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Who's Laughing Now?

Chapter Text

Will sighs softly as he walks down the hall. He can hear the whispering about him.he can feel the eyes on him.his reputation as zombie boy would probably always stick.
"Hey Zombie boy!"
He hears laughter and he hoists his bag up on to his shoulder, he told himself he didn't need Jonathan or him mom..that he was confident and didn't need protection.

Breath.. that's it..just take a deep breath it'll be okay, just ignore them.. breath steadily, avoid eye contact it'll be okay. .don't let them think you're going to cry.

Breath in.. 1 .2..3..
Out..3..2..1..
In..1..2..3..
Out..3..2..1

He sees the familiar door and sighs with relief as he opens it.
"Ah.good morning will!"
Mr Clarke smiles warmly at him, it gives him some form of relief. His friends were all late in unfortunately (hence why he'd walked the hall himself) he was scared but he'd manage. He avoids eye contact with Troy and his friends and gets his paper out. He writes notes down on the paper, his eyes are wide as he suddenly feels someone yank his hair and mumble "fairy! '

there's giggling and he bites his lip.this why he needed mike. Oh for gods sake. You're not a baby! He keeps forcing himself to see that but he felt so small on his own. As soon as the bell rings he gets up and rushes out, if he's lucky-

"Off anywhere Zombie boy?" Someone grabs his collar and pulls him back. "Let go of me troy!" He wiggles uselessly. "I don't think so. You're all alone faggot! "

He feels someone grab his hair."seriously what's this? You're as weird as your mom." He shrinks back."leave mom out of this. She didn't do anything wrong. " "She made you. That's a crime enough! " Will's eyes fill with tears which he blinks back. "Honestly, I wish you stayed missing. Nobody cares!" He's shoves will down the hall.the day carries on the same way. His chair gets kicked several times, things are thrown at him. He grips his pen and clenched his fists until his pen leaks. He meekly leaves at lunch break and slinks off.

His heart beats fast as he walks down the hall. He goes to the bathroom and looks at himself in the mirror. His eyes were huge.his face babyish, his hair rests against his chin in a pudding bowl cut. He wasn't pale but he wasn't ideally tanned either (in his opinion) he could see so many problems with himself. He looks away from himself and sits in a cubicle, a few moments later someone opens the bathroom door. "You in there Byers? You can suck my dick fag!"

There was laughter a day will bites his lip. He curls into a ball as he hears footsteps. "Found him!" He opens an eye to see someone peeping above a stall. "Not stuffing your face like Henderson? Nah . you're a little stick aren't you?" There was laughter.the door gets kicked until they give up . suddenly he's drenched in cold water."take that! " the cold feeling creeped him out. He hated cold, after the mind flayer caught him he'd been in the upside down for two weeks. He shivers and trembles as he chokes back sobs as memories rush in. He doesn't hear troy shout. "See you later fairy! " He's suddenly cold and hyperventilating, What if it found him again? What if he went missing again? What if it wasn't completely gone?

"Will..WILL! WILL!" He jumps but doesn't speak. "It's Mike.. I thought I'd find you in here.."

The cubicle door opens and Mike would be lying if he said that moment didn't break his heart.

"Oh Will.. I'm sorry. Why didn't you wait for me?

"I thought I could be strong..I don't like having to be protected by you mom and Jonathan..I get in the way."

Mike pulls his trembling little friend into him and Will just falls into him. " Youre going home Will."

"What? No! I have to go to class." "No. You're freezing cold Will. Your Mom will freak out if you get sick!" Their eyes lock and they both understand the full meaning.

Your Mom will freak out because you weren't protected. And the cold reminds her of the mind flayer.

"Mike-" "No." "Who did this? I'll wreck whoever did this to you."

The door opens and a dishevelled Lucas runs in.

"Oh my god Will..I should have come in..mom said I-"

"It's okay. ." Will sounded so defeated that Mike's heart just broke. He wanted to run his fingers through Will's hair and kiss his cheek..tell him he'd be okay and he'd protect him...?love him forever but he couldn't. Will probably didn't feel that way, jokes aside on his looks Will would be too scared even if he was the same. Lucas and Mike take Will out of the school right past Mr Clarke's clasd and lucas Sighs. "Mike..can you take him to yours? I'll get to his mom." This would be fun to tell Joyce.

---

A few hours later

Will sighs and curls up in the living room, he thought he was doing so much better but obviously not. He was clinging to his mom's side again as she runs her fingers through his hair . there's knocking in the door and all his friends pour In. "What the hell happened? " Dustin had a can of pudding in his hand, (typical, will had thought)

"A lot.." He glanced at Joyce before mouthing to him. "Troy." "Ah. Got it." Max just smiles at him, simple but kind.El does the same. Lucas pats his hand"we'll get them Will."

"Yeah? How?" (This was Dustin )

Will smiles kindly, "I appreciate your help guys." He chuckles, at Lucas who smiles back.

Dustin ruffles his hair and he laughs, they all joke together and things are like normal for the party. Joyce makes them hot drinks and gives them blankets as they huddle round the TV. (Will had rung Jane but Hopper said she was incredibly ill. ) they all spend quality time together until parents are called. "Mom!"

"It's a school night Will, you all need sleep! Today's been hectic."

"Fine.."

Will grumbles and one by one says goodbye to his friends. He raises a brow at Billy as his car pulls into the drive. "There you go max. See you tomorrow! "

She rolls her eyes, "if he let's me live that long ."

He sighs softly, Billy had gotten slightly less like a dickhead but he definitely wasn't the nicest to his sister or her friends yet.

As Mike goes to his bike will hugs him tight, their hugs were always warm and full of emotions, they set Mike off into an emotional abyss of despair and affection most of the time but Will felt so cuddly he couldn't resist. Will hugged his friends most of the time, he always was an affectionate person but maybe mike was hoping top much when he thinks Will holds him longest of feels most comfortable with him. They had been friends for years so it would make sense of course.

As he cycles back home he thinks about it with a beating heart, will was just dreading school.. --The next day--

When will walked through the school doors he felt as if he were burning with shame. His eyes were on the ground and his friends were close to him. When he goes to sit down someone kicks the back of his chair. He just pulls his chair in and huddles himself, he could get through the day right? So he thought.

"Is that your mom?" Mike whispers to will as he watches a car pull up to the front of the school. Eyes turn and sure enough Joyce Byers gets out and heads up the stairs.

Shit.

"Can William Byers from grade 7 please report to the principles office please. Thank you." The overhead PA system seems to shout out his name. It seems to call him out like a victim,

You lost. Your turn to die! Walk down the hall of shame zombie boy!

He gets up shakily and his teacher gets up. "Give me a moment class. I will be back in a few minutes. I will give you assignments to do." He hands out papers and leads Will out.

"It's nothing to worry about Will. Just take a deep breath, you're not in trouble kiddo."

Will nods and steadies his breath. It was kind of pathetic that it was so obvious to his teacher but he couldn't help it. His mind played out several scenarios until his head felt like it was going to burst. His eyes widen as he sees Jonathan his brother squeezes his hand gently, Jonathan was like his anchor in that moment. Scott smartly raps on the door and is greeted by the principal. "Will! Scott! Nice to see you!"

"Why Is Jonathan-?"

"We may need his input later..take a seat Will."

Will sees his mother and mumbles,

"Am I in trouble? "

Joyce crumbles at her son's distraught face.will was always an anxious child. The idea of getting reprimanded made him upset.

"No sweetie.. you're not!" She sits him on her lap.

Scott can't help but to smile, the chemistry will and his mother had was a unbreakable bond between family.

"So, will you're probably wondering why you're here. "

He could see the seriousness in the head's expression and he chews his lip, nodding.

"Well, several people have made reports of bullying in your class, we just wanted your input."

Will sighs softly, who was it? Jonathan? Mike? Lucas? Max? His teacher? "

"Who said that?"

"They preferred to be kept discreet but I assure you they mean well."

He was gently interrogated on the situation, he felt anxiety in his head again, if Troy and James found out or if he snitches he was in serious trouble. He kept giving short indirect answers when asked questions, apparently Mr Clarke had raised points about how will barely spoke in class as other kids teased him for it. He had noticed how will hated being alone and seemed anxious around certain classmates, (until the appearance of Max Mayfield, he added) Will had smiles at this. Max was his shield, however much he hated it he had few choices.

Suddenly the question he was dreading got asked.

"Will, can you tell us what happened yesterday and who it was? They won't know you said anything. "

Will hesitates but recounts going to the bathroom and "washing his face" before sitting in the cubicle (because he felt unsafe) when some rowdy seniors had jostled in and started taunting him. He left out the things Troy had said but he was already getting tearful.

"They poured a bag of cold water over me.."

"And how long were you in the cubicle before Jonathan and Micheal found you?"

"I don't know, ten minutes? "

There was a sharp intake of breath. "Okay. Thank you will. Please wait outside, I assure you your brother is still waiting for you."

A shaking will opens the door to Jonathan Who Hugs Him.

He sits with him until he's called in.

"So..Will, we have come to a conclusion, we'll monitor the class and have someone get you to class safely when Your friends aren't around, I understand you don't always have mutual classes. Regarding what happens we may move you to a different class."

Will's eyes widen, "no.. I-" he gets up, tears streaming down his cheeks he runs out. Joyce gets up but is held back by Scott.

'Let him go. He needs his time."

Will runs to the hidden part of school and sits under a tree, a weeping willow, and cries into his lap. He cries until he can't cry anymore, eventually when he's found it takes coaxing to get him to go with his mother. Jonathan tried but was told he wasn't "getting out of work easily" even with Nancy by his side he stared blankly out of the window.

At home will curls up in bed.

How could things get so bad?

What did he do to deserve this?

Though his friends called Joyce refused them all, giving him time to recover himself.

Eventually Joyce gets to him and strokes hus hair,

"I'm sorry baby, I don't know what to do for you, just know we all care about you. " She kisses his cheek gently and rocks him to sleep, Her will, her precious Will.

Chapter Text

When Will walks to the bike rack it's obvious he's in a bad mood. His friends could sense the cold on his expression.

"Hey.. Will.."

"What?"

Mike raises a brow. Will rarely snapped but this time..

"What happened yesterday? " his voice was gentle,

"It doesn't matter. You'll figure it out."

With that he storms off down the hallway. Past troy and James who call out.

"Who's a moody baby then?"

He throws open the classroom door (accidentally) to see Mr Clarke watching, looking sympathetic.

He ignores the "hello Mr Byers ."and snatches his chair in sitting down. He can hear mumbling and Scott sighs.

"Be quiet class! '

Mike walks in with Lucas and Dustin, Max starts whispering, no doubt about him.

This triggers his anger more but he clenched his fists.

Calm...

Breath in..1...2...3..

Out 2..3..4..

Whenever his teacher was invested on his work he would hear snide remarks or have paper thrown at him, he wasn't going to last long with his impatience level.

He was thankful of the fact Mike was sat next to him. He would have to apologise for being snarky. His first few lessons weren't too bad, his friends were giving him the option of space but will stayed near mike on purpose, he knew nike would calm him down.

Max glared at anyone who dared look weirdly at them and even troy seemed less annoying.

At lunchtime will sat with his head in his lap, Mr Clarke had sat him down to have a "talk."

His teacher had asked him how he was feeling, Scott had noticed his irritability and wanted to try and provide some form of comfort for him.

After that will had collapsed into his seat at lunchtime, his friends pat his back gently.

He nibbles at his food but doesn't eat much.

Will sighs into his sandwich and bites it angrily. Several eyebrows raise at this.

"Easy Mr dinosaur. It's not an animal."

Will smiles a little as he eats. After he remarks, "it used to be."Will seemed happier thankfully,

Lunch break ended too fast for his liking and watching his friend walk down the hall on his own worried him incredibly.

"He'll be okay Mike don't worry too much. "

He nods and heads to class and oh how Lucas was wrong.

As they get to their last few lessons troy started up again, taunting him. This was a lesson he didn't share with friends much to his annoyance. He watched the minutes tick past slowly on the clock, he could do this he told himself, and he almost did..

He tolerates it for a while but the last straw for him hit when someone kicks his chair. His patience completely broke. Will gets up from his chair. "Will you STOP? " he grabs his bag and storms out of the room. He was fuming, he storms off down the hall. He was seething and in a terrible mood. He flings his bag down into the toilet cubicle, the heavy books creating a loud crash as they collide with the plastic of the doors.

He curses to himself, "fuck this school! Fuck everyone! " will rarely cursed at anybody or anything but his temper was completely gone. Grabbing his pen he scratches words into the cubicles.

"I hate you all!" The scratching sound comforts him and helps settle his mood but he slams his fist into the wall.he could hear people calling for him so he leaps out and climbs behind and out the window as the door opens. He runs and runs until he's out of breath.

What the fuck just happened?

He just raged and stormed out..

Oh god. He was going to be in so much trouble...

He feels tears slide down his cheeks as he sits by the wall. He gets an idea and on the brickwork he used his various markers to write
"Zombie Boy!" On it. If he was going to get into trouble he may as well for a good reason.

As he finishes his artwork he smiles, a fierce rush of rebellion going through his veins.

He felt like he could do anything right now! He creeps back into the school building through the field doors. He was in the senior block, he creeps by until he hears voices and ducks into a room. What he remembers as the performing arts section where shows were, he could see the stage and sighs at it. He sits on the edge of the stage and puts his bag down, thinking. As his anger wore off he felt anxious, just how much trouble was he in? How could he defend himself? What would he say? He starts to shiver so to calm himself down he quietly sings to himself, hoping he couldn't be heard.

As the principal walks down the hall he points out parts of the school,

"This is the science class? Scott Clarke is in here, we have several talented students, William Byers being one. He's only thirteen but he is incredibly good at drawing. Some of his pictures are on the board down here." As he walks he smiled. Talent spotters often visited to pluck the best students but usually they wanted singers dancers or models, anybody musical or good at drama. "I'll take you to the theatre section. They're currently practicing for othello! You can probably observe from that."

As they walk the lady beside the principal stops.

"Can you hear that? Wait a minute?"

From down the hall to the main stage area there was faint singing to be heard, if was soft and gentle, the singer was obviously shy and singing to themself. As they approach words were deciphered.

If you love me let me go

If you love me let me go

‘Cause these words are knives that often leave scars

The fear of falling apart

And truth be told, I never was yours

The fear, the fear of falling apart

This is gospel for the vagabonds,

Ne’er do wells and insufferable bastards

Confessing their apostasies

Led away by imperfect impostors..

Don't try and sleep through the end of the world

Or Bury me alive

'Cause I won't give up without a fight..

If you love me let me go

If you love me let me go

‘Cause these words are knives that often leave scars

The fear of falling apart

And truth be told, I never was yours

The fear, the fear of falling apart...

They stand and listen until their done before peeking to see who it was.

There was shock on the principle's face,

"That's will, I was telling you about him, I didn't realise he could sing. "

His voice was slightly scratchy but he probably wasn't expecting an audience.

They back away and smile,

"I'll definitely have to speak to him later."

As the principle rounds the corner a rather worried teacher rounds the corner. "Have you seen Will Byers sir? Scott is covering my class. He just had a temper and flew off out of the class.."

The lady frowns, kids with attitudes usually grew into divas.

"Why yes we did. He's in the theatre department, he seemed upset. No wonder he was singing a sad song. ." The head mumbles, "when you find him let me know. I wish to talk to him about this incident. "

Russell sighs, Will had been in his office daily for this past week. His sudden behaviour chance may be from their conversation.

"My apologies ma'am, he's a lovely boy. Things have been happening. I hope to see you again tomorrow, thank you for joining me today, again I am terribly sorry."

"Not to worry . he's a child, they're allowed to have an occasional blip. I shall see you tomorrow instead if you have things to resolve."

With that she's off down the hall.

The head groans into his hand. Joyce would probably not wish to get called into school.

 

Will was curled into a ball when the teacher found him. Mumbling the words to a different song. Regret was like a shadow over him. Maybe he should go back? What would he say? Just as he thinks about it the door opens.

"Will?"

His eyes widen. He suddenly finds it hard to breathe. His throat feels suddenly tight. The principal follows suit and he bursts into tears.

"I'm sorry sir! I didn't mean to!"

He completely breaks down in panic.

"Calm down Will. You're not in big trouble we just need to have a Talk. "

The head sits on the stage near him.

"Just take a deep breath and try to be calm okay?"

He nods and breathes gently, wiping his face with his sleeve.

"I think a tissue is a lot better."

The kindness he was given only made him feel worse and the flood started again,

"Can you go get Micheal Wheeler please. He's in the maths class."Mr bowie."

His teacher heads down the hall quickly,

Mike glances up as the door opens, one of the English teachers appears.

"Sorry to interrupt, is Micheal Wheeler in here?"

All eyes go to him and he stands up,

"That's me sir."

"Come with me please. The principal asked for you. "

Mike glances at Dustin who looks just as confused but walks out.

"What's going on?"

"Your friend who Is in my class is upset. He needs calming down. "

Will ..poor Will what happened?

Will just cries and as Mike comes in his friend immediately holds him tight, he falls into Mike who accepts him into his arms. He cries into his shoulder.

It broke his heart to see his friend so upset, he wondered what happened.

After will had stopped crying Mike pushes his hair back. "I'm taking him to wash his face.."

"Okay. Come back to my office after. "

With that they're off.

"What the fuck happened Will? Was it troy? I swear I'll-"

"Mike.."

Will shakes his head,

"Not entirely. . There were these kids banging on my chair and I lost it. ."

"What? You lost it? Little Will?"

Will gently prods him. "Shut up!"

They both smile.

"I walked out.. In a rage."

"Holy shit, and?"

"I vandalised stuff.. I was so angry."

"What did you do?"

Will sighs. "I wrote zombie boy into the bathroom wall..from the outside.. and wrote I hate you all in the stalls."

"Will!"

"I know."

Mike smiles more, "you are mad."

They both blush as Will's previous words haunt him.

"Well, let's go crazy together. "

"Yeah.. crazy together. "

To them that was like a promise..A confession and how will wished it was. He'd give anything to be Mike's. As they get to the bathroom he washes his face. He didn't look at himself in the mirror. He probably did look like zombie, snot and all.

He sighs into the mirror and Mike stands next to him.

"Ready to face whatever you need to face?"

"No!"

They grin and for a minute Mike's eyes go to Will's lips, will saw and assumed he was seeing things but Mike suddenly was closer to his face.

He could feel his heart beating faster but he heard the door open and they spring apart. They quickly hurry to the principle who sends Mike back to class. Will wished he could stay for moral support but that was impossible, instead as he awaits his literal death.

Chapter Text

"So Will, can you please explain what happened, I gather this follows after our talk yesterday."

Will takes a deep breath,

"I just wasn't in the best of moods this morning I guess..I was already incredibly impatient and people were kicking the back of my seat."

"Who sits behind you?"

"in that lesson Troy Harrington."

"Okay, we've already had a few issues with Mr Harrington I see. Has he done anything else recently? "

"Not that I can think of.. no."

There was a sigh, "will.. I hope you're being truthful. "

"I am.. "

"So I gather after Troy kicked your seat you got a bit cross?"

Will nods,

"Yes sir."

"And you had an outburst before leaving? "

"Yes sir."

"Well, in a way I'm glad you took your anger outside instead of directing it to someone else, however, shouting in class and storming out are still disciplinary rule breaks."

"I know.. I'm sorry, I couldn't help it."

"I get that will. You're a good kid, I know you try your hardest at school. Try not to let others get to you."

"it has also come to my attention you sat in the theatre area for half an hour. This classes as skiving will."

"Yes sir. ."

Will shifts uncomfortably.

"Will, if you ever feel upset or want help with understanding things feel free to ask me or your teacher, I understand you and Scott get along. "

Will nods shyly, "that's right.. I guess I could. .I don't want to be an inconvenience that's all."

"You never are an inconvenience Will. This is the first time in your many years with us something has happened, we try our best to make sure people feel happy here, your brother was exactly the same."

"Jonathan? Really? "

"Of course, he had his struggles but he excelled himself, he told me he wanted to go to NYU. I feel he has a strong chance!"

Will smiles, he felt comforted by this, of course he and Jonathan were similar, the weird Byers brothers.

"If you asked him I'm sure he could advise you on surviving school. My teenage years are further away of course."

Will chuckles a little,"thank you sir, I will."

"Your mother can help too. I know you're very close with her, that's good."

Will nods, he loved his family more than anything else, he sighs suddenly,

"Will you tell her what happened? "

"I'm afraid I'll have to unfortunately, but I'm sure she'll understand, I'll have to figure out what to do."

"Sir.. Please don't tell Troy.. he'll only do It more.."

"Will.. If it It's troy hurting you we have to know so we can stop it. Please trust me.."

"It's not.. honestly sir."

"Will..If you give a name they won't know.. we'll put a stop to it. As for now though, we have to give disciplinary action. "

Will bites his lip.

"I'll let you go with a call to your mother and a detention this afternoon and tomorrow lunchtime, I think that's fair."

Will nods, he could live with two detentions.

"Thank you sir."

"No worries. You can go to your next class, you have 15 minutes."

Will scurries out. He was incredibly lucky to get away so easily but he was still worried about Troy. Thankfully Mike was in his class so he felt happier. He waits outside his class and waits. Soon enough Mike and Max appear round the corner, "Will!" Will looks relieved and max smiles at him. "Hey! What happened? "
"A lot. I'll tell you later but I've got detention.."

"In about 7 years you've never had a detention! "

Mike looks shocked.

"It's fine. I just won't be at lunch tomorrow and mom will have to pick me up. She'll probably behead me."

They smile a little, "she might get a but cross but you're too cute to get angry at for long."

Mike feels his cheeks flush. Did he really just say that? Shit.

Will was looking at him with his brown doe eyed expression again. Mike wanted to tell him just how in love he was.

Instead the bell rung and a flurry of students run out. They sigh and go to their seats. Last lesson of the day. Thankfully it went fine and will didn't storm out but at the end of the day he walks out with his friends. "I'll see you tomorrow! Tell lucas and Dustin I'm in detention. "

"Oh I will. Prepare for questioning. "

Will laughs and waves them off.

--During detention--

Welcome to detention. Some of you are here for different times but disrespect me and you'll be here instead of the janitor. " the lady at the desk looked cross.

Will sighs, this was going to be fun. He sits and rests his head on the table. A classmate Greg grins at him."I hear you lost it with troy and walked out! Amazing! "

Will smiles a little before he's shushed.

"Silence!"will sighs softly before getting his work out and finishing it.

As he walked out 30 minutes later he sees Jonathan in the car park.

"Hello little man.How are you?"

"Amazon Jon. Thanks."

He rolls his eyes and Jonathan smiles, "I gathered. Just thought I'd ask."

"How's mom?"

"She's cross. She suggested I pick you up so she didn't throttle you. "

"Oh.. great."

"Hey don't be sad.. she'll forgive you. I don't know what you did but we have the entire journey home for that story."

Will huffs and sits in the front seat. He shoves his brother who laughs. His brother was one of his favourite people who made him happy in moments like these.

As they pull out of the school drive will recounts his story, including the graffiti in the bathroom. (Jonathan laughed at this)

After he ruffled Will's hair to a nest he sighs.

"You're such a goof. I didn't think you had it in you."

"Neither did I!"

The rest of the journey they shout the words to rock music. As they pull into the drive will takes a deep breath and Jonathan pats his hand.

"Just be cool. Don't freak out okay?"

"Easier said then done."

They push open the front door to see Joyce pacing up and down. She glances at will for a moment, her expression troubled. "Room. Now."

Will nods and hurries off, Jonathan stops.

"Mom-"

"Oh I can't be cross with him Jonathan, he's such a sweetheart. "

"You don't need to be. I think he already knows what he did."

Joyce nods and after a while goes to get will in which they just hug for a long time. "I'm sorry baby..I just-"

"I get it mom, I know"

They all hug each other in a family huddle and that night will thinks about just how blessed he was.

--the next day-- As soon as they saw will his friends bombarded him with questions, , especially Dustin, Mike and max shake their heads and sigh trying to pry the others off him.

Dustin was incredibly impressed at the thought of will getting one at Troy, quiet will had shouted at Troy!

It hadn't really sunk in for Mike either. Shy will really was quite the catch.

--Two hours into their day--

Will was sat in lesson, (all party were there) when will was in for a surprise.

"Is William Byers here today? "Will looks up immediately, there was a woman in a suit who was scanning the area. Will gets up slowly, "I'm will. "

The woman beams,"we need to talk dear! " will gets up with his bag and leaves under watchful eyes. "No need to be anxious. I promise it's on good terms." Will nods and follows to a quiet room.

he chews on his lip and nods again. "Your mom will be present the entire time." "Are you from the police? "

"No honey I'm from a youth connections agency. "
Will frowns but doesn't say anything.
"Mom! " will sees Joyce and hugs her tight, "hey Will!"

"So. I'm here because of something that happened yesterday. "

Will visibly squirms.

"I promise it's not a bad thing!"

Joyce pats pats his hand,

"You didn't see me but I'm from a youth talent agency and we've been looking for someone new. I'm told you can draw incredibly well!"

Will blushes and shrugs, he didn't like bragging.

"So. I saw some of your drawings and I must say. I'm impressed! But that's not why I'm here."

She smiles more,

"I'm here because just by luck I heard you Singing yesterday as I was on the way to look at the drama Section."

Will's face goes bright pink with embarrassment, how could this happen to him?

"Oh.."

He couldn't think of anything to say.

Joyce understands and takes rein.

"So what were you thinking of?"

"Well, firstly, if Will wants to I would like to hear him sing in an audition and we'll take him to do a bit of everything. "

"What do you mean by everything? "

"Acting, singing, dancing and modeling, we're looking for a breakthrough idol. Someone nobody has heard of"

"And you think Will could be famous? "

"He has potential, one thing I noticed is he's charming and has the personality of a young star."

Joyce had wide eyes but Will was nervous, singing around others made him awkward. If only he didn't...

She hands him a piece of paper.

"Give me a ring if you're interested, think carefully Will. It's your choice. Me and your mom can't make the choice for you."

Will nods.

An idol? He could be a star! Plain Will! He doubted it.

He sighs softly and takes the paper. It would take some thinking probably.

"What would I be doing? "

Angela smiles,

"We'd give you a shot and do a photo shoot with you for children's fashion magazines. If people like you it may mean you get requested by other companies. If that works you'll have have a manager who advises you on what to do. In that time you'll have vocal coaching and learn how to appeal to the public. We'll also give you a makeover! "

Will nods, "in private or-?"

"Well yes. But sometimes it may mean joining other kids."

Will takes a deep breath. This was his chance to kick anxiety in the ass and do something, maybe even get back at Troy. Of course he probably wouldn't become anything but he didn't mind.

"I'll do it."

"Wow! You thought about it? That's great! Here's a contract, please take it and read it, if you and your mom sign it I'll be back next week so do give it to me. I do hope to see you Will!"

As he stares at the thick bits of paper his mom smiles.

"So, if you agree to join us it means three says off the week for assessments. The first week is toughest, you'll meet the staffing behind everything and we'll see what our plan for you Is. Our vocal specialist will take your audition. The manager of models will take measurements for you and the makeup team will decide your look. Be warned It might mean a haircut! We'll test your fitness and health. Obviously I can't say what they'll do because I just find talent. The head of department will tell you what she thinks you'll be good at. And plan from there. "

Will nods. He assumed so already. That didn't bother him. Really, it was just all the people.
Joyce squeezes his hand. "Well figure it out will. Right?"

A shy nod.

As they leave Joyce squeals. "I'm proud of you already!"

He's pulled into a hug and will chuckles, patting her back. He'd be lying if he said he wasn't scared. What the HELL did he agree to?

Chapter Text

When Will returns to his class he's met with curious eyes, he just sits down and smiles at his friends giving them the "I'll tell you later" look. The entire lesson he couldn't help but to wonder what he'd decided to do. He was about to give himself unnecessary attention, for what? he asks himself . he'd probably be embarrassing himself. As he sits through his detention in his lunch break he ponders on calling and saying, "no.. I'm sorry I can't do it."

He takes a deep breath and tells himself he can do it. He has an entire week to fill in that book with his mom. He doesn't have to...

Much to his surprise he was let out early and he heads to the AV club room.

He opens the door to see his friends huddled round. "Hey! Will! The soldier has returned to his comrades! " this gets laughter from his friends and he grins playfully.

"You're early. I'm guessing you can't wait to tell us about your meeting huh?"

As usual Dustin was an incredibly curious person so he was going to bother Will about it.

He sighs and shuts the door, "I don't even know how to start this Sentence. "

"Please try Will! "

"Okay so basically I've been talent spotted by some lady that the principal was showing around-"

"WHAT? WHEN? "

"Let him speak Dustin! " Max shakes her head at him and he just pouts, "you're all mean to me! I'll go cry now."

"Go ahead. It won't do a thing." They smile and Lucas holds back a grin.

"Carry on Will." "So basically she and my mom talked about me becoming some form of child star basically. "

"Wow. I have so many questions!"

"Me too. Like damn. Our will!"

"I know. I just have no clue how the hell it's happening to me. "

< /p>
"You're lucky! When does it start?"

< /p>
"Next week I think. "

After being bombarded with questions Will finally managed to break away and Mike approaches Will when it's just them.

"Hey will. I know you're probably terrified and I get that but just know we're all here for you and there's no need to be scared."

Will felt his heart flutter in his chest. Hearing such words from the love of his life made him so happy.

"Thanks Mike . I'm lucky to have you."

They hug for a moment and he swears Mike could feel his heart banging in his chest.

Will thought of those words when he and his mother head to the agency doors. Will had spent his entire car journey cradled in his mother's arms while Jonathan drove. As they arrive Jonathan ruffles his hair.

"You give them hell kid."

He laughs at his brother before getting out of the car. Joyce's hand on his shoulder as they ring the bell in the front. After a moment the door opens. "Ah you must the Will!"

They're lead into a reception and Joyce gives details while Will examines the area. He locks eyes with a small blonde girl around his age who smiles at him kindly. They then sits down and then the anxiety kicks in.

"Mom I can't do it!"

He was trembling and hyperventilating and Joyce lifts him into her lap again, her fingers running though his hair gently. He cries into her as she carries him into the bathrooms. Rocking him. She knew exactly how bad it could get and she could feel that Will wasn't breathing easily.

"Deap breath honey. . Breathe in.. and out..there we go good boy. Through your nose! Well done!" She backs away slowly knowing he was at the point where surrounding him wasn't a good idea. As he calms down she kisses him on his cheek.

"You're a brave boy will. I know this is absolutely horrible for you but I'm proud that you're stepping out of your comfort zone. "

He smiles a little and more tears fall down his face. "Oh sweetie don't cry!"

She wipes his face with a wet cloth and holds his chin up. "Okay Will. We're gonna go out there and you're going to be bold and confident okay? Whatever they want you serve it on a silver platter baby okay? "

"Okay Mom." He smiles again and she hugs him tight. As they walk out Will notices the receptionist had been waiting.

"Feeling better Kiddo?"

"Yeah thanks. "

The lady smiles at Joyce."you dealt with that very well Mrs byers. I've never seen such a situation dealt with so fast. Angela is just on her way with the vocal coach."she looks at Will. "Isn't he the absolute cutest!" She says with a smile, resulting in Will hiding behind Joyce.

"He is a little cutie, definitely. " she ruffles his hair. Will had always hated how he looked, the big eyes that made him look like a five year old (in his opinion) and the pudding bowl cut that framed his face. He needed a haircut though as it was getting quite long and he now looked more of a pageboy.

After about 5 minutes two ladies approach him,one familiar the other not so much. " I'm just talking to mom for a moment Will, alright? " will nods and sits with the vocalist. "I'm Harriet, I'm going to be working on vocals with you today, so Will, what's your music taste like?' He smiles shyly, "I like alternative music and rock music. " he shrugs. "So like The 1975 ?" He laughs a bit, "kind of but I prefer Muse." They both chuckle and discuss alternative music when Will hears Green Day and looks up. "Ah yes, that's one of our upcoming boys. You'll like him you'll probably see him around a lot. Richie his name is. Quite the rocker." He nods a little and smiles a bit more. Happy there was another boy with similar taste in music.

"Will we are all done. Your mother just notified me on the little incident from earlier. Are you feeling up to it now?"

Will nods, "I'm fine now. "
They head to a recording studio and Will's heart beats a little faster again but this time that's all his anxiety gives him.

"Do you have any preference in instrument for backing? We're just going to look at your vocal range. "

"I don't actually mind." She nods. "Okay. Just come over to the piano. What I'm going to do is play a note and you need to repeat it. We're leaving out sharps and flats for now. This'll be a warmup because in a moment we'll have you cover a song. "

He nods and waits, and soon enough as the notes play he hears himself, and there's a wave of relief. "Okay have some water and we'll ho on to sharps and flats too. You have a lovely voice will. "

He blushes and says a small, "thank you."before sipping water and getting back to his practice. The second time round he felt way less embarrassed and shy and his voice had no faltering or hesitation.

"Okay Will, now we've done that I just want to say you sound lovely, you definitely have a gentle voice that's very calming, I think you'll be good at the songs with emotion. " she smiles a little, "so,I notice you like Panic! At The Disco. They have some gentle songs, how about we start with that and test your ability. "

Will laughs a little, not realising he had been wearing a band shirt,"yeah I really do but I doubt I'm anything like Brendon Urie."

"You never know! Richie who I mentioned before is definitely very similar and he's barely any older than you! I think he's seventeen. In four years you might sound like him! "

Will laughs a little more, "we'll see..so um what were you thinking of?"

She smiles,"how about Northern downpour? It's a very emotional song and I think you can capture it perfectly. "

"I guess I could try!" He smiles to himself, northern downpour was one of his favourite songs.

"Now, do you prefer hearing tracks or having someone play for you?"

"I think it'd be easier to have someone play for me."

"Okay I'll see if I can find a guitarist for you."

She gets up and heads out, Will plays northern downpour on his phone, making sure he knew the words in which of course he did.

She returns with a man with long hair,he was wearing metal studs everywhere possible. "This is Mike. He'll do all the necessary guitaring needed today. "

A few minutes later will was singing one of his favourite songs.

If all our life was but a dream

Fantastic posing greed

Then we should feed our jewelery to the sea

For diamonds do appear to be

Just like broken glass to me

And then she said she can't believe

Genius only comes along

In storms of fabled foreign tongues

Tripping eyes, and flooded lungs

Northern downpour sends its love

Hey moon please forget to go down

Hey moon don't you go down

- At this point Will didn't realise that there were people listening. Harriet had looked at him and smiled, "I knew you'd do good with that! How about this is gospel? "

Will shivers a little. The song that started it all. As familiar piano notes play he can already feel the need to sing to them.

This is Gospel

For the fallen ones

Locked away in permanent slumber

Assembling their philosophies

From pieces of broken memories

When knashing teeth and criminal tongues

Conspire against the young

Well they haven't seen the best of us yet

If you love me let me go

If you love me let me go

'Cause these words are knives and often leave scars

The fear of falling apart

Truth be told I never was yours

The fear,the of falling apart

There was clapping as he finished his song. He looks up and notoces his mother for the first time. He smiles at her and she gives him two thumbs up . Will feels all the love in the world that he had go to her in that moment.

"So,we're gonna get a different genre, still calm, do you know Melanie Martinez?" He nods again. "We're going to run through playdate and that's the last song for today! "

You call me on the telephone you feel so far away

You tell me to come over, there's some games you want to play

I'm walking to your house, nobody's home

Just me and you and you and me alone

We're just playing hide and seek

It's getting hard to breathe under the sheets with you

I don't want to play no games

I'm tired of always chasing, chasing after you

I don't give a fuck about you anyways

Whoever said I gave a shit 'bout you?

You never share your toys or communicate

I guess I'm just a play date to you

As he sings the words he realised how familiar the situation was.

Mike...

When the song was over there was applause, "That was the most emotion I've heard from you! Definitely one to bring a crowd to tears"

He blushes a little and shakes her hand. "Nice to meet you Will! You'll hear from me soon!" He nods and goes to his mother. "I didn't realise how angelic you sound sweetie!" She ruffles his hair gently.

"Mom!"

They laugh a little.

"Is there anything else we need to do here today? "

"Well we have to take measurements for photoshoot reasons and we need a profile of Will so we need to have a normal picture taken. Our photographer should be here."

Within moments Will was taken to have his picture taken, it was professional, with ring lights and a white background. He was told to just smile and when they were done the photographer smiles, "he's very cute I must say!"

Joyce had laughed, "he's adorable is my little Will."

His mother had gone to discuss the next appointment and have a stylist look at Will to see what his appearance should be, then they would do a mini shoot. On the way back home will and Joyce were giddy with excitement.

"You're going to be a little star will! "

Will knew that he shouldn't get his hopes up, but deep down he wanted everybody to know about him. It was silly but he had a small wish that it'd work.

Chapter Text

Will wakes up to the phone ringing. Suddenly Joyce appears and knocks on his bedroom door. "Will! " she calls out,in her sing song voice,she must be happy.

After a moment of dragging himself out of bed to get to the door,he pulls it open to see a grinning Joyce. "Hey mom!" He says softly. Joyce looked ecstatic and was barely able to resist spinning around."They want you back there today!" She says excitedly, she takes his hands into hers."you're gonna be a little star! ' she say proudly.

"Mom! Don't! "Will looked incredibly embarrassed."what did they say?" He tilts his head.

"They said that you have the right voice to be a singer and you could have the right skill to act."

Will's eyes widen,"mom I can't even talk to normal people,normally. How do they expect me to become an actor?"

Joyce shrugs,"it's all relative. Jonathan said he's too awkward to get a girlfriend, here he is now with Nancy Wheeler."

Will laughs softly for a moment with his mother, "when have we got to be there?"

"About 1 pm apparently. "

Will nods,"can I go back to bed then?"

Joyce huffs,"absolutely not! Get dressed, Chester needs a walk anyway. Or you could deliver the news to Mike! "

Will huffs back at her but decided he would shower anyway. He didn't feel tired anymore. He felt a rush of adrenaline, he could do this. He wouldn't be the kid who broke down crying in the waiting room.

When Will appears at the breakfast table Joyce looks up and raises an eyebrow."wow! I'm getting a vibe of confidence today Will! Good!"she pats his head as he sits down. He basically hoovers up his food,whilst Joyce watches, "well, someone's growing up!" She says fondly."don't give yourself indigestion though sweetie."

Will laughs and sips on his juice. He'd tried coffee once and decided it was too disgusting.

-15 mins-

Mike jumped out of sleep when his mother knocked on his bedroom door. He grumbles, "mom what now?I'm tired!"

"It's Will! "
Karen has to jump out the way as the door opens and Mike flies out to the phone. She raises a brow at him, she continued her round on waking up her lazy teenagers, sighing softly. Early weekend mornings would be the bane of her life.

"Hey Will!'

"Mike!"

"I have so much to tell you. Can you come over? I don't have long because I have to go out."

"Is half an hour alright?"

"Of course. See you later Mike!"

Will sits anxiously, he hadn't called the party because he felt like he could only talk to Mike for now. He understood his feelings most of course.

About 45 minutes later the door opens and Mike walks in,"are you alright Will?" He looked concerned, he almost expected Will to say he'd discovered the Flayer again.

"Mike,I-"

Will looked up at him with those soft green eyes and Mike feels his heart jolt a little.

"You-?"

" I'm going to be a celebrity. I got in!"

There was silence for a moment and then Mike pulls Will into a hug,"congrats Will!" He laughs softly, "I didn't have a doubt about it! Is that where you're going today?"

Will nods,grinning widely. Mike felt a mix of feelings, to have Will in his arms again was nice,it felt right, he was also proud. He felt as if his heart was bursting from how happy he was for his friend.

He closes his eyes and holds onto him gently. "You'll be a star.I have no doubt about it." They eventually pull apart as an amused Joyce pops by, if Mike had paid attention he would have seen her knowing smile, he would have seen Will look at him with so much love, he would have seen will longingly wanting something to happen. Instead, Joyce saw her son'a hopeful eyes, suddenly they snap out of their little moment.

"Isn't it great news? " Joyce takes her son into her arms and he huffs playfully."I'm so proud of him! He's got star quality. But not a word to your friends, we'll let them be surprised! "

Mike node eagerly, "of course Mrs Byers! " he says with a grin. Joyce chuckles at him softly, "run along boys! I'll let you know when we have to leave!" She ruffles Will's hair and lets him go off to his room with Mike.

The boys sit and read comics for a few hours until Joyce comes in,"time to go! Micheal,would you like to come with us? If Karen wouldn't mind?"

Mike nodded,"sure! I'll call her!" Mike darts off to the phone and Joyce looks at Will, "you have to tell him one say! " she says, poking his cheek.

Will visibly blushes, "tell him what?" He could almost guess what she meant but he was hoping for something else.

"That you like him obviously! You're like a little puppy the way you stare at him."

Will pouts,"no way! What if he thinks I'm weird? Besides,him and El only recently broke up. He's probably hurting, and I don't know if he likes-" Will hesitated, "boys." He says softly.

Joyce rolls her eyes at him,"William! He will not think you're weird, besides,he probably knows you're gay already. I know he's probably hurting but he needs someone to love him even if it's not romantically. From what I know I'm sure he might. You have to test the waters."

Will rolls his eyes,"oh yeah and what am I supposed to say,"hey Mike, I really like you, are you Bi?" He snaps.

There was silence and then a small chuckle,"what a question to ask your mother."

Joyce and Will jump and see Mike stood behind them,he looked confused.

Joyce bites back laughter and Will's face goes bright red,"I uh- I wasn't asking mom that."

Mike puts a hand on his shoulder,"well whoever the question was for, context it."

Will blushes even more,"it was figurative, I was just saying how it's not a question you ask someone randomly. " he looks away,"what did your mom say? "

Mike took the conversation change and answers,"as long as I'm back by six.' He says with an eye roll.

"Hey! You're still a kid remember! " Joyce says with a grin."six isn't unreasonable! "

She prods him,"alright Mike!"

Mike huffs but gets into the seat next to Will.

The journey was pleasant and they listened to songs on the way, Will refused to sing along out of pure embarrassment so he decided to nod along instead,much to Mike's disappointment.

Will and Joyce however, heard Mike singing softly, Will almost jumped him, Mike's voice was,beautiful to say the least.

"Hey you should sing for us some time!" He says to Mike. He stops singing and blushes, "you wish! Besides,I'm more of a guitarist-" he suddenly goes quiet.

"You play the guitar??"

Will and Joyce were both astonished.

"Only a little!" He says softly, "I'm not the next Brian May."

Joyce laughs softly, "I'm sure you're just as good!"

Will and Mike both chuckle, the rest of the ride though,Will was flustered as he thought about Mike singing softly into a microphone, a song pops into his mind and he blushes.

Mike prods him,"are you okay? You're bright red.we're here Will! " he pats his hand. "I'm fine! "

He goes up to the familiar desk and introduces himself again. The receptionist grins, "Will! Come along. The photographer wants to see you!"

Will nodded shyly, "can my friend come with me?"

The lady nodded,"absolutely! "

About 20 minutes later Will was having his hair messed with, he watches his hair fall to the ground and bit his lip, Mike couldn't help but to stare in awe at him. He watches as his friend with the pudding bowl got even cuter.

 

- 10 minutes-

"Okay Will, look up!"

Will looks into the mirror, his eyes widening, whilst the pudding bowl cut wasn't completely gone it had been changed and shortened slightly, he was still Will Byers but he looked older.

"Let's go take some photographs!"

Mike and Joyce were still surprised by his change when he'd left with the photographer, all they wanted were some photographs for his portfolio. Whilst it felt off to him at first,Will slowly grew into it,the photographer grinned at him."you're a professional!" He gave him a thumbs up,Will laughs softly at this, by the time his photo shoot ended he felt better,as if some part of him had suddenly become much more ready to face the future. He was confident.

Will Byers had never been confident before!

He was shown some of his photographs and he actually felt proud of himself. The lady pats him on the shoulder gently ,"you did great Will! Good job."

Will laughs as he walks out,humming softly,Mike and Joyce glance at each other in surprise,and then shrug as they walk to the car, "how about pizza? "

Joyce says,in which the boys grin,"yes please !" They both say. She felt as if it was deserved,Will was getting more confident and dropping his past experiences.
She couldn't wait to tell Jonathan when he got home from work. She felt proud watching her son grow up properly, she hoped this could be Will's chance to live a proper life.

As she watches her youngest boy scoff pizza with his friend she felt so proud,and so full of love,her boys were her world so to see both settle down made her happy.

Will was having an incredible time, he grins as Mike blows bubbles with his straw, he laughs at how silly Mike looked,the feeling in his chest made him feel so much lighter, seeing Mike being silly only made his heart beat fast, he wanted to hold his hand, lean against him and hold him tight for ever. Without thinking, he brushes one of Mike's curls back, he loved how wild Mike's hair was. It was beautiful to him.

He joins in blowing bubbles until Joyce grumbles,"boys!that's enough! You're not five!"

They both grin sheepishly and sip their drinks normally whilst discussing their plans for the day.

On the drive back home was better, Will sang out loud in the car, Mike joined in, and Will was surprised to learn about Mike's music taste,it wasn't like his mostly.

As soon as they pulled into the Byers driveway the boys few out of the car, Joyce watched them in surprise, she was happy though, her son was growing up, he was confident, she was proud.

No. Don't cry Joyce. Absolutely not. She tells herself, she reached for the phone.