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Hero

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Joyce stands in the doorway to Will's room, was she having a dream again? Was he really back in his bed sound asleep?

Hopper and her found him in the upside down, his body cold and thin.

Will lost a bit of his childhood when he went missing, how could a child bounce back from seeing creatures and death?

Joyce looks around his room making sure one of those things didn't sneak inside his room.

She looks to Will turning over in bed still sleeping soundly. She didn't understand, how could he sleep after seeing such things?

Hopper walks up to her at the doorway, placing his large hand into her shoulder he pulls her out of her thoughts.

She looks to him, he took his hat off at some point just leaving him in his uniform.

She knew he was gonna get tired of hearing her praises for helping her find her son, she just knew she he was still alive.

Nobody believed her and it made her feel shitty that no one stood by her except for Hop.

"Joyce, come on you need your rest too." He whispers as he leads her away from the doorway and into the hall. He closes the bedroom door as quietly as he can before leading her towards her room.

Joyce asked him a few days ago to stay with her for the first week until she isn't afraid anymore. Tonight was the third night having him come over after his shift.

She's been keeping it to herself but she is terrified of the demogorgon and fears that it will show back up in her house to either attack her or kill Will.

Hopper leads her into her room and towards her bed. She wasn't in her pajamas yet but she hasn't slept in them in them since Will went missing so she didn't mind sleeping in her clothes.

Hopper walks in front of her and bends down to look at her.

"You okay?" He asks his hand still on her small shoulder.

Joyce makes eye contact with him. "I'm just." She sighs. "I'm just thinking how I'll never be able to repay you for the help you've given me. We found my boy." She says.

"I've told you before Joyce there is no need to repay me for helping and believing you." He says reassuring her.

She doesn't know what else to say so instead of speaking she move in giving him a hug, Hopper wraps her in his arms to comfort her.

"You're still in shock Joyce. I understand how you're feeling. It's gonna be like this for a few. People deal with things differently." He says softly looking down towards her.

She knew he was talking about losing his daughter and the fact that it took him a long time to deal with her death. She tightened her arms around his torso and thinks how hard it would feel to let go. She couldn't imagine having to bury her son, actually bury her son.

Hopper had the help from Joyce when he was at his lowest, he helped her realize life goes on even after losing his little girl.

Joyce feels a batch of tears fall from her eyes and onto his shirt.

They've both been through the ringer and are still fighting through the after math.

Hopper pulls her back to look to her wet face, placing his hands onto each side of her face.

"It's okay Joyce." He says gently as he uses the pads of his thumbs to wipe away the tears.

He never wants to let her down again, one of the reasons he decided to continue to search for information. He wanted to find Will, he couldn't lose another child on his watch.

Not Joyce's boy.

Joyce looks down towards the floor before pulling away.

Hopper takes a seat on the edge of the bed and watches Joyce as she begins to pace the floor.

"Hey, what's wrong?" He asks trying to figure out what's going on in her mind.

"What if they're still out there?" She asks feeling the fear begin to creep back up.

"Then I'll kill them." He answers honestly before leaning over and grabbing her hand gently to pull her towards him.

"That stuff is for me to worry about Joyce, not you. I'm not gonna let anything happen to your family again." He says looking directly into her eyes.

She listens to him as he tells her he would make sure to keep her family safe. Nodding her head she knew she believed him when he spoke.

Joyce notices she reaches his height as she stands in front of him while he sits on the bed, she looks into his eyes with her glossy eyes filling with tears.

"You're protected. This family, this house is protected by me." He adds wiping away the new tears from her cheeks.

Joyce didn't know what it was, if it was her emotions getting the best of her or the way Hop makes her feel important. She didn't know what it is but the way he's looking at her and so close she feels the need to kiss him. To feel his lips on hers but she knew him too well. He had a code he lives by and would never make a move on someone who is dealing with their emotions and a hard time.

She bites her bottom lip to punish herself for even thinking about him in a way he would never feel.

Hopper notices her bite her lip and feels the urge to kiss her, place his large hands around her tiny waist and hold her to him while they share a kiss.

He felt the energy change inside the room, he could kiss her right now and let her know she would always be safe with him around. He could claim her with his lips but she has been running through emotions that can mess with a persons head. He could never make a move like that on her.

He knew better then that.

"Come on Joyce, you need to go to sleep." He whispers.

"Can you stay with me until I fall asleep?" She asks.

She wants him to stay in her bed until she falls asleep?

In all these years this has never happened, even when they were teenagers and he would come over to her house and sleep over when his dad was being an ass.

They never shared the bed then and now that she's scared out of her wits about the demogorgon they'll actually lay in bed together.

"Yeah." He answers.

She nods before pulling her hand out of his, Hop moves off the bed and watches Joyce as she climbs onto the bed. She takes the far end of the bed and lays down.

He didn't know if he was supposed to take that empty side of bed or if she just wanted him to sit at the edge of the bed and wait till she falls asleep.

Hopper continues to think about what she actually wants and ends up just standing by the bed watching her.

Joyce turns and notices Hopper standing on the side of the bed, eyes widening in surprise when she spots him watching her.

She chuckles before moving her hand to the empty space in the bed and pats the area.

"You know you can lay or sit here." She says with a smile playing on her face.

"Are you sure?" He asks.

She nods quickly and watches him as he moves towards the bed. He takes a seat at the edge and begins to take his shoes off.

Once he's finished he moves further back onto the bed and rests his back against the headboard. Getting himself comfortable he crosses his legs over each other.

Joyce turns around in bed so she can see him, glancing up towards him she smiles again.

"I haven't slept well in the past few days." She says honestly.

"It's okay, just try to fall asleep." He speaks softly. "I'm here."

She nods her head and closes her eyes.

Hopper turns off the lamp on the night stand.

"No, keep it on." She says placing her hand onto his leg.

He almost jumps at the contact, she's never touched him on his leg before or anywhere else near his...

"Hop, please turn the light back on." She repeats.

"Okay, I'll turn it back on." He twists the switch watching the room fill with light.

"Thanks." She sighs before closing her eyes again.

He's never seen her this afraid before, she always kept her head up and fear to a minimum. This was new to him.


Hop sits in the room for an hour, he glances towards Joyce next to him.

She breaths lightly, her hair falling on her face when she moves her hand to scratch her ear.

He smiles never seeing her so vulnerable. She sleeps soundly by his side, Hop knew it was about that time.

He sneakily and quietly moves off the bed and slips his feet back into his shoes. He turns off the lamp light since she didn't need it anymore since she's asleep.

He starts to walk out of the room, cracking the door open without even a sound and exits the room.

He sighs feeling his exhaustion begin to settle in from the long day he had at work till staying in the bedroom without having even a little entertainment to keep him from getting sleepy.

He grabs his jacket from the couch, placing his hat back on top of his head. He grabs the keys from his blue jacket pocket and starts for the front door.

He would be back tomorrow to make sure they're okay.

He places his fingers onto the lock to unlock the door and head outside into the cold winter night.

Just as he begins to turn the lock he hears Joyce begin to scream.

Hopper runs straight to her room, swinging the door open he races towards the bed. Feeling around in the dark his large hand makes contact with the lamp. Blindly following up the light he switches it on and sees Joyce tossing and turning in bed, her hands reaching for something that wasn't there.

Him.

"Joyce." He says leaning towards her in bed. He touches her sweaty head and whispers her name.

Joyce starts to slow down her breathing, her screams stopping when Hopper placed his hands on her.

She opens her eyes fear still filled in her eyes, she looks around until she realizes Hopper was with her.

"Hey, you're okay. It was just a dream." He says.

Joyce take a few deep breaths, her body shaking in fear once she realizes it was only a nightmare.

She could still see the horrors within the dream as if she were still dreaming, she closes her eyes and begins to cry.

"Hey, it's okay Joyce. You're okay. I promise, I won't let anything hurt you." He whispers pulling her into his arms to calm her.

She clings to him in fear, it felt so real. She cries in his arms, rubbing circles on her back with his hand he tries to calm her.

"Do you want to talk about it?" He asks.

She shakes her head not wanting to relive the horrors.

"Okay."

She pulls back to wipe her tears from her face. She looks to Hopper and notices his hat and coat.

"Where you leaving?" She asks.

"Yeah, I was just getting ready to leave until you started screaming."

She looks down to the bed and nods her head.

"Sorry." She tries to smile and find it funny but she can't find the humor in it.

"No need to be."

"You can leave so you can head back home." She says looking back up towards him.

"No, I'm not gonna leave you now."

"Hop, I'm fine. I'll just stay up." She explains.

"And have you fall asleep at work, I don't think so." He answers.

"Come on Hop, I'll be fine." She says.

"Too bad, I already made up my mind." He says moving further onto the bed.

He knew she's trying to keep a brave face displayed but deep inside he knew she was thankful he decided to stay.

He sits in the same position he was in before he left the room, Joyce lays back down.

She takes his hand with hers and hold onto it as she tries to fall back to sleep.

Hopper knows he was just keeping her safe and making sure to keep her mind clear from all the fears within.

Something deep down inside he wants it to be more, he wants her to know he would never do this for someone else. She's always been important to him, she's always been his main priority.

One day he'll show her what she means to him, one day he won't be so afraid to share his feelings.

Till then he'll remain her rock, her sanity.

Her hero.