in a torn up town, no post code envy
A Stenbrough One-Shot.
The doorbell rang, making Bill smile while turning his head in that direction.
- It must be Stan.
He looked back at Georgie in front of him, handing the little boy the Rubik’s Cube they had been trying to solve together; sitting on the floor of the living room.
Bill got up and walked to the front door, the screen allowing him to know he was right about who had just arrived. The sound of the TV filled the house, the commercial break to a random cartoon creating white noise.
“Call this number today and order your dream boat from Hodgdon Inc.!”
- Stan! – Bill opened the door to let Stan in; noticing first a Western Bluebird metal pin attached to the collar of the curly-haired boy’s shirt.
Bill only knew the name of the bird because Stan had told him before.
- Found my magazine! – Stan announced with excitement, walking in and towards the living room, immediately noticing a change to the place.
Bill and Georgie had moved the furniture to play on the carpet. It looked recently cleaned and smelled fresh, which turned out to be the only thing making Stan feel comfortable enough; to sit on the floor. Despite the surrounding disorder.
Bill had invited Stan to babysit Georgie with him, while their parents were at a piano recital that evening.
On the phone, earlier, Stan had said he would be there, right after going out to look for a magazine he wanted from the newsstand on Main Street.
Stan docked by Georgie’s side now. – How you doing, Nightingale? – To which Georgie giggled adorably.
Each time they saw each other, Stan would call the little boy by a different nickname. Being only five, Georgie didn’t get most of what he meant by that, he just thought it was always surprising and funny.
Bill locked the door, returned to the living room and sat down, they made a crooked circle now.
- I-I was teaching h-him he has to tw-twist it until on-one single c-color comes together. – Bill pointed at the toy in Georgie’s hand.
Georgie left it on the floor, losing interest now that one of his best friends was here. Looking at the messy-multi-colored cube, made Stan uneasy, so he changed subjects quickly.
- Georgie, look! You are the same age as the future King of England. – Stan then showed the cover of the magazine to the five-year-old.
It was a 1987 special issue; celebrating The Birthday of Prince William of Wales. Big letters promising exclusive photos of the little royal with his parents, who became celebrities since their extravagant wedding years ago.
Georgie wanted to see the inside of the magazine, so he took it for himself and propped it on his knees, turning the pages in a clumsy way, because they were too big for his small fingers.
- Be ca-careful n-now. – Bill had to laugh at the sight. – Stan w-will lea-leave if you dah-damage t-t-that. – Then Bill’s eyes met Stan’s and the blonde boy frowned at him.
- Leave him alone! Maybe someone in this family will understand what fascinates me about the Monarchy, and I’ll finally have a friend to talk about it. – He chuckled but twenty percent of his brain was actually worried about the safety of the collector’s item.
All of a sudden, Georgie halted at a specific page, looking at Stan and back to the magazine; where there was a big picture of Princess Diana wearing a luxurious tiara.
- Well, I do like Aurora… – Bill was saying in his defense; a curious George interrupted him.
- Does that on your head, make you part of her family? – The little boy was pointing at Stan’s familiar Kippah.
All of them stared at each other for two seconds, then Bill let out the most joyful of laughs, throwing his body back, and now he was sprawled across the floor, having the time of his life.
- I have no idea what this one is laughing about, Georgie… – Seeing Bill’s state made Stan laugh just a bit too. – But no, I’m afraid it doesn’t. – He replied, sounding dramatic.
- Her family is: The two little princes and Charles, who will be king after his mother; Elizabeth II. – Stan explained to his second-in-the-line-of-succession best friend. Georgie was paying full attention. Stan could see with the corner of his eyes that Bill was intensely staring at him now, sitting again, which made Stan feel like he was having the time of his life as well.
He was so happy Bill had invited him. Only him.
After a long sigh, Bill was finally back to normal, and he pointed out to Georgie:
- He w-wishes th-though. I am suh-sure he would w-wear his kippah more off-often, if that m-m-made him a Royal…
Bill smiled at Stan for as long as it took to get Stan to smile too. Thinking about it now…
It occurred to Bill, unexpectedly, that Stan would make a wonderful Prince.
“He undoubtedly has the looks for it…” Bill admitted to himself, studying Stan’s whole self; right there in front of him.
- The British Monarchy could use a successor like you. - He remarked, too naturally.
Anyone could see how that made Stan blush, and how his eyes widened. His heart was doing gymnastic tricks inside his chest, and Stan Uris’ mind demanded to know; echoing a silently question through his glance: “Is that so? Really?”
Right after that Bill Denbrough’s cheeks also turned to turn a soft shade of red.