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Joyce sits in the back row in the classroom with her head pointed down towards the desk, she hated how everyone would treat her here. She was labeled as a nerd which bother her and always make fun of her for actually enjoy Hawkins High.

"Only two weeks until summer." Joyce thought to herself when a group of popular girls walked in and began to whisper once they saw her.

Things would be easier if she actually had friends here. Except she kept to herself now.

Before sophomore year last year her friend Sandra told her she didn't want to be friends with a girl that would ruin her chances of being popular. Sandra was her only friend since she first started school in kindergarten.

Which mean, her first friend since kindergarten has dumped her.

Not only did it hurt for a while but Sandra is one of those girls whispering about her.

Go figure.

Joyce ignores them once her history teacher walked in probably from the employee lounge. She smirks to herself knowing class would be starting in five minutes.

A few more students will be coming in, some of them coming late because they really don't want to be here in the last few weeks of school and others actually running late because some of the classes were farther from each other.

She glances towards the door waiting for one of the students to come in. Her favorite student in the school.

Jim Hopper, her reason for enjoying history class so much.

She's known Jim since freshman year, they never talk to each other because he was pretty much popular and she of course is a quiet nerd.

Of course this year isn't any different, they still don't talk to each other although Jim is really nice to look at now.

She wouldn't say it out loud but she had a massive crush for the guy. His height has him towering over everyone in class including some of the teachers, his muscular body under those jean jackets have a way with some of the girls in school, and the way he looks when the smoke from his cigarettes comes out of his mouth so smoothly.

It was like poetry.

Joyce let's out of sigh not realizing it would be so loud.

"Bored already?" Mr. Harmon asks with an attitude.

"Not towards the class." She answers trying to explain without using so many words.

Joyce never really liked talking in school, people would just mock her anyway so why bother talking?

"I would hope so, now that you have decided to show me and your classmates how you're feeling you will be the first to share your assignment." He answers so everyone including Jim who was just walking in could hear.

Perfect.

She nods her head quickly not really wanting to do it but wants to make sure he doesn't give her something else to do while in class.

"Everyone please be seated." He begins to raise his voice so he's only voice in the large room to be heard. The chatter in the classroom slows down until there's nothing left except his voice.

"I hope everyone has used their weekend to finish off their assignments that were given out last Wednesday." He says looking to the faces around the classroom.

"Our first person is going to be sharing is Miss Joyce Adams." He points towards her with his clipboard in hand.

Joyce quickly opens her book bag and takes her notebook out, flipping to her page she quickly stands to walk towards the front of class and begin sharing her work.

She was too busy reading her work over again she didn't notice one of the girls move her foot in front of where she would be walking.

Mr. Harmon was just about to say something to a girl but Joyce end up tripping right over her foot and lands face-first onto the floor.

The Notebook skidding towards the teacher's desk.

"Miss Peterson that was uncalled for." Mr. Harmon shoots.

"I didn't mean for that to happen." Tiffany laughs, others begin to join in on the laughter.

Joyce wants to cry, run away from the school, maybe the whole goddamn town.

Joyce knew if she were to cry everyone would make fun of her even more and how to make her an easier target. She knew she couldn't have that.

She moves to try and pick yourself up but when she moves sbe notices a bit of blood on the tile floor.

"Damn that Tiffany Peterson." She thinks and quickly checks her nose for blood but finds it dry, trying her lip she grimaces at the pain. Pulling her hand down is when she notices the blood.

"Here, let me help you." A gentle voice says to her and grabs her arm just as gentle.

Helping her off the cold flooring Joyce uses for hand to touch her lip gently using her fingertip to feel the swollen skin.

"Hey, don't touch it until you get some ice." The voice says.

Joyce turns to tell the boys to mind their own business but stops when she realizes Jim is the person that decided to help her up.

Her heart almost drops to her knees when she sees his face, keeping silent Jim walks her safely away from the other students in the room and towards the door.

"Uh Mr. Harmon should she be leaving when you told her she has to present first?" Miranda Short asks placing her hand onto the desk with a loud slap.

"Miss Short she is bleeding, only place she is going is to the nurse's office."

"Then why does Jim have to go with her?" She continue to ask questions.

Mr. Harmon sighs quickly. "He's helping her, at least someone is." He looks to Jim making sure he knows he was speaking to just him.

"Go ahead Mr. Hopper. Take Miss Adams to the nurse's office then it's back to class for you. She'll receive orders from the nurse."

"Yes sir." Jim answers leading Joyce out of the classroom.

Joyce and Jim walk down the hallway, her eyes filling up with unshed tears.

"We're almost to the nurse's office, please don't cry Joyce." He says tightening his arm around her shoulders.

She couldn't believe it, Jim Hopper number one wrestler of Hawkins High and the biggest bad boy of the town actually knew her name.

"Of course he knows your name, you've known each other for three years now." She thinks to herself as they reach the nurse's office.

"Mrs. Stuart." Jim alerts, the nurse pokes her head out from behind the doorway.

The nurse of Hawkins High so happens to be Joyce's aunt by marriage.

"What happened Joycie?" Mrs. Stuart walks towards Jim and Joyce. Her small hand grabbing Joyce by her arm, she looks to her lip before turning towards Jim.

"Thank you for being a gentleman and helping Joycie Mr. Hopper but I'll take it from here."

Jim nods quickly before taking one more look at Joyce and walks away. 


 

With the help of ice and Neosporin the swelling goes down and helps make the bleeding slow till it stops. Mrs. Stuart kept Joyce for the whole class period which she didn't like all too well but she knew if she walked into the class again the girls would be making fun of her lip and popping off with jokes.

History is her fourth class period out of five, her last class is Home Ec which was held in the small studio across the field.

Walking out of the back door and slowly making her way towards the field she gets an urge to release some of the tension from her body. She knew she had her pack of cigarettes on her person so before she heads to class she takes a pit stop under the bleachers.

Making her way to the furthest point under the bleachers she eagerly begins to pat her pant and jacket pockets. She open her book bag frantically trying to find her cigarettes.

"Lose something?" A voice blurts causing Joyce to jump in surprise.

She turns and notices Jim leaning against a large pole under the bleachers.

"Shit, you scared me." She exclaims placing her hand onto her chest to feel her heart pounding.

"Wow, never thought I could get you to talk."

"I talk all the time." She answers.

"Not to me." He shrugs.

Joyce closes her eyes knowing he got her there. She never talks to him in fear of saying something stupid. She didn't want him to make fun of her too.

"Right." She blushes.

"So, you gonna tell me what you're looking for." Jim smirks.

"Cigarettes." She answers quickly still trying to find them in one of her pockets.

His eyebrows jump in surprise and he moves quickly taking out his pack. Pulling one out he lights the match using the side of his jeans.

He takes a puff before offering the same cigarette his lips just had been on.

Her stomach flips at that but she keeps her excitement down and hidden.

Joyce moves closer towards him and takes his cigarette willingly.

"I didn't take you as a smoker." He says watching her place the small white stick in between her lips.

"Why?" She asks before taking a large drag and begins coughing loudly.

"That's why." He chuckles.

She tires to answer but she can't catch her breath from her coughing fit.

"What-" She coughs again. "What the hell is in that?" She asks finally being able to catch her breath.

"Don't like it?" He asks with a smile.

She shakes her head and tries spitting the flavor out of her mouth.

"That's cute." He smiles when she hands him the cigarette back and he takes another puff.

"Not really." She shrugs.

He eyes the small girl, she looks as if she's been through hell and back. For being so young she seems so tired.

He knew she's been treated bad at school for a few years but never this bad, be silently vows to protect her from now on.

He directs his eyes to her face, her swollen lip red with pain.

"How's your lip?" He asks leaning down with his cigarette between his lips to examine the cut.

"It'll be fine." She answers shrugging again.

She looks away from Jim downcasting her eyes, she notices someone making their way towards them.

"I thought I heard voices." Mr. Cooper says bending over to see who's under the bleachers.

Jim quickly tosses his cigarette from his lips to the grass behind him making sure Mr. Cooper wouldn't notice that they were under there to smoke.

"Aren't you both supposed to be in class?" He asks.

"Yes sir." They both answer in unison.

"Then what are you both doing here? Are you both making out?" He ask raising his voice.

"No sir." Jim answers as Joyce shakes her head not believing he would go to that right away.

"You both could get Mononucleosis."

"Mr. Cooper we weren't making out under here." Joyce says.

"How am I supposed to believe you when your lips are swollen?"

"He was checking on me because I busted my lip when I was thrown to the floor in class earlier. So if you don't believe me then I would advise you speak with Mrs. Stuart." Joyce says not liking the fact that he was acusing them of doing something they weren't.

He takes a deep breath and shakes his head.

Mr. Cooper was an older man and by the way he shakes his head that may be too much for him to do which would probably ware him out.

"Just get to class; both of you." He says blowing off the whole thing, he turns around and walks away leaving Joyce and Jim alone once again.

Joyce turns to look to Jim noticing smoke coming from behind him.

"Hop, did you put out the cigarette?" She asks in fear.

Jim turns around his eyes widening when he notices the smoke coming from the grass.

"Shit." He shouts as he starts stomping on the grass that was beginning to catch fire.

Joyce laughs holding onto one of the bars from the bleachers.

"There." He turns his eyes still wide before they soften when he sees Joyce laughing.

"Do I amuse you." He asks with a smirk.

She nods and continues to laugh.

"I can't believe it, how could he hear us but couldn't see the grass beginning to catch fire?" She asks finally calming down enough to speak.

"He's kinda old." Hopper answers with a smirk.

"Kinda?" Joyce raises an eyebrow. "He's been here since the dinosaurs ruled the earth." She adds.

"He must know my old man." Hopper chimes in.

Joyce smiles thinking about her parents attending the school.

Glancing back towards Hopper she realizes that they both could get in some kind of trouble for skipping class.

"I think we should get to class." She begins.

Hopper looks to his watch and nods.

They begin to walk out from under the bleachers, they both stop to look to each other.

"I'll see you tomorrow Hop." She smiles softly.

He nods. "See you later Joyce."

She begins to walk through the field towards the smaller building.

Hopper calls her name once again causing her to stop and turn around.

"Same place tomorrow?" He asks.

She smiles realizing he enjoyed having her with him, she nods and gives a thumbs up.

"Same place tomorrow." She answers as she continues back to the smaller building.