He was trapped in the sauna, confusion spreading across his face. It quickly turned to anger as he looked me dead in the eye. What else would you do if your girlfriend was running around with a bunch of kids, and Locking you in a steamy room? “What the hell is going on? Why are you running around with these losers?” He spat.
I backed away as he got closer to the glass, “W— We’re just checking something.” Was all I could respond. I got closer to the younger girl. I’d known all about Eleven, the stories and the previous years at Hawkins lab. Max told me all about it after Billy and I got together. I didn’t believe she really had powers until I saw it.
I also didn't believe them when they said Billy wasn't who he said he was. They kept saying he was a new host. It didn’t make much sense. He was a puppet, a spy, and he wasn’t in his right mind. It was hard to wrap my head around, honestly. That was until I saw him acting strange for the past few days. He’d grunt in his sleep, watch over my body like a hawk. I’d wake up at night to him staring at me, but it was like he wasn’t there. Like... it wasn’t the Billy I knew. I guess they came to me when they knew I could lure him and get him off guard.
“Let me out!” He banged on the glass. He was breathing heavily, I could hear it from where I was standing. “You guys... You think this is funny.” He said in between his pants. “You think this is some kind of sick prank, huh?”
I grabbed onto Max’s shoulder, who was a bit closer than I was. It seemed like she wanted to approach the door. “Don’t.” I warned her. She did as told and stood further behind and beside me.
Beads of sweat were covering his face, and he was raging with anger. “You think this is funny, bitch?” He hit it harder. “Let me out!” He spit on the transparent opening. He let out a shaky breath, “Open. The. Door. Open the door! Open the goddamn door!”
I jumped back at his outburst, and held his sister close. He finally fell to his knees, and began screaming in anger. Will took the opportunity to look at the thermometer. He looked back, “We’re at 220.” He said as he slowly made his way over to us.
It was quiet for a moment when we heard sobbing coming from inside the Sauna, it was faint... but it was his. “It’s not my fault... It’s not my fault. I promise you, Max... It’s not my fault.”
I felt her grip around my arm release, and she began shuffling over. I followed close behind. As we peeked through, we saw him sitting on the floor. His hands were clasped together in a pleading motion. “W—What’s not your fault, Billy?” I asked.
He looked at me, seeming genuinely surprised I was there. Like he hadn’t seen me before. Like he hadn’t just said words to me. Tears streamed down his face and he rocked back and forth, “I’ve done things, Baby...” he sobbed. “Horrible things, and I didn’t mean to. It was an accident, I didn’t mean it.”
Seeing him like this, it was so devastating. My eyes began to water as I couldn’t find any words to say.
“He made me do it...”
She gripped onto my hand this time, since we were standing so close. Max gently placed her other one on the glass, watching her step-brother with such grief and sorrow. “Who made you do it?”
He shook his head and let out a small sigh through his sniffling. “I don’t know, it’s like a shadow. Like a giant shadow...” he paused and look at the both of us. “Please, guys. I love you, please...”
I took a deep breath, my face stained with clear streaks. “What did he make you do?”
“It’s not my fault, okay? Please.” He cried and rested his head on the bench. “Please believe me! It’s not my fault! I tried to stop him, okay? I did.”
We both got closer, trying to get a better look. He was so broken right now.
“Please believe me, Max. Both of you, please believe me.” He whimpered.
Max let out a sniffle, and nodded. “It’s gonna be okay, Billy.
I wanted so badly to let him out, to hug him and hold his body close. He didn’t deserve this. He didn’t deserve what was happening to him. “You just have to talk to us, okay? Please, just talk to us.”
“We believe you, Billy. We’ll just figure it out together. You just have to trust us.”
A small voice broke me out of my focus, “Guys, get away from the door.”
I looked back at Mike, “What?”
His head snapped in our direction, panic in his eyes. “Get away from the door!”
The moment he said that, glass shattered everywhere, and some of the pieces sliced my face when I dropped to the ground. His arm waved around frantically, trying to attack anything he could grab. “Let me out, you bitch! Let me out!”
I backed away, watching in horror at the sight before me. Max backed away, terror and sadness read across her face.
He waved around a white piece of sharp tile in his hands, “I’ll fucking gut you!” He looked over at the metal rod holding the chains in place. The lights flickered, and I looked back to see Lucas grab his slingshot, pulling it back and shooting a rock in Billy’s direction. It hit him right in the face, and he fell back hard.
“Max!” I waved her over in our direction. She quickly ran over, and helped me up before we got behind El. She outstretched her arms, trying to cover us all. The light kept flickering, and I felt nothing but adrenaline run through my body once we heard a roar come from inside the Sauna. It sounded monstrous. He had gotten up, and we could see him back up and throw his body against the chains. I jumped, trying to process it all.
“He can’t get out, can he?” I managed to choke.
Lucas shook his head, “No way.”
He pounded on the door once more. The metal pipe began to bend from all the pressure and we edged even further. He backed up again, putting his whole weight on the next hit. I let out a yelp when the chains busted open, and he fell by our feet.
We scurried away, trying to get as far from him as possible. He slowly rose up, his body was covered in blue and purple veins. His eyes were dull, and he moved in a very inhuman way. He let out small pants as he went face to face with El. I grabbed Max’s hand, pulling her behind me. I watched the teenager raise her hand, levitating the dumbbell and throwing it in Billy’s direction.
He let out a grunt when his back hit the brick wall, the rod holding him in place by his neck. I gasped, seeing his face turn a deep red from the lack of oxygen. I almost screamed when he slowly pushed against the metal, El struggling to fight against him. He finally pushed it all the way back, throwing it at her.
“Billy!” I yelled.
El fell to the floor, and he grabbed onto her hair. He pulled her head back and looked over at us. We couldn’t move, we couldn’t even speak. We were frozen in fear. He gripped her neck tight and began choking her.
“No!” She croaked out and clawed at his arms. She smacked and smacked, but she couldn’t get herself free. I didn’t even notice when Mike grabbed the bat, and creeped up behind him.
Billy dropped her when the steel weapon hit him over the head. She feel to the floor, gasping and catching her breath.
Mike raised it over his head again for another swing, “Take that you piece of sh—“ he stopped when it came down and landed in the older one’s hands. He’d grabbed it before Mike could even attack him again. He tossed the weapon aside, and it landed by my feet. Bill slowly pushed himself up once more, and Mike began to back away.
It was like something possessed me. I didn’t even realize I was doing it until it all finally happened. I pushed Max over to Lucas and Will. I grabbed the object that had rolled over to me and held the handle tight. It was heavy, big, and was already covered in small drops of blood. “Hey, asshole!” I called.
He turned and saw me, and I swung it as hard as I could. I was never into sports, but the crack his head made when it made contact with the bat, it made me think I should’ve tried baseball as a kid. His head snapped to the side, and this gave Mike enough time to go help El.
Billy didn’t fall, he turned his head back over to me, and I slowly stepped away to lure him closer. Just enough seconds for the girl to figure out what to do. He approached me, and I went to swing again when he grabbed the bat in his hands. This time, he didn’t throw it. He pulled it away from me, holding it and winding back before swinging towards me.
I barely dodged, but it wasn’t gonna be easy to do again. I tried to look back over at El, but I couldn’t see her. All I could see in that moment was him. And I noticed, tears in his eyes. Like he was sorry for something. His lips quivered when he swung again. He missed once more.
“Billy...” I put my hands out and kept my distance. ”You can fight this.” I froze when my back hit the wall. I couldn’t run anywhere else. “Look at me!”
He paused for a moment and stared back at me.
I was practically begging at this point. ”Billy, it’s me. I know you can fight back... You don't have to do this.”
It seemed like I was getting through to him. That was until he shook his head, sweat covering his face. His eyes were red and puffy. “I do... I’m sorry.”
His arm swung back again, and I heard the split when it connected with my skill. I fell to the floor, spitting a small amount of blood from my mouth. I tried to crawl away, feeling him close behind me. He dropped the steel object by me, and his hands grabbed my legs and flipped me over.
“No!” I screamed and tried to kick. It didn’t work, he was too strong. “Please...”
He hovered above me, wrapping his hands around my neck. I gasped, feeling my airway slowly being restricted with so much force. I grabbed at his face, it did nothing. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” Was all he kept mumbling. So quiet, I don’t think anyone else heard.
I coughed and gagged, trying to breath. He couldn’t even look at me. His tears dropped onto my face, which was now a red and blue mix. He let out one last grunt before lifting my head off the floor and slamming it down. The last thing I saw, the anger and devastation in his eyes.