Your mind is swimming with the pain and suffering of those around you. You listen as Eleven screams for a papa that will never come. You watch as Billy cries for a mother that left. You feel the terror as Will slips further from the surface.
A gasp leaves your lips as you jolt yourself awake. You gaze around as panic continues to grip your mind. However, you are in your bedroom and for just a moment, you vaguely wonder if it was all a dream. You hear a stampede of footsteps not a moment later and the gang all pile into your room.
“About time!” yells Dustin as he rushes up to you, “It’s been three days!”
“Three days?” you ask in bewilderment you voice scratchy from disuse.
“Yeah you gave us quite the scare…” Says Steve as he walks towards your bed handing you a glass of water before he sits down on the edge of it. His face is still a bruised mess, but he seems to be okay otherwise. You regard him for a moment.
“How are you?” you ask suddenly.
He looks momentarily surprised by the question, then he looks down to avoid your gaze.
“Pretty good… No long term damage to the money maker I hope…” he laughs awkwardly indicating his face.
A small smile tugs at your lips before you just nod.
“(Y/N)! Let’s go see Elle!” exclaims Dustin from beside you.
Max rolls her eyes at Dustin’s outburst, “She just woke up dummy! She can’t go anywhere! She needs to rest!”
You watch as the duo get into an argument and smile as Lucas tries to calm the two down.
“Hey guys! Max is right! She needs to rest, we’ll go meet up with the others in a little while,” Steve interrupts trying to calm the kids down.
You glance up and notice Melanie standing in the doorway, tears in her eyes as she watches the scene unfold before her. She sends you a smile as she catches your eye and for the first time in a long time, you feel contentment rolling off of her. You give her a small smile back and glance around at the people surrounding you.
“How is Will?” you ask suddenly.
Everyone goes silent, before Dustin speaks up.
“He’s doing good. They’ve got him in the hospital making sure that everything is okay. He’s still pretty weak… He’ll be okay though!” Dustin finishes with a smile and a nod.
You could tell the kids were concerned about their friend, you honestly were too considering what he had gone through.
“Hey! I bet you’re hungry! Why don’t you guys go see what there is to eat?” The kids glanced up at Steve and nodded, grateful for something to do. When they were about out of the room, Dustin turned around and winked at him before shooting him a thumbs up.
Steve let out a sigh and shakes his head and you just raised an inquisitive eyebrow at the boy.
“So…” He says as he claps his hands together, “Are you okay? You...uhh...had me worried…”
“I’m fine Steve, I just haven’t used my powers in years…”
“So… Powers… About that…What can you do...exactly?” You can tell that he’s nervous from his tone of voice.
You let a smirk slip onto your face, “I hear thoughts and I can even make people do what I want against their will.”
“Seriously?! You can really do that?!” he exclaims in awe and slight fear.
“So... have you heard any of...my thoughts?” he asks with a wince.
“I have. Sometimes when thoughts are...particularly loud I will hear them even if I don’t want to. I don’t go through people’s minds… unless necessary.”
“I know you thought I was a freak, it’s okay… I’m not exactly normal…” You say as you look away from him and out the window. Your difference from other people has always been something you are highly aware of and even if you don’t like admitting it, the main reason you choose to stay away from everyone.
“Sorry… about that…” he says with another wince, “And for the record… I don’t think you’re a freak.”
“But I am one… I mean… I’m quite dangerous,” you say matter of factly.
“But you aren’t a bad person…”
“You don’t know anything about me Harrington, how do you know I’m not?”
“Because you helped us and you obviously care about Elle and Max and Dustin.”
“There is a lot you don’t know…”
“It’s okay… I haven’t been the nicest person and I’m trying to be… I don’t know… better?”
“Thanks…” he says with a sigh as he looks away with a smile, “I think you are too. A good person...I mean...”
You let a smile slip onto your lips as you slowly start to get out of bed. You’re in your pajamas and you can feel the grim from sleeping for three days straight on your skin.
“I’m going to go shower then I’ll be out okay?”
“Sure! Then after we eat, do you want to go see Elle and the others?”
“Maybe…” you mutter as you look away from him. You don’t see the look of concern on his face as you turn towards your closet and start to pull out a set of clothes to wear.
Nothing else is said as you head out of your room and down the hallway to the bathroom. When you get the door locked you lean your head against in and feel tears well up in your eyes.
‘How can I face her...after I left her?’ you think as a tear makes its way down your face. By the time you have the shower going you are sobbing.
Who knows how much she suffered in there?
You spend a good fifteen minutes just letting the water run over you as you cry. The feelings of guilt that wrack your form are acute and painful. When you are sufficiently numb you allow yourself to wash your hair and body before you get out and dry off. Gazing at your reflection in the mirror you hate the person who looks back at you.
Does she hate me too?
You exit the bathroom with your hair still dripping wet as you make your way to the kitchen. Chicken and rice with some vegetables is laid out on a plate waiting for you. The others are mid meal and turn their attention to you when you walk in.
“Do you feel better?” Melanie asks.
You just nod as you pick up your fork and dig into the food in front of you. It’s been a long time since you’ve eaten, and hopefully this will help the lingering fatigue you feel. The meal is mostly quiet and when you’re all finished the kids are looking at you hopefully.
“So do you want to go see Elle now?!” Dustin asks in excitement.
“I think I need to rest some more…” you say as you hold your head. The light pounding from the events still lingering in your mind.
“Guys, she’s been through a lot and if she says she needs to rest we need to let her rest okay?” Steve interrupts. You can still feel the protectiveness rolling off of him and this confuses you a bit.
The pout on their faces as they glance over at you then at Steve doesn’t go unnoticed by you. You just avoid their eyes before you stand up and almost fall to the floor as dizziness sweeps over you. You hold your head as your vision swims and Steve and Melanie are beside you in a moment.
“Okay! Back to bed with you!” you hear Melanie call as Steve puts your arm over his shoulder and begins to help you to your bed. You struggle to break free from his grasp before you hear whispered across his mind…
It’s okay… I’ve got you…
You feel yourself still and you lock eyes with him and he just nods in reply. For the first time in your life you feel like you are the vulnerable one. He helps you to your bed and the moment your head hits the pillow you are out again.
I can’t believe you let that happen! You’re good for nothing you hear me?! Good for NOTHING
A sharp pain across your cheek jolts you from your dream and you wake heaving for breath. It’s dark outside and the inky blackness feels suffocating. Your head is throbbing and a sharp pain has taken up residence in your temple.
A moment later Melanie comes rushing into the room and it’s flooded with light. You look up at her through tears that you don’t realize you are shedding. She’s beside you on the bed in a moment and you break down into sobs.
“What’s wrong?! Is it another nightmare?! I’m not going to let them take you back! You hear me? You will never go back to them! Those monsters!”
“I don’t know… I don’t understand… I just hurts!”
You had one job! To take care of her! And you failed! You know what happens to failures in this house?
“MAKE IT STOP!!!” You scream into the night before you double over in pain, a phantom fist to your stomach. This is followed by another much sharper pain your ribs. You double over and feel the next blow on your arms as you attempt to protect yourself from the unseen assault.
“What is going on?!” Melanie yells in a panic her hands in her hair.
“I don’t know…” You gasp out pain and terror clouding your voice.
You close your eyes and send your mind out. You are surprised to find a string, curious about it you follow it. After a few moments, you feel yourself come to a hard stop and you realize that you can’t go any farther.
Something is happening…
You gaze off into the black abyss surrounding you before you hear a soft voice. Turning you see Eleven behind off into the distance.
An echo of ‘wait ,’ is the only thing you hear before you open your eyes, back in your own body once again. The pain has subsided, but you can feel a dull ache where the sharp pains were a moment ago.
“Where did you go? I couldn’t get to wake up for such a long time…”
You look over at Melanie and see her red rimmed eyes from where she was crying.
“There is a connection… something...bad… was happening…”
“A connection to who?”
“I don’t know ...The pain must have been immense because they are out of range… I couldn’t get to them…”
She regards you for a moment in silent fear before she gets up and leaves muttering, “I’ll put the kettle on…”
Over the next few days you use the guise of ‘recovering’ to keep everyone away. You honestly weren’t really expecting to see everyone after they made sure you were alive and awake. However, Dustin and Max seemed determined to see you again, for reasons you don’t understand. And thus in order to assert your distance from everyone you ignore the phone calls, while vaguely wondering how they got your phone number and pretending to be sleeping everytime they come over.
That is until Saturday morning rolls around and a knock sounds on the door. You glance up from the book you had been reading and towards the door. Melanie is out grocery shopping and you have no intention of answering the door so you just sit there hoping whomever it was would just leave. When another knock echoes throughout the house, much louder this time you glare over at the door in annoyance. You still refuse to get up.
They do not knock a third time, instead you watch as the lock on the door clicks and the door opens to reveal Eleven. Your eyes are the size of dinner plates as you stand up and gaze at the girl before you. She locks eyes with you and a moment later you hear her mutter the one word that breaks your heart.
“Sissy…” She whispered before she rushes at you and envelops you into a hug. Your hands are frozen in the air for a moment in your surprise before you gently lower them around her. Tears prick your eyes and a moment later you are both hugging one another and sobbing. You realize this is the first time that you’ve ever touched her. After a few moments you look up to see Hopper standing in the doorway regarding both of you with an uncomfortable expression.
You pull away softly and gaze at the girl in front of you, the girl who you abandoned, the girl you thought was dead.
“I’m sorry…” you choke out.
“For what?” she asks in confusion.
“For not taking you with me… not saving you...leaving...” you murmur barely a whisper.
She looks down before she looks back up at you with a smile, “It’s okay… I’m okay… And if you had I wouldn’t have met Hopper or my friends.”
You nod your head in understanding before you both sit onto the couch still with your hands clasped together.
“How?” you ask softly.
“I was able to escape because the...monster came through… I let it out…” She whispers the last part in shame.
“You didn’t mean to…”
“I still did…” You can feel the shame and guilt wrack her body as she utters the words.
“It’s okay, testing your abilities is scary, but you have to in order to test your limits. The creature was just strong enough to get through, that’s not your fault, it’s theirs for meddling with dimensions.”
She looks up at you in awe for a moment, “I missed you… I didn’t have anyone to talk to anymore after you left…”
“I know… but I had to leave… They wanted to use me to…” you shudder.
“To what, kid?” you see Hopper get up and take a step towards you. You lean back away from him and just shake your head.
“It doesn’t matter… It will never happen.”
You are surprised when he doesn’t push you for more information and instead just lets it go. You can see that he regards you warily and you know he doesn’t trust you. People also become wary around you when they find out what you can do. You don’t blame them, you know that what you can do can destroy lives.
You look back to Eleven and tilt your head as you give her your attention, “Do you want to go get waffles with us?”
You blink a few times before you just nod and let out the barest hint of a smile.
“That would be nice…”