A/N: Well, this chapter took a slightly different direction. The focus is on Eleven and Hopper. This is a pretty big moment so I figured it deserved its own chapter. But I haven't forgotten about Mike and the Byers. They will appear next chapter. Happy Almost Stranger Things 3 Day! Hope you enjoy. As usual, I own nothing but my plot. These characters and Stranger Things belong to Netflix and the Duffer Brothers. If it were mine it wouldn't be nearly as awesome.
Chapter Five: Aid
They set up the girl in a room and I notice the teenage boy with her does not seem the least bit interested in providing comfort. The girl holds the toy bunny I gave her close. Sara's bunny not even saying a word to the boy beside her.
"Chief Hopper," A nurse comes over. "A word if you don't mind…" I notice the woman looks concerned. I take one last look over to the hospital bed. This whole situation gives me a backwards feeling but I'd done my part. The girl was with a family member. Nothing more I could do about it.
"Yes Ma'am of course." I follow the woman out into the hallway. I see that a couple and another man were waiting out in the hallway.
"We're so sorry, we hope Eleanor and Maxine didn't cause you any trouble." The woman speaks.
"Not at all Mrs…" I raise an eyebrow.
"Hargroves, Susan Hargroves,"
"Mrs. Hargroves," I shake my head. "It was a misunderstanding that's all."
"When we took Eleanor in, we didn't think she would be this erratic." The man beside Susan says. "We had just moved to Hawkins a month before and adjusting to being a blended family well you know…"
"Can't say so Mr. Hargroves," I deadpan. They didn't think taking in a foster child with all of that was going to be erratic as he so bluntly put it?
"I see," Mr. Hargroves says. "But anyway, I really do wish there was another way to handle this."
I didn't like the sound of that. But I turn my attention to the man on Susan's other side who had cleared his throat.
"Chief Hopper, my name is Benny Hammond. I'm with child services. I'm Eleanor's social worker."
Benny Hammond offers his hand. I shake it, but as I do I feel something, as though I'd been sucker punched in the gut. And I can't be cordial about this.
"So you're just going to throw this girl out like yesterday's trash?"
"Chief Hopper, please just…" The nurse catches my eye, but I can't keep myself calm. Not here, not when the situation is...impossibly too close for my own comfort. Seeing a little girl in one of these rooms again, even if it's just for stitches, knowing that even though she's not terminal her situation is just as terrible...I can't remain calm when parents are taking it for granted.
"We are doing no such thing." Mr. Hargroves says. "And our family matters aren't your concern Chief Hopper. We appreciate you notifying us about Maxine and Eleanor, but I would appreciate you minding your place."
"Yeah you would wouldn't you?" I whisper close enough for the man to hear. I then turn back around ignoring the nurse's call as I go back to the girl's room. I'm just about to enter when I see the teenager grasping the girl's wrist.
"Alright Sweetheart," I see the nurse come over and I shrink backwards. My eyes search out Billy's. It's instinct. I don't know why. I should know better. But hospitals always remind me of school and Papa's tests. Those nurses and doctors never listened to me. And even though Papa was trying to be comforting, it was still more scary than anything. "In a little while, I'm going to set you up with an IV. It'll just be a tiny pinch. Nothing to be scared of."
I let out a whimper and squeeze the bunny tight.
"I'll give you a few minutes." The nurse looks between the two of us and then leaves with the chief.
"Fuck's wrong with you?" Billy says when they're gone, not looking at me.
"Scared," I say softly.
"Oh, that's it?" He says. "Scared?" I look over, surprised by the softness. He almost looks concerned.
He holds out his hand. I raise my eyebrows but I take it. Maybe he was trying to help. But then suddenly he pulls me over hard by the wrist. I gasp in pain.
"I got news for you: nobody cares," He says. "I don't care. That little stunt you and Max pulled, that's the last one. You're gonna be out of here on the street probably. Who's gonna want a freak like you around?"
"Billy! You're hurting me!" I rasp. I hear a rattling sound as the rolling tray nearby trembles. The lights flicker. I tilt my head and the needle on the tray flies in the direction of Billy's hand lodging itself in as the tray falls over.
"Boy, let her go!" I hear a voice, but its distant like a tunnel. "What the hell?"
"What'd I tell you? Freak, you're a fucking freak show…" Billy says, but I hear the shaking in his voice. His grip drops all at once as his hand goes to his other hand.
I can't help it. I start to cry.
"Boy, I think you should go find someone to look at that hand." I look over and notice the owner of the voice. It's Chief Hopper. "Falling onto a tray of medical supplies can be dangerous stuff."
I'm not sure what I expected, but I sure didn't expect Billy to actually leave. I didn't expect the shift of weight on the hospital bed and I didn't expect to be held. "It's okay Kid, it's okay…"
After a while, I feel better and I sit up looking at the man curiously. He hands me a kleenex placing a finger to his nose. I take it and place it on my nose. "That… happen a lot?" He asks.
I'm honestly not sure what he's talking about, Billy or the nosebleed blasts. I give a small shrug.
"That's quite the strong will you have there." He continues.
"Scared…" I reply, my voice soft, apologetic.
He nods. "I get it, these places ain't the greatest. Almost whacked a nurse myself a few times getting fixed up."
I look at him blankly. I don't quite understand what he means. "Scared?"
"Yeah Kid," The Chief looks at me raising a hand. I flinch back, but all he does is rub my hair back. "Want me to stick around?"
A/N: Next chapter will include all that I mentioned the last chapter as well as Hopper finally acknowledging the strangeness of Eleven's abilities if only to Joyce, Will getting his arm looked at, Will and Eleven meeting for the first time and whatever else decides to throw itself into the mix.
Please do tell me what you think. Also I have a question for you all: I'm considering ideas for another Stranger Things fic and I have a few ideas. I'd love to know if there is one you'd like to see. Prompts also welcome.
1) My Stepsister the Superhero: A modern day AU where Joyce moved her and the boys to Chicago after leaving Lonnie when Will was in third grade. Joyce remarries to Hopper who is a former Chicago Police Officer with a daughter Jane (Eleven) who is Will's age who is quite odd. After an incident in Chicago, the small family moves back to Hawkins. Meanwhile, Mike Wheeler is a boy who is obsessively following a vigilante superhero. When Will goes missing, Jane must decide whether or not to reveal her secret. (Established Jopper, Jancy, Mileven Lumax)
2) Yet Untitled Stranger Things/ Harry Potter Crossover: AU The party attending Hogwarts. It's the Party's Hogwarts journey as a looming darkness encroaches. Can friendship really overcome a changing world?
3) Stranger Things/Umbrella Academy Crossover: AU: When Five tests his time travel abilities his sister Jane aka Number Eleven comes with but she becomes trapped in the year 1980. Working with the Commission, Five eventually meets his sister again in the year 1983 after being tasked with protecting Joyce Byers, but could this be an impossible task? Canon or semi canon Stranger Things pairings.