Actions

Work Header

Welcome to Hawkins Losers

Chapter Text

Derry, Maine was a shit town. The Losers Club knew that all too well. They knew first hand how shitty it was.

The Losers Club was seven of Derry's resident outcasts. Stuttering Bill Denbrough, Jew Boy Stanley Uris, Trashmouth Richie Tozier, Fairy Eddie Kaspbrak, Former Fat Boy Ben Hanscom, Resident Slut Beverly Marsh, and Homeschool Mike Hanlon. The Losers were the most rejected of the Derry's population. They were a group of teens that no one wanted so they took comfort in each other, relished in each other's quirks and behaviors. They looked carefree despite the abuse they suffered and the harsh looks they were given. But if anyone looked at them they'd see the glints in their eyes, ones that made them look older beyond their age, ones that looked as if they had seen horrors no one else had.

Bill Denbrough was the little groups leader. He stood tall and even with that stutter of his, his words were powerful and could lead an army. He refused to go out in the rain and shut down at the sight of yellow raincoats. If you asked Bill Denbrough how he felt about his hometown, he'd freeze for a moment and look down at left hand. Then he'd stutter out a response that left you reeling. If you asked him what he thought about Derry he'd say, "L-Leave this s-s-shithole. And never look b-b-back."

Stanley Uris was the second in command. He could stop even the rowdiest with a hard look and his sharp words could decimate a man. He never stepped foot anywhere near the sewers or drain pipes and there were scars around the face. If you asked Stanely Uris how he saw Derry, you'd see his eyes glaze over as if he was reliving a harsh memory. He'd raise a hand to the scars on his face and he'd whisper one word, "Horrible..."

Richie Tozier was their humor. He was the heart of them and could make even stone faced Stan laugh with his crude words and Voices. Without him some liveliness was lost. He never entered the plaza where the Paul Bunyan resided and flinched at the sight of balloons. Ask him about Derry and you'd get a rambled answer of insults and curse words, but look closer and you'd see the panic on his face and the shaking of his hands.

Eddie Kaspbrak was their keeper. He looked small and non threatening but the boy had no issues putting any of them in their place if they stepped out of line. He was short but had a presence that filled the room. Although he knew he didn't have asthma he still carried around that plastic inhaler, only using it in true moments of panic. If you asked any questions about the small town, he'd become short of breath, give you a harsh look and tell you to fuck off.

Ben Hanscom was a voice of reason in their chaotic group. But he also was the one who brought their schemes to life with his brilliant mind. He was the one to make sure their plans and ideas were done safely, but never got out of hand. He always for them into trouble in the safest way possible. He was a kind soul, and always had his friends safety in mind when concocting ideas. He loved history but if you tried to ask him about Derry's history he'd shut you down. He'd place a hand on his stomach and change the subject so fast it gave you whiplash.

Beverly Marsh was the protector of the Losers. She'd stop any outside force from harming them, if it got by Eddie first and if they couldn't be stopped by scathing words then she'd heft the bat she carried everywhere onto her shoulder. She was by no means a weak girl, but she was a paranoid one, as shown by the bat she carried with her everywhere. When someone asked her what she liked about Derry, she'd look at you with a cigarette between her lips and give you no answer other than a haunted look.

Mike Hanlon was the peace maker. He calmed everyone from yelling with a few soothing words and stopped punches with a soft hand on an arm. He had such a peaceful aura to him and no one could remain mad in his presence. But he never strayed anywhere near Harrison Ave. and stared warily at any fire, even if it was controlled. Anyone who wanted his opinion on the town would get a strained smile and a small, "It's not a good place."

They were all right. Derry was a horrible place. One with a horrible past and an even worse present. The Losers Club knew that all too well. They experienced the horrible nature of the small town everyday. The people of Derry were some of the cruelest there ever were. There was a name for each of the Losers and more coming everyday. After several years of torture it took one summer to change them. No one in Derry knew what happened that summer but the losers came back to school different. Hardened. Something about them was unsettling. They no longer took anyone’s shit. But it didn’t stop whispers and words. And those probably hurt more than fists had.

The group of seven were desperate to leave Derry, to leave the memories behind. But they would never leave without each other. Never leave one of them behind. So when Richie was told to pack his bags, he was spending summer in Hawkins, the Losers packed their bags with him. It was all or nothing. They loaded themselves into Bill’s van and then they were off. Gone from the nightmare that was Derry, Maine. Of course not that they knew, they were getting pulled into something new.

Chapter Text

Richie Tozier did not want to start his day like this.

He wanted to go steal his boyfriend, Eddie, from the evil that was his mother, meet the Losers down at the quarry and maybe smoke a cigarette. He wanted to take Eddie to get ice cream and make out with him in his twin bed for like an hour. He did not want to pack for some shit hole Indiana town.

“What the fuck?!” He had yelled with no remorse for the shocked look on his mother’s face at his outburst. “The fuck do you mean I’m leaving?”

“It means you’re going to Hawkins.” She repeated firmly, despite her shock. Of course she had to be sober telling him this, making it all the more serious.

Richie shook his head frantically, “What the hell for?!”

“Your father is coming home.” She said slowly and his face fell.

“Oh course.” He said monotone. His dad was coming home and she needed him gone. Maybe it was for Richie’s safety or maybe it was to get rid of him, but either way he knew it was happening and knew he couldn’t stop.

Don’t get him wrong. He hated Derry as much as the next person, but he didn’t want to leave his Losers behind, even if it was just for a summer. They were family and he couldn’t leave them. So he ignored the calls of his mother and stumbled his way to the quarry. Richie knew if he didn’t meet Eddie in half an hour, the smaller would track him down, the others in tow. So, he spent his time thinking. Thinking about what he would do.

His mother was finally done with his shit and decided the summer before his senior year he would be spending it in Hawkins, Indiana with her sister, Karen Wheeler. A stereotypical suburban mom with a nuclear family. A cheating wife, a deadbeat husband, a daughter who thought she was rebelling, a nerd son, and a third child that might not even be the dads kid. A family who had no experience with the hardness of the world with their privilege. God they were gonna hate his trashmouth and he was gonna love the chaos he caused. But he couldn’t do it without his Losers it wouldn’t be the same.

“Hey there trashmouth.”

Richie turned his head to see six people standing behind him. Bill stood at the head with a crooked smile, Stan on his right with a blank face but knowing eyes, Mike on his left with his usual easy going smile, but it had a bit of sympathy in it. Bev was smirking with a cigarette between her lips and her arms linked with Ben’s. And then Eddie pushed his way to the front. His nose was still bleeding and his face was stony.

“So why’d I have to find you?” He asked with crossed arms and a quirked eyebrow. He watched as Eddie rubbed the blood away with his sleeves and he couldn’t help but think that several years ago Eds would rather die than get blood anywhere near his clothes.

Richie said nothing but gave Stan a look and nodded his head slightly. So rolling his eyes, Stan sighed out, “His mom is sending him to Hawkins.”

Immediately there was an outrage. Eddie and Bev were the loudest in their protests, being the most outspoken of the groups. Ben being the kind soul he was, started to tear up, but didn’t outright cry. Stan and Bill stared at each other with hard eyes, most likely having a silent conversation. Richie was touched by how upset they were, but Bev was steadily getting louder, Ben was starting to actually cry, and Eddie looked like he was going to punch something. Thankfully before things got out of hand, Mike calmed it down.

“Hey, guys, it's okay.” He said softly. The effect was instantaneous. Bev sighed quietly and took a drag of her cigarette while Eddie sagged in relaxation. Stan and Bill moved their gazes to Mike and looked more serene. Richie shot Mike a grateful look and he smiled back in understanding.

“Alright, Richie, w-why don’t you explain what the fuck’s going o-on?” Bill asked. Over the years his stutter had calmed down and gotten better, but it came out when he was stressed. Like now.

The lanky teen huffed out a breath and Eddie noticed right away how tense he was. So in true Eddie fashion, he stalked towards him and plopped down in his lap with a scowl, but he leaned back into his boyfriend and his lips quirked when long arms were wrapped around his waist. The others took his example and surrounded their friend, each one of them trying to keep as close as possible to each other.

Richie beamed at his friend and clutched Eddie tighter, hooking his chin over the shorter boy’s shoulder. And then he tried his best to explain the situation.

“My Dad’s coming back for summer.” He said as if it explained everything. And it did. Well most of it. There was a collective wince and Richie nodded in agreement.

None of the Losers had great parents. Except for Mike, but he didn’t even have parents.But his grandfather was an asshole who forced him into things he hated with unrealistic expectations. Bill’s parents hated him, blamed him for Georgie’s death. They had kicked him out of his house multiple times and sometimes came home drunk and angry. Stan’s dad was a homophobic asshole and his mom did nothing to stop him when the verbal abuse started. Ben’s parents were never home, leaving the poor boy to fend for himself. When they did come home, they were harsh and where the reason he had lost so much weight. Richie’s dad was never home either. Leaving for months at a time and leaving him with an alcoholic deadbeat mother. When he did come home, he was angry and drunk, but there was only the occasional slap.

While every one of them had a horrible home life, Eddie and Bev were by far the worst off. Bev had a disgusting man of a father. They all knew he had touched her in more ways than one. He used her as a fill in for her dead mother and Richie had no doubt in his mind that the man would have made her stay with him forever. And then when he died she got stuck with a junkie aunt who loved to hit her.

Eddie had a mother who for the first thirteen years of his life, convinced him he was sick feeding him fake pills. Of course they figured out one of them was real and treated ADHD, but he still refused to take any kind of pill. She had locked him in his own home on multiple occasions and like Bev had no problem hitting him to get her point across. As much as he made jokes about her, Richie hated that woman.

“Where’s she sending you?” Bev asked with a dark look on her face.

“Some town called Hawkins in Indiana.” He answered with a sarcastic grin. “It’s in the middle of bumfuck nowhere.”

Eddie lightly hit his arm but he still giggled lightly and Richie beamed at the sound. He loved his Eddie Spaghetti so much.

Stan gave him a knowing look, as if hearing his thoughts. “Why there?”

The other teen shrugged and answered. “My mom’s sister lives there. Don’t know why she wanted an eighteen year old to stay with her.”

“When are you leaving?” Ben piped up as he sniffled and leaned on Bev for comfort.

“Three days.”

“What?!” Eddie exclaimed. He twisted around on Richie’s lap and grabbed his face in small hands. “The fuck do you mean ‘Three days?’”

Richie chuckled and laid his hands over Eddies saying, “It means I leave in three days.”

“No, no, no! You can’t!” Bev shouted as she jumped to her feet, “You can’t leave without us!”

There was a silence that fell over the group. Bev paced back and forth with her cigarette between her lips. Bill looked to be deep in thought and that kind of worried Richie.

“What if we go with you?”

Everyone whipped their heads towards him with wide eyes. Bev’s cigarette dropped from her mouth and in frantic manner, Mike put it out with panicked eyes. She shot him a sheepish look and then turned back Bill and narrowed her eyes.

“Explain Billiam.” She hissed. Mike chuckled at the nickname but shut up quickly when Stan glared at him.

“None of our parents would care if we left, no offense.” Bill said, but everyone just shrugged. “We could leave. Go with Richie. Spend the s-summer in Hawkins. Come b-back in time for school. Or maybe stay there.”

“That’s a nice idea but how would we get there? Where would we stay?” Stan asked logically. Ben looked like he agreed with Stan but Eddie didn’t.

“We can stay in Bill’s van.” He said matter of factly. “Sure it’s a little cramped but none of us have any sense of personal space.”

Ben shook his head. “Where would we get money?”

“Now I know for a fact that every single one of us has a job and a savings account. Stan and I helped you losers set them up.” Bev told them confidently. Stan was starting to look a bit more open to the idea.

“My dad left me in an inheritance.” Eddie said. “I’m 18 so I can claim it, but I haven’t yet because of my mother. We can take some of that.”

Richie grinned at all of them and quipped, “It’s definitely not the stupidest thing we’ve done. In fact it may be the smartest.”

“We’re all eighteen.” Mike added. “And Ben turns eighteen in a couple months. Legally an adult.”

“We don’t have to stay in this shithole anymore.” Bev breathed in awe. Stan’s eyes widened a bit as he took in the information.

“We’d need jobs to get a place.” Stan said hesitantly.

“Easy.” Beverly grinned mischievously. He looked at her with a dry, knowing look and she winked, making the rest of them laugh.

Eddie snorted at that saying, “Stan, we’ve all shared a bed before. None of care much for personal space.”

The blonde haired teen sighed and threw his hands up. “What the hell? Why the fuck not.”

“Alrighty Chaps!” Richie said in a british Voice, “Let’s get out of this shit town!”

Chapter Text

Eddie Kaspbrak knew from a young age there was something off about his mother

When he was a kid she had kept him sheltered from almost everything. His dad from what he could remember had protested and took him places that his mother would have never let him go. When he died the only time Eddie was allowed was to go to school and to the many doctor appointments he would go to over the years. School was a struggle for him when he was a kid. It’s difficult to make friends as a five year old when your mom doesn’t let you go out and play with them. But that changed in third grade when he met Richie.

Richie came into his life in a whirlwind of gapped teeth and crude jokes. He brought stuttering Bill into his life along with uptight Stan. But he loved them. Richie brought him the confidence he needed to beg his mother to let him out. Richie was his best friend in all matters. And years later that hadn’t changed.

In middle school Richie had taken to carrying around an extra inhaler for him. He was the one who had taught Eddie to sneak through the window in his room when his mom wouldn’t let him out of the house. Richie was always there for him and had helped him on that Day. When he broke his arm he had helped him out of that house, nearly carrying the smaller boy. He had helped him work through his newly found ADHD When things had started to change with the Losers, Richie was there to help him figure things out. High school was when things changed.

Middle school was hard, but High school was harder. While the Losers had changed and no longer allowed people to step on them, people still tried. Eddie was fierce, and the second scariest of them (Mike had ranked them and Bev was first), he was still the smallest of them. It didn’t help that he was starting to figure himself out. Bev had given him some of her clothes when they had gotten wet, and he was shocked by how much he loved them. Her sweater was soft and he loved the light blue color. Her jeans were baggy but still fit well on his slender legs. When he confessed this to her, she had grinned and taken them shopping. Despite the glares and bewildered looks they had gotten, the two grinned at their haul and modeled for each other in Bev’s room. It was his first real rebellious act against his mother. Bev had become the person he was closest to in the group (besides Richie).

His freshman year was when Eddie discovered he didn’t like the people he should. While other boys his age were drooling over girls Eddie couldn’t stop looking at his best friend. Richie had grown over the summer and was now the tallest of all of them. His face was losing the baby fat and becoming sharper. Eddie’s face always reddened when Richie leaned on him or hugged, which had confused him. He had no issues with the rest of the Losers when they did the same thing. All of them were touch starved and it had become a common thing for them to pile together. Unsure of what to do, he went to Bev for help.

She had grinned at him when he told her and simply said, “You like him.”

It sent him into a panic and she had to calm him down before he had a panic attack. When he did calm he asked softly, “Isn’t it wrong? To like boys?”

She smiled comfortingly and opened her arms, letting him crawl into them. They laid together on her twin bed, Eddie curled into despite the cigarette in her mouth. He had gotten so much better about his hypochondria and no longer had many issues with most things.

Bev held him tight and explained in a kind tone, “There’s nothing wrong with liking Richie you know. It’s okay.”

“It is?” He asked with wide eyes. It wasn’t something he had heard before. All he could think about was his mother talking about it with disgust, claiming it was a disease, and they would burn in hell.

“Did you know I like girls?” She quizzed him with a grin.

He had sat up and exclaimed, “But you’re dating Ben!”

“I am!” She laughed, “But I know I still like girls. Ben likes boys too!”

“You can do that?” He asked in awe. She nodded but he sagged in defeat. “But I think I only like boys.”

“Hey it okay,” she soothed, running a hand through his curls, “That’s okay too.”

He was silent for a moment as he thought to himself. It wasn’t wrong to like boys. He knew that, but most people didn’t. And that was okay. So in quiet realization he told her, “I like Richie.”

And all she said was, “I know.”

It took him a year to confess that to Richie. He spent a year thinking that is was just a stupid crush. That it would eventually go away. But it never did, so he spent a year pining after him. Instead he just fucking fell in love with that fool. And of course it was obvious to everyone but Richie. That dumbass thought every attempt to flirt was Eddie teasing him. So either Eddie was bad at flirting or Richie was an oblivious idiot. Thankfully he caught on eventually.

It happened at night at the barrens. Sonia, Eddie’s mother, had had a fit when the age old argument of Eddie being sick and not taking his pills came up again. Her large figure towered over his, and despite having a strength she didn’t, he never used it. He didn’t need her telling him that he really was sick and locking him away in a hospital. So he let her pull him by the hair into his room, locking the door behind her.

So instead of forcing the door open, he took a safer route through the window. Even though he was much better than he used to be, he still had an after thought about climbing down the tree and getting splinters, and a possible infection. But he ignored that, and made his way to the ground where he took off towards the Tozier household. It was a small one story home, so all he had to do was hop the fence and make his way to Richie’s window. The closer he got the more the feeling that Richie wasn’t there came up. And what’d ya know, when he opened the window, there was no sign of the taller boy.

He sighed in disappointment but it was an easy fix. So he jumped back out the window, and sat on the grass. He closed his eyes felt around for Richie. He searched for the others boys presence and when he felt the tug he opened his eyes. When he opened his eyes he was in the clubhouse Ben had built them years ago. He Eddie knew Richie couldn’t see him but he could see Richie. And the taller boy looked about as good as Eddie felt. So and he opened his eyes and wiped the blood from his nose and made his way to Richie.

It wasn’t a long walk to the barrens but ever since that Day the Losers had become much more paranoid. Always looking over their shoulders, clenching their fists, or in Bev’s case, gripping her bat harder. Eddie always looked for easy routes out or the quickest way out of a situation. So as we made his way to the clubhouse he kept his eyes open for an easy escape. Luckily it was a short trek and there were no complications. When he reached it, the hatch was open, which would have worried him if he didn’t know Richie was in there. He poked his head in and smiled at the sight he saw.

Richie had managed to fit his long body in the small hammock that had better fit them when they were smaller. It was a nice sight if his eyes weren’t red and he wasn’t sniffling. Eddie dropped down into the small area and watched as Richie fell out of the hammock, startled at the sudden sound of something falling near him. When he saw it was just Eddie, he sighed in relief and fell back onto the dirty floor. Eddie giggled at his struggle and stood over him.

“What the fuck Eds?” Richie exclaimed as he stared at the grinning boy.

“You’re a very hard person to find.” Eddie joked with a crooked grin. “And don’t call me that.”
Eddie would never tell Richie, but he liked being called Eds. It was almost a habit now to say that though.

The other boy scoffed. “You and I both know that’s not true. You could find a dog in Canada if you wanted.”

“You flatter me.” The shorter boy replied in a dry tone. “Now you gonna tell me why I didn’t find you at your house?”

“What were you doing at my house?” Richie retorted. “And get down here with me!”

Eddie snorted and rolled his eyes, but he still laid down next to Richie on the dirty ground. Of course Richie had to made it hard for him. Richie decided he needs physical comfort, and while Eddie was okay with that, it still made his cheeks red. He ignored the heat in his cheeks though, and leaned into Richie. He needed some comfort too.

“So you gonna tell me why you’re laying on the floor and not on your bed?” Eddie repeated as he tilted his head to look at the other.

“My dad called.” Was Richie said. It was all he needed to say. Richie’s dad had a way with words that could make even the strongest man feel like a beaten child. “Now why were you going to my house.”

“Fought with my mom. Locked me in my room.” Eddie told him. The other boy hummed and pulled him closer. The smaller curled into the other’s bigger figure and buried his face into Richie’s stomach. “She thinks there’s something wrong with me, and I mean, she’s not exactly wrong.”

“Hey, hey no.” Richie soothed, “There’s nothing wrong with you.”

Richie’s voice was so soft and loving that Eddie burst into tears. Richie pulled him closer and all he could think was that if Richie knew the truth he wouldn’t think that. He would hate Eddie, he would hate him so much. So he tried to pull himself away from Richie, the other had longer limbs and clutched him.

“Eds, what’s wrong?” Richie asked him in concerned bewilderment.

“You’re gonna hate me!” Eddie sobbed, “you’re gonna hate me!”

“I could never hate you.” Richie promised, “Tell me what’s wrong.”

“I fucking love you, you idiot.”

Eddie burst out with it so abruptly and Richie froze. So he took that as a sign that he screwed up. He pushed himself to his feet dashed his way to the exit. He ignored Richie’s calls for him and pulled himself out of the clubhouse. He raced down the barrens, hearing Richie’s steps behind him. Unfortunately for him, Richie had longer legs, so he barrelled into Eddie and tackled the two the ground.

“Fuck!” Eddie shouted as they went down. The two crashed to the ground with Richie landing on top of the smaller boy. Eddie struggled underneath, Richie’s larger figure pressing him into the ground. In any other situation he would have loved that, but now it just made the tears stream down his face faster. “Get off Richie! You’re fucking crushing me, you fatass!”

“Never!” Richie shouted in ear, “Not until I tell you how much I fucking love you!”

And Eddie froze, his wriggling ceasing to a full stop. He didn’t even turn his head to look at the boy above him just whispered a quiet, “what?”

Then there were large hands gripping his small waist and he was being rolled over onto his back. The leaves below him crackled with the movement but all he could focus on was Richie’s eyes. There were staring at him with such an intensity that he couldn’t pull his own away.

“I really love you, Eddie.” Richie whispered. And Eddie believed how serious he was when he used the other boys real name. It was never “Eddie” it was always “Eds” or even that lame “Spaghetti Head”.

He stared up Richie in awe. The other teens figure covered Eddie’s small one. His eyes were dark and bored into his own brown doe eyes. Their faces were so close together, that Eddie could feel Richie’s breath mingling with his own. He looked on, stunned, as Richie’s eyes flickered down to his lips and back to his eyes. So in a brief moment of confidence, he pressed their lips together, and thankfully, Richie pressed back.

It wasn’t fireworks like he had expected, instead it felt like fire. It spread slowly through his veins and made his cheeks feel hot. It left a warm, pleasant feeling in his stomach. Richie’s lips were chapped but they felt soft and fit perfectly with his own. It was passionate, Richie’s body pressed into his own. But it didn’t feel sexual. Richie felt like home. He felt right.
Sadly, he had to breath, so reluctantly he pulled his lips away, breathing heavily. The two grinned at each, their cheeks pink and their hearts beating together.

“Took you long enough.” Eddie panted with a smile. Richie throwing his head back in laughter was ingrained in his memory.

And now, at the age of eighteen, as he packed his bags the memories felt like a lifetime ago. The group of seven was leaving the shit town known as Derry. Eddie had never felt such a strong mixture of fear and relief as he did in this moment. He spent his time filling the small duffel bag with clothes. He searched through his drawers for anything he might need and stopped when his eyes landed on a picture on top of his dresser.

It was taken on his seventeenth birthday. They had taken him to the quarry where they had tried to set up an extravagant picnic but of course it got a little fucked up. Stan had managed to capture the exact moment Richie dropped on of his birthday candles onto the blanket. He smiled at the picture. Richie and Bill were trying frantically to put out the fire that was their blanket. Mike was behind them with his face in his hands and Eddie looked fond despite the situation. Ben stood next to a laughing Beverly with a shocked expression and a soda dropping from his hand. Stan had placed his face in front of the camera, the situation in the background contrasting his blank expression.

Without hesitation, Eddie threw the picture into the bag. He looked over it’s contents. It was filled mostly clothes and a toothbrush and deodorant. He figured he could buy most things on the road but he’d need clothes. He had a large stack of money too. He had gone to the bank and pulled everything from his inheritance. He felt Stan poking around his head and knew the group was approaching his house.

He slung the bag over his shoulder and bounded down the steps. He noticed his mom in the living room and knew he was never going to get away from her without a fight. So with a confident face and stalked his way towards the door. He prayed he would make it there, but she couldn’t make it easy.

“Where are you going Eddie-Bear?” She asked looking at him from the corner of her eye.

“I’m leaving.” He said simply.

She turned her head to look at him fully look at him and hummed. “Just make sure you’re back by nine.”

He turned to look at her with a blank expression and bit out, “No Ma, I’m Leaving.”
He tried to enunciated the words to get his point across. It brought him some sick joy to watch her panic when he caught onto what is was saying.

“You can’t leave!” She shouted as she struggled to his feet.

“Oh but I can.” He disagreed with a wry grin, “And you can’t stop me.”

“No! You need me! You won’t survive on your own!” She shrieked.

“I don’t need you! I’m a fucking adult! And I won’t be alone!” He screamed back as he clenched his fist around his bag straps.

“No, no! You’re too fragile. You need to stay with me. Just let Mommy take care of you!” She pleaded. Eddie shook his head in disbelief at her.

“Nice try. But I know I don’t need you. Richie is all I need.” He spat at her. She reeled back at his nasty tone and he smiled in satisfaction at her shock and fear.

“You can’t go with that Tozier boy!” She sneered in disgust, “He’ll infect you!”

“Oh he infected me when he had his dick up my ass!” Eddie retorted, baring his teeth in an evil grin. He chuckled at her gasp and wrenched the door open in her shock, sprinting out the door. Bill’s van was parked outside with the door open and Richie sticking his head out.

“Let’s go baby!” He shouted with a toothy grin. Eddie smiled back and dashed towards the car, his mother screaming behind him.

“You’re sick Eddie! You need help!” She screamed at him, as he dived into the van jumping into Richie’s lap. He slammed the door closed behind him. He threw his bag in the back and settled between Richie and Mike.

“Drive Bill!” He cheered. Bill grinned at him through the mirror and stepped on the gas. The van peeled down the street, leaving Sonia Kaspbrak screaming in the dust.

Eddie turned to back and beamed at Bev and Ben. Then he turned to Richie and pressed a kiss to his cheek. The taller boy let out a whoop and threw an arm around him. The group let out whoops of excitement and Bill turned the music up with a bright grin.

“Lookout Hawkins,” Richie shouted in glee, “The Losers are gonna rock your shit!”

Chapter Text

Stanley Uris had a lot of issues.

There was a vast amount of childhood trauma ranging from Henry Bowers, to his father, to that Summer. He struggled with severe OCD, anxiety, and paranoia (but all the Losers had those last two). And now he was packed into his boyfriend’s van with five other people going to some small town in the middle of Indiana in the hopes that they could live out their on their own.

Stan wasn’t too worried about that. The Losers had been independent from their families for a long time. They relied on themselves and on each other and it hadn’t let them down yet. They had saved a large amount of money collectively throughout the years, enough that they could live on their own in Hawkins for a while before they needed Bev to step in and help. And while Bev didn’t mind using her...talents...to help Stan didn’t want her to feel as if they were using her. If he told her that though she’d probably punch him.

He looked out the van window at the night sky. While Ben had said the drive to main would be a little over eighteen hours but of course it didn’t go exactly according to plan. About five hours in, Eddie had realized that in his haste to get out the door, he had forgotten to eat. Unfortunately for them, they were on the highway in the middle of New Hampshire traffic. So they had to wait two hours until they reached Albany, New York. And of course, like the stoners they were, Richie and Bev declared McDonald’s would be the best meal. So they ate cheap fast food at three in the afternoon, on their way to a little Indiana town on the hopes they could survive, and honestly, Stan thought it was the greatest meal he ever had.

By the time they reached Cleveland it was nearing midnight and they were low on gas. Stan knew none of them had any issues staying awake for twenty-four hours, any of them could stay awake for three days. Of course it was either because they couldn’t fall asleep because of trauma or because it wasn’t safe too or sometimes it as both. And like the responsible adults they were, they bought at least a hundred dollars worth of energy drinks, coffee and junk food. It took a sizable chunk out of Bev’s “cash stash” (Richie called it) but she claimed it was worth it. Stan recalled the proud smile on her face as she cared for her friends and watched them eat candy with smiles.

And now a little over three hours left on the road Stan smiles contently as he listened to his friends (family) chatter and laugh in the backseat. He turned his head to look at Bill in the front seat. He admired Bill’s sharp jawline and smile. He laid his hand on the console and grinned when Bill clasped their hands together. He stared at the difference between their hands and clenched them tighter.

The soft moment was ruined when Richie leaned onto Stan’s seat. Stan turned to look at him with a blank face but fond eyes. The lanky boy’s eyes had bags under them, and he was tapping his finger anxiously but his grin was bright and boyish. “So are we any closer?” He asked, his hands coming to rest on Stan’s headrest.

Thankfully Eddie was the one to answer. He scoffed and pulled his boyfriend back down into his seat. “We’re no closer than we were when you asked fifteen minutes ago.”

Richie pouted and threw his arm around the smaller boy and cried, “How could you?! Betrayed by the love of my life!”

Eddie slapped his chest but his cheeks were red and Stan didn’t even have to dive into his head to know what he was thinking. Bill laughed at the exchange and Stan smiled at the sound.

“You’re so dramatic.” Eddie scowled but his lips still quirked a little.

“You know it Baby!” Richie winked, pressing a wet kiss to his boyfriend’s cheek.

“Do you know if we’re any closer Edward?” Bev asked teasingly. Stan looked backwards and the sight that greeted his eyes brought him joy that he couldn’t explain. In the very back, Bev and Ben were snuggled together and despite his large size, Ben was laying on Bev, snuggled into her chest. In the second row Eddie sat in between Mike and Richie. While Richie had an arm thrown around him, with Bev holding Richie’s hand, Mike curled up on the seat and laid his head on the smaller boys lap.

Eddie shrugged at Bev’s question, running a hand through Mike’s hair in restlessness. “It’s hard to say, but I don’t think it’s that much longer. Maybe two or three hours? I can look at a map if you’d like?”

Stan shook his head and smiled reassuringly. “It’s alright Eddie. Why don’t you guys get some sleep?” Richie and Beverly groaned in protest, making Stan roll his eyes at their childishness. He then gestured towards Mike where the boy was snuggling into Eddie’s thigh, his eyes drooping. “I think it’s time.”

“No it’s not!” Richie disagreed loudly.

Mike sighed. He looked to Stan in questioning and when he shook his head, Mike nodded in understanding. He yawned and Stan felt the drowsiness wash over the car. Ben, being the closest to sleep nodded off and slumped further into Beverly. The feeling poured out from Mike further. Beverly groaned in annoyance but still drifted under, letting out soft snores. Richie and Eddie were left. Richie fought against the sleepiness defiantly. Eddie though, (if Stan knew him as well as he thought he did) was waiting to make sure everyone had successfully fallen asleep before he did. Stan snorted in amusement.

In retaliation, Mike commanded in a sleepy but forceful tone, “Sleep.” And like puppets on a string, they fell limp into each other with Eddie laying his head on Richie’s shoulder and he on Eddie’s head.

Stan let out a breath of relief and gave Mike a grateful smile. “Thank you Mike,” He said quietly, “You can sleep now.”

Mike grinned back tiredly and mumbled, “No problem Stanny…” And then he drifted off into sleep too. Stan gave the group one more look and then turned back to the front staring out at the night sky. He turned his head to the front seat when a hand grabbed his own.

“You handled that w-well.” Bill stuttered quietly. The brunette gripped the steering wheel in one hand and the other ran over Stan’s knuckles. He smiled at Bill and leaned his head on the window.

“I know for a fact Eddie could have handled it better.” He grumbled but there was a smile on his face.

Bill scoffed and nodded with him. “Eddie’s scarier than you are though. Which makes absolutely no sense, he looks like a puppy.”

 

Stan laughed quietly. “You and I both have seen him in action. We watched him try to bash some guys head in with Bev’s bat when he made Mike cry.”

“Thank god Ben can lift weights otherwise we’d be on the run for murder.” The other joked with a bright grin.

Stan snorted at the memory. He remembered watching Eddie grab the bat from Beverly’s lose grip and stalk forward with an anger on his face that was frightening despite his size. It was morbidly fascinating to see this tiny sweater wearing boy slam a bat into the stomach of someone twice his size. Fortunately before Eddie could break any of the guys bones, Ben scooped him up with strong hands. He distinctly remembered Bev’s groan of disappointment. The Losers had unanimously decided that day that Eddie was the scariest of them (after Beverly of course) and that under no circumstances where they to piss him off.

Bill was silent for a moment as he thought to himself. “Did I make a good decision?”

Stan looked at him out of the corner of his eye. He didn’t respond right away, just clenched Bill’s hand tighter. And then he said, “I think it was one of the best you could make in the moment.”

The Brunette tilted his head towards him and asked, “What do you mean?”

“Think of it this way. We had a whole other year before we could get another way out. We would have a whole year of being stuck in that town, and the way it was going there was no guarantee we would survive.” Stan informed him brokenly. “Richie would have to spend a summer with his dad before he leaves again. Eddie and Bev would spend another year coming to us broken and bruised. Ben would spend a whole year in an empty house. You, Mike and I would still have to live in a house with families that hate us.”

“But we could have gotten out through college!” Bill protested, still unsure of himself.

“Not together.” Stan said simply. “Eddie’s mom would have locked him in the basement if he tried to apply for college. Bev’s aunt would never help her pay for it. The rest of us would be forced into colleges miles apart. It would have never happened.”

“S-so I did g-good?” Bill asked quietly. Stan felt the dark thoughts in his head and the vulnerability in his words. Stan leaned over the console and pressed a soft kiss to his cheek.

“You saved us from being seperated, Bill.” Stan reassured. “You did very good.”

Bill smiled at him brightly and Stan fell further in love. This was a strong leader. Someone who cared for his family and despite his struggles and trauma, still put them in front of him. Put their own needs before his own. And he was all Stan’s.

“Bill?” He whispered.

“Yeah?”

“I love you…” Stan said softly in the quietness of the car with only the stars to witness it. He was blinded by emotion at the bright grin that Bill directed towards him.

“I love you too, Dove.”

Chapter Text

When Bev woke up, it was to a loud honking and four other screaming people.

“WHAT THE FUCK?!” Richie screeched once the sound was done. She stopped her screaming to cackle when his long legs pushed him up to the roof of the car, where he banged his head on it. She leaned over the seat to see Mike had rolled onto the floor in his shock and Eddie had wrapped his limbs around Richie. Stan was giggling like a mad man in the passenger seat and Bill was resting his head on the steering wheel gasping for breath.

“That was rude.” She drawled. She leaned her arm on the seat in front of her. Bev watched in amusement as Mike rolled onto his back and let out a deep breath, holding a hand over his heart. “You didn’t have to do that.”

“It was much more fun this way.” Stan replied when he got ahold of himself. Bill nodded along with him but he was still struggling to breathe.

“Why would you do this to?! Stan the Man! My one and only!” Richie cried out. Bev rolled her eyes but grinned at him.

She slapped his shoulder and joked, “You’re gonna made poor Eds jealous.”

“Don’t call me Eds.” Eddie groaned in exasperation, throwing his head back onto the seat.

“Don’t worry Eds,” Richie reassured as he clutched the smaller to him, “You’re the only man for me!”

“Yeah, yeah, I love you too dumbass.” Eddie sighed and patted Richie’s arm. The taller boy beamed. Bev looked as Richie gazed at Eddie with so much love in his eyes. She remembered the days when Eddie would come to her in a panic when Richie showed even the slightest affection towards him. Now the two looked at each like they thought the other hung the moon, the stars, and the sun.

“In c-case you were wondering why we woke you up, we’ve been in Hawkins for at least three hours now.” Bill told them dryly.

“What?!” Richie yanked the door open and launched himself out of the car. Bev followed him by throwing open the trunk doors and leaping out. She was greeted with a sight not so different from Derry, yet so much nicer. They were in the parking lot of what looked like an arcade. It was empty so she assumed it was still early in the morning.

“What time is it Bill?” Ben yawned as he came to stand behind her, wrapping his long limbs around her waist and leaning on her smaller frame.

“It’s about six in the morning.” Bill informed them as he checked his watch. Stan stood beside him with his arms crossed and his eyes dark from lack of sleep. While Bev admired his dedication to stay up with Bill, she was tempted to force him to sleep for the sake of her own sanity and worry.

“You couldn’t have waited until later to wake us up?” Mike grumbled as he sat on the edge of the open trunk. Bev giggled when she saw Eddie clamber over the seats to sit next to him.

“We need to get our bearings. Find jobs before they get filled.” Stan explained. “And Richie needs to meet with his family at some point.”

“That makes sense I guess.” Eddie grumbled reluctantly. “But it’s six in the morning. Nothing is open. And I doubt Richie’s aunt is up.”

“It’s a small town. We can explore for a little. Some diners open early so we can get some food.” Ben offered. Bev grinned at how smart her man was and stood on her toes to place a kiss under his chin and relished in the blush that covered his cheeks.

“Haystack the Genius strikes again!” Richie cheered. “Now off we go!”

Richie tried to climb back into the car, but Eddie pounced before he could. He shook his head and pulled the taller back saying, “Oh no. I was in a car with you assholes for eighteen hours, we are walking. Your ass needs it.”

The shaggy haired teen placed a hand over his heart and gasped in mock offense, “I thought you liked my ass!”

“I like it flat, I prefer to have the better ass in this relationship.” Eddie said dryly, “And if you keep eating like that you’re gonna take my place.”

Bev cackled with laughter at the sheer dryness of Eddie’s tone. Richie looked a little stunned at his boy’s joke before he joined in with Bev and giggled like a mad man. It didn’t take long for the rest of them to join in. And while Stan didn’t, he still smiled slightly with them.

“You guys are idiots.” Stan deadpanned despite his smile.

Bill threw an arm around his waist and gave his cheek a sloppy kiss. “But we’re your idiots.” He teased. His boyfriend rolled his eyes, but still pecked Bill’s lips lightly. Bev knew that the two of them realized they had kissed in a public place, but she also knew that they didn’t care anymore. And if anyone tried anything her and Eddie would be right there for them.

“Come on lovebirds,” Mike called “Let’s get a move on!”

So with a backpack slung over Bill’s shoulder, the group of seven began to trek through the small town. There were few people out this early in the morning and those who were looked to be heading to work. Their loud voices and laughter drew the attention of others and dirty looks were shot their way. But Bev and Eddie shot them back an even scarier look. People kept their distance from them and Bev knew that they could sense something off about them. She knew something had happened that day and it had changed them. She never bothered to figure out why because in their shit life it helped immensely.

“Do you have any idea where we’re going Eddie?” Stan asked when it looked like they had been walking nowhere.

“There’s a mall maybe two miles away.” Eddie informed them, “And a bus stop a block away.”

“Did you put enough money in the bag?” Bev asked him.

He shook his head sheepishly. “No, I think I only put enough money for breakfast in there.”

“I’ll deal with it, don’t worry.” Beverly reassured them and no one protested.

“Who’s cash stash did you take it from?” Richie asked him suspiciously.

“Yours.” the smaller deadpanned. He laughed when Richie cried out in shock. “I’m kidding. I took an even portion from everyone’s.”

“Smart.” Bill commented with a goofy smile. Eddie beamed proudly and snuggled closer to Richie. Bev watched fondly as her best friend looked to her in accomplishment. So she smiled back and pulled him away from Richie and into her despite the taller boys protests.

“My Eddie is so smart!” She crowed into the air. Richie squawked in disbelief at her. Stan laughed at his misery as they finally reached the bus stop. There were only three other people there. An older black woman, a balding man, and a red headed girl with a skateboard. Bev lead Eddie with her to an empty bench with Richie in tow. The seven of them tried to cram themselves onto the one bench Stan, Mike and Ben sat on the edge of the bench with their respective partners in between their legs (excluding Mike even though Richie liked to flirt Mike had no interest and Richie loved Eddie). Bev plopped herself down and deposited Eddie on Richie’s lap.

She took the time to gaze over the three on the second bench several feet away from them. The older woman was draped in layers- protection from the morning chill. The man wore a business suit and continuously checked his watch. Every once in a while the older two would glance towards the loud group of teens. The woman would roll her eyes but there was no malice. She looked as if the group reminded her of someone. The man however, looked at the way Eddie sat in Richie’s lap and the way Stan played with Bill’s hair. He looked disgusted but he never tried anything. Thankfully. Bev was mostly drawn towards the girl. The girl had her fists clenched tightly around her board and her eyes flitted back and forth. She was looking for someone but not in a good way. She was paranoid.

“W-We should ask one of them what opens soon.” Bill said. Beverly noticed he too had been looking over the group of people from the corner of his eye. He was always a protective leader she mused to herself.

“I vote we ask the mini Bev.” Mike announced. They group turned their heads to inspect the tiny redhead teen. Beverly had to admit, the girl did remind her of herself. She had a resting bitch face that Richie had said the Marsh girl wore frequently.

“Why not anyone else?” Ben inquired them, a confused look on his handsome face. She wanted to fawn over how naive he was. Well, none of them were naive. Ben was just a little oblivious to the attention they drew sometimes.

Eddie shifted on Richie uncomfortably and mumbled, “I don’t like the way that guy is looking at us.” There was a quiet agreement as Richie pulled the smaller closer into him. Bev shot the man a discrete glare that had him sweating nervously and glancing away from the teens.

“Call her over Trashmouth.” Stan nudged the lanky man with a knee. Richie grumbled but complied anyway.

“Yo! Molly Ringwald!” He shouted, waving his arms wildly. Bev chuckled at the nickname and remembered the first time he had called her that. The tiny teen whipped her head towards them, startled and the sudden shouting. She pointed to herself mouthing ‘Me?’ “Yeah you! Mini Marsh!”

She eyed him suspiciously but approached them anyway. Bev noticed the way she clenched her skateboard tighter, as if preparing for a fight. The Marsh girl narrowed her eyes at the obvious paranoia.

“What do you want?” The younger girl snapped cautiously.

Richie held up his hands with a good natured grin. “Woah there cowgirl. We don’t bite. Except Maybe Eds here.” He pinched Eddie’s cheeks and grunted when the smaller threw an elbow into his gut.

“Beep beep Trashmouth.” The tiny brunette grumbled. He shot the girl an apologetic grin. “Ignore him, he likes to run his mouth.”

“You love my mouth!” Richie declared and Bev cackled when her best friend threw both elbows into Richie’s gut with much more force than earlier. Bill giggled when Richie wheezed and bent further over Eddie, still grinning.

The young girl looked even more confused than earlier, if not a little scared. Bev noticed this and was quick to reassure her of their sanity. Throwing a hand over Richie’s mouth to stop him from speaking anymore and said, “Don’t worry about him, he likes to talk. We just wanted to ask a quick question.”

“What’s his problem?” The girl asked eyeing Richie carefully. Eddie giggled at her and even Bev laughed too.

“He was dropped on his head as a child.” Stan deadpanned, and pointed to each of them saying, “I’m Stan. That’s Richie, Eddie, Bev, Ben, Bill, and Mike.”

“I’m Max.” She told them a little more easy with them. “What did you need?”

“W-We wanted to know what time the mall opened. We’re new here and need to feed Eddie before he kills someone.”

Bev laughed and could tell the Max was unsure if they were joking or not. The expression on Eddie’s face didn’t help with it. She could also tell Bill was enjoying messing the redhead teen and so she slapped his arm lightly.

“It opens early on weekends.” She told them. “Around seven I think.”

Mike gave her a bright, blinding grin and thanked her kindly. “Thank you so much! We appreciate it and hope you have a good day!”

Max couldn’t help but smile back at the friendly boy and waved before going back to her place on the other bench, several feet away. Bev watched her leave with curious eyes. Max had relaxed a lot around Mike, as if he reminded her of someone. But she had continuously stared at Richie. Her face was riddled with confusion everytime she eyed him and had looked completely shocked when he first looked at the lanky guy.

“Why do you have to scare people?” Stan sighed when Max had fully sat down on her bench.

“It’s not my fault my face intimidates people.” Richie defended confidently.

“Maybe that means you need to get plastic surgery.” Bill joked and laughed when Richie cried out protests. Bev watched them bicker with fond eyes. Her boys may fight but she could see the twinkle in Stan’s eyes and the smile on Eddie’s face.

“I feel like we’re going to be seeing her a lot more than we anticipated.” She announced to them. And she knew they felt it too.

Chapter Text

Max Mayfield was having a weird day.

First she had to sneak out or the house before Billy and her stepdad caught her. It wasn’t an easy task. Neil had to get up early for work despite it being summer and Billy had been keeping a close eye on her. Why? She didn’t know and she didn’t want to find out. All she wanted to do was hang out with her friends in Mike’s basement away from the heat.

Then when she got to the bus stop it was quiet as it usually was in the morning. It may have been summer but it was still a small town and adults usually worked in the morning while kids slept. They were only two people with her and she enjoyed the quiet. And then ten minutes later it was interrupted. A group of seven teens came strolling down the sidewalk laughing loudly and talking wildly. They were distinct she noticed. People that would have been easily recognizable. So there was no they had lived here. Their roles were obvious too.

Max observed the way they interacted. There was a tall brunette who sat in the middle of them. He held an air of confidence and was most likely the leader. The one who’s legs he sat between was a curly haired blonde. He was stoic and from his position she guessed he was second in command. There was a heavyset sandy haired kid next to him. He was built with muscle but he had a nice face and a bright smile. Max guessed he was the voice of reason. In front of him was a redhead girl, like her. She looked strong and confident from the way she glared at the man who sat next to Max.

If she had to guess, he was glaring at either the black male or the two in front of him. The black kid had an aura around him that just radiated kindness. He had an easy going smile and regularly checked on his friends. The other were what really drew her attention. They were opposites. The small one was sitting in the others lap. Which meant they were either incredibly close or in the most likely case...dating.

The small guy kind of intimidated her. He had what Dustin called a “Resting Bitch Face”. He was tan and lean but his legs looked as though he could kill someone, they were strong, like he ran a lot. He was tan with wavy hair that curled on the ends. He would occasionally reach behind him to pinch or elbow the man he sat on. He was a keeper if she had to guess. He would bark at the one he sat on and the redhead. He even would lightly hit their leader with no consequence so it just further proved her theory.

The guy who’s lap he sat on was odd. More so than the rest of them. He was lanky and pale with huge glasses but he had a hidden strength to him. He was the loudest of them and she could hear the jokes he made. They were crude but even she found herself smiling at them. The woman next to was a little more obvious about her glee at the teen. He had his arms around the small boy and grinned even when he was elbowed or pinched, as if his irritation brought him joy. Or maybe he just knew something Max didn’t. From where she sat she couldn’t fully see his face but he looked so familiar.

The group together radiated something. They were unsettling and even though the majority of them looked joyful and happen, there was a hidden undertone to them. As if nothing could stop them and they had no problem kicking the shit out of you.

She was even more suspicious of them when the lanky one called her over with a weird nickname. He was grinning at her while the majority of the other looked apologetic, but the redhead was grinning right with him. Max was fascinated by the way the opposite boys bickered back and forth. She stood still for a moment as she stared at the lanky teen. He looked like Mike. Like Mike Wheeler. The same face shape but so much more mature. Same face shape, same eye shape. What the actual fuck.

They asked Max where the mall was and that proved her theory that they were not from Hawkins. She had only been here for a little over a year and she already knew the town of Hawkins like the back of her hand. So she let them bicker for a little and then introduce themselves and then introduced herself. She watched them bicker even through her explanation and even when she waved them off they kept continuing through their laughing and talking.

When the bus arrived she was torn between ignoring them and approaching them. Luckily she didn’t have to make that decision as the loudest of the bunch, now known as Richie, called her over with a crooked grin and a nickname that still didn’t make sense to her. The group sat in the very back of the bus, away from everyone. Once again they chattered loudly and she could hear the lewd jokes from the front. Max could see the dirty looks the people on the bus shot the seven teens but she noticed how they ignored them, as if they were used to it.

“Hey there Mini Marsh!” He exclaimed. The shaggy haired Mike look alike had the small one on his lap again- Eddie. The black one, Mike, was on the seat in front of them with a kind smile that was infectious and had her smiling back.

“Ignore him.” The girl told her with a sly grin. She sat next to the big one, Ben. They sat across from Mike, Eddie, and Richie with Bill in Stan in the seat in front of them, next to Mike’s seat. Bill, like Mike, turned around in his seat so he could see them but Stan faced the front, pulling a book from the bag. “He talks a lot.”

“I can see that.” Max replied dryly. “Got anywhere I can sit?”

“Come sit with me Mini Marsh!” Mike smiled and gestured towards the open spot next to him. Max was a little hesitant but sat down next to the taller male anyway. He was nice and despite the odd feeling to him like the rest of them, he also radiated a calm feeling to him that had her relaxing into her seat a little.

“How ya doing Mini Marsh?” Richie asked brightly. She sat on the edge of her seat, like she was on the school bus to see them better. The group, minus Stan were smiling at her in a friendly manner.

She scowled at him and huffed, “That’s not my name you know.”

“Oh he knows.” Bill assured lightly, “He j-just doesn’t care.”

Max noticed immediately that each of them had their little ticks and quirks. Bill stuttered every once in a while, Stan kept his face blank, Ben rubbed a spot on his stomach in intervals. Bev held her fingers like she was reaching for a cigarette, Eddie was twitchy and tapped his fingers on his legs and darted his eyes around the bus in paranoia. Richie was loud. As if he thought that if stopped talking, then no one would remember him.

“It’s best if you go with it.” Eddie said wryly, “He doesn’t really stop.”

“You know you love me Eds.” Richie teased slyly. He pulled the smaller boy closer to him with a crooked smile.

Eddie rolled his eyes and sighed, “Biggest mistake of my life.”

Richie cried out indignantly while the others laughed. Max stared at the two in awe. She grew up in California where things were a little more liberal and had nothing wrong with gay people. But she was in awe at how confident the two were with themselves. There was no way it was easy for them to open about it. She could see the way they didn’t give a shit what she thought. Bev caught her eye stared at her for a little, like she was waiting for her to say something.When she didn’t the older redhead smiled and winked at her.

“You from here Max?” Mike asked next to her.

She looked at him over her shoulder and answered, “California.”

“Why so you pale then?” Richie asked and Max couldn’t tell if he was being serious or if he was fucking with her. “Is it because you’re-”

Stan cut him off with a deep exasperated sigh and rolled his eyes. “Beep beep Richie.”

“You can’t beep me yet!” Richie squawked, “I haven’t said it yet!”

“I know where you were going with it. You know I do.” Stan told him staring the taller man dead in the eyes. Max watched as the two looked to be having a mental conversation with only their eyes. After a few moments Richie grinned like a mad man and Stan gagged. She looked at him bewildered. What the fuck was going on with these people.

“You guys aren’t from here are you?” She questioned the seven teens. They looked at each other for a moment as if wondering whether or not they should answer.

“No. We’re not.” Ben answered her with a forced smile, “We’re from Maine.”

“Holy shit!” Max exclaimed, “Did you guys fly here?”

“Nope.” Eddie chirped, “I was stuck in a car with these mother fuckers for eighteen hours.”

“They tried to leave me at a gas station.” Richie told her.

“You kept doing the British Voice!” Bill defended.

Richie looked offended with what Bill was saying and shouted, “It’s a classic Dickwad!”

Max sunk in her seat when several people turned to glare at them. Bev and Eddie just returned the glares with even harder eyes. The people staring turned back around like scolded children. She was shocked at how fast the two could get people to bend to their will with just a look.

“Why’d you leave?” She asked them carefully.

“We were going to get killed before we could leave college because people can’t handle two boys kissing.” Stan told her without looking up from his book.

“Stan!” Ben hissed with shocked eyes. Max stared at the blonde haired boy with wide eyes. Stan was so blunt with his answer and it left her speechless.

“Well he’s not wrong.” Eddie retorted with a shrug of his shoulders. Ben gasped like an offended old lady and Eddie cackled at the distress on the larger boy’s distress.

The bus came to a stop and Max jolted in her seat at the abrupt stop of it. She had been so focused on watching the group in fascination at the way they interacted with each other. She looked out the window to see the mall.

“This is your guys’ stop.” She informed them. She moved out of the way to let Mike out. The group of teens continued to bicker even as they exited, barely sparing her a glance beside a smile and a wave goodbye.

Bev was the last one out and she called over her shoulder, “Look forward to seeing you again Mini Me!”

The younger redhead spent the rest of the bus with wide eyes as she thought over what Beverly had said. The older woman had sounded so sure that she would be seeing Max again. She continued to think over the group of teens. They were so odd. Something she hadn’t ever seen in people before despite knowing El. They had a feeling to them that was similar to her friend. They radiated the same otherworldly strength, but instead of being quiet about it like El, the group of seven used that to their advantage. Max remembered the pure hatred that Beverly and Eddie had in their eyes when people looked at their friends in irritation. As if it was something they used to take but now had no problem telling someone to fuck off.

When she reached her stop, Lucas was waiting for her. She hopped off the steps and took her hand in his. She ran in the direction of the Wheeler house, ignoring Lucas’ yelp.

When he finally got her to stop she panted, “I gotta tell you guys who I just met on the bus.”

Chapter Text

Bill liked to think he was a pretty good leader.

He was never quite sure how he had been appointed the leader of their little group but he tried his best. He tried to make sure the situations they got into weren’t going to end in death and didn’t end in Bev or Eddie killing someone either (It had gotten really close in certain occasions). He made sure everyone was safe and that there was no outside forces that could harm them.

So the minute they entered the Star Court mall Bill was on guard. He could see the way Eddie and Bev did too. Bev walked in front of him like a shield and Ben didn’t look upset by his girlfriend not walking with him, he looked proud. Bill thought it made sense. WIth Bev’s ability she would be their best bet at stopping any force. Eddie walked behind them which made even more sense. Richie pouted a little at how far away was from Eddie, but Bill knew he understood. If anyone broke free of Bev then Eddie could get them out fast or find a location that would be so hidden they could be essentially invisible.

“What’s our first stop Bill?” Bev called over her shoulder as she looked around the surroundings. She was cautious. It was understandable of her. They were in a new environment and there was no one recognizable and he knew they felt it too. This town had something odd to it. It had a history. A dark one. It was nowhere as dark and hideous as Derry but it wasn’t pretty.

“F-Food is first. Then we can start the hunt for a j-job.” Bill told them. “Bev I need you to make sure they’re all here. I want us to be able to get to each other fast.”

“Can do boss man.” Bev winked with a two fingered salute.

“Eddie take l-lead I want you to take us to the vacant restaurant b-big or small.” Bill knew he sounded a bit like a drill sergeant but he wanted to keep his family safe. He needed them cared for. And if that meant sounded like an army man he’d do it.

“You got it.” Eddie nodded and switched places with Beverly. He stepped up next to Bill and linked arms with the taller brunette, helping guide him towards the stairs. “Second floor is a food court. It’s early so several tables are open. Empty corner tables secluded and isolated.”

“G-Good jobs Eds.” He told the other gratefully as they stood on the escalators.

Eddie rolled his eyes but said, “I’ll let that slide but only because I’m feeling nice.”

“You laughed when Richie fell in the parking lot like five minutes ago.” Mike chuckled. Beverly let out loud laughter at the memory. Mike chuckled along with her. Richie hissed and rubbed his knee, as if just the memory brought him pain.

“As I said, I’m in a good mood.” Eddie retorted. Richie squawked in disbelief and they had to wait a moment at the top of the stairs as Beverly and Mike wheezed and doubled over with laughter. Stan shook his head and sighed in disbelief at the scene they were making.

“Alright you buffoons. Move away from the stairs and decide what you want to eat.” Stan corralled them into the food court. Eddie led the group of seven to a table in a quiet corner away from the majority of the people in the room. They pulled over another table to fit all seven of them and several people around them cringed at the sound of metal screeching on tile.

“Chinese or Indian?” Ben asked them and Bill was grateful. He knew if they looked at all their options they would be there for an hour just waiting for Richie, Bev, and Mike to make a decision. So thankfully Ben cut down their options to two.

There was a group agreement on Chinese but now they had to get someone to order. Fortunately, before the yelling could start Stan stood up. He looked over them and said, “Richie no mom jokes, Bev I know you don’t like egg rolls, Mike I’m sure they have vegan options, and Eddie I can get extra chow mein.”

Richie pointed an accusing finger as Stan walked away and screeched in a Scottish Voice, “Get out of my head you witch!”

Stan threw him the finger over his shoulder and Bev cackled at Richie’s offended face. Eddie sighed deeply and gently pulled Richie’s hand down, “Okay Chee, let’s not cause another scene.”

“You are absolutely no fun Baby.” The taller pouted like a child. Eddie took one look and rolled his eyes. But he still kissed Richie’s cheek apologetically. Bill watched as Richie’s face lit up and a toothy grin spread across his face.

“W-We have to be careful.” Bill said seriously. “I don’t know what it is about this town b-but it’s w-wrong.”

“I thought I was the only one…” Mike mumbled with a solemn expression.

“No, not the only one.” Eddie told them, leaning into Richie, “The feeling is strong. Nowhere near as strong as Derry, but it’s there.”

“I wouldn’t touch anything yet.” Stan warned as he walked to them, balancing trays in his hands. “I looked in Max’s head for precaution and-”

Bev laughed and Bill facepalmed. “D-Did you really have to do that?” He asked his boyfriend as he sat down next to him. Stan gave him a hard look and the brunette raised his hands in surrender. Bev and Eddie giggled at the obvious whipped nature Bill displayed.

“We are in an unknown area that seems to have a dark history and people that are already displaying a disliking towards us.” Stan retorted and took out his chopsticks. The food was passed around the table and all listened intently to Stan and Bill.

“What was in Maxy girl’s head?” Richie asked with noodles still in his mouth.

Stan looked at pointedly and Richie quickly slurped them up before Stan answered. “She like most people thought we were unsettling, but she also thought the feeling was familiar.”

“Familiar?” Ben asked nervously. Bev rubbed his back comfortingly and Bill even reached across to rub the larger boy’s hand. Bill felt upset. He had convinced his friends to come here. To come to this place. A place that reminded them of Derry.

Stan slapped the back of his head and growled, “Don’t even think of blaming yourself you idiot.” Bill rubbed the back of his head sheepishly, but gestured for him to continue. “As I was saying. She thought the little ‘aura’ we emit felt familiar. Like she knew someone similar. Someone like us.”

“There are others?” Mike asked in awe.

Stan shrugged his shoulders. “Logically we can’t be the only ones. If this town had something similar to It, then it might’ve brought something out in someone like it did to us.”

Beverly nodded along and placed her chopsticks down. “If Eddie can find her again I can do my thing.”

Bill shook his head, and said, “I don’t want you to do anything invasive yet. Let’s see if we can find out anything without causing issues first.”

“Might not be possible Billy Boy.” Richie disagreed. “If it’s anything like It, it could happen to this town again.”

“I would've seen something.” Ben informed them. Bill had to agree with him. The town of Hawkins had an off feeling to it, but it felt as though whatever had been here was gone. Faint enough to tell it was recent but also that it was nowhere near them. Not like Derry where they could still feel It’s presence beneath their feet, sleeping in pain.

“W-We have to be careful the first few weeks.” Bill warned. “I don’t think we should go alone anywhere yet.”

“So what do we do first Boss Man?” Eddie asked with raised brows.

“B-Bev is going to go with Ben to get us jobs. Stan, Mike, and I will go around town. I want Mike to find where the feeling is the strongest and I want Stan to look through the minds of anyone who won’t talk. Richie and Eddie need to go inform his aunt we’re here.” Bill informed them, the plan in his mind playing out already.

“Why do we need to do that?” Richie whined in confusion.

“If anything does happen, we need to establish relationships with people here so we can have someone to help us in emergencies.” Stan told him, catching onto Bill’s plan.

“I’m going with you Chee. You won’t have to do it alone.” Eddie comforted. Bill knew exactly what Richie was thinking, But he’d let Eddie handle it.

“Finish eating, then split up.” Bill said. There were murmurs of understanding and the Losers dug into their food.

As Bill watched his friends smile and laugh together he prayed he made the right decision.

Chapter Text

Mike Wheeler was pissed and he liked to think he had a good reason to be.

His mom about a weeks ago, had decided to tell them at dinner, that they would be having her sisters son stay with them for summer. The whole summer. Mike didn’t remember much about his cousin only that his name was Richie, he was his sisters age and he wore glasses.

Nancy however remembered him very well. Even though she still wasn’t the closest with her brother, she still look the time to tell him about Richie. According to her the last time she had seen him was when they were eight and she was not a fan. She told him how in the first hour of him being in the Wheeler residence, he had shouted out words that no eight year old should know. Mike already hated him.

So now as he sat in his basement with Dustin and Will waiting for Lucas and Max he complained.

“She didn’t even give much of a warning.” Mike grumbled. “She just told us at dinner.”

“I don’t get what’s so bad about him.” Dustin said as he snacked on chips.

“Yeah.” Will agreed. “He can’t be that bad.”

“You should’ve heard how Nancy was talking about him. He’s like the worst person ever!” He snapped at his friend.

The curly haired boy raised his hands in surrender and retorted, “To be fair your sister hates everyone.”

Mike growled but gave no response. Dustin was right anyway. The only people Nancy didn’t hate were Johnathon and their mom and maybe him on a good day. He was pretty sure Dustin was higher up on her list than he was. Which was a little upsetting considering she wasn’t even related to Dustin.

“Where’s Lucas and Max? They should be here by now.” Mike complained, throwing himself onto the couch.

As if on cue, the backdoor was thrown open violently. Mike whipped his head around with a scowl to see Max standing in the doorway panting heavily with a determined and Lucas trying to catch his breath behind her.

“What the hell man?” Mike exclaimed. “That’s my door!”

“Your door is insignificant in this situation.” Max said firmly. She pulled Lucas down the steps behind her, ignoring her boyfriend’s yelps and protests. She pushed him down onto the couch next to Mike and then plopped down herself in between Will and Dustin.

“What’s so important?” Will asked looking back and forth between the two.

Mike agreed and growled, “What could possibly be more important than the well being of my door?!”

Max flipped him off but still explained. “I just had one of weirdest bus rides ever.”

“And why does this pertain to us?” Dustin drawled curiously.

“I’m getting there!” Max growled. “So I was waiting for the bus, and it’s usually quiet around this time but then these weirdos come out of nowhere!”

“What was so weird about them?” Lucas asked.

Max turned to him with a snarl on her face and he immediately backed up with raised hands.
“Shut up and let me talk! Anyway, they were all so different. There were seven of them and they were all about Nancy’s age, but only one of them was a girl. They were so fricken weird! And they reminded me of…”

Mike narrowed his eyes as she trailed off with a hesitant expression. “Reminded you of who Max?”

“Well uh, you know that feeling El gives off when she uses her powers?” Max stuttered out.

“What are you implying?” Mike asked suspiciously. He wasn’t liking where this was going and anything that had to do with girlfriend made him worried.

“They radiated that feeling.” Max finally breathed out. “At first it made me uneasy. There was just something so weird about them. But then they started talking to me and it sort of made them a little more human I guess you could say. I have to say though Richie and Beverly were probably my favorite of them.”

Mike shot up at the name, drawing the attention of the others. “Did you just say ‘Richie’?”

“Uh yeah...Why?” The redhead looked a little hesitant at his sudden interest but he had to be sure. And he didn’t like where it was going.

“That’s my cousin!” He finally answered with a sneer. He threw himself back onto the couch with a groan. He thought he had at least another day before Richie showed up. And now he brought friends?! “You said there were seven of them?”

“Yeah. six guys and one girl. They were so different.”

Will hummed curiously and questioned, “How different were they?”

“They moved like a pack of animals.” Max informed them.

“What the hell does that mean?!” Dustin moaned in exasperation and confusion.

“I mean they had an obvious leader. This stuttering guy named Bill. The redhead chick and the small one looked like they could kill someone despite how short they were. Like some guardians. They’re names were Eddie and Beverly.”

“Wow…” Dustin murmured. “What about the others?”

Max grinned and continued. “There was this curly haired one, Stan was his name, I think. He was blunt and took no shit. It was kind of funny. The other two were like literal sun. The black one his name was Mike, and he literally radiated happiness. It was like you couldn’t not smile when around him. The other one was huge! Like pure muscle. But he acted like a little puppy!”

“Two Mikes!” Lucas exclaimed in shock. “What are we supposed to do about that?!”

Mike ignored him in favor of asking, “What about Richie?”

“He’s one of the weirdest people I have ever met.” Max said simply. “I mean all of them loved to curse they were worse than Dustin, but he said ‘fuck’ like 15 times in five minutes. He liked dick jokes too.”

Mike hadn’t even met his cousin yet and he already hated him. Mike had nothing against cursing but Richie just sounded annoying and Mike wanted nothing to do with that. He wanted to spend his summer with his friends uninterrupted by some random teenager who had no business in his life. Richie had no business in Mike’s home and if he had to argue with his mother about it then he would.

The group of kids turned their heads towards the stairs when Nancy came barreling down them. Her hair wasn’t in her usual well kept look and she had an irritated expression on her face. She took one look at them and all she said was, “He’s here.”

They exchanged looks and then scrambled after Nancy as she went back up the stairs. They were pushing and shoving to get to the top first. But no Mike. Mike did not want to see his cousin or have to communicate with him. Unfortunately for him, Will was pulling him up the stairs by his sleeve.

The group of kids and Nancy finally made it to the living room where a tall, shaggy haired teen and Mike’s mother stood. His grin was wide and his glasses were crooked. His long arm was thrown over another teen nearly half his height with brown hair and a mean stare but for some reason Mike’s sister Holly was on his hip.

The lanky guy looked over them and shouted,“Hey there kiddos! How ya doing?!”

God Mike wanted to fucking kill him.

Chapter Text

Mike Hanlon was always sensitive.

Not in the sense that he was emotional, but more in the sense that he was able to feel things most didn’t. He was always able to get a sense for what people were feeling. For a while he thought he was good at reading body language, but he could never tell when someone was lying like people who read body language could.

There was also the fact that even before It, he knew something was wrong with Derry. The whole town had always made him uneasy. When he was a child certain spots made him panic and start to cry. Over the years he grew out of it, but he still stayed away from storm drains. They filled his chest with dread and six years ago it all made sense. The feeling of fear made sense when he saw It for the first time.

After that day, the sensitivity was amped up. The feelings and emotions of others felt tangible, like he could touch and hear them. For the longest time, the emotions were overwhelming and he’d have to isolate himself to stop feeling other people’s anger and depression. It took awhile for him to realize that he could pull on the emotions. He found out when Stan had his monthly panic attack. He felt the anxiety and it destroyed him how much pain his friend was in and he wanted it to go away. So he grabbed that feeling (not physically) and pulled. He watched the way Stan sagged in relief and stared up at him in awe.

Mike felt the change in his friends as well. It was gradual like his own. It took a little over a month for all of them to grow into this… thing. None of them knew what it was only that it showed up after It was gone. Mike never felt anything like it. As he grew older, emotions became visible. Some were obvious. Red for anger, Blue for sadness. But some were obscure and he had to learn what these colors meant. His friends exuded an aura that comforted him, but made other people unsettled. As they grew older the cloud around them grew. Sometimes if he looked hard enough there was a glow to his friends. So they made a name for it. He called it shining.

Mike’s gift became a different kind of weapon. Because while Eddie kept them on paths clear of anger and enemies, Mike was the one who told him what to look for. Mike noticed them some of their gifts overlapped in some way or complimented each other well. It’s why they always went places in pairs of groups. It was never exclusive to couples, just anyone free or willing to go with you.

It’s why he understood why Bill split them up. He didn’t split them up based on their romances but based on their situation. Bev and Ben were perfect for getting jobs as Ben has a sweet and trusting demeanor while Bev’s gift was just what they needed. Richie and Eddie went to the Wheeler house because Eddie was the only one besides him who could pull Richie out of panic and Richie didn’t have great family experiences (not that any of them did). He knew that Bill wanted him to go with Stan and himself because the three worked well together for what they were about to do.

When he first looked around him out of the van, there was a mist covering everything. It wasn’t thick like it was in Derry, but there were trails of it, like the ends of shooting stars, just a bit more sinister. Mike was the one who could follow the trails. He’d find the strongest point of that cloud that covered the whole town and let Bill take a look at it. Bill would be able to find what the cause of the cloud was, it was what Bill did. And while Stan was no Eddie, he would be able to tell if someone was following them or trying to cause issues. They tended to get themselves in trouble with little to no effort.

Mike led the trio through the town following the trails. Some of them were faint and had no end to them but there were a least a dozen ones that were distinct and had an obvious end. And most of them cut through the woods, so he sighed deeply and picked one that avoided the ominous forest. He led the other two down the streets in comfortable silence and yet there was a feeling of anxiety radiating off of them.

They followed the trail until Mike tore his eyes off the dark dust and his breath hitched. The three of them froze at the sight. The trail ended at a middle school. There was one thing the Losers shared in common and that was being able to sense death. It was an odd thing for them to share but Mike chalked it up to the experiences they shared. They didn’t figure out what it was until they stood outside of a crime scene.

In true Derry fashion, a black shopkeeper had been murdered in a hate crime. The sight of it made Mike sick to his stomach, but at the same time he was so desentized to the hatred and gore of it all. In the past, they wouldn’t have stopped, Derry was famous for it’s high crime rate. But the seven stopped their bikes outside of the store when there was a cold feeling running over them. Mike had shivered and was shocked when his friends did the same thing. When the medics rolled out a body bag, the cold followed it. They were smart and they figured out quickly what that meant.

Mike remembered Richie coming up with the idea to sneak back into the empty store. They were all curious after that night, and that morbid fascination was what led to Eddie crawling his way through a vent and unlocking the door for them (Mike wishes it was uncommon for Eddie to do that). The police hadn’t bothered cleaning anything besides blood and brain matter up, so the floor was littered with glass and stands were knocked over. The place was one giant cold spot that reeked of death, confirming their suspicions. Despite the callous and “no bullshit” attitude of Bev, she suggested they clean the place up. None of them besides Eddie and Stan were fond of cleaning, but they also had a past that made it hard for them to not feel bad for people who died in such a horrible way. The store was clean but the death that happened it would forever be ingrained in their minds.

The school in front of them was normal except for the fact that there was the presence of death coming from it. It was faint and not overwhelming but it was still there. They wanted to investigate but the campus was filled with kids running across the asphalt and conversing outside. It was most likely summer school which made it impossible for them to go in without being seen.

“What the fuck did we get ourselves into?” Stan whispered into the air with his normally blank eyes widened just a fraction. Mike would never have noticed it if he hadn’t known his friend for five years.

“T-To be fair, it’s an old school s-so it might not be related.” Bill said, but he sounded as if he himself didn’t believe it.

“This town is still safer than Derry, despite it’s past.” Mike shrugged, “We’ve come this far, we can’t like a little death deter us.”

Stan sighed but agreed. “Can’t argue with that. Alright Mike, find a different place. One we can get in without drawing attention.”

“There’s one close to us…” He trailed off with an apologetic expression.

Stan narrowed his eyes at him and asked in a dangerously calm voice. “Why are you hesitating?”

“Well uh, it leads into the woods.” Mike admitted in a wince.

Stan sighed deeply and Bill turned around throwing his hands into the air. The brunette shouted, “F-Fuck me! Nope! Not happening!”

“I’m in love with a child.” Stan muttered, looking up at the sky as if begging God for some type of help. “Let’s just get this over with before I lose it.”

Mike chuckled but led them along anyway. They crossed the school’s parking lot, heading for the trees.They tried to be as inconspicuous as possible so they didn’t look like creepy teen spying on kids. The trail got thicker and thicker the further they ventured into the trees and the dried leaves cracked beneath their feet. The once comfortable silence became tense. Bill had his hands shoved deep into his pockets with his back hunched, Stan had his arms crossed around his torso tightly, as if to hug himself. Mike wanted to wrap his friends in a blanket of comfort, but he couldn’t do that when he himself was anxious, all he would do is make it worse.

“It’s coming to an end.” Mike told them when he noticed the smoke was fading out. They walked a bit faster until they came to a stop in front of-

“A tree?” Bill asked, puzzled. “W-What the fuck?”

They stared at the tree in front of them. It looked normal but the death coming off of it was staggering. Bill and Stan grimaced but Mike’s sensitivity made it feel like he was choking on it. It didn’t feel like it was coming around the tree, it felt like it was coming from inside the tree.

“Are you sure this is the right spot?” Stan questioned Mike dubiously.

He raised an eyebrow at his blonde friend with a strained smile. “You doubting my abilities?”

Stan chuckled and answered, “Never. I guess it’s your turn Bill.”

“G-G-Goddamn it.” Bill muttered. He pulled his hands from his pockets to reveal a pair of leather gloves on his hands. He used his left hand to pull the glove off of his right hand. He hesitated for a second before taking a deep breath and reaching out for it. His hands was inches away frm the rough bark and then-

“What the hell are you three doing?”