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New Fic: Weekly Tradition

Weekly Tradition

Fandom: Stranger Things
Rated: G
Category: Gen. Vignette. Family. Hopper and Eleven.
Time Frame: Probably sometime after season two, before the upcoming season three.
Spoilers: Stranger Things, Season Two.
Summary: Every time I turn around, I see the girl who turns my world around.
Word Count: 461

----

Hopper didn’t watch much television.

Between work, Eleven, chores, and the basic necessities of life, he just didn’t have the time.

And when he did manage to pry a few minutes free, he usually read a book.

Well, these days anyway. He read to El sometimes. But she needed that less and less, so he mostly read on his own to set an example. He figured the kid watched TV all day, so it was the least he could do to try to encourage some other forms of entertainment.

So most nights in the cabin were quiet save for the rustling of pages.

But not Sunday nights.

On Sundays, they watched TV.

Mostly, that was because Hopper made a rule that Sundays were for football and the viewing just continued naturally into the evening. But regardless of the reason, it became a thing.

Sunday nights were for television.

They usually watched Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. It was a running joke that they should be on the show rather than watching it, so it was a staple.

That is, until one week when Ripley’s was a rerun and the only other channel they could get was airing a show about a rich kid with an overgrown train set that Hopper only wished he’d had as a boy.

They’d watched the boy’s antics for half an hour when it happened.

Or rather, El had. Hopper had dozed off by the time Silver Spoons ended and the next show came on.

This one starred a young girl. A young girl with dark hair and a non-traditional fashion sense.

Hopper didn’t wake up to see El’s reaction to Punky Brewster. In fact, he didn’t wake up until an hour later, when he shooed her to bed and quickly followed suit.

But the next week, when he started to tune in to Ripley’s, Eleven shook her head.

“No,” she said simply.

Hopper was confused. “No?”

Eleven shook her head. “I want to watch Punky.”

“What?” asked Hopper, more than a bit confused. “What’s Punky?”

“Punky Brewster.”

“Again, what?”

“It’s a show,” explained El. “With this girl, and her dog, and her dad, and her friends.”

Hopper sighed, but didn’t even try to argue. He knew when he was beaten.

“Ok,” he said, shaking his head slightly. “What channel?”

“Thirteen.”

Hopper was adjusting the dials when Eleven’s voice stilled him.

“But it’s not on until 7:30. We can watch the first half of Ripley’s if you want.”

So it was settled. They watched Ripley’s to the halfway point, then flipped over to Punky Brewster. This became their new pattern.

And despite his misgivings, somewhere along the way, Hopper started to enjoy it.

He just hoped El never noticed that the theme song always made him cry.

----

A/N: Earlier this week, I woke up with the Punky Brewster theme song in my head (yes, I still know it, and I’m officially old). Today over lunch, it popped in there again. I blame Stranger Things for this, since Ray was watching Punky when Kali and El go after him. And today, I didn’t fight it. I went down the YouTube rabbit hole and watched it. When I did, the lyrics struck me as something that would resonate with Hopper. This is the result of that thought.

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