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Tell Me No Secrets

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At age five you could read minds.

By the age of six years old you had already learned how to deceive the men working for the lab. Nobody would ever suspect a small child learning such a thing and yet you were no ordinary child.

By age seven you had learned how to manipulate the minds of the men around you with a few words.

By age eight they had caught onto what you were doing and made it so you couldn’t talk. You knew you had to be smarter and sneakier.

By age nine you figured out you could make them bend to your will with a touch. Nobody touches you anymore.

By ten you could make them bend to your will with a thought if you concentrated hard enough.

By eleven you knew you had to make them forget.

It took three whole years.

At age fourteen, you made them forget. Then you disappeared.

The man is in his 40s and balding with a round belly and white lab coat. You gaze at him almost in boredom as he deletes your files from the computer and the surveillance footage. You had been eating away at every mind in the facility for the past few weeks. Your plan is foolproof. When he is finished you know you need to do one more thing. You have him lead you to Martin Brenner. You follow him into the room before you make the man before you collapse into an unconscious state. Brenner gets up at the sudden disturbance and gazes at you in shock. You tilt your head in contemplation before you open your hand indicating you want the file. You watch as his eyes glaze over and he reaches in his desk for your file.

He goes to hand you the file and you grasp his hand making the man freeze.

“You are to forget me. You will never think of me again. You will forever leave me alone.”

You turn on your heel and walk away. After years of reading the minds of the workers and studying their every move within the lab you knew your way out. For a moment, guilt washes over you as you hear the forlorn yells a little girl as she screamed for her ‘Papa.’ That man is not her papa and you want to take her with you, as bad as it is in here, you know little of out there and that world is no place for a child of ten.

You do a sweep of the lab making sure you haven’t forgotten anything. The gloves they forced onto you in order to control you, now just help you not to leave any traces behind. When you get to the guards you have them wipe all the new surveillance footage before you wipe their minds and walk casually out of the gates and into the forest.

You understand the concept of family. You had seen them in the minds of the men. You saw happiness and love in family. You saw safety and security.

You walk through the woods until you get to a road. Since you don’t have a car you just start walking.

You aren’t sure how much time has passed when a car comes speeding toward you but you’re surprised when a familiar face is staring back at you. Melanie Summers is a labtech at the facility and someone whose memory you had a harder time of erasing.

“Get in,” She says with finality.

You regard her for a moment and wonder if you should trust her. A gentle probe of her mind and you know.

You get into the car and she rushes off down the road.

“I can’t believe you actually made it out….” she says more to herself than you, “How did you do it?”

You regard her silently for a moment. You had spent years muzzled like a rabid animal so you couldn’t speak. They didn’t talk to you. Melanie had been the only one to treat you like a person. She had lost a child and apparently you reminded her of her daughter.

“I plan for long time.”

She nods in understanding, “Where are you going to go?”

“Anywhere that is not there.”

Talking hurts too much so the next time she asks a question you just shrug your shoulders. Perhaps you should be more grateful to this woman who is risking her life to help you, or maybe you should leave and never return. ‘I’ll stay with her until I know where to go, then I’ll leave…’

That had been the plan anyway. That had been three years ago now and now high school almost made you want to go back to the lab. Teenagers are cruel and your odd mannerisms had made you quite the target for snide remarks and judgement. Imagine going to high school and knowing exactly what everyone thinks about you.

Mostly echoes of ‘freak’ or ‘weirdo’ haunt your mind through every interaction. Every minute thing about your appearance and mannerisms to the fact that you are smart attracted the disdain of your peers.

You had somehow garnered teachers pet status due to your intelligence and your boredom. Well, perhaps not that last bit…

This is why you get paired up with Steve ‘The Hair’ Harrington in your science class. This makes you want to actually poke your eyes out with a spork. The plastic ones from the cafeteria… spork.

You heave a sigh as you glance to your right and roll your eyes at the male sitting next to you as he tries to balance a pencil on his upper lip.

“So what are we doing?” He asks eventually when you don’t offer to speak to him.

You turn and look over at him before you shrug and continue to look through your science book.

‘Great… I got stuck with the freak… I hope she doesn’t go all Carrie on everyone…’

You heave another sigh at the thought that drifts from his mind. You shake the thought away as you turn from him and gaze out the window. You open your science book to a page about chemical reactions and slide it over to him.

“I’ll handle it,” you say with finality before you close the book and stuff in your bag a moment before the bell rings.

‘Like hell am I babysitting this overgrown child,’ you think to yourself as you get up and walk away. You ignore him as he shouts after you.

“Look,” Steve says as he goes to grab your shoulder.

You whip around and throw his hand off of you.

“Don’t touch me.”

He holds his hands up as he takes a step back, “whoa… sorry… I just wanted to tell you I want to help.”

You regard him quietly for a moment, “if that’s what you wish.”

“Uhh it is?” He calls as he falls into step next to you.

You just nod in acceptance.

“We should probably meet up then? You could come over and we could do the project at my place?”

You can practically feel the wince at the suggestion.

You just nod once again, “okay.”

“Okay cool… well… I’ll see you soon.”

You nod and watch as he rushes off down the hallway.

You make your way to your next class quietly and feel a frown as the voices of the new student, Billy, and his cronies Tommy and Carol meet your ears. Billy hadn’t bothered with you, but Tommy and Carol love to make comments and shoulder check you as you walk down the hallways. Even better if you are holding books to knock from your hands. You had thought of using your powers on them multiple times, but you knew that while in Hawkins staying as far below the radar as you can is important.

“Billy! I don’t think you’ve met this… freak yet have you?” Tommy yells loud enough for you to hear as you go to pass them. Tommy makes it a point to step directly in your path. You regard him cooly for a moment before you make to get around him. You can see Billy out of the corner of your eyes watching the event unfold. Sure he’s handsome but his mind is angry. You made it a point to stay as far out of it as you could. Nothing good ever comes from minds like his.

You gaze back at Tommy in abject boredom and you make to get around him again.

“Where do you think you’re going?” questions Carol in her shrill voice as she walks up to you.

You turn towards her voice, “Away from you.”

You smirk at the outrage on her face as you attempt to get around the pair a second time.

“What was th-”

“Let her pass,” A deep velvety voice cuts off Tommy.

The duo turn to regard their companion in confusion, “But Billy!”

“I said…” he says as his voice drops dangerously low, “Let her pass.”

You regard him in confusion as the words ‘fucking asshole,’ floats across his mind.

“Thank you…” you say softly.

He turns and nods at you as he continues to stare the other two down. You don’t stick around to see what happens next. You don’t question why, Billy Hargrove, the guy who seems hell bent on making Steve’s life a living nightmare would be nice to you. Then again, you aren’t the biggest fan of Steve Harrington anyway. He may be nicer now that he is dating Nancy Wheeler, but that doesn’t erase the past.

You put the two males from your mind as you make your way to your final class of the day. Billy walks in a few moments before the bell and takes a seat in the back closest to the door. His gaze shows his boredom as he regards the English class with minimum attention. You don’t pay much mind to him and when class is over you head for the door.

You are almost home free when you hear your name being called by none other than Steve Harrington.

“So…. Would you be free this weekend to work on our project?”

“Why are you so excited about this?” you finally ask after a moment of being confused by the male’s presence.

“I’m… not doing so hot in science and I need a good grade…. This is like what? Thirty percent of our grade? I figured this would help…”

You just nod in understanding, “We can work on it this weekend.”

You say nothing more on the matter as you walk away from him.

“Ok! Bye!” he yells after you, his discomfort obvious.

You just hold your hand up to signal you heard him.

You get out the doors in enough time to watch Billy peel out of the parking lot. You contemplate for a moment the fact that he had been somewhat decent to you today, but don’t dwell on it long. The walk back to your house is odd to say the least. You notice an odd group of kids speeding past you on their bikes. One child in particular catches your attention.

‘It must be nothing… surely it’s nothing… it’s not back…he’s-’

Panic rolls around inside of his brain and as you regard him, you feel a presence you haven’t felt in 3 years. The hairs on the back of your neck stand on end and you resume your casual walk home, but this time just a little bit faster than before.

Chapter Text

Chapter 2: The Car Ride

You are the niece of Melanie Summers, your mother was her sister, who doesn’t exist. Her and her husband, who also does not exist was killed in a car accident, which never happened, about three years ago. Or at least, that’s what you tell everyone.

“And you’re sure that’s what you felt?” questions Melanie as she regards you over a cup of tea.

“Yes, there is another presence inside of his mind, a presence I haven’t felt since…then.”

You didn’t often delve into your past, there is much about your time spent at the lab that Melanie has no idea about. She was a tech and helped with the very basic of things, the real horrors happened at the behest of Brenner. She nods calmly.

“Stay away from him then, we don’t need the lab remembering things they have no business remembering.”

You nod in agreement and take a bite of your dinner.

That night, your mind is filled with the horror of a lab you have long escaped and the pain of experiments that are long over. You wake up covered in a cold sweat as the thoughts of what they intended to do to you filled your mind. You are out the door before the sun rises the next morning.

The route you take to school is a long but quiet one. You are about half way to school when a buzz from another mind intrudes upon your peace. It’s not often that you aren’t fending off minds and there is just quiet, so you always enjoy the time while you have it. You are surprised when a car comes speeding over the ridge and you are even more surprised when the car pulls up next to you.

“Need a ride?” Billy Hargrove yells out the window. You regard him with silent confusion as his sunglasses drop down his nose to reveal his eyes.

“Listen sweetheart, if you don’t want a ride just say so,” he says with exasperation.

You regard him for a moment longer before you murmur out a quiet, “Sure.”

Honestly you are more curious than anything.

He gives you a smirk and a wink as he gets out of the car and pops the trunk for your bike. He yells for Max, you assume that’s the girl in the car, to get in the back seat.

You open the door and get in muttering a quiet ‘thank you.’

Great…his next victim… does she know all he wants is in her pants?

The thought drifts through her mind with disgust and disdain. You had, of course, heard of Billy’s reputation with the female population. Suddenly, it makes sense.

“This is my step sister, Max, and I don’t think we’ve been formally introduced, I’m Billy.”

“(Y/N), it’s nice to meet you.”

He nods, “So do Tommy and Carol give you a hard time a lot of the time?”

You just nod in reply. He glances at you out of the corner of his eye at your movement before turning back to the road. This is why most people didn’t like to talk to you, your lack of response makes them uncomfortable or frustrated.

“Well… you don’t have to worry about them bothering you anymore, I took care of it.”

You glance over at him and nod, “Thank you.”

You are surprised when you don’t see frustration building onto his face. Usually by now those you are speaking to you are fed up with your lack of response.

The rest of the car ride is quiet, just the sound of Billy’s rock music drifting from the speakers. When you get to the school Max skates off to the middle school and Billy gets your bike out of his trunk.

“You know… I can always give you a ride home if you want…”

You shake your head no, “I wouldn’t want to impose.”

He laughs softly and you just tilt your head in confusion.

“I’m sorry… I’ve just never heard anyone talk like you do.”

You nod in understanding, “I like to read.”

“Oh yeah?” he questions as he picks up your school bag out of your hands, “What do you like to read?”

You glance over at him,”Why?”

“Why what?” he asks amusement still apparent on his face.

“Why do you care what I like to read?”

He shrugs, “Why not?”

“Because you don’t know me,” you say simply.

“Maybe I want to.”

“That makes no sense.”

“Oh? Why doesn’t it make sense?”

You regard him calmly for a moment, “Because I have nothing for you to take.”

You pluck your bag out of his hands and continue on down the hallway. He doesn’t make to follow you and you don’t look back, but you know that it will not be your last encounter with Billy Hargrove.

Your day is uneventful, except in Science class when Steve tried to help with the project. All you want to do is work in peace and yet there is no peace with Steve ‘The Hair’ Harrington. He drums on the desk and his books. He reads over your shoulder and asks the dumbest questions you have ever heard in your life. It’s just research and yet this boy is hopeless.

“Soooooooo do you want to come over Saturday? Around 4?”

“That is sufficient.”

“Okay… Ummm… here is my address,” he grabs a scratch sheet of paper and scribbles a barely legible address onto it. You just nod and place it into your book for when you need it. The bell rings a moment later and the two of you walk from the library together with the rest of your class.

“Do you think we will do good on this project?” Steve questions from beside you.

“Of course.”

“Sorry… you do have the best grades in school. I’m just nervous about college you know?”

“Not really…”

“Of course you’re not…I bet you’ve already gotten into your choice school huh?”

“I haven’t applied to any.”

“What?! Why not?!”

You just shrug as you continue walking down the hallway. You’re are surprised when he keeps up with you.

“Can’t you get into like…. any college you want?”

“Probably.”

You say it so calmly that even Steve takes a moment processing what you said, “Then why haven’t you applied?”

“What business is it of yours what I do or do not do with my future?”

“Geeze I’m just curious is all, you don’t have to bite my head off…” he grumbles.

“Then stop asking questions you have no need to know the answers to.”

“I think that was the most you’ve ever talked ever.”

“It’s not.”

“To me it is.”

“You-”

“This jerk bothering you (Nickname)?”

You whip your head around to see Billy Hargrove behind you, much to your surprise.

“(Nickname)? Since when do you know Billy?” Steve asks accusingly as he glares at the boy now behind you.

“Since we became friends… jealous Harrington?” asks Billy with a smirk.

You roll your eyes at the two boys before you, ‘I don’t have time for this…’

You turn and walk to class before either male knows your gone. Honestly, you have no idea why all of a sudden you are so interesting to people who didn’t give you the time of day last week.

You aren’t surprised to hear that Steve and Billy got into a bit of a scuffle, which is why Billy doesn’t make it to class. You are surprised when Billy is waiting for you next to your bike after school has let out.

“Let me give you a ride home,” he says with a charming smile.

“That is not necessary.”

“No it’s not necessary… but it might be nice?” his smile is innocent, but the boy reminds you of the ocean. It’s pretty to look at, inviting with its soothing call and traitorous with it’s undercurrent. In other words, you don’t trust Billy Hargrove at all.

You regard him for a moment longer as he continues to plead with his eyes. You notice for the first time in your highschool career that everyone is looking at you, and you do not like the attention.

“Fine,” you agree because you can feel his stubbornness radiating off of him.

He smiles an award winning smile and leads you to his car, this time when he goes to take your bag, you pull it out of his reach and just shake your head. Something about this boy prods at your mind and you are curious to find out what.

Max is waiting by the car as the two of you approach it. She offers you a smile, that turns into more of a grimace when she sees her step brother. You give her a nod in greeting and a soft smile of your own.

“I didn’t know you and Steve were…friends,” Billy says as he breaks the peaceful silence that you miss so much at this moment.

“We are not.”

“It looked like you were today,” he says with a smile, but there is a dangerous edge to it.

You feel your annoyance prickle at his tone.

“He is my lab partner.”

“That’s all?”

“Yes.”

He nods his head, but you can tell he doesn’t believe you.

“That’s good… you seem better than that…”

You turn to regard the male beside you, “You are awfully interested in something that you have no business being interested in.”

“I want to look out for my new favorite girl, that’s all,” he says with a shrug and a wink. You know the smile on his face and his sweet words would have any other girl swooning at this point, but honestly you could care less.

“Favorite girl?”

“Here we go…” you hear Max groan from the backseat.

Billy shoots her a glare in the rearview mirror and you know from Billy’s reaction that she must have made a face at him.

“There is no reason for me to be your favorite girl. We don’t even know each other.”

“That’s not true…”

“It is,” you say with finality, being quite done with the conversation.

The rest of the ride is completed in silence other than the directions you give to the boy driving. When you arrive at your house you quietly thank him.

“No problem princess, see you Monday.”

With that he peels out of your driveway. You walk into the house and greet Melanie. She glances up from the book she is reading and regards you with interest.

“Did you finally make a friend?”

“I hope not…” you say with slight annoyance as you walk over to the coffee table and take a cookie.

The next day, Melanie drops you off at Steve’s house. You watch her drive away almost forlornly.

‘I’ve spent years getting out of group projects only for Harrington to be the one determined party.’ You walk up the drive of the nice house and you are about to knock on the door when the door is jerked open. Steve is standing on the other side of the door and he about plows you down in his haste to leave.

“What are you doing here?!” he exclaims with his hands in the air.

“You wanted to work on the project.”

“Ahhh shit! I uhhh….” he trails off in thought.

‘I completely forgot with all the Nancy stuff… damnit!

“Forgot?” you ask in annoyance.

“NO! No. I did not forget. I uhhh…. Just thought it would be a good idea to go to the store… for supplies.”

Flashes of last nights party and ‘bullshit’ flashes through his mind. Apparently, she broke up with him and he isn’t taking it well…

“Let’s get supplies then,” you say much to his relief. Even you can’t kick the man when he’s down.

The car ride to the store is silent and when you get there you tell him a few basic things you’ll need before you go off in search of the others. After wandering around the store for about ten minutes looking for things you’ll need for the project, you see him in front of the cut flowers.

“Not baking soda,” you say with derision.

“Hey! You’re a girl right?”

You just send him a look that would kill him… if you felt like it.

“Right… stupid question. Which ones say ‘I’m sorry, even though I didn’t do anything, and I love you?’”

You roll your eyes at the boy before you but turn and point to the red roses.

“Classic. I like it. Let’s go with those. You have everything you need?”

“No.”

“Good! Let’s go!”

You huff as you follow him to the checkout and cross your arms at the absurdity of the situation.

‘Had I known he was just going to be playing casanova today…’

The ride to Nancy Wheeler’s house is filled with Steve ranting about ‘The Nancy Situation,’ which you did not care about it.

“And then! And then she just says it’s ‘bullshit!’ Bullshit! What about our relationship is bullshit?!”

“Do you really want me to answer that, or was that rhetorical?”

“Uhhh… Oh look! We’re here!”

Steve is out of the car in an instant and going towards the door with determination in his eyes when a boy, that looks oddly familiar, stops him.

“She’s not here!” you hear him yell at Steve.

“Well where is she?” Steve asks in exasperation regarding the flowers in his hand.

“I don’t know! I need your help! Do you still have that bat?”

‘Bat?’

“Hey! Who is she?!” yells the boy.

“My lab partner.”

“She can’t come,” he declares loudly.

You get out of the car and glanced between the two males before you. It takes only a moment for the events of last year to flash across your mind. A creature named ‘Dart’ being the forefront of the boy’s mind. You heave a sigh.

“Really? And you actually thought keeping it was a good idea after what happened last year?” you ask him in exasperation.

“I thought it was a new species of liz-” he stops abruptly, “Wait… how do you know about…?

“Dart?” you roll your eyes, “There is a lot you don’t know… Dustin.”

Steve and Dustin share wide eyed glances before looking back at you in suspicion.

“Well… Get in… We have your mess to clean up.”

The boys just exchange a look of pure disbelief.

Chapter Text

“It’s not here,” you say with finality as you pull up in front of Dustin’s house.

“How could you possibly know that?!” exclaims the boy from the back seat in impatience.

“I just do.”

“That’s impossible!”

“It came through a rip in the dimension and knowing it’s not here is impossible?” you ask with derision.

He pauses for a moment in thought, “Yes!”

You just roll your eyes and open the car door.

“Then see for yourself…” you say haughty as you get out of the car.

Steve pulls a bat out of his trunk with nails protruding from it and turns to follow after Dustin. You head up the rear of the group casually glancing at your surroundings, completely at ease. It’s not like you haven’t been in far worse situations.

He leads you to a shed and you watch in amusement as Steve opens the doors and gazes down into the black abyss below. Dustin just nudges Steve a little.

“You go on down, I’ll stay up here in case he tries to get away.”

You glance over at him as thoughts of slamming the doors if push comes to shove flicker across his mind and you just send him a disapproving look.

He just looks at you innocently, “What?!”

You just shake your head and shove past both males, “I’ll do it.”

“Wait! I’ll go,” Steve says resolutely as his hand hovers above your shoulder.

You just ignore him and continue on down the stairs, it takes only a moment for the sound of Steve’s footsteps to echo on the stairs behind you. When you get into the cellar you send your mind out into the darkness but there isn’t anything there. A moment later, there is a small click and the light above your head flickers on. You exchange glances with Steve as you both inspect the cellar. You cross your arms in boredom before Steve makes a noise of disgust and looks down.

“Dustin!” he yells as he uses his bat to pick the slime up off the ground, “You better get down here.”

When Dustin reaches the bottom of the stairs you just hear, “Oh shit…”

Glancing from the shed skin to the boy behind you, you just roll your eyes before scoffing and marching up the stairs while they inspect the tunnel in the far wall..

“You’ve done it now…” you say as you leave the duo behind to run up the stairs after you.

“What’s that supposed to mean! And how did you know he was gone?!” Dustin yells behind you.

“I didn’t. It’s impossible, remember?” you say innocently, “Steve, take me home now.”

You didn’t want to show it, but you recognized that skin and it belongs to something that you want to stay very far away from.

“NO WAY! We have to catch this thing! And if you know what it is you have to help us!”

Flashes so intense assault your mind you are temporarily caught off guard. Your hands fly to your temple as a searing hot pain shoots through your head. You see the moment. You see the moment that his friend had sacrificed herself for her friends. And you recognize her.

“Eleven…” you whisper.

“What?” Steve questions as he takes a step closer to you, “Are you alright?” he goes to place his hand on your shoulder and you step back and away.

“I told you… not to touch me,” you say coldly.

He holds his hands up, “Sorry! Geeze I just want to know if you’re okay! You looked like you were in pain.”

“I’m fine,” you heave a sigh and look up at the sky as a small voice calling for help echoes across your mind. You remember nights filled with isolation, loneliness and confusion. You left her. You close your eyes in pain, the guilt you feel from that moment you decided to run and save yourself engulfs you.

“Fine, but this is a bad idea.”

“What are you talking about? It’ll be fun,” Steve says as he opens the door for you to get in.

You send them both a withering stare before you get into the car.

“We need meat! LOTS of meat!” Dustin exclaims, happy to finally have some help.

“Grocery store it is,” Steve says as he turns on the ignition and drives away.

“So you gonna tell us how you knew all that stuff earlier?” Dustin asks as he sticks his head between the two front seats.

“No.”

“Are you a psychic?”

“No.”

“You sure sound like one… You know stuff,” he says suspiciously.

“Maybe, you’re just obvious,” you reply cooly.

He contemplates your answer for a moment, “Naw… that’s not it… you’re a psychic.”

He says it with such finality, even if it wasn’t particularly true you would never be able to convince him otherwise. You roll your eyes and quietly curse your carelessness.

“What do you intend to do with the meat?” you ask to distract him.

His eyes light up and he starts to explain his plan in detail, Steve jumps in every now and again to offer insight or disagree. You have to say that you are quite surprised at how reliable Steve seems. You also can’t help but like the boy in the backseat and the fact that he seemed to be happy to just be listened to.

It doesn’t take long for the three of you to end up at the railroad tracks with three buckets of raw cut up meat and rubber kitchen gloves.

“Hey… Uh.. Thanks for helping… I know you don’t want to… but… it’s really nice of you to.”

You glance over at Steve and notice how he refuses to meet your eyes. You are vaguely aware of Dustin yelling at his friend over the Walkie Talkie, but pay him no mind.

“I’m not doing it for you,” you say simply.

“I know… you’re doing it for Dustin.”

You look him in the eye as you answer him, “I’m not doing it for him either.”

You grab your bucket of raw meat and set off down the tracks. You are aware of the conversation of the two boys behind you, but only slightly so. You are far too deep in thought to really be paying attention. Eleven is dead and you can’t help but feel responsible.

‘I should have taken her with me…’ you think forlornly to yourself as you drop a few pieces of meat to the ground.

You remember that since she was in the cell closest to you, her mind would be the one you heard the loudest. She was innocent and sweet and earnest. Sometimes when she was sad or tired you would fill her head with the stories you stole from those around you. You stole pictures in story books just for her from the heads of the men who worked near you. Not all of them were bad people, but none of them were good people.

“If you want to get a girl’s attention, you just have to act like you don’t care,” Steve says.

The absolutely horrible advice cutting through your thoughts.

“Even if you do?” Dustin asks.

“Yeah, it drives them nuts.”

You heave a heavy sigh and wonder to yourself how you ended up with such an idiot for a lab partner.

“You just have to wait until you feel it.”

“Oh my God…” you groan and pick up your pace to get away from the idiotic conversation happeneing behind you.

“If you’re going to give him stupid advice Steve…” you say cooly, “At least it should be true…”

“Hey! This is true. This is golden information. Priceless.”

You finally turn to face the duo, “You are clueless.”

You turn back around, “Don’t listen to her okay? She has no idea what she’s talking about…”

“But she’s a psychic… and a girl…She probably does…”

“No! No. Just listen to me okay?”

With that the duo resumed their conversation and you couldn’t help small smile on your face as Steve gave Dustin hair care advice.

Once the three of you get to your destination, a junk yard, with a large old bus off to the side. You all end up emptying the remaining raw meat onto the ground in a central pile. A moment later two kids, a boy and a girl, around Dustin’s age come riding in on a bike, and from his reaction he knew them.

“I like my steak medium rare!” yells the boy on the bike, “Wait…Who is she!?” He yells pointing at you.

You really wished everyone would stop yelling about who you are. It’s getting quite old…

“That’s (Y/N) and she’s a psychic! She’s been super helpful! The most helpful!”

You roll your eyes at the boy as he drives his point home.

“Hey!” Interrupts Steve, “What about me?!”

“You’ve done good Steve.”

Steve nods in appreciation at the boy and claps him on the shoulder, “You too Henderson… Even though this is kinda your fault.”

“Whatever… Lucas! We need to talk!” Dustin then grabs his friend and drags him off behind a car a few yards away.

“Hey… I know you…” your eyes fix on the red haired girl.

“You’re Billy’s sister.”

“Uhh…Yeah… Don’t tell him I’m here!”

“Why would I do that?” you ask in confusion as you tilt your head.

“Because you’re… attracted to him?”

“Whoa! Hold the phone! You’re attracted to Billy? Billy Hargrove? That asshole?”

“No,” you say simply as you turn your gaze to Steve.

“But! He keeps giving you rides…”

“I’m curious…”

“Curious?!” exclaims Steve in bewilderment.

“Yes.”

Steve just sputters as you turn towards the junkyard to get started hauling things around, Max following along after. It doesn’t take long for Steve the corral the boys into helping and soon you have a makeshift fort to protect you all from the creature. The sun is close to setting when you all file into the bus and settle in to wait.

You all have been waiting close to three hours when it finally shows up. You can feel a buzz in your mind and slowly you raise your hand to your head. Your eyes screwed shut with the noise, as if there is a mosquito buzzing in your ear.

“Hey… you okay?” questions Steve from your right. You glance over at him and shake your head to rid your mind of the noise.

“They’re here…”

“What?!” exclaims Dustin before he rushes towards the window, Steve following right behind. Lucas is on the roof urgently telling them he sees them a moment later.

You close your eyes and send your mind outwards towards the creatures lured here by the promise of a meal. You begin to count them in your head your focus tuned in on their odd mind.

‘It’s a hive mind… there are… many…’ you could feel the minds of many more of the creatures beneath those that are closest to you.

‘One…two…three…four…’

“STEVE! ABORT! ABORT!”

Your eyes snap open at Dustin’s yells of panic and you glance around the bus frantically looking for him before you see Dustin in the doorway freaking out.

Your rush towards the boy and pull him out of the way as your eyes find Steve in the fog and you spot them. The creatures are rushing forward to attack him. You watch as Steve does a great job dodging the monsters before he comes sprinting towards the door, one of them hot on his heels.

“STOP!” you yell with a force you haven’t used in 3 years. The creature comes to an abrupt stop just inches away from the door and Steve’s leg. A moment later, you feel yourself surrounded by the hundreds if not thousands of minds that fill this one.

“How…?”

You feel yourself get thrown backwards into the seat behind you by a force, the pain in your head making you cry out. A chorus of screams surround you before the monsters are clawing at the sides. You push angrily through the haze of minds. You can feel the worker bees surrounding you but the farther you go the more obvious it becomes. There is a leader and you feel him. Your mind touches the boy’s and you are instantly assaulted by fear and panic. You’re confused how is this boy…? You feel an icy cold lingering inside of his head…

…No…

He is losing the battle…

Your mind finds his and you take a hold for a moment. He’s in a room…hospital room? No…

… A lab…

No…. You don’t want to go….

With a painful jerk you are thrown back into your own mind and you seal it shut. You gasp for breath as air fills your lungs and your hazy vision begins to find the people surrounding you. Panicked thoughts assault your mind and it takes only a moment to figure out why. Max has a death like grip on your hand and Dustin is gripping your arm, fear in his eyes. Steve has his hands on your upper arms trying to hold you up, his own fear filling his mind. With a cry your wretch yourself out of their hands.

“Don’t. Touch. Me.” you rasp out and slowly you feel your mind start to settle. The force behind your words making the group recoil.

You haven’t lost control like that in years…

…It’s here… And you have no idea how to stop it…

Chapter Text

There is an awkward silence in the group as you all start off down the trail following after the Demidogs, as Dustin had dubbed them. Your head is still pounding from your overload and you realize how much you will need your power. Steve is walking beside you and you are surprised at how protective he is of you after what happened. Max is on your other side and you find that her thoughts are buzzing with worry.

“Max,” you murmur getting her attention.

“Yeah?” she whispers looking up at you.

“I’m okay…”

You see her swallow the lump in her throat as she nods but she doesn’t leave your side for a moment.

You can hear Dustin explaining the molting process to Steve and the subsequent argument that he gets into with Lucas, you’re too tired to care though.

“They have a hive mind…” you rasp out.

The boys stop in their tracks in front of you and turn back to gaze at you in confusion.

“How do you know?” Questions Dustin as he turn fully to face you and takes a few steps towards you.

“I felt it…”

“Felt it? What do you mean felt it?” Steve asks as he grasps your elbow.

You pull yourself from his touch and take a step back looking at the ground.

“They are being controlled…”

“By what?” whispers Dustin.

“Him…”

“Him?”

You just nod and feel yourself shrink farther into yourself. It’s been a long time since you’ve felt actual fear.

The silence is pierced by screeching screams that can only be deemed demonic. You know what it is though. You watch as Steve turns towards the noise and rushes off to inspect it, the boys following quickly behind. Max scoffs at them and turns to look at you. You turn towards the noise and quickly follow after them.

“Wait! Are you guys serious?! We should not be going towards the noise!” Max yells after everyone.

“Come on…” you say softly as you pass her.

“Shit!” she curses before following quickly behind you.

You find the boys on a ridge overlooking the forest and the town, too bad the darkness keeps you from seeing much. Lucas takes out his binoculars and scans the area.

“It’s the Lab… They were going back home.”

“Well… let’s go…” Says Dustin as he starts off down the pathway towards the lab.

“You have got to be kidding me! This is insane!” exclaims Max from behind you.

“Look! If you don’t want to go then don’t go, but this is something we have to do!” exclaims Dustin.

“Don’t worry. We will be fine,” you say with resolution as you start off down the trail. Regardless of how terrified you are of these things, you know what you have to do. You lose track of how long you all are walking before you hear yells coming from in front of you. The voices are familiar, but you are having a hard time placing them.

You all walk out of the trees and hear an echo of, “Steve?”

“Nancy?” questions Steve walking toward the pair.

“Jonthan?” questions Dustin following close behind.

“What are you doing here?!” exclaims Nancy.

“What are you doing here?” questions Steve right back.

“We’re looking for Mike and Will.”

“Their not in there are they?” questions Dustin indicating the Lab before you all.

“We’re not sure…” says Nancy uncertainty in her voice.

“Why?” questions Jonthan.

A howl rips through the air in answer to Jonthan’s question.

Nancy begins to question the younger boys on when they last saw Mike and Will. The group erupts into a tirade of questions and answers. You end up standing off to the side since you don’t know enough to really help the duo with their quest.

The lights in the lab suddenly coming to life catches you attention at the same time that Nancy notices.

“The powers back,” she announces as she gazes intently at the building before her.

The talking ceases and everyone turns their attention to the building. Without a word, everyone rushes forward and to the front gate. There is a car parked in front of it and an abandoned guard station. Jonthan runs into the guard station and starts trying to open the gate. It doesn’t work and Dustin barrels in after him demanding to try his luck. You hear Dustin cursing when he too, can’t get the gate to open. Suddenly, it springs to life opening before you all.

You take a step forward and begin to focus on it. You can sense the minds of several people and Demidogs alike inside. You can’t be sure of how many since everyone’s mind is in chaos. All except for one. You can feel him lying in wait in the mind of the boy.

“I’m going in,” declares Jonthan as he gets into his car.

“Me too,” says Nancy as she jumps into the passenger’s seat.

Nobody argues as the two speed off towards the building. There is silence the kind of silence that happens when everyone is too nervous to speak and all you can do is move.

“So… how are you holding up?” questions Steve as the two of you lean against the guard station.

“I’ve dealt with worse…” you murmur as you gaze at the ground. Your focus is consumed by the minds that are over run by grief, terror and confusion.

You will never know what Steve had been about to say because suddenly the sound of an engine rips through the air and honking alerts you all to the car speeding towards you all, the kids scramble to get out of the way of the first car. It doesn’t even stop as it blows by you all, the second car stops and you all pile into it, Steve being the last one in, to make sure everyone is alright. You feel yourself begin to slowly calm down.

The ride to someone’s house, is silent and you are beginning to feel a little forgotten as friends and family members begin to huddle together.

When you arrive you can see everyone little begin to break apart and sew themselves back together. They are lost in their own thoughts as they mourn the man who had given his life to save the group. You can feel yourself being overwhelmed with the thoughts and you desperately attempt to block them out.

“Hey… how are you holding up? I know this isn’t what you bargained for today…” Steve says as he walks over to you in your little corner.

“I’m… okay,” you say resolutely as you gaze at Steve with new eyes.

“You’re very brave…” you mutter after a pause.

“Oh yeah?”

You nod, “I wasn’t expecting that from you…”

“Oh well…uhh… thanks then?” he says obviously confused about what to say to that.

You just nod and turn your attention to conversation happening among the kids. They are discussing the concept of the hive mind and the Mind Flayer?

“Alright so how do we get rid of it?” questions the police chief.

“Well we summon an undead army because he likes…brains… and zombies… don’t have brains… I don’t know! It’s just a game!” Dustin trails off when he realizes that it is in fact impossible for us summon an undead army.

“You are correct though… it is a hive mind…” you say calmly, speaking up for the first time.

Everyone in room whips their head towards you, mostly because you’ve been so quiet they forgot you were there and partially because some of them don’t even know who you are.

“And who are you?” questions the police chief in exasperated irritation.

You heave a sigh of exasperation of your own, “I’m (Y/N) and your best bet at getting any information out of this…creature….”

“Oh? And why is that?” he asks in suspicious disbelief.

“Because I spent the first fourteen years of my life in a lab five cells down from the one you call Elle.”

Everyone is silent at your confession.

“What do you mean?” he asks in a horse whisper.

“I don’t have time to explain now… we have more important things to worry about….”

“Wait so… how do you get the information?” questions Dustin.

“I’ll need access…”

“Access. A weak point. I’ve never infiltrated a hive mind before so I’m not sure how well this will go.”

“‘Infiltrate a hive mind…’ Okay! Where did she come from?! Who invited her?” yells the Chief in bewildered confustion.

“Umm… She’s my lab partner?” says Steve with uncertainty as he looks at you in bewilderment.

“So you knew Elle?” Questions one of the boys, Mike you think is his name.

“Yes… we were in the lab together…”

“So you have…powers like she does?” questions the chief.

“Not exactly like hers. Mine are different.”

“Different how?”

You close your eyes as you feel another headache coming on.

“You are all THINKING too loudly,” you exclaim much to the surprise of everyone in the room.

“Do you know how to kill it?” you hear a voice question from the silence that followed.

“No.”

You hear a few curses around you.

“Will!” Mike exclaims.

“The weak point,” Dustin mutters as he looks at his friend.

“I thought you said that he couldn’t be trusted, he’s a spy!” exclaims Max.

“What if he doesn’t know where he is? Then he can’t spy on us…”

The group starts prepping the shed for the interrogation that is going to happen. The plan is to keep the ‘Mind Flayer’ preoccupied while you try to get information out of Will. Honestly, you don’t know what could happen to you if it realizes you are there.

“So… What if that thing realizes you’re in there with him?” questions Max as she helps you tape cardboard up on the wall.

“I don’t know… So I really should not get caught…”

You sit in the house, your eyes are closed and slowly you begin to empty your mind. The exercises instilled in you as a child come rushing forward. The world slowly falls away and you feel your mind leave your body and begin to travel out into the unknown. You find yourself in front of the boy and behind him the creature, Him. In your mind’s eye you can see the mass of tentacles that spread out beneath it. It’s grip reaches far beyond what you thought it did.

Suddenly, in front of you stands a boy with haunted brown eyes.

He looks at you as if he is seeing a ghost and he isn’t sure what to do. Fear takes over him.

The echoes of his friends and family drift through his mind and you watch as he helplessly answers them back.

“Can you help me?” he begs.

“You have to help me first,” you reply.

“How?! What can I do? I’m trapped in here!”

“He has a weakness… what is it?”

You watch as his eyes gaze into nothing for a moment.

“Heat.”

You nod, expecting as much.

“What is his plan?”

“He-”

Before you can comprehend what is happening you are thrown from his mind and into your body. You can hear the screams from the shed as you hold your head in your hands.

“What happened?!” exclaims Steve as he wraps his arm around you to hold you up.

“Steve! How many times-?!”

“What?! Oh! Sorry! Sorry! Are you okay?” He asks as he makes it a point to grab a pillow and put it behind you helping to prop you up.

You heave a sigh, “It found me and threw me out of his mind… Or something did…”

“Shit!” Steve curses behind you his hand resting on your shoulder. You can feel his thoughts swarming his mind and for once you are surprised to find how worried he is about you.

“I’m fine… He must not be able to enter my mind through the connection, because he’s not in this world physically….” You end up museing more to yourself than to Steve.

“So it didn’t get you?”

“No… but getting thrown back into my own head so abruptly is rather painful…” you mutter as you put your hand to your head.

“Right… What can I do to help?”

“Calm down, Steve.”

“Right,” he says as he looks away from you and runs his hand through his hair.

A moment later the phone rings and panic seizes up among everyone in the room.

“No!” exclaims Dustin as he rushes over to the phone picking it up and hanging it violently back on the receiver.

A moment later, it rings again, only for Nancy to violently hang it up and rip it from the wall. It’s too late though and the sound of creatures howling in the night assault your senses.

“Well that’s not good…” you mutter as you gaze off into the distance the feeling of several of the creatures making their way towards your group begin to tickle your mind. You know in your current state that you won’t be able to feel them all, but you need to stop as many as you can. The group has assembled and slowly you sit yourself down in the middle of the group and close your eyes.

“This is no time for a nap (Y/N)!” exclaims Dustin.

You glance up at the boy and roll your eyes, “Just make sure I don’t die while I kill a few of these things…”

“What?!”

“And for goodness sake grab a frying pan or something in case one of them gets in… don’t just stand there being useless…” you roll your eyes and hand Max and Dustin the nearest blunt object you could reach.

“In fact… Max you are in charge of making sure I don’t die,” you say matter of factly, as if you are talking about the weather and miss the look of abject horror on the 13 year old’s face.

You send your mind out again and feel it connect with one of the creatures. You had always hoped you would never have to use this particular trick, but that was before a large creature decided to break through to your dimension and enslave or kill everyone. The things you do for freedom…

You push your mind into the creatures and end up taking control of it and turning it onto it’s comrade. You essentially turn it into a berserker as it rips into its brethren, then you hop into the next mind. It takes a moment ,but you realize that the demidogs are being taken out by another outside force as well. Looking through the eyes of the creature you are currently inhabiting you see a girl dressed all in black with her hair smoothed back. You pull yourself away from the creature, only vaguely aware of it’s brain essentially imploding before your mind gently touches hers.

She stops in her tracks as she gazes around the battlefield, now littered with the bodies of the creatures the two of you had taken care of.

“Sissy?” she whispers.

The moment you return to your mind you feel sobs wrack your body and you curl in on yourself. Alarmed by your sudden outburst Max is by your side in a moment attempting to comfort you.

“(Y/N)! What’s wrong?!” you can hear the panic in Steve’s voice and feel his mind go wild. You can’t sense coherent thoughts anymore, you are too exhausted, but the feelings of panic washes over you from everyone around you.

“She’s here…” you gasp out as the lock on the door flips and, a moment later, in walks Elle. Seeing her with your own eyes you feel relief wash over you before you lose yourself to unconsciousness.

Chapter Text

Chapter 5: The Nest

You wake up to the sickening sound of a fist meeting skin. Your eyes are blurry and unfocused, but the sound of the kids screaming jars you from your haze. Opening your eyes fully you see Billy Hargrove leaning over Steve, beating him senseless. You lurch forward off of the sofa and grip your head as it pounds. The panic of the kids and rage from Billy making it worse.

“Billy...stop…” you whisper putting what little bit of power you have into your voice.

It doesn’t even faze him.

Stumbling forward off of the couch towards them you say his name louder only to hear a laugh.

“What are you doing here sweetheart?” he asks as he catches you before you fall onto him and Steve. The moment your skin connects with his your eyes clear and you lock them with his. Suddenly, you are deep inside of his head. Flashes of a tyrannical man flow through your head followed by pain on your skin. You feel fear, anger, shame and hate. It courses through your veins as moments of his life flash before your eyes. You see a blonde woman, beautiful and bright smiling and laughing before you see her beaten on the floor. A note on the kitchen table breaks your heart and you watch as he screams his rage and pain, rejections like a white hot poker, seers his heart that day. You watch as his fist goes through the wall and tears fall from his eyes. Helplessly, you watch as he picks his prone form off the floor that night. Beaten and bloody he hauled himself into the bathroom to assess the damage...alone.

The kids watch in horror as you seem to freeze in a silent scream as tears flow down your face. His own face mirrors yours as his mind feels as though it’s being invaded, but there is nothing he can do about it. Flashes of his life run rampant through his head and he feels exposed and vulnerable. He doesn’t like it.

You watch as he’s pulled from his home and thrown into another house. A woman appears, too unsure of what to do the first time she sees him held aloft by his own father, her husband. Billy didn’t let it show, but he would rather his father beat up on him than the red headed little girl and her mother. He’d tried to keep them away, he’d been rude and angry until his father had beat him until he couldn’t move. He was too scared to try anything too hostile after that, but he still silently begged them to run every chance he got.

A moment later, Max sees the syringe on the table and stomps towards her step brother before she plunges it into his neck. You break away from one another and you stumble back before you fall to the floor, dazed and confused by the experience. Billy stumbles to his feet before he looks at Max.

“What did you do to me?” he slurs as he stumbles forward before he falls back.

Max stomps towards him, “You are going to leave me and my friends alone. Do you understand?”

Billy just laughs, but stops the moment she swings the bat riddled with nails between his legs. The sound of her prying it from the floorboards below terrifying in and of itself.

“Do you understand? Answer me!” she yells.

He looks up at her with shocked eyes before he mumbles out a yes.

“I can’t hear you!”

“Yes! I understand…” With that his head falls back and he’s unconscious on the floor.

Max walks over to him, grabs the keys from his pocket before she turns back to the boys.

“Let’s get out of here.”

She looks over at you and you just gaze back at her in confusion, completely unsure of where you are. You are dazed and confused the sound of blood rushing through your head and the images playing in your minds eye. You gaze down at the boy on the floor and feel tears well up in your eyes.

He’s so lost…

But so are you…

“(Y/N)! Come on! We have to go now okay?”

It takes a moment for you to focus on the face before you, but the striking red hair tells you who is before you.

“Max?” you whisper squinting up at her.

“Yeah… come on… let’s go…”

You look over and watch as the boys struggle to pick up Steve and haul him out the door. You get in only for Steve to practically be thrown on top of you.

“Hey (Y/N), can you support his head?” Dustin asks before he climbs into the back of the sports car and holds an ice pack to Steve’s head. Steve ends up laying in your lap and before you know what is happening Max is climbing into the driver’s seat.

“Max… can you drive?” you ask in confusion.

“Yes. She can,” Dustin says with such finality that you have no choice but to believe him. It doesn’t really matter because a moment later you have slipped into unconsciousness. You wake up to panic flooding your body and Steve screaming for someone to “SLOW DOWN!! STOP THE CAR!”

You feel Steve grip you as you clutch him back feeling fully away from the adrenaline rushing through your body. You both yell in fear and panic as the thirteen year old zooms down the street to who knows where.

“Where are we even going?!” you yell into the tense car.

“The nest!” Dustin yells back.

“NO!” you scream, but it doesn’t matter, you have nothing left to give and your cry falls on deaf ears.

The car comes screeching to a halt right before a giant hole in the ground.

“AAHHHH Hel-Lo!” Steve yells as the car stops and the two of you share of look of horror from your most recent near death experience.

“Incredible…” Mike mutters.

“Told you… Zoomer…” Max says before everyone hauls themselves out of the car and rush around to the trunk.

You and Steve stumble out, each dealing with the pain that is coursing through.

“Oh...no… guys…” Steve half yells half groans at the group.

“Hey! Where do you think your going? What are you deaf?! Hello! We are not going down there right now! I made myself clear! There is no chance we going in that hole! THIS ENDS RIGHT NOW!” he yells as he rushes forward towards Dustin.

“Steve, I know your upset. I get it. The bottom line is a party member requires assistance and it is our duty to provide that assistance. Now I know you promised Nance you would keep us safe,” Dustin says as he pulls a bag with the bat out of the trunk and hands it to him, “So keep us safe.”

Steve sighs and looks over at you, “A little help here?”

You just shrug, “Do you have a spare bat?”

Steve groans and grabs the bag from Dustin’s hands after he gives you a look of betrayal. He grabs a tire iron out of the back of the car and walks up to you. Your eyes are much clearer now and your headache is starting to subside.

“I thought you were supposed to be on my side…” he whispered under his breath as he hands it to you.

You hold his gaze, “We need to stop it… I don’t have anything left to give… but we can help.”

“Aren’t you supposed to be the smart one?” he asks with a scoff.

“I am.”

“Uh huh… right… then why am I the only source of reason here?”

You tilt your head regarding him for a moment, “Because he would kill us all if we don’t stop him… I have seen his desires… It is...death.”

Steve regards you with fear filled eyes, “Well let’s go…”

Dustin comes up behind the two of you and hands you a pair of goggles and a bandana. You secure them around your face quickly before you follow after Max and the boys. After you have all jumped down into the hole the bickering begins.

“Woah woah woah! Where do you think your going? I’m going first. If any of you little shits die down here I’m the one getting the blame. Got it, dipshit? From here on out, I’m leading the way! Let’s go!”

With that everyone started after Steve as he walked down the tunnel. He motions for you to walk with him up front. The dark tunnel pulses around you and very faintly you can feel the entity surround you.

It’s not long until you hear Dustin screaming from behind you. You feel yourself panic over the well being of the boy and turn around to help. He’s on the ground coughing up something.

“It’s in my mouth! It’s in my mouth!” He coughs and spits for a moment before he looks up at everyone, “I’m okay.”

“You serious?” asks Max.

“Very funny. Nice. Very Nice,” grumbles Steve.

“Jesus, what an idiot…”

“Dustin…” you mutter with a shake of your head as you pull him up to walk next to you.

“What?” he exclaims as you just guide him alongside you to make sure he doesn't get into anymore trouble.

You have no idea how long you’ve been walking when Steve stops suddenly.

“Wheeler, I think we’ve found your hub.”

You all gaze around the open area with tunnels branching off from all sides and what looks like some kind of nest like thing in the center.

“Let’s drench it,” Mike declares and you all get to work covering it in lighter fluid and gasoline. It doesn’t take long for you all to finish coating the area in fuel.

“Alright, you guys ready?” Steve questions holding a lighter in his hand.

After a chorus or ‘ready’s’ Steve flicks the lighter open.

“Light her up,” declares Dustin.

“I’m in such deep shit…” Steve pants as he flicks the light and throws it to the floor. You watch in awe as the places is instantly engulfed in flames. You all stumble back from the sudden onslaught of heat. You watch as tentacle like vines begin to flail amongst the flames.

“GO! GO!” Yells Steve as he motions for everyone to get out of there. You grab Max, who is closest to you, and begin to make a break for it down the tunnel. Steve takes the lead and you all begin to follow him down the tunnel. You can feel the pain in the tunnel all around you, thankfully it is more of a dull ache than anything. You’ve exhausted too much of yourself to really be able to sense too much.

Mike falls as something wraps itself around his leg. You whip around and grab onto him, your gloves making it hard to get a grip. You are soon joined by the others and Steve begins to beat the vine until it finally let’s go. You all turn to make a break for it when you see one of the creatures behind you all. You are amazed you didn’t sense it and realize just how drained you are. You begin to summon up what powers you may have left to take care of this one when Dustin steps forward.

“Dart?”

Everyone immediately starts to whisper yell for him to come back but he just hushes everyone.

“Guys! Trust me! I got this!” He talks softly to the creature and you feel yourself grip onto Steve in your anxiety. You pull yourself away abruptly, but feel him grab back onto you in fear as he watches the kid he’s come to care for like a little brother feed candy to this creature. A moment later Dustin is motioning for you all to go, quickly you slide around the creature one by one and take off down the tunnel.

You’ve about made it to the exit when there is what seems to be an earthquake.

“They’re coming!” You yell as you feel the buzz of the creatures on the edge of your consciousness. You all see the rope and rush to it. Steve helps Max up first, then you both help up Lucus, Max pulling him up from above, next up is Mike, you were about to help Dustin up through the hole when the creatures round the corner and head your way. You and Steve both pull out your respective weapons with the intention of fighting off as many as you could, however, they just end up running past the three of you. They knock you all into one another and you all three hold onto one another for dear life. You could feel their fear more intently as Dustin wraps one arm around your waste and one around Steve’s trying not to fall. This just brings Steve and yourself almost careening together. You grasp him around his back as one of his arms encircle you and the other Dustin. Essentially the three of you become a pile of limbs as you watch in confusion as they all head off down the tunnel paying you all no mind. Not that any of your were complaining…

“Elle…” you hear one of the boys whisper and you know that she has begun to close the gate.

“There are too many…” you whisper as you plop yourself down onto the floor of the tunnel.

“Woah woah! What are you doing?! We have to get out of here!” Steve yells.

“Helping,” is the only thing you say before you dig your hands into the infected dirt and with the absolute last of your strength send your mind outward. You use the creatures to hop from one to another, infecting them with the intent to kill its brethren. You don’t have much strength left, but you need to make it to her. You owe her this much.

You put everything you have into killing as many of the creatures as you can. You can see her in the abyss as you leap from one mind to the next, desecrating them, then leaving them to fall to their death. You watch with bated breath as the portal closes slowly. You know what will happen if you are in the mind of one of the creatures when that happens, so you jerk yourself back. You feel yourself snap back into your body violently. You gasp and begin to take deep breaths.

“OH SHIT! YOU’RE ALIVE! YOU’RE ALIVE! SHE’S ALIVE!” Dustin is screaming up to his friends. His hands on his head in disbelief and tears in his eyes.

“You weren’t breathing...I thought you were dead! You weren’t breathing...” pants Steve a look of relief wild in his eyes as he pulls you towards him into a hug. You don’t even have time to reciprocate it before you fall unconscious, completely exhausted.

Chapter Text

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. 

 

“Yes.”

 

“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.”

 

“So…”

 

“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?”

 

“You’re succeeding.”

 

“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?

 

Alone…

 

 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. 

 

“But-”

 

“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…

 

Something bad…

 

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. 

 

“Sissy?”

 

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…”



Chapter Text

Your head felt like static. Like someone left the TV on overnight and all that’s left is white noise and nothingness. Normally you would enjoy the silence, enjoy being in your own head, but this feels off. The presence that has been there for the last week floating at the edge of your conscientiousness is gone and yet you couldn’t understand why they were there to begin with. A constant presence. A buzzing in your ear. You would call them a fly if you didn’t think they were more dangerous. A wasp perhaps. The lack of noise is more unsettling than soothing, and you have no idea why.

You arrive at school that day as normal and your day continues as normal, at least until lunch. Most people leave you well enough alone and so you have a table in the corner that you gravitate towards. To say you are surprised when a person drops down in the seat next to you would be an understatement. Turning from your book you gaze at Steve Harrington, and you are confused.

“Hey,” he says casually, “How are you feeling?”

You blink at the male for a moment before you open your mouth to speak, “What are you doing?”

“Eating lunch?” he says slowly, “What are you doing?”

“Yes, I can see that, why are you eating lunch here?”

“It’s the cafeteria… it’s where we eat lunch? Is that a trick question?” he asks in confusion.

You blink back at the boy for a moment, “Why are you eating with me, Steve? Shouldn’t you be with your friends?”

“But… you are my friend… and I want to make sure you’re okay,” he said matter of factly.

You open your mouth to speak, but honestly, you are too shocked.

“Friends?” you ask quietly, “You… we… are friends?”

“Well… yeah! Of course, we are. Why wouldn’t we be?”

“I-” you stop.

How do you tell someone you’ve never had a friend before?

“Most people don’t like me.”

“Well, most people are dumb. Besides,” he says with a shrug, “I like you.”

You snap your head up and you look at him complete confusion.

“You do? Why?”

“Why… do I like you?”

“Yes.”

“I don’t know… I just do. You are actually a really nice person when you aren’t being really blunt. Besides, we fought Demidogs together, so you’re kinda stuck with me…”

“Well… if that’s how one makes friends I don’t want anymore,” you say calmly.

“Wait… did you just make a joke?”

“Perhaps.”

“You did! You did make a joke!” he says in excitement as he points at you.

You merely raise a brow at the male before you.

He claps his hands together and laughs, “I knew it! I knew you only acted like some stoic no-nonsense girl! I bet you do have a personality!”

“Of course I do!” you’re almost offended.

He sends you a sly smile, “Prove it.”

“What is this? The fourth grade?” you mutter haughtily, “I don’t have to prove anything to you.”

He rests his elbow on the table before resting his head on this fist, the smirk he sends you is full of mirth.

“You’re awfully happy for someone with a black eye,” you say in annoyance, “Why?”

He just shrugs, “Shouldn’t you know the answer to that?”

“Why would I?” you ask as you turn back to your sandwich.

“Well, you know things.”

“I don’t invade people’s privacy.”

“That’s not what I meant…” he says with a sigh, “Nobody has really seen Billy since that night.”

“Why would I know that?”

“I told you...you know things…”

“Ummm hmmm…”

“Anyway, they said he got into his car and drove off about a week ago. It’s been nice around here without him.”

Your mind flashes back to the moment his entire life story essentially assaulted your mind.

“There is more to him than you think.”

“Oh yeah? Like what?” he asks through a mouth full of grilled cheese.

“That’s not for me to say.”

“See! You know things!”

You turn towards him and give a derisive look. He ignores your annoyance and just happily eats his sandwich.

“What are you doing after school today?”

“Going home, why?”

“We should go see the kids, they miss you.”

“Why?”

“Why what?”

“Do they miss me?”

“Because they are your friends and they want to know that you are okay,” his gaze is piercing as he gazes at you. He knows you’ve been avoiding everyone.

You break his gaze and stare off into the distance. You didn’t sign up for this. All you can think about is the wasp-like buzzing in the woods. Being close to you is dangerous, and you’re beginning to think you should have left Hawkins when you had the chance.

“You’re right Steve… I do know things, dangerous things, you should all stay away from me. It’s for your own good…” you murmur before you get up to head to class before the warning bell rings, you don’t mind being early.

“Hey!” he says as he gets up and follows you into the empty hallway, grabbing your arm he turns you around to face him; anger rolls off his body. Why is he angry?

“Look, our lives are dangerous, okay? This is the second time we’ve had to deal with creatures from another dimension attacking us. We thought Elle was dead! We thought she died protecting us! Plus she came from the same place as you and because of that you two need us more than ever, okay? Look I know I don’t have any fancy powers, all I have is a baseball bat, but damnit (Name), I’ll do what I can to protect you, okay? Have you ever stopped to think that just maybe you don’t always have to be alone?”

You regard him for a moment in silence.

“No...I haven’t… I spent most of my life alone being used as a lab rat. They muzzled me like a dog when I was seven years old. At nine they put me in a straight jacket because they were terrified of me. It’s hard to rely on anyone when you’ve been treated like a monster your whole life.”

Steve’s eyes are wide in shock and horror as he listens to you. A chill goes down his spine, you’re so emotionless when you talk about it. He doesn’t want to know anything else… the horrors you faced…

“They really… did that to you?”

“I was an experiment, Steve… please forgive me for not welcoming the world with open arms when I had more in common with rodents and rabbits growing up than actual people.”

He flinches back at your tone and hangs his head down avoiding your gaze. You look away from him and down the empty hallway. You could make them forget… you’ve done it before…

The hand on your forearm is unexpected. You whip your head around and lock your surprised gaze onto his.

“I’m sorry that happened to you… I really am… You didn’t deserve that. I...want us to be friends though,” he takes a step towards you, “I know… I can’t erase your past or what its done to you… but… you could have a normal life… you could have friends and people who love you. You just have to stop pushing everybody away.”

You pull yourself from his grasp and walk away. You can give it one more day.

You don’t really feel like dealing with the rest of the world today. You still aren’t ready, besides you have something to take care of. Walking out of the school you are too lost in your thoughts to sense the presence near you. A hand reaches out and you’re pulled back behind the school adrenaline courses through your body and suddenly you're in a familiar head once again. You rip yourself out of his grasp as you turn to see Billy Hargrove standing before you. He looks a little worse for wear as he regards you with bewildered eyes.

“What did you do to me?” he rasps out.

Your eyes widen as you regard him, “Nothing…” your voice is small as you answer.

“Bullshit. I know you did something. What was it?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” your voice is stronger this time. He’s no match for you if you wanted you could have him out cold on the floor in a moment. He takes a step closer to you and you stand your ground. He’s hovering over you a moment later and you feel yourself bristle with the unspoken threat. A moment later he deflates and backs away.

“I just...need to know what you did to me… I could feel you in my head…”

You regard him for a moment before you walk closer to him.

“I saw everything.”

“What does that mean?” he spits out.

“It means what it means. Your mom left and your dad abuses you.”

He’s up like a bolt of lightning seared his skin.

“How the fuck do you know that?”

“I told you… I saw it.”

“That doesn’t make any sense!” He’s angry now, you can sense it rolling off of his skin like a mist. It permeates the air and you shudder at the feeling.

“You need to calm down.”

“You don’t tell me what to do!”

“I don’t have time for you to have a tantrum.”

“Yeah?! Well, too bad sweetheart!”

You frown at him before you turn to walk away.

“I’m not done talking to you!”

“Don’t touch me.”

He stops dead in his tracks, the order ringing in the air around you, “Now calm down,” you say as you turn to regard him.

His eyes are wide with fear as he regards you, his body inches from yours. You look him dead in the eye and he could have sworn they glowed.

“What do you want from me, Billy? What have you wanted from the beginning?”

“I don’t know… You just… had the same look in your eye… like-like you’d seen shit.”

“I have.”

He nods as he regards you, all the fight has left his body and he sits heavily on the ground in front of you.

“Can you do that to anybody?”

“Do what?”

“Tell them what to do… Make them listen to you.”

“Yes.”

“Can you do that to my old man?”

“What do you mean?”

“You know what he does to me…” Billy says as he lifts up his shirt and square in the center of his abdomen is a bruise the size of a man’s fist.

Your body runs cold, “When did that happen?”

“A few days ago why?”

“I have to go,” you say as you turn around and walk away.

“Wait!” he yells after you struggling to get up desperateration clear in his voice.

You don’t stop as you disappear among the cars and out of his sight.

You don’t go home that afternoon instead, you follow a dirt road down into the trees. You can feel the presence from before following you. Walking further into the forest you feel them gaining on you. A hand rests on your shoulder and your eyes narrow as you turn to face the man behind you. He’s frozen in place, a stun gun in his right hand as you regard him the silent order hangs in the air between you.

“Did you really think that was going to work?” you question calmly.

Surprises flashes across his mind right before you dive deep into it. You aren’t surprised by what you find there. The lab and everything that comes with it. He had been following you for a few days now.

“I knew it was you…” he whispers.

“That doesn’t matter.”

He passes out after you extracted the memories from his mind, this time though, you put new ones in its stead.

“Why don’t you try to solve that puzzle…” you murmur to the unconscious man on the ground.

You know their intentions and you know what you need to do.

I should have left… I shouldn’t have stayed here…

“No matter, I’ll just have to take care of this as well…”

Dark has fallen over Hawkins by the time you get home. You are surprised to find Steve and the kids along with Elle and Hopper in your living room arguing when you open the door.

“Where have you been?!” Melanie yells as she rushes towards you. She engulfs you into a hug and relief assaults your body.

“I’m fine,” you say as you fight your way out of her grip.

“We were worried about you!” says Dustin as he comes towards you.

“I don’t understand…”

“When people care about you… they worry about you…” Steve says with forced patience as he walks closer to you.

“We thought they got you…” Elle says as she walks up to you and pulls you into a hug.

“They?”

“The bad men… I saw them…”

You regard them silently for a moment debating on whether or not you should tell them.

‘You just have to stop pushing everybody away…’

“I had to take care of one of them.”

“By yourself?” questions Hopper as he stands up straight from where he had been leaning against the wall.

“Of course…” you say calmly, “He wasn’t any match for me.”

“What did you do to him, kid?”

“Erased his memories.”

“Whoa! You can do that?!” yells Dustin in amazement.

“Yes, it’s how I escaped the lab, I made them all forget me.”

“You made them forget you? All of them?” Hopper asked in bewilderment.

“Yes, and there are others that need to forget as well.”

“How do you know?”

“I saw them in his head. They want to take us.”

“Us? Who’s us?” Questions Hopper a dangerous lit to his voice.

“Eleven and I.”

“So do you have a number?”

“Three.”

“How many of you were in the lab?”

“At the beginning or the end?”

“Both.”

“There weren’t many of us left in the end and we lost several throughout the years. I don’t like remembering. When I left there were only four of us left.”

“Four?”

“Yes, there were two others besides Elle and me.”

“Who were they? What could they do?”

“I don’t know, they kept us separated and I could only handle so many horrors. Their minds were fragmented and I couldn’t communicate with them like I could Elle.”

“What did they do to you?”

Your eyes narrow at the police chief, “That is none of your concern.”

“We need to know what they are planning so it kinda is.”

“My past is to be left out of this. Honestly, I don’t even need you to take care of this problem, I’ve done it before and I can do it again,” you reply coldly.

“They know what you can do this time though! What if they come prepared?” Lucas interjects.

“They have no idea what I can really do. I knew better than to reveal all my secrets.”

Your voice sends a chill down their spines.

“Still… We can help!” Mike is standing in front of you.

You can feel panic and fear radiating off of him. He’s afraid he will lose her again.

“I don’t need help.”

“It’s okay if you’re scared you know?” questions Dustin.

You blink at him in surprise.

“We’re going to be here for you and Elle. You don’t have to do this alone. I know you have for a long time, but this time you have us!” he continues.

 

“Yeah, besides we can take some stupid scientists. They are nothing compared to those creatures! We got this,” Max says with a confidence you can’t dispute.

“Fine… I’ll tell you what I know…”

Chapter Text

You could feel the agitation rolling off of you in waves. After explaining to everyone that you’ve been followed for the past few days by an agent everyone had thoroughly freaked out like you knew they would. The anger was unexplainable and seemed to come out of nowhere and the pacing is the only way to keep yourself under control.

‘This is why I like to handle things myself,’ you think as you continue to pace. The room was still full of your friends as they argued about what the best course of action would be. It started with a guard detail and now Dustin is suggesting some kind of elaborate security device.

You whip around to walk the other way when a sharp pain goes up your side. You cry out, startling everyone in the room as you sink to the floor half in surprise and half in actual pain. Another sharp pain follows quickly after and again and again, before you know it you are curled up on the floor attempting to protect yourself from the phantom assault. A sob wracks your body as you actually feel one of your ribs crack a sharp pain pierces your hand and your nose. A few minutes later the assault is done and you just lay in a heap, your body throbbing and everyone in the room in various stages of panic and chaos.

You lay still and suddenly your vision is blurry and you are gazing at a living room you’ve never seen before. A man is casually leaning against the counter as you drag yourself up and shuffle to the bathroom. You lay your head against the door, the cool wood feels good against your forehead. You don’t pay attention to anyone, it’s not until Steve puts a hesitant hand on your arm that you are brought back to the room around you. You blink taking in the familiar couch and the familiar faces of your friends. You flinch away from him and he backs up hands in the air.

“It’s okay…”

You shake your head and get unsteadily to your knees your hands go to your throbbing nose when you pull away you expect to see blood but there is nothing there. You blink in surprise before you press on your rib expecting pain, but there isn’t anything there other than a phantom throbbing.

“What happened?” you ask shakily.

“We were kinda hoping you could tell us that…” Steve says hesitantly.

“I don’t know…”

“What do you mean you don’t know?” questions Hopper’s tight voice.

You gaze down at the floor before you glance up at Max, “What does your living room look like?”

“Huh? Why?”

“Just… what does it look like?” you ask again as you put your hand to your head attempting to soothe your throbbing head.

She begins to describe the beige walls and the TV in the corner. The window that opens up to the kitchen. You gaze unseeingly at the carpet as you recall every detail about what just happened to you.

“I see…” you say before you stumble to your feet with Steve and Melanie on either side to steady you before you walk wordlessly to your bedroom.

“Okay… what just happened here?” questions Hopper as he gazes at where you just were.

“We don’t know…” sigh Melanie, “She did that the other night.”

“When?” questions Elle.

“A few nights ago… I-I don’t remember exactly when…”

You can still feel the residual pain aching in your muscles as the water from the shower beats down on you. You don’t feel like dealing with anyone as you ponder what you think is happening. You inhale a shaky breath as you picture the living room and man leaning casually against the wall watching you get up. There is no emotion, dead eyes watch you as you make your way towards the bathroom. A moment later water is scalding your skin as you gaze around at the green tiles surrounding you, with a blink you are back in your own shower. Groaning you force yourself from the shower and into bed hoping against hope that you are able to get a good night’s sleep. You have a feeling you are going to need it for tomorrow.

The next morning dawns and before you can even think of riding your bike to school Steve is in your driveway and much to your surprise so is Dustin.

“Why are you here?” You ask in confusion as you lock the door behind you.

“I’m taking you to school, it’s too dangerous for you to ride your bike there,” says Steve as he crosses his arms.

“He’s right! You need protection,” interjects Dustin.

You furrow your brow at the duo in confusion, “Okay…” Mostly because you know that attempting to argue with them at seven o’clock in the morning is far more hassle than it’s worth. Also, you decide not to mention that you are more than capable of dealing with anyone that comes your way, but they enjoy being heroes and who are you to take that from them? Plus you simply don’t feel like riding your bike today.

When you pull into the parking lot at school you don’t think much of the fact that Steve gave you a ride until you get out of his car. You feel eyes on you instantly as whispers flare up all around you. A particular pair of blue eyes catch yours though.

“What do you think she’s doing with Steve?”

“Wasn’t she with Billy last week?”

“What are they doing with the freak?”

“What do they see in her?”

“It has to be a bet! You know they’ve been competing for King status…”

“Has to be a bet.”

“Hey! Don’t listen to them okay?” You hear Steve’s voice in your ear suddenly.

You whip your head around to face him and notice the way his hand is on the small of your back and the way he guides you into the school.

You blink attempting to refocus yourself as you try to block everyone out. You don’t have time for their rumors, you have more important things to do. You wave Steve off when you get to your locker insisting that you would be okay.

“Are you sure?” he asks in concern as he leans against your locker door, his eyes searching yours. You are beginning to understand why so many females like Steve. He has the uncanny ability to make himself look like a puppy and is quite endearing if not a little slow.

“I’m fine, Steve, I’ve somehow managed to survive without you my entire life up until now. I think I can handle first period.”

“I just…”

“Go!” you shoo him away much to the scandal of the female population that was trying not to be obvious they were eavesdropping and even more so for the ones who didn’t care if you knew they were.

You don’t see Steve again until lunch when he plops himself down in the chair next to you.

“So… How are you doing?” asks Steve as he pours little packets of hot sauce on his burrito.

You roll your eyes, “I’m fine Steve…”
He doesn’t look convinced as he regards you with concern, “Yesterday was pretty intense…”

“I don’t want to talk about it,” you say coldly.

Steve has become rather bold rather quickly because he doesn’t seem to care whether or not you want to talk about it, “Maybe you should though! You should talk about it!”

“What good would that do?” you ask seriously as you attempt to concentrate on your math homework.

“You were scared… Hell, I was scared! You just started to scream and writhing in pain for NO REASON.”

“Would you keep your voice down!” You ask in an angry whisper, “Everyone at this school already thinks I’m some kind of freak, I would rather possession not be added to the rumor mill, especially when it involves both you and Billy.”

“Sorry! Geeze! I’m just trying to help!” he hisses back at you.

You fix him with an angry stare, “Perhaps in private would be better, you never know who is listening.”

“Ah… right…” he looks thoroughly chastised as the two of you make your way out of the cafeteria and to your science class.

“We still need to work on our project…” Steve grumbles as you both pile yourselves into the classroom.

“We can finish it up tomorrow after school,” you say decisively.

“Tomorrow? Why not tonight?”

“I have things to take care of tonight.”

“What things?” He asks almost defensively.

“Things that don’t concern you,” you mutter emotionlessly.

“Hey! You aren’t going after any more-” he asks, clearly offended.

“Steve!” You growl.

He lowers his voice to a whisper as he leans in, “-any more of those guys are you?”

“No… this has nothing to do with that…”

“You know friends trust one another right?” he asks in annoyance.

“Then you should trust me,” you say calmly as you look towards the front of the classroom as your teacher enters the room.

You hear him scoff from beside you, but you decide to ignore him, mostly because you know it annoys him when you do.

***

You can feel Billy’s gaze on you as you read the assigned material for your English class. Agaitiation rolls off of him in waves as you attempt to ignore him, but how can you when you know what you know?

It’s when the bell rings that a message floats between the two of you, landing softly in his mind, “Meet me behind the school.”

His eyes widen as he gazes at you like you are out of some horror movie, but you ignore the way the shock travels up his body and ricochets through his mind. A few minutes later you are standing before him as he leans against the wall.

“What’s this about?” he asks confidently, his voice doesn’t reflect the fear in his mind.

“Lift up your shirt,” you say while crossing your arms.

“Sweetheart if this is what you wanted all along…”

“No. Now lift up your shirt,” you say emotionlessly.

He rolls his shoulder and his jaw before he straightens, “What if I don’t want to.”

You tilt your head to the side, “What happened last night?”

He leans his head back and regards you with narrowed eyes, “That’s none of your business.”

“It’s my business when I’m a crumpled heap on the floor of my own house,” his eyes widen at your statement, “Now, lift up your shirt,” you say forcefully.

He holds your gaze as he angrily untucks his shirt from his too-tight jeans and pulls it up to reveal black and blue ribs. His side is all manner of colors some bruises are almost healed while others are fresh.

 

Shame sets you on fire as you regard him and it takes you a moment to realize that shame doesn’t belong to you.

You merely nod at him, “Thank you.”

He drops his shirt back down and refuses to look at you. His shame is replaced with anger, mostly because he doesn’t know what else to do with himself.

“Oh yeah! And what’s that gonna do huh?! You think you can fix this shit?! Fix my fuckin life?!”

“You would be surprised at what I can do…”

He snaps his head up to look at you his breath catching in his throat.

“Let’s go,” you say as you breeze past him into the school.

“Where?” he asks bewildered.

“To take care of this.”

His whips around as the door goes to slam in his face, he catches it at the last second as he attempts to tuck his shirt back in before following you down the hallway.

The ride to Billy’s house is silent as he chain-smokes cigarettes, the smoke flying out the open window. The ride is loose and fast and despite the fact that he wants you scared, you know better than to actually be. He pulls into the driveway and the two of you make your way up to the front door. You look around at the perfectly manicured yard before you enter the living room you were in last night.

“He uh… won’t be home for a couple of hours…”

“It’s fine, I can wait,” you say calmly while you pull out the book your class is reading for English.

“So you can really do it huh?” he asks as he sits down next to you on the couch. His elbows are on his knees and his hands have formed a fist under his chin. He’s wound as tightly as a wire about to snap.

You regard him quietly for a moment before you answer, “Yes, I can.”

“How?” his voice is rough as if he is holding back tears.

 

“You shouldn’t ask questions you don’t actually want answers to.”

He glances at you out of the corner of his eyes before he gets up and lights another cigarette taking a long drag.

“You should do the reading,” you murmur softly.

“What? Why?” He asks, almost outraged you would suggest such a thing.

“It would be best if he thought us to be working on an assignment.”

He nods absentmindedly before he puts the cigarette out and reaches for his bag. He pulls the book out and settles down to read it, but even though his eyes are moving he isn’t comprehending anything. After staring at the same page for several minutes he closes the book harshly and slams it down next to him on the couch. He runs his hands through his hair messing it up before he inhales a large breath then exhales. You watch him while he does all this in mild confusion.

“Do you doubt me?” You ask calmly.

He lets out a forced laugh as he shakes his head, “I don’t know what to think sweetheart.”

He looks up at you and his eyes lock with yours. They are a deep blue and remind you of the turbulent sea in a hurricane, this time though you think you can see a little bit of sun hidden in the depths. As if for once he has hope.

The door opens almost violently and if you hadn’t felt the waves of anger rolling off of the male before he made his way into the house you would have been startled.

“What’s going on here?” Billy’s father asks, you see right through his forced cheery facade and see for what it is a very dangerous question.

“We were just uhh…” Billy stalls in shock, clearly not expecting him yet.

“Working on an English assignment, we were paired up in class,” you finish easily for Billy regarding the man before you carefully.

“Right…” Billy trails off looking anywhere but at his father.

“I see… Will she be staying for dinner?” He asks, completely ignoring you.

“No, our assignment shouldn’t take that long,” you say calmly before you dutifully go back to your book.

‘Assignment my ass… Like I’m going to believe this isn’t his next whore…’ The thought flits across your mind, but you just keep your face blank giving nothing away.

Billy catches your eye looking nauseous. You merely nod your head towards the book before you go back to your own.

You hear the heavy boots of his father as he walks into the kitchen but you make no move to do anything.

Billy’s leg begins to bounce with his nerves.

Abruptly you stand and regard the man as he returns from changing from his work clothes. He stalls in the hall and just looks down at you in confusion.

“You’re going to stop hurting Billy. You will not hurt anyone in this family,” you say seriously, the order hanging in the air. “If I find out you’ve hurt any of them there will be consequences. Now you are going to forget this conversation ever happened.”

His eyes are blank and unseeing as you turn back to a bewildered Billy.

“That’s it?” He asks in bewilderment.

“Yes,” you say calmly, “I would like to go home now.”

He blinks up at in confusion.

“You have to take me there,” you supply in place of his obvious confusion.

“How do I know this worked?!” he asks in bewilderment.

“You don’t… yet. Also, don’t say anything to anyone,” he blinks at the order vaguely wondering if you used your power on him.

With that, you turn and walk out the door with a very confused Billy following dutifully after you.

***

The next morning, before you even step out of your front door, you can hear the arguing.

You roll your eyes as you gaze between Steve and Billy with Dustin and Max standing off to either side, both looking equally exasperated by their ride to school.

“Why are you both here?” you ask in annoyance regarding them both with crossed arms and narrowed eyes.

“I”m taking you to school!” They chorus before they return their glares back to one another.

“This is becoming excessive…” you murmur more so to yourself than the group surrounding you.

“Look, you don’t need to be riding your bike to school with…” Steve trails off looking imploringly at Billy.

“What? What’s going on?!” asks Billy in obvious annoyance around the cigarette between his lips.

“Nothing that concerns you…” you say regarding Billy calmly.

“You heard her! Nothing that concerns you!” Steve echos tauntingly.

“Enough, Steve,” you reprimand.

Billy scoffs from your other side, “You heard her Harrington, enough,” he says with a triumphant smirk.

Steve whips around in a fighting stance to regard Billy.

“ENOUGH! Both of you!” you exclaim in annoyance, “I don’t know what’s gotten into either of you, but I can take care of myself just fine. I’ve been doing it for a long time.”

“Yeah, but that doesn’t answer the question of who’s taking you to school, sweetheart?” Billy interjects indicating the two cars before you.

“Who was here first?” you ask in annoyance.

“I was!” They both chorus and you just cross your arms with a sigh.

You look to Max and Dustin for the answer and Max raises her hand, “We were here first.”

You nod decisively, “Billy can take me to school, Steve, you can take me home, okay?”

Billy smirks triumphantly and Steve just regards you in surprised betrayal.

“But it’s Hargrove! What if his bad driving kills you?!” Steve yells in annoyance.

“Billy has been giving me many rides to and from school, I’ll be fine.”

“He has?!” Steve asks following you to the passenger door of Billy’s car.

“Yes Steve, he has, long before you did,” you say patiently.

Steve just squeaks in indignation as you shut the door effectively ending the conversation.

Flying down the road towards school Billy has a Cheshire grin on his face, “You know you could have just told Harrington you wanted me to take you…”

You glance at Billy out of the corner of your eye, “I honestly didn’t care either way.”

“Sure sweetheart… Sure…” he says with confidence dripping from his voice.

Max scoffs in the back seat, “You know she’s too smart for you right?”

“What did you say?” he growls back.

As the siblings begin to bicker back and forth you notice it, the buzzing.

“Quiet both of you!” you exclaim shutting them both up momentarily.

“Don’t tell-”

“Hush!” you exclaim the order hanging in the air as you turn your head this way and that trying to get a read on the buzzing in your head.

Your eyes widen as it starts getting stronger and there you see a vehicle sitting at the intersection not fifty feet away clearly waiting for someone. You narrow your eyes as you regard the car.

“Billy,” you murmur turning to look him in the eyes, “Floor it, if they catch us we might as well be dead.”

He just nods, the barest hint of fear in his eyes as he lays his foot down on the gas pedal, his car roaring to life.