Story Raise The Candles High - UDC IX (Stranger Things)

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by amidalachick, Apr 27, 2020.

  1. amidalachick

    amidalachick Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Glad you liked Lucas' reaction to Max's news! They may be grown up but they're still just kids at heart. [face_laugh] And I'm so glad you enjoyed "Shrine" and "Monastery" too, I had a lot of fun writing them and I just couldn't resist the image of grown up Mike and El in the blanket fort. [face_love] Thank you always for reading! [:D]

    @Mira_Jade Oh my gosh, thank you so much for such a sweet, detailed review! It made me smile for real.

    Right! Canon can stick it! [face_laugh] (In case you're wondering, the link goes to a GoDaddy commercial that's kind of stupid but always made me laugh :p).

    I KNOW! [face_love] I loved how Hopper took her in, and I just love them being each other's family. Good thing they're all HERE and HAPPY TOGETHER, right? :D

    Thank you so much! You have no idea how much it means to hear that.

    Thank you so much! This was one of those pieces that basically wrote itself, and I couldn't do it again if I tried. And this whole set just made me feel so warm and happy while I was writing, so I'm beyond thrilled that you felt it too. [:D]

    Thank you! I love them, and I think their friendship and Max and El's friendship are the only two things from Season 3 that I accept as canon. [face_laugh]

    Again, thank you so much for reading and for such an amazing review! It really means a lot to me. [:D]

    @earlybird-obi-wan That's exactly what I was going for with all of those, so I'm so happy it came across for you! Thank you so much for reading and commenting. [:D]

    As always, thank you to everyone who's read these, whether you've liked or commented or just peeked in! I'm having so much fun with this challenge, both in my own writing and reading everyone else's fabulous responses, and I hope you're enjoying them all too! [:D][face_love]
  2. amidalachick

    amidalachick Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    Week 6

    Characters: #26. Billy, El; #27. Steve/Billy; #28. Marissa, Billy; #29. Max, El; #30. Max, Billy
    Genre: Hardcore angst and tears and trage - JUST KIDDING! It's all fluff all the time! :D
    Notes: First off, I know there are more than 5 people in Hawkins and I would love to write characters like Erica or Murray but they scare me a bit. So anyway if you're here for serious character development and mature intelligent writing delving into anything to do with the actual show, this is not the fic you're looking for! :p This is just stupid self-indulgent fluff. I considered trying something more serious this week, but then it was a day at work and I was like, nope. Stupid self-indulgent fluff it is!

    Also I have a lot of notes, and they will probably end up longer than the actual drabbles so I'll put most of them under a spoiler tag.

    The italicized dialogue in #27 is a line from the song Beast of Burden by The Rolling Stones. As soon as I saw the prompts it popped into my head and wouldn't leave. So I went with it.

    #26 takes place after #25, shortly after they get back to Hawkins. I didn't intentionally plan it that way, I just started writing and that's how it turned out.

    #28 is kind of a stretch for the prompt, but I had no idea what to do with it and then I started thinking about "going rogue", not following social norms and whatnot, and then this popped into my head while I was trying to fall asleep. Marissa is a canon character, she's the librarian from Season 1 and she seemed pretty cool.

    #29 is loosely based on real life. [face_mischief] I'm not a baker, but my coworkers and I swear at inanimate objects in the kitchen all the time. I also googled "how to frost a cake" because, again, I'm not a baker, and I found this which is actually really informative, but more importantly she says at one point, "The frosting always wins."

    And finally, #30 is just some post-S3 sibling bonding. Because who needs canon anyway!

    Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you enjoy! [face_love]


    26. Angel

    Billy handed El the little shell bracelet they'd picked out for her.

    She held out her arm so he could fasten it below the blue bracelet she always wore. She moved her hand around to admire it.

    "Pretty," she said.

    "When we move you and Max have to come visit and find your own shells," Billy said.

    "Promise?" El asked eagerly.

    She looked angelic, just a little girl with her whole life ahead of her.

    Because of her he had a whole life ahead of him too.

    Her excitement was contagious, and he couldn't help smiling back.

    "Promise," Billy said.

    27. Beast

    Steve's making dinner because he's home first tonight. He's got the radio on, singing along to the songs he knows.

    A Stones song comes on, and he can't resist imitating Mick Jagger's strut, using the spatula as a microphone.

    Until he hears another voice join his from the doorway.

    "I'll never be your beast of burden, I've walked for miles, my feet are hurtin', all I want is you to make love to me."

    He turns.

    "Have you been standing there the whole time?" he asks.

    Billy licks his lips. "Don't stop on my account."

    Steve decides dinner can wait.

    28. Rogue

    Hawkins is a small town and Marissa sees things.

    Finding someone hunched over a book in the back of the stacks where no one goes isn't unusual.

    "Library's closing," she says.

    "I'm leaving, I'm sorry," he mutters.

    She recognizes him now. He's the kid who almost died saving people, including Jim, from the mall fire.

    She holds out the paper he dropped, filled with a name and the quotes he's copied from the book of love poems lying out of place on the shelf.

    "I have two rules in my library," she says. "No judgments and don't deface my books."

    29. Frost

    Max scowled when she cracked the eggs and pieces of shell fell in the bowl.

    El doubled over laughing as Max cursed at the slippery bits that evaded her when she tried to fish them out.

    Finally they managed to get the batter mixed up and into the oven.

    But by the time they took the cake out and attempted to frost it, only for the frosting to stick to the knife, the plate, and everywhere except the cake, El had learned more new words and Max's face was as red as her hair.

    They had Eggos for dessert instead.

    30. Storm

    She's not afraid.

    She knows things exist that are far scarier than anything in nature.

    It's just that thunder rumbles continuously and the wind whips sheets of rain against the windows and she doesn't want to be alone.

    She could call El or Lucas but they'll be asleep and it's not an emergency and she's not afraid.

    She pads down the hall to her stepbrother's room, and she sits against the door, and he sits on the bed with his back against the wall, and it's enough.

    They've been through a lot of storms. They'll get through this one too.
    Last edited: May 31, 2020
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 31, 2004
    Angel -- aww. Frost [face_laugh] and Storm - nice bit of finding comfort in a storm.
  4. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    love the angel, beast with the Stones, rogue in the library, frost with the cake and comfort in storm
  5. amidalachick

    amidalachick Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha "Frost" was actually the first one that popped into my head for this set. I just couldn't resist some kitchen shenanigans! [face_mischief] I'm so glad you enjoyed "Angel" and "Storm" too. Thank you always for reading and for your sweet comments! I can't even say how much it means to me. [:D]

    @earlybird-obi-wan I knew I wanted to use the Stones in this set somehow, I just wasn't sure how at first. :D Thank you so much for reading and commenting! [:D]

    Thank you again to all readers, likers, commenters, and all the other drabblers too! You're all so awesome. [face_love]


    Week 7


    Characters: #31. Nancy/Jonathan; #32. Mike/El; #33. Hopper/Joyce, Mike/El; #34. Hopper/Joyce; #35. Max, Billy
    Genre: I can probably ditch this section because let's face it, these will probably all be fluff :p
    Notes: So I had a few different ideas with a few different characters for this set and I finally decided on these ones. @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha I had you in mind while I was writing, especially with the middle three drabbles, and I hope they will give you a few smiles. [:D][:D]

    I think #33 and #34 are pretty self-explanatory. The rest is under a spoiler tag because it's not super-relevant to the actual drabbles, more just me rambling about the show and characters and stuff nobody in real life wants to hear about. [face_laugh] Short version is: I headcanon Jonathan and Nancy both attending NYU, El never having been on a swing, and Billy teaching Max to drive back in California!

    I learned a new word for #31! :D When I googled it I also found out that the US has both a Southern California bight and a New York bight. I decided to stick with the East Coast for this one, and since Joyce says in Season 1 that Jonathan's always wanted to go to NYU, I'm assuming him and Nancy both ended up going there. And that's how they ended up at the Jersey Shore!

    #32 was supposed to actually use the prompt, but I had too many words so my thought process was songbirds->outdoors->a nice day at the park! :D I don't really have a timeframe in mind for this one. Maybe 1986, since you know, a lot happened in 1985 and El was spending a lot of time with Max visiting Billy at the hospital and with Will since Hopper and Joyce officially started dating and whatnot. [face_batting]

    Finally, #35 is set sometime while Billy and Max are still living in California, and I guess it would be around 1983 or 1984 if he's old enough to drive. I have a headcanon that Billy taught Max to drive, at least a little, because:
    1) In Season 2 Dustin says that Max has driven before (in a parking lot, according to Mike, but that counts, according to Lucas). I really can't see her mom or her stepfather taking her driving, even in a parking lot. And I guess it's possible she could have gone with some random relative or an older friend. But the most plausible options would be either her real dad or Billy.
    2) She's driving Billy's car and she seems to be somewhat familiar with it. It always takes me time to adjust to driving a different car, and I'm not entirely comfortable until I've been driving it for a while and know it a little bit. Then again I'm much more timid than Max, and this is also a fictional show with fictional characters, so there's that. :p
    3) I feel like at some point Billy and Max got along a bit better. My headcanon is they were never close but they both care way deep down but Billy especially doesn't know how to show it, and the worse he is, the more hurt and upset Max is and things just keep getting worse until we see them at their absolute lowest point in Season 2. And then, you know, all the things happen in Season 3 and Billy starts to make amends after almost dying and they start to repair their relationship and end up closer than before and basically become real siblings and everybody is happy. [face_love]

    Also I wanted to put in some background for why he would teach her to drive, but I ran out of words. I think it's because he cares about his little stepsister and doesn't want to admit it but feel free to pick your own reason!

    Okay, I think that's it! :p

    Thank you for reading, and hope you enjoy! :)


    31. Bight

    Another year of college was ending in a blur of assignments, late night study sessions, and final exams.

    Neither Jonathan or Nancy minded the work. They were both determined to succeed.

    It had been a stressful semester, though, and they decided to take a weekend for themselves before heading off to their summer jobs and internships.

    They couldn't afford much, but they found a bed and breakfast on the Jersey Shore only a few blocks from the beach.

    And as they strolled along the boardwalk, holding hands and eating ice cream and admiring the ocean, they had everything they needed.

    32. Thrush

    Mike sees El look wistfully at the little kids playing on the swings.

    "Want to try?" he asks.

    Her eyes light up. "Yes."

    She settles herself on the seat and twists to look nervously at him.

    "Just hold on, okay?" Mike says. "It's really fun, I promise. You'll feel like you're flying."

    He pushes her gently at first, and then sends her higher and higher. She's laughing.

    When the swing next to her is free he takes it. They let the swings sway gently back and forth.

    When El leans over to kiss him, Mike feels like he's flying too.

    33. Barrel

    Rationally he knows that pacing and staring at the clock won't make them arrive any quicker.

    But it's better than sitting still and staring at the clock.

    "Hey," Joyce says, sliding her arms around him. "Relax. They'll be here soon."

    He puts his hands over hers, trying to focus on her warmth against his back.

    A car door slams. Joyce squeezes once and lets him go.

    El barrels into the house, Mike farther back, and throws herself into his arms.

    He hugs her tight and thinks that even though she's a full-grown married woman she'll always be his little girl.

    34. Vintage

    The restaurant is not a place Hopper would ordinarily choose. It's obscenely expensive, an intimate, romantic space with candles on the tables and soft piano music in the background.

    Earlier Joyce was fretting that her dress wasn't fancy enough, but he reached for her hand across the table and told her she looked better than any woman in the room. He meant it too.

    Now, as she sips from the glass of vintage wine that their waiter said was the very best they had to offer, her face glows in the candlelight and under her gaze he feels young again.

    35. Key

    "Wanna drive?" he says.

    "What?" she says, and then, "Really?"

    "Move your ass before I change my mind," he says, and gets out.

    She can barely reach the pedals even with the driver's seat pulled as far forward as it will go. But she actually listens when he tells her how to work the clutch and shift gears, and after a few rough stops and starts she manages to make a mostly smooth circle around the parking lot.

    When they're heading home, she says, "That was cool. Thanks."

    "Whatever," he mutters, and tries to hide the smile threatening to appear.
  6. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 31, 2004
    SQUEE! for #32-34, as you knew I would! LOL [face_love] :*
    amidalachick likes this.
  7. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Sep 10, 2005
    I'm sorry I got so far behind! I love each and every one of these! I love how creatively you take the prompts! That's one of the best things about this challenge, to see how differently or how similarly people take each of them.

    Week 5-
    Hahah... this cracked me up. He's so shocked it's like words don't have meaning any more!

    This is one of my favorites. I really didn't know that I needed Steve/Billy in my life until you started writing them, but now I totally know I do!

    Week 6-
    Hahah--- I feel this! The first time I ever tried to make a cake by myself, I didn't let it cool long enough and tried to put on the frosting. Not only did the frosting melt off of it, but the top layer of the cake cracked and slid off. It looked like a complete disaster, but it tasted okay.

    This was so beautiful!! And such a great characterization of Max. She's tough, she's been through a lot, but she's still a kid.

    Week 7-
    This was so sweet! I love it and it makes me so happy!
    amidalachick likes this.
  8. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Oh my goodness but I am falling into the unfortunate habit of reviewing two weeks at a time, which is annoying on my part! I apologize and promise to do better in the future, because these have been FANTASTIC!! I can't tell you how much I am enjoying these happy little snippets of light and fluff! [face_love] [face_love] [face_love]

    That's my kind of author's note! [face_rofl] Canon, what canon??? I'm so much more invested with your happy 'verse instead.

    Oh Billy you softy you. It's okay, we won't tell! [face_mischief] [face_love]

    I LOVED this, especially with your playing on the themes of angels as protectors and saviors! Which El is to Billy. There's a softness to El that brings out the best in Billy, which I just love the idea of. What a missed moment in canon! ;)

    Yep, perfectly in character moment is perfectly in character. Loved this! [face_laugh] [face_love]

    OH MY GOODNESS, BUT BILLY SINGS. Yep, head canon accepted . . .

    Aw! What a great way to flesh out a relatively minor character. Strength and sass and warmth, all! My kind of lady.

    [face_rofl] [face_rofl]

    I loved this entire scene and could see it play out so perfectly in my head. What a way to let the kids just be kids!

    Oh Max! =(( I could see her: all stubbornness and defiance in the face of her fear, though. Max is a fighter in every way. But even fighters can still be afraid. :p

    Beautiful! [face_love]

    Oh just gorgeous! [face_love]

    Aw what a beautiful moment. I'm a sucker for El experiencing all the little things in life she missed out on thanks to her childhood. This was so perfectly that and soft and sweet all at once! What a great way to interpret the prompt with the tone set by the ambiance of the park and the flying!

    Papa!Jim is my favorite Jim, and this just made me smile such a smile! [face_love]

    Well I know I pretty much quoted the whole drabble but here we are and I regret nothing. :p I love how neither of them are wholly at ease with their settings, but they are with each other and for each other. The last bit, about feeling young again was just the icing on top. Perfect! [face_love]

    Ha! I love the idea of Billy teaching Max to drive, and all the sibling bonding. Yes, Billy the closet softy is the best Billy! I accept no other truth now. [face_mischief] [face_love]

    Needless to say, I've been scarce able to pick a favorite and I just love all of these! Keep up the fantastic work! =D= =D=
  9. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    great fun with the last set and the last one teaching to drive, hilarious
    amidalachick likes this.
  10. amidalachick

    amidalachick Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    I always appreciate all of your comments, but this week I'm especially grateful. Real life has been difficult the past few days and to know that these silly little things have made someone else happy really, truly means a lot to me.

    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha I'm so happy you liked those ones and found them SQUEE-worthy! :D Thank you so much! [:D]

    @mavjade No apologies necessary! I'm so happy you're enjoying these, and I totally agree, it's so much fun seeing how everyone interprets the prompts.

    That put such a big smile on my face! They both deserve all the love and happiness. [face_love] I thought they had chemistry (or electricity as Steve put it) as far back as Season 2 before I even got into fandom, but I didn't care about either of them at that point. I started shipping them because of all the amazingly talented authors writing all the post-S3 fix-it fics that I started reading after Season 3 broke my heart, so it makes me so happy that I can do that for someone else. :D

    Tasting good is the most important part! [face_laugh]

    Aww thank you so much! I had the visual in my head and it made me happy, so I'm so glad it worked for you too! Mike and El are just the cutest. [face_love]

    I'm so glad you enjoyed "Temple" and "Storm" too. Thank you so much for reading and for leaving such lovely comments! [:D]

    @Mira_Jade Don't apologize! I've gotten so behind on my own reading the last couple weeks and I feel so bad about it!

    And I can't tell you how much that means to me! Some of my coworkers and I were just discussing how there is so. Much. Negativity. Everywhere. It's depressing and draining and it's such a struggle some days not to just curl up in a corner and cry or throw things and scream or worse.

    But: "Raise the candles high, 'cause if you don't we could stay black against the night
    Oh, raise them higher again
    And if you do we could stay dry against the rain..."

    That's why I picked that lyric for the title of this collection, and that's what I'm trying to do, and to know that it's working means a lot. [face_love]

    Oh my gosh thank you! That made me smile so much!

    She really is! As soon as I saw the prompt I knew it would be something with these two. I'm so glad you liked it!

    Thank you! The song popped into my head as soon as I saw the prompt and I really wanted to use it somehow, but I wasn't quite sure what to do with it. And then I thought of Steve and that was it. [face_laugh]

    (And Max would accidentally find Billy and Steve singing and goofing off sometime, and she would make sure they NEVER live it down [face_laugh]).

    It was kind of a stretch for the prompt haha! But the visual was in my head and I HAD to use it. I love seeing El just get to be a kid and do things she never has, too, and I adore Mike and El and how sweet they are together. [face_love]

    Yes! But only with the people he loves. :p In all honesty I think that's why after Season 3 I went from dislike to him being one of my favorite characters. Yes, he's a terrible person in Season 2 especially, and being from an abusive background doesn't excuse or justify his behavior at all. But he's also a 17- or 18- year-old kid who's never learned how to love or be loved, and despite that, I think even in canon he still cares about Max at least a little. So he's capable of being soft and loving and a better person. He just needs some help. Like El got from her friends, and Will got from his friends and family to deal with the Mind Flayer, and so on. I think I will always have a lot of feelings about this. Thank goodness for fanfic! And I'll shut up now. :p

    Thank you so, so much for reading and for your amazing and sweet reviews. It really does mean a lot! [:D]

    @earlybird-obi-wan I'm so glad you liked this set, especially the last one! :D Thank you so much for reading and your sweet comments! [:D]

    Thank you again to all readers, commenters, likers, and anyone who's peeked in at these! I hope they've made you smile a little. [:D]
  11. amidalachick

    amidalachick Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    Week 8


    Characters: #36. Steve/Nancy; #37. Nancy/Jonathan; #38, #39, #40. Steve/Billy
    Genre: The first one's a little angsty. I don't really know where that came from. The rest are just stupid self-indulgent fluff!
    Notes: This set was a struggle! These all went through two or three complete rewrites, mostly with different characters and everything, and I'm still not quite satisfied with them but I kind of gave up. Otherwise I'll be stuck here for the rest of the challenge trying to get them just right. :p

    Just a couple of notes this time. I don't have any specific timelines in mind, but I envision "Glass" taking place during the trip in "Pilgrimage".

    "Chalice" takes place after Steve and Billy's move to California, which is one of my favorite headcanons for them. The vine is a chalice vine. Apparently the flowers smell like coconut! Yum. [face_love]

    Thank you for reading, and even though this set is not quite as good as I wanted it to be, I hope you'll enjoy anyway!


    36. Cup

    "Stay over tonight?" Steve asks.

    "I can't, Steve," Nancy says as she pulls on her sweater.

    Neither of them look outside at the pool and the woods. They don't have to.

    "Please?" Steve says, and gives Nancy the smile that always made her eyes light up when they started dating.

    "I can't," she repeats.

    She sounds so sad. Steve doesn't know what else to say. He cups her chin in his hand, kisses her, then lets her go.

    She bites her lip and turns back at the door.

    "Goodnight, Steve," she says.

    "Night, Nancy," he says.

    He's awake all night.

    37. Mug

    "Just a little more to the left," Jonathan calls.

    "Like this?" Nancy giggles and pouts at the camera as she leans over the fence like a model.

    "Yeah," Jonathan says. "That's perfect!"

    He snaps several photos capturing her enjoying the fall day in various poses. She looks beautiful against the backdrop of the wooden fence and the colored leaves.

    When he's got the pictures he wants he goes to her and she puts her arms around him.

    "That was fun," she says.

    "Would you do another photo shoot with me?" he asks.

    Nancy smiles flirtatiously.

    "I'd love to," she says.

    38. Glass

    Billy spots a piece of sea glass.

    He picks it up and tells Steve how it started as a broken shard of glass from somebody's trash, how the waves smashed and tumbled and smoothed the sharp, jagged edges until it washed up on the beach, polished and beautiful.

    He knows they both know what it's like to be shattered, and to transform broken pieces that cut and wound into something softer and stronger than anything they've known before.

    He places the sea glass on Steve's palm, and Steve captures Billy's fingers in his as he curls his hand over it.

    39. Goblet

    They make their own celebration.

    Instead of flowers they exchange mixtapes.

    Instead of walking down the street holding hands they drive with the music turned up and no specific destination in mind.

    Instead of drinking goblets of wine at a fancy restaurant they sit in the back of a fast food restaurant's parking lot, stealing kisses and each other's fries.

    "Happy anniversary," Steve says when they're alone later, his lips brushing Billy's ear.

    "Still so sappy, Harrington," Billy says, and presses even closer to Steve.

    "Still talking too much, Hargrove," Steve says, and kisses his way over to Billy's mouth.

    40. Chalice

    Their new house was small but closer to the beach than others they'd looked at, and there was a spare bedroom for when Robin or Dustin or Max and El visited.

    At first they planned to cut down the vine climbing the trellis next to their bedroom. Both Steve and Billy had had nightmares about vines, dark and slimy and rotten.

    But this vine was alive, green with golden-yellow flowers, and one night when the window was open a rich tropical fragrance drifted in.

    Surrounded by the sweet scent, they held each other close and listened to each other breathe.
    Mira_Jade likes this.
  12. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cup: ah this has a bittersweet tone because you can tell their relationship is ending. [face_thinking]
    Mug: this is playful.

    Glass: the imagery and metaphor =D=
    amidalachick likes this.
  13. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    Mug is funny and glass, just the things you find on the beach seen on chalice
    Again a great set
    amidalachick likes this.
  14. amidalachick

    amidalachick Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha "Cup" was going to be part of a story through the whole set, but that didn't work out. I left it there anyways. :p Glad you liked the playfulness in "Mug", and it really means a lot to me that you liked "Glass"! That one was really special to me and one of the ones I was struggling with most in this set. Thank you so much for reading and for your support. I appreciate it so much. [:D]

    @earlybird-obi-wan I'm glad you liked "Mug"! And I'm so glad you found the elements in "Glass" carried through to "Chalice". [face_love] Thank you so, so much for reading and for your kind comments! It means a lot. [:D]

    Thank you again to all readers, commenters, and likers! And thank you to everyone else writing for this challenge because you are all incredible and I'm loving all this great reading! [face_love][:D]


    Week 9


    Characters: #41. Mike/El; #42. Mike/El, Hopper/Joyce; #43. Lucas, Erica; #44. Max, El; #45. Mike, Lucas, Dustin, Will, Max, El
    Genre: Just fluff! As fluffy as dandelion seeds in the wind! [face_laugh][face_love]
    Notes: This set was a little easier to write, partly because of @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha's encouraging words, partly because real life was a tad less painful, and partly because this is a busy week and I'm trying really hard not to fall behind, so I just wanted them done!

    Just a few notes. I spent yesterday at work filling our delivery orders, so I had a little extra time between orders to daydream and start on these. [face_shhh]

    We're hanging out with the kids this week! These are set during various times in a happy post-S3 future, of course. [face_batting]

    For #43, I've been wanting to write Erica but nothing inspired me until now. It's canon that she's good at math. I added my own little headcanon that she's a math genius and I'm assuming even back then there were correspondence courses and stuff that anyone could take. And if anyone reading this has graduated this year, it sucks that you can't have a proper ceremony but congratulations on finishing anyway!

    For #44, Max and El are visiting the boys in California. We'll say it takes place the same summer as "Thought" and "Change".

    Thank you so much for reading and hope you enjoy! :)


    41. Explosive

    Mike plucked a dandelion that had gone to seed.

    "Blow on it and make a wish," he said. "Don't tell anyone though, or it won't come true."

    El took the flower and leaned down to pick one for him.

    "You make a wish, too," she said.

    "Okay," Mike said. "On three? One, two, three."

    They blew on the flowers and watched the little white seeds flurry away in an explosion of softness.

    "Did you wish?" El asked.

    "Uh-huh," Mike said.

    Their hands brushed as they smiled at each other, and Mike suspected both of their wishes had already come true.

    42. Speed

    Mike didn't obey every speed limit and stop at every stop sign for an extra second or two because he was nervous. He just wanted to be careful, since he was driving his girlfriend, Hopper's daughter, alone for the very first time.

    Hopper had reminded him of that before they left. He'd sounded stern and imposing until Joyce rolled her eyes at him, patted his shoulder, and sent them on their way with a have fun and a smile.

    Now, pulled up at a red light, Mike risked taking one hand off the wheel long enough to squeeze El's hand.

    43. Thought

    After the speeches were finished and the diplomas were handed out Lucas' parents rushed to hug him and tell him how proud they were.

    Erica, who had sat through his valedictorian speech and the rest of the ceremony with a bored expression, even stepped up to give him a quick hug.

    "Congratulations," she said. "Nerd."

    "Who took college calculus for fun again?" Lucas asked. "Nerd."

    Erica rolled her eyes and squirmed out of his grasp, and he smirked.

    He looked around the crowd for his friends, celebrating with their own families, and could hardly believe they'd all made it here.

    44. Absorb

    Max and El had spent the morning shopping. El was excited to pick out souvenirs for Mike, Will, Hopper, and Joyce. Max had told Lucas she wasn't bringing him anything because he was coming with her next time. He would be surprised when he saw what she'd gotten him.

    After lunch they went to the beach. El had loved the ocean at first sight, and they had gone at least once a day since they arrived.

    Laid out on a big beach towel next to El, absorbing the heat of the sun and sand, Max huffed out a contented sigh.

    45. Change

    Mike, Lucas, Dustin, Will, Max, and El had gathered at the Byers' for one more celebration before everything changed again.

    Summer was quickly coming to an end. In a couple of weeks they would all be scattered across the country, heading off to different schools, pursuing different careers, and making different lives for themselves. They knew they would keep in touch through letters and phone calls and visits but nothing would be the same.

    They'd made it through worse, though.

    And for today, playing through a new campaign, bickering, and eating too much junk food, they were just the Party.
    Mira_Jade likes this.
  15. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 31, 2004
    I LOVED EVERY WORD! I never knew about the wishing on dandelion seeds. How cool. You know that even as they anticipate the changes and new experiences, they will also miss this warm togetherness. :)
    amidalachick likes this.
  16. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    great set, they are having fun and some relaxing moments on the beach before summer ends
  17. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    THESE!!! I loved both of these sets so much, again. I promise that I'm going to come up with something different to say eventually, but yeah, for now I just can't stop smiling and I have to applaud your wonderful work again. :D

    This really hit me too! There is just so much ugliness and negativity in the world right now, and these little ways of fighting back that darkness are so important! Those lyrics are gorgeous, and spot on. [face_love]

    THIS. I'll confess, again, that I was not at all a Billy fan to begin, and I'm still not so much when he's not being portrayed in fan fiction. But he's definitely a character who deserved better from the writers, and I'm all for a kid learning and changing for the best, especially after what he's been through. He just needs a push in that direction, just like you said!

    Oh, this hurt. =(( But Barb has always been a shadow hanging over their relationship, and her death is ultimately one of the reasons they didn't work out. Seeing the guilt and grief they both carry here was gut wrenching, though. These poor kids.

    Aw! And especially after the last one, seeing this moment of happiness and simplicity for Nancy was just beautiful. And for Jonathon too! [face_love]

    Oh, this hit me hard, even before you tied the metaphor all together in the end. Just . . . perfect metaphor is perfect. [face_love] And I LOVE that they made it back to California! That's where Billy is most at home and, honestly, the West Coast fits Steve a little better than Indiana, too. :p

    I just adore how they took something ugly and traumatizing from both of their pasts and triumphed it with something beautiful instead - in yet another way! [face_love]

    These two! [face_love]

    Ha! I got a chuckle out of this one. Of course Mike is just going to be as careful as can be after a send off like that, he's not nervous at all. [face_mischief] :p

    Bwaha! Point: Lucas! But I loved the extra fanon of Erica being a prodigy. I can totally see that!

    A beautiful way to interpret the prompt! Max really is at home here with the sun and the beach and her best friends too. I love how close the girls have grown in your stories. [face_love]

    What a perfect drabble! And it's too true! The bonds they have are strong and will be there for life, no matter where life leads them next. [face_love]

    I'm enjoying these so much, again, and can't wait to see what you write for the prompts next! [face_love] =D=
  18. amidalachick

    amidalachick Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Thank you so much! I have a soft spot for dandelions and dandelion seed wishes. :) And yes, nothing will be the same and they'll miss it but they'll have new adventures. Thank you always for reading and for your sweet comments! [:D]

    @earlybird-obi-wan Yes! This set was fun to write, just because everyone was just having a good time. :D Thank you so much for reading and your lovely comments! [:D]

    @Mira_Jade Oops! You must have snuck in while I was posting! I'll reply in detail in the next set of replies, but for now, thank you so so much for reading and for your lovely comments. It really means a lot. Thank you! [:D]

    Thank you to everyone who's read, liked, commented, or just peeked in! Your readership means so much to me. I hope you've gotten a few smiles out of these! [face_love]


    Week 10


    Characters: #46. Joyce, Dustin, Will, Max; #47. Dustin, Lucas, Mike, Will, Max, El; #48. Joyce; #49. Max, El, Steve/Billy, Dustin; #50. Steve/Billy
    Genre: Stupid self-indulgent fluff is my speciality! [face_laugh]
    Notes: So the "Firework" prompt jumped out at me and inspired this whole mess of a set because there is only ONE THING I think of when I think of fireworks. I wanted to do something Fourth of July-themed anyway, and then the idea popped into my head to build these drabbles around 5 specific lines. See if you can spot them! [face_mischief]Details in the end notes.

    This is set in 1992, because Google says the 4th of July was a Saturday that year and I feel like that would be good for traveling and whatnot. So that means the younger kids are all 21/22 and the older ones are in their mid/late twenties I think?

    Also I had a mental image of Hopper being all Hank Hill from King of the Hill with the barbecuing, and I tried to get it in here, but it didn't work out. So just imagine it's happening in the background, I tell you what! [face_laugh]

    Thank you so much for joining me in my silly little world of hearts and flowers and soft fluffiness! Thanks for reading, and hope you enjoy! :)


    46. Party

    The house and yard are full of people. Cars are parked in the driveway and along the road. Everybody made it this weekend.

    The last time they were all together on the Fourth of July was seven years ago.

    This time they're celebrating.

    The kids - Joyce can't stop thinking of them as kids - are still loud, still bickering. Dustin's asking if there's anymore of the dip, you know, the really good stuff. Will checks the kitchen, shakes his head, says fresh out. Max shouts that it's already gone because Dustin ate half of it himself.

    Joyce smiles at the chaos.

    47. Firework

    Dustin and Lucas are in charge of fireworks. They each brought some. Mike and Will wander over when they start setting up. Soon they're having a heated discussion involving trajectories and optimal positioning for the best viewing.

    Max rolls her eyes.

    "Later, losers," she says.

    She grabs a beer and goes to find El, who's sitting near Joyce and Nancy, munching on chips and observing the festivities.

    "They're arguing about fireworks physics," Max says. "Count me out."

    "You should have heard Mike during finals," El says. "He kept saying equations. Boring!"

    Max laughs and settles in for a long chat.

    48. Gift

    Although the whole group is helping to keep the snacks and drinks stocked, Joyce has been busy. She's spent at least a few minutes with everyone, letting them know how glad she is to see them, how much she appreciates them coming from every corner of the country to spend time together.

    Last night she had dinner with Jonathan and Will, just the three of them. She's missed her boys, but she's happy to see them thriving.

    "The beer!" somebody shouts, pulling her out of her thoughts.

    She heads over, but Mike and Lucas are already straightening up the cooler.

    49. Fond

    Max sighs contentedly. "Hopper's, like, the best at grilling."

    "The best," El agrees, patting her stomach.

    It's dark out now. They're heading back from a short walk, waiting for the fireworks to start, when Max spots Billy and Steve on a blanket. She leads El there.

    "Shove over," Max says, nudging Billy with her foot.

    "Shove off," Billy says.

    "Here," Steve says, with a put-upon sigh, and shuffles over until he's sitting on the opposite side of the blanket.

    "Okay now everybody!" Dustin shouts. "Stand back while we celebrate freedom!"

    Max and El plunk themselves down and look up expectantly.

    50. Farewell

    Fireworks still make Billy nervous.

    Steve notices after the first few go off, stands and quietly says, "Follow me."

    Steve leads him inside, to the kitchen.

    For a moment, he remembers the first time in this kitchen, on a long-ago November night driven by fear and anger. He hates who he was then.

    But he's not that person anymore and tonight he doesn't have anything to hide or to prove.

    He relaxes into Steve's embrace, and when they finally go back outside, the plain gold band on Steve's ring finger glints in the porch light as Steve takes his hand.


    Fireworks, whether in fiction or in real life, always ALWAYS make me think of The Simpsons, specifically Homer's illegal firework. So naturally when I saw the prompt my mind jumped straight to this. :D

    Homer's, um, 'shopping list' and Marge's reaction are one of my favorite things ever but that story's not suitable for children, to borrow another Simpsons quote, so I decided to pick 5 random lines from these bits and build the drabbles around those. The lines I used, in order, are:

    "Fresh out."
    "Count me out."
    "The beer!"
    "Okay now everybody! Stand back while I celebrate freedom!"
    "Follow me."

    I think that's everything now. Thanks so much for reading! :)
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020
    Mira_Jade likes this.
  19. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 31, 2004
    Love this bit of friendshippy/familyesque chillaxing time where everyone gets to socialize and EAT [face_laugh] without a CARE in the world! :) [face_sigh]
    amidalachick likes this.
  20. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    great set with the celebrations and relaxing mood
  21. amidalachick

    amidalachick Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    @Mira_Jade Thank you so much for reading and for your wonderful comments! :)

    Thank you! I love Nancy, and Nancy/Jonathan is one of my favorite canon ships, and they totally deserve to just be in love and happy too! [face_love]

    Oh my gosh, thank you so much! That whole set was such a struggle and when I finally got the idea for the sea glass it was SO HARD to translate it from the image in my head to words. That little drabble's really special to me and I'm so happy it worked for you too. [face_love]

    Nope, not at all! [face_laugh] I'm so glad you liked this one, I had fun writing it. I had fun writing that whole set actually! :D

    Thank you! :) I just love Max and El's friendship in canon (and Steve and Robin too!) and much as I love all the kids in both canon and fanfic I love seeing them have their own adventures too. [face_love] And then Max seems pretty happy in Hawkins, all things considered, but California will always be home for her too. In fiction and in real life I just find that whole concept of what/where/who home is fascinating.

    Thank you so much again for your lovely comments! I can't tell you how much it means to me that you are enjoying these. [face_love][:D]

    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha I'm so glad you enjoyed it, because that's exactly the vibe I was going for. [face_love] And while I was writing this set, I suddenly had a craving for barbecued hamburgers and hot dogs! Lol. Thank you so much for reading and your sweet comments! [:D]

    @earlybird-obi-wan This set was another really fun one to write, and I'm so glad you liked it! :) Thank you so much for reading and your lovely comments! [:D]

    Thank you all again! I appreciate your readership so, so much. [:D]
    Mira_Jade likes this.
  22. amidalachick

    amidalachick Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    Week 11


    Characters: #51. Steve/Billy; #52. Dustin, Mike, Will, Lucas; #53. Hopper, El; #54. Hopper/Joyce; #55. Max, Steve/Billy
    Genre: It's so fluffy, it's like how much more fluffy could this be, you know, and the answer is none. None more fluffy. [face_laugh]
    Notes: I may have gotten a little carried away this week. :p It's been a crazy week with DRL and some of the prompts were tough (I'm looking at you, "Skull" and "Teeth"!) and I kind of stretched the meaning for "Fibula" but I got them done. So I feel all accomplished now.

    More importantly, because this is Week 11, I had to throw in at least one Spinal Tap reference. I watched This Is Spinal Tap last night and I've had "Stonehenge" stuck in my head ALL DAY LONG!

    I actually tried to make this either an El-centric set or throw in a lot more Tap references, but I was stuck on those few prompts and I just wanted them done.

    I also ended up referencing Calling Dr. Love by KISS and It's So Easy by Linda Ronstadt. None of those were intentional. :p

    Full notes under the spoiler tag!

    For #51 I had no idea at all what to do with the "Skull" prompt, so have some ice cream headaches and KISS! I was at work and the "tongue" line popped into my head and it went downhill from there. :p

    #53, "Teeth", is another one I wasn't sure what to do with at first. It's set between Seasons 1 and 2, because once Hopper and Joyce start dating she will make sure Hopper and El's eating habits shape up! :D

    For #54, "Fibula", I cheated a bit and used the 'clasp' meaning, because according to the internet fibula means 'clasp' or 'buckle' in Latin. My canon for what happened after Starcourt. [face_batting]

    I didn't know what to do with #55, "Bone", either, so it's just more dumb fluff post-S2 or S3.

    And finally #52, "Spine", is my homage to Spinal Tap. [face_mischief] I have no knowledge of Dungeons & Dragons whatsoever, I just tried to copy how Mike sounds in the show. :p

    Thank you so, so much for reading, and I hope you enjoy! [:D]


    51. Skull


    Steve winces as the searing pain flashes through his skull.

    "Need some help there?" Billy asks. "Tongue to the roof of your mouth will fix it right away."

    He wiggles his tongue for emphasis. The ice cream headache is already fading but Steve doesn't pick his milkshake up again.

    "Right away?" he says.

    "Well," Billy says, "maybe not right away. We want to make sure you're completely cured."

    "What, are you a doctor now or something?" Steve teases.

    "Yeah." Billy grins. "They call me Dr. Love."

    "Calling Dr. Loooove," they sing in unison.

    Their laughter turns into heated kisses.

    52. Spine

    "After stumbling through the maze for hours the Party finds a dwarf to give them directions. They think they've found the path, but alas! They must have made a wrong turn for the path leads not to the Door but to... giant pods that ensnare the intrepid adventurers in a translucent bubble of doom! They struggle to free themselves from the suffocating grasp of the pods when suddenly - "

    "Dustin! Will!" Mrs. Wheeler shouts down the stairs. "Jonathan's here to pick you up!"

    All four boys groaned. Reluctantly they began packing up, chatting about their plans for resuming the campaign tomorrow.

    53. Teeth

    He knows El has a sweet tooth.

    He's tried to get both of them eating healthier, using tactics from banning Eggos unless she eats all her dinner to holding a race to see who can finish their peas first.

    But he's never been a paragon of healthy living and she's already missed out on so much, and he finds it hard to be too strict with her.

    So they keep eating snacks in front of the TV or she asks for more syrup on her Eggos, and the joy on her face is sweeter than any food could ever be.

    54. Fibula

    "El. Where is she? I've gotta get out of here, I've gotta find her."

    "Hop." Joyce squeezes his hand. "She's alive. She was here earlier, but you were still out of it."

    "I need to see her," he says. "I need to know she's okay."

    He fiddles with the IV in his arm and tries again to stand up, but Joyce clasps his hand tighter.

    "You stay put," she says. "I'll go tell her you're awake and bring her up to see you." Her tone softens. "She's okay, Hop. Really."

    "Okay," he says, finally, because he knows Joyce wouldn't lie.

    55. Bone

    It's easy to taunt and threaten, to snap out vulgarities and insults.

    It's not so easy to look Max's friends in the eye and apologize.

    It's harder to tell Max he's sorry, even though she's already giving him another chance to be the brother she's always wanted.

    And he's terrified to apologize to Steve.

    He says it quietly, quickly, but he means it all the way down to his bones. When he risks a glance the look in Steve's eyes makes his heart race, just like the first time they ever met.

    He realizes it's easy to fall in love.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2020
    Mira_Jade likes this.
  23. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    A great set with fun in skul spine and teeth and love and sweet moments in fibula and bone
  24. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 31, 2004
    Teeth and Fibula -- loved the El, Hopper, and Joyce connection; they really are a family.
    amidalachick likes this.
  25. amidalachick

    amidalachick Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    @earlybird-obi-wan I'm so glad you enjoyed the fun and love and fluffiness in this set! :) Thank you so much for reading and your sweet comments. [:D]

    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha So happy you liked those ones! They are totally a family and I love it. [face_love] "Fibula" was actually my favorite to write in that set, along with "Spine". :D Thank you for reading and for your lovely comments! [:D]

    Thank you to everyone who's peeked in here, and whether you've liked or commented or just read, I hope these have made you smile!


    Week 12


    Characters: Steve/Billy
    Genre: Just soft self-indulgent fluff
    Notes: Real life is sad and depressing and everything hurts and I can't do anything about it. But I can give sad, lonely fictional characters in a fictional world a chance to live their lives in love and happy. That's where this week's set is coming from. I hope the muse will be a little more creative next time!

    At first I was just going to use a five elements theme and I was about halfway through writing these when I remembered Kit' used that concept in her lovely "Just a spoonful of trouble" drabble thread and I decided to add something else. Full notes are under the spoiler tag, but the short version is these drabbles ended up having about four layers of inspiration: the prompts themselves, "5 times Steve & Billy go to the beach", the elements (metal, earth, fire, wood, water), and Johannes Linstead songs. Please give those a listen because they are all gorgeous. [face_love]

    This set uses my favorite headcanon/fandom trope/whatever you want to call it that Steve and Billy moved to California at some point after 1985. There's no specific timeline, just various points post-S3, and obviously none of it is canon-compliant. I think everyone knows by now how I feel about canon. [face_laugh] These days I just want my entertainment to be an escape, not another source of hurt!

    On that note I've been listening to a lot of Johannes Linstead these past few months and the song "Morning Star" evoked some emotions and created an image in my head that I really wanted to use in a fic but didn't have a place for at the time. I decided to try and use it for "Shift", and then I thought, why not use the elements and a matching song for each element and make it a "5 things/times" fic! I'm not sure how well any of it turned out but it was a nice distraction from the real world for a little while so I'll go with it.

    Most of these are from the album Encanto because I've been listening to that one in particular quite a bit. And I don't speak Spanish (I wish I did because it's a gorgeous language!) but multiple online sources say "lunada" means an outdoor party or beach party so that's the meaning I used.

    56. "Metal": Torre de Oro by Johannes Linstead & Nicholas Gunn
    57. "Seismic": Heaven Meets Earth by Johannes Linstead
    58. "Fire": La Lunada by Johannes Linstead
    59. "Impenetrable": Rhyme of the Ancient Forest by Johannes Linstead & Nicholas Gunn
    60. "Shift": Morning Star by Johannes Linstead & Nicholas Gunn

    I think that is finally everything! I wish I could write this much when it comes to ACTUAL STORIES! [face_laugh]:p

    Thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoy! [:D]


    56. Metal

    When Steve and Billy arrived at the beach the sun was dazzlingly bright. Blinding flashes of light bounced off the metal of passing cars and reflected a harsh glare off the ocean.

    They laid out their towels side by side and quickly crossed the burning sand to reach the cool surf.

    They swam and laughed, playfully shoved and splashed each other, and let their hands touch under the water.

    By the time they settled onto the towels to dry off before heading home the sun was setting and the light had softened, bathing everything in gold as they sat together.

    57. Seismic

    "I missed you," Steve says.

    "I didn't go anywhere," Billy teases. He rests his forehead against Steve's and adds in a whisper, "I missed you too."

    It's been a while since they've spent time together like this. It's not monsters or some earth-shattering seismic shock keeping them apart. It's work, school, all the mundane responsibilities of adult life that leave them hurriedly kissing good morning and falling into bed exhausted rather than eager at night.

    Still, here in Steve's arms with the sand ebbing under their feet as the waves lap around their ankles, Billy knows they're on solid ground.

    58. Fire

    Music and laughter echoes down the beach. It's a casual gathering, just a few people Steve knows from work and their friends, dates, spouses. Everybody's sitting around the bonfire, drinking, chatting, and having a good time.

    It's more relaxed than the parties Steve remembers from high school. He definitely doesn't want to get drunk or fight tonight.

    But he finds excuses to touch Billy whenever he can, casually letting their fingers brush when he hands him a beer, sitting close enough that their shoulders knock when they laugh.

    He gives Billy a smoldering look and the fire sparks between them.

    59. Impenetrable

    Driving up the coast means loud music, bickering, peaceful silences; a couple of stops at scenic spots where they ignore the views outside the car.

    Billy's always preferred the beach. He knows Steve grew up surrounded by fields and trees that never meant anything to him.

    But it's the first time either of them have seen redwoods, and wandering among the ancient trees with their impenetrable secrets he sees Steve is just as awed as he is.

    He touches the weathered bark and thinks of his scars, of dying and living. Steve squeezes his hand and he thinks of forever.

    60. Shift

    The coffee's just finished brewing when Billy strides into the sunlit kitchen.

    Steve yawns as he turns from the counter.

    "Hey," he says. "How were the waves?"

    Billy pokes his ribs. "Perfect. You should have come with me."

    Steve grins and pokes back. "Next time. I needed my beauty sleep."

    He catches Billy's hand when Billy moves to poke him again and pulls him into a hug, not caring that he's covered in sand and still damp from surfing.

    Billy shifts to get closer. "Wanna go back to bed?"

    Steve's wide awake now. He nuzzles Billy's neck and says, "Yeah."
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2020
    Mira_Jade likes this.