Author’s Note: This story was written for the ‘Lonely Prompt Challenge’ over at the LiveJournal group spanking_world. It fills the following prompt from ‘shotboxer’:
Stranger Things - Hopper/Eleven. Surely, after watching daytime soaps, sitcoms and old movie reruns on TV all day for almost a year, El must have come across portrayals of spanking quite a few times, including in movies and tv where it is portrayed as what parents who love their children do to discipline them. When she and Hopper clash over something, she brings this up, because she doesn't want him to be 'like Poppa' who locked her up whenever she didn't do what he wanted. Huge bonus points if you can work some kind conversation between El and the boys or El and Max about their own experiences being spanked. Whether spanking actually occurs is up to the author.
Disclaimer: I don’t own any of these characters, and I’m not making money from this story.
Warning: Disciplinary spanking of minors. I do NOT advocate the spanking of minors in real life, only in fiction.
“You’re it!” Mike shouted as he slapped Eleven on the shoulder, and took off running.
With a grin, she gave chase, but then veered to the right when she saw Dustin’s curly mop sticking out from behind a nearby tree. She’d almost made it to him when he peeked out, yelled with alarm, and started running, but it was too late. She was just able to touch the middle of his back.
“You’re it!” she yelled and turned to run the other way, only to see Hopper’s truck pulling up the road to their secluded little cabin.
Her eyes opened wide with surprise for a moment, because he wasn’t supposed to be home for hours. Then she hung her head with shame. She knew she wasn’t supposed to be outside until all the official paperwork for her new existence was finalized. She’d promised to stay inside, but some days that seemed nearly impossible, especially on the days when her friends came over.
“El?” Mike said.
She looked up and saw that all of her friends had gathered around. Mike, Will, Dustin, Lucas, and Max were all looking at her with concern.
“I’m not supposed to be outside,” she said quietly.
The children all looked towards the approaching truck. It was close enough that they could all see Hopper’s very unhappy expression.
“Still?” Mike said, “I thought after the dance it was okay.”
She shook her head. “Not yet. Next month.”
“Why didn’t you tell us?” Mike demanded. “We would have stayed inside with you.”
Surprised to see anger on his face, Eleven felt a little like crying. “Because I’ve never played tag.” Their description of the game had sounded too enticing to pass up.
“We should go,” Lucas said, keeping his eyes on Hopper as he parked the truck.
Her friends went to pick up their bikes from the lawn as Hopper got out of his truck and came to stand in front of them with a glare.
“What the hell do you kids think you’re doing?” he asked.
Several of the children winced at his loud tone, but Eleven wasn’t one of them. She tilted her head up, looked him in the eyes and said, “I didn’t tell them we had to stay inside.”
He scowled and looked at Mike. “Is that true?”
Mike glanced at Eleven, clearly torn between wanting to protect her and wanting to tell the truth.
“Hey!” Hopper yelled, “Don’t look at her, you look at me, and answer the question.”
Mike’s eyes snapped back to the sheriff’s. “Yes, Sir,” he said reluctantly, “It’s true.”
Hopper sighed, and waved towards the kids, “All right, go on home. You can come back tomorrow after school, but you stay in the house. You hear me?”
“Yes, Sir,” several of the kids said as they got on their bikes and started riding away.
Mike stayed for a moment and said, “She just wanted to play tag. We described it, and offered to play, because we didn’t know, and she hasn’t played it before.”
“Go home, Mike,” Hopper said.
Mike looked at Eleven one more time, and when she nodded, he got on his bike and peddled towards his retreating friends.
Hopper and Eleven stared at each other for a few seconds, before he said quietly, “In the house.”
Once they were inside, Hopper paced and lectured while Eleven stood by her bedroom door. “We’ve been over this again and again. I know how tempting it is go to outside. Believe me, I understand, but it’s just not safe until all the paperwork is done.”
He stopped pacing, crossed his arms and pinned her with a look. “You promised.”
“I’m sorry,” she said softly, as a tear slid down her face.
Clenching his jaw as if the next words were painful for him, Hopper said, “Me too. You can spend the rest of the night in your room. No television. You can come out for dinner, but that’s it.”
She opened her eyes wide. The only other time he’d sent her to her room was months ago when he’d told her she was grounded, and they’d had a huge fight. But once things had finally gone back to normal between them, and the door to the upside-down had been closed, he’d made her sit down with him for a talk. She’d told Hopper about the repeated isolation her poppa had put her through, and while he didn’t agree never to ground her again, he did tell her that she could always leave her door open, so she didn’t feel trapped, even if she was relegated to her room.
More tears ran down her face. “Door open?”
With a sigh, he said softly, “Yeah kid, the door stays open.”
She stepped back over the threshold so that she was in her room, and continued to stare at him and cry quietly.
Groaning, Hopper muttered, “You’re gonna be the death of me.” He walked over, pulled her into a strong hug, and said, “We’ve been over this, too. Just because you’re in trouble doesn’t mean that I love you any less, right?”
She nodded against his shirt, feeling safe and secure for the moment. Once her tears were gone, he let go, kissed the top of her head and said, “I’m going to go get changed.”
“You’re home at the wrong time,” she said, looking at the clock.
“It was a slow day, and since I had to go in last weekend, I decided to leave early instead of making them pay me overtime.” He gave her a somewhat stern look at added, “I was thinking we would play cards, but I guess that will have to wait.”
Ducking her head, she nodded. He tousled her curly hair, in a forgiving gesture, and then went to his room to change out of his uniform.
She walked over to her bed with a sigh, and sat down. Even with the door open, she started to feel that panicky feeling of being stuck and alone. She closed her eyes, and went into her head to replay some of her favorite television shows as a way to distract herself from her current situation.
# # #
The next day around three o’clock, all of her friends showed up on her doorstep, like they did most school days. She let them in and soon they were all in the living room sharing a bag of chips.
“How did it go with Hopper last night?” Mike asked.
“I had to stay in my room,” she said with a frown. “No T.V.”
“That’s it?” Lucas asked. “Man, after the look he was giving you, I thought for sure you were going to get it.”
“Get it?” she asked.
“Get spanked,” Will clarified.
Eleven’s forehead scrunched in thought. “Spanking like on television?”
The kids all looked at each other for a moment, before Mike spoke. “What do you mean on television?”
She pointed to the television. “They talk about spanking sometimes, and I’ve seen it in cartoons and movies, but I didn’t know it was real.”
“Real?” Lucas asked.
“Happening in real life right now. Hopper… I mean Dad says television is pretend. When someone is shot on T.V., they’re not really shot, they’re pretending. Just because I hear or see something on T.V. doesn’t mean it’s true.”
Mike nodded in understanding. “Well some things are true, and spanking definitely is.”
“Have you been spanked?” Eleven asked Mike.
He blushed and muttered, “Once.”
“Can I see?” she asked, holding her hand just above his while waiting for a response. When he didn’t immediately respond, she said, “Please?”
Groaning, he said, “Fine, but only if everyone else agrees to share, too.”
Eleven looked around at her friends, and they all nodded. With a smile, she touched Mike’s hand and closed her eyes. Her mind reached out to touch his, and watched while he remembered the incident.
Five-year-old Mike was throwing a tantrum in the kitchen because he didn’t want to take a bath. He screamed and chucked one of his toy cars at his mother. Before his mother could react, his father was beside him holding his arm in the air by the wrist and swatting his backside. After five solid smacks, his father let go of his arm, and told him he’d better never throw anything at his mother again while Mike cried. Then his mother was holding him and soothing him while she carried him to the bath.
Eleven opened her eyes and looked at Mike. “Only once?” she asked.
Mike shrugged, “Once was plenty.”
She turned to Lucas, who was sitting next to Mike, and scooted closer so she could touch him. Before she closed her eyes, he said, “I’ve been spanked a lot more than once, by both of my parents. So I’m just going to think about the most recent one, okay?”
She nodded in agreement before closing her eyes.
Last summer, Lucas was trying to very quietly lay his bike in the grass, and tiptoe up to the front door in the dark. Wincing at the creak that the front door made when he opened it, he stepped inside. His mother was on him within seconds, hugging him tight. Then she pulled him towards the couch while scolding him about being over an hour late, and making her worry. She put him over her lap and swatted his bottom again and again until he was apologizing and promising not to do it again. When she stood him up, there were a couple of tears on his face, and she told him to get to bed.
When Eleven opened her eyes and looked at him, she said, “You’re not angry about it.”
Lucas shrugged. “I was at the time, but not anymore. I knew I wasn’t supposed to stay out so long.”
Eleven moved to Dustin, and touched his hand.
“I’ve never been spanked,” he said.
“Because your mom’s a big softie, and your dad’s gone,” Mike teased.
“No,” Dustin disagreed, “It’s because I’m better behaved than the rest of you.”
Will, Lucas, Mike, and even Max all started laughing at that.
“What? I am!” Dustin said, defending his position. When they continued to laugh, he focused on Eleven. “Here, I’ll show you what happens on the rare occasions when I do get in trouble.”
She closed her eyes.
Dustin carefully leaned his bike up against the house, walked around to his bedroom window. He slid the window open, and climbed in as quietly as possible. As soon as his feet were on the floor the lights went on. His mother was there, pulling him into a crushing hug and crying while she told him how worried she’d been. He reassured her that he was fine, and she pulled him to the kitchen table, and made him sit down while she reheated his dinner. While he ate she told him all the people she’d called to try and find him, and reiterated several times that he should never do it again. When he was done eating she appeared stern for a few seconds and told him that he wasn’t allowed to have desert. He’d given her puppy eyes, and she’d then told him only a small slice of cake with no ice cream, which she went to get for him.
This time when Eleven opened her eyes, she said, “You are not better behaved.”
Everyone burst out laughing again, and then Eleven moved to Max. The other girl snatched her hand away before Eleven could touch it. Max looked around the room at everyone, bit her lip, and then focused on Eleven. “If I show you, it has to stay between you and me. You can’t tell anyone else. Not ever.”
“That’s not fair,” Mike said.
She looked at him and said, “I’ve never been spanked. If I had, I’d share that with everyone, but not this. This is someone else getting spanked when I was there.” She turned back to Eleven. “It was bad, and wrong, and you should know the difference. Swear you won’t tell anyone.”
Eleven nodded solemnly.
Max, Billy, and their respective parents were sitting at the dinner table. Eleven could see the snow outside and knew this had to have happened very recently. Billy and his father were arguing quietly about his grades and how much time he studied. But when nothing Billy suggested seemed to be good enough, he tossed his hands in the air and said he could just drop out since he was going to be eighteen in a month. His father stood and started taking off his belt while telling Billy to get his ass over the back of his chair. Max’s mother tried to defuse the situation, but Billy’s dad wouldn’t hear it. He yelled at his wife and Max to stay right where they were and watch. With hate in his eyes, Billy stood, bent over the back of the chair and forced his eyes to stay on the floor. The belt whistled through the air again and again, until Billy couldn’t be silent anymore. It didn’t stop until he was screaming. When it did finally stop, Billy’s father told him to get out of his sight, and then sat down to finish his dinner.
When Eleven opened her eyes, both girls had tears in their eyes, and Eleven reached out to give her a strong hug. She whispered in the other girl’s ear, “You should tell Hopper. He’d do something to make it stop.”
Max shook her head, and leaned back. “You promised.”
Reluctantly, Eleven nodded and moved to the last of her friends, Will.
He said, “Both of my parents spanked me a few times when I was little, but that was before they split up.” His voice lowered and he added, “Since then I’ve only been spanked once, but it wasn’t my mom, it was Jonathan. Do you want to see that one?”
“Yes.” Eleven touched his hand and closed her eyes. Anytime she touched him, she always got a chill of the cold from the upside-down. After a small shudder, she went to his memory.
A month after their father left, eight-year-old Will decided he wanted to live with him instead of his mom. When his mother had refused to even call his father, Will made plans to walk to his father’s house by himself. The next day when the school bus dropped him off at home, instead of staying inside until Jonathan got there, he started walking down the main road. An hour later, a squad car pulled up beside him. To Will’s surprise, Jonathan got out of the passenger seat, and started asking him question after question while hugging him. When he finally figured out what Will was doing, he bent him over one leg, whacked his behind a dozen times, and then got in the back of the squad car with him for the ride home. When Will’s tears dried up, Jonathan told him softly that their dad didn’t want them, and that their mom was too ashamed of that to tell him. Then he held Will while he cried again.
“It makes you sad,” Eleven said when she opened her eyes.
“Not the spanking,” Will said, “My father.”
She nodded in understanding, and then turned to all of them as a group, and said, “Thank you all for sharing.”
“So your poppa never…” Mike asked.
“When I was bad, Poppa locked me in a dark metal room. Alone for days.”
Mike put his hand on hers, and gave it a squeeze, while Will put a comforting hand on her shoulder.
Dustin grabbed his backpack and said, “All right, that’s enough depressing crap for one day. Since we’re stuck inside, we could play D and D.” He pulled out the game board.
Everyone agreed, and they played until Hopper arrived and sent them all home for the night.
# # #
Half an hour later Hopper and Eleven were eating dinner together.
“No more grounding,” Eleven said. “No more in my room.”
Raising one eyebrow, he said, “That’s really not your call kiddo. If you do something wrong I have to be able to…”
“No,” she said firmly, while looking in his eyes. “Spanking instead.”
He blinked a couple of times and then his eyebrows furrowed in confusion with a hint of anger. “Spanking?”
She nodded solemnly.
“Are you seriously telling me that you’d rather have me hit you than send you to your room for the evening?”
She nodded again. “On the butt,” she clarified.
“No,” he said firmly. “That’s not happening.”
“Because I’m not really your daughter?” she asked dejectedly while looking at the picture of Hopper’s biological daughter that they had recently put on the kitchen counter.
“Hey,” he said as he put his fingers on her chin and tilted her head up to look him in the eyes. “You are really my daughter. I never spanked Sara either.” He glanced at her photo and said, “I loved her too much to hurt her like that. My wife always said my bark was worse than my bite.” He turned back to her. “I love you too much to spank you, too.”
Thinking about Dustin’s mom, Eleven shook her head. She grasped Hopper’s large hand in both of hers and squeezed tight. “No more grounded,” she said firmly. “No more room. Not like Poppa. Spanking instead. Spanking because you love me too much.”
Hopper put a hand on the side of her face, and stared at her for several long seconds while thinking it over. He sighed, shook his head, ran a hand down his face, and gave in. “Fine.”
“No more room?”
“No more room,” he agreed.
“Yeah, kid, spanking instead, because I know how emotional you must be right now for you sentences to be all choppy, but I’m telling you right now that if it comes to that, you’re not going to like it. And if you end up flinging me across the room, or forcing my hand to stop mid-swat simply because you don’t like it, we’re going right back to grounding.”
She stood up and gave him a tight hug. “Thank you.”
He patted her back and muttered, “Could we please get through the next couple of months without trying it out?”
“Yes,” she said sincerely, and sat back down in her chair.
“How about the next eight years?” he asked with a teasing grin. “If you could be a prefect angel for the next eight years, that would really help me out.”
“I’ll try… Dad,” she said with a grin of her own.
# # #
Three months later Hopper pulled up and parked in front of their little cabin. He took a deep breath, and then turned to Eleven with a seriously displeased expression. “Get in the house.”
She glared at him as she got out, slammed the door to his truck, and stomped up the stairs.
He took another deep breath, started at his own hands on the steering wheel and tried to bolster his courage before following her into the house. Remembering the boy who’d been sitting in the principal’s office with a broken arm did the trick.
Once he was inside, he shut the door behind him, and went to sit on the couch. Eleven was standing just in front of her bedroom doorway, still glaring at him.
“Explain yourself,” he demanded.
“He hurt Will.”
When no further information was forthcoming, Hopper said, “Yeah, I’m sure he did. That kid is a bully in training to become a thug. I’ll bet he’s hurt all of your friends over the years. That’s not what I’m asking, and you know it.” He leaned forward, and pinned her with an intense glare. “I only have two big rules for you. Tell me what they are.”
Still glaring, Eleven turned her gaze to the floor and muttered, “No powers in front of people. No leaving home without telling you.”
“Look at me,” he said sharply. Once he had eye contact he jabbed a finger in her direction and said, “So explain to me how that boy ‘fell’ against the wall hard enough to break his arm when he was sitting down to eat lunch!” His nostrils flared before he took another deep breath, and counted to ten in his head.
“He hurt Will!” Eleven yelled, and the entire cabin shook.
Hopper looked up at the walls and the glared back at his daughter. “Is that how this is going to go?” he asked. “You’re going to pitch a fit and break things because you don’t like the rules? That’s fine. Go ahead. Break the whole damn cabin.” He sat back and looked at her expectantly.
She glared down at the floor again and shook her head.
“Do you want more people in the government finding out about you and coming here to study you?”
Panicked, her eyes snapped to his. “No.”
“Which is why we have rules. Was this a life or death situation where you had to step in to save someone?”
Looking less angry, and more sullen, she muttered, “No.”
“Okay, so what were you supposed to do instead of using your powers?”
Still sounding sullen, she fidgeted a little with the sleeve of her shirt and said, “Tell you about it, so you can help me figure out what to do.”
“Right. And if something is urgent, but not life or death?”
“Tell a teacher,” she muttered.
“Exactly. So explain yourself. This little thug hurts Will, and you didn’t go tell a teacher because…?”
After a few seconds of silence, Eleven mumbled, “I was angry.”
“What was that?” Hopper asked, even though he’d heard her.
“I was angry,” she said, glaring at him.
“And when you’re angry, what are you supposed to do?”
“Take a breath. Control myself. Think rationally before acting.”
“But you didn’t do that, did you?”
Sighing, Hopper said, “I really don’t want to do this, but you can’t use your powers just because you’re pissed.” He sat up straighter on the couch and pointed at the ground beside his right leg. “Come here.”
She gripped the doorframe tight with one hand and said, “Spanking?”
“Spanking, or grounded for a week. Your choice,” Hopper said, secretly hoping she’d pick the latter.
A tear slid down her face as she walked towards him.
When she was beside him, he took her hand in his and said, “You remember I love you, even when you’re in trouble, right?”
She nodded, and more tears went down her face.
“I’m giving you fifteen. Are you going to be able to keep yourself in check?” After she nodded again, he gently tugged her arm to get her across his lap. Once she was in place, he put a hand on her back, clenched his jaw, and tried to keep the kid with a broken arm in his mind as he brought his hand down to spank her.
Eleven gasped, and her eyes opened wide when the pain registered. Before she could voice a protest another smack landed, and another. “Owww!” she complained loudly and kicked her feet as more whacks connected with her rear end.
He wanted it over as quickly as possible, and kept up the rapid fire pace.
“Oww! Hopper!” she cried, squirming to get off his lap.
Wincing when he heard the pleading tone in her voice, he finished up the last three swats, and then started rubbing her back with the hand that had been holding her in place.
Once she felt the gentle touch, she burst into noisy tears.
Sighing, and feeling like a jerk, Hopper flipped her over so that she was sitting in his lap, and pulled her into a hug.
“Okay,” he said gently, “All done.”
She wrapped her arms around his shoulders and pressed her forehead against his neck. “It hurt,” she said through her tears.
“I know,” he said softly, “But it’s over now, and you’re gonna be fine. No more using your powers at school, right?”
Nodding against his neck she muttered, “Yes, Hopper.”
“What happened to ‘Dad’?” he asked, trying to make his voice light and teasing, but when it came out, it sounded a little desperate.
“Yes, Dad. No more powers at school.”
He hugged her a little closer. “And when you’re angry?”
“Stay calm. Think rationally. Control myself.”
They sat together in companionable silence for several minutes, until Eleven let go and sat up. He helped her scoot over so she was sitting on the couch beside him, and she pouted when her butt made contact with the sofa. “Ow,” she whined, while wiping the tears off her face with the back of her hand.
“Yeah, ow,” he agreed, “Do you want to change your mind about spanking now that you’ve experienced it?”
She thought that over for a few seconds, and then shook her head. “No.”
With a dejected sigh, Hopper said, “That’s what I thought you’d say.”
She held his hand in both of hers and said, “I’m sorry. I won’t make you do it again.”
He chuckled and said, “I appreciate the sentiment, but you shouldn’t make promises that you can’t keep, kiddo.” She frowned, and he ruffled her hair. “Come on. Why don’t you tell me what a jerk this kid has been while I make you some waffles.”
“Okay,” she said with a small smile, and followed him into the kitchen.
(Feedback makes me happy.)