Fandom: Stranger Things
Category: Ficlet. Hopper focus.
Time Frame: The day after the gate closed.
Spoilers: Stranger Things, Season Two.
Summary: Jim Hopper has paid the price for many of his decisions in life. That doesn’t mean he would change them.
Word Count: 448
Jim Hopper groaned as his alarm went off.
It wasn't going to be easy to get out of bed today. He had aches and pains all over.
Most of them were easy to explain.
His right shoulder hurt from repeatedly firing a gun.
His hands ached from gripping literally everything too tightly for the past forty-eight hours.
His feet were tired from too much time in stiff boots.
His back was acting up from running around carrying kids who were far too big for that.
He stretched, testing his limbs and yawning. He'd get up in a minute. Really.
He stretched again and ran a hand over his belly lazily.
And suddenly, he sucked in a sharp breath. That had hurt. He repeated his action, and sure enough, there it was again. A sore spot just under the skin, tender to the touch.
Hopper sighed. He had no idea what he'd done there, but he figured he'd be finding bumps and bruises for days. No time to worry about it now.
He rolled out of bed and headed for the shower. Once he was done, he took the time to look himself over.
All in all, it wasn't so bad, he told himself. He looked pretty good, all things considered. Nothing obvious to suggest he'd fought off inter-dimensional monsters. Again.
He only had a few bruises. One, a softly purple blotch on his left side, just under his ribs, coincided to the soreness he'd found. Hopper ran a hand over it again and hissed. Yep. Same spot.
He sighed, then shrugged a bit, rolling his shoulders as he did so. He had no idea where he'd gotten that one.
But whatever. He had work to do.
He pulled on his shirt. As he did, he found a similar bruise on his other side. Just as minor as the first, but still sore to the touch too. In fact, there was a small field of them on his midsection. None were bad, but all were nonetheless real.
And suddenly, he got it.
Damn that Wheeler kid, anyway.
He understood the boy's reaction. He really did. But he also didn't care.
So the kid was pissed. And hurt. So what?
He was just a kid.
He didn't know shit about any of this.
So he could flail and rage and hit all he wanted. Jim would take the bruises. He deserved worse.
Only not for this.
Because nothing mattered except keeping Eleven as safe as he could.
And if that meant introducing one boy to the harsh realities of grown-up life - to tough decisions and their consequences - then so be it.
He'd do it again in a heartbeat. This entry was originally posted at https://jackwabbit.dreamwidth.org/841357.html. Please comment there using OpenID.