Welcome to this fanfiction. I hope you like it.
First of all, I want to especially thank StrangerThanXsAnatomy, my beta reader, for making this story possible, thank you very much ;)
Chapter 1: "Day 76"
The alarm rang too soon, and the lights of her room rose. Eleven squinted, grunted, and rolled over pulling the pillow over her ears. It was the seventy-sixth day. She sat on the edge of the bed, thinking about how much her life had changed, and how much she'd lost. Three weeks had passed since they moved, and she was still getting used to the new room. Its walls filled with drawings, white furniture, and a bookshelf. Plenty of comics on its shelves.
Those books were a gift from her friends, a weird one you could say since she didn't like comics. Great heroes with incredibly good lives and superpowers. Come on, that only happens in stories. The real world was very different. There was no happy ending. Not for her. Everything that ever mattered to her had disappeared from her life. She missed Hawkins, her old cabin, her friends, Mike and…
Her eyes were wet with tears as she moved over the nightstand. She opened the drawer and pulled out a small wooden box. Her fingers ran over the lid but didn't open it.
"Honey, breakfast is ready," Joyce said from the door. "If you don't hurry, the boys will eat your plate too. Today I made pancakes."
The woman bit her lower lip, her eyes fixed on the wooden box in her hands. She knew what was inside it.
"Hey, Come on…" Joyce entered the room. "Is everything all right?" Her voice softened as she squatted in front of the girl.
Eleven shook her head as her fingers gripped the box. "It's the day seventy-six." She stated as if it was an explanation.
It was. Putting emotions into words wasn't her strong point unless it was anger. Even then, she was more at ease with actions.
It wasn't her fault. Having spent the first twelve years of your life captive doesn't give you the best of education.
But, she made herself understand. After all, she had improved in recent years thanks to the time she spent with…
Joyce felt a twinge of pain in her chest. The memory of Hopper was still fresh, like an open wound. "Yeah, I know. I miss him too." She replied with a sad smile. "You know what? He would have liked you to go to school."
Eleven shook her head. "They are bad. They say ugly things about me."
The woman looked at her, surprised. How had she not noticed before? A new girl, without much knowledge, and with poor language skills was a bad combination; at least in school. It was clear that she had become the center of teasing. Children can be very cruel sometimes.
It had been hard to find a school for her in such a short time. Joyce had to convince the director with a story, so her shortcomings did not raise suspicions. Fortunately, Dr. Owens had used his contacts to help her. She didn't understand why, and she preferred not to know, but that man felt indebted to her family.
"Ignore them. They will soon get bored and leave you alone. Do the best you can while being yourself, and learn from any mistake you make. Don't let anyone tell you what to do."
"Myself." The girl repeated.
"Exactly," Joyce said getting up. "Now, go to the kitchen and devour your pancakes if Will and Jonathan have left you any."
Eleven got out of bed. She didn't want to disturb Joyce more than necessary. She had enough with the new home and work, not to mention having another mouth to feed and worry about. But every day she spent in school was worse than the last one. They had asked for discretion from the school board, but rumors about them had spread like wildfire. It is a school that was not huge, and any gossip was the topic of the day.
Eleven closed her locker with reluctance when a push from behind made her books fall to the floor.
"God, the geek doesn't even know how to walk." A girl stated while two others laughed in unison. It was Jodie, the most popular girl in school, and according to Eleven, also the most stupid. She ignored her -just as Joyce had recommended- and began to pick up her books without saying a word.
"Well... well, has the cat got your tongue?" Meows that caused more laughter accompanied Jodie's sarcastic voice. The noise got them some looks from the rest of the students who were passing through the hall.
The girl tried to pick up the last book, but Jodie stepped on it. "Hey, geek, I asked you a question, are you going to answer?"
Eleven looked up. The lack of her powers meant that she could only imagine throwing Jodie, and her ego, into the air. But there she was, stepping on her math book.
"Remove your foot." She advised.
"Oh! It seems that the kitten has got claws."
"I'm not a cat." Eleven responded, trying to get the book, which made Jodie step on it harder.
"No, you are not. You are an orphan geek who can't even speak."
A boy made his way through the gossips that were still watching the scene. "Leave her alone, Jodie."
Eleven breathed relieved to see Will, while Jodie just rolled her eyes in annoyance.
"Well ... the other geek. Do you have a club or something?"
Will came closer with anger. "I said leave her alone."
Eleven seized the distraction and yanked the book. That caught Jodie off guard, who had to hold onto a locker to keep her balance.
"Killjoy. We're leaving, but just because we got bored. Idiots." Jodie and her friends turned on their heels and walked away, laughing.
Will offered his hand to Eleven to help her up. "Are you ok?"
Eleven nodded, swallowing hard, trying to undo the lump in her throat; She didn't want the boys in the hall to see her cry. It wasn't because Jodie scared her, far from it. She just felt helpless, and that was the straw that filled the glass.
"El, don't let someone so insignificant affect you. They also made fun of me in Hawkins because I got better grades than them. And you know what?" Will was smiling. "At the end of the course, my mother bought me a new bike. Worth being the nerd of the class."
"I will tell you what it means on the way home. Okay? Also, today is Friday. It's the day we rent a movie from the video store! It was my turn to choose it but ... we will take whatever you want. Even if it's a cartoon" Will tried to make her smile. After all, Eleven had become a little sister for him. The duty of the older brothers was to protect and care for the little ones, at least that was what he thought. Eleven didn't need anyone to protect her, but she needed someone at her side.
They had ordered pizzas for the movie; Friday was the best day of the week for everyone, except for El. The reason was simple; the TV broadcast 'Miami Vice'.
It had been exactly seventy-six days that she had not watched that series again. Not without Hopper. It was the series they always watched together. There were no excuses for being late, no matter if it rained, thundered or there was a hurricane warning. It was their time of the week and was simply special. Especially in the last months that she had spent less time in the cabin. On Friday nights there were no plans. Just watch an episode together, sitting on the old couch with a nice bowl of popcorn.
The Byers were trying to make Fridays easier for her. It was the day they ordered fast food and rented a good movie. They were trying to make her feel like one of their family, but it was still day seventy-six.
When the Goonies movie ended, Eleven got up from the couch. Like every Friday the silence was her farewell, only broken when the door of her room slammed.
Her body fell on the bed. "Not a good day." She muttered under her breath as her fingers retrieve the wooden box.
She took a note from inside and delicately unfolded it. She did not want that little piece of paper to break or deteriorate. For her it meant a lot, you can say, that it was her most precious possession.
She had read it a million times, she didn't even need the paper, and she knew it by heart. But those quick strokes printed with pen on a threadbare torn notebook sheet were all she had of him, of Hopper. The only person who helped her when she needed it most, without expecting anything in return. The stranger she ended up calling father.
"...It's just not how life works. It's moving, always moving, whether you like it or not. And yeah, sometimes it's painful. Sometimes it's sad. And sometimes, it's surprising. Happy.
So you know what? Keep on growing up kid. Don't let me stop you. Make mistakes, learn from 'em. When life hurts you, because it will, remember the hurt. The hurt is good. It means you're out of that cave!..."
"Now I'm in that cave, " Her voice was almost a murmur. "And I don't know… I don't know how to get out." Tears wet her cheeks. "You said life would hurt me, but not that it would take everything away from me. That day I lost you, also my powers, my home, and my hope. I have nothing, Hop."
The girl curled up on the bed, pressing the crumpled paper against her chest. "Everyone tells me that the pain will pass with time, but it's a lie. Seventy-six days have passed and it still hurts like the first ... because I know ... that tomorrow you will remain dead." She spoke the words, stopping every so often to choke back sobs.
Her eyes closed. "I couldn't even look for you that day. Not without my powers. It's better that way. To remember you as you were."
To imagine seeing him dead, was enough to start sobbing without comfort. And when there were no more tears left to cry, end up falling asleep. She would wake up in a new day, the seventy-seven.
Three weeks earlier. Unknown place.
There was barely an hour left to finish his shift. Damn his luck when he heard the alarms sound. The chief scientist, Smirnov, approached the radar with fear. There was activity on the other side of the portal, which could only mean problems.
The sound of the door opening meant another problem. The general was there, followed by a platoon of soldiers. "You. Inform." He said pointing a finger at the scientist without even looking at him. His gaze fixed on the portal below them.
"We... we don't know, there is activity on the other side of the portal," He hesitated before continuing. "We should turn off the machine. It could be anything." The scientist craved. He remembered so well when a pack of Demogorgons appeared through the crack. Those beasts devoured all the comrades who worked that night with no mercy.
That attracted the colonel's attention. "Here, who decides if the machine shuts down or not is me." He didn't even have to raise his voice to freeze Smirnov's blood "The portal will remain open!"
"It's getting closer!" Another nervous scientist notified, pointing at one of the radars. Everyone looked at the orange glow on the wall.
The colonel pointed at the portal. "Soldiers in front! Only shoot at my command!"
The men, armed with Kalashnikov rifles, stood in front of the portal, afraid of what they might find. The crack glowed, and in a few seconds, a figure appeared in front of them, walking towards them.
The soldiers looked at each other as they adjusted their fingers on their weapons. Fear was in the air. That figure was bigger than a Demogorgon.
"Aim!" The colonel shouted.
The fissure became bigger, and the figure began to take shape until a mysterious man appeared. He seemed disoriented and after what seemed to be his last effort, his body collapsed on the floor. None of the soldiers moved from their site. They weren't expecting that.
"What the hell..." Ivanov's astonishment was evident. He gestured to Smirnov, who cautiously approached the man lying on the floor. He didn't trust anything that came from the other side.
Trembling, his fingers searched for a pulse in the man's neck. All eyes were on him.
"He… he is alive but very weak." He stated.
The colonel looked astonished toward the portal. That was going to be a very long night.
To be continued…
Thank you for reading it! Please, if you liked it, just let me know with a review. :)