Fighting had become the usual in the Wheeler house. From money, to their jobs, to their children, Ted and Karen always had something to argue about. Nancy and Mike put on a strong face for Holly, but in reality it was destroying both of them. The family they had grown up with was falling apart, and neither of them knew how to deal with it.
It was late on a Tuesday night and the third night in a row Karen had been yelling about wanting a divorce. Mike was sitting in his room trying to drown out the screaming when he heard something he had never heard either of them yell in the past months of daily fighting. "Well then we will! Tomorrow we'll get a lawyer and this marriage is over!" His father's words rang through the house. His door opened and he saw Nancy standing there. Holly was already asleep and hadn't been woken by the screaming so it was just the two of them. Surprisingly, the fighting had brought the siblings together. They were never really close, but at a time like this they needed each other. Nancy noticed, that like her, Mike was crying too. She walked over to him and sat beside him, hugging him. The siblings sat hugging each other for a while before Mike pulled away. "I'm going to El. You should go to Jonathan. I think we both need them right now." he said. Nancy just nodded. They both climbed out her window and Nancy dropped him at El's house before driving off to Jonathan's.
Loud knocking sounded from the Hopper's front door. "What the damn hell?" Hopper exclaimed before trudging over to the door. He opened it to find Mike standing there. He sighed. "Kid, it's a school night. You'll see her tomorrow, just go home, and get some sleep" Mike said nothing, looking down and shuffling his feet, fighting back the tears that were threatening to break free. "Mike?" Hopper asked cautiously, now sensing something was wrong. "My parents are getting a divorce" He said simply, hot tears now spilling down his cheeks. Hopper nodded and patted his shoulder, leading him inside. "I'll get El okay?" he said, sympathy in his voice. Mike just nodded and sat down on the couch.
"El honey, wake up" Hopper said gently, shaking her shoulder. "Nooooooooo" she groaned, rolling over. Hopper sighed. "Mikes here" he said. She perked up at her boyfriends name. She then looked confused. "But its like 11 at night. What is he doing here? Not that I'm complaining" She exclaimed, as Hopper led her downstairs into the living room. "He can tell you himself" He said simply, trudging upstairs.
"Oh Mike" El sighed, running over to her boyfriend and embracing him. He was crying openly at this point, the sobs shaking his body. "Babe, whats wrong?" She asked timidly, still hugging him. "Its my mom and dad. They're getting a divorce" He choked out, still sobbing. "Oh my god" she mumbled, hugging him tighter. She was aware that his parents were having issues, but she had hoped, for Mike and Nancy and Holly's sake, they could try to work it out. She just held him, desperately wishing she could take the hurt away. After a while he calmed down, and Hopper said he could stay the night. El convinced him to have a shower (luckily El 'borrowed' so much of his clothes she had a pair of his pyjamas he could wear) and they settled down in her room. Once they had both laid down, Mike pulled her in tightly, clutching her waist and burying his face in her shoulder. She rubbed his back soothingly. After a while, Mike lifted his head "El? When we get married promise me you'll never leave me. Or before then. Just please, never go" He choked out, on the verge of tears again. The words broke El's heart. She leant in and kissed him, trying to send him a message as their lips intertwined. She pulled away. "I could never leave you. And I never will. You're my whole world, Mike. I promise." She whispered as she tucked a piece of his hair behind his ear. He nodded and pulled her back in and whispered "i love you" before falling asleep in her embrace.
The divorce was a long process. Mike stayed at El's for most of it, he couldn't bare to spend nights in his broken home. Hop didn't mind Mike spending so many nights, his parents had also divorced and he knew how hard it was for the children. El supported Mike through everything, through his dad moving out, to his dad re-marrying, to him meeting his new step-siblings. She knew how much he needed her, and she was happy to oblige.