Chapter 1: Welcome to Derry
After their oath, they went separat ways. Eddie was the first one to leave- Ben and Stan the last ones.
Bill and Bev were left behind, it kinda looked like they wanted to talk about something.
It took Stan and Ben a bit to leave the place- they both were in pain because of the slashed palm but non of them wanted to show it in front of the others.
"Well... this really hurst." Stan commented, pressing his hand into a fist to stop it from bleeding.
Ben nooded in agreement.
"Should we wait for Bev and bell?"
Stan stopped and thought about it for a brief second.
Then, he turned around to look what those two were doing.
And there he saw it.
Bill was kissing Bev- or the other way around. He couldnt see it clearly from where they were standing.
It broke his heart- to see him doing this.
But life wasnt like in his dreams. He couldnt wish for something that would obviously never happen.
At the same time he thought about Ben. How he loved Bev- it was obvious. What he would do if he would see this right now. If he would be equally broken- he clearly would be. So Stan just put a hand on his back and pushed him forwards.
"Lets go home. We'll see them tomorrow anyway."
They went back home. It was a long way home- at least it seemed like it.
Once Stan was alone in his room at home he let out a heavy sigh. Life wasnt supposed to be easy.
And unlike Richie, Bill wasnt into boys.
He sat down on his bed.
Would he still be able to look at his friend the same way he did before? And not having a childish flashback of seeing him and Bev kiss. It was childish. Was he getting jealous? Now?
The way Bill looked at him while cutting his palm- he though there was something special between them.
The look of horror on Bills face as Stan suggested they should slash their wrists.
He looked like he cared- but not in this way. They were friends. Nothing more.
At the same time, Bill was on his way home. The moment he kissed Bev was supposed to be something special- but it just felt weird. Like they both shouldnt be together this way.
He thought about thr moment he cut everyones palm.
He thought about the comment Stan made that they should cut their wrists.
The way Stan looked so dead serious saying this. The way Stan flinched. He was in obvious more pain than the others.
It broke his heart.
He disliked seeing his friends in pain.
But seeing Stan in pain- it tore him apart, deep inside his heart.
He was special to him. Stan was someone who would stand up for what he means, he would call Bill out for his sometimes reckless, stubborn behavior. For his bullshit. He would keep secrets. He would never betray them.
Bill never realised it himself but he relied on Stans words very much.
He sighed as he entered his room.
They shared something not even themselves were able to understand just now.
It was now in the middle of the early night.
Stan was lying on his bed, face pressed in his pillow- not caring at all that the wounds around his face were hurting, that his palm was burning.
He looked at the cut on his palm, in the dom light of the moonshine which shined through the window on his room.
He flashed back to Bills face, to the moment he whispered; asking if he would swear. To the moment he nooded- to the moment Stan agreed to something he would never do if it wasnt for Bill.
And then he felt something wet dripping down his face, staining the pillow.
Stan was crying- everything he bottled up the last few days just blurted out. Everything- especially ad he remembered the kiss.
He pressed his face deep down into his pillow, whimpering and screaming.
He was embaressed of himself.
Hopefully his parents wouldnt hear him lile this. He didnt want to explain to them what was up.
He didnt want to imagine how they would react.
He didnt want to feel like this- especially not in a town like this.
If they would find out he would be an outlaw. Feel like one.
They already made fun of him for other reasons so he had to hide this... at least the best way he could.
He fell asleep, dried tears on his face- sleeping on a wet pillow.
And the next morning he felt miserable. His head, his face hurt and of course his hand.
Stan stood up- to fast, it felt. He felt dizzy. He ignored that he felt like he was about to faint, headed to the bathroom, grabbed a bandage to fix up the cut.
It looked like he was alone- his parents were away. So at least he had some alone time until Mike would come to pick him up.
They wanted to meet up one last time before they would go on vacation.
He grabbed the bandage and fixed up the cut- he traced the wound.
He remembered his words "we should slash our wrists". He rememberd how he said it was a joke- but was it really a joke? He looked in the mirror, saw his eyes who were swollen from crying- even in his sleep.
It didnt felt like a joke to him. But he said it anyway to stop them from worrying.
He didnt want them to worry- especially not Bill. He had suffered enough the past weeks.
Later that day, Mike knocked on the door- Stan was back to his usual look. Eyes not swollen or red anymore. But he was still upset deep down.
And despite the fact that they just befriended this summer, Mike knew when something was up. When something was bothering him.
"Whats bothering you Stan?"
"Nothing. Everything is fine. I just had a... rough night. With my face hurting, and my hand."
The other one just looked at him for some seconds, understood that he didnt want to speak the real truth.
"Do you still want come with us?"
"Why not? It not I'm sick or something. Lets go."
So they made their way to the clubhouse.
And seeing Bill already sitting there, with the others, made his heart ache again. It still hurt.
Ignoring it the best way he could he made his way down the ladder.
Can you feel it
There's a shadow over this town
We try to shake it
But it keeps on coming back around
The devil's in disguise
Gonna make you choose a side
Stan touched the wood with his feets as he got down from the ladder. In creaked underneath them.
Already feeling the burning stares of all on his back, so he turned around just to see them looking at him.
"What is it?"
"We havent talked about what you said yesterday Stan." Bev said, reproachful.
Hearing the girl speak who kissed the boy he was in love with tugged heavy on his heart.
"What did I say?"
She rolled her eyes. "You clearly now what it was. And that wasnt funny."
Stan did the same, rolling his eyes.
"Wasnt supposed to be funny. No one of you laughed anyway."
They went silent for some minutes, then Bill spoke out what everyone was thinking.
"So w-why did you ma-make this joke then?"
"I dont know? Maybe just felt like it? Richie makes bad jokes every time but no one complains about it- but dare I make bad jokes, now everyone is concerned."
"He doesnt tell self harm jokes."
"He doesnt and I dont do it again. Sorry."
Stan wasnt wearing the bandages around his face anymore so they could clearly see the red bite marks framing it.
"Is it really a good idea to not wear any bandages? They could get infected." Eddie sounded concerned with a little bit of disgust in his voice.
They all sighed in canon
"Better to give them some air for a few hours."
"If you say so Bev."
Stan sat down, next to Mike - in the reach of Bill, who was still looking at him.
"I didnt came here to listen to you guys complaining about me. If so I could've easily stayed home."
He whispered, more to himself but the others still could hear it.
Bill leaned forward, a hand streched out. Just inches away from Stans face, ready to feel the wounds on his face he was responsible for.
Stan saw it and fliched away.
"What do you think you're do?"
The other one looked like he was caught in something illegal.
"I-I-I'm sorry. Had some-something on my mind.
If he wouldnt have seen what he saw yesterday he would be ok with Bill touching him. But after that- there was a bit of a tension between them.
"So can we do something else please instead of complaining about my chose of words?"
He saw them all nood in agreement but deep inside he knew they were all still very concerned. Just because of a stupid joke. One which wasnt really funny.
The next hours they did less complaining and more fun- what you would consider fun, witnissing the ongoing fight between Richie and Eddie about the hammock.
They all left them like this- the old married couple needed to sort some things out.
Stan was the only one knowing about the feelings Richie had for Eddie. And the said one didnt even know about it. But as said, it was obvious. Only a blind person wouldnt be able see it. He hoped he wasnt this obvious too. He didnt want anyone to know it.
It was already evening- everyone was about to leave the place. Usually Stan would wait for his friends but this time he was the fastest to leave- to the surpise of the other.
"Where are you going so fast?" Mike stopped him.
"Home? I guess?"
"Fast like this?"
"Just my usual speed dont you think?"
The dark skinned boy didnt look very convinced, Stan made his way up the ladder anyway.
"Wait." He heard Bill shouting after him. "Lets go home together."
Stan just nooded in agreement, waiting for him at the hatch.
"Hows-Hows your hand doing St-Stan?"
"Good." He replied, short.
"Bill. Yes. Really."
"I'm just co-concerned."
"You are like the others. But its good. I'm good."
Bill looked at him, a question burning inside. Stan could see that something was on his mind.
"So whats about you?"
"I-I... I wanted to ask you something."
"T-the moment... at-at the Nei-Neibolts house. The moment you got b-bitten bei the woman. Pennywise..."
Stan stopped in his movements.
"What... w-what did you saw?"
The other one looked at him, in confusion.
"I dont know what you mean?"
"We know that he i-is doing the thing with the lights a-and... that you can see the future in it... did there were lights too?"
Stans heart started to beat very fast- he looked at his friend, his crush. The one who wasnt aware of what he saw- that he saw the deadlights too. The one he didnt want to lie to but he had to.
Stan took a minute to process it all over again. Flashbacks.
And then it took him just seconds to break down into tears. Never in his life had he ever cried this much like the last few days.
He grabbed Bills sleeve, with shaking hands.
"I... saw us too. I mean... I saw me. And..." he breathed in and out very hysterically.
"I didnt saw anyone of you. All I saw was red- color? Blood? The room was white, misty and wet. Someone was lying in something. I looked nearer and saw it..." he breathed in again
"Me... it was me in there. Dead. Like... really dead. Wrist cut open."
Bill looked at him, confused.
"W-what are you s-saying there... St-Stan? Dont joke a-about this.."
"You d-did. You said we-we should cut our wrist. You said it was a joke."
"H-how could you said this while... knowing wh-what you saw in the deadlights?"
"Coping mechanisms? I... dont know Bill. But I dont want to end up... like this." He whimpered, tugging at the other boys sleeve.
"You wo-wont. It was just IT. Messing with you.. dont believe it."
"I dont know what to believe anymore..." Stan was still sobbing. It made the other one upset.
"Believe us- you-you believe us... r-right?"
Stan shrugged- he was just confused. Everything was so confusing.
Bill saw it- saw his confusion, his concern. How he was afraid.
"Let me just..." he whispered softly while embracing Stan in tender hug, carefully trying not to touch the wounds in his face.
Stan felt safe in his arms but hi heart was beating so fast that he was sure Bill was feeling it too. It was not only because he was in shock but also because it was Bill who held him so right.
Bill- the one person he felt so much more for.
He leaned his head against the other boys shoulder while tears ran down his face, dripping on Bills shoulder.
"Its all g-going to be ok. We promised to stay to-together."
He patted Stans back.
"Want to c-come over? Its still relatively early. My-my parents will be at home but they wont bother us anyway."
"Your dad is still ignoring you?"
"Not... ignoring but- but theres tension between us. We wanted to go on vacation b-but if this is going to continue w-we wont."
"Tragic. But maybe so we can have a bit alone time without the others." Stan said, more like to himself but Bill still heard him saying it.
They walked down the road to Bills house. His parents were at home- like he said- but only his mom greeted them. His father ignored. Only shooting Stan a weird look. They quickly went to Bills room.
"Thats stupid." Stan began, eyes still red.
"How long will he behave like this? It wasnt your fault."
"No. We told you. How could you know? Its ... the survivors guilt... you have."
"B-but I still fe-feel... responsible for it. And for every single one of you. And that you got hurt the most."
Bill didnt stutter once.
"Youre my age and not an adult. You dont have to be responsible for something you hadnt control over."
Stan sat doen on the floor, looking up to Bill who was still standing there.
"I-i... dont know."
The other one rolled his eyes as he watched Bill open up a drawer, looking for something.
"What are you doing there?"
"Looking for some-something."
"Obviously I see that. But for what?"
Stan watched him taking something out of the drawer before he finally sat down.
"Nice. For whom?"
"You." He said, sounding casual.
"Me? My birthday is in 10 days. Its a bit to early dont you think?"
The other one really looked like he thought about it.
"Take-take it but just dont open i-it before your birthday. P-please."
"Fine." He took it. It was really nice, neatly wrapped.
"Thanks for caring about my ocd. Would have yelled at you if you wouldnt have done it this way."
They stayed in his room until late evening, totally lost track of time.
"Hows your cut doing Bill?"
"Hurts. Sometimes. P-pretty deep. Yours too."
"What? Y-you want to see it?"
"Yeah. I'll show you mine."
Stan smiled at him- softly as he took of the bandage. It revealed a pretty deep cut. The skin around it was red, irritated. Bill took a look at it.
The other one did the same- it looked similar.
"D-Do you think this will leave a scar?"
"Of course- you cut pretty deep."
"Dont be. The cut just tickled a bit. Youre still my friend."
Bill smiled at this comment- the same moment his dad bursted into the room.
"All right. Time is over. I think you should go now."
Stan looked up to this man. The one he once used to know to be a relatively kind man. Zach always was a bit strange when Stan was around but now this- no. Zach was never like this towards him.
"I ... was about to leave anyway." Stan stood up, picking up the present.
"Thats good. Go."
Hand still without the bandage he stepped out of Bills room.
"See you." He still could feel the eyes of Zach on his back, following him.
The last line he heard him saying was something he wanted to forget.
"You dont even seem to recognize it Bill."
I know I'll never forget
That day, the first time we met
We've come a long way since then
And I would do it all again
From your very first smile
I knew that I'd walk a mile
See, it's for real when you know
You never wanna let go
Ieva Zasimauskaitė- When we're old
Stan walked home.
His mind flashing back to the looks Zach shot him.
To the last words he heard him saying.
He wondered if he was behaving a certain way which gave away what he was feeling.
Stan always tried his best to cover it up. Not like Richie but he didnt want others to notice it too.
He sighed as he entered the house.
Back at Bills home he looked at his dad.
"What do you m-mean...?"
Zach only looked at Bill, shaking his head.
"There are still some things you have to learn."
He then left the room, leaving Bill alone. He wanted to run after his father, asking him why he sent Stan away like this.
He had to speak to his friend the next day so he could apologize.
Stan's night consited of crying- again. At these times he coud let down his guard, without worrying his friends or without looking like a child- disappointing his dad.
It was ok for him to show the others how he truely felt but then there was Bill- who took everything he did and said to serious.
Stam turned around in his bed, facing the window- the moon. He sat up, stood up and walked to his window. Opened it up- letting in the cold fresh air. He took a deep breath, wiping the tears away as he looked at his hand. To the cut which was still irritated, red. It was deep. Would take a while to heal up completely. Leaving a scar behind that would remind him of what happened this summer.
Carefully he brushed his finger against the cut.
The pain that rushed through his body the moment Bill cut him, the burn on his hand and the blood- he still could feel it.
And he wanted to feel ut again. He was for sure, he shouldnt feel like this. Hee was t young for it. But at the same time... he was a oussy. He thought so. Non of his friends were affected by what happened the way he was. He thought he grew with it but- he didnt.
He hated himself for this.
Wondered why they were still friendsdwith him. With someone who was emotional unstable. With someone who made self harm jokes.
Again he brushed agains the cut- carefully.
Then, a third time- this time with more pressure.
A forth time- it almost hurt.
A fifth time- the cut was now bleeding.
Blood ran down his palm, his forearm... dripping down in the floor.
The pain was real and it felt good. For one moment he forgot everything. The things that happened, what he saw and witnessed.
For the moment he just felt the pain. Embraced to it.
And it was good.
The next moment he woke up to the pain in his hand, the dried blood on it and his sleeve. He was lying on the floor. The window still open.
It was late morning.
Ignoring the pain, he got up- went to the bathroom to wash his hand very quickly. He hissed at the pain.
Then he walked down the stairs and was greeted by his father in the kitchen.
Stan nooded, sat down and started to eat something.
After almost half an hour his father noticed the wound on his palm.
"Whats this?" he asked rough.
"Nothing to worry about."
"Saw it the other day too. You cant go out like this." he made a gesture which implied that he should show him his hand.
Stan sighed, showing him his hand after he got back with a bandage.
"Everything allright son?"
He was surpirsed that his dad even bothered to ask.
"Dont know why youre asking. You never asked."
"This time I do. And?"
"Sure? Because I noticed your behaving different."
"Youre my son. I know I can be very strict but I just want the best for you."
"Like I said. Its nothing. Everything is allright."
His father nooded, fixing the bandage,
"Youre usually not the type who likes to lie."
Stan sighed again.
"I dont want to talk about it. Especially not with you." Stan got up, a bit to fast- he staggered a bit.
"Why not? Has this something to do with your friend? Bill?"
He looked back up to his dad, hoping not to look to obvious.
"If its because of him or about him you can talk to me."
Stan just shook his head, smiling disappointed. He knew he cant talk to his dad about a topic like this. He would be disgusted.
Like he was about himself.
"I dont think so." he replied, leaving the kitchen and his dad behind. He still could feel his eyes burning on his back.
"No one will understand." he whispered to himself, entering the bathroom.
There the took a long bath.
Constantly thinking about Bill.
It was wrong but it felt nice.
He didnt noticed how long he was in the tub until his dad knocked on the door.
"Bills here. Waiting for you downstairs. If you dont want I can tell him to go."
He got torn out of his daydreams as he heard his father saying Bills name.
"N-no.. He can stay. I'll come down. In 5 minutes."
He heard his dad leaving.
He then got out and dressed himself up.
As he headed downstairs he could already hear his father and Bill talking.
"I'm here. Why are you here?"
The asked one turned around, towards Stan.
"I have to talk to you. I-Its important." he got up and tells Stans dad a goodbye.
"Lets go outside." Stan suggested.
"Yes." and then they headed outside, walking down the streets.
"So what do you wanna... talk about with me?"
"I'm sorry that my father made you l-leave
like this Stan." it blurted out of Bill, who was a little embaressed right after he said it.
"Its good. I'm not mad. He didnt mean it like that."
"He told m-me something weird. Like... I-I still have to learn some things and that I dont recognize it... what d-does he mean by that? S-s-sounded like it was about ... you?"
Stan looked at him. Of course. He heard it. Of course Bill would ask him about that. Of course he wanted to know what that means. But as true as Stan wanted to be- he couldnt tell the truth. He didnt want to tell him. He didnt want to lose his friend. His friends.
"I dont know Bill. I think hes just misinterpreting some things... right now." he patted his shoulder, trying to sound convincing.
And he did.
"Right. Maybe you're right." the other one made a short break. "Everyones on vacation now- its just me and you l-left now. A-any ideas what do to now...?"
Stan smiled at these words. He knew directly what he wanted to do together with Bill.
"If you ask me like this- how about ... birdwatching?"
"Birdwatching... i-it is then."
"And I can help you."
"With what?" Bill looked at him in confusion.
"With you stutter. How nice would it be if,when our friends will be back, you could impress them with you not stuttering?" Stan made a short break. "But ... when I think about it. Your stutter is what makes you special. I really dont want you to lose it."
Bill was still looking at him. This time with more confusion. The words Stan were simple but it meant so much to him. His dad hated him- for things that where his fault. He lost his brother, Zach lost his son because Bill didnt kept an eye on him. He wasnt a good brother, but to hear what Stan was thinking meant so much.
"You know..." he heard Stan saying. "Its easy to read what your thinking right now. It always is. Hes your father. Shes your mother. They are supposed to explain things, to help you. You were in denial back then and they needed to understand it but they didnt. They have to help you with the things youre dealing with- with your brothers death. You need to heal- together. As a family, not alone. If they try to shut you down you need to be loud. Louder. They dont understand or wont because they are to deep into own grief and depression. Even after such a long time.Tell them how you feel." Stan stopped and grabbed Bills arm, ignoring the pain that shot through his palm. "If they wont... y-you... will always have a home with us. With.. me..." He tried his best not to get blush in his face but it happened anyway. And Bill surely could see it but didnt said anything. "You know we value you as our leader. And you know we always will. Even if this fucking stupid clown showed me my future- showed me that we were separated - I still think you will always be our Bill. Our leader. And you know why I think that? Because you told me so. And I believe you more than an ugly clown eldritch clown which lived in a dirty sewer. So dont you ever think you arent a good brother. Georgie loved you. He was proud to have you as his big brother." Stan let out all his emotions because he knew that was what Bill needed to hear right now.He then smiled at his friend.
And Bills heart started to beat fast.
Hey, are you still mad?
About the time
We almost went too far
I know your regrets
In my defence
By now, it's just a scar
That distracts you from
Your broken heart
Just like you wanted it to do