Hello! Long time, no post.
And side note for those still wondering about the sequel to my last fic. I'm sorry! I haven't forgotten about it though. I'm just trying to come up with ideas to progress the story forward. But when I have a set plot and ideal chapters in mind, I'll get that out for you as soon as I can. But for now please try to enjoy my procrastination with these one-shots.
Also, I am open to suggestions! Please let me know, if you have any ideas, and I'll keep it in mind when writing.
But without further ado...
"Dude, what's El's problem?"
Mike wish he had an answer for that but he honestly had no idea.
He just watched in confusement as his girlfriend stormed off from the table with Max hot on her trail. At first he had gotten up from his chair to follow her but before he could, Max immediately told him him to sit back down, saying that this was a girl thing and she'd handle it.
The thing was though, El had been acting strange all day.
He knew she was still adjusting to school. After all, this was only her third month here but still even then El usually told him if something was bothering her.
Like last month for example, when she was worried about falling behind in algebra. He had eased her mind by offering to tutor her over the weekends (her grade improved by the way) and also even last week when she was insanely nervous to make that presentation for class. He reassured her, reminding her that if she could face monsters from other dimensions than she could definitely face the annoying kids from their grade with no problem. ( and she did great)
But today was different.
It all started when she didn't meet this morning at their usual spot by his locker. They'd started meeting there ever since her first day of school. It was initially the place for her to find him in case she couldn't find a class or if she had a question about her schedule or something, but now it just became their morning routine, a place to say their hellos and occasionally steal kisses when they were sure no teacher was nearby.
And he had waited there for awhile now. As time ticked by, he began to grow impatient, using his height as an advantage to peek over the sea of students in search for the familiar head of soft curls. But to his dismay, he couldn't find her anywhere. But once the first period bell rang he assumed she hadn't even gone to school today.
But she never mentioned she wouldn't be at school today. Wait.. did she?
His string of thoughts were interrupted when he finally spotted her at the very end of the hall. But before he could even begin to catch up with her, she had disappeared into her first class of the day.
Well, that was weird.
He shrugged it off though, noting that he would just ask her about it in English. It was the only class they shared together, and he always looked forward to it. However, as his third period class with El rolled around not only had she snuck into the class late but she also didn't bother to sit in the seat he always saved for her. He caught her gaze and she hesitantly waved, doing her best to force a smile while she moved past him opting for a desk in the very back of the classroom instead.
He then looked back at her dumbfounded but she didn't bother to make eye contact with him, instead she leaned back against her chair with her arms crossed and her brows furrowed as though she was frustrated by something or someone.
What if, maybe it was him?
Oh shit, what did he do?
His mind spurred in a frenzy replaying every conversation they had yesterday, desperate to remember if he had said or done something stupid. But he couldn't recall anything, everything was fine.
She was talking and joking with him in English as they worked on their group project which warranted a couple of harsh glares from their teacher but other than that things were great. And at lunch she couldn't stop laughing (By far his favorite sound ever) especially when Dustin shot strawberry milk out his nose and Max almost punched him for accidentally spraying it on her. Mike also biked her home like he usually did after school, nothing out of the ordinary. It was a nice ride home that they spent talking about how their day went and he even got to kiss her goodbye.
Wow and was that kiss amazing..
He bit his lip, forcing down the blush that was rising on his face at the very thought. It could be that he was just overthinking. He was definitely the world's worst, especially when it came to El.
But just needed to relax, pfft, there was no she could be upset at him.
He hadn't done anything wrong..
When lunch finally came, he sat at his usual place at the "nerd" table with his friends. It was for sure divided into a hierarchy of some sort. Where you sat at lunch was all arranged by your status and likeability.
The table order and rank went from most popular to least. (1) The cheerleaders and jocks (2) The rich kids (3) The bad ass cool kids (4) the Harvard/Stanford preps, (5) The theatre kids (6) The nerds (hence them) (7) the band geeks (8) the future dropouts, and (9) the creeps and weirdos.
Well at least they weren't the last ones on the totem pole.
He tuned in and out as the party talked about Back to the Future for probably the thousandth time since they saw it last week, nervously picking at his orange as his thoughts began to consume him once again when he noticed she wasn't here yet. ( what if she was avoiding him? Or she doesn't like him anymore? What if she wants to break up? Shit, shit, shit.)
But just like that his worries subsided when he suddenly saw El walking to their table along with her redheaded best friend. He was further relieved when she actually sat next to him this time. Her presence bringing a familiar warmth and comfort he definitely had missed.
But when El sat down, she hadn't really said anything to him. Instead, keeping her gaze ahead as she opened up her lunchbox and grabbed out her turkey sandwich and chips.
He couldn't take this anymore. He had to do something.
Mike gently tapped her shoulder. "Hey El, is um everything-
"Please don't" She quickly cut him off. Her tired hazel eyes meeting his for the first time all day. "And before you ask, no you didn't do anything wrong. I'm just not in the mood right now okay? We'll talk later." she loudly whispered.
He didn't dare say anything else, knowing all too well that she meant business. However, he couldn't help but think he still had something to do with whatever was going on with her. Mike stared down at his food suddenly not having much of an appetite as his thoughts were getting the better of him.
Damn, what was going on?
Not only did El not really talk to him but she also didn't talk much at lunch either. Yeah, she was usually quiet anyways, the only person in the party who was more quiet was Will. But still she was never this quiet.
It was odd. Especially since she would often engage in the group's conversations about D&D or joke with Max about their weird history teacher, but for some reason not today. And other than Mike, funny enough Will was probably the only other one who even noticed. Even going as far to politely whisper to him and ask if she was okay.
But the dark haired boy just shrugged. Honestly, he was as clueless as Will.
"Just wait till we get to the arcade after school Lucas. Swear you can kiss your top score in Galaga goodbye!"
"No man, we're going to The Hawk. Need I remind you that on Wednesdays movies are half price. Back to the Future round two baby!"
Dustin shook his head, his wild curls bouncing from underneath his ball cap. "Dude we have to go to the arcade! It's been two weeks and I am dig dug deprived. Also I only have quarters anyways." he replied, jiggling his pocket.
"Well, good thing tickets are half off, maybe they'll accept your dumb ass coins as payment."
"I'm gonna go with Dustin on this one. We already saw Back to the Future last week, so I'm up for the arcade." Will interrupted, his soft voice gently chiming in.
Dustin slapped the small boy a high five. "Hell yes! Majority vote!"
"Nope. " Max cut in. "I cast my vote for the movies."
Lucas proudly grinned. "Yeah, eat shit Dustin."
Dustin rolled his eyes."Yeah of course, Maxine would agree with you." he huffed.
"Call me Maxine one more time and your ass is grass Henderson." The redhead glared, shaking a clenched fist.
"So that's two votes for the movies and two for the arcade." Will mentioned. "Guess it's up to Mike and El now."
The freckle faced teen broke out of his thoughts upon hearing his name. "Wait what?"
"Earth to Mike!" Lucas waved a hand in his face. "Arcade or movies today after school?" he asked. "And I swear if you pick-
Lucas and Max loudly groaned as Dustin and Will cheered, slapping each other more high fives.
"HA! That's three to two!"
Lucas glared at Dustin. "Don't get your hopes up just yet, there's still one more vote. El, what do you choose?"
The girl who had been quiet all lunch simply just shrugged. "It doesn't matter." she muttered.
"What do you mean it doesn't matter?!" Dustin gasped. "You gotta choose, the fate of the party rests in your hands!"
El looked back down at her now empty bag of chips. "Whatever you guys want." she mumbled with a hint of irritation rising in her voice.
"No, that's not how party votes work. It's a democracy, so that means you gotta choose!" Lucas stated, pointing at her.
"I DON'T CARE! I'm not gonna hang out anyways. So could you all just shut the hell up!" El snapped while slamming her lunch box shut. But before anybody could say a word she sprung out of her chair so fast, that if you blinked for even a millisecond you would've missed it.
Everyone just stared at each other in shock and disbelief, trying their best to process what had just happened.
Well, aside from Max who had already left the lunchroom with El and also aside from Mike who was still debating on whether he should stay where he was or go follow them.
"I feel terrible." El groaned as she splashed her face with cold water from the sink. "Does it always feel like this?"
"Sometimes, but not always." Max shrugged, leaning against the wall of the girl's bathroom. "It depends though. There are some days when it's moderately shitty and there are other days when it's severely shitty. Regardless, you can rest assured that it will always be shitty." she chuckled, her laugh echoing through the empty stalls.
"I can't believe I yelled at them like that. I didn't mean to, they were just talking so much and my head was pounding and it was like-
"You couldn't help it?"
El nodded as she grabbed a paper towel to wipe her face.
"Yup, mood swings can be a real bitch during." Max added. "But hey, in your defense they were kind of annoying. I mean if it wasn't for you, I would've probably been the one yelling at them to shut up."
The brunette's face softened at her friends words, but then quickly faltered. "Oh no, Mike." she groaned, guiltily rubbing her arm. "He probably thinks he did something wrong. I haven't really talked to him all day."
"I'm sure lover boy will understand." Max scoffed. "Well as much as a boy can anyways." she flippantly waved.
El turned around to face her friend. "It's not as easy to talk about it with him as it is with you. Last night when it first happened, I called Joyce first and then you. But I didn't even want to tell Mike-
- I usually tell him everything but it's just... you understand this and he doesn't. It's um- she struggled to find the right word to say, while anxiously playing with the hem of her shirt.
"It's awkward." Max completed for her. "I get what you mean. I haven't told Lucas anything either, for all he knows I just randomly get bad stomach aches every month." she then put an assuring hand on El's shoulder. "But to be honest, I'm actually kinda glad I have someone I can talk with this about too."
El warmly smiled. Her friends words had resonated with her in a new way and further strengthened the growing bond between them. Yeah, sure, they didn't get off to the best start when they first met but now it was almost as if Max was her closest friend. (Well aside, from Mike but that was completely different.)
"As much as I would love to skip class today." Max glanced down at her watch. "I kinda have a test next period that I can't miss. So I really should get going. But you're okay though right? If you need any more of the goods, I think I got some extra in my backpack."
"No, I'm fine. Let's go. I don't wanna be late either."
"Wait, where's El?"
After lunch was over, there was just one last class to go and he knew that afterwards he'd be able to finally talk to her.
Mike had anxiously been waiting since and it felt as though time was against him as the clock in his biology class creeped slower than he swore it had ever before.
But after that final bell rang, he quickly darted to his locker and grabbed his belongings. Only to rush out to the bike rack and see that she wasn't even there.
"You just missed her. Hop came to pick her up." Max mentioned, stepping onto her skateboard.
He grabbed her arm, stopping her before she could skate off. "Is El okay?" he asked, concern prevalent in his voice.
Max eyed him strangely, prying his hand from her arm. "She will be."
"Yo! Come on! The arcade is calling!" Dustin called from the bike rack, waving them over.
"Don't listen to him guys. We're headed to the movies!" Lucas yelled over him.
But before an eager Max could leave, Mike stopped her again. "Is she mad at me? If she is, can you please tell me what I did. I promise I'll make it up to her."
"Wow, you worry too much." The redhead rolled her eyes. "You didn't do anything though."
"Then what's wrong?"
Max huffed impatiently. "She wasn't feeling good, alright? Cool, I'm so glad we had this talk." She rushed, hopping back on her board.
Mike purposely stood right in front of her. His tree like build blocking her completely. "The truth Mayfield." he chided.
Max grimaced, knowing she really didn't want to put El's personal business out there but also knowing she didn't really have much of a choice. Especially when her friend's boyfriend was being so damn pushy. "Fine, but don't tell her I told you, got it? She's already embarrassed as it is."
Max looked around as though she was afraid someone would overhear them. "She got her monthly visitor." she whispered.
Mike's face contorted. "Who visited her?"
"You know.." She nudged him. "Aunt flow."
"Huh? I didn't know she had an aunt named Flo?"
"No you idiot!" Max slapped her forehead with her palm. "Ugh, let me see, how can I put this.." she mumbled before a confident smile quirked her lips when she figured it out. "Shark week..? code red? mother nature?"
Mike stared at her blankly, still as lost as ever.
"Oh my god! Are boys really that stupid?" Max complained, throwing her hands up in frustration. "Her period, Mike! She started her period!"
"O-Oh!" Mike choked on air.
"Geez, you'd think I needed to get a damn plane to spell it out for you in the sky or something." Max grumbled under her breath. "So NOW do you understand why she was avoiding you and being all moody?" she pointedly emphasised. "It wasn't you. It's just being a girl isn't always unicorns and rainbows."
His face flushed bright red. "I-um. I see. Err, thanks for telling me."
"Yeah-Yeah. Don't mention it. So, now can we go?" Max pleaded, pointing ahead. "The dorks are over there still arguing about this whole arcade and movie shit and we better break it up and figure things out before it gets too late."
"Actually…" Mike thoughtfully scratched the back of his head. "Count my vote out. I've got something else to do." He rushed, as he ran over to the bike rack
Max smiled, knowing all too well what his plans were.
"Hold up! Mike! Where do you think you're going!" Dustin yelled as his friend blatantly ignored him, speeding off in the distance."Damn it, you were my winning vote!"
El sat in front of the T.V. clinging to her blanket as she watched her favorite soap. It seemed as though every five minutes she'd take the sleeve of her sweater (Well Mike's, but technically it was hers now) and wipe away the tears that kept pooling in her eyes.
This show didn't usually make her cry. Well except for last season's finale, but that was warranted especially when the presumed dead Ricardo finally returned home from the war to a grieving Isabella. You'd have to be emotionally dead or something not to at least tear up a little.
But aside from that, no she never cried so easily. Ugh, hormones.
After taking some meds recommended by Joyce and finally getting much needed rest, she was feeling a little better. Even though, she still felt like shit she could only hope the second day wouldn't be nearly as bad.
An abrupt knock at the cabin door startled her and she could hear from her room as an annoyed Hopper went to answer the front door.
"That Wheeler kid is here!" He called out and before he could say anything else, El was already practically there.
"Hey." She smiled.
She really wasn't expecting to see him, especially after what happened today. But she was relieved and even happy now that he was here. His dark eyes, black hair and those splattered freckles, still making him in her opinion, the prettiest boy she'd ever seen.
"Well I guess i'll leave you to it." Hop huffed. "But remember, I'm watching you kid." he said sternly, glancing once more at the lanky boy in the door before he walked off.
Mike stood there for a moment, awkwardly balancing on the balls of his heels, wondering how he'd proceed with this conversation. "Oh yeah, I almost forgot." he said, fumbling in his backpack for a minute until he found what he was searching for. "I got you something!" he said, offering it to her.
She slowly opened up the grocery bag, a wide grin growing on her face after finding an all too familiar yellow box inside. "Eggos!" she yelled excitedly. But she also saw something else. "And chocolate?"
"Yeah.. just wanted to help I guess." Mike nervously rubbed the back of his neck. " But If you don't like it then - oof
He was caught off guard as she almost knocked him over, jumping and pulling him into a tight hug. "Thanks Mike. It means a lot." she mumbled in his sweater while she blinked back tears. Damn hormones.
He broke out of his daze as El pulled back from their embrace. "Uh, you're.. you're welcome." he stuttered dreamily.
El's smile faded recalling the events from earlier. "I'm really sorry about today. I didn't mean to." She looked down at the ground, her cheeks turning a slight shade of pink. "It's just um.. hard growing up."
"It's okay." Mike reassured her. "Hey, do you remember that one day when my voice kept cracking while we were playing D&D, and the whole party couldn't stop laughing?"
El nodded, softly chucking to herself at the memory.
"Well, it was pretty embarrassing, especially when I was trying to cast that one protection spell, but instead made a fool of myself when my voice broke mid-sentence." Mike shook his head as if he was trying to forget that day.
He then let out a deep sigh. "But I guess I'm telling you that to say this, I get it El. Growing up sucks. It's weird, annoying, and uncomfortable. But no matter what, even through your worst days, I'll always be here for you."
"Promise?" she asked, suddenly it was like he was a magnet and she couldn't help but pull closer to him.
Mike leaned down to bridge the gap between them. "Promise." He whispered, his breath ghosting across her lips. He then gazed once more into her beautiful hazel eyes, before capturing her soft lips in his own.
"No lip-locking you two!" Hop barked, immediately causing the two teens to jolt a part, both of them sharing the same flustered expression.
"And geez El, could you invite him in already? All the heat along with my money, is just blowing out the front door."
El blushed at her dad's words but then she smiled back at Mike, grabbing his hand in her own and leading him inside.