when there was no revolution (nothing we were fighting for)
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F/M, Gen, Other
Hatchetfield Universe - Team StarKid
Ruth Fleming/Richie Lipschitz, Ruth Fleming & Richie Lipschitz, Ruth Fleming & Peter Spankoffski | Hot Chocolate Boy, Ruth Fleming & Richie Lipschitz & Peter Spankoffski | Hot Chocolate Boy, Ruth Fleming/Richie Lipschitz/Peter Spankoffski | Hot Chocolate Boy
Ruth Fleming, Peter Spankoffski | Hot Chocolate Boy, Richie Lipschitz (Mentioned), Original Characters
Additional Tags:
During Canon, Nerdy Prudes Must Die Spoilers, Past Character Death, Canonical Character Death, Grief/Mourning, Ruth Fleming Needs a Hug, Ruth Fleming-centric, Queerplatonic Relationships, Friendship/Love, toeing the thin line, Mental Health Issues, Codependency, Implied/Referenced Character Death, Sad Ending, Angst
Part 4 of hatchetfield rarepair week march 2024
Hatchetfield Rarepair Week March!
Published: 2024-03-04 Words: 1,726 Chapters: 1/1

when there was no revolution (nothing we were fighting for)


Ruth Fleming and the unauthorized guide of (not)survivng almost two weeks without Richie Lipschitz.


hfrw march '24 — day four: heartbreak / death / in case you don't live forever by ben platt


notes for the fic regarding relationships - richie/ruth were in a queerplatonic relationship . ruth/pete honestly can be read either as queerplatonic or pre-romantic ???? i wrote it under the autism spell and i mean . what the hell is attraction anyways these three should kiss sloppy

i am grinding. i am an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object (hyperfixation)

when there was no revolution (nothing we were fighting for)

Richie Lipschitz has been dead for six days, thirteen hours and sixteen minutes.

At least, that’s what the coroner pronounced it as the time of his death — because no one was there, no one was holding his hand as he fought for breath, no one there to scream at God for letting Richie come back to him so soon. He died cold and alone and probably so fucking terrified that his uncle had the casket be closed at the funeral so they didn’t have to look at his face.

Richie Lipschitz has been dead for six days, thirteen hours and seventeen minutes, and Ruth doesn’t know if she can handle another minute away from him.

She promised. They promised each other that in death they won’t be alone — they die old and wrinkly and probably still bickering, but holding hands and together.

They could control at least that one part of their lives. They would get out of this shithole, erase any memories of Hatchetfield and die wrinkly and with rainbow hair and tattooes they regretted.

Now all that’s left of these dreams is a coffin in the ground and Ruth’s palms scratched raw. (He used to be so attentive to her, and Pete. He would always remind her to stop scratching, gently, he would give her his stim slug so her hands would be occupied. He was so sweet and soft and Ruth never fucking appreciated him enough and she needs to tell him that to his face.)

There’s no apology that would satisfy the starving animal in Ruth Fleming’s chest.

There’s nothing besides Richie himself that will ever soothe her.

She will remain forever like this — mouth wide open, teeth snarled, screaming at the unfairness.

He didn’t deserve this. To die like that, so violently, so absurdly and early, and Ruth would gladly walk into a burning river if it meant Richie got to live.

She dreams of their life together. Of course she does. Even her space–themed night light doesn’t help.

(In her dreams, he gets the braces he wanted, and she gets hers off. They have a good car — red one with a white roof, her mind proposes — and they drive across the East Coast and settle in a little house in some small town, and they have a cat, multiple cats, and everything is so good that she wakes up with the pillow and mattress covered in tears.)

Richie keeps on living on in the corners of her room. Clothes he accidentally left, plushies he bought for her, his Geography notebook — he left it there the last time he was over, they were working on a project together, and they were supposed to work on it during weekend, after the big game.

Second night without Richie’s stupid laugh or crooked smile, she gives in and puts one of the shitty AliExpress anime t–shirts he left at her house over her pillow. It still smells like Richie’s manly man deodorant and vaguely of sweat, but it’s so Richie that Ruth spends the rest of the night alternating between hysterical cries and trying to breathe in his smell.

“Are you alright, honey?” Her mom asks the next morning when Ruth has been absentmindedly moving the cereal around its bowl with a spoon. (She’s put in her favorite cereal and even warmed the milk up a little, fucking hell, she’s such an ungrateful child.)

How could she ever be alright?

The world shakes before Ruth’s eyes with the rage she’s feeling — double, both for her and for Richie.

Ruth leans on Pete so heavily during the entire service she thinks his spine might just crack. He’s bending and swaying, but keeps his arms around Ruth’s middle, so at least one of them can feel the semblance of comfort. Helps her thread through the October mud at the back of the cemetery, where the new plots are laid — and Richie’s coffin is lowered into ground.

If Pete died because of his lithe spine cracking under Ruth, she would be completely alone, then, so she manages to get herself standing up on shaky legs, barely seeing in front of her through teary eyes.

(Her mom picks them up from the cemetery and Ruth sniffles and snorts through heavy sobs in the front seat while her mom tries to soothe her in the way she used to calm her down when Ruth was a little girl. Pete sits in the backseat the entire time, and Ruth swears she can hear him sobbing too.)

It’s been exactly seven days, one minute since Richie Lipschitz has been “supposedly” dead.


She doesn’t want to think.


Her voice sounds foreign on the phone. Almost like she’s listening to a recording of herself.

She’s sitting on the edge of her bed, legs swinging back and forth with sweat covering her entire body in a thick layer as Pete sits quietly on the other end of the line. Ruth feels like if he keeps being so fucking quiet she’ll hang up and walk into the Nantucket River.

“Ruth?” He sounds like she pulled him out of sleep, and for a split second between waves of panic she regrets it. “What are you— Why are you calling me at,” a beat of silence, “four in the morning?”

She opens her mouth, but all that comes is a half–choked inhale and the beginning of a sentence.

Pete is worryingly silent for just a few moments more.

“Did something happen?”

“No, I’m—” her throat closes up with mucus and tears, and the next words that are forced through it are full of tears and fragile like fine china. “I’m okay. I’m okay.”

“Do I need to call your mom?” Pete fires off. There’s rustling from his end, like he’s getting out of bed — a noise Ruth knows all too well, from emergency calls in the middle of night and less–emergency sleepovers — and something that sounds like a glass being sent spinning. “Ruth. Talk to me.”

And the flood of something warm and spiky comes into her chest, a preheated ball full of thorns rolling between her lungs.

“Do you miss him too?”

The noises from Pete stop.

He exhales, tired. Fucking exhausted.

“Yes.” He admits, and his voice is more mournful than Ruth imagined all those nights before it would be. Like he’s trying to choke back tears so at least one of them can stay composed.

(He was mostly silent after the news broke after the big game, in the days leading up to the funeral, at the funeral itself. Composed and put together and the kind of school friend you would want to see at your teenager’s funeral, not the disaster in a human skin Ruth was.)

“All the time.”

Ruth sniffles. “Me too.”

She thinks about it for a moment, decides to completely fuck it, and goes,

“I put his t–shirt over my pillow and have been sleeping on it.” She bites her lip, looking away from the phone. One of the books Richie has been reading is still laying on the floor next to her bed. She hadn’t dared to try and move it. “Is that weird?”

Pete snorts, wetly.

“I’ve been sleeping with the plush yeti he gave me as a birthday present in freshman year.”

An electric shock goes through Ruth’s hysteric–overheated body.

“Not Gary with Mono!”

“Yes Gary with Mono.” Pete sounds calmer now, like he’s a beach ball and some dumbass kid just poked a hole through it.

“You’re less weird than you th—ink, Ruthie." He sighs, and Ruth closes her eyes, letting Pete's rhythmic breaths lull her back to safety. "Do you want to have a study date

Study dates were lame excuses of lame excuses for actual study dates, but at least they made Ruth's parents trust Pete and Richie with her. Like they didn't already look nerdy enough.

"And you're fuckin' askin'?"

She’s sitting in the light booth, mindlessly flicking buttons on and off. The stage is completely empty, so she can play around with the only thing she’s in control of — even if just for a moment, she’s the fucking queen of Hatchetfield High stage.

(Or its lights. Whatever.)

It’s been a week, five days, nineteen hours and thirty–seven minutes since the time the coroner declared as Richie’s death, and god, checking the time and counting how many hours has it been without the boy right at her side still hurts and stings and she regularly has to be picked up early from school because her mind won’t stop screaming.

Today has been better. Not good, it won’t ever be good again and Ruth has accepted numbing out the stabbing in her stomach every time something reminds her of Richie, but good enough for her to stay after for the Barbecue Monologues rehearsal.

Her phone pings with a notification, and she grabs and unlocks it before her mind registers she’s doing it.

peepe: Are you okay??

She smiles at the message. So Peepe of him.

ruthie: yeah
ruthie: why wdlnt i be????

peepe: Just had a bad feeling and needed to check in
peepe: Remember out study date tomorrow?

ruthie: do ytu think i wod forget my only social iternaction this week
ruth: not funny. offputting even. who do you think i am??? breda????

peepe: Good luck at the rehearsal :) Smash these lights

Her head races as she puts down the phone, Richie smiling at her from the screensaver photo, and her eyes slowly slide to the stage.

The lights are focused in the center — a bright, shining place, in the middle of a dark stage with purple undertones. The curtains are drawn up, and it’s empty, like it’s almost never with the amount of people working on the show.

Almost like it’s screaming for her to take it. Make everyone realize what she can do.

Her stomach churns with want, want, pure desire to slam her foot down and scream at the top of her lungs.

And suddenly, eighteen years into her existence — she can do it, she can fucking do it and be the star of the spring musical, and the chair she’s been sitting on creaks sadly when the door to the light booth slams.

She swears she can feel Richie’s hands on her shoulders as she steps on the stage.


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