“I Didn’t Think We’d Live This Long.”
Title: “I Didn’t Think We’d Live This Long.”
Pairing: Stanley Uris x Reader
Type: Platonic | Romantic | Familial | Other
Warnings: gore, profanity, violence, pennywise
Prompts: 41: “holy shit, you’re bleeding!” | 46: “What now?” “I don’t know, I didn’t think we’d live this long.” | 82: “Stay close to me.”
You did not want to be here.
Staring up at Neibolt House - walls black and cracked and blistering, a roof half-caved in, brittle weeds stretching up languidly to scratch against your thighs and the wooden boards sloppily nailed into the brick to black out the windows, it was easy to imagine being literally anywhere else than here.
For Bill, you reprimanded yourself firmly, glancing at your best friend, Richie, who was bouncing anxiously on the balls of his feet, to Stan behind him. Stan was your… well, something. Slightly more than friends but slightly less than lovers, you two had hovered in this warm but uncomfortable limbo for the four years you’d known each other.
“Y-you guys ready?” Bill affirmed quietly from atop the stairs leading to the black front door. Inhaling deeply and reigning in your fear, you nodded, starting up the steps. As you walked, you grabbed Richie’s wrist and pulled him back slightly.
“Stay close to me,” you murmured, and the bespectacled kid nodded, sombre for once as you, he, Eddie and Bill headed into the house. You were entirely oblivious to the way Stan’s eyebrows twitched in annoyance and a frown tugged at his mouth as your hand closed over Richie’s arm.
As the four of you disappeared inside the dark mouth of the house, you cast a look back; your gaze snagged on Stan’s briefly, and he shook his head slightly. There wasn’t enough time for you to comprehend what he was trying to communicate with that slight jerk of his head before the door closed tight behind you.
Things began to go wrong very quickly from the second the four of you climbed the stairs to the second floor. Immediately came the smell of rot and decay, like an abandoned fish market, and huge clumps of dust floating like shreds of skin through the damp air. You swallowed back an instinctive gag and carried on.
The first one to realise Eddie was missing was Bill.
You whirled round at the sudden yell of “Eddie!” The hallway you’d come down was thick with shadows, and you couldn’t see a shifting of any sort of form, let alone your friend. You made forward to get a closer look, but then a door slamming made you start violently, and as you whipped round, you realised with a cold sort of horror that Richie was gone. You stared at the closed door previously open, now shut tight, and flung yourself at it, tugging at the handle with all your might.
“Richie? Richie! Open the door, asswipe!” You pummelled on the wood with a mounting terror, but there was no noise from within. In the gap between the door and the floor, the inside looked completely dark.
Despairing, and now with terror clawing at your stomach, you turned round to yell at Bill for help - only to find that door was shut too, and the lights in the room were flickering and burning down to almost darkness.
A pathetic hybrid of a whimper and a scream forced it’s way out your mouth. You hurled yourself against the door until your shoulder was a frenzy of aches and bruises, and then your hands raked furiously through your hair, an outlet for some of the white-hot terror building inside you.
Something in the air shifted, and you started, whirling round in a desperate circle. You felt a cold horror fill your stomach as you realised was so very wrong with your room.
It was getting smaller.
The walls were inching in - fractionally at first, but now they reared as if drawn by magnets, scraping along the floor. You screamed, shoving yourself against four of the walls, but each time you moved, the movement seemed to speed up.
With this realisation, a sob wracked your body. You weren’t ready to die, and yet it seemed that was where you were headed. You forced yourself to stop moving - as well as you could, what with every inch of you trembling like your nerves were on fire. Knees giving way, you allowed yourself to collapse, burying your head in your knees. Your breath hitched and your heart jumped as you felt a wall glide to press against all four of your sides - and then the floor beneath you cracked and splintered and caved, disappearing beneath you.
Your breath left your lungs as you fell - you couldn’t even scream, not even when you crashed into the ground with a jolt that send your bones jarring against each other and a splintering agony up your arm where a shard of wood sticking out of the floor that was now a ceiling had sliced straight through the skin and muscle and nerves.
For several seconds after you landed, you couldn’t even breathe. Winded and delirious, you coughed feebly through a throat that felt like sandpaper. Feeling nothing - your skin was thick rubber; hearing nothing - just the ringing of your own blood in your ears, and seeing nothing - nothing but the gaping hole in the ceiling like a wound in a maw, bleeding dust instead of gore.
The pain in your arm was too agonising to be real, and even as you shifted slightly, the effort made a sweat break out on your forehead, and sent shockwaves from the jagged wound to ricochet over your body, making you whimper. Nevertheless, you persisted, grinding your teeth as you forced yourself to your feet. As you stood, black stars crowded your vision, making you sway dangerously -
And then a hand closes over your arm, right over your wound, and it’s as if they are made of salt and vinegar as their touch ignites such an agony on your arm, it as though you are being set a alight.
The pain is such that you almost black out, but there some sort of terrible wall, almost a barrier, baring you from unconsciousness. You’re far too weak to even scream as the face of a clown leers down at you from the vignettes of your vision, white face split in a bright red smile.
He throws you so you skid along the floor to slam into a wall. As you hit the brick with a choked moan, you register, dimly, the feeling of another breathing beside you. You grope blindly, with a bloodstained hand, and your fingers slide over Eddie’s hand, invisible to you in your pain-induced blindness, but you’d never felt skin so warm as you clung like a lifeline.
Your shrieks started up again as IT barrelled over to you, grabbing Eddie’s face with one hand and your’s with the other. Eddie writhed and whined, one continuous cry wavering in an out of audibility as a thin ribbon of saliva dripped down from IT’s vermilion lips.
“Tasty, tasty…” the clown drawled, left hand moving from Eddie’s face to his arm. “Beautiful flesh…” Eddie shrieked as the clown moved it’s mouth closer - then retreated - then closer - and then retreated, a tantalising game heavy with the scent of blood.
“Let go of him!” you shouted, but your words were slurred in grogginess and pain, and the sound that left your mouth was more like, “leggo’a him!”
IT jumped extravagantly, twirling round to leer at you with a face-splitting grin cracking his skin. “You’re right!” the clown said delightfully. “Ladies first, yes?”
Your eyes squeezed shut as IT reached for your arm, and Eddie screamed in protest, and IT’s hot breath was on you - and then the door banged open, and the grip on your wrist slacked, and Bill and Richie were calling your’s and Eddie’s names at the top of their lungs.
After IT let you go, everything was blurry. You remembered screams and crashes, the rest of your friends crashing in. The only thing you could clearly recall was Stan.
Every nanosecond of that memory was in sharpest detail.
He ran straight over to you, swayed not by IT’s screams or flailing attacks. He crouched beside you, eyes wide, mouth wider, hands reaching out to touch you then recoiling in horror as his gaze scraped over the state of you.
“Holy shit,” he breathed. “Holy shit, you’re - you’re bleeding.” Looking around desperately, he ripped off his outer button-down shirt and swathed the wound in it, despite your cry and jerk of protest. “Ssh, shh, hey - we gotta slow the bleeding, okay? Just - shit, just - just focus on me, yeah? Don’t look over there, just look at me.”
You tried as best you could, your eyes fixated on his earnest face even as tears of pain and terror slid hot down your cheeks. You jumped at Beverly’s scream, but all was not as you feared. You looked on in awe and horror at the pipe sticking straight through IT’s head.
As though it were some sort of trigger, you knew now was the time to move. You attempted to get up, and once Stan cottoned on, he hooked an arm under your arms and hauled you to your feet. “Come on!” you screamed, and your voice was hoarse like silk on sandpaper as it soared over the panicked din. You and your friends surged for the door, Stan’s arm locked around you the whole time, half-carrying you every step until you all were out, out of that room.
“What now?” Stan panted as the eight of you clustered in the hallway.
“I don’t know,” you replied with a feeble, bitter laugh. “I didn’t think we’d live this long.”
“Here!” Ben’s voice sounded loudly, and the next second, you were blinking in the clear, warm light of the summer’s day as a door was shoved open.
Stan made sure you were out first, stumbling and blinking in the bright light. Weakened, you slumped against him, and he caught you in surprise, looking quite lost as his eyes strayed down to your makeshift tourniquet, which was already deep red with blood and of almost of no use at all.
“Shit. Guys!” Stan shouted. He gently lowered you to sit against the rotting, rusted fence, then whirled round to face the other six. “Eddie, I - do you have your fanny pack?”
“Here,” came the wheezy reply, and next moment, you crowed and flinched as Stan’s bloodied shirt was torn away, replaced with a coarse gauze thar tightly encircled your arm from fore- to upper-arm as you writhed pathetically under his fumbling hands.
“You okay?” Stan asked, an almost frantic note in his voice as he sought affirmation. “Y/n, hey, talk to me. Are you okay?”
You gathered your strength enough to form a feeble nod, and Stan seemed to slump in relief, head coming forward to knock against yours.
“Hey, virgins,” Richie called weakly. “We kind of almost all just died. Can we cool off the raging hormones for like, ten minutes?”
“Shut up, Richie,” Bev’s voice countered, and the bespectacled kid was subsequently silenced.
You smiled weakly as Stan pulled himself back, hand latching onto your’s. “Don’t - don’t you ever-” he broke off, shaking his head furiously. “Don’t you ever scare me like that again.”
You huffed a laugh. “Seeing as dying isn’t really on my bucket list, I don’t think you have to worry about that.”
“Yeah. Good.” Finally, a tiny smile broke out on the boy’s face, and as you leant forward to kiss him chastely on the corner of the mouth - much to the disgust to your friends - the smile bloomed into a shy grin, cheeks pink as mallow-flowers under the Derry sun.