I can’t stop thinking about this very specific scene that my brain has crafted so I thought I’d share. Elumax brainrot is real.
Max tapped her fingers against her thigh, rhythmically timed to the beat of “Running Up That Hill” playing softly in the speaker to her left. She sighed and leaned back, falling onto the soft pillows rested behind her back. This was the first day she was alone in her hospital room, only a few weeks after she had been awoken. After she had been saved. It had been 6 months since she fell under, since she- well. She didn’t need to think about that now. Not when she was alone; not when she couldn’t call for any help.
She had always had someone with her since she woke up- at least one person. The nurses visited her pretty frequently the first week that she had come to, but the visits had ceased after she had proved herself stable. Sometimes Robin and Nancy or Robin and Steve would come in, come to check on her. Sometimes Dustin stopped by, with a new movie he smuggled from Steve’s work. Sometimes Mike and Will came by, if not just to give her some new tapes (Will had a really good taste in music- Mike did not). Sometimes Erica would drop by, either to just keep Max company or ask her if she needed something. She would always give Max the usually sass that made the younger girl Erica, but Max loved it when she stopped by. Erica had become like family to her. They all had. But the best days were the ones when the whole party would come. They would play some games, watch some movies, or just relish in the fact that they were all together again- all alive. On those days, Max felt normal again.
But most days, it was just Lucas and El. And Max could not be more thankful for the two of them.
Lucas- he had read to her everyday when she was under. He brought her candy and movies and books- anything she asked for. He held her hand when she was scared. He reassured her that she wasn’t alone- that he was there for her. Max had fallen for him harder than she ever thought she could.
El- she had saved Max’s life. El quite literally restarted her heart. El had brought her consciousness back from the brink. She also had strung decorations up in Max’s room, brought flowers every other week, and found Max a new pair of sunglasses to wear when she was finally released from the hospital. El also got herself and Lucas a matching pair too. How could Max not fall in love?
Max tilted her head to the left, feeling the breeze of the fan also on her bedside table. Robin had brought it when Max said that the room’s circulation was shitty. She pulled the quilted blanket she had on top of the hospital sheets closer to her face; the blanket Erica brought that Mrs. Sinclair made for her. She closed her eyes and thought about how grateful she was, and how she relished the different loves she had. She smiled to herself.
She thought of El and Lucas. Her mind often wondered to them- she couldn’t help it. She loved them. She had given up on hiding it. Why hide from something so beautiful? She prayed to whatever was out there, that they would be okay. That whatever it was would protect them.
They had gone out today- all of them. To go into the Upside Down. To go and try to find more information on the situation. They thought it was safe; they thought it was better now then never. Max begged them to stay- or to sneak her out of this godforsaken room- but they had refused. El had to go, and Lucas wanted to keep her safe.
“I’ve already lost you,” Lucas told her softly, holding her hand in both of his, “I can’t lose El too.”
“I can’t lose either of you.” Max replied, her voice wavering.
“I will take care of both of us, Max.” El put her hand on Max’s shoulder reassuringly, a tang of humor in her voice.
“You both better come back in one piece,” Max said, tears threatening to roll out of her eye, “or I’ll go down there and kill Vecna myself.”
“We’ll be fine, Max.” Lucas said sweetly, pulling Max’s hand up and placed a kiss between her knuckles.
El kissed Max’s other temple. “I’ll make sure of it.”
Max could hear the smile in her voice. She pulled El’s head to hers and rested their foreheads together. Then, she turned and planted a kiss on Lucas’s cheek.
Max felt the tears fill up in her eyes. God, she hoped they were okay. They had to be. She really couldn’t imagine what she would do without them.
There was a tap at the door. Max threw her head around fast enough to give herself whiplash. She’d be lying if she said that the sudden noise hadn’t scare her; she was so deep in thought she hadn’t even notice that the her song had ended.
“Who is it?” Max spoke, loud enough so that whoever was at the door could hear her. There was no response, only the sound of the door opening. Then the rush of feet, moving quickly.
“Max!” Lucas and El squealed in unison. Max smiled at the source of the commotion- she knew it was them. Ever since she lost her vision, she had committed their sounds to memory. The way the two of them walked, the way they moved, the way they breathed- it had all been committed to Max’s mind. It was one of the few things that kept her sane in this suffocating room.
They had run up to her- to their usual spots, Lucas on her left and El on her right- wrapping their arms around her, squeezing her to death as they always did. Yeah, these are MY people, Max thought to herself. She smiled into their shoulders.
They pulled back, if just enough to let Max breathe. Lucas grabbed her right hand with his left and put his other hand on her cheek. Max leaned into his touch as Lucas leaned down and planted a kiss on her forehead. She smiled back at him, then turned to El, who had grabbed Max’s right hand with both of hers. They bumped their noses together- a ritual they had started before the Byers’ had moved away. El giggled, and Max couldn’t help but smile. El’s giggle could brighten up any room- no matter what. Max leaned forward and caught El with a kiss- sweet and soft.
El shifted her hand to the side of Max’s thigh, as she leaned into the kiss. Lucas saw this as an opportunity and pulled El’s arm, making her fall onto Max’s lap. She let out a huff as she landed, making Max and Lucas snicker at her plight. El re-oriented herself on the bed, pulling Lucas down ontop of Max. He crashed into Max’s chest, knocking the wind out of her. They all laughed as they re-positioned themselves into their natural spots- Lucas on Max’s left shoulder, El curled up under Max’s left arm, El and Lucas holding hands across Max’s stomach. It was nice, their weight was comforting.
“I love you two.” Max spoke softly, only loud enough for her partners to hear.
“We love you, too, Max.” They spoke together, sweet and soft.
“We always will.” Lucas muttered, as he buried his neck further into the crook of Max’s neck.
“Mhm. Forever.” El whispered, squeezing Max tighter.
Max took a deep breath and smiled as she nuzzled her nose into Lucas’s hair. She quickly thanked something- anything- for putting these two together on this Earth with her. This is what life was for.