A/N: Hey! I cannot take all of the credit for this story. Janeelevenives83 Did most of the work... (Heck, I can barely take any credit. They came up with the idea, wrote most everything that wasn't dialogue, wrote dialogue. They posted it on AO3 on their profile. If you don't prefer then go there.)

Anyways, Back to the story.

Once upon a time...


I sat against the science cupboards, my body feeling completely numb as I watched her turn away from me towards the Demogorgon, towards her fate. Not if I had a say in it. Suddenly, power surged through my bones as I shot up and raced towards El, grabbing ahold of her arm. "No El!" I shouted, my voice lost beneath her screams. "I'm not letting you leave me! You can't leave me! I'm not gonna lose you again!" The black dust surrounded us, and I felt it trying to pull her apart. But I wouldn't let go. I wouldn't let it take her away from me. Finally, the ash settled and the noise stopped. I felt sure I was dead. But then I saw Dustin and Lucas staring at me in disbelief, and I saw the broken door, and I saw the familiar classroom. And... El. Lying on the floor. Collapsed.

"El? El!?"

She wasn't waking up. I felt for a pulse, but couldn't find one. She wasn't breathing.

"EL!?"

"Mike? Mike what's wrong?" Asked Dustin

"She won't wake up! EL?"

"Mike, calm down! Move over, I know CPR. I learned how in health class last year!" Said Lucas

He performed basic CPR, desperately trying to get her to wake up, he had only been her friend for hours, he felt bad for how he had treated her.

"Ok, Mike, when I tell you, exhale into her mouth, twice, for one second, got it?" Said Lucas

"Yes."

"Ok, now!"

I breathed into her mouth once, desperately trying to hold it together.

"And now!"

I breathed one more time, silently pleading for her to wake up.

She woke up on the second try, and looked panicked on why I was breathing into her mouth.

"Oh my God, El!" I cried, tears dripping down my face.

"M-Mike?"

"I'm here, I'm here. Don't worry. You're okay now. You're okay."

"Someone call the chief!" Said Lucas

Suddenly, I heard sirens coming towards the school.

"Guys! What are we going to do about El? They'll take her to a hospital!"

"So?" Said Lucas

"So! What if more agents take her!"

"We'll just make sure she doesn't go!"

I was weighing in my options. I knew that agents would likely be there to try and take her, but she wouldn't let them. I wouldn't let them. I wasn't going to lose her again.

"Fine, now let's go!"

As Ted pulled into the middle school, we got out of the car, not bothering to park in a space.

"Michael! Michael!?"

I found him, hugging someone I didn't know.

"Michael? Oh my God. What happened?"

"We… were getting our books!"

"When some guys with suits came in and opened fire!" Said Dustin

"And we ran outside!" Chimed in Lucas

"Who, is, this, and why is their face bloody?" I said, gesturing to the… person next to Mike. They had the features of a girl (though barely, their body was so thin) and were wearing a familiar looking pink dress, but their hair was buzzed almost to the scalp.

"This is our friend. She hasn't enrolled in school yet. We were showing her round while we got our books."

So, they were a she, then. I was confused as to why her hair was so short, but I didn't want to sound rude.

"The gunshots made her ears bleed." Added Dustin

"Hey mom, can she stay at our house?" Asked Mike

"What! Why? And how? I already have enough children!"

"Her parents died, and she doesn't have a place to stay. And don't worry, I'll take care of her!"

Mike made it sound like he wanted to adopt a puppy, not a person. Taking care of three children was already a lot of work, but it would be nice to have another daughter, even if she did start at around Mike's age. Besides, the poor girl had no family to go to.

"For now. But, you must sleep in the basement, she'll sleep in your room."

"Ok!"

He sounded excited, a little too excited for my liking. Maybe she was more than a friend to him? For now, I couldn't worry about that. There were four children in front of me who needed to be taken care of.

"Now, come on, it's cold out here. You two, stay here, your mothers will be here soon." I said to Lucas and Dustin.

We got in the car, and headed home.

"Ok, once you guys get in, go and shower. Ok?" Said Mike's mom

"Yes mom." Said Mike

"Yes." I said

Mike went down to the basement to get me some clothes.

"Hey, what's your name." Asked Mike's mom

I didn't know to tell her 'Eleven' or 'El'.

"El"

"Well, hi El, I'm Karen, you're going to sleep in Mike's room, ok?"

"Yes."

"Hey honey, are we having chicken for dinner?" Asked Mike's father

"Not the time Ted!"

Mike came back upstairs

"Here you go El, I show you where the bathroom is."

He gave me black 'sweatpants' is what they called it and a red shirt, and led me upstairs and into his bathroom.

"Here."

I didn't know what the knobs in the shower were for.

"Oh, I'll turn it on, don't worry."

He turned them on, the water was warm, it felt nice compared to the chill outside.

"I'll just leave the door cracked, ok?"

"Ok." I said

He left, leaving me alone to a mirror, there was a cut on my cheek, but other than that I looked ok.

I took my clothes off and got in the shower.

I scrubbed all the dirt and blood off, and washed my hair with soap. I didn't get to shower much at the lab, but when they let me, it was nice, but the water was cold there. I got out of the shower, but I slipped, and hit the floor. I could hear someone running to the door.

"El? Are you ok?"

I didn't feel ok, my head hurt, and all the air escaped me.

"El?"

"Yes."

"Ok, are you hurt? Do I need to get my mom?"

"No."

"Ok, just, be careful. The ground gets slippery when the floor is wet."

"Ok."

I got dressed, and went to Mike's room.

"Oh, hey El, I replaced the sheets, and added some more blankets in case you get cold."

"Thanks."

"Ok, well, I have to go make my bed downstairs now, goodnight El."

I caught his hand as he was leaving

"Stay?"

"But El, my mom said I had to sleep downstairs, and she would probably kill me if she knew I stayed up here."

I was worried, she would kill him?

"No, it's just an expression. She wouldn't actually kill me."

"Stay?"

"Well, fine. I'll go get some more blankets."

As Mike went out the room to get the blankets I looked around his room. My room now. I'd never had a real room. Sure, I had a room at the lab, but it was more like a prison. The walls were stark white, the tile floor was cold, the bed was hard and stiff. The only bits that made it seem like a room was my lion and the picture on the wall of me and Papa. It was a complete contrast to this room. The walls were painted a deep blue, though I could barely tell from all the posters that crowded them, and the floor was a soft beige carpet, warm on my toes. His bed was soft too, and I was compelled to lie down, snuggling myself deep under the duvet, feeling safe and happy. A few minutes later, he was back. He lay down awkwardly on top of the duvet and covered himself with one of the extra blankets, facing me. We stayed like that for a while, looking into the others face. It was Mike who broke the silence.

"I'm really happy your home El."

"Thank you."

And then I was crying. A panicked expression crossed his face as he hugged me close, hushing me.

"What's wrong?"

"Y-Y-You're nice. You're good. I'm not. I'm bad. I'm a monster. I'm sorry."

By now, Mike had tears in his eyes too.

"No El, you're not a monster, you don't deserve all the pain and suffering that you've gone through for years. It's not your fault."

How, how could he do that, he could make me turn into a wreck with one sentence.

"Mike- "

"It's ok, you're safe now, they can't reach you here."

"Do you have eyes on them, Shepard two?" I said.

"Yes, Dr Brenner, I have eyes on them."

"Okay, tell your team to refrain from contact. The boy doesn't know what's happening yet, and we need to find their weaknesses. Do you copy?"

"Yes sir."

"Good. Now, take every precaution possible, and stay out of sight. We need to bring 011 home. And get subject 012 too."