It had been three months since Eleven vanished, presumably dead. According to everyone, including himself, Mike was about to hit the tipping point. He had searched for every day he could, in the woods, near the recently abandoned Hawkins lab, and even Mirkwood, which still gave him the creeps about a Demogorgon coming out of nowhere.

He had shut everything off, his friends, his family. He had to go back to school though, he was going to fail seventh grade if he didn't. He spent many hours at home in her fort, after he rebuilt it, some nights he slept there.

Going to sleep wasn't much comfort either, every night he got a nightmare where, he could've saved her, if he had just tried harder. Most nights he woke up in a cold sweat, crying. There were words, his words, that always went through his head saying "What is wrong with you?", they kept repeating themselves. He blamed himself for her vanishing, if he hadn't destroyed her fort, or yelled at her, maybe, just maybe, she would still be here, or at least that's what he thought.

His parent's wanted him to see a therapist, he refused. Everything he knew was right they would just say he made up, that she wasn't real. He felt that she was out there, he knew if he admitted that she wasn't, that he would never forgive himself for stop looking and she was out there.

At school, he tried to act as normal as possible, it fooled most people, except for those who knew him closely. Even Mr. Clark noticed that he didn't even want to go near the HeathKit anymore. It reminded Mike of El, in fact, many things reminded him of her, Eggos, couples, the gym, pools, he couldn't go anywhere without thinking of her.

He could still play D&D though, writing the campaigns, it helped him keep his mind off of her. They officially removed the Demogorgon from the set and bashed it outside with a hammer though. He was focused on making a twenty-four hour long campaign, the longest they had gone was fourteen. He was planning this campaign for the first day of summer, even though that was four months away, that meant he had time to come up with stuff and focus on the details.

He started looking in the woods a little less frequently.

He would randomly shout, hoping that she could hear.

"El! I'm sorry! If I'm the reason you never came back that's fine! Just please, please come back."

He started sobbing.

"El please, please come back. It's been misery here. Just please, please come back." He whispered

It was dark, cold, and empty here. Eleven has been here for three months, her only ration being the food that comes in that box in the woods. 'The Upside Down', she only found peace in the fort in Mike's basement, it felt a little bit warmer, sometimes more than others, but she didn't know why.

She missed everyone, Dustin, Lucas, Nancy, Jonathan, Joyce, Hopper, Mike, she missed Mike most of all. She often would go up to his room, just to see it, even in it's dilapidated state. Her daily trek towards the box in the woods started getting harder, living in this atmosphere, it wasn't good for your lungs. She couldn't grow strong enough on the atmosphere to use her powers without being out of commission for the day. She tried, she tried getting to Mike, it usually didn't work, she did once, hear him, while she was in the tent. He was crying and just saying "what is wrong with you" under his breath, over and over, it felt like she was right next to him.

El didn't know what day it was, the days formed together, there was no day or sun to be able to tell you. It was lonely here, no one to talk to, she would often yell out for Mike, and her voice would be scratchy from lack of use.

"Mike! Mike!"

She would ball up in her fort and cry for many parts of the day

"Mike, Mike where are you? Mike please help me, Mike."