Jonathan was in New York. Nancy was in New Jersey. Steve was in Indiana.
There was distance between the three of them. And Jonathan wondered if it left them feeling as hollow as it did for him.
He felt the absence on nights like this when they all had been too busy to keep up their tradition of weekly phone calls between the three of them.
Each week, depending on the day when all of them had a free evening, they’d talk on the phone. They’d catch each other up on what was happening in their respective lives at that time.
But this week it hadn’t happened. Nancy had a paper for one of her history classes, Steve had an exam he needed to study for, and Jonathan was free but it didn’t matter if they weren’t too. It was the first time that they’d missed, with promises of next week, but Jonathan couldn’t help the gnawing doubts that he felt.
Because once something fell through, it set it up to be easier to fall through again.
Sighing, he hugged himself closer in an attempt to soothe his nerves but it only furthered the deep unsettled feeling that had started within him. He was wearing a hoodie he’d borrowed from Steve back when they’d all started dating, coming across it again when packing and he couldn’t bear to part with it. It was something that made it feel like Steve was with him, even when he couldn’t be. As he breathed in the familiar scent of cinnamon and something reminiscent of vanilla, his heart ached. Jonathan didn’t want to pretend that Steve was holding him close. He wanted the real thing.
Jonathan absentmindedly toyed with the gold colored band on his ring finger. It was a gift from Nancy, herself and Steve having identical ones.
She had given it to him the night of their graduation ceremony. Nancy’s gentle fingers wove through his hair as the three of them laid tangled up. Steve’s arm lazily draped over his waist. Relishing in the moment and the warmth of each other. The rings were a symbol, of commitment and of comfort. Promise rings.
They still had months until the semester was over, until Nancy and Jonathan could return to Hawkins for the summer break. Jonathan felt immense comfort that Steve had chosen a school in Indiana, because he went back home nearly every other weekend and always spent a day with Will when he did. Someone was around to check on Will, to fill the role of older brother when he couldn’t and he was grateful.
Will adored Steve. Steve adored Will. It was a very good deal for both of them.
(Not to mention, he’d always bring something of his school to him. Will had at least 3 different jackets with Purdue’s colors and emblems on them. A backpack. And countless other items that Jonathan had lost the count of long ago.) Nancy had sent Will a package consisting of Princeton memorabilia on his birthday, insisting that he’d look arguably cooler in it then in Steve’s stuff.
Jonathan had received a phone call from Will following the arrival of the gift, with the message of, “Your girlfriend and boyfriend are fighting over me."
Steve also helped Joyce around the house when he visited. Offering to get groceries, to stay with Will until she got home from working a late shift. He was a very welcomed presence in the Byers’ home regardless of if Jonathan was there or not. Mike however, to Nancy’s dismay, was still icy towards Steve. To him, he was still ‘that douche bag- Steve Harrington’ and it’d take a long time for him to see it any other way. Steve was hurt but he understood.
Mike accepted Jonathan right away, simply because as long as Mike had known Will, he’d known Jonathan too. He was protective of his sister, which Jonathan understood completely, they had trust in each other to protect what was important to them when the other could not. Mike protected Will. Jonathan protected Nancy. Everything was warm between them.
He also knew Mike wore the NYU hoodie that Jonathan had sent him for his birthday, as a way to poke fun at Steve when he visited. He tried not to laugh whenever Steve grumbled about it.
His heart felt warmer as he recalled how his family and his partners got along. Family was a priority to him, and he loved that the two blended so well together.
He longed to be back in Hawkins. To be with his family, to be with his partners.
NYU was great and he was happy to be here, but he was without a doubt homesick.
Not for a place but for the people who were home for him.
The Saturday of Indypopcon, I was too late to get a wristband to meet @girbeagly@crankgameplays and @ogchanyt So as I waited to catch a glimpse of them on the signing stage, I asked a group of girls who were nearby if they were in line. They said no, but their friends were, and that I could stand with them if I wanted to. I guess they took pity on my cause I was crying. Anyway, the girls in the group were none other than Shelby ( @sherbertime ) Reba ( @rebarob22 ) Ari ( @ariannapatrick ) They treated me as if I were a friend from way back when and eventually they invited me along with them to the boys’ panel. Shelby actually got me a VIP pass so I could sit in the first row with her. I even had a question of mine answered by the boys!
Today I tried to get in line early for a wristband but, being a newbie to cons, thought it was only for VIPs, and I didn’t have the pass anymore. So, dismally sitting on the floor near the line, Reba came up to me and told me I could get a wristband and she let me lune jump to the near front where she was. And she had a spare day pass reserved and gave it to me. I got to meet Ethan, Brian, and *Gordon* and I even made them laugh.
These girls looked at a stranger and decided not only to be kind but to sacrifice something expensive and precious just to make sure I had the chance to see the boys. I will never repay the debt they have me in, and I will never ever stop thanking them. I got to meet my heroes because of these girls. So thank you, Shelby and Reba. Thank you. You made me part of the community and I consider you guys family. I can’t wait to see you again, whether it’s at the nest convention or not, I have the feeling this isn’t the last adventure we will share.
It had been a long time since we dated and what felt like longer still since we had an actual conversation that included more than just pleasantries. I knew that he had gotten engaged, to some random girl he met in New York, not a dancer, not a preformer, a lawyer actually and a very sweet girl. I was half shocked when I got the wedding invitation in the mail, I didn’t know why he would invite me, probably because it would be wierd if he hadn’t, or because I’m amazingly close with his brother and sister in law, as is another ex girlfriend he also invited. A funny world, a funny small world it is that we all live in.
I stepped out of the car cautiously, I half expected someone to run up to me saying that I wasn’t invited after all, that why on earth could I expect a wedding invitation from him of all people, that this was all a joke and I should just leave now. But that didn’t happen. It didn’t happen throughout the entire ceremony, although beforehand I was assaulted by my wonderful best friend Peta but her and Maks had matters to attend to being the family of the groom and couldn’t chat for long. It didn’t happen as they walked out of the church, holding hands, smitten looks. It didn’t happen as I showed up at the reception and ate and made small talk with some ex cast mates and friends of the bride.
So here I find myself, sitting alone at my table, not finding the courage to get up and dance or really do much of anything. When I see someone pull over a chair and sit next to me.
“Hey Shar.” I turn and look at, possibly the only other person who understands me in this moment.
“Hey Jen, longtime no see” She looks away slightly embarrassed.
“Yeah sorry about that it’s just with everything I…” she trailed off. I understood what she meant though, her and Val had been off and on for several years before he started to date me and I always knew he broke her heart.
“I understand” she flashed me a quick smile.
“It’s wierd being here.” She said looking around the venue. “I always kind of assumed it was going to be one of us.” I looked at her getting why she has come over here.
“Me too, I just always thought he was going to get his life together and ask one of us, it didn’t have to be me, but to not even marry a dancer, she just seems so foreign” she nodded.
“I’m sure you’ve talked to Peta too but she says she’s really nice when you get to know her.” I had forgotten that Jenna and Peta were so close, once I stared dating Val I wasn’t as close to her anymore. I forgot Peta wasn’t the same way. But Peta hadn’t spoken to me about Val’s new wife and I don’t know exactly if that meant anything, I suppose I never asked either.
“It hurts a little, not badly, not as much as it would’ve a year ago but it stings. I don’t know if I’ll ever completely stop feeling at least something for him”
“He’s wierd like that, he draws you in and makes you feel like you’re all that matter and it’s all so dramatic in the moment and when it ends it’s like a piece of you has been ripped away.” She spoke with the words I couldn’t form, as if she was reading my thoughts.
“I hope they are happy together, no matter what happened between us I want him to be happy.” She smiled and raised her glass.
“I’ll cheers to that!” We clinked our glasses and smiled. “I suppose that’s why he invited us, it’s such a big step in your life and he was such a big part of my life, it would feel wierd if he just wasn’t there” I nodded softly.
The rest of the night passed slowly, I know that Jenna left early, but I couldn’t bear to follow, who leaves a wedding early?
I thought about that night in passing moments over the next years, when I felt the worst or most alone. Until three years later, I hadn’t spoken to most of the people from the show in almost five years, save for an occasional phone call from Peta every month or so. It stung a bit to no longer talk to those I was so close to, but I had new friends and I loved them. But it made a certain phone call much stranger.
One day around twelve in the afternoon I revived a call from and unknown number I vauguely recognized. It was Jenna.
“Hey Sharna it’s Jenna I had a question for you and I know we haven’t spoken since well. Since Val’s wedding but it’s sort of about that and only you can answer it.” She was calm and composed but I could hear a tone of panic in her voice.
“Hey Jen,” I said quite taken aback, she was not who I expected, “ what do you need?”
“I’m getting married today,” this conversation was getting stranger by the minute. “to Artem, I love him and he is so so wonderful, Lindsay is maid of honor, Peta, Brittany and both my sisters are my bridesmaids, I’m so happy Sharna, so happy” I didn’t quite understand why she was calling me.
“I’m happy for you”
“But keep questioning myself, Sharna I have been in love with Val for most of my adult life, he was my first true love, but I love Artem more than I have ever loved Val.” I was throughly confused at this point. “ he called me you know?”
“What? Who called you when?”
“Val, on the day he got married, he called me and asked about, well you, and me but he was talking about how much he had hurt the two of us, and that he was so sorry for everything and he told me that a small part of him would always love us and that if we said it back he would run away with either one of us. He would run from his fiancé and never look back. But I knew it was just wedding nerves, I knew that he loved that girl more than he ever loved us. It hurt but I told him I didn’t love him, it was a lie, and the hardest lie I have ever told but I knew it was right. Sharna I need you to be that person for me. No one else understands like you do. I need you to tell me that Val doesn’t love me, that he isn’t going to come back like before, that he isn’t in love either one of us. Because I love Artem and I want to marry him.”
I was shocked. Completely and utterly flabbergasted. But she was right I knew where she was coming from, Val had a grip on me for too long, so I composed myself and said, finally believeing it myself. “Val isn’t in love with us. Jenna he is not coming back for you. You love Artem. He is a great guy and you are going to be happy with him. Marry the man you love Jenna” It felt so nice to say that. I knew in my heart that I was saying Jenna’s name but it felt like I was talking to myself. If she could move on I knew that I could too.
“Thank you” she wispered and the phone fell silent.
Two years later I got a letter, inside was a baby announcement for a one “May Anna Chigvintsev”. She was a precious little girl with her mothers eyes and her fathers head, scribbled on the corner of the paper was, written in her mothers scrawl, “thank you, for everything, raise a glass to happiness”. I looked down at the little girls face, and at her bearing my name, and smiled. Before addressiging an envelope cordially inviting Jenna and Artem Chigvintsev to the marriage of Sharna Burgess and James Hinchcliffe
A/n thanks so much for reading. I have had this idea for a while now and I hope I did it justice. I’m a massive valenna stan but you can’t doubt chmergesses chemistry, so I settled for neither of them, oops. Thanks again hope you enjoyed! Xoxo R 💕💕
"Have you ever met a stranger that you still think about today? Who were they and what made them so interesting to you?"
“I haven’t met no stranger who I haven’t made the effort to know, or who hasn’t made the effort to get better acquainted with me. If you were a stranger, a passing glance, that I had generally no fucking interest in? I forgot about you as soon as you walked by. Nothin’ more than a background blur to join the many faces of other fuck wads I don’t give a shit about.”
The hardened Madam would extend a steady glare, her ruby lips puckering whilst her groomed brows loft in a gesture of acknowledgement, as if waiting for a retaliation.
In the end, she would look away. Clearly disinterested with the topic at hand already.
He’s your bestfriend, right?…It’s fine. I get it. I didn’t get here until the fourth grade. He had the advantage of living next door. But none of that matters. What matters is that he is your best friend.
i made strangers with them, blindfold who’d paint my soul
we took all different paths so i walked faster, jumped o'er times'own toll
By now I’m nourished, and i reflect boundless wanderlust
My skin is bruised of climbs, my hair carries pollen, and fragrance of petrichor dust
My soul, fiery with faith, is an atlas, a catalogue of cultures
My soul, is none like yesterday, a painting rather Just footsteps and shudders
My soul, an illuminated product of vagaries inclusive of all perceived beauty
Take no Pride! My soul was unknown to y'all the minute i set it free.
I kind of wish jason and hazel's friendship was elaborated on more in series. I awkwardly cringe during any scene with jason and hazel in it. Do you headcanons them as good friends ? What about other friendship pairings within the 7? Frank/piper etc
jason and hazel? yeah, absolutely. i’m still in denial that their relationship took a complete u turn and made them out to be strangers, almost. i know hazel wasn’t at camp for long before the HoO events happened, but. we are talking about jason “i will adopt every sad looking child, c’mere i am ur new brother” grace :/ not to mention they were both incredibly lonely kids who had terrible experiences when it came to families (and had shared experiences in doing things for The Greater Good despite it being a huge cost to themselves). hazel said she respected jason, even looked up to him. jason would’ve understood completely what it was like to be suddenly thrown into camp, all alone, with very tenuous links to surviving family. being a kid of the big three would’ve given them a level ground with each other. we missed out on such and adorable possible friendship and it makes me so mad because from a storytelling point of view: imagine the character development. imagine it.
FRANK PIPER IS ANOTHER BROTP WE MISSED OUT ON. JFC. their relationship would have been an excellent way to address racism, considering both of them talk about it in their povs, and were affected by it in many ways while growing up. there’s the issue of not being comfortable with their appearances, their godly heritage, feeling down about their skills but always rising to every challenge they’ve been set. they’d have had such a lovely solid relationship, brought out good points in each other and addressed the uncomfortable stuff. i just. jfc. there were so many brilliant characters in the HoO series? but their storylines and personalities and development were eclipsed by such strange plot choices?
Joji was making his way back from the hospital. He was waiting at a bus stop, fiddling with the hospital band he’d received. In truth, for once he didn’t a c t u a l l y need to go. He’d coughed up a bit of blood during a coughing fit and a stranger more or less forced him to seek help. Being the pushover he was, he simply let them do it. Somewhere in the back of his mind he knew that p l a c a t i n g the stranger would’ve made them feel like a good person for the rest of the day.
As the teen waited, a noticeably clothed girl took a seat by him. And as if he hadn’t just taken a massive detour to make someone feel b e t t e r, the subtle yet distinct sounds of s o b b i n g emanated from her. Comforting people wasn’t a burden by any means, Joji simply a c h e d and much preferred the idea of resting in his bed over spending even more time away from home. Although that was the case, he spoke up, “Hey, ‘you okay..?”