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New Fic: Elephant in the Room

Elephant in the Room

Fandom: Stranger Things
Rated: PG
Category: Family, humor, Jopper implied. Jonathan focus.
Time Frame: Any time/after season two.
Spoilers: None.
Summary: Jonathan Byers has never heard that you’re not supposed to run from an elephant – and even if he had, he wouldn’t care. Not this time. Even with a steep price, retreat really is his only option.
Word Count: 409

----

Jonathan was late.

Very late.

But as per usual, the lights were still on in the house as he turned into the drive.

He sighed, knowing how the rest of his night would go. Because no matter how late it got, his mom never turned in until he was home. So even though he’d try his best to sneak in, she’d wake from dozing on the couch to scold him for his tardiness, and he’d be grounded for a week.

Or maybe not
, thought Jonathan, as he pulled further into the drive. Maybe not this time.

Because there was a second vehicle there.

Hopper’s Blazer was parked next to the Pinto, and Jonathan’s brow furrowed.

He wasn’t sure whether to be worried or amused. Hopper had been spending more and more time at the Byers’ house lately, and most of the time, Jonathan thought it was hilarious how Hopper and Joyce were the only two people who seemed oblivious to this fact.

So he wondered if they’d finally decided to address the elephant in the room – the glances, the touches, the schoolgirl giggling and rumbling laughs he never heard from either of them without the other being present.

In all honesty, he rather hoped they had.

But tonight, with it being so late, he couldn’t help but worry. Had something else happened? Was it Will? He was staying the night at Mike’s. He should’ve been fine. But anything was possible. Or was it El? Or something new entirely? Jonathan’s brain supplied so many options that couldn’t focus on just one.

So this time, as he slipped into the house, he was filled with even more trepidation than usual. He carefully eased the door closed and glanced around.

That’s when he saw it.

It wasn’t an elephant.

It was just a stray sock, laying on the hallway floor.

In the Byers household, this wasn’t unusual.

Except it wasn’t his.

And it was too big to be Will’s and it was definitely not something his mom would wear.

Jonathan’s eyes grew into saucers and he froze for a moment. His brain took a while to process what that one lone sock meant as he simultaneously took in the empty couch.

Then he reversed course and slipped back out the door as quietly as he’d come in.

He’d spend the night somewhere else. Anywhere else.

And if that meant he was grounded for a month instead of a week, so be it.
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