reincarnated stans for you. also on ao3
Stacey and Saffron Stone were born on the thirty-first day of March to a woman with low self-image and a face older than her thirty years. Paige Stone carried the tiny twins to her flat after two day’s recuperation at the hospital and placed them in the same cot before sitting on her little wooden chair and wondering what she was going to do with them.
She had never planned to raise children. In fact, she had probably been the worst choice, in hindsight. But Paige swore; as soon as she got her babies into education, she would work her knuckles to the bone to give them the best life possible.
Stacey climbs the trees in the park every day with her sister, slowing down so that they both go at the same pace. Sometimes, Stacey does those chin-up things she’s seen strong people do on the telly on a particularly thin branch, because under her light brown skin she was already growing sinewy muscles. Saffron, however, is tiny and built like a twig, barely hanging onto the thinner branches that take her weight better than her sister’s.
They run free as soon as they are old enough to cross the road without their mother, and they barely see her. However, there are always at least two healthy meals in the fridge ready to be microwaved, and sticky notes are left on their homework sheets giving small pointers and corrections. Despite the lack of time spent with their mother, a notebook is on the kitchen table that the twins write in if they need anything and, without fail, a response is written there the next morning.
But Saffron can see things that Stacey doesn’t, even though they both know what blellow and porange look like, and the sadness in Paige Stone’s handwriting is overwhelming, but when she points it out, all she gets is, “But the paper’s orange, Fron! It can’t be sad too!” Nobody listens to her when she mentions her sixth finger, and Stacey can only feel it; not see it.
Sometimes Saffron looks at empty spaces with mild curiosity. Stacey just nods and goes back to her books, because Harry Potter, while very old, is also the best adventure story they have. Saffron, however, prefers stories of the past and truth, instead of the silly magic presented in fiction.
And that is how they live.
“Fron! Look at this!”
Saffron rushes to her sister, who is crouched over a stone slab. She grins toothily and points at the circle engraved into it.
“Isn’t this a summoning circle?” Stacey says. “Come on, let’s summon a demon!”
“What?” Saffron splutters. “Stace, don’t, it’s dangerous! That’s Alcor the Dreambender’s circle!”
Stacey picks up a nearby piece of shattered glass. It looked as though some people had been getting drunk in the park last night, and from the blood on a few shards, it had turned into a fight. Stacey finds the cleanest end and cuts open her calf over the slab. As the first drops hit the stone, Stacey says with an important tone, “I summon Alcor the Dreambender!”
Saffron leaps on her sister, knocking the glass out of her hand. “Are you nuts, Stacey? You’re gonna get us all killed!”
“You dipshit!” shouts Stacey. “You’ve screwed up the summoning!”
She is proven wrong, though, as a tall brunette man wearing a top hat and with ridiculously large wings appears above their heads. “I’m here, Ja… Wait, Sixer? St… What are your names?”
Saffron gulps. “How do you know about my fingers?”
Alcor laughs, making the twins flinch. “I’m a demon, kid! I know lots of things! But seriously, what are your names?”
“I’m Stacey, and this is my dork twin Saffron!” Stacey grins back. “You’re Alcor, right?”
With an amused sigh, Alcor replies, “Yeah, I’m Alcor. An intensely powerful demon. How old are you kids, anyway? Twelve? Thirteen?”
“Ten,” Stacey corrects. “We’re eleven in two months!”
Saffron watches her sister talk to the demon and groans. “Stacey, why are you saying all this? You’re going to get us killed!”
Alcor laughs again, but this time it’s gentler and more human. “I won’t kill you. To be honest, I’m more interested in being friends. So, let’s make a deal.”
“This isn’t going to end well,” Saffron mutters.
“Let me play with you sometimes,” says Alcor. “Like, make little deals for candy in exchange for having me on this plane of existence for extended periods of time. You both seem like good kids, and since I know lots of things, you could do with an extra caretaker.”
Stacey nods. “In return, you will heal us whenever we are injured. You will also ask for our consent before popping up. Also, please don’t scare Fron. She’s really jumpy.”
“Do we have a deal?” Alcor asks, lighting his hand up with blue fire.
Stacey takes it and shakes firmly. “Deal.”
“We’re fucked,” Saffron sighs.
“Anyway, someone else is summoning me right now, and it’s impolite to leave people waiting for long. Well, actually, I think they’re about to use a human sacrifice so I’ve got to stop that,” Alcor says, tipping his black top hat. “See you guys later!”
In about ten minutes, Stacey trips and grazes her knee. In a puff of blue fire, a box of Pokémon plasters appear is Saffrons hand. On her other hand, there is something written in what appears to be a blue glitter gel pen.
Can’t be there right now; eating souls. See you soon, Alcor.
He had drawn a smiley face in a star underneath the words. Saffron takes a deep breath before ripping open a big Charizard plaster and sticking it on her sister’s knee.
Maybe Alcor would be okay, after all.