Horror fans who walked into It: Chapter Two without having read Stephen King’s novel may have been surprised by the romantic chemistry bubbling between grown-up Eddie Kaspbrak (James Ransone) and Richie Tozier (Bill Hader). Long-time shippers, however, were hungry for more #Reddie content. The movie (gently) delivered, but it should come as no surprise that the internet is an even better source.
The sequel also leans harder into Richie’s sexuality than Eddie’s, depicting Hader’s character as an anxious loner. Eddie, on the other hand, has married a woman who looks and acts exactly like his mother (the same actress even plays both roles). It’s clear that being gay is more of a frightening concept to Richie than Eddie. This is presumably why Pennywise harps on Richie’s “dirty little secret” when he gets him alone, but focuses instead on the germaphobe thing with Eddie. We never see the guys talk about their prickling attraction to each other, but after everything is said and done, Richie finally carves Eddie’s first initial into a Derry bridge, cementing them together.
If you’re a fan of the romantic hints we got in the film, you may find it cathartic to read (or write!) some Reddie fan fiction of your own. There are many places to get good fic, but I recommend starting with Archive of Our Own, an award-winning network for fic writers to share their work. In the interest of curating the best of the best, we’ve picked out six interesting slices of Reddie fic for you. They range from classic smut to fluffier romance writing, and most are set in alternate versions of the It story. One even comes with its own playlist, so buckle up.
6. “On pointe” by tossertozier
In this AU (alternate universe) Richie/Eddie story, Eddie is a freshman ballet student at Boston University of the Arts who feels conflicted about dancing as a young man, and Richie is a stellar rehearsal pianist. They have to work together — a classic fanfic trope — to create some transcendent art. Here’s a good passage:
“Are you gonna play music?” Eddie huffed, crossing his arms. Richie’s face dropped all amusement it had glazed over the top of it.
“Probably,” Richie hummed. “It’s the weekend.”
“It’s a Thursday.”
“It’s practically the weekend.”
“It’s already,” Eddie checked the time on his phone for an exact number, “11:27, which is nearly half an hour after quiet ho-”
He was still leaned over, but he slammed a hand into the desk. Things on it jumped, old CDs and a few records shifting to the side. Richie’s mouth was set into a hard line when he looked up. He squinted at Eddie. “I know how to tell time, thanks.”
“You could have fooled me.” Eddie replied coolly, staring back harshly. His fists were balled up. Tozier could get him worked up like no one he ever met before. Richie looked from his fists to his face, down to his nearly bare thighs. Eddie felt even more indignant.
“You’re really fucking cute-” Richie looked more irritated than Eddie had ever seen him when he spit that out. It was the first time he had seen anyone look irritated while calling him cute. “But you can be so goddamn annoying sometimes.”
Not only is the kissing-while-trading-barbs trope a classic mainstay of popular fan fiction, it’s a great bit of character work for Reddie, and it feels organic to the source material. If there’s one thing that defines the relationship between the two characters (in both the novel and the films), it’s the fact that they call each other names incessantly.
5. “But you don’t even like me” by Abbeyway
This fic is a bit of “fluff,” or purposefully aimless romantic fiction that focuses on cuddling more than anything else. Set in the universe of the It films, the story explores all the things left unsaid between Richie and Eddie. It also adds a few flashbacks to moments in which the boys actually kissed. Cathartic!
“Can you just get the fuck up, you idiot,” Eddie hissed, shoving Richie lightly with both hands.
Again, nothing. Richie focused hard on trying not to blink, or letting a laugh escape from his screwed shut mouth. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Eddie looking around, scanning the park nervously.
“God dammit, Trashmouth.” Before Richie could prepare himself, Eddie was leaning forward, pressing his closed lips firmly against Richie’s. The kiss was short and a little bit sticky from the leftover ice cream on their lips. Richie couldn’t help but wonder what he was supposed to do with his hands, which were lying awkwardly by his sides.
A sigh left Richie’s lips just as Eddie broke the kiss. Feeling the heat rising in his face, Richie turned to his friend with wide eyes, noting with a sense of relief that Eddie had also broken out in a blush. Despite his red face, Eddie still managed to tilt his chin defiantly, “There, dipshit, I saved you.”
So yes, this fic continues with the name-calling, but it also includes more attention to bodily detail than others. If you’re a fanfic connoisseur, you may already be familiar with the addition of food into the act of kissing. Characters in fan fiction are usually enjoying food or drink while they have those great roundabout conversations that inevitably lead to making out. It’s a cliché because it works.
4. “Sixteen weeks” by Redburn
In this AU, Richie and Eddie survived their first encounter with Pennywise and are now college students together. They negotiate the idea of a secret roommates-with-benefits relationship without telling the other Losers. Fair warning, this one gets way more explicit than the others on our list, but that said, it’s pretty dang good.
“Um,” he says eloquently. Richie remains the picture of pure suave while Eddie feels his body go into meltdown mode.
“This okay?” Richie whispers and then just like that his mouth was on Eddie’s.
It’s instantly overwhelming and it causes Eddie to react slowly, and so Richie pulls away marginally to let him recover but then he’s back again and Eddie tries his best to keep up with him, puckering his lips and angling for better access. His nose bumps into Richie’s glasses occasionally, and Eddie isn’t sure how to get around that now that his brain has shut down.
Richie decides for him and removes them without hesitation. “I can see okay without them.”
“Okay, good,” Eddie nods, and he idly wonders when his hands had found their way to Richie’s shirt collar. Richie was squinting slightly, but he was still gorgeous even without them. Typical.
If this one has steamed up your glasses, trust that we cut it off right before the author throws gasoline on the fire. You can click that link up top and read the rest of it anytime you want, but I recommend not breezing through it at work. In my professional opinion, it’s cartoon-wolf-whistle hot.
3. “For blue skies” by sunsetozier
In this particularly modern AU take on Richie/Eddie, Richie is a music critic publishing his thoughts to Twitter, and Eddie becomes infatuated with him online.
This continues for another thirty seconds or so, slowly decreasing in volume until it’s barely a whisper, and then it’s silent. Shaking, Eddie types, that was beautiful, and sends it into the chat. Again, despite the fact that there’s dozens of messages per second, Trashmouth manages to see his. He smiles slightly and murmurs a quiet, “Thank you, Eddie. I’m glad you liked it.”
Then, without another word, the stream ends, leaving Eddie alone in his room, gazing at his phone in bewilderment and awe. Just as he’s beginning to shake himself out of his daze, his phone buzzes in his hand, a notification popping up at the top of his screen that makes his entire body freeze, reading and rereading it to make sure his eyes aren’t playing a trick on him. When the words don’t change, his jaw drops, an anxious excitement tingling just beneath his skin.
@trashmouthmusic followed you back!
This Twitter-based fic gets me right in the heart for a couple reasons. First, I’m a Twitter addict. Second, fanfics that focus on the ephemera of the time period in which they were written have an extra sheen of lovability. There are, for instance, millions of bits of fic floating around the internet somewhere that focus on mixtapes. This one just uses “sliding into the DMs” as a way to get Richie and Eddie to talk to each other, and that’s pretty damn cute.
2. “I Heart Derry” by Loneredballoon
This fic, based primarily on book canon and only touching on the new movies, comes with its own Spotify playlist. You can listen to the author’s favorite Richie/Eddie tracks here.
Eddie leans in and grabs a hold of Richie’s face ceasing his rambling, looking at him fondly before finally coming closer, to the point where their lips are almost touching. “Richie…”
“Yeah?” Richie croaked, feeling the oxygen quickly deplete from his brain. Every hair on his body is standing up. His breath is hot and he hopes to God it doesn’t smell like cigarettes. Eddie’s breath smells like mint toothpaste and his lips are smooth. He’s so close to my face…
Okay, so… there are only so many ways to describe the lightheaded feeling of kissing the boy you love for the first time. I really enjoy that this fic author, in attempting to dig into that sensation, has made it sound like Richie is about to lose consciousness. Imagine if every makeout drained oxygen from your brain, like hiking at a high altitude. That would be crazy.
Still, this fic is just too charming to ignore. The fact that it has its own soundtrack reminds me of fanfic authors making playlists on 8tracks, an old website that used to traffic in that sort of thing. These horny young people today and their Spotify playlists don’t know how good they have it!
1. “Yours Truly” by Buttercup12
In this AU fic, Eddie is a high school student crushing on Richie, an older kid who’s trapped in a relationship with the popular girl in school. Whereas most Reddie fics put Richie in the aggressive position, this one is refreshing in that Eddie is the one pursuing him.
Eddie and Beverly both turned their heads to see Derry’s most popular girl and head bitch, Heather Winstead, wrapping her arms around her boyfriend, Richie Tozier.
He was obviously the most popular boy in the school. Everyone loved him. He had a bit of a vulgar sense of humor, which he always tried to show off with his jokes, and though it annoyed some teachers, all the students thought he was hilarious. Surprisingly, Richie wasn’t a bad guy. He was actually pretty kind to just about everyone. Eddie had only seen him get upset a few times. Why he was dating Heather of all girls, no one knew. Maybe he enjoyed being a part of Derry’s power couple.
Eddie stared longingly as he watched Richie wrap his arms around Heather’s waist and lift her in the air, spinning her around, causing Heather to begin giggling obnoxiously loud.
This is our top choice for Reddie fic, not because it’s particularly loyal to canon, but because the author has a clear appreciation for the slow burn. You have to skip ahead several chapters to get to any of the good stuff, which makes for an enjoyable, long-term reading experience. Sometimes you want a smutty one-shot (no judgement!), but on other occasions, you want to live inside the minds of the characters you ship for pages and pages on end. For that, there’s slow burn fic, and this piece is exemplary.
If you’re interested in exploring Reddie fics, you can always type the fandom into Ao3 or Tumblr. We recommend sticking to FanFiction.net if you’re solely interested in book canon, as the movies have been exciting fic writers since 2017, which means Hader’s Richie has inspired most of the content created since then. Of course, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, Hader’s performance as adult Richie Tozier has been far and away the most lauded part of the sequel.
It: Chapter Two, with all its subtle #Reddie goodness, is in theaters now.