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A Dance with the Crimson Death

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PROLOGUE

The Sewers
August 5th, 1989

Beverly Marsh floats in the air, her eyes a milky white hue and her curly red hair framing her face—which is tilted to the heavens, staring blankly at the disembodied limbs and bodies: which also float high in the air. She feels dead, but at the same time she can feel the steady beat of her heart, and the faint breaths that leave her lungs. The corners of her bleary vision are intensely bright—similar to the lights, IT’s deadlights, that she had seen moments (or was it hours?) before she began to float.

The piercing feeling of fear wracks her body, and everything that Beverly sees before her vacant eyes makes her want to cry. But there’s nothing that she can do except watch. Her mind is bombarded by visions and blurbs, familiar and unfamiliar faces melding together as a cacophony of voices pour over each other.

“You’ll float too! You’ll float—”

“...ADRIAN! ADR—”

“—I promise, Bill...”

“...ir is wint...ire, January embers...”

“Close your eyes, Bev...”

“...that’s Major Criss...the...U.S...ir Force—”

“—it kills mo...ter...if you believe...”

“BEEP BEEP MOTHERFUCKER!”

“...hink I killed IT, Ric...”

“I am the...Bre..aker of...Be—”

 


 

Derry, Maine
July 10th, 2016

IT wakes up feeling hollow and angry.

Aside from the hunger gnawing deep inside, IT’s first instinct to go to place deep within the Barrens—where an estate stood: abandoned and withered for twenty-five years. The clown is the first form that comes to mind, but the sight of the large mansion that looms over the leaf-covered path prompts IT to change into a form familiar to the estate.

The form is that of a twenty-eight year old man with gaunt cheeks, dark brown eyes, and equally dark brown hair: wearing a loose floral-print silk shirt (out-dated for the time period he was now in) that was tucked into blue jeans. On his right hand, a dark-banded ring with a Citrine gem glimmers brightly. Robert Gray was the name of the man...That was the form IT inhabited for a majority of its last time being awake: nearly twenty-seven years ago. 

“Robert Gray,” he introduced himself, flashing a smile at the young teen.

He already knows that they’ll take a liking to this form—he could practically feel the warmth of their cheeks from where he stood. Their brown eyes stare up at him with instant infatuation, and he knows at that moment that they’ll do anything for him. The primal scent that wafts off of them is incredibly appetizing, more so after he scared them shortly before snatching George Denbrough a few weeks ago. It’s the smell that he’s dreamt of for billions of years, long before he landed on Earth.

It’s the taste that he can’t wait to savor between his teeth.

[Y/N] King returns his smile with a kind of nervousness that only he could see (taste). They shuffle towards him, and as soon as their hand touches his, Robert Gray has to resist the urge to bite that hand clean off. The urge grows worse when they begin their dance practice: when he can feel their pulse beneath his fingers and their blood rush with every twirl and pirouette.

He wants nothing more than to take every piece of their flesh between his teeth, and to drink every last drop of their blood until there’s nothing left but their bones. And even then, he’ll make a crown out of their bones in remembrance of their sinfully appetizing presence. A mockery to the Crimson King: who was foolish enough to let his “child” into IT’s domain. But as much as he wants to devour them, there’s something stopping him from doing so.

I want to savor this meal, he thinks. There will never be another like them.

Even now, as his trail over the old furniture and decor—the honey brown paint that covered the walls were now chipped and moldy; revealing mahogany walls underneath—he could remember everything that happened here. Although twenty-seven years had passed, that was nothing compared to the billions of years that IT experienced. For twenty-seven years IT dreamt and watched the world change. A change that IT was not there for. A change that IT could not stop.

Robert’s foot steps over something soft, prompting him to furrow his brows and lift his shoe. On the floor of the dusty and cobweb-filled foyer is a small strip of film. His large fingers pick it up gingerly, and he already knows exactly what it was. He blows the leaves and dust off, and miraculously the faded piece of film is still intact. It’s a photo of him and his—

“Darling,” he says quietly.

The word came out naturally, for whenever he saw their precious face, that’s all he thought of. That they were his darling. The mark they had given him, back in July of 1989, itched and burned as a strange melancholy filled his insides. The sorrow was felt deep within, to the point where he could feel himself—his true self (the Deadlights)—quiver. He was not immune to emotions, nor sorrow, but the fact that his darling is no longer here...fills him with both rage and sadness.

Those sniveling little children were the reason why they decided to go against him, and had they never met those kids—their precious Losers—then maybe, just maybe...they would still be at his side. But they weren’t here: they weren’t even in the same state anymore, having moved out of Derry with Howard Randall (oh how he wanted to eviscerate that man for getting in the way as well) after they graduated. Not once did they return to Derry, and he (IT) feared that they had forgotten all about Derry. But that wasn’t possible, right? Surely their own pair of lights would recall everything that they experienced, right?

Right?

Did they remember Robert Gray?

What did they look like now?

...Did they still love him?

Like all other things from his darling, IT stored the polaroid film between his fingers into IT’s nest: not the one in the sewers, but the one deep within the dark underbelly of Derry. Hunger gnawed once more at his gut and his mundane facade faded into the clown. He could feel the enticing scent of fear and hatred. His mouth salivated and the longer he stalled from eating, the hungrier he grew. A sickening grin made its way onto his face as he pried through the town—focusing on two men who were currently being attacked by a hateful group of teenagers. 

The two men being attacked reminded IT of two of the Losers: Kaspbrak and Tozier. A low growl escaped from his throat thinking about the two. And once one of the men, the one who needed the inhaler, was thrown over the bridge and into the Canal, he headed to the shore. “Help! Help me!” Pennywise could hear the man scream out, but that didn’t matter. No...the only thing that mattered was the fear that wafted off of the man and seeped into the water: teasing IT’s hunger. He reaches a hand out to grab the man, a giddy giggle escaping his lips once his prey is between his fingers. 

“Thank God,” the man—Adrian Mellon—chokes out. “Thank...”

Too bad the man was too battered to notice his “savior”. IT would’ve relished in the fear and shock that would take hold of his features. The other man, from the other side of the Canal, scuttles to the shore-line, yelling out his lover’s name. The grin on Pennywise’s face only grows with more deviance. Once his molten gold irises land on Don Hagarty’s frightened and panicked form—his eyes roll to the back of his head and his maw grows larger.

He lifts his head for a brief moment before clamping down on Adrian’s flesh, just above where his heart would be: and pulls back. The meat pulls off easily and a heavy coat of blood sprays at his face as he gobbles down the fear-filled flesh. Don lets out a scream that urges Pennywise to continue his “show,” letting balloons form from thin air under the bridge on Main Street. Shades of red rubber glimmer by as he continues to devour. Blood soaks his silver costume, blending with the three vermillion pom-poms that are splayed on the front. It’s the first meal of many that IT expects to have until his long rest would return, but again...something’s missing.

A brief thought of them has him reeling. There’s no way that he could get them to come back to him, is there? But IT knows that there is, and the key to that is none other than Mike Hanlon—the only member of the Losers Club who never dared to leave Derry. With the blood splayed all over his costume, and the remains of Adrian Mellon’s body, IT leaves a message, loud and clear, on the pillars that support the bridge over the canal. The words remind IT of when the taheen took his darling away from Derry: the same day IT, in a blind rage, decided to murder his darling’s parents. He’ll make sure that they’ll come home.

Back to him.

 


 

Mike Hanlon is sitting in a chair, in his room above the library, when he hears the radio roar to life.

Before the radio emitted noise, he was pondering in his thoughts—fiddling with a small cow-bell (connected by a black ribbon) between his fingers. It was a bell that belonged to a sheep that had passed long ago, but that sheep was the very same one that brought Mike Hanlon his first friend in Derry. Spring was the name of the sheep, and as Mike Hanlon delved deeper into his thoughts, he wondered if his first friend remembered the name of the sheep too. But then the radio sounded on, and Mike Hanlon’s fears—which hadn’t been unlocked for a whole twenty-seven years—finally came to life.

His palms suddenly grow sweaty and he sets the cow-bell on the table, grabbing his jacket and driving his car towards Main Street. While this happens, he can’t help but think back to the 5th of August: when the terror finally ended. But unfortunately, Mike has a sinking feeling that it never ended...it never stopped...IT never died.

The crime scene isn’t much, but he can see paramedics tending to a panicked man—whom Mike recognizes to be Don Hagarty, a man he had seen come in the Public Library now and then with his boyfriend. But the fact that Don’s boyfriend is nowhere to be found, causes anticipation and fear to pool in his gut. He brushes past the police officers, who (in Derry) are careless as always, and down a path that led to the Canal. The roar and excitement of the fair melds with the sound of the rushing water.

Something red catches Mike’s eye, prompting him to bend down and grab the object from a bush. His heart stills for a brief moment recognizing the texture and the white string that connects to the popped balloon. His fingers rub over the material, stretching it out to read the message printed on it in white text.

I ♡ DERRY.

All of a sudden a metallic smell catches Mike’s nose, making his face scrunch up. It’s a smell different from the brackish water from the Canal, and different from the popcorn and sugar that came from the fair. This smells more like...blood. Mike’s breathing quickens and his eyes catch something in the corner of his vision, prompting him to look up. He wishes that he didn’t. Mike jumps back, letting out a string of swears as his eyes land on the beam underneath the bridge.

The scar on his palm burns, and more memories begin to rush by: rekindled by the same horror that tied him and all of his friends together back in the summer of 1989. A police officer asks him what’s wrong, but Mike dismisses them—they can’t see what he sees. A message written on the pillar reads:

COME HOME

COME HOME

COME HOME

 


 

Mike doesn’t know what to expect when he dials the phone number.

His hand trembles, the phone shaking in his hand, as it rings over and over. His eyes trail over nervously to the note-pad beside him, containing all information he had about his friends’ current whereabouts. It took forever for him to find the personal contacts and numbers, especially when it came to finding Victor, Bill, Richie, and [Y/N]’s contact information. They were, after-all, celebrities (except for Victor, whom Mike found out was in the military and was extremely private on social media) and probably had several numbers—which was true for all of them. Mike had to do a lot of digging for the latter, because their information was so private.

Although they loved being in the limelight, they weren’t one to open up about themselves.

“If I ever make it big,” they say dreamily, leaning their head against Victor’s arm, “I want to live in my own private mansion.”

Mike smiles at their response, turning to Victor who shrugged. “A one-story’s fine with me,” the platinum-haired teen said. “Shit, I’m fine with the crappy apartment I have right now. I don’t like filling my place with too much stuff...gets kinda overwhelming.”

“You seemed pretty fine sleeping at the estate, though Vic,” [Y/N] says cheekily, poking Victor’s forehead.

The other merely lets out a huff, his cheeks growing warm at their actions. He wraps his arm around their waist, lifting the shower cap that Stan gave them all and pressed a chaste kiss on their forehead. Victor replied, “That’s only because you were there with me.”

Mike watched the exchange with supportive eyes.

Those two really went well together.

His foot taps against the wooden floor, and he can feel his anticipation grow worse when a voice-mail makes itself known.

“Hi, you’ve reached [Y/N] King. I’m unavailable right now, most likely practicing for or performing my next ballet. Please leave your name and number, and I’ll try to get to you as soon as possible.” Following their message is the tell-tale beep, which prompts Mike Hanlon to take a deep breath—forming a response.

“Hi...this is Mike Hanlon...from Derry...You need to come back, [Y/N]...IT’s alive.”

 

Chapter Text

ACT I, PART I

You first met Beverly Rogan while attending a fashion show for her joint-business, Rogan-Marsh (her partner being her husband of five years: Tom Rogan)—when the duo hosted first Summer Collection fashion show in 2015.

You had never met the woman in person until that moment, but at the same time, the moment you met eyes with her: you felt as if you knew her your whole life. But then again, you had a way with people—explained by a set of psychic powers that no one, except Howard Randall, knew about—that made it easy for you to read others. But with Mrs. Rogan? There was something about her ocean green eyes that made you feel nostalgic, happy even. Strangely enough, there was a pull that urged you to walk towards her: a pull that was hard to explain with normal human words. 

“Mrs. Rogan,” you greeted with a smile, holding your hand out. “I’m [Y/N] King, and I have been a fan of your work for a very long time. It’s honestly such a pleasure to meet you.”

Beverly Rogan turns her attention to you, her eyes widening for a brief moment before settling back into ease. She seems to share the same surprise and intrigue that you reserved for her, but makes no comment on it. “The pleasure’s all mine,” she replies, shaking your hand. She tilts her head, furrowing her brows playfully.

“Have we met before...? You seem...familiar.”

“I don’t ever recall a time I have met you,” you continue softly, “but you may have heard of me from my ballets...?”

Beverly’s eyes light up at that moment and she nods, letting out a drawn out “oh” at your response.

“I have heard of you!” she states. “I think my husband took me to one of your original ballets before...I think it was called—”

“The Spider and the Butterfly,” you finish for her.

She nods again, and hands you a glass of champagne—to which you declined. You couldn’t remember the specifics of it all, but you were sure that you had a bad experience with alcohol in your youth. The smell of it, especially hard liquor and beer, sent your brain into a haze before you even took a sip. Wine was the easier beverage that you could handle on some occasions, but you weren’t a hard drinker for it. Just something about being intoxicated made you feel—

Disgusting, you think to yourself. Gross and light-headed and full of shit.

The teenager, whom you can’t find the energy to remember the face of, leads you somewhere into a dark tunnel: and by the sounds and smells, you have a feeling you’re somewhere in the sewers. The chill of winter stings your back, prompting you to shiver and press yourself closer to the other teen (even though you feel as if he’s a threat to you). Slowly but surely, your intoxicated mind—a result of drinking one? Two? Two bottles of alcohol—lets go of all reasoning. You hold the teenagers hand, following him into the darkness as his flashlight guides the way.

For some reason, you could see a red balloon trailing closely behind whenever you turned around.

“I would love for you to consider creating the costumes for my future projects,” you said, trying to reel your thoughts back in.

You had a habit of doing that: spacing out. Sometimes you found yourself doing it in your ballets—when a simple action or thought sent you reeling down memory lane. Sometimes it happened in your dreams, where you (often) dreamt of rather...dark things. But for some reason, no matter how hard you thought, you could never get the exact details down. Usually the faces of those you dreamt of were blurred: names meant nothing if you had no idea who you were talking to.

Subconsciously, you begin to stroke your ring finger—which wore a single dark-banded ring with three prominent rubies. It was the only material link you had that connected you to your past...somewhat. As always, the details were blurred, but you were sure of one thing. Whoever gave you this ring loved you a lot, and you loved him back.

The only problem was that the person you thought of happened to be an adult, which would be fine...had your dreams not included the crucial detail that you were a youth when you met the man. Everything was a blur in your memories (getting so bad to the point where you didn’t even know the town you lived in; the only thing you could recall being that your childhood home was in Durham, New Hampshire), and when you thought of your...lover(?)—things only got hazier.

Sometimes you dreamt of the man giving you only love and affection, while on some days—random at most, and especially prominent when you were having really “bad” days—you dreamt of trauma and pain. You could only remember the way you felt, the sounds you heard...the smells you took in...but alas, no name and no face was given to the man who had given you this ring. You did recall a faint smell of peppermint and cedarwood now and then, a heavily “masculine” smell that made your head dizzy and your knees weak: but nothing else came to mind.

Howard Randall, your uncle from your father’s side, explained that you were in a relationship with a man—whom he didn’t know the name of—who was twelve years older than you, and hurt you...both physically, and emotionally. But miraculously, Howard did say that you did break away from the relationship.

Oddly enough, his memories were blurry as well (which was easy to explain, considering how old he was now).

“—okay?” Beverly questioned, making you inhale sharply.

Your eyes widened, stunned at her partial query. How long had I been daydreaming? you wondered. A simple check on your phone (and your black Rolex watch) told you that only five minutes had passed. You swallowed a knot in your throat, looking down at her—since she was considerably shorter than you—with uneasy eyes. Your hands trembled, and your breathing had quickened. You discreetly brushed a hand against your temple and realized that you were beginning to sweat.

“I said, are you okay?” she repeated, staring at you with concerned eyes.

You nodded, giving her a weak smile. “Just got lost in the moment, that’s all...I don’t feel so well around alcohol.”

“Oh right! Sorry...” she muttered, setting her glass on the table nearby.

“I read that in your book.”

“You’ve read my book?” you asked, astonished.

Beverly nods once more, giving you a sheepish smile.

Earlier in the year you had finished writing (and published) your first “novel,” but in reality it was more of an autobiography of yourself. It talked about your trauma and pain, alongside the ways that you managed to deal with it: and left a message for those who were also going through the same thing. It was a project you had been working on with one of your friends from Uni, who had opened up to you about her own troubles back in 1997 (just a few days after you graduated with your Master’s Degree in Sociology). At the time, your book had become increasingly popular (considering the fact that politics were growing hotter every day), and had boosted your reputation aside from being a well-known ballet dancer.

“I have my own copy,” Beverly admits, “in my private study.”

“I hope you enjoy reading it,” you say.

Beverly messes with her blazer, her face growing somber. “It’s...something I can relate to...on a personal level,” she confesses in a soft voice. “My father he...he wasn’t a good man.”

Sympathy fills your heart at that moment, and it’s hard for you to resist the urge to hug this woman (who you’ve known for fifteen minutes). There’s a familiarity in her words, as if you’ve heard this before. Not in general, per se, but from her—personally. You hold back the instinct to pry into her mind, something you did on occasion from people you didn’t trust, but with Beverly Rogan: you want to do it out of genuine curiosity. There’s something about the way she speaks to you, looks at you, that seems familiar. 

A spit-fired girl with boyish, curly red hair sits on the roof of the apartment complex: a cigarette between her fingers. Upon seeing your face, she immediately snuffs it out—her pale cheeks growing a rosy color. You can recall the freckles on her face, but not her eyes, and you can hear her voice call out your name. You try to call back to her but fail to.

You don’t know her name, or who she is.

Beverly Rogan takes a deep breath, shaking her head.

“I-I—I’m sorry,” she gets up, “I shouldn’t have shared that with you.”

“No, no, no!” you exclaim, following her actions. “Please...it’s alright with me.”

You give her a reassuring smile, your mahogany colored eyes (crimson if one looked hard enough in the light) warming your features. Beverly takes another look in you, and you can sense that familiarity roll from her as well. Her breathing calms, and the wild look in her eyes fades away. Slowly, she sits back down but an alarm on your phone causes you to groan.

“Shit, I’m sorry,” you mutter, bringing out your phone. Your personal driver was here, and you didn’t want to keep him waiting. You send Beverly an apologetic look. “I have to go now,” you explain. “Do you mind if we exchange numbers? I’d like to text you more.”

She nods, shuffling through her bag to bring out her phone and hands it to you after unlocking it. You do the same with your phone, and within seconds after adding your number to her contacts—which are all well-organized and kept—you receive a text from her. “I got your message,” you say with a smile. “Thanks, Mrs. Rogan.”

“Please, just Beverly is fine.”

“Only if you do the same for me,” you reply.

“I will,” she chuckles. “Have a good evening...I hope you enjoyed the fashion show.”

“I did!” you call out softly. “I look forward to seeing you more.”

 


 

July 2nd, 2016

A few months had passed by since your first meeting with Beverly Rogan, and the two of you were beginning to become close friends; one might even consider you both best friends. You had gotten along nicely with here, more so when you started to face-chat with each other—which then escalated to her visiting your private home, a place in Upstate New York.

It was a large manor well-hidden in the forest, a large portion of the home leading into a clearing that you owned. It was something you had bought after collecting your savings from a large amount of money that you had in several bank, checking, and savings accounts. The money had been sitting in those accounts for a long time, some of them being moved when banks were closed: and the biggest reason for your lack of spending it, was the fact that your tuition was all paid with grants, plus the money that Howard gave you.

You were fortunate enough to have such a caring person in your life.

You recalled some things about your mother and father, the least favorable thing being why they were no longer in your life. But it had been twenty-seven years since you last saw them physically—again, your childhood and youth were a blur—and you could only gather so much from pictures. One of them was a photograph of you, maybe when you were fifteen or sixteen (you did still have a lot of your youthful looks despite turning forty-four this December), and your parents: happily laughing and smiling. You kept that photograph on your night-stand, facing downwards sometimes when you felt horrible about yourself, but on the good days—you always had that with you to stay happy.

Several other things were in your master bedroom, including a large shelf that held a whole variety of snowglobes. Faintly, you could recall your parents buying one for you every-time they traveled the world. The last snowglobe they had given you, was from Austria: the date labeled, Dec. 1989—

December was the month of your first kiss, and your first nightmare.

You remembered going through a few other things before the month arrived, but nothing could compare to what you experienced in the duration of a day. You remembered cold hands pressing against your cheeks as lips captured yours; a tall frame hunching over your dainty, fragile one. You remembered wearing a tutu—a costume for the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker—which would soon be discarded. You remembered pain everywhere. You remembered dark brown eyes staring into your own with an unhealthy obsession.

“Tell me you love me,” the man uttered out over and over again.

The tears stained your face, and your throat was practically bleeding from screaming so much. You felt betrayed that this man would do this to you: that this man, someone you trusted with all your being, would go to such lengths to show you that it was your fault. That it was your fault that you let the boy, whose name you couldn’t even recall, kiss you. That it was your fault that you didn’t know how to say no.

You wondered if things would’ve been different if you did say no.

And in addition to countless other artifacts from your youth, posters and idols of actors and movies, you also had a companion to keep you company: a German Shepherd named Bobby. Your first pet, a Desert Blonde Tarantula named Holland, had died a long time ago: leaving you hollow and sad for a while. It didn’t help when your other spider (Gray), which you had gotten from the mysterious man from your past, had also died a few years ago.

But Bobby, your dog, was a good boy who lived to be your service dog. He helped you when you were in the midst of panic attacks and episodes, stopped you from scratching yourself (an unhealthy habit that you found hard to get rid of, even now), and if things got really bad—get your medications. You were never a pill-taker, and thankfully, Bobby had always calmed you down before you could get to that stage.

He was the best companion you could ever ask for in your life.

Other than your uncle and late grandmother (from his side), Bobby was the only one you considered to be family. You had never been in any relationships before, that you could recall aside from the life-changing one in your youth, and you always found it difficult to. There was a panic that you found yourself facing every-time someone would ask for you to go out with them. You just couldn’t handle it—

“I...I don’t think I’m ready to go back into a relationship, V...” you uttered softly, lacing your fingers with his.

The boy in question, a strong-jawed platinum-haired boy with tense eyes, sighs in response—tightening his hand around yours. Not too far away are a few other kids, maybe seven of them in total (who are they?), who are laughing and playing with each other against the blankets. A movie rolls by over the large theater-like television inside of the room: one room of many that filled this...estate. Beside you is a fresh batch of cookies and strawberry shortcakes that you baked yourself.

“That’s okay,” the boy muttered back. His lips turn upwards in a reassuring smile: a sight strange to see on a face that seemed so hard. “Take as much time as you need to think,” he continued. “I don’t want to pressure you into anything.”

“Thanks V...”

“Anytime, dove.”

A wet muzzle on your hand brings you back to reality: inhaling sharply as you pull away from your thoughts. Bobby rests on top of you, pressing his head into your chest while you take quick, hasty breaths. You’re thinking again...about your past. “H-Hey Bobby,” you croak out, albeit you’re not in a well state of mind. It hurts to think about what had happened to you, or what you experienced without having to panic every couple of minutes. Just thinking about thinking gets you even more riled up, and you breathe a little faster—to which Bobby responds by scooting his muzzle forward while moving his paws to rest between the valley of where your rib-cage would be.

You close your eyes, letting out a shaky breath. The feeling and pressure of his frame is calming against your lungs, and slowly but surely (you had a feeling that a considerable amount of time had passed) you begin to calm down: focusing on his splattered features and dark eyes. When it passes, Bobbie moves so that he’s resting beside you, his tail swishing to and fro at the sign of your face looking healthier and better. You wondered what he was thinking of, because although you did connect with animals to a certain extent, the ability to read minds was only limited to people.

“You’re the best, you know that?” you praise, rubbing his neck and ears.

He licks your hand in response, pressing his muzzle into the palm of your right hand—the one with the ring on it. Although he was just your service dog, he was a really good one and made life easier to deal with, especially when you had a few episodes that left you completely out of it. You had trained him to recognize certain smells, the main trigger for you being alcohol and peppermint, and Bobby was really good at recognizing those smells (even in a busy environment).

Deciding that you had enough, you slowly rose from bed and left the room; Bobby walking beside you. The pitter-patter of his nails and paws against the wooden floorboards was relaxing, comforting even. Despite living in a manor, you lived alone with Bobby—with the exception of hiring a few maids and butlers to clean up every now and then.

Parties and events were your specialty in the home, being that you were also the founder of an organization as well. The organization served as an advocate for victims of abuse, particularly grooming, and many of your hosted events served as charities to help those who were in need of assistance (whether it be getting out of a situation, or to help fund their finances for a temporary time).

Entering the kitchen, Bobby already knew what to do and turned on the lights for you. You were absolutely starving and wanted to cook something for yourself.

“Sit,” you ordered to Bobby, pointing to the chair.

He obediently followed your command, hopping on the leather seat and resting calmly, his feet trained to the seat after a routine of being trained to do so. You were exhausted but that didn’t mean that you were useless, and soon enough you went to work—setting a variety of fresh greens and meat on the kitchen counter without lifting a finger.

Your powers were much easier to use as the days went by, and they were easier to hide when you were going through a panic attack or episode. Surprisingly, Bobby was relaxed about it (but you just assumed that your powers had a hand in calming him as well), and simply watched as you began cooking; his tongue splayed out as he breathed heavily. You never had any problems in the kitchen with your...illnesses...but Bobby was there for you nonetheless: sitting in a spot where your extra set of medications was placed. Cooking was very therapeutic for you, especially when you chopped the vegetables and covered the meat in batter that you made yourself.

“Alexa,” you said softly, “play some Vivaldi.”

The AI responded immediately, playing the first movement of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons: Winter. It was the only piece from the composition that you enjoyed listening to—there was just something about it that was relaxing. You poured oil into the pan, the electric stove heating it within seconds, and grabbing the flour and thyme-covered mutton (for some reason, you had acquired a taste for sheep over the years) and gently placing it into the pan. The eat of the pan didn’t bother you when your fingers accidentally brushed against it: another thing that you learned to get used to. Howard told you that you had these powers for as long as he knew you, which was a good twenty-seven years.

Psychics were a rare thing to see, but completely real—that much was apparent from the now-released full-length biography of Carrie White along with her complete autopsy. Some women had also come out about their own abilities, but none of them seemed to do the things you could. They couldn’t cause life to wither at a mere touch, they couldn’t teleport...they couldn’t see what you could see. What you had was more like a variety of different things combined into one, and you still didn’t know why. You were sure the women in your family didn’t have the “gene” that caused this, nor did any of them have any supernatural experiences.

There was no one—

“—else like you,” a strangely childish voice whispered.

Your back was against smooth silk, glimmering silver in the darkness of the (sewer) tunnels. Gloved hands held onto you with a strange familiarity that made your stomach lurch and your heart soar with a sickeningly sinful song. Your heart beats against your fragile frame, and your eyes burn—your throat itches and burns as if you had been crying beforehand. There’s something else on your mind at that moment: a mission? A rescue? Some kids that you needed to save?

A girl, you think to yourself. I’m here to...here to...

“Was it all a lie?” you ask without control, the words falling freely from your lips. You don’t even know what your talking about, or who you’re talking to, but you can only focus on the feelings of hurt and betrayal that pierce your heart. Against the rank smell of the sewers, you can smell something...familiar. Peppermint and cedarwood mixed in with popcorn and sugar.

“...was it all just...just some silly little—”

You drop the spatula into the pan, hands petting Bobby, who had somehow headed to your side without you knowing. He looks up at you, liking your hands and pressing his muzzle into your side, and you hesitantly crouch down and let him lick your face. You were getting a little agitated and thankfully, Bobby distracted you before anything could happen. You let him sit by your feet while you finished cooking, grabbing fresh thyme and setting it in the pan—enjoying the smells that wafted from the sizzling meat and oil.

You sat in the dining room after you were done cooking, enjoying your meal while Bobby sat in your lap. He was pretty heavy, but you got accustomed to it; and his presence was relaxing. Your phone blared to life beside you, prompting you to check it. It was a text from Beverly. A smile reached your lips as you read her text.

You doing anything tomorrow? it read.

Not really, you reply with a smile. But I’m busy next week. I have a ballet to perform.

The small dots formed in a message bubble before her response came back fast. Tom and I are eating out tomorrow, she continued. He told me that I could invite a friend over as well...would you like to come?

You thought for a moment, but already knew your answer. Any time spent out of the manor was good enough, especially since the other times that you were out—were mostly when you had to pay attention to work. Spending your down time outside in town was something that you didn’t do often, mainly because you felt comfortable not going out in public.

Not to mention the fact that people would bombard you with questions or ask for pictures, which would only escalate to crowds (something you were starting to hate): even though many of the people had no idea who you were. It was just the sight of someone asking for an autograph or picture from you, that made people want to ask for one too, because having something signed by a “famous person” was exciting. It didn’t help that Bobby was always with you, and people would try to pet him—which was especially bothersome since Bobby needed to stay focused in case you were about to grow antsy.

Sure, you text back to Beverly. Send me an address of the place and the time.

 


 

July 3rd

You always hated Beverly’s husband: Tom Rogan.

There was just something off-putting about him that made your nose scrunch up for the briefest of moments, and caused Bobby to whimper and distract your mind. Even as he sat under the table of the high-end restaurant, Bobby constantly pressed his wet nose into your hand, trying to ease your nerves the longer you were in Tom’s presence. You had a feeling that Bobby sensed something was off about the man as well, because as soon as you shook hands with the man upon seeing him and Beverly at the restaurant: Bobby was already trying to get you to walk somewhere else. But you didn’t, and bit down your suspicion of the man.

You watched his every little movement—the way he interrupted Beverly and chose what she ate and drank: one of the beverages being a hearty, aged wine. You drank water instead, declining Tom’s offer for him to buy you a beverage as well. Beverly already knew about your distaste for alcoholic beverages, but Tom was a bit oblivious and seemed to focus his attention on Beverly’s movements and actions. He had a controlling presence about him that made your insides clench. Beside you, Bobby presses a paw along your thigh and rests his head on your lap: effectively distracting your thoughts about the man whose presence threatened you.

“So,” you start off with a smile (despite the fact that you felt otherwise), “the dresses and costumes you have provided for my ballet are absolutely wonderful. The two of you are amazing, as always.”

“It’s nothing,” Tom says with a laugh. You try to hold back a cringe when he interrupts Beverly as he talks. Bobby doesn’t stop his trained routine, and you give in, idly running your hands through his fur while the conversation continues. “I do hope that we get a discount for that, though.”

“Oh please,” you chuckle. “You and Beverly are always welcome to get the special back-stage passes...free of charge.”

“By the way,” Beverly says suddenly—you try to ignore the grimace from Tom as his wife speaks. “The costumes for your Hallows Eve ballet are due to arrive soon. I just need to add finishing touches to your costume.”

“That’s wonderful!” you exclaim, taking a sip from your glass of water.

The rest of the evening went fine, with Beverly inviting you to a party hosted by Tom for July 4th—to which you politely declined. Again, big crowds weren’t your thing, and when you did host your own parties you had to be in a fresh state of mind. There’s no way you could relax in the house of a man that you didn’t like.

Once you said your goodbyes after dinner passed, you gave Beverly a hug—and oddly enough, she tensed when your hands landed on her back. Her face twisted in pain for a brief moment before settling into one of blankness, trying to not convey any emotions. Bobby tugs on your leash before you could ponder as to why her reaction made you so uneasy, urging you to apologize and leave.

Now that everything was said and done, you had to prepare for July 10th: which was the day you’d perform your Summer Days ballet in the Gershwin Theater in New York City. It was a full house and people were ready to see you perform. Dancing was your passion for the longest time, and was the only time when you felt free from your worries and troubles.

Your youthful looks (which never failed you ever since you kept your looks from eighteen onwards) made things easier for people to enjoy your dancing. Your lithe frame, pretty albeit a bit unhealthy, also kept that traditional look that many people imagined when they thought of ballet. The only thing that did change a few things were your height, standing a bit above average at five foot, nine inches—and your background ballerinas were a few inches shorter than you. At least your (current) dance partner, Bruce Hayes, was around the same height as you.

When you got home you took a relaxing shower before shrugging into a simple oversized t-shirt and underwear, the ring on your finger glimmering under the moonlight when you drew the blinds open with your powers. Bobby curled up next to you, setting his head on your chest while you pet his fur, lulling yourself into a relaxing sleep.

 


 

Bethesda, Maryland
May 2nd, 2003

A series of memories pass through your mind as you’re rolled into the emergency room.

You can faintly recall a time when you were a teenager being rolled into a hospital, blood coating your dress and a searing pain in your arm—even though nothing was broken. You remembered the pain and the dizziness, voices screaming over each other as you seep further and further into unconsciousness. You remembered, before the hospital, that fire-haired girl staring down at you with tears in her eyes and her hands settled on the sides of your face. You remembered hands holding yours, not her’s though—but one belonging to a boy with dark auburn hair and striking blue eyes. You don’t know any of their names.

But you’re not a teenager anymore. You’re thirty years old and literally about to die. Your heart clenches like nothing before and you vomit blood even though nothing had pierced your stomach. “It’s your heart,” a bird-faced man says. You clench your eyes and try to focus on something nice, something sweet. Nurses scream and shout as you’re pulled into the OR (once more), and a frantic sight befalls your eyes while you fall in and out of consciousness.

The red-cloaked king sneers at the Gunslinger below.

Beside the Gunslinger is a man, someone who can do extraordinary things with the simple action of drawing and painting...How you know this, you don’t know. The Crimson King—How do you know his name? Why does he seem so familiar?—sneers at them from the balcony he cannot leave. The field of roses, the Can’-Ka No Rey, calls to the Gunslinger, and on the inside: you have a feeling that you’re being called as well. The artist paints the king with the blood of the Gunslinger, and the rose petals from the Can’-Ka No Rey. It’s an exact image that represents the King before the artist snuffs the image out.

While this happens, you can feel your limbs grow numb and your mind spin. Between worlds, you can feel yourself pass at every second that goes by—perfectly in sync with how the Crimson King erases from existence. There’s nothing left but his blaring, red eyes (eerily similar to your own pair) before he’s thrust into Todash. (What was Todash anyways? You feel these words come freely to you, but you don’t know what they truly mean). The end is resolved, the battle is won. But you’re still here, but not here at the same time.

The Gunslinger turns to you, and for that brief moment you feel as if he can actually see you.

“Will you be different?” he asks.

You want to know what he’s talking about, and try to ask what he means, but he says nothing in response. He’s a man of few words and you can see the grief in his eyes—the loss of many of his allies and comrades evident from his journey to the tower and field of roses. You step forward and suddenly, you don’t feel like a thirty-year-old woman anymore: but the sixteen-year-old girl standing amongst their friends, even though you don’t remember their names or who they are. The Gunslinger steps forward.

“Will you sacrifice yourself to the Red to save your allies of the White?”

When you wake up, you’re hooked onto several machines that beep and monitor everything about you. You don’t feel whole, but instead you feel incredibly empty even though you don’t know what had just happened. One moment you were just chatting with your friends, and was about to drive to see Howard, when you collapsed after you felt a searing pain in your heart. Oddly enough, the doctor told you that you didn’t suffer from a heart attack—there was no sign of a blockage in any of your arteries and you were an incredibly healthy person—

 


 

You wake up, startled and absolutely haggard.

Bobby’s already awake, having tugged on your shirt with his teeth to wake you up. He goes away for a brief moment to mess with your bag on the floor before returning with a familiar orange bottle in his teeth. You’re panicked and jittery all over, and nothing feels quite right in your mind. You feel detached and the only thing you can do is take Valium and swallow it down despite the fact that it makes you want to cry. You never had the guts to admit to the doctor that you couldn’t take pills.

It hurts to breathe, it hurts to think.

Bobby doesn’t waste any time in doing everything he can do to ease you out of whatever you’re experiencing right now. It’s one in the morning, and you want to do nothing more than to crawl into a hole and cry. Panic wracks your body, but you don’t really know why you’re so afraid. You always felt like this whenever you dreamt of the...field of roses. You reach your hands up to grip and pull at your hair but Bobby effectively brushes your hands away with his paws, resting his head on your chest to calm you down—as always.

The Valium should kick in soon, and things would go back to normal.

 

Chapter Text

ACT I, PART II

July 10th

You wake up feeling whole and relieved.

It’s as if something inside of you has sprung back to life—urging you to go about your morning routine with a spring in your step. The clouds outside suddenly feel beautiful despite them covering the sun, and you take what you get gingerly: eating a hearty meal, and going to work right away. Today was the day that your Summer Days ballet would be performed, and the stage was already set, and the props were all ready to be used. All that was needed was for you to go to New York City and get all of your dancers ready.

You had been practicing for this ballet for nearly a majority of this year (and last year), since it was your own project; and everything needed to be perfect. You secure Bobby’s vest onto him, making sure to pack your essential medications inside of the pouch on his side, before grabbing your other bags. A smile is on your face while you walk through the manor, towards the garage—where your trusted vehicles wait to be used.

Your primary vehicle was a sleek, black 2014 Dodge Durango. After tossing your things in the trunk and making sure that Bobby was well-fed and taken care of outside, you let him enter the car after you and finally, you were off. Beverly would be there to make sure that everyone’s costumes were in set, and your make-up assistants would have to paint your face with shades of yellow and orange. 

Your phone was already buzzing with notifications from your recent post about you getting ready to perform today. A lot of comments ranged from how beautiful you were, to spam comments, a variety of self-promotions, and a lot of questions. You answered a couple of them before giving up, stopping by a coffee shop. You placed sunglasses over your eyes, which you found to be very effective in hiding your identity, and brought Bobby with you inside of the shop.

“Hi miss, what can I get for you?” asked the barista—her name-tag read, Maria.

“Just a regular iced latte,” you replied with a smile. “Chai, please.”

“Alright!” Maria exclaimed.

“Anything else?”

“No, that’s all.”

“And the name for your order?”

“Red,” you said softly. 

It wasn’t your name, but at least it was easy for the baristas to remember—and besides, you didn’t want anyone suspecting that you were a well-known person online. You were known by your fans for your long hair, reddish-brown eyes, and youthful looks. Having Bobby by your side was also another hint at who you were, since you made posts about him from time to time.

The barista nodded, telling you the price to which you handed her your debit card. You never carried cash on you, only during the first week of the month. Your rule was that if you didn’t spend your pay from the end of the month in that first week, you would deposit it into your savings accounts.

After all was said and done you left the coffee shop, happily sipping on your drink while you neared closer and closer to the Gershwin Theater. Entering the building with your bags and Bobby’s leash in your hand, you greeted Beverly with a smile.

“You seem like you’re in a good mood today,” she noted with a smile.

“I am,” you admit honestly. “I don’t know...I just...for some reason—I don’t feel so lonely today. Like...I don’t know how to explain it, but it feels like I’m whole again...like something inside of me is just...back to life, I guess.” Before she could reply, you shake your head and let out a shaky laugh. “It’s probably just me being excited for today,” you reason with a smile.

“We got a full house today.”

 


 

When the day was done, your feet were sore and a smile reached your face.

The performance was a success, and you were currently waiting in the back, signing posters and pictures from some of your fans. Bobby’s leash was in your hand, and he (and two security guards) did a good job in preventing a few people from getting too close to you. It had been an hour since the performance was over, and everyone else was cleaning up. 

Your assistant, Brianna Lacey, came up to you with your phone in her hand. She gave you an apologetic look, handing your phone to you. You capped the sharpie in your hand, saying something to a few people waiting—and gave Brianna a questioning gaze.

“What happened?” you asked, tilting your head.

“I-I’m sorry!” she exclaimed, breathing heavily. You couldn’t blame her though, she probably had to run all away from the front of the theater to the back. You looked down at your phone, your eyes widening at the fact that you had six missed calls.

Brianna continued, “Someone kept calling you the entire time during the performance.”

You opened your phone, noticing that it was an Unknown contact. “Thank you for telling me this,” you give Brianna a smile. “Thank you for coming, Bri. You can go home now.”

“Thanks boss,” Brianna said before respectively nodding her head and returning to get her things. Since you didn’t have any pockets (you were still in your make-up and costume for the performance), you bent down and put your phone in Bobby’s vest pouch; patting his face at how obedient he was.

You turned around, letting out a sigh and put on a smile on your face, uncapping your sharpie. “Alright,” you said to the ten people waiting patiently for you. “Who needs a signature, and for what?”

Cue the crowd returning.

While you were finishing up and returning back to your room to change out of your attire and get rid of your make-up, you heard your phone buzz from Bobby’s pouch again. Letting out a frustrated sigh, you take your phone and look down. It was the same Unknown caller, and you didn’t want to bother—it was probably just someone who got your number from one of your friends. You set your phone down on the vanity, returning to your undressing. Dressing into sweatpants, a t-shirt, and a drawstring hoodie, you let your hair fall freely: allowing it to fall down to your waist.

You poured water for Bobby in a portable dish from one of your bags, petting his head while you let him rest. You didn’t want to go home just yet, even though everyone had everything settled, and you were scrolling on your phone when the Unknown caller came up again. You groaned, causing Bobby to perk up, and you gave him a reassuring smile.

“I’m okay Bobby,” you said.

Curiously, you set the phone back down but answer it—putting the voice on speaker. As soon as you did that, you answered with a simple, “Hello?”

The caller on the other side let out a sigh of relief, almost laughing.

“I was afraid you wouldn’t pick up,” the man on the other side said. “I’ve been calling you since nine o’clock.”

“I’m sorry, who is this?” you ask, furrowing your brows. Bobby gets up and walks over to you, setting his head on your lap: allowing you to run your hands through his fur and scratch his ears. “Do I know you?”

“This is...you don’t remember me?” the man asks, hurt.

“No,” you choke out. “But whoever the hell you are...how did you get my personal—”

“It’s Mike Hanlon,” the man interrupted, “...from Derry.”

Derry. The word causes you to freeze instantly, your hands trembling and the breath in your lungs stilling. Bobby becomes alarmed in an instant, following his training in trying to usher you out of your slowly-panicking state, but nothing words. You get up off of your chair, stammering loudly as you fail to form a response. In a panicked frenzy, you hang up and back into a corner, clutching your sides.

Within seconds, you’re hit with a barrage of thoughts and memories.

Derry was the place you lived in since you were five years old. There, you met your first friend and first crush: Victor Criss...he was also the same person who you were in a relationship with during your last two years in Derry. But there were others...more people who were so important to you. You remembered meeting Miss Ross upon joining ballet by your father: Roger Randall. You remembered your mother, Sarah Randall, owning a restaurant in Derry.

You remembered the heartache when Victor abandoned you for Henry Bowers—fucking Bowers, man. You hated him so much, for what he did to you: for what he put you through. But you always endured his strange stares and creepy actions for the safety of your friends.

Your friends...Bill Denbrough, Stanley Uris, Eddie (little Eddie Spaghetti), and Richard (Richie “Trashmouth”) Tozier. Those were your first friends after Victor Criss left you for Henry Bowers and Reginald (the name everyone knew him by, was Belch) Huggins. And there were more people who you grew to adore and appreciate in your life. Beverly Marsh—holy fucking shit, you knew Beverly in your childhood...

Just as you made new friends, you also filled in the role of “first” friend of...Mike Hanlon. Oh God, little Mikey—how did you not recognize him? How did you forget him? You remembered Spring, the precious little lamb that the Losers...Right, the Losers Club: that’s what you all (Bill, Ben, Beverly, Richie, Eddie, Mike, Victor, and yourself) called yourselves.

But that wasn’t the only thing you remembered. You remembered the mysterious man from your past. Robert Gray. The first person to bring you so much joy and love, while also providing the worst experience of a relationship in your life. You remembered his home, the love he gave you...the bruises that he etched onto your skin from doing the simplest thing wrong, or asked innocent questions. 

But...that’s not who he really was...was he?

He...IT—nonononothat’snotrightfuckfuckfucknotIT

NOT IT—

HE KILLED THEM ALL—

HE KILLED YOUR MOMMY AND DADDY—

HE DID IT HE KILLED GEORGIE—

A strong set of arms latches onto your shoulders, causing you to gasp loudly.

You’re hyperventilating, tears streaming down your eyes as your face settles on the man in front of you. Beside you, Bobby is pressing the pouch of his vest against your chest, trying to get you to open it and take Valium. But the man in front, whose features slowly settle in, begins to speak to you.

“[Y/N], hey, look...it’s me Bruce...your dance partner?” he asks.

Bruce...that’s right, you thought—your mind fuzzy. You knew him for five years, and he was the best friend (aside from Beverly) you could ever ask for in your life. His green eyes look down at you worriedly, and you clutch onto him for support. “B-Bobby,” you croak out, pointing to your dog. “I-I-I-I—I need m-m-my meds...”

Bruce nods, crouching down to unzip the pouch and opens the cap to the bottle handing you those familiar white pills. Your hands itch to grab it and swallow it greedily even though your throat feels tight—and you feel your stomach begin to lurch. After swallowing the pills you settle onto your back, to which Bruce looks at you confused.

“What are you—”

Bobby already knows what to do, resting his body on your while you try to focus on your surroundings. The stimulation of his paws pressing against your face and neck bring you closer to reality, and it takes thirty minutes for you to truly relax. But at the same time...you’re nowhere near relaxed. Thirty minutes ago—you just remembered your entire childhood, everyone you had forgotten, the fact that Beverly (Marsh) Rogan was your childhood friend...and the fact that you finally put a name to the man who caused most of your mental issues. It was too much to handle and Bruce (God, he was so amazing) waits patiently for you.

“I-I’m sorry,” you whispered to Bruce, sitting upright; not stopping in your actions to distract yourself with Bobby. “I’m sorry y-you had to see that...” you continued.

“Are you alright?” Bruce pried, sitting next to you.

“I’m fine,” you lie, giving him a reassuring smile. “Just had a bad memory.”

More like I remembered by entire childhood, you thought bitterly. Why did Mike call me now?

Unless...

Within moments, you’re packing your things and leaving with Bobby following you, concerned. You ignore the stares and questions from people as you get in your car and drive as fast as you can back home—thankful that the traffic wasn’t God awful for once. By the time you get home you almost have the urge to break down again if it weren’t for the fact that the Valium was really kicking in. You’re settled in your bed after spending a long hour trying to compose your thoughts. You reach for the phone (despite Bobby trying to stop you from doing you), and pressed the Unknown Caller in your contacts list.

Immediately, Mike picks up and starts off with, “Christ, [Y/N]...Are you okay? What happened?”

“Had a panic attack...” you whisper in a hoarse voice, resting your chin against Bobby’s snout. “Sorry, Mike I-I just...remembered everything...Why did you call me?”

“About that...” Mike trailed off.

“IT’s back.”

The panic returns, but you try to hold it back by distracting yourself with Bobby. You pet him while trying to rein in yourself from having too many wandering thoughts. At long last, your worst fear since childhood has returned. IT never died...Robert never died...Your voice comes out shaky and hesitant.

“Are you sure?”

“Positive...IT killed a man just a few hours ago...”

“Do the others know?”

“I just finished calling Stan the Man,” Mike continued, “Beverly said something about you.”

“Yeah—” you utter. “We know each other...never knew that we were childhood friends, though.”

“You need to come back, [Y/N].”

At that moment, you wished that you could take another Valium pill, but you try to hold the urge back. The last time you wanted Valium so badly was when you were admitted to the hospital at thirty years old, due to a “heart attack” and had to take Valium for two weeks to hold off your anxieties that came out at that moment. Bobby lets out a whimper at your distress, nudging the phone out of your hands. You give into his actions and let the phone go on speaker.

“I don’t know if I can do that again Mikey...” you said sadly. “I c-c-can’t go back to him—IT...”

“Please,” Mike replied urgently. “We need you, especially when it comes to your powers...you still have them...right?”

“Y-Yeah,” you stuttered. “I mastered them all pretty well.”

“Victor and the others are already planning to come back,” Mike continued. Your heart clenches at the memories you made with Victor. Twenty-seven years had never felt so long in your entire life. You wondered if he was married now, or if he had kids—you had a feeling that a lot of people in the military had settled their lives in families.

“I’ll go,” you whisper.

“I just...things will be different, Mikey...”

“I know, that’s why we need you...you’re the only one who can probably knock sense into IT.”

“Did it once and I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again...”

Silence fills over the phone, and you let out a sigh, checking the time. It was almost midnight and you had a feeling that you were in for a long, restless night. You’re about to form a response when you feel pain on your arm, causing you to hiss. The pain feels familiar, but not as if something had been broken (you faintly recalled back to the events of what happened in the Neibolt House; your old home)...this feels more like a slap—a whip.

A belt.

Bobby distracts you again by licking your hand, and you close your eyes. There’s only one reason why you’re feeling pain, and that’s if someone that you know personally (or connected to) is experiencing pain. Your first thought goes to Beverly and her husband: Tom Rogan, who you were always suspicious of. God, if he was anything like Robert...you dreaded wondering what happened because the pain faded and you were left alone to your thoughts. 

“I’ll get on the first plane to Derry,” you mutter.

“Good...thank you...I missed you [Y/N].”

You swallow a knot in your throat. “I missed you too, Mike.”

He hangs up and you’re left, sitting and staring blankly into the offline television that hangs from the wall, above the furnace. You idly run your hands across Bobby’s body, trying to regain your thoughts. Your hands tremble ever so slightly and you have the urge to take a scalding shower. Nothing feels right at that moment, and you’re left hesitant to pack up. You look down at Bobby.

I can’t just leave him here, you think worriedly. And I need him to be there for me when I have episodes or panic attacks...but bringing him to Derry is dangerous...Shit, Robert never wanted dogs and what if he did something to Bobby?

“I promised,” you whisper to yourself.

Your feet carry you out of the bed and into your walk-in closet. Within moments, you’re packing up and changing into blue jeans and a black turtleneck, wrapping a scarf around your neck. You slipped on a pair of socks and heeled boots on. You grabbed a pair of sneakers, tying them to the side of your suitcase, and grabbed an additional array of clothes. Bobby followed you closely, confused at your actions.

So many thoughts raced in your mind, but the medications were now taking full effect and you droned by everything easily. You felt relaxed now, and it wasn’t until you heard the alarm on your phone ring—the one that signaled that someone was at the front gate of your manor—did you fall back into your surroundings.

You checked the camera on your phone, furrowing your brows at the person waiting.

Was that...

“Bev?” you wondered, eyes widening.

The urge to teleport was strong, but you didn’t want to startle Bobby, so you rushed down the manor with Bobby running after you. He was fast enough to pass by you, turning on the lights for you as you raced down the foyer, being careful to not trip down the steps. “Alexa, turn on the driveway lights,” you ordered, which was fulfilled easily.

You opened the door and raced down the steps, not minding the light drizzle of rain as you ran past the fountain and down the gravel path. Bobby was following you, as always, trying to tug at your shirt to calm you down. But as soon as you saw Beverly’s form illuminated by the lights outside, her form glistening from the rain. She was holding her own suitcase.

“Bev,” you exclaimed, opening the front gate with your powers.

She jumped in surprise, but soon relaxed upon seeing you. She entered as soon as she could, breathing heavily. “Come inside,” you ushered her back into the manor, telling Bobby to grab a towel in one of the closets. You sat Beverly down on the couch, ignoring her protests as you looked her over.

The most prominent thing you could make out: was the mulberry-colored bruise that was on her arm. The second thing was the fact that she was no longer wearing her wedding ring. You wished that you could do that—but for twenty-seven years, you still wore the ring that Robert (IT) gave you...Twenty-seven years and you still felt inclined to “love” him.

“Did Tom do that?” you ask in a horrified tone.

Beverly shrinks at your question but nods. “I-I...”

“It’s okay Bev,” you wrap your arms around her in a hug, and hand her the towel when Bobby returns. He hops on the couch beside Beverly, placing his paw on your thigh. You give her a look of empathy, exactly knowing her pain.

“I...Mike called,” she said softly, “Mike Hanlon, from Derry—”

“Yeah, I know,” you sighed. “He just called me a while ago. Shit, it’s so fucking crazy, Bev. I just remembered that we were childhood friends...that in itself is crazy. I can’t believe it, this entire time...”

“Yeah,” she lets out a soft laugh. “No wonder you felt so familiar to me.”

Your eyes widened. “You felt it too?”

“Mhm...did it have something to do with your powers?”

“Maybe,” you shrug. “It might just be a result of the promise we made.” You look down at your hands, specifically your left one: staring at the scar you had for twenty-seven years. Beverly opens her own left hand, revealing her scar. You take a deep breath, composing yourself.

“We have to go back,” she stated.

“I know, Bev.”

“You’re coming...right?”

“I have to,” you whisper. “B-But it’s so hard...to know that IT...Robert is...”

“Are you ready?” she tilts her head. “We...we have to go now.”

“Yeah,” you nod. “Did you book your plane tickets yet?”

“You’re taking a plane? Can’t you just...”

“Can’t teleport,” you motion to Bobby. “I have to take Bobby with me...I...you already know about my mental health, Bev. Without him, who knows what will happen if I panic and no one knows what to do? Bobby he...”

“I understand, [Y/N]. But you need to understand if something happens—”

“Don’t worry, I’ll make sure nothing happens to us. We’ll all make it out alive.”

You don’t catch the anxious look in her eyes as you say this.

 


 

“God, I’m so fucking scared Bev,” you whisper to her once you board the plane.

There was no way that they would’ve let Bobby board the plane (and there was no way that you were able to send a request to make sure Bobby was allowed to ride), but you needed him, and with a simple use of your powers—they all let you pass through. Beverly was sitting next to you while Bobby was under the seat in front of you (surprisingly, he was a big dog but could easily fit in small places), waiting patiently as the plane began to board. You couldn’t read his mind, but you could calm him down once the plane began to lift into the air. You felt a bit of anxiety when the plane began to move, but you relaxed when you began to pet Bobby’s head.

Beverly shoots you a reassuring smile.

“Don’t worry, we’ll all be there for you when IT...you’re not alone.”

“N-No, not about that,” you continue. “I’m just anxious about seeing the others. Do you think they’ll remember us? I mean—we remembered pretty quickly, and that could be explained by me having powers, and you looking into IT’s deadlights...Stan, maybe...But the others? I-I don’t know Bev...”

“I’m sure they’ll remember,” she lets out a relaxed sigh. “I hope Ben remembers me.”

A cheeky smile reaches your lips at her words. “I remember you two being so adorable,” you gush. “I always thought you and him were going to be in a relationship, then...”

“—I moved with my aunt to Portland,” she finished. A really devious grin reached her lips, causing you to furrow your brows and tilt your head.

“Did you and Vic ever get together...like officially?” she asked.

Your cheeks grew warm and you nodded sheepishly.

“I remember that we did...”

“About time. You two were really cute.”

“Yeah,” you snort.

Your grin fades into a blank look, and Bobby nudges your knee with his nose. Your lips turn upwards a little and you pet his head, a sad look in your eyes. You wished that you could fall in love again. To find someone who would love and take care of you. It did hurt you a little, to know that Victor had probably moved on from you and found someone else...

“Twenty-seven years,” Beverly sighed. “That’s...”

“Doesn’t feel long even though it is?” you added helpfully, making her nod.

So much could’ve happened in twenty-seven years, you mused. I wonder how the others are doing...I mean, Bill’s a writer and Richie’s a comedian...even though I’ve never watched his Netflix shows...and I’ve never read any of Bill’s books...The movie versions of his books sucked a lot though, sorry Bill. I wonder what Victor’s doing…

“It’s just like what you saw...”

Beverly turns to you, confused. “What do you mean?”

“What you saw in the deadlights. Remember?”

“We were our parents’ ages...” Beverly said quietly, looking at all of you.

“W-W-What were we d-doing there?” questioned Bill.

Beverly shakes her head. “I-I...I just remember how we all felt...how scared we were...” She makes eye contact with you for a brief moment and looks back down at her hands. You shuffle closer to Victor, pressing your cheek into his shoulder. Unbeknownst to you, Bill looks hopeless for a moment at the sight of you being so close with Victor. Beverly finishes her sentence, her tone grim.

“...the pain of...of...I-I don’t think I can ever forget that.”

“I remember,” Beverly nodded, an anxious look in her eyes. She looks like she desperately wants to tell you something—but can’t. Still, you follow by your rule for not prying into her head. Bobby’s presence is relaxing, calming your exhausted nerves.

“I wonder if Stan saw anything,” you mutter.

“What?”

“He...his eyes were like yours, when I found him,” you continue. “IT got to him while we went to get you, and I had to pull him out...wherever he went. But his eyes were like yours: milky white. But he didn’t float...I guess that was because I was able to pull him out before he got to that stage.”

“You think he saw anything like me?” Beverly asks, horrified. “I...saw...”

“What did you see, Bev?”

“I-I...I’ll tell you when we see the others...they all need to hear what I have to say.”

“Alright Bev. I trust you.” Noticing that there was still an hour until the flight was over, you drifted off to sleep with Bobby’s head in your lap, letting out a soft sigh. Hopefully, you wouldn’t dream of anything strange or from your childhood...

You needed a break.

 

Chapter Text

ACT I, PART III

Waukesha, Wisconsin
July 10th, 2016

A variety of pictures and medals adorn the hallways of Victor Criss’s house.

Some of them are pictures of his graduation or promotions in the military, some of them are pictures of him graduating from college...none of them include his father—Logan Alexander Criss. The house (a compacted two-story) he lives in is small, and comfortable, amidst the suburbs within the battered city of Waukesha. Not too far away from his house is a church, and the park where children played after school.

Victor wakes up bright and early for his morning cup of coffee, brewed with an extra shot, before taking a morning jog around his block. The city is quiet at this time, around four in the morning, with a few stragglers and homeless people here and there the closer he jogs towards the bustling streets. He listens to rock through his earbuds as he jogs across the park, his heart drumming in his ears and his legs burning with each step.

Victor’s a tall man of six foot, two inches—with a muscular physique and a hard gaze. His jaw is squared and sharp, matching his cold dark brown eyes—brought out by his short platinum hair that’s cut into a fresh fade. His face is clean-shaven with the exception of the rough stubble that’s beginning to grow out again. A prominent scar on his left cheek that stretches to his upper lip adorns his face. He’s wearing a light grey tank-top—matted to his skin with sweat despite how cold it is outside—and black sweatpants.

When he comes back home, he gently closes the front door, heading to the bathroom where he takes a cold shower. The rest of the day goes like any other ever since he finished his contract with the U.S. Air Force three years ago—and settled down in the dreary cold state of Wisconsin. He makes breakfast, works out a little, watches the news for a bit, goes out for another run in the afternoon; and finally, he has dinner before going to bed. It’s a simple routine that would’ve left anyone else scratching their head out, but to Victor Criss: this is the best thing he can ask for. 

The front door of his house suddenly knocks, sending his nerves aflame and his mind spinning. His grip on his phone stills and he loses the breath in his lungs, causing him to sit upright in his bed. He knows that it’s just someone knocking on the door. He knows that no one’s here to hurt him. He knows that it’s just someone delivering his Amazon package. But the familiar sound sends him reeling and on edge a little—prompting him to swallow a knot in his throat.

Twenty-three years of service in the Air Force did that to a person.

Begrudgingly, he gets out of bed to take his package and return back to watching a few shows. On his nightstand is a framed picture that he had kept for twenty-five years. It’s him, as an eighteen-year-old, standing with a girl around his height—wearing a baby pink floral dress. The edges of the picture are burned where the girl’s face would be, however, and Victor was unable to find out (or remember) who they were. At the bottom right corner of the picture read:

Der...High School Summer Dance

Vic Criss and...King...Class of ‘91

Even now, Victor had a hard time thinking back on his past—but he just brushed that off with him having old age. It did make him sad, though (to an extent), that a good eighteen years of his life was lost in his memories. He sets his phone down on his lap, leaning over to grab the picture frame and stare at the photograph. He’s kept it with him ever since he joined boot-camp, and always brought it with him in his personal belongings when he went on missions or drills. He may have not known who the girl in the picture was, but whenever he was feeling down—or in his words, “like shit”—he looked at this picture.

He wasn’t married, and with him constantly moving from place to place: he found it hard to settle down. There was also something else that stopped him from moving on...the picture in his rough hands—worn down by years of work and fighting. Something about seeing him and the girl in the picture made him wonder who they were, and what they meant to Victor. Were they in a relationship together? How long did Victor know them? What happened, and why can’t he remember their name?

In the back of his mind, he could recall the—

—dance, inside of the school gym where girls were dressed in flashy shades of neon and pink; the boys wearing baby blue and black tuxedos. Victor left outside with the girl (whom, in the back of his mind, knew that he felt strongly for), taking note of how distressed they look. Victor felt a strange pang of anger towards someone, not the girl, as he followed them outside. They were talking to him, panicking as they poured their heart out to him.

“I still love him, y’know?” they stammered out, trying to compose their fearful mind.

Victor took a seat next to them, enjoying the summer breeze outside of the school. Not too far away was his car, his father’s 1976 Dodge Charger. On instinct, Victor brings out a pack of cigarettes that he always kept with him and lights it up. Having the urge to comfort the girl, he wraps and arm around their body and pulls them flush to his chest, gently rubbing his thumb back and forth on their shoulder.

To his surprise, they take the cigarette from his fingers and take a drag from it—for some reason, the girl struck Victor as someone who didn’t smoke, judging by their feminine appearance and dainty actions. They look up at him with bleary eyes, dry tears against their cheeks as they continue to talk to him. For some reason, Victor can’t help but feel concern for them; because there’s only one reason why he feels so strongly for them.

He loves them.

Victor sets the picture back on the nightstand, taking a deep breath. There was no point dwelling on the past now that Victor had gone through half of his life thinking about that girl. It’s as if he can’t let go, that this special someone—whom had hadn’t seen in twenty-five years—would somehow find their way back to him.

It was an oddly optimistic dream that made Victor’s insides clench. 

 


 

Years Prior

There was a certain fear inside of Victor as soon as he learned that the U.S. was going to war.

The way his father held himself always gave him the impression that war was easy...if you were drugged up to the point where you couldn’t tell reality from fiction until you got a bullet in your body. But Victor was nothing like his father, he was caring and held concern for others (even if his strong looks suggested otherwise)—and as soon as he was deployed to the nations across the Atlantic: he felt fear for the first time.

It was nothing like what he had seen in movies, or heard from his father.

It didn’t help or ease his nerves to see his closest friends and allies being shot in the sky while he pushed forward. You have a mission Vic, he thought to himself, even though he was at his breaking point. Just drop and go. Reroute and regroup with the others at Fox Trot...the firefighters will get to your buddies...if they can even get past the missiles.

He was panicked and afraid, but stayed level-headed the entire time—his mind spinning as he ordered the remains of his team to head back to their base. If they continued any further, then they were all sure to be shot down. Victor was already having enough from the fact that he saw Wilson and Tyson—two men that Victor had been close with—being shot out of the sky. He was getting light-headed the higher the altitude he had to fly up in order to avoid the radar of the enemy. But in the end, he made it...and there was a cost to that.

It took him a couple of years for him to calm his nerves after that, being evaluated time and time again by therapists and psychologists back in America. And even then, Victor could feel the guilt of being unable to save the others. There were always casualties in war—and Victor was aware of this—but Victor always felt that it was his fault that he couldn’t save him...that it was his fault that he lead his friends and allies to their doom: and he was the only survivor.

He could do nothing except—

—watch as the headless body fell to the gravel path, blood spurting forth.

The shock came faster than the fear at that moment, and within those mere seconds: Victor Criss thought he was going to die as well. That was his fucking best friend (what was his name again?) on the ground, decapitated by a strange monster that was in front of him. Behind, a girl with short red hair calls out to him, but Victor can’t move.

He knows that he should get the hell out of there and move, but how can he do that if he just witnessed a brutal death in front of his very eyes? The werewolf charges at him, and Victor feels as if he’s ready to accept whatever fate he’s going to get. But the clawed paw of the monster just barely touches the hair on his head before an invisible force sends the werewolf flying backwards. Victor fell back against the ground, trembling with wide eyes as the monster retreated into nothingness.

Afterwards, police arrived on the scene—bombarding him and the girl with questions. The entire time they do this, Victor can’t help but stare at the body underneath a white sheet, blood everywhere. He could’ve done something. He could’ve saved him...but he didn’t.

And it was his fault for not doing anything.

Even now, as Victor knew that he was just following orders from his higher-ups: he felt guilty for being unable to stop the inevitable. But what happened was at least a decade ago, and he could finally relax. Unfortunately for him, there were a lot of things that he had to deal with—mentally—ever since he finished his time in the military. He would’ve been like his father and continued to move on, but he couldn’t bear to go through that again.

Victor Criss wasn’t so strong after-all.

 


 

The first thing that Victor notes that when he returns from his thoughts, is the sound of his phone ringing. He cautiously takes the small device in his hands, taking a look at the caller ID.

Unknown Caller

Derry, Maine

For some reason, Victor can’t help but feel uneasy upon reading that city name. It’s as if he’s starting to remember something, parts of his memory that were left untouched for twenty-seven years. Anxiously, he swipes and answers the phone call—trying to ignore the pounding of his head, and the throbbing pain in his left hand (which bears a scar across the palm of it).

“Who is this?” he asks, his voice gruff.

“Vic,” the caller says, relieved. “Vic...it’s me, Mike Hanlon.”

“Mike Hanlon?” Victor repeats, confused. The name sounds familiar, but Victor can’t remember ever meeting a Mike Hanlon. Did they meet in boot-camp? Was he here to ask if he wanted to serve more years in the Air Force? Who was this man?

The boy’s cheeks were soft, turning upwards with his lips as he smiled at Victor. His skin was dark, a heavy contrast to Victor’s pale skin, but for some reason: neither teens were bothered by this difference. Victor turns his attention back to the long stretch of road (Route 2, if he recalled correctly in his hazy memory), and once more: the girl in his memories is sitting in the passenger’s seat. Their arms are held up high and their face is radiating with happiness and joy—despite the bags under their eyes.

The boy in the back also lets out a cheer, prompting Victor to drive faster down the empty road, and through the grassy plains. He feels nothing but joy at that moment, nothing but freedom and happiness.

“Yes,” Mike said. “...from Derry.”

“Uh-huh,” Victor trailed off. More memories are coming back, slowly, but he’s still confused as to what this guy (who Victor assumed to be his childhood friend) wants. Victor clears his throat, clenching the pillow in his hands.

“Do we know each other?”

“You need to come back,” Mike stated cryptically.

“Why? What do you want?”

“IT’s back.”

Just hearing Mike say that sends memories flying at Victor’s mind.

His father being in the apartment even though he was in Australia. Belch Huggins being brutally murdered before his very eyes. The clubhouse...sharing cigarettes with Beverly Marsh and…[Y/N] King. Jesus fucking Christ, that was the girl in his memories and in the picture. He was their first friend in Derry...his first crush.

His first kiss.

And as just as much as the good memories came, the bad ones returned as well. He remembered the sewers, and Robert Gray—who wasn’t even a real person in the first place. He remembered [Y/N] crying in his arms, and he remembered the first time when they told him (in Belch’s car) what Robert Gray did to them.

“Are you sure?” Victor asks, his voice trembling. “I thought...I thought [Y/N]—”

“We were wrong,” Mike replied. “You need to come. I already called the others, and I’m going to call [Y/N] again. They haven’t picked up their phone yet since I tried calling them, and I’m getting worried.”

Victor’s eyes widen slightly. “Did something happen to them?”

“Not that I know of...”

“I’ll get to the first plane on Derry,” said Victor.

“Good, I’ll see you there, Vic.”

“Alright Mike...see you.”

As soon as Mike hangs up, Victor falls back on his bed and stares at the ceiling—trying to compose his thoughts. And then, he’s packing his things and heading onto the first plane to Derry, Maine. So many questions rush by in that brief hour, but he can’t help but think back on the memories of him and [Y/N] as he drives to the airport.

He never told them that they were his first kiss.

Their hands were running through his hair as their lips melded with his, pulling him close to their face. He was frozen at first, hesitant—but at the same time (as cliché as it sounds) he could feel fireworks erupting inside of him. Their lips were soft against his, gentle like their touch as they twirled their fingers along his hair. Never before, did Victor feel so alive.

He wanted to kiss them again. To feel their skin against his hands, to tell them how loved they are—and that they aren’t alone. He wanted to be with them forever: and he wanted to take their pain away. He wanted nothing more than to spend the rest of his life with this girl the moment he met eyes with them on that cold January morning.

And then the door opened, and Victor felt embarrassment brush across his cheeks: reaching past his blush that ran across his ears. He pulled away from [Y/N], but relaxed noticing that it was only their uncle (who watched in amusement) as he walked in on his niece sharing a kiss with a platinum-haired boy. Victor was about to relax...and then Victor saw the man standing behind Howard Randall.

Robert Gray.

 

Chapter Text

ACT I, PART IV

You could feel the change of the atmosphere as soon as the plane landed in Derry.

Your mind was too busy to fall asleep, having woken up after sensing the flight attendant’s presence before the plane landed. Beverly and Bobby were both fast asleep, and you could see how peaceful they looked. Your hand was holding Beverly’s—in an attempt to soothe her nerves after she left Tom to go to Derry—and it filled you with relief to see that she was sound asleep: holding your hand tightly. Bobby’s snout was no longer on your lap as he was curled in front, sound asleep.

His predominantly black coat, with splashes of orange and blonde here and there, was calming to focus on in the low-lights of the plane. And then, the plane began to jitter and your right hand clenched the arm-rest tighter, preparing for the landing of the plane. That woke up Bobby, who was startled but calm in your presence, and upon instinct, rested his chin on your lap so that you wouldn’t freak out as much. When the plane came to a halt, you gently shook Beverly awake.

“H-Huh...? Tom...?” she muttered in a groggy voice, letting go of your hand to rub her eyes.

You gave her an apologetic smile. “It’s just me Bev...we’re here.”

She opened her eyes, startled and shakily nodded—taking in her surroundings. It was still dark, and you had a full day ahead of you before meeting up with Mike (who you assumed to now send a text after getting everyone to go back to Derry) and the other Losers in the Jade of the Orient; which surprisingly, was still in business. Since you and Beverly were sitting in the front, you helped her get her bags and slung your own black messenger bag on your right shoulder. You rolled a suitcase behind you with your left hand. You made a clicking noise, helping Bobby lead the way out of the plane, turning to Beverly.

“So...here we are,” you said shakily. “Back home...”

“Weird, right?” Beverly replied. “It’s like everything’s slowly coming back.”

“Do you think...IT’s—I-IT...IT’s watching us?”

Beverly gives you a look of sympathy. Bobby slows down his gait to nudge his nose into your palm, and you’re suddenly not regretting your decision to bring him anymore. “Let’s not think about that right now,” Beverly consoled. “We should focus on getting a place to stay while we’re here.”

“The Town House,” you continued, heading towards where the car rentals would be. Thankfully, neither of you packed too heavily, and didn’t need to carry any extra baggage. “We can stay there. Plenty of rooms, and I doubt Derry gets enough visitors for it to be full.”

“What about Bobby?”

“He stays with me,” you decided. “...except when we go...y’know. Kill IT.”

“You seem pretty calm right now, no offense.”

“It’s just my medications,” you snort. “Keeps me calm for a while.”

After you get everything settled with the car, Beverly takes the time to drive (since you were the one who had driven her and Bobby to the airport back in the John F. Kennedy International Airport. Unfortunately, you remembered everything that IT, or Maturin (rest his soul, if he had one), managed to wipe from your head, and had to deal with the pain and trauma of whatever the hell you went through in that hellish landscape (when Conway kidnapped you); so hearing the surname, Kennedy, didn’t ease your nerves really well. You were in the passenger’s seat, petting Bobby who sat on your lap—watching as you were driven down Harris Avenue, and Center Street.

“The Paul Bunyan statue’s still here,” you noted, motioning to the eerie statue as it glints under the soft streetlights. You felt incredibly nostalgic seeing all of these stores; some new and some not having been changed in twenty-five years. You remembered staying in Derry until December of 1991, celebrating your eighteenth birthday here before you left with Howard—back to Maryland.

“Can’t believe it’s all still here,” Beverly replied.

“I wonder if anyone bought my old house...I beat it to shit pretty badly with my powers.”

“Probably not. It’s probably regained it’s haunted house status.”

“And Robert’s estate,” you muttered. Bobby senses your agitation in his half-sleepy state, and cranes his neck to lick your cheek—distracting you with his actions and dark pleading eyes. You let him follow through his ministrations, but continue to talk; your voice trembling. “Would it still look the same, or is it abandoned...? Does it even exist still?”

Beverly averted her gaze to you, resting her right hand on yours. “Hey,” Beverly said, “don’t worry about that. As soon as we get to the Town House, I want you to take a relaxing shower and get some rest...we have a long day ahead of us.”

The corners of your lips twitch upwards. “Only if you do the same.”

Beverly turns on Main Street, reaching the Town House in less than a minute. Tiredly, you booked a room for you and Beverly, taking your own keys and trudging up the steps. “I’ll see you later in the morning,” you yawn. “Night, Bev.”

“Night [Y/N]...call me if anything happens.”

Feeling the exhaustion finally kick in, you get out of your socks and boots as soon as you enter the room, shutting the door with a resounding click. Before you can head to the bathroom, you take off Bobby’s vest and take out your bottle of Valium, making sure that he knew that you were going to place it on the t.v. stand. Shortly after, you take a hot shower and change into a t-shirt and sports shorts. You’re about to brush your teeth when you feel a tingle run down your spine, and the air shift. You snap your head up, staring into the mirror in front, your heart racing.

There’s no one there.

You have a leering suspicion that you’re not alone.

“Bobby!” you call out.

Turning around so that you can open the door with your powers—not moving from your spot. You don’t feel safe, but if Bobby was there with you...what’s the worst that can happen? Soon enough, the German Shepherd trots in, wagging his tail for a moment before jumping into your arms when you crouch to his level; petting his head to soothe your nerves. You really don’t want to panic, especially after taking a relaxing shower, and you don’t feel like going to bed now.

You feel like there’s eyes watching you, but you can’t bear to find out if it’s from your imagination or if it’s...him. You take shallow breaths, running a hand through your hair before rubbing it against Bobby’s neck. “Stop doing this to me,” you say aloud, unsure if the thing you’re directing your plea to—is even here to hear it.

You don’t get a reply, but the feeling of being watched doesn’t go away, either. You’ve been in Derry for less than three hours (as it is currently four in the morning), and you already want to leave. When the feeling still doesn’t go away for thirty minutes, you warily brush your teeth—making sure that Bobby was with you—before trudging into bed and laying flat on it.

You weren’t falling asleep, and you weren’t sure if you even could (given that your senses were now heavily awake), but the least you could do was to continue petting Bobby until the threat of a panic attack, or God forbid another fucking episode, goes away. Your eyes itch a little at the lack of sleep, but at around five—you start to fall asleep.

You’re not as lively as you once were, in terms of having time to do anything, and sleep was always welcome whenever. You let yourself fall slack in the sheets before finally shutting your eyes, unaware of the presence that still lingered in the room.

 


 

The Barrens
March 11th, 1989

You found it incredibly relaxing to watch the gentle rise and fall of his chest.

The feathered pillow you had—which was sandwiched between your head and right arm—not nothing compared to how soft Robert’s hair was. Your left hand was running idly through his dark brown locks, twirling the longer strands with your pointer finger. The closest you could get to describing his hair; was water. It was smooth and silky, almost softer than your fingers, and smelled deliciously well-kept. Robert’s face was relaxed, showing no hardiness in his closed eyes, and you couldn’t help but run the pad of your thumb along the apple of his cheek before settling it along his neck.

He was shirtless but wore sweatpants, prompting you to snuggle close to him (wishing that you could also do the same in the back of your mind). But it was cold outside, given the weather, and you were only wearing underwear and one of Robert’s sweaters—which were big on you since you were smaller than him. You prop your chin along hi chest, gazing up at him with adoration in your eyes. You wondered if he was awake, since he was breathing pretty normally; different from his breathing when he slept (which were long and deep breaths).

You kiss his jaw, prompting him to open his eyes.

“Hi,” is all you can manage out.

A smirk reaches across Robert’s face, moving his head so that he can press a kiss against the palm of your hand. He leans into your touch, seeking warmth from your small hand. A cheeky grin stretches across your face, scarlet running across the bridge of your nose and cheeks. One of his arms snakes around your back, and with his strength—pulls you closer to him.

“You’re up early,” he replied softly. 

“Is that a good thing, or a bad thing?” you asked, raising a brow.

“Good...” he trailed off, “—because I get to look at your eyes longer.”

Your cheeks grow warmer and you respond by burying your face into his neck, sighing while he rubbed circles on your back with his hand. It was relaxing to seek comfort from him; to feel him against you. Especially when he began to massage your head with his fingers, twisting and curling your long locks of hair. You shut your eyes, enjoying the moment and his touch, not wanting to get out of bed. You could feel the cold from outside seeping through the window against your back, urging you to inch closer to Robert.

“Just a few more weeks left,” you utter softly.

“Until what, darling?”

“Until you homeschool me...we’ll get to see each other more.”

He brushed your hair over your shoulder, latching his lips onto your neck in a kiss: causing you to sigh and shudder. “...and I look forward to it,” Robert replied in a husky voice—making your insides weak and giddy.

God I love him so much, you thought to yourself. I hope this never ends...

 


 

When you wake up, it’s nearly ten in the morning—nothing like what you’re used to waking up at (which was usually around four to six in the morning). Noticing that Bobby was still sleeping, curled against your chest, you gently moved yourself out of bed and began going through your morning routine: shower, brush your teeth, and change. Feeling hungry, you decided that you’d take a quick snack at the Morning Diner—if it was even still there.

Was Joseph still there and running the diner—or did someone else take over? Twenty-five years had been a long time, and surely he’d be around his late forties or mid-fifties. Did Norbert Keene still run his pharmacy down on Center Street? How many adults that you had seen were still here? They’d probably all be around Howard’s age (which was at sixty-nine years).

You changed into a dark pumpkin brown turtleneck, black jeans, and slipped on some socks and your short, heeled boots. Brushing your hair always took a long time to do, so while you were brushing your teeth, you used your powers to comb and coif your hair at the same time—not finding a hard time at putting your focus to two different things.

By the time you were done, Bobby was awake and you felt that he needed a bath, so you ran the water and grabbed his shampoo from your bag. A knock came from your room door, startling you. “Who is it?” you called out, wondering if Beverly was awake—or maybe if the others finally arrived in Derry, and decided to visit.

You were hoping that Victor, despite not having seen him for twenty-five years, was at the door.

But no one answered your question, bringing that fearful sense of dread that made your movements cautious. After wiping your hands with a towel, Bobby waiting patiently in the tub, you opened the door—but found no one there.

Narrowing your eyes, you stepped forward...only to feel something come in contact with your foot. You paused, and then averted your gaze to your feet: where a single box was resting. The color of the wrapping paper and bow was enough to make your veins run colder than ice. Those were the colors Robert used when wrapping the gifts he got you throughout the year.

You gingerly pick it up, turning it around to try a find a message—he usually did leave one—but found none. Entering your room and shutting the door, you tossed the gift on your bed and returned to the bathroom to wash Bobby. While you were doing so, you couldn’t help but debate whether or not you should tell Beverly about it. No doubt, she would scold you in some way for bringing the gift with you. But you never denied Robert’s gifts, except for the time when you finally defeated him (IT) and forced yourself to use the money and utilities Robert left.

A concerned whine from Bobby left you to give him an apologetic smile.

“Sorry, Bobby,” you said, scrubbing his fur. “I’m just thinking about...someone important...I wonder what he’d think of you; he always didn’t want to have a dog for some reason.”

Your mind thought back, way back, to Durham—your previous pseudo-caretaker and “father” (that’s what he told you to call him at times)—and wondered if IT knew about him...Maybe that’s why he didn’t like dogs. But even then, despite looking like one, Durham (and Conway) were more person than animal. Both of them had a distaste for humans; while Conway hated all people, including you, Durham tolerated them at least and adored you the moment you met.

Did they have something to do with your powers? Did they know anything about the visions you saw? Why did Conway take you there in the first place? Why did you keep dreaming of the “Can’-Ka No Rey” and the Gunslinger...? The Crimson King...? Who was the Crimson King to you? Why didn’t Maturin say anything before he died? You felt him die in a dream, having one last conversation with him before his presence faded for good. It was the only conversation that left you more confused than ever before.

 


 

“What are you?” you asked breathlessly, staring up at the cosmic being.

You were frightened and absolutely horrified, realizing that you were in a coma after experiencing that “heart attack” a day prior. You woke up in this strange, dark cosmic space which was lit by your...energy? Light?—and the turtle’s. He told you his name was Maturin, and that you’ve met him before. But you’ve never been to this place, nor have you ever met this creature(?) in your entire life. Had you?

“A guardian,” he replied simply. “But my role in this world is fading.”

“Are you dying?”

He hummed. “Perhaps...on this world, maybe. But I am very much alive in many other worlds...worlds where we know each other...worlds where you’ve never met me before...worlds where you are the creator—and I, a destroyer.”

Your mind spun at his response, confusion shooting all over. This sounded exactly something from those science fiction movies you watched with your friends. Multiple worlds? Multiple yous...? Were you even a “you” or just a collection of yous? How much of you was unique? How much of you was—

“Don’t think on it too much,” Maturin chuckled. “You’ll screw your brains out.”

His oddly casual response was both unnerving and uncanny.

“What am I?” you asked. “Why do I have these powers? How did I get...like this...?”

“You are [Y/N],” Maturin stated. “You are...the Breaker of Beams.”

That title struck a cord inside of you, sending you back to your earliest childhood memories. That was what Conway called you...that was what...those monsters in the hell castle called you...that was—you. “I-I-I don’t understand,” you whine, no longer feeling like a thirty-year-old, but a young child trying to figure out the world. “What does that have to do with anything? What does that even mean?”

“That is who you are; what you’ve always been.”

You hated the cryptic vibe of his words, just wishing that he would tell you the truth. Where you just dead and dreaming this all up? Why the fuck were you even here in the first place? Maturin glanced at you for a moment, before averting his gaze to the darkness: as if he sensed something was getting closer. You could feel the defensiveness of his presence grow, and he instinctively “swam” in front of you. 

“What’s wrong?” you ask.

“You need to go,” he continued. “It’s not safe for you to be here...not when he can feel your lights.”

“Who? Who can feel my...lights?”

“Someone who loves you a lot,” Maturin finished.

That was probably the most unhelpful thing that he could ever say to you. And it was also the last thing that he said, before he died. How he died, or why you could feel it all the way back on Earth...you didn’t know; but you were sure of one thing.

You were the Breaker of Beams...

Whatever that meant.

 


 

Now you were here, in the present, still trying to figure out what he meant by that.

Once you were done washing Bobby, you dried him off and let him wander back to the bed, where you sat: holding the wrapped box in your hands. Should I open it? you ask yourself. Curiosity gets the better of you and you unveil it, Bobby’s nose sniffing at it. When you notice that he doesn’t express any apprehension, you feel that it’s safe to finish opening it. Bobby comforts you faster than you realize that you’re starting to panic as your fingers grab the object in the box.

It’s the photograph you and Robert took—now slightly faded and yellow at the corners of the polaroid frame. You slam your right hand against your mouth, letting out a muffled, shaky sob. Your left hand trembles, and you set the photograph down in front of you: clenching your eyes and running your hands against Bobby’s fur while he presses his head underneath your chin. Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, you repeat to yourself—over and over again.

You thought you lost this picture, when you and Howard moved. Before you memories were faded by Derry’s...”curse,” you remembered crying to Howard in his two-story home about how you couldn’t find the picture—that you couldn’t find the photograph. He assumed that it was a photo of your parents, already forgetting about Derry and Robert, but your memories were still fresh. It probably fell out of your bag as you left the estate in the snow...and Robert found it...He kept it.

It was a heartwarming gesture if it weren’t for the fact that you remembered who he really was: what he had done to your loved ones, and your friends if you didn’t save them. But he still kept the fucking picture nonetheless, and what did that mean for you: to him? What did that picture mean for him? Did he really, truly love you—just as you were hoping for? Did that relationship mean anything to him?

It’s been twenty-seven years since I last saw him, you thought.

Does he still love me?

You let out more sobs, unable to hold in your composure as Bobby comfortingly sets his paws on your lap; licking your neck and face. You spend a good fifteen minutes trying to calm yourself down, falling back against the bed to let Bobby perform DPT on you again—easing your nerves. When you try to grab the photo again Bobby brushes your hand away with his head, prompting you to pet him.

“I just don’t k-know why he would...” you trailed off, muttering to yourself.

“Don’t you understand?!” He, as Pennywise, exclaimed to you.

You flinched at his loud tone, and the tightening grip of his gloved hands against the sleeves of your dress. You were half-expecting him to kill you at that moment; but the tone of his voice made you feel like he wasn’t. There was that underlying gentleness that he had with you—when he was Robert, that was still there.

You didn’t expect him to continue his sentence, telling you something that surprised you (and also made your heart spin and your soul happy). “I love you,” was what he said, or rather, yelled at you. You didn’t know if you were supposed to doubt him, or believe him. In the back of your mind, you wanted to believe him. You wanted to kiss him the way he kissed you.

You still wanted him...after everything.

And in the end, it hurt you more than anything else in the world (both physically and emotionally) to cast him down that cavern of a well into the sewers. It hurt you to know that you killed the one thing who understood you more than your parents...your friends...yourself. It hurt you to know that he’d no longer be there for you—that he was no longer alive.

But he (IT) was still alive, and you were beginning to feel those giddy, gut-wrenching feelings that made your heart spin. You stomach lurched, but you weren’t sure if it was a side-effect of Valium (which usually made you nauseous and tired), or if you were feeling anxious. Once you were calm, Bobby finally let you move and you took the picture, placing it in your wallet. Taking a deep breath, running a hand through your hair, you decided to text Mike—you were getting cold feet in seeing the others.

Mikey, do you have time to talk?

Mike replied with a simple, Sure. What’s up?

Can we talk, I mean. In person?

There was silence on his end before he responded with, Meet me at the library.

Letting out a sigh of relief, you shoved your phone into your front pocket and fastened Bobby’s vest on him—making sure that you didn’t forget your medications, Valium was your primary prescription (as needed; unless your doctor said otherwise), but you had a handful of others like Tylenol that you used whenever you felt pain. You were told by your doctors that you experienced chronic pain all over, but you had a feeling that it was something more like that.

Now that you thought about it, the pain you felt was more like something exploding inside of you, like a bullet. You hoped (and dreaded) to think that you were feeling Victor’s pain: if he really did continue onto the military like his dad. That would explain the pain that you felt in the early 2000’s, aside from your “heart attack”. You felt pain from everyone, and you wondered if any of the other Losers went through any injuries that you’ve felt throughout your life—even though you couldn’t explain it. One pain in particular, was as if you were slashed on your face by a ragged knife.

“C’mon Bobby,” you ushered him out of the room, slinging your messenger back on your shoulder. Your ring shimmered under the low-lights of the hallway before finally glistening when you were outside. There were advantages to wearing a ring out in public, though the paparazzi always questioned you about it. Just a simple explanation that you had a ring collection (which was partially true) at home: kept them at bay.

You could walk Bobby, since you didn’t want to leave Beverly without a car.

I’m gonna see Mike, you texted her—wondering if she was still sleeping. U can use the car. Stay safe, Bev.

With that, you were walking with Bobby walking by your side. If you remember correctly, the Public Library was just on the left of the intersection between Main Street, Center Street, and Mile Hill. You placed a single earbud in your left ear, playing music from your phone to try and relax yourself. You always felt relief in listening to music while you walked; it stopped you from thinking too much. The sight of a MISSING poster alarmed you—and you stopped for a moment, your heart freezing once your eyes laid on it.

Victoria Fuller, the poster read. Last seen at the Derry Elementary Base-ball Match.

You swallow a knot, letting out a heavy sigh before turning on your heel and connecting your walk...only to bump into a strong chest. You let out a weak groan, rubbing your nose as someone began talking to you. His voice was deep, gruff even and he almost sounded like the father of...

“Vic?” you asked, breathless.

The man, who stumbled backwards upon you bumping into him—looked at you with surprise in his eyes. You gazed back at him, shocked once he uttered your name out softly. He had gotten taller; sporting a simple olive-colored t-shirt (that brought out his muscular physique), blue jeans, and a pair of brown leather Dr. Martins, with laces. He was dressed in simple attire (just like how you remembered him; enjoying the simple things), and his hair was short: which was surprising. Though, you guessed that was something he had gotten from his career—knowing him, he had been in and out, going to boot-camp.

The most shocking thing, however, were the scars on his body. You could only see his arms and his face (which bore a really clear scar; reminding you of the pain you felt, confirming your suspicions), but his body had tiny cuts here and there. Despite the physical scars, you wondered how he was doing, mentally. His gaze was hard, soft as soon as his eyes found your form, and it was hard for you determine what he was feeling. 

“Oh my God,” you exclaimed, a genuine smile reaching your face. Butterflies swarmed inside, and you suddenly felt like a sixteen-year-old all over again—holding Victor against you while you watched the fireplace dance in November of 1991, the snow heavy outside of the estate. Bobby trotted wearily to Victor, sniffing his hand. Victor gave you a curious look, not daring to move his hand.

“You can pet him,” you say in a gentle tone. “He won’t bite, and I’m doing pretty good right now. You won’t distract him too much.”

Victor’s rough hands pet Bobby’s head with a gentleness that one wouldn’t expect from someone who looked like Victor—but Victor wasn’t like most people. He was caring and kind, and made sure that everyone was taken care of before himself. When he was done you couldn’t help but wrap your arms around him, keeping mind of Bobby’s leash. Within seconds, Victor’s arms were wrapped around you as he knelt down to your height; burying his face in your neck.

“I missed you so fucking much,” he uttered in a trembling voice. “All these years...I-I...I kept our picture; the one from the Summer Dance, when we were seniors.”

“Really?” your eyes widened, “...that picture?”

“Mhm,” Victor replied, not daring to let you go. You could feel the muscles of his back ripple ever so slightly when his hands wandered around your back—trying to take in every in of you.

“Remember when we accidentally dropped it in the fireplace?”

“Yeah,” you snort; thinking back on that memory. “Burned my ‘face’ real bad.”

“It’s a shame...I always kept it but had no idea who you were in the picture...but...whenever I was sad,” he continued, “I would look at that picture and feel happy because you made me happy.”

You pulled away from the hug, setting down your bag to rest your left hand on his cheek. His eyes flickered down to the one holding Bobby’s leash, taking note of the ring. His eyebrows furrowed, as if he was trying to remember where he had seen it—and then the recognition and hurt was in his eyes soon after. “Don’t,” you whisper; already knowing that he was going to question your reasoning behind wearing Robert’s ring. “I...it was hard for me to move on from him.”

“You still love him...IT...?” he said the last word with hesitance, trying to not send you into a panicked haze. You lick your lips and looked off to the side, letting out a soft sigh. The street wasn’t too busy, despite it being a Monday. But people were probably at work, hence the lack of traffic (if there ever was any in Derry to begin with).

“I don’t know to be honest,” you trailed off. “...I don’t love him per say, but I do miss him—what we had together.”

“So, where are you off to?” he questioned, changing the subject.

“I’m going to see Mike...Beverly came with me by the way, but I don’t think the others came yet. I want to know what we’re doing here,” you pause, taking in his reaction, “before we get all happy with the reunion...I have a feeling that the others might not remember as clearly.”

“Yeah...I’m still trying to remember,” Victor ran a hand across his head; running his fingers against his short hair. Not wanting any prying eyes to follow your movements (you still felt you were being watched; more so when you hugged Victor), you began to continue your walk to the library. Bobby’s tail was wagging, enjoying the walk that you were giving him.

“How much do you remember?”

“Only parts,” he admitted. “I...I don’t remember much about IT, but I do remember...him.”

“It’ll all come to you, don’t worry,” you said with reassurance. You were nearing the intersection, and with a check of your phone—it was almost eleven thirty. Bobby was walking between you and Victor, enjoying your childhood friend’s presence. 

“How about you? How much can you remember?”

“Everything,” you said, shuddering.

“And Beverly?”

“Same for her,” you continued. “I think Stan might remember fast too, but...I’m not sure.”

“Was it because what happened in the...the sewers?” Victor questioned, trying to remember the events from twenty-seven years ago. You were nearing the library soon, and you wondered if Mike was ready to see Victor as well.

“Why are you out here?” you asked. “Where are you staying at?"

“Back where I live, in Wisconsin, I jog every morning before working out. I didn’t want to go back to the Town House and—”

You exclaimed, “Wait, you live in the Town House?!”

“Yeah,” Victor rose a brow. “Why?”

“Me and Bev are staying there too!” you continued, “—and guessing the others, especially Eddie, they wouldn’t want to stay at the crappy motels down on Center Street...Kinda funny how we didn’t run into each other.”

“It was inevitable,” he laughed. “I knew you couldn’t stay far from me for long, dove.”

“Why did you call me that?” you asked, snickering.

Victor merely flushed at your response, hiding his face with the pillow from the couch as his heart began to hammer in his chest. You cheekily prodded at his sides, trying to elicit a ticklish reaction out of him—knowing that he did have at least one ticklish spot around there—which worked. He let out a noise of discomfort, squirming under your touch with a resemblance of a half-chuckle, half-giggle (his face turning scarlet as soon as the noise escaped his lips.

“S-Stop!” he stammered. “Fucking hell!”

“Awww, is my Vic embarrassed?” you gushed.

He leaned forward, wrapping his arms around you and pressed kisses along your cheek and face, making you giggle and laugh in response—running your hands through his hair. You combat his ministrations, tickling along his sides while he shakily kisses you; practically chortling now. “O-Oh, O-kay V-Vic, haha!” you giggled, pushing his face away from you. He was beginning to lose himself in the fun, as well, his face red and him removing his hands to clutch at his sides from laughing so much.

“But r-really,” you say, breathless, “Why did you call me dove? Did you get inspiration from Stan?”

“N-No,” Victor flushed bashfully. “I...I like calling you that because you’re pure and so goddamn nice. Doves are like—peace, right? Well, you’re my peace, [Y/N]...do you mind...?”

“I don’t mind,” you murmur, smiling. “I like it.”

“You do?” he questioned, both shocked and relieved.

“Yeah...I’m your dove.”

“Alright,” you said to Victor, motioning to the library before you. “You gonna head in too, or are you going to visit Beverly?”

“I want to go with you,” he admitted with a smile.

“I’d like that,” you replied.

With that you, Victor, and Bobby entered the library—thankful that you could bring him inside—and you let out a noise of surprise to see that the library looked completely different. “Holy shit,” Victor breathed out beside you.

The dreary old bookshelves were removed, replaced with glass tables and enclosures that had different exhibits and artifacts from Derry’s history. In the back were the actual bookshelves, and to the right were the archives. The walls were also painted a nice shade of hickory and honey. It was...a really refreshing look compared to what the library looked like twenty-five years ago. Bobby’s eyes wandered curiously, adjusting to the new environment and smells.

“Is that—”

You cut Victor off exclaiming, “Mike!”

The owner of the name turned around, eyes widening upon not seeing one, but two, of his childhood friends. He dropped the book in his hands, jogging over to you before engulfing Victor in a hug. Bobby got a bit excited, wagging his tail while you pat his head—urging him to calm down. Mike turned to you, and you could practically see tears in his eyes as he gave you a gentle hug, paying mind to Bobby.

“Who’s this little guy?” Mike asked, bending down to Bobby’s level.

“Bobby,” you said with pride in your voice. “He’s my service dog of three years, and Mike—he’s not that small. He’s pretty big.”

“No offense [Y/N], but we’re taller than you,” Victor laughed beside you. “Everything’s small to us.”

Thankfully, neither of them didn’t question why you had Bobby, and were both really understanding of your situation (which you had yet to explain in full to them all). Now that you were finally face-to-face with Mike, you took a good look at him like how you did with Victor. 

Surprisingly, Mike was taller than Victor; but the latter made up for that with his muscular build. Mike looked more tired compared to you all, however, and you wondered what he had to deal with living in Derry. Life in Derry wasn’t easy, especially for Mike—you hoped, at the end of this: you could give Mike a good life after this. He deserved it, after-all, he was the one who called you all back. He was the one who dared to stay here and waste his life, waiting for the day IT would wake up again, he sacrificed his future (you recalled him wanting to go to Florida when he turned eighteen) for you all.

“You two look really well,” Mike complimented, standing upright after patting Bobby’s face—who licked his hand in response. Bobby reminded you of Spring, who you were faintly beginning to recall again.

“Thanks,” Victor smiled

 “I work out every-day to keep up my shape...I have a limited diet too: no fast-food.”

“Wish I could relate,” you laugh. “I eat more than what I have in my pantry.”

“Really?” Mike looks you over.

“Are you sure?” Victor adds incredulously.

“I’m serious you guys,” you sass. “I think it has something to do with my powers.”

“Oh shit,” Victor said, surprised. “Forgot you had them.”

“Did anything change?” Mike queries, curious.

“I know how to control them,” you continued, “I don’t get tired as much either...I can do a lot of things, but that’s why I have a notebook about it. I can give it to you later, or something.”

“That’ll be really helpful, thanks [Y/N],” Mike said appreciatively. “Here, follow me you guys. My room’s upstairs.”

“You live in the library?” Victor raised a brow.

Mike nodded, motioning you to follow him throughout the library. It certainly looked more like a library now—the one back before Mike changed things up reminded you more of a storage unit than a library—and you found yourself calming down in this pleasant atmosphere. The lights weren’t too bright either, and they weren’t overbearingly dark as well. It was perfect, and you loved the library a lot. Bobby held the same feelings, sniffing and keeping track of everything while making sure to take care of you as well.

When you finally arrived at Mike’s room, you slung your bag on the floor and took a good look around you. Victor did as well, interested in Mike’s findings and reports on what was going on in Derry. You take a chair, sitting down as Bobby jumped on your lap, and you were idly petting his head while Victor and Mike followed your actions.

“Is it all coming back to you guys?” Mike asked.

You both nodded.

“It’s pretty fucking crazy,” Victor paused. “One minute I’m having a phone call with you, and the next I’m finding out that I lived here for eighteen years of my life...it was even crazier to remember all of you guys. I could only remember bits and pieces before, never remembering all of the details, and once I arrived in Derry...”

“—everything was coming together,” you finished for him.

“I’ll explain everything when we have dinner,” Mike said with confidence.

“Please,” Victor sighed, running a hand over his face. “I just got here at nine, and could use a breather.”

“I’m glad you guys could come,” Mike added, “Bev too...let’s hope everyone fulfills their promise.”

I hope so too Mike, you mused.

 

Chapter Text

INTERLUDE

[Y/N] King
90616 Adler Street
Bethel
New York, 03251

July 10th, 2016

Howard Randall
26341 Deanwood Ln.
Bethesda
Maryland, 34256

For Howard Randall,

I’m writing (I hope for a day when you’ll finally accept actual e-mails) this letter, because—excuse my language—I’m fucking scared out of my mind. Within thirty minutes, I’m going to board a plane back to my old hometown (no, not Durham, NH): but Derry, Maine. Sounds familiar? It should. After-all, you lived there with me for nearly two years, ever since you were called to Derry because of the injury I got at my old house. I know you probably have no idea what I’m rambling about, adults that were there to experience it have a hard time remembering, but it should all come back soon—remember Robert Gray? Does that name ring a bell? Remember that he was my...ex-husband/legal guardian? Remember that he wasn’t an actual person at all?

Well, my friends and I—do you remember us calling ourselves the Losers Club?—just found out that he...Robert...IT: never died, and that we have to go back to stop him. I know it sounds crazy to you, that I’m risking my life for a bunch of people that I haven’t seen in twenty-five years (and for Robert, who is very much alive, twenty-seven years), but I have to do this. I can’t let them risk their lives again, we almost lost Stan and Beverly—and I almost fucking lost you when Robert beat you to shit. I know you’re probably touching that scar on your face right now. Isn’t it strange that you have that scar but don’t remember where you got it from? I hope you remember now.

This is the final line, because we’re all adults and I’m really scared that IT won’t hold back this time. I’m scared of death, I’ve looked at her in the face too many times in my life, but I’m going to push that fear back for my friends—because if it’s the last thing I’ll do: I’ll die protecting my friends. If that’s what it takes, then so be it. Bobby’s coming with me, by the way, so you don’t have to worry about coming to Bethel to take care of him. I think I made a stupid decision by taking him, but he’s one of the only caring member of “family” I have left, aside from you.

God, I miss mom and dad so much.

I don’t know if I should share this with you, but please don’t be mad at me when I say that I’m still wearing the ring Robert gave me. I can’t seem to let go, and even when I dated Vic back in Derry I never took that necklace off, and it only gets worse as the years go by. Is this my punishment for loving a monster that killed nearly everyone I love? If it is, I’ll make it up for those losses by killing IT. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get the chance to write to you again: but if I don’t, please just know that you are the best uncle ever. 

We’re going to do it, Uncle Howard.

Love you a lot,
[Y/N] King, Randall at heart.

P.S. Please don’t try to come to Derry.

 

Chapter Text

ACT I, PART V

Talking to Victor and Mike—despite not having seen the two in twenty-five years—was an extremely surreal experience, stranger than anything that you had been through, for some odd reason. You talked (or rather, just Victor and Mike; since you were completely out of it for the remainder of the conversation) as if you’d all been buddies in the time that you left Derry. You laughed and cried with their stories, chimed in every now and then, but what you were experiencing didn’t feel...right to you. You expected there to be some form of apprehension between you all, that the years separating you all had changed you, but it didn’t—in fact, you felt closer to them than ever before.

Things weren’t too bad, however, with Bobby’s presence around. He was your anchor to reality that you, thankfully, trained well enough for him to notice the slightest change in your demeanor—and helped rein you back into the conversation every now and then. You and Mike learned about Victor’s successes in the military, now retired after spending his last six years with the title of “Major” in the U.S. Air Force. It was amazing to see how successful he had been since you last saw him, despite the fact that he looked like he could use a breather.

You knew it the moment that you laid eyes on him, that he (Victor) was going through a lot. You could tell it in his eyes and the way he held himself—mainly just from your own intuition, and the fact that you still had an inkling to remember how Victor acted around those close to him—that his mind was racing with so many thoughts. You could see yourself in his eyes, figuratively speaking, especially when you spent most of your nights in a vulnerable state.

You so desperately wanted to hold his hand, or kiss him—or maybe both—and tell him that everything was going to be okay...but now that you were older, you didn’t really hold onto your optimistic tendencies as you recalled doing as a teenager. You had to see psychoanalysts and constantly have your psychiatrist change your medications, because often times: you found that nothing worked. You had the usual assholes who were inconsiderate of your situation—often trying to berate you in interviews if you ever had them—and often left you drained and tired. You lived knowing that you experienced something awful, that could never be taken back. Now that you were an adult you were regretting your teenage dreams to grow up.

Life wasn’t pretty, at least, from what you’ve seen.

“—you do?” Mike’s voice asked, turning his head to you.

You let out a quiet swear, giving him an apologetic smile. “I’m sorry Mike, what did you say?” you asked, returning back to petting Bobby’s fur—trying to ground yourself back to reality before you could “slip” or dissociate again. When did they start to eat snacks? When did Mike come over and bring a book? Shit, I’m spacing out again.

“It’s fine, [Y/N],” he says patiently, giving you a forgiving smile. “You don’t have to apologize. I was just asking what you do for a living.”

“Uh,” you stammered out—trying to compose yourself (and your thoughts). “I perform ballet,” you say with a forced smile, “and I make my own plays for it...Wrote a book too. It was about...Robert, if you were wondering. I also founded the OCAV, which advocates and supports those who have been through what I have experienced.”

“That’s really fucking amazing,” Victor said, admiring you.

Your smile widens a little. “Thanks.”

“How’s it working out for you?”

“Fine,” you reply with more confidence. “We’ve just helped a little over 12 million people in the U.S. so far...if I can recall correctly, around 60% are adults—and the remainder are children and teenagers. Most of the adults experienced it as children and just now recently come out for support after OCAV was given more attention from the media. We’re currently trying to work with CPS right now to see if we can help more kids...I know for sure that there’s...so many of them that need my...help...” you trailed off sadly, your heart clenching for those who were still suffering in silence. Mike and Bobby noticed in your change in mood and decided to lift the conversation.

“At least you’re helping as much as you can right now,” Mike continued. “What kind of ballets do you dance in?”

“A few I’ve done are Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella...fairy-tales that have gotten popular in recent years because of those Disney movies that come out,” you trailed off, “—and some of my original ballets are The Spider and the Butterfly, and Summer Days: which I performed yesterday night.”

Victor whistled out of surprise and interest, folding his hands together.

“Do you travel around the country?” he asked.

“Sometimes,” you shrug. “But I mainly play in the Gershwin Theater when they aren’t doing their broadway shows.”

“I think I actually saw your performance on a Youtube video,” Victor admits sheepishly. “You were in that big theater in London, I think?”

“I did move there,” you continue, “for a couple of years to play there. I played in the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Opera House as the lead background dancers for the Phantom of the Opera; as well as a reenactment of La Bayadère.”

“I’m glad you two were able to be so successful,” praised Mike.

“Thanks,” replied you and Victor at the same time.

You turned to him with wide eyes, your cheeks flushing pink before you huffed quietly—turning your head so that you could look out the tiny circle window at Mike’s desk. Bobby rested his head against your chest while you cradled him like a child: in a way, he was your kid. 

“What are you guys doing today?” Mike tilted his head, “We still have a few hours until we head out for dinner.”

“I’m going to check out my old house,” you stated, “the one on 29 Neibolt Street.”

Mike and Victor’s eyes widened. “You sure?”

“I’ll be fine,” you laugh (since you had temporarily forgotten about the reason why you came to Derry; in the midst of enjoying Victor and Mike’s company), and bring out your phone. “Besides, we all have one of these now.”

“Thank fucking God for that,” Victor let out a heavy sigh of relief. “Imagine how easy life would’ve been as kids if we had these.”

It would be so much easier to tell everyone everything like that, you mused—thinking about the past. It was much easier for you to express yourself by writing in your journal and text. That’s why you wrote your book in the first place; to avoid the hardships of actually saying it. Physically speaking was incredibly harder than writing, because often times you felt emotional as soon as you utter out a single word.

You get up, turning your head to your bag, and smirked in amusement when the two men jumped back when you slung it over your shoulder—without even getting up or lifting a hand. “Christ [Y/N],” Victor swore. “At least give us a warning before you do that. I was going to think that this place is haunted.”

“Get used to it,” you snort in amusement and usher Bobby off of you.

You turned to Mike and Victor. “You guys fine being here?”

“Yeah,” Mike waves you off. “I still need to organize everything for tonight.”

“And you, Vic?”

“I need some sleep,” Victor sighed. “The plane ride was shit.”

“Alright...I’ll call you guys if anything happens.”

 


 

The short heels of your boots clicked against the side-walk down Neibolt Street, in tune with the clinking of Bobby’s tag and leash. Despite the fact that it was summer, the streets were truly empty and void of kids—which was pretty common in this age and time period. Derry was a pretty relaxed city, but it was bad all over the world. Old missing posters from twenty-seven years ago billow and rustle in the wind, distracting your mind for the moment.

You finally neared the Neibolt Church, which you recall you and your parents going there on holidays—they weren’t really the type to head out, which gave your family a questioning status. Derry was Catholic, with the exception of a synagogue (which was still here, surprisingly) and a few Christian churches. You continued to walk down the street, inching further and further towards your old house.

It was a wonder that people lived near it, considering all the parked cars in the drive-ways, and as you inched closer you noticed the neighboring house to be well kept and clean. The sunflowers were still standing, still alive: reminding you that there was only one reason why it was still there. Bobby stopped just a few houses away from 29 Neibolt, whimpering for a moment before letting out a growl—an unusual anger expressed towards the house.

“Hey, Bobby, hey,” you tried calming him down. “It’s okay boy, there’s nothing there...”

Not from what I can see, at least, you mused—staring down the house.

Bobby was unrelenting, letting out low whines out of distress and to calm him down you walked back a few paces. “It’s okay,” you repeated to him over and over. But then, he lurched out of your hold and to your surprise, began running towards your old house. You called out his name, worried, and began running after him (which was hard, considering the fact that Bobby was really good at that). He turned the corner, past the dead tree and fallen tire swing: towards the back of the house—still barking, whining, and growling.

Bobby never growled. And as he disappeared from view, you felt fear.

“Bobby!” you yell out. “Bobby come back!”

You followed his trail, skidding to a halt when you could no longer hear him making any noises. Your breath stilled and your eyes widened on the sight before you, your hands trembling. Bobby was completely calm, sitting obediently with his tail wagging—tongue splayed out as he was being petted by—

Robert Gray.

His name was pleasant to think about, and so was his appearance.

You flushed, practically feeling your cheeks growing warm the longer you looked at him. He was tall, with you barely reaching up to the peak of his chest. He brought his hand out for a handshake, and you could feel yourself die right there—feeling his cold hand wrap around your own. He could practically wrap his entire hand around your neck if he could, with hands like that. But there was a gentleness in his actions, handling you as if you were more fragile than glass.

He was amazing, but he was also an adult, and shamefully (for the first time in your life): you felt shame in your actions. It hadn’t even been a day yet, and you felt like you fell head-over-heels for this man. There was no way you could ever be with him, and as the days went on: you could only feel your embarrassment and want grow even more.

You couldn’t believe your eyes, and as the longer you stared: the more you could feel the assault of memories on your mind. Your hands began to get clammy, and your breathing returned—only now it began to race with your heart. You want to say his name, but it falls short on your lips. Too many questions run through your head at that moment, and you could only remember so much before you’re clasping a hand over your mouth and letting out a gasp.

The sound doesn’t go unnoticed by him, and he snaps his head up—directing his gaze at you.

You haven’t seen that face in twenty-seven years.

You can notice the way his shoulders tense and his mind goes blank His clothes were out-dated. but just how you’ve always envisioned (and remembered) him wearing. It’s that blue and white silk shirt, tucked into his blue jeans—which was held by that familiar black belt. That same belt he beat me with. His hair was soft, ungelled, brushed back with that middle part that made him look innocent: especially when the lock of strands fell over his wide, dark brown eyes.

He slowly rises from his position, crouched in front of Bobby with his hand resting gently against Bobby’s neck—I thought he hated dogs—but he doesn’t make a move to walk towards you. Bobby turns around and immediately takes note of your appearance, his gait fast as he slams himself into your legs; nudging his head into your hand repeatedly. But it’s not working. You can only focus on one thing; one man.

You want nothing more than to cry and tear your heart out—scream into the abyss that, this entire time, you lived thinking that this person (thing) was alive. You wanted nothing more than to see his face out of your life again, to get rid of everything that reminded you of him. And at the same time, he was exactly the person who could calm you down better than Bobby, or your stupid medications. 

Get away from him! Every part of your mind screams. Get away from him! Call the others! You can kill him here right here, right now! You can kill IT! You stopped him once, and you can stop him again! For twenty-seven years you’ve suffered nothing but pain and hurt, and he’s the reason why! He’s the reason why you can’t sleep at night! He’s the reason why you’re too scared to enter a relationship! He’s the reason why you wrote that book in the first place! He’s pain. He’s hurt. He’s...

He’s crying.

It was a simple action that didn’t go unnoticed by you—a tear running down his cheek before he swiped it with his right hand: the ring you gave him still on his finger, just like the ring he gave you on your own. He swallows a knot in his throat, adam’s apple bobbing as he takes a deep, shuddering breath. He still doesn’t move from his spot, and he looks so human in his actions. He’s only acted this way around you, and you’re not sure if believe it or doubt his “emotions”.

You want to believe it—despite everything.

Bobby barks at you, causing you to jump and startle yourself, taking his leash and pulling him behind you while you stand protectively in front of him. Robert notices your apprehension, and takes a step back —not daring to agitate you any further. Your hands are still trembling and you’re clenching your hands to the point where you can hear your knuckles pop. The wind stills, and the fear doesn’t go away. Your own tears fall slowly, and you rub your face with the sleeve of your turtleneck: too afraid to look away from him.

The silence is deafening, and you’ve never felt so much tension in your life. Your head hurts and spins to even think about him, much less look at him. You remembered being fifteen and meeting him in the Dance Hall, fifteen and staying in his estate for the first time; fifteen and falling in love with him. You remembered turning sixteen and hating him for what he did to you, and it didn’t take a week for you to forgive him and fall back to him. You remembered being sixteen and wanting to spend the rest of your life with him. You remembered loving him, and you remember how happy you felt.

You’d do anything thing to feel that blissful ignorance again.

Slow-dancing was something you and Robert both enjoyed doing. It was especially enjoying to do it in the ballroom, where he played slow jazz from the stereo—with you pressing your head against his chest, and letting his chin rest on your head. Your right hand was joined with his left hand, his right hand wrapped around your body while yours rested against the small of his back. You swayed to and fro, not taking large movements as you were both relaxed and calm.

Ba-dump, ba-dump, ba-dump.

That was the rhythm of his heart beating calming in his chest, and you listened idly for it—almost lulled to sleep with how soft and gentle it pounded. A wide smile was plastered on your face, your eyes closed, as you relished the feeling of him against you: his left thumb brushing against the back of your hand.

“You’re dead,” you uttered, trembling.

Robert doesn’t say anything, only conveying his words in his actions. Bobby, despite being trained on the side as your guard dog at times, doesn’t sense hostility from Robert: nor does he focus his attention on him. He, like the good boy he wanted to be, continues to try and pull you further away from your panic—or make it easier to bear, at least. You’ve only been in Derry for half a day, and you wished that you never came back in the first place.

A chime rang through the backyard, startling Robert—who soon relaxes after realizing that it was just your phone. Hesitantly, still resting your eyes on him, you take your free hand and take the phone; glancing for a caller ID. Talk about poor timing Mike, you thought bitterly. You press the phone to your ear, answering the call and can’t help but feel apprehension from Robert when you do so.

He still hasn’t made a move towards you.

“Mike?” you call out—taking note of the way Robert bristles at the name. Bobby, much to your chagrin, is started to get distracted by Robert’s presence and you have to tug on his lease a little tighter. His tail still wags but he sits down beside you, his gaze trained on the man (who in reality, wasn’t a man at all).

“How are you holding off?” Mike asked.

“I-I...” you trail off, trying to hide the tremble of your voice. “I’m f-fine...why?”

“You haven’t answered my texts, or Vic’s...we sent them a few hours ago.”

A few hours ago? you wonder, horrified.

That must’ve meant that you’ve been walking around Derry for that long, or did something to pass the time. You can’t even remember what you did prior to you arriving on Neibolt Street, which usually wasn’t a good sign. That didn’t usually happen, if anything—you were used to spacing out and forgetting simple things (like where you left your keys, or what you did in the afternoon, but they usually didn’t last long. Your heart raced, worrying more about that fact than the threat standing in front of you.

You distract yourself with the fact that you were just noticing that the sky had turned almost dark, and it probably wouldn’t be long until you arrived at dinner. The chill of the summer breeze chills your neck and cheeks, causing you to shudder. Bobby was indifferent, with his thick coat, and you wondered how he was feeling—if you really did walk around town this entire time. You glanced at Robert, disturbed by the fact that he was still standing there: watching you. You’re too frightened to teleport away, however, and have to endure this torture.

“I just got lost in the moment,” you lied; trying to distance your mind from your body. “Went through all of the shops a-a-and everything to see how much has changed.”

“Vic and I are heading to the Jade of the Orient,” he continued. “You coming?”

“I-I’m good for now,” you stammer.

“Are you sure you’re okay?”

“I’m fine, I just...I’m visiting my parents graves,” you lied again. Narrowing your eyes, you decide to take a jab at Robert by saying, “I still can’t believe that IT...Robert killed them. It hurts me every day t-to...to know t-t-that...”

Robert’s face grimaced into more hurt. Good.

Mike sighed, “I’m sorry, [Y/N]. I didn’t know.”

“No—N-No...It’s my fault for not texting you guys. I probably worried you both.”

“It’s nothing, take care. We’ll see you in an hour.”

“Alright Mikey...Bye.”

Once the phone is turned off, you shove it back in your pocket and usher Bobby to move behind you. Robert watched the entire exchange with silent eyes, his hands clenching and unclenching. You don’t say a word even though you want to scream and ask him so many things at that moment. Your shoulders tense when he finally takes a step forward, your breath stilling again. You could spend an eternity like this—watching him but never actually touching him.

He’s both a repellent and a lure, enticing you with those dark brown eyes of his. The beautiful golden light of sunset changes his face, casting shadows that bring out the gold in his irises that remind you too much of the clown. At the same time, his tall frame makes it so that you’re focused on his face—not paying attention to the fact that he’s inching closer and closer to you.

You clench your eyes, breathing heavily while running your right hand through Bobby’s fur, trying to calm yourself down. You don’t know if Robert’s going to disappear or hurt you once you close your eyes, but when you do open them—you’re startled to see Robert’s face almost in front of yours. You take a few steps back, gasping.

“Why are you doing this to me?” you ask in a hushed whisper.

Finally, Robert says something back to you.

“You’re still wearing the ring,” he continued softly. “...I thought you wouldn’t.”

His presence doesn’t help but somehow his voice calms you—soothes you.

“I didn’t want to throw it away,” you reply, suddenly forgetting that this man should’ve been dead. You want to hear more of his voice, and you want him to hold you. But you already know that doing so would ruin everything you’ve promised to your friends and family. What would they think of you if they saw you with Robert?

But he’s so nice right now, you think. Where’s the harm in talking?

Robert only...hurt you...when he was mad, or if you did something wrong. If anything, he looked like he was everything but mad at this moment. He looked like you when you were at your lowest points, and he took in your every little action with consideration—as if he wanted you to do it again. He wanted to see you do more, feel more, experience more. He wanted more of you.

And in the back of your mind, you wanted the same from him.

“I dreamt of you,” he admits, glancing at Bobby with a judgmental gaze before falling slack into a black one. “For twenty-seven years, I watched you grow...I watched you live your life. I watched you: wanting to tell you that it was okay, that I was here for you...but I wasn’t. I did this to you, and I...I’m sorry.”

His reply left you in silence, your eyes searching into his own for deceit—for the monster inside of him—but failed to. There was only Robert Gray, and for the first time in twenty-seven years: you felt young again. Your hands trembled once more, but came with an itch to embrace him into a hug. To forget every little thing and just melt against his frame; to feel whole again. And you were whole—rekindled by his awakening, and as he inched ever so closely to you: you felt that pull on the inside of your soul.

The mark he gave you pulsed and thrummed, making you shudder, taking another fearful step back.

What if he’s doing this to scare me?

What if he’s lying?

What if he wants to hurt me?

“Block,” you uttered out, breathing heavily.

Robert looked at you confused, only to look even more perplexed (and surprised) to see Bobby walk in front of you and sit on his rump, still wagging his tail. You felt safer knowing that there was a barrier between you and Robert, but at the same time—it didn’t help that the barrier was Bobby. But Robert wouldn’t hurt him...right? He had been petting Bobby earlier, and didn’t seem so bothered by the dog: despite the fact that he used to say otherwise about it.

“If you hurt my friends,” you continue in a warning voice, “I won’t hesitate to hurt you.”

“They aren’t worth it,” he replied in a leveled tone.

I guess you still hate my friends, huh?

“Why did you want Mike to call us back?” you asked.

“I wanted you to come home.”

“M-My home’s in New York...not...not this awful place...”

Robert’s lips twitched into a frown ever so slightly. “Is it ever awful when you’re with me?”

Yes, a lot of times, actually, you muse bitterly. But then again—how many other days, what was most of the days, did you spend feeling nothing but happiness? How many days did you spend enjoying every second of your life? How many days did you want nothing but him?

“No,” you reply back (despite wanting to say otherwise), your tone getting softer and your resolve fading away.

“Would it make you happy?” he asked.

You look up at him, furrowing your brows. “What do you mean?”

“If you spent the rest of your days here...in Derry.”

“I have a life,” you reply defensively. “—and people who love me.”

“I love you,” Robert shot back, unable to inch closer to you due to Bobby.

“Do you?” your brows furrow and your eyes widen into a plea. “Do you really? Or are you lying?”

Robert’s gaze turned hard at that moment and you felt dread at the back of your mind. He averted his gaze down to Bobby, his eyes glinting molten gold for a brief second as he said, “Bobby, to the porch, now.”

To your surprise, Bobby listened—despite never being taught to do that—and your eyes widened as you watched your beloved dog trot over to the ruined back porch and lay down on it; idly resting and waiting for you and Robert to be done. You turned back to Robert, eyes flickering to the now-gone sun, the darkness taking over. It was obvious that neither of you needed a light in the dark, nothing except the natural light of the moon, and Robert made careful movements towards you.

“If I was lying, would I do this?”

He placed a hand on your neck, brought you close to his face: and kissed you.

His lips pressed gently against yours, melding with yours only in a way that he could—not even Bill nor Victor (the only other people who you had kissed) kissed you like Robert did. Bill’s was forced and poorly timed, his second kiss, and Victor’s were passionate but nothing like the way Robert had embraced you—kissed you. Robert’s other hand finds it along your side, thumb brushing underneath your left breast: where the mark was,making you shudder and clench your eyes.

You felt shame come tenfold when you decided to kiss him back.

The kiss elicited a response in you, an instinct that you felt inclined to satisfy every time Robert kissed you. You threw your arms around his neck and held him close to you, feeling strange that you were much older and he stayed the same age. If anything, you were at least twice “Robert’s age” (since IT was probably as old as Maturin), and it made you both uncomfortable and relaxed. You hadn’t changed much, physically, except for your slightly sharper features and taller height. Robert, of course, had stayed the same nonetheless. You were both “adults” now, and there was no shame kissing him—the only kind of shame being the fact that you’re betraying your friends.

“Stop thinking about them,” he whispers against your lips after pulling away. “I don’t know what you’re thinking about right now, but you’re tense and afraid...let go of those thoughts and feelings, and let me take care of you.”

“Let me take care of you,” Robert murmured.

He told you that when you were hurt, when you were sad; when you were deathly afraid of him. It was a simple set of six words that made you head over heels for him, holding onto him as if he was the only thing left standing in the world. Every time Robert uttered those words to you, you felt so alive and submissive at the same time—free, but not free. And you didn’t mind one bit. You simply nodded along and let him do whatever to you, feeling inclined to believe that he’d take care of you.

That he was the only one who could make you feel good.

“I want to,” you cry. “I w-w-want to s-so badly...”

“Then do it. Tell them to go home.”

“You’ve already given Mike your message,” you sighed. It was hard to hide from him when he held you in a close embrace, capturing your eyes with his own. He was a trap, and you had fallen right into it. “They...the Losers t-they...”

“I have a plan,” he muttered softly, “and once that’s been done, we can stay here...together...”

But the kids, you think to yourself. I’ve spent my life trying to make sure that no one would ever go through what I went through; helped so many people, and I have yet to save everyone else...I have a life back home...Howard, Brianna, Bruce...all of the people I’ve met...I don’t want to give them up either...

“I-I can’t Rob...I have...”

“Wouldn’t it be easier to be with me, though? You’d never have to worry about anything ever again.”

“I want to see the world,” you plead, twisting his shirt in your hands. “I want to do more before my life ends.”

Robert’s gaze turned blank at that moment. “You have an eternity to do that.”

What is he talking about? What is he trying to say?

“I—” You were cut off by the sound of your phone ringing again. You turned to him, waiting for his reaction—it was terrifying to think about (in the back of your mind), that you were so easily able to fall back into your old habits; trusting him—and to your surprise, he backed away. You carefully took in his reaction, fishing for your phone and looked at the caller ID.

“It’s Bev,” you whispered.

“Answer it,” Robert ordered—and like old times, you complied.

You pressed the phone to your ear.

“Bev?”

“[Y/N]?” her voice flooded back to you, “Where are you?”

“I-I’m...I’m looking around town.”

“Victor, Mike, and I are already at the restaurant. You’re going to come soon, right?”

You glanced hesitantly over to Robert, who was listening intently: half of his face lit by the moon.

“Y-Yeah,” you stammered back with nervousness.

“Are you alright? Did something happen?”

“No,” you say a little too quickly. “No, I...I was just...remembering stuff.”

“The others should be here soon,” Beverly continued, “and you should hurry up.”

“Don’t worry I’ll call a cab,” your eyes glanced over at Bobby—who was happily laying on his side.

“...okay...I’ll see you there, [Y/N].”

“Alright Beverly, bye.”

Once the phone fell silent you looked at Robert, waiting for him to do something.

“I need to go to them,” you explain. “I-I...”

“I’ll take you there,” he replied.

Your eyes widened. “Wait, what?! No! Y-You can’t—!”

“I’ll drive you and your...” Robert trailed off, glancing over at Bobby. “...mutt...to the restaurant.”

You grimaced at his choice of words to describe Bobby, but couldn’t complain. He was being extremely compliant with you, and you were still feeling that lingering doubt that this was just all a plan for his revenge. You still held onto your phone, the bottom of your face illuminated by the light before the phone finally turned off. Silence filled and Robert took a careful step forward.

“I won’t do anything to you,” he says softly. “I promise.”

“You always break your promises,” Robert grit into your face; practically growling.

And you always break yours, you think, terrified. But you can’t do anything but accept the fact that this was your fault—that you did something wrong by breaking your promises. He always broke his, and you said nothing of it, but the moment you broke yours...

He was absolutely livid about it.

“How will I know you won’t hurt me?” you questioned in a defiant voice.

“I won’t I—” Robert cut himself off, letting out a frustrated sigh. “I won’t hurt you.”

“You’ve hurt me plenty times in the time you were with me,” you retort, causing him to wince.

“That was before,” he explained slowly. “I’m different, I’ve changed; for you.”

“Only for you, darling.”

Your face falls into one of plead and forgiveness, and you almost felt the urge to shrink back in submission: make yourself smaller. An old habit resurfaces and you wring your hands together, noticing that Bobby hasn’t moved. What did Robert do to him? Bobby seemed incredibly passive in his presence, and you wondered how much control Robert had over everybody.

“You promise?” you ask in a small voice.

Robert’s eyes soften and a gentle smile reaches across his lips. Reaching a hand out to caress the sides of your face, rubbing his thumb along the apple of your cheek. “I promise, darling,” he replied—and the moment you heard him say that nickname of endearment: you knew you were screwed.

After a moment of thinking, you sigh and let your arms fall to your sides, lowering your head. “Okay,” you muttered. “Take me there.” You turned your attention to Bobby and called him, half expecting him to not listen, but he did and happily walked over to you. You take his leash but Robert stops you.

“You don’t need to do that,” he continued. “He’ll be calm with me around.”

As if you were the trained dog, you dropped the leash and let Bobby walk at your side. You followed Robert back to the front of your old home, shock filling your mind when your eyes rested on the sleek vehicle in front. It was nothing like his old silver Porsche, which Howard took back with him to Maryland—but one of the newer, popular cars you had seen in New York from time to time. Instead it was a grey Dodge Challenger—a Hellcat maybe?

“How do you even know about these cars?” you asked curiously.

“I didn’t know about them ten minutes ago,” Robert admitted.

You gave him a look of confusion before it fell back into a relaxed, but uneasy one. Now that you thought about his response, it wasn’t hard to realize that he probably looked into some car-savvy kid’s mind to find out about the cars—either that, or he really looked through a catalogue at the grocery store. It was already strange enough that he was willing to “teach” himself to drive (but was it really teaching if he was just mimicking actions?) You figured that it was the first option, considering the fact that he wasn’t...

You shuddered, thinking about him.

You’d have to get used to the fact that Robert wasn’t a “person,” and somehow; you managed to forget about that key component about himself in the brief moment you spent talking to him. You simply nodded along, watching as he opened the passenger’s seat and propped it forward—letting Bobby jump in the back. There was a blanket and everything for him.

“I thought you didn’t like dogs,” you said.

Robert deadpanned, “I don’t.”

“Then why—”

“Because you like them,” he replied, glancing at Bobby for another second. “...and your mutt seems to calm you down.”

“Yeah, that’s his job,” you stated—still ignoring his word use. “He’s my service dog. He helps with my...PTSD.”

Robert stared at you for a moment, thinking on the word before a quiet “oh” fell from his lips, fixing the passenger seat so that you could enter the vehicle. He didn’t seem to want to dwindle on that—and you didn’t want to either—and you let the topic slide. It was evident that Bobby’s presence would be a key reminder of the fact that Robert’s actions had a lasting impact on you. The smell of the car brought you back to 1989, causing you to stiffen but kept a straight face nonetheless.

It reminded you of when he drove you in his Buick to that restaurant, when you all had dinner with Howard; that new car smell that was oddly mixed with the smell of him. Robert entered into the driver’s seat, and you felt a delight in hearing the engine roar to life. Your hands folded in your lap and you felt yourself sliding down the seat almost—to make yourself feel smaller in Robert’s presence.

He just had that effect on you.

“You killed a girl,” you whispered. “Her name was—”

“Victoria Fuller,” he finished for you.

You side-eyed him, your mouth pulling into a frown. You felt a bit nauseous thinking about it, especially with how calm he was in his response. You swallowed a knot in your throat, distracting yourself with the road: illuminated by the streetlights and the car’s headlights.

“It bothers you,” he said—more as a statement than a question.

“Of course it fucking does,” you snapped, turning your head to him. “Y-You...you kill...eat...”

Robert interjected, “It’s not any different with how you used to feed Holland.”

“I’m surprised you even remember her name,” you sighed.

“Is she still alive?”

“No, she died at twenty-eight...Gray died too.”

“I thought as much. Normal spiders don’t live long.”

You ignored how he said “normal” as if there was another type of spider that you weren’t aware of. You turned around in your seat, looking over at Bobby, who was starting to get tired by the car ride. “Hey Bobby,” you said in a soft voice—babying him. “Are you enjoying the car ride?”

“You know he can’t say anything back to you, right?”

Your frowned, turning back to Robert. “Of course I know. I just...it’s nice to talk to him.”

“Don’t you think it’s nice to talk to me?”

“Not when you talk a-about your...victims...”

“You’re the one that brought it up.”

“Okay!” you exclaimed, clenching your eyes. “I-I—I...I-I kn-know! I’m s-sorry!”

You let out a heavy sigh, running and hand over your face, scooting closer to the door than to Robert. An expression of pain and regret filled Robert’s face and he looked away from you, avoiding your gaze. His hands twitched and his fingers thrummed against the steering wheel—you could tell that he wanted to hold your hand; desperately. Bobby let out a worried whimper from the back at your distressed tone, and you looked back at him for a brief moment.

“I’m okay Bobby,” you say in a softer voice. “I’m okay...I-I...I’m not...I’m not in any danger—” Your eyes flickered over to Robert, and then in a panicked state you try to talk to yourself to calm your frazzled mind. Taking in your surroundings, you tried to ground yourself to reality before you could fall from it. “—I’m...I’m safe. Nothing’s here to harm me...I’m okay...I’m in a car, on my w-way to see my friends...Who I haven’t seen in twenty-five years...I’m with...I-I-I’m with...”

You were unable to say his name, glancing out the window with your cheek propped against your fist. For once, Derry looked better than before—though, soon enough you’d expect that to change within an instant. A hand finds itself along your leg, causing you to jump and look at Robert with half-anger, half-panic in your eyes.

“What are you doing?” you asked, your voice soft and weak.

“I don’t want to see you like this,” Robert trails off. “...it hurts me to see you like this.”

Your left hand falls to his: holding it and feeling the ridges, veins, and bones of his hand. His hand was still bigger than yours, and you instinctively took hold of it—lacing your fingers with his. Robert turned to you, his gaze still soft (nothing like the monster you remembered him being), and he lifted your joined hands together. He pressed a kiss along the backside of your hand, causing you to shudder and let your eyes flutter in response, sighing in delight.

“I missed this,” you confess. “I m-missed you...what we had...”

“You don’t have to miss it,” Robert continued. “We can do it all over again.”

“I-I-I don’t know if I can do that again...” you say. “I-I don’t...I’m scared that you’ll...”

“Darling,” Robert interrupts. “I already promised to you that I won’t hurt you. This time, I’ll keep my promises.”

I really hope that you do, you think to yourself. Please, for once, can I really be happy?

Five minutes pass, with your hands held together and you decided to turn on the radio, lowering it to almost the lowest setting—relaxed by the music. Robert, however, didn’t seem to enjoy the “modern” music but complied anyway, continuing to drive until you reached Pasture Road: where the Jade of the Orient was. It looked the same outside, but the soft yellow light and red paint on the inside told you that there was a remodel done on the entire place. The smell of barbecue and smoke filled the air, and you pressed the air recirculation button. You wondered if Robert knew what the other buttons of the car did, and you wondered if he ever worried about gas or the car breaking down.

He’d probably fix the problem with the snap of his fingers...or the blink of the eye, you thought.

“We’re here,” you stated.

Robert grunted, holding your hand tighter. The action both frightened you, and calmed you down at the same time. “I don’t want you to see them,” he said. “But if it makes you happy, then I’ll let you go.”

There was a lingering “just for tonight” on his lips that didn’t go unnoticed by you. When he stopped the car, he was about to pull you in for a kiss but you retaliated, wincing and turning your head from him. Robert looked at you with a questioning gaze.

“I’m sorry,” you apologized. “I’m...not in the mood for that.”

It wasn’t normal for you to feel a lack of interest in kissing or other things, but it was a side effect of your medications that also added onto your lack of desire for a relationship. That, toppled onto the fact that you were going to kiss a murderer (the same man who killed everyone you loved; replacing their love with his) again, didn’t do so well on your nerves. Besides, you were hungry and wanted to spend your night with fun and laughter. You hadn’t seen the other five Losers in twenty-five years, and you were almost excited—and nervous—to see them.

“Just one,” Robert pleads.

Giving him a defiant glare, you utter out a simple “No,” that makes him wince. He sighs in defeat, letting go of your hand and allowed you to leave the car. “C’mon Bobby,” you ordered, propping the passenger seat once you were out. Bobby was delighted to leave the car, wagging his tail as he took in his new surroundings. Taking his leash, you looked at Robert once last time before watching as his car sped off—possibly just for show, because as soon as he left you felt a hand on your shoulder.

You let out a swear, turning around with wide eyes as you stared at a popular writer: Bill Denbrough. But he was just more than that, now that your memories were back. He was your friend: your first kiss. He looked completely different than he was as a child, losing his auburn hair which was now replaced by dark brown hair that was greying at the sides. He looked tired too, all adults were like that (even you, even though you lacked age wrinkles and marks).

“Bill?” you asked, breathless.

Bill’s eyes widened, taking in your features and instantly recognizing you. It wasn’t hard to, since you hadn’t physically changed much since you turned eighteen, and he uttered out your name before pulling you into a close embrace. You happily returned the hug, paying mind to Bobby before you pulled away from him.

“Looks like you got taller than me,” you joked, poking his cheek sheepishly.

Bill flustered, rubbing the nape of his neck with a light in his eyes that you hadn’t seen before.

“Yeah,” he replied—a wide grin reaching his face.

He still had those nervous, boyish crush-like mannerisms that he used to have when he was around you; and you held back the question about his wife. His wife, Audra Phillips, an actress: who uncannily looked like you. You had even seen up on some forums online, in those “Famous People Comparisons” about your likeliness to the actress. You always found it weird, but was a little creeped out (and charmed) at the same time.

Bill just so happened to marry someone who looked like you.

“Victor, Beverly, and Mike are inside,” you motion to the Jade of the Orient. “We’re still waiting on Stan, Eddie, Richie, and Ben.”

“H-Holy sh-shit, I forgot a-a-a-about them t-too!” Bill exclaimed again. “I wonder what they all look like now.”

“Yeah, me too, Bill.” You restrained yourself from calling him “Billy,” feeling that it was awkward to do so. Evidently, he still seemed to have some sort of rekindled feelings for you—just like Victor. Shit, you berate yourself. I have to say goodbye to him too, now that Robert and I...What am I going to do? What am I going to say? Victor’s going to be so disappointed in me, when he realizes that I’m going to say in Derry. What if the others get suspicious?

What if—?

Bobby’s head nudges against your right hand, prompting you to look down and pet at him. Bill gave you a questioning glance at your service dog, and you felt inclined to give him an apologetic smile.

“This is Bobby,” you motion to the German Shepherd, “my service dog.”

Bill smiles and nods understandingly, though you can see the curiousness in his eyes. You usually got that from people whenever they looked at your dog, since you didn’t have any physical disabilities that would merit you for a service dog—it was hard (personally) for you to explain that you had mental illnesses. Still, most people were understanding (more so if they knew about you via your book).

You let your smile relax, rolling your shoulders and pointing to the restaurant.

“Let’s go, shall we?” you ask in a cheerful tone. “The others are probably waiting for us all.”

Bill nods, but you can see the nervousness in his eyes—the lingering fear as to why Mike called you all here in the first place. He hides it well, and you could feel the apprehension from him as you enter the building. Thankfully, there was a sign saying that you could enter with Bobby (restaurants weren’t usually a problem, and now that laws were put in place; you weren’t to be discriminated against for owning a service dog) and the smell of food made you hungry.

A waitress, dressed in beautiful oriental clothing, walked up to you and Bill.

“Are you two here with a party?”

“Yes,” you give her a curt nod. “Under the name: Mike Hanlon...?”

The waitress nodded, pointing to the circular entrance of the private, reserved tables. “The room is over there,” she continued. “Are there any allergies or food that you’re concerned with?”

You turned to Bill, who shook his head. Turning back to the waitress, you also shake your head. “No, we’re fine,” you answer with a smile, idly running your hand along Bobby’s fur. “Thank you.”

The waitress merely nodded, bowing her head before going to help other costumers. With that, you walked towards the table, taking note of Victor, Beverly, and Mike’s presence. A nervousness spread throughout you, noticing that the other five still hadn't arrived yet.

Here we go, you think to yourself. Let’s hope the others come too.

Chapter Text

ACT I, PART VI

29 Neibolt Street
December 2nd, 1988

The chill of the blizzard hit Bill Denbrough’s face colder than the basement in his house.

He was trudging through the snow, unable to ride Silver with how much snow had fallen, his arms wrapped around his frail body—which was enveloped in a thick coat and snow gear. His pale face was tinted red at the nose, cheeks, and ears: but where he was headed to was worth the temporary frostbite. The house on 29 Neibolt Street was nearly in view, and he could see the now-dead tree with the tire swing idly swaying with the wind.

The corners of his lips twitched upwards a little, despite how frozen his face was from the cold, thinking about his friend—who lived in that house. He hadn’t seen them in a while, especially with how much time they had been spending on their dance trips, and the time that they had been spending with...that man.

He didn’t know the details of who Robert Gray was, other than the fact that he was his friend’s dance partner (and now ballet tutor). Before [Y/N]’s parents had left on their trip to Austria, he asked Roger Randall—their father—about who the man was. “He even opted to become their legal guardian as well,” Roger said in a cheerful tune. “He’s such a caring man,” is what Bill heard from Sarah Randall (his friend’s mother). But other than that, he knew nothing else about the man; but he did know (from seeing him for a brief moment) that the man was devilishly handsome, and odd.

Creepy was a better word to describe Robert Gray.

Stop thinking about him, Bill scolded himself. I know nothing about him, so I can't judge.

Soon enough, he was passing by all of the little kids across Neibolt Street who were playing in the snow. His feet trudged up the porch of the clean house, lifting a shaky hand to knock on the door. There was a bit of anticipation that filled Bill’s heart as he waited for a few minutes outside—afraid that his friend wasn’t at home. But much to his delight, the door opened: revealing his friend.

“Hello? Who is—oh,” their eyes widened in surprise before a wide grin stretched across their face. “Bill!” they exclaimed, pulling him towards them for a hug. Bill, despite shivering cold, felt himself warm up immediately at their embrace—his face running a strong scarlet as his arms wrapped around them.

“You can leave your things here,” [Y/N] said, pointing to the coat rack.

Bill’s smile widened a little, and he gave them a grateful nod. “Th-Thanks,” he uttered out—removing his coat, boots, and other snowgear. Once everything was off, he was wearing a long brown sweater and jeans, keeping his socks on with how cold it was in here. He watched as they took a seat on the stairs, patiently waiting for him to finish; and tilted his face away from them to avoid the possibility of them noticing his blush.

Bill wasn’t sure if they were aware of his feelings for them, but he did know that they cared a lot about him. But it wasn’t enough for him—it was never enough. He was so close to kissing them on Halloween night, and he felt a bit of shame thinking about it. He thought about them often, and it didn’t help when they were so nice to him. They’re nice to everyone though, Bill scolds himself. I'm not getting special treatment from them. It’s just the way they are.

It's just the way life is.

“It’s uh...it’s been a while,” they said, looking down at him.

Bill nodded, giving the house a once over—noticing how everything was the same as he remembered. The only thing missing was [Y/N]’s parents, who were on a trip. Said girl got up from their seat and began to trudge up the stairs, Bill following their movements as they led him to their room.

“Not going with the others, Bill?” they asked.

He shakes his head. “N-No...” A deafening silence passed before he added, “I missed you,” and instantly regretted it. Was I being too weird by saying that? What if they didn’t miss me back? What if I made them feel bad that—

“I missed you too,” they said, turning their head to give him a warm smile.

That was enough to get Bill’s face running hot again (ohmygodtheysaidthattheymissedmetootheycareaboutme). Not a second too soon they finally arrived in the neatly decorated room, with the bed in a slight disarray—the blankets coiled around in a circle. The television that was propped up on the dresser across from the bed was playing a movie, and to Bill it looked old. It looked like an old Western movie? A civil war movie, possibly?

“What are you watching?” Bill asked, sitting next to them.

“Gone with the Wind,” they replied.

They suddenly envelop themselves into the blankets on their bed, pushing the sides to make a pocket and patted the vacant spot beside them. “Come join my blanket cocoon, Billy!” they exclaimed, their eyes full of warmth and happiness—a look that always made Bill’s face run hotter.

Yeah, he had it bad for them...really bad, and God forbid if they ever found out.

Bill merely nodded, bashfully sitting next to them and became flustered at the close proximity. Maybe it was the snow outside that brought out their features more, or the fact that they were enjoying the movie so much, that made Bill stare at them for a majority of the time that they were watching the movie. But there was something really pretty about them today, a kind of airiness that was also mixed in with sadness that was unusual for someone like [Y/N]. They looked tired, drained even, as if they had been crying a lot. And when they reached an arm out to brush some hair out of their face, Bill felt his eyes widened when he noticed—in that brief moment—the mulberry bruises on their wrist.

“Wh-wh-what h-happened to your wrist?” he questioned out of curiosity.

They froze, making Bill feel regret in his actions. Did I step on a nerve? Did I say something wrong? Shit, this wasn’t my business to ask and they’re going to be mad at me—

“Sprained it while I was on my trip,” they say quickly, but don’t seem to show anger at his question. They continued in a softer voice, “Dancing is actually very dangerous.”

“Does it hurt?”

“Not really, but it’s mostly sore.”

Bill let them leave it at that, feeling as if he didn’t have the authority to question their reasoning. The movie on the television continues to play, and Bill can’t help but feel pain and hurt at the sounds of children outside. He remembered playing with Georgie and [Y/N] during these times: making snowmen, snow angels, and having snowball fights. There was nothing but fun in those times, and the longer Bill thought—the more grief he felt at the loss of Georgie. It had been nearly two months since he went missing, and in this snow? Bill feared, at the bottom of his heart, that Georgie was dead—but he’s missing, Bill reminds himself.

He’s missing.

Bill finds himself resting his head against [Y/N]’s shoulder, seeking comfort from their calming presence. They didn’t need to do anything to comfort him, because them being there for him was all he needed to feel alright. He swallows a knot in his throat, choking the surprised gasp inside of him, when they wrap an arm around him: pulling them flush to their side. “It gets better Bill,” they whisper softly, resting their chin on his forehead.

Shakily, he lifts his right hand to touch their left hand, which was settled on his side, and holds it tightly. Exhaling quietly, he feels relief flooding his system at the feeling of their heart beating inside their chest, relishing the warmth that he and his friend were sharing. There’s no one that could make him this happy, this so appreciated. Ever since Georgie went missing, his mother and father had stopped paying attention to him, and for a moment—he feared that [Y/N] would too. But they didn’t; they were always there for him.

Maybe that’s why he loved them so much. The fact that they were willing to be with him, even in his darkest moments, was enough to make him feel like there was no one else who could do that. He wished he could spend the rest of his life with them, and not even that cute red-haired girl from that play in third grade could compare to [Y/N].

They were unique, and they were amazing; truly, a rose among thorns.

Bill pulls away after thirty minutes of the movie rolling by, looking at them straight in the eye. He could practically feel the warmth of his cheeks seeping into his neck.

“Th-Thank you, [Y/N],” he stammered out.

“Anytime Bill,” they reply, giving him that beautiful soft smile. “I care about you a lot.”

If Henry Bowers doesn’t kill me, [Y/N] will by just talking to me.

“I know,” Bill says bashfully—his reply a result of his hopes and dreams being fulfilled.

But caring isn’t the same as loving, he reminds himself. I don’t know if they feel for me the same way.

He stares longer into their eyes, subconsciously lifting a cold hand against their neck—feeling hesitant to continue when they bite down a shiver at the contact. For some reason, he can’t help but see tiny flecks of red and crimson within them. The color was barely noticeable, and had he not been so close to their face at that moment—he probably wouldn’t have noticed it. Their eyes were like the beautiful night sky, bejeweled with rubies and garnets.

Inside of him, Bill feels a fire snapping and a sudden urge prompts him to close his and lean forward: giving them a kiss. Fireworks exploded inside of him, mixed in with the raw disgust and shame that follows when he realizes that they’re tensing up. Shit what did I do wrong? Why did I do that? Oh fuck, oh God, oh shit. They’re not kissing back! They’re not kissing back! Are they mad at me? They must be fucking livid now...

But the kiss feels nice—to me, at least.

When he opens his eyes, he feels nothing but self-hatred. Within moments he’s leaving their room and down the stairs, sloppily changing into his snowgear. It doesn’t take long for him to depart the house, wearing his snowshoes on the wrong feet and his beanie practically falling off from his head. He runs as fast as he could back home, his lips wanting more, his heart soaring, and his mind berating himself.

I messed up, Bill thinks to himself shamefully. What are they going to think about me now?

...They probably hate me now.

 


 

They practically looked the same as they did twenty-five years ago.

Their hair had dropped down, longer than what he remembered them having: wavy around the ends. It looked soft to the touch and absolutely silky, shining under the parking lot’s lights—shining like their beautiful eyes. They no longer had those dark brown eyes splattered with red and crimson, but an enticing shade of mahogany that was near crimson under the light. They still had that lithe, slightly athletic build that was accentuated by their snug clothes; having the kind of waist that would entice one to put their hands on. Their lips were full and inviting, just like their eyes.

He couldn’t help but compare them to his wife: Audra.

Audra’s hair wasn’t long, just reaching above her shoulders, and it was just a tad bit too light—nothing like the rich, dark color that [Y/N] had. Audra’s eyes were just a plain shade of brown; sometimes blue in public when she wore her contacts. Audra was short, and her smile didn’t quite reach as far as theirs. Audra also looked slightly older, and compared to [Y/N]; Bill might’ve thought Audra was older than forty-two. [Y/N] had kept their youthful looks (if Bill didn’t know any better, he would’ve thought that they were still between eighteen to their mid-twenties), despite looking slightly tired with faint grey bags under their eyes—but their face expressed happiness and warmth all the same. The differences were barely noticeable to public eyes, but to Bill it was a strong difference indeed.

Bill felt shame in admitting that they looked more beautiful than his wife.

For the first time in twenty-eight years, Bill felt like he was thirteen and in love.

 


 

“Holy shit Denbrough, look at you!” Victor exclaimed, wrapped an arm around Bill’s shoulders.

Bill happily returned the hug—patting Victor’s back—and let out a hasty chuckle. “L-Look at me? Look a-a-at you!” Bill laughed. “You l-l-look great at w-what, forty-three?”

“Forty-four,” Victor confirmed with a smile.

You walked next to Beverly, giving a hug. “How’d you hold off today?” you asked, letting go of Bobby’s leash to let him take a seat next to the chairs and table. You were momentarily distracted by the fish tanks, filled with cheap decor but pretty fish, before Beverly replied.

“Just fine,” she continued. “How about you? I heard from Vic and Mike that you were a bit quiet for a while.”

“I walked Bobby around town,” you lied—putting up a forced smile.

You motioned to the German Shepherd who was resting, and decided to bring out a water-bowl (from your bag), setting it down in front of him, and poured water into it from a water bottle that you brought with you. Beverly nodded, accepting your answer, and thankfully, believing you. There’s no way that you could tell her (or the others) about your encounter with Robert...IT.

You pulled up one of the chairs next to Bobby, leaning down to pet his fur while Beverly took a seat next to you. “This is so weird,” you muttered to her, gesturing to Mike, Victor, and Bill. “It’s like...I’m not used to seeing them all, after so many years.”

“Yeah, I know how you feel,” Beverly replied.

You rose a brow. “Are you still worried about Tom?”

She bristled at the question but shakes her head nonetheless, even though you could tell otherwise. You didn’t push her to answer, however, and returned to petting Bobby’s dark coat—watching as the waitress returned, except with...Your eyes widened and you got up on your seat a little; Beverly following your movements.

Eddie Kaspbrak.

“—uhm, anything with soy, dairy,” Eddie said, making a list with his fingers to prove his point. “...and if I eat a cashew I could...” He paused, taking in the sight of the five people in the room, his jaw dropping. “—realistically...die...” he finished, eyes widening.

Victor and Bill turned around, and the latter walked up to him to embrace him.

“Holy shit,” Eddie swore, embracing Bill, then Victor—and then Mike.

Excitedly, Beverly got up from her seat and also embraced him, while you gave Eddie a simple wave; not bothering to move from your seat. You were fine where you sat, and you were getting a little overwhelmed with so many people coming back (along with the memories), and decided to stay with Bobby to calm yourself down.

“How are you, Eds?” you asked.

“I’m fine,” he replied with a smile.

Soon after that everyone (except Mike, who was waiting to greet the others) took a seat around the table, chatting away idly. You enjoyed hearing them talk about their lives and what they did—apparently Eddie was a risk analyst, instead of a nurse which is what you’d thought he’d be—and soon enough, Eddie came around to talking about you.

“Like literally, you haven’t aged,” Eddie commented towards you

“Probably because of this,” you said turning your attention to a plate in front of Bill.

Eddie looked at you, confused. “What are you—”

He was cut off by the sight of the plate levitating across the table in front of Eddie. He let out a swear, getting off of his seat and jumping back. Bill looked mildly disturbed while Victor let out a laugh; to which Beverly scolded him as she slapped your shoulder playfully. “Sorry, sorry!” you apologized, though you didn’t really mean it. A cheeky grin was spread across your face, matching Victor’s amused expression. Eddie’s jaw was agape, still pointing to the plate before taking note of your prominent red eyes, and let out a sigh of relief, setting his inhaler (though he didn’t use it, he was about to) back into his pocket.

“Shit, you guys I forgot [Y/N] could do that,” Eddie sighed.

“What happened?” Mike asked from the entrance.

“[Y/N] made a damn plate fly in front of me,” Eddie exclaimed, running a hand over his face.

Mike looked at you with a stern, playful look. “What did we say about your powers?”

“I’m supposed to warn you guys,” you continue—stifling your giggles. “But it was funny.”

“I gotta agree,” said Victor. “Seeing Eddie and Bill jump back was pretty funny.”

“Y-Y-You st...s-s-still have your powers?” Bill asked, averting his gaze towards you.

You nodded. “They never went away.”

“Does it affect your health?” Eddie rose a brow.

I wouldn’t expect any less for Eddie to ask that question, you think humorously.

“Sometimes,” you shrug. “I mostly have to get check ups from the chronic pain I get...it’s not really chronic as much as it is unexplained. I could still feel everyone’s pain...I think one of you guys broke your leg once—”

“I think that was me,” Bill admits bashfully. “I broke it back it in...”

“2012?” you ask, grinning.

Bill nodded, sighing. “Did it hurt a lot?”

“Nah,” you shake your head.

Your eyes flickered over to Victor, who listened to the exchange quietly. From what you can see (without him knowing), he was idly rubbing the scar on his face—deep in thought. You wondered if he was thinking about the conversation with heavy thoughts. If you were to look into his head, you’d imagine that he was wondering if he had caused you pain; which he probably did. But it wasn’t his fault, he didn’t know you still had powers—added onto the fact that he didn’t know you existed before Mike called you all to Derry.

It did, however, really hurt you to know that Victor had gone through so much pain (probably more than you to be honest) when he was stationed out of the States. It hurt you to know that he had to live with that pain for the rest of his life—like you. Subconsciously, you reach your right hand to hold Victor’s hand, since he was sitting right next to you.

“You okay?” you queried. 

“Yeah, I’m fine,” Victor replied, flashing you a quick smile that fell.

You nodded, letting go of his hand to look at the new figure that entered the restaurant. That wasn’t Richie, since he wore glasses, and it also wasn’t Stan either (since Stan was adamant on keeping a clean style)—so that left...

“Ben?” Beverly asked, her face immediately lighting up.

She rose from her seat, immediately embracing the man who looked back at her with adoration and wonder in his eyes, exclaiming something under his breath before wrapping his arms around her. It was beautiful to see such a display of happiness and friendship between the two, and soon enough the embrace was interrupted when the gong at the entrance was slammed—causing a loud noise to ring throughout the room.

Victor bristled beside you at the sound, and from the corner of your eye, you could see him clench his jeans tightly at the sound. You bristled as well, but felt concern for your friend and reached your hand to gently gasp his shoulder—keeping mind of his mind panic. “Hey, look at me Vic,” you uttered in a soft voice, causing Victor to look at you.

“I’m fine,” he repeated, trying to hide his unease.

“It’s okay,” you assured. “I’m here for you, you know that?”

He nodded and seemed to relax, his eyes flickering over to your hand then your face. Gently he rose a hand and remove yours from his shoulder, still holding your hand. The gesture was nice and comforting, on both parties, and from beside: you could hear Eddie swear and whisper Richie’s name. Evidently, the poor man was stuck to his seat—frozen, wide-eyed—as all eyes were trained on the comedian that entered the room.

Richie held the same shock (even if it was for the briefest moment) before breaking out into a snarky grin. “Looks like the official meeting of the Losers Club has begun!” he exclaimed, receiving groans and quiet chuckles. He gave you all a once-over, running a hand through his dark, frazzled hair.

“Jesus Christ what the fuck happened to me?” he asked himself. “You all look great.”

“Either that or you got uglier,” Eddie shoots back.

Richie gasps, feigning hurt. “Eddie Spaghetti, after all these years, you still wound me!”

“Shut the fuck up asshole,” Eddie groans. “I can’t believe you remember that nickname.”

The trashmouth takes a seat next to Bill, slinging an arm around his shoulder before beginning to spout out nonsense that makes you all laugh. The others finally take a seat around the table, but you can’t help but frown at the last person that’s missing.

Stanley.

Out of everyone, he was the most afraid—the one, despite facing his fears, still tried brushing everything off as “not real”. It truly hurt you to see him so scared down in the sewers, especially after nearly being killed by Pennywise (you weren’t going to ever forgive Robert for that). Anxiously, you look at the entrance still despite the fact that dinner had started and everyone was getting in the mood for a night of fun.

Don’t worry, you think to yourself. Stan’s going to come. He promised. He’s just late.

But Stanley Uris was never late to anything, and you knew for a fact that (despite being afraid) he would’ve been the first one to Derry. Loyalty was everything to Stan, even in the face of death, and a promise was a promise. From the corner of your eye, you could see the fear in Beverly’s eyes as well—despite grinning and clinking her bottle of Heineken with Bill’s.

You were momentarily distracted by Bobby, who had placed his head on your lap and gave you pleading looks—staring at your semi-distressed face. It wasn’t just the thought of Stan bothering you, but mixed in with the thoughts of Robert, and the smell of alcohol in the air: you felt pretty exhausted but held a straight face. It wasn’t so bad this time, especially with everyone around you. They were adults, and you weren’t going to ruin their fun just because you had a bad experience with alcohol in the past.

You hated feeling like a burden, and you usually felt like you were one when people had to stop what they were going—just to help you. Letting out a sigh, you run a hand through Bobby’s fur, patting the side of his face with an encouraging smile.

“Is Bobby a mixed breed?” Ben asks curiously, motioning to your service dog. “I almost thought he was a retriever if it weren’t for the ears and the blonde on his belly and legs.”

“Nope,” you reply, thankful that you were being pulled into the conversation. “Bobby’s 100% German Shepherd.”

“How long did it take to train him?” Mike adds.

“Eh...around eight months, I think?” you continue, shrugging. “Probably a year just so I could teach him extra stuff.”

Somehow, the conversation had shifted between talk of health and sanitation by Eddie—to a hot debate between Richie and Bill on whether or not it was okay to wear shoes inside the house. It was all fun and games until everyone pressed their shot glasses together, except you and Victor (who also had an aversion to alcohol in addition to having a strict diet to keep his build), and Victor came to ask the question on who was married. Eddie, Bill, and Beverly all raised their hand; with the latter doing it hesitantly.

For some reason, you couldn’t help but feel relieved that Victor wasn’t married.

Richie dropped the shot glass from his mouth.

“Wait Eddie you got married?!” he asked, eyes wide and grinning in disbelief.

Eddie frowned. “Yo, why’s it so fucking funny, dickwad?” he fires back, mentally preparing himself—because everyone knew that Richie, being Richie, was ready to poke fun at the poor guy again (just like old times).

“What, to like...a woman?” Richie snorts.

“Fuck you bro,” Eddie huffs, pointing his chopsticks at him.

Richie’s eyes fill with mirth. “Haha, fuck you!”

“Alright, what about you trashmouth?” Bill asks, looking past Beverly. “Are you married?”

You let out a noise of denial, shaking your head while letting giggles escape your lips at the question. As Beverly said, “There’s no way Richie got married.” You didn’t see Richie as the type to marry someone, and if he ever did—that person would have to be incredibly special and dear for him to actually settle down and make that decision.

“No, yeah I got married,” Richie said casually.

“Bullshit,” you and Victor said at the time, causing the latter to give you a cheeky grin; nudging your shoulder with his. Playfully, you push him back and share a laugh. Neither of you notice Bill, who steals a guilty look at your and Victor’s exchange both before distracting himself with what Richie and Eddie are talking about.

“You didn’t hear this?” Richie asked.

“When was this?”

“You didn’t know I got married?”

“No,” Eddie says defiantly, wide eyed.

“No—me and your mom are very happy right now,” Richie finishes with a smirk.

You let out a chortle, covering your mouth as Bill laughs into his drink—spewing the liquid onto his face and shirt, which ensues more laughter. Eddie and Richie begin to banter, and the mood lifts even more when Richie does an impression of Jabba the Hutt. While they’re all talking you fix a bowl beside Bobby’s water-bowl and grab a plastic bag from your messenger bag, pouring some food for Bobby to eat.

“Shit [Y/N], how much stuff do you carry in there?” Victor asks, raising a brow.

“Just the basics,” you shrug. “A portable charger, a bag for Bobby’s treats, and another one for his food; two water bottles—a small one for him, and a regular one for me. I also keep my wallet and stuff, of course. And this—” You reach into your bag, shaking a bottle of Vasotec (again, you were still too ashamed to tell your doctor about your pill-taking problem), which wasn’t in Bobby’s vest pouch. You had to keep this medication out and ready for you to use, which was twice every week.

Eddie perks up at hearing the bottle. “Wait, you have high blood pressure?” he questions, causing all eyes to look at you.

You shake your head, putting the bottle back in your bag. “It’s for my heart,” you explain. “I was prescribed this medicine after I had a heart attack, at least that’s what the doctors said it was, at thirty. Which was like...around May of 2003. My heart has had a hard time pumping blood after that, mostly when I use my powers too much though.”

“Is your heart condition serious?” Bill asks, worried.

“I don’t think so,” you continued. “My heart attack wasn’t really a heart attack, but I’m so used to using my powers that I forget that it does affect my health. The Vasotec is just to make sure that my blood pumps.”

“And I completely forgot about your powers,” Ben exclaims. “Which is like, funny, because I was the first person to find out about them.”

“Oh right, you’re like a witch now or something, right?” Richie butts in.

“I’m not a witch,” you snort, crossing your arms. “But I can do this.”

On cue, you levitate a bottle of beer and pour the amber liquid into Richie’s glass, prompting a bunch of “oohs” and gasps of amazement. You lean back in your chair, crossing your arms behind your head as a smirk reaches past your lips. Richie takes the drink and downs it.

“First of all,” he swallows, “thanks for pouring me that. And second of all: do you charge for parties?”

“I’m not a party cl—...magician,” you retort.

It took you the force of a thousand suns to stop yourself from saying “clown” in front of everyone. No doubt that’ll ruin the mood, and everyone would have to freak out about IT (Robert). Considering the fact that everyone was happy, it seemed as if many of your friends had forgotten about the threat—absolutely tipsy and in a really good mood. Again, you wouldn’t spoil this for everyone, and you were really believing Robert’s promise that he wouldn’t do anything to them.

“Alright then, let’s talk about the elephant not in the room,” Richie motions to Ben. “Ben, the fuck man?”

“Okay, okay,” Ben chokes out, setting his glass back down on the table. “Yes, obviously I lost a few pounds.”

“You’re like uh...you’re hot,” Richie retorts while Eddie gives Ben a once-over, nodding casually. “You’re like every Brazilian soccer player wrapped into one person. You’re gorgeous.”

Ben hid his face, a bashful smile reaching across his lips.

“Aw, come on, you’re embarrassing him,” Beverly coos.

“Okay, okay!” Ben admits defeat, but points to Victor. “Let’s talk about Vic. Shit man, you look great for someone who’s forty-four.”

You can’t help but grin at the way Victor turns almost red at all of the attention, crossing his arms and looking off to the side—letting out a quiet huff from his nose. “It’s nothing you guys,” Victor trailed off. “Sure, I have muscle now but—”

“Compared to yourself back then?” Richie blurted. “No offense dude, but you were like a twig. Now you’re like...Captain America or some shit.”

“I’m a retired vet,” Victor nods, his face ablaze by the compliment. His expression only grows more embarrassed by your stifled giggle. “And that’s Major Criss of the U.S. Air Force to be exact.”

“How long were you in service?” Beverly asks.

“Twenty-three years,” Victor continued. “I just finished my contract three years ago.”

“Going from that topic, does anyone know if Stan’s coming?” Bill asks, pointing to the empty seat between you and Eddie.

The table goes dead silent, and you anxiously look at the seat next to you. Bobby senses your discomfort once more and rises from his resting position between you and Victor, resting his head on your hands and lap. Your throat goes dry nonetheless and from the corner of your eye, you could see Beverly look at you—specifically at your arms. Your wrists, to be exact, were her point of interest; and she takes in your expressions, as if she expects you to act a certain way or feel something.

You don’t feel anything, however, and in response you could only utter out, “Stan the Man,” quietly.

“That’s right, Stanley,” Ben adds.

“Stan uh...” Richie trails off.

“Stanley Uris,” Bill finished for Richie by adding, “Stanley urine.” You recalled them poking fun at Stan as kids when they used to call him that, but the brief humor faded at the silence that soon fell over.

“Stanley urine, no, no,” Richie huffed. “He’s not going to come, he’s a fucking pussy.”

“Pssht, why would Stanley save you anyway?” Eddie asked. “Well wasn’t I the one who basically performed surgery on you?” Eddie finished, letting his arm rest on Ben’s shoulder. “—after Hockstetter cut you up...Holy shit that’s right!”

“Please tell me you ended up becoming a doctor, Eds,” Beverly says softly; still distracted by the lack of Stan’s presence.

“No, I actually ended up becoming a risk analyst,” Eddie states.

“Oh really?” Richie questions, sitting back in his chair. “And what does that entail?”

“So uh,” said Eddie, “I work for a big insurance firm and uh—”

His sentence is soon cut off short when Richie leans further back and tilts his head up, closing his eyes and feigning snores: which merit a lot of chuckles and snickers from you all. Eddie’s face falls into a frown, and his classic “done with everything” face is etched onto his face. “Fuck you dude,” Eddie says, rolling his eyes. “Fuck. You.”

“Was this job invented before fun?”

Ben starts to hide his chuckles and Eddie turns to him, betrayed that everyone is laughing at his misery. The rest of the hour is spent like this: with everyone finally easing back into the mood. Once everyone is done with their food, a waitress cleans up the rest and returns with a bowl of fortune cookies. Meanwhile, you and Victor are chatting calmly—with you cradling Bobby in your arms (which was almost comical, given how large Bobby was), petting his fur while he licks your face.

“Can’t believe you live in a mansion in Upstate New York, of all places,” Victor notes.

“Yeah...” you nod, “It does get lonely sometimes, even with Bobby...how about you?”

“What about me?”

“Don’t you get lonely in Wisconsin?” you frown, tilting your head. “I mean—your father isn’t around anymore, and you aren’t married so...”

“Sometimes I get lonely,” Victor admits. “But I’m satisfied with what I have.”

“Always enjoying the simple things, don’t you, Vic?”

He huffs, nodding while a grin spreads across his face. “You know me, dove,” he states, rolling his shoulders before grabbing a fortune cookie—handing you one, which you politely decline. A comfortable silence passes, but his eyes trail over to your right hand: where your ring glimmers proudly on your ring finger. You turn your head away from Victor, wanting to avoid talking to him about Robert (who you had done well in not thinking about for most of the dinner service), and instead turn your attention to Bill—who was deep in thought.

“What’s on your mind, Bill?” you ask, prompting him to look at you.

“Isn’t it weird?” he replied, motioning to everyone sitting. “It’s hard to believe that we just forgot each other, people, who were in our lives.”

“Yeah, isn’t it odd?” Ben adds, setting his drink down. “It’s all just...adding up.”

“Hah...it’s...funny,” you let out a dry laugh, resting your chin on Bobby’s neck. “When Mike called me, I remembered everything in an instant...gave me a panic attack...episode...of all things.”

“And I threw up too,” Richie nods at your input. “It was like...”

“Like my heart was pounding,” interjected Ben—who was making hand motions towards his chest. From what you could see on Mike’s end, you could tell that he was getting nervous, which was right for him to feel: especially since he, nor you or Beverly, had told the others about IT. They were still remembering, and you could even feel yourself grow guilt in your heart at everyone’s growing distress.

“I got in a car accident,” Eddie stated.

“Oh my God,” Beverly exhaled sharply, running a hand over her mouth. “Are you okay?”

“I st-st-st-still couldn’t f-forget how I f-f-f—...felt,” Bill continued. “It w-w-was like feeling f-f-f—”

“Fear,” Mike said, looking at all of you. “What you felt was fear.”

“Mike, why did you call us in the first place?” Eddie asked. “I...I’m trying to remember but...”

Feeling the anxiety twist in your gut from silencing yourself, you decide to finally speak out. “Twenty-seven years ago,” you said in a trembling voice, “we all w-w-went...down into the sewers to defeat I-IT...Pennywise.”

You feel everyone’s fear as soon as you uttered out the clown’s name, and held onto Bobby a little tighter—trying to calm down your breathing. Just saying the clown’s name made you feel fear, but he promised that he wouldn’t hurt you. He promised that he wouldn’t do anything to you. But then again...He didn’t say anything about not hurting your friends, he only said that they weren’t worth it. 

You bite your lip and feel that gut-wrenching feeling in your stomach when one of the Losers utters out, “the clown?” Richie (with his need to lighten the mood) leans forward and takes a fortune cookie. “Alright you guys,” he started shakily. “I don’t know about you guys, but let’s just open our fortunes, and see what we get, yeah?” That gets everyone to calm down in the slightest, and even you take a fortune cookie. Before you all could begin opening your cookies, a man comes through the entrance of your private table and you let out a gasp.

Everyone goes dead silent at the man that entered the room: eyes wide in shock.

“Stanley!” you exclaim, relieved, and usher Bobby off of you—walking towards the man to capture him in a hug.

Stanley, who looks absolutely tired, his jacket hanging over his left arm and his suitcase in his right hand. He returns the hug, looking at you in surprise as he takes in your appearance.

“[Y/N]?!” he lets out a laugh of disbelief. “You haven’t changed at all.”

“And look at you,” you say, resting your hands on his arms. Thankfully, he was at around your height and you could finally have a proper conversation without looking up (or down, when you would talk to Beverly). “You’re...tired.”

“Where the fuck were you man?!” Richie asks from behind.

You give Stan space, returning to your seat, where Victor’s happily petting Bobby. Stan lets out a sigh, heading over to the seat between you and Eddie, and ran a hand through his dark curly hair. “I’m sorry you guys,” he apologized. You glance curiously at Beverly—who also looks at Stan in shock—but you can also see the relief in her eyes.

Why was she so worried out of everyone?

“Plane got delayed,” Stan explained. “I just got here fifteen minutes ago.”

“Huh, what a world,” Richie lets out an unattractive snort. “For once, I’m earlier than Stan.”

“Well, we’re all glad that you’re here,” Mike finally says.

“We were just about to open our fortune cookies,” Victor adds, tossing Stan one. “You should open one too. Consider it a ‘Welcome Back to Derry’ kind of gift.”

“Victor Criss?” Stan asks, surprised.

He then looks over everyone else, getting used to seeing everyone as adults. You, Mike, Eddie, and Beverly were probably the only ones that Stan could assess properly, since everyone else did look rather different. When Victor nods in response, Stan takes the fortune cookie and that signals everyone to open theirs as well.

To your horror, just before you could crack open the cookie—a tarantula burst from it, causing you to yell and get off of your seat, stumbling back. And your cookie wasn’t the only one to have a surprise in it; Mike’s burst from his hands, revealing a strange insect-like creature that wailed and howled. That got everyone to stumble back in shock, watching as the still-full bowl began to tremble and shake, more cookies jumping out.

“Holy shit! What the fuck! What the fuck!”

“—the fuck is that thing!?”

“Oh my God!”

“What the fuck is that, man!?”

All of you let out panicked yells, with Bobby rushing to your side and whimpering—more afraid than protective at the sight. Your eyes widened in shock as an eye burst from one of the cookies (to which Richie exclaimed, “That cookie is looking at me!”) and a bat-wing erupted from another. It didn’t take long for you to know who was behind this, and you had to duck when the flying fortune cookie swooped past you and began to terrorize Eddie and Ben. 

Is THIS his plan!? you think, feeling betrayed. Scare the living shit out of everyone and call it a day?

But you found it hard to focus on a single thought as you found yourself breathing heavier and heavier, panic settling in as your heart begins to race. You take Bobby’s leash, pulling him close to you protectively while everyone falls under the assault of the eldritch fortune cookies. You let out a frightened whimper and clench your eyes, trying to calm yourself despite the screaming in your ears, and the yells from your friends. He promised, he promised, he promised, you repeat to yourself. But he’s not hurting me, is he? It’s just...he’s...just messing with our heads, right? Emotionally scarring us for life doesn’t count as harm, right? Right?

“Holy shit,” Victor muttered beside you when black, burning goo (which you realized—resembled your vomit) began to pour from the bowl and onto the table: dripping and oozing while burning the tablecloth. You and him press further towards the corner of the room, taking your right hand with Victor’s—trying to calm yourself down.

“Hey, [Y/N] look at me,” he says, nudging your face towards his with his left hand. “Look at me. It’s going to be okay. Breathe with me.”

I can’t Vic, you think: your thoughts growing more unclear by the second. Don’t touch me, it’s only going to make him mad. Oh shit, oh fuck. God, no! I don’t want him to be mad. I can’t—

Bill and Stan let out a startled yell, and you can’t help but notice how the music in the restaurant has gotten louder, as if it’s in your eyes. Your eyes trailed over to the fish tanks, which triggers a scream to erupt from your throat. There’s floating heads in the water, singing the music as if it was nothing: their eyes gouged out, their flesh grey, and maggots coming out of every orifice from their head. You turn around to look at the tanks behind you and jump back, letting go of Victor’s hand to stagger towards Beverly.

There’s heads in there too.

Mike, who looked to you for help—noticed your distress and decided to take action—grabbing a chair, and began to repeatedly slam it onto the table. “It’s not real!” he screamed, over and over again, in sync with him slamming the table down. And within the blink of an eye, everything’s back to normal. There’s nothing left but Mike just slamming the chair over and over again.

A waitress comes into the room, startled and frightened by the display.

“Mike,” Victor grits out, motioning his head to the woman.

Mike gives the woman an apologetic smile, to which Richie and Eddie mutter something about how they’ve only been here for a couple of hours, and they’re already going to jail. Although you’re trembling, and on the near-brink of a panic attack, you rise to your feet and direct your gaze to the woman—letting your powers do the job for everyone else.

“Miss,” you say in a leveled tone, your eyes glinting crimson. “You saw nothing, and you’re going to leave this room now.”

Like clockwork, she nods—eyes glazed over—and turns on her heel: walking away as if nothing had occurred. Letting out a sigh, you rest against the wall, breathing heavily while you lift up some of the chairs and tidy up the table a bit. Once the room looks somewhat normal, you shake your head and let your bag come to you, taking Bobby’s leash and immediately go to leave. Everyone else follows, muttering under their breaths as they recover.

“Is no one going to talk about what [Y/N] just did?” Stan asked, amazed at what you could do.

“Save it for later Stan,” Richie said frustratedly. “I’m going to the Town House as soon as possible.”

“But you all just got here!” Mike exclaimed.

“W-W-We know M-Mikey,” Bill sighed. “B-B-But w-what just happened...w-w-we c-can’t—”

“Hey, Richie,” a high-pitched voice calls from behind, causing you all to turn around in confusion. The man in question also turns around, a wary look in his eyes as your gazes settle on a small boy, who approaches Richie. “The fun’s just beginning,” he continued, grinning. Although you can feel the unease from everyone else, but you could already sense that this was a regular kid. Before you could tell them, Richie, who was just about fed up with Derry, approaches the boy.

Unfortunately, Richie yells profanities at the boy: who then revealed himself as a fan. In the back, you could see the boy’s parents looking at Richie was a highly scornful look, and Stan pulls him back to hide him from further embarrassment. “Do you think you can do your special mind tricks on them?” Richie asked you miserably.

“Sorry Rich,” you shrug. “You gotta own up to that one.”

“R-R-Richie!” Bill scolds. “H-How do you not r-remember your own writing m-m-material?!”

“I don’t make my own material!” Richie replied.

Eddie’s eyes widened and he let out a noise of victory. “I KNEW IT!” he yelled, voice echoing outside once you all left the restaurant. You weren’t surprised either, and to be honest, (based off of one episode of his comedy show) Richie didn’t seem so...Richie in front of the camera. He lacked a lot of his mom and dick jokes, which was surprising. Then again, someone else wrote the script for him.

You crouch down to Bobby’s height, patting his face. “Hey Bobby, you alright?” you asked, looking him over. He barked in response, licking your hand and thankfully: he wasn’t hurt.

“I’m sorry you guys,” Richie apologized, heading for his car. “But I’m leaving pronto. Who’s coming?”

“I left my stuff there too,” Eddie said, following Richie. Stanley, despite just arriving, didn’t want to just carry his suitcase all day and decided to follow the duo to Richie’s car.

“We can’t just leave!” Mike exclaims again, panicked that his plan was starting to crumble. Unbeknownst to him, you knew that Robert’s plan was slowly coming together. 

“Do you really expect us to go through that again?!” Victor retorts, angrily.

“We stopped it once—” “Mike.” “—and we can do it again!”

“M-M-Mikey...” Bill says sadly.

“[Y/N],” Mike pleads, turning to you. “Are you leaving too?”

“I-I...” you trailed off, averting your gaze.

You were absolutely torn in your decision, especially with what happened in the restaurant. On one hand, you were practically dying to go back to Robert, and live the rest of your life pain-free—have the happy ending that you’d always wanted. “You have an eternity to do that,” you recall Robert saying to you in your first encounter with him at your old house. Now that you thought about it, you were starting to think that we wasn’t being poetic or something else to reel you in. You genuinely believe that he was telling the truth—that you’d live long enough to really experience an “eternity”.

Shit, if the fact that you still looked eighteen wasn’t enough, then the countless times when you were close to death but never passed was enough to convince you. The thought of living forever both frightened you and relieved you. You were absolutely afraid of death, in addition to pregnancy (but now that you realized that you were unable to perform the latter, thankfully), and knowing that you’d live longer than a normal person; was calming. At the same time, there came that existentialism—the doubt and fear of watching everyone grow old, while you stay young. But why were you so worried? After-all, Robert did say the only person you needed was him, so why were you so scared?

Not wanting to panic yourself any further, you change your thoughts to your second option—the one you were dreading. You wanted nothing more than to yell and scream at Robert for terrorizing your friends; for scaring them to near death (and almost put Mike in trouble via vandalism). You wanted to join Mike and destroy IT once and for all, for really having the gall to say that you could trust him; and then do something that broke your trust. It hurt you to know that he was already starting to break the faith that you were having for him.

“I’m sorry Mike,” you whisper, walking with Beverly and Ben: who are going to the car you rented.

Although it seemed like you were going to leave Derry, it was only for show, since ultimately—you made your decision. You were going to stay in Derry, with Robert: because if there was one thing about yourself that you hated admitting, it was that you were selfish. You were selfish in leaving Victor and your friends for Robert.You were selfish for staying in his mansion back when you were “missing” just so you could satisfy his needs. You were selfish for loving him back, even though he’s caused you your every pain and sorrow. He murdered your parents for Christ’s sake!

You were selfish for not wanting to stop him.

You’d rather live with the fact that he was a murderer, and still was (probably doing just that right now), than spend the rest of your days alone and in pain. You’d rather live a life of pain with him, than a life of pain without anyone there to comfort you but Bobby. Of course, Bobby was the best, but it was nothing compared to human comfort. You craved the feeling of being held, of being loved. And Robert was willing to give you everything all over again.

How could you not take up an offer like that?

 


 

It’s nearly eleven o’clock at night when everyone arrives at the Town House.

The plan was for everyone to pack up their things, and sleep one more restless night before heading out in the morning. But then again, there was something else that you were thinking of. Beverly’s reaction to Stan not being there, you thought to yourself, lounging downstairs with Bobby sprawled over your feet (his vest discarded in your room). The woman in question was at the bar, making herself a drink while Ben talks to her. Idly fading in and out of your thoughts, you began to rub your fingers over your ring.

“Beverly,” you call out—after noticing an uncomfortable silence pass between her and Ben. “Can you come here?”

She nods and heads over to you, sitting down, giving you a nervous smile. Ben still sits at the bar, as if he was trying to think over whatever Beverly was talking to him about—trying to pretend that he wasn’t listening to your conversation.

“What’s up?” she asked.

“Why did you react like that?” you reply, going straight to the point. “Back at the restaurant...before Stan came...why did you look so scared when we were talking about him?”

“I-I,” she stammered. “I...I was just worried—”

“Bullshit. You were looking at my wrists...why, Bev?”

Beverly lets out a sigh, closing her eyes and runs a hand over her face: wiping away a stray tear with her thumb. She lets out a few more shaky breaths, staring you dead in the eye as her reply comes clear.

“I saw Stan die.”

Chapter Text

ACT I, PART VII

You had been so adamant (and torn) between staying in Derry, to leaving with the others. But now? You felt as if you were full of motivation to go down those sewers and face Pennywise—or Robert, whichever one IT felt like being at the moment—once and for all. The room had gone completely silent at Beverly’s statement, with Ben (who was listening in on your conversation) reacted first.

“Wait, what?!” he exclaimed wildly, rising from his seat.

Beverly, startled, turns around to look at him: shaking her head as she breathes heavily. “I-I...it’s true, Ben. I-I-I—I saw him...i-in a bathtub...after Mike called him. He cut his own...he...he killed himself.”

That causes you to completely freeze, mouth slightly agape as you stare at Beverly; horrified. You shift in your seat, clasping a hand over your mouth, and Bobby—despite being half-asleep—gets off of your legs and jumps on the couch with you. He nudges and forces your hand away from your mouth with his muzzle, urging you to pet him and distract yourself with the way he licks your cheeks. But that isn’t enough to calm you down, especially with the vivid image that was painted in your head: of Stan.

You hold back a gag, choking on air while releasing a shuddering breath. “Are you sure?” you stammer out, hands trembling as they continue to pet Bobby’s fur. “Are you sure, Bev?”

“I know what I saw,” she whispers, looking off to the side. “I...I can’t forget what I saw.”

“Was it just Stan?” Ben asks, heading over to sit next to you three. “Why did you see him like that?”

“I—” Beverly’s soon cut off by Richie’s voice, the owner of the voice passing through the lounge with his bag slung over his shoulder. “Eduardo! Stanny, my boy! Ándele, you two! Let’s go!” Richie pauses before the entrance of the lounge, looking you over with a raised brow.

“What the fuck are you guys talking about?”

Ben turns to him, a look of pain in his eyes. “Beverly saw Stan die.”

That gets Richie to freeze up, staring at Ben as if he had grown a second head. He drops his bag to the floor, swallowing a knot in his throat as he utters out a single, “What?” Behind him are Eddie and Stan, who were walking down the stairs—but had also heard the last of the conversation. Stan, justifiably so, also freezes in his tracks and stares at Beverly with a strangeness in his eyes.

“You...you saw?” Stan choked out.

Beverly turns to Stan, nodding. “I-I...it wasn’t just him who I saw...”

“W-Wait, what are we talking about you guys?” Eddie questions, confused and shocked.

You all wait patiently for Beverly to gather her thoughts, and never before did you ever want to look into someone’s head until now. The urge to break your “moral code” of not prying into other people’s minds was practically gone right now, especially with how panicked you were feeling. After a moment of silence Beverly closes her eyes and shakes her head, running a hand through her hair. She looks at all of you, this time at you in particular for some reason, and hangs her head down low.

“I’ve seen all of us die,” she confesses, her voice lilting into a cry. “If we leave Derry...we’ll all die.”

You absolutely hated alcohol with all of your heart, but you didn’t mind taking a fucking shot right now. Your hands felt clammy and your breaths felt short and quick, matching the rate of your heartbeat at the moment. You had a hard time focusing on the conversation after that, your right leg bouncing up and down out of anxiety, and Bobby going into overdrive with trying to calm you down. You held a straight face, however, so it wasn’t surprising for anyone to notice your distress. Your eyes danced wildly for something to connect you to reality before you completely fell and fell into a memory, or something else.

Victor had the poor timing of arriving at the last second, having packed a lot of things for himself, and he had listened in on the conversation—everyone listened to what Beverly had to say. You tried your best to gather bits and pieces, but you were in too much of a panicked state to even care.

She said that everyone who made the promise of going back to Derry, taking part of the blood oath, would die horrible deaths unless you all stopped IT. She talked about Stan, who was present in the room, and how he had failed his promise and...ended his own life. From what you could gather in your panicked thoughts, everyone was yelling over each other but Stan silenced everyone with his own two cents. You were glad that he did, because if you knew anything about what happened—Stan had also been in the deadlights.

He saw something too.

“You know what the scariest thing about this is?” Stan asked, looking at you all. “I...I almost did it you guys, but something was stopping me,” he paused, and you felt that urge to read minds again when he decided to direct his gaze on you . “I knew...if I followed through with that, you’d all be doomed...that some of you would...” Again he looks at you, “...w-would have worse fates than me when you went down to defeat IT. I couldn’t just live with that, and shit, I wanted to kill myself so badly. But I couldn’t do that: I was too scared too, and I was going to leave so much behind if I did...My wife, Patty—Patricia—I couldn’t do that to her. I couldn’t just abandon her like that, and I couldn’t just leave you guys like that.”

“Wait, so are you saying, that if you did kick the bucket,” Richie paused, his eyes wild, “it would be much harder for us to kill IT?”

“And it’s not just that too,” Stan shakes his head, motioning to Beverly. “If we don’t defeat IT, kill it for good this time, we’ll die within the next five years.”

“Holy shit, this is getting too much for me you guys,” Eddie says, hyperventilating (worse than you, given his asthma). “I-I, what you’re saying is crazy! How do you even know if this is true?!”

“[Y/N],” Beverly says, looking towards you—which also prompts everyone to look at you. You were thankful that you had kept a neutral face the entire time, because if you didn’t, you were sure to die from embarrassment (and shame) if you didn’t. You gave everyone a look of confusion in a silent, “Me?”

“Look into my head,” she continued, “or Stan’s. You’ll see that we’re telling the truth.”

“I-I-I—I can’t,” you deny, shaking your head. “I can’t...I won’t. I d-don’t...”

“[Y/N],” Victor says finally, crossing his arms and looking at you sympathetically. “You have to.”

“I already said no! I-I...I won’t!”

“Please,” Victor pleads, strutting over to you and taking both of your hands in his own. His scrutinizing gaze makes you shrink back, intimidated by his sudden shift in behavior: but you can’t help but feel calm looking into his eyes. You clench your eyes and turn your head away, but Victor gently turns it back to him with his right hand, resting it on your cheek—a patient look in his eyes.

“I’ll be there for you if anything happens,” he states firmly.

You turn to everyone else, brushing Bobby off to the side of the couch, and let out a sigh of defeat. Everyone has that expectant look that they’ve always reserved for you—because you were older and supposed to know better. But obviously, that wasn’t the case, especially with what you had shared them about Robert twenty-seven years ago. “Okay,” you mutter out, removing your hands from his.

“I’ll do it.”

Shifting fully away from him, you rise from your seat and kneel slightly in front of Beverly, resting your hands on the sides of her face. “I don’t know what will happen,” you admit to her, still regaining your calm composure. You give her an apologetic smile, eyes softening at the pain in her eyes, the evident distress that came with her knowledge. You could only imagine how Stan was feeling at that moment. “If anything bad happens, just push me away or something. I’ve only done this one other time before.”

With that, you take a deep breath, and plunge into Beverly’s mind.

 


 

You’re distracted by the array of images that flood your mind.

You’re suddenly not one person, but Beverly as well—and at the same time; you’re both two different people, but also, one single entity. Just as you enter her mind, you try to calm her panic and unease at your prodding psyche, by granting her access to your own mind. You lock away many memories from Beverly’s own mind, however, in this process—mainly your bad experiences with Robert/Henry Bowers, as well as the traumatizing experiences that you remembered (that damned castle and those...creatures chasing after you was by far, worse than anything you had ever witnessed).

Other than that, you allowed Beverly to look at every other memory of yours.

You felt amusement at her curiosity when she found herself going through your childhood experiences with Victor, and before you could go off track—you found the memories you were looking for. Anxiously, you take a look at the first one: neurons firing and your psyche going still as you enter the memory.

Stan Uris, aged thirty-nine (for he was three days short of his fortieth birthday), is lying in a bathtub full of water mixed in with his own blood. He rests his head on his arms, both of them slashed poorly at the forearms, blood smearing against the bathtub; before the blood settles in a small pool of blood on the tiles.

“I promise, Bill...” he whispered sadly, his eyes glazed over and a dry tear smeared against his cheek. His eyes are red and puffy, and the smell of blood is nauseating. On the wall reads a single word, written in blood.

IT

You almost pulled away from Beverly’s mind at that moment, and you can briefly feel (back in the Town House) your body tensing up as you inhale sharply. Everyone’s voices are muffled, and you can even feel Beverly’s presence quiver at also sensing the memory. You send her waves of comfort and ease, telling her that it’s okay.

“Do you want me to stop?” is the message you send to her in your joined minds.

There’s silence on the other end before Beverly replies with a soft, “No. You can keep going.”

You take her reply earnestly, and continue your search for whatever horrible thing she had seen. And when you do find the sights, you feel a sense of familiarity hit you. I’ve seen these things before, you realize. You recalled a time (before you realized you had powers) when you spent your nights in Robert’s estate: experiencing horrible visions and dreams. You know exactly what Beverly is seeing, even though she doesn’t know what said visions meant. She’s witnessing the history of Derry, each and every terrible thing that had occurred here.

The smell of fire and fat burning filled the air, while the people inside of The Black Spot struggled to escape. Civilians and mothers and children; being gunned downed by bullets during the Bradley Gang shooting. The children and factory workers way back in 1908, scattered across the hay-covered ground while the Ironworks Factory spewed out thick bouts of smoke. A mother, sacrificing her first-born baby into the well—to IT, in attempts to sparing her own life and her (unborn) child.

Compared to what you’ve seen in your life, this was nothing.

And the fact that you had seen these events beforehand, did help prepare your mind. Still, you felt awful that Beverly lived knowing and dreaming about these awful things. At the same time, Beverly’s looking through your memories with Robert—particularly, the one where you taught him how to bake.

How can a monster act so human? you hear Beverly think, but don’t reply.

Instead, you continue your focus on the last few memories that you’ve selected. You’re met with the sight of horrible sights of your friends dying one by one, if they really didn’t follow through with killing IT.

Bill dies in a high speed accident in Hollywood.

Victor is recalled back into the Air Force and gets shot out of the sky.

Mike gets mugged in the library, and bleeds to death.

Ben plummets stories down a skyscraper from a loose window that he fell through.

Eddie dies from accidental drug intoxication.

Richie dies from alcohol poisoning.

Stan was already doomed before Derry with his suicide.

Beverly dies from a stroke from the stress of work and her abusive relationship.

And you...you die from a heart attack.

 


 

“Well?” Richie asks expectantly.

“She’s telling the truth,” you say in a soft voice, giving him a curt nod.

Eddie’s eyes practically bulge out of their sockets at the confirmation and takes a deep breath with his inhaler. Stan opts for you to look into his mind as well, but you’re drained enough as is from the shocking information. You find yourself back on the couch, breathing heavily as Bobby sits on your lap, applying pressure to your chest and lungs.

“So Stan,” started Ben. “Your visions showed you what happened if you did...y’know...follow through?”

Stan nodded, motioning over to Eddie. “Eddie died in the final battle,” he stated—you can’t help but notice the rigidness that comes from Richie at Stan’s statement. Eddie looked just as shocked as well, muttering something about he’d have an aneurysm if he heard any more. Stan continued, “Whatever you guys tried to do to stop IT...it didn’t work because I wasn't there.”

“Jesus fucking Christ man,” Richie sighs, heading over to the bar to pour himself a quick shot. He shudders at the strong bitterness of whatever brand he just drank, trying to recollect his thoughts. “Well, I’m glad that you’re here...We’re here for you, you know that?”

“Yeah,” Stan nodded. “I know...thanks, you guys.”

“So that means that we have to stop IT,” Victor says beside you.

That made your face fall into a frown, your hands resting atop of Bobby’s back as you go deep into thought. Now you were faced with the true side of reality, despite so desperately wanting to live a life of happiness. If you all didn’t stop IT, then this reunion would be all for nothing—because as soon as one of you stepped foot outside of Derry, you’d sign your tickets to death. And there was no way that you’d let your friends befall those awful deaths: they still had a full half of their lives to live...

Did Robert know what was going to happen to everyone? you wonder, horrified. Did he know what was going to happen to my friends? And if so, then he willingly withheld that information...that’s why he was so calm the entire time. Robert already knew from the beginning what was going to happen. He already knew that your friends were going to die. 

You should’ve known from the beginning, after-all, he was the one who made Beverly and Stan see.

Suddenly, your head feels light and betrayal hits harder than ever before. 

“I’m going to my room,” you say quickly, rising from your seat and motioning for Bobby to follow you. You feel nauseous and the world seems to spin. You needed a break before you fainted or had another panic attack. You continued, “Since obviously we’re...we’re not leaving Derry, we should catch some sleep before we do anything. We still need to tell Mike and Bill that we’re staying.”

“Yeah, we definitely owe Mike an apology,” Stan sighs.

With that, you’re heading back up the stairs, bag in hand and tiredly toss it on your bed, shutting the door and locking it before you’re heading to the bathroom. Bobby hops on the recliner in the corner of the room, curling in on himself while he falls asleep. You’re completely on edge the entire time you shower and go through your nightly routine, half-expecting Robert to be there—expecting an argument and a struggle. You’re expecting him to apologize and make it up to you—because by God’s name, did you love it when he apologized to you.

Because that’s how things are between me and him, you think sourly. He tells me that he’s going to change. I fall for it, and the moment I realize that he’s been doing things behind my back, I try to leave...but he doesn’t let me. I want to leave so badly, but at the same time he does things that make me believe that there’s some good in him.

But you don’t see him, nor feel his presence, and that makes the night somewhat bearable.

Dressing into a matching set of black and teal undergarments, you slipped on some shorts and pulled a silk robe over yourself, not bothering to put too much on—especially with how hot it was without the AC. Resting on the bed, you were just idly scrolling on your phone (not really feeling the urge to sleep with so much going on), when you heard a knock on your door. Fearing that it was Robert for a moment, you called out to ask who it was.

“It’s Vic,” came the reply.

Letting out a sigh of relief, you unlock the door with your powers and allow Victor to enter the room, though admittedly—you were flustered. You didn’t think too much on his presence, he was your friend after-all, and when he did enter the room, you could feel your face flush with embarrassment. His pale face also burns bright with the sight of you in just (from what he could see) a robe that reaches mid-thigh, with your legs crossed over and your hair falling over in loose curls, still slightly damp from the shower.

“I-I...Uh, did you need anything?” you asked, raising a brow. “It’s late.”

“I just wanted to make sure that you’re doing okay,” he chokes out, respectfully turning head away from you.

“I’m fine,” you confirm with a nod. “How about you?”

“Still getting used to everything,” he sighed. “We have to go through that fucking mess all over again.”

You nod absentmindedly, setting your phone on the nightstand to focus your attention on Victor. You fiddle with your fingers anxiously, debating whether or not if you should tell Victor about your encounter with Robert before the dinner. He still hasn’t moved from his position in the doorway, trying to stir up more conversation. Finally, you come up with a decision.

“Vic...” you trail off. “I need to talk to you...”

“I’m here,” he says.

“N-No, about...him,” your voice trails into a whisper—afraid that others would hear.

Victor gets your hint and nods, closing and locking the door, still stuck in his standing position. He’s modest and respectful, but flustered all the same at your appearance. You didn’t think much of it, however, because he was your friend—and you (still, after twenty-five years) felt strongly for him. You let out a girlish giggle, covering your mouth as Victor raises a brow.

“What?” he asked.

“Come sit down,” you reply. “I don’t want you to stand the entire time—” You pause, pointing to the recliner where Bobby was sleeping peacefully, “...and the chair’s already occupied.”

Victor nods but shuffles to the queen-sized bed, plopping down on it with a ‘thump’ before directing his attention at you. He’s trying so desperately to hide the fact that his eyes wandered for a brief moment—and you felt that, to save him from embarrassment, you should get a shirt. The robe did cover your chest, in addition to your bra, but that didn’t help the sudden feeling—of being exposed—from going away. You give him a sheepish smile, and begin to shift out of the bed.

“I can go get a shirt if it makes you uncomf—”

“No!” Victor interrupts, shaking his head. “It’s...it’s okay.”

His face soon falls into seriousness, directing his attention to the ring on your finger with mild distaste. You can understand how he’s feeling about Robert right now, and he wasn’t wrong to feel hate for him—heck, you were incredibly mad at Robert at the moment. It had barely been a day since you were in Derry, and Robert seemed to do a really good job at keeping you away from him. You were doubtful in the beginning, stupid enough to believe him, but now?

You felt tired; just absolutely drained.

You knew your limits, and you just met one of them, and it was hard for you (now) to hold onto something that you so desperately wanted. Selfishness and want urge you back to Robert, but you’re just too damn tired to even try. You couldn’t just keep on believing him, especially since he had already lied to you in the brief hour and a half that you saw him. He threatened your friends, and you felt fear in the thought of him ever hurting Bobby as well.

“I saw him Vic,” you whisper. “Earlier...when I said that I was walking Bobby. I-I—I...I lied, Vic. I was at my old house on Neibolt, and he was there. He looked exactly the same as he did twenty-seven years ago. He was...”

“Did he hurt you?” Victor asked, eyes wide—suddenly intrigued.

You shake your head, frowning. “Quite the opposite. He promised me that he wouldn’t.” When Victor took in your words with heavy judgement, you continued to speak. “He...he gave me an offer. He said that he’d make me happy again, that he and I would...would fall in love again.” You let out a soft sigh, crossing your arms over your chest. You hush your voice, muttering quietly, “...I took that offer faster than anything else.”

“He’s dangerous [Y/N],” he warns. “He’s not even...not even a real person.”

“I know,” you trail off sadly. “That’s why it hurts me to acknowledge the fact that I’ll never truly be able to experience that happiness with him. It’s hard t-to...to live knowing that your lover is a murderer, and the same man who...” Your face scrunches up in disgust, unfurling your hands to reveal your palms—seeing something vile within yourself. You’ll never be able to forget what he did to you, and the memories of that awful day never seemed to go away.

“It hurts, Vic,” you cry softly, turning to him. Your breathing quickened ever so slightly, and your hands began to tremble, heart racing. “I-I-I...I just w-w-want to b-be—”

A pair of arms wrap around you in that moment, causing you to choke on your words and freeze under Victor’s easing touches. He rubbed gentle circles in your back with his thumbs, resting his chin on your shoulder. “It’s okay,” he muttered. “I’m not mad at you, dove. I’m not. It’s okay. Let it out. You don’t have to be afraid...I’m here.”

And at that moment, you felt your walls break once once.

You were too worn out to truly cry, lacking any tears, and simply sobbed into Victor’s shoulder, flinging your arms around his neck. The scar on his face pressed against your neck, his lips barely brushing against the end of your collarbone. To distract yourself from the brief desire that flushed within you—painfully elicited by the feeling of his hands on your back (blocked by a flimsy silk barrier that was your robe)—you pulled away from him, looking at him dead in the eyes.

Victor, was, is an attractive man—sporting a strong jaw, a heavy brow, dark eyes, and Roman nose—and it wasn’t hard for you to admit that. But there was more to him that you loved about him: the fact that he was understanding of your situation was one of the many reasons why. You loved that he was caring and kind, despite his burly exterior, and that he really wasn’t like most other men who went down the same path as him. You loved that he was nothing like his father, going against nearly everything he taught him.

Because he had heart, and his father didn’t.

You loved the way he made you feel twenty-five years ago, when it seemed as if the world was against you. He was so considerate of others, going so far as to sacrifice his own well-being for those he didn’t even know. He was there for you when you needed him, and when he wasn’t he made sure to make it up to you.

Robert was like that too—but Victor was more.

Victor knew when he messed up, and knew that he had to own up to his mistakes; and, in addition to that, did everything he could to redeem himself. He was human and understood you better than any other person. Robert knew you, down to your very first memory (and even before that, when you were just a “scent,” a “flavor” to be savored), but he didn’t understand you. Robert knew every little thing that made you smile—that made you cry—but he bother to try and put himself in your shoes? No, not really. If anything, you were like an experiment to Robert: his little broken (darling) testament to humanity that he could do “good”.

But Robert, IT, was nowhere near good. He seemed to be capable of love, or feeling, but it was clear that he had no regard for anyone else’s feelings but his own; or your own—if he truly loved you. He murdered others, ate them, for Christ’s sake! He did not care for the love or bonds that other people made amongst themselves; he didn’t care about humans, period. He didn’t care about Georgie, or your parents, or all of those other children that had lives ahead of themselves. He didn’t care for holidays or parties, or travel. You were probably the only thing from preventing him from absolutely terrorizing your friends, had you not gone to Derry. Which, in itself, seemed comforting—but ultimately...

It just showed how much of a monster he was on the inside.

And as you stared into Victor’s eyes, you craved for humanity. You craved for normalcy in your fucked up life, a taste of happiness without having an aftertaste of bitterness and shame. You removed yourself from Victor completely, not breaking your gaze as you gingerly plucked your ring and pulled it swiftly off of your finger: turning around for a brief moment to rest it on the nightstand. The surprise was evident in his eyes, more so when you rested your now-ringless finger on his cheek.

You heard his breath still, and at that moment, you both knew what was going to happen.

“Do you want this?” you ask, your voice meek and soft.

You hadn’t been another person in bed in a long time, with the closest being a woman who you stopped before anything could happen. You didn’t share kisses, nor did you consummate your loneliness; you simply had an honest conversation with her—who was actually incredibly understanding of your situation and fears (and first lover)—and fell asleep in your bed. Victor was truly the last person who you had made love to, and you could almost remember how it felt.

You honestly didn’t care about the consequences now, because you were stressed and that incredibly heightened your hypersexuality to the max. It didn’t help with the fact that you and Victor felt strongly about each other. So you simply waited for Victor’s response, trying to ease the burning sensation between your thighs.

“I—” Victor chokes on his words, unprepared and lost in the moment. He seemed lost in your eyes, contemplating his choices before finally, he came to a decision, and nods. “I want this,” he murmured, “I want you.”

That was all it took for you to swoop in and kiss him straight on the lips. The hand on his cheek curled, urging him to tilt his head to gain better access, causing Victor to bite back a groan. You share heated, heavy and passionate kisses; hands trailing everywhere to take in the outlines of each other’s bodies. He rests his coarse hands on your waist, thumbs pressing into the dip of your waist. That elicits a gasp to leave your lips, eyes clenching at the slowly heightening sensitivity, your hands fisting his black t-shirt. Victor pulled you over him, so that he was laying flat on the bed with you straddling him—legs resting alongside his hips.

You grabbed his face, pushing your body forward so that your chest was flush against his, and captured him with long kisses—swiping your tongue over his lips. You let out a breathless sigh when he grant you access to his mouth, your tongue brushing over his; breathing heavily through your nostrils. A low growl passed his lips, his hands running over your back, to your behind, and then to your thighs. His touch was light and gentle, causing you to let out a meek moan—breaking away from the kiss at the contact. He pushed up the ends of your robe, and before he could curl his fingers around the hem of your underwear, you stopped him; staring into his eyes.

“Don’t be loud,” you murmured, motioning your head to Bobby—who was sound asleep. “I don’t want to wake him up and have to see this.”

“Ugh, could you pick any other time to talk about your dog,” Victor groaned. “We’re in a building with the thinnest fucking walls in the world, with our friends—who are probably awake—and your demonic ex-lover, who’s probably watching us; and you’re worried about your—”

“You talk too much,” you muttered softly.

You continued to cut him off by latching your lips over the junction of his neck and shoulder and begin kissing and sucking along the skin, causing him to stutter and freeze: his hands gripping tightly on your behind. The feeling of his hands on you, running all over, made you bite hard on his neck—sucking over it while running your tongue over the spot in languid motions.

“S-Shit,” he swore, groaning just a tad bit louder.

You sat upright on top of him, messing with the sash of your robe and discarding it on the bed—feeling the cool air of the room against your skin. You soon shimmy out of your shorts as well, leaving you in only your bra and underwear. Victor’s eyes run over your upper half with admiration and worship, and you sheepishly cover your stomach (where your body still bore the scar of your injury at the Neibolt House). Victor takes your hands in his, lacing your fingers together as he leans forward, pressing kisses along the scar and up the expanse of your body. Lost in the moment, you can feel yourself pressing against Victor’s mind: reading it for a brief moment.

God they’re so beautiful, he thinks. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful...

His words bring you pleasure, and you let out a low whine, tugging at his shirt while you share a kiss. Desire pools deep in your gut, when the only thing stopping you from going further is his sweatpants and your underwear. He starts grinding slowly, rolling his hips in a way that makes you gasp and shudder, head tilted upwards. His hands trail up and down your sides, unclasping your bra: freeing your breasts and leaving you nearly bare.

You shifted above him, feeling your core grind against his clothed member, which was straining in his sweatpants—and you moved away from him, allowing him to remove the last of his clothes. A hot blush ran across your face, seeing Victor bare, and admittedly he held the same expression. The last time you had seen Victor like this was before New Year’s Eve: with him being nineteen, and you, eighteen. It was the last time you spent with him before leaving Derry.

He fell back on the bed, eyes roaming over your frame as you sat on your knees—giving him a show by hooking your thumbs in your underwear and dragged it down your legs. You felt yourself grow needier by the second at the feeling how slick your underwear was, tossing it behind you and then you and Victor were groping each other once more.

You felt every scar and muscle on his body, etching detail into your mind as if you were afraid of forgetting him. You were straddling him again, capturing his lips yours, letting out a needy moan as he slid his length along you—coating himself with your slick, but not actually penetrating. His skin had been littered with all sorts of love-bites left by you, the most prominent one being on his neck, which was completely unavoidable to anyone else’s eyes.

Good, you think to yourself all of a sudden. I want everyone to know he’s mine.

While he gave attention to you breasts, sucking and pulling at them with his teeth, you reached a hand between the two of you: grabbing his length. It was practically slick at the head, mixed in with your own juices, and you eagerly rubbed your hand along his shaft (never having done that before, you were sloppy in your movements). Victor tilted his head upwards, his mouth agape and his eyes closed shut from the feeling of your hand alongside him. Teasing him enough, you finally guided him at your seeping core. You lifted your hips, being supported by Victor’s hands, which were now on the sides of your face.You removed your hand from his length, and pressed your hands on his chest.

And with that you slid down, and suddenly, all you knew was pleasure.

You took a few moments to adjust to his size, panting heavily with a face flush with sweat. He didn’t bottom out, but it was more than satisfying to feel him fill your throbbing core. You were lost in his eyes, which stood out from his pale face, each time he thrust into you—setting a satisfying pace that hit all of the right places. The room had filled with your quiet moans and groans: an endless song of pleasure, desire, and love. 

Victor continued to knead your breasts, giving them as much attention as he did with your mouth. Now that the two of you were finally getting back in the groove, your actions became more pronounced—your tongues dancing together with each thrust that Victor provided you. Your walls clenched around him when he shoved his hand between your hot bodies: rubbing at your swollen, sensitive nub. Your legs trembled, a silent cry leaving your lips at the pleasure and sensations. His fingers worked at edging you further to your climax, resting his other hand on your hip.

The fire inside of you was burning brighter, stronger than ever before, and you could tell that Victor was getting close as well. You let out a swear when he reached your sweet spot, slamming a hand on top of the headboard; not caring if your nails literally hooked into the dark wood. You could only focus on the current angle that Victor had positioned himself in. The faster his fingers worked, the more frequent you began to clench around him while his hips began to jut and stutter.

You reached your climax when Victor bit your neck, suckling right when the feeling of his fingers and length inside of you became too much. You body fell against his as you rode out the pleasure, washing over you like thick waves that made your mind cloudy, and your body tingly all over. Your arms wrapped around his neck, moaning in his ear while he continued to thrust through your orgasm—providing extra stimulation that made your legs quiver. Victor stilled after a particularly long thrust, and let an exhilterated groan, his release deep inside of you.

After a moment of him being buried within you, and your minds full of the aftermath of lust, he pulled out of you and removed his fingers from your sensitive nub. You rested flat on his body, breathing heavily as your mind comes back from the blissful high. Victor ran his fingers through your hair, eliciting another, softer, moan from your slightly puffy lips. His hands trailed along your back, resting them along the top of your behind with a tenderness only he could do.

“I’ve been wanting to do that for so long,” he admits in a soft voice.

You lazily press a kiss on his cheek, giggling. “Was it as good as the first time?”

“God, it really was...Shit, [Y/N], it was better than our first time together.”

You smile. “I love you, you know that Victor?”

“I know,” he replies, kissing your forehead. “And I love you too, dove.”

He shifts suddenly, and you roll off of him, giving him a questioning glance as he heads to the bathroom for a brief moment—later returning with a warm towel that he uses to clean your lower regions, wiping away nearly every evidence of what happened. A smirk tugs at your lips as you gaze up at him, the hickeys littered all over his neck and upper chest. When he’s done taking care of you he takes his clothes, and heads back to the restroom to take care of himself.

You’re left alone with your thoughts, and you didn’t want to bother having to explain anyone—if they happened to walk into your room tomorrow—you hobble, legs still feeling weak, and gather your night-clothes: setting them on the dresser. Afterwards you slip on a fresh pair of underwear and pull over a long t-shirt over your head, not bothering with a bra. You curiously look over to Bobby, who was (thankfully), still deep in sleep; as for your friends, who might’ve been awake...

“God, I hope everyone else is asleep,” you mutter to yourself, falling back against the bed.

Victor returns out of the bathroom, re-dressed except for his shirt, which he discards on top of the dresser. He climbs into bed, and you surprise him by wrapping your arms around his front, letting your front press against his back. You had never been the big spoon, and Victor didn’t seem to oppose your presence. In fact, he welcomed it, leaning into your touch—clasping his hands over yours—as you pull the covers over your bodies.

Closing your eyes, you fell asleep happy, for the first time in years.

 


 

You’ve never felt so much relief to wake up and see Victor’s face next to yours. Sometime while the two of you were sleeping, you had shifted so that you were both facing each other, both of your limbs entangled together. You probably took at least five minutes (or more) admiring his face, his well-rested features and the parting of his lips. For some reason, it felt colder than usual and you pressed closer to Victor, seeking warmth from the flimsy blanket and his chest.

Your face grew hot, thinking back to the events of last night. It was a truly pleasurable experience on both ends, and you couldn’t help but crave more the longer you thought about it. It felt nice to have someone’s arms around you—giving you all the love and attention you could ever want. It felt nice, and you enjoyed the fact that it was Victor who you spent this time with. 

However, you had other things on your mind and couldn’t help but feel dread inside of you. It felt odd waking up on your own, since Bobby had usually done that for you. He would wake you up by “kissing” your face and playfully jumping on the bed—but not this time. Breaking out of his hold to sit upright, your eyes search the room, hoping to find Bobby in the chair.

As your eyes rested on the recliner, you felt your heart stop.

Bobby wasn’t there, and the window was wide open.

ACT I END.

Chapter Text

ACT II, PART I

You finally understood how Sharon Denbrough felt when her second-born son, Georgie, went missing. All of the feelings of being whole—whether it was from the fact that IT was alive, or the events that had transpired between you and Victor—had washed away, leaving you hollow. You were too stunned to act; to move. You couldn’t even find the energy to wake up Victor, who was still fast asleep and ignorant to the revelation that you made. Your hands clutched the blanket tightly, fisting it until you could feel your bones and nerves grind together.

Your throat went dry, leaving you to choke out tight gasps as the panic began to settle in. You were more shocked than afraid at that moment, and the only thing you could do—was focus on the unoccupied recliner in the corner of the room. Your feet carried you out of the bed, with you practically sprinting towards the closet, opening it to find nothing; then the bathroom, which was also empty. Your eyes trailed over to the open window, unable to focus on a single, coherent thought.

Finally, with trembling hands, you stirred Victor awake by grabbing his shoulder, squeezing it so tightly that he startled awake. A questioning look was on his face, eyes wide as he stared up at your horrified, mute form. You could only utter out sounds, pointing to the chair and then to the window behind. The only thing you could utter out was, “He’s gone.”

“She’s gone, Robert!” you cried, wringing your hands together.

It was the chilly month of February, and you were a week into staying at (be forced to live in) Robert’s estate. You had been sleeping in the study with Holland secured in her cage, when you woke up and she was gone. You called out to Robert immediately, settling into a panicked state, straining your body—particularly your back: which was still healing from Robert’s...assault—and your mind. He strut into the room, taking your face in his large hands and bent down to your level, brushing your tears with his thumbs.

“I’m here darling,” he said. “...who’s gone?”

“Holland!” you yelled. “S-She!...I know I closed the cage, but I can’t find her!”

“It’s okay,” Robert repeated softly.

He pulled you flush to his chest, his hands settling into your back to rub at the skin (since you were wearing a low-cut dress) to calm yourself. The feeling made you take in deeper breaths, your eyelids fluttering while your arms wrapped tightly around his middle. Your cries fell into hiccups, and soon enough, he set you back down on the Chesterfield chest, kneeling in front of you with his hands now returning to the sides of your face. He leaned forward to kiss you, muttering, “I’ll go look for her. Don’t you worry, darling. I’ll make sure nothing happens to her.”

You nod shakily, hands trembling but feeling better at his ministrations.

He kissed you again, stroking your hair fondly before he stood up and let his long, gangly legs take him to the lower level of the study. You distracted yourself by fiddling with your fingers, staring at the fireplace that burned bright—heating your cold cheeks. The snow was everywhere outside, and the longer you thought, the more you thought about your parents and friends.

Where they worried about you still? Where your parents looking for you? How was Bill doing? Beverly? Stan...? Tired and exhausted, you splayed yourself back on the couch. After rolling yourself in a blanket that was nearby, you fell deep into sleep: hopeful that Robert would keep his word and find Holland for you.

When you finally came to, Robert gently nudged you awake with his hand, pressing kisses along your jawline and neck that stirred you awake. Dazed, nearly forgetful of the previous predicament, you sat upright and rubbed your eyes; confused. He brought up the portable container in his hands, and through the thick webbing and substrate, you could see Holland resting there. A delighted gasp left your lips and you threw your arms around Robert’s neck—happily thanking him and nuzzling your face into his shoulder.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you!” you exclaimed.

“Anything for you darling,” he chuckled, setting down the enclosure to wrap his arms around you in a warm embrace. Feeling a little giddy at his actions, you let him carry you as he sat down, pulling the blanket over you comfortingly. He hummed something into your ear (though, it felt more like a purr that came deep within his chest), lulling you to sleep.

You shake off the memory, letting out a frustrated groan while wiping tears from your eyes. Victor, meanwhile, was still gathering his thoughts but understood your distress—and shared your anger towards Robert. You headed over to the dresser, throwing Victor’s t-shirt towards him to open Bobby’s vest; hands itching to take something to calm your nerves.

You didn’t listen to a single word or reassurance that escaped Victor’s lips—unable to focus clearly. You swallowed down the medicine, despite how dry your throat was, nearly crying at the pain and constrictions that came with swallowing pills.

When the pain left, you headed to the bathroom to throw up.

 


 

It didn’t take long for any of you to get ready within the hour.

Victor had left as soon as he could, after consoling you, to tell the others of what happened. It was hard for you to go through the morning without worrying about your dog—who, for the past three years, was essentially your first child. You put on jeans and a t-shirt, not bothering to put on anything fancy, and slipped on a pair of socks, and boots. You sling your bag over your shoulder, taking your phone and calling Mike. He was the first person who would be the most eager to help.

It rang for a few moments before he finally answered, his voice full of hope. “What’s up?”

“He’s gone!” you cried, racing down the stairs and outside of the Town House to take a breather. The others weren’t ready yet, and you needed to let loose before you blew up again. You could feel the energy crackling at your fingertips, threatening to release. The potted flora inside of the Town House had turned into wilted shades of yellow. Mike’s voice poured over yours, just as confused as you.

“Who? Who’s gone?”

“Bobby, my dog! H-He’s—! He’s not here!”

“Did you check everywhere? Where was he last?”

“He was in my room! W-W-When I woke up, he was gone and the window was open!”

“Do you think...Do you think that IT stole him?”

“I think so,” your voice fell into a whisper. You frantically run a hand through your hair, breathing heavily. Your throat was getting too tight for you to take any more medications, and your head was beginning to spin. “I-I...I think IT—he’s mad at me. I l-last night Vic and I...we...I think IT saw us together, and got mad.”

He was silent on the other side before answering, “Meet me at the library. Bill’s here as well.”

“Okay,” you said. “The others are still here, in Derry...I’ll let them know.”

“Alright, good...” Mike paused, “Don’t worry, [Y/N]. We’re going to get him back to you.”

You sent a hasty “thank you” towards his way before turning off the device, shoving the phone in your pocket. You sat down on the steps leading up to the Town House, hands clutching at your knees. “I hope so Mike,” you muttered under your breath, taking in your surroundings. You closed your eyes, trying to find Bobby’s presence—but failed to. It caused fear to strike at your heart, dreading the possibility that Bobby was either caught in the deadlights or...

He’s not dead, you deny firmly. He’s not...Robert, Pennywise—...he...he wouldn’t do that to him.

You close your eyes (crimson threatening to burn through your irises), scratching your jeans while tapping your right foot to distract your mind off of what was happening: unable to bite back your awful scratching habit. A low whine escaped your mouth, your resolve fading by the second, and for once—you wanted to feel Robert’s presence around the area.

You wanted to strangle him, punch him; hurt him. You wanted to make him suffer for all of the pain he caused you, and in the bottom of your heart (past the blind love you had for him) you really wanted to kill him. But you were better than that.

Doing all of these things to him wouldn’t make you any better than him.

If anything, you would be worse than him for still harboring a sense of attachment. You shake your head and rise to your feet, your thighs burning through your jeans and your eyes burning—lacking tears to cry. You entered the Town House and met with Victor, who was down in the lounge; snacking on some food.

“I called Mike,” you stated weakly, taking a seat next to him. “He said to tell the others to meet him in the library...Bill’s already there.”

“It’s going to be okay, [Y/N],” Victor says reassuringly, lacing his fingers with yours.

You were incredibly thankful that Victor was still here, and that what happened last night still meant something to him. You hoped that, at the end of everything, you could spend the rest of your life with him. The feeling of Victor’s hand around your right one, the one without the ring, made you feel giddy inside—relieved, even—to feel freedom. This was the hardest step of them all in your process of breaking away from Robert’s hold: leaving him.

But he crossed the line by taking Bobby, who he knew you needed to help with your mental illnesses. He knew how much you relied on him, and he was using that to his advantage. It was the perfect lure, and now you were facing the consequences of being with Victor last night. Did you regret making love to him?

No, you denied. I don’t regret doing anything with Victor.

And at that moment, you knew where you finally stood in this internal battle.

Eddie and Stan were the first to come downstairs, ready and eager to help (but also doing their best to hide their fear). It was too soon to get into the fight this early, and there was so much they had to settle before doing anything else. Beverly, Richie, and Ben filed into the lounge soon after, and you let go of Victor’s hand—turning to them all to explain the plan of action.

It was time to beat the devil.

 


 

Howard Randall can feel fragments of his mind slowly piece together once he arrived in Derry.

It’s mostly flashes and blurbs, but it’s enough to make Howard’s skin crawl. He remembered that this was the town where his brother, Roger Randall and his wife (Howard’s late sister-in-law), had died. The were murdered, if Howard could recall faintly—a horrible death that made his skin crawl every time the thought passed by his mind.

As he exited the plane, suitcase in hand, he also remembered a few more things with every step he took in the dreary town. He lived here for two years, with his niece—called to Derry after [Y/N] had been hospitalized. He and...that man, were in charge of his nice. That man: was Robert Gray, a man who had been dead for twenty-seven years.

He died of a tumor right?

Howard tries to recall the memory of the man, wishing that he brought the letter (that his niece gave him) to Derry. That letter had almost brought everything that he had forgotten since leaving Derry, and now that he was finally here—everything seemed to fade away once more. He knew that his niece and their friends were coming back to Derry to do something...to fulfill a promise.

But what that promise was, Howard could not remember.

He swallows a knot in his throat, taking a deep breath and runs a hand over his mouth; feeling the thick, bushy mustache that he had grown. Despite being sixty-nine and way past his prime, he still had a lot of kick and determination in him. He relied on the remains of the muscle that he had maintained for forty years, and looked more like a man in his late forties than a man nearing seventy. He reaches out for his phone, one of the more modern ones that (despite Howard’s protesting for an old-fashioned one) his niece had bought for him.

No service, he grits out in his mind. Damn phones don’t work as much as the landline ones.

He leaves the airport, confused and frustrated, but pushes on nonetheless. A cab rolls up to the curb, revealing a man with charming features and a heavy brow. From what Howard could tell, this man looked more like a New Yorker than someone from Maine, especially with the way the man scowled at him. There was something wrong with the man’s eyes, Howard noticed, a type of glazed look that seemed familiar to him.

“Need a ride?” the man asked.

Yup, definitely a New Yorker, Howard thought to himself.

“Yes please,” Howard sighed, putting his suitcase in the trunk of the car. He entered the passenger’s seat and buckled in, scrunching his nose up slightly. The car smelled an awful lot like popcorn and sugar, and it was overbearing to the point where Howard could feel his head spinning. The driver’s name, from what Howard could see by the ID card that was plastered underneath the rear-view mirror, was Tom. The surname was practically unreadable, covered by a strange red blotch—that Howard couldn’t help but think was blood—and the only think he could make out: was a simple ‘R’.

Howard couldn’t help but feel as if he had seen the man before...

“That’s Tom,” [Y/N] said, pointing to the man on the screen.

The phone had a picture of three people (and a dog that was sitting loyally at the feet of the one on the fair right). The one on the left was a woman, the shortest out of the three, with short, wavy red hair and ocean green eyes. Howard couldn’t help but feel that he had seen this woman—before his niece told him about her. In the middle was a tall man with harsh eyes, dark hair, and a dark grizzled beard. The one on the far right was [Y/N], with their service dog Bobby.

The photo had been taken a few months ago, and [Y/N] had come to visit Howard in Maryland early in January. Howard nodded, looking at the man with a frown on his face. The man had dressed nicely, and looked smug about it—holding himself in a way that reminded Howard of the teenagers that used to torment him as a child.

“I don’t like him,” his niece states quietly. “He kind of reminds me of...of the man that I used to be with. Controlling.”

Howard rose a brow questioningly, leaning back in his seat.

“Do you think that he’s good to his wife?”

“If I’m going to be honest with you...no, I don’t think so.”

“Has she talked about it to you?”

“No,” they shake their head. “But Beverly has told me that Tom reminds her of her father a little...”

Beverly. That was the name of the red-haired woman. Howard couldn’t help but think about how the name sounded familiar, and it wasn’t just her name that made Howard feel as if he knew her. Had [Y/N] known Beverly as a child? Was she a college roommate perhaps? Howard was adamantly sure that he had heard of the woman, and it wasn’t just from her fashion career that made Howard think that.

You’re thinking too much, Howard mused. She’s probably just someone famous.

Howard reined himself out of his thoughts. His cab driver just reminded him of the husband of his niece's friend. There wasn’t much else to it, and he doubted that this man was the same person—it just wasn’t possible. He let out a quiet sigh, shuffling in his seat as the airport became smaller and smaller in the rear-view mirror.

“To the Derry Town House please.”

The Town House. Howard could recall going there when he first moved to Derry. It was the first place that he thought of going to, because he didn’t want to stay at the crappy motels. Besides, he had more than enough money to afford staying in the Town House. There was another place that Howard remember staying at—living in—for the two years that he had spent here. Where that place was, Howard couldn’t remember.

The man continued to interrogate Howard, his tone full of suspicion and doubt.

“You visiting Derry? I’ve never seen you before.”

“Kind of...I haven’t been here in twenty-five years.”

“Here to see family...? Friends...?”

“I’m looking for my niece, actually. They came here on the 10th? 11th...?”

“Mhm,” Tom made a noise of disinterest, eyes trained on the road.

Howard couldn’t remember if this was the right way to the Town House, because Tom had turned a corner and suddenly: they were riding down an old, leaf-covered path through the woods—

“The Barrens,” [Y/N] said in a soft voice, shifting in the hospital bed.

The sterile smell of cleanliness and an old-fashioned hospital filled Howard’s nostrils, prompting him to scrunch his face and cross his arms. His niece shifted a little more, looking at the door—as if they were expecting someone important to barge through and ask about their well-being. When fifteen minutes had passed, and no one came through the door, their face fell into a frown, looking down at their hands.

They continued, “M-My friends...th-th-th...they...we went there...got attacked b-by a bear...”

He let out another sigh, this one out of tiredness. He woke up at around three in the morning to get ready for the flight, which departed at six thirty in the morning. Now it was nearly ten o’clock, and Howard was already feeling drained off his energy. He had spent a majority of his retirement time playing chess with his old university buddies, watching the news, and reading—to which he would read at least 12 books every two days, 60 (at most) in a week—so he wasn’t used to traveling out of Maryland often.

“So your niece,” the man drawled. “Why are you looking for them?”

Howard hesitated before answering, wondering if he should share this information with this stranger. He felt that in this town, word spread fast, and he didn’t feel like answering to the prying eyes of Derry’s citizens. But he wouldn’t be here long—he’d just make sure that his niece was safe (from what exactly?) and then head back to Maryland.

“They came here with their friends,” he replied. “I think they’re getting themselves into trouble.”

“Running along with boys?”

“I don’t know...I don’t pry into their personal life. Besides, my niece is an adult.”

“Oh,” Tom lamented suddenly. “My wife is actin’ a fool right now.”

He felt uneasy at how the man’s grip on the steering wheel had tightened considerably. Howard, who was unmarried and hadn’t been in a relationship in 50 years, was unsure how to reply to the man. He simply nodded and tried to form the best response he could, initiating a long, drawn-out conversation that made his head spin. The smell of popcorn had begun to meld into something rotten—matching the slowly growing ferocity that was Tom: Howard’s driver. 

“What did your wife do?”

“Laid with another man...Right in front of my eyes.”

“U-Uh...I’m sorry you had to see that.”

“They practically ignored me,” Tom’s voice lilted into a growl. “They were too busy rutting against that insolent man.”

Howard choked on his words at the man’s sudden change in behavior. Still, he kept his calm and held the conversation on his shoulders—idly placing his hand on the door handle in case of an emergency. Tom seemed near-to-being volatile, and Howard didn’t want to take any chances: especially with how far deep they were in the woods now.

“Are you going to file a divorce?”

“Oh goodness no!” Tom feigned a gasp—an out-of-place gesture that set Howard’s nerves aflame. Howard looked at Tom again and noticed that his eyes had turned from light brown to dark brown. A trick of the light perhaps? Howard mused. But the lighting outside, and inside, had remained the same throughout the ride.

Tom continued, “I’m not mad at my wife...I’m mad at the man that they were with.”

“You’re a very forgiving man. You must love your wife a lot.” Tom chuckled darkly at this.

“That doesn’t mean that I’m going to let them free without punishment.”

Howard couldn’t help but wonder if the man was going to beat his wife. And then, all of a sudden, Tom’s fell into a face of seriousness—as if he sensed that Howard was thinking wrongly of himself. “If you think I’m implying that I’m going to beat my wife,” Tom said slowly, “then you’re sorely mistaken. I promised I wouldn’t lay a hand on their precious head. They don’t deserve that. I love them too much to ever commit such an act.”

That was...both comforting and unnerving, to say the least.

Soon enough, the car had turned once more, and Howard felt his breath still. He had been to this place before, he had lived here before. His hands froze over the handle of the car door, eyes widening as he took in the sight of the incredibly large estate in front of him. It was the place he and his niece had lived in for two whole years before leaving Derry. He could feel himself fall deeper into his memories the longer he stared at the ruined estate.

It was in absolute disrepair: the beautiful steel beige/grey paint that had covered the outer walls had chipped and fallen off—giving way to reveal dark mahogany wood underneath. The windows were cloudy and covered in spiderwebs; some of them were even covered by the persistent vines and flora that had overgrown over the walls and roof. The door had eerily swung to and fro with the windless atmosphere, revealing the equally tattered remains inside.

Howard turned to Tom, a horrified look on his face.

“Who are you?” he questioned in a whisper.

Tom turned towards him, driving with precision despite not looking at the road—stopping next to the fountain in front—and flashed Howard an eerie smile. The man’s teeth were no longer slightly crooked and poorly taken care of, but they were now straight and a perfect pearly white. The man’s eyes were noticeably dark brown, a shade only belonging to one man that Howard thought was dead, and his beard had vanished out of thin air.

As if magic was at hand, Tom’s features went from bulky and strong, to chiseled and sharp—revealing gaunt cheeks and sunken eyes that seemed to glower into one’s soul. His hair fell over his face slightly, no longer black, but a soft shade of brown that matched his paling skin. Howard was unable to move, feeling his heart race faster by the minute, distracted by the sight before his eyes. And then, when the transformation was done, Howard could only think of one thing. One name.

Robert Gray.

 


 

11:34 a.m.

Although it would’ve been plausible for you to teleport everyone, you were too out-of-your-mind to focus clearly. So, you, Beverly, Ben, and Victor took your car (with Ben being the driver, and Victor in the passenger’s seat)—the others rode in Richie’s vehicle. Beverly was seated in the back with you, taking your left hand with hers to give it a reassuring squeeze. You were staring out of the window the entire time, your face considerably more tired and your eyes prominently a more noticeable shade of crimson.

You shifted in your seat nervously, and feared that if you thought of your dog anymore—you’d crack for sure. You put your focus into the soothing gestures that Beverly made with her thumb on the top of your hand, releasing a heavy sigh through your lips. You wondered when Robert (or Pennywise) took him—was it after you and Victor fell asleep? Before you woke up? Sometime in the night when no one could hear Bobby’s cries?

It hurt your heart even more to think if Bobby was howling and whimpering in distress, trying to wake up anyone to help him. It hurt you to know that he was somewhere in Derry: afraid—and you hoped, with all of your heart, that nothing bad had happened to him. 

“I’m scared Bev,” you say in a whisper. “I’m scared that he’ll do something to Bobby...”

“Why would he kidnap Bobby, though?” Ben questioned. “Especially right now? I thought that he—”

“I think he saw me and Victor hanging out last night,” you explained, leaving out the more...explicit details (though Victor’s hickey was in plain sight, and you had a feeling that the others could guess at what had transpired last night to make IT so angry). You removed your hand from Beverly’s and folded them in your lap, taking a few more deep breaths. You continue in a softer voice, counting the seconds as they went by. “He’s probably so fucking mad right now...I can’t feel him, or Bobby.”

“As soon as we meet up with Mike,” Victor says promisingly, “we’ll get Bobby back, and we’ll stop IT from ever hurting you.”

You nod absentmindedly, but don’t feel calm in the slightest. In fact, the medications had rendered you absolutely tired and susceptible to whatever anyone said—which was what you were doing in reality. You just wanted to hear people tell you that everything was going to be okay; that you were going to be find, that Bobby was safe and sound. 

The Derry Public Library soon came into view, and you felt more than ready to get this over with. With your thoughts running, a sudden memory came to mind. “Tomorrow is Stan’s birthday,” you continued. “We should do something for him.”

“A party in the murder capital of the world?” Ben joked. “We can do something but...”

“I know,” you nod. “Stan’s party can come after. First, we need to get Bobby back before something happens.”

There was an air of agreement at your words, since the others did still look to you for advice (Victor coming in at second place, and then Bill) because you were older—and that automatically meant that you knew better. The car rolled into the parking lot, with Richie’s red convertible to your right, and you all exited.

“It’s been ages since I’ve been here,” Ben reminisced. “I missed coming here after school.”

“I still can’t believe you actually willingly went to the library,” Richie quipped.

Eddie rolled his eyes. “Beats the arcade.”

“Beats being inside of your mother!” Richie retorted.

He let out an amused cackle at Eddie’s flustered face, throwing an arm around the other’s neck and rubbed at his dark hair. Eddie wasn’t having any of it (and at the same time, he really did love Richie’s stupid jokes), and brushed Richie off, grumbling under his breath. It was an adorable display of affection that you noticed between the two friends, and if you didn’t know any better—you would’ve thought that they were an old married couple.

“That’s gross man,” Eddie continued, crossing his arms. 

Richie snorts. “I know, the smell was awful.”

“Beep beep Richie,” said Stan, following you into the library.

You held Victor’s hand, lacing your fingers with his, a calm smile finally reaching your features. As long as Victor was here, you would do your best to calm down—and you could practically feel the slowing of your heartbeat, and the calming rush of blood, once your Vasotec (which was a necessity prescribed by your doctor) kicked in. Your heightened senses weren’t not welcome, but at the same time, it felt weird to be aware of so many things, especially since your other organs were practically useless. Your lungs, brain, and heart seemed to be the only things that were actively working—while everything else seemed to stop. It did make sense, considering the fact that you could only eat to absorb energy; and the only way to “expel” the remains, was by exercising your powers.

Your left arm held onto your bag (which also contained your notebooks, requested by Mike) in a secure lock, and you entered the library for the second time in twenty-five years. You and Victor could hear the amazed utterances from your friends, taking in the sight of the new and improved library. You watched as Mike came approaching, with Bill following shortly behind. He takes in the sight of your fingers laced with Victor’s with jealousy—which you highly disapprove of, seeing that Bill’s married—before it fades into sympathy, noticing that Bobby wasn’t there with you.

“I’m glad that you all decided to stay,” Mike thanked, a warm smile on his face.

“Only because we learned we’d all die if we leave,” Richie groaned.

Bill’s eyed widened. “You learned what!?”

“We’ll tell you later,” you said, waving him off. “For now, we need to focus on getting Bobby back.”

“Right,” Mike said nodding.

“Follow me...I need to show you all something.”

 

Chapter Text

ACT II, PART II

“So, this Ritual of...Chüd,” you say slowly, “is something that Maturin told you about?”

Mike nodded, eyes wide in surprise. “He didn’t tell you?”

“No,” you replied, letting out a huff full of frustration and exhaustion.

You leaned back against Victor’s arm, head resting against his shoulder while he focuses himself on reading a notebook that was in your bag, the one about Bobby and everything you trained him. Everyone was listening intently on everything Mike had to say, which (surprisingly) wasn’t much, considering how little Maturin provided for him.

“He only talked to me about ‘my purpose’ before he died,” you finished.

“What do we do?” Richie questions. “Hold our hands together and chant or something? Sounds Indian.”

“I’m pretty sure the word you’re looking for is Native American,” Stan interjects, glowering at the trashmouth.

“Maturin didn’t say anything about the ritual, itself,” Mike shrugs, “but...”

Ben tilts his head. “But...?”

“We need to r-r-remember,” Bill clarifies. “Th-There’s still a l-lot of us can’t remember, a-and before we can kill IT, we need to r-r-remember.”

“Remember...our childhood?” Eddie ponders.

“Right,” Mike nodded. “The Ritual is a battle of wills...we can’t go in there without knowing ourselves completely. If we can overcome our fears, or whatever we’ve been through—we’ve all been through something as kids—then we’ll be ready when we go down there.”

“So...what are we doing?” Eddie questions. “We have to get over our fears?”

“Something like that,” Mike said. “Fill in the blanks of our past...and I think it’ll help if we bring something back with us, a piece of our past or something—”

“Tokens?” lamented Richie. “This really is a ritual.”

“It’s just something that’ll help us,” Stan agreed. “We don’t need to bring it down to the sewers, but from what I have seen in my visions; when you have a piece of your past, and you’ve accepted it—you’ll be stronger in the fight.”

“So it’s all about our willpower.” Ben mused.

“Fight with your heart, not your mind,” you mutter, remembering what Maturin had told you.

That left everyone to wonder what that meant. Your head was spinning a little, and you could only hold onto Victor for support—relishing his presence before separating from him was inevitable. Something changed, in you both, after last night. You felt drawn to him, and you had a feeling that he felt the same about you.

It was as if what had happened last night strengthened your bond, and you felt content in Victor’s presence. He turned his attention to you for a moment, a smile twitching at the corners of his lips—to which you returned with a shy smile. He shuffled in his seat so that his arm was wrapped around you, holding you close to him.

It was a comforting embrace that helped get your mind off of the stress.

“Before we go,” Mike says, getting up. “I want you to follow me into the Barrens...we can start there.”

Beverly tilts her head. “Why? What’s in the Barrens?”

“My token,” Stan comments with an apologetic smile. “I remembered seeing it in my vision.”

“By the w-way,” Bill trailed off. “How much did you s-s-s-see? Maybe we c-can use that to our a-a-advantage...?”

“Only parts,” Stan admits. “But I’m not sure if it can still be applied, since I’m still alive.”

You rise from your seat, letting out a soft sigh. It was...hard to get the image of Stan out of your mind, his lifeless face in Beverly’s vision. You swallowed a knot in your throat—dread settling in your gut. It was hard for you to imagine a world where Stan was dead, more so Eddie. From what Stan had said, Eddie’s death had left everyone broken, especially Richie. For some reason, he (and Beverly) shared strange glances whenever your name was mentioned.

Did something happen to you?

Undeniably, you were curious but didn’t pry into their minds. You couldn’t find anything strange in Beverly’s mind, unless she had locked the memory away from you. If it was something serious, you’d trust them both for them to tell you the truth. If it wasn’t serious, you would let go of their strange behavior around you.

But still, you thought. Why do they keep looking at me like that?

“Let’s go right now,” you command. “I-I...I don’t want to waste any time, especially since Bobby...”

“Don’t worry dove,” Victor says with a reassuring smile. “We’ll get him back.”

...I hope we do.

 


 

“For the last time Eds, there’s no fucking poison ivy,” Richie says, stomping through the leaves.

Eddie’s face scrunches up, staring at Richie incredulously. “I’m pretty sure it’s right there...and don’t call me Eds.”

While Eddie and Richie fell into a bicker, you turned to Victor—who was walking in the back of the group with you—with a sly smile. Your right hand, still ringless, was laced with Victor’s left hand, and if you weren’t practically worried about your mind about Bobby and Robert: you’d think that you were walking on a stroll with Victor. Evidently, the light in Victor’s eyes made you happier than ever before, and you felt confident in your actions the longer he was in your presence.

After stopping by the Kissing Bridge, to which you felt nostalgic about—still seeing your and Robert’s initials on the bridge—Mike led the group into the Barrens; shortly after Ben re-explained his experience with Peter Gordon and Patrick Hockstetter. For him, that was the day when he finally made true friends (aside from you, and Beverly; whom he had met after school for a brief moment). You faintly remembered back to the day as well, remember when you had your—

Panic attack.

The word frightened you to no end, making your breathing shallow and your eyes full of tears. If the sight of the sewer entrance was enough already, knowing what you were experience only made your mind worse. You were afraid of what was happening to you, and at the same time—you hated it with all of your being. You followed Eddie away from the sewer entrance, trying to ignore the sympathetic (pitying) looks from Stan, Eddie, and Bill—who looked like he was going to cry at your distress.

“Come walk with me,” Eddie comforts, looking up at you. “Let’s go.”

Shortly after the panic went away, and the feeling of dying faded; the pain came, followed by Ben. He fell into the Kenduskeag, heaving on his hands and knees, as his shirt was matted to his skin with the blood that covered his abdomen. A cry left your lips at the pain, and his distress, and soon enough Ben was promptly carried to the bike, and you were all off to Center Street.

“It’s hard to believe that we used to play here twenty-five years ago,” you reminisce with a smile. “It feels like it was yesterday.”

“Yeah,” Victor chuckles. “It does, doesn’t it?”

“I remembered the Quarry too,” you giggled. “Where you watching me too?”

“They were checking you and Beverly out,” Victor snorts, leaning back in his seat.

Although you distracted yourself by offering Beverly food, since you felt starved, you could see (in the corner of your eye) the flushed look that was in Victor’s face. His cheeks were tinted a faint shade of pink, and although he had placed his sunglasses on his face—you could feel his gaze burning into you. It flustered you and humored you at the same time.

“I—” Victor’s eyes widened, stammering on his words. “I-I didn’t.”

“Are you sure?” you teased, gushing at his embarrassment. “After-all, you had a front row seat.”

“Okay, so I did...but I wasn’t ogling at you like him,” Victor confessed.

As he said the last of his confession, he motioned his head towards Bill (the one who he was talking about): who was chatting idly with Mike and Stan. Satisfied with his answer, you squeezes his hand a little tighter and gave him a quick peck on his cheek, smiling. “I love you,” you mouthed to him, not wanting to grant any attention from the others. His face softened and he mouthed it back to you.

The feeling of eyes burning into your head came, and you faltered in your step, tripping on your feet and falling. “Woah!” Victor exclaimed, grabbing you before you could embarrass yourself and fall flat on your face; his hands wrapped around your biceps.

“You okay?” he asked.

“Y-Yeah,” you reply shakily. “I-I just...I thought I felt...”

You take a deep breath, shaking your head and breaking out of his hold. You knew for a fact that he was in the area, but didn’t feel the urge to alert the others on it. They were all in a good mood, and you didn’t want to remind them of IT again. When the feeling went away, you relax your shoulders and felt at ease.

You saunter over towards Ben, who was estatically kicking at the leaves—reminding you of the clubhouse that you had all hung out at during the time between August and September. Victor followed you, concerned by your brash actions, but you waved him off.

“Nevermind, Vic. It was nothing.”

“Are you sure?” he pried.

“Yes, I’m fine...Thanks for asking.”

His face melds into a smile. “No problem.”

You had a feeling that Bill was watching the exchange, and when you discreetly turned your head—you were right. He was watching you and Victor, unsure what to do or say. This time, to distract him, you faced yourself fully towards Bill with a (feigned) confused expression; which prompted him to turn away. You didn’t approve of his behavior towards you, especially when you were known—and made it apparent—to be very affectionate towards Victor.

Beverly already had a knowing sense of what had transpired between you and your (second) partner, but didn’t make any comment on it. She merely gave you a sly smile and nudged your shoulder, to which you responded by teasing her about Ben: whom she had warmed up to immediately when he arrived in Derry.

“The entrance should be around here somewhere...” Ben grumbled to himself, stomping on the leaves.

After the third stomp, he fell through the floor and landed with a ‘thud’. Worried, you skid over to the broken entrance, looking down curiously at Ben—who was telling you all that it was safe to come down. You stand back and brush the leaves away (with your powers) from the entrance, and then, you were the first to lead everyone into the clubhouse.

You were met with the sight of cobwebs, leaves, and dirt all over the clubhouse. Faded posters and a variety of games from the 80’s had reminded you of all of the good memories here, especially the hammock (which was usually occupied by Richie, Eddie, you, or Victor most times). A smile reached your lips, a hand resting fondly over an empty plastic enclosure.

“Just open your hands,” you said with a reassuring smile, to Victor.

There was an uncertainty in his eyes, a hesitance that told you that he was unprepared at what you were about to do. You were sitting in a chair, your palms open together with Holland resting soundly in them, the enclosure tossed off to some place else. Victor’s eyes drifted from you, to Holland, and then back at you—shaking his head in denial.

“There’s no way in hell that I’m letting you put her in my hands,” he snorts.

“Aw, is Vic scared?” you laughed, bringing Holland to your chest. “She won’t bite unless you hurt her.”

Victor deadpanned. “No.”

“Suit yourself,” you shrugged, still cradling the tarantula.

Returning back to the clubhouse, you watched as Eddie shuffled past you and kneeled down, shakily shoving his hand down an empty spot between the floorboards. He brought his hand back up and revealed a dusty red ball, blowing air over it with a smile. You remembered what that was—it was the ball that Eddie broke from the paddle-ball.

“Guys,” Stan said, holding out a can that was labeled ‘For the Losers Club only,’ and opened it; coughing when dust blew in his face. Gently placing the cap nearby, he reached his hand into the can and brought out a—

“—shower cap?” Victor questioned, raising a brow.

“You wear it so you don’t get spiders in your hair when you’re down here,” Stan said proudly.

“No one’s afraid of spiders Stan,” Richie groans from the hammock, taking his off.

Comically, all of you (who were wearing shower caps) turn towards him, fixing the cap on your head, with Holland nestled in her container. Victor takes the shower cap anyway. Richie rolls his eyes, leaning back in the hammock. “I stand corrected,” he groans to himself, returning his attention back to his comic.

Victor grumbles when you pull him into your lap and fix his hair under the cap. You enjoy the feeling of adoration in his eyes when you do this, and can feel your own cheeks warming at the sight.

“You look so adorable in that,” you gush. “It suits you.”

“I look dumb,” he continues to grumble, hiding his flush cheeks from you.

“But I still love you all the same,” you murmur, taking his face in your hands and pull him into a kiss.

“Ew!” Richie scrunches his face at the display. “Please leave your clothes on you guys.”

“Get your mind out of the clouds,” you shoot back playfully, kissing Victor’s forehead. “You’re just jealous.”

Eddie suddenly rips the shower cap from his head after looking at a clock, stomping over to the hammock.

“Hey Richie,” he glared, “your ten minutes are up!”

Richie’s face scrunches up, and you can already tell that they’re going to start bickering again. You roll your eyes, shuffling in the recliner with crossed arms so that Victor can crawl in the space next to you. Everyone had seemed pretty chill with your PDA with Victor—mainly since you had usually treated everyone with the same affection—and you settled Holland’s container on a nearby table. You watch with a smile as Beverly and Ben, who were warming up to each other, have a conversation.

“What did you want to do after this?” you asked Victor.

“I dunno,” he shrugged. “What did you want to do?”

“I can think of a few things,” you trail off, giving him a mischievous smile.

His face flushes red and he mutters something incoherent, turning his away from you. You only snort in response and playfully tap his shoulder. “Hey,” you scold, eyes full of mirth. “I was just thinking of baking or driving around town.”

“O-Oh,” he stammered out, averting his gaze back to you. He continued with a smile, “We can do that.”

Richie’s voice breaks the atmosphere when he loudly states, “I’ll do that.”

That prompts everyone to look at Richie with a questioning glance. He shuffles in the hammock, angrily glaring at Eddie—who had kicked his foot in his face—before clarifying, “I’d do anything to get out of Derry.”

“When I graduate,” Mike adds with a smile, “I’m straight off to Florida.”

“What’s in Florida, Mike?” Ben asks.

Mike shrugged, his smile growing bashful. “I don’t know,” he chuckles. “I guess it’s a place where I always wanted to go.”

“I think that place is pretty nice,” you comment, pulling Victor’s shower cap back to run your fingers through his hair. That urges him to let out a soft sigh and close his eyes, letting his back press against your chest.

“Stan, you should go with Mike to Florida,” Richie suggests, still reading his comment. When Stan looks at him with furrowed brow and a frown, Richie continued to speak. “You already act like you’re eighty,” he snorts. “You’d clean up with all the grandmas.”

That merits everyone, including Stan, to chuckle and giggle. When the laughter fades, Stan pauses in his actions, setting the can containing the shower caps down, a frown forming on his face. While he does this you can sense the unease and fear that washes off of him, a frown settling on your own lips —pausing in your head massage that you were giving Victor.

You question in a soft voice, “Is everything alright, Stan?”

“Do...do you guys—” he cuts himself off, thinking of the words to say. “Do you guys think that we’ll all be friends?” When he grabs the attention of everyone he continues, taking a seat on one of the wooden beams. “...when we’re older, I mean.”

“What?” Eddie questions. “Why wouldn’t we be?”

Stan’s frown deepens. "Do any of your parents still hang out with their friends from middle school?"

That causes the whole clubhouse to go silent, with Victor turning off the stereo next to him. Stan grows nervous, an unsure look in his eyes, as if he was afraid of what he was saying. His eyes flicker over to you for a moment, a haunted look in his eyes before it fades away, turning towards Ben and Beverly. 

"I mean,” Stan elaborated, “...things might be different then...we all might be different."

“We’ll still be friends,” you say firmly.

Everyone else nods in agreement, but even then you could see the hesitance and doubt in their eyes. Victor looks like he wants to say something, but holds it back; it was probably something pessimistic, but you didn’t hold that against him. He had a realistic view on life, and you were thankful that he held his thoughts back to comfort and reassure his friends.

Bill adds on, “I-I-I don’t think t-that g-g-g—goes away, because we get o-older.”

Stan is the most doubtful out of everyone, but nods nonetheless. He lets a heavy sigh fall from his lips, while Beverly rises from her seat—cigarette in hand—and pats Stan on the shoulder reassuringly.

“They’re both right, Stan,” Beverly trailed off. “You don’t have to be so sad.”

“Well,” you say with a dry chuckle, “it looks like we’re still together...after all these years.”

“Yeah,” Stan chuckles, taking off his glasses for a brief moment to wipe at his eyes. Your gaze softens at the sight, and you can see the relief and true happiness in his eyes when he looks everyone over.

Richie gets from his seat, wiping his pants. “I guess we’re done here, right? We get our own ‘tokens’ now?”

“I’m still iffy on the whole ‘alone’ part, Mike,” Eddie says with hesitance in his eyes. "I mean, statistically speaking...you look at survival scenarios...we'll do much better as a group.”

Victor nods in agreement, and you were about to agree also: when you remembered something.

“We have to split up,” you say, the words pouring out of your mouth unwillingly. You felt your gut clench at the memory, hands trailed slightly to where your scar was: the one that Pennywise had given to you. You continued softly, “We were split up before, after I was...attacked...”

“After Neibolt—”

The pain had settled faster than the panic.

You promptly fell to your knees, digging into the broken floorboards as a cry fell from your lips. The pain was everywhere; in your arm (in sync with Eddie’s arm, which Richie snapped back into place), you felt pain in your eye—for some unknown reason—and you felt pain searing all across your abdomen. It shot from the wound, and spread in your insides. Over and over, did the pain come.

You could feel Victor’s arms scoop you up and hastily carry you back to the car, the heat of summer air stinging your open wound. It hurt to breathe, and it hurt to even move. You felt as if you were going to snap in half if you continued any further. Your eyes—bleary with tears—watched in horror as the blood gushed out of your wound, tissue and muscle tearing.

You fell in and out of consciousness, only focusing on Beverly’s terrified eyes.

You’ve never felt so much fear in your life. You were going to die; you were dying. Your greatest fear was handed to you on a silver platter, and you could do nothing to stop it.

You let out a shaky breath, closing your eyes to calm yourself before you could experience a panic attack. The trembling in your hands were gone, but your heart was still racing fast and you still felt light-headed. You needed to trek into safe waters if you wanted to avoid one, which was crucial since Bobby wasn’t here. But now that you realized that you had to do this alone, you felt doubt seep into you.

“They’re right,” Bill sends a nod your way, features grimacing in pain at the memory of what happened to you. His blue eyes shifted over to Richie, a sheepish smile taking hold of his face now. “Remember, I p-p-punched Richie in the f-face?”

Although you didn’t witness it, since Victor was the one who revealed the truth to you—with Bill fiercely denying the other’s claim—you had a feeling that the fight was pretty bad. It was so bad, that none of you had talked to each other (though they did in private, Bill and Richie were the only two that hadn’t actually talked to the other Losers, aside from you—whom they visited in the hospital) until Beverly was kidnapped by IT.

The same day that you found out that Robert was IT, and ‘killed’ him in the same day.

“Yeah, and it was a fucking hard hit too,” Richie groans.

Beverly adds, “And we didn’t see each other for weeks.”

“Where do we meet up when we get our tokens?” Ben asks, furrowing his brows. “The Town House?”

“Meet me at the library again,” Mike clarified with a smile. Holding out his phone, he continued. “Let’s exchange numbers before we all go,” he trailed off. “Now that we have phones, we should utilize them. Call in case anything happens.”

You all exchange numbers, giving Victor Beverly’s number since you already had it on your phone, and you were all heading back to the cars. Stan had his token neatly folded in his pocket, the other shower caps left in the clubhouse (with you discreetly bringing yours in your bag; liking the memories that came with them). You wondered where you should start your journey, since you had been alone out of everyone the longest.

The hospital where you recovered from the attack? you mused.

You were currently sharing a seat in the back of the car with Victor. He had switched places with Beverly, who was now sitting in the front with Ben. Richie’s car followed behind, all of you heading to the fastest fast food chain to grab a bite. There was no way that you’d all be able to and you were already starting to feel slight exhaustion after the “mental share” between you and Beverly.

And then, you thought of the place where you had to go to. It was the one place where you had been alone with the exception of one person. It was the one place where you spent your time ever since you met him. It was the place where you had celebrated Christmas with an eldritch entity, who claimed to be a Harvard graduate and your “legal guardian”.

The estate.

 

Chapter Text

ACT II, PART III

Beverly was the first to be dropped off, with her childhood apartment being the closest location that Ben could drive to before tending to the others. She wrings her hands nervously, the bruise on her wrist still fresh and tender. Before she can head up and towards her former home, she stops at the stairs—staring out as she reminisces about a brief memory.

“I just don’t know why he’d want to be in a ballet full of teens,” [Y/N] muses in a soft voice.

Beverly turns to them, raising a questioning brow with her head tilted. She and them had been hanging around Center Street when the topic of Robert Gray came back. It had been nearly a week and a half now since Beverly’s friend had started talking about him, and it seemed as if they weren’t going to stop.

“It is weird,” Beverly mused, frowning.

She didn’t like the sound of that man, and whatever his motives were. What [did] he want by performing in a ballet full of teenagers, exactly? There was no reason for Robert Gray to do something like that, unless...Beverly turned to [Y/N], who was focused on the Canal, with a questioning glance. Was Robert Gray—Beverly stopped herself from finishing that thought: shaking her head, and taking another drag of her cigarette.

Robert Gray was just a normal man.

Beverly closes her eyes, letting out a soft, lamenting sigh. Now that she knew the truth about [Y/N]’s partner, she felt a sickening pit of dread in her stomach. To know that her friend had been...through that—made her awful. Her own father was awful, but he had never actually gone through with his actions. The only time when he was close to doing that, was before Beverly was kidnapped by IT, and she managed to stop him.

She lets out a shuddering breath and heads up the stairs. She tries to ignore Belch’s Trans Am, which was still here after twenty-seven years, covered in leaves with the paint fully chipped off. It’s disgraceful to see that people had vandalized the vehicle (covering it in graffiti and smashing the sides and windows). No doubt, if Victor saw the vehicle now, he'd be sure to pummel whoever had done it.

The werewolf’s mouth was full of blood that pooled out of its gaping maw: splattering onto the gravel path. Beverly, terrified with fear, has an urge to help the platinum-haired boy that’s also frozen with fear. To her chagrin, he doesn’t move because he witnessed the death of his friend. He can’t tear his face away from Belch Huggins’ decapitated body.

A frown reaches her features, followed by a questioning gaze, when she notices that ‘Marsh’ is still on the name placard. Still, she rings the doorbell and waits patiently—staring into the tiny peephole. To her surprise, the door opens slightly ajar: revealing an old woman with soft eyes and white hair.

“Yes?” the woman croaks out.

For some reason, Beverly can’t help but feel uneasy when the woman’s voice comes out more as a growl—as if it was a man pretending to be an old woman. She swallows a knot in her throat, apologizing profusely when she points to the placard. ‘Kersh’ is written on the placard instead of ‘Marsh’ and Beverly suddenly feels embarrassment pouring forth.

“I-I’m so sorry,” Beverly apologized. “I thought the door said Marsh.”

Just as the woman—whom Beverly assumed now was ‘Mrs. Kersh’—stops in her tracks, just a hair away from completely shutting the door.

“Alvin Marsh?” Mrs. Kersh questions.

Beverly smiles sadly, nodding. “My father...” A pause. “—I grew up here.”

With an understanding look in her eyes, Mrs. Kersh nods her head in respect and closes the door; and begins to unlock the door with a series of locks and clicks. She reveals herself to be shorter than Beverly, looking at the younger woman with sympathy in her eyes. “Oh dear, I’m so sorry for your loss,” Mrs. Kersh starts slowly. “...but your father passed away, right?”

Beverly’s features settle into one of solemnity. She already knew that her father had died, bled out on the floor after she hit him over with the toilet lid. That was the entire reason why her aunt came to Derry, to bring her back to a better home; and give her a better life. As much as she hated her father, she still did care about him to a degree—just like how she still cared for Tom (even if thinking about him in the back of her mind made her feel panic). Beverly nods, sighing.

“He hit his head pretty hard, yes,” she lied. “Died from blood-loss.”

“It troubles me to see a kind face like yours so sad,” said Mrs. Kersh, who steps aside.

“Please, let me offer you something to drink?”

“N-No, it’s fine. I have to go...”

“Please,” Mrs. Kersh smiles. “...it’s the least I can do.”

Beverly felt embarrassed, mainly from the fact that she had probably intruded on this old woman’s spare time, seeing as though she lived alone. There was no way for her to possibly get her precious belongings, which she remembered storing twenty-seven years ago before she moved to Portland, when Mrs. Kersh was here. Still, she didn’t want to feel rude by denying her request and gave in, thanking Mrs. Kersh—who she followed inside of the house.

“Is it like you remember?” Mrs. Kersh asks.

Beverly takes a look around, noticing all of the decor has changed, and the place looks more like a home now. She smiles, nodding. “Cleaner,” Beverly comments, standing in the living room.

“Well,” Mrs. Kersh huffs. “Feel free to look around while I get the water boiling.”

Beverly shakes her head once more. “It’s fine, Mrs. Kersh. You don’t need to do that—”

“Oh, don’t be so polite,” Mrs. Kersh grumbles.

Intimidated by the old woman, Beverly shuts her mouth. Satisfied, Mrs. Kersh saunters slowly into the kitchen where Beverly hears her shuffle around for kitchenware, setting a pot on the stove. Beverly turns her head towards the bathroom, a haunted look taking over her features. She remembered the blood in the bathroom, and the feeling of hitting her father dead in the face with the toilet lid—hearing the porcelain crack, and his body fall against the tiles.

Taking Mrs. Kersh’s offer, Beverly trails down the corridor and towards her room, which has now been replaced by something that Beverly would see in her own home—a room dedicated to her craft: fashion design. Fabric and textiles are rolled neatly into buckets, and Beverly pushes them aside, pressing her fingers into a piece of the wall. When it doesn’t move, glued shut, she looks up and snatches a pair of shears and digs the device into the wall: cutting it open.

When it releases, bugs disgustingly crawl out of the space, but Beverly doesn’t mind them. Tossing the shears over, she reaches into the hole and brings out a plastic bag, a smile reaching her features. Inside is a pack of cigarettes from ‘89, her house key, and a Derry postcard—covered in old blood but adorned with a scrawl on the back.

“Your hair is winter fire,” she reads softly, smiling. “...January embers...My heart burns there too.”

“January embers?” she questions, eyes wide.

Amidst the pain and terrors that she had witnessed after seeing those...lights...Beverly feels hope bubbling in her chest. She always had a feeling that Ben was the one who had written the poem for her, and she hoped that he did—he was always so kind to her. She anticipates his reply with wide eyes, ignoring the stench of the sewers and the questioning looks of her friends. Beverly can’t help but feel delight in her chest when Ben replies, nodding happily.

“My heart burns there too,” he said with a smile.

Letting out a sigh of rejoice, holding the postcard out, Beverly begins to giggle out of happiness. That love and adoration that she’s always felt for Ben had never gone away, and now that they were reunited: those feelings to grow even more. She stays in that position for a while, remembering all of the good memories that she had with the “new kid”.

Unbeknownst to her, Mrs. Kersh watches from afar.

 


 

After gathering her things and placing the piece of the wall back into place, Beverly trudges back into the living room where Mrs. Kersh turns on a record player—vintage by design and craft. She plops down on the couch, with Beverly sitting across from her; the only thing separating the two being the table. There’s a sweet smell in the air, reminding Beverly of—

“—some chocolate chip cookies,” her friend explains with a happy smile.

Beverly takes one of them from her friends tub, taking a bite and relishing the taste. The cookie isn’t too hard, and it isn’t undercooked either, it’s perfect and she enjoys the way that the chocolate melts on her tongue. [Y/N] takes a cookie as well, giving Beverly a bashful smile at her reaction, and sits down on her stairs next to her—enjoying the spring breeze.

“These are really good,” Beverly compliments.

Her friend smile, turning away sheepishly. “Thanks,” they said with a giggle. “I made them myself.”

Beverly discreetly brushes her hand against her head, feeling sweat pool at her brow. No doubt, the AC wasn’t on (or it didn’t work). Mrs. Kersh turns to her, as if she noticed the action, and gives her another apologetic smile. “I do apologize,” she says slowly. “It gets so very hot at this time of the year.”

“It’s fine,” Beverly hummed, taking the tea cup and sips.

It tastes good, surprisingly, and once more she can’t help but wonder where Mrs. Kersh had learned how to create tea on her own. This taste reminds her of [Y/N]’s cooking (almost as if Mrs. Kersh had taught them, or the other way around), but she brushes the thought back—and begins to continue her conversation with Mrs. Kersh.

“It feels like you could just about die,” Mrs. Kersh sighs. “...but you know what they say about Derry.”

Beverly hums, taking another sip from the cup.

Mrs. Kersh continued, “No one who dies here never really dies.”

“You know what happens to them?” a gravelly voice grits out. “They float.”

Silence filled the living room, causing Beverly to lose the words in her mouth. Mrs. Kersh, with her eerie smile, doesn’t falter in her actions as she merely freezes into place, tea cup in hand, and the music from the record player still rolling along. A moment passes, and finally—Mrs. Kersh snaps out of her eerie trance, setting the tea cup down.

“But tell me, how does it feel: being back in Derry?”

“It’s...strange...”

“Strange?”

Mrs. Kersh tilts her head and lets out a soft sigh, grabbing the front of her shirt and begins to fan herself. Beverly’s eyes follow the action and can’t help but gasp silently in alarm at the sores and boils that surround the expanse of Mrs. Kersh’s chest. Beverly turns her head away from the sight and is met with another one—flies all over the window, as if something in here had died. A ding resounds throughout the living room, prompting Mrs. Kersh to get up in her seat.

“I had some cookies in the oven—” That explains the familiar smell of cookies, Beverly thought. “—you stay right here. I’ll be back.”

Mrs. Kersh leaves Beverly to her own devices, allowing the red-haired woman to get up from her seat and look around the room. Pictures hang and adorn the walls, vintage and faded with time. Some of them are of children, some of them are two girls (whom Beverly assumed was Mrs. Kersh’s sister or another), and some of them are lumberers and brewers.

“These photos are lovely. Are these your family Mrs. Kersh?” she asks aloud.

“Yes, dearie.” A pause. “My father came to this country with fourteen dollars in his pocket.”

“What did he do Mrs. Kersh?”

“...my father joined the circus.”

Just as she said that, Beverly sees a photograph that makes her heart stop.

It’s a photo of a man, a tall one at that, wearing a three piece suit with a girl whose face oddly reminds her of her father. The man, Beverly recognizes, resembles a crude mix between Pennywise and none other than Robert Gray. She can recognize—from what little time she had seen him with [Y/N]—the heavy brows and perfect nose; and she can see the way his cheeks pull back when he smiles.

But there’s something wrong with him. His (the man in the picture, IT) hair is balding and his hands are so large that he could crush one’s skull with just one squeeze, and his eyes glower at those who look at the picture with a perverse nature. His brows are drawn down instead of flat, giving one the impression that he’s always glaring. It’s disgusting.

He’s disgusting.

Beverly tries to ignore every bad thing she could imagine him doing to her friend, biting back tears. Her hands began to tremble when she takes a look at the circus caravan in the back, and her suspicions are confirmed.

PENNYWISE THE DANCING CLOWN

The caravan is supported by a variety of children’s toys that pile upwards. Beverly has to crane her neck, stumbling back with fear and shock as her eyes settle on bodies and limbs that float in the air on their own accord. The smell of blood and death is rank on her nose, and it doesn’t ease her frightened nerves.

She’s taken aback by the sight, turning around immediately when Mrs. Kersh’s voice echoes throughout the apartment. Horrified, Beverly turns around and tries to shuffle towards the fireplace, a fear reminiscent to the one when her father approached her as a teenager. Mrs. Kersh’s voice begins to lilt into a growl, growing deeper and deeper.

“I was always daddy’s little girl...what about you?”

“Are you still his little girl, Bevvie? Are you?!”

Loud, thundering steps resonate from the kitchen to the living room; and to Beverly’s terror, a frightening figure steps into the room. She lets out a panicked shriek, seeing the face of her father—Are you still my little girl, Bevvie?—mashed with the gruesome face of a witch; similar to that of the witch from Hansel and Gretel. Startled, Beverly knocks back against the fireplace, sending picture frames and tiny antiques crashing down into the floor. Falling on her back, she scrambles on her feet until she’s making way to her room, just like she’s always done.

She closes the door and lets out a sigh of relief, but the smell in the air has changed; and a draft has poured into the room. Cautious but curious, she turns around—tears threatening to pour out of her eyes. The room is now a long corridor, molded and broken down, and at the end: a door swings open.

“Run...Run...Run...” a voice grits out.

At the end of the corridor, hunched over a vanity, Beverly can see a man with thinning ginger hair—that’s mixed in with some dark brown every time he shifts into the light that pours from outside. His shirt is worn down with age, clinging onto his back with dirty suspenders that look like they haven’t been washed in months. The bottom of the shirt is tucked into baggy black slacks, which cover simple dark shoes.

The man—whom Beverly only knew as Robert Gray, or some sort of hybrid between him and Pennywise; hence the ginger hair—turns his head ever so slightly. “You haven’t changed anything yet,” he rasps out in a low voice. He turns his head, revealing much younger features than the man in the photograph; but still older than what Beverly knew to be Robert Gray. He looks as if he had aged like everyone else, twenty-seven years older, nearing close to his mid-fifties.

Robert Gray was no doubt, a handsome man—and Beverly could admit that—but there was always something off about him. Her eyes trailed over to her friend, who stared at the silver Porsche with almost haunted eyes, before it was replaced with one of delight. If Beverly looked close enough: she would’ve seen love in their eyes. Their friend mutters an apology before they head down the stairs and towards the vehicle, a tenseness in their steps that Beverly can’t ignore.

Her friend is rigid the closer they walk to the vehicle, the kind of still that Beverly walked with when she was in front of her father. Disgust pools in her gut and she turns her head away, taking out another cigarette when her friend enters the car, and soon enough—the vehicle is driving away as fast as possible.

Drool pours from his mouth every time he speaks, splattering over the broken floorboards with a disgusting plop and platter. Beverly’s hand trembles on the handle, eyes wide in awe and shock at the man. In the back of her mind, she’s screaming in agony at the hot flashes and horrible dreams that she’s suffered for twenty-seven years.

The man—who wasn’t a man at at all—continues to speak, his voice full of malice.

“You haven’t,” he paused, his mouth curling into a twisted smile, “...changed their futures.”

He’s practically seething as he drags a cloth over his face, growling and snarling. Once more, Beverly feels a tremor of fear when she realizes that he’s not putting grease paint on his face—but he’s actually wiping off the flesh: revealing the pale white skin underneath. “You...you haven’t,” he continues angrily, “saved any of them!”

Beverly loses the words in her throat, a tear finally rolling down her cheek the faster her heart races. By now, Robert’s face is practically smothered by white, his dark brown eyes fizzling to and fro between blue and brown. Finally, his irises settles on the softest shade of blue—a disgustingly sweet mask hiding Robert’s true nature.

“Close your eyes, Bev...” Robert trails off.

Finally, Beverly has the urge to yell at him, anger pouring out of her mind as she glared down at the man. “Fuck you!” she screams, not bothering to give him another second to retort. “How could you let that happen to [Y/N]!?”

Robert’s elevated expression falls into one of mute rage and confusion. He sneers, tossing the rag off to the floor, large hands tightly fisting his knees—holding himself back from absolutely running over the corridor and murdering Beverly then and there. But Beverly can tell that she’s got him right where she wants him to be, holding back his rage to satisfy his confusions.

“They will not die,” Robert says, his voice full of promise. “That measly little curse was a mere threat. Do you not know who I am—?”

He pauses, lowering his head while bringing his hands up, starting from his forehead and begins dragging his large hands down. Beverly chokes back a frightened sob when those devilish red lines carve from above his eyes, which were bloodshot (with one of them lazy-eyed), all the way to his mouth. This was—

“I am the Eater of Worlds,” he grits out, one of his eyes trailing off to the side. His smile smug and curling upwards, revealing two buck-teeth. “They will not die from mortal causes,” he continues, “I can make them live for as long as I want, Bevvie. Forever.”

Beverly shakes her head in denial, her eyes widening ever so slightly. He made no indication that he ever knew about that part of her vision, and she had a feeling that only she and Stan—since she had promptly hidden that memory away from [Y/N] when they delved into her mind—knew about it. She faces her body towards Robert, glaring at him while lifting her chin up.

“If you kill us,” she replies defiantly. “Then they will die, no matter what.”

There’s a tremble in her voice as she said this, and that’s because she knows how hard it is for her to accept this fact of life. From what she had seen, and she had yet to talk to Stan about it, what happened to her friend was far from good. At this point, the fact that Stan had seen some version of what happened to [Y/N]—frightened her.

...What if [that] happened to them no matter what they did? Beverly pondered, distressed. It happened in the ‘world’ where Stan died, and it happened in the ‘world’ where he was alive too.

When Robert tilts his head, blood still dripping from his face, Beverly continues. “You didn’t see what me or Stan have seen,” she says, more as a statement than a question. “You don’t know what really happens to them.”

The handle behind her clicks ever so slightly, and Beverly feels the brief glimmer of hope rise in her chest. Robert gets up from his seat, angrily, and is practically so tall that he has to hunch over. Beverly, frightened, presses her back against the door—not quite ready to leave just yet. Maybe, if he...IT...really did care for [Y/N]: maybe he’d listen and let the Losers finish the deed.

But Beverly knew that he was far too arrogant to let that happen. She swings the door open, breathing heavily as Robert’s hands clench. “You can’t save them,” she repeats what he had said to her, and then, she’s running away. She doesn’t mean what she says (of course she’ll do anything to save her friend)—but the threat is enough to keep IT on edge. She closes her eyes out of fear when she hears his angry snarl and pounding footsteps as she stumbles out of the apartment.

Fresh air meets her lungs and she feels relief flooding her senses when she sees people and cars outside. A nagging feeling inside of her prompts her to turn around, mouth agape as she stares at the apartment complex. It’s in absolute ruins, boarded up; nothing like what she had initially see.

From the corner of her eye, a single red balloon floats in the air, carried by the wind.

 


 

Derry High is exactly how Ben remembered it.

Even as he trudged up the stairs and enters the large hallways, he can still imagine himself, back in 1989.

Victor had driven him to the school since they both had to take summer school classes. Victor, not so much, since he had usually spent most of his time outside of the school—waiting to drop Ben off at his aunt’s house before heading to the hospital. It had been a while since the events of the Neibolt House, where [Y/N] had been attacked. Eddie’s arm had been broken in the struggle as well, and Ben held back a shudder, idly writing in his notebook as the film continued to play.

After the final hour had passed, the bell rang and both students and teachers filed out of the room. Satisfied with the solitude, he packs up his things and brings out his walkman. Victor can wait a little longer, Ben thinks to himself. Just as he turns on the music an all too familiar silhouette jumps in front of the projector, casting a shadow that causes Ben to jump.

Startled, he turns around and meets with—

“Beverly?” he questioned with wide eyes.

“Woah,” she holds her hands up in defense. “Yeah, it’s just me.”

Ben relaxes but he can’t help but feel confused in her presence. Why was she here? That question soon fades when she takes a seat next to Ben in the desk next to him, lighting a cigarette to which he questions her actions. She merely rolls her eyes and takes a hit, saying that this was a “secret hide-out”. Ben smiles, not because he was enjoying the song, but because of Beverly’s presence. Her ocean green eyes are calming, and she always that his air of coolness that Ben couldn’t find in any of his other friends.

Sure Victor was “dashing,” and [Y/N] was graceful, and Ben could think of more words to describe his other friends—but to him, Beverly was special. At some point, Ben can’t help but get lost in Beverly’s eyes and he leans forward—

“Woah!” Beverly says, taken aback. “I meant as a friend.”

Ben’s cheeks grow aflame and he feels shame flood his nerves. He turns his head away, a hurt look in his eyes while Beverly lets out a...chuckle? “Did you really think,” Beverly sneers, “...that I’d want to be with someone as gross and disgusting as you?”

Her words send confusion but Ben can only feels the shame inside of him, his greatest fears coming true. She didn’t love him back, no, she thought he was disgusting. Everyone thought he was disgusting—fat, gross, awful...

“No matter how many stupid poems you write!”

Beverly’s voice had taken on that of a high-pitched sneer. Confused by the change, and the growing smell of ash and embers, Ben turns his head...and is met with the sight of Beverly with a head full of fire. Startled and horrified, Ben stumbles out of the desk and runs out of the room. “Your hair is winter fire!” Beverly—IT—grits out, following Ben.

“January embers!”

Through the dark corridor (why was it so dark?), Ben stumbles and staggers on his feet. At that moment, he’s never run so fast in his last. Faster than when Patrick Hockstetter or Peter Gordon chased him down the halls, faster than when he was trapped in a mummy “horror experience” as a child; faster than the fastest man in the world. His lungs burn and so do his legs, and he turns a corner, seeing the faint glimmer of light. The school entrance! 

Victor can help me! Ben thinks with hope. I just need to—

His body slams against the door, and to his astonishment and dismay, the door is chained shut. He shakes on the handle but it doesn’t budge. IT isn’t too far away, screaming out, “My heart burns there too!” followed by a taunting cackle. Ben decides to turn down the next corridor, seeing IT’s silhouette down the other hall. Finally, his eyes rest on an all-too-familiar locker.

His locker.

He can recognize it from miles away, seeing the demeaning names scrawled all over by those awful bullies that taunted him every day. Although he wasn’t an official freshman yet, summer school was awful with him sharing the same classes as the bullies. No doubt, as soon as summer ended, everyone would know that this locker was reserved for the “fat boy” only. He runs as fast as he could, squeezing into the space (which wasn’t small at all, considering the fact that most of the lockers were surprisingly large), and closes the door shut.

He can’t hear Beverly (IT’s) yells anymore, but Ben still stays in the comfort of his little space, catching his breath. He shifts in the locker, reaching between the tight cracks to pull out a folded piece of paper wedged in the locker. He unfolds it, revealing the yearbook page—which only contained Beverly Marsh’s name, for she was the only one who signed it.

“Beverly would never say that,” Ben mutters to himself, breathing softly as he presses the piece of paper close to his chest. “She would never...she’s my friend. Beverly doesn’t think I’m gross or disgusting...she would never.”

He folds the piece of paper and stores it in his pocket, letting out a sigh of relief. When he catches his breath, he can’t help but feel confusion when the smell of popcorn reaches his—he stops that thought, realization flooding his senses as he turns his head. He lets out a terrified scream to meet eyes with that of Pennywise the Dancing Clown; whose own eyes are blaring yellow and orange.

“Kiss me fat boy,” the clown taunts.

Ben stumbles out of the locker, falling back on his behind as he watches with horror as Pennywise squeezes out of the locker. His arms slam against the other lockers, pushing and twisting the clown’s large frame out of the tiny space. “Ohh,” Pennywise continues with a cackle. “No one wants to kiss the fat boy!”

Fat boy. The words cause Ben’s mind to spin and his heart race. He continues to crawl back, away from the clown that slowly saunters towards him. They share a few retorts with each other, and Ben can only feel more shame when he hears Pennywise cackle and taunt and laugh. And then, within mere moments, Pennywise lunges into a sprint—opening his gaping maw—and Ben is running away once more. He turns his head once and smacks dab into one of the janitors. Startled, he leaves without apology, gathering his things back in the classroom and straight to Victor’s car.

Ben’s eyes trail over to the door, reliving the memory in melancholy. Ben had always had that lingering doubt that his friends wouldn’t accept him, even now (when he looked practically great in his much healthier physique). He lets out a sigh and unveils his wallet, thumb brushing against the folded yearbook page in it with fondness and adoration.

He’s always had this with him, and even if he didn’t remember who Beverly Marsh was at first—he still remembered how she made him feel. With a smile, everything clicking into place, he takes one last look at the turtle inside of the classroom before heading out of the school. 

 


 

Meanwhile, Mike Hanlon is gathering his thoughts back in the library.

He’s already had his token, kept with him for fifteen years—Spring’s bell. Out of all of the things that he chose as his ‘token,’ it would’ve been this bell. Spring had been the one to lead Mike and [Y/N], his first true friend in Derry, to meet in the Barrens twenty-seven years ago. He wondered if it would make any difference if Spring hadn’t stumbled into their arms. He pockets the bell and ribbon into the front of his jacket, turning his attention to the notebooks laid about on his desk.

Two of them belonged to [Y/N]: one of them being about the commands they taught their service dog Bobby (who had always lingered in the back of Mike’s mind, wondering if he was doing alright wherever he was), and the other was about their powers. Curiously, Mike takes the latter notebook and opens it to the front page.

PROPERTY OF [Y/N] KING
Everything about my powers (in no particular order).

I don’t know how long I’ve had these powers, my last memories of ever having it being sometime after 1990, but what I do know, is that it’s nothing like what I’ve read about in the news. I’ve seen countless articles about Carrie White, or other women with “psychic” abilities, but none of them can compare to what I can do. I think it has to do with the turtle I keep seeing in my dreams (more info. on that in the other pages).

Let’s get straight to the point, because I don’t know what other introductory bullshit I could write out here.

Mike let out a huff of amusement at the last line, continuing his reading.

Telekinesis: I can basically move stuff with my mind if I put a lot of focus into it. It’s the easiest power to use out of all of them, but it’s hard to explain. I just see an object, and if I want to come to me (or just lift it) I just imagine doing it—except I’m not getting up or doing anything. The object moves on it’s own and I can do whatever I want with it. I can crush the object, move it, or change it into what I want it to be. * Can be used to fix things back into place, i.e. fixing the leg of a table or reassembling a shattered window as if nothing had happened. I’m lazy, so I use this power on the daily (again, it’s the easiest to use and doesn’t require much energy) to carry my things when my hands are

Mike paused again, hearing a strange noise from the lower sections of the library. Setting the notebook down, he turned around in his seat, glancing at the closed door as if he was expecting something to come out; or at least, hopeful that the others had gotten their tokens. When the noise didn’t return Mike felt himself go slightly on edge, and set his phone down on the table—ready to call at any moment.

He averted his gaze back to the book.

—occupied. Although I’ve only done it a couple of times before, I can lift my whole body. The heaviest thing I could lift, was a double-decker bus back in London, and the most I’ve destroyed (to my knowledge) was a warehouse. 

Telepathy: I can read minds, I guess, and to a certain extent—control them. I don’t use this one much because it’s hard to get used to being in another person’s head. It’s like having a second body, while still being in your first one. I can control another person, tell them to do things, and in return (if I allow them) they can look into my mind as well; but they can’t control me. At the moment, I refuse to look into anyone’s mind because shit, I wouldn’t want someone to read mine.

“Shine”(?): I can’t find the words to explain this one really well, but from what Maturin told me (a.k.a the giant cosmic turtle I see in my dreams), I can see things that other people can’t. It’s usually things from the past, and most of them are bad things. Other times, I can hear the thoughts and memories (not on my own accord) of other people. I keep dreaming of a town, and this awful creature that keeps trying to get to me. It’s clothed in crimson and reeks of death...I think Howard has a shine too, because he told me he’s seen some stuff back in Bethesda. I’ll have to ask him about it later, though.

Teleportati

Mike paused again, hearing the noise return, except it was louder now. In the back of his mind, Mike couldn’t help but think that he heard a bleat. Frowning, Mike closes the notebook and rises from his seat. “Bill?” he calls out, to no one in particular. “[Y/N]...? Vic?”

No reply.

Mike takes his phone and heads out of his room, taking cautious steps as he treks down the stairs. No one should be in the library except for the Losers, because he had closed the library for the week. The dark hallways, illuminated by low yellow lights, cast shadows that dance and make Mike’s heart pound. He shouldn’t be doing this, especially alone, but he has no one to help him but himself—and it was now or never. 

He’s passing through one of the bookshelves when he hears a book fall behind him. Anticipation pangs in his heart and he slowly turns around, eyes meeting with a book that he had looked at far too many times. He shoves his phone in the pocket of his jeans and bends down, taking the book in his hands and flips it over—to the page it had fallen on. His heart stills.

2 CRACKHEADS BURN IN FIRE, LEFT INFANT BEHIND

His eyes trail over the picture sadly, and he could practically hear the screams of his parents—his mother in particular—and smell the fire that burns down the house. His parents were actually really good people, from what he had heard from his late grandfather, and the town was too rotten to admit that. He closes the book, shutting his eyes as he lets out a shuddering breath.

A bleat, loud and clear, snaps Mike out of his thoughts.

Letting out a swear, he turns around suddenly and meets to the sight of a sheep in the clearing of the library, wearing a black ribbon and tiny cow bell—the same one Spring had...but Spring was dead. She had lived a fair life without slaughter under Mike’s care until he was in his mid-twenties; and they died a peaceful life of old age. And yet, she stood there with a shiny new fleece. Before Mike could approach the animal, he stopped himself, frowning.

This wasn’t Spring, Mike reasoned. This was the clown...this was IT.

He made slow, methodical steps towards the sheep that was patiently pacing throughout the room: her bell ringing every now and then. When he was in view of Spring (IT), the sheep had stopped in her tracks—eyes trained on Mike. She let out one bleat, then another, and then she was hurling towards Mike, her mouth stretching impossibly wide to reveal hundreds of teeth. Letting out a yell, he jumped off to the side to avoid IT from biting him, it’s teeth lodged in one of the bookcases.

He stumbled on his feet, and pressed his hands to his ears—too many sounds coming to mind at that moment. Children singing, sheep dying, Mike’s mother screaming for him, his friends crying out, Don Hagarty’s cries for his deceased lover. IT had freed itself from the bookshelf and shifted, bones cracking and body morphing. Bleats turned into cackles and at once, Mike was face to face with the eldritch clown. Mike stumbled backwards, fearful and too stunned to reach for his phone, waiting for whatever fate had come for him.

Pennywise’s mouth curled into a twisted smirk, teeth sharper than ever before and eyes burning gold. He takes heavy, dramatic steps towards the man, the bells of his suit mixing in with the faint sound of Spring’s bell. Mike feels the terror clutch deep inside of him, his hands digging into the floorboards while he scrambles to get up on his feet.

Gloved hands turn into gnarly glaws, and the laughter turns into growls. Pennywise halts for a moment, ready to strike, and then IT just...stops. Mike’s eyes are wider than saucers, fearful and rimming with tears (for he could only think about how he had failed his friends), but it melds into confusion.

Why wasn’t IT attacking him?

Pennywise looked deep in thought (as if he was contemplating killing Mike), just a few feet away from eviscerating Mike into pieces, and shuffled backwards slightly. And then, without another word Pennywise let out a frustrated howl and turned around, swiping at the bookshelves before vanishing from existence; leaving Mike alone with his thoughts. Much to his relief, the library doors opened—revealing Beverly and Ben. Beverly let out a frightened shriek, hands flying to her mouth as she found Mike on the floor.

“I’m okay!” he repeated, holding his hands up. “I’m okay you guys!”

“What happened here?” Ben asked, his eyes glancing at the battered library. “Was IT here?”

“Yeah,” Mike huffed, allowing Beverly to help him up. He runs a hand over his face, heart still pounding from the events of a few seconds ago. He swallows a knot in his throat and continued. “It was weird though...Pennywise, IT, he stopped himself from attacking me.”

“Why would he do that?” questioned Ben.

Mike shrugged. “He just,” Mike paused, distressed at the sight of the destroyed library. Ben helps him lift up a bookshelf while Beverly gathers some of the books that were strewn about. “...I don’t know, it was as if he was hesitant to kill me, like he was unsure about his actions. It was weird.”

Ben and Mike had shared a look of confusion, wondering what IT’s motives were. The others still hadn’t arrived yet, and the only thing that the two men could assume—was that IT was simply stalling for the time being until they Losers ventured into the sewers. Beverly, however, had a knowing look in her eyes.

Her words got to IT. 

 

Chapter Text

ACT II, PART IV

Walking down Center and Main Street had brought more memories to Eddie Kaspbrak than he could’ve ever imagined. He remembered the Aladdin Theater not too far from where he was walking, the arcade inside, and the photobooth—

After everything was said and done, Howard Randall felt that it would help ease the nerves of his niece to drive them all into town. Fresh air was what they all needed, especially since the threat was finally gone, and the police had worked diligently (for once) to find Patrick Hockstetter, as well as everything in the well house on Neibolt Street. Despite Eddie’s distress—mainly about his mother and what she’d say once he finally came back home to her—he felt happy with his friends.

He was also anxious about his medications. How much of them were genuine and how many of them were placebos? His inhaler, the only thing that he had still clung onto, was a sort of calming item that Eddie found himself keeping with himself. He felt safe using it, even if it was just water mixed with whatever that bitter taste was.

But today, he didn’t need it.

All nine Losers, including Victor Criss (whom everyone had warmly accepted), ran out of the theater: laughing and giggling along the way. Eddie followed after [Y/N] and Richie, who dumped their drinks into the trash-bin. All of them are giggling like mad idiots, shuffling and cramming their bodies into the small photo-booth. [Y/N] sits down on the chair with Bill awkwardly staggering on their lap, Mike, Ben, and Beverly shuffling to their right, Stan and Victor stick to the back (since they were both tall enough); and finally, Eddie and Richie linger on the left. Much to his chagrin (or rather, lack of it), Richie rests his head on Eddie’s head just as the flash comes on.

It was a simple gesture, and Eddie was no stranger to Richie’s antics, but it just felt different today. Eddie finds soon scolds himself for thinking in such a way; what would his mother say of him? She never liked it when Eddie hung out with Richie, she didn’t like Richie, period. His mother had always stated that—and she felt the same way about Stan and Mike—and she, in general, was just an awful person.

So as the Losers made funny faces in the photo-booth, laughing and giggling away, Eddie thought to himself: My mom’s wrong, there’s nothing wrong with my friends. At the same time, Eddie can’t help but wonder if there was something wrong with [himself].

Eddie’s thoughts are interrupted when a child runs into him, balloons flying in his face. “Hey!” Eddie barks angrily at the kid, his heart pounding and his nerves alarm. Clenching his fist and rolling his eyes he continues his walk to the Center Street Drugstore.

“Asshole,” he mutters in his breath.

The door rang with the bell that was attached at the top, and instantly, Eddie remembered this Drugstore. He remembered going here with [Y/N], who had assumed a “sisterly” role for Eddie since they met as children (though they were only two years older than him, they were protective over him). They used to grab band-aids and medicine for him whenever he got hurt. He remembered being here with Bill, Stan, and Richie—buying supplies to fix Ben up after he was cut up by Patrick Hockstetter. He remembered Greta Keene, despite his brief crush on her, how awful she was to him: especially when she scrawled ‘LOSER’ all over his cast.

He heads up to the cashier, calling out when he pauses mid-sentence—eyes trained on Mr. Keene (who was balding and possibly near-senile), who was doing something near the back counter. Eddie closes his mouth, side-eyeing Mr. Keene as he approaches him.

“Hi, I’m here to pick up a prescription,” Eddie says cooly. “For Kaspbrak.”

“Kaspbrak,” Mr. Keene said slowly, clicking his dry lips and turns to the side.

Eddie’s prescription bag for his inhaler is the only one on the counter, but still, Mr. Keene makes a show by slowly taking the bag and reading it—squinting his eyes. “Eddie Kaspbrak,” Mr. Keene repeats with more recognition. When they meet eyes, Eddie can’t help but cringe at the man’s appearance.

“Yeah,” he chuckled nervously. “That’s uh...that’s me.”

Mr. Keene nods. “I remember you...How’s your mother?”

“Oh she died a few years ago,” Eddie trailed off sadly, remembering his late mother. They hadn’t been in touch with each other in years, and Eddie had never been able to fly back to Derry to attend the funeral—there was always something stopping him from going, or visiting her mother’s grave. Sometimes it was Myra, his wife (who Eddie realized, was a lot like his mother), and other times it was his business that he needed to attend to.

Eddie continued, “She died of liver cancer—”

“What is that?” Mr. Keene asked, not hesitating to grab Eddie’s face.

“Uh don’t touch that,” Eddie said nervously. “It’s just a mole.” 

“Could be cancer,” stated Mr. Keene in a leveled tone.

Eddie’s eyes bulged. “Cancer?”

“No,” Mr. Keene said, releasing his face. “—but it could be.” Mr. Keene turns around and begins walking away from him, despite Eddie’s growing distress at his statement. “Let me get something for you, I’ll be right back.”

Before Eddie can protest, Mr. Keene is already turning a corner.

Eddie, at thirteen, watches as Mr. Keene turns a corner; watching nervously as Greta gives him a glare. She always intimidated him, with shifty eyes and blowing bubblegum all over the place, and he averts his gaze down to his cast to avoid her gaze. It had been a week since the house on Neibolt Street and everyone had been broken apart. [Y/N] was in the hospital suffering from a deep laceration across their stomach, and Eddie’s arm was broken—and from what he had heard, Bill had punched Richie in the face.

Everything was so wrong, and Eddie wondered why they even went into the house in the first place.

He bites back a shiver, remembering the clown and the drool—his terrifying eyes and gaping maw. Letting out a deep sigh and closing his eyes for a moment, he meets his gaze with Greta, who still glowers at him. “Did you come for your smelly breath pills?” she taunts.

Eddie frowns, shaking his head.

“My breath is fine.”

“My dad doesn’t think so. He says you have a tumor,” Greta’s face twists into a cruel smirk at Eddie’s horrified face. She continues in a low voice, setting down her magazine, practically giggling at his reaction. “—in your dick.”

Eddie swallows back his fear and shakes his head again.

“I don’t take medicine for that,” Eddie paused, “...wait, what did your dad say?”

Greta merely rolls her eyes and rose from her seat, taking something from her father’s hands as he passes by, dropping it on the counter in front of Eddie. It’s Eddie’s prescription and he takes it while Greta doesn’t answer his questions. “Here you go,” she says nonchalantly.

She pouts. “Hope your dick gets better.”

“Thank you,” Eddie said, lifting up the bag. His cheeks grow aflame at his response and shakes his head. “F-For the inhaler,” he muttered to himself, walking away. “...n-not the insult...about my...dick...” When he admits defeat, Eddie heads to the door and is about to leave when he hears his voice being yelled, loud and clear.

“Eddie!...Eddie-bear!”

That was his mother’s voice.

He turns around, facing a dark room in the pharmacy. He swallows a knot in his throat, eyes wide as he calls out, “mommy,” to no one in particular. He enters the room when he hears his name again, trying to not feel a pang of fear that attacks him when he heads down the stairs. It’s smelly, gross, and awful down here and Eddie can feel himself die a little bit every time with each passing second. He stumbles on his feet for a moment, and slams against a shelf, letting out a horrified scream.

There’s jars full of disgusting creatures and organs. What the fuck is this doing down here? Eddie thinks, trying to bite down the gag that’s bubbling up. On instinct, Eddie takes the inhaler out of his prescription bag and shakes it, his breathing growing ever so slightly. “Eddie!” his mother calls again. “Eddie where are you?!”

“Mommy?” Eddie asks wearily, meeting to the sight of blood-filled IV bags and needles all over the floor. Startled, he falls back again and stumbles about, sending the IV poles falling and needles breaking under his feet. At the end of the hallway, is a curtain—

—and Eddie can find himself halting in his steps as he stares at it. It’s exactly how he remembered it twenty-seven years ago: the curtain, his mother, the needles...

The leper.

“Why the fuck is that curtain still here?” he whispered to himself.

He was still clutching his inhaler like how he had done when he was thirteen. He can practically remember his mother’s screams—though Eddie, now as an adult, could easily assume that she wasn’t actually there. When he did arrive home from the pharmacy, he saw his mother sitting on the couch, as always; and had ended up berating him for not being home for the entire weekend. He wasn’t allowed outside for a week, but it was fine—as long as he could be there with his friends, though in secret, everything would be alright.

His fingers curled around the ends of the curtain, and he pulled back—

But nothing was there.

Letting out a sigh of relief, Eddie rolled his eyes and turned around; only to be attacked by the disfigured mess that was the leper. In an instant, his breathing quickened and his heart raced—tightly clenching his inhaler with all of his might. He stretched his arms out, trying to push back the leper that was obviously trying to “infect” him.

“That Tozier boy’ll infect you!” screeched his mother, her voice full of despair. “Stay away from him Eddie, or you’ll be like him too!”

A choked sob left Eddie’s lips but he knew better than that, he knew that the leper—IT—wasn’t real. IT’s not real, Eddie repeated in his mind, over and over again. IT’s not real. His hands suddenly find themselves wrapped around the leper’s neck; a strangled (angry) cry leaving his lips. The disgust was pushed back in his mind when his thumb pressed into the eye of the leper, and for once—Eddie found strength within himself. The leper didn’t seem so strong, not when Eddie could feel himself being able to stop him; stop IT.

Eddie could fight back.

“Fuck you!” he yelled, practically wheezing. “Fuck. You!”

The tighter Eddie squeezed, the more frantic the leper seemed to be, and before Eddie could do more—vomit, black and reeking of death, was spewed on his face. An endless spray of the bile was splattered all over his face, coating his hair and shirt. Screaming, Eddie pushed the leper off of him and staggered on his feet, leaving the god forsaken basement and back up the pharmacy. The glimmer of hope that was the door filled Eddie with relief, and in the moment, he grasped the handles and began to shake them.

Panicked that the door wouldn’t budge, Eddie felt fear bubble inside—and his wheezing grow worse (Oh God, IT’s coming for me, he thought.)—a woman approached him with an exhausted look, motioning to the sign.

“Push, don’t pull,” she added, “idiot.”

A sigh of relief escaped Eddie’s lips and he nervously chuckled, letting go of the handles to see if pushing would work. It did. “Oh, haha,” said Eddie. “Thank you, I’ll uh—I’ll go now,” and with that, Eddie was off: covered in seemingly “invisible” bile and his lungs so tight that he can feel his head spin. Taking a breather outside of the drugstore, he took a deep breath from the inhaler and felt relief flooding his systems.

After that, his legs carried him faster to the Library than ever before.

 


 

Victor knew exactly why he chose Derry Heights as the place to find his “token”.

Despite the fact that it was absolutely far from the heart of Derry, he knew that this was the perfect spot for him to relive his memories. After-all, this was the place where he and [Y/N] had shared one of their dearest memories together; the first out of many in their “relationship”. He remembered like it was yesterday, on the chilly night of September.

His left palm, and theirs, had healed after the day had passed. After the “blood oath” was conducted, everyone had left to their own devices—Victor and [Y/N] included. He had followed through their suggestion that they’d go to a drive-in theater later that night, so he did. Driving up Derry Heights, Lover’s Cliff to be exact, in his black Dodge Charger; he was going to make sure that his girlfriend had the night of their life. He honestly had no idea what to bring, since they were his first crush, kiss, and girlfriend—but he wanted this to be perfect for them.

“What kind of shit do girls like?” he had asked himself, taking a variety of blankets and pillows (since the night would be cold, even inside of the car). Victor paused in his actions, thinking on his question a little harder.

“Scratch that...what does [Y/N] like?”

He knew they liked anything that was handed to them, appreciating every little thing that was taken into account. So, to take matters into his own hands, Victor continued to make his dad’s car as comfortable as possible, bringing extra pillows and some snacks. Shoving a pack of cigarettes into the glove compartment box, mainly for himself (since he knew that his girlfriend wasn’t an avid smoker; but didn’t oppose it), he got the car ready and drove to the estate.

It did feel awkward to drive back to the place where Victor knew [Y/N] had dreaded to sleep in, but he didn’t make any further comments on it. It was their decision to stay there, though most of it was up to their uncle, Howard; so Victor didn’t judge. He couldn’t hold it against the man, nor could he hold [Y/N]’s decision against them. A house, a mansion at that, was better than no house—since [Y/N]’s former home on Neibolt Street had been destroyed.

After picking them up, it was nearly seven (and the curfew was lifted, now that suspicions were gone and the “murderer” was dead) and the sun had begun to set. Victor was seated in the back of the car with [Y/N], the roof gone—which allowed them to watch the movie. Several other couples were here, mainly seniors and graduates from Derry High, and Victor felt more comfortable knowing that there were others here. If anything, he looked to the other couples for advice on how to make this night better.

[Y/N] was already in a delighted mood, enjoying the movie (which was the Princess Bride) with happy eyes. Their head was rested on Victor’s shoulder, their left arm wrapped around his back, and a blanket enveloping them with the other teenager. Victor was holding them with both arms, resting his head against theirs, enjoying the moment.

Victor’s eyes darted to a few other cars with a blush rising up his cheeks, noticing that none of the other attendees were watching the movie—but doing [other] things. Victor swallowed a knot in his throat, trying to focus his attention on the movie. As long as [Y/N] was happy, he wasn’t going to pressure them into doing anything. Evidently, they were still recovering from their grief (that much was clear with the necklace around their neck, which had the ring that Robert Gray had given them), and Victor didn’t want to push them into doing things that they didn’t want to do.

“Thank you,” they said quietly.

“For what?”

“For taking me here. It feels...nice, being here with you.”

Victor’s bush grew even more. “No problem...I think this is nice too.”

After the movie was finished and everyone else left, Victor and [Y/N] were the only ones left at Lover’s Cliff. He had driven them to a more popular spot, one where you could overlook the entire city of Derry—and the rest of the night was spent gazing at the stars.

He had only done this on several occasions, mainly when he was apart of the Bowers Gang, but this time felt special. They were both resting on the hood of his car, sharing a cigarette between each other, and staring at the beautiful sky. Neither of them could point out all of the constellations, but just being in each other’s presence was enough to create a calming setting.

“I love you Victor Criss,” they whispered. They shifted in their position so that they were sitting upright, facing Victor and taking his face in their hands, their gaze soft and full of adoration. They continued, “I-I know it’s sudden, and we’re young...B-But...But I really do love you.”

“I love you too,” Victor repeated, a smile reaching his features.

“I don’t think I’ll ever stop loving you.”

Victor found himself standing on that cliff, the very same one where he and [Y/N] had gazed under the stars until sleep took them over. He shuffles through his military jacket, bringing out a pack of cigarettes—only two of them were missing. Due to his healthier habits and life-style, Victor wasn’t as addicted to smoking as he was as a teenager, but it still felt relieving to smoke every now and then. Now, he was just smoking one just to live the moment.

He remembered the feeling of holding [Y/N] against him twenty-seven years ago, staring up at the starry sky. He remembered the happy look in their eyes when they realized that they no longer had to worry about being harmed; the amount of relief in acknowledging that they were finally free. Victor closed his eyes, letting out a soft sigh, the cigarette resting between his fingers.

“You’re okay with this, right?” they asked, looking down at Victor with their beautiful doe eyes.

Victor, who was otherwise flustered, nodded sheepishly. In retrospect, he should’ve been the one to ask them that—not the other way around. He should’ve been the one to ask if they were already with this, with them being together in bed; but they were both adults, Victor at nineteen and [Y/N] at eighteen. The cold from outside prompted them both to cuddle together in bed, in the large estate in the Barrens, and everything else just...happened.

[Y/N]’s face was flushed with a rosy tint, their hair slightly matted to their skin from sweat. Victor was just as out of breath, underneath them while desire hung thick in the air. Victor was thankful that they were patient with him, especially since he had finally come out and told them that this was his first time. They were so much more experienced than him (and if circumstances were different and they hadn’t done all of those things with Robert Gray, Victor would’ve been surprised)—and they helped him along the way.

“I love you,” they said. “I love you so fucking much, Vic.”

If there was one thing that Victor loved about them, it was when they swore, because [fuck] that was hot. They shared a few more passionate kisses together, and once Victor was ready—all he knew was pleasure and love.

“Thinking sweet thoughts?” someone asked from behind.

Seemingly out of nowhere, a man stepped beside Victor: lighting his own cigarette and leaning against the railing. Victor’s nerves were instantly aflame, suspicion rising, but his eyes caught the sight of a vehicle behind him—and relaxed slightly. The man seemed harmless, though his height was a bit jarring, and looked like he was out here the same reason Victor was. Victor nodded, shuffling ever so slightly away from the other man.

The smell of smoke was thick in the air, and despite the fact that Victor should’ve been on edge, the nicotine had eased his nerves. Victor gave the man a once over: “tall, dark, and mysterious” seemed to describe the man perfectly. He was attractive but not exactly someone you’d see being a model, and seemed a bit thinner than the average person—as if he was starving. Similar to Victor when he was a teenager, his hair was a light shade of blonde and stylized with an undercut. Bags hung from his eyes and there even seemed to be bruising on the man’s cheek...was he beat up or something?

“I guess so,” Victor replied. “Just remembering some things.”

“About what?” asked the man.

“Why is it my business to tell you?”

“I’m just curious...it’s just regular guy talk.”

“I don’t even know your name.”

“Ro...man,” the man said slowly. “My name’s Roman.”

“Roman, huh?” Victor hummed, taking another drag from his cigarette. “Victor.”

“So Victor,” Roman chuckled. “What kind of memories are you thinking of?”

“Just me and...this girl,” Victor said.

“An ex?”

“No, well...”

He and [Y/N] had never officially broken up after he left back to continue his official contract with the U.S. Air Force at nineteen. The infamous “Derry Curse” had prevented the two of them from ever talking to each other, and neither of them knew that the other existed. To call [Y/N] an “ex” was a lie, but at the same time—neither of them had made it official. In the midst of it all, especially after what happened last night, Victor was afraid that what had happened would just be a one night stand.

But [Y/N] would never do that to him: they had even told him how much they loved him. Victor even felt hopeful that they’d be able to be with him, after Derry and IT, and they could run away to Wisconsin with him (or vice versa, and Victor would move to New York with them). There was no one else like them, and Victor found himself hopelessly in love, only, the feelings were stronger than they were twenty-five years ago.

“I haven’t seen them in twenty-five years,” Victor said honestly, sighing. Running a hand through his shortly-cropped hair, Victor glanced over the cliff, at Derry (which was not too far away from here), and wondered how [Y/N] was doing right now on their mission. He turned to Roman, who looked at him with an unreadable expression.

“Twenty-five years?” Roman questioned. “Seems like a long time...Do you think that they still love you?”

“I...I’m sure that they do,” Victor paused. “We, uh...we hit it off last night.”

“Oh really?” Robert rose a brow, his gaze more blank than expressive. “How’d that go.”

“I think their...ex kidnapped their dog,” Victor said, not wanting to share any other details with the man. However, he didn’t hesitate to insult Robert Gray (or IT, whatever the hell that thing was) with all of his might. “Fucking crazy bastard,” he muttered under his breath, though loud enough for Roman to hear. “He’s absolutely nuts. Wouldn’t hesitate to strangle him if I had the chance.”

“Is he really that bad?” Roman asked, though he seemed disinterested—and even, unconvinced—that the “man” that Victor was talking about; was a bad person. Roman finished his cigarette faster than Victor and snuffed it out underneath his shoe, turning around and shoving his hands in his pockets. Roman’s blonde hair fell over his face, and Victor couldn’t help but feel bothered by the sight.

He looked too much like himself.

“It’s not my place to share this,” Victor replied calmly. “...but he used to...h-hurt them.”

Roman gasped, but Victor could tell that it was fake. Victor’s shoulders tensed at this, a bit uneasy at the gesture, and tried to distract his suspicion by staring at the bruises that Roman had sported on his cheek. He took a pretty hard punch, and the faint bruises looked like they were going to get worse at any moment. Roman brought out another cigarette and lit it, taking a hit from it.

“What about the dog?” pried Roman. “What do you think’s going to happen to their dog?”

“I don’t know,” Victor muttered, shaking his head. “I’m just afraid that the guy’s gonna kill him...My girlfrie—...my friend they...they need that dog to go through the day. Their dog’s a service dog.”

“Oh,” Roman sighed. “And you think that this girl’s ex will really harm the dog?”

Victor shrugged, frowning. “He’s hurt them before, and their uncle...What’s to stop him from hurting animals?”

“Jeez,” Roman chuckled dryly. “Is he really that much of a monster?”

“Yes. In fact, I think he’s worse than a monster.”

“Maybe he’s just doing this for his gir—your girl’s self interest.”

Victor’s face scrunched up in disgust and he swiftly finished his own cigarette, stomping it under the heel of his boot. He side-eyed Roman wearily, crossing his arms and distancing himself from the man. Who the fuck thinks like that? Victor questioned wildly, his suspicion for other blonde growing even more.

Is this guy nuts?

“Are you out of your fucking mind?” Victor asked. “What makes you think that?”

“Just a hunch,” Roman shrugged, holding his hands out in defense. “You never know what’s going on in the…mind of the ’abuser’. There can be all sorts of things going on in his mind...Maybe he’s really in love with them, and wants them back.”

“They’re not an object,” Victor grit angrily, clenching his jaw. “Love is earned, not taken.”

Victor paused, still not taking his eyes off of Roman—just in case anything out of the ordinary had happened. He had no other reason to think that this man was hostile, but the more words that came out of his mind, the more Victor felt his doubt grow. He continued, “...and besides, if he really wanted them back, then he wouldn’t kidnap their fucking dog. That’s just cruel, and does nothing but ruin his reputation in their eyes. If anything, he just signed his ticket out of their life.”

Roman tilted his head, his expression still blank. “You seem so sure of that,” he whispered quietly. “—and what makes you think that they still love you...What makes you think that they won’t go back to him?”

“Why are you so curious?” Victor asked. “It’s not your business.”

“No, I suppose not,” Roman sighed, backing off. “We are, after-all, just two strangers.”

A thick silence, thicker than the smoke in the air, filled the space between Victor and Roman. Victor’s phone buzzed in his pocket, prompting him to take it out and read a message that was sent, one that made his lips slightly twitch upwards—as much as he wanted to stop the smile from showing on his face.

It was a text message from [Y/N].

Hey, just letting you know that I’m alright atm. I’m walking through the estate right now and it looks the same as it did twenty-five years ago? Probably just some reality-bending bullshit from Robert. I haven’t seen him, nor heard Bobby, and I’m getting worried. Don’t worry, I can handle myself.

The phone buzzed with another text.

I’ll let you know if anything happens.

And then another came, this one causing Victor's face to flush slightly.

Stay safe, Vic. I love you. <3

“What’s that?” Roman questioned, peering at the screen.

“It’s a text from my girlfriend,” Victor said, with more confidence this time. He couldn’t help but notice the way Roman’s lips twitched into a brief frown at Victor’s statement before it melded into muteness. Victor sighed, ready to make his way back home—though, the walk would be far, and he’d probably have to call a cab.

“I have to go,” Victor apologized. “Sorry—”

“Did you need a ride?” Roman asked, a little too calmly. “I can drive you back into town.”

Victor, despite his suspicion, agreed; but made sure that the passenger’s seat was accessible from the inside. Roman had already seemed suspicious from the beginning, and Victor didn’t want to end up on a missing poster. Sure Victor was physically stronger than the other man, but he had no idea what this guy’s motives were. During the entire ride back into Derry, Victor was completely silent while Roman began to play classical music from the radio.

Roman had talked during the entire ride, not expecting a reply.

“Some old man busted my face, in case if you’re wondering why I have bruises.”

“—knew him way back when...I’m surprised he can still punch.”

“People can be really crazy sometimes.”

“It gets so lonely here in Derry...I miss...”

Victor merely huffed, rolling his eyes at all of this.

“I have cookies,” Roman blurted out of the blue after the car became eerily silent again.

Victor, still intent on keeping his silence, merely looked out of the window. Thankfully, Roman was driving up Mile Hill and Victor could see the Public Library from where he sat in the car. However, the smell of cookies did entice him a little—and it had been a while since he had indulged in sweets. Still, the suspicion of the man didn’t merit Roman a response.

“How do I know that they’re not poisoned?” Victor questioned. “I mean, no offense. Thank you for the ride and everything, but I still have no idea who you are...How do I know if you’re not trying to kill me, or kidnap me or something?”

“Relax,” Roman chuckled, pulling over. “My grandma made these cookies.”

The thinner blonde had turned his body slightly, reaching into the back of the car, and returned with a container in his hands. Just as he had said, there were exactly ten cookies in there—cooked to absolute perfection. Victor waited for Roman to open it, practically glaring at the other man. “Not one for laughs, are you?” Roman muttered to himself, reaching inside and taking a cookie; leaving nine left.

Roman made a display, eating a cookie and showing that he had swallowed everything, and Victor felt safe in the slightest when Roman didn’t drop dead—or vomit all over. Victor thanked the man and took the tub of cookies, exiting the car. He watched as the car drove off without a second to spare; and let out a sigh. “Why’s it always the weird ones that talk to me?”

He throws away the cookies without a second thought.

 


 

To say that Richie Tozier wasn’t nervous was an understatement.

He was absolutely nauseous, and wanted nothing more than to leave Derry as soon as possible.

Screw the fucking curse, he thought to himself.

What makes any of them think that we’ll stop IT as adults?

He already felt his stomach clench the moment he was all alone, after dropping Eddie and Stan off at their respective locations (Mike and Bill seemed to be fine traveling on Derry by foot after they all ate); and the feeling grew worse with every passing second. He was not too far away from the Center Street Drugstore, a nearly eight-minute walk for him, and he wondered how Eddie was fairing on his own “token searching”.

The idea seemed like bullshit to him, if he was being honest with himself. If anything, why couldn’t they just send [Y/N] down there and have them finish the job themselves? They were literally the only one who could’ve been able to stop IT; since obviously, they had fucking powers, and they did have some sort of...relationship with IT.

Maybe it was selfish to think like that, but what other choice did they (any of them) have? Richie didn’t want to die, and he’d rather die before he turned forty-five than to relive this living nightmare again. But of course, like in any of those movies that Richie had seen, they all had to go down there and kill IT. There was no escaping this fate, much to Richie’s chagrin.

“That’s fucking Derry for you,” Richie muttered to himself, hands shoved in his pockets.

He was disappointed to see that the Aladdin Theater had been closed down, along with the arcade, and it seemed like it had been like that for quite some time. He reached a hand through the broken door, grasping the rusted handle and forced it open—the smell of dust and moldy papers filling his nose. “Do you know how fucking dangerous it is to be breathing in this stuff?” Richie could practically hear Eddie saying right now.

The man hadn’t changed, the main thing being his height—and god forbid if Eddie grew enough to surpass Richie. He’d never hear the end of it from Eddie that he had managed to grow taller than the trashmouth. Despite that, the only other thing that had irked Richie: was the silver band on Eddie’s ring finger.

It’s been twenty-seven years Tozier, he scolded himself. Of course he’d be married!

Of course, that didn’t ease his nerves in the slightest. Letting out a heavy sigh, he stared at the broken arcade cabinets with nostalgia: remembering all of the times that he spent here. There was one memory in particular though, one that prompted Richie to slide out a token from the machine—

—and slides it into the arcade cabinet.

Kids and teens were laughing and playing, with Richie enjoying his time with a boy his age. He was dark-haired and had a strong jaw, similar to how Victor (whom Richie hadn’t seen since “the fight” at the hospital) and Stan looked if the two were mashed together. But he did have something that was almost familiar to him, but Richie could not recall where.

“Damn, you’re good,” said the boy, once Richie managed to defeat his player.

Richie smiled, nodding. “Thanks.”

“I gotta go,” the boy said. “Sorry—”

“Wait!” Richie exclaimed, grasping the last few tokens from the arcade cabinet. He was absolutely nervous, and he really did enjoy this boy’s presence...so what did he have to lose? “How about we play another round?” suggested Richie. “I-I mean, only if you want.”

By God, if his tone already gave it away, then his nervousness did as well. Richie knew that he fucked up the moment that he saw the boy’s demeanor change: one into that of confusion and suspicion.

“Woah, why are you being weird?” the boy asked. “I’m not your fucking boyfriend.”

Just as the boy said that, four well-known bullies exited the theater. Richie’s face paled, seeing Peter Gordon, Patrick Hockstetter, Gard Jagermeyer, and Moose Sadler all in the same spot. And then Richie came to a realization when his eyes trailed from Peter Gordon, to the boy in front of him. The boy looked like he was related to Peter fucking Gordon.

The arcade became silent, and to Richie’s horror, Peter Gordon caught the last of the boy’s words.

“What the fuck’s going on here?” asked Peter.

The boy angrily turned around, his features drawn deep into a scowl. “You didn’t tell me,” he turned around for a brief moment to motion at Richie, “that your town was full of little fucking fairies!”

“Richie fucking Tozier?” questioned Peter, stepping forward. “You’re trying to bone my fucking cousin?”

“I-I-I—” Richie stammered, unable to form words.

Everyone was staring at him, and the longer that they did; Richie Tozier, the trashmouth and king of words, had nothing to say for once in his life. His eyes darted between Peter’s cousin and the man himself, nervously and anxiously. It just happened to be a coincidence that he had done that, and he couldn’t help the fact that he enjoyed Peter’s cousin’s presence; he couldn’t help it.

How was he supposed to know that they were related?

How was he supposed to know that he was going to react that way to Richie’s request?

He was deathly afraid of what all these kids thought of him, of what his [friends] thought of him. You know what they’d say about you now, Richie thought, panicked. They’d all think you’re disgusting. Before Richie could form a coherent response, Peter stepped forward and yelled.

“Get the fuck out of here you fucking fag!”

The words spiraled Richie’s mind further into despair and he found himself heading out of the arcade as soon as possible, to spare himself any further humiliation—whether it was from Peter Gordon, his cousin, or Patrick Hockstetter (who was leering humorously at him). He ran until he was at the Town Square, sitting on a bench in front of the Paul Bunyan statue; and he could do nothing else but cry.

“Fucking idiot,” he said to himself. “Stupid fucking—”

He would’ve continued to berate himself, if it weren’t for the man who stopped him. He looked like he was around his dad’s age, with peppered hair and a stylized mustache: something he’d see from people who lived on West Broadway. He also looked tired, however, as if he was completely exhausted.

Weirded out that the man would even bother spending the time to talk to him, who was fourteen, Richie wiped his tears away and came up with a snarky remark. To his surprise, he found out that the man was [Y/N]’s uncle, who had come to visit after the teen was hospitalized. A few words were shared and Howard Randall, that was his name, had even opted to beat whoever had caused Richie this distress.

You wouldn’t want to know the reason though, Richie thought. You wouldn’t want to know why they were bullying me.

But Howard was generous enough to spare him off of the topic, and Richie did feel a little better being in his presence. It beats going back to his home and cry, where his parents were unable to help because he was “too complicated” for them to understand. Bless their hearts though, because they really did care about their son; but he was just too hard to understand.

Nobody understands, Richie concluded. No one will understand what I’m going through.

Even now, twenty-seven years later, Richie still felt that same struggle inside of him. Only, instead of coming to terms with it—he buried that part of himself deep inside until he found himself disgusted by the idea of accepting it. Growing up in Derry was hard like that, especially to him: where he could be killed or go—

“Missing!” exclaimed Richie, clutching the poster in his hands.

His knuckles were practically bone-white from holding the paper so tightly, the mustiness of the demolished Neibolt House filling his senses. He ignored his friends’ concerns and could only focus on his picture on the missing poster. It was bound to happen. He’d go missing if someone ever found out his “secret,” and in reality: ”missing” was a sugar coated term.

He knew what happened to boys like him who were “caught” and he had heard it from Bowers himself, before he died, what he did to “little fairies”. Richie’s breath quickened and tears were threatening to spill out at the sight. He was missing, he was gone.

He was dead.

And his friends were going to find out why he was—

Richie’s thoughts came to a halt when a man bumped into him, amidst the surprisingly busy Town Square. There were people out, and it seemed as though the last of the 4th of July parade (even though it was July 12th now) was beginning to wrap out. He looked at the man, perplexed and ready to let out a string of swears when the man interrupted him.

“Derry, Maine Festival tonight,” the man said turning his head. Richie’s eyes widened in alarm when his eyes caught sight of his face: which was mauled to bits, accentuated by dead white eyes. The man’s lips, if you could even call them that, curled into a cruel smirk. “Hope to see you there, handsome.”

The man turned around without another word, leaving Richie to his frazzled thoughts. He looked down to read the piece of paper that the man had given him and paled in response.

In Loving Memory of Richard Tozier
March 7th, 1975 - 2016

And just like what happened at the house on 29 Neibolt Street, Richie could feel his fears bubble up once more. “That’s my name! That’s my face! That’s my birthdate! That’s me!” he screamed, turning to Bill to point at the missing poster. He swallowed a knot in his throat and let out a swear, eyes darting over to the invitation with growing terror. His fingers trembled at the paper, grasping at it tightly, and for the second time in his life: Richie was at a complete loss for words.

“Did you miss me, Richie?” a voice called, prompting Richie to look up.

Lo and behold, was Pennywise the Dancing Clown, sitting on top of the Paul Bunyan statue. In his gloved hands, was a series of red balloons—stacked to perfection in a strange, upside down pyramid. If Richie had looked any further, then he would’ve noticed the strange bruise (faint but evident) on the clown’s cheek. The paper in Richie’s hands fell and he stumbled back, eyes wide and his throat growing tight. It seemed as though everything and anything around him had grown still, as if time had stopped in that brief moment. People stood still and cars were stuck in one spot, heck, even a dog was still mid-air from catching a frisbee.

While Richie was speechless and scared shitless, Pennywise continued to talk.

“...because I missed you,” he whined. “No one wants to play with the clown anymore.”

I can see why, Richie thought, still too stunned to say it out loud.

Pennywise’s dramatic features, twisted into a deep scowl before it was elevated: his gaze trained on Richie. “Play a game with me, would’ya? How about Street Fighter—?” he paused, his delight growing by the second when Richie’s expression fell even more.

Even the clown fucking knows, Richie lamented.

“Oh yes, you like that one,” Pennywise giggled. “Or maybe: truth or dare?”

“You wouldn’t want anyone to pick truth though, right Richie? You wouldn’t want anyone to know what you’re hiding?”

At that moment, music had seemed to fill Richie’s ears, filling the void that was his mind, with a crescendo of trumpets and chimes—a tune that would’ve sounded goofy, if it was playing in any other circumstance. Richie stumbled backwards even more, the closer that the clown came, hearing a crude mockery of song escape his painted red lips.

“I know your secret!” Pennywise taunted, over and over, relishing in Richie’s terror. As his boots touched the ground, Pennywise let go of the balloons, taking a large step forward—while Richie stumbled back. “Your dirty little secret!”

“Should I tell them, Richie?” he asked, smirking at the distressed man.

Richie heaved, stumbling back on his feet and stood upright, not knowing what else to do but close his eyes. “It’s not real,” he repeated. The music seemed to fade, and a weight lifted from his shoulders. Still, he was unrelenting and was afraid to open his eyes. He continued, “It’s not real. This isn’t real….”

When his breathing calmed, and no attack came to him, Richie’s eyes opened and saw—

“Gotcha!” Pennywise cackled, nearly a hair away from Richie’s face.

He let out a scream, stumbling back while the clown continued to laugh and laugh. Just as Richie was about to go into a full sprint, whether it was to the Public Library or back to the Town House—because Richie wanted nothing more than to escape this nightmare—Pennywise was about to lunge out at him...

But a bloodied fist, slightly worn with age, met with the eldritch’s cheek.

Richie, unable to comprehend the sight, was quickly pulled away from the scene (by the collar of his jacket nonetheless) by his savior. The clown let out a strangled noise and stumbled back, taken aback by whoever had attacked him. Richie’s legs carried him until they were at the junction near Center and Main Street, and the man finally released Richie—who let out a series of choked gasps.

“Motherfucking Mother of Mary,” the man groaned, grasping his back.

Still gasping for air, Richie turned to the man, taking a hard look at him. The man was sharply dressed but clad in simple attire, and was taller than Richie, old but grizzled. He had a well-trimmed beard and mustache, but had a few open cuts on his lips and cheek—reminding Richie of a certain uncle from twenty-seven years ago—and a bloody fist; which looked as if it had been cut up by glass. The man, disheveled, averted his gaze to the speechless comedian and at once, Richie knew who he was looking at.

“Howard fucking Randall?” Richie said. “What the shit happened to you?”

“Some fucking stuff that I’d never thought I’d experience in my life ever again,” he replied simply.

Richie lets out an unattractive snort. “Same, boomer.”

Howard scrunches his face at the derogatory name but complied nonetheless, still catching his breath. He swiped the back of his hand against his face, wiping away the blood from his lips and busted cheek. He asked, “You’re one of my niece’s friends, aren’t you?”

“You don’t remember this beautiful face?”

“No, sorry. My memory has seemed to fail me ever since I entered this goddamn town.”

“Yeah,” Richie nods. “I know what you mean...” He paused, unsure what to say next. Feeling the need to lighten the mood, Richie straightens his posture and stretches his hand out. “Richie Tozier,” he reintroduced himself, flashing a weak grin at Howard.

“Tozier,” Howard repeated, shaking his hand.

“Ah, Richard. I remember you. You were the one with the loud mouth.”

“Yup, that’s me. Trashmouth, born and raised...er, scratch that last part out.”

“Where’s [Y/N]?” Howard asked, looking around—as if that would merit him an answer. “I got their letter saying that they went back to Derry, and I nearly forgot why...if it weren’t for the fact that I was nearly killed for coming here.”

 


 

Hours Prior

Howard Randall found everything to be a blur at that moment.

On impulse, he had punched “Robert Gray” square in the jaw before punching through the passenger door’s window (after realizing that the handle and lock were jammed from the inside). His right hand, bloodied and cut by the glass, opened the door from the outside and soon enough, Howard was sprinting as far as he could from the estate.

Leaves and gravel crunched beneath his feet with each step he took sprinting. He let his legs carry him to the closest road, having paid attention to the road and his surroundings ever since his former driver, Tom, had started to act sketchy. Howard was grateful for whatever forces had allowed him to run so far, because he was sure that the monster was chasing after him.

Every step brought him deeper and deeper into his memories.

His niece in a hospital bed; meeting Robert Gray in the Town House; moving to the estate; seeing Robert Gray thrash his “charge”; Robert’s fists against Howard’s face; the estate being destroyed by an unseen force; the fact that a tree had died under his niece’s touch...

Too much had happened too fast, and Howard now found himself in a heavily panicked state. Minutes passed by as he ran through the Barrens, his heart pounding rapidly to the point where he thought he was going to have a heart attack. He passed by the bridge with a red overhang—he remembered his niece and their friends calling it the “Kissing Bridge”. Whether it had been an hour or a few measly minutes, Howard didn’t care. He could only focus on the memories and the fear in his heart.

He didn’t care if he looked crazy to the locals that he passed by, his hand still bleeding and his face cut up from the forest and car. Howard didn’t give a damn; he practically lost his life there! When he reached somewhere near the bustling areas of the city, Howard caught his breath, hands on his knees and his mind spinning.

And then, when things finally seemed to calm down, time had stopped.

 


 

“—and that’s how I found Richie,” finished Howard, motioning to said man.

The six adults nodded in interest, everyone taking a breather back at the Public Library. They had been listening intently to Howard’s store, intrigued by his presence overall. It was almost a mimic of what had happened twenty-seven years ago. The Losers were reunited together, and Howard Randall was here (once more) to berate them on their venture into the sewers.

Eddie, having medical knowledge, had helped Howard with his minor injuries and all seemed fine for the moment being. Bill, Stan, and [Y/N] had been the only ones who hadn’t arrived yet, and the others were starting to get antsy. The day was nearly done, with it being around four in the afternoon, and none of the adult Losers had felt too pressed on staying.

Richie had been completely adamant on his decision to leave Derry and “screw the mission,” until Eddie had coaxed him out of his thinking. Besides, Stan had spared his own life for the chance for everyone to live theirs—and Richie didn’t want to disappoint Stan from that. Until the final three Losers came back to the Library, the plan had been postponed.

Victor was in the lounge, pacing back and forth with the phone in his hand. There was a wild look in his eyes, and everyone could tell from just the way he was glancing at every little thing. He had already been on edge from whatever he had been though (none of the Losers had elaborated well on what they had experienced throughout the day), and the lack of his pseudo-girlfriend’s appearance pushed him even further.

“They’re not answering their phone,” said Victor, panting. “What if something happened? What if he got to them—”

“They’ll be okay Vic,” Beverly coaxed in a patient voice, giving him a sympathetic look.

“Just give them time.”

“What if they’re hurt, or what if—”

“Don’t get your dick in a twist Criss,” Richie snorts, though if one looked close enough; the distress and fear in his own eyes. Though, his fear seemed less on the lack of the three members of the Losers Club being present—and more on the events from earlier in the day.

“My niece will be fine,” said Howard. “They’re strong...they can handle it.”

“But not him!” Victor grit out, tossing his phone on the recliner. “Who knows what twisted shit he’s saying or doing to them?! You all know what that sick bastard did to them! If I ever get the chance again, I’d gladly strangle him—”

“Okay can everyone please shut up!” Ben said, voicing everyone’s current thoughts. He turned to Victor, walking up to him and gently placed a reassuring hand on the man’s shoulder. “Vic, I know you’re stressed right now, but it’s only been a few hours—”

“—and every hour is crucial,” interrupted Victor.

“I know Vic, I know, but we should give them time. Besides, I just got a text from Stanley,” Ben rose his phone, motioning to the text messages on his screen. “...and he said that he and Bill are both fine, so [Y/N] should be fine too.”

“You don’t know that,” Victor sighed. “Look, I’m just...I’m just going back to the Town House to change and take a breather...let me know if you guys hear from [Y/N].”

Before anyone could retort, the retired veteran had already left the Library, and headed outside.

 

Chapter Text

ACT II, PART V

Bill Denbrough walked anxiously down Center Street, turning his head back every now and then.

He felt eyes everywhere on the back of his head, watching his every movement until he was practically breathing heavily without a second thought. Shoving his hands in his pockets, blue eyes darting to and fro from the street to the sidewalk, Bill couldn’t help but reminisce about the past once more—back before IT...

“So, w-wh-what are you d-doing for Valentine’s Day th-th-th—this year?” Bill asked, tilting his head up.

“I don’t know,” [Y/N] shrugged, fixing their coat with gentle hands.

“Why?”

“I-I-I—” Bill stammered, unable to find the words to say.

He had been planning to ask them out for weeks, ever since last year’s Nutcracker Event at the Dance Hall. [Y/N] had turned just shy of fifteen, and Bill was now thirteen years old; and, Bill had promised to himself that he’d try to at least ask them on a date before giving up. In actuality, in the back of Bill’s mind, he had never considered giving up to be an option, considering the fact that [Y/N] was “single” and one of the nicest girls that Bill had known in his life.

Bill could never have the courage to tell them how much they mattered to him, especially since they used to hang out with Victor Criss—one of Henry Bowers’s closest friends and lackey. But neither Victor nor [Y/N] had talked to each other since the beginning of middle school, and Bill had found himself seeing [Y/N] more and more ever since they entered seventh grade (with him being eleven in 1986). Ever since [Y/N] and Victor had separated, and essentially stopped being friends, Bill had found the gentle teenager to be lovely company.

Bill turned his head away, his cheeks flushed a rosy tone—though he did try his best to hide it. Did you want to go on a date with me? Was what Bill had intended to ask, but instead, more stutters and stammers came out: pushing Bill further and further onto the edge of embarrassment.

[Y/N], being themselves, with their curious eyes and patient smile—gently urged Bill away from the intersection and towards some chairs outside of a diner. They sat across from him, a sympathetic look in their eyes at his distress.

“It’s okay,” they said. “Take your time, Bill.”

Bill nodded, choking out a thanks at their patience and understanding nature. Under his breath he began to repeat a poem, one that his mother had given to him to help with his stutter, over and over.

He thrusts his fists against the posts, and still insists he sees the ghosts...

He thrusts his fists against the posts, and still insists he sees the ghosts...

He thrusts his fists against the posts, and still insists he sees the ghosts...

Finally, when Bill had the courage to speak up, he did: his voice meek but full of determination. He shuffled in his seat, the weight of their gaze overbearing and powerful, as if Bill had to prove something to him. He didn’t have to, but he always felt so empowered in their presence, lifted by it even—which was probably one of the reasons why he admired (and adored) them so much.

“I-I,” he stammered, licking his lips. “I-I-I was c-curious if you wanted t-to go hang out with m-me tomorrow?”

“Of course I’ll hang out with you! I have no other plans tomorrow.”

“O-Oh, right...”

“What did you want to do tomorrow, Billy?”

“I—” he cut himself off, turning his head away to hide his flushed cheeks. It was hard for him to hide his composure, especially with his stutter, when he was around them; but somehow, he managed. “I w-was just wondering if you wanted t-to go to the Quarry with me.”

They tilt their head, motioning to the snow that was pushed to the sidewalks. “It’s cold outside though,” they continued. “Don’t you just want to hang inside of your house with Georgie? If not, we can just go to my place—”

“Yeah!” Bill interrupted, nodding eagerly.

Of course Bill didn’t oppose hanging out with his little brother, but sometimes Georgie was just...too much for him. He took every opportunity to not be with his brother. With [Y/N] being around, Bill did everything in his power to make sure that he was able to spend as much time as he could with them. He bit back his embarrassment when he saw amusement in their brown eyes, full of a type of mirth that made Bill’s heart swirl. 

“We can go to my place right now,” they suggested. “It’s pretty cold outside and I don’t want to freeze my butt off any longer.”

Bill’s lips turned upwards in a small smile, his eyes twinkling. “I’d like that.”

Bill paused in his thinking, mid-step, staring at the pawn shop with wide eyes.

Displayed at the front of the store, was Bill’s bike: Silver, rusty but still standing tall and proud. An elated half-sigh, half-chuckle escaped his lips—his legs already carrying him into the pawn shop before he could stop himself. The building reminded Bill of the Public Library before it was renovated, an old-book type of smell that filled his brain with nostalgia.

He couldn’t help but feel his heart soar at the sight of the bike, and watched as an old man—Bill remembered him to be Johnny Royce, from the few times that Bill did come here as a child—entered from the back of the shop, raising a brow at Bill.

“How can I help you?” Mr. Royce asked curtly, resting his hands against the cashier counter.

Bill smiled, pointing to Silver.

“Y-Yes,” Oh God, I’m stuttering. “—I’d like to a-ask about the b-b-b—”

“Baseball cards?” Mr. Royce asked, unhelpfully. Bill felt his cheeks run hot with embarrassment; every time he tried to say bike, but failed to, Mr. Royce tried to fill in Bill’s words with items throughout the pawn shop.

“Bowling ball?”

“Banjo?”

“Beaver—?”

“The f-fucking bike,” Bill finished frustratedly, clenching his teeth.

Mr. Royce crossed his arms, raising a brow at Bill’s profanity. “If you’re going to use language like that, take it out on the street.”

“Sorry,” apologized Bill. “Can we just start all over and pretend that I just entered?”

Mr. Royce looked like he wasn’t going to comply with Bill’s request, but stopped himself from frowning—letting out a sigh. Mr. Royce uncrossed his arms and leaned against the counter, fixing the baseball cap on his head. “How can I help you?” he asked, his eyes full of mischief and mirth.

“Thank you...” Bill trailed off. “I would like to buy the bike.”

Mr. Royce nodded but paused in his actions, squinting his eyes at Bill.

“Aren’t you Bill Denbrough,” he added, “the writer?”

“Yes. That’s me...That bike right there? She used to belong to me.”

“Really?” Mr. Royce said. “Well, it’s mine now. But you are a famous author...so if you really want it, you can afford it.”

Bill let out a breathy sigh, shaking his head. “Well, how much?”

“$300,” Mr. Royce said, chuckling at Bill’s reaction. “Hey, you can afford it.”

Bill nodded, reaching in his pockets to bring out his wallet—shifting past his cards to fiddle with several twenty dollar bills. Mr. Royce brushed past him, muttering under his breath how he was going to get Silver while Bill brought out his payment. Bill tilted his head, eyeing the counter with delighted and amused eyes—seeing his book on the counter.

The Black Rapids

William Denbrough

Now that Bill thought about how he had written the book, he realized how similar the plot was to his childhood experiences; and not the good ones. The protagonist in his novel, cleverly named “Will” from Bill’s pride, and several friends came together to stop a murderer in a small town. Though, it did get incredibly negative reviews—especially when it came to talking about the ending of the novel. None of the friends had happy endings, forgetting each other, and the only “positive” thing about it; was the fact that Will (the protagonist) ended up with his childhood crush...

That was definitely too on the nose in Bill’s fantasies for him to not deny it.

“Hey, did you want me to sign this?” Bill asked.

Mr. Royce’s response was clear and cold.

“No...I didn’t like the ending.”

“I’ve heard that before,” Bill muttered under his breath, handing Mr. Royce the cash.

“All yours,” said Mr. Royce, who motioned to Silver.

With a smile returning to his face, Bill bounded over to the rusted bike and grasped the handles with eager hands, eyes twinkling with nostalgia and relief. “I don’t know how fast it’ll go,” Mr. Royce continued. “It’s been up there for years.”

“Believe me...she was fast enough to beat the devil.”

Just as Bill was about to head outside of the shop with Silver, something on the side had caught his eye. Amongst the glimmering rings and jewelry, which hung from one end of the pawn shop—was a beautiful collar necklace, adorned with rubies and pearls. The gems were held together by a rich gold and silver thread, and immediately, Bill thought of [Y/N].

Mr. Royce took in Bill’s expression, raising a knowing brow.

“You thinking of buying that for some pretty woman?”

They’re a-a childhood f-friend o-o-of mine.”

“Friend or crush?” Mr. Royce snorts. “You’re blushing like a madman.”

“J-Just a f-f-f—friend,” Bill clarified, turning his head away.

He added, “I’m married.”

Now that Audra came to mind, Bill felt himself wanting to push back the regret that filled his heart, disgusted with himself. Of course he loved Audra, she was such a wonderful and amazing person, but at the same time—just seeing [Y/N] there—Bill couldn’t deny that his childhood feelings had been rekindled. Ever since he saw them back at the Jade of the Orient, when everyone had seen each other for the first time in twenty-five long years (twenty-seven for Beverly, who moved to Portland in September of 1989): Bill fell hard for them again.

Again to top off the shame, he knew that they and Victor were together to some degree. Everyone could see it on their delighted faces, and the way that the two held hands together—blushing and whispering between each other like teenagers all over again—it was clear that something had happened between the two.

Shamefully, Bill felt jealous to see [Y/N] and Victor so happy with each other, but there was nothing he could do to stop them. They had been together before everyone moved on with their lives, and Bill was sure that now that [Y/N] and Victor were finally reunited—the two weren’t going to let each other go. The two were enamored with each other, and Bill tried his best to avoid seeing the mark.

That mulberry-colored bruise (A hickey!) on Victor’s neck, plain for everyone to see; had he not put on that military jacket that covered the mark before anyone else could really notice. But Bill noticed...and he had a feeling that he knew exactly what happened between the two. Throughout the entire time that all of the Losers ate at a fast food chain, before everyone went their separate ways to gather their “tokens,” Bill couldn’t help but just stare at Victor with an intense jealousy that he hadn’t felt in a long time.

But I shouldn’t feel this way, Bill scolds himself. Audra is waiting for me back home...

Why do I wish that I was in Victor’s place?

“Married, eh?” Mr. Royce asked, breaking Bill from his deep thoughts. “Well, I won’t ask...but the necklace’s free.”

“Really?” Bill had expected otherwise, considering how much he had to pay for Silver. However, Mr. Royce just waved his hand, making his way to the back of the shop again. Bill left the pawn shop: walking with Silver, a guilty look on his face.

In his pocket, was the necklace.

 


 

The Derry Synagogue on Main Street stood tall and proud over Stanley Uris, filling Stan’s heart with dread and anticipation. The place had always terrified him—even though Stan was a devout believer, this specific synagogue had filled him with fear—and the longer that Stan stared, the more his apprehension grew.

He’d never thought that he’d see this place, this building, in twenty-seven years. Of course, such things were never possible; especially with what horrors Stan had seen ever since he left Derry. The thing is, he never forgot about Derry—or about his friends, which was why he was so quick to answer the phone call from Mike.

“IT’s back...isn’t it?” he asked in a whisper, his eyes wide and his hand trembling.

“Yes...you need to come back too, Stan.”

“I-I—” Stan subconsciously shook his head, his breathing growing slightly shallow. Before he could raise any suspicion from Patricia, his wife, Stan briskly put Mike on hold and told Patricia that he’d take a quick shower. His legs carried him up the stairs until he locked himself in the bathroom, his eyes darting at the bathtub with horror in his eyes.

He had remembered, time and time again, dreaming of this specific time and date for twenty-seven years. He still bore the scars on his face from Judith (IT), faint little marks that surrounded the outer ridges of his face. His hands trembled even more at the visions, the memories—the sight of himself, wallowing in a bathtub full of water and his blood.

But that isn’t him right now; Stan’s better than that. He knows what will happen if he goes in that tub. He knows what he’s leaving behind—Patty, his job, his family—if he gets in that tub. He knows what happens to his friends, his childhood friends, if he gets in that tub. And so, instead of filling the bathtub with water and undressing himself—Stan leans against the counter, still holding the phone to his ear.

“I’ll try to be there as soon as I can,” said Stan.

“Good...” Mike let out a sigh of relief. “See you there Stan the Man.”

Patricia had been extremely understanding of Stan’s situation, to which he explained as a “business emergency,” and he wasn’t far from the truth. The Losers were his family, and he was going to make sure that nothing would happen to them. He had packed his bags and took a plane to Derry, albeit it was delayed due to an unknown reason, and relieved every little nightmare that he had experienced.

He entered The Synagogue and—

—walked away from the bimah, microphone in his hands and his eyes darting across the faces of the adults and children who watched him. His heart raced, intimidated by the amount of eyes watching him. A chorus of “amen” had passed after Stan finished his previous line, and he could feel himself growing more anxious by the second.

“Reflecting on what I just said,” he said. “The word ‘meshane’ comes up a lot, which means to change or transform. Wh-Which makes sense...since today: I’m becoming a man.” Stan paused, meeting eyes with Richie—who was the only one who was able to attend. He continued. “But it’s funny...everyone has memories that make them proud...more than others, right? A-And maybe...that’s why the change is so scary. There’s things that we’d like to leave behind.”

“The rumors we want to silence.”

“The nightmares we want to wake up from.”

“The memories we want to change.”

“The secrets we have to keep.”

“And the good memories?” Stan pauses. “...those are the parts of you that are the easiest to lose. You don’t want to forget. And maybe, that’s what this day is about...Forgetting, right?”

“Thank you, Stanley,” his father said, reaching for the microphone.

Stan recoils, turning around and staring at his father with a defiant gaze in his eyes—standing his ground despite how afraid he is. He’s not going to back down now. He’s not going to be afraid; he can do this. He turns around, continuing his speech with a tremble in his voice that fades away. If he can survive the clutches of an eldritch monster at the Neibolt House (albeit he didn’t actually go inside like the others), then he can survive finishing his speech.

He doesn’t care if this is exactly what his father doesn’t want—all Stan wants, is to prove a point to the adults of Derry. All of them look like he’s speaking blasphemy, like he’s saying some sort of radical belief. But he’s not.

He’s speaking the truth.

“Today I’m becoming a man,” he continued, “but I don’t feel any different than I did yesterday. I know I’m a loser, and whatever happens...I always fucking will be.”

A chorus of gasps filled the synagogue as Stan dropped the microphone and headed for the door, a slightly giddy smirk reaching his features when he heard one person—probably Richie—clapping. He could feel the judgmental stares of everyone as he walked out, but he didn’t care about that. He could only focus on the feeling of pride and hope that filled his chest.

He sat in the pews, hands folded in his lap with a smile on his face. It felt nice to relieve himself of his ailments and memories, especially the ones that tormented him everyday. He left the building without another word, satisfied with himself—his token, the shower cap, still in his pocket. After walking down the street for a while, his phone rang and he fished for the small device: reading the caller ID.

“Hey Pat,” he said with a smile, now turning towards Witcham Street.

“Hi honey...how’s everything so far?”

“Everything’s fine.”

“I just wanted to wish you an early happy birthday. You’re probably busy but—”

“No, no! You don’t have to apologize...thank you.”

“Anything for you, honey.” A pause. “I love you, Stanley.”

“Love you too, Patty. I’ll try to be back at the end of the week.” And with that, Stan hung up and continued his walk down the street. Just as he was about to make his way back to the Library, he heard an all-too-familiar chant echo down Witcham Street.

“Hi-ho Silver, away!” Bill bellowed, leading the four others down the street.

Stan was third in the “bike line,” side-by-side with [Y/N]—who turned their head to him with a giddy smile on their face. Richie and Eddie were biking in the back, everyone showing the same enthusiasm in following Bill’s trek down Witcham and Jackson. Stan closed his eyes, relishing the feeling of the sun on his face, and the wind through his hair.

Of course, Stan wasn’t too far away from the origin of the sound, but by the time that Stan had arrived at the scene—Bill was on his behind, breathing heavily with a haunted look in his eyes. Something was in his hand, a piece of yellowed paper that was folded into some sort of origami...a boat?

“Bill?” Stan asked, prompting the other man to turn his head.

“Stanley,” Bill replied, rising to his feet. “I-I-I—IT...IT g-g-gave m-me...”

Bill was unable to finish his sentence, still trying to catch his breath as he began pointing at the sewer grate. With grim understanding, Stan realized that this was the very same sewer grate where Georgie went missing...where he died. He placed a reassuring hand on Bill’s shoulder, squeezing it gently.

“It’s alright Bill,” said Stan. “Just breathe.”

Bill nodded, looking down at the paper boat with somber eyes.

“Th-Th-This w-was the b-b-boat that I m...m-m—made for Georgie.” Bill turned the paper boat over, letting out a soft sigh as both his (and Stan’s) eyes landed on the label that was written with a permanent marker.

S. S. Georgie

“Do you need a minute?” Stan asked, tilting his head. “We don’t have to go back to the library right away.”

“No, no—I-I...I’m f-fine Stan...it’s okay.”

Nodding, Stan sent a quick text to the others before shuffling awkwardly on the back of Silver. It was a miracle all together that the bike didn’t break down under the weight of the two adults—the bike was still strong, albeit rusty and old, to this day. As Bill began to bike back towards the library, Stan couldn’t help but notice something glimmering in the back of Bill’s pocket.

 


 

You found yourself back at the Morning Diner.

You couldn’t muster up the courage to head back to the estate, no matter how much you were determined to find Bobby—it was just too much for you to handle...which was how you ended up talking to Joseph, who was still alive at fifty-two and running the diner. You were sipping on a peppermint milkshake, dipping fries into it (even though you weren’t a fan of the food mashup; you just wanted to get your mind off of everything), while Joseph bombarded you with questions. All the while, you couldn’t help but feel a slight sting in your cheek; as though someone had punched it.

You hoped that no one but IT was hurt.

Thankfully, Joseph didn’t seem to remember your...outburst when you tried to confess to him about your previous relationship with Robert. You left everything else out, and merely explained your presence in Derry as just you wanting to visit your parents’ graves. You planned to do that sometime later, and hopefully before the day was done—because the moment you all ventured into the sewers, there was no going back.

“How many kids do you have, Joseph?”

“Two,” he laughed. “Both of them are sons.”

“What are their names?”

“Noah and Lucas.”

You nodded absentmindedly, enjoying the calm mood. You swirled the colorful straw in the cup, which was now half-empty, a weak smile on your face. The music that played in the background was serene, calming your tired nerves—but your face still held distress. Joseph tilted his head, curious at your change in mood.

“Why the long face, [Y/N]?”

“I’ve always wanted kids,” you noted in a soft voice. “...but I can’t.”

It was one of the many things that Robert had taken from you. Ever since the attack back at your former home, back on Neibolt Street, the extent of your injuries had been revealed to you in the hospital. Sure, you didn’t want to go through pregnancy—but it still unnerved you to know that you were incapable of creating a child ever since that day came.

I’m broken, you conclude. I’m a broken person.

You wondered if Robert knew...but would it matter to him? He never made any indication that he wanted children, and considering his “diet”, you were sure that children were on the last thing on his mind. Still, you weren’t sure if either of you were capable of that—seeing as though you were two different species; but at the same time, you were the same (to a certain extent).

You held back a shudder, suppressing your anger towards Robert at the possibility of him lying to you about your...compatibility. The two of you knew about your fears, with this one coming close to your fear of death, and to imagine him still doing that with you? You found yourself nauseous and no longer wanting to eat.

You fished out a twenty dollar bill and placed it on the counter, giving Joseph a patient smile. “Keep it all,” you continue. “You deserve it Joseph, thank you for talking to me...it was nice to see you again.”

You briskly left the diner, turning a corner towards Richards Alley, making sure that no one was looking. Your hands were still trembling, though it wasn’t noticeable, and your heart still raced. Did you want to go back to the estate?

No, absolutely not.

What you wanted, was a nice hot shower.

And so, you felt the ground beneath you fall and you passed through the endless void in a brief secondly: your feet settling in front of the Town House. Worriedly, you checked your phone, noticing that there were—“Holy shit, you guys,” you muttered under your breath, eyes wide. Your phone had blown up a lot throughout the day (even though you spent nearly half of it at the diner), and as you scrolled through, you read through many messages, and swiped passed missed calls.

Billy (5 Missed Calls)

Bev (4 Texts; 1 Missed Call)

Mike (3 Missed Calls)

Stanley (2 Texts; 1 Missed Call)

Vic (3 Texts; 8 Missed Calls)

Losers Chat (20+ Texts)

“Oh my god,” you said. “They’re probably worried sick about me.”

You opened the Losers Chat, typing a quick message that would hopefully ease everyone’s nerves. Many of the texts were just about what everyone had been through during the day—with Richie sending a horrific amount of ‘memes’ and ‘vines’. You scrolled past those, and other than that, the question about your absence was mainly left to those closest to you: hence the missed texts and calls from your private chats with the others.

You ran a hand through your hair, sighing deeply while you placed your phone back in your pocket. The Town House was empty, save for the receptionist (who was there for once). He wasn’t interested in you, merely huffing as he returned to scrolling on his own phone, uninterested by the events occurring around him.

Heading up the stairs and into your room, your heart clenching at the sight of Bobby’s vest, you barely made it to the restroom when you heard a knock on your door. Raising a brow and feeling slightly on edge, you called out, asking who it was.

“It’s just me, Victor!” came the reply.

How did he know I was here? you wondered. Did I pass by him?

Letting out a sigh of relief, you opened the door after glancing at it for a moment, watching as it swung open: revealing Victor’s tall frame. You felt yourself immediately calm down in his presence, rushing over to him and wrapped your arms around him—pressing your face into his chest. “I’m sorry I worried you guys,” you muttered. “I was just...I was just so worried about Bobby, and I...I couldn’t...it was too much for me.”

“It’s fine,” Victor replied, returning the hug. “I came back here to take a quick shower and breather.”

“I completely understand.”

“Good,” he let out a relieved sigh, closing his eyes. “Thank you.”

“Do you want to use my bathroom?”

“Actually, now that you’re here, I have something else in mind...”

Before you could question him, he pressed his lips against yours; a gentle gesture that made your eyes flutter. Now that’s a way to greet someone, you think humorously, but you didn’t mind. In fact, this was probably what you needed—and especially after making amends with him, you found yourself touch-starved and in need of approval and love; something you were used to receiving twenty-seven years ago.

You moved your hands up his back, wrapping your arms around his neck while he guided you further into the room, closing the door. The back of your legs met with the bed and you fell over, grunting quietly as Victor climbed over you, lacing your fingers with his. His lips captured yours once more, and you suddenly found your need and want growing more than the stress in your mind.

Victor pulled away for a moment, his eyes blown wide with adoration and lust—taking in your flush appearance greedily. You helped him shrug his jacket off and pulled his shirt over his head, running your hands over the expanse of his skin. You let out a breathy sigh, feeling his lips press over your neck, kissing in specific places that made your toes curl and the need grow.

There was a slight dominance to his actions, which was surprising given how gentle Victor was last night, and you weren’t sure if that was because of him being a big on edge—or something else. He had never been too forward with his actions, always taking care of you (or you guiding him), so to see him this experienced and well-planned in his actions was a surprise.

“Oh Vic,” you moan, raking your hands down his back. “Angel, sweetheart—Oh h-honey, I-I...”

Victor runs his hands all over you as if he had felt you for the first time. You pulled him closer to you, wanting nothing more than to be rid of your own clothes and get it over with. Victor licks a wet stripe along your neck, suckling along your pulse in a way that makes you see stars. He grinds against you senselessly, the friction causing you to push your hips up. “Just like that,” he pants, his voice trembling.

“You know how much I love those noises, darling.”

Before you could take off your shirt, a few hasty knocks resonated from your door, followed by someone grabbing the doorknob and shaking it frantically. What you heard next had made your blood run colder than it already did. “[Y/N]? Are you in there? The others and I have been trying to text you. If you’re in there...please tell me.” Your breath stilled and you felt yourself die.

That was Victor's voice.

“Victor” went still above you, slowly pulling his face away to take in your expression with blank eyes. A knot had formed in your throat, staring wide-eyed at him (IT) with flushed cheeks and fearful eyes. Your breathing quickened before you opened your mouth to scream, only to have it muffled by “Victor’s” hand, your noises drowned up. “Victor” gave you a look, Robert’s look, which made you shut up immediately and your hands still, your plan to use your powers practically nonexistent now.

Silence passed, and then Victor’s—your Vic—footsteps went down the hallway outside, leaving you alone with “Victor”. You were stiller than a block of ice, the tremble in your hands and eyes more noticeable now. Finally, after agonizing seconds (or was it minutes?) passed by, “Victor” finally spoke—but it came out in Robert’s voice.

“If I remove my hand,” he continued, “will you be good?”

“Will you keep your promises?”

“Will you do everything I say?”

“Trust me, this is for the best if you just listen.”

“Be good for me, darling.”

Like clockwork, you nodded eagerly—tears nearly brimming in your eyes.

Disgust filled your heart when you felt his other hand brush the pooling liquid away, the concern on “Victor’s” face; evident, but unclear as to whether or not if it was genuine. After looking for any signs of deceit, “Victor” removed his hand, but was still pinning you on the bed. His hold on you eased slightly, noticing the way you were growing more panicked in the compromising position. You inhaled sharply, still frozen but finally finding the urge to speak.

“Why Bobby?” you asked, your voice coming out in a hoarse whisper.

You shifted uncomfortably underneath him, frustrated by the heat in your stomach, the rage in your heart, and the panic in your mind; all clashing together. “Victor” tilted his head, and within moments, he was Robert. You avert your gaze from him, not wanting to meet his eyes nor the fact that he was still shirtless.

“You made me very mad,” he whispered. “But that’s okay...you didn’t know what you were doing.”

“But y-you...you took Bobby! Where is he—!”

Robert frowned, causing you to shut your mouth, glaring into your faded crimson eyes. He moved his hands so that they were pressed alongside your face, but not actually touching you, while the rest of him was nestled between your legs—still clothed. “Be quiet,” he ordered in a sickeningly gentle and soothing voice. “You already know what happens when I’m mad, don’t make this any harder on yourself.”

You clenched your eyes, releasing a shaky breath—pushing back an awful memory.

Robert continued, “Your mutt is safe.”

“But where is he?”

“In the Neibolt House,” he answered honestly. “Wait here.”

His weight was lifted from you, and his smell only became a lingering presence, causing you to open your eyes and sit upright—breathing heavily. You looked around the room, no longer feeling (or seeing) him, and if you wondered if it was best for you to chase after Victor. But it was futile; Robert had you right where he wanted you.

You were scared to do anything else but—

—listen to him after Robert threw you to the ground.

You were unable to sleep after that, terrified out of your mind and still healing from whatever had happened to you in the Barrens—when he drove you there saying that he was “going to show you something”. Your back was passed against his, his arms wrapped around your middle while you looked outside of the window, wondering if he was awake. Your wrist burned and so did your neck; the bruises would be worse now, for sure.

You wiggled under his hold, hopefully to try and break out of it—he had locked the door so there was no use in escaping—and shuffle away from him. “Your” bed was big enough for two people, though just barely. Every time you tried to move, he would tighten his hold on you and pull you closer to him, filling your heart with fright; and giddiness.

This was what you dreamt of for a month and a half, right? You wanted to be with him, away from the world, and he was the one to walk up to you—and ask if you really wanted to do this. You did, and now, after experiencing a horrifying event that you couldn’t remember, you were in Robert’s house. But you didn’t like being here, you didn’t like the way he held you: like a toy. You didn’t like being scared, you didn’t like being hurt.

Robert was scarier and much angrier than you thought him to be.

A shiver, full of both disgust and something else, ran down your spine every now and then—when Robert inhaled slowly, telling you that he was in fact: very much awake the entire time. Your eyes stung from crying, and from staying up for so long (how long had you been awake?), and you wanted to do nothing more than sleep...but you couldn’t.

You were too scared to sleep, especially when Robert was wide awake. There was something unsettling about him being awake, that made your insides crawl. You shifted again, making him emit a low groan—once more—and hold you tighter. “You’re so tense,” he murmured, his voice causing you to freeze.

He didn’t sound tired in the least bit.

Your voice came out meek and soft, still hoarse. “I’m scared.”

Robert responded by inhaling sharply again, pressing his nose into the nape of your neck, groaning again. “I know you are,” he replied, his voice low and husky. He...sniffed again, eliciting another wince from you. “...so afraid, so full of fear.”

“You hurt me,” you continued. “W-Why?”

“Like I said, I’m doing this for you. I had to.”

“I-I—”

“You don’t know any better...let me do this for you.”

You were doubtful but also very afraid, and so you did the only thing you could do.

You listened to him.

You swiped the back of your hand against your face, letting out a shuddering breath as you recollected yourself. You fixed your shirt and hair, feeling violated that you were used like that—that Robert used Victor’s face to get to you, and you didn’t even feel his presence. You were getting out of touch, and that wasn’t good.

You wanted to scrub your body raw and cleanse your mouth with bleach after realizing who you were kissing. You wanted to cry until your voice was raw, scrub your eyes out to rid the sight of Robert’s face being there instead of Victor’s. You felt like trash now knowing that you were kissing the wrong man (who wasn’t really a man).

What if Victor walked in?

What would he say at that?

Would he be mad at me?

What if he told the others?

You bite back a sob by crossing your arms, pressing your nails into the insides of your forearms—distracting your mind with the pain. If Robert really wanted you back with him; he wouldn’t torment your friends, kidnap your dog, or pretend to be Victor. He wouldn’t do all of these things, if he loved you. You didn’t think that he loved you, especially now.

He was obsessed with you; or rather, the idea of being with you.

He seemed to relish the idea of “playing human,” and went along with your antics twenty-seven years ago—celebrating Christmas, his “birthday,” and all of the other little things. Heck, he even showered and brushed his teeth even though he had no need to. Was this a distraction from what he really was? A monster?

“I’m so stupid,” you muttered to yourself. “Stupid, stupid, stupid...”

And before you could continue your self-loathing, the air around you changed and Robert was back. But he was also back with—“Bobby,” you breathed out, letting out a startled gasp, shuffling back on the bed.

Bobby wagged his tail and jumped on the bed, kissing your face and hands, almost letting out a soft whimper at the sight of your arms (which weren’t bleeding or anything, but they did bear crescent-shaped marks from your nails). You hugged him as if he was going to disappear from your sight again, letting out incoherent sounds—forgetting who else was in the room.

“Oh Bobby,” you cried. “Bobby, my best friend, my baby.”

A cough resonated from the corner of the room, prompting you to look up. You frowned, seeing his mildly half-mute, half-”fed up” face showing clearly. Was he expecting you to crawl back to him just because he brought Bobby back? Did he think that bringing back Bobby would change anything that happened in the past forty-eight hours?

“What?” you questioned.

“I’m not getting a ‘thank you’?”

“Why should I thank you when you kidnapped him in the first place?”

“Would you rather that I killed him instead.”

You gasp, pressing a hand to your mouth. You glared at Robert, protectively holding Bobby now with a fire that brimmed in your crimson eyes. Your other hand curled into a fist, but you made no move to attack him. “You’re a monster,” you whispered, your voice almost muffled by your hand. “Would you really do that?”

Robert’s face twisted into a grin, though you weren’t sure if it was genuine. “Darling,” he drawled out, taking one step towards you. “I am the Eater of Worlds...I am death and destruction. I killed Georgie, I killed your parents...and I won’t hesitate to bring the same sentiments to your friends. What makes you think that I wouldn’t think of doing that?”

You stared blankly at him, eyes wide and jaw agape. Your breath stilled, your mind unable to comprehend everything that he had spewed out to you; the cogs in your mind turning in overdrive. And then, without another word, you let go of Bobby—letting out an angry half-yell, half-cry—and for the second time in your life...

You fought back.

 


 

You grabbed Victor’s arm as soon as he entered the room.

Your “outburst” was clearly heard throughout the entire building; in addition to the destroyed room that crumbled under the pressure of your powers. Your other hand was curled around Bobby’s collar, making sure to not choke him but still keep a steady hold on him. Robert was long forgotten after you vengefully threw him, pain wracking your entire body at the feeling of him being hurt, and you did everything to ease your angry mind.

Victor had exchanged a few questioning and worried queries; none of which you answered. Your face was twisted in an angry snarl, eyes prominently red, and your heart pounded faster than before. Too many thoughts raced in your mind at that moment, and you needed to get away before your mood got worse.

Without warning, the ground fizzled beneath your feet, and brought Victor and Bobby with you—tiredness and exhaustion rising the longer you used your powers. Seconds later, you were in front of the Library; while Victor let out a string of swears. Bobby was indifferent and was more concerned on your well-being, jumping on you as soon as your legs gave in and you fell to the ground, breathing heavily.

“Shit [Y/N]!” Victor exclaimed, bending down to your height. “Are you okay? What happened? What the fuck was that—?”

“Shut up,” you muttered, closing your eyes. “It was Robert, he was there.”

“Did he hurt you?”

“No, he pretended to be you.”

Silence followed, and then a quiet “oh” left Victor’s lips. You let out a heavy sigh and continued to distract yourself with the pain in your heart and body, and the exhaustion that was slowly taking over. There was only one thing on your mind now, and it was all you could focus on in the remainder of the night—where you all (the Losers and Bobby, plus Howard; who you were also angry at for coming to Derry, not to mention the additional anger at Robert for nearly killing him) spent your time in the Library.

But once tomorrow came, you knew what you wanted to do.

You wanted to kill IT, and finish this once and for all.

 

Chapter Text

ACT II, PART VI

You were more than exhausted, but nothing could get you to sleep.

You had been awake but leaning on the edge of sleep, the pills from yesterday starting to kick in fully—leaving your mind drowsy and your thoughts muddled. After the incident at the Town House, no one was allowed to go there. A simple wave your hand and the tell-tale crimson in your eyes persuaded the owners of the Town House, as well as the police in the area, that a pipe with too much pressure had burst—causing the explosion in your room.

Dealing with that entire ordeal left you tired and out of energy at ten at night, but you couldn’t find the urge in you to sleep; not after what had happened between you and “Victor”. You didn’t share the extent of what had happened to Victor (your Victor), avoiding the entire conversation all together. You just wanted to stare out the window of the library, the others huddled together in sleep since the Town House was inhabitable—Mike was kind enough to provide blankets and pillows for you all.

You were running your hands through Bobby’s fur, your loyal canine fast asleep, when you felt the couch dip; prompting you to turn your head. With cautious eyes, your gaze fell on Bill’s form—unsure if this was really Bill. The event from today had really messed you up, setting your paranoia and anxiety aflame.

“Hey,” you said quietly, when you deduced that Bill was in fact: Bill Denbrough.

“Hey, wh-what’s keeping you a-awake?”

“Nothing, really. I’m just really, really mad...at IT.”

“Oh,” Bill paused, unsure how to respond.

“D-Do y-y-you want t-to—”

“No,” you answered briskly, frowning. “No, I don’t want to talk about it.”

An uncomfortable silence passed between you two.

Bill continued with a meek, “I g-got something f-f-for y-you.”

That got your attention, prompting you to return your gaze back to him—raising a brow. You honestly didn’t intent to look so rude, judging by the cringe-wince in Bill’s stature you probably looked like death personified, but you were too tired to put up your brave face. You didn’t have the energy to care about your appearance—you were just...you, being you. The corners of your lips twitch upwards and your eyes soften slightly, to make yourself less hostile.

“What’dya get me, Bill?” you asked, tilting your head. “When did you get it?”

“I found it i-in a pawn sh-sh-shop,” he answers honestly, reaching in his back pocket, “...w-when I was g-getting Silver.”

“I’m surprised that no one threw Silver away,” you let out a dry chuckle. “She was pretty beat up when you brought her here.”

“Yeah...” Bill trailed off, leaving you to curiously glance at his form—barely illuminated by the low yellow lights of the library. Soon enough, after rummaging through his back pocket, a faint jingling noise made your curiosity grow even more. In Bill’s hands, glimmering under the light, was a beautiful ruby-and-pearl necklace; one that made you gasp out of shock.

“It’s beautiful Bill,” you fawned, not daring to take it. “How was it even free?”

“The owner t-told me that it was f-f-f—free...that I could g-give this t-to a pretty w-w-woman.”

You were about to reply with gratitude, but the last part of his response made you frown once more. You looked at Bill with a scolding gaze, eyebrows furrowed in sympathy and disapproval. Bill was always easy to read, even without his thoughts projecting onto yours, and the tell-tale blush in his cheeks didn’t help either.

“I can’t accept this Bill,” you said plainly, shaking your head. “Give it to Audra.”

“But I-I—”

“No,” you snapped. “I won’t take it. I...I know what you’re trying to do, Bill.” You paused, letting out a heavy sigh while shifting in your seat; so that Bobby could rest peacefully sprawled over your legs. You continued in a somber voice. “I can’t.”

Bill’s face paled,. “I-It’s not wh-what you th-th-th—”

“Bill,” you grit out. “I know that you like me...I’ve known it for over thirty years.”

That got him to shut up, eyes blowing wide as if he was caught with his hand in the cookie jar and the oven. You could practically hear the questions running in his mind, his throat going dry. He lowered his hand, caressing the necklace with a regretful look in his eyes.

“Was I really that obvious?” He asked.

“Yes Bill,” you said.

You felt like a complete asshole by confronting him about this, but you couldn’t just sit there and let Bill’s infatuation over you get in the way of his relationship. If the fact that Audra (Denbrough) Phillips looked like you wasn’t enough, then it was the fact that Bill was really going out of his way to impress you that pushed you over the edge.

Sure, you were being a hypocrite by thinking that he should’ve gotten over you—clearly you were still head over heels for Victor, and vice versa—but Bill was married; he had a life ahead of him. He had a woman back home, a beautiful woman at that, who was expecting him. You weren’t going to be a wedge in their relationship.

“Victor and I are together,” you stated. “I’m sorry, Bill but...I can’t just let you pine over me...Audra is a wonderful woman, and I can practically tell that you’re ready to throw everything away just for me. I know what love looks like, Bill, I’m in love right now. I love everyone, I love my friends. I love Victor, Beverly, Stan...everyone...I love you Bill.” You inhaled sharply, preparing yourself for the one thing that was going to hurt your heart the most.

“...but I’m not in love with you.”

You turned your head away before you could take in Bill’s expression, afraid of confronting his hurt and pain—his anguish at the fact that his perfect dream was crumbling. It was something that needed to be said for a long time, and you wonder if things would be different if you told him early on. You bit back the tremble in your voice and the tears in your eyes; hearing him take a deep, shuddering breath, followed by him audibly holding back a choked noise.

“I understand,” his voice was quiet, threadbare. “I-I know, it’s j-j-just...You’re the only o-one who u-u-understands.”

“There’s plenty of people who understand you, Bill. Beverly, Ben, Victor, Mike...all of us: we care about you,” you paused, looking up at the moon that shone through the window—feeling almost nostalgic at the sight. “We’ve all been through the same things as you. There’s no need to feel so attached to me...I’m not worth the trouble of sacrificing your marriage for a childhood crush.”

“B-But you...” Bill trailed off, defeated. “I...I’m sorry, [Y/N]. I know...”

You finally avert your gaze back to him, releasing a heavy sigh.

It hurt you to see him so broken, so afraid at this revelation; but what more could you do? You leaned over, making sure not to wake Bobby up, and wrapped your arms around Bill—intent on calming him down. He tensed under your hold, but you could tell that his heart fluttered nonetheless. You murmured in his ear, “There’s something I want you to do, when we’re all done with Derry.”

“W-What is i-i-i—it?”

“As soon as you go back home, I want you to swoop Audra in your arms and give her that necklace. I want you to tell her how much she means to you, I want you to forget this crush you have over me...I want you to be happy, Bill. And you don’t need me being with you to be happy. There’s so many people better than me...and I can see that you do love Audra, just...don’t let me hold you back.”

Finally, he replied. “Okay, [Y/N]...Thank y-you. I really needed that.”

“It’s no problem,” you said with a smile, pulling away from the hug. You motioned your head to where Bill had been previously sleeping, the exhaustion returning once more. “Now, go get some sleep Bill,” you giggled softly.

“O-Only if you sleep t-too,” he paused. “You need it.”

“Don’t worry about me, Bill. I’ll be fine.”

“Alright,” he shuffled away from the couch. “Goodnight, [Y/N].”

“Goodnight Bill.”

 


 

You had woken up early, still cautious as ever.

After fastening Bobby’s vest on, and changing into a fresh pair of clothes, you were ready to head out when a hand dropped on your shoulder. Jumping slightly, you turned around and saw Victor—relief flooding your senses. This was indeed, Victor Criss, and he looked like he was going to head out as well.

“What are you doing up?” he questioned.

“Probably the same reason as you,” you shrugged. “I’m taking Bobby out for a walk.”

“Let me go too.”

“Oh, you don’t need to do that—”

“Please, I don’t want you to be alone.”

You chuckled. “Me neither, Vic.”

You led the way, Bobby walking obediently beside you while Victor walked on your right, your hand laced with his. You wondered how Howard was doing, since he was still asleep, and you’d have to persuade him to leave Derry; before things got ugly. Now that you knew that he had come here, on his own accord, you needed to prevent him from trying to play hero—if Robert could easily snatch Bobby in the night, what would stop him from taking Howard as well?

Shit, he was damn near close to doing that.

You frowned, thinking about what he had said to you yesterday—the words leaving a bitter taste in your mouth. Clearly, he was extremely upset that you continued and persisted on being with Victor and your friends; and that his “hold” on you was fading. Twenty-seven years apart and a year of fear and abuse did that to your relationship with him.

“What are you thinking about?”

“Hm?” you turned your head to Victor, raising a brow.

Your cheeks flushed in embarrassment, mixing in with your mild anger and distaste towards Robert (IT); thinking about him had elicited strong feelings of anger, and it was starting to frighten you. You weren’t an aggressive person, but Robert was really good at making you feel like one. To be honest, it was frightening—how aggressive you were in Robert’s presence—as if something primal and ancient woke inside of you.

That wasn’t far from the truth, actually.

You, your lights, were “technically” (and probably) as old as IT; that much was obvious in the fact that he said that he “smelled” you for millions upon billions of years. Cosmic affairs weren’t your thing, to be honest, and you didn’t want to think too much on whatever you weren’t aware of. You had an inkling to suspect that you were connected to the “Crimson King,” though his being didn’t come up in your mind. From what you had seen, he had died at the...Can’-Ka No Rey(?)—that was what the Gunslinger had called it.

There were too many connections to avoid acknowledging.

You being kidnapped by Conway? (And possibly Durham, if he was given the chance). Them both existing in the first place? The fact that the Crimson King had “crimson” in his name, and coincidentally—your eyes turned crimson whenever you used your powers? The fact that King, out of all of the surnames, was your last name? Why you were born late (by two months nonetheless!), and saw terrifying things in your nightmares? Why you felt inclined to buy Holland as a child; the Crimson King, from what you could tell, had spider-like attributes.

Heck, your dreams (which IT tried to erase), especially the one where you hacked up blood and teeth—by God, that was the most terrifying thing you’ve ever dreamt of—were no doubt a result of your connection to him. 

You weren’t stupid to not connect the dots.

You just didn’t want to acknowledge it, because if there was anything you didn’t want in life—it was to know that you were related to some sort of eldritch horror that planned on destroying...your world? Maturin’s world? All worlds? You weren’t sure; you didn’t know much on the subject. All you knew was that the Crimson King was evil and powerful, and you had a part in his diabolical plan.

The “Breaker of Beams” is what Conway called you; what the monsters in the Crimson King’s castle had called you. Maturin told you that the tower, the one you saw in your dreams, held the world together—and the beams were the “bridges” that connected the tower to every world. Maturin was a guardian of one of them, before he died. If you were the “Breaker of Beams”, did that mean that you were going to literally going to destroy the thing that Maturin was trying to protect?

Was that why you had your powers?

Were you meant to destroy?

What would happen if you destroyed the beams?

How would you even be able to go there?

Who was the Gunslinger? Why didn’t he attack you?

What would happen if the King was still alive?

Why did the Crimson King choose you?

I wonder if IT knows anything about that, you pondered. But he’d probably want something in exchange for giving me such knowledge.

You and Victor had gone silent, enjoying the sights of the vintage houses and the summer breeze on your skin; Bobby showing the same sentiments. Today was the thirteenth, Stan’s birthday, and you wanted to plan something fun for him—before all of you would have to face death and destruction.

“Do you mind going to the store with me?” you asked Victor, turning down Center Street. “I want to buy something for Stan.”

“I don’t mind,” he shakes his head, a surprised look in his eyes. “It’s his birthday, isn’t it?”

“Mhm...I was just going to buy a cupcake; nothing much.”

“I wished you could bake something instead,” he states, chuckling. “Your baking is the best.”

Your cheeks flushed, your uneasiness melting away. “Thanks, Vic.”

That’s how you found yourself, holding hands with Victor on one end, and holding Bobby’s leash in the other; scrolling through the store like old times. The supermarket hadn’t changed much, except for cleaner floors—but the smell was still the same. Afraid of reenacting seeing Robert here, like how you did when you came here with the Bowers Gang, you refused to let go of Victor’s hand, creating small talk with him.

“What kind of flavor do you think he likes?” asked Victor.

“Probably red velvet...no frosting, though. Maybe something with chocolate on top.”

“Ugh, I prefer vanilla. That’s the only thing I can handle.”

“What, in food or in the bedroom?”

“I mean—” he paused mid-sentence, eyes wide and cheeks growing slightly pink at your query. You merely giggled in response, leaning up to kiss his cheek—trying to ignore the way your mark burned (or feeling his eyes on you) when you did that. Victor merely huffed, turning his head away; trying to hide his flustered state.

“You cheeky little dove,” he murmured. “Who would’ve known you knew about that stuff?”

“I don’t know,” you shrug with a smile, petting Bobby’s head for a brief moment. “It’s just something I’ve read online. I’ve never been into the other stuff...brings up too many memories from my past.”

Victor nodded in understanding, not daring to pry any further. Finally, you found a set of cupcakes; one half vanilla, and the other half being chocolate (just to treat everyone before what would happen today, or tomorrow, depending on how ready everyone was to go). You let Victor carry that tray while you held onto a special red velvet cupcake, for Stan, of course. Once everyone was said and done, you and him were heading back to the Library—feeling slightly better than before.

Whenever you felt eyes on the back of your head, you merely held Victor’s hand tighter.

 


 

The little party was celebrated without any worry.

Everyone was having a great time, until the subject of IT returned once more. Fed up and slightly anxious, you calmed everyone down—meeting Beverly and Stan’s concerned gazes (Why did they look at you like that still?)—and decided to create a plan of action. Victor, being a veteran in the Air Force, was already inclined to bring weapons; to which you, and Mike, denied.

“The Ritual is a battle of wills,” Mike said, “remember?”

“Right,” Victor muttered, crossing his arms. “Mental power.”

“So we can’t just go in and bring a machine gun like Vicky-boy here was saying?” Richie asked, frowning.

“No,” you shake your head. “That’s not going to happen at all.”

“Uhm, hello?” Howard called from the couch, clutching his busted hand. “What about me?”

You turned to him, eyes softening at him—angry at yourself that you allowed him to end up like this. Maybe, you shouldn’t have written that letter to him; then again, Howard was smart (and you were inclined to believe that he’d find out eventually), and you weren’t going to let him become a liability. You pat Bobby’s head, motioning to Howard.

“Go to Uncle, Bobby,” you ordered, meeting eyes with your uncle. “You’re going to stay here, until everything is settled.”

“What?!” he exclaimed, rising from his seat. “I’m not going to let you risk your—”

You made your point by glowering at him, eyes crimson; Howard’s body freezing while he let out a string of swears, ordering you to release him. But you didn’t...you were an adult, and Howard should treat you like one. Howard wasn’t qualified to help—much to his chagrin—even though he proved otherwise by punching Robert twice (which explains why your cheek felt like hell yesterday; Howard could really pack a punch). He was sixty-nine, nearing seventy, and there was no way that you were going to let him risk his life before you could.

“Obviously,” you huffed in frustration, “I can handle myself. We can do this without you...besides, I need someone to watch Bobby.”

You released Howard, who grumbled in response but didn’t argue. He averts his gaze away from you, muttering under his breath. “Please,” he pleads quietly. “Be safe...you’re the only family I have left.”

“I will be safe,” you smile. “I promise, Uncle Howard.”

“Look guys,” Ben butts in, “I’m really happy that we’re settling everything, but we should go before it gets dark...”

“We’re going right now,” Mike states, nodding at Eddie’s concern. “Let’s wrap it up.”

And with that, everyone was left to their own devices—ready to leave in fifteen minutes. You spent the remainder of your time changing out of your boots and into your sneakers, and talked to Howard and Bobby. “Be a good boy for me, okay?” you asked Bobby, who only licked your hand in response, barking quietly. Satisfied, you turn to Howard, engulfing him in a hug.

“If anything happens while we’re gone,” you continued, “please don’t hesitate to leave Derry. It’s safer if you leave then stay here...I don’t want you, or Bobby, to be hurt while we’re down there. IT can’t leave Derry, at least I don’t think IT can, so you’ll be safe driving to the next town.”

Howard nodded, the fear and concern evident in his eyes.

“You’re the best uncle, Howard,” you held him tighter. “Love you.”

“Love you too, kid,” he replied, practically sniffling. “Knock that bastard to the moon and back.”

The corners of your lips twitch and your eyes sparkle with mirth. “I will.”

Once everyone was ready you grabbed Victor’s hand, and told everyone to link hands. “It’s easier if I can feel you all together,” you explained, preparing to teleport—thankfully, you weren’t as tired as you were last night. “And don’t think too much when we go through the darkness...It’s just like last time, you guys. Don’t think on it too much.”

You didn’t give anyone the chance to retort, mustering up all of the energy inside of you to transport to the Neibolt House; making sure that everyone was with you. When your feet finally met with the ground you ran a hand through your hair, letting go of Victor to gaze at the house with wide eyes. You held back a chuckle at the others’ reaction to the teleport.

“That’s...I’m never going to get used to that, Jesus,” commented Eddie.

“You’re telling me Eds,” Richie groans. “Feels like I drank too many shots.”

“Or maybe you did drink too much,” Stan retorts.

“Shut up. I only had one.”

“One too many.”

“Stan the Man, why must you be so mean to me?”

“It’s not being mean, I’m just looking out for you.”

You shuffled towards Beverly, taking in her expressions. You could feel the nervousness wave off of her, anticipation rolling down her face like waves. You nudged her with your shoulder, eyebrows furrowing. “We’re going to be okay, Bev,” you reassured, giving her a small smile. “Don’t worry about it.”

Beverly nods but doesn’t seem so sure.

She distracts herself by bending down, reaching for a stray pike—like the one she had used to stab Pennywise twenty-seven years ago. Not wanting to push her further, despite how badly you wanted to know why she was so distant when talking about your future well-being, you focused on searching for Robert’s presence. IT was really good at cloaking its presence, so you gave up after a minute or so—turning around to meet everyone’s gazes.

“Is everyone ready?” you asked.

Begrudgingly, everyone nodded, but to your surprise Stan walks up first next to you, nodding with bravery in his eyes. His eyes tell you everything you need to know. I’m with you, he seems to project, and that’s all you need to open the door and enter the Neibolt House. Fear filled your heart, but you were stronger than that. You had your friends to be there with you: and you were going to stop it.

Together.

ACT II END.

Chapter Text

ACT III, PART I

Somehow, all of you had split into individual groups.

Yours consisting of yourself, Victor, and Bill—which left the three of you in awkward silence. You led them into the kitchen, cautiously making sure that no one was in there before telling the other two to follow. Stan, Richie, and Eddie were somewhere upstairs; leaving Ben, Beverly, and Mike in the living room. The primary goal at the moment was to make sure that nothing was left unscathed, before you all headed down to the basement: and down the well.

You paused mid-step, mouth agape as you stared at the kitchen.

“Guys,” you murmured to Bill and Victor, pointing to the mess in here.

Victor’s eyes widened. “Is that...?”

Robert certainly wasn’t lying when he said that Bobby was taken care of; to a certain extent. There was a food and water-bowl, the former being filled with dog food that was (presumably) stolen. A designated spot was in the corner of the kitchen for Bobby’s waste, to which you noticed: was untouched.

He eats children and is centuries old, but can’t find the energy inside of him to clean dog shit? you mused humorlessly, analyzing the room. It hurt you to know that Bobby was in such a dark place, with all of this accumulating dusty air. You let out a sigh. “There’s nothing else to see,” you continued. “Let’s go—”

You were cut off by the sound of the kitchen door snapping shut, leaving you, Victor, and Bill trapped. Victor shouted for the others, hearing them all going through a simultaneous event; presumably thanks to Robert, who you could sense, was here. Alerted, Bill tried to force the door open but it didn’t work. Stepping forward, you focused your energy—but it didn’t budge as well.

“He’s here,” you warn. “Get ready for anything.”

What you weren’t ready for, was for the refrigerator to start rattling. You all froze, with Bill shining his flashlight on the refrigerator with a trembling hand. You held your breath, fearing for the worst, when it slowly opened; revealing...

“Belch,” Victor said, stunned.

Belch Huggins, from what you could remember, looked the same as ever; if it weren’t for the fact that his head was placed on a silver platter, and his lips were chapped and an unhealthy shade of blue. You could feel Victor freeze up, his entire frame going rigid at the sight of his childhood friend, prompting you to grab his arm.

“Vic,” you said, trying to urge him out of his shock. “Victor, honey, it’s not real. That’s not—”

“You could’ve done something,” Belch croaks out, opening his eyes slowly, directing his gaze on your lover. Meanwhile, Bill shuffles in the background, unnoticed by Belch as he looks for a weapon in the room; a knife. Victor still doesn’t move, lost in his own thoughts and memories. Belch continued, leering. “...but you didn’t, and now I’m dead...because of you.”

Belch’s head shook, rattling the fridge until his features morphed into a man’s, one whom you didn’t recognize. What you could see, were the dog tags wrapped around his neck. In the distance, your heart pounds with fright—the panic returning tenfold in waves—upon hearing your friends scream outside of the kitchen.

“You led me to my death,” the man growled. “What kind of soldier are you, Criss?”

Oh no, you think, turning to Victor. Out of all the things he could use to torment Victor with...

Victor looks more or less horrified at the sight of his fallen comrade, swallowing a knot in his throat. You make a move to either snap him out of his trance, or thrash the fridge—but you barely get to take a step when a jolting pain rips through your abdomen. You let out a pained howl, falling to your knees and clutching your stomach; something’s cutting into you.

Carving into you.

Immediately, you think of Ben and his encounter with Patrick Hockstetter.

Victor calls your name, catching you and holding you in a steady grasp—Bill now returning with concern heavy in his eyes. From the corner of your eye, you could see that the man (IT) was in a dilemma: would he continue to harm Ben, or would he spare him so you didn’t have to feel pain?

You were unable to finish that thought, the fear kicking in and your breath quickening while you clutched onto Victor’s arms, stomach lurching at the pain. At the same time, another one of your friends is being strangled; you could feel it with the tightening of your neck. “Oh my God!” you cried, clenching your eyes. “Stop it! Robert stop! Please!”

“Fucking monster!” Victor yells, turning his head to the fridge. “Is this what you want!?”

The pain lasts for a few seconds more before it fades, leaving you panting while the refrigerator closes with a loud THUD, which startles Victor. Most of the house has gone quiet, minus Victor’s concerned babble over your well-being. The pain was still there for you, even if it wasn’t there for Ben (and the other person who was being strangled), you could feel it everywhere—in both body and mind.

“A-A-Are you o-okay?” Bill questions, reaching for the door again; this time, it opens.

“Just fucking peachy,” you mutter.

Your ‘rest’ only lasts for a few seconds before you’re on your feet, and shrugging yourself out of Victor’s hold. You couldn’t give up now, even if your neck had hurt to shit, and your stomach felt like hell. Worriedly, you entered the living room to see Ben panting heavily—supported by Mike—who was staring at his stomach in horror. Beverly was facing the old, shattered television, the pike in her hands suggesting that she was the one who broke it.

“Ben!” you called. “Are you okay? What happened?”

“Pennywise,” Mike answered, shaking his head. “He...he had carved a message on Ben.”

“And the others? Where are they right now? Are they okay? Are they safe?”

“Right here!” Stan called.

Footsteps were heard down the staircase, revealing the final trio—with Stan clutching his neck with a pained look in his eyes. That was all you needed to know in your question on who was being strangled. Distress filled your gut, your mind going into hyperdrive while you were still trying to catch your breath. Everything felt tight and claustrophobic, especially with how dark it was without the flashlights.

You were falling into a panicked state, and that wasn’t good at all. You had never been through so much panic in the past twenty-seven years, and each attack made your mind nearly incapable of comprehending everything around you. Your chest hurt from the pounding of your heart; a migraine slowly worms its way into your head.

“Can we save all of the spooky shit and just have our highness teleport us there?” Richie asks, out of breath. “Shit, we didn’t have to go through all that if you just took us to the sewers right away.”

“Can’t,” you said, shaking your head. “Something’s different down there...it’s not the same.”

“So we have to go down the well,” Eddie lamenting. He mutters to himself, “Alright Eddie, you got this.”

The well looked worse than it did twenty-seven years ago, moldy and humid with a vile smell that made everyone cringe. The rope was still there, conveniently, and Bill was the first to go down once more. You were the last to go down, noticing how cramped it was in this space. It was almost humorous, to see a group of nine adults, crouching through the tunnel that lead to the sewers. Stan stuck close to everyone. When he met your questioning response, he merely responded by saying, “Losers stick together.”

God, you were so proud of him.

“Hey Eddie, do you remember the way?” Ben asked nervously. “You were our navigator before.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Eddie replied dismissively. “Just...just follow me.”

 


 

“What happened here?” Beverly asked, staring at the cistern with wide eyes.

You were equally shocked, the chest-high sewer water (or greywater, as the Losers preferred calling it) soaking everyone’s clothes. The entire cistern was flooded in water; the circus caravan destroyed and eroded from the amount of liquid. Even the tower of toys had been toppled, your feet making out brief imprints of a few of them while you sloshed through the water.

“After we killed IT the first time,” Mike explained, “the sewers flooded...it’s only gotten worse since IT woke up again.”

“Hey, what’s that?” you questioned.

Once everyone was out of the water and standing atop the caravan, you were pointing to a trapdoor with a strange symbol on it. When the others looked to you for a translation of said symbol, you could only respond by shrugging. “I’ve never seen that before,” you trailed off. “Doesn’t look like anything I’d ever seen.”

“Wait, so are we just—going in there?”

“What’s even down in there?”

“Are you sure this is safe, Mike?”

“I trust him,” you said, glancing at everyone.

Mike’s lips turned upwards in a smile, thankful that you were there to support him. He opened the trapdoor, revealing another long tunnel that led into nothingness. Your hand held Victor’s, who held yours back, for reassurance. Mike was the first to go down; then Bill, Ben, yourself, and Victor. You assumed the remaining four were having a chat—Eddie’s voice was prominent out of them all.

It filled your heart with agony to hear him so afraid of what was to come. Thankfully, Stan, Richie, and Beverly had talked some sense into him. You continued the trek down, closing your eyes out of fright at the tight, dark space. If there was something else that you weren’t inherently afraid of, but it came with your anxiety, was the fear of being enclosed in such a tight space; being buried underground.

Finally, you had reached a point at the tunnel where you dropped down. Your eyes widened, noticing that the small crack where you’d have to crawl through was a pathway to an even bigger cavern not too far away. A shiver ran down your spine, energy crackling at your fingertips even though you weren’t thinking of using your powers. The mark had pulsed even more now, and you knew that you were close to him. You listened to the others talk, still taking everything in with silent eyes; to avoid being overwhelmed.

“How long has this been here?”

“Was this always underneath Derry?”

“No,” Mike replied. “Just for a few billion years.”

That causes you to snort, a light snicker that soon passes when your eyes settle on a series of spikes and jagged rocks. Beside you Stan freezes, since he was the only one who could vividly remember the alternate encounter here. Of course, Beverly knew about this too, but not as precise as Stan—who had “lived” through the possible events.

You looked up and focused, your eyes widening once more. “Holy shit,” you uttered out, both amazed and horrified by the sight. It was as if millions of teeth, or rocks (it was hard to tell, even with your good sight) were surrounding the cave; like a giant mouth. The spikes indicated a force of impact...was this were IT landed when it came to Earth?

You followed Mike into the center of the impact spot, forming a circle. You all fell silent, listening to Mike’s every word as he explained the Ritual. In the back of your mind, you wondered what IT was doing—was it simply waiting for Mike to finish for IT to make it’s grand appearance? Was he tormenting a child? Was he thinking things through? No matter the reason, it didn’t matter.

IT...Robert: he crossed the line, and he was going to pay for that.

“We need to kill IT,” Mike explained. “But its not just the clown that we’re trying to kill. We want to kill IT, and so, we’ll need to attack IT in it’s true form...”

“Is IT a puppy?” Richie asks, trying to lighten the mood. “Like, a pomeranian?” He’s met with the deadpanned faces of everyone, which causes him to slump and admit defeat, shoving his hands in his pockets.

“The deadlights,” you muttered.

Mike nodded. “Exactly.”

His face fell into seriousness as he ordered everyone to hold hands, just like how you all had done during the blood oath. Your hands were joined with Victor’s and Bill’s, just like before. And just as you thought that nothing was going to happen, that IT was stalling, the cavern was illuminated by a bright light.

All of a sudden, you fell through the ground; letting out a panicked scream. A screech, akin to a half-giggle, half-yell (“Time to play!”) echoed through the nothingness. Your grip on Victor and Bill loosened, leaving you free-fall in the darkness until it faded into a bright light.

And then, your body made contact with a soft bed.

You shot upright, heaving with fear filling your mind. You called out for anyone, for Victor, for Mike, for Beverly—but no one answered. Your panic soon melded into confusion when you looked down at yourself, surprise filling your mind. This was your body...twenty-seven years ago.

You were wearing a dress, like how you used to do. Your hair fell over in loose curls, the blankets under you soft and silky—the room was painted a soothing shade of honey brown. You knew this place. You were in Robert’s room, and a simple check for the date on the clock, an old one at that, made your blood run cold. 

May 1989.

 

Chapter Text

ACT III, PART II

Bill finds himself submerged in water after everyone fell through the floor, water filling his lungs and his heart pounding faster than ever before. He recovers soon after, eyes peering through the murky darkness to find a light—was it up, or was it down? Bill feels as if it is both, but swims towards the tiny glimmer of hope until fresh air meets his lungs; causing him to release a gasp.

He wipes a hand over his mouth, frantically searching for the others—and meets a different sight instead. He’s in a basement, his basement, and the tell-tale sound of footsteps urges him to turn around and see...himself. Him at thirteen, wearing the same clothes as he did the day Georgie died, staring not at him; but past him.

Bill turns around, meeting the object of his doppelgänger’s fancy, and in the corner of the room, he can see Georgie. His eyes widen, the sight reminding him of when Pennywise pretended to be Georgie. “You’ll float too, Billy!” Bill turns his attention to his doppelgänger, taking in his reaction. As expected, his doppelgänger looks horrified and haunted by Georgie.

“I lost her Billy,” Georgie said, stepping forward. “She was too fast for me.”

IT remembered that Georgie and I called boats ‘she,’ he thought.

Bill’s doppelgänger shakes his head, swallowing a knot in his throat exactly the way that Bill would’ve done. His doppelgänger inches closer to the edge of the stairs, barely touching the water. “I-I’m not m-m-mad at you,” his doppelgänger chokes out, tears brimming his eyes. Bill watches the scene, unsure about what IT was trying to accomplish.

“This is all your fault, isn’t it?” Georgie continued, frowning. “You weren’t really sick that morning...right?”

Bill recoils, eyes widening at Georgie’s claim—which wasn’t far from the truth.

It was raining today, and Bill didn’t feel like going to school.

Used to practicing a typical cold, he coughs and coughs early in the morning until his throat is sore and his sinuses hurt. His mother and father believe him, as always, and allow him to stay home. Maybe he could be able to snag a quick visit from [Y/N], knowing that they were always concerned for him whenever he was ‘sick’. Instead, Georgie files in the room, happily bounding towards him.

“I wish you weren’t sick,” Georgie pouts. “We could’ve played outside together.”

“I-I-I can’t,” Bill shakes his head. “But...”

He pauses mid-sentence, leaning over the side of the bed, passed the clean, rolled up tissues; and grabs his drawing notebook resting on the side of the drawer. He shuffles out of bed, making a scene by feigning exhaustion in his steps, before plopping down on the chair in front of his desk. Downstairs, his mother plays the Claire de Lune.

Georgie watches curiously as Bill tears out a page from his notebook and begins to fold it. Georgie makes a noise of excitement to see that Bill is making a paper boat for him, writing “S. S. GEORGIE” on the side. “Go get the paraffin,” Bill orders, watching as Georgie nods happily and bounds out of his room. Bill lets out a sigh of frustration, wishing that his brother left him alone for once.

The guilt comes faster than the shock, his expression reflecting his doppelgänger with precision. ‘Georgie’ wasn’t lying, and IT knew exactly what made Bill tick. His heart races and his mind pounds, waiting for his doppelgänger to reply.

“No,” his doppelgänger said. “N-No, I w-wasn’t...I was j-just pretending, b-b-because I didn’t w-want to play...” Bill watches sadly as his doppelgänger lowers his head, muttering under his breath. “I-I just didn’t w-w-want t-to...”

Bill averts his gaze to Georgie, who glowers at Bill’s other part, stepping forward.

“You lied,” Georgie growled, “and I died.”

“Georgie—”

“You lied, and I died!” Georgie interrupts both Bill and his doppelgänger—a seething rage in his eyes. A rotting smell reaches Bill’s nose, and to his horror, Georgie begins to rot and change. Over and over, he continues to repeat the same words; ingraining the phrase in both Bill’s mind, and his doppelgänger’s.

“You lied, and I died.”

“You lied, and I died.”

“You lied, and I died!”

“It was because of me Georgie!” Bill’s doppelgänger confesses, clenching his eyes.

Bill shakes his head, walking forward to convince him otherwise. “No, no no...” Bill mutters to himself, literally and figuratively. His doppelgänger looks less than persuaded—ready to accept whatever fate his younger brother had for him. Bill continued to press, “I-It was...”

The words die in his mouth when his arm grows tight, as if someone was squeezing it. He turns his head to find the source of this new pain, and can only gape as his eyes trail from his left arm and up—watching as it morphed at the end to connect with Georgie’s galoshes. The child in question turns to him suddenly, meriting a choked yelp from Bill: his face was rotten and swarming with maggots and tentacles that poured out of his eye. “Lied and died!” Georgie snarls.

“Lied and died, lied and died, lied and died—”

“Shut up!” Bill cries, moving his body so that Georgie was in the water.

Cupping his hand against Georgie’s mouth so that his words can die out, Bill feels the pressure in his arm release and watches as Georgie’s face melds into the murky water until Bill removes his hand. In the water, Georige’s face is back to normal, and Bill can’t help but feel sick at the feeling of drowning his “brother”. Bill lets out a heavy sigh, his heart pounding in his ears. He turns his attention to his doppelgänger, jumping back out of shock when his eyes meet the end of Mike’s bolt gun.

“You deserve to die,” his other seethes, finger trembling over the trigger. “This was all your fault.”

“No,” Bill denies. He finds the strength within himself to face his inner demons, his resolve growing and his fear dissolving into bravery and courage. Bill suddenly finds it easy to speak; a strength deep within himself. “You were the best big brother in the world. He loved you. Georgie loved you...and just because you didn’t want to play in the rain, just that one day...it didn’t change anything. It was never your fault.”

His doppelgänger looks like he’s ready to listen to Bill. While his other is distracted, Bill’s hand wraps around the base of the bolt gun, slowly pushing the barrel away from his forehead. Just as his doppelgänger freezes—shocked at Bill’s sudden bravery—Bill rips the bolt gun away from him, and suddenly: the tables are turned.

“It was never your fault,” he repeats softly.

He pulls the trigger and watches as his doppelgänger falls back into the water instantly. Bill drops the bolt gun, stunned in silence now that he was alone in the basement. But that soon changes when his doppelgänger, now sporting a wide array of sharp teeth and angry yellow eyes, lunges out of the water and straight at Bill.

The floor beneath Bill fizzles, leaving the man to fall back into the water once more into darkness. He chokes, feeling his surroundings shift and change. When he resurfaces, he finds himself back in the cavern; lights, deadlights, illuminating the other side. He lets out a sigh of relief from his success; running a hand over his face before climbing out of the water to catch his breath.

He’s beat his demons—and now the others must do the same.

 


 

Mike recognizes his surroundings immediately.

His spent nearly all of his life anchored to this place, haunted by the events that led him to live a life on the farm: isolated away from the world. The burnt down apartments leers down at him, filling his heart with fright and melancholy. He can hear the sounds of his parents screaming, the smell of ash and burning wood; his name being called over and over.

“HELP US SON!”

“HELP ME, I’M BURNING!”

“IT HURTS! MIKE!”

“MIKE!”

“MIKE!”

“MIKE!”

His palms are sweaty because although he knows that this is just an illusion—this was the Ritual of Chüd—and that Mike needed to confront his fears, his past...his regrets. For all his life, he’s been connected to the past; that much was evident in his decision to not leave Derry. He freezes, afraid of the phantom sounds and smells, and tries to look for his friends instead.

“Bill?!” he calls, searching through the empty street. “Beverly? [Y/N]!? Stan!”

The only reply he gets, is a multitude of bells that ring and jingle.

He turns around suddenly, stepping back in surprise as the apartment rattles and groans.

The smell of fire hits Mike’s nose even though nothing is burning, the past anchoring itself to the present and future. One of the windows on the upper levels of the apartment, where Mike’s family used to live, shatters. The building rattles until a lanky figure—Pennywise—jumps out, standing sideways on the building. He makes a show by staggering, bells ringing and ginger hair reminding Mike of the flames that seared Mike’s psyche.

“Well, well, well,” Pennywise cackles. “If it isn’t ol’ Mikey...all alone.”

“Enough with your stupid games!” Mike yells, clenching his hands. “What did you do?!”

“What did IIIII do? What did you do? Hmm, Mikey?” Pennywise tuts, pressing his index finger to his chin; mocking deep thought. Pennywise lets out a dramatic gasp, hands splayed out while he shimmies; bells ringing. “Isn’t this what you wanted?” he taunts, giggling like a maniac. The fact that Pennywise is still standing on the wall of the building disorients Mike’s mind. “You wanted you and your... friends,” Pennywise grits out the last word as if it disgusts him, glowering. “—to do that silly little ritual...?”

“You say that like it’s not going to work,” Mike says, cautiously taking a step back. “The Turtl—Maturin said that it would.”

It was as if Mike had said the most blasphemous thing in the world, judging by the clown’s reaction. Pennywise’s lips drew into a deep scowl, his carved brows glowering down at the man—his distaste at the mention of The Turtle, whom both parties knew was dead, was apparent. The wind seemed to stop at that moment, matching the stillness of Pennywise. Mike tensed, fearing the worst.

“The Turtle is dead!” Pennywise screeched, stomping like an irritable child. “Dead! Dead! DEAD!”

At the last stomp, the ground beneath Mike trembled, crumbling under his feet as he fell through the cracks; a scream escaping his lips. A cacophony of cackles, shrieks (“HELP US MIKE!” “THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT!” “YOU’RE GOING TO GET US ALL KILLED!”), and other horrifying sounds filled Mike’s mind. Finally, the darkness faded into light—and Mike was back in the cavern. He shielded his eyes away from the strange dancing lights (which were pulsating at the top of the cavern), seeing Bill not too far away from him.

“Bill!” he called out, unsure where IT was at the moment.

Bill turned his head frantically, eyes widening in shock and relief at the sight of his friend. Mike heard Bill call his name before the two fell into a sprint towards each other. But just as the two were about to reunite in a hug, a large appendage rammed itself in the space between Mike and Bill. The appendage, bone white and spiky, had led upwards until it was hidden underneath a series of ruffles and bells—similar to how the sleeves of Pennywise’s motley had looked.

Mike and Bill shared a horrified look, both of their eyes trailing from the spider-like arm, to its owner. A low, gritty chuckle resonated from the series of spikes underneath the lights; a large head of ginger hair rising from behind. The appendage removed itself from the ground, slowly unfurling into gloved claws; and finally, after an agonizing eternity, the monster was revealed. Mike could only describe...IT; as Pennywise, except...it wasn’t him at the same time.

What would’ve been his lower body had leg into the abdomen of a spider; the clown costume still remaining. He had a total of eight limbs: six legs and two “arms”. When Pennywise took in the sight of Mike and Bill’s horrified faces, his lips curling upwards into a sickening smile—molten gold irises matching the same intensity as the deadlights above. “Two losers,” Pennywise drawled out with a giggle, scuttling forward.

“I wonder, will your friends come for you in time?”

 


 

While Mike, Ben, Victor, and [Y/N] had fallen through the floor, the other five had been thrown out of the center where they had to crawl into tiny spaces. Beverly and Ben were separated from the other three, trying to flee the threat that was Pennywise—who had now sported a new, terrifying look.

“Calm down!” Stan yells to Richie and Eddie, panicked and dazed.

Even though he can recall the events of what had happened, albeit faintly now that things were different now that he was alive: the fear and panic had settled faster than the logic. The three men were left to fend for themselves in a small crawl-space, while one of Pennywise’s appendages had stretched at an inhuman length; chasing them into the tunnel. While they were making chase, the three men had fallen into banter that didn’t help the situation.

“How the fuck is IT doing this?! Why does IT look like that?!”

“You guys we need to calm down—”

“Calm down? Calm down?! We’re running for our lives and you want to calm down?!”

“Shut the fuck up man, just run!”

“No shit, dumbass! What the fuck do you think I’m doing?!”

“Shit! Shit! Shit, shit, SHIT!”

Finally, the three men had reached three doors—Richie recognizing them instantly. “He,” Richie paused, catching his breath, “...he did this last time, in Neibolt. Don’t go to ‘not scary at all’ ‘cause he’s just fucking with us.”

“Are you sure?” Eddie asks, raising a brow.

“Yes, I’m sure—”

“Guys,” Stan says, pointing to the exit with wide eyes. There was no sign of Pennywise’s arm being here, but his voice and growls still echoed against the walls nonetheless. “He’s not here anymore.”

“We need to find a way out pronto,” Richie says and heads for the VERY SCARY door. All men hold their breath in anticipation when the door swings open, hitting the cavern wall with a resonating slam. To their surprise, there’s nothing surprising (or out of the ordinary; or Betty Ripsom, like Richie had expected) in there except for a—

“...closet?” Stan asks incredulously, raising a brow.

Eddie holds a neutral face (though if one looked close enough, one could see unease within his eyes), while Richie looks less than pleased at the sight. Stan swallows a knot in his throat, passing his flashlight to Richie so that he could pull the switch that illuminated the closet. Upon doing that, a series of hellish-looking birds of prey fly out of the closet: prompting out of all of the men to lunge out of the way.

A barrage of talons and beaks attack the men for a few measly seconds, but it’s enough for Eddie to frantically kick the door back into place—stopping anymore birds from attacking them. Eddie helps the other two recover, briefly breathing with his inhaler with wide, fearful eyes.

“Shit man,” Richie groans, fixing his jacket. “Now that was fucking something.”

“Let’s just go with ‘not scary at all’ you guys,” said Stan.

“Agreed,” Richie and Eddie say simultaneously, nodding in agreement.

Eddie opens the door, revealing a long corridor. All of the men let out a sigh of relief, with Richie being the first one to take a proud step forward...a low whine from beneath stops him from taking another step. Three sets of eyes befall a single Pomeranian in the corridor, which earns a groan from Richie.

“You gotta be kidding me,” Stan mutters, shaking his head.

“Is this an actual dog?” Eddie asks. “...because I am not going through the crap with the birds again.”

Richie clenches his hands, bending down slightly to glare at the dog; who stares back at him with an adorable gaze, panting with its tongue sticking out. “I know your moves you little bitch,” Richie claims. “And I am not—”

“Wait,” Stan interrupts, stepping forward.

At this point his vision are starting to fade and meld, fading into nothingness now that the future is being changed. With what little knowledge he has left, he can only remember the three key things: Eddie’s death, IT’s death, and [Y/N]’s fate. He glares down at the Pomeranian, not giving it (IT) a chance to scare the three—and promptly shuts the door without another worst. When he meets Richie and Eddie’s questioning gazes, he shrugs, brushing past them.

“IT’s not worth the trouble,” Stan grumbled under his breath.

“Wow, Stan’s finally growing a pair!”

“Beep, Beep Richie.”

The three men are left with a couple of laughs after that, despite the fact that IT was still growling and taunting. When all seemed peaceful, the door that Stan had shut began to rattle and burst—revealing a twisted version of the Pomeranian. Eddie, Richie, and Stan don’t waste another second in running as fast as they can from where they came from, the demented dog chasing them.

Richie pales. “Shit! Next time let’s just go for regular scary!”

“...Next time!?”

 


 

Beverly always knew that Ben had written the poem for her.

Even now, as she was drowning in a stall full of blood, while Ben was being buried alive while encased in thin layers of linen (similar to a mummy); she knew it in her soul, and more. She and him were always infatuated with each other—Who wouldn’t fall for someone as charming and as kind as Ben Hanscom?—but neither of them had the courage to face each other and start something beautiful. Neither Ben nor Beverly weren’t as bold as Victor, or [Y/N], or even Bill...Funny.

Beverly could face demonic clowns, years of pain and torment from her previous partners, as well as Tom...but she couldn’t face her childhood crush. She called his name as he struggled out of his bonds, kicking down the door to the stall. The blood poured out, leaving a heavily metallic smell in the strangely summer air. A strangled scream (“BEN!”) escapes her lips as she props herself against the walls and floor, reaching a hand towards Ben—who had finally removed the linen surrounding his face and arm.

Never before did she feel so much relief in her life to feel Ben’s hand encasing hers. With all of her strength, she pulls Ben out of the dirt, the mummifying cloth wrapped around his body falling away easily. Her eyes as so full of hope and love at that moment, reflecting Ben’s equally relieved face. He staggers on his feet when she lifts him completely out of the dirt, falling on her.

The hellish scene shifts back into the cavern, leaving the two stunned—a silent conversation is made. Beverly’s lips twitch upwards in a smile, her gaze softening. At that moment, it no longer feels as if she’s all trying to escape from her childhood nightmares: but instead, facing the one thing that she’s longed for...love.

“My poet,” she sighs happily, caressing Ben’s cheek. “...my heart burns there too.”

She’s expected everything else but Ben planting a kiss on her lips.

True to Ben’s poem, her heart burns with January embers—like her hair—as her eyes close; wrapping her arms around Ben’s neck. The kiss was short and sweet, similar to the one Ben gave her when she was floating. But at the same time, the kiss was enough for so many emotions to pass through at that moment. When Ben breaks away first, they’re both left to gaze into each other’s eyes.

And then, a roar snaps them back to reality.

 


 

It’s hard for Victor to distinguish reality from illusions at the moment.

He’s throwing punches at men, whose faces are practically wiped out, with a ferocity that sets his nerves aflame. Sometimes he can see the faces of people he’s murdered—killed was a looser term to describe his actions during the war (but he had still taken another life, nonetheless)—and sometimes it’s the face of his father who taunts him; before shortly morphing into Henry Bowers’s psychotic face.

Despite everything he’s been through, he can’t help but feel as if he’s really pummeling Henry to the ground again.

Like on that winter morning, shortly after hearing of what Henry had in store for [Y/N], Victor feels the rage that forces him to hurt. His fists slam against Henry’s face with exact precision, not caring if Henry was pleading for mercy or saying that he was, “just a teen.” Victor said otherwise, considering how wicked Henry’s mind was. And then, the worst part is when IT changes once more—into Logan Criss, his father—and taunts him on how much of a failure he was.

How much of a failure he was for leaving the military so early. How much of a failure he was for being scared at the slightest of slams and bangs, thinking that they were bombs and gunshots. How much of a failure he was for not visiting his father’s grave. How much of a failure he was for just existing.

“Shut up!” Victor screams, his knuckles raw at punching so much. “Shut up! Just shut the fuck up! Shut! Up!”

But IT knows just as well as Victor that his fists are nothing, there’s still something inside of him that thinks that he’s not strong enough to kill IT. Victor raises one final fist to punch his father’s face, which fizzles and shifts to Henry’s for a brief moment, and lowers his hand. A resounding crack is heard, followed by a yelp that makes Victor’s yells die in his throat. His father, splayed on the ground, turns his head—and reveals the face of...

“Why would you do that?!” [Y/N] cries.

Tears streaming down their face while blood pours out of their nose and mouth endlessly. Victor’s hand trembles, his eyes widening in horror. His stomach clenches out of shock to the point where he can feel the bile rising from his throat. He watches as they sniffle and gag out cries, holding their face with dainty hands: bruised, battered, and beaten. Victor, still stunned with wide eyes, takes a step back—looking at his fist as if it was a bomb—and returns his gaze back to [Y/N].

“You’re awful! I hate you!” they continued, writhing in pain. “I knew that you’d be just like him!”

Thinking about the ‘him’ in question strikes a cord in Victor’s mind, who promptly halts his actions. His fearful brown eyes gaze down at the woman in front of him, his hand lowering and resting at his side. He takes in everything about them, his chest tightening the longer he stared at their beaten form—taking in their every movement. They act so real, but Victor can’t find the energy inside of himself to believe that it is.

Victor shakes his head, frowning. “No,” he denies firmly, breathing heavily. His fists still hurt from punching and his mind is slowly delving into something akin to a panic attack. His hands tremble but he still holds a strong stance, putting on his brave face; as always. Victor continued in a low voice.

“I would never do that to you—”

“Liar! Lies! I can see it in your eyes! You’re lying!”

“I would never hurt you,” Victor clenched his eyes, grinding his teeth to avoid himself from openly sobbing in front of [Y/N] (whom he could now deduce as IT; from the obvious shrill voice that escaped their lips). He opens his eyes after an eternity passes, glaring down at the imposter.

“But you...you always hurt them, no matter what you do...You’re the liar.”

The moment Victor recognizes defeat in IT’s eyes, is when Victor feels the rage bubbling once more. Victor watches as [Y/N]’s form shifts into Robert’s, the man who Victor had hated with all of his being. The defeated, but painfully prideful, look in Robert’s eyes is enough for Victor to just pummel the monster right then and there.

Now the rage comes tenfold.

His hands are clenched so tight to the point where he might’ve popped the knuckles out—his eyes darkening with rage. Victor’s hands tremble, but this time it’s not from the panic nor the stress—it’s out of pure, hot anger. He wants to hurt IT, hurt Robert for causing so much pain to everyone and everything. He wants to hurt IT for taking Belch; for taking Georgie even though he’s never met the kid.

He wants to hurt IT for hurting his friends.

A new-found strength within Victor urges him to lunge at Robert.

Throwing a quick but forceful punch at the monster’s face, Victor can feel the strength coursing in his veins and in his heart. That punch sends Robert, who was surprised that Victor had resolved his inner fears, flying back; and it causes the blank surroundings around the two to fade back into the cavern. Robert’s form fizzles out of existence, leaving Victor to breathe heavily and catch his breath—now looking at his fist as if it was his strength.

He gets up on his feet, and looks for the others.

 


 

You’re too grounded to your emotions to believe that this is real.

Your hands clench and you jump out of bed, glancing out the window and down the garden. You would’ve thought that you were back at the estate, or maybe that you were dreaming your adult life up—and that it was, indeed, May 1989—but you know better now. IT’s lies no longer affect you now.

You know the truth now.

“Where the fuck are you, you bastard?” you mutter to yourself, leaving the room.

The halls are eerily silent, but you can still feel eyes watching you nonetheless. Your hands thrum with energy, your heart slowly pounding in an increasing rhythm that keeps your mind sharp and your exhaustion at bay. Your body aches slightly, and you hope that nothing bad is happening to your friends; or God forbid, if something happened to Howard or Bobby again.

A sudden shift in the air prompts you to turn around.

Lo and behold: Robert Gray stands with open palms, a smile on his face. There’s no flutter in your chest nor any stars in your eyes upon seeing him, and you can tell that Robert knows this as well. Still, he begins to pry and push—taking one careful step forward. “My darling,” he says, relieved. “What do you think of this?”

His words prompt you to glance at a mirror to your left, taking in your younger features and smaller stature. Your younger self looked happy, albeit slightly broken, but you still had a strong light in your eyes—a hope that all was good. Your younger self had lacked the bags that were on your present self, and the dress that you were wearing reminds you of summertime and love. Your glare falters the longer you stare at yourself.

You would give anything to look like that.

“I told you that you could have this again.” His voice is louder this time, and you can see him inch closer towards you from the corner of your eye. He continues in a condescending voice, “...did I not, darling?”

“I’m not your darling!” you retort, turning towards him angrily.

With the best of your ability, you muster up a growl—though it feels unnatural against your very human self—and the caution in Robert’s eyes is evident. He looks hurt, defensive even, that you’re acting this way towards him. You could care less with what he thought of. If he didn’t spare a second thought about your friends and family, why should you spare a second thought for him?

As he takes another step forward, you take one step back—allowing the table on the side to slide in warning. Robert listens to your threats, thankfully, but you’re not done with talking to him. The ache in your body grows slightly and you have to hide the twisted look of pain on your face. I hope everyone’s okay, you think, worried.

Please, Robert, don’t take them away from me.

“It ends here, Robert,” you said. “I’m over you.”

“You don’t know that.”

“Yes, I do—”

“We can start all over.”

“Start all over?” you ask incredulously. “What? By wiping my mind clean? By murdering my friends? Hide me away from the world again?”

You pause, trying to suppress your heavy breathing. If he talked anymore then you’d crack for sure. You were done with Robert’s antics and you made it very clear, both in body and soul, that you were done with this; with Derry, with IT. The false estate trembles under your influence and grounded mind—giving way to reveal the cavern that you were in the entire time.

Robert looks alarmed for a moment, lips pulling back into a frown at your resilience. At this point, you both know that you can fight back—that much was evident from what you had done to the Town House—but Robert is unrelenting as always, holding onto his false hope; his false reality. He still tries to blame those around you, or even yourself, for his actions. He never accepts the blame, and the doubtful look in his eyes at your claim only fuels your anger even more.

“I don’t need you to be happy,” you declare proudly, stepping forward. His eyes turn into a deadly shade of amber, but you don’t back down—unaffected by his tactics. You’re stronger than that. “I don’t need you to feel loved. I have friends who love me, and they’re more family than you’ll ever be. You’re nothing to me. You’re nothing but a dead man in my life, and even then you don’t deserve those sentiments. If you think that I will ever love you again, then your head is in the clouds. I hate you, and nothing will change that. You ruined my life, and my friends and I are going to stop you from ruining any more.”

You had expected Robert to lash out at that moment, maybe slap you around and yell at you, but nothing of the sort happens. Instead, he stops himself from lifting his fist with his other hand—and you’re distaste only grows at that, since he had nearly acted upon his impulses—and he glares you dead in the eye. “You really love your friends that much?” he spats out in mute anger. His voice begins to lilt into the clown’s childish, whiny tone; faint red lines showing. “You really think they’re better than me? I am the—”

“Eater of Worlds,” you roll your eyes. “Yeah, and I’m the Breaker of Beams, so what?”

The Robert-Pennywise fusion looks like he was about to break then and there, but freezes and loses his anger for a moment—staring at you as if you had grown a second head. It’s almost comical in a way, to see him so surprised and confused at the same time. His eyes stare into your own crimson ones for confirmation at your claim.

“How do you know about that?” he asked, his voice barely a whisper. “What do you know?”

Hm, maybe I can take advantage of this, you muse—your mind still thinking about your friends’ well-being.

It’s now or never.

“I remember everything,” you reply, snarling. “Everything you’ve tried to hide from me. Everything Maturin told me. Every nightmare and dream that you tried to take from me. I know about my lights...I remember it all. A-And,” you falter for a second, overwhelmed by the amount of things you have to say. There’s too much on your plate to explain in one meeting; but why should it matter? He’s going to die soon. You let out a heavy breath, continuing slowly, “...I know that you’re afraid of me because of that.”

That was a partial lie, but you needed to keep him on edge.

True, you still had no idea what your true purpose was; but Robert (IT) seemed incredibly anxious at you finding your origins back then, more so when you talked about Maturin. You didn’t know if he was truly afraid either, but at every mention of your “lights,” he seemed to back down no matter what. In a way, his behavior reminded you of Beverly and Stan when you talked to them.

The moment Robert falters is the moment you force the illusion to crumble, forcing him into the wall where reality crumbles under your fingertips. You close your eyes to remind yourself that you’re in the cavern, and not in the estate, to not get lost in your mind. The push to protect your friends and family urges you to break through the pain; the suffering. And finally, you find yourself breathing heavily in a dark cavern—roars and screams prompting you to get up and run as fast as you can.

Along the way, you bump into a strong chest, and thankfully: it’s Victor.

You envelop him in a hug, burying your face into your neck.

Victor recovers from the sudden impact within seconds, returning the gesture by resting his hands along the small of your back. Are you okay? you message to him mentally, feeling more in-tune with your abilities—and lights, albeit you can’t physically feel or see them—as time passes on. Victor pulls away to stare at you, nodding before you share a brief kiss. Unsure on what was going to happen next, you accept as much contact as you can get; knowing that IT was probably pissed beyond belief and you choosing your side, a permanent decision now.

IT won’t hesitate to do anything now.

But the brief reunion is ruined when your body constricts tightly, causing you to gasp and grip onto Victor. “The others!” you explain frantically, pushing him so that he can break into a sprint. “We have to go to them now!”

You guide the way, taking advantage of your “bond” with IT; feeling his deadlights grow near the closer you reach the end of the tunnel. After a few moments, the pressure releases—leaving you relieved for a moment—and is now replaced with feeling hollow. The same hollow feeling when Beverly and Stan were caught in the deadlights.

“Hurry!” you practically cry. “We need to hurry, Vic!”

A searing pain fills your mouth and throat, but that doesn’t frighten you as much as the lack of someone’s presence. Followed by that is an indescribable pain in your abdomen that nearly causes you to collapse. Your mind is frantic now, tears practically falling out of stress and pain. It hurts so much, but you can’t find the energy to stop. You need to continue for your friends. Your hand is holding Victor’s the moment you exit the tunnel, and suddenly, your eyes widen in shock.

Bill and Mike are on the lower levels, Mike having just been released from Pennywise’s—except he looked more like a colossal spider (oh the irony of it all) than a clown—grip. Beverly and Ben are fine as well, thankfully, but await of what was to come. You can see Stan as well, who has the most fearful look out of everyone in the cavern. Richie and Eddie are the closest to Pennywise, whose middle was piked by the many spikes in the cavern. Thankfully, no one seemed hurt and you no longer feel hollow.

However, there is something that catches your eye.

As Eddie is calming down Richie, who you assumed to be the one to have been caught in the deadlights, Pennywise’s eyes are filled with rage and fury—one of his many arms slowly shifting into a demented claw. At that moment, you could only assume the worst as you share a look with Victor, panicked.

“Don’t,” he warns in a trembling, already knowing what you were going to do.

“I have to,” you say, your words choked out. “I’m sorry Vic.”

By God, are you scared, but it’s better than having someone else die.

Within seconds, so many things happen at that moment.

Voices muffle and fade while and your vision goes blurry. Pain floods your senses and you can see your friend’s brown eyes staring up at you in horror. Blood stains your shirt and his, and Richie—who could only watch at what had happened between you and Eddie—freezes, blood splattering his face. So many voices cry for Eddie, poor little Eddie, all except for the man who survived his fate. Instead of calling out Eddie’s name, Stan calls out another’s name.

Your name.

 

Chapter Text

ACT III, PART III

“Will you be different?”

The question rings in your head over and over as you stare at the body in your arms, your surroundings mute. Eddie looks so scared, so terrified, clutching his wound with trembling fingers. It takes everything in you, and more, to not cry right then and there. The wound is deep, the claw having pierced through his gut, and the blood that pools out stains his shirt and yours.

You force the claw out of Eddie and scoop your friend, whom you’ve always seen as the brother you’ve never had, into your arms. The pain splits in you in half, sending waves of agony in your body and mind. The pain runs further than that; flowing deep in your bones, and into the very thing that you didn’t want the pain to go to. 

Your lights.

Although these were your lights (and Maturin made sure that you were in control of them), you can’t help but want to separate from them—let them take the lead—because you’re not strong enough to handle this. You’re not strong enough to accept the fact that you were too late. That you were too slow to stop Pennywise from hurting one of your friends.

And now, you were paying the price for it.

You carry Eddie into an isolated part of the cavern, ignoring your friends and Pennywise. Eddie’s hands wrap around your arms, holding onto you for dear life as he hacks up blood. “It hurts [Y/N],” he openly sobs. “It hurts so much.”

“I-I-I...I know, Eddie. I’m s-sorry...”

Your legs finally give in, and you rest against the cavern wall, away from the world—your mind too frantic to care for the others, who were probably being tormented and chased right now. You can only focus on the man in your arms, and the pain in your body. You cradle him in your arms, trying to suppress your own pain—only for it to come back worse than ever. You can feel Eddie dying in your arms, and it hurts so much to know that you can’t stop it from happening.

You’ve failed him.

Not yet, voices whisper in your mind. There’s something you can still do.

“I can’t,” you choke out quietly, making sure that Eddie didn’t hear (though, he was completely out of it, and near death that it didn’t matter if he heard you). You pull Eddie closer to you, resting your hand on the back of his head so that he could rest it on your shoulder. Feeling his blood smear your skin only makes the voices grow louder and louder.

These weren’t ordinary voices, no...you’ve known these voices all your life.

Your lights were the thorns in your mind, telling you to do awful things—just as expected, considering their eldritch origin. But now that they presented something new to you, something horrible and out of this world, you began to regret seeking comfort in them at this moment. I can’t do it, you argue in your mind. Beneath you, Eddie’s breath staggers and his heart-beat is noticeably slow. You repeat the mantra in your head, trying to bite down the voices.

I can’t, I can’t, I can’t—

The voices are unrelenting, telling you to do it. To fulfill what has been promised. IT killed your ka-mate, the voices snivel and screech, pressing against your mind. We know you want to, so do it. Do it. Do it. Kill it. Kill it. Kill IT. Kill IT. KILL IT. The voices stopped for a brief moment, letting you think out your options—though, they probably would’ve forced you to act on your anger anyway—and now Eddie’s breathing had gone stagnant, his eyes glazing over.

“I’m s-s-scared,” Eddie chokes out, trying to gather the strength to hug you. It doesn’t work, with him being so weak and you lost in your mind, so his arms fall to his sides. You can feel Eddie’s tears soak your neck and shirt as he continues to cry, and cry, and cry. “I’m sorry,” Eddie says quietly, for one last time. And then, Eddie Kaspbrak is no more.

Soon after, you decide to follow him as well.

You know what you have to do. In those brief moments, you can feel yourself slip away. Before you’re gone, you hear the Gunslinger’s voice for the last time; resonating in your mind. His voice helps lull you into the endless sleep, and Eddie’s death is exactly what your lights need for you to pass your will to them.

In the distance, in the back of your mind, you think of the tower and field of roses; wondering if you could ever go there. It looked so beautiful in your mind, and maybe that’s what life after death looked like. But that future isn’t for you. There is something you must do; people you must protect for one last time. Instead of following the beautiful white light, you follow the red light.

The crimson light.

 


 

The Losers, minus two, are huddled in one of the caverns: arguing over themselves.

Pennywise—who was confident in attacking Eddie—tries to break through and attack them, cackling and giggling like the maniac he is. Richie looks broken, horrified that his friend (and if one would’ve known him down to his core; they would’ve known that Eddie was more than that) had taken the blow. Victor is frantic, wrestling out of Mike and Bill’s hold to find [Y/N], who had carried Eddie off to somewhere else.

While the Losers argue over each other, no one notices Stan in the corner.

The fear and shame in his eyes is evident, his hands trembling as he sits. If one looked carefully, one would see that he was waiting for something to happen. But to the other Losers, he just looks like he’s afraid and shocked—because he failed to save Eddie. But no one heard Stan call out [Y/N]’s name; no one had seen the fear on Stan’s face when Eddie was stabbed. 

His foot taps against the cavern floor, as if he was using it to count-down the seconds. Beverly stops speaking for a moment to glance at Stan, both of their eyes meeting for a moment. They both know that something was going to happen. Stan holds his breath and turns his head, trying to repeat the names of birds.

Northern Cardinal; Summer tanager; Pyrrhuloxia; Vermillion flycatcher; Red siskin; Scarlet ibis; Scarlet macaw; Crimson sunbird—

It doesn’t ease Stan’s nerves in the slightest in the fact that the birds he was thinking of were red. He can’t get the color out of his mind to save his life, nor can he ignore the memories of what he had seen. Overhead, Pennywise continues to taunt (“You can’t hide from me!” “You’ll die as well!” “You can’t escape this!”) while the Losers argue and scream over each other. 

“We need to find them both!”

“Don’t even say it! I don’t want to hear it!”

“How did we forget what was going to happen to Eddie?!”

“Who the fuck cares? We’re all going to die anyway!”

“Let me go Mike! I need to find them! What if they’re hurt too?!”

“We can’t, Vic. We need to—”

“—IT’s waiting for us outside!”

“I don’t fucking care! Eddie is dying and—”

“Richie, honey. Eddie...he’s...”

“Can you just—!”

And then, after an agonizing eternity passes, Pennywise just stops.

The cavern no longer shakes and his voice dies out suddenly, prompting all of the Losers to shut up as well—wondering what had happened. Stan and Beverly share another haunted look, and Beverly (who had only witnessed what happened to her friend in the event that everyone died if they left Derry early) looks to him for confirmation.

Stan’s gaze grows somber and he turns away.

It’s happening, he thinks to himself. I can’t stop them now.

This was the second part of the ritual: invoking the devil to help.

 


 

You are death.

You remind yourself this over and over, as return to your body; except, it no longer feels like your body. Our body, the voices remind you carefully. Your lift yourself easily, still cradling Eddie’s cold body in your arms. For some reason, you can’t feel any pain or grief at the sight of him; at the sight of his dead, paling body. You can’t feel the pain that you felt mere moments before.

Pain is nothing, the voices repeat. For we are pain incarnate.

A fury rises up in your chest, an instinct to kill and main forcing itself into your psyche—you don’t hesitate to accept the feelings. It feels exhilarating to not hold back, to feel the energy in your body, instead of forcing it out as you’ve done before. It feels great to be free.

You’re not free yet, the voices—no, your voice—says softly. The threat is still here; the Eater of Worlds. The murderer of your ka-mate. Show yourself. Show everyone your lights. Show IT your lights.

And you do.

You fall through the darkness, feeling something rip from your chest in a way that would’ve made you cry out. It feels as if the sun is burning you alive, replacing every bone in your body until you’re nothing but your lights—until you’re finally you. You shift through the darkness in your terrifying crimson light until you find the space in reality, within the Todash Darkness, that shows you exactly where you needed to go.

You return back to the cavern, letting out a thunderous howl of pure fury. The cavern’s blue light is replaced with a frightening crimson hue, basking everyone and everything in red—as if everything was bleeding crimson like you. You look down at yourself, your true self, with interest and curiosity. There should’ve been something that told you that this was wrong, that you shouldn’t look like this...

But that part of you died with Eddie Kaspbrak.

You lift your bony hands, turning them over and flex your fingers. They were black in color and the texture smooth but plated, reminding you of the scales of a snake. A simple thought crosses your mind, and it causes you to turn your fingertips to turn into claws. Your gaze shifts towards your torso and middle—though you couldn’t really call it that, considering the fact that you were mere bone—where your pelvis melds into a more solid body.

Mimicking the Eater of Worlds’ form, your lower body was that of an armored spider with barbed legs. You lift your hands to touch your skull, feeling sharp canines, dipping the phalanges into the hollow nose and empty eye-sockets. An exhilarated sigh left your ‘mouth’ at the feeling. Your hands continued to trail up until they reached the top of your skull.

A crown-like object with six prominent points was fused against your forehead: a crown fit for a King. Layers of transparent, crimson cloth draped over your skull like a veil of a bride and dragged along the cavern floor with each step you took. In the cavity of your ribcage, your lights swirl and pulse violently, conveying your current state of mind. This was you. You were the true King of the Prim, not the Crimson King. He was far too inferior and weak for that title. He wasn’t deserving of that title...you were.

The Breaker of Beams.

But for now, that would have to wait. You still had to destroy the threat.

At the end of the cavern, though it wasn’t far considering how large you were now—towering over the Eater of Worlds, itself—stood the other eldritch abomination. The look of fear on the Eater of Worlds’ face was enough to get you riled up and ready to attack. If you were able to move your skull, then you’d be grinning for sure right now. You take a few warning steps forward, a growl rising from inside your ribcage naturally.

“Are you ready to die?”

Your voice comes out in a whisper that echoes against the walls: a layered symphony of cries and screams. To your glee, the Eater of Worlds scuttled backwards in response—away from the cavern where you could feel seven prominent shines hiding inside.

Don’t do this, please don’t do this, the Eater of Worlds pleads in your mind. I’m sorry. I’m truly sorry. Please don’t do this. You don’t have to do this. I’ll stop now. I’ll be good, I promise.

“You? You will be good?!” You let out a laugh, tilting your skull upwards to the ‘sky’.

Your laugh booms against the cavern, shaking its walls under the repeating sound. The desperation in its voice is enough to make you want to hurt the Eater of Worlds. You bare your bony claws towards the Eater of Worlds in warning. Letting out another laugh, you swipe at the spikes in the cavern. Your fingers slice through them without strain, the ancient rocks falling to the cavern floor within moments.

“Only when you are faced with death,” you continue, “is when you seek redemption.”

“You are not death,” the Eater of Worlds says in a trembling voice. “You...you are...you a-a-are my—”

“They are dead. Whatever you know of ‘[Y/N]’ is gone...I am their death, and I will be yours as well. I am...the Breaker of Beams.” That’s your only warning for it before you’re charging at full speed, claws bared and your jaw unlocking.

The Eater of Worlds has little time to prepare, barely avoiding your claws by a hair before its crawling up and against the walls. It lets out a hiss, giving a warning swipe at you even though it doesn’t want to harm you. You use its hesitance as an advantage in the fight—knowing that it holds a pathetic optimism that whatever was ‘you’ was still there.

Compared to you, it truly does look like a small frightened spider.

You lunge at the Eater of Worlds, unlocking your jaw again to latch onto one of its legs, your canines biting into the hard shell. While it howls in pain, your hands dig into its spider abdomen and begin to pull back. With a satisfying series of snaps, you rip one of its legs clean with your teeth; golden ichor golden pouring forth from the wound. Now actively seeking any way to save its own skin, the Eater of Worlds turns its gloved hands into those crab-like legs—swiping at you non-stop.

A phantom pain in your own leg warns you that you should stop; that you should stop hurting the Eater of Worlds. Something inside is telling you that you are not eternal, that you’ll regret your decision. 

You narrowly dodge the appendages, glowering at it past the crimson the coats your vision; and everything else in the cavern. Beneath you, you can hear the frantic and fearful screams of those below—who are unable to comprehend the sight. Some are mourning their fallen ka-mates, and some of them are trying to question your existence. You snap your skull towards Victor Criss, who stares back at you with pure terror in his brown eyes.

It’s hard to look at you when your lights are in your ribcage: swirling with so much energy and hate.

Although it would be so easy to kill them all right then and there—What use did you have for them when they’d perish anyway once you broke the beams?—you pay no mind to the humans. They are nothing, and yet something tells you to stay for a while. The significance of their presence is still there, that they were your friends. But they aren’t, at the same time.

They were [Y/N]’s friends.

And now that you were finally free, that name was no longer yours to bear.

You and the Eater of Worlds circle around the cavern, harsh amber meeting pure crimson at that moment. Your fight with it almost reminds you of a dance. How ironic, you think with amusement, though the humor is unfelt by you. My path started with a dance; the day that the Eater of Worlds entered the Dance Hall, twenty-eight years ago...and now, this all ends with a dance.

You return to your attack, lunging forward with your teeth bared. Your skull morphs into the skulls of different creatures, unable to maintain a single form under so much pressure and rage. There’s so much you want to do to it; there’s so much pain and suffering you want to inflict on the Eater of Worlds. You teeth latch onto its shoulder, claws digging into its middle and cheek. Its own claws try to dig into you, but you’re nothing but bones, and even then—your were made of energy.

After-all, the Ritual of Chüd worked both ways.

If you believed that you could hurt it, and you knew for a fact that you could, then such would occur. Clearly the Eater of Worlds is deathly afraid of you, unable to focus on hurting you and more on saving itself. As a result, the most that its claws do is pry you from its shoulder and leave scratches along your bones.

You tear a piece of its flesh as this happens, nearly doing what it had done to George Denbrough—and watched as its left arm fell to the ground as it was dislocated. You swallow the flesh but all it does is fall past your teeth and into your lights; the remains splattering through your ribcage and onto the cavern floor. Above you, the Eater of Worlds’ deadlights quiver and tremble.

Despite the pain that sears your body and lights the more you attack the Eater of Worlds, you push on—even if you feel your own life dwindling. You better make this quick before you’re too weak to head to the Tower. The Gunslinger thinks that the threat is gone, that killing the Crimson King ended everything...Too bad that neither of them are here now.

It’s fear tastes like pure honey, rich with fear but fills you with a disgusting after-taste. The poor thing really does love [Y/N] still, even if they no longer exist. You berate and demean the Eater of Worlds each time you throw another blow at it, even if the pain comes to you tenfold. Like titans above mere peasants, the broken ka-tet below can only watch and hide until it’s all over—until the Eater of Worlds is no more.

And you don’t spare it the mercy of talking to you.

One by one, you snuff its lights out with your own: dislocating your jaw to pour out the energy your lights have. Like a dying sun, you let your energy flow out like a supernova—coating everything in crimson and death. There’s pain in your own lights now, searing past and nearly causing you to give into said pain; there’s something to tell you to stop. But like a rabid dog, you only have one urge and one urge only now.

To kill.

You pry your hands past the front of its motley, enjoying the squelching sound of your claws digging through its flesh. You bring its face close to your skull, your reflection clear in its eyes. The Eater of Worlds stalls its death: sending mental images of [Y/N] and itself, as Robert Gray, to you. It sends you memories and visages of [Y/N] with their friends, with their family, with their parents. But what use did you have of these images, which had no meaning to you? Seeing those images only makes you clench tighter, grabbing the area of where its heart would be.

“Please,” it croaks out in a broken voice. “I-I-I...I love y-you.”

You press your crown against its forehead, glaring down at it with your empty sockets. Unbeknownst to you, your lights tremble and flicker—the pain bringing you to a numb insanity that rivals the Eater of Worlds’. Maybe you are dying right now. Maybe it was a foolish idea for you to murder the thing you’re bonded to. Maybe you are a fool for acting upon your impulses.

But why should it matter?

You’re too far gone to care.

The Eater of Worlds has a brief hope in its eyes at your actions—at your skull being so close to its face. But the tell-tale squeeze of your claws is all it takes for it to realize that you’re not indulging in its hope. For the last time, you finish off with a simple: “You are a fool for falling in love.”

Before it could retort, you squeeze your hands against its heart and cross your arms; pulling back with a force that tears the Eater of Worlds apart. Golden blood spews forth, its body going limp within seconds after a few moments of struggling against your hands. The final deadlight above you flickers out of existence, and the pain inside of you is so strong that you drop the Eater of Worlds’ body to rest against the rocks.

Maybe, you think to yourself. I'm the fool.

You crane your skull down to stare at your lights, and it’s only until now do you realize that you’re spent. A force inside of you wants to fall through the darkness once more and head to the Tower—but everything in you is gone. What was once the Eater of Worlds, the one you were bonded to, is gone: eviscerated by your own hands. Your morality is gone, and so is your mind.

All that is left is death; and you are death.

You no longer fear death, for you are it—and yet, you’re only left with disappointment as you lay in the cavern. Your lights are struggling to maintain themselves while phantom pains wrack your unfocused mind. A bond worked both ways, you now realized, and now that the Eater of Worlds has died: so will you. You’re disappointed that you haven’t accomplished your mission—to break the beams.

Your sight lands on the ka-tet and naturally, you change down into size to conserve what little energy you have left. Coincidentally, the final form you choose is [Y/N], and you almost feel bad for the ka-tet when they see the face of their fallen friend. The cavern returns back into its green-ish hue and it’s not long until the cavern collapses in on itself. With what you have left, you hold Derry into place—for the Eater of Worlds was Derry, and now that it was gone, Derry will also fall—and watch as the ka-tet bounds over to you.

They’re all crying: telling you that it’s going to be okay.

Their words don’t really matter, not when you don’t feel much for them. A brief glimmer of accomplish replaces the disappointment for a moment, the success that you saved the ka-tet. You didn’t hate them, and the lack of care was more on your lack of humanity, and their presence did make you feel stronger. They were mere humans, and yet, they were so strong as a group—and as individuals, they were even stronger.

You let your head lull back, your body still as you wane the last of your power. You don’t breathe out shallow breaths, not having a need for it, and all you do is stare at your ka-mates. Victor Criss is crying, expressing the truest emotion in the world: love. It disgusts you but his distress is your distress; your ka-tet is you. But they will not die when you die—you have saved them all from that fate.

All except for Eddie Kaspbrak.

The disappointment returns once more, except its duller now. He was the only casualty; the only ka-mate who had passed in the fight. If you were truly a good ‘person’ before, then the least you could do to honor that good was to wish for his happiness. There is no happiness for the dead, your voice reprimands you pessimistically.

There is no happiness in death.

Your eyes flutter, the emptiness in your chest growing as you fade from reality. The sounds grow muffled and your vision goes blurry once more as you accept death. But things are different now. Instead of being faced with lights or voices, the only thing you can focus on is the darkness that meets your vision.

This was the final part of the ritual: the death of the devil, but which devil it was, it didn't matter. The darkness is almost soothing to your unfeeling touch. The last thing you hear is Victor Criss saying a simple three-worded sentence. It was the last thing that the Eater of Worlds had said to you, and it would be the last thing that you would hear. 

“I love you.”

 

Chapter Text

ACT III, PART IV

The journey out of the cavern had been a hard one.

As the cavern was starting to show signs of finally giving in, Victor Criss had been adamant on carrying [Y/N]’s body back up. No one had denied his request—it would be cruel to leave them down here, all alone in the dark with the one being (albeit Pennywise was dead as well) that brought them this pain. Stan, Mike, and Bill (who was grieving severely over his childhood crush) had to hold Richie back from trying to find Eddie’s body.

They traveled up the crawl-space and through the sewers, rocks falling and the tunnels groaning under an invisible pressure. Richie’s cries were left to everyone’s ears while Victor had been mourning in silence—clutching his lover’s cold body close to his chest. When they finally exited the house, everyone (sans Victor) had been holding Richie back.

“Eddie!” he cried. “We can’t leave him down there!”

To make matters worse, the Neibolt house—[Y/N]’s house—had begun to cave in on itself as-well. Within seconds, there was nothing but dust and wood all around; and the sound of cries that faded into the early morning sun. The hardest part was bringing [Y/N] back to the Library, where Howard Randall and Bobby had both been waiting for the woman to come back unscathed. Unfortunately, no such thing happened and all the two were greeted with—was the sight of a cold body in Victor Criss’s arms.

Even though Victor doesn’t want to let go of them, he hands [Y/N] over to Howard: who can only stare in mute shock. “I’m sorry,” is all Victor can whisper, before he’s breaking down again. Hearing Bobby sound out his grief makes things harder on everyone else, and no one is able to answer and of Howard’s questions. Like Victor, Howard’s strong exterior breaks and the waterworks return once more.

Where a proud man had once stood, was now a broken shell.

 


 

They had all gone to the Quarry after a few hours of grieving.

They allowed Howard, and Bobby, to grieve in peace. [Y/N] was, after-all, the only remaining family member that he had left—and now that they were no more, the least the Losers could do for him, was to give him peace. They all grieved for Eddie as well, Stan and Richie being the ones who took the death the hardest.

Still dirty and covered in wounds, the Losers had all lined up near the cliff leading to the Quarry. This time, instead of two girls jumping into the Quarry—holding hands while laughing as summer passed by—only one woman jumped into the water. Soon after, the others had followed and they allowed themselves to feel happiness once more.

Richie had been staring at his glasses for the longest time, not wanting to clean the blood off of the lenses. It was all he had left of Eddie, his blood, and he didn’t want to let go of that. He broke down once more, unable to contain his grief any longer. Bill had gone through a similar pain, clutching the necklace that was intended for [Y/N]. Victor, who had accepted their death—having been used to this already, given his career—had brought the two men in his arms, and pulled them into an embrace.

More arms had wrapped around the three, and everyone was in a single embrace: holding each other to replace the pain with comfort. A lingering hope in the bottom of everyone’s hearts had wished that Eddie and [Y/N] were hugging them as well. Maybe they were, in an after-life of some sorts, or maybe they weren’t. But it was nice to hope for the best. They remained like that until the sun was finally high and over their heads, telling them all that it was time for them to go.

They left their tokens to burn, removing the past from their lives. At the cost for a future, two lives had been taken—and the past would have to go as well. They held a funeral service for [Y/N] and Eddie on Saturday: the day everyone would leave. The work was hard, especially since there was so much to be done within two days, but they managed.

To untie Eddie from his mother, they had mutually agreed on placing his grave (with an empty casket) next to [Y/N]’s: who was buried next to their parents, Roger and Sarah Randall. Everything else had gone by in a blur. Everyone had exchanged fare-wells, and one by one, everyone had left their mark on the town before they left. They no longer bore the scars from the blood oath, their duty having been fulfilled—and all that was left was pain, but that was okay.

Now, they were given time to heal.

FIN.

Chapter Text

EPILOGUE

The world had mourned for [Y/N] King.

Their death (explained via heart attack; given their medical history) was splayed on the news, being that they were a prominent figure in media and the arts, and many had expressed their condolences towards Howard Randall. A memorial was made near their estate, which had now belonged to Howard (stated in a will that they had written in 2003; the year that they had their life-changing “heart attack”).

Howard—who was still grieving even after a year had passed—had learned to move on and took on the mantle as head of the organization that [Y/N] made; helping both children and adults who had gone through what his niece had been through. At least, even in death, his niece was still helping people.

Bill had found it incredibly hard for him to move on from [Y/N]’s passing as well as Eddie’s; but since [Y/N] was Bill’s (unrequited) crush—he felt as if he had failed at life. Nonetheless, he had taken their words—from their last conversation together—to heart and learned to cherish Audra. He’d make sure that she would never befall any harm as long as he was there for her.

In addition to that, his books had a more positive outlook—not exactly perfect, per say, but he was at least learning to give his characters a break. To move on from Georgie’s passing was difficult as well, but the sorrow was replaced with the fact that he and Audra were to be parents in the coming winter. He’d make sure that he would be there for his child as well once they were born.

Beverly had gone through a heavy divorce with Tom—shedding light to the world on his abuse towards her. If [Y/N] could break free, then so could she. And she wasn’t alone to do this, she had Ben (whom had proposed to her once things were settled and Beverly was finally able to love again) and her friends there for her. Ben had also found love with Beverly, and no longer had to live a life of solitude.

Stan was more or less, one of the few Losers who had fallen deep in his grief—especially when it came down to the fact that he had “failed” in his mission—but in the end, like everyone else: he managed to pull through. Just as he had stayed for Patricia, his wife in turn, was there for him whenever he needed her. He continued his mundane life, but it wasn’t so bad; at least he was still able to see the rest of the Losers.

Like Bill, Stan found hope in the fact that he and Patricia were finally able to have children—and Stan was elated to know that he was going to father two kids: one boy, and one girl. It was ironic, considering the fact that the lives that were taken in Stan’s life had now been replaced by two new ones. It was hard for Stan to accept the reality of it all, but at the same time, there was hope for everyone in the end.

Mike, too, had also found hope. After pulling a few strings here and there, he was able to right the wrongs that were done to his parents. He changed history to reveal the truth—to empower himself over what people had used against him. He was able to get back on his feet and move on from Derry now that everything was fine. Just as he had wanted, he found it relieving to be free from the past, and was currently engaged to a woman who had accepted him as he was.

Richie had been the one who found it the hardest to move on.

Richie had moved back to LA and continued his career as a comedian and continued to film his comedy shows—bringing Bill into the scene every now and then. He wasn’t open to the public about his sexuality yet, but at least he had learned to embrace it and allowed it to become apart of him; even if that lingering doubt was still there.

Losing Eddie was like losing a part of him, and he didn’t know if he’d ever feel the same after what happened in Derry—but for what it’s worth, he wasn’t alone. There might’ve been days where he felt awful, but it was...comforting, to know that his friends would be there for him.

Now Victor...he had moved on, in simpler terms. Having been used to this type of thing, the death of a friend (or ally, in other situations) had been something that he was used to; but [Y/N]’s death had hit hard. Howard had allowed Victor to adopt Bobby as his own dog, and the duo had returned to Wisconsin to continue their routine.

Victor often found Bobby, despite being an animal, staring at the two photographs in Victor’s room; expressing a type of grief that Victor didn’t know dogs could express. One of the photographs was of him and [Y/N], in the Summer Dance, and the other one was something that Howard had given him. It was the photograph of [Y/N] and Robert Gray; the only photograph the two had together.

Victor, in all his rage and fury, would’ve burned the photograph—but he couldn’t. It was one of the few pictures of them where they looked truly happy and free, despite their former situation. He had also kept the ring that they used to wear, allowing it to sit and collect dust on his nightstand. But not everything was so bad.

Victor had decided to attend group counseling for veterans, where he found a strength in knowing that there were others like him. To know another’s sorrows, and tell others about his own, had lifted a weight off of his shoulders. 

After Derry, the Losers didn’t cut off contact with each other.

In fact, they took every free day that they could to arrange meetings and discuss about their daily life, and how everyone was doing. Every time when the Losers Club had planned trips, vacations, or simple meet-ups at places—they always made sure to reserve two empty seats at the table. One for Eddie, and the other for [Y/N]. They wouldn’t allow death to separate them from being a member of the Losers Club.

Every year Mike had planned a routine trip to Derry, which was still bad...but with the bad memories—the good ones came with them. He bought roses for Eddie and [Y/N], and planted them beside the tombstones. Every year he had seen the same thing happen to the previous flowers; which had never wilted nor died. Instead, the rosy red color of the petals had seemed to fade with time: revealing pure white underneath.

 


 

Somewhere, between time and space...

The Other watched and observed, power shifting and flowing at their ethereal presence. The Turtle bowed respectfully in their presence, the silence deafening—in the distance (far in the future), the Eater of Worlds perishes at the hands of eight stars and the sun. Pain, grief, and anguish passes through the Turtle's eyes.

"You wish to help the Eater of Worlds," The Other states. "How so?"

The Turtle thinks, harder than usual, for he knows that every little thing that he presents to The Other is crucial—if he didn't mull over every little thing, everything would be ruined. The Other watches patiently, for they have all the time in the world, and more. Finally, after an eternity passes, The Turtle replies; his voice full of promise.

"IT can save them," Maturin murmured. "All of them."