A lot of stranger things have happened than coming home to a woman in Nancy's bed.
(Nancy actually enjoys that part of her life.)
She flops face-first onto the mattress, feet aching, exhausted from her 9-hour shift.
There's a light, tickly sensation of Nancy's wavy hair being caressed by fingertips. Nancy peeks sideways, gazing over Kali concentrating on her.
When she first came to Hawkins, Kali had violet-tinged, midnight hair, smokey makeup, dried blood under her nostrils, and a three-inch long, newly infected wound that ran along her skull.
But she had less bags under her eyes.
"Are you still not sleeping?" Nancy asks, concern furrowing her brow when the other woman doesn't answer, only staring pointedly at the ceiling and licking her upper lip. "Kali…"
"I heard you the first time," Kali says dully. "Believe me… if I could change it, I would."
Nancy wants to open her mouth about Kali's abilities, and how something is off. It's been off for a while now. She's been preoccupied with something Nancy cannot touch on for the life of her, cannot witness for herself, and Kali is suffering, giving herself constant nosebleeds.
(Precognition is the word repeatedly used in the library books when Nancy searches out her own answers. Mental hallucinations, illusions… …)
The lack of light in Kali's eyes diminishes as soon as she hums and rolls onto her stomach, leaning over to press a feathersoft, affectionate kiss to the corner of Nancy's lips.
"… Pancakes?" Nancy echoes her, seemingly amused. "What about them?"
Kali tilts her head, all of her round and brown face visible without that thick bundle of dark hair obscuring it. She cropped it last year, keeping her undercut, gelling and sleeking the chin-length locks. "You've told me you were the Pancake Queen of Indiana, and I've yet to see it with my own eyes," she reminds her patiently.
"Oh," Nancy says loudly. She grins and tugs on Kali's hand, helping her crawl out of bed. "Oh, you're about to! You're about to have your socks blown right off—just wait!"
Not to toot her own horn, but she makes the damn greatest chocolate and strawberry cream pancakes this universe has ever seen. And it's completely worth seeing a smiling and pajama-ruffled Kali first thing in the morning, lazily embracing her, helping stir the sweetened, homemade batter.
The trailer side of Nancy's hometown, out by the quarry and main highway, is surrounded by no streetlamps. There's less people around and it's more full of coyotes and ticks.
But it's safer than being with her girlfriend under her parent's roof. The rent is cheap, too.
The former estate owner offered to "lower the monthly price considerably" if they invited him over the following night and gave him "the show of a lifetime with two very pretty young ladies" and Kali "convinced" him he would instead be much happier living as a duck in the wild.
It wore off as Kali's abilities were limited. But by then, the cops arrived to sedate and arrest the naked, hollering man. They received new management by an older, stern woman.
After another year and a half of wages, Nancy thinks she can attend college outside the state for Women's Studies and Communications.
"You could come with me to New York," she whispers, nudging Kali's foot under the table.
The thought of leaving always sours Kali's mood. "I know what it's like to live in the city, and I'm done with it," Kali tells her, frowning and crumpling up her used, paper napkin.
Nancy tries for a different mood this time, getting up and shifting into Kali's lap, groping and kissing her rough-numb and giggling along with her.
"—red white lightning—"
Kali's breathing goes erratic and shallow.
She continues muttering restlessly, finally asleep, but Nancy watches her twitch and toss her head wildly on their lavender-floral pillow.
It's the same pattern of words, over and over.
"—turn around she's there—"
And none of it makes sense.
Being a diner waitress from late night to the early morning would be awful, but Nancy feels incredibly thankful for her coworkers and boss.
All of them were middle-aged women between late 30s and 50s, who leered and teased and cussed right back at the male customers making kissy faces at them or grabby hands.
"Nance, you need a ride home?!"
"Don't worry! I'm only a mile away!" Nancy yells back over the rattling of dirty plates and other people shouting for their friends over her, raising her arm high.
She hasn't changed out of her little white diner dress-uniform or pumps, but tugs off her oversized, applesauce-stained apron instead, groaning and draping it over her shoulder.
The skies clear up from rainfall and brighten with sunshine and cotton candy pinks.
Nancy gazes around, heading down a grassy, green hill and distracting herself with a mental list of chores — across the way, there's a road. One of the cars on it slows down. A man, in his late 40s and sunburned on his balding head, climbs out and stares right at Nancy.
She notices him and offers an awkward, tired smile.
Is he lost? Does he need directions?
He doesn't look like anyone she's seen in the diner, and the man isn't blinking. Not once. Nancy's pulse speeds up. She avoids looking at him now, and then regrets shooting her head up when he yells out something incoherent in her direction.
With his left hand, the man grabs his crotch, jerking his hips forward and wags his tongue at her.
Her stomach churns. Nancy makes it to the bottom of the hill, walking away faster. This makes him yell again, this time in a fierce anger, chasing her.
Nancy can hear him getting closer, kicking off her pumps and heading towards the woods. There's several biking trails. She winces as her toes collide into jagged rocks and branches.
—red white lightning—
Nancy runs down another path, nearly gasping for air. The man's car had a design on his door.
Kali's voice reverberates in her mind, and Nancy makes the decision for a sharp left, coming towards the edge of the woods.
He's still behind her, though much farther, screaming enraged at the top of his lungs.
Nancy spots it, and the old, rusted-red railroad tracks, heaving herself onto the structure and crawling for dear life between the iron bars.
He's almost there, but grasping for nothing, unable to reach her. Nancy peers down at the lake below, holding a deep, noisy breath.
The fall seems like hours. She hits the water with a shockingly cold impact, almost inhaling the disgustingly murky water.
Nancy wheezes and swims for any direction, anywhere that is not near him.
He doesn't follow.
Her bleeding, sore feet land on soil and pebbles. Nancy clutches her arms around her middle and bows in, weeping. She shrieks, terrified and exhausted, when a familiar set of hands clasp her shoulders—
—turn around she's there—
"Nancy! It's me!" Kali yells, tears rolling down her lovely, brown cheeks. She hugs Nancy tightly, trying to console her as the other woman sobs out Kali's name, collapsing against her.
Leaving happens, with a bunch of suitcases, and two airline tickets to New York.
Mike cries a little before she drives away, but he promises to visit her around the holidays, and bring along El. Nancy gives Kali and El privacy for their seemingly days-long hug.
Nobody finds the man.
It's probably better than way — Nancy doesn't know if Kali would break her rule with El of showing mercy first before vengeance.
"I couldn't see it at first because I was too close to you. Physically and emotionally." Kali's gloved fingers tangle into hers. "I was trying too hard to access it. I wasn't strong enough."
Nancy shakes her head.
"You weren't calm or objective about it," she says helpfully, brushing her thumb against Kali's temple. "You were being tortured in your own head. I'm sorry I couldn't do anything when you needed me."
"You're sorry?" Kali repeats, looking confused. She sits up quickly from their mattress against the floorboards, and before she can get another word in, Nancy presses their mouths together.
Kissing her girlfriend doesn't solve every problem there ever was, but it's a start.
Stranger Things isn't mine. I've fallen deeply in love with Kalancy ship since I watched Season 2, and I wanted to do something for the little group of us who loves it too. I'm dedicating this to all of us wlw shippers and if you love them too, give a shout in a comment! Thanks so much for reading! :D