CHAPTER NINE

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ACE OF HEARTS
CHAPTER NINE: THE DEATH
OF WILL BYERS

IT WAS WHEN ELEVEN brought the party back to Will Byers' house that Cassie's heart dropped

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IT WAS WHEN ELEVEN brought the party back to Will Byers' house that Cassie's heart dropped. After walking around town all day, the kids were exhausted and slowly giving up hope. It was now nighttime—the sun had set leaving the bikes as their only source of light. Suddenly, Eleven turned to face the group, her innocent eyes resting on Cassie, "Here."

"El, why are we here?" questioned Cassie, looking around at the disheveled atmosphere.

"This is where Will lives," finished Mike, walking his bike up beside her, the boys closely following.

"Hiding," muttered Eleven.

"No, no, this is where he lives," said Mike, setting down his bike. "He's missing from here. Understand?"

Behind Mike, Lucas threw down his bike and sighed, "Why are we here?"

"She said he's hiding here," Mike explained.

"Um...no!"

"I swear to god if we walked all the way out here for nothing—"

Lucas cut off Dustin, shouting, "That's exactly what we did! I told you she didn't know what the hell she was talking about!"

Mike scoffed, turning to face El, "Why did you bring us here?"

"Maybe she has a reason, guys," interrupted Cassie, shrugging her shoulders. "Let's hear her out."

"Don't waste your time with her, Cassie," said Lucas.

"What do you want to do, then?" asked Mike.

"Call the cops like we should've done yesterday!"

"We are not calling the cops,"

"Hey, guys," Dustin spoke, trying to break the argument between the two boys. "Guys!"

Sirens began to ring through Cassie's ears—an all too familiar sound when it came to her. The argument stopped as everyone glanced at the cop cars and ambulances which passed by the Byers' house.

"Will..." Mike breathed.

Scattering apart, the friends rushed to grab their bikes and follow the sirens. Eleven hopped on the back of Cassie's bike as she followed Mike, who led the group. Desperately trying to keep up, her heart raced in confusion as she tried to think of what caused this.

As the five kids arrived at the scene, they dropped their bikes and ran to hide behind a fire truck. Many vehicles were crowded around the lake—cop cars, fire trucks, and ambulances.

Cassie Harrington shifted her gaze to a figure floating in the water—now being pulled out by a group of adults. She gasped, her hand shooting up to cover her mouth.

"It's not Will," Mike spoke, shaking his head in disbelief. "It can't be."

"It's Will," Lucas paused, his face falling into despair. "It's really Will."

Cassie broke from the group, walking away from the scene. Rubbing her face with her hands, she tried to process what this meant. Will was truly gone. Cassie would never see his smile again, never teach him how to ride a bike with no hands.

"Fuck," she cursed, furiously kicking a rock beside her. "Why did you have to die, Byers?"

Eyes brimming with tears, Cassie glanced back at her friends, who seemed to turn away from the scene as well. As Eleven reached out, Mike slapped her hand away, "You were supposed to help us find him alive! You said he was alive! Why did you lie to us?"

Speechless, Eleven looked around, searching for words to say. Furiously running her hands through her hair, Cassie paced back and forth.

"What is wrong with you?" shouted Mike, clenching his fists in anger. "What is wrong with you?!"

"Mike," spoke Cassie, her voice breaking. "Stop."

"It's all over, Cassie!" yelled Mike, tears prickling in his eyes. "All of it! Will's dead!"

"But..."

"He's dead!"

Outraged, Mike Wheeler stormed away, grabbing his bike and turning it around. The boys shouted after him, Cassie was frozen in place.

"Mike, come on. Don't do this, man,"

"Mike! Come on, where are you going?"

Ignoring their calls, Mike rode away, leaving the four of them behind. Nobody knew what to do next. All this time searching, only to find out that their friend was dead.

Infuriated, Cassie turned around, stomping over to the cops who stood in a group. Pulling on his shoulder, Cassie turned Sheriff Hopper around to face her.

"After all this time, he was just dead?!" screamed Cassie, her tears hot with rage. "You did nothing!"

"Hey, kid, calm down," said Hopper, his eyes softening as he looked down at the broken girl. He remembered when Cassie said that she didn't care about Will Byers and she wasn't his friend. It turns out that was all an act. The tough girl finally crumbled.

"Fuck you! You did nothing! Nothing!"

Pounding her fists on his chests, Cassie sobbed. She realized that it wasn't only for Will, but for everyone. Barbara, Steve, even her parents. Cassie continued punching...punching...punching.

Until she finally broke into tears.

Cassie Harrington hadn't been embraced like this in a long time. It made her feel warm...loved. Something that she feared was now turned into something she desired.

"I'm sorry," whispered Cassie, her voice almost so quite that only he could hear. "I'm so sorry."

"Shhhhh," soothed Hopper, stroking Cassie's hair with his hand. "It's okay kid. It'll be okay."


authors note:
i cried writing this chapter and had to tell myself over and over that will wasn't dead but like i had to put myself into cassie's shoes to write this and it actually broke me AHHH

im a mess lol

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