1 - The Fall

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A/N A little author's note; this story takes place after the third season. I kept Hopper alive, that was better for the story line. :)  Happy reading!

. . .

He'd never wanted to move. Even when people were talking behind his back, even when they were calling him Zombie boy, even though he'd been very close to dying a few times – Hawkins had been his home. Sometimes it had felt like he was becoming alienated from his friends because two years of his life had been torn away, but at the moments they needed each other they'd all been there. Unconditionally. 

Yet, he hadn't objected when his mom wanted to move. After being alone for such a long time, she had finally fallen in love again. With Bob. And although Bob had felt like an intruder in the beginning, Will had liked him eventually. But then Bob died. His mother's heart broke; he could still see the pain in her eyes, every day new wrinkles seem to conquer her face. She needed a new start, far away from the place where she'd almost lost a child, where her lover had been mauled by a monster. 

How then could he complain about a lack of friends? He had nodded when his mom told him there would be nice people on his new school too, even though he didn't believe he would make friends. He was odd. People already had told him so before he was pronounced dead and came back to life. Things wouldn't be different here. 

But he would overcome this. He had to. For her. 

Luckily she was no longer alone. She was with Hopper now, since a couple of weeks. After the fight with the Mindflayer not much had been left of his house, and although their relationship had been new, he and El had moved in with them. 

El – who had became his stepsister now. He liked El, and he liked having someone around who knew what he'd been through. Still, he found it hard to have her close the whole time, even when they both did their own thing. 

Sharing a house with five people – he just needed to get used to it. And after everything that had happened, he got a headache often and he quickly felt like he was suffocating. Already during his first week he'd found a favorite spot in the woods surrounding Willowdale. It was a stone ruin of which two walls still stood upright. There were arches in it, reminding him of a castle. A with moss overgrown stairs led upwards, and from the top of it he could climb on the wall so he was sitting about 12 feet above the ground. That was where he liked to sit, his sketchbook in his lap. He could draw for hours. The ruins would change into a solid fortress, horses would trot across the pavement and captains shouted at their men because the enemy was on the way. A red glow in the distance announced the arrival of the Urg'pits; fire orcs setting everything on fire. 

He missed plotting D&D campaigns. Even though he had decided that he was too old for those games, the images kept haunting him. Somehow they needed to leave his mind. Illustrating them was a solution, just like writing them down. Maybe he could write a book one day. 

He took a green pencil from his pencil case and started to draw wood trolls who were conscripted by the good guys. If not, it would definitely be an unequal battle. Biting on his lip he continued to work on the scene, for a moment forgetting about everything. About the fact that he had to go to his new school tomorrow, the commotion at home, the nightmares that were haunting him... 

A branch snapped. A nasty sensation glided down his neck. 

He snapped his head to the side. Because of the wild movement he lost his balance. Briefly he caught a glance of a person wearing black, then his fingers grabbed for a hold. His sketchbook slipped off his lap, his pencil rolling away and falling down. 

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