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Stanley Uris and the United Galactic Federation

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“The people in this photo look sort of sad. Not that they’re frowning, but their eyes say they’re not having a good time.” Stanley Uris chuckled at his wife’s commentary, adding, ”Make sure you pick a resort that has happy people, good-looking food, and bottomless drinks dove.” Patty made a noise of affirmation at him, continuing to browse different resorts from her spot at the kitchen bar. Stan continued putting together his puzzle on the coffee table in the living room; 1000 pieces and he only had 37 left to go. “I think I found the one. The reviews say that it’s very open for people who want to swing, but very discrete in its handling. And yes, love, they have bottomless drinks. Should I book it?”
“It’s summer; why not?” Stan replied absent-mindedly, reaching for his ringing phone. He frowned at the number, the area code coming from Maine, his stomach sinking as he answered. And then the memories came back.
Things after that went much the same. Stan kissed his wife passionately on the mouth before telling her he was going to write up some business and take a bath. Patty smiled at him and continued planning for their vacation. Stan wrote letters for each of the Losers, tears forming in his eyes as he thought about how he wouldn’t be able to see their happy endings, before starting the water. His body went through the motions of stripping out of his clothes and grabbing the straight razor from the right-hand drawer. He neatly folded his clothes and set them on the counter and sank into the water. He thought of Bill and the promise he made to him and set to put the razor against his wrist when he heard Patty coming up the stairs. Frantically, he stuffed the razor underneath his clothes and sat back down, trying to calm his racing heart as his wife opened the door.
“Honey your phone was ringing, so I answered and they said they had to talk to you about your business trip tonight?” Patty’s eyes searched his for an answer as she handed him the phone; it wasn’t like Stan to forget to tell her things. Automatically, he smiled at her, “I’m sorry dove, I was trying to get out of going, but I guess it didn’t work. I better take this.” Worries placated, Patty kissed her husband on the temple and left the bathroom, shutting the door behind her. As she left, Stan’s smile turned into a frown as he put the phone to his ear, “Stanley Uris.”
“Seems like you’ve got a problem on your hands Agent Uris,” said the voice from the phone, ”not to worry. I’m picking you up in 10 and we’ll head to Maine.”
“How did you know about Derry?”
“We’ve been worried about Maine for a few months now. We had heard of a disturbance in the 80’s, but by the time we got there, it had quieted down. Now, it seems to have picked back up again and we are determined to figure out what is going on. Any more questions Stanny?”
“A request to stop calling me that comes first. Is your dog coming?”
“Of course! If I leave him home alone he gets into the coffee.” With a final click, the conversation ended there. Stan got the straight razor from beneath his clothes and held it in his hands for a long moment. With a grimace, he got up out of the bath and put it away in its drawer, then got dried off and started to pack.
“Do you know when you’ll be back? This is such short notice,” Patty said as she packed Stan’s bathroom bag (best to let Stan do his own shirts she had found through their several years of dating and marriage). “No dove, I’m sorry I don’t. You might want to cancel our trip tonight, that way we can get the deposit back.” She hummed in agreement, making sure to keep his toothbrush in a separate bag away from the toothpaste so it wouldn’t get slimy if it broke open. Stan sighed as he got the text confirming that his ride was out front. “I really am sorry Patty. I really didn’t want to take this trip.” Patty smiled and kissed him on the cheek, “Make it up to me when you get back.” Stan smiled down at her and hugged her quickly before grabbing his bags and making his way out the door, “anything I can give to you, I will.” Patty blew a kiss at him before shutting the door behind him.
Stan’s smile slid off his face as he made his way to the car. The driver’s side window rolled down, revealing what looked to be a small blue dog wearing sunglasses at the wheel. “Stupidhead,” it grumbled at him. With a roll of his eyes, he tossed his stuff in the backseat and slid in beside it. “Yes, nice to see you again as well you demented dog.” The girl in the passenger seat giggled out a laugh, turning in her seat to catch his eye. “One of these days you’ll learn to get along with each other Stanny.” After triple-checking that he was buckled in, Stan raised an eyebrow at her, “and one of these days you’ll learn to call me by my proper name, Lilo.” Lilo laughed again as Stitch started the long drive to Derry, Maine.

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“I’m leaving.” Stanley announces to the five Losers gathered around him, though there had once been seven, people moving out of Derry like Stan had reduced their numbers.

“You’ve got to be fucking kidding Stanley-”

“Stan the Man gets off a bad one that isn’t fucking funny-”

“Oh Stan, that’s awful-”

Stan ignores the three that are speaking over each other and locks eyes with the one whose reaction actually matters. Bill Denbrough frowns deeply. Stan hates the crinkle that develops in between his brows when he gets so serious, but knows that this just means Bill is thinking of what to say.

“I’ll m-m-miss you Stan,” the stuttering boy finally declares, looking him in the eye unashamed that his own eyes had started misting up. Stan sighed deeply and leaned himself against Bill’s shoulder (although Stan was pretty tall, Bill was still taller than him). He wished he didn’t know what would happen as soon as he moved. The remaining Losers in Derry would try to stay in contact with him, but no matter how hard they tried, he would eventually stop replying and they would lose touch; just like with Bev and Ben. Bill wrapped his arms around Stan tightly. “I w-w-wish you d-didn’t have to g-g-go.” The other Losers, Mike, Richie, and Eddie, surrounded Stan and joined in on the hug, finally realizing that this wasn’t a joke he was suddenly pulling. This was the last time in a long time Stan would feel loved.

 

Stan and his parents moved to New York City. Donald and Andrea Uris decided that although Stan didn’t want to go to a special school, that the public schools in New York City just weren’t right for their precious boy and sent him to a private school. Stan had really wished they had sent him to a religious school instead because he was bullied terribly until his classmates figured out how good he was at hitting a baseball. He went on to join the team and although he didn’t make any friends, he finally stopped getting the shit kicked out of him after school.

 

After he graduated, he was lucky enough to get an academic scholarship to New York University where he majored in accounting. Sometimes, he could almost hear someone’s voice joking about his choice in career, but he could never quite put his finger on who it could be. College was very different from high school. He probably could have made friends, but he got so anxious. He used to think about a big group of friends and how loving that would feel, but then he thought about how isolating and terrifying it would be if they just abandoned you for no reason. No, Stan decided, friends were overrated. After a terrible freshman year with a roommate who constantly had girls over despite never picking up his unwashed underwear, Stan became a resident assistant which came with a nice private room and a nice private office. Of course, it was really only the size of a toddler shoebox, but anything away from people was okay with Stan.

 

Sometimes Stan walked the city at night. Generally, the streets he went on were too busy for anyone to mug him or beat him up, but one night in the winter of 1997, the street he was on was deserted. Stan started mumbling bird names to himself, a calming tactic he had used ever since he was a kid, but somehow a more terrible feeling came over him as he did that. He suddenly remembered, with an ache in his heart, that once he had been reciting bird names and he was terrified, but of what? And as Stan tried to remember, he happened to glance into an alley where the strangest thing was happening, and the memory went away like a puff of smoke.

 

In the back of an alley, several feet behind the standard dumpster and building light, was a small girl who looked very young. She had tan brown skin and her long, black hair was pulled into a ponytail. With her, was what looked like a blue dog. Of course, Stan reasoned, there’s nothing weird about dying your dog (at least not in New York), but the dog seemed to have six legs and antennas. Even more curious is that both girl and dog were fighting with what looked like a small, orange t-rex with a gun that shot green flames. The dog was using all of its legs trying to keep the flames away from the girl, but it looked to be getting dire. Stanley had a choice to make: he could walk away and pretend he had never seen this or he could be brave and save a young girl and her dog. Without acknowledging that this felt like deja vu, Stan picked up a pipe that had been leaning against the dumpster. With quick, quiet steps, he entered the alley behind the monster and swung the pipe with a calm, practiced swing. The monster went down, stunned, which allowed the girl to shoot what looked like an intense fishing net out of a gun. The dog put out the flames, while the girl turned to look at her savior. Stan quickly realized she was confused to how a thin, lanky man in a yarmulke could take down this creature. He set down the pipe and she nodded slowly.

“What’s your name,” she asked him as she fiddled with the watch on her wrist.

“Stanley Uris,” he mumbled, “and you?”

The dog finally put out all the fires and walked over on two legs, casually nodding at Stan, and saying, “Stitch.” With that, Stanley sat down on the filthy ground of the city alleyway, his head going into his hands.

“Woah, woah, Stanny, you’re alright,” said Lilo’s calm voice from above him, but he didn’t bother looking up. He heard a ringing noise, an exasperated “finally!” that he thinks came from Stitch, and Lilo says, “This is Agent Pelekai. Rogue Guard has been captured, but we had civilian assistance. Permission to give the ‘you were never here’ talk in a nearby safehouse?” Lilo eventually got Stan up on his feet, leading him to a dingy coffee shop around the corner. She sat him down in one of the armchairs in the corner, commanded Stitch to watch out for him, and went to go get some coffee. Looking around the coffeeshop, Stan noticed that not all the patrons looked human. With that, Stan decided he was dreaming. With this decision made, he started laughing uproariously, disturbing many of the patrons, but Lilo talked them down from kicking him out. She sent Stitch to find out why he was laughing. Stitch climbed into the chair beside him and faced him, a rather serious look on his face, “why are you laughing?” Stan managed to get his belly laugh down to a giggle and looked at Stitch, tears still streaming down his face, “because I’m in a dream where I saved a teenager and her ugly dog from a tiny t-rex and now I’m in a coffee shop with a bunch of weird-looking monsters!” Luckily for Stan, Lilo got to him before the rest of the patrons and hustled him to a backroom. She handed a grumbling Stitch a coffee cup and looked at Stan curiously. “You really think this is a dream?” Stan nodded, grinning like a loon. She smiled and punched him in the arm, which hurt really badly. Stan finally stopped laughing and looked to Lilo for answers, which she gave over the course of several hours. She explained all about her and Stitch’s past, Jumba and his experiments, and the United Galactic Federation (her employer). She explained that although she was young, she had been dealing with aliens since she was an even younger girl, and now she was an Earth Ambassador: someone who helped lost aliens, set aliens who came to Earth for vacation or immigration purposes to the right people and right places, and the big one- dealt with aliens that came to Earth for evil purposes (like the orange t-rex, apparently he was fleeing the scene of a violent beating that happened on another planet). Throughout her story, Stan was intrigued and terrified, but he hadn’t felt emotions big like that for a very long time. So, he asked if she needed any more help. And with a smile, Lilo welcomed him to her team (and then called and asked permission because not many people say no to Lilo).

 

About a year later, a few months after his graduation, he went with Lilo to Athens, Georgia, to help her escort a runaway alien teenager who wanted to experience a college party. He hadn’t found any accounting jobs in New York yet. He was trying to do things without the UGF helping him with their connections, but he was getting desperate. Stan had finally found the poor alien vomiting heavily into a bush and had set Lilo on the task of calming them down. Stitch, unfortunately for him, was used as a comfort object for this alien and was currently being hugged tightly by their third and fourth arms respectively (arms one and two were holding their wig back). He had been standing next to some smokers, weirdly comforted by the smell of cigarettes, when he heard an angry male yell. He turned and saw a young woman with a ponytail, probably in her freshman year of college, helping an obviously blackout drunk woman into the passenger seat of a car. Ponytail girl was obviously not expecting to come to this party tonight as she was in sweatpants, a hoodie, and a pair of Coke-bottle glasses, but to Stan, she was one of the most beautiful people he had ever seen. He was, however, still aware of the large, angry frat guy yelling at her, so he started making his way over. As he got closer, he caught what the man was yelling.

 

“We were having a good fucking time, I don’t see the fucking problem!” The woman’s voice was as cold as ice, quiet, and firm. “The problem Robert, is that Maggie almost certainly has alcohol poisoning and you have the chutzpah to try and get her into your room?” Stan knew this was hardly a time for smiling and hastened his step, but a beautiful Jewish woman who wasn’t afraid of standing up for her friends, well that was someone he needed to meet. “You should thank your God that she had friends who called me because if anything had happened to her-”

“She’s a fucking cocktease, she would have gotten what she deserved.”

The words actually stopped Stan in his tracks for a moment, he was shocked that someone could say that out loud. It shocked the woman to silence, but after a single moment, her eyes narrowed and she kneed the frat guy in the balls, dropping him to his knees. “You are a putz and you deserve so much more,” she said, getting in the driver’s side of the car. Stan quickly walked to the window and knocked on it. She narrowed her eyes at him, but cranked it down anyway. “Yes,” she asked. Stan didn’t think, he just spoke, “My name is Stanley Uris and you are one of the most beautiful and scary women I’ve ever laid my eyes on. I know you’re probably feeling very uncharitable about men right now, but that guy’s the biggest schmuck I’ve ever seen. I’d very much like to buy your breakfast tomorrow.” She looked Stan over, taking in his short, curly hair and the yarmulke sat on top of it, his kind eyes, the frown line already present at the sides of his thin lips, his crisply ironed button-down, and his impeccable khakis, before finally coming back up to those eyes. With still narrowed eyes, she gave Stan the name of a breakfast place and told him to meet her at 9’o’clock. After getting the alien teenager home (they were fine, though embarrassed), Lilo dropped him off at his hotel and he frantically showered and got ready for his date.

 

Their date was a dream. Stan learned that her name was Patricia Blum, but that made her sound like an old woman so she went by Patty. He learned that she was studying education, but she didn’t really want to be a teacher, she just knew that there were always teaching jobs available. Stan wasn’t sure how it was possible, but he felt like a piece of himself that he had locked away came out when he was with Patty. He ended up moving to Atlanta, Georgia, using the UGF contacts to help him find a good job so that he could be with Patty. After her graduation, they got married, which was the happiest day of Stan’s life (even though he felt like some people were missing at their happy event). Stan just knew that Patty was perfect for him in every way; life with her was always good and exciting and they spent many years together quite happily before they even really thought about bringing someone else into the bedroom. It was after yet another terrible LGBTQ-hate crime had happened in Atlanta when Patty caught Stan crying, sitting on their bed. Stan wasn’t terribly emotional she had come to find out as they had dated and through their married life, she had only seen him cry a few times (one of them being when they found out that there was no reason they shouldn’t be able to get pregnant).

 

“Stanley, what’s wrong?” He turned to her, wrapping his arms around her middle and crying into her stomach. She rubbed his back and let him cry it out, every so often dropping a kiss to his curls. Eventually, after Stan had stopped sniffling, he looked up at her and told her that he thought he liked women and men in a sexual way. Patty sat beside her husband on the bed and when he noticed that she hadn’t run from him in terror, he told her about the complicated feelings he was feeling. He had realized after a boy who looked like someone he once knew had been murdered, because he was terrified that it was them, but he realized it wasn’t when he heard their name later. Still, seeing the boy had awoken his memories of a boy with strong arms, full lips, and a way of talking that made people want to listen. Patty listened to all of his rambling and when he was done, she made gentle love to him. When they were finished, she assured him that he was her husband, no matter what, and if he wanted to explore that part of himself, then they would do that. The trip Patty had been planning would have placed them at a resort that was prided for its comfortable atmosphere for couples who wanted to swing or add some spice into their marriage, but a phone call from Derry put a stop to that.

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Stan stewed in his memories during the 21 hour trip to Derry, Maine. Was Beverly still as beautiful and as full of life as she was before? Was Ben still kind in his words and actions? Was Mike still soft-spoken with gentle hands? Eddie, still a tiny ball of rage or did he mellow out as he got older? Richie, Stan thought with a fond grin, was Richie still a pain in the ass with a wisecracking mouth? And Bill, he sighed, was he still handsome? Still a man who commanded attention and respect? Stan wasn't sure, and he really wasn't sure if he wanted to find out. After having all these memories reemerge, he was in a mix of emotions. He remembered what it felt like to be a part of The Loser’s Club, a group of friends who always had his back, except for the most important time they didn’t. Stan rubbed the side of his jaw, finally remembering how he had gotten the scars that wrapped around his face. He was not looking forward to facing Pennywise again, especially when he wasn’t at the fittest time of his life. Although Stan didn’t think he was fat, he was a long way from the athletic baseball player who used to kick alien ass; he was very firm in his belief that he had an accoutant bod (too skinny because no one breaks for lunch and a flat ass that’s torture to sit on until the clock finally hits 5). Stan snuck a glance at Lilo. When he had met her, she still had baby fat clinging to her face and her stomach, but now at 32, she looked rock solid. The legs she had kicked on the dash looked like they ran much more than Stan’s biweekly jog around his neighborhood. With another sigh, Stan looked back out the window, they were only an hour away and yet the distance between him and Maine seemed countries away.

Meanwhile, in the horrifying town of Derry, Maine, six long-lost friends bonded over Chinese food at Golden Lotus, not realizing just how terrifying their trip would be before the end.

Beverly gently drank her wine, lost in the feeling of finally knowing what her dreams were about. She tried to keep herself laughing at Richie’s jokes (that was my first date, Richie Tozier, she thought fondly), but her mind kept straying to the gruesome ways she had seen each and every one of them die.

Ben tried not to be obvious, but the woman of his dreams was sitting at this table with them and she had apparently been one of his best friends (my heart burns there too, but what comes after), but why couldn’t he remember?

Eddie hadn’t felt this alive in years! Finally, people he could argue with about anything and it was still a joke, not like with Myra. His eyes kept straying to the comedian, Richie. He had a certain energy that made Eddie believe that they had been very close once (cute, cute, cute, cute and hands pinching his cheeks), but did they always argue over stupid shit?

Richie kept his trashmouth speaking through the entire meal, making jokes and telling stories, because if he stopped he was afraid that he would grab Eddie and take him away from this hellhole of a town. He didn’t yet remember how important Eddie was to him, but the desire to protect him was still there (just look at me). Every time Eddie laughed at one of his jokes, it made Richie smile. And every time Eddie called him a mean name, it made him smile more. Richie didn’t yet remember the bridge, but every time he looked at Eddie, the tips of his ears grew hot.

Bill sat back, watching everyone talk and joining in when the occasion called for it, but he was waiting for something, or someone, though he wasn’t sure what. Something was definitely off with this town, but he wasn’t sure what. Mike kept looking at him when he thought Bill wouldn’t notice, but he noticed. He wondered why (look, you don’t have to come in with me).

Mike’s food tasted like ashes in his mouth. He knew that this would usually be a Friday treat when he had extra money, but knowing the reason he brought the Losers here made everything different. He had just wondered where Stan was when all hell broke loose.

Stan shot out of the car as soon as it stopped. “We’d have gotten here faster if you had followed my directions. I lived here for fifteen years of my life, surely I could find my way to the only ethnic restraunt in this stupid town,” he grumbled to Stitch (someone who after driving for over 21 hours, did not appreciate the sass). He stretched out his body, then tried to rub the wrinkles out of his clothes. “You look fine, Stanny,” Lilo said, getting out of the car herself. He sighed in irritation, “Stop calling me that. I’m already going to have to deal with Richie-” With a large smile, Stan abruptly cut off his sentence, “Richie! My friends! Let’s go!” Leaving Lilo behind, he walked briskly through the restaurant, something guiding him to the private backroom. He opened the door, hoping to see his friends happy and catching up, but instead saw them crying and looking terrified. With instincts sharpened by years of dealing with alien criminals, Stan ducked away from a chair that was swung at his head by a tall man in a Hawaiian shirt and glasses. “What the fuck Richie?” Stan shouted, smile dropping off his face. His friends, who he thought would be excited to see him (or at least not look like they were about to murder him), eyed him suspiciously. “What’s going on?” Lilo asked, having finally caught up to him. Richie, still a combination of scared, angry, and sad, walked up to Stan and looked him in the face. “We were just told Stan died, so how are you here right now? And who the fuck is this?” Stan frowned, shame filling him at the thought of his plan (what seemed like the best idea 22 hours ago suddenly seemed like a bad idea). “Sit back down, all of you,” Stan said, glancing over all the Losers, “it’s a long story.”

For the next hour or so, Stan explained everything that had happened in his life. The Losers discussed their lost memories and how they hadn’t come back yet, but Stan explained that he thinks his time in the deadlights affected how his memories returned. Beverly nodded to herself, but offered no addition to Stan’s tale. Lilo also took the time to introduce herself and explain her part in all this. However, Eddie was finally the one to snap. “Listen, it’s been nice seeing all of you, but if you think I believe we can kill a child-eating alien you’re crazier than these two.” He grabbed his jacket and stood to leave, Richie standing behind him soon after. After that, the party of 8 broke into an argument about what they should do and who was going and who was staying, until finally, Beverly stood up. “If any of us leaves now, we all die. I’ve seen it in dreams. Until Stan walked through the door, I thought I could do nothing to change them, but we are stronger than IT thinks we are. IT didn’t expect Stan to come back and fight either, but he’s here.” She looked all of them in the eye, “We need to stop this. For good.” Mike took the chance to speak. He explained the Ritual of Chud and what they needed to do: collect tokens of great value, then go into the sewers and confront IT once and for all. He looked kindly at Lilo and explained that, because she didn’t experience the same thing as all of them, she wouldn’t be a part of the ritual itself, but that they valued any backup in the fight against IT. She smiled back at the kind man. “I’ve called in the UGF, but they’re dealing with what they believed was the death of an ancient alien, but instead was just a very bad mauling. Their hands are busy with trying to save his life. I do need to get a read on what this alien can do though, so if I could come with you on one of your retrievals, that would be best.” The Losers looked at each other with apprehension. “IT feeds on your darkest, most private, thoughts and fears-” Stan began gently before Richie cut him off, “-if you want to deal with IT so bad, just go to any storm drain and take a good look.” Lilo frowned, “I’ve been dealing with aliens for over 25 years. My own alien is in the car right now, swallowing cup after cup of coffee and probably playing Clash of Clans. I could go and fight this alien by myself right now, but I want to see what IT’s weaknesses are and what all IT can do, so that we can kill this child-killer for good.” Bill nodded once, “Straws.” All of the Losers groaned together, remembering just how many times they had to draw straws to decide on movies or what they would do that day, before Ben started cutting all the straws from their drinks. After a quick draw (which ended in Richie drawing the short straw), they all left the restaurant. As they gathered near Lilo’s car to meet Stitch, they noticed a red balloon that said, “Welcome to Derry,” floating ominously by the road. Frowns all around, they decided to get a night’s rest and start in the morning.

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The morning sun peeking above the horizon lit up the parking lot in a beautiful way, but Richie wanted to leave. He had never thought he would miss his house in Beverly Hills (it was cold and impersonal, as he was hardly in it), but anything would be better than Derry. He sat on the steps of the Derry Inn, smoking his third cigarette of the early day. Something, he grimaced, his lungs probably wouldn’t be happy about later. He jumped, his hand forming into a fist, as he felt someone sit next to him. “Got a light?” Beverly asked, smiling nervously at him. With a small smile, he relaxed and put on his best Southern-belle voice, “Anything at all for the lovely Miss Marsh, anything at all!” He flicked his lighter and lit her cigarette. He didn’t see the flinch as he called her Miss Marsh, but he did see her smile get wider after she took her first drag. For awhile, it was just the two of them on the steps smoking in the silence that only a morning can bring. After several peaceful minutes, Beverly cleared her throat and spoke. “I’m actually Mrs. Rogan for now, but I don’t think that will last when I get home.” Richie put his hand over his heart, “Beverly, are you telling me you didn’t wait all these years so we could get married at 40 like we promised?” With a laugh, she gently leaned into his shoulder, “I forgot all about that promise.” She grinned mischievously at him, “If you promise to light all my cigarettes, I’ll reconsider.” With a grin back, “Sounds like a lot of work, but I guess you’re worth it.” They sat and talked until Beverly had finished her cigarette. They both stood and hugged with a familiar ease that tugged at both of their hearts. “Kick ass today Bev.” Beverly squeezed him a little tighter, “You too Richie.” With one more smile and a deep breath, Beverly started walking as Lilo and Stitch came out of the Inn. Richie quickly lost his smile. “I guess this means you’re ready?” He asked, hoping for a negative answer. Lilo smiled brightly at him, not seeming put off at the thought of a killer alien. “Yup!” She hoisted her backup over her shoulders, “I have weapons and snacks in here!” With a grimace at the thought of food, Richie dropped and stomped out his cigarette. “Let’s go then.” And they set off on their quest.

“So, tell me where we’re going and how that coincides with an encounter with.. What do you call your alien?” Lilo had a small notebook and pen in her hands that she used in the field. Richie snorted, “He’s definitely not mine. We call him IT because IT’s not just one thing, it’s several.” Behind his glasses, his eyes were carefully scanning their surroundings, expecting that just the mere mention of IT would bring the creature out of hiding. “Could you list the most common shapes? Generally, shape-shifters only have a few forms they can shift int-” With a sarcastic laugh, Richie cut her off. “IT can be a clown, a leper, your best friend.” With a shudder, he pushed up his glasses. “IT can be a giant statue. I don’t think you understand how fucking terrifying this monster is.”
“Language,” growled Stitch, suffering from a caffeine headache from Hell. “You sound like Nani,” Lilo scolded him before looking back to Richie,” I don’t think you understand how qualified I am to do this. Stitch and other aliens have been in my life since I was 5. Stitch and I are solely responsible for finding appropriate places and jobs for 624 aliens and that’s just before I was a teenager. I then became the youngest field agent in UGF history and there I’ve stayed. I don’t doubt that your alien is terrifying, he sounds it, but I’m one of the best people for this job.” Richie stared at the small woman for a moment. With a shrug, he continued his walk, “We’ll see.”
It didn’t take much time to reach the arcade. With a frown, Richie walked in and grabbed a token. “That’s it?” Lilo asked incredulously, “What does it mean?” Richie’s frown deepened. “You’re with me right now because I lost at straws, not because I want to share my thoughts and feelings.” He turned to walk out the door when Stitch caught his leg, Lilo catching his arm in the next second. “You and Stan have the same temperaments. It’s exhausting. You drew the short straw which means I have to learn a little bit of what’s going on in your head or I will be unprepared to face this alien. If I am unprepared, people will die. Do you want your friends to die?” Usually, Lilo did not have to pull out her serious voice and it made her frown. Richie shook free of their grasps and walked to the door. With a deep breath that did nothing to calm him, he gestured for them to follow him. On their way to the park, Richie explained quietly what had happened that day at the arcade. A revelation followed by a deep revulsion and shame. Lilo listened patiently, understanding a little more about what the alien fed on. Not just the cursory fears then, but instead the deep-rooted fears that one can’t even admit to themselves. For the first time, Lilo felt a shiver of uneasiness cross her. With a move that was comforting to both of them, Lilo took Richie’s arm in a show of support and let him continue with his story. In what seemed like hours or minutes, they arrived in front of a large statue of Paul Bunyan. “He’s sort of ugly.” Lilo remarked, completely ignoring what Richie had been talking about on their walk, which finally got Richie to let out a laugh. “Lilo gets off a good one!” Lilo joined him in laughter, but their joy was short-lived as a man shoved a flyer in Richie’s hands. “Well that seems a little rude, just shoving it at you like that,” Lilo began, but trailed off as she stared at the obituary of the living man who stood next to her. “What the Hell?”

“Did you miss me Richie?” A demonic voice from above. Richie, Lilo, and Stitch snapped their heads up to stare at the clown on the statue. “And you brought a new friend. A pleasure Mrs. Jameson,” with a quick chuckle, IT corrected themself, “No, once the divorce was finalized it was back to Pelekai. I think I’ll stick with Lilo.” Stitch let out a low growl, his extra arms and antennas popping out as he took a protective stance in front of Lilo, who in turn glared at the clown (but how did it know about Keoni? How powerful was this creature?). “Want to play a game? Richie likes Streetfighter , but what about Truth or Dare? But neither of you want to pick truth, do you?” Lilo reached around for the weapons in her backpack, not taking her eyes off the clown that had slowly started to float in the air with the aid of several red balloons. “I know your secrets, your dirty little secrets,” the clown sung without a smile, spit flying from his overly large mouth as he floated slowly closer. With an angry glare, Lilo leveled a plasma blaster at Pennywise’s chest. “With orders from the United Galactic Federation I command you to stand down!” This only seemed to delight the clown. “I am the Eater of Worlds and I do not answer to you Lilo.” Pennywise grinned with teeth that lengthened and sharpened before rushing at the party of three. Richie let out a rather high-pitched scream as Lilo fired, but Pennywise was too fast. He was almost upon them when Stitch grabbed a leg and threw the clown several yards. Despite the distance, they all heard the maniacal laugh of the clown. “Stitch will be the first to sink, but the rest of you will float.” Lilo and Stitch stepped forward, intending to finish what Stitch had started, but Richie grabbed Lilo’s arm and began dragging her away. “You know what Mike has said will work. We have to go.” With one last look at the clown who was waving cheerfully at them, Lilo allowed herself to be led away.

Chapter Text

Stan sat alone in his room. He had showered and dressed for the day, but he wasn’t sure if he could truly face this. His hand twitched as he thought about the razor he had used to shave his face, but he was already in Hell and he didn’t need to make it worse ( or have the Losers find his body ). With a deep sigh, he rose and left the Inn.

He walked through his past as he headed to the Clubhouse. It seemed like every corner had a different memory attached to it, some good and many bad. So much of Stan’s life in Derry was built on negatives, that every positive was only bittersweet. If it weren’t for his friends, he doesn’t think there would be a single happy memory in the entire town. And even then, he thought bitterly, would they have been my friends if it hadn’t been for that fucking clown? The synagogue reminds him too much of how he disappointed his father until the end, the school and library only a symbol of all those who bullied him (or did nothing). It wasn’t until the Barrens that Stan’s breath got a little easier. With practiced steps, he made his way confidently through the tall trees until he found it. With a grin, he opened up the trapdoor and dropped inside. Stan took a deep breath, the familiar smell of wood and mud welcoming him home. He looked around, noting that the hammock and their posters had made it through the years. He was tempted to turn on the radio, but in reality, he truly just wanted to grab his token and go. With a quick hand, he grabbed the hairnet and headed back up the ladder.

On his walk back to the town, Stan walked a little slower. Nature had always calmed him down. It’s one of the reasons he loved bird-watching; you could just relax and wait, the birds would come or they wouldn’t. It’s the only time Stan hadn’t minded not being in control. But of course, he should have realized that he was in Derry, and the nature of Derry was quite dark indeed.

He had been looking at the ground, crossing a dangerous criss-cross of roots that always tripped him up if he wasn’t being careful when he ran headfirst into the legs. As he looked up, it seemed as if time was frozen. Patty. Patty was hanging from a tree. This can’t be real, this can’t be real, his brain screamed, but that didn’t stop the terrified, keening wail that erupted from his mouth or the tears that blurred his vision as he tugged her down. Logic had left him as he cradled the cold body of his wife in his arms. “Babylove, Patty, dove, no, no, no.” He was rambling, but the words wouldn’t stop. Her eyes, he loved her eyes, and now they were open and staring at him and this is all his fault.

“Should have been a little faster with the razor blades, Stanny,” a terrible voice came from above. With a blank face, Stan’s eyes followed up to see Pennywise sitting on the branch he had pulled Patty from. “Besides Stanny,” the clown continued with a laugh, “you can’t actually think your wife cares about you enough to follow you here.” Stan’s lips thinned in anger, of course Patty loved him enough to come after him , but then came the started realization and the look down to the body in his arms. Where Patty had been before was now a woman he hadn’t seen in years, one with a disfigured face and razor sharp teeth. With a yell, Stan threw her aside and scrambled to his feet. Pennywise smiled at him, “I’m glad you made it to the finale Stanny. We’re going to have such a good time.” Like the Cheshire Cat, the clown’s form disappeared from the tree, but Stan ran out of the forest anyway.


When Richie, Lilo, and Stitch returned to the hotel, he didn’t say anything about leaving. He was terrified, but Lilo still seemed confident. He knew that Stan didn’t place his trust in just anyone, so he was going to wait to talk to him. As they walked in though, things did not seem like they had gone well. Stan, who had only smoked a few cigars at his bachelor’s party, was leaning against the railing smoking a cigarette as Bill and Bev argued. “What the fuck is going on?” Richie asked, being pushed to the side as Eddie entered the inn in clothing that had definitely seen better days. “I’m fucking leaving,” Eddie snapped back, stepping in between Bill and Bev on his way up the stairs. Ben laid a hand on his arm, trying to get him to stay and talk about what had happened, but he shook it off and continued to his room. Bev groaned in frustration and Bill took the chance to race out the door. With a dark chuckle, Stan looked at Richie. “That clown is playing tricks again,” he took another drag off his cigarette, “but he took it too far. Give me the keys.” Lilo tossed them to Stan who went outside. As he left, she turned back to the remaining group. “I don’t care about the personal issues inside this group. We need to kill that alien. My team will be on their way soon, but it seems like they may not make it in the next few hours. It’s up to us.” And that would have been quite an inspiring speech, Lilo thinks as the group hears Eddie scream upstairs. They raced to him and met him in the hallway, holding a hand to his bleeding face. Things after that continued much the same. The Losers rode together in Lilo’s car, sitting beside and on top of each other, none of them thinking to ride in another car as Stan sped through the streets of Derry to the library. Richie still delivered an axe to Henry Bowers’ head. Dean was still another unfortunate casualty. The Losers still arrived at Neibolt at roughly the same time. A positive change was made, however. Due to the contents of Lilo’s trunk, the Losers headed into Neibolt armed to the teeth ( though they didn’t admit that they were still very, very scared).

Chapter Text

Bill had made a pretty impressive speech then and now, Stan thinks as the Losers head inside. Bill stands at the front, always the leader, with one of the UGF’s spears. Eddie and Richie stand behind him with their own spears, though Stan can tell they’re not as confident or as angry. Stan is right behind them, his souped up baseball bat from when he did field work already over his shoulder (though he was mindful of the razor sharp metal spikes that adorned the outside). In terms of anger, Stan doesn’t think he’s ever been as angry as he is right now. The fear is still there, but it is overwhelmed by rage. The clown had the audacity to show him the lynched body of his wife and Richie truly did say it best. It’s time to kill this fucking clown.

Lilo and Stitch followed behind Stanley, a life jacket tucked securely around Stitch. I don’t like how this clown can get in people’s heads, Lilo thought nervously, double-checking the ammo in her plasma gun. Lilo didn’t feel shame about a lot of things and therefore didn’t keep a lot of secrets, but her divorce was very personal. She had really only talked to Stan about it and that was easy because he was so far away and didn’t know any of her family. She crossed the threshold of the Neilbolt house and wrinkled her nose in disgust. The entire house had seen better days, but there was a smell that really drove home the fact that the alien chose to live in a sewer. “So do we have a game plan when we get in there? Do we immediately start the ritual or is there a place we have to be at first?” Her anxious rambles gave comfort to most of the Losers who remembered Richie and Eddie doing the same thing when they were young. “However, if the Shokopiwah also did the Ritual, why didn’t theirs work? What’s different about all of you?” And then the comfort was gone. “M-Mike?” Bill asked, cutting off Lilo’s chattering. When all of the Losers looked at him, Mike crumpled and confessed that the original people who attempted the ritual died and he thought that they would be different, but he wasn’t sure. As arguments erupted around him, Stan stepped back and away lost in his own nightmares, ones that had haunted him since his brief time in the Deadlights.

 

Eddie, grinning triumphantly at Richie when an enormous pincer shot through his chest. Beverly, drowning in blood as something that looked like her father pulled her beneath the surface. Mike, alone in the dark until someone strikes a match. Ben, desperately trying to get to Beverly to save her when the clown takes a bite of his neck. Richie and Bill, side-by-side, fighting through an army of undead children, but eventually get overrun. Stan’s thoughts raced and raced and the bravado, the anger, every emotion left him except fear. He’s trying to calm himself down, doing the breathing exercises that Patty taught him that she does with her students, when he happens to look in the mirror above the mantle. Right behind him is the clown.

 

He’s right behind him and covers Stan’s mouth with a gloved hand. “Let’s see how long it takes them to notice you’re gone this time Stanny.” He then proceeds to sit them on the ground against one of the deteriorating walls. “Let’s finish the job you started in your bath. Now, I’m thinking one line for every person you care about, then a nice long one up the arm for the finishing touch. What do you think?” The clown’s putrid breath assaulted Stan’s nose as he sat in shock, wrapped in Pennywise’s arms in a mockery of a lovers’ embrace. Stan tried to make a break for it, but the clown simply grew more arms to hold him in place. One was still covering his mouth, one was holding his arm out, one was gently resting on his throat and chest, another had fingers spread out across his stomach, and the last had gleaming black claws position above his upturned arm. A low chuckle was in his ears and Stan had never felt so helpless in his life. Across the room, not even ten feet away, the Losers were arguing and shouting and not looking over at him. “Forgotten again. I’m sure they’ll feel horrible when I let them see you.” The realization that this was one of IT’s many tricks did make him feel marginally better, which of course, was not acceptable to the clown. “I wish I had caught one of you like this back then. Your small body would have trembled with tasty, tasty fear.” Stan felt a tongue slide across the scars on his face and the implications of that statement dislodged any good feeling or thought Stan could have had. “Let’s begin. One line for the disgusting Trashmouth you call a best friend.” Stan let out a low groan for the pain that crossed his wrist, his eyes locking on the blood flowing out of the wide scratch left behind. “Another for B-B-Billy. Do you think he’ll cry for you as he did for his brother? One for pretty, pretty Bevvie. She saw your death from her time in my deadlights. She was so relieved that you were alive.” Here, IT cackled again, a hand gently caressing Stan’s cheek as another gently tapped his stomach. “Your original death would have been much cleaner if you hadn’t been stopped by your little k-” Stan let out a short breath through his nose. He had been called a variety of slurs in his life, both for his religion and his supposed sexuality, but never has anyone dared to call his wife that vile name. “What? Old Pennywise only speaks the tru-” But, Stan did not let him finish. With a bravery he thought he had lost long ago, he bit into the hand holding his mouth and threw his uninjured arm into the monster’s solar plexus. He shocked IT into loosening his grip and Stan ran to his friends, grabbing a spear from Ben’s hands to the shock of the assembled group, and turned, launching it at the clown. Unfortunately, he did not have the same gift for aim as Beverely, so he only grazed the retreating clown. With an angry growl, Stan turned to his friends who were looking at him in shock. His lips thinned into a tight, angry line and memories of how Stan only looked like that when he was pushed too far hit each of the Losers and Lilo. “We are done with this argument. Mike should not have lied, but all of us would have left if he hadn’t had a plan.” Stan laid a hand on Mike’s shoulder, squeezing gently, trying hard not to notice the blood that dripped from his arm onto Mike. “We almost killed that stupid fucking clown when we were kids by beating the shit out of it and not being scared. We have better weapons now and we have the most important thing,” Stan paused, looking each of the Losers in the eyes, “each other. Now, someone wrap my arm so it doesn’t get infected with greywater.” Mike was the first to hug him, which was not his intention, but as the others joined in he supposed he didn’t mind that his first clown-killing speech ended in a group hug.

 

Of course, the good feeling lasted as long as it could. They tried the ritual anyway, thinking it might weaken the alien, but if anything, it just made IT stronger. As they fought, many of them got separated from each other, following different paths in the cistern. 

 

Beverly was trapped in a bathroom full of blood. Ben, in the clubhouse, sucked down into the mud with more dirt piling on top of him. Bill was in the basement of his childhood home, staring down the likeness of the little brother he lost. Mike was in the Barrens, facing down the Bowers Gang by himself, feeling desperately alone as he tried to fight them off. Lilo was desperately keeping Stitch afloat as the room filled with water, the voices of her family and friends calling her disgusting and unnatural.

 

Richie, Eddie, and Stan were still together by luckily running down the same path. They stood in front of very familiar doors, titled ‘Not Scary At All’, ‘Scary’, and ‘Very Scary.’ Crossing the cave to quickly pull open the ‘Very Scary’ door (despite the protests of his counterparts), Richie was shocked to see a small, empty room. With an unattractive snort, Stan solved the mystery. “It’s a closet. Very funny clown, but I’m not scared of that.” Stan said at the sky, then looked at Eddie and Richie in turn. “I like men. Not just men, but like,” he gestured to the closet, “that was for me.” Richie took in a sharp breath, but Eddie just giggled. “Guess IT guessed wrong on your fear.” A demonic laugh shook the cave walls, but IT did not speak. Stan frowned and finally got a look at Richie. “Trashmouth, I’m pretty sure you knew already. So unless you got homophobic by moving to LA of all places, I’m not getting the laughing.” Eddie crossed his arms with a scowl. “His sets aren’t exactly friendly, but Richie you couldn’t be homophobic, right?” Feeling nauseous and anxious, Richie looked at his friends with a straight face. “I don’t write my own sets and I like men too.” With that out in the open, IT did not give his friends a chance to speak, and sent his arm through the closet, ready to chase after them once again. With a glare, Stan swung his baseball bat at the clown’s wrist, embedding one of the spikes into the joint and causing a scream to be heard.

 

Beverly, Ben, and Bill had broken out of their prisons and rushed to help Mike. Mike was on the ground once again, Henry Bowers with a knee on his chest and a rock about to crash into his head. Instead of seeing the clown when he looked to the side, he saw the dead bodies of all of his friends staring vacantly at him. As tears formed in his eyes, Mike dropped the arm that had been keeping Bowers at bay and waited for death. Instead, with a dull, wet thunk, Bowers dropped off of him, a spear in his head. His true friends did not wait and grabbed him, pulling him up and out of the small section of the cistern he had been in, ignoring the strangled scream that echoed throughout the cavern.

Lilo had to do battle by herself and Stitch ( not that she would ever blame the Losers for only being concerned with each other. Only a few days with them and she has rethought the word ‘soulmate’ and if you only have to have one) , but that’s something she is pretty used to. Used to only being able to rely on the angel she had wished for so many years ago. Her strong legs were treading water, as natural to her as breathing with how much time she had spent in the water. There were tears streaming down her face though, that she couldn’t wipe because her arms were keeping Stitch out of the water (she knew he had a life jacket, but really, she didn’t want to test his density, remembering his body sinking beneath the waves after Jumba had grabbed him). She heard so many voices. Nani ( honestly Lilo, when are you and Keoni going to give me some nieces and nephews ), Jumba and Pleakley ( if we had the chance to have children we would take it with both hands, you selfish, selfish, girl ), and Myrtle ( you were never normal and you’ll never be normal ). The worst was Keoni, her one time husband who hadn’t meant to break her down throughout their years together, but did with overwhelming efficiency ( I was just curious why we weren’t like other couples? Why couldn't there be one part of our life together that was normal? We weren’t divorced, but that didn’t stop you from finding a man at a bar? A man who happened to be my friend) . Unbeknownst to Lilo, Stitch was also hearing these voices, and although he was scared (of the water anyway), he was also angry. He had tried getting her attention in several different ways, but finally, despite his fear, he pulled himself out of her hands and plummeted into the water. Breaking free of IT’s voices in a snap, Lilo dived after him, hefting him out of the water once again. “Are you okay?”

“No,” Stitch began, “Lilo is Lilo. She makes mistake, but still Lilo. Still ohana.” The water began to drain and the voices began to stop. “Broken, but still good.” With a sob, Lilo clutched Stitch to her chest as the room she was in vanished.

 

The Losers met in the cistern, IT still a monstrous spider-clown creature, but they were together and they were no longer as scared. They believed it to be a trick of the light, but their fear lessening had caused the alien to shrink. The group separated again as IT attacked them with his claws. Across the room, Richie saw Mike about to get hit and yelled at the monster and called it names. He was especially proud of calling it a sloppy bitch, but then he was in the Deadlights and he knew only pain. Eddie, braver than he thinks, throws his spear into the open mouth of the monster and goes to check on Richie in triumph. In another story, this results in his death. In this one, it merely results in his bruising as Stan tackles them both out of the way of a piercing leg. The entire group finally reunite in a tunnel off to the side, too small for IT to crawl through in its current form. They brainstorm, when Eddie tells them about the leper and how he was able to choke it. They go back into the cistern, all of them exuding Richie Tozier confidence as they trashtalk an ancient, world-eating monster. Only when they each hold IT’s heart in their hands do they smile and squeeze and punish the alien for existing.

 

They make it out onto the street as the house falls around them and run into what seems like government trucks surrounding the house. With an excited yell, Lilo races towards an older black man in a suit and wraps him in a hug. She later tells them that the UGF was able to rescue their alien turtle and they would take care of the cleanup. As for the present, they laugh and swim in filthy lake water, feeling like they were 13 again without a care in the world.

Chapter Text

The question comes after they have crawled out of the water of the Quarry, sunning themselves on the rocks next to it. Lilo is the one to ask, and although she’ll never be a part of The Loser’s Club, she does feel like she belongs with them and wants the best for them.

 

“I can’t wait to see Patty,” Stan shares, a huge smile on his face. They all cheer at his answer, though Richie wants to know if she’s hot, which gets him a punch in the arm from Beverly. “Yeah Richie. She’s the hottest woman I’ve ever met in my life.” And although his answer is said as a joke, each of the group knows that he means it.

 

“When I g-get b-back, I think I’m gonna change the ending of my book,” Bill said with a grin (though, he later wonders why he wasn’t as excited to see his wife as Stan was to see his). “Good, your endings stink.” Mike joked, to the group’s (and especially Richie’s) delight. Bill accepted his ribbings good-naturedly and silently resolved to do better.

 

“Unless Mike’s gonna take my job, I’m going back and killing the stage. New jokes- all about killing alien clowns and some pretty terrible friends.”

“Beep beep asshole.”

“Sorry Stanny, I only tell the truth.” And Richie was telling the truth. He was going to write his own jokes, but maybe some of them could be about liking men? His friends in LA knew he liked men, but it felt different to share it with the world or with even the Losers. The thought of it made him nauseous and he wasn’t sure he was ready yet.

 

As the group turns expectantly to Eddie, he’s suddenly not sure of anything. “I think I’ll get a dog?” He ends the sentence as a question, but the Losers ignore it and cheer for him anyway. “Thought you already had one. Her name’s Myra?” And for that, he tackles Richie like he was a kid again (and ignores the idea that maybe Myra wouldn’t have to be there when he got home).

 

Ignoring the wrestling, Mike laughed. “Well, I’m getting the hell out of here. After that, who knows?” And Lilo, who would and has helped many strangers, asks him if he wants a job in Hawaii. “When can I start?” And as they talk about it, Mike imagines himself literally anywhere other than Derry and the smile that’s been on his face stays there.

 

And Ben, who realizes at this point he’s just talking to Beverly, shoots her a grin. “Might call up some old friends, the losers, and invite them out to my house in Arizona. Maybe get back into writing poetry for people who need it.”

Bev grabs his hand, “My heart burns there too, new kid.” And she kisses him. The other Losers noticing and catcalling fades away because all she can feel is her heart and his beating together.

 

And as the Losers make their way back to the Inn to shower and change and get the fuck out of Derry, they realize that they’re all still here. And all is well.