This was all so surreal, it was unlike anything she had ever seen before.

Light brilliantly glowed as blankets of white endlessly filled the vast space.

Oh how she desperately wanted to reach out and touch it.

She wondered if maybe this is what heaven looks like.

Suddenly she felt a warm hand gently grip her own

"Amazing, isn't it?"

She turned around with a bright smile inching on her face

"Well if you think this is amazing, just wait until we get there"

That was something she was definitely looking forward to.

She couldn't wait to see this "California" that Mike always talked about.

After the whole Hawkins ICU incident, El couldn't explain it but she felt free for the very first time.

Lowe had been sentenced to prison, not only for his inhumane practices but also for tampering with government military affairs. The two monsters that survived and we're still caged were properly disposed of by the CIA and Will along with his family were doing so much better. He loved being back home and being back with his friends. He is currently being enrolled in Hawkins High so they can all spend senior year together. And El, well she was a living miracle. Nobody knew how she made it but she somehow did. She pulled through remarkably, even though she had to spend awhile recovering, everyone was just too overjoyed that she was still with them.

Once summer break hit the boys got summer jobs but instead of using their money to buy a car like they initially intended they decided to go on a trip to Santa Monica in which they invited El, Max, and Will as well.

This was all their last week of summer vacation and they wanted to make it a memorable one. They truly deserved it to say the least, especially after everything they had been through.

El gazed out of the plane window again, reflecting back on her year. It was a roller coaster of ups and downs for sure, but still it was a year she would never forget.

She remembered the surprise birthday party they had thrown for her.

She didn't have a clue why each of them we're being so secretive.

Even Max was in on it and encouraged El to have a girl's day out, just the two of them. El didn't even know Max knew what a girl's day out was and the fact that she agreed to actually go to the mall with her made El quite suspicious.

But she didn't say a word because she liked being able to hang out with Max, it was great to just hang out with another girl and go shopping.

However, once they got back to El's place she had no clue why the lights we're off and quickly turned them on using her powers before they got in the door

El immediately saw everyone

Dustin and Will waved their arms "Uh surprise?"

"Damn it El, you ruined it" Lucas stated "But since it's your birthday, I'll let you off the hook" He smiled, nudging her

El looked around the room in awe at the decorated house with streamers and birthday balloons.

Mike suddenly burst through the door carrying a large chocolate cake with lit candles "SURPRISE!" he paused, glancing around "I guess I'm late.."

"No, you're fine El just kinda beat everyone to it" Max laughed, shaking her head

"Is that for me?" El asked with wide eyes and a grin growing on her face

"Happy Birthday!" The teens exclaimed

"Go ahead and make a wish" Mike said, placing the cake on the table in front of her

She looked at each of her friends and she honestly didn't think she could wish for anything more.

She stared at the freckles on his face and interlaced her fingers between his while he was telling her all about the beach that he couldn't wait to take her to.

She could honestly listen to Mike talk on and on and she'd never grow tired of it.

She blushed faintly as she recalled the first time Mike and her were intimate

She stared at the ceiling trying to contain herself.

It was perfect and she had felt closer to Mike than she had ever felt before.

It was almost as if any walls they had up vanished once they came together.

The way he loved her and the way he touched her, made everything just feel so right.

She rolled over gripping onto the sheet that was covering her naked body.



"I wish we could stay here forever" She replied, laying her head on his bare chest

He softly laughed as he put his arm around her "I wish we could too"

If only she could use her powers to somehow channel this "forever" then forever it would be, just her and Mike and many great nights like this.

El's face lit up as she began to see a clear view of the blue ocean, It was so beautiful and grand.

The last time she saw something so beautiful and grand was Hopper and Rachel's wedding

She sat at the ceremony taking the whole atmosphere in.

Rachel looked absolutely stunning in her white dress and the look on Hopper's face was obvious that he thought so too.

After the couple had exchanged vows and said their I do's it was the first time that El had really thought about marriage.

She caught the bouquet when Rachel had tossed it but she had no idea why it was such a big deal, she really liked the flowers though.

"So looks like you and Mike are next" Max teased, prodding her

El's face twisted in confusion "Next for what?"

"Next to get married duh. It's just a thing that they do at weddings, If you catch the bouquet it's supposed to mean you're next to get married or somethin"

El blushed profusely

Hopper came and quickly snatched the bouquet from her hands "Nope! don't think so!"

The two girls laughed as they saw Hopper take off with the flowers

She had always admired Hoppers and Rachel's relationship. They worked together as a team no matter what and at the end of the day they were so happy with one another.

That was something she really looked forward to, the day she married her best friend and lived life together.

El glanced at the row behind her and giggled to herself as she saw a snoring Dustin crammed right in between Lucas and Max.

"Ugh, could he be any louder though?" Lucas groaned

"Well at least he stopped drooling" Max laughed, pointing to Lucas's shirt

He scrunched up his face "Yeah, remind me to burn this shirt later.."

El then looked across from her, noticing the small shaggy haired boy sitting on the very end

"I can't believe he's still asleep it's been two hours" Will chuckled, looking down at his watch

Mike smirked deviously "I know how to wake him up.."

"How?" they asked in unison

Mike turned around behind him "Is that the flight attendant coming with snacks?"

Dustin slowly peeled off his sleep mask "Snacks! Where?" he questioned anxiously looking around

El enjoyed seeing her friends laugh with one another.

It was a reminder that after all they had endured together it didn't break them but strengthened them in ways she never thought possible.

Each one of them had played a special role in her life and each one of them helped her out in some way along her journey.

She couldn't wait to see what the future held and where this journey would lead her, but as of now this would be the year she would always hold close to her heart.

The year she came back.

The year she reunited with old friends and also made new ones.

The year she fell in love.

And the year she overcame the horrors of her past once and for all.

This year, well it was her year.

The Year of El.

This is officially the last chapter guys. I just want to say thanks to those who stuck with me through out this whole story! Your reviews really were great motivation and I can't tell you just how much I appreciate it. I may start on a new fic soon though, if I find the time. But hope you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed writing it! Until next time - salavibes