For the fic wars can I request El trying to make Hopper admit that he's in love with Joyce
“You let her beat you,” El observed from the passenger’s seat and Jim Hopper drove down the country roads, away from the Byers Residence.
“I did not.”
“That move was easily avoided, and I saw the box of trophies you still keep hidden. You’re a chess master.”
“Was - like a million years ago- and Joyce is really good too.”
El wrinkled her nose and turned her gaze to the passing trees and flying snow outside of her window. “She really isn’t. You weren’t playing at all like you taught me.”
“Maybe I’ve been training you to lose against me.”
“That’s pre-preposterous,”.El replied, carefully tripping over her Word-of-the-Day. She heard her father sigh deeply. When she looked over, she saw that he was frowning at the road, his lips pressed firmly together in a severe line. “Why did you let her win?”
Jim chuckled. “You do notice how competitive Joyce gets during Game Night, don’t you? Everyone lets her win because she’s a sore loser.”
“That’s not it. Will doesn’t let her win.”
“Will is her baby, she’s not going to bring out Sore Loser Joyce on him.”
“I don’t let her win.”
El furrowed her brow and worried her bottom lip at the statement. The idea of being someone’s baby sparked a light in her chest that radiated warmth throughout her entire body – a pleasant glow that left her slightly breathless.
“You think she thinks of me like she thinks of Will?”
Jim turned to her, his stern, contemplative features softening when he caught the wide-eyed hope projecting so nakedly from her small face. He grinned, reached over, and ruffled her curls before turning his attention back to the road.
“She absolutely does. Joyce told me the other day that she loves you like a daughter.”
El exhaled at the news, her eyes stinging slightly. “Yes?”
“How does she love you?”
Jim’s grip tightened on the steering wheel to the point where El could actually see his knuckles go white. For a split second, his exuberant expression vanished and was replaced with one that looked haunted and slightly winded – he switched back in a flash with a dismissive chuckle.
“I don’t think she does at all, kid.”
El crossed her arms over her chest as she attempted to process his reply. “But she feeds you.”
“Yes. She feeds you too.”
“And has us over at least twice a week.”
“So you can socialize with Will.”
“And she let you win at Five-Card Stud.”
“I told you to stop wandering around the table and reading other people’s cards!”
“And she looks at you the way I catch Mike looking at me sometimes.”
“That boy is a menace.”
“And you do the same.”
“She’s very, very easy to look at!”
“And you love her.”
El shot her father a victorious grin.
“She does all the same things you do to show her that you love her.”
El shrugged. “That’s what she said when I pretended to have cramps so I could talk to her in the bathroom.”
“YOU DID WHAT?”
She shrugged, a Cheshire Cat grin on her face.