Fandom: Stranger Things
Category: Gen. Vignette. Family. Dustin.
Time Frame: Pre-Series.
Spoilers: None/General Series Knowledge Only.
Summary: In my world, Dustin plays hockey. But why hockey, specifically?
Word Count: 374
Dustin Henderson burst through the door of his house like so many nine-year-olds did: with a slammed door and just one word on his lips.
“Mom!” he yelled, as he kicked off his shoes.
Said mother poked her head out of the kitchen.
Dustin brandished a piece of paper at her as he barreled into the room.
She took the paper and raised her eyebrows at her son.
“And just what am I looking at, exactly?”
Dustin beamed. “A flyer!”
“I can see that,” said Claudia with a sigh.
“For hockey tryouts! Well, sign ups, actually, because you don’t have to try out, because they’ll let anyone play. See! It says so right there!”
Dustin jabbed a finger at the paper as his mother looked at him skeptically.
“You want to play hockey?”
Dustin nodded approximately eight times. “Can I?”
Claudia hesitated. “Well… I don’t know, Dusty. I’ll have to talk to your father, but… where is this coming from?”
“Well,” said Dustin. “You and Dad are always saying I should get out more, and I thought it’d be fun, and…”
Dustin trailed off, becoming a bit unsure, and his mom picked up the conversation.
“OK. But why hockey? There are so many things to do.”
Dustin’s insecurity vanished and he smiled from ear to ear. Actually, he more than smiled. He showed all his teeth, or lack thereof, in a bizarre version of a smiling grimace. Then he pushed himself up onto his tiptoes and right into his mother’s face. His behavior and expression was made all the more bizarre by the fact that he currently had no top front teeth and only stubs for bottom front teeth and the rest were crooked or elongated beyond the norm.
It took her a few seconds, but all of a sudden, Claudia got it.
She started to chuckle slowly, and Dustin’s face relaxed into a more normal grin. He leaned back down to his normal height and looked expectantly at his mom.
“So, can I?” he asked.
Claudia nodded. “Yeah, sweetie. You can play hockey.”
And so he did.
And just like in school, he was called “Toothless” on the ice, but for the first time ever, that wasn’t much of an insult.