It was black, but everything started fading into view. This was the lab, but not the lab in the normal world, but in the upside down. She started running, running away from what seemed to be a monster version of papa, she didn't think he could become more of a monster. She ran, and ran, until she reached the outside, and everything went black. She was in that place, she didn't know what to call it, it was a black, never-ending space. Suddenly, before her, she saw Mike, he was looking happy, but suddenly, Brenner came up from behind him, and took him, throwing him into a van.


Mike woke up, El was having a nightmare.


He ran down to her

"El, El, it's ok. Shhh, it's ok, I'm here."

She opened her eyes


"Yeah, it's me, I'm here, don't worry."

Her breathing started normalizing


"Can you go back to sleep?"

He knew from personal experience that after most nightmares, especially the ones where you call out from, you can't.

She shook her head

Mike looked at his watch, five.

"Ok, I'll just stay up with you."

She smiled


"For what?"

"Being so nice."

He looked back at the past month, he hadn't really been that nice.

"Yeah, about that."

"It's not your fault."


"It isn't your fault."

"How do you know?"

"I was watching you, until the last week, I couldn't then."

"So you know that I punched Will in the face."


"You know I was a monster."

"You weren't a monster."




"For what?"

"For trusting me."


They talked for hours until



"Ok El, after breakfast I'll come back up here, get you, sneakily come downstairs so she doesn't know that you slept in my room last night, and introduce you to my mom, ok?"

She nodded

Mike ran downstairs

"Hey mom."

"Hey, you know, you were talking in your sleep."



He ate breakfast and snuck a few Eggos for El.

He ran back upstairs

"Here, have some Eggos."


"Ok, here's the plan, I go downstairs first, then you come down once I say the coast is clear, ok?"


He waited until she finished her waffles


She nodded

"Ok, wait at the top of the stairs until I give my signal."

They walked to the stairs, then Mike walked down, when he gave saw that his mom wasn't looking he signaled her.

"Hey mom, I'd like you to meet someone, her name is El."

She turned around

"Oh, hi El, when did you get here?"

"A minute ago."

"Really? I didn't hear a door open"

Ok, fine, his mom paid a little more attention than he gave her credit for.

"Mike, when did she actually get here?"

"Last night."

"Where did she sleep?"

"My bed."

"Where is she from? Where are her parents?"

"She's a runaway, her parents were, abusive."

At least that was half true.

"Ok, who do I call?"

"That's the thing, I was wondering, could she stay with us?"

"Mike, I already have three children in this house not including your father, we can't fit another."

"But mom, she can sleep in my room, I'll just move to the top bunk."

"What about food? School?"

"You're an amazing cook, you can make food, and she doesn't really have an education."

"Well, nice flattery, and what do you mean no education?"

"Her parents never took her to school, or taught her anything, she doesn't really talk much."


"But I know Will's mom would be happy to teach her."

"How do you know that?"

"She likes El."





"But, you have to ask Joyce to teach her."


"Now go to school, you'll be late."

"Ok, I'll drop El off on the way."

"Ok, bye."