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right now, forever

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It gets lonely. Mike resists calling the rest of the Losers for years.

He chose to be the single, solitary watchman, but truth is—Mike didn't know who he would be if he left Derry. What would be left for Mike then. If he would even be able to remember their oath and childhood memories, how to stop IT, or be able to convince the Losers to return when needed.

Not knowing, and all of that restlessness and longing, may have been the scariest thing.

The first name—Bill, Bill Denbrough, Big Bill—would pass Mike's lips, when he remembers all of their faces. Shining and bright. Most of all, he wanted to call Bill. So many times. The low register of Bill's voice, and how he spoke Mike's name so earnestly, ringing to his consciousness.

He wants to hear it, again and again. For years. Letting go of infinitesimal space, and minutes between, when they reunite.

Bill and his brass-gleaming trumpet when they were all kids, warbling in the last row of the auditorium as people walked off and on stage, getting him and Richie kicked out.

Bill and his fascination with painting, stroking the fibers of his brush along Mike's inner arm and his elbow, bestowing his dark brown skin with intricate, colorful flowers.

Bill, lips ruddy and chapped, opening to reveal a tiny, yellow Valentine's candy-heart scrolled with "ALL MINE" on his protruding tongue. Mike took it, on a childish impulse, popping it past his lips and reveling in the hot stain of pink against Bill's cheeks. His awestruck look.

And now, that youth is gone but not forgotten. Not anymore.

Bill, grown and beautiful, like tiny, warm pinpoints of feeling against Mike, chasing it, suckling marks against Bill's neck.

Drawing soft moans out of him, when they're huddled on Mike's cot, bodies pressed down and lined up.

It's a victory. Their lives renewed and flourishing.

There's never been a more welcoming sight than Bill—writhing, hips lifting, his creamy skin under Mike's gentle palm. He hears Bill's little, moaning pleas, thrusting deeper into him, harder. Feeling the tight clench of Bill around him, needing to succumb.

Mike whispers his name, never pulling from the ring of Bill's arms or from his blue, heartsick eyes. Not that he ever wants to. He wetly slides his tongue over Bill's lips, licking in, groping over a thigh widening open against Mike's hip. The drag of flesh inside spins Mike's head. Their fingers clasp, pinning down when Bill inclines his head back, rasping out, his erect and dark red cock spurting to his abdomen.

All of him slippery-wet, tacky with cum and sweat. Mike pulls out, spending himself onto Bill, urging out the last bits of pleasure.

"Shit," Bill laughs out, slow and breathless, combing his fingers into his hair. "Shit, Mikey…"

Mike feels its reverberations to his lips, as they kiss, Bill's teeth nipping lightly. Stoking a warm, pressured fire in Mike's belly. He's too old to go again so quickly. Damn. "Let me get you some water," Mike suggests, grinning, pulling away hesitantly from Bill's loose grasp on his side. He fumbles in the nude for a moment, grabbing a pair of boxers left on the dusty floor.

Bill doesn't move from his position, lying back on the quilt and staring up at the garret-ceiling. Naked as aphrodisia. Bill's legs slightly spread. Mike hungrily runs his eyes over his perineum, the obvious glistening of his own cum oozing from Bill's rim.

He gathers his wits, tossing Bill a handtowel to clean up.

"You're not g-gonna drug me, right?"

"I'll leave the medicinal roots out this time," Mike says, listening to Bill chuckle in the semi-darkness at the joke.

There's a case of bottled water in his kitchen if Bill doesn't believe him. He's pretty sure Bill does. They've never been closer since getting out of the sewers, physically and emotionally. Bill didn't have to forgive him for inducing the vision's hallucinations, or defend him with the others. He didn't have to love him so selflessly.

As he's snatching up an entire armful of waters, Mike glances up, hearing Bill padding in.

He's shirtless and in Mike's boxers. That would explain why the pair on Mike keeps riding up his jock.

"Whoa, hey—you don't need to get up—" Mike protests.

"That's sweet, but I r-r-ruh-really gotta move around a l-little." Bill's mouth quirks up. "Clear my head."

Mike lowers his eyes awkwardly. "I don't care for the stuffiness in here either."

"I like it." Bill nods, examining the collection of historical artifacts and books on his far-wall. Racks of terracotta pots. Well-used archaeological tools. Globes of varying size. "Very lived-in. V-very…" Bill trails off, aghast by the real human skull. "… … unique."

"That's… that's not anyone we know."

"Oh, good," Bill murmurs, suddenly reassured.

Mike know what it looks like. He's the eccentric, fool-headed historian. After the death of Barbara Starrett, Mike took responsibility for cataloguing and running Derry's public library as well as fines and fees and maintenance-work. They let him. He went from circulation desk assistant on volunteer hours to the owner in a flash. No one wanted the reminder of her gruesome murder downstairs. It's Mike's keys.

"Pennywise was w-wrong." Bill's tone summons him back. Stubborn and bitter. That's just like Bill. Always knowing what was lingering on Mike's and the other Loser Club's thoughts. "You're not a m-muh-madman. Not to m-m—."

He swears and shakes his head, frustrated. Bill's fist knocking harshly to his mouth.

"It's alright, Bill," Mike says, concerned.

"N-no! Let m-me get this o-o-out—" The stuttering gets worse. He clasps onto Mike's arms, trembling with effort, when the other man approaches, encouraging him. Calming him. "I hated when y-you called yourself an outsider," Bill mumbles. "H-hated it."

"I thought I was," Mike admits. "Especially… since being the only black kid in town meant all I ever got was disdain."

Bill's features tense. Henry Bowers, Henry Bowers's father, kids, strangers… they didn't bother to get to know Mike. They chose to believe the horrible rumors about Mike's parents dying in a fire of their own making. That Mike was nothing more than the reminder of their mistakes and would follow the same. Mike called himself an outsider to Bill before. It wasn't true. Not at all.

"You're n-n-not an outsider," he reaffirms, touching Mike's cheek affectionately.

Mike sends him a tiny, watery half-smile, leaning towards a kiss. Bill goes on his tippy-toes, holding onto Mike's face, inhaling the odor of soap and perspiration and linens. He's a little short compared to Mike, but Bill is liking when his companion's arms heft him up, ending the distance.

They dance along to Mike's record player in the background, heart-to-heart. Slow, sure.

And never, never lonely.