El gave Mike his watch back before she got into the bathtub so it wouldn’t get wet. She has Nancys old clothes and Hopper’s flannel, but she has absolutely nothing to remember Mike with for the year she’s missing
[From a conversation about the struggles of gift wrapping with the amazing @eggos-and-promises]
Nancy found him down in the basement surrounded by crumpled balls of
wrapping paper, discarded (and forgotten) bits of tape stuck all over his
shirt, and a box sitting in the center of a lopsidedly cut square of red wrapping
paper on top of the table usually reserved for campaigns while he swore under
his breath at yet another paper cut.
“Who’s that for, Mike?”
Mike looked up, surprised. “… Eleven.”
“Aww, that’s adorable.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
Nancy folded her arms and leaned forward with a smug grin. “You really do
like her, don’t you? Look at you so frustrated…”
“What?” Mike looked like he’d swallowed a fish. “That doesn’t- How does
that even me- I’m FRUSTRATED because wrapping-” He tried to pull the huge piece
of red paper up around the box and then let out a hissed “Ah!” and put his
paper-cut finger in his mouth. “Wrapping is hard.”
He rolled his eyes and picked up the scissors. “Gee thanks.”
Nancy bit her lip. “Do you want me to help you?”
He paused, considering the disaster in front of him. He sighed, his
shoulders slumping. “Sure.”
“All right.” Nancy stepped up to the table, an odd grin on her face. “But
on one condition.”
“What? What do you mean on one condition?” Mike said warily.
“I will help you… if you admit that you like Eleven.”
“… WHAT? How is THAT fair? And no! I don’t l-like her.”
Nancy shrugged and turned to leave. “Okay fine. Bye Mike.”
“Nancy, wait!” She stopped and looked over her shoulder. Mike sighed. “. .
. It doesn’t matter, okay? It’s just…I want her to have a nice Christmas,
okay?” He finished in a voice barely above a whisper and gave the tiniest shrug.
Nancy stared at her clueless brother.
“Give me the box Mike.”
Dustin found her in the living room. He came through the door of the
Byers home and there she was, sitting in the middle of the living room floor.
She was surrounded by thousands of scraps of green wrapping paper, covered in
tangled ribbon and glaring at a small box on the floor in front of her.
“Hi,” she responded quietly.
“Wrapping presents, huh?” He sat down cross-legged on the floor across
from her, holding his ankles. She huffed through her nose and shrugged.
“Who’s it for?”
Eleven’s cheeks turned pink and Dustin’s face lit up in a grin. “Oh,
Mike, huh?” Her eyes widened and she slowly nodded, a small frown on her face
as she searched his for signs of previously undiscovered mind-reading powers.
“You, uh, haven’t wrapped it yet.”
Eleven looked away and shook her head, cradling the finger that already
had three paper cuts.
“I don’t know how,” she whispered after a long pause. “It’s not like the
Dustin chuckled and scooted forward. “Well, you just need some practice.
It’s actually pretty easy, El. Here, lemme show you.” He reached for the roll
of wrapping paper and started to cut out a square with the pair of blue
“It has to look pretty,” El said shyly. “Like Mike.”
Dustin stopped mid-cut and bit his tongue. Pretty like Mike. He cleared his throat and swallowed the laugh
that he could feel starting. “Well, we’ll make it look… pretty for Mike.
Eleven’s small smile lit up her face and she nodded. Dustin grinned and
started his demonstration, lifting up her box and putting it on top of the
wrapping paper. “So what you do is you take this paper and you put this in the
middle of it.”
Over the next half hour, Dustin helped Eleven wrap her small box (“helped”,
of course, meaning that he wrapped it for her while he gently explained every
step of the process under her rapt attention). He made sure to be extremely
patient, one, because El was his friend and she was learning, and two, because
he had the niggling feeling that if she cut herself on the paper or with the scissors,
Mike would make sure he never saw the light of day again. It wasn’t a strong
feeling, but it was there all the same.
Christmas came a few short weeks later and Eleven’s gift to Mike was
wrapped so well in beautiful green paper that it put Mike’s to shame. He tried
to hide his embarrassment at giving her a present with his (what could only be
loosely called) wrapping job, although that embarrassment didn’t last long once
he saw her smile. He sent Nancy, who was proudly smiling from the corner of the
couch, a grateful look. Dustin was smiling at him, too, but it wasn’t proud; it
was more of a smug, “I know something you don’t know” grin that was really
Fast forward to several years later: everyone has gone their separate
ways but they are all eagerly planning to get together for Christmas this year.
It’s only been a few months since they’ve all seen each other, but even that
feels like too long.
But it’s a few weeks until then and Mike and El Wheeler realize at the
same panicked moment that their wrapping skills haven’t improved in the years
since Dustin and Nancy started helping them (mostly because Nancy and Dustin have been helping
them every year since).
Christmas gets closer and closer and their attempts to wrap each other’s
gifts on their own fail miserably. Before they know it, it’s Christmas Eve and
two separate but equally frantic phone calls are made from the Wheeler house,
one to Nancy Wheeler, one to Dustin Henderson. A half hour later, the doorbell
rings. Both Mike and El rush to the door, giving each other a funny look before
throwing it open. Dustin and Nancy are on the other side, giving each other the
“Nancy?” El smiles.
“Dustin?” Mike says.
“Mike,” El quickly explains. “Dustin is stopping by for some…
pudding. Yeah, pudding,” she finishes, trailing off awkwardly.
“I… am also here for… pudding,” Nancy chimes in, just as
Needless to say, an awkward silence falls over the group on the doorstep.
Dustin clears his throat. “Hey, do you guys need some extra wrapping paper?” He
holds up a large plastic bag with two tubes of wrapping paper poking out the
top. “Because I…have some… right here.”
Eleven beams. “Yes! Thank you!” she says quickly, pulling him through the
Mike clears his throat. “Uhh, Nancy! Hey, Mom sent me something that you
need to see… all the way over here… in the guest bedroom… where the
wrapping paper is…” he trails off and the group falls back into silence.
“Follow me, Dustin!” El says, breaking the silence and leading the way
down the hallway. “I’ll show you where we keep our wrapping paper. Thank you so
“No problem!” Dustin says as he follows her, shaking his head with an
Mike shrugs and Nancy follows him back to the guest room.
Over the next couple hours, Dustin and El wrap gifts in the master
bedroom while Nancy and Mike do the same in the guest bedroom.
The next day at the Christmas party, the group exchanges beautifully
wrapped gifts. It’s a lively party that goes on into the wee hours of the
morning and everyone leaves with promises to visit again the next day.
With their house quiet again, Mike and El pull out two final gifts. The
wrapping of each is wrinkled and covered with tape and tangled ribbons. Shyly,
they hand them to each other. They stare at the packages in their hands for a
few moments, more than a little confused.
“Nancy said I ought to at least try and wrap it myself,” Mike said
quietly. El looked up, wide-eyed.
“Nancy?” she asked.
“I didn’t wrap any of those gifts today. Just this one,” he said,
pointing to the gift on El’s lap.
She smiled and covered her mouth as her shoulders started to shake.
“What is it?” Mike said, chuckling.
“I didn’t wrap mine either,” she says through a laugh.
“Dustin taught me!”
“You mean you don’t know how to wrap either?”
By this point Eleven was doubled over, clutching her stomach. Her
laughter was contagious and soon they were both howling.
Once they’d gotten their breath back, Mike said, “We can always use gift
My regard of astrology was permanently soured when I walked into a New Age store for the first time, around eleven years old. A group of women there were talking about their signs and how awful, untrustworthy, and utterly evil Scorpios are. One woman declared that she wouldn’t associate with a Scorpio for any reason. She was the cashier.
Another counselor this summer mentioned on the first day how much he loathes Scorpios and refuses to be friends with them. Then he sent me a friend request on Facebook.
(Happy Ending AU) It’s Saturday evening at the Wheeler’s, and Eleven is in the kitchen when she meets Steve Harrington for the first time. To be precise, Eleven was levitating a box of Eggos down from the freezer when she meets Steve Harrington for the first time. The rest of the boys are in the midst of a campaign, and El needs some Eggos inspiration. Meanwhile, Steve came over to surprise Nancy for a study break. At this particular moment, though, all Steve Harrington could think about was this random girl in the Wheeler’s kitchen who he SWEARS just LEVITATED a box of waffles?!? He can only manage to yell unintelligibly for about three solid minutes: “OH MY GOD OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL THE BOX IT JUST WHAT—” El watches him curiously…so this is the one that Nancy calls boyfriend. He has nice hair, she thinks, but will he quit yelling…. Thankfully, Nancy rushes downstairs after hearing Steve’s frantic shouting and can barely contain hysterical laughter at the scene: Steve practically pulling his hair out and stuttering in disbelief at the little girl with the short hair in the kitchen who’s just waiting for her Eggos to finish toasting. “NANCY,” he turns to her breathlessly, “who the HE–” “She’s twelve, so don’t you dare finish that sentence,” Nancy reprimands. “Who the HECK is she?! She just?! The Eggos?! They floated down?!?” Steve can barely get his thoughts straight and why is she not freaking out about this too?! Nancy shakes her head and laughs. “Steve, this is El, my brother’s little…friend. El, this is Steve, my boyfriend.” Eleven nods in understanding before retrieving her now cooked Eggos from the toaster and heading back down to the basement. Steve is, once again in his life, utterly lost for words. “I’ll explain it later” is Nancy’s only reassurance. (Downstairs, though, El is snacking on Eggos and resting her head on Mike’s shoulder during the game. Nancy’s boyfriend has nice hair….that means boyfriends must have nice hair, she muses to herself. “Mike’s hair is pretty and soft….Mike is a boyfriend.” She decisively mused that part out loud)
“What are you talking about?” Bucky asked you grimly.
“Bucky, just please…go, leave me, I don’t deserve you,” you said with your voice quivering. Bucky came closer and rubbed your head tenderly,
“What are you saying, doll?” his heart started beating faster, “Are you okay? What happened? Is someone putting you up to this?”
You pulled away from his hand and started sobbing, “Don’t make this any harder. Please just go. Go be with Frankie. Sh-She loves you too, you know…Sh-she probably would’ve been stronger and—and I, I don’t…”
“Y/N, calm down,” Bucky said, “What happened?”
You kept muttering to yourself while crying. Bucky pulled you out of your nest and held you tightly in an attempt to calm you down. As his scent enveloped you, you did feel calmer, but at the same time you felt the sting of the horrible thing you did. Bucky hushed your crying and kissed your forehead until you weren’t hysterical any longer.
“What happened?” Bucky said. He was starting to panic, but didn’t show it. He had never seen you so shaken before not even after Wilcox.