Prompt: Can you do a Steve Harrington x reader about you guys being friends then you kinda stop talking but after the whole upside down thing he comes to you and tells you everything and you’re confused but you still help him through it? U can do whatever u want w this and change it but yeah :D please and thank u
“Coming!” You shouted at the annoying knocker outside of
your door. You groaned when their knuckles rested, and their finger decided to
kill your doorbell. “I’m going!” You finally made it down the stairs after
attempting to put your pants back on, it was your weekend home alone; that
meant no pants. “You’re shitting me,” you let out in a breathy laugh, about to
close the door at a smiling Steve Harrington.
“Wait!” He exclaimed, sticking his foot out and stopping the
closing door with it. He grimaced in pain, not expecting the door to slam that
hard against the side of his foot.
“Move your foot, Harrington.”
“No,” he said, resting his palm on the door and opening it
wide enough to remove the pressure of his foot. “I need to talk to you.”
“After going almost, a year not talking to me? What, Nancy
Wheeler get bored of you already?” You hadn’t heard about the break-up yet, so
you didn’t fully understand the hurt that flashed across Steve’s face. “Just…
go home, Steve. You may want to talk to me, but I sure as hell don’t want to
talk to you.” You moved forward, placing your hand on his chest and shoving him
away from your door before quickly moving back inside and closing the door
before he could say anything.
You ignored the incessant knocking and the calling of your
name, making your way back upstairs. You rolled your eyes when you heard Steve
screaming about needing to tell you something important. You pushed the door to
your room open and walked in, throwing yourself on the bed and moving to take
your jeans off again.
You groaned, hearing the smalls rocks hitting your window. “For
fuck sake, Steve.” You muttered, moving to get up and scream outside your
window for him to leave. “Steve, shut up!”
“I need to talk to you.”
“Yeah, I know. You said that already. I also already said I
didn’t want to listen. Go. Home.” You were about to close the window when a
small pebble came flying into your room. “Steve!”
“Fine, then just… let me say bye. I don’t know if I’ll make
it back… alive.” He dramatically sighed, kicking the dirt on the ground. You
furrowed your eyebrows, leaning out of the window.
“What are you on about, Harrington?”
“Oh, you want to know now?” He smiled softly when you rolled
your eyes, waiting for his answer in silence. “I’m fighting a monster from
another world. Could kill me, you know.”
You snorted, shaking your head. “Real fucking funny, Steve.”
“I’m serious. Dustin calls ‘em Demo-dogs.”
“Dustin? The middle-schooler?” You smiled hearing Steve’s
laugh, letting it fall when he looked up at you and nodded.
“Yeah, Henderson’s a pain in my ass but, I’ve sort of taken
him under my wing.” Steve a year ago hated kids. Nancy must have really changed
him. You rolled your eyes at the thought.
“Well, rest in peace, I guess.” You said, quickly closing
your window. He called your name a couple more times but gave up when you didn’t
respond. You bit your nail, thinking he was going to go around and knock on
your front door again. But, then you heard his car starting and realized he was
leaving. You quickly ran downstairs and then outside, seeing his car driving
down the block. You grabbed your bike and pushed off your driveway, following
You followed him for twenty minutes, your lungs begging for
air and your thighs burning from peddling so fast. He had driven to the
abandoned trailer park, a bus sitting there with a bunch of other junk. There
was Steve, rushing the three kids, Lucas Sinclair, Dustin Henderson, and the
new girl, Max, into the bus. You waited until the doors were closed to come out
of hiding. Your eyebrows furrowed in confusion. What the hell was Steve doing with a bunch of kids in an abandoned bus?
You waited there a few minutes before realizing they
probably weren’t coming out – and it was especially quiet. You shrugged,
walking back toward your bike, almost on, and then you heard Lucas saying
something from the top of the bus. You turned around, walking into the field.
“Holy shit, Y/N!” You smiled shyly, not meaning to make
yourself noticed. Steve stuck his head out of an opening in the bus and his
“Y/N what the fuck! Get over here, now!” Steve demanded,
causing you to narrow your eyes at him.
“You have a lot of nerve, Steve Harrington.” You failed to
realize the existing Demo-dog behind you, finding your smell a lot better than
the meat pile in front of him.
“You can yell at me for however long you want if you just
get your ass in this damn bus, I’m begging you!”
“And why would I do that?”
“Y/N!” Lucas screamed at you, causing you to look up at him,
confused, “behind you!” You turned around, seeing something that resembled a
dog with no face creeping closer toward you.
“Holy shit,” you whispered, freezing. You took a step
backward and that sent the dog after you. “Fuck!” You yelled, turning around
and running. You saw the bus door open, Steve running out with a bat. “Steve,
get back in the bus!” You ordered, running past him but stopping when he
brushed past you. You turned around, still walking backwards and watching as
Steve lifted his bat, that looked like it was covered in hammered-in nails, and
hitting the dog across the park. He turned back around, running toward you.
“In the bus!” He shouted, grabbing your hand and pulling you
into the bus full of kids.
“What the hell was that!”
“Demo-dogs,” everyone else on the bus breathed out at once.
“Told you so,” Steve said, out of breath but still an
arrogant smile across his face.
“A Demogorgon.” Steve answered, pulling into your drive-in
after you had both dropped the last kid off at their house.
“Why didn’t you tell me? Like, last year?”
“I couldn’t,” he shrugged. “You’d be in trouble – with the
government, with the lab.”
“So, why are you telling me now?”
“Nancy’s taking care of it.”
“Why aren’t you with her?” You asked, even if you didn’t want
to hear the answer.
“With Nancy?” He asked, trying to clarify your question.
When you nodded, he shrugged. “Because, I’m not with Nancy.”
You frowned, before realization hit you. “Oh,” was all you
said. “I’m sorry, Steve.”
“No, it’s fine. She’s with who she’s supposed to be with.
And, I’m with you.” He looked at you, smiling, reaching a hand out to hold
yours. “Maybe I’m with who I’m supposed to be with, too.”
You smiled slightly. “Maybe… Hey, Steve?”
“I’m still a little… shaken up. Can you – if you want – can you,
maybe, stay over?”
Steve smirked, unhooking your seatbelt and nodding his head.
You got out of the car with him, letting him wrap your arm around you as you
walked through your front door.
“Nice excuse.” He muttered, following you upstairs.
“Anything to have me in your bed, huh?” He laughed when you
shoved him away.
On the one hand, a really central part of the aesthetic is that it’s viewing things from the outside. It’s a world accessible only through road trips, it’s abandoned barns and churches that exist only as exteriors because you could have no possible reason to go inside, it’s arriving in a small, insular, ancient community where you can never, ever belong. It’s about a world that is sealed off and inaccessibly Other.
On the other hand, it looks a lot like where I grew up.
I want to say that it’s the tension between the view-from-outside of the art and the view-from-inside of my own experience that makes it interesting to me. It takes the familiar and making it strange. It lets me see the world of my childhood from the perspective of an outsider.
But this isn’t quite right.
For one thing, a lot of these people are not strangers to the world they’re portraying. They’re not tourists driving through, they’re people who live in these places and they’re attempting to portray something about the worlds around them.
Also… particularly given that another central element of Midwestern Gothic is a sort of aestheticization of poverty (trailer parks, abandoned buildings, everything run-down and neglected and rusting) it seems dishonest to say that that world was mine. Yes, the village I grew up in had an economy supported by manufacturing and agriculture to the extent that it was supported at all, but I wasn’t really a part of that. My parents were academics and relatively recent arrivals, with careers in the city and no friends among their neighbors, and I was raised in their culture and worldview. I was always a little too autistic to assimilate with my peers, and I probably picked up on classist ideas telling me I shouldn’t. I had friends who grew up among cornfields and in trailer parks, but I never really felt like one of them.
I don’t mean to say that class was the only reason I was out of place there, and certainly not that class is the only reason anyone might feel alienated by that culture. It would be years before I came out as transgender to myself, let alone my peers, but I saw the way they treated the students who were out or even suspected to be queer, and that made keeping a certain distance an act of self-preservation.
I suspect that a lot of people labeling their writing and photography as Midwestern Gothic are coming from a similar vantage point in the sense of being surrounded by that world but not wholly a part of it, although not necessarily for the same reasons that I was. It’s not, as I was originally thinking, a tension between my own history inside the culture and the artistic viewpoint outside it. Both the familiarity and the alienation already exist in my own experience, and I see that same contradiction reflected in the photography and prose.
I grew up seeing the letter boards outside of the omnipresent churches but almost never seeing the insides of the buildings, and that’s exactly the world I see portrayed here.
It would have been roughly a six day walk from the abandoned trailer park to the city gates. Kageyama planned to make it in three.
This allowed almost no time to stop, no meals, no sleep. When he did try to rest, it was only out of necessity, when his footsteps faltered as he stumbled along and he nearly brought himself to his knees, causing the shivering bundle in his arms to wheeze in shock, possibly out of protest.
Then Kageyama would find a safe place to lay for a few, scarce minutes. Curled up in the corner of a ramshackle cabin, tucked away at the base of an old tree. He would gently lower Shouyou to the ground before laying his head on the Vault Dweller’s chest and closing his eyes. This way, if Shouyou stopped breathing while he was asleep, his ragged breaths dying in his chest, it would wake Kageyama.
That only happened once, on their way. Shouyou had been getting steadily worse, and worse. His skin was a sickly whitish-grey, the color of birch bark, tinged with green. His lips were painfully cracked and bleeding, and Kageyama had nothing to put on them, no balms or oils.
The worst were his eyes. Kageyama felt, almost, like he’d been taking them for granted, when they’d been shiny and lit up like Shouyou was plugged into a power source. Now they were dull and filmy, and his irises were ringed a deep, angry red. They were constantly leaking, runny, which gave him the appearance that he was crying, all the time.
When his heart had nearly given out that one moment, Kageyama had been looking straight into his eyes as they stretched wide, as Shouyou had gasped for air before going utterly limp. Kageyama had grabbed the RadAway—the last of his stores—and pried Shouyou’s mouth open with his fingers, jamming the tube down his throat, cursing and praying. To whom, he didn’t know. When he’d felt that faint heartbeat under his fingertips again, he decided he didn’t care who’d answered.
He didn’t know why his world had narrowed down to this one focal point, aside from not wanting to watch Shouyou die in agony in his arms. Kageyama had watched plenty of people die before. But somehow, this was different. Shouyou hadn’t been born into the Wasteland. He should have hated it, been terrified of it. But instead, Kageyama had watched him walk through it with something a little bit like wonder. Maybe he was just too stupid to know any better.
Or maybe what he’d left behind was just that much worse.
Despite knowing that the Wasteland took far more than it gave, he wanted Shouyou to have something a little bit like freedom. Lives were short out here, but he wanted Shouyou to live a little while longer.
When he finally made it to the city, in just a little over three days, Shouyou was still breathing.
This was actually at a job site. It’s sad because I found so much trash here, but also discovered that this abandoned trailer park lot had become a nesting ground for a variety of animals, as I could tell by their scat and the patterns in the depressions of the taller grasses. I also discovered a wetland in the far right. I saddened by the state of the place, the lack of consideration taken when everyone moved, but also I felt hope and strength when I saw nature taking back over, despite the awful conditions.
This was also the report I wrote for about the aforementioned issues, all of which omitted from the report to sound more appealing to the client. That included information on endangered and threatened species I discovered lived in the area after researching. I feel no regret in not working for that company anymore, except that I wish I could save or clean up this area for the creatures that once inhabited it. I say once because the revised report was approved for development. Guess who? Walmart.
This image is just a small window into West Virginia, where this exact thing is happening everywhere. Abandonment, nature tries to reclaim, corporations take over and begin the cycle again. Or, in a more relevant topic, the environment is used for mining, development in technology, men and women lose jobs because of mountaintop mining advancements, communities sicken, lose their ability to defend their land and their mountains because of the large corporations that own the mining companies, communities and nature die.
It’s a harsh reality, but it’s still a reality. Still, despite all of this, despite the overarching sadness that seems to seep through all of the crags of the mountains of West Virginia and hover in the grey skies, one can still find beauty and slivers of hope for the future, if they know where to look.