Story [Stranger Things] Through These Tangled Threads of Light - UDC X

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by amidalachick, Aug 12, 2022.

  1. amidalachick

    amidalachick Force Ghost star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    Title: Through These Tangled Threads of Light
    Characters/Pairings: Various (and by "various" I mean probably 2-3 :p)
    Genre: Various
    Timeframe: Various
    Notes: Written for the tenth edition of the Ultimate Drabble Challenge. This challenge has always been one of my favorites and I'm excited to see it back!

    Thread title is taken from the absolutely gorgeous "Young in the City" by Patti Scialfa. Courage to actually post the thread was taken from "Leap of Faith" by Bruce Springsteen. :p

    Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy!



    Week 1 (1, 2, 5. Steve/Billy; 3. Hopper/Joyce; 4. Max & El)
    Week 2 (Max & Billy)
    Week 3 (11. Billy; 12. Steve/Billy; 13. Steve/Nancy; 14. Steve's mom; 15. Robin, Steve/Billy)
    Week 4 (Steve/Billy)
    Week 5 (21. Mike/El, Terri Ives; 22, 24, 25. Steve/Billy; 23. Steve & Dustin)
    Week 6 (26. El & Billy; 27. Steve & Tommy; 28. Billy; 29. Hopper & OC; 30. Max/Lucas)
    Week 7 (Steve/Billy)
    Week 8 (Steve/Billy)
    Week 9 (41. Susan; 42. Steve; 43. Steve/Billy; 44, 45. Steve/Billy, OCs)
    Week 10 (46. Billy & Neil; 47, 48. Steve/Billy; 49. Hopper/Joyce; 50. Nancy & Barb)
    Week 11 (51. Billy & OC; 52. Billy/OC; 53, 54, 55. Steve/Billy)
    Week 12 ( 56. Max/Lucas; 57. Steve/Nancy, Barb; 58. Hopper/Joyce; 59. Steve/Billy; 60. Jonathan & Will)
    Week 13 (61, 62, 65. Steve/Billy; 63. Hopper; 64. El & OC)
    Week 14 (66, 67. Steve/Billy; 68. Steve; 69. Max; 70. Max & Billy)
    Week 15 (Max & Billy)
    Week 16 (Steve/Billy)
    Week 17 (81, 82. Mike/El; 83, 85. Steve/Billy; 84. Robin/Heather)
    Week 18 (86, 90. Steve/Billy; 87. Steve & Robin; 88. Robin/OC; 89. Steve & his mom)
    Week 19 (Steve/Billy)
    Week 20 (96. Dustin/Suzie; 97. Mike/El; 98. Steve/Billy, OC; 99. Max/Lucas; 100. Billy, El, Max, Steve)
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2023
    pronker likes this.
  2. amidalachick

    amidalachick Force Ghost star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    Week 1

    1, 2, 5: Steve/Billy; 3: Hopper/Joyce; 4. Max, El
    Notes: My usual trash. Seriously, there's nothing new or exciting here. The first one is based on a canon scene from S3 but everything else is completely 100% AU.

    Writing these was a slow process and as always I don't like how they turned out but I'm incapable of doing any better. I've been chipping away at them since Monday and going back and forth about posting them. But I got a momentary boost of confidence from a Springsteen song, and they're also the first things I've written in months again, so I decided to go for it. Maybe actually finishing things will help keep the inspiration going, who knows anymore.

    That said, if you choose to read these anyway, thank you and I hope they'll give you a smile or two.


    1. Prelude

    Something hooks his ankle and yanks.

    It pulls him, as swift and merciless as a rip current, towards the crumbling shell of the steel mill. He claws at the rough gravel and dirt, screaming, searching for something to hold onto as he tries to stop it, to free himself.

    He makes a desperate grasp at an old doorway, flakes of rust stinging his scraped skin as he clings to the edge.

    He tries to hang on but he's not strong enough, never strong enough. Weak.

    His hands slip and he screams again, even though he knows that no one's coming -

    2. Bygone

    - and hands close around his and a voice says I've got you, it's okay, I've got you.

    Gasping for air and blinded by tears, he grips the hands, afraid they'll disappear and he'll be pulled down into the shadows, into the nightmare, again.

    Steve doesn't let go, just keeps murmuring reassurances until Billy's tears settle into sniffles and his breathing steadies.

    "Hi," he says then.

    "Hi," Billy says.

    Steve pushes a few sweaty curls away from Billy's face, still holding his other hand.

    "You okay?"

    He squeezes Steve's hand. Lets Steve's touch anchor him in the present.

    "I will be."

    3. Impend

    They haven't talked about it, not yet, but it's there.

    It's there every morning with two mugs of coffee and a shared cigarette at her kitchen table.

    It's there when she reaches into her dresser drawer and pulls out a shirt much too big for her, or sees five toothbrushes in the bathroom instead of three.

    It's there when she's curled up at his side, his arm around her shoulders, and it feels safe to imagine having this every night.

    They haven't talked about it. Not yet.

    But it's there, and they both know when he asks she'll say yes.

    4. Descend

    El's face is pressed against the small rounded window, eyes wide in wonder.

    She leans over so she can see too, pointing the scenery out to El to justify her own excitement. "Look! Palm trees!"

    "Cool," El breathes.

    The distant buildings and highways grow larger as the plane descends, until they're so close she feels like she could touch the roofs they're passing over. She's impatient to land, to see her brother and Steve.

    The runway's below them. There's a bump, then another, as the wheels meet the ground. Her heart lifts as the plane slows to bring her home.

    5. Arise

    It's quiet, this early.

    The sky is streaked pink from the sunrise, although it's shifting into brilliant blue. The sand's cool between his toes and the air is fresh. He breathes it in, catches Billy's eye and smiles and says race you.

    Laughing, they paddle out and pause, their boards side by side, bobbing with the gentle roll of the waves as they wait for just the right one.

    He likes to sleep in on days off, likes lazy mornings in bed and lingering over coffee.

    But this, he thinks as they share another smile, was worth getting up for.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2022
  3. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    sweet and beautifully written
    Kahara and amidalachick like this.
  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Sweet as Joyce and Hopper share an unspoken knowing. [face_love] Lovely with El coming home.
    Kahara and amidalachick like this.
  5. pronker

    pronker Force Ghost star 4

    Jan 28, 2007
    Glad you posted - I especially liked the juxtaposition of the plane slowing and her excitement rising ... ;)
  6. amidalachick

    amidalachick Force Ghost star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    Tagging all of you here to say thank you; please never feel obligated to reply or continue reading!

    @earlybird-obi-wan Thank you so much! [:D]

    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Yep, they know each other so well. [face_love] Thank you!

    @pronker It's a feeling I miss so much (and fingers crossed it won't be long before feeling it again!), so I'm glad you liked that bit in particular. :D Thanks for reading!


    Week 2


    Max & Billy
    Timeframe: Pre-S2 to post-S2
    Notes: I still have so many feelings about these two. They both deserved so much better than what canon gave them. Good thing fandom exists to fix it all! [face_laugh]

    Just to be safe, content warning for implied/referenced child abuse and domestic violence. I don't know if these make any sense without watching the show but this is what the prompts inspired and I'm trying to just go with it. Concrit is always welcome.

    If you choose to read, thank you and I hope you enjoy. :)


    6. Battlefield

    War breaks out at dinnertime.

    "Maxine," her mom says, "why don't you go start your homework. I'll clean up here."

    She stays in her room until the shouting ends with a thud and a slammed door, then ventures into the silence for some juice.

    There's a shard of ceramic on the kitchen floor, a piece of broken plate her mom missed. She's careful not to let it cut her when she puts it in the garbage.

    On her way back to her room, she stops outside her stepbrother's door. She wants to knock.

    She's afraid to.

    Eventually she walks away.

    7. Opponent

    She didn't mean to be late, not today. She was just having fun with her friends and lost track of time.

    Her stepbrother pulls away from the curb before she has her seat belt on, tires squealing, swearing. At her or the world, she's not sure.

    The music's loud and the screeching guitars hurt her ears. She reaches for the dial to turn the volume down.

    "Don't touch that!" he screams at her, and turns it up even louder.

    She wants to scream back. Instead she presses her face against the window and wonders why he hates her so much.

    8. General

    His father's word is law.

    He learned that long ago, and Neil is quick to remind him whenever he forgets.

    So when Neil announces they're moving to some backwoods town in Indiana, and they're leaving in just two weeks, he knows he can't complain.

    Can't cry, can't beg.


    Max does, though. She's not a crier but she complains constantly. Whines about not wanting to go. About leaving her dad, and her friends, and starting a new school.

    He tells her to shut up. To grow up.

    His father's word is law.

    He wants to teach her before Neil does.

    9. Knight

    "How's school, Maxine?"

    "Max," she says, then, "Fine."

    Billy knows it's not the answer Neil wants to hear. He's already on edge, with Susan sick and unable to cook tonight.

    Sure enough, Neil sets down his fork and says, too calm, "Just fine?"

    Max shrugs. "Yeah."

    The look on Neil's face is one Billy knows well. But this time it's aimed at Max.

    He can't warn her.

    "You asked her a question," he says instead. "She answered. Is that a crime now?"

    He curls his lips into a disrespectful smirk, and hopes the little bitch has enough sense to run.

    10. Ceasefire

    They've been avoiding each other, mostly, since November. Spending time with friends, only talking when they have to.

    She's running late one day after school, shortly after Christmas break. She slams the Camaro's door, ready to fight if he complains.

    "Max," he says, and the use of her name makes her glance over. He's staring out the windshield, not looking at her.

    "What?" she snaps.

    "You want to drive?"

    It's not an apology. It's not enough.

    But. He hasn't let her drive since California. Since things were a little bit better.

    Maybe it's a start.

    "Yeah," she says. "Yeah, okay."
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2022
  7. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Heartwrenching excellent use of the prompts. Billy wants to help Max out at least by keeping her from being a target [face_thinking] All kinds of survival going on in the family. I like the way Ceasefire has a nuance of trying to mend things, even though it'll naturally be a gradual process.
    Kahara and amidalachick like this.
  8. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    poor kids with all the fighting going on and Max in the middle of it all
  9. amidalachick

    amidalachick Force Ghost star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Of course I had to end on a hopeful note with Ceasefire! :p Seriously, though, I love these two and their dynamic so much, so I really appreciate your thoughtful comments about this set. Thank you. [:D]

    @earlybird-obi-wan They both need a big hug and better parents! Thank you so much for reading. [:D]


    Week 3


    11. Billy; 12. Steve/Billy; 13. Steve/Nancy; 14. Steve's mom; 15. Robin, Steve/Billy
    Notes: This set was tough and these are a mess. But I don't have a lot of writing time right now, and I'm trying to keep to a weekly schedule so I have less time to overthink and get anxious (there'll be lots of time for regret later :p). So here we are.

    #13. Withdraw, is set between S1 and S2 and is canon-compliant. Everything else is post-S3 AU. More detailed notes under the spoiler cut. It's nothing important, so you won't miss anything by skipping them, I just share a few headcanons and background for this set.

    Steve's parents have never been seen in the show, and there aren't many details (names, etc.) given about them. So #14 is based purely off a headcanon that Steve's mom, after initially rejecting him for being bisexual and moving to California, comes to accept him and his chosen family and they eventually develop a good relationship. Also, for visual reference, I picture her looking like Mallory Archer:


    For #15, I headcanon Robin living in Paris. Steve would 100% be a stereotypical tourist doing all the tourist things, and Billy would pretend he's cooler than that but would totally go along with Steve, and they drive Robin crazy but she also loves having them visit. I have spoken. [face_laugh]

    Inspiration for this particular drabble was taken from the music video for Let's Make Love by Faith Hill & Tim McGraw, and this article I found on the best spots to take pictures of the Eiffel Tower (I've never been to Paris but all these views look so pretty! [face_love]).

    If you choose to read, thank you and I hope you enjoy! :)


    11. Inlay

    The doctors told him the scars should fade with time.

    They'll never be gone, though. They're inlaid on his chest, etched as permanently into his skin as the cheap skull he got to mark his eighteenth birthday.

    When he looks in the mirror, forces himself to see the ugly patchwork of discolored, puckered skin and the ridged light pink threads winding through his hands, he thinks of Heather. Of her soft hands, her smooth skin and pretty face. How being his friend killed her.

    They're a silent reminder, and they're one more thing he'll have to learn to live with.

    12. Outrun

    "You done already?"

    Steve's got his hands on his hips. He's flushed and grinning, but there's a hint of concern in his dark eyes.

    He was there through those long months as Billy worked to walk again, to rebuild his strength and reclaim his body along with his mind. He was there through the pain, the tears, the exhaustion.

    Billy wants to show him there's nothing to worry about. He bounces the ball once, then runs for the net. He jumps and shoots. It sails through the hoop.

    He throws it back to Steve.


    "Not even close, pretty boy."

    13. Withdraw

    When Nancy agreed to stay over, he made sure he did everything right. Bought her a big bouquet of pink roses and baby's breath. Found his mom's fancy silver candlesticks and the tapered candles that went with them. Greeted her with a hug and kiss, and a sincere you look beautiful.

    And it seemed to work. She relaxed. Teased and bantered and laughed. Kissed him and climbed into his lap while they were watching a movie. Happy and carefree for a night at least.

    "I love you, Nance," he said, later.

    She smiled softly, but she didn't say it back.

    14. Partake

    She settles into her seat and smooths a crease from her mint green pantsuit.

    Another older woman, about her age, sits next to her. "Hello."

    She returns the greeting as a flight attendant stops to welcome them aboard and offer drinks. Her and her seatmate chat over small glasses of wine - she's taking this trip to celebrate, after all - as the plane readies for takeoff.

    In the air, her seatmate asks if she's ever been to Los Angeles.

    "Yes. My son lives there with his partner." She pauses, then smiles. "Fiancé, now, I suppose. I'm heading out for the wedding."

    15. Uphold


    "Please?" Steve holds out the camera with a big smile and pleading eyes.

    She feels like they're eighteen and nineteen again. Steve's always made her feel that way.

    So he'll get his picture, and she'll make sure it's special.

    "Just take the damn picture and get it over with," Billy grouses, pressed against Steve with an arm around his waist.

    "No." Robin raises her voice above their protests as she continues, "I can't stop you from doing the cliché tourist 'kissing in front of the Eiffel Tower' thing. But I will stop you from doing it here. Allons-y, dinguses."
  10. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The (FavoriteTM) Fanfic Mod With the Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Shhh! These are all wonderful - as usual - and I am so very glad that you decided to share them with the rest of us. More than one made me smile, more than once! [face_love]

    How you tied these two drabbles together was just gutting and perfect!

    I loved your phrasing in this drabble! It really is those little things, all adding up, that will eventually say yes. [face_love]

    The sheer joy of homecoming and Max and El's youthful exhilaration and flying - this drabble really hit me close to home! [face_love]

    And this one hit in another way. =(( Yeah, this was a battlefield in more ways than one. (You did a wonderful job tackling such a sensitive subject for so many, that said. This entire set was deftly handled. =D=)

    =(( [face_worried]

    Oh, but this makes perfect sense and it hurts . . .

    Sometimes, all you can do is start. [face_love]

    Poignant introspection! I love how you applied inlay in this drabble. =D=

    I loved the giddy joy you captured here! Yes, much preferable to canon. [face_mischief]

    =(( Withdraw, indeed . . .

    What a great application of partake! [face_love]

    Robin is the best, and you should say it! :p

    Thank you so much for sharing these with us! I can't wait to see what you come up with next. :D =D=

    amidalachick and Kahara like this.
  11. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Inlay: poignant.
    Outrun: [face_dancing] [face_dancing] I do love me some hoops! [face_laugh] As if. You couldn't tell. [face_shhh]
    Withdraw: Sweet date night but the non-reciprocal I Love You. :(

    Partake -- lovely ... You get a true sense that she is looking forward to this getaway.
  12. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    Love all of them and keep them coming. You are a great writer
  13. amidalachick

    amidalachick Force Ghost star 5

    Aug 3, 2003

    The idea was in my head for a while but I couldn't do anything with it. Drabbles are so useful when you can't come up with proper stories! :p

    It's a topic that's very close to my own heart, too, so I'm really glad you liked this one. [face_love]

    Thank you for saying that. I totally realize that these are difficult real-world subjects that affect many people, and there's always a part of me that worries when I write things like this, that I'm trivializing it or not being respectful enough of the subject matter.

    I know, right? :(

    Canon can *censored*. O:)[face_laugh] I'll just say I have not watched the new season and I have no plans to do so anytime soon, and I will leave it at that. :p

    That said, I wasn't sure I quite conveyed the mood I was going for, so I'm really glad the "giddy joy" came across!

    She is absolutely the best! I love Robin and Steve and their friendship so much. Even in canon. [face_love][face_laugh]

    Thank you so much for reading and for your wonderful comments! [:D]


    Oh, I'm so happy you liked that one! I actually know nothing about basketball, so I'm really glad it worked for you! :D

    That's exactly what I was going for! I'm really happy to hear it worked. :)

    Thank you for reading and for your lovely comments. [:D]


    Thank you so much! That means a lot to me, and I really appreciate your kind words. Thank you. [:D]


    Again, a big thank you to all who've read/liked/commented! It means a lot. [face_love]
  14. amidalachick

    amidalachick Force Ghost star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    Week 4


    Characters/Pairings: Steve/Billy
    Genre: The fluffiest fluff!
    Notes: This was a rush job, and I'm posting after only looking these over once. Concrit is always welcome!

    I was so excited when I saw these prompts, and I had a few different ideas for this set but nothing worked when I actually wrote it down. Then I heard a song (of course :p) and a tumblr post came across my dash again, and this set was inspired. I wrote these in a hurry, and as I mentioned, I've only looked them over once. I decided to post now because if I don't I'll probably get stuck trying to come up with something better and end up not writing again at all for months.

    Inspired by this Harringrove Tumblr fan edit and Hurry Up Sundown by Bruce Springsteen.

    If you choose to read, thank you and I hope you enjoy! :)


    16. Breeze

    A heat wave holds Hawkins in its grip. The humidity weighs on Steve, heavy and close despite the air conditioning in Family Video, a claustrophobic pressure. He wants to escape. To breathe.

    There's a slight stirring in the air by the time his shift ends, a promise of a breeze more than any actual relief. He heads across town, and Billy answers his knock with a look of surprise that turns to a pleased smile.

    "Well, well, well," he says. "How'd you know I'm home alone tonight?"

    "Lucky guess." Steve lets his fingers brush Billy's. "You up for a drive?"

    17. Idyll

    The pressure eases as Hawkins falls farther behind them. The sun's gone down, leaving clouds glowing orange and purple and a crescent moon shining in the darkening sky.

    Steve navigates to the highway, where an endless stream of cars passes on their way somewhere else. He presses the accelerator down and joins them. This is where he wants to be tonight. Moving. Going somewhere. Free to breathe.

    He lets himself think that maybe this never has to end. Maybe they can stay on the highway, laughing and singing along to Michael Jackson and The Scorpions, all the way to California.

    18. Shade

    They stop at a diner just past Indianapolis. Nobody says anything, or notices, when they slide into opposite sides of a booth and order greasy burgers and fries and milkshakes. Billy complains about Max hogging the phone, and Steve complains about annoying customers. They share the latest Hawkins gossip and talk about the cow incident Hopper refuses to discuss even though the kids have been giggling over it all week. Just two small-town teenagers with a car and nothing better to do.

    Under the table, shaded by the darkness cast by the tabletop, Steve presses his sneaker against Billy's boot.

    19. Balm

    "Do you want to head back?" Steve asks when they've finished eating.

    "No," Billy says, and that's all he needs to hear.

    When they stop and park on a deserted stretch of road next to Lake Michigan, the night's still hot, the air still humid and heavy. Heat lightning flickers in the distance as, hand in hand, they cross the dunes to stand next to the water.

    Steve and Billy kiss, and listen to the waves lapping against the sand, and finally Steve suggests what they haven't actually talked about yet. About other beaches, other futures, two thousand miles away.

    20. Linger

    They leave the lake to find a cheap motel where they can crash for a few hours. The mattress is lumpy but they don't care.

    Billy's still catching his breath when he says, "Steve," then, "did you mean it?"

    Steve studies his face, sees the nervousness hidden among the bliss.

    "Course I meant it," he says. "I wouldn't have brought it up if I didn't."

    They don't have a plan, yet. For now they don't need one.

    For now it's enough to lay in each other's arms, and talk about all the things they'll do, and dream in between kisses.
    Kahara and earlybird-obi-wan like this.
  15. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    All five, perfect for a road trip and a happy day for Steve and Billy. A great story
    Kahara and amidalachick like this.
  16. amidalachick

    amidalachick Force Ghost star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    @earlybird-obi-wan They deserve all the happy days! [face_love] Thank you so much for reading and for your lovely comments, it truly means a lot to me. Please never feel obligated to continue reading if you don't want to, though! [:D]


    Week 5

    21. Mike/El, Terri Ives; 22, 24, 25. Steve/Billy; 23. Steve, Dustin
    Notes: This set was very much a struggle and I'm not happy with it at all. But I'm doing this as an exercise in following through and completing things, so I needed to get something down. Concrit is always welcome.


    21. Astray

    "You're nervous."

    "No," he says, "no, I'm not nervous, I just..."

    His words trail off, and there's understanding in her eyes. Her grip is warm, comforting.

    "Maybe a bit nervous," he concedes.

    She smiles. "It will be okay. I told her all about you."

    She doesn't let go of his hand as she leads him into the room where her mother sits in a rocking chair, eyes fixed on the wallpaper and lips moving as she speaks soundlessly to herself.

    "Hi, Mama. It's me, Jane."

    She takes her mother's hand and gently places it in his.

    "Mama, this is Mike."

    22. Temerity

    "Steven! Name three defining characteristics of World War I."

    His teacher's shout jolted Steve from thoughts of Nancy and monsters and lonely nights.

    He flipped through his textbook.

    "Uh, World War I, uh, it was a world war," Steve said, trying to gather his thoughts while other kids snickered. "It was...big?"

    Mr. Roberts slammed his hand on his desk.

    A familiar voice hollered, "That's what she said!"

    The entire class broke into whoops and laughter, and Mr. Roberts turned his attention to quieting them.

    Steve twisted in his seat. Hargrove, two rows back, winked and gave him a smarmy grin.

    23. Nuance

    Steve's not sure if the nerds conspired to give him "over the hill" cards and retirement jokes for his thirtieth birthday, or if they all decided separately that he was old now.

    Either way, it's annoying.

    "I'm not old."

    "You're thirty, Steve," Dustin says, like it's a fact everyone in the world knows. "That's old."

    Steve flaps a hand at him. "How is that old? I'm five years older than you.That makes you, like, middle-aged."

    Dustin shakes his head. "Doesn't work that way. I'm in my twenties, that's still young."

    El settles the ensuing argument.

    "Hopper," she says, "is old."

    24. Duress

    Steve almost failed English in three separate grades. He preferred being outside and playing sports to sitting still and reading.

    Reading aloud was the worst. He would freeze up and stumble over the words. His teachers would impatiently push him along while his classmates laughed, and his dad would lecture him about his grades and tell him to try harder. He learned to laugh it off, throw a party, bury the pain in beer and girls.

    But cuddled on the couch with Billy next to him and Orli on his lap, her tiny hands reaching for the pages, it's easy.

    25. Perception

    Billy leafs through the pile of cards and picks one up. There's a colorful balloon bouquet on the front. Gold letters proclaim Happy 80th!

    Steve smiles. "Remember when I turned thirty, and we all thought that was so old? God, that was a long time ago."

    Billy sets down the card and takes Steve's hand where it rests on the tabletop. He doesn't take his eyes off Steve as he lifts their joined hands and kisses the tips of Steve's fingers. He doesn't try to hide his tears.

    "A real long time," he says. "I've loved every minute, pretty boy."
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2022
  17. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Heart tugging with Astray.
    Kahara likes this.
  18. pronker

    pronker Force Ghost star 4

    Jan 28, 2007
    *snickers at Temerity* I like the theme's progression - well done.
    Kahara likes this.
  19. Tarsier

    Tarsier Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jul 31, 2005
    These are great!! I especially love the end of Duress, that was an unexpected twist! And I love the way Perception reflects back to Nuance! =D=
    Kahara likes this.
  20. amidalachick

    amidalachick Force Ghost star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    Thank you to everyone who read the last set. It's been a bad week and I don't have enough spoons to do individual replies. I'm sorry.


    Week 6


    Characters: 26. El & Billy; 27. Steve & Tommy; 28. Billy; 29. Hopper & OC; 30. Max/Lucas
    Notes: I'm still not happy with these. They're kind of stupid because I just went with the first ideas that popped into my head because I'm short on time and trying to catch up. These are all my usual AU trash and I'm always open to concrit because I know they suck but I don't know anymore how to make them not suck. I'm just trying to move forward and finish the challenge anyway.

    #27, "Rumble", is inspired by Brothers Under The Bridges ('83) by Bruce Springsteen. Please give it a listen because it's a fantastic song! [face_love]


    26. Splash

    She takes a few steps forward and pokes her toes into the wet sand. But when the wave breaks over her foot, she jumps back.

    Steve and Max, already in the water, call encouragement to her.

    She wants to join them. It's just that the ocean is so big.

    "You okay?"

    Billy, done putting away the remains of their picnic, stands next to her. She nods.


    He touches her shoulder. "Let's go in together. Okay?"

    She takes a deep breath and nods again. "Okay."

    He stays at her side as they both walk through the waves into the ocean.

    27. Rumble

    "C'mon, let's go!"

    Steve's so eager he doesn't wait for Tommy. Tommy catches him with a shout and, laughing, they trade insults as they race the rest of the way. They're out of breath by the time they lay their bikes down in their spot beside the road.

    The first car is Joey Armstrong's cherry-red '66 Mustang. It's polished and gorgeous, the engine rumbling as he pulls up to the makeshift starting line. His opponent arrives shortly after and the races begin.

    Steve and Tommy grin and cheer, and between runs, talk excitedly about how they'll be out there someday.

    28. Thump

    He wasn't sure about coming here.

    He's avoided parties, crowds, people, since he got out of the hospital. He doesn't want the attention anymore. Doesn't want to hear how brave he was, how he's a hero for helping the kids get out of the fire.

    But Steve had already bought the tickets, as a surprise. He promised they would leave immediately if it was too much.

    So he's here, one person in a hot, sweaty, shouting crowd, thousands of voices singing the same song.

    He feels the bass in his chest, thumping in time with his heart.

    He feels alive.

    29. Flutter

    He holds out his arms. They feel stiff, awkward.

    It's been a long time since he's done this.

    The baby's eyelids flutter and she makes a sound, not quite a cry, as El slides her hands away and leaves her in his embrace.

    "Hey," he says, and adjusts his hand under her head. "Hi."

    He gazes down at her, her perfect features, the fine dark hair already covering her head.

    She makes another soft noise, and this time her eyes open. She looks around before settling on him.

    He touches her hand, delicate but strong, like her mother's.

    "Hi, Sara."

    30. Crackle

    Max pops two marshmallows onto her stick and holds them in the flames until they catch fire.

    When she pulls them out they're charred and crisp on the outside but gooey white sweetness oozes through the cracks.

    She slides the burnt marshmallows onto the graham crackers and chocolate Lucas has laid out. They each take one, and Max holds hers up.

    "To the best s'more you'll ever taste!"

    "We'll see," Lucas says.

    He crams it in his mouth, grinning, nodding in approval as he chews. Max rolls her eyes in mock disgust and wipes her sticky fingers on his sleeve.
  21. Kahara

    Kahara Chosen One star 4

    Mar 3, 2001
    Aww, these warm and cozy slice-of-life moments are wonderful and I really enjoy how we get to see the nuances of all these friendships and couples! @};- (And I cherish comments but don't always get to replying, so if I comment on something and there's no reply-to-comment it's more than fine by me. Just for the record!)
  22. DaenaBenjen42

    DaenaBenjen42 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    May 15, 2005
    Haven't watched Stranger Things, so I'm lost, but... interesting. :)
    amidalachick likes this.
  23. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    Love the sweet moments and great to see you doing this
    amidalachick and Kahara like this.
  24. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The (FavoriteTM) Fanfic Mod With the Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    THESE CONTINUE TO BE FANTASTIC! So here I am, playing a bit of catch-up . . .

    There's such a powerful, abstract feeling you were able to capture in this set of drabbles - that stifling sense of stagnation and wanting more, along with that near tangible heat. I'm having a hard time putting it into words, but I love the tone you were able to strike!

    There's that feeling again! [face_hypnotized] =D=

    (And as someone who has a cross-country road trip coming up next month, this is a feeling I identified with, in particular! [face_love])

    [face_laugh] [face_love]

    This line said so much with just a few words! =D=

    My heart!!

    [face_rofl] [face_rofl]

    Yep. Perfectly IC. o_O I love when you let the kids be kids in your work, in every way. :p

    Fair! [face_laugh] :p

    This was such a spot-on characterization! And a beautiful family moment. [face_love]

    I love how you brought this set full circle. [face_love]

    I LOVE THIS ENTIRE DRABBLE MORE THAN I CAN SAY. [face_hypnotized] [face_hypnotized]

    Canon, what canon? :p I love the sense of camaraderie you struck with the entire cast here. That sense of awe for the ocean, especially for El, who is still learning so much about the wide world she was kept from, was touchingly poignant. [face_love]

    This is another one of those abstract feelings that you were able to capture so vividly. [face_hypnotized] [face_love] =D=

    SARA!!! THIS KILLED ME DEAD, GAH!!! [face_love] [face_love] [face_love]

    Thank you so much for sharing these with us! They truly brought me joy to read. These have all been wonderful, and I look forward to what you come up with next. =D=
  25. amidalachick

    amidalachick Force Ghost star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    @Kahara Thank you so much for reading and for your lovely comments! That made me feel all warm and cozy. :D (Thank you also for letting me know about the reply-to-comments. I'm really trying to work on that because I really do appreciate comments but some days my brain just isn't there). [:D]

    @DaenaBenjen42 Don't worry, my fics and the way I write the characters have basically nothing in common with canon. :p Thank you for reading and commenting! [:D]

    @earlybird-obi-wan Thank you so much for reading and for your sweet comments! I appreciate it so much. [:D]

    @Mira_Jade Thank you for reading and your lovely feedback!

    First: Thank you so much! I wasn't sure if the vibe and the feeling I was trying to capture came across (because it is so difficult to put into words), so you have no idea how happy that makes me!

    Second: There is a Springsteen song that captures this feeling and this vibe even better than the one I was listening to ("Hurry Up Sundown") while I wrote this set.


    This is (IMO, of course) 3 minutes of perfection. The sound and the music alone are a mood, but the lyrics? OMG.

    "And the world is busting at its seams
    And you're just a prisoner of your dreams
    Holding on for your life
    'Cause you work all day to blow 'em away in the night
    As you jockey your way through the cars
    And sit at the light, as it changes to green
    With your faith in your machine off you scream into the night

    And you're in love with all the wonder it brings
    And every muscle in your body sings as the highway ignites
    You work nine to five and somehow you survive 'til the night

    The first time I heard this one, I was like... "This is it. This is a Feeling that I often feel but I've never been able to put words to." I love it so much. [face_love] And this ends today's edition of "amidalachick's Springsteen Rambles That Nobody Asked To Hear". [face_shhh]:p

    Haha, I can't take credit, this was one of those exchanges that wrote itself! And...yeah, kids. 30+-year-old adults are much too mature for those kind of jokes. [face_batting][face_laugh] (I am 30+-year-old adults, if that wasn't clear :p).

    Thank you so much, you have no idea how much that means to me!

    Regarding canon:


    This one was actually inspired by brother seeing Metallica recently. :D He says it's so loud you can really feel the music in your chest and body. (Also, he's not into Stranger Things but he told me they were still playing video of the S4 "Master of Puppets" scene at the show he went to).

    Thank you so much for reading and for your comments! I truly appreciate it. [:D]


    Thank you all again! [face_love]
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2022