Dustin Henderson needs an unlikely hero.
Last year, when he recruited Steve Harrington, it had been interesting to say the least. Steve was a douchebag, but eventually the potential that Dustin knew he had came to life, and now?
They’re best buds.
Dustin needs help, and nobody is around, again.
The Sinclairs are having a mandatory family day, due to Lucas spending more time with the Party than he is with his family.
Max and Jane are having a girls’ day, whatever that means.
Steve is swamped at Scoops Ahoy, and y’know he tried to get away, really he did. But Robin, stopped him from doing so, and Dustin did like her but, now he doesn’t, so.
And the Byers moved away because they can only take so much of monsters from different dimensions and, Dustin can’t blame them.
And Mike is visiting them for the third time this month and it’s totally not because he has a crush on Will. Not at all.
So, Dustin needs help.
And, really. He would find the monster himself, but it’s the demogorgon. And like, if it were a demodog, he could totally take it on alone. But the demogorgon is like, no joke. And he doesn’t have a death wish.
Dustin has an idea, ‘cause Steve was a douche, but after Dustin unwillingly enlisted him in a fight against otherworldly monsters, he totally changed.
So, standing outside of the Hargrove’s door, Dustin has an idea.
Billy is more than a douche, and it would probably take a lot more than accompanying Dustin on a monster hunting trip for him to make up for it. But this could be a start.
So Dustin knocks on the door, hard because loud angry raging Billy-music is playing and then it’s abruptly cut off, and the door is sprung open so hard that Dustin is sure it won’t ever close correctly again.
And honestly, if looks could kill Dustin would be dead right now, because Billy looks at him like he’d just shaved his hair off his head.
He doesn’t say anything, he just waits.
”I need your help.”
And then Billy rolls his eyes and moves to shut the door, and okay. Dustin knew he might’ve had to put in a little more effort than what he did with Steve.
He has to speak quickly, because the door is almost closed, “I’ll tell you what happened that night!”
And, Dustin would’ve had to tell him anyways, cause, you know, but it gets Billy to open the door again so, win for Dustin.
So Dustin is in the passenger seat of Billy’s camaro. And, it’s really hard to tell him this story, not because of disbelief, no. It’s difficult ‘cause Billy’s driving unnecessarily fast, and him hitting his hands on the steering wheel to the beat of loud music isn’t helping either.
When they get out on a farm at the edge of town, where Dustin had followed the trail of dead animals the other day, he pulls Steve’s bat from where he put it under Billy’s seat.
Dustin ignores the, “When the fuck did you put that in my car?”
The farm is large, with a huge red barn off to the right, and plenty of tractors and trailers for them to hide behind.
It was perfect.
Dustin hoists his backpack on his person, and he waits a second just to listen out. Because it’s nighttime, and although the demogorgon is large, he’d rather hear it than see it.
”Come on, let’s fucking get this over with.”
Dustin rolls his in disgust, because really, “What is wrong with you?”
He scoffs and holds on to his backpack straps, “You don’t say ‘let’s get this over with’ when you’re about to fight a monster,” He bends down to his untied shoe and ties it. “You say ‘oh my god i hope we don’t die.’
Billy kicks Dustin’s shoe as he’s tying it, knocking him out of rhythm, “You better hope you don’t die ‘cause I’m sick of this shit already, Henderson.”
And really, Dustin looks at the older boy in awe, and then walks straight ahead, cause he’s starting to regret this whole unlikely hero idea.
He hears footsteps behind him, and his shoulders sag slightly in relief that the other boy is following him. But only slightly, because, you know, demogorgon.
Then he hears the guttural groan, and he knows the demogorgon has arrived, and is ready to sink it’s teeth into the cows fifty feet in front of them.
Billy is closer to him now, and Dustin grips the bat tighter, because he can’t hear anything anymore. And he wants to scream, and run and ask for help, ‘cause he’s way in over his head with this. But the farmers on this farm are stupid, because the farmhouse is like, eighty miles away and Dustin can barely see it in the distance.
Billy steps in front of him, and Dustin thinks ‘yes! unlikely hero, secured.’
And then his heart catches in his throat because he hears it behind him, and even though he shouldn’t, he turns, and oh god he had forgotten how big it was.
He hears running and Dustin finally moves and he runs too, and he sees Billy heading for the barn, so Dustin follows, and they cram into a frame of a car that’s been stripped apart.
Billy’s breathing is heavy, and he’s red in the face, “That’s - That’s the thing?”
Dustin nods, his hat starting to slide off due to the sweat, “Yeah. It’s bigger than I remember.”
Billy sighs and sinks down, “Fuck.”
They sit there for maybe, thirty seconds before it happens.
The demogorgon goes to the back of the barn, where its doors are open.
Dustin can’t see it from his position in the car, but Billy can.
And Billy, is so stunned, and angry and fuck this kid for bringing me here, he thinks. He’s got money saved up right now under his bed for when he graduates, because he is getting out of this town, and away from people like Henderson. But after tonight, he might go ahead and leave.
So he sits there, and his eyes gloss over because he is sure he’s going to die right here, and he’ll never see his home again.
And Billy, in all of his stunned glory moves so slow, and Dustin is yelling - no, screaming. Because he can only get out, if Billy gets out.
And bless Dustin Henderson, really. He always seems to find the good in people. He had done it with Steve, and he was so sure that he would get it right again, with Billy.
Billy would uncharacteristically save his life, he and Steve would have a truce. Billy, in his newfound kindness would apologize to Lucas, and he and Max would finally get along. And then the Byers would move back and then it would all be a win-win, and Dustin just misses his friends.
And he’s scrambling at Billy, scratching at him because he wants to go to his friends and tell them what he’s been feeling instead of hiding it, he wants to shove everyone out of line at Scoops Ahoy and hop across the counter and hug Steve.
He wants to run to the cabin and knock completely wrong like he always does, Jane will open the door and he’ll hug both her and Max.
He wants to run to the Sinclair house and risk Erica calling him a nerd because he misses his best friend.
If he could drive, he would drive to Maine and hug Will Byers until his bones would snap, because they would be alone together, while everyone would be huddled up, it was him and Will, against the world it felt like.
He even wants to hug Mike.
But he can’t do any of that because Billy won’t fucking move, and Billy’s bleeding and the monster comes closer and closer.
”Billy! Let me - let me out! Please!”
And when Billy’s body finally catches up with his brain, he moves, he scrambles out of his spot and he’s patting at his scratches, and he should totally grab Dustin and high tail it out of there.
But he isn’t Steve Harrington, so he doesn’t grab Dustin, and he runs.
He looks back as he does, and the kid almost made it out, he really did but, the monster caught his arm between its teeth, and Billy turned around and he kept running, ‘cause that’s not something he wants to see. And when Dustin cries out for help, when he screams his name and begs for him to not leave him, he still runs.
He hops in one of the trailers, and he sits there and he doesn’t breathe and he cries because Dustin isn’t screaming anymore, but he can still hear the monster ripping at his flesh, tearing him apart bone from bone like a Thanksgiving turkey.
He stays still the entire night, and when daylight breaks through and the lady who lives in the farmhouse comes down to her barn and screams, he runs again.
And he runs to his car, and throws it and gear and he floors it. His music is loud but it sounds so far away and when he looks to his passenger seat and finds the SuperComm there, he lets his window down and he tosses it out, because fuck that.
He drives past his house, and fuck that, too. Neil is home, and in this state, Billy might kill him too.
He stays out, and he sits by the quarry as the police zip by in a Billy-like fashion, sirens blaring and lights bouncing off of the water.
He stays out until it’s too dark for him, until a figure that looks like Dustin stands in the distance, and he has to leave.
Nobody is at home, and Billy knows that the farm lady saw him, so he knows they’re probably out looking for him.
He goes in the shower, and he stays in there longer than he should, but no one is home, so they wouldn’t know.
And this is his opportunity, he thinks. His chance to leave. He’s got enough money saved up, enough to get to California. Enough to hold him over until he can get a job. He’ll probably be a wanted man by then, so he shouldn’t move back to exactly where he lived, and he should probably cut his hair too.
He really doesn’t want to do that.
He goes to his room, all to ready to pack his bags and leave, but he’s put to a halt, because Steve Harrington is in his room, looking half dead in his Scoops Ahoy get up.
Steve just looks at him, and he looks so broken, and defeated and if Billy weren’t exhausted he’d laugh in his fucking face, because Steve doesn’t get to be sad. Because if Steve were there then Billy wouldn’t be responsible for this shit, he could live on in peace but he can’t because he’s got thirteen year old blood on his hands.
Steve shifts from where he sits on Billy’s bed, and the glow of the moonlight that is in always pooling in his room gleams off of the gun that’s in his lap, and fuck that.
So, Billy moves, a little faster than Steve expected.
Then a gunshot rings throughout the house.
Then, another lady comes home that next morning and she screams too, ‘cause there’s a dead boy on the floor in a pool of blood, and another one knocked out of the bed. She screams, and the red headed girl screams too, and the man, he exits the room as quickly as he’d entered and he calls the police.
Minutes later, one boy is leaving the house in a body bag, and the other leaves in handcuffs.
Hours later, the boy is shipped off to state prison, because he sure as hell killed that boy, he even confessed.
And then after, he’s escorted into Indiana Penitentiary, because Steve Harrington caught a murder charge, and he’ll be in prison for the rest of his life. But it doesn’t matter anymore because Dustin Henderson was ripped apart, and he won’t ever recover. Nobody will.