slack jaw, but he had to understand.

Except, he couldn't.

"The fucking grocery store..." Richie murmured to himself, lingering on the confusion of it all for half a second before he let out a humorless snort and shrugged his shoulders.

It didn't even matter right now.

With a sigh, Richie put his glasses back on and focused back on his friend. "Fuck it. I don't understand at all where the fuck we are and how you've been here and back at home, and how you're not freaking the fuck out. But--" Richie paused, looking down at Eddie's arm before he looked back up at Eddie. "You're here. You're okay. You're alive. You're solid. That's all I care about."

 
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“I’d explain it to you but it doesn’t make any fucking sense,” Eddie replied with a shrug. How could he have been here before and also have gone through his entire childhood in Derry at the same time? It was some time travel bullshit or something, even if he didn’t remember living both lives at the same time or whatever.

God, he was getting a fucking headache just thinking about thinking about it.

He watched as Rich put his glasses back on - he still expected to see his eyes all bug-eyed, but it seemed like he’d grown up and got some glasses that weren’t quite so dramatic.

Eddie stared at him for a beat or two. It was so - he never expected to see Richie here (hoped? Yeah, he’d hoped like hell he’d see him, but that was neither here nor there) - having him standing right in front of him, it was almost too much to take it. Like somehow that was weirder than being in a place called Pandora after basically being abducted from his own world (twice???).

He stared for a moment or two, his mind helpfully skittering around the fact that Richie was seemingly shocked he was alive (which meant he’d died - again), and gave his arm a little squeeze. “You look like you need a drink,” Eddie pointed out helpfully, and there was a hint of a smile at the corner of his mouth. “Like….herbal tea or some shit. There’s a whole wall of herbal teas at this store and half of them have things I’ve never heard of before. Or a coffee. I guess. There’s a place not far from here - I guess I can save shopping for later….if I miss the buy one get one on wet wipes I’ll be pissed though…” he mused, trying to remember if he had enough back home to excuse skipping a shopping trip at the moment.​
 
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Richie Tozier

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A drink. That was exactly what Richie needed.

"Yes, you're right, Eds." Richie sighed as he stepped closer to Eddie, ready to ask if the bars were similar to Earth until Eddie continued speaking. As he did, Richie's eyebrows furrowed in confusion before it clicked to him what Eddie meant by drinks, and soon a dubious expression was clear on Richie's face.

God. He just had to fall in love with the most anal-retentive, adorable man there was, didn't he?

"Eds.. No--Listen, if that place you know doesn't serve the finest rum in the.." He trailed off awkwardly, stumbling over his lack of knowledge over what this Pandora place was considered. "Planet? Universe? Galaxy? Whatever the fuck this place is, then I don't wanna go." Richie insisted.

In all honesty, though, Richie knew he would follow Eddie wherever he went. Just the thought of being apart from the other male right now made Richie feel incredibly uncomfortable.

"Also, Spaghetti--" Richie moved to wrap a lanky arm over Eddie's shoulders, the proximity bringing Richie contentment at being able to feel how solid Eddie was. He was real. "I doubt you even need to buy any more wet wipes. Relax, alright?" He teased at Eddie.

 
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The weight of Richie’s arm around his shoulder felt like coming home. Familiar, right in a way that it could only be after doing it countless times during their childhood. Back then he might have shrugged Rich off, depending on how annoying he was being, but now he couldn’t do anything more than lean into it, just a little and feel for the first time in a long time a little less anxious.

“I only have like a pack and a half left,” Eddie said with a frown. “Do you know how fast that’ll go?” he asked, but it was a rhetorical question. And sort of petered out towards the end, like he already knew he wouldn't be getting his wet wipes today.

He sighed.

“I guess ...I've passed by this bar a few times. They probably have rum. I mean I can’t promise it’s from Earth or anything but like it probably tastes pretty close. People seem to get drunk enough there,” he said, nose scrunching just a little bit. He didn’t really like the idea of getting drunk - being out of control. It was pretty fucking terrifying.

Also his mom (and wife) would have hated it.

“They probably have a decent rosé or something too,” he considered. Wine was the only thing he ever really tried to drink - just enough to make him feel warm. "I"m not carrying your ass out of there if you get shitfaced though," he said, turning to look at him with narrowed eyes.
 

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