Actions

Work Header

A long way to go

Chapter Text

 

 

 

"Shall we make a deal?"

Bill blinked, confused. After he had told his friends to abandon him, giving himself up to save his friend, the last thing he expected was for Pennywise to release him after all of the Losers were gone.

The boy turned around to face the clown as same as taking a step back, making as much distance between him and the monster as much as his legs could carry him. Pennywise was still standing as tall as ever. Its bright glowing yellow eyes were staring at him and made Bill shivered uncontrollably.

"W…w-what d-d-do y-you m-mean?" he asked, staring at the towering clown. "Y-you didn't w-w-want to e-eat m-me?"

The clown's eyes flashed bright a bright red color and Bill gasped – frightened. It seemed like he had asked a wrong question. However, after several seconds of silence, IT laughed out loud.

"My, my! My dear Billy-boy!" Pennywise crooned, taking a step forward and Bill took another step back. "I did intend to eat you," IT took another step forward. Menace and hunger were clear in its yellow eyes, but there was also something else. "But~~~you're lucky. I've change my mind!"

Large hands with long fingers shot out and grabbed Bill by his forearms. The boy yelled as pain sank shot through his limbs and tried to pull back, only to be pulled forward so effortlessly.

"I've found some…interests…in your kind," Pennywise said. Now its face was just a few inches from Bill's. Its voice dropped an octave and cracked even more. "I'll make a deal with you. The deal that will bring your precious little Georgie back. I can even try not to eat humans, if you behave."

Bill's eyes lighted up at the mention of his brother.

"G-Georgie?" so, Bill asked about his little brother instead. "Y-you're going to give Georgie back? B-but you ate him!" Bill shouted at the end of the sentence. Anger still surged through his veins when he talked about his brother, especially in the presence of the killer. Then, he realized that he had totally ignored the parts where Pennywise stated it could try not eating humans. It would be a lie anyway, Bill thought.

"Yes, yes, I did eat him, but not all of him," IT replied with a cruel smile. "There are some parts of him left, scattered around here somewhere. I can put them together and send him back."

Bill was pulled closer until the clown's mouth was right beside his ear. "I can give him back to you, in an exchange that you will teach me about your kind…" IT lower its voice until it's barely above a whisper. "…and you will belong to me until the end of eternity."

"R-really? Y-you a-aren't l-lying, right?" Bill hated how he let a slight glimpse of hope slipped into his voice. He hated to let this monster knew that he might believe its words.

"I've never lied," Pennywise replied, pulling his face away from Bill. Their eyes met and Bill swallowed his bitter reply. The boy wanted to retort, wanted to say that he didn't believe it, but he couldn't.

"What d-do you m-mean b-by 't-the end of e-eternity'?" Bill asked, and Pennywise's smile widened.

"It means; you will not be able to run away from me," IT replied, licking its lips. "You will forever be mine."

Pennywise brought Bill closer to it, and the clown's voice was suddenly filled with hunger. "To cut it short, you'll be stuck with me forever. Billy-Boy."

Bill was thinking hard now. No matter what he said, he couldn't lie that he wanted his little brother back more than anything, more than killing this monster. However, he didn't know if he could really trust IT.

"When you b-bringing Georgie back," so Bill decided to ask and looked up at Pennywise as he talked – meeting its eyes. He didn't want to look like a coward when he demanded an explanation; he didn't want to feed more fear to the clown. "Y-you b-bring him back a-as G-Georgie? You d-didn't just m-make his-his c-corpse c-comes t-to live? W-will h-he be t-truly alive?" Bill hated how the desperation slipped in to his voice at the end, hating how his voice cracked.

"Billy boy," Pennywise titled its head. Its lips pulled up into another smile which, surprisingly, not cruel. "What have you learned about me so far? Hm? I might devour human for a living, but I'm no ordinary… 'monster'. No…I'm beyond that. And there are a lot of things in my power that I haven't showed you silly group."

"Show me," Bill didn't know what drove him. Some illusion of security that Pennywise wouldn't eat him because they're making a deal? He didn't know.

The clown in front of him titled its head, and then he shrugged and let go of Bill's arms. Bill took a step back as a tall figure in front of him shifted. Its clothes seemed to be devour by its own skin. Then, a few seconds later stood a tall man in its place.

"Much better, isn't it?" the tall male asked him, lips pulled up into a familiar smile. "Is this form less scary? Do you want me to make this place less scary?"

Then IT waved its hand and Bill gasped in shock as the walls started to shift. Then, he found himself in a library, a very warm and comfy one. There were several comfortable looking armchairs near a fireplace with book shelves taking over all sides of the room. A giant chandelier hanging down from above their heads.

"Welcome to my lair," IT said, smiling and popped down on one of the armchair. "Do you like it?"

"I-is t-this an i-illusion or s-something?" Bill gasped. He couldn't believe that this was real. This place looked like a library out of some classic tale.

"No, it's real, just in the place that I didn't allow you little kids wandering into," IT replied, long arm stretched out and grabbed one of the books from a nearby shelf. "I might like scaring you with the dirty sewer, but that's not where I live."

"Then w-where e-exactly are w-we?" Bill asked, out of curious than demanding.

Its eyebrows rose, amusement was clear in its eyes. "Several miles deep underneath Derry."

Bill inhaled sharply but couldn't find a voice to reply. He was, honestly, shocked. Okay, there was a possibility that IT was lying. But at this rate, Bill knew he really didn't have a choice. He could still chose to be eaten, of course. But it's a choice that, in the end, wouldn't change anything. Around three decades after his death, IT would be back.

"So…" Pennywise spoke again. This time Bill heard the slight annoyance mixed with danger. Its patience was running low. "Do you want to be eaten or do we have a deal?"

Bill wanted to say that he would never trust IT. He wanted to shout that IT was lying. He wanted to say that all of this were just some tricks – some illusion. But Bill had let a flicker of hope conjured in his heart and he knew he couldn't say no. In the end, all he wanted was to get his brother back and be alive. He had made a sacrifice to save his friends, but if there was a chance that he could still survive this too, Bill knew he would take it. He still wanted to live.

"Yes" he nodded, once, and IT smiled.

"Good, good," IT nodded, holding one elegant hand up – motioning for Bill to move closer. "Now, come here."

Bill was hesitated, but he did step forward. IT reached out and grabbed him by the arm before yanking the boy toward itself. Bill yelped and found himself half landed on its lap.

"This is the most important step," Pennywise said, its blue eyes seemed to shine with something so fierce – so bright. "I'm going to mark you. I will ask you once, and you have to say yes."

"Um…" Bill nodded, still hesitated and also uncomfortable with the position he was in. One of his legs had landed on its strong thigh but the other was still hanging from the armchair. IT sighed and pulled until Bill had completely seated on its lap.

"So…where should I put my mark?" IT hummed as large hands grabbed and groped Bill's body. The boy found it very unsettling as Pennywise's long fingers pinched and pulled his skin. One of its hand sneaked around to grab his buttock and Bill yelled, immediately trying to get up – only to be held down.

"Stay still," Pennywise hissed, its hands squeezed until Bill let out a whimper.

After making sure that Bill would stay still as IT did what IT wanted, Pennywise released Bill and went back to exploring the boy's body. Then, after a few seconds of pinching, groping, and grabbing, the monster pulled Bill's shirt up and grin.

"There, there, I'm sure it's going to be perfect," the monster purred before it abruptly grabbed Bill's thighs and arranged the boy's legs to be bracing on its shoulders.

Bill shouted in shock as he lost his balance and fell backward. However, Pennywise grabbed his hip in time before Bill's hate hit the floor below. The boy blushed as he realized what position he was in. His legs were spread on each side of the monster's shoulders with his body stretched down between its legs, his head dangling with his arms touching the wooden floor below.

"So perfect," Pennywise purred, gently let Bill's lower back rested against the seat of the armchair, allowing Bill's head and arms to touch the floor. The boy looked up and gasped in shock and embarrassment as one of IT's hand came to pull his shirt down, exposing his pale stomach.

"W-w-what a-are y-you doing?!" Bill shouted in horror, trying to wriggle free only for those large hands to tighten around his hips.

"Shhhh…don't be shy," Pennywise crooned, its eyes flashed yellow. "I've found where I'll mark you."

Another hand released his hip and moved to pull the waistband of his pants toward his legs. Bill wanted to move away but he couldn't. He couldn't move. He was frozen in place – too shocked by what was happening.

However, to Bill's small relief, Pennywise didn't pull his pants all the way toward his legs. IT pulled his pants just enough to expose some part of his hip bones.

"Here, perfect," the monster smiled, one long finger circling – massaging – a patch of skin near his right hip bone.

Bill's heart dropped, he knew what's going to happen. However, that didn't prepare him when it actually happened.

Pennywise purred and then abruptly pulled Bill's hips up together with hunching its shoulders and back. Bill choke on his own cry as his legs fell from the hunching shoulders, spreading wide as Pennywise made sure to keep its head between his spread thighs. IT hunched forward, bending its neck until its lips touched a skin area lateral to Bill's midline and medial to the right hip bone.

"Billy Boy?" it purred, ghosting its lips above the skin there.

Bill sobbed, he knew what was going to happen. However, that didn't stop him from pledging. "M-my n-name is Bill," he said, voice shaking. "Just Bill."

"Bill" the monster purred his name out loud and Bill choked on his sob. He tried to swallow it down, trying to be brave. But in the end, he's still just a child.

"Yes," Bill said, closing his eyes and pulled both arms to cover his face as the monster bit down. Sharp teeth penetrated his skin and Bill screamed. The pain bloomed from where IT had bitten him, blinding him, surging through his veins – overwhelming him.

Bill was still screaming as IT locked its teeth on his skin and didn't let go. Instead, it kept sucking at the blood bleeding out from the wounds.

However, after several waves of agonizing pain, Bill felt numbness creeping up from where IT's lips still connected to his skin. He dared lowering his arms and opened his eyes and gasped when he was met with a pair of bright blue ones.

IT slowly pulled away from the skin near Bill's right hip bone. It stung a bit, only enough to make Bill winced. But Bill didn't have a chance to look at the wound it caused because his eyelids suddenly felt so heavy. He felt drained and empty.

And that's how Bill passed out, his lower half resting on its lap with his legs spread, his upper half hanging down from the armchair with his shoulders and up resting on the wooden floor. Boneless and numb.

The last thing Bill remembered before his eyes slid shut was the way IT regarded him with a similar manner of a predator regarding its prey.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Bill woke up to some distinctive voices talking.

After several seconds of staring at the bright ceiling above, Bill tried to move his head. On his right was a wall and windows, and on his left were his friends. The Losers.

"Bill!"

Mike was the first one to notice that he was awake. And in a split second, Bill was surrounded by his friends. They shouted everything toward him at once and Bill had to hold his hands up to make them stopped.

"How did you get away from IT?!" Beverly was the first one to ask after she had pulled Bill into a hug. "We decided to go back but you're not there when we arrived. There was nothing there!"

"What d-do you m-mean?" Bill blinked, confused. "Not t-there?" and then he gasped. "Y-you guys went back?"

"Of course we did!" Stan said, crossing his arms over his chest.

"We're not going to abandon you, even after you told us to save ourselves," Richie spoke up. "We're half way out when we all decided that we're going back. Your choice was terrible and it made us felt like shit," the smallest boy bit his lower lips, anger was still in his eyes but it was fading. "But we're not going to blame you."

Bill was touched. Of course, he had a feeling that his friends were going to come back even though he told them to run.

After that, the Losers told him of what happened after Bill decided to sacrifice himself. His friend had gone back but they found nothing. No Bill. No Pennywise. No floating bodies. Nothing.

"We searched everywhere," Richie said. "We searched until nightfall but there was no sign of you."

"We went back to the town, planning that tomorrow we'd try again," Ben continued. "But when we went back, we heard that someone found you unconscious in the barren. Some guy named Robert Gray. He found you and…and…" and now Ben was hesitating, frowning, as if he didn't know how to deliver the message anymore.

"A-and w-what?" Bill asked, frowning too because all of the Losers were wearing the same expression with Ben. "A-and what?" he pressed.

"Bill, this might be shocking, so please listen carefully," Mike was the one to answer. His voice was a bit shaking. "After they brought you in. The police, the police had found your brother. He's still alive."

 

 

Everything happened in a blur. Mike's answer shocked him, but then he remembered what happened.

He had made a deal with Pennywise, and that monster kept the deal.

Bill didn't know if he should be relieved or terrified. And after making his friends told him everything they knew, Bill was sure that Georgie was alive and recovering. Richie told him all about what he eavesdropped the doctor talking to Bill's parents. Georgie was surprisingly still alive, but with severely malnutrition.

"Your parents are with him," Eddie said. "Should we let them know that you wake up? Your mother asked us to tell her as soon as you're up."

"M-my mother?" Bill blinked. He's surprised. He had never thought that his mother would want to talk to him ever again since she had become the ghost of whom she used to be before Georgie's death.

But now he's back, a voice in his head said. Pennywise had given Georgie back. My little brother is still alive!

"Bill," Richie called him and Bill snapped out from his trains of thoughts. He looked up and saw that his friends were all waiting for him to start talking. Everyone had answered his questions, now it was Bill's turn to tell them of what happened; how did he survive.

However, before Bill could tell his friends of what happened, a door into his room was pushed open. All of the children snapped their heads toward the newcomer, including Bill.

A tall man dressed in semi-casual clothes walked in and Bill was frozen in place. His latest memory came flying back to him.

The library. IT transforming from a clown to a real man.

The bite.

Standing in front of them was IT. And IT was smiling at him with a knowing look in its eyes.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Bill had no idea how it ended up like this.

The police did find his brother. They found him in a wood, unconscious, losing one arm, barely breathing, but indeed still alive. They brought him in, calling his parents, and here they were.

His mother was in tears when Georgie woke up. She held her youngest son and cried. His father also had tears in his eyes too, as same as Bill. However, when they asked Georgie about what happened, the young boy told them that he didn't remember anything. The last memory he had was going out to play with the paper boat Bill gave him. Nothing about himself being taken by IT. Nothing.

No one, except for Bill and the Losers, had thought of trying to find out what happened to Georgie. Bill's parents had ignored all Bill's questions about why and what had happened to his brother. In fact, Zack Denbrough had snapped at his own son for being so persistence of trying to find an answer.

"Your brother is back and alive, isn't this enough?!" his father had shouted at him. There was no love, only anger and disdain. "Why you have to insist on talking about what happened? Do you wish to traumatize Georgie by bringing his memories back?!"

Somehow, Bill had a feeling that this might be Pennywise's words. However, when his father started beating him Bill changed his minds. He knew that his father had a habit of trying to bury the past – the problems, or whatever had troubled him and he couldn't find the answer.

Luckily, his mother – who had come back to herself a lot, had stopped his father after his first strike at Bill's face. She then turned to herd him back to his room.

"Your father is just sad, Bill," she said, tears still in her eyes. "We're…it's complicated. You should be grateful that Georgie's alive." She almost started crying at this point. "We…it's a hard time for all of us, Bill. Please, don't make it harder on your father or me. Just rest and recover, I will check on you in the evening."

She hugged him and Bill almost cried too. He missed her loving smile and her embrace so much. "Just rest and recover, Bill. Stop troubling your father with those questions. Do you understand? Can you do that for me?"

And how could Bill say no? He missed his mother so much and he was so grateful she was back. So, Bill nodded and she gave him a quick kiss on his forehead before leaving, shutting the door softly.

Now, on his last night at the hospital, Bill laid awake on the bed – staring at the ceiling as he thought about what had happened.

Georgie was back, truly back. Today Bill was allowed to visit him and his little brother was so happy to see him. His mother smiled as they talked and read both of them Georgie's favorite story. His father wasn't here today but he would be coming after work. However, Bill didn't want to face his father yet, so he retreat back to his room early.

His mother came to check on him a while ago, saying that she would be staying at the hospital until Georgie was released. And since tomorrow his father had worked, she would have a friend drove Bill home. Bill just shrugged and said that he was okay with the arrangement.

Home, Bill thought, thinking about his bedroom. I feel like it's been a long time since I've been home. No, I haven't been home since Georgie…disappeared. He didn't use the word 'die' because now he's not sure any more about what happened.

Or maybe IT could bring back the dead? A voice suggested this theory and Bill had to say that it's reasonable.

Thinking about IT brought Bill back to the moment IT or 'Robert Gray', as everyone called IT in its human form, stepped into the room a day ago. Right when Bill was about to tell his friends what had happened, pretending to be checking on Bill liked any kind adult who had saved him would be.

Bill knew that he had to make a story up or else he would put his friends in danger. And he did. He told his everyone that Pennywise bit his neck and he didn't remember anything after that until he woke up in the hospital.

His friends' reactions were different from each other. Eddie and Richie kept asking him about what happened, trying to make Bill remember something. Stan was sure that IT must have done something with his brain. Beverly was just relieved that he's alive. Mike and Ben had the same suspicion with Stan. But since they all believed that IT would be sleeping for the next three decades, everyone believed that they had enough time for Bill to remember everything.

After his friend left, it took Bill several minutes to calm his hammering heart. When he was sure that no one was going to come into his room soon, he pulled the patient gown up and gasped at what he saw near his right hip bone.

IT had left a wound there, a circle wound created from teeth. But what terrifying about it was that his skin had knitted itself back together, leaving a scar – a mark on its place. Bill dared said that it's a mark because there was no way any natural scar would appear black – like it was a tattoo.

Bill pushed the gown down and dropped back on the bed after that. He was sure that this was some kind of a prove that he had truly made a deal with IT. Soon, exhaustion had lured him into sleep and Bill woke up again when morning had arrived with a nurse and his breakfast.

IT didn't visit him again after a brief appearance at the hospital yesterday. Bill was still dreading the day he had to face IT again, which he knew that would be soon. And he was right.

 

 

At the moment Bill decided that he should go to bed. The door to his room was opened and IT stepped in.

"Hello Bill," IT said, closing a door swiftly before walking toward the bed. Bill couldn't help but moved back until his back hit the wall.

IT's eyes glittered under the soft artificial lights from the ceiling, its lips pulled into a grin. "It seems like you remember everything."

"I r-remember e-e-everything," Bill replied, trying to glare at IT - doing anything to cover the fear that slowly creeped back to him. "W-why a-are you here?" he asked, looking at IT from head to toe. IT was wearing a simple white shirt with dark blue jacket. Simple black pants and black shoes. Overall, IT looked like a human. A very tall one with high cheek bones, ginger hair, and blue eyes.

"Why you have to be so cold?" IT said as it sat down on the bed, making Bill jumped in the process. "By the way, I go by 'Robert Gray' now. Does this name sound nice?"

Nicer than Pennywise, more human than Pennywise, Bill thought but didn't say it out loud. He kept his mouth shut and waited for the monster to continue.

"So…you've seen that I'm serious about the deal," IT – Robert – said. "Now, it's your turn."

"M-my turn?" Bill blinked, confused. "W-what d-do you mean?"

"The deal, Billy," Robert clicked his tongue in the manner which was quite disturbing for Bill. "You'll teach me about…mankind."

Oh, that… Bill gulped, nodding. His heart rate was still a lot above average but Bill willed himself to calm down. "W-what do y-you want to k-know?"

Robert titled his head a bit, then he smiled. "The first thing would be about your education system. In these past hundreds of years, your kind have changed the way you teach your offsprings a lot."

Our education system? Bill had to bit the inner side of his cheeks to prevent himself from laughing. Okay, okay, it might be weird, but it's better. It's better than IT being a usual IT.

So he started talking. Bill told IT about the different between each schools. After that he told IT about universities. But since Bill hadn't really thought about his future as far as attending the university, he was able to talk only about the concept of it. Also, Bill wasn't sure if the other countries would have the same education system with the US, so he told IT that what he said might not be true in Europe or other places.

 

The boy was yawning by the time he finished telling IT about the education system. And he was surprised that he could be this relaxed in IT's presence.

"You're tired, little buddy," IT stated, blue eyes had been gluing to Bill's since he started talking. "May be it's time for you to get some sleep."

"It i-is," Bill said, yawning again as he turned to look at the clock. "It's t-two h-hour p-passed my b-b-bedtime." He yawned again and jumped when IT put its hand on top of his head.

"Then sleep," Robert – IT said, stroking Bill's hair with such gentleness that Bill had no idea IT possessed. "I'll visit you again tomorrow."

"W-w-w-wait, w-what?" Bill was immediately more alerted. "W-w-what do y-you mean?"

"See you tomorrow Bill," and IT only grinned at him before pulling away, standing up. Bill watched with trepidation as IT turned and exited the room. The door clicked shut softly after its departure.

See me tomorrow? Bill shook his head. Okay, it was true that IT was not like what he had expected, at least not in that moment ago. But a revisiting? That unsettled Bill. But then he remembered the deal he made with IT and his heart sank. Bill had agreed to teach it about mankind. That meant he should start expecting an unpleasant visit from IT from now on.

 

Unknown to Bill, as soon as he was asleep IT had materialized itself immediately from a shadow. IT was still in its latest human form, and that pair of blue eyes had never left Bill.

"You will be beautiful," it said in a language which had been long forgotten, a language from an ancient time. "You will grow up well, you will be cherished. You will be loved."

Long fingers touched Bill's forehead, brushing a few stranded of hair off the boy's face. Blue eyes turned orange and IT bent down, kissing its future bride with such care and gentleness.

"We will be together forever," IT said, slowly detaching itself from the boy whi was still sleeping peacefully - unaware that one part of an ancient ritual had been performed.

"My bride. My mate."

IT slipped back into the darkness and the boy continued to sleep with IT watching over him from the shadow. Tomorrow would come and IT would visit Bill again. And IT was looking forward to that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TBC.

Chapter Text

 

 

 

Somehow, Bill wasn't surprised when 'the friend' his mother had talked about turned out to be IT.

Bill stared at the tall ginger-haired man as his mother introduce him to Bill with such enthusiasm. And, as if to irritate Bill more, IT had been smiling politely as the one-side conversation went on. With eyes gleaming with something Bill didn't want to think about all the time that Sharon Denbrough talked.

 

After several minutes of one-side conversation with his mother, Bill found himself sitting in the back of Robert's car and on his way home. He didn't want to know how IT had a car – or how it acquired one. Bill was afraid of the answer he might get. At first Bill was determined to stay quiet all the trip home, but then curiosity got the best of him.

"How d-d-did you m-m-make h-her k-k-know you?" Bill asked, noting that IT was a very good driver despite having been living in the sewers underneath Derry for who knew how long. Also, IT hadn't talked to him since Sharon waved them good-bye at the hospital; Bill had thought that IT would start provoking him as soon as they were alone.

"I can insert some…imaginations," IT – Robert replied, voice calm and surprisingly soothing. "Don't worry, I didn't do much. Just putting some vague memories about me being some trustworthy people she had worked with before moving to Derry."

Bill nodded at the answer. He was surprised IT didn't try to provoke him with anything when it replied. Honestly, after what IT had done to him, his friends, and the rest of the unlucky children of this town, Bill had never thought before the IT was capable of being nice.

"You have somethings on your mind," IT said and Bill bit his lower lip. He hated when someone saw right through his mask. However, IT was not some ordinary people, so Bill decided not to dwell on that matter.

"Why d-d-did you c-change your mind?" so he decided to go with what had been in his mind since that moment IT had proposed him with the deal. "W-w-what m-made y-you s-s-suddenly didn't w-want t-t-to eat me?"

IT didn't answer right away and Bill waited. He decided that IT was not angry because he didn't see any sign of it. Yet, maybe because IT was in human form, so its anger wasn't easily shown.

"Because you're special," after several moments of nothing but noises from the traffic and the roads, IT replied. "I had never seen any differences between humans and animals before you came along, little buddy; only that human tasted better because of their fear. But you, you'd proved me wrong. I'd never thought that humans were capable of…sacrificing purely from a desire to safe others. I saw it in you – that day." IT's voice dropped an octave and Bill unreasonably shivered. "So pure, so bright. You made me want to… explore more about your kind." IT then turned half way to look at him. "You had fascinated me, Bill."

The way IT said his name made Bill felt so weird, but he did his best to keep a neutral and emotionless expression as IT ended the sentence softly. And, despite what he had tried not to express, Bill really hated himself right now because somehow its words had made his lips curved into a small smile. A happy smile.

"You're feeling better," IT noted with a grin on its face and Bill's smile dropped.

What is its plan? The boy wondered bitterly. And how did he, I guess I can call him as a 'he' now, how did he make me let my guards down so quickly? What is his plan? Bill scolded himself or being careless as IT took a turn and then they're heading toward the center of Derry. Since the hospital and Bill's house were on the opposite of Derry, cutting through the city center was the shortest route.

As they drove past several streets filled with shops and restaurants, IT turned to asked Bill about types of human's cuisines - along with admitting that it had tried to eat human's food once.

Out of pure curiosity, with his bitterness from the earlier conversation forgotten, Bill asked, "w-w-what h-human's food d-did you try?"

"Doughnuts," IT replied, "and some chickens – I didn't get the name of the restaurants."

"D-d-doughnuts?" Bill had no idea why he was grinning right now. "D-d-don't t-tell me y-you have t-t-tried i-ice-cream too?"

"I did," IT replied with an amused smile. "And some kind of steaks…I guess. I like them rare."

"Of course," Bill shook his head. He had a clear idea of why IT liked them rare. However, thinking all about what IT had been mostly eating since only IT knew when didn't seem to be a good idea. So, Bill decided to get back to IT's questions.

 

 

 

 

They arrived at Bill's house as Bill just talking about the differences between Chinese and Mexican cuisines. IT parked the car perfectly in front of the house and opened the door. Bill, with an illusion of safety that IT was listening to him - not planning to kill him - gone, gulped as nervousness and trepidation gripped his heart.

IT turned back to look at him with that piercing blue eyes and Bill suddenly felt himself shaking. His hand had landed on the door's handle but he wasn't able to pull. He looked up and gasped before jerking back when IT suddenly appeared to be standing next to the car's window nearest to Bill.

The boy let go of the handle when IT opened the door for him. Large hand with long and elegant fingers was offered and Bill wanted to say no. However, he knew better than to refuse.

Bill grabbed IT's hand and let himself be gently pulled out of the car. IT shut the door and then turned to walk toward the house. Bill couldn't help but follow in silence. His hand was still intertwined with IT's.

The front door of the house opened without a key and Bill gulped. IT didn't even need to touch the doorknob.

They went inside and IT let go of his hand after the door shut close by itself. Bill looked around the house and sighed in relieved that at least everything looked the same.

"Um…Ro…Robert?" a question popped in and Bill turned toward IT who was shrugging his jacket out. Strangely, a simple mundane thing such as IT shrugging out a jacket did calm Bill down a bit.

"Yes?" Robert – IT replied. The jacket was now off him and was hung up on a hanger on the wall near the door, right beside a brown coat that belonged to Bill's mother.

"Y-you didn't…y-you d-didn't n-need to g-g-go back t-to h-h-hibernation?" Bill asked, shrugging off his jacket as well.

"Normally I hibernate when I'm sated - satisfied," Robert replied. "However, you've messed up my cycle, little buddy. I've found a new appetite called 'curiosity about humankind' - special thanks to you of course." The way IT talked was meant to be playful but the grin on its face still made Bill shivered. "So, now I'm going to be awake until I've satisfied my new appetite."

"W-w-well, at l-least y-you're n-not h-hurting a-anyone," Bill replied with an attempt to lighten his own mood. Yeah, now he will only bother me. But I can handle that, for the sake's of Derry. "S-s-so, w-where will y-you go n-next?" he asked IT who was now looking at several pictures on a coffee table.

"Go?" Robert – IT turned back to him, blinking. "I'm not going anywhere." And then a grin appeared. "Your mother will be spending her time mostly at the hospital as Georgie recovers, your father as well. They might come to check on you here and there, but mostly I'm your carer and guardian until Georgie is released."

"W-WHAT?" Bill almost shouted in shock. "I-it c-can't b-be!"

"It can be, my dear," Robert – IT grinned. "Your mother trust me to take a good care of you while she is at the hospital to make sure that your little brother will be okay. She'd asked me to take care of you and I'm determine to do my best."

"I h-h-hate y-you," Bill replied, letting bitterness slipped in because this was too much for him to keep a neutral voice.

"And I love you," IT replied, laughing at Bill's frown as IT waved its handed toward the stairs. "Go and get change, Bill. I'll make you lunch." IT said as IT headed toward the kitchen with a sing-song reply.

What the heck was that? Love me? Sure. Whatever. Bill felt like he was mocked. One side of him wanted to protest - wanted to tell IT that he wanted nothing to do with whatever IT might have been planning, but he couldn't. He wouldn't dare make it angry, he wouldn't want to risk the safety of others in case IT changed its mind. So, in the end Bill decided to do as it said.

 

Bill went upstairs feeling numbs more than anything. However, as he walked past Georgie's room, Bill noted that the door was no longer closed. And as he looked into the room, everything wasn't covered in dust anymore. His parents had cleaned his brother's room, ready for Georgie to return. This made Bill smile.

As he reached his room, Bill pushed the door open with his shoulder and sighed. He dropped his jacket on the floor as he walked toward his bed. He knew he should be getting change, or at least taking a shower, but he didn't feel like it at all. He felt exhausted, stressed, and drained. All he wanted to do was sleep and hope that this was just a dream.

But I don't want Georgie to be just a dream, a voice in his head said. I want him alive and he is alive.

Bill turned onto his back and stared at the ceiling above. Everything in his room was still the same – untouched. Also, he could hear a soft noise of someone working in the kitchen – IT doing something in the kitchen.

I hope he's not cooking someone's meat, Bill grimaced, getting up quickly. He scolded himself for not saying anything when IT said that IT would cook.

Quickly, Bill raced downstairs and almost ran to the kitchen. In his mind he already imaged IT chopping up a human in the kitchen – or part of a human, at least. However, what he saw made him stood dead in his place. IT was chopping something in the kitchen, yes, but it's not human. It's an onion. Also, there was a smell of something being cooked in the oven too, but it's a fish not some parts of a human. Bill felt his shoulders relaxed.

"I hope you like fish, little buddy," IT suddenly spoke up despite having its back to Bill. "I haven't seen someone serve grilled fish with salad before, but I think it should be a good combination – easy to digest." IT then turned to look at him with a grin. "What is it Bill? You're expecting me to be chopping someone up? I can do that if it pleases you."

"No!" Bill shouted, horrified. "No, c-chopping a-anyone!"

"Relax, just kidding," IT chuckled and its voice sent a shiver down Bill's spine. "Go get change. The fish should be ready in eight minutes. Oh, and I hope you like chocolate?"

"I…" Bill blinked, "…I-I l-like c-chocolate."

"Excellent," IT nodded, turning back to the onion IT was working on. And Bill, well…let said that he had to pinch his arm to get his body working again.

Sluggishly, Bill walked upstairs. Too many feelings were running in his head. He was relieved that IT wasn't cooking some human flesh but at the same time he was dumbfounded to see that IT could look and act like a human more than he thought.

Eventually, Bill gathered his clothes and went to the bathroom. Since today he had nothing to do and the dark cloud outside told him that it was going to rain soon, Bill decided to go with something comfy – perfect for staying home all day. Also, at the same time as he was delight at the idea of being allowed to sleep all day, Bill tried not to think about the possibility that IT would be staying with him all day too.

Hey, maybe it's not that bad, another voice in his head said, trying to be optimistic. Maybe IT just wants me to teach more about mankind and then IT will leave.

I hope that it's all just that, Bill thought bitterly as he discarded his clothes. He adjusted the temperature of the water to something comfortable before stepping under the spray of it. The boy moaned as warm water washed his skin and made his tensed up muscles relaxed. However, as soon as he started scrubbing himself, Bill saw something that made his heart dropped.

IT's mark.

The mark had turned unnaturally black. More black than any paints or tattoos Bill had seen. Automatically, Bill tried to scrub the mark off his skin, but nothing happened except the skin in that area became red and sensitive.

In the end, Bill gave up. He told himself that at least IT didn't mark him somewhere visible when he wore clothes. He would just have to make some stories up when he went to swim and someone ask why he put a tattoo at that place. However, considering that he was not old enough to get a tattoo yet, Bill decided that he had to make more stories to avoid the problems.

 

It took Bill a while to make himself step out of the shower to dry up and get dress. And it also took Bill a while to get down to the kitchen.

IT had already finished cooking and was reading a magazine named at the dining table. Bill remembered that magazine. It belonged to his mother.

"Took you long enough," IT spoke without looking up from the magazine. Bill didn't reply but turned to look at what IT had put on the table. A perfectly grilled fish with a bowl of salad. "Eat, little buddy. You're too thin," IT added as if sensing Bill's hesitation. And a flash of danger in its eyes was enough to make the boy complied.

Bill looked at it before forcing himself to sit down. He tried the salad first, and was relieved that it tasted like any salad would be. Then he tried the fish and was surprised again that it was surprisingly delicious.

"It…it's g-good," Bill found himself saying that out loud and looked up to see IT smiled at him – looking proud.

Proud? Bill thought, confused at the opinion his mind had made up. Nevertheless, he decided not to dwell on it and started digging in.

"I'm glad you like it," IT grinned and avert its eyes back to the magazine. Bill noted that IT might had been reading several of his mother's magazines already, judging from the small pile of magazines on the chair nearby.

 

 

The next ten minutes continued in silence except from the sound of pages being flipped and Bill's eating. Outside, it started to rain lightly and children scrambling back to their houses. Several cars had driven passed but nothing happened.

IT was still reading when Bill finished up. The boy took a several second to decide if he should start a conversation or not. In the end, Bill decided not to say anything and got the dish to the sink. He put the bowl and the plate down before turning the tap on.

 

IT was still engrossed in reading when Bill finished washing the dishes. The boy wanted to pretend that IT wasn't here and got back to his room. However, curiosity had won and Bill cleared his throat. That made IT finally looked up.

"Um…" Bill started, hesitated as piercing blue eyes looked at him but continued anyway. "...d-do y-you w-want t-to ask a-anything. I, I m-mean w-what d-do y-you want to k-know m-more about m-mankind?"

"There are a lot of things I want to know about mankind, little buddy," IT replied, smiling and putting the magazine down. "However, I've a feelings that you're not offering to answer my questions because you're generally happy to help me."

IT grinned as Bill's cheeks reddened. IT was right; Bill's intention was to prompt IT to tell him why IT was still here if IT didn't want to ask something about humankind.

"I'm not going to hurt you for your curiosity, Bill," IT said, voice kind and warm. "You can ask me anything."

But you didn't guarantee that you're not going to get angry and use that as an excuse to hurt someone, Bill mentally grimaced. However, he knew too well that IT had won. Bill couldn't force IT to do anything while IT could do everything it wanted with him, including going against their deal.

So, since pissing if off by pretend that he wasn't curious wouldn't be a good idea, Bill knew that he had to go with the only choice IT gave him. Here goes nothing. He thought, looking up to meet its eyes.

"W-w-where w-will you b-be s-staying?" Bill asked. "I m-mean, you d-don't s-seem to b-be…g-going b-b-back to t-the w-sewer? I d-don't k-know. Or y-you can a-a-access y-your… y-your l-lair… f-from t-the s-sewer h-here?"

IT chuckled and that voice sent shivers down Bill's spine.

"Oh, how cute," IT grinned. "Come on Bill. I know you want to ask why I haven't gone back to my lair yet…" IT pushed itself up as it spoke, towering over Bill within seconds. A light from the windows and from the ceiling light cast a shadow on half of its face and body, giving IT even more intimidate look. "…why I'm still here," IT took a step forward and Bill took a step back. "Come on, I'm not going to hurt you."

They were now standing only a few inches away from each other. Bill was scared but he kept his head high, still meeting its eyes and hoped that his expression was still under control.

IT didn't say anything and Bill wanted to stubbornly keep quiet. However, it was a losing battle and Bill knew it. So, in the end, he spoke up. "W-why y-you s-s-still here? W-what d-do you w-want? I-If y-you w-want to a-ask a-about h-h-human's t-things, w-why d-didn't y-y-you d-do it a-already?!" Bill told himself not to shout. He still couldn't risk anger it and put anyone in danger. However, anger, frustration, and stress still slipped into his sentence.

"W-what d-do you w-want?" Bill repeated again, almost panting and was surprised at how much energy he used in this conversation.

"Little buddy," IT sighed, shaking its head. "Do you expect me to really leave you alone? Really? You know me better than that."

"I-I d-don't know you!" Bill shouted on autopilot and IT's grin widened.

"You will know me. You will know more about me. Maybe not now, but soon enough," IT said and then reached out. Bill tried to step away only for its eyes to flash a dangerous shade of yellow, enough to make the boy stayed in place.

"Now, back to your question of why I don't go back to my lair yet," IT said as it tucked Bill forward and leaded him to the living room. "It's because I want to spend my time with you. Like what I've said before, Bill, you've fascinated me. I've never met anyone as interesting as you for a long time."

They were in a living room now and IT moved to sit both of them on a couch. And with a wave of its hand, two cups of hot chocolate suddenly appeared.

"How d-d-did you d-do t-that?" Bill asked out of pure wonder. In the back of his mind, he couldn't help but think that if IT didn't use its power to scare and eat so many children of Derry – it would be kind of nice to have IT around.

"I've told you before that my power is beyond what I've showed you," IT gave Bill a smug smiled before grabbing the cup out from the air. After that IT motioned for Bill to do the same and the boy complied.

They drank their hot chocolate in silence. Bill was torn between going back to his room and sitting here listening to the rain.

A large hand suddenly settled high on his thigh and Bill almost spilled his hot chocolate. He glared at IT who didn't seem to think that settling a hand quite high on someone thigh was kind of unappropriated.

"Ask," IT said – its voice leaving no room for argument. Bill sighed before settling his cup down on the coffee table in front of them.

"How… h-how m-many l-like y-y-you o-out t-t-there? Is…is y-you the o-only o-one of your k-kind? W-what a-are y-you?" Bill asked, trying hard not to feel the large hand on his thigh. "A-a-and d-do they e-eat h-humans…t-too?"

"Hm…I'm not sure if humans have the specific word that can correctly describe me," IT hummed, blue eyes were still as piercing as ever. Bill slightly squirmed from the intense gaze but IT didn't let the boy broke their eyes contact.

"There are not many," IT continued, setting its cup down on the table too. Its hand didn't leave Bill, however. "I know one in a city you call New York, and somewhere in the place you call Sweden. A handful in an Island you decide to call Japan, and somewhere on an icy land you call… Arctic."

"A-arctic?" Bill blinked. "Y-you m-mean… t-the N-north p-pole?"

"Yes," IT nodded. "Don't ask me why he lives there. I don't get him either."

And that brought Bill to another questions he had been wanting to know for a while. "H-how o-old a-are you?" he asked. "L-legends said t-that y-you're v-very old. But, b-but how o-old?"

"I don't know either," IT replied, voice soft. "I know the earth since your kind have yet to…humanize. But most of the time back there I spent on sleeping, so I can't tell you much about it. I really started my routine of waking up to feed and going back to sleep around hundreds of years ago."

Hundreds of years… before human even…humanized?! Bill wasn't surprised if IT lived several time longer than normal human lifespan, but even before human had humanized? The boy gulped. What does that mean? When humans were still the same as monkey? Or when the earth didn't yet have humans? Or…when the dinosaurs were still alive?!

"You're thinking too hard, Bill," IT snored and squeezed Bill's thigh, making the boy yelp and almost jump. "That's a cute sound you make," IT noted, grinning wide at Bill's glare. "Go on. I know you want to ask more."

IT definitely can read my mind. Bill thought as he tried to keep his fear at bay. "D-do y-you know w-where you…" Bill was hesitated because he thought that this question might cross the line, but then he bit his lip and decided that he didn't care. IT was the one demanding Bill to ask. "…came from? Do..d-do you k-know? I s-suppose y-you don't h-have a p-parent… right?"

IT narrowed its eyes at him, but there was no anger in those blue eyes. Rather, it was like a look of someone thinking about the pros and cons if they should reveal something. "Of course, I know. But that is a story for another time."

"O-okay," Bill nodded and didn't push the subject. He was less tensed but still not as relaxed as he used to be. He ran out of the questions he wanted to ask it for now, but the silence didn't last long because IT suddenly asked Bill about human's literatures. IT told him that it had been reading a lot of things when IT was awake and was surprised at how 'un-permanently' human's views on anything had been.

So, Bill had spent another ten minutes telling IT about literatures he had learnt or heard. After that IT asked him about plays at the theatre, something that caught its interest from time to time.

The rain had stopped and the sun had come out when Bill finished telling IT a short version of Les Misérables. And IT looked out of the window before standing up. Bill's heart almost leaped out of his chest in joy that IT would finally leave him alone.

IT indeed left him alone. However, Bill was quite disappointed that IT walked out of the door and drove away like a normal person; he was kind of hoping to see some dramatic departure.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

After that day, IT had made a constant appearance in his life. Every day, or every two days, Bill had to meet IT at least once. And their meetings were very various, from IT appearing out of nowhere while Bill was heading to meet his friends or just materialize up in his bedroom while Bill was about to go take a shower.

 

Today was like any other day that IT suddenly materialized up from the shadow in the corner of his room. The months ago Bill would be terrified, but right now he was kind of used to it. Also, strangely, Bill found that sometimes having IT around made him felt…secured.

"About to take a shower?" IT asked as IT casted its eyes to look at what Bill was carrying. "Little buddy, that t-shirt is too old to be wore. I'll get you a new one."

"No n-need t-to," Bill replied. "I l-like it."

IT stared at him and huffed before dropping itself on his bed. Bill sighed; it seemed like tonight he wouldn't be going to bed early then.

 

As he showered, Bill thought about what had happened since the day he made a deal with IT. At first he was expecting and dreading his life after that to be hard and painful, but no, not at all. IT didn't seem to care about the Losers or what they had done to IT at all. That made it easier to lie to his friends that he remembered nothing that happened that day, and that Pennywise would have probably go back to sleep. It took a while, but in the end all of the Losers decided to drop the subject about IT and continued on with their life.

Beverly's departure was full with tears and smiled. They promised to write each other and that Beverly would come to visit when summer break arrives. However, the only thing that felt off for Bill was that when she leaned in for a kiss, he only kissed her cheeks and wished her luck. Beverly looked surprised but she didn't say anything. Richie and Eddie teased him a lot after that about him and Beverly, but that's that. They went back to their normal life and the terror before started to feel like just a bad dream.

Georgie had been hospitalized for almost a month before he was released. Bill remembered the day his brother was back, truly back. Georgie smiled at him and they had a very happy dinner that evening. His mother was back to her loving and caring self while his father was …trying. However, Bill couldn't ask for more than having Georgie back. And at some point, he had convinced himself that everything had turned out okay.

 

"Took you long enough, little buddy," IT said as soon as Bill was back in the bedroom. The boy rolled his eyes before pulling a chair from his desk and turned it to face Robert.

"What d-do y-you want t-to know t-today?" he asked, leaning back against the backrest. It had become a routine now that IT would show up to ask him questions or just to talk. And after several months of having IT around, Bill was relaxed enough to let his guard down when IT made a visit.

"What do you want for your birthday, Bill?" IT asked right away and the question made Bill blinked in surprise. "It's almost your birthday? Right?"

"My...birthday?" Bill blinked and realized that what IT said was true. His birthday was coming soon and Bill was surprised that he had totally forgotten about it. "I…_ d-don't k-know."

"Hmp…" IT grinned and Bill didn't like the expression IT had on its face at all. "Don't worry little buddy, I'll think of something special!"

"Y-you d-don't h-h-have to…" Bill tried to shake his head. He didn't like the look in its eyes at all. However, the boy also that it would be in vain trying to stop it from whatever it was cooking up in its mind.

"I have to…" IT cut him off before beckoning Bill to come closer. "Come on Bill, you know that is not the right place to sit when it's my story time."

"I'm n-not a b-baby," Bill shook his head but he did get up from the chair. They had done this several times now, it became like a routine that Bill would sit where he wanted and IT would demand that Bill come join IT in the bed.

"You're a baby to me," IT replied and somehow Bill got an image of Pennywise cradling a real baby in its arm. The boy wasn't sure if that image should be ridiculous or terrifying. Nevertheless, after the image of Pennywise cradling a newborn child, Bill's brain switched to the present form of IT – a tall human male with ginger hair and sharp cheekbones.

"What are you thinking, little buddy?" IT asked as it grabbed Bill's arm when the boy was near enough. Then, seconds later Bill was seated securely in IT's lap. "Are you thinking about me?"

Bill almost blushed. "I… I w-was i-imaging y-you h-holding a b-baby."

"Oh~" IT trailed off as it set one hand on Bill's hip, its fingers tapping against the mark near his right hip bone. The skin where IT touched felt too warm but Bill tried to ignore it. "Is it good?..." IT asked, almost whispering. "…me, holding a baby. Is it good?"

Bill had no idea where it wanted from him nor what was the point of this question, but he did have an opinion about that image. "It's t-terrifying," Bill replied, looking down at the hand on his hip. "It l-looks l-like y-you're g-g-going to e-eat a c-child."

"No, no, I won't eat my own child," IT made a 'shhh' sound at the end of the sentence. "What about you?" Then IT bent down to whisper against his ears. "Will you look good carrying a child?"

"W-what?" Bill frowned. He didn't know how they got to this but the question left him dumbfounded. Me? Holding a baby? What question was that? What is IT getting at? Me, carrying a baby? Look good? I don't understand IT at all.

"Me…l-look good?" Bill repeated and IT nodded. Shit, IT was serious with this question. What the hell? Why will someone care how a boy holding a baby look like? Oh, I forgot. This is IT. Despite looking like a tall and gorgeous male model, its mind doesn't work like us at all.

IT was still waiting for an answer and Bill decided that they wouldn't be going anywhere if he didn't answer that weird question. "I d-don't k-know. T-There is a p-p-picture of m-me h-holding G-Georgie w-when he's t-three m-m-months old s-somewhere in t-the h-house t-though, i-if y-you want to s-see."

IT chuckling and suddenly pulled away, but its hand was still at Bill's hip. "I think you'll look gorgeous."

"W-What?" Bill shook his head. I'll never understand how its mind work. Me? Holding a baby looking gorgeous? Only my mom will look gorgeous holding a baby, or maybe Beverly too. "I… I d-don't u-understand you at all."

"You will, soon," IT replied and leaned back toward the wall. "Now, my dear Bill, my story time. I've a questions about…"

Bill relaxed as IT went on with what IT wanted to ask him tonight. They sat there, on Bill's bed, spending half an hour talking about what IT found interesting about humans these days. Bill answered as best as he could and hoped that IT would soon leave or stay like this for a little longer. Bill in the past would freak out over the idea of staying in the same room with IT for more than a split second, but now Bill was quite comfortable and used to this. Actually, he even started to look forward to the story time.

And, despite the screaming in his head for him to be careful and that this was all just another lie, Bill had started to find comfort in its half embrace.

Physical contact was something Bill had been deprived of since Georgie died. Of course, everything was getting better. His mom was back to herself but it wouldn't be the same. His parents were now very protective of Georgie and Bill understood that. However, he couldn't help but still feel like he was neglected from time to time. But since it's not as worse as after Georgie's funeral - not even close, Bill was determined to ignore that small emptiness he felt in his heart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TBC.