|Will Byers (zombiespy) wrote in valloic,|
@ 2020-09-03 01:12:00
|Entry tags:||!action/thread/log, ₴ inactive: eddie kaspbrak, ₴ inactive: will beyers|
He knocked, calling out "Okay if I come in?" and waiting for an answer before he pushed into Will's bedroom with a small smile and a glass of water. "Told you," he added a little sheepishly, because he was nothing if not predictable. Getting them all to hydrate during a crisis was par for the course with Eddie Kaspbrak. He handed Will the glass and sat on the edge of his bed, trying not to exude concern too much but wanting to be here all the same. Even if Will didn't feel like talking, it was important to Eddie to be here for him. That, if nothing else, was what he wanted to convey: acceptance and support and understanding. Because these kids had been through hell, and he'd be damned if he let that continue for them here.
"So what's up?" Eddie asked gently. He wouldn't push, but he also wasn't going to let the topic of conversation slide into something else. He'd deflected more than enough times to know how that worked.
Will shook his head quickly, smiling slightly. "It's okay. I was thirsty anyway," he said. He hadn't been, but he knew the Ways of Hydrating these days, and that it made Eddie feel better. And he'd been acting weird, Will knew, and worrying him - and Richie, which he shouldn't do when Richie just GOT here. He was sitting cross legged on his bed and looked down at the open box in front of him. He'd ordered the little minis after their D&D game, from the money he'd made at his jobs, and had them on a shelf with his books and things downstairs. But as soon as he'd seen Nancy, Steve, and Robin were here he'd gone to get them and anything else of his that took up space in the mansion and tucked them away in his room. He wasn't even sure why he'd done it, he just had felt like he should. Now just the box was out, the minis unpainted in their box on his bed, the books and maps and stuff all tucked away.
He picked at the hem of his sweatpants for a second. "I uh ... it's really okay. Nancy and Steve and Robin. They really are great and it's not bad that they're here and I don't ... not want them to be. I just ... I don't know. Started thinking a lot I guess."
Way too much. Will knew what he wanted to say but not entirely how to say it and felt like it was too much to say, too. "You're sure you don't mind? You've got Richie and everything and this is ... it's not a big deal, it's me being stupid mostly," Will said, even if he knew what Eddie would say, because Eddie was great. He just couldn't help asking.
Eddie could tell Will was humoring him, and it made his heart ache. He was such a good kid. And while he'd only known Hopper for a little while, both here in Vallo and back at the haunted mansion world, he'd heard enough from the guy to know that Will had clearly taken after his mother in so many ways. He was unusually kind for his age, and so perceptive. It reminded him a bit of Richie, actually, how gentle they both were, and how important it was to be loyal to their friends. "You know I'm really proud of you, right?" Eddie said suddenly. "You were so quiet when you got here. I was really worried about you, but Christ, now you're working for two famous people, you're a DM for a huge group, and you're always helping with stuff. It's fucking impressive, and you're an awesome person. Just for the record." He bumped Will's shoulder once, offering another small smile before settling in again to listen.
He hummed, noting the fact that the Scooby-Doo people were apparently nice. Will seemed insistent on that fact, which Eddie mostly trusted. But if they weren't bullies, what was wrong? Maybe he felt strange about his brother's ex-girlfriend being in Vallo? He'd never had siblings, but he could understand how that might be stressful, whatever the circumstances of the breakup were. "Alright, so they're cool. I'll buy that." They did look a little too preppy to be losers. Sad.
"Just because my boyfriend's here it doesn't mean I don't have time for you," Eddie said gently. He made sure he sounded as neutral as possible so Will wouldn't feel bad about asking. "And I don't think you're stupid for having emotions. That's just human nature? Of course it's gonna be weird when people from home show up. You haven't seen them in months."
Will couldn't help but flush a little at the praise, leaning into the shoulder bump and looking down again, but more flustered and pleased than just evasive for a moment. "I - thanks. It's easier, here. With all of you." Which was part of what had him freaking out, he guessed.
"I know, I just don't want to pile stuff on you when you've been worrying about Richie and you just lost him and got him back. It's not even that they're here. Not really. I don't know. It's just. I keep thinking now," he said again.
Will chewed his lip for a second, looking down at the minis on his bed again. He picked up a handful and set them down in front of his knees. "When you ah ... you and Richie and Stan and all the others, your world was crappy, and terrible things happened. But when they happened you all went together and fought, right? And won. And then you were friends and you went back and fought again and won for good. And you all … I guess you found each other during that kind of, some of you? You and Richie, and Stan and Bill. It made you closer. And you're all just …"
He stopped and then picked up a mini - it was a goblin, but it didn't really matter, it was just one that didn't match. Will picked it up and pulled it aside, setting it away from the others, two fingers loosely curled around it. "My world …my friends and me, we were like you guys. Everyone else thought we were weird, and losers. Even my dad called me ... " he trailed off without saying it, shrugging and just going on, "but we had each other. And then when our really bad stuff happened, I wasn't there. I was in the Upside Down, by myself. And everyone else, they had to fight together, or be brave or figure things out. But I was alone, and I was hiding, because that's all I could do, and just trying to figure out how to talk to my mom back home so she'd know I wasn't gone. And it worked and they all found me but it wasn't … with me. It was because of me, or for me. Kids in school, they blamed me for anything weird around Hawkins now, because they think it all started when I disappeared and everyone thought I was dead. But I wasn't, even if I was close at the end, I was just not there. Separate."
Will didn't mean to keep talking, but it just kept bubbling up, and he half felt like he was listening to himself without actually saying any of it. He tipped the little figure one way and then the other. "Then I was back, but I was wrong. I had dreams, saw things, felt things - even when I was awake. Like I was still there. Like part of it was still in me. Like I was wrong. But I couldn't tell anyone that because they thought they saved me and they wanted it to be over. So did I. And if I told them … so I didn't say, and I hid it. But it got worse and then I wasn't really there again. I was trapped, but it was like … being trapped IN myself. By something else. I was alone still. And they still had to save me or FIX me because I was screwed up. And I'm grateful, I am, but it's not … they all got closer doing it. And I got further away."
He looked up for a second and then down again. "And then when I was finally me again, I just wanted things to go back. So I wasn't by myself. So I wasn't different. But they'd all moved on. They'd done what you guys did - fought together, gotten closer, found each other. And I wasn't there. So I wasn't a part of it. They didn't want to go back - why would they? They'd gotten better things. They were happy, and normal and I STILL wasn't. I still wanted kids stuff and I still didn't like girls and HERE that's okay and doesn't mean there's still something wrong with me, but back there …" Back there, they'd think it did. They'd think a lot of things about him meant he still had something wrong with him.
"El's good. She's sort of like my sister, and I don't think she'll ever not feel a little outside too, because of how she grew up. But … she had Mike at home, and I didn't really, or it didn't feel like it. Not anymore. And Lucas and Max had each other and Dustin had his camp girlfriend and Steve, and Jonathan had Nancy. And everything had changed, it wasn't just the four of us anymore. Even though I liked El and Max and Steve and Nancy it was just … I felt like I wasn't really THERE for any of it when they came, or when they made friends with the others. So it was like they had more space than I did. They belonged more than I did. Even my mom worried so much about me that I felt like I couldn't do anything wrong because she had enough to worry about and she wasn't really … taking time to be sad for herself after Bob died or giving Hopper a chance already because of me. And then more went wrong and we just LEFT and I'm supposed to start all over and I will, and I know I'll try to be normal and fit in and find a space and maybe I even will? No one will know I'm a freaky zombie boy who got trapped in a monster world and used to cough up monster slugs. But even if I DO, I won't be me. I'll still be hiding. That's all I can ever do. And we could turn around, move back, go back to Hawkins, and it wouldn't matter. It wouldn't change anything. Even if I hide, I won't fit. And if I don't, I definitely won't."
Will let the little goblin tip over onto the mattress, folding his hands over his knees instead and drawing in on himself. "I just … felt like I had a place here. And now I don't know what to do because people other than El from the real world are here, so that seems. I don't know. Less real? More like me kidding myself? It's stupid. Sorry. I don't know why I said all that. It's just. People disappear. And come back and don't remember. So what if I go back and I never know I was here, and that's all I ever do? Hide and be outside of everyone else."
Eddie knew some things about Will's history. He'd had to piece certain things together for himself, but the more he heard, the more upset he always felt on behalf of his friend. It made him so angry to hear how isolated Will had felt back home, without the support of his so-called friends after such an utterly harrowing experience. But Eddie knew he couldn't put that on him right now. So he remained quiet and listened, brow deeply knit while Will walked him through more of his inner thoughts than he'd ever revealed in all the time they'd known each other. The anger was still there. How could it not be? It rolled just under Eddie's skin like boiling water, and he struggled not to interject, to insist Will wasn't any of the things those people thought he was, to yell because at least that would express something other than the deep, unrelenting sorrow he felt weighing him down.
So instead, Eddie reached out to rest his hand on Will's shoulder, and when he didn't pull away, he gave a gentle squeeze. I'm here, he hoped that conveyed. And I'm not going anywhere. Because unlike the people who had failed Will (and it was, in Eddie's estimation, a failure), he would fight tooth and nail to protect this kid. Still, though, he didn't actually say anything yet, watching carefully as he continued to open up. He nodded a little, too, at some parts, hoping his small noises of encouragement helped Will feel like he was being listened to. That he was being heard. Because that was the biggest point Eddie felt like he was taking away from all this: Will hadn't felt like the people in his life were listening, and God help him, Eddie wanted to change that.
"It's not stupid," he said finally, voice a little raspy. He bit back the urge to cry, but tears pricked at his eyes all the same. "Thank you for telling me all this. It's—I just. I care about you so fucking much, and I'm so sorry this shit is bringing up all the awful crap you went through at home. Can I get a hug?" Eddie would wait, of course, for Will's consent before reaching to tug him into an embrace. He squeezed him hard for a long, long moment, trying to transfer as much love and support as he felt into the way he held him close, protective.
"It's okay," was what he managed, however muffled, against his shoulder. "I promise, it'll work out. We can't be here for no reason. That's just ... it's just impossible. And messed up. Okay? So if something tries to force you back into that place, Will, I swear to God I'll fight it." He meant that, too. Eddie was nothing if not ready to throw down with the powers that be the second they threatened his friends.
Eddie was nice. He was smart and he was protective and generous, but above all he was just kind to Will, and had been since the day Will got here. He hadn't had any reason for it that Will had known, and he hadn't understood it at first, but now he relied on it and that was probably why he just sort of ... opened his mouth and all that stuff fell out.
It wasn't anything he'd say to his friends at home, or even in the same way to his mom or Jonathan. They worried too much about him and part of how Will had to keep them from getting TOO worried was to try to be more normal, more like they'd expect him to be. But Eddie didn't have the same history or life as well - there were just similarities enough that Will felt like he didn't have to pretend he was okay as hard when he wasn't.
The funny thing was he'd been a lot more okay here than he'd been at home! It just sort of all hit him at once.
He gave Eddie a little lopsided attempt at a smile when he squeezed his shoulder like that and told him it wasn't stupid. He'd kind of known Eddie would say that, even if it was. Because Eddie would yell at his friends all the time, but he was always just nice, too. "I ... me too? I care about you? And thanks. Yeah. Of course." Eddie hugged him and Will hugged back, ducking his head into Eddie's shoulder a little. He missed his brother, a lot. But he was so glad he had Eddie here. Will didn't think he'd have learned any of the stuff about himself that he had if Eddie and the rest of them hadn't started talking to him when he first got here.
He winced a little though. "But we can't. People just go, or show up, and we can't ... do anything." Will chewed his lip again and then added. "If I go and come back and don't remember ... just make sure someone tells me, okay? Enough so I know that it's not always ... how it is?"
Will went quiet for a long minute, still hugging Eddie and then added in a quiet-voiced rush. "And it's DUMB to even care since I didn't know-him know him. But Cloud's gone too, Eddie." And now Will couldn't try to figure out how to accidentally see him sometime in town. Which he may have done twice.
Eddie knew Will cared about him. He seemed to care about so many people, like his empathy kept spilling over, and it was really sweet. Still, it was nice to hear. He smiled, and smiled even more when Will returned the hug. They would figure this out. He'd been nervous about it before, but it didn't feel quite so scary this time—not when it seemed like talking this out had helped Will, even just a little bit. Part of him wondered if this was what it felt like to have siblings. He'd wished for one for a long, long time, and honestly, that was part of why he'd clung to Bill as hard as he did when they were kids. Maybe this was Eddie's way of trying to repay the favor, but more than that, it was because he felt like Will was his little brother. And that meant so much to him.
"I know you do," he replied, and shifted to make room so Will could bury against his shoulder. Eddie felt a surge of protectiveness well up inside him, and he clung to his friend for a little while, trying to reassure himself that they wouldn't be torn apart and things would calm down again. It was a tall fucking order. He drew back a bit when Will started speaking again, a small frown pinching his brow again as he listened. "I can, yeah, but ... why don't you write yourself a letter? Maybe draw something, too? I bet hearing it from yourself would help a lot more than somebody telling you how you might feel." Because God knew Eddie would believe very few people if the same happened to him.
The mood lightened significantly when Will mentioned Cloud, though, and Eddie struggled—and managed—not to smile. "He could come back," he pointed out, because enough people had cycled through Vallo in the near-year Eddie had been there for him to feel fairly confident about that (his heartbreak over Richie leaving notwithstanding, of course). But he knew it was hard regardless. "I can promise you're going to meet someone amazing who deserves you, Will. You're too fucking cool not to." And he meant every word of that.
"A letter," Will repeated. He hadn't thought of that. It was a good idea, even if it made him wonder what a different him would think. Would it really just be him, only not remembering? Or a different version of himself? Was there a version that didn't even need that kind of letter or reassurance because he already fit in?
He didn't know, but Will would rather write it, and draw a picture, and know if it WAS him and he forgot and came back, there was a way back to remembering. It would make him ... worry less.
"Okay," he said quietly. And then a little stronger, he repeated. "Okay. Thanks, that's ... that's a good idea. Do you - will you keep it for me? Just in case? So you can give it to me if I leave and come back and don't know anything?"
Will gave a little huff of a laugh that was only a bit watery. "I know. I just ... he was nice. To look at." He shook his head, sitting back finally. "I don't - I mean I don't need to have anybody or expect to, you know? I'm not like you guys. I just ... want to be somewhere where it's okay to be someone who likes to look sometimes?" He wasn't good looking or brave, didn't have a sword or a lightsaber. He didn't really need pretty guys to like him back, he just wanted to know that he could be himself and know he liked them, and not hide it. It would be enough.
"Of course I will," Eddie replied, feeling warm all over. It felt really, really good to help bring Will some peace of mind. The kid deserved it after everything he'd been through. And even though his heart broke a little further when Will continued talking, he kept smiling a tiny bit, shifting around so he could face his friend. "Hey. Look at me." Eddie waited for him to, and reached over to hold his hand for a brief moment, squeezing gently. "I get it. And it is okay to look. Take your time and don't let anyone rush you, okay? If you never feel ready to date, that's fine. It's all about what feels right to you." Will was so young. They weren't that far apart in age, but Eddie knew exactly what it felt like then: it was confusing and intense and scary, and he was relieved Will at least had space and agency to decide what he liked without feeling pressured. He just needed time.
Straightening a bit, his smile turned a little lopsided. "Want to get started on your letter now? I can grab the pencils and stuff." He wouldn't read or look at it unless Will said he could, though he was intensely curious. Maybe he should write a letter to himself, too. Eddie would have to consider it.