"There's no way I'm getting up there."
"What? I didn't know we brought a chicken with us, guys!"
"I mean it! Do you know how many accidents happen because of roller coasters? Nuh-uh. No way."
Eyes wide with horror and heart beginning to pound, El listened to the group of kids in front of her.
She watched as the curly haired boy shook his head and crossed his arms, a stubborn expression on his face.
Suddenly, she wondered if this roller coaster thing was such a good idea.
Hopper had brought her to the Annual Hawkins Harvest Festival in an attempt for her to mingle in with the crowd, and for her to experience one of the town's most anticipated events. She had met the funny officers her adopted father worked with, and the nice lady named Flo who gave her blank sheets and colorful pens to draw on when she was waiting for Hop at the station. But besides them, and that pretty lady at the store, she didn't really know anyone.
Random people at the station smiled at her ("You must be Hopper's new daughter!"), touched her hair ("You're such a pretty thing, aren't you?" the lady said as she curled a strand of hair on her finger) and tried to persuade her into telling them how she ended up with the Chief (Hopper told her they just wanted new gossip material), but none of them were interested enough to be her friends.
And Flo said she would have to make new friends if she wanted to start going to school next year.
So when she saw the bunch of kids in line for the big ride that was moving in wide circles, she felt brave enough to try it out. Encouraged by the cheerful screams the kids on the current ride were exclaiming, she excitedly begged Hopper to let her ride it.
A few bucks had been pressed into her hand, and after her dad went to buy a big beer from the stand in front of the Roller Coaster, she happily ran to get in line behind the group of kids who she was currently listening to.
But she was beginning to doubt herself as she listened to the anxious boy in a cap list the most atrocious accidents that happened to people while being on the metal ride.
"And, let's not forget that woman who lost her arm two years ago! She was all 'AHHH'," the boy lifted both arms and waved them in the air, pretending to yell excitedly. "And then WHAM!" he jerked an arm sharply backwards and then cradled it to his side. "No arm."
"That wasn't even true, Dustin! It was a fake report made by a jobless reporter who had nothing better to do than invent stories! Now, shut up." The dark skinned boy told 'Dustin'.
"But what if the thing wasn't screwed in tightly enough? It could fall and we would all die trapped inside this thing because you guys didn't want to listen-"
"Dustin!" the dark haired boy in front of her exclaimed, and only when she stopped watching the curly haired boy, she realized he was watching her. "You're scaring her!"
Suddenly, five pairs of eyes turned to her, and she could feel a blush warming her face up as they all watched her.
"It's okay," the red haired girl told her as she swatted Dustin on the arm. "He's just an idiot."
"A scared idiot." The dark skinned boy snickered as Dustin glared at them.
"Bite me, Lucas!" he exclaimed as he punched Lucas' shoulder; they began to punch each other while bickering, the girl and the other boy with long straight hair trying to separate them.
"I'm sorry if he scared you. Dustin is just being a coward, don't believe anything he said." The dark haired boy told her shyly.
"It's okay. It's just… well, I've never been on a roller coaster." She admitted timidly at the freckled boy.
He hung his mouth open in surprise and she flushed, feeling self-conscious of her abnormal childhood.
"Hey, it's okay. It's just- I've never met someone who hadn't been on a roller coaster before. We always manage to get Dustin to ride it, even if he doesn't want to." He chuckled, gesturing at the boy who was now being teased by 'Will'.
She smiled as she watched them bicker, and she wondered if she would get to have a group of friends like them.
She looked back at the dark haired boy and caught him staring at her; he blushed and shuffled his feet for a few seconds while she watched him.
"I'm Mike." He offered his hand and she took in his dark eyes which were flickering between hers.
"El." She mumbled as she shook his hand, and a tingly fluttering erupted in her stomach when her skin touched his.
"You're the Chief's daughter, aren't you?" he wondered as he watched her curiously.
She nodded and smiled as his lips stretched into a wide grin; she didn't know what it was, but she felt like a hundred butterflies had settled inside of her and her breath hitched when Mike began talking to her again. "I hadn't seen you around here before."
Her response was cut short by the loud arrival of the ride's car. The kids shuffled out of it, muttering excitedly and making thumping noises as they descended the metal steps.
"Let's go!" Lucas exclaimed as he dragged a grumbling Dustin up the steps, behind an excited Max.
"Oh, wow! Look who decided to sit together. I wonder why." Will teased Lucas and Max as they took the front seats, both blushing at their friend's words.
"Shut up, Will." Lucas said from his seat.
"Looks like we'll be sitting together." Mike told her with a smile as Dustin took the seat next to Will.
He let her get inside first and then sat down next to her once she had settled on the seat to the right.
After a few minutes, the man in charge of the ride walked to them taking their money, giving back change when it was needed. He lowered the safety vest on them, and El gripped the metal bars tightly as nerves began to show themselves.
Her hands began to sweat and they slipped from the metal bars as she took a deep breath.
She looked at Mike, and he offered a warm smile as he gripped the metal bars on his safety vest.
"It's okay. Just close your eyes if you get too scared okay?" his smile made her feel better and she nodded as his dark eyes settled on hers.
"Just hold her hand, Mike." Will said from the seat in front of them.
She looked at them curiously while Mike blushed and muttered next to her.
"I'm Will!" the boy with pretty eyes told her, sneaking a hand from underneath his vest and waving it at her in greeting. "This is Dustin, but you knew him as scared idiot boy."
"Hey!" Dustin complained from his seat and then gave her a toothy smile. "Don't listen to him. My name is Dustin."
"Hi." She smiled shyly. "I'm El."
"Oh! You're Hopper's daughter! My mom told me about you." Will smiled from his seat in front of her, craning his neck to see her face properly.
"Really?" she asked curiously, wondering who his mom was.
"Yeah, she said you guys went there the other day. She works at the stOREE!" he said the last part with a yelp as the car gave a sudden lurch.
Her hands gripped the bars in front of her and she pressed her back against the seat in anxiousness as the car began moving. The metal railing clanged from beneath the car as it advanced, leaving the starting station.
"Just breathe, El." Mike advised. Then he muttered softly, just for her to hear. "And if you want, you can hold my hand, okay?"
She gulped and nodded as he blushed, making his freckles stand out more because of the brightness of his face.
The car began to move upwards a hill, tilting their faces backwards as the excited shouts from the car's occupants were heard.
"Oh my god, oh my god, oh my GOD!" Dustin yelled as they approached the hill.
Her stomach flipped as she gasped, watching the shallow fall they were about to make. Her nerves hit again, and she was sure the pink cotton candy she had eaten an hour ago would make itself present again, but suddenly a clammy hand met hers and released it from the death grip she had on the metal bar.
She looked down and saw Mike's hand gripping hers tightly; her eyes then met his as he gave her an excited grin as he squeezed her fingers. She smiled at him and watched his eyes shut as the car moved past the hill and dropped them down hard.
Max's overexcited screams were heard as they moved fast, mixing with Lucas' high pitched squeal and Dustin's shouts.
Wind rushed past her ears and her vision went all blurry from the speed of the ride, but she felt more alive than ever. Mike gave a shout next to her and she excitedly screamed too, her breath coming out in a wild huff as the cold wind hit her face.
Mike opened his eyes and, instead of watching Dustin's horrified face and Will's loud laughter as the car rushed down, he watched the brunette girl next to him. Her eyes were narrowed because of the wind, but her mouth was grinning widely as she excitedly giggled. Her chestnut hair formed a halo around her as it moved wildly on the air. He laughed, overjoyed that she was enjoying her first ride, and turned back around just in time to watch the end of the fall.
El laughed as she ran her free hand on her face, pushing her tangled hair back. She felt a squeeze and looked down at her and Mike's hands still joined between them on the seat as the car continued to move.
She looked at him and their eyes met; his eyes crinkled as he laughed with her, and as she squeezed back, she realized her nerves were gone, but the butterflies continued to flutter.
AN: So, this is the last story I have written. You guys will have to wait at least a few days for a new one-shot/story, even though I have 2 in the write already. As for this one, I wanted to make them meet each other differently and I realized I hadn't made a story about them being lil baby kids still. Now, start leaving me Prompts so I can start writing them! Hit me with the inspiration slap! Review please :)