As he entered the room, his eyes immediately zeroed on a girl on the back.
She was young, around his age perhaps, and had long blond hair and freckles all over her face. Her height was wrong, she looked younger than he remembered, and her hair was too long, but as he looked at her face he knew she was unmistakably-
‘’Robin’’ he said, not realising he had opened his mouth until the name was already out.
Robin turned her face towards him, a recognition that shouldn’t be there flashing through her blue eyes. He knew they weren’t supposed to meet yet, but the fact that he found her here, in a place he had never heard of from her, gave him hope, hope that he wasn’t alone. But he had to make sure, so he opened his mouth and in perfect Russian recited-
“A trip to China sounds nice”
“if you tread lightly.’’
The fight was over.
Yet as always, it wasn’t a victimless war.
Steve looked down as Hargrove sacrificed himself after El whispered those words. He couldn’t hear anything but Max’s screams as the Mind Flayer impaled Hargrove’s abdomen.
It seemed like an oxymoron, the man he’d always seen as someone strong, someone to fear, was dying a floor below. He had to admit, it made some morbid kind of sense that he’d die being a stubborn asshole and deifying the creature that controlled him for so long.
The Mind Flayer suddenly fell, but all he could focus on was Hargrove’s body. A day ago he was on a Russian elevator, with no idea that the Upside Down was back, or that Hargrove was possessed. It all happened so quickly it actually hurt his head.
‘’Ugh’’ he heard a groan from his right. Robin was clutching her head, her eyes closed in pain. He only realised the pain on his head might be caused by a bit more than confusion when it suddenly intensified a tenfold.
Steve could feel it spreading from his head to his neck to the rest of his body. All his muscles ached -and not in a good way, the way they felt after an intense basketball practice- and his veins felt like they were filled with fire.
“God” he moaned, “you think- you think it’s that drug they gave us?” He asked her as he kneeled on the floor, the pain far too strong to stay standing.
“I don’t know d-dingus” she managed to get out, before falling down, her body suddenly lifeless. Steve didn’t really have much time to be more alarmed before he met a similar fate. The excruciating pain was so strong he didn’t even feel when his body hit the floor.
Steve opened his eyes to see his room ceiling.
He had a headache, nothing near the earlier pain, but he couldn’t feel any of the wounds the Russian soldier had inflicted on him. His body felt well-rested, not even the soreness sleeping on an elevator had given him remained.
His body wasn’t the only thing that felt different though, his room felt different too. His blinds were closed, something he hadn’t bothered to do since his first encounter with the Upside Down. It smelled different too; stale, like dirty clothes and closed windows. He sat in his bed, and immediately got hit by nostalgia.
His room still had the Blondie and The Cure posters and old Batman and Robin duvet he had throughout his childhood; the swimming trophy he’d won back in middle school was sitting proudly in his desk, instead of in his shelf, with all the other sports trophies he’d won in highschool. It all seemed as if he was back on his childhood room, a room he hadn’t seen since mid freshman year when Tommy H had told him having a Batman duvet was childish and he’d finally said goodbye to it. Everything was too exact to be a joke.
The room was even the same blue paint it used to have, and the room didn’t smell of paint, as it would if this was installed the day he got stuck in the elevator from hell. If he didn’t know better he’d think he was in the past but, it couldn’t be. Could it?
All the remains of a cadaver of days,
I keep hidden away, keep them there just in case.
I wanna visit that place,
Blow the dust from the bones
Off a body of years that I leave all alone.
-Mother Mother, Body of Years.