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fuck, again?

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The panicked look of Richie Tozier was the last thing Eddie remembered before he shot up in a cold sweat and scrambled to keep the wound on his chest covered to stop himself from bleeding out. 

It took a worryingly long time for him to realize there was no hole and no blood to accompany it and the darkness of the room was not the same as the sewers It had dug himself a home in. There was no screaming, no giant freak spider stomping around and no cackling of a killer clown from outer space. Only the sounds of his own rapid breathing and the snores of Myra.  

It didn’t make Eddie feel better. 

For all his scrambling in a blind panic, his wife hadn’t moved an inch or stirred from her sleep. Eddie was both thankful and annoyed. How easily she could sleep when here was Eddie, terrified to the point of soaking his clothes in sweat with the feeling of being stabbed by a giant claw fresh in his mind. The image of Richie telling him everything will be okay seared in his eyes every time he blinked. 

Eddie bolted out the bed when nausea hit him. He barely made it before he hurled what little was in his stomach and dry heaved for the rest of the ten minutes he allowed his head near the toilet bowl. He didn’t feel better after and the mirror reflected that. Pale, clammy face and red eyes. No stab mark on his cheek, thankfully, but it’s small in comparison to the absolute nightmare he had woken up from. 

It had to be a nightmare. God, he hoped it was just a nightmare, but there was no denying his reaction to it, and the memories he kept. Memories of Derry, of the Losers. Memories of people he had once called friends, but somehow forgot about because of an asshole clown capable of messing with their psyche.  

Was it real? Was it all something his mind cooked up from a psychotic breakdown? Had he finally snap and was one step away from admitting himself to a psychiatric ward? He honestly wouldn’t mind if it meant everything he had just gone through was nothing but a dream. 

Shit. Fuck! ” 

He slumped on the floor. It was real. It felt too real. It was fucking real. He didn’t know how, but he knew it was real and it happened and he - he fucking died . He reached for his inhaler in the medicine cabinet. The shaking made it nearly impossible to hold up but he inhaled that thing like his life depended on it. Many cases it had. When he realized what exactly he was doing he chucked it to the side and huddled in a corner.

Eddie had lost track of how long he remained in his bathroom, but by the time he gained enough courage to come out the first rays of dawn were shining through the windows. Myra would not wake up for a couple of hours more and he couldn’t bring himself to join her in bed again. Instead, he checked the date, nearly having another panic attack when he noticed it was over a few days before Mike would contact him. 

The fuck? 

Had he jumped back time? What the actual fuck was this? 

He was insane. Nothing more to it. He had gone completely mental. Soon he’d have a straight jacket and get locked up and never be seen again. Then again, he had also faced off against a crazy killer clown so what else was considered crazy these days? 

Very little now. After all the shit he had seen in the last few days in what he wished was a dream but might very well be a reality, nothing should surprise him anymore.

“Eddie-bear?” 

Except maybe that . He nearly jumped out of his skin at the sound of his wife’s voice. How was she already awake? She should still be out like a light for another forty-five minutes. 

“Honey? Is everything okay?” 

“F-fine, I’m fine. I’ll be out in a minute!” His voice was hoarse, meaning Myra was going to worry and right then he really didn’t need her to fuss over him. The last thing he needed was an overbearing moth- 

Nope , no, don’t finish that train of thought. Beep fucking be -

Fuck , that wasn’t helping. Everything was messed up now. His thoughts were spiraling and his heart had seen better days. The fuck was he supposed to do now? Move on with the knowledge of a demon clown out there ready to kill at a moment's notice while also knowing your death might be at the end of that road if you decide to go and face it? No amount of therapy was going to help with that

He needed to get out of the house. He needed his routine. Something normal. As normal as his situation could be. 

He opened the door and did everything in his power not to twitch when Myra reached out to him. She had one hand on his cheek and the other on his arm in an attempt at comfort, but it only brought back the nausea of before. Eddie avoided looking at her, focusing on a loose strand of hair instead. Not mother, not mother, not mother, not mother - 

“Eddie-bear?” 

It was his mother. Fuck

“I’m okay, Honey. I just had a nightmare.” A nightmare that had apparently killed him, but a nightmare nonetheless. 

“Oh Eddie-bear,” she sighed, “I told you this would happen if you didn’t -” 

He tuned her out. When she started there was no stopping her. He really didn’t need that at the moment. He needed to get out and get fresh air. He needed time alone with his thoughts. He needed to think everything over and what to do with what he knows. 

He needed to head to work.

He nodded and ‘uh-huh’d’ to everything his wife said as he got dressed and rushed out the door like a bat out of hell. The quickest he had ever done in the three years they had been married. He followed the motions of work, driving in the big apple traffic, analyzing, chatter over the phone, received a call from Myra, rushed the conversation in order to hang up faster, more analyzing until eventually the sun itself appeared finished with him.  

Through it all, his thoughts kept returning to his not-so-dream. To his nightmare become reality. No amount of denial in the world was going to help him forget anytime soon. He couldn’t bring himself to forget it either. Not when a voice kept nagging at him to do something, no matter how terrified of the idea he was. How petrified he was at the knowledge of his inevitable death. 

He was basically walking into it if he acted on it. If he returned to Derry he was signing his death warrant. It happened once, the probability of it happening again was high. Too high for his liking. 

Deadman walking.  

He choked on a sob. He was apparently having another breakdown in his own driveway with full-on tears and he hadn’t noticed it. He pressed both palms against his eyes and took tiny, hitched breaths for every intake he attempted. Letting it out didn’t help. 

Fuck, how had Richie done it? To be able to stand up against that giant freak clown. To taunt it and throw rocks at it while still calling it a sloppy-bitch. Eddie had his moment, sure. Eventually able to throw something at the thing himself, but look at what good that had done him. He got stabbed by a giant claw from the back for his efforts. He had died.  

Heading for Derry blindly had been easier than thinking of going when he knew he wasn’t coming back. False hope was always better than no hope. How could he join them now? Face the others knowing it would be the last time he’d ever see them? 

It wasn’t fair. 

Shit, it wasn’t fair. 

But not going meant making it worse. Not going meant someone else was going to die instead. Bev, Bill, Richie . He had been caught in those damn deadlights. If Eddie didn’t go, Richie might remain stuck under those lights until Pennwywise decided to finish him off, and Richie would be defenseless against it. They all would be. 

Eddie had cheats. He had to go and tell them. He had to tell someone

It would eat him alive if he stayed. Guilt would burn him from the inside. Life would never be the same even if he stayed, but if he went he would make a big difference in how it all goes down. What right did he have to withhold it from them? Even if it meant dying again. 

He wiped his eyes harshly. He knew his answer already. He didn’t like it, but he knew what the right thing to do was. That only left all his affairs here in New York. His job. Myra . She was going to be left alone. Could he leave her alone just like that? The first time around was thanks to some hope of return. Now, returning was nonexistent. 

His heart broke a little. For her and for himself, but he had no choice. Not with this. It was out of their hands. 

When he felt stable enough he got out of his car and headed inside. Myra was there as always to greet him, something he couldn’t deny having loved about her. A misguided love no doubt. She greeted him with a smile, but there was no denying the worry in her eyes. She had noticed him sitting in the driveway, but one quick lie about work quickly placated her and they sat for dinner. His last homely meal. 

He sat quietly and gave her his full attention. She talked about her day, her activities, what shows had been on, what her favorite celebrity had been up to. He listened with a forced smile in place, like a dutiful husband should. He figured it was the least he could do when her life was about to experience a traumatic change in only a few days.

He kissed her goodnight on the cheek and hugged her one last time. Forcing the anxiety down. Hugged her the longest he could. She didn’t deserve this, and he felt like an asshole for putting her through it, but what could he do? Now that he remembered, he couldn’t ignore it.

That night he didn’t sleep. He remained in bed until the first snore of the night reached his ears. The one good thing about an early bedtime schedule. Sleeping early meant there was still plenty of time left for those who slept ‘regular’ hours. When he was sure Myra would not wake up, he got up quietly and headed for the kitchen with his phone in hand. There was only one person he could call to help start changing things. Only one issue. He didn’t have his number.

He knew where Mike lived at least. There was that. 

The hour was late, but he figured someone who obsessed over keeping an eye out for the return of a clown and lived on top of a library would have even more irregular hours than the common folk and not a lot of sleep. He searched for the number with every resource he could get his hands on. There were a lot of difficulties finding one that tied in with the library, but eventually one gave out and the insistent ringing from his end finally forced someone’s hand. He was passed around until Mike answered. He sounded annoyed and perhaps a little groggy. Hearing his voice nearly made Eddie drop his phone. 

“Mike? Is this Mike Hanlon?" 

"It is. Who am I speaking to?" 

"It’s - it’s Eddie. Eddie Kaspbrak.” 

Eddie? ” If Mike had been sleeping before he was wide awake now. “What - how did you know where to contact me?”

That was right. They all had stopped contact and forgotten with each other once Derry had been left behind. Twenty-seven years of no communication, in fact. Eddie calling him was probably unexpected and a big shock. “Mike, I’m about to tell you something really strange. I mean, really strange.”

“I’m all ears.” 

“So something weird just happened to me, and you're the only one who knows what's going on and can hopefully make sense of it.” 

“What happened? Are you okay?” 

A dam broke in him. “ No - no, I’m not. Shit, please, tell me the clown isn’t real, Mike. Just tell me it’s all a fucked-up nightmare and it isn’t real,” Eddie almost begged. Almost. No point in begging for a lie.

The following silence was torture. “You know I can’t, Eddie. You know it’s real.” 

He clutched his phone. “ Damn it. Dammit!” The last shred of hope gone.

“What do you remember, Eddie?” Mike sounded stressed. Eddie felt it. 

“Everything, and - and more. I don’t understand. Something happened to me and now I’m back here again.” 

“What do you mean ‘more’ and ‘back here again?’” 

“It’s going to sound crazy.” 

Mike snorted. “Eddie, we faced a man-eating clown as kids. Nothing sounds crazy.” 

“Yeah? What about dying and then coming back days before It kills again?” 

The next silence was justified. Yeah, can you top that kind of crazy, Mike? “That does sound crazy. I think you need to start from the beginning.” 

Eddie did just that. He started from the beginning of this second nightmare. From Mike’s phone call, to the restaurant with the fortune cookies from hell and the ritual that failed spectacularly in their faces. 

“It failed ?” 

“Yeah, absolutely useless. We didn’t need to go through our traumatic childhoods again. It did nothing against It,” Eddie inhaled, “but I think there is a way to kill him.” 

“I’m willing to try anything at this point.” 

Eddie explained as best he could. About following the laws and the weakness. Granted, it both made sense and it didn’t, but Eddie clearly remembered choking the leper. He had been so close. The feeling of its life taken by his own hands. Richie and the others had followed his steps, but everything had gone dark before Eddie could see whether it had worked or not, or if anyone even survived.

“That’s so obvious. Why didn’t I realize it sooner?” 

“Not that obvious. I died,” It came out before he thought better of it. He regretted it instantly. Mike’s side of the line went quiet. He didn’t deserve that. It wasn’t his fault. “I’m sorry. I don’t mean it like that. It’s easier to handle it the more I say it.” 

“I get it. For what it’s worth, I’m sorry for dragging you out here again.” 

Eddie sighed. He hated it, sure, was terrified on the trip over to Derry, but it was something they had to do. They promised, after all. “You were right. We had to go back.” 

“So It will come out soon, then?” 

“If I really jumped back time, yeah. There will be a death in a carnival soon. It’s going to be It.” 

“Do you happen to know who?” 

“No. You showed us a newspaper about it but I only read the carnival and one victim out of it. A couple involved, I think. Sorry, I should’ve paid more attention.” 

“Don’t be. It’s something. If it’s soon we need to get everyone over here.”

“You believe me then?” Honestly, Eddie didn’t know if he’d believe any of the other Losers if they came forward with his same story. 

“I have no reason not to. You contacted me, remember? All of you forgot about Pennywise and Derry. This is big on itself.” 

“You have a point, but what if it’s nothing? Just a bad dream?”

“Hell of a dream you had. Do you want to risk that?” Eddie couldn’t bring himself to say no. It didn’t feel right to do so. “Will you come? I know you… get hurt, and I’m practically asking you to come back to your death, but we know more now. We have a fighting chance.” 

Eddie exhaled. “I hate this.” 

“I know you do, but it’s a second chance. We can do better. I’ll call the others. If we get this right we might be able to stop It from killing anyone.” 

Eddie nodded along, even if his heart began beating rapidly from anxiety until he remembered something very important. “Wait, no! Don’t call - not Stan. Don’t call Stan.” 

“What?” 

“He suicides. He - don’t call him.” Fucking shit , Stan was currently alive. Stan was alive . One call would change that. It couldn’t happen. “You didn’t kill him," he adds, just to be sure. "He got scared and he did what he thought he needed to do. He should be alive right now, but don’t call him.”

“We need everyone, Eddie. We promised.” 

“I know we did, but -” what could they even do? Stan had done it so suddenly. He hadn’t talked to anyone besides Mike before offing himself in a bathtub. Not even his wife and leaving her behind stopped him. “What about in person? I could - I could go to him. Maybe seeing someone will stop him?” 

“You’re coming then? Even after -?” 

“Yeah - fuck - yeah I’ll be there. I know more about what’s going on than anybody. If I’m not there something worse could happen.” 

“Eddie, thank you.” 

“Don’t mention it,” Eddie thought about it. “Ever. One time deal. After this, never again.” 

“I hear that. Is it okay to call the others?” 

“Yeah, everyone else gets there no problem. Terrified and maybe a little insane, but who isn’t these days? They’ll be there.” 

“Pretty much everyone is a little insane if you think about it. Do you know where Stan is?” 

Come to think of it. “No, actually no, I don’t.” 

Turned out, Mike did, and the trip to his home was a bit inconvenient, but for the sake of keeping Stan alive Eddie was willing. Eddie didn’t know how Mike kept track of them all, and he wasn’t about to ask. Right there he needed that information and he had to start packing and find a way to avoid Myra and her attempts to keep him in place. He only had a few days to get Stan and he didn’t trust airlines to keep the schedule. 

“I’ll see you in a few days, Mike.” 

“Yeah, see you soon. And Eddy? It’s good to hear from you.” 

“Yeah, good to hear from you, too. Could be under better circumstances, though.” 

“I’m with you there.”

Time was getting later, and Myra wasn’t going to wake up for hours, so he got to work. He packed what he could in two suitcases. Clothes, first aid, toiletries and disinfectant. A lot of disinfectants and a bigger first aid from the last he carried. He knew now of Bowers and already had escape routes in mind, but in case nothing changed he’d rather be prepared for that cheek stab wound. 

He took the cowardly way out. After finally noticing - after a certain someone pointed it out , he couldn’t look at his wife, let alone argue with her over him staying. Not when all he saw now was his mother. He couldn’t risk calling her ‘mommy’ again and not want to bury himself in a hole to never be seen. He left a note with a promise to come back. He knew of his death, but Myra didn’t. Leaving her with hope for a few days instead of despair was the least he could do now. 

He hailed a cab and checked for times on late flights from all airports within and out of his city’s limit. The first stop was getting on that airplane and thinking of a plan to convince Stan to join him in returning to the town that housed their worst nightmare.

Chapter Text

He took a late trip to get a couple of states closer. There were no direct flights, meaning he had to bounce from one to another and stay an hour or two waiting in a cesspool of germs and diseases in the middle until he landed in Atlanta. He’d admit it made no sense to go from New York to Atlanta and then back to Derry, but someone had to go and get Stan in person to hopefully discourage his first ending, and Eddie was the only one with knowledge of what’s to come to maybe convince him not to. Eddie had to step up to the plate. Inconvenient, but a necessity. 

It was late afternoon when he landed. Being a weekday the odds of anybody being home were little, but if Eddie needed to wait until Stan returned than so be it. He was going to hate every minute of the wait, whine about it mentally to give him something to do, but he figured if it meant seeing Stan alive this time it was worth it. 

The house was quiet when he was dropped off. It was beautiful and far bigger than his own. It had a very Stanley-esk look about it with a mix of what he assumed had to be his wife’s handy work. He hesitated before knocking. It was quiet. Nobody was home, but he had to try just in case there was a slim chance somebody decided not to work today. His heart pounded heavily in his chest for every second he counted. When he reached fifteen he knocked again and finally one last time. Nothing. Clearly, nobody was home, but it gave him something to momentarily do as he thought of what to say. 

He exhaled. Guess it was the waiting game. If Stan worked nine to five, Eddie was going to wait for at least four more hours on his porch. He grabbed his phone, turned it on, ignored the numerous missed calls and messages, and dialed the numbers Mike had given. Calling Stan could hopefully speed things along. Eddie did not have the patience to wait that long. 

The call went unanswered, taking Eddie to voicemail. “Hey, Stan. This is, uh, Eddie Kaspbrak. From Derry. We used to hang out as kids. You - nevermind. I need to talk to you. It’s important. I’m at your house. I think it’s your house anyway. If you can call me back or get here soon that’d be great.” 

He kicked the grass absentmindedly as he ended the call. Nothing else to do but count the minutes now. Think about the future that waits for him. All of their deaths if he fails. Dying again at the hands of the clown. He ran a hand over the area of the wound. Nothing was there now, but a phantom pain pulsed as he thought about it. It pulsed as if in warning of what’s to come. Of what’s waiting for him. 

He stood there for around forty-five minutes when the sounds of an engine roared and a car came barreling down in speeds way above the limit for the neighborhood. The car swerved into the driveway of Stan’s house, screeching to a halt. Inside the car was a man who looked an awful lot like kid Stan, but with a beard and wrinkled and tanner skin than Eddie remembered, but there was no mistaking that wide-eyed look of panic. Eddie saw it on kid-Stan’s face more times than he could count on one hand during the clown’s reign of terror. Eddie would recognize it anywhere.

Admittedly, Eddie went stiff at the sight of it. Here he was, standing in front of Stan’s home with two suitcases and looking lost with a childhood friend looking seconds away from having a panic attack. He wouldn’t be surprised if Stan came charging at him to demand answers as to why he was at his home and how he knew where he lived. 

They were at a standoff, but eventually Stan did come out of his car. His eyes never leaving Eddie. 

“Hi, Stanley Uris?” Eddie said, trying not to look threatening or crazy.  

The man nodded. “Eddie? What are you doing - why are you here?” Stan’s face was pale . Super pale. As if he had seen Pennywise right behind Eddie. It was an unexpected reaction, and a very suspicious one as well. Eddie was caught off guard when Stan stumbled back suddenly, legs seemingly giving in. 

“Stan!” Eddie moved to reach for him instinctively, grabbing his arm to stop him from hitting his head on the ground. “Hey, you okay?” 

Stan was most certainly not okay. The man was shaking and crawling away from him. There was unmistakable fear in his eyes. Fear aimed at Eddie. It left Eddie very confused. He hadn’t even mentioned the clown yet. 

“Stan?” He tried again. “Breathe with me, Stan” 

“No, no-no-no-no,” Stan shook his head. “ Why are you here ?” 

That was very specific. Not a ‘how have you been’ or ‘it’s good to see you again,’ just a straight ‘why are you in front of me.’ A kind of question that hinted the person knew more than they led on. 

“I was in the neighborhood and thought I’d visit?” Eddie had a whole speech planned out. A motivational talk that would leave any football coach green with envy. This was already not going to plan. 

“You don’t visit , Eddie. It’s been over twenty years without even a call. Why now? Why -?” Eddie could almost see the cogs in Stan’s head turning furiously, trying to understand why the person he was seeing was there. “The dream! It has to be the dream. You came because it’s real .” 

Dream? Did Stan somehow know? Fuck, how much did he know? “Stan, what did you dream?” 

The wide eyes gave him a rabid, desperate look. Eddie wondered if that was the same look he had for most of his time in Derry. “Mike called. Mike called and I remembered. Derry. The clown. All of us.” 

Shit . “What else?” 

“Nothing else. There was a bathtub and - and then nothing . I woke up.” 

“You - you dreamed of the bathtub,” where you died and your dream ended. Same as when Eddie had died at the hands of Pennywise and woke up a few days before, as if nothing had happened. 

“Did Mike call you?” Stan gripped his arm. “He wasn’t supposed to call yet. That wasn’t until -” 

“Days from now,” Eddie finished. “No, he wasn’t supposed to call yet, but I’m kind of ruining that. He should have called the others already.” 

How -?

“Because that dream you had? I had it, too, but it went further.” Eddie surveyed the area. “Can we head inside? We probably shouldn’t have this conversation with you on the ground. You’re going to need your couch for this.” It took some work but Eddie managed to get Stan up on his feet and followed him inside his home. He sat Stan down and went to retrieve his luggage before locking the door. They needed all the privacy they could get. “Stan, what I’m about to tell you will sound insane, but maybe not that much considering you went through something similar. Are you ready?” 

Stan nodded, much calmer compared to his arrival. “I’m ready.” 

“First, what was the last thing you remember about your dream before you woke up?” 

Stan’s forehead wrinkled in concentration. Eddie didn’t miss how his fingers trailed over his wrist. Stan pulled his hand away when he noticed Eddie looking. “I was in the bathtub and I -” 

“Died.” 

Stan appeared shocked at the blunt statement. “How do you know?” 

“We learned about it - all the Losers - when we were in Derry. You committed -” 

“Suicide,” Stan looked down to his wrists. 

“Yeah, we only learned about it when we called your wife. You did it after Mike’s call. You were scared.” 

“That doesn’t explain how you somehow know, or the Losers.” 

“I don’t know about the other Losers, but I do because I died, too. I lasted long enough to get to Derry and do this ritual with everyone until It got me, then I woke up just like you. Yesterday night, I think.” 

Stan sat up straight. “I woke up yesterday night, too.”

“So we both died and woke up days before Mike calls us. Good to know I'm not the only one.”  It was a relief, in a strange way. Not being alone in the insanity. 

“That means I committed suicide , Eddie,” Stan wasn’t relieved. 

“But you’re alive right now, Stan, and if everything's the same that means I know what’s going to happen. We can change how it plays out.”

“And if nothing changes?”

“What? Are you going for the bathtub?” 

Stan snapped his mouth shut and looked away. Shit, that was wrong of Eddie, but he couldn’t lose him. Not now. Not again. 

“I’m sorry, that came out wrong. I’m not having the best day myself. We both died and now we’re here and I know what’s coming. We have to go. They need us there.” 

“I can’t . I’ll get everyone killed!” 

“I don't want to either, Stan, but if we don’t go then they will get killed. I - I know a way to kill It. I think we almost did.” 

Stan gave him a dry look. “You think? ” 

“I died before I could see them finish Pennywise off, but it sounded like they were. They were very angry.” Eddie grinned. “Richie was the angriest. He called it a sloppy bitch.” 

Success! Stan cracked a smile. “Sounds like him.” 

“We can do this, Stan. We have the advantage. Mike had us run around and remember what we did after separating that first time as kids, but we can skip all that. We can - we can go and get it over with.” 

The smile disappeared. “We get killed, Eddie.” 

No . I do,” Eddie corrected, “ I’m the only one that gets killed. You take yourself out before even getting there.” 

“How do you know you’re the only one?” Stan’s tone was hard. “You just said you blacked out before seeing if they kill the clown or not. For all we know, It survived and killed them off, too.” 

“I don’t think so. If they did, they should’ve woken up last night like we did. I called Mike yesterday. He didn’t say anything about the others contacting him. Only me.” 

“What if they’re trying to pretend it’s a dream, like I am?” 

“Come on, one of those is Bill we’re talking about. If anyone would do something about any of this, it’s him. Mike’s been keeping an eye out for years now. If he knew he would’ve called us before I called him.” 

“He probably survived then. Maybe the others didn’t -” 

“- or maybe they did and don’t remember like Mike.” 

Stan shrugged, “or they’re in denial.” 

“Anyone ever tell you you’re pessimistic as fuck?” Eddie groaned. 

“This coming from you? That’s saying something.” 

“Look, you didn’t see them. The way they’ve changed. Bill, if he died and woke up like us he’d be the first one to start getting all of us together. Just like when we were kids. Beverly would never keep quiet about any of this, not if she knew it would keep us safe. Ben, he’s changed big time. He was the only one who actually thought of staying in Derry to fight the thing. He really tried to keep us together. If he knew about this, he'd be there already killing It himself. Richie,” Eddie smiled, remembering the man shouting at the thing, “you should’ve seen Richie. He was done with It’s shit. He was so angry I thought he was going to scream It to death. I think they all did. I really do.” 

Stan sighed. “How can you be so sure?” 

“It’s… a feeling. I just do. They killed It, but if we don’t go, things might turn out different.” 

“They killed it without me. I don’t have to be there.” 

Damn it. Eddie just knew Stan would say something like that. “Stan -” 

“Being there might make it worse! What if I get you and Bill killed by being there? What about Bev? Or Ben and Mike? Richie ?” 

“What if you don’t ?” Eddie countered. “What if you being there makes it better ? The clown gets killed and we all survive and nobody dies and we, shit, I don’t know, continue to live our lives without thinking of Derry ever again? Happily ever-fucking-after. We managed it the first time, they managed it a second. We can do a third. Third time’s a charm.” 

“You don’t believe that.” 

No, Eddie didn’t. He got killed once, he was probably going to get killed again, but…. “I think we have a chance.” 

“I can’t -” 

Stan - ” 

The panicked man covered his face. He was conflicted, which meant he both would and wouldn’t. Eddie knew the feeling, but he also couldn’t risk leaving Stan alone for Pennywise to torment, or changing morale when the others would discover Stan was alive but broke his promise to them by staying behind. “I’m not leaving without you.” 

Stan ran his fingers through his hair in frustration. “That’s not fair, Eddie.” 

“It’s not fair we had to fight a killer clown when we were kids and then have it returned as adults, but here we are.” 

“That’s different!” 

“How?”

“I wasn’t being dragged by you to fight it.” 

Bill ,” Eddie coughed into his balled-up hand. 

Stan glared at him. Not only had Bill dragged them to fight the clown, but had also forced their hand on killing it. This was no different, except for the fact they knew what they were walking into this time around. Eddie knew he had won this argument. “I hate this.” 

“I know. Me, too. We’ll hate it together. How fast can you pack?” 

Stan sighed. “Give me a few minutes. I have to check in with my work since I left so suddenly and give Patty a call.” 

“I’ll be right here. You better come back.” There was more meaning behind it, but Eddie wasn’t going to say it out loud. He didn’t seem to need to with the way Stan nodded and went shamefaced. “It will be okay,” he felt the need to add. 

“Yeah, sure. I’ll be right back.” 

Stan was quick to move and disappear around the corner. Eddie remained in place as he waited, looking around and taking in the portraits of Stan and his wife. They looked so happy, living that perfect married life. Then fear went and shattered Stan. He surrendered to it, deciding that taking himself out of the equation was better than breaking a promise and disappointing them all. 

The sad thing about it, Eddie couldn’t blame him for having done it the first time around. Eddie had understood. At one point while screaming for his life he had thought Stan was a lucky bastard for doing what Eddie had first wanted to do, and avoid the trauma that the clown brought all together. What a shitty thing to admit. The others would have understood as well. They had all been hesitant, all except for Mike. Not a single one of them had wanted to be there, but they had all put on their big boys and big girl pants and dutifully had marched back up to Derry. 

If Stan needed Eddie to hold up his big boy pants than Eddie would do exactly that. Would have found him a belt, too and stitched up the bottom of the legs to prevent Stan from tripping while they ran. 

Eddie was ready to hold Stan’s hand. Whatever it took. Even if his own hand shook the entire time and was going to need two pairs of big boy pants. 

Stan reappeared sometime later, not in the bathtub, not bleeding and very much alive. He had one suitcase with him and a face that said he was going to regret all of this. Eddie knew that feeling well. 

“Ready? If we hurry we might catch the next flight before it takes off. There were still seats available last I saw.” 

Stan looked defeated. “No.” 

“We’ll be back in no time.” 

“You don’t even believe that, Eddie. Trouble follows us everywhere. With our luck we’ll be stranded in Derry for however long we have left.” 

“Fuck, you got worse over the years. Here Richie thought I was going to be the one drowning in issues before I hit fifty.” 

“You are drowning in issues, you dick. You’re dragging us to go fight a clown and probably die doing it.” 

“We’ll even each other out then.” 

“You’re forgetting Richie will be there,” Stan deadpanned. 

“So will Mike, Bill, Bev and Ben. They’ll keep us in line.” 

“Fuck lot of good that’s going to be.” 

They waited in Stan’s living room for their ride and stuffed their luggage when the driver showed up. The ride to the airport was silent and tense. Eddie half expected Stan to open the door during the drive and jump out. Thankfully, nothing eventful or dramatic happened. They reached the airport in one piece, dragged their luggage through the halls with Eddie panicking every step of the way and Stan needing to remind him they were going through the sewage known as customs in order to get to Derry and change everything. 

That was motivation enough. How Eddie had managed to get through the first time to get to Atlanta was beyond him, but with Stan next to him and the responsibility now shared between them his focus was split and he was able to pay attention to his surroundings, thus bringing out his phobia of public spaces. 

In the plane, Stan had fallen asleep on the spot. The adrenaline brought by the panic having worn him out. Eddie had much preferred this opposed to having to talk Stan down as they got closer to their destination. Eddie himself couldn’t properly sleep, not while knowing the seats and the seat tray and hand rests had never known a decent wipe since their first flight. 

He distracted himself by counting down the minutes of the flight until their arrival and trying his best to steer his thoughts away from the very real possibility of heading straight to his death. One thing was for sure. He was right when he said to Mike it got easier the more he said it. 

 

Chapter Text

Arriving in Derry was bad the first time around. Arriving a second time was even worse. 

The first time here were unknowns, the unexpected, they didn’t know what the fuck they were walking into. They could pretend everything was going to be okay and it really was only a reunion. Now, with the horrible luck of knowing what’s waiting for them and having gone through it once with his death as the ending, there was no way denial could play a part here. 

The end of the line looked grim. Eddie could change the paths for the better, or he could make them take turns for something worse. He wouldn’t know, not until they happened. The question plaguing his mind was, what comes after? If he managed the right paths and killed It while keeping everyone alive, what happens after? Will they continue as if nothing happened? Forget the moment they left Derry? Will they remember and keep in contact and really have their happily ever afters? 

What if he made it all worse and got more than himself and Stan killed? Will they wake up like before and get another chance? Or was this their last life and the ending they get was permanent with an even more miserable outcome? 

Then there was the alternative. Where no end comes at all because they can’t seem to keep themselves from dying. What if they were stuck in a loop and were doomed to wake up days before Pennywise came back? Fought him over and over and over again? What if instead of Eddie and Stan, it was Bill and Richie that got killed and they were the ones to wake up with the knowledge of the future and repeated the process. What if Ben and Bev were next? What if only Stan or Mike? 

This perpetual groundhog day was fucking terrifying. All seven of them forever stuck in this fight against this demon clown with no end in sight. They wouldn’t even know they were stuck because the memories of the survivors got wiped while those who died kept theirs to pass down and start it all over again. 

Eddie would much rather not do this again. He was ready to throw down all his cards. If it ended with him impaled - well, he hoped this time he was spared and remained asleep for good. So long as the others made it out alive. If not, whatever witchcraft made it possible to return him the first time better fucking do it again. He wasn’t repeating all this just for a Loser to get killed anyway. Fuck that. 

“Will you move already,” Stan said behind him. Voice laced with irritation. A large difference to his earlier misery. “I hate this place so much.” 

Eddie couldn’t agree more. They moved forward to their rental car. It made sense to only get one since they arrived together, and this way Eddie could also prevent any last-minute ditch-and-run from Stan’s part. This conveniently also stopped Eddie from attempting his own ditch-and-run, should the stress and fear and responsibility be too much. 

Eddie drove. The ride to the hotel was slow. Tense. A reach to Eddie’s usual assertive style of driving. Car accidents weren’t on the list of terrors the first time around, and he planned on keeping it that way. He went below the speed limit and managed to keep his road rage down to only flicking off the occasional tailgater. Derry just naturally put him on edge. The child-eating clown didn’t help matters. 

They were the first to arrive, he noticed. No sign of the other Losers. In fact, no sign of anyone when they walked in. Just as empty and employee-less as before. 

“Hello?” Stan called out, making sure. “Anyone? Anyone there?” He rang the bell for service. No dice. He threw his arms up. “Does anyone work here?” 

“Come on. Just grab a key. Let’s go drop our stuff.” Eddie grabbed one of the many hanging on the wall. Stan followed suit. 

“Fucking Derry .” 

“Yeah, no one was here the first time either.” 

Stan shook his head in disbelief. “I shouldn’t be surprised. I really shouldn’t. Where are the others?” 

“They should be here soon. This is where we all rented a room last time. We can wait for them here or wait for them over at the restaurant.” Eddie paused. Come to think of it. The restaurant had multiple sets of eyes and no bathtub. Less of a chance for Stan to try anything - not that Eddie still believed Stan would try after getting this far, but better safe than sorry. “Let’s wait for them at the restaurant. We can have a table ready when they arrive.” 

“Mike has a table reserved already,” Stan unhelpfully said. 

“So we’ll be an hour early. Let’s just start getting this over with. The faster the better.” 

“Something we can agree on, but I’d really rather not be here.”

“We’re here and we’re going to do this, Stan.” 

 “I really hate this fucking place.” 

They made quick work in dropping off their luggage and returning to the car. Eddie drove again. Stan was apparently content with letting him handle the roads of Derry. That and Eddie was the one who had gotten to the small town on the first run. Use any advantage they had. Get a leg up against the clown. Not that they needed it yet, Eddie didn’t think. Pennywise was going to wake up soon, but on which day exactly Eddie could only guess. 

Mike wasn’t supposed to call until a few days from now. Three, perhaps four, from today. How long Mike waited after the first attack to contact them Eddie had to guess was a few days before. Three, perhaps four again. All the Losers were days early, meaning Pennywise was about to wake up or had already woken up and was already planning to kill someone if It hadn’t done so already. 

Maybe they could spare the first victim? Head over to the carnival. Keep an eye out for evil clowns and start getting the Losers confident about killing It. Nothing boosts faith and morale quite like stopping a demon clown’s dinner. Eddie made a mental note to ask Mike about any recent killings in the news. If nothing had been reported as of yet there might still be a chance for the couple. 

When they pulled up to the restaurant Eddie had to stop for a second and just breathe. Here we go again . Back to this hellhole. They headed inside, wary of everything around them. He barely resisted the urge to rattle off the list of things he wasn’t supposed to eat to the waitress when he saw her then had to stop when he saw their table. To his surprise, someone was already at their table. Mike greeted them with a smile, looking elated to see them again. After spending twenty-seven years in Derry, Eddie would imagine they were a sight for sore eyes. 

“Eddie, it’s good to see you,” Mike rose from his chair to give him a hug. A strong hug. The man could probably snap Eddie like a twig. “You, too, Stan.” 

Stan was not spared from the strong hug. “It’s good to see you, too. How’s it been going?” 

“I’ve been surviving. Has Eddie told you what’s going on?” Mike said carefully. Unsure of where Stan stood exactly with the circumstances. 

“Yeah, he did. Turns out he wasn’t the only one who experienced some bootleg version of time travel,” Stan didn’t necessarily snap at the word ‘time travel,’ but he didn’t sound too happy about it either. “I woke up around the time he did with memories I shouldn’t have. I didn’t get far though. Don’t ask me what happens after this. I’m just as clueless as the others.” 

“You jumped time, too?” Mike repeated, a bit surprised to hear it.

“Yeah, yeah I did. Sorry for not calling you. I thought it was some nightmare my childhood trauma cooked up,” Stan’s gaze went lower. Eddie tried not to think too much on them aimed at his wrists. “Kind of wish it only was that.” 

“Me, too.” 

“Have you heard from the other Losers?” Eddie moved to grab a seat. In an unconscious move, he selected the same one from last time. Stan sat next to him dutifully. 

“Yeah, Bev and Ben have landed. They’ll be here soon. Bill texted a couple of minutes ago. He just dropped his stuff and is on his way. I haven’t heard from Richie, yet,” Mike got comfortable on his seat again. 

“He’ll be here.”

“You sound sure,” Stan took the seat that had previously been empty, in the middle of where Eddie and Richie first sat. Eddie chose not to think further on it. “If Richie’s smart he’d stay away.” 

“Then he’ll definitely be here,” Eddie deadpanned. “He was here last time. No reason why he won’t show now.” 

“Unless he remembered what happened last time and decided to hell with it all.” 

“Stan your pessimistic side is showing again,” Eddie rubbed his forehead. “You really see Richie doing that? He is the one that screamed at the clown first and called it a bitch.” 

“One can hope he got some common sense, but I don’t have a lot of faith,” Stan sighed. “You’re right, he’ll be here.” 

It took another fifteen minutes but eventually, someone did arrive. It was Bill. Same outfit. Same hairstyle. Same face. Nothing different from the previous Loser reunion. Come to think of it, Mike was also wearing the same thing. It was all happening as he had dreamed. Very little was different, besides the obvious fourth Loser that was now there.

All three of them stood to greet him. Mike was the first to bring Bill in for a hug. Bill went for Stan next and left Eddie for last. It was good to see him again. It was… it was good to see them all. It was comforting.

Much like his dream, the last three Losers came in together while the first four were in the middle of catching up. Proving him right, Richie did show up. He didn’t grow common sense in the extra days their second chance gave them. He rang the gong, still startling Eddie and the rest, and said his lines from before. Bev and Ben were still as attractive as ever, and very unsure of the whole get together. All the Losers were all naturally unsure, but they were all there. Keeping their promise. 

It made the situation all too real. 

They sat and the twenty-seven years between them melted away. It was like coming home. Like belonging. It helped push back the demon clown and his upcoming possible death from Eddie’s mind. Only briefly. He still looked around out of paranoia of something coming in or an object coming to life. The last thing any of them wanted. 

In the middle of them eating, Mike brought up the reason why they were all there. Like the first time around, everyone reacted accordingly as he reminded them of the clown. Everyone except for Eddie and Stan. Stan looked at the center of their table solemnly while Eddie could only nod along with Mike’s words as support. Then Mike put him on the spot. 

“We think we have a chance. To finally kill It.” 

“We?” Bill repeated, scanning the table for the second person. “W-who’s we?” 

“Eddie. He’s been through this. He thinks he might know how to kill Pennywise.” 

Everyone looked at him simultaneously, including Stan. It was very eerie how in sync they all were. 

What the fuck do you mean Eddie has been through this or thinks he knows how?” Richie nearly shouted, unconvinced. “Did he practice before we came here? Auditioned for this shit?”

Ironic how close Richie was to the truth. He nearly got it in one.  

“No, you dickwad,” Eddie snapped back. It was so natural to fall into their constant bickering, their back and forth. “I didn’t audition . I - I -” he groaned. Technically, one could consider his time jumping, dreaming, whatever the fuck happened to him, as practice. So far their arrival happened in the same manner as his mental breakdown cooked up. If it kept continuing with little different than Eddie had the advantage of practice. “I don’t know how to explain this, so I’m just going to outright say it.” 

They continued watching him. 

“I time jumped somehow, or had a very vivid dream of everything that’s about to happen to us. I’ve been through this already. I’m probably going crazy, but so far it’s all been exactly how I’ve seen it.” 

The silence was so thick Eddie was half tempted to throw a knife to see if it was really possible to slice it and lessen the feeling as every book he’d read said. 

“Yeah, you’re going crazy, Marty. You’re going to need roads and the loony bin.” 

Eddie glared at the man. “That’s not helping, Asshole.” 

Ever the mediator, Mike intervened. “Let’s all calm down and let Eddie explain. There’s a lot more to this.” 

“Why can’t you? I told you everything.” Eddie really did not want to go over this again. It was bad enough to go through it in person. He didn’t need to retell it when they were all about to do another go at it. 

“You’re the time traveler.” 

“You’re the watchman.” 

“Right now you have me beat here. Just tell them what you’ve told me.” 

With an elbow on the table, Eddie leaned into his hand with a sigh. “It’s crazy.” 

“Yeah, you already told us you’re crazy,” Richie, the ever-not-so-helpful ass said. “Lay it on us and get it over with so we can get a straight jacket on you and get out of here. Rip it like a bandaid.” 

The glare came back. “I saw us all come here. Same restaurant. Same seating arrangements. You still hit the gong and drooled over Ben’s abs.”

“All of that already happened and no one here is not drooling over Ben’s abs. This doesn’t prove anything.” 

“If you shut up and let me finish -” he scanned the table. All the Losers focused their attention on him. “Pennywise will be back if it hasn’t already woken up. There will be a murder soon. I don’t know the day. I didn’t bother to learn it since I didn’t think I’d need to,” he shrugged a little helplessly. “We all come here because of Mike. Gets us running around Derry looking for tokens and remembering what happened after we separated the first time as kids for some ritual. It’s all bullshit in the end and since the ritual doesn’t work we don’t need to split up this time. No point there.” 

“Then how the fuck do we kill It?” Richie said at the same time as Bev asked, “Remembering what happened?” 

Eddie answered her first. She was nicer about her question. “We had to remember so we could figure out exactly what our tokens were. Mine is my inhaler since after we separated, I went to the pharmacy. Stan’s is his shower cap. Remember how we all wore one to keep the spiders out of our hair?” 

Slowly the memory came back to them. It was odd seeing the moment they realized it on their faces. Stan, he noted, looked down to his wrists, frowning. Probably figuring out what it meant not being there but the Losers still finding his token. Even gone he still played a part. 

“Mike’s is the rock you threw at Bowers,” Eddie continued. 

“I have it in my place actually. Still has the blood and everything,” Mike smiled. An odd thing to smile over no doubt, but it was Bowers. 

“Ben’s is a page with a signature on it. I think from a yearbook? Sound familiar?’ From the way Ben’s eyebrows went from furrowed to near his hairline, Eddie figured it did sound familiar. “Bill’s is a yellow raincoat.” Bill didn’t look at them, choosing to avoid eye contact as the grief came rushing back. “Bev, yours is a poem. You said someone wrote it for you. Sounded like you regretted not taking it with you when you left Derry.” 

The gears in her mind turned until eventually the memory resurfaced. “Your hair is winter fire,” she recited. 

“January embers,” Ben continued offhandedly, apparently on accident since seconds after he uttered those words he tensed up. Shock and panic crossed his face. Bev snapped her gaze to him, equally shocked at the revelation. 

“How do you - no, that was you ?” 

Tongue-tied, Ben could only stutter in a very impressive imitation of Bill and wave his hands helplessly in his panic state. Eventually, figuring out he had nothing to lose, he finally said, “Yeah, that was, uh, me.” 

Not knowing if they had just witnessed a confession or not, and probably not any of their business, Eddie continued to the last token. “Yours is an arcade token. You didn’t really say much about it,” he said to Richie. 

He let the comedian who didn’t write his own material dwell on it. The token parts were all said and done and they each were left to work their own repressed issues with them. No longer needing to worry about their growth as individuals, Eddie moved back to Richie’s question. “We kill It by making it small. Mike said something about following the laws of physics or some shit. Small things are easy to kill. Get It to our size and even we can handle that.” 

“H-how do we make It s-small?” Bill said, frowning, trying to understand. 

“We make It believe. You remember back when we first fought It. How we screamed at It? Made It crawl back down its hole? It shrank then. Not enough for us to take it out, but it was enough for us to live. If we do that again and actually kill It this time we can finally put an end to all this.” 

“You want us,” Richie said slowly, “to do what is basically bullying the demon clown in order to kill it? You want us to bully It to death. Am I hearing that right?” 

Eddie fidgeted nervously. When Richie put it that way. “Yeah, guess I am.” 

Richie looked ready to roast him into a third try at arriving in Derry when Bill, beautiful, wonderful, Bill, cut in before him. “D-did we kill P-Pennywise like this? In your f-first try, did we a-actually kill I-It?”

Eddie paused. He couldn’t stop himself. He paused long enough to let the Losers who didn’t know about his fate see hesitation. That not everything was sunshine and fucking rainbows. “We did. I mean, I think we did. No, you did. You did .” 

The Losers who weren’t privy to the knowledge looked at each other. Stan and Mike avoided eye contact with them, only focusing on Eddie. If they were trying to show support, Eddie couldn’t feel it.  

“Which is it?” Richie eventually said, unable to take the silence any longer. “Either we did or we didn’t. You can’t have both, Eds.” 

“Not my name, and there’s a movement out there that says I can have both,” Eddie snarked absentmindedly, clinging to what little distraction he could. “We did kill It.” 

“Yeah, you’re not exactly doing a great motivational speech here, Coach.” 

“Can you not be a dick for five minutes?” Eddie threw his hands up. “I wasn’t there to see you kill It, but I heard everything so I know you did .” 

“How did you not see ? You’re the time traveler, Terminator. How did you miss the most important part?” 

“Because I died before I could see it,” Eddie growled under his breath, ready to throw his plate at the insufferable asshole. “I died , okay? I died and woke up a few days ago. I called Mike and told him everything that’s about to happen and that’s why we’re all here already instead of waiting until that couple gets attacked.” He paused, taking slow breaths. “The couple hasn’t been attacked yet, right?” 

Mike shook his head. “Nothing has been reported. No attacks or accidents in the carnival.” 

“It’s still sleeping then. We have time.” 

“You think we can stop the first attack?” 

“We can try. I mean, we’re here already. We can get a head start on it.”

Richie did double-takes between them. “Uh, can you both back the fuck up. Are we just going to ignore the part where you die ?”

“You appear very alive,” Ben unhelpfully pointed out. “Either that or you’re a very convincing zombie.” 

Bill nodded. “D-dead rising?” 

“Can we not ,” Richie looked almost panicked with them.   

Eddie shrugged. “What more can I say? I died. I woke up. I’m here. I’m pretty sure I’m alive and not a zombie. A dream, maybe? Or you time jump when you die?” 

“How the fuck are you so calm about this?” 

“Why are you so freaked out about it?” 

The brief pause Richie gave was cause for curiosity, but Eddie couldn’t dwell on it. Not when Bev spoke up. “Eddie, I know a killer clown is traumatic, but even for us this is a bit -” 

“I’m not making this up,” Eddie searched the faces of the Losers first hearing about this, hoping for signs of confidence in his words. There wasn’t any. “Guys, this isn’t any stranger than a fucking space demon that wakes up every twenty-seven years to eat kids .” 

Their expressions did not change. Ben and Bev were still hesitant. Bill looked unsure of what to believe but showed the most promise. Richie, oddly enough, was neither hesitant or unsure. More upset at the news. Not upset out of fear from what Eddie could tell. Must be for another reason. 

“Guys -” this was a horrible feeling to feel. To not have them believe him. 

“What he’s saying is true.” Everyone, including Eddie, turned their attention to Stan. The do-over Loser was staring at his plate. “Everything Eddie said. It’s true. The dying and coming back. It happened. I believe him.” He met their gaze. “I died, too. I woke up a few days ago like him. I thought it was a dream. I wanted it to be a dream. Then he showed up at my house and said we have to go to Derry to kill the clown, so -” he lifted his arms in a sour imitation of jazz hands, “here we are.” 

It went quiet after that. Eddie was one thing. Stan was another. Stan was never one to joke on matters like this and all the Losers knew that. 

It was then that the infamous fortune cookies decided to make an appearance. The waitress brought them over, oblivious to the tense air around them after that reveal. Eddie had half a mind to flip the table in order to bury those cookies, but he figured since Pennywise hadn’t woken up yet, they were safe for now. Besides, the Losers needed to focus on something besides the killer clown. He took a cookie carefully, expecting something to burst out of it, but when it remained a cookie he ripped the plastic and broke it open. 

The others did the same. They pulled out the tiny slips and read their fortunes.

‘Wait ,’” Bev said while looking at hers. “That’s all I got.”

“I have ‘You ,’” Mike revealed his own. Equally confused as her. 

Richie eyed his. “Yeah, I have ‘Can’t .’”

‘I’ right here,” Stan put his down on the table. 

‘To ,’” Ben offered his own with an awkward smile. Unsure of it. 

Bill also placed his own down. “ ‘Get ,’” he moved quickly to grab Ben’s and Mike’s. “‘ Get To You ?’”

Richie followed his lead and grabbed Stan’s and Bev’s. “‘ I Can’t Wait.’

‘I Can’t Wait Get To You?’

“No, move ‘To’ over here,” Ben rearranged it. “‘ I Can’t Wait To Get You.’ ” 

“Get us?” Stan repeated, panic rising. 

“Okay, who’s bright fucking idea was this?” Richie said loud enough for the entire restaurant to hear. “You think this is funny?”  

“Richie, hey man, calm down. This is all probably just a coincidence,” Mike said. 

“You can’t believe that,” Bev looked around. “How did we manage to pick the exact cookies they wanted?” 

“Pennywise hasn’t woken up yet -”

Ben cut in, “- or It has and is already messing with us!” 

The arguing started with most of the Losers screaming from the fright the cookies had sparked and the message the words created. Richie was the loudest. Stan, Ben and Mike were surprisingly the most vocal while Bev and Bill were there ready to counter anything they said. None of them noticed Eddie still sitting, staring at his fortune. His hands trembling from the weight the tiny piece of paper had brought. No one, except for Richie. He eventually acknowledged Eddie’s stilled form and trembling hands.  

“Eds?” Richie looked at the tiny paper. “What does yours say?” 

Eddie nearly jumped. He caught Richie’s eyes but couldn’t respond. Instead, he gave a forced smile and placed the tiny paper where it belonged in the arrangement.

All the Losers went absolutely quiet again when they read the message. 

I Can’t Wait To Get You Again

They each exchanged looks before finally settling on Eddie and Stan. It didn’t take a genius to figure out who the message was for, but what Bill, Ben, Bev and Richie didn’t realize was the message was meant for only one Loser. The four did observe how Stan and Mike were only looking to Eddie and adjusted their gazes. Needing answers. 

“Eds?” 

Eddie shook his head. “I’m the only one Pennywise killed.” 

Without his fortune, it could’ve been any of them. Could’ve been Bill or Bev, since the clown had a fixation with them the most. Could’ve been Richie, Stan or Mike. Could’ve been Ben or Eddie. Could’ve been them all. 

With his fortune, it was only one. It was only him. Because Eddie had been killed by Pennywise once, and now Pennywise wanted to kill him again

The seriousness of the situation hit him. His death. The repeat. Pennywise singling him out. It was all real now and Eddie was smack in the middle of it. He truly was a dead man walking and he was currently knocking on the demon's door. 

Pennywise was awake and knew Eddie had cheated death. 

What else did It know? 

He couldn’t breathe. “I - I need some air. I’ll… be outside.” He stopped long enough to tell them, “You might want to pack up what you have left. Those cookies will have things coming out of them soon.” 

As if on cue the table began rumbling and many of the cookies started to move. That was his hint to get out of there. He left them to handle their food and the bill. He wasn’t proud of that, but a demon clown had just singled him out. He was entitled to a few dick moves.