Will lays on the couch solemnly. He doesn't know why, he's finally got what he seems to be lacking the most now-a-days. Alone time. His thoughts, worries and questions manage to snap the bliss that was the ignorance in his mind. With it, the recording this afternoon sticks to his memory. He knows El did that on purpose. Maybe she thought hearing about more people like him would make Will feel less isolated.
She was wrong.
Will feels the sickness bubble in his gut then fuse to his chest. For a second, he feels like he's getting motion sickness from the wizzing many frightening outcomes of his sexuality. He's not scared of much anymore, but he can genuinely say he'd be terrified if he lost the people he love. And as quick as it formed, his sickness dissipated when he heard his mother's voice with the poor opening.
"Oh Will, I'm sorry I left you along for so long." She trudges towards him, exhaustion clear in her heavy footsteps. She plants an exaggeratedly long smack of he lips on Will's forehead. With a seconds pass, his face lights up with embrassment. His mother ruffles his bowl-cut hair and he breaks into a fit of giggles.
After she spends a while fixing some early tea - and profusely declining Will's attempts to help- she cuddles next to him on the sofa. Now he remembers that his lacks of alone time was never fully involuntary. Because he loves his family, and he'll do anything to make them feel loved too. He smiles to himself, curled up safe in Joyce's arms and warmth.
Everyone's back home now. He's across the bed from El, teaching her to play snakes and ladders, when Jonathan comes in.
"Oh, Will, El, we gotta get ready." The elder notices. The younger gives a nod of confirmation whilst holding back the urge to 'ooooooh' at his big brother's crystal clear attempt to look good for Nancy.
Will swings his tiny legs out of the car and bounces onto the ground. His brother, mom and Hopper will be out for around a week, so he's having a sleep over with the party. It'll be fun. At least that's what he thought, until he saw a certain someone leave out of the opposing car.
Steve Harrington. Ew.
He fumbles like an idiot around the blurs of kids speeding by him. He ignores his distate of the man as a boy with a trucker-baseball-cap came bounding towards him.
"Byers!" Dustin beams at Will. The boy shakes his head, half out of playfulness and the other to hide his face dusted with red. Dust swings his arm around the thin crook of Will's neck and groups togethers the party. Everyone greets each other and make jokes with one another. Maxine approaches him and sticks out a confident hand to Will. He hesitantly returns the gesture. He barely remembers the girl and whenever she joined the party. Still, he let's his hand join hers.
During the chatter cluster, he sees his poor brother being tortured by Steve's antics. He can't hear them, but he can just imagine the preppy idiotic stuff coining out of Steve's mouth. Apparently, he's in the party now too. Whoever made that decision clearly has it out for Will. Besides, the group was made for outcasts. Not generic, no personality, super insecure and never-had-it-rough guys.
"He's awesome, right?" Dustin comments. Shoot, he was caught staring. The young Byers swallows his non-existent pride and provides a painful gesture of agreement.
I hate Steve, Will thinks to himself whilst walking up the path to the Mayfeild's.
The door opens, and just about he's about to go in a pair of hands land on his shoulders and spin him around. It's Jonathan, kneeling down to Will's level. Asking about medicine, pills and most importantly: don't go out by yourself. Will nods- absent-minded- as him and Eleven hug their older brother. Jonathan ruffles El's hair before waving and retreating into his car.
Will heads inside as Dustin ushers him behind everyone. As if he wanted Will to be hidden. He didn't get it, but he didn't mind either. As he stepped inside and dried his boots, he lookes up, seeing a tall, dirty-blonde guy above him. He raises an eyebrow at the kid when he meets Byers' gaze. Will softly holds out his hand for a hand shake and greets,
" Hello, sir, are you Maxine's brother?" He seems to have caught the undivded attention of room, other than El, for some reason. Maxine's brother eyed him a bit more, and Mike looks like he's about to pounce on someone when:
"Hey, lil guy. Yeah, guess I am. Name's Billy Hargrove." He large, coarse hands fondle Will's baby ones whilst the shake hands playfully. Billy silently returns to what Will's gonna guess is him room, afterwards.
The small boy turns to his friends, who are all very awkward out of nowhere now. They're all mumbling and stuff. Will queries about what's wrong.
"You need to be careful about him, kid. He's not the kindest at times. Steve slowly replies, and Will wants to scream and call him out on all his hypocrisy, but he can't. Especially since everyone else is agreeing with him to, even Maxine, so the brunet shrugs and the party congregates in what he assumes is Maxine's room.
"What do you mean you didn't bring the set?" Mike exclaims.
"You said you were!" Lucas retorts.
"No I didn't!" Mike's face oozes with embarrassment from the claim.
"Yeah, you did." Steve interrupts, giving Mike a sly smirk. Wheeler huffs and slides down the wall to the floor, sulking. The small boy gave him a rub on his calf.
"It's probably for the best. OH! I KNOW WHAT WE CAN DO!" Maxine bellows. Everyone, except Will and Lucas, gave her a disgruntled glare.
"Calm down, sour patches. I was just thinking that we should use the night to mess with Billy!" Maxine proclaims likes it's the best plan ever. Mike, Dusty and El look intrigued. Steve and Lucas look frightened. Will's just utterly confused as always.
"Oh, no no no. We are not pissing him off." Steve sternly speaks up.
" You're boring! C'mon, we've got El! She'll back us up, right." Maxine says nudging Eleven. The telekenetic girl gives her look that says I will?
"Steve, don't you think he deserves it, a bit?" Dustin bargains. Steve still stubbornly declines. Not very surprisingly, the others, minus Lucas, persist.
"He'll kill us." Lucas hisses, fiddling with his camo headband. Will pretends he didn't hear that as to protect whatever their plan is of not telling Will anything about this guy.
"Not if he doesn't know it's us! He's gotten a little nicer since then, anyway." Maxine points to Will as if he was Billy's first act of kindness the party had seen. Maxine steps forwards to Lucas and holds his hand. She whispers something I can't hear, but Dustin can if his 'I'm gonna puke face' is any constellation. Lucas sighs and agrees to join in the attack.
Will and Steve are the only ones not it the group huddle.
" Ugh, I'm going to the toilet. Don't do anything stupid. I mean it." He points mainly at Maxine. She shrugs and directs him to the bathroom.
Will is still sat confused and contemplating. No one gets to do anything, anyhow, as Maxine's upbeat and sly nature disappears with the front door opening. Maxine puts a finger to her lips strictly. They all nod obediently. The ginger tip-toes out the room and shuts her door firmly. Will sneaks to the door and rests his ear against it.
He can hear a low man's voice speak,
"Max, are you having a sleep over." He can't hear a reply from Max, but he can hear Billy step up, saying,
"No, sir." An amused grunt seems to come from the father, he guesses. The dad's footsteps are heavy. They get to Maxine's door.
" Wait, Neil! I- I left my clothes and womanly stuff everywhere. P-please, let me clean up first." Maxine begs. Will doesn't hear anything for a while. Nothing other than heavy footsteps facing away from them now.
"Dear Max, hun." He calmly addresses. He can hear a gasp of surprise from Max. Will assumes has approaching her.
"What. Did. I . Say. About. Calling. Me. Neil?" His voice is far from light-hearted, calm or charming anymore. Billy's attempts to intervene sound futile as he's cut off by the deel-voiced man. There no noise. Silence all around. Until
The sound of skin colliding fills the house with echos. Before anyone can blink, there's yelling from Billy most likely and thump to the ground. Maxine's soft whimpers are there too.
Will steps back and turns to his friends. Lucas eyes' are laced with anger. His fists are balls. He grabs his rocket launcher and takes strong steps out the door. He slams open the door, stance wide. Now Will can actually see what's happening. He peers around Lucas, meekly, seeing Neil on top of Billy...choking him?
The grown man releases his son and stands up facing Lucas. Sinclair readies his launcher in return. The man shakes his head and grins.
"So you're friends with the fags and niggas, now?" He directs that to Maxine, but glares at Lucas when he says that word. Lucas took a deep breath. Just like when he's aiming the launcher at randome things. Excpet now it's a homophobic, racist and an abuser. The black child fires and the rock lands right on Neil's right eye. He stumbles back a bit, but catches himself. He straightens his posture and breaks into a fit of laughs. There's now a scar on his eye. Will cowers behind Dustin and accepts the protective arm he sets in front of him.
He's heading for Lucas now except he gets thrown to the side by Billy. He has him under his grip, baring his teeth furiously. Neil soon broke out and grabbed Billy by the neck. He lifted his head up like he was a ragdoll and slammed his face into the side of a table until blood decorated his fingers and Billy's face. He left him, with redness dripping everywhere, and took one of his hands into his grip.
" Why don't you come here Maxine. Watch what happens when you dare disobey me." He takes Maxine by the ear and forces her to watch him.
Neil takes Billy's pinky finger. He pushes it to the side. Forces the bone to snap. A crack floats amongst the silence. Now his finger lies restless to the side of his palm. Next his index. With both hands wrapped around it, he twists one of his hands right and the other left. There a quick snap, but Neil continues. Billy's screams of agony are choked by the lake of his blood, he's face down in.
His father grabs him, and puts him to his feet. Billy's breathing, but his eyes are blank between the blood dripping down him. Without a warning, Hargrove is hurled to the kitchen door. His weight blows the door open. By now Maxine is screaming in fear with some of the others too. Mike is begging El to make him stop. Eleven's shell-shocked and unresponsive. Will leaves Dustin's side and peers in from the kitchen door. He's not scared. Billy can get him. Hopefully. After closer look, Billy's right leg has snapped too. It's laying on the floor, to the side, facing upwards. His father crouches over him.
Neil's laying punch after punch on the guy's already dismantled face. Everytime he does, there's a disgusting noise from the blood sloshing around in the crook if Billy's neck. He can feel Billy's heartbeat. He doesn't know why. Or how. Nor does he care.
Billy's on the verge of death. Maxine's in the corner, in a ball, in a breakdown. Everyone is crying, or silent in fear. Will grins his teeth and snaps and pulls a wooden leg from chair off. He creeps Neil and raises the leg.
With eyes closed, he thwacks the leg across Niel's head, knocking him off Bill. Before Neil gets the chance, he rapidly grasps anything sharp from the cutlery. He passes it to the slouched guy whilst Neil gets to his knees. Billy crawls with his broken leg trailing behind. The knife, a butcher knife, swings to the elders neck, lodged in the side. Will can see alarm in Hargrove's eyes. He frantically shuffles away from Neil. The body falls backwards to Maxine's feet she screams and clambers up the drawers onto the desk. Maroon liquid spreads along the tiles and to Will's feet. Will's not afraid. Never was. He walks over to the breathless body. He steals the butcher knife and swiped down into the man's skull. Hasty footsteps are heard coming to the kitchen as Will instantly swivels his head to see who it was.
"I heard a screa- HOLY FUCK!" Between Billy being fully broken, Maxine in a ball with the tips of her hair stained with blood, and Will staring at him with a brain-stained butcher knife, he spins around and lets yesterday's lunch spill out in a thick, yellow pool.
Will, too, feels a sickness rides to his chest. Not from the body or Steve's accident either. It speeds to be thought then mouth. He makes panicked muffled noises and stumbled to the bathroom. He lets the foaming substance spill out of his mouth and as he's managing to not drown in the contents of his puke, he spies from the corner of his eye the concerning colour of his bile.
B..blue? Green? Slimy?
Pretty quickly, he realises it's not just vomit. A slug had grew inside him, slithered up his throat and spilled out of his jaw. Before he can even panic, more come through. Slug, after slug. A moldy substance has stuck and formed around his lips. His tounge is stained with this juice... The boy's in tears as his legs give up underneath him. His pupils have dilated and the whites of his eyes have turned a translucent blue too. His face is pale and his veins are a prominent black. He falls backwards and clutches his stomach.
What's happening to him?