Okay maybe it wasn’t the most logical, or even safest, decision he’d ever made. But damn it, he was never one to refuse a dare. Especially not with what the alternative could be.
So here he was, prepared to knock on the door of some random family that had just moved in. He lifted his hand to knock. Maybe I’ll be on the other side waiting for you , a voice that sounded eerily similar to a sadistic clown that haunted his nightmares told him. He shook it away, he was okay. He was safe. This was just another family that had the horrible luck to move here to Derry.
He hesitantly knocked on the door, then stepped back to wait. He heard footsteps coming toward the door and he tensed up. Half expecting a body to be hanging on the other side once it opened.
Instead, he was greeted by a woman looking utterly exhausted. She had kind eyes and a sweet smile, but he knew better than to trust anyone here.
His first impulse was to do some voice, maybe his british one to throw the woman off. But that would result in his friends telling him he messed it up and he’d have to do another dare. Wouldn’t want them to know your secret, would you? the voice warned him. He pushed it down again.
“Hi, I noticed you just moved in and I thought I’d be the first to welcome you,” he said, following along to the script his friends had given him with the dare. It was less of an actual dare, and more curiosity getting the better of them.
The woman extended her arm. “Oh, thank you.” She almost looked surprised. “I’m Joyce Beyers. And you are?”
He connected their hands, giving a short shake before pulling away. “Richie… Tozier.”
“Nice to meet you. I actually have a son and daughter around your age, maybe you’d like to meet them.”
“For sure! They could even hang out with me and my friends.” Richie didn’t bother to tell the woman that it would make her children on the Loser’s list at school. But at least Henry Bowers had been arrested a while ago.
“That would be awesome. They were so nervous to move here, worried they wouldn’t find any friends.”
“Well tell them not to worry! We’d be more than happy to have them.” As much as Richie said that he wasn’t actually sure. Of course, everyone in the Losers Club was nice and wouldn't turn someone down as a friend. But the ‘event not to be mentioned’ had made them quite close, and throwing other people into the mix might hurt their dynamic. Richie pushed it aside, the kids wouldn’t like them anyways. It would be fine. “But tell me Joyce, why did you move to Derry. It’s not a very well known place.”
“Oh you can call me -- oh, nevermind, I guess you got it.”
“Most parents tell me to call them by their first name anyways. Why not skip the boring part?” Before Joyce could respond, Richie prompted again, “So tell me.”
“We thought we should have a change of pace. Get out of the town we’d been stuck in. It was just time for change.” Richie could see the Joyce tense up, the same far off look him and his friends would get anytime It was mentioned.
“Cool, cool. Well, welcome to Derry! Watch out for the killer clowns,” Richie half joked and half warned, as he made his way down and away from the house.
Joyce gave him a tense smile in return. “Thank you, we will!”
Richie was at the sidewalk by the time Joyce had finished talking. He hated having his back turned anyone these days and always tried to walk away before they were done talking. He gave her a quick wave before jogging down the street.
It wasn’t a long jog considering he was only going to Ed’s house, which was down the block. But it was definitely one that would have put the man himself into an asthma fit.
The Losers were laying on the grass outside waiting for him. If they were at anyone else’s house they would have been inside, except Miss K said they couldn’t. Something about too many germs or some shit. Sure Eddie had stood up to her, but she was still the same person and his mom. So here they were.
“What’s up, Losers? Actually think of a good fucking dare while I was gone?” Richie asked, as he plopped down on the grass next to Eddie.
Don’t sit to close, the voice warned him again. But he wasn’t going to let the voice of a thing he killed haunt him. He simply pushed it aside, like Beverly had told them all to do. Apparently it was some sort of leftover from the trauma.
“Yeah actually, we dared Ben to go fuck your mom,” Eddie bit back. He was still his nerdy little self, but the whole event made him a lot more crass.
“Oh, that’s really funny. Ya know, I met the mom of the kids who just moved in. Tell Miss K that we’re gonna have to break up, because I’m--”
“Beep beep, Richie,” Beverly cut him off before he could finish the sentence. Richie shut up, knowing it was probably for the best.
“H-h-how did i-i-it g-go?” Bill asked, trying to switch the topic.
“Well, it was a little weird,” Richie said and before he could finish everyone had already tensed up. “Not like that kind of weird. Pennywise is long gone and--”
Eddie was the one to stop him this time. Slapping the back of his head and muttering a, “Beep beep, Rich.”
“You know you don’t want that, Eddie Spaghetti,” Richie shot back.
“We all agreed to not mention that name again,” Stan reminded him.
“I’m sorry, okay? I didn’t mean it. Ya know me, Trashmouth and all.” Richie was really sorry, that name haunted their memories. It’s voice, what It did. And they had agreed to not bring up, even though they all failed many times. It just couldn’t leave them, dead or not.
“I-i-i-it’s fine, we f-f-forgive you,” Bill smiled at him, placing a reassuring hand on his shoulder.
“Yeah we forgive you, Trashmouth,” Mike added, a smile on his face.
“Good. Because you’ll have to forgive me again. I told Joyce, the mom, that her children could hang out with us.”
No one was mad, maybe a little nervous to have new people talk to them and be friends with. Even so, they all groaned and pretended to get mad at Richie. Not very successfully considering the huge grins plastered on their face.