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roll me up and smoke me, love

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Hopper’s wanted Joyce since high school, and definitely since they saved Will and Eleven together. She helps him out with El, and he helps out with Will sometimes. They’ve all been through this thing together, so it’s good that the kids have both of them to rely on while they try and deal with all the shit that’s happened to them. And it’s good that they have each other, too, ‘cause it’s not like anyone else is gonna believe their story.

There’s something about Joyce, the way she smiles at him that makes him forget all the shit in his life for just a moment, the way she laughs at his jokes even when they’re awful that makes him want to keep making her laugh forever. Hopper can’t tear his eyes away from her when she’s in the same room as him, can’t bear to look at anything else even for a second, because that’s a second less he gets to look at her.

It’s soppy, and sort of pathetic, and it’s a miracle that she hasn’t caught on yet, with the amount of time they’ve been spending together lately. He tries so hard not to be obvious, but he really is obvious, always has been when he’s got a thing for a woman. He probably should have learned the art of subtlety by now, but hey, they call it an art for a reason: it takes a long fucking time to master, and it really isn’t for everyone. Especially not for Jim Hopper when he opens the door to Joyce Byers, flushed from the cold, beaming up at him from beneath her scarf and hat.

He just stares at her for so long that she has to clear her throat, and gesture at the doorway, before his brain catches up to him and he steps aside to let her in, eyes following her the whole way. When she turns around, pulling her hat off with one hand and untangling her scarf with the other, it’s all he can do not to kiss her. Instead, he takes her hat from her hand and puts it aside, then her scarf, then her coat.

“What can I do for ya?” He asks her, then clears his throat because that came out embarrassingly hoarse: she’s not dressed any different than usual, but she’s put a bit of weight back on over the past year and a half since Will got home safe, and she looks good. Her jeans are less baggy, her sweater looks tighter. She looks happier, her hair bouncier and her face brighter.

She’s more beautiful than ever, and all Jim can think is fuck, I’m fucked, I’m so damn fucked. There is nothing he wouldn’t do for this woman, to see her smile or laugh or roll her eyes at him in that fond way she has when he’s being an asshole.

He wonders if she knows that, if she can see it in his face. Maybe not, because she doesn’t act any different, just sits herself down and answers his question. “You can get me a beer and a smoke?” She suggests, lips curving in a brazen smile. He grins back before he can stop himself.

“On it,” he answers, making his way over to the fridge to grab a couple beers, grabbing his smokes from the side on his way back to her. Once he’s in his armchair, just a few feet from her, he puts the bounty on the table and leans back. “Help yourself.” She grabs a beer and lights a smoke. Hopper decides on just a beer for now. Then he asks, “what can I really do for ya?”

Obviously, she’s not just come over for a drink and a chat; she would have called first, to let him know she was going to swing by. He knows it’s not a problem with Will, or Jonathan - that would have been the first thing out of her mouth, he knows that. Her love for her sons knows no bounds, it’s one of the many things he adores about her.

She sits herself down on his couch, turns to face him. “It’s… well, it’s just…” she trails off, pulling her bottom lip between her teeth as she thinks. Hopper takes a large swig of his beer to avoid staring a her lips and wishing it was his lip she was biting. “I wanted to ask you a favour.”

He tells himself to be calm before replying, not to be too eager, not to show her that he’d do literally anything she asked of him. “’Course,” he replies, nodding slowly. Not too eager - he gives himself points for that, would pat himself on the back if she wasn’t right there in front of him.

“Thanks.” She sets down her drink, and Hopper follows suit. When she turns her body to face his, he matches her. He’s barely aware he’s mirroring her movements, his thoughts on what the favour might be. If her boys are fine, what does she need his help for? As the Chief, he’s obviously quite useful when there’s a legal crisis, but anything else? Not particularly.

“It’s kinda… it’s really awkward, and I hate having to ask you this, but I don’t know who else to…” she clears her throat. Doesn’t go on. She wrings her hands for a moment, then stills them. She’s clearly nervous, and he wants to make her less nervous, but her being nervous is making him nervous.

He’s frowning now, worried something is wrong after all. “You can say it, I won’t judge.” He reaches for a cigarette just as she’s putting hers out, so he hands her the first one he lights, then lights another for himself.

Joyce gives him a quick, but grateful, smile. She takes a deep drag of the cigarette, then speaks. “There’s this new guy - at work - and he won’t leave me alone. Could you, maybe.” She stops to take a breath. “You know. Come by my work and… pretendtobemyboyfriendsoheleavesmealone?” She finishes in a rush, then holds her breath, looking at him earnestly.

It takes him a moment to decipher what she’s said, and when he does, he thinks he must’ve heard her wrong. “You want me to… pretend to be your boyfriend?” He repeats, requesting clarity. Then he processes the other part, that she wants this because he won’t leave her alone, and his gaze narrows. “I’ll fuckin’ punch him for ya,” he offers, his tone icy.

She shakes her head, eyes wide. “No, no, Hop.”

He’s tense, but he forces himself to calm down a bit. She only really calls him Hop these days when she’s pissed at him, or disapproving, or weirdly fond, or - well, he supposes he is threatening grievous bodily harm. Usually he’s Jim now, and he loves the sound of his name when she says it. “Fine. Can just hit him with my car, real hard like-” she cuts him off with a raised hand, and he realises he’s doing it again. He takes a long drag on his cigarette.

Finally, he relaxes a bit as he finishes his smoke, then nods at her to carry on. He appreciates that she knows when he needs a bit of time to calm himself down, now. “Go on, feel like there’s more.”

She grimaces. “He’s the boss’s son, so…” she shrugs, helpless. His scowl comes back in full force as he understands her dilemma. Can’t tell him to fuck off or she risks losing her job, and Jim can’t go ahead and fuck up his face for the same reason.

In his anger, he’s been negligent with his cigarette; he jumps when he feels his leg throb, and looks down to see he’s burnt a hole in his trousers.

Jesus,” he curses, patting at the fabric to put the burning edges out. It’ll hurt for a few days, but it’s no biggie. It’s not the first time he’s burnt himself while smoking, and it won’t be the last knowing his damn luck.

“Sorry,” he mutters, turning his attention back to her. Usually she’d laugh at him for something like this, but she isn’t this time; he does see the hint of a smile though, and he’s relieved he’s made her feel even a little bit better.

“So… will you do it?” She asks, steering him back on course. She’s being real serious about this.

Hopper considers everything she’s said for a moment. He reckons she must’ve been telling the guy no for a while, and he’s just ignoring the message. Joyce doesn’t like asking for help, it’s like she thinks she’s gotta do everything all on her own. She wouldn’t be asking him unless she thought there really was no other option.

“Sure,” he says at last. It’s a safer answer than threatening to hurt the guy again, and the answer he’ll inevitably end up giving her because it’s her and she has him wrapped around her little finger, even if she doesn’t even know it. “I can do that for ya.”

He must have surprised her because her eyebrows are raised, like she didn’t expect him to accept so readily. Maybe he’s more obvious than he thought - maybe he shoulda turned her down a couple times first. He just… doesn’t have the heart to, not when she’s sitting there asking him for help. Asking for something so reasonable. Just help her get the guy to clear off, because men are bastards who won’t back off when a woman says no.

He sees a lot of that kind in his line of work, and he wants to punch them all.

“I-really? Thank you, Jim, really, I’m so grateful, he just-won’t leave me alone, you know, and I just want to do my job, and keep my job, and…” she shuts her mouth and sits back, catching herself mid-babble and cutting herself off. He thinks he’d smile at her right now, if he wasn’t still too pissed off about the dick who’s bothering her.

“Sure I will. You don’t need to explain.” He’s not really good with words, never has been, but he hopes he gets his message across. That she can relax, that he’s happy to help, that she owes him no explanation at all if she doesn’t want to give one. And she doesn’t, he can tell. It’s okay, he doesn’t want to push her.

“Okay,” she says softly, picking her drink back up and sipping again, then taking another of his smokes with a furtive look over at him, like she’s being cheeky, like he wouldn’t drive all over the state right now to buy her a thousand packs of smokes if she asked him to. “Can you - come by tomorrow, then? The store, I mean. He’ll be on shift with me, and I just want him to see us together, you know? Get it in into his head that he’s messing with the Chief’s woman, and he’ll back off.”

Hopper’s brain gets stuck on the Chief’s woman, because she’s talking about herself like she’s his. He knows he’s being ridiculous, that she isn’t really calling herself his, but the phrase is repeating itself over and over inside his head. He can do that, he thinks. He can show this asshole that Joyce is his.

Which is a dangerous thought, and definitely a good place to end the night before he fucks things up with Joyce and makes a fool out of himself thinking he’s got a chance (just like the guy at her work).

“Right, sure. I’ll come by tomorrow afternoon.” He almost jumps to his feet as he drains the rest of his beer so he can go to the kitchen and take a moment to collect himself under the guise of getting another drink. In his haste though, he knocks a half-finished beer from the night before off the table, and he turns to watch as it spills onto the floor.

Thankfully he doesn’t have carpet here. Joyce jumps up and beelines to the kitchen where she grabs a dishcloth from the side, almost as if on autopilot. She comes back and bends down to clean it up, and Hop is still standing there like an idiot, just watching her do it. Quickly he kneels down to help her, but she swats him away. “I’ve got it,” she tells him, and he straightens back up and stands there awkwardly until she’s done.

He’s really making an idiot of himself today, burning himself and knocking drinks over. If she wasn’t so preoccupied, she’d have definitely noticed how weird he was acting and called him out on it. Silver linings, he guessed.

“Thanks,” he says when she’s finished cleaning up the spill. Joyce shrugs, chucking the dirty cloth onto Jim’s laundry pile in the corner of the room (with a withering look thrown his way, of course; she doesn’t approve of his laundry methods, clearly). “Didn’t have to do that, you know.”

“You’ve just agreed to do me a massive favour, Jim, it’s no trouble,” she tells him, rolling her eyes. So he’s Jim when she’s grateful - not Hop. He adds it to his mental list.

Then she grabs her things, says she has to get back to the boys. She layers herself up for the cold and he has to clench his hands at his sides so he doesn’t reach out and fix her scarf for her. He also doesn’t trust himself to speak right now, worried he’ll say something stupid about how fucking adorable she is.

“Okay, well… see you tomorrow,” Joyce concludes, giving him a quick wave before departing, closing the door gently behind her. Hopper stares at the spot she was standing in, just moments before. He does this for a good few minutes, thinking about what he’s just agreed to.

Fuck, he thinks. He has to pretend to be her fucking boyfriend tomorrow. He’ll probably have to touch her, get into her personal space a bit. Tease her maybe, kiss her goodbye? He figures it’ll have to be obvious, established, nothing that could be misconstrued as flirting and not an Actual Thing.

This guy is clearly a moron, he’ll need it spelled out for him.

Jim sits down and puts his head in his hands. This is going to fucking kill him, doing all that with Joyce, and then not letting himself do it ever again.

 


 

It’s 9am and he’s sitting at his desk, drinking his coffee and contemplating whether or not he’s going to survive today. On the one hand, he’s survived a lot. On the other hand, he’s never survived kissing Joyce (not that he’s ever kissed Joyce). If he kisses Joyce, and he survives that, surely the not kissing her ever again will be what kills him. If it even comes to kissing Joyce.

He needs to stop thinking about kissing Joyce.

10am sees him still drinking coffee and still contemplating the whole thing.

So does 11, then 12, then 1, then at 2 o’clock he decides it’s about time he stopped contemplating and got himself down to the store; he’d told her he’d be by in the afternoon.

He’s jacked up on a ridiculous amount of caffeine, and he’s smoked almost a whole pack of cigarettes today already. He guesses it’s good he’s going to the store after all, he can pick up another pack to smoke his way through as soon as he leaves.

Once he’s inside the Blazer, he starts the engine and and drives. He alternates between going fast and going slow, his brain unable to decide if he wants to get to the store quickly or not at all. His fingers drum on the steering wheel, and after a split second of mulling over the idea, he pulls out the rest of his pack of smokes (two left) and lights the first. Right now, he needs the distraction that smoking brings.

When he pulls up in the parking lot, he cuts the engine and lights the second cigarette, taking a long puff as he surveys the lot. It’s mostly empty; it’s no longer anyone’s lunch breaks, and the afternoon lull has begun. He can see Joyce through the windows shuffling around, stocking shelves. He can’t help the smile that appears as he watches her, until another figure steps into the scene. The man - the one he’s come to rescue Joyce from, he supposes - is now leaning against the shelves and talking to Joyce.

Hopper takes an aggressively long toke of his cigarette, his eyes narrowing as he watches Joyce sidestep the guy, moving further away. She’s uncomfortable, any idiot could see that. With a grunt, he shoves the car door open and gets out, slamming it shut so hard that the Blazer tremors. He takes the last couple of tokes the cigarette has to offer then flicks the butt to the ground.

In moments, he’s crossed the lot and entered the store; it’s easier to fall into the role of Joyce’s boyfriend than he’d thought it would be, because his body is thrumming with anger toward the piece of shit who’s hassling Joyce.

They both look up at Hopper when the bell over the door jingles, and he sees Joyce relax when she meets his eyes. His heart would fucking melt at that, if it wasn’t too busy pumping anger through his veins. He beelines over to her and throws his arm around her shoulders, turning his gaze onto the rapidly-shrinking asshole in front of him.

“Hope you’re not botherin’ my girl,” he says harshly, raising an eyebrow. Joyce turns into him, winds her arm around his waist as she hugs him from the side. In an instant, his brain switches track from angry to holy shit Joyce is touching me.

He turns to look at her, for a moment forgetting the purpose of his visit. “How you doin’, Joyce?” he asks softly, and because he can right now, he lets himself reach out to tuck a stray lock of hair behind her ear.

He watches her eyes widen slightly, as if she’s shocked that he’s doing what she fucking asked him to. He resists rolling his eyes, and settles for just watching her, smiling now. And of course he’s smiling, because look at her.

“I’m alright,” she tells him. “Long shift though.” Her gaze darts back to her colleague, and Jim turns to look at him too. The guy is looking uncomfortable now, as though their little charade is working, and while that’s good, Jim has gotten himself so worked up about kissing her that now he might not have to, he isn’t really sure what to do with himself.

“Yeah, can imagine,” he says, keeping his gaze on the asshole for a moment longer, before turning back to Joyce. “Need another pack of smokes, didn’t just come in to see ya - though any chance to see ya is a chance worth takin’.” He grins, and half drags her over to the counter, where she can ring his smokes up. Hopes she doesn’t realise that’s how he actually feels.

Joyce is so far out of his league, though, it’s almost laughable to even entertain the idea that she’ll realise how he feels. Why would she even consider him in that light, let alone consider how he thought of her in that light?

She rings him up for a pack of unfiltered Camels, and then when he asks for a pack of filtered ones too, her eyebrows raise up. “What…?” She trails off, shaking her head, looking at him real funny. He huffs, shakes his head back.

“They’re for you, obviously. Can’t I treat you? Thought that’s what boyfriends did.”

Joyce looks like she’s trying to catch flies, her mouth is open so wide. Indulging again, Hop reaches out and gently lifts her chin back up. He leaves his hand there, cupping her face for a moment. She looks… flustered? No, that’s just his wishful thinking.

He drops his hand to pull out his wallet and pay, and Joyce is still looking at him like he’s something else. He hopes it’s something else as in damn, this is a nice new side of my friend I haven’t seen before and not something else as in damn, he’s overstepping his bounds.

He hands over his cash, and she hands him back his change. They stay silent for a moment, just watching each other.

Quietly, Hop mutters to her: “is he still looking?”

Her eyes flicker to a spot over his shoulder for a moment, and when her eyes are locked on his again, she nods.

He just intends to kiss her cheek, but then she smiles at him real soft and reaches her hand out to rest on his.

Before he’s really registered what he’s doing, he leans across the counter and presses his lips to hers.

It only takes a moment until she’s kissing him back, and what he’d meant to be a short kiss at that is suddenly not a short kiss and one hand is in her hair, the other bracing himself on the counter, and her hands are looped behind his neck, pulling him in closer.

She tastes so sweet and her lips move with his just right and her hair is so damn soft.

Hopper moans into her mouth, and that’s when Joyce springs back from him like she’s been scorched. They both glance over at where her colleague was standing just before, but he’s gone now, obviously got the message, and it’s just the two of them standing there together in an otherwise empty shop.

“I should go,” he says, and hightails it out to the Blazer. It’s only when he’s started the engine, pulled out of the lot, and put his hand in his pocket to pull out his fresh pack of cigarettes that he realises he left them behind on the counter.

He doesn’t even contemplate going back for them, or going back to the office, he just goes straight home. He’s got a spare pack of smokes there anyway, and plenty of booze.

 


 

Settled on the couch with a cigarette between his lips and a bottle of whiskey in his left hand, he lets himself think about the kiss. He’d really thought she was into it, for a moment, was why he’d let himself get into it, but looking back it’s obvious that she wasn’t. Obvious that she was just putting on a bit of a show with one creepy asshole to get another creepy asshole to back off.

He was an idiot, a big one. Poor Joyce, she must have been so uncomfortable. And he’d realised it, when she’d pulled away. When he’d fucked up and lost himself in it and then moaned, she’d pulled away. She’d realised he wasn’t faking it like she was, and understandably she hadn’t wanted him to keep kissing her after that.

Besides, they’d made their point already, really; Jim hadn’t even needed to kiss her in the first place.

So of course he fucking fled the scene, but he shouldn’t have. He shoulda stayed and apologised and made sure she was alright, but he was a piece of shit and he hadn’t, he’d just gone home to smoke and get drunk about it instead.

Because now she knows how he feels about her, how couldn’t she know, he thought he’d been so subtle up until that point but looking back of course he wasn’t fucking subtle.

He’d fucking bought her a pack of cigarettes and that wasn’t something you did to fake a relationship, that was something you did when you were a fucking dumbass named Jim Hopper. He’d called her my girl and put his arm around her, grinned at her like an idiot in love. Sure, he is an idiot in love, but she didn’t need to know that.

God, he sure hopes he hasn’t made her too uncomfortable.

He smokes more, and he drinks more, and when he hears someone knocking he’s moved on from over-analysing all his fuck-ups earlier (he spent about an hour on the kiss alone) to just enjoying being drunk and not having to think about shit any longer.

Until he opens the door, and it’s Joyce there again, and fuck.

Her shift is over, he guesses, and she’s come over to call him out on his shit.

“Joyce,” he says - slurs - before taking another drag on his (twelfth? thirteenth?) cigarette. He goes to say something else, but doesn’t know what to say, so he just stands there like an idiot for a moment. “Come in,” he gestures vaguely, then goes back over to the couch.

He should be apologising again, right away, but he can barely look at her right now, his shame preventing him from it. He’s always been a coward when it comes to shit like this. Charging head first into certain death, sure, but confronting his feelings? Hell no.

It takes a few moments, but he hears the front door shut, and she moves over to sit down next to him. She’s sitting close, he can almost feel her thigh against his; he would feel her thigh against his if he moved his leg just a little. He doesn’t, though. She doesn’t need him being even creepier.

“I came to bring you these,” she says at last, dropping the pack of smokes he’d left at the shop into the space between their legs.

Jim waits; surely she’s here to berate him for his stupidity, to tell him to leave her the fuck alone. She doesn’t speak again, though, despite him giving her the time to. He frowns and looks over at her for a moment, and the movement makes his leg move slightly and it does touch against hers, and he grits his teeth and moves away, shifting himself so there’s a good gap of space between them.

“I’m sorry,” he says about the touching her leg thing, and then figures that she’s waiting for him to apologise for how he acted earlier too, so he says “sorry for earlier too.”

Which is fair, she’d be right to expect an apology; he's fucked up big time.

She’s still quiet, so he finally turns to look at her, bracing himself for her disappointment or her anger. All he sees is confusion.

“Sorry? For what?” She asks at last, and she really is bemused. He frowns, because now he’s feeling the same, not sure what’s going on.

Maybe, he thinks, she just wants him to tell her why he’s sorry. She wants him to feel uncomfortable the way he made her feel uncomfortable. It’s not very like Joyce, he reckons, but it’s a little like him. She has every right to do that to him if she wants though, and he won’t say a damn word about it.

He grabs his whiskey and takes a swig, then puts it back and looks down at his hands. He can’t look at her while he says this. “For… for doin’ what I did. Kissing you like that. You wanted me to scare off a creepy guy, not be a creepy guy. I’m real sorry, Joyce. I’ll never touch you again, you’ve got my word.”

Just as he’s about to reach for his pack of smokes to light another one up, so he has something to do while she cusses him out, she reaches out and put her hand over his. So much for never touching her again, he thinks bitterly.

“Hop… no,” she tells him, shaking her head. I’m Hop when I’m wrong, then. “You weren’t- I asked you to come in and pretend to be my boyfriend, and you did that. You did just what I asked.”

He frowns deeper, but he doesn’t do anything. Just sits there frowning, not really understanding what she’s saying, where he’s gone wrong. Because if she’s not pissed off at him for taking liberties he shouldn’t have been taking, then he’s gotten lost somewhere along the way.

“I don’t…” he shakes his head, and with the hand that Joyce isn’t touching (don’t think about it) he grabs another cigarette after all. He doesn’t know what else to do with himself right now, and stress smoking is just a force of habit. He pops it in his mouth and then lights it, taking a deep drag. “Then why…?”

At last, Joyce speaks. “You were doing what I asked, I just didn’t expect to like it so much.”

Hopper freezes mid-ash, hand holding the cigarette just hovering in the air above the ashtray. He turns his head to look at her slowly, hardly daring to believe what he thinks he just heard. “You what?”

“I liked it- you know, when you kissed me. I liked all of what you-”

She’s cut off by him kissing her again, but she doesn’t seem to mind. In moments, Hopper’s got a hand on her waist and a hand in her hair; he fucking loves her hair, and he’s winding it through his fingers as he kisses her harder. In the same moments, Joyce has grabbed the front of his shirt to pull herself closer to him, both her hands fisted up in the fabric.

Hopper’s brain short circuits, he can barely think past holy fucking shit holy fucking shit holy fucking shit because he didn’t think this would ever happen but it’s happening right now.

When Joyce moans, he loses his shit for a moment, the sound so fucking sweet he knows it’ll stick in his brain forever. He tightens his hand on her waist and pulls her closer, then she takes the initiative and unceremoniously scrambles into his lap, and it’s the hottest thing he’s ever seen despite getting him kneed in the stomach in the process.

He helps her get comfortable, then pulls her tight against him, dipping the hand on her waist just under the hem of her shirt, brushing against the skin of her hip.

“Jim,” she gasps against his mouth, and she grinds herself down on him, and fucking hell he can’t believe this is real. When she does it again, she starts scrabbling at the buttons on his shirt, and it’s all he can do to remind himself to breathe.

He’s so turned on right now and he grinds back up against her. She whimpers into his mouth and gives up on his buttons, just drops her hands to his waist to try and tug his work shirt over his head instead.

He pulls back. As much as he wants to do this, Eleven will be home soon. She’s been out with her friends, and he doesn’t want her walking in on this.

“Joyce, we-we can’t right now,” he manages to say, trying to still the movement of her hips against his because fuck he’s hard as hell and it’s so damn distracting. He drops his forehead to hers, breathing heavily, trying real hard to concentrate on talking. All he wants is to lose himself in this right now.

“Eleven, she’ll be back soon,” he explains further, when she starts to frown. That’s all it takes - as a mother, she understands - and she slides off his lap with a nod. For a moment, they just sit there staring at each other, and he grits his teeth when he sees how aroused she is, her pupils wide, staring up at him.

He stands up so he doesn’t launch himself at her, and starts pacing the room so he doesn’t launch himself at her. He grabs his smokes so he doesn’t launch himself at her, and then he lights one up so he doesn’t launch himself at her. He needs to stop fucking thinking about launching himself at her, Jesus.

Instead, he thinks about how lucky he is he didn’t set the place on fire when he dropped his still lit cigarette to kiss her.

He’s still quite drunk, but he’s drunk quite a lot of the time, really, or was until they became proper friends and he didn’t really need to be so drunk all the time. He straightens his shirt out, and readjusts his trousers and fuck if her eyes don’t follow that movement as she licks her lips.

He can’t breathe properly, and before he knows it she’s stood up and he’s in front of her and they’re kissing again, his hands are gripping her waist to pull her tight against him, all of her pressed against all of him. She’s so small that his cock is pressing into her stomach and he mumbles her name; her arms loop up around his neck and she jumps up, wrapping her legs around his waist.

He catches on quick enough to avoid her falling, moving his hands from her hips to her ass to hold her up. Then he realises he’s got her ass in his hands and dies a little. His cock twitches against her centre now and she grinds down and it’s so fucking exquisite and so he doesn’t drop her (she’s not heavy, his brain’s just not working) he manoeuvres them so that her back is pressed against the wall.

She uses the wall as leverage to grind against him better, and he drops his mouth to her neck to explore there too. Her hands go up to twist in his hair, and she pulls at it and cries out when he catches her earlobe between his teeth. Just when he’s about to say fuck it and drop to his knees to eat her out right there against his living room wall, he hears familiar footsteps on the porch.

A harsh reminder that this is his and El’s living room wall. He steps back and puts Joyce down immediately, and she’s heard it too because at the same time they start straightening out their clothes and hair and then the door opens and they turn to see El, looking guilty as fuck probably.

Jim remembers he’s still hard and spins on his heel to walk to the kitchen where he can strategically position himself behind a counter.

“Hey, kid,” he says, trying to sound normal. Joyce just lifts her hand in a wave.

“Well, I should be going, so-”

“Yeah, yeah, good talk-”

“Seeya later-”

“Bye, Joyce-”

“Bye.”

She darts around Eleven and out the door, and El watches her go, then turns to Jim and just looks as him as though he’s sprouted a second head.

“How was your day?” he asks, purposely avoiding her gaze.

“Good.” She says, still staring at him weird.

“Good,” he says back. Then, “well I’m gonna get an early night. Seeya, kid.”

He turns and strides purposely to his bedroom, slamming the door shut behind him.

“But it’s only seven-four-three,” her little voice says from behind the door, and he drops his head into his hands now that she can’t see him.

“I know, kid, but dad’s tired,” he responds, still standing there with his head in his hands, wishing she’d just accept his bullshit and back off for the night. Usually, he’d welcome the chance to hang out with her and watch shitty movies together, but not tonight.

“Okay.” And just like that, he hears her walk over to her bedroom, and hears the door shut behind her. He drops down onto his bed and just sits there for a while.

He desperately needs a wank, but he’s not gonna do that with Eleven in the house, so he settles for a cold shower. He makes it quick, then heads back into his room after grabbing his smokes and whiskey from the coffee table, because for the second time today they seem like a great idea.

It’s not like he’s gonna fall asleep for a long while; he’s as far from tired as it’s possible to be.

 


 

Hopper wakes up the next morning, hungover and late for work. Eleven’s not there when he emerges from his room - she must be out with her little friends somewhere, and he smiles at the thought; she can go out with her friends now that things are calmer, that Hawkins has been quiet for over a year since Will’s disappearance (and her appearance).

He’s tidying up the living room, emptying ashtrays and straightening cushions; not like he’s in a huge rush to get to work. He’s the Chief, he can show up whenever he damn well pleases… within reason.

When he sees Joyce’s pack of smokes on the floor by the couch, he picks them up and turns them over in his hand. They’re the ones he bought her yesterday, and he figures they must’ve fallen out her pocket when they were making out on the couch.

And now his brain is back on making out with Joyce, which is what’s it’s been circling back to all morning so far. How could he not think about it, about Joyce pressed against him, kissing him, her hands in his hair and his hands on her ass and-

Stop, he tells himself. He’ll just wind himself up and he has to go to work at some point; he doesn’t have time for the satisfying wank he really needs, even though El’s gone now.

Although, since El is out with her friends, Will probably is too. Jonathan’ll be with Nancy as he always is these days, and that means Joyce’ll be home alone because Hopper knows she doesn’t work Thursdays.

The cogs in his brain turn.

She might be wanting her smokes, right?

Within moments, he’s picked up the phone and is dialling Flo. She picks up on the second ring.

“Hello, Jim,” she answers brightly, and it’s loud enough to make his head pound a little, reminding him of how much he drank last night to knock himself out.

“Mornin’, Flo,” he says, then fake coughs. “Afraid I can’t come in today, I’m a bit under the weather.”

“Having a hangover doesn’t count as being ill, Jim,” she says reproachfully.

He winces at her censure, as well as how well she knows him. “I really am ill.” He fake coughs again, as he eyes Joyce’s cigarettes, still sitting on the floor where he’d discovered them. “I can’t come in today.”

She snorts. “Oh really, Jim. You’ve come to work hungover plenty of times, I know you can do it this time too.”

He loves Flo, deep down, but she’s goddamn on his ass all the time and he’s kinda intimidated by her, just a little. “Just this once.”

Flo must catch something in his voice, he guesses, because rather than arguing with him more, she just accepts it. “Alright then. Go easier on the whiskey tonight though, hm?”

Damn woman knows everything somehow, it’s a wonder they didn’t make her the Chief.

 


 

He finds himself outside Joyce’s house at 11 in the damn morning, holding her pack of smokes, thinking maybe he shouldn’t have just come by. Should he have called?

He hesitates to knock, and thinks maybe he should just go back to the car and drive all the way back home to call her first. What if she’s busy, or she picked up an extra shift at the store and didn’t tell him about it?

Just as he’s about to turn around and go back to the car, the front door opens revealing Joyce dressed in sweats and an old jumper. She beams when she sees it’s him, and his heart skips a fucking beat or something; who gave her the right to be so damn beautiful?

“Hi,” he says.

“Hi,” she says back. “I thought I heard someone skulking around out here.”

“Yeah,” he grins. “I came to bring you these,” he echoes her words from the night before, holding up her pack of Camels, and she laughs as she steps aside to let him in.

“Thanks, Jim,” she says, taking the smokes from his hand and pulling one out. He guesses she doesn’t keep an emergency pack of smokes at home like he does, ‘cause she lights it real quick and takes a good long drag.

He watches her for a moment, then cocks his head. “You not gonna offer me one?” He teases, closing the door behind him and shrugging his coat off.

She smiles again, then leads him over to sit down at the kitchen table, where she’s got an ashtray out in the middle of it, leftover from the day before probably. He takes the seat next to her and leans in to light his smoke when she flicks the lighter for him.

“So, uh, is El out with Will?” He asks, completely unsubtly, and he watches her stifle a laugh as she nods.

“Yes, and before you ask, Jonathan left to go study with Nancy an hour ago, so he won’t be back any time soon either.”

He was right, and he loves her and loves that they’re on the same page. He grins, shifting his chair closer. They’re still smoking so he only rests his hand on her thigh, but it’s enough for her to look up at him, arousal clear in her eyes again, and fuck if that doesn’t get him as hard as he was yesterday when they left off.

“Damn, Hop, you really do have a one-track mind,” she ribs him, and he’s Hop when she’s teasing him. He wonders what else she might call him if he gets her riled up enough.

He corrals his thoughts, brings himself back to focus on her in this moment right here.

“Yeah,” he smirks, moving his hand higher up her thigh as he drops his half smoked cigarette into the ashtray; he’s got more pressing matters right now than smoking a cigarette. She follows suit, much to his amusement, and he shifts his chair closer again so he can scoop her into his lap and they can make out again.

It feels amazing, she feels amazing, and his hands immediately go to her waist, cradling her in his hands. She’s so tiny and precious and he can’t get enough of her as he kisses her with abandon, grinding up into her as she grinds back.

Jim’s getting really worked up, and Joyce is squirming in his lap. Her fingers are going for his shirt buttons and he lets her, the feeling of her fingers brushing against his chest as she works the buttons through the holes making him even hotter. He watches her face as she looks at his chest, and she clearly likes what she sees because she’s back kissing him a moment later and he wants her so badly he might die.

Her hands spread out across his pecs, and he’s tugging at her jumper, trying to move her hands so he can get this thing off. He wants to see her and touch her and kiss her all over and this damn piece of fabric is stopping him from doing that right now.

“Joyce, please,” he begs, pulling her hands away so he can tug it over her head. She helps him out, but as soon as it’s off she’s back kissing him. His hands come up to cup her breasts and Jesus help him they feel amazing, she feels amazing, and he has to still his hips for a moment and take a breather to keep himself from losing it completely.

He pulls back and they just look at each other for a few moments, taking each other in.

“Damn,” Joyce mutters, and he can’t help but agree. Damn indeed, darling.

He nods, then bows his head, craning his neck at a slightly awkward angle because she’s so damn small in order to take her nipple into his mouth. He brings up a hand to caress her other breast as he swirls his tongue around her, teasing her now, delighting in the moan he hears above him.

He switches his mouth with his hand, giving her other breast the same attention as she writhes under him. When she gasps his name, he can hear how much she wants him, and it’s all getting too much. He needs her now.

He stands up abruptly, and before she can question him, he picks her up and carries her, swiftly deposits her on the kitchen counter. Then, he falls to his knees in front of her, bringing him to the perfect height to just bury his face in her. He’s positively dying to taste her, and he reaches for her sweatpants to tug them down.

She stills his hand with hers, and immediately he looks up at her to see what’s wrong.

Instead, he sees her looking so turned on that his dick twitches in his trousers, and he almost groans at the constraint. It’s starting to get a little painful, honestly, but he wants this so badly, wants to bring her off at least twice before he fucks her.

“Jim, you- don’t have to do that,” she tells him, shaking her head, and he frowns. Of course he has to, he feels like he’ll die if he doesn’t taste her right now.

“’Course I do, I wanna taste you,” he tells her, hands running up and down over her legs as he leans in to press a kiss to the inside of her (unfortunately, still-clothed) thigh.

“It’s okay, I know it’s not everyone’s thing,” she says, like she’s being real understanding or something. He just looks at her like she’s grown another head.

“Well it’s my thing, and if I don’t get my mouth on you in the next few seconds, I might lose my damn mind,” he tells her, looking up to meet her eyes again, trying to convey his seriousness. But then he sees the look on her face, and suddenly his face clouds.

He’s not Chief for nothing - he’s a perceptive guy, and right now he’s perceiving that Lonnie Byers is a piece of shit who never went down on Joyce. “Don’t tell me that asshole never…” he trails off, raising an eyebrow.

She blushes bright red, answering his question for him. “He always said it was gross, he didn’t want to do it I guess…” she shrugs, averting her gaze, and Jim’s never wanted to track Lonnie down and punch him more than he does right fucking now.

“Goddamn,” he shakes his head. “That guy’s such a fucking idiot, Joyce. I could eat you out every day and never get enough of you,” he tells her, his hands inching up to her waistband again, slow enough that she can stop him if she wants - but she doesn’t.

He pulls them down quickly, her panties along with them, and buries his face between her thighs. She gasps in shock, her hands tightening in his hair so she can guide him. She’s not doing much guiding though, just a lot of moaning and riding his face, and he’s in fucking heaven; he never wants to get off her damn kitchen floor, wants to stay here eating her out forever.

He laps at her clit, and while he holds her hip steady with one hand, he drops the other one down to push a finger inside of her.

She cries out, hips thrusting forward, encouraging his finger deeper. He almost creams his pants, seeing her so desperate for him. He adds another finger almost straight away, lightly grazing her clit with his teeth, and she shudders, head dropping back with a dull thud against the cabinets.

When he laughs against her, her body spasms, and she grips his hair tighter. He lets off her clit for a moment to lick at her pussy before he goes back with vigour, and she’s barely coherent now, just riding his face for all she’s worth.

He’s barely been going for five minutes, and she’s already losing her shit. It’s the hottest thing he’s ever witnessed, and he’s so damn in love with this woman.

“God, Jim, I-I’m,” she pants, and so he goes for broke, adding a third finger as he does his best to drive her crazy with his licking and sucking at her. It only takes a few more moments before he can feel her tightening around his fingers, and he curves them just right as she falls apart, moaning his name over and over, holding his face to her so tightly that he just closes his eyes and enjoys it.

He’s never been more turned on in his whole goddamn life than he is right now, with this beautiful woman writhing on his face. He wants to do it all again.

He tries to - doesn’t really stop after she comes, just starts fucking his fingers into her a bit slower, goes back to careful licks, but she pushes him back, shaking her head.

“That was - fuck, Jim, that was amazing - I need you to fuck me right now, though, right now,” she tells him, and that’s enough to get him nodding, standing up. He’ll do literally anything she wants right now.

He can feel the ache in his kneecaps from kneeling on the hard floor, but it was so worth it, making her come like that.

He goes to unzip his trousers, and she chuckles, still looking blissed out from her orgasm (Jesus). “While you fucking me right here would be hot, I would prefer a bed - I’m not as young as I used to be,” she says, grinning at him as she slides off the counter and almost trips over the sweatpants pooled around her ankles.

He catches her right away but almost kills himself laughing at the look on her face. She scowls at him as she bends down to help her ankles out of the fabric, and he just laughs harder. He loves this woman so damn much.

“You’re so beautiful,” he tells her, and she looks at him like he’s lost the plot. She is beautiful though, especially almost naked and scowling at him while she awkwardly tries to get rid of her sweats. When she realises he’s being serious, she just shakes her head at him.

“Sometimes, Hop, I think you’re insane,” she tells him, and he mentally adds ‘when bewildered’ to the list of times she calls him Hop instead of Jim.

He grins in response. “I am insane. Doesn’t make me wrong, though,” he tells her, putting his hand on her lower back to steer her to the bedroom.

Just because they’ve stopped for some cute banter, doesn’t mean his erection’s gone away; it’s still straining against his trousers and he still wants to fuck her brains out.

She just rolls her eyes at him. “Alright big guy, come on,” she tells him, then leads the way to her room. She sashays her hips a little, and he chuckles, loving the way she’s messing with him. She’s fucking phenomenal.

“You got it, darlin’,” he tells her, hot on her heels.

As soon as they get inside her room, he picks her up and drops her on the bed. “How’d you want this?” He asks as he flops unceremoniously onto the sheets beside her.

She orients herself and glares at him again, and he just grins back real sweet like until she caves and shakes her head. “You - honestly, Jim,” she says fondly, reaching out to pull him close again. He kisses her deeply, and she kisses him back.

They kiss for a bit more; the urgency is still there for him, but he also wants Joyce to enjoy this; she clearly hasn’t had the best sex in the past, and she deserves to be thoroughly worshipped. She deserves to go at her own pace, and take whatever the hell she wants from him.

When Joyce finally pulls back, her hands go to his belt. “It’s not fair that I’m here naked, and you’re still wearing clothes,” she explains. She makes a damn good point and he grins and lets her do it, lifting his hands to play with her breasts again while she works.

She gasps when he pinches her nipple hard, and she fumbles the belt, clearly finding it hard to focus. Jim chuckles, tweaking her nipple again, and Joyce struggles to pull his belt from the loops. He does it again, and she groans, then swats his hands away. “Jim, I need to - stop that,” she says breathlessly, and he smirks.

“Stop what, sweetheart?” He teases, but then he stops, leans back, and lets her do her thing. She gets his trousers off pretty quick after that, and when she pulls his boxers down with them, her eyes zero in on his cock.

It’s rock hard and leaking, and her jaw drops a little. It’s all he can do not to laugh and be all smug about it, but really, what did she expect? He’s a big guy, he has a big dick.

“God…” she trails off, glancing up at him before taking his dick in her hand and giving him a few experimental strokes. A moan catches in his throat as he ruts forward; her touch is so good, just what he needs, and he still hasn’t come so he’s really quite desperate now.

“Joyce, please,” he hisses as she twists her hand at the head of his cock. “I won’t last,” he tells her weakly, thrusting into her fist as she works him expertly.

So much for sitting back and letting her take the lead, but he’ll be damned if he comes before he gets to fuck her. She seems right determined to make him, though. Her hands are so small and they look so good on his dick and he feels so lightheaded right now that he doesn’t know what to do except try to remember to breathe.

“Condom?” He manages to ask, partly to distract her from her current mission, and partly because they really do need one.

Joyce stops. “Yeah, hold on,” she says, then reaches over to get to the bedside table drawer. She arches over him, and he can’t help but lean up and catch her nipple in his mouth, sucking and licking slowly.

She moans at the attention, but manages to keep herself together enough to grab a condom, before dropping down to straddle him. “You’re the worst,” she tells him, her wide grin contradicting her words. He leans up to kiss her again, cups her face in his hands.

“You’re beautiful,” he tells her as he pulls back. He then plucks the condom from her hand and unwraps it quickly, sliding it down his length. Joyce watches, he can see her from the corner of his eye.

He slumps back against the bed when he feels her hands pushing on his chest, and lets his gaze settle on her, waiting for her next move.

She lifts herself up a bit and moves his cock to her opening, then slowly takes him all the way inside of her. He whimpers; she’s so damn tight. He gives her time to adjust, not rushing her or anything. Just waits for her.

His hands grip her waist tight when she starts moving, helping her ride him at her own pace, and it’s so damn hot it takes everything he has not to come right there and then.

He’s already so close, though; he’s wanted her like this for so long, he’s really not gonna last long.

Thankfully, it seems like Joyce isn’t either. She’s losing what semblance of a rhythm they had, her movements jerking. He’s shifting his hips to meet hers now, rather than letting her set the pace, but his movements are out of time with hers but it’s still so damn good.

“Jim, please,” she whimpers, and he groans. It’s almost too damn much. He brings one hand down from her hip to rub two fingers against her clit, and watches as her head drops back and she moans his name, hands scrabbling for purchase on his stomach. She’s the most beautiful thing he’s ever laid eyes on.

Her walls flutter around him and Hopper loses his ability to hold on; he comes hard, seeing stars as he empties himself into her, moaning Joyce Joyce Joyce.

She follows suit, a few moments after him, and she keeps riding him through it and even though he’s so sensitive afterwards he lets her do it, lets her take whatever she needs from him. Somehow, he manages to keep rubbing her clit through the whole thing, despite having just had the most intense orgasm of his life.

Finally she stills, collapsing on his chest. She’s so small; he wraps his arms around her and holds her to him, can’t resist pressing a kiss to the top of her head either. He feels her smile against his chest and he’s so fucking happy right now his heart might burst.

She eventually sits up, pulling herself off his dick, and flopping down next to him instead. She’s still got that silly grin on her face, that silly grin he put on her face. He realises he’s smiling back just as dopey, and they just look at each other like that for a while until Joyce cracks up.

Jim leans over to kiss her again, unable to help himself now that he knows he can. She kisses back and it’s lazy and slow and perfect; the urgency has gone for now, and they’re just enjoying each other.

At last they pull back, and he breaks the silence. “I can swing by your shift tomorrow too, really let that asshole see you’re the Chief’s woman.”

She snort-laughs and he just about dies; he loves her so fucking much.

“I love you so fucking much.”

Shit, he didn’t mean to say that out loud.

“I love you too, Jim,” she tells him, kisses his cheek.

He pulls her close, wraps his arms around her tight. She snuggles her face into the crook of his neck, and smiles; he’s Jim when she loves him.