Chapter 1: thriller
November 15th, 1984.
The first rays of the morning sun sneaked through the blinds on her bedroom window, and if Luna closed her eyes and focused on the silence that comes with dawn, she almost felt like she was alone.
The delicious feeling went away quick enough, as she felt her brother Georgie's small body pressing against hers, looking for heat. He'd had a nightmare (just like every night for the past few years) and made his way to his sister's bed sometime around 3am, all tearful and in need of a hug. Luna was used to it.
At 17, you were supposed to be dating, going to parties, worrying about finals and getting ready for prom and college and the future. Instead, her predictions for her future were quite depressing. Her mother had died shortly after Georgie's first birthday, which was almost 6 years ago now, and the loss had made her father completely transform into a miserable man. He barely made it to his bed most nights. He would just pass out on the way, whether that meant the couch or the middle of the hallway, always covered in alcohol, sometimes covered in his own puke. When he first started showing this behaviour, Luna being only 12, she would take him to the bathroom, run him a bath and leave some neatly folded clean clothes on top of the toilet lid for him to change into. Just like mama would do, she would say to herself over and over again.
At first, her father was always thankful and somewhat embarrassed. He would then do something for her, like buy her a strawberry milkshake or be the one to put baby Georgie to bed that night. We're a team, he would tell her. Luna was always on the brink of asking him to stop going out at night, that it upset her, and she felt scared being alone in the house with baby Georgie. But she never said anything. And one day, her father just stopped being thankful and embarrassed. He was just angry. So, Luna stopped being good to him. Instead, she would just take baby Georgie, walk past their father making sure not to step on him and go spend the day at the Byers'. Now, at 17, she wasn't scared of being alone with little Georgie in the house. She felt relieved.
"I'm cold..." murmured Georgie, quickly getting her out of her thoughts.
"Come here", she offered, adjusting the blanket on top of him and wrapping him with her arms. She kissed his cheek. It was cold. They had been struggling with money pretty much since her mother had died, but winters were harsh and there wasn't much you could do without a heating system for the whole house. Most of Luna's nightmares were about the police coming and taking Georgie away from her. Her biggest fear was not being enough for him.
"I love you, Lulu", he whispered, and for some reason Luna felt like crying.
"Hey, you didn't call me that since you were what, four?" she responded, which made Georgie giggle and the pressure on her chest began to fade. "I love you too, pumpkin. Very much".
Luna needed Georgie to laugh again, so that she could get out of that constant state of alert she lived in ever since their mother died. Very few things worked as well as Georgie's laugh.
"You know? I think it's a beautiful morning for the greatest tickle war in history!" she exclaimed, Georgie already howling just at the thought of his big sister tickling him. Luna went for the feet, Georgie's weak spot, and in no time, she was cackling with laughter as well.
"Abort mission! Abort mission! The enemy is too strong!" she shouted, "We've been surrounded! It's-".
A door slam made them stop immediately. Georgie's eyes widened in panic.
"Shhh, it's okay, it's okay", she whispered, making room for him on the bed again, "come here, he won't know we're awake."
Luna wrapped Georgie tightly with the blanket in a desperate attempt to protect him, as well as pulling him close to her.
Georgie was shaking when Luna's bedroom door was slowly opened.
They both were pretending to be asleep, but their drunken father wouldn't even notice if they were dead.
The man walked with clumsy and tired feet, slowly approaching the bed. He stopped on Luna's side, next to her. His smell was that of misery and sorrow. Luna wasn't covered, since she had used the whole blanket to wrap Georgie; what happened next was the other reason for her nightmares.
She felt, terrified and with her heart on her throat, her father's fingers tracing the skin of her thigh. It wasn't the first time. It all had started years ago, when the man he used to be died with his wife that dreadful morning at Hawkins General Hospital. But now she had an added problem, which was the fact that Georgie was growing up, and he was starting to notice things. She didn't want him to see anything. And above anything else, she didn't want their father to get near Georgie. You look like a mother bear with her cub, he had told her once, as she stood between them when the man was teasing Georgie for crying.
His fingers, like the monster-like claws of her childhood nightmares, ascended slowly and painfully until they reached the seam of her underwear. Luna felt her blood boiling inside her body. She wanted to scream, to slap his hand and push him away and break her bedside lamp with the sunflower pattern on his head and kill him. She had imagined herself putting an end to his miserable life in so many ways that if the police found out, they would’ve put her behind bars already. Instead, she just closed her eyes even harder, and pulled Georgie closer.
Almost as if some invisible force had taken pity on her, the man took a step back and swiftly fell face up like a dead weight. Both Luna and Georgie jumped at the loud sound; a few seconds later, she breathed out in relief. She slowly uncovered Georgie’s head, only to find him whimpering, with his eyes still closed. Luna peeked behind her and saw her father passed out on the floor. The zip of his jeans was undone. Chills ran down her back at the thought of what could’ve happened if the alcohol hadn’t done its job right.
“Hey, buddy…” she whispered to Georgie, sitting up to help him get out of the blanket mess. Once she was standing, Luna picked her brother up and he quickly wrapped his arms around her neck, burying his face in her blonde hair. “Come on, let’s go get dressed in your room, okay? Just let me take some clothes”.
She picked some jeans and a thick, dark green jumper and left the room without looking back. After getting themselves ready in Georgie’s room, in silence, Luna took her brother to the kitchen and sat him on top of the counter while she called her friend Jonathan.
The little boy listened as his sister spoke, trying to guess what their neighbour responded.
“Hey, it’s me”, Luna greeted in a low voice, stretching the telephone cable so she could pour her brother a glass of milk. “Did I wake you up?... Okay, good… Yeah, he’s home… No, he passed out… My room… I know, he never makes it that far… Yeah, I’m okay… He’s fine, just a little upset”, she looked at Georgie when she said that, and the boy gave her a sad smile, happy to be part of the conversation somehow. “Yeah, we’re about to head out… Why?... Did something happen?... Okay, okay, Jesus… Alright, see you in a bit… Bye, J”.
As soon as she hung up the phone, Luna helped Georgie down from the counter.
“Listen, I’m going to take you to Mrs. Thomas’ house, okay?” she told him, her brother already pouting. “I need to go help Jonathan with something, but I promise you I will pick you up soon and then we’ll go have some ice cream, sounds good?” she tried, and Georgie nodded without saying anything. She knew how much he hated being apart, she hated it too, but her friend sounded full of anxiety and she just had to be there for him; after what happened to Will, she could only imagine the pain they must be going through, as she felt it too. Jonathan and Will were part of her family, Joyce being almost like a mother to her. She was the one who taught her about periods and boys, and the one who helped her when Georgie was a baby. When Will disappeared, she spent hours in Jonathan’s car, just being with him, listening to music or being in silence. They had been attached at the hip since kindergarten, but after Will’s funeral he just… disappeared. She understood, of course. If something bad happened to Georgie she would probably jump off a cliff, so Jonathan was doing okay, given the circumstances.
After leaving Georgie with Mrs. Thomas and thanking her a million times for being always available, Luna took off for the Byers’ in her car. She listened to music on the way, trying not to let the thought of what had happened that morning get to her. She had to be strong for everyone else.
As she approached the front door, she heard muffled voices on the other side. When Jonathan opened the door, she was greeted by anxious looks from him and Nancy, as well as a living room full of what seemed like… traps? “Jonathan, what the hells is this?” she asked, brow furrowed and her hands on her hips.
“Sit down”, Jonathan told her, grabbing her by the shoulders and making her sit on the couch. “You have to let us explain this to you, okay? No interruptions, no nothing, just listen, promise?”
Luna stared at him, and then looked at Nancy. Her expression was the same that Jonathan had, something between a child that just got caught and a parent about to give a lecture. Se had no choice, apparently.
“Okay, I promise. What’s going on?”
After Jonathan and Nancy finished their story, the only sound that could be heard in the house was the ticking of the clock that had been hanging on the living room wall since forever. The both of them had their eyes glued to Luna’s face, expecting some sort of change in her expression, a sign that would give them a hint about what she was thinking.
Luna sighed through her nose. When she returned her gaze to Jonathan’s, all he could figure out from that face he knew so well was pure hurt. “Why would you hide this from me? I don’t- I don’t fucking get it, Jonathan, how could you- why would you make me believe that Will was dead?” Jonathan had expected Luna to be sceptical about the whole Upside-Down matter. He was mentally prepared to deal with her wanting to call the police, branding him and Nancy as the craziest people in town or just leaving the house and never getting in touch again. However, those would’ve been the best of the outcomes. He had a lot of explaining to do.
“It’s complicated, Lu…” tried Nancy. Luna and Nancy had been just acquaintances for most of their lives, right until they started hanging out when High School begun. It was usually due to school work most of the time, but close contact breeds affection, they said, and with time both ended up becoming good friends. Only right at that moment, Luna could easily punch Nancy in the face. Not because she was mad at her (which she was), but because she didn’t want her to intercede for Jonathan. He was old enough to answer for his own mistakes, and he owed it to Luna. She deserved an apology. Maybe a few.
“I just- it’s so much stuff, like- like why would you guys have a funeral for him if you already knew he wasn’t inside the casket? It’s just messed up, Jonathan, I had to fucking explain it to Georgie, for Christ’s sake, he’s six. What am I supposed to tell him now? “Hey, remember Will, your favourite person in the whole world whom we’ve been mourning for days and the reason why you’ve been having the worst nightmares ever since mom died? Yeah, he’s actually alive, apparently, he was just kidnapped by a fucking Demodragon”, whatever the hell that is”.
Jonathan fought really hard to hide a smile. “It’s Demogorgon, actually. Like in Dungeons and Dragons?”
Luna refrained the impulse to punch him in the eye for being all smart-ass with her by covering her face with her hands. “This is insane, guys… This is crazy”.
“Listen,” Jonathan said, grabbing her hands and taking them in his. “I know you’re going to call bullshit on what I’m about to tell you, but I promise you it’s the truth. I just… I just wanted to protect you, I think. You go through so much at home, Luna, with your dad, and Georgie, and just everything… I know it because you’re my family and I suffer when you suffer. So I don’t know, maybe I’m the stupidest person in the room, but I just thought that it was better for you to believe that what had happened to Will was something of this Earth and just let it be that way until we found him, rather than having to tell you about other dimensions and experiments and monsters. I just thought you had enough monsters in your life already, you know?”
Luna stared at their hands. Jonathan’s right one was wrapped in bandages, a soft stain of dry blood marking his palm. She had noticed Nancy had the same wound, and she wondered if it was part of some sort of ritual to get Will back. When she raised her head to look at Jonathan, his eyes were watery and so were hers. “I’m sorry I was kind of an asshole”, she said first.
“What? I keep you uninformed of the most important event in our lives and you are the asshole? Jesus, I’m still waiting for you to kick my ass”, Jonathan answered, sniffling but smiling.
“Oh, believe me, my hand is itchy for a good punch,” she answered, making a tearful Nancy laugh. Luna figured Jonathan had told her some parts of what was going on in her house, with her father, and she couldn’t help but feel a little embarrassed. “So… what am I supposed to do? What were you guys doing before I arrived?” she asked. Almost synchronized, Jonathan and Nancy blushed like a pair of middle schoolers. Luna decided she would save the teasing for later.
“Well, we were just kind of waiting for… the Demogorgon to come. Here,” Nancy said, handing her a hunting rifle. “Do you know how to use it?” she asked as Luna took it in her hands. She didn’t even know what the Demogorgon looked like.
As she was about to answer, someone banged on the front door.
“Jonathan? Are you there, man? It's- it's Steve! Listen, I just want to talk!”
The three of them stared at each other. It was Nancy the one who finally decided to open the door, since she was the one who could at least try to deal with Steve Harrington. As she cracked it open just enough for him to see her face, she began to speak. “Steve, listen to me. You need to leave”.
“Nancy? Hey, what…? No, I’m not- I’m not trying to start anything, okay?” he explained. From where she was standing and because Steve was taller than Nancy, Luna noticed that his face was in a pretty bad condition. “I don’t care about that”, Nancy responded, already sounding exasperated, “you need to leave”.
“No! Listen, I- I messed up. I messed up, okay? Really, please, I just want to make things right, okay? Please, just-”.
He stopped dead in his tracks. Luna felt her stomach turn in anticipation.
“What happened to your hand?” he asked, taking Nancy’s hand, the one that looked just like Jonathan’s. “Is that blood?”
Nancy quickly pulled away from his grip and responded with annoyance, “nothing, it was an accident”. However, this wasn’t even close to enough to stop Steve’s train of thought.
“What’s going on, Nancy? Did- did he do this to you?” he asked, and in a split second he made his way into the house. When Steve saw everything, he just lost it. Luna couldn’t blame him. It was all too much.
The fact that she was carrying a hunting rifle and Jonathan a bat full of nails probably didn’t help to calm the spirits. The worst part came when Nancy pointed at him with her gun. “Steve! Get out!”
“Wait, wait, wait, WHAT?! What’s going on?!” Steve exclaimed, his eyes wide with panic and confusion.
“Nancy you can’t just SHOOT SOMEONE!” Luna said, trying to stop the madness somehow. If someone had told her that her Sunday would end up like that, she would’ve left the country already. “Lower that gun right now!”
“Yeah, what she said!” Steve said, but Nancy’s mind was somewhere else, and she just wouldn’t listen. “You have five seconds to get out of here”, she warned. “Five…”
“What the hell!” Luna exclaimed, already seeing herself in jail for accomplice of murder. “Jonathan, do something!”
However, Jonathan’s eyes never met Luna’s. He was looking at something else. The lights that covered the walls and ceiling were flickering on their own. “Nancy…” he called. And then again, a little louder, “Nancy. The lights”.
Then Luna understood. “It’s here”, she whispered under her breath.
“Wait, what’s here?” Steve asked, even more confused than he was just seconds before, “where is what? Hello?! Will someone please explain to me what’s-”
“Shut up!” Luna yelled at him, her back against Jonathan’s and Nancy’s, and right at that moment a giant hole was made on the ceiling. It looked as if some sort of slime was dripping from it, only the slime seemed to… growl.
Nancy was the first one to react while the rest of them stared in a mixture of disbelief and the most primal form of terror. She began shooting the thing, until it fell to the floor.
It was a human-like being, with legs and arms that ended in claws. Only its head had no features, it was completely empty. The monster crawled, trying to get up. Then it opened its face. Its grey skin unfurled like a flower, only the petals were covered in sharp-looking teeth.
Luna was hypnotized by it. She had never even imagined a creature like that, and the fear that she was feeling paralyzed her. She didn’t even hear the screams of her friends, urging each other to run for their lives.
It wasn’t until Steve grabbed the sleeve of her jumper screaming “ohmygodohmygodohmygod” and pulled her away from her trance that she was able to function again.
As they slammed Will’s bedroom door behind them, Jonathan rushed to check on his friend. “Hey, are you okay?” he asked, not fully turning his back to the door. Luna nodded, licking her lips; her mouth was as dry as the hottest day of summer. But she had to recover herself from what she had just seen. She didn’t want it to be the last thing they ever saw. I must be strong for everyone else, she said to herself, and soon enough she was in position again, next to Nancy, with the rifle pointing towards the door. “What’s it doing?” she asked to no one in particular, hearing as the monster made its inhuman noises at the other side of the door.
“I don’t know”, Jonathan responded, a lighter ready in his hand. She didn’t understand why a lighter would do something against that thing, but it probably had to do with the stench of gasoline. After a flicker of the lights, everything was silent again.
“Do you hear anything?” Nancy asked after a few seconds of silence. “No”, Jonathan responded again, as he clicked the lighter closed.
As the four of them got out of the room and across the hallway, the only sound that could be heard were their heavy breaths. The living room seemed empty, but the hole on the ceiling was the reminder that what had just happened was actually real. Luna looked around her, and she noticed Steve having some sort of post-traumatic stress episode.
“This is crazy, this is crazy, this is actually crazy”, he kept telling himself, fidgeting with his hands and moving his feet erratically, “this is crazy, this is crazy, this is crazy!” he yelled, as he had been slowly increasing the volume of his tone. He quickly figured out where the phone was and ran for it like a bat out of hell. Luna reacted before he could even dial a single number, and just threw the phone away from him. “What are you doing?” he protested, looking almost hurt at the gesture, “are you insane?”
“It’s going to come back, Steve. I think it will be better for all of us if you just leave. Now,” she told him, very close to losing her temper herself.
He hesitated for a second. His eyes darted from Luna to Nancy, and soon enough he was out of the house.
At least someone will tell the story about how we were eaten by an interdimensional monster that is probably just a product of my imagination because I’ve lost my mind completely , she thought as she saw him get to his car.
Then everything happened too fast. The lights started flickering again. The three of them made a circle, trying to have each other’s backs while they waited for the monster to come again. “Where is it?” Nancy asked, her voice slightly high-pitched because of the fear. “I don’t know, I- I don’t see it”, responded Luna. “Come on”, spoke Jonathan, “come on, you son of a bitch”.
A few seconds later, the lights went out. They stood in confusion, waiting. The monster emerged from behind Jonathan and, as Nancy tried to push him out of the way, it shoved her aside with enough strength to throw her to the floor. Luna watched in horror as the Demogorgon hovered over her friend, her brother, dripping its slimy drool all over his face right before opening its flower-like jaws, ready to eat him. She felt stuck again.
Luna remembered the first time she told Jonathan about what her father would do to her when he thought she was asleep. They were fourteen. They had been watching movies the whole day, nestled up inside the blanket fort that became their sacred place after years of building it in the Byer’s living room whenever she visited, which was almost every day. She remembered how he had started crying. He had felt so useless and powerless because he couldn’t just ask his mom to take her and Georgie in after his dad had just left them that all he could do was cry. She had cried too. Then Jonathan held her hand and didn’t let go until it was time to walk her back to her house. And even then, he didn’t want to leave her alone with her monster. That’s what he had said, he had been the first one to refer to her dad as a monster. A monster.
Luna came back to reality and quickly readied the rifle. “Go to hell, you son of a bitch!” she shouted, and as she shot the Demogorgon, she pictured her own monster receiving the bullets as well. A single tear had started its way down her cheek when she ran out of bullets. Precisely, they were going to die. As the monster approached her, screeching and drooling, she thought about Georgie. Her poor baby, an orphan once again. What would he become if their father raised him? Would Mrs. Thomas adopt him as her own? Luna hoped she would. She should’ve left that written somewhere. She closed her eyes.
A dry blow.
Luna opened her eyes.
“Steve!” she exclaimed, watching as the boy attacked the monster with the bat full of nails Jonathan had been using. It was quite impressive.
Soon enough she was reunited with Nancy and Jonathan, who took her hand and didn’t let go.
“It’s in the trap!” Steve yelled, followed by a single command from Nancy that made Jonathan throw the lighter to the carpet. It ignited in a blink of an eye, and they watched as the monster caught on fire, screeching and revolving its body, trying to escape from the bear trap.
“Step back!” Nancy said, as she picked up the fire extinguisher and emptied it on the improvised bonfire. “Is it dead?” asked Jonathan, only to answer to his own question himself, “it has to be”. There was no trace of the monster when they got close enough to the trap.
They waited, while the lights slowly began to light up again. As they headed outside, following the lights, Nancy wondered out loud, “where is it going?”
Jonathan’s answer confused Luna even more than she already was. “I don’t think that’s the monster”, he said.
Say no to guns, they don't even work with interdimensional creatures xx.
Chapter 3: livin' on a prayer
Kinda short, but the next one will be longer and I will post it sooner, I promise <3
It had been a few hours since they last saw the Demogorgon, but as Luna sat in the waiting room of Hawkins’s General Hospital surrounded by kids, parents and a half-asleep Steve, she was unable to take its image out of her head. She couldn’t help but wonder what would’ve happened if she hadn’t been able to react on time. Would Jonathan be dead? Would Joyce go from the joy of getting her youngest son back, to the pain of losing the other one on the same night? The thought gave her the chills.
She had already seen Will, and it felt absolutely surreal to hear him speak, and see him smile. Luna was certain that she would never see such thing again. It was still hard for her to fully comprehend the idea that he was back. That he was supposed to be dead, but he wasn’t.
When Jonathan entered the waiting room to tell Will’s friends that it was time for them to see him, Luna decided it was time for her to go home. She had already called Mrs. Thomas, asked her if Georgie could stay the night at hers and promised (this time for real) that she would be there in the early morning to pick him up. Of course, Jonathan offered to take her home (her car was still parked in front of the Byers’), but Steve was quick to get up from his visibly uncomfortable position on the chair and offer her a ride. Jonathan wanted to insist, but the truth was that he didn’t want to be away from Will, at least not yet.
“Are you sure?” Luna asked Steve, while he put on his washed denim jacket. “I mean, I can just walk. I need some fresh air anyway”.
“Yeah, it’s no problem”, Steve assured her, right before leaning in to kiss Nancy on the cheek. “I’ll call you tomorrow, alright? I really wanna talk about… everything”, he whispered in her ear, right before flashing a smile to Nancy’s mom. Ted Wheeler was sound asleep on the other row of seats.
“Alright”, Luna said approaching Jonathan, “I’ll come by tomorrow with Georgie, see if I can explain all of this to him, somehow…” she told her friend, who jokingly responded: “Maybe leave the part with the giant monster from another dimension out for now”.
After saying their farewells to the kids and parents, Steve and Luna left the Hospital.
Steve’s BMV was nothing like Luna’s old and creaky pickup truck, which quickly reminded her of the significant difference of income their families had. Luna had known Steve for a long time, but she wouldn’t consider him a friend. However, and besides their differences, they had found common ground in the sports program of their high school: Luna was a great swimmer and a quite remarkable basketball player, and occasionally they would dare each other to a one-on-one, or try to best their fastest time in the pool. Apart from that, they barely spoke to each other outside of Hawkins High.
“So. What a night, huh?” spoke Steve, exiting the parking lot. The music was at a very low volume and it was hard for Luna to decipher what exactly did Steve Harrington listen to in his car.
“Yeah, absolutely crazy”, she responded, leaning in against the window. It was lightly raining outside, and only a few more cars were in sight. “I mean, if I had to explain today to someone, where would I begin? The demonic creature that fell from my friend’s living room ceiling, how us, a bunch of teenagers allegedly killed it by setting it on fire or the part where that said friend’s little brother came back from God-knows-where?”
“Hey, tell me about it, at least you knew Jonathan was weird. I was just trying to apologize to Nancy and all of a sudden she’s pointing at me with a gun, ready to shoot me, and then somehow I end up playing baseball with that guy’s head”, Steve said, making Luna chuckle lightly.
“I guess you have a point there”, Luna admitted, followed by a yawn. “Anyways, it’s over now, right? That thing is gone and Will’s back, so everything should be back to normal now. Ew, I kinda feel weird saying that”.
“Why?” asked Steve, frowning a little.
“I don’t know, isn’t it what they always say in movies? Like in Halloween, when they think they’ve killed Michael Myers but there he comes again in Halloween II to take revenge on everybody”, Luna explained, wrapping her arms around herself to get warm. They were getting closer to her house. She could already see it in the distance. “Ugh, forget it, I’m just being paranoid”.
“I’ve never seen Halloween, but who do you think is scarier? Michael Myers or the Demogorgon?” Steve asked, trying to change the conversation into a lighter tone as they approached the house, and stopped the car in the curve once they got there.
Luna took a few seconds to answer. “From my personal experience, people are always way scarier than any monster. At least scarier than the Demogorgon”.
Steve wanted to disagree (to him, nothing was scarier than what he had lived that night), but an image in what he knew was Luna’s front yard cut him off. “Is… that your dad?”
Luna felt many things towards her father. She felt angry, mostly. She felt scared. Disappointed, sorry, disgusted.
Now she was feeling extremely embarrassed.
Stumbling through the front yard of their house was her father, visibly drunk, tripping over his own shoes every few feet. The two teenagers watched as he entered the house, and it felt as if they were on a trip to the zoo and were watching some sort of animal show. Luna sighed. “Yeah, I have to go. Sorry about that and thank you so much for the ride, seriously”, she told Steve, already undoing her seatbelt. “How about a pickup game on Wednesday?”
Luna’s tranquillity and familiarity with what they’d just seen made Steve’s stomach turn. Was that an usual behaviour from her father? He had heard rumours at school about him, but Luna always seemed so put together that he just thought most of it was bullshit. Steve doubted for a few seconds. Should he just let her go? What if something happened? What if everything he had heard was true? No, he had to do something.
“Listen, I have to be honest. I’m kinda terrified of being home alone after what happened, my parents are out of town, and… I’m also quite hungry, so would you like to go Melvin’s? We can eat and stay here, and I’ll drop you off at Mrs. Thomas in a few hours; I heard you calling her before, you left Georgie with her”, Steve tried, hoping she would just say yes so he could drive away from that whole situation.
Luna didn’t really have a reason to say no. Georgie was safe, the last thing she wanted was having to go inside and deal with her father, and she was also pretty hungry after all that monster-killing. She had promised herself when her mom died that she would accept people’s help without arguing, and Steve was clearly doing that. He was lending her a hand to keep her away from any more trouble for tonight, and although she still felt embarrassed and kind of scared that he would tell everyone at school about what just happened, she smiled at him and nodded her head, putting her sit belt on again. “I’ve been thinking about a cheeseburger the whole ride”.
Chapter 4: she bangs the drums
Luna and Steve decided it was a better idea to eat inside the diner. Staying in the car sounded great at first (at least they would be warm in there), but Steve didn’t want to risk getting food all over his new seats. They were sitting at the far corner of the empty restaurant, right next to the record player, one in front of the other. There was enough food on the table to feed at least four people, but they weren’t joking when they said they were hungry.
“And then he just like, pushes me to try and steal the ball from me, which was definitely foul play, and then starts making these weird noises, like, like a dog, you know?” Steve explained, and Luna almost choked on her drink.
“He what?! Oh my God, I always knew McCormack was crazy, I knew it”, Luna laughed, shaking her head in disbelief. They had been sitting there, talking and eating, for almost an hour now. It felt natural, and they both wondered in secrecy why they hadn’t done it sooner.
“Yeah, the worst part was that Nancy had come to see me play that day, and as if that wasn’t nerve-wracking enough, that shithead literally barks in my ear”, he complained, dipping a chicken nugget in BBQ sauce.
Luna took a long sip of Coke. She was very curious about the whole love triangle thing going on between Steve, Nancy and Jonathan. She knew all too well that Jonathan was in love with Nancy (he apparently found it physically impossible to shut up about her for more than five minutes), but how feasible was it? In the end, Nancy and Steve seemed pretty serious about their relationship. However, Demogorgon or not, the scene Steve made when he arrived at Jonathan’s didn’t scape Luna’s attention.
“How’s it going between you two?” she asked bluntly. Steve grimaced at the question. “You seemed quite… overwhelmed when you arrived at Jonathan’s. And I will dare to guess that it was him who did that to your face, am I wrong?”
Steve sighed, taking a napkin to wipe his hands. “I don’t even know anymore. I think she really likes Jonathan, you know? Has she said anything to you?” he asked.
“No, not at all”, Luna responded, “neither has Jonathan, for that matter. I don’t know… if you want my opinion, I think the best thing you can do is give her some space. Just wait for her to reach out to you”.
Steve shrugged in response, leaning back on his seat. “I guess you’re right. I don’t even know why I thought we made a good match… She’s too perfect and I’m…”
“Hey! You’re pretty perfect yourself”, Luna objected jokingly, and Steve smiled. “I think it’s the hair”.
“Oh, definitely my strong point for sure”, he agreed, pointing at Luna. “No, but seriously. She looks like- like she has everything figured out. And I don’t know what I’m doing 50% of the time”.
“That’s actually a significantly low percentage for a seventeen-year-old guy; good job, buddy,” Luna teased, making Steve laugh and throw a fry at her.
“You also seem like you have everything figured out. Everything under control. I mean, with your brother and… everything. It’s pretty cool,” Steve said, in a slightly more serious tone.
Luna sighed and scratched the back of her head. “Yeah, well… do I have an option?”
Steve looked down, pensive. “No, I guess not. But I don’t think I know your story that well”, he paused. “You can tell me if you want, I promise it won’t leave this diner”.
Luna hated talking about her family problems more than anything, but after everything that they had been through together in just one night, she felt like she could tell Steve pretty much anything. “You’ve seen my dad, you’ve heard what people say”.
Steve’s expression turned into one of pure shame, probably because he never tried to stand up for her whenever he heard people talking, but Luna didn’t blame him: like he said, he didn’t really have enough information to confirm or deny those rumours and, also, they weren’t even friends.
“Hey, it’s fine. Don’t worry”, she assured him. “It’s… complicated. You know, after what happened to my mom, he just kind of… He just changed. And I get it, I mean, I changed too. But that state can only last for too long, and he still had two kids to take care of. At the end of the day, I was only twelve”.
Steve was listening carefully to everything she said, seeming very interested in her story, which encouraged Luna to continue.
“And I suppose there are things that just are bound to happen when you fall into that kind of self-destructive spiral. He began going out at night, and drinking, and being aggressive, and…” she stopped there. Those were bigger words, extremely hard for her to say out loud. “I felt like I had to protect not only myself, but Georgie, too. He was just a baby, he doesn’t even remember our mom. So that sort of became our life, I guess,” she explained, with a sigh, “I go to school, then pick up Georgie and go home. I cook for him, clean for him, play with him, still no sign of my dad which, you know, is a blessing, and then I go to work and leave Georgie with Mrs. Thomas. And then I go back home, and I help him in the bath, and I make him dinner, and I read him a story. And then it’s 2am and my dad arrives, and Georgie wakes up because he’s had a nightmare and he gets into my bed and I just stay awake for the rest of the night just in case something happens because you just never know”.
It was only when she stopped talking that Luna realized she was shaking. She felt terribly embarrassed, but she was too tired to hold it all inside. It had been a very long day.
Steve suppressed the urge to get up and sit next to her, to give her a hug. Instead, he pushed aside all the leftovers and grabbed Luna’s hands over the table. “Jesus, it… it sucks”, was all he could say, and it was exactly what Luna needed to hear. People always told her how it wasn’t all that bad, that she was doing a great job, that she would get her reward someday. But the truth was that having to dedicate the best years of your life to play mommy and deal with your asshole of a father just sucked. Period.
Luna sniffled while she nodded, a bit calmer, grabbing Steve’s hands back. “Yeah, it sucks so much. And I love Georgie with my whole heart, and I would die if something happened to him, but sometimes I just… I just feel like I’m not my own, you know? Like I’m someone’s sister, someone’s daughter, someone’s friend, but never just Luna, the girl who likes sports and plants and The Bangles”.
Steve didn’t bother to fight the smile. “You like The Bangles?” he teased, making Luna groan and slap him playfully in the hand.
“Stop it, I have enough with Jonathan, okay? They’re very talented and I will always support female singers, it’s like a girl code”, she explained.
Steve was still smiling, somehow astonished by her ability to recover from an emotional breakdown. If it were him, he would probably need a lot of beer and music loud enough to not let him hear his own thoughts.
“No, seriously, back to what you were saying… I think it’s not fair that you have to waste your life like that. And I can’t imagine how hard it must be to have so much responsibility thrown upon you because my case is the complete opposite, but you already know that,” Steve said. And of course, Luna knew: it was common knowledge at school that Steve’s parents were hardly ever home but left plenty of money for their son to take care of himself, which was pretty much the perfect life for any teenager. “Luckily for you, I, King Steve, am here to help you out. Tina’s throwing a party this Friday at her house. Come. We’ll drink some cheap beer, play stupid drinking games and dance to anything but The Bangles”.
Luna snorted, facing the window. Her and Steve were still holding hands.
“I’ve been to a few parties at Tina’s and they never have a happy ending. Just remember last summer, when that girl threw up all over the place and we literally had to evacuate”, Luna objected. “Besides, I’ll probably spend Friday night at Jonathan’s, helping them with the house and checking-”
“Nah, bullshit, you’re coming”, interrupted Steve, shaking his head. “I’ll even tell Jonathan and Nancy to come if that’s what you want me to do, but I won’t stop insisting until you say yes”.
He seemed pretty untiring when he put his mind on something. It was a virtue, Luna supposed.
“Look, I’ll think about it, alright? I won’t promise you anything, this is not a yes”, she warned him, trying not to give in to Steve’s puppy eyes. “It’s a maybe”.
Steve sighed, not very happy about the outcome of his plan. “Okay, I guess I can work with a maybe”.
Then there was silence. It was a comfortable one, though, and Luna pointed out something.
“You’re a pretty good friend, did you know that? I don’t understand why you’re always so hard on yourself, you seem… a very decent guy to me”.
Steve shrugged, and Luna could’ve sworn he even blushed a little. “I guess that’s a conversation for another day, don’t you think?” he responded, gesturing towards the window. To Luna’s surprise, the sun was already starting to rise, and Steve’s car was no longer the only one in the parking lot.
“Hm, yeah. I guess we’ll leave the traumatic bits of your story for the next time,” Luna said as they both got up, but quickly added, “I mean, if there is a next time. Which is totally cool if you don’t want to do this again, this was just, uh…”
“Whoa, slow down”, Steve said, opening the glass door and holding it for her, “we can do this again whenever you want. I had a very good time, I promise”.
Luna smiled at him, a gesture which he returned as they both got in the BMV. The ride to Mrs. Thomas’ house was comfortable, and Steve even played some of The Bangles’ greatest hits for Luna, teasing her the entire time and making her laugh her head off as he imitated the performers.
“Do I look like a dead person?” she asked him when the car stopped right in front of the old woman’s house. The sleepless hours were probably showing under her eyes.
Steve made a funny face, but then said: “Nah, I think you look okay”.
“Well, thanks, you look okay too” Luna responded, undoing her seatbelt. As she opened the door to get out, Steve protested.
“Hey, what do you mean “okay”? I would say I look at least flawless, I mean, the black eye definitely gives me a touch, right?” he joked, making Luna laugh while she closed the door.
“Yes, your Royal Highness, absolutely”, Luna said through the lowered window, before finally saying goodbye. “Thanks for everything, Steve. I’ll see you around”.
As she walked through Mrs. Thomas’ front yard, she heard Steve yell: “Don’t forget about the party on Friday!”, which put a smile back on Luna’s face again.
Chapter 5: self-control
The week went by and soon enough, it was Friday. Sadly, Luna would have to reject Steve’s invitation: she really needed to help Jonathan with the house while Joyce did some paperwork at the Police Station and, more importantly, Georgie was going to see Will for the first time after his return. Explaining what happened to Will had been even harder than Luna had expected. How do you make a 6-year-old understand that some people could come back after everyone thought they were dead, but his mommy wouldn’t? Sure, he barely had any memories with her, but life and death were way too much for a kid and he couldn’t help but wonder what Jonathan and Joyce did to get Will back. He wanted to do it as well. Luna should’ve expected the tears.
After the emotional crisis that left them both a crying mess, they got ready and decided it was time for Georgie to reunite with his friend. But first, Luna had to make a call.
She had asked Nancy for Steve’s number (she had given it to her with a certain suspicion), and she tried not to freak out while she waited for him to pick up; she felt bad for standing him up, but also because she really wanted to go to the party with him, for some reason.
“Hello?” greeted the voice on the other side of the phone. Steve sounded sleepy, but it wasn’t that early for him to be in bed still.
“Hey, Steve. It’s Luna. Did I wake you up?” she wondered, playing with the phone cable between her fingers.
“Oh, hi Luna! No, I was just trying to write that stupid assignment we have for History class, it’s driving me nuts. What’s up?”
“Not much, uh… I just called to tell you that I’m really sorry, but I won’t be able to go to Tina’s party tonight. I’m taking Georgie to see Will, and… I think I have to be around. Also, Jonathan needs help with the house, so…”
There was silence for a few seconds, and Luna grimaced, expecting him to hang up.
“Yeah, it’s no problem, Lu. I totally get it, seriously. I’ll see you on Monday, then? Swimming after class?” Steve responded, sounding pretty calm.
“Wait, you’re not mad at me? I’m practically ditching you, I’m an awful person”.
“And quite dramatic, also”, he joked. “No, I’m serious, it’s fine. There will be more parties”.
Luna frowned at his reaction, but of course she wouldn’t be the one to complain about it.
“Alright, then I’ll see you on Monday. Swimming after class. Bye, Steve”.
“See you”, he said before hanging up.
When she hung up, Luna approached Georgie, who was trying to tie his own shoelaces. That didn’t go as bad as I had expected, she thought, and she felt a sudden sense of peace.
“You don’t have to miss that party because of me”, Georgie said, looking at his sister as she helped him. “I know how much you like them. I can stay with Joyce, like when you got appendicitis and the doctor had to operate on you and you had to stay a week at the hospital because it hurt so bad in your belly”.
Luna’s heart melted at her brother’s comment. He was just too sweet.
“But I’d rather be with you, buddy. We can watch some cartoons with Jonathan, play with Will’s action figures, like we used to do before, do you remember?” Luna asked him while fixing his blonde mop of hair.
Georgie’s face lit up at the thought, and no more words were needed to have him running towards the front door.
“Are you sure he looks the same way?” Georgie asked his big sister as they approached the Byers’ front door, holding her hand.
“Yes, I promise. He’s just like he’s always been. Hasn’t changed a bit”, Luna assured him before knocking on the door.
Of all the things Luna had expected to see at the other side of the door when it opened, Steve was definitely not one of those things.
“Hey, finally! We’ve been needing some extra help here”, he greeted with a big smile on his face. His shirt sleeves were rolled up and his hair looked messy, but still styled somehow. “You must be Georgie”, he added, crouching down to be on eye-level with the little boy, “it’s nice to meet you, buddy, I’m Steve”.
“Nice to meet you, Steve”, Georgie responded, very politely, as Luna had taught him. He even offered his little hand for Steve to shake, which he of course did.
Luna was simply speechless. What in hell would Steve Harrington be doing in Jonathan’s house? And most importantly, why hadn’t anyone told her?
“Hey, why are you standing there?” spoke Jonathan from the hallway. He was wearing a pair of yellow gloves, probably for scrubbing some of that slimy stuff off the floor.
As the siblings entered the house and closed the door behind them, Luna finally found the words.
“What- Why? Why are you here, Steve? What did I miss?” she asked, her eyes going from Steve to Jonathan, and then back to Steve.
“Well, I was kinda sad after you practically ditched me because I really wanted you to come to the party, and then I had what was probably the greatest idea I’ve ever had: if I go to Byers’ house and help them out, we’ll be done sooner and then Luna can come to the party!” Steve explained, and his expression of pure pride made Luna want to throw a punch at him. “And don’t even try to use your brother as an excuse, I’ve already talked to Mrs. Byers and she can totally take care of him for tonight, so. You’re coming to the party, my friend”.
He was asking for it. Steve was asking for a punch, and Luna had never felt so tempted to break someone’s nose.
“Jonathan, can you take Georgie to see Will, please?” she asked her friend, her eyes piercing Steve’s, who definitely didn’t know her well enough to sense that she was about to lose it.
Jonathan, on the other hand, answered carefully.
“He’s actually at Mike’s with the rest of the boys, but yeah, I can totally take him, I uh- I had to bring Will his Star Wars lightsaber anyway, so… Let’s go, buddy”, Jonathan spoke, quickly taking Georgie’s hand and leaving the house with him without saying another word.
With the closing of the door, Luna smiled. Steve smiled back.
“So…” she began, slowly (and theatrically) walking around the living room. She had her arms crossed over her chest in a defensive posture. “You really thought it through, right? You planned everything already, I mean, I don’t really have a choice but to go to the party”.
“Yep, you’re right. It’s all set. You can thank me later, don’t worry”, Steve responded, chest puffed out.
“Yeah, you know what the problem is, Steve?” Luna asked him in a somewhat malicious tone, as she discreetly picked up a handful of slimy monster drool from the floor. That would be far better than a punch.
“No, what is it now?” he responded, absolutely oblivious.
Luna sighed, now standing in front of him. “I really, really hate it when people tell me what to do without asking me first”.
Immediately after saying that, she reached for his head and let the sticky substance spill from her hand onto his beautiful hair.
Steve’s face contorted, and as soon as he opened his mouth, he completely lost his mind.
He began screaming as he ran for the bathroom, Luna’s laugh in contrast with his swearing.
“You are literally SATAN”, he yelled from the bathroom, as he tried to take it off with water and hand soap. “I had never felt so BETRAYED in my entire life”. Luna was having the time of her life, but she took pity on him and decided to give him a hand.
“Hey, if we want this friendship to go somewhere, we have to make some things clear from the beginning, don’t you agree?” she excused herself, still laughing a little. “Okay, come here, let me help you”.
She went to the sink and took some shampoo on her hands, letting a huffy Steve bend down so she could reach his hair easily.
“Yeah, maybe you’re right”, he said from his probably uncomfortable position as Luna gently massaged his scalp, trying to get off all the stickiness. Steve had his eyes closed, and a small smile on his lips. “It’s good that we start learning the important stuff about each other. Wanna hear a fun fact about me?” he asked.
“Sure, surprise me”, Luna responded, rinsing Joyce’s shampoo off his hair.
“I always, always get my revenge”.
Luna froze at his words, a playful smile already appearing on her face. Of course, Steve took the opportunity and, as she was already expecting, he splashed her in the face with the water of the sink. Luna let out a squeak, the laughter growing like flowers on her chest as he kept soaking her in water. She tried to throw some shampoo at him but failed terribly as it ended up on the walls of the bathroom. Suddenly, she noticed some shaving cream on the lower shelf and thanked the human body for Jonathan’s incipient facial hair. When she took it, Steve stopped in his tracks.
“Don’t you dare”, he warned her, finding it extremely hard to even attempt to keep a straight face.
Their eyes were sparking at each other, as if some sort of electricity had taken control of their actions. Luna didn’t remember ever feeling so… free.
In no time, Steve’s face was covered in shaving cream, although soon enough it was Luna’s time to be losing their epic fight again. They continued like that for a while and were so focused on each other that neither of them heard Jonathan coming back to his house. They only stopped when their friend opened the bathroom door.
Jonathan’s face was just priceless. Both Steve and Luna were completely soaked in water, covered in shaving cream, shampoo, toothpaste and even hair gel.
“What… the fuck”, Jonathan blurted out.
The two friends, responsible for Jonathan’s house being even worse than before they arrived when they were supposed to help him clean it up, stared at him.
“She started”, Steve spoke, pointing at Luna.
“Well, technically, it was you the one who decided it was a good idea to literally organize my life without asking me about my opinion”, she answered back, although she wasn’t mad anymore.
Jonathan shook his head, turned around and headed towards his room.
After a few seconds in silence, Luna spoke again, louder this time.
“Hey, J? What do we do?” she asked, waiting for her best friend to give them a solution.
Jonathan waited a few seconds to answer, just to make it seem like he was actually mad at them (although he had found the scene quite amusing).
“You two can shower here”, he responded.
Luna and Steve looked at each other, and it was Steve who spoke next.
“Yeah, thanks dude, but I don’t usually carry around a set of dry clothes just in case some crazy girl decides to star World War III”, he said, earning a playful slap in his arm from Luna.
“Do you think you still have that change of clothes I left here once?” she tried.
“We had had a sleepover, Luna; we were nine”, Jonathan responded, amusement present in his voice.
“Oh”, Luna said. Steve just laughed.
“I guess you’re stuck here with me until the end of time”, he told her, taking a seat on the edge of the bathtub.
“Hooray”, Luna fake-cheered, doing the same in front of him, on the toilet.
They stayed like that for a while, in silence, until Steve started rubbing his left eye, which had some shampoo in it.
“Wait, stop it, you’re gonna hurt yourself”, Luna said when she noticed what he was doing, getting up from her spot. She took a clean towel from the cabinet and soaked a small part of it with some warm water. “Let me do it”.
Steve obeyed and remained seated while Luna placed herself between his legs to get better access to his face. He looked up as she set her left hand on the back of his head and proceeded to gently clean his eye with the wet towel.
Neither of them had realized how close they were until Luna was done helping Steve.
There it was again.
The distance between their faces was minimal, as they both could feel each other’s breaths on their own faces. Luna’s left hand was still on the back of Steve’s head, and somehow his right hand found its way to Luna’s waist.
“Alright, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ll feel bad if any of you get sick, so here you have some dry clothes”, Jonathan spoke as he walked down the hallway.
Luna and Steve separated quickly, trying to hide any trace of emotion and failing terribly at it. While Steve pretended to be thoroughly analysing the texture of the towel, Luna made herself busy counting the tiles on the wall.
When Jonathan entered the bathroom, he gave each of them their own set of clean clothes (luckily for Luna, Joyce’s size was almost the same as hers).
“Uh… you can go first if you want”, Luna said to Steve, trying to avoid eye contact with him.
“Oh, no, you go first, please”, he responded, doing the same thing.
“Yeah, okay, I’ll… I’ll go first”, she agreed.
Once again, Jonathan’s facial expression was priceless. “And people at school think I’m the weird one of the group” he said to himself out loud as he left the bathroom, followed by a hurried Steve. Once the door was closed, Luna sighed as she stared at her reflection on the mirror. What’d just happened?
When she got out of the bathroom, her wet clothes folded and stacked, Steve quickly took his turn in the bathroom. While he was in there, Luna went to Jonathan’s room and sat on the edge of the bed, next to him, who was laying on his back reading a book. It said The Secret History on the cover.
“I’m sorry we ruined your bathroom…” she began, looking at her fidgeting hands, “I promise I will clean it all up and then I will help you properly with the house”.
Jonathan looked away from his book and stared at his best friend’s face for a few seconds. She seemed truly regretful.
“Come here”, he offered, opening his arms for her to rest her head on his chest so he could hug her. She was quick to do so. “It’s alright. The bathroom needed some cleaning anyway”.
“Hm”, she responded, staring at nowhere in particular. She could hear Jonathan’s heart beating if she paid attention. It was soothing. “How was Georgie?”
“He completely forgot about my existence as soon as he saw Will. He got so happy, he started jumping around him, hugging him, giving him kisses… I don’t think I’d ever seen him like that before”, Jonathan told her as he gently rubbed her back.
Luna smiled just imagining it.
In that moment, Steve entered the room, already wearing Jonathan’s clothes. Both boys had a similar physique, so they fit just fine.
Steve frowned a little when he noticed how close Luna and Jonathan were, his eyes fixed for a few seconds on Jonathan’s hand on her back.
“Uh, thank you so much, man, I’ll wash them as soon as I get home and I’ll give them back to you tomorrow, I promise”, he said, scratching the back of his head.
“Oh, yeah, it’s no problem”, Jonathan responded as Luna got up from her position.
“So”, she said, standing up, “are we going to the party or not?”
Steve seemed confused and pleased at the same time.
“You still wanna go to the party?” he asked, eyebrows raised.
“Well, yeah. I mean, after all your effort…” she teased, making Steve roll his eyes.
“Alright, sure, let’s go”, Steve responded. “Hey, dude, you coming?” he asked Jonathan.
“Nah, I’ll just wait for Will to call me to go pick him and Georgie up, you two have fun”, Jonathan told them.
“Whatever you say, grandpa”, Luna said as she put her coat on. Then she went to the bed again, leaned down and pressed a kiss to Jonathan’s forehead. “Love you”, she told him, in a way that showed Steve it was probably the 10000th time.
“Me too”, Jonathan responded, his eyes already on his book again.
As they got inside Steve’s BMV, he just couldn’t hold it anymore.
“Can I ask you something?” he tried, starting the engine.
“Sure”, Luna said, doing her seatbelt.
“You and Jonathan… uh… you know, is there… something?” Steve asked, eyes fixed on the road as he started driving.
“Ew, what?” she responded, grimacing. “No, absolutely not. Our moms were best friends and they basically raised us like siblings. We’ve done everything together and gone through a lot together, that’s why we are so close. I love him and Will just as much as I love Georgie. I mean, it’s different with Georgie, but you get what I mean…”
“Yeah. Yeah, I do”, he responded, a lot calmer. He felt stupid for even considering the possibility of Luna and Jonathan being together. “I don’t know, it’s fascinating to me. I’ve never had a friend so close that I would consider them as part of my family, you know? I feel like most people just wanna be my friends to get something from me”, he confessed.
Luna got a little sad at that. She wanted to comfort Steve, but she didn’t know how.
“Well, if it’s worth something, I don’t want to be your friend just to get something from you”, she told him.
Steve smiled, still without looking at her.
“Hey, you already are my friend”, he responded.
Luna smiled back, lowering her eyes to her own hands.
They continued driving in silence, just enjoying each other’s company. Then it was Luna’s turn to make a question.
“Why?”, she asked.
Steve frowned. “Why, what?”, he asked back.
“Why did you want to know if me and Jonathan had something going on?”
Steve blushed almost instantly. What was he supposed to say? Well, I don’t know, I just saw him touch you in an affectionate way and got extremely jealous because I also would like to hug you and rub your back? No, definitely not.
“Just got curious. People talk at school, you know the drill”, he answered, immediately wishing he could punch himself in the stomach.
“Oh…” Luna said, lowering her head again. “Whoa, that sucks…”
Steve took a quick look at her, mentally insulting himself with every insult he knew.
“Hey, don’t worry about it”, he told her, trying to play the matter down, “you know how they are. They just need someone to talk about. Today it’s you, tomorrow will be me”.
“Well, some of us are more exposed to certain kinds of criticism”, she said bitterly, but apologized almost immediately. “Sorry. Sorry, I know it’s not your fault”.
“It’s alright”, he assured her, as he parked his car next to Tina’s front yard. “Well, here we are”, he said, trying to leave that subject behind as quick as possible.
Luna was still a little pensive but forced herself to get cheered up. “Here we are”.
Steve smiled at her before getting out of the car, and she did the same.
As they approached the house, they were met by some of their schoolmates in quite deplorable situations, and Luna wondered how long they must’ve been there already.
Once they entered the house, their mood changed automatically. Everyone was drunk, dancing, making out.
That’s what people did at these kinds of parties.
And they made out.