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Steve says, "You’re sure?"

Eddie tilts his head. He’s naked on his back, his hair spread across a fucking soft pillow. He didn’t know pillows came so soft, or mattresses so plush, until he first lay down in Steve Harrington’s bedroom.

Steve Harrington is also naked, and he’s kneeling between Eddie’s bent knees. His preposterous hair keeps flopping over one eye, and he keeps combing it back with a hand so that he can look at Eddie head-on. His cock is long and thick and hard as fuck, and Eddie will never be able to stare at it enough.

Steve’s eyes are sincere and his lips are pursed in concentration. All his concentration is on Eddie. Eddie will never be over that. Ever.

Eddie hasn’t lived a life where he’s been witness to many beautiful things. Steve Harrington like this is so beautiful it makes him ache, makes him feel like he’s spying on something he shouldn’t see. But Steve always strips off his clothes for Eddie like he’s worthy of the view.

"Am I sure," Eddie says, pulling a smile to deflect from how fast his heart is racing, "am I sure that I want to lose my virginity to the King of Hawkins, Indiana, against all the betting odds?"

"Not king of anything," Steve says quietly. Usually they banter a lot but Steve isn’t so much in the bantering mood. "It’s just me. I’m a failure who works at the video store and babysits half a dozen feral kids—for free—and couldn’t score a second date until you said yes."

"Oh, good," says Eddie. He makes himself sound more serious, because Steve is so super serious right now. "That’s who I’m trying to lose my virginity to."

"Robin says that losing virginity is a social construct," says Steve. "I think I got it the second time she walked me through what she meant."

Steve reaches for the small bottle they set beside the condoms on the bedside table. They’ve been working their way up to this for a while, and they came prepared. Eddie’s eyes track his movement.

Robin is right, of course. The concept of virginity is inherently fucked, seeing as how it’s defined by patriarchal, penetrative, outdated notions of sex.

They’ve done everything else—many times, in fact. Steve’s was the first dick Eddie ever sucked, and vice-versa, etcetera, etcetera. Why wasn’t that considered losing virginity? What was supposed to be lost, anyway? To Eddie it all sounds like a win.

Even so, despite Robin’s philosophy, they’ve been raised in a society that defines things in this way. And there’s no denying that this feels like a big step, physically and emotionally. It’s one thing to have Steve suck his cock—which he’d done quite spectacularly about ten minutes ago—and another thing to let Steve inside of him.

The thing is that Eddie has already let Steve inside of him, if he’s thinking philosophically. If he’s being honest. Against his better judgment, he let Steve into his life, let Steve under his skin. Steve occupies the entire length and breadth of his traitor heart, which turned out not to be as dead and closed-off as Eddie thought it was. This is just one more way for Steve to be a part of him.

"Robin’s right," Eddie says. His eyes are glued to where Steve is pouring a comical amount of lube into his hand, over his fingers. He tries to breathe evenly. "What should we call this instead?"

Steve thinks about it. People think Steve isn’t a deep thinker, but Eddie’s learned it’s kind of the opposite. Steve isn’t a particularly fast thinker, not someone like Dustin whose brain makes rapid-fire connections, but Steve actually thinks a lot, tries to sort through it all, wants to come up with the right answer. It takes him a while, and he sometimes seems confused, because he hasn’t arrived there yet.

"Maybe…" Steve puts his hand between Eddie’s legs, rubs his lube-cool fingers over Eddie’s entrance. "Maybe just—our first time."

"I like that," Eddie says, and he gazes into Steve’s stupidly pretty eyes to make it clear that he means it about both the phrasing and the fingers.

This isn’t the first time they’ve done some fingers. They tried that a couple of times before, to see if Eddie liked it like he thought he would. He did. He liked it a lot. That cleared the way for them to arrive here, at the first time for the rest of it.

"Ready?" Steve won’t stop asking him questions. He’s like this in bed as well as out of it. It’s sweet, really. Steve’s sweet.

Eddie’s life is screwy but he must’ve done something good in a past one to have earned this. Something incredible. Discovered penicillin, maybe, or formulated milk chocolate.

"Born ready," says Eddie. He wants to stay solemn for Steve, he really does, but he also needs to be able to joke and snark through Steve Harrington fucking him or he’s going to die. One man can only manage so much.

Anyway, it’s not really a joke. Eddie was born for this. He’s liked boys for as long as he can remember, as soon as liking anyone became a thing. His friends developed crushes on girls; his were on other guys. Simple as that. Later he would learn it wasn’t so simple.

But ever since he found out about how sex between men could go, he knew that this—what they're doing now—was what he wanted. While he thinks he’d like to try out different ways eventually, doing it like this is what appealed most. He wants fingers in him, wants to know what a cock feels like in him. That the cock is set to be Steve Harrington’s is, like, mind-shattering and face-melting.

Eddie wants him so badly. He wants to allay any hesitations that Steve has, because all of this is a lot newer for Steve. Steve’s hesitations shouldn’t be about how Eddie is feeling, at least.

"Want you to," Eddie says. "C'mon."

Steve’s finger presses into him, eager, which feels like a good sign. It feels fucking good, too. Steve has nice hands with long shapely fingers.

They should be soft and, like, manicured, Eddie thinks. Pampered hands. Only Steve isn’t what he appears to be on the outside, which is Douchey McCountry-Club. Steve fights monsters on the regular, fights for his life and flings himself into the worst kind of danger to fight for the lives of the people he loves. It turns out that Steve is the most selfless person that Eddie’s ever met, and ain’t that a kick in the head.

Steve’s nails are short and his knuckles are scarred. His hands are capable, quick, assured. Eddie has spent a lot of time just like sucking on those fingers. He likes Steve’s hands a lot.

"I like your hands," he tells Steve, as Steve withdraws his finger only to ease it in again.

"Yeah?" says Steve. He smiles a little, and oh, that’s good, too. Eddie wants him to look less like they’re undertaking an Extremely Important trial by fire and more chill. Even if Steve is never particularly good at chill.

"Yeah, they’re nice hands. And, like, lucky for you, since the rest of you isn’t much to look at," Eddie says.

He knows Steve. Steve grins on cue and slips another finger in beside the first. Twists them like they practiced together.

Eddie tries not to moan too loud—he doesn’t want Steve to worry and slow down—and his spent dick gives an interested twitch against his stomach. Steve had practically sucked his soul out through his cock when they first got naked, but maybe there’s some spirit left after all.

The rest of Steve is actually so much to look at. It’s too much. Every time he looks, Eddie feels like he’s going to spin out, like any second he’s going to wake up from the craziest acid trip of his life where he became convinced that Steve Harrington was his fucking boyfriend.

Steve Harrington is his fucking boyfriend, and his body is pretty much perfect. He’s only an inch or so taller than Eddie, making him an exceptional height for kissing. He has a muscled build from years of sports balling it up and more recently from running and monster-fighting, but his waist is rather slender, which drives Eddie absolutely fucking crazy. Eddie likes to belt it with his fingers, keep his hands there.

Steve’s otherwise flawless torso is interrupted by a scattering of scars and healed-over gashes, evidence of how many times he’s waded into battle. Eddie kisses the silvered lines of flesh whenever he can. He thinks that they make Steve even more beautiful, though he hasn’t found the right way to tell Steve that and not sound like he's totally off the deep end for Steve. Which he is.

Steve’s hips form a cut vee and a trail of dark hair leads from his lower belly to his fucking delicious cock. His ass is out of this world, pert and firm. When Eddie first got his hands on it, skin to skin, he thought he could die happy then, that was the peak of his life. He’d said as much to Steve and Steve had laughed and told him to aim higher.

So, this, the highest of all aims: Steve Harrington fitting a third finger inside, well on his way to fucking him.

Steve, with his life-ruining hair flopping over his eyes again, saying, "Talk to me, Eddie."

"We’re good," Eddie manages. He’s never felt this full, never been this full before. But it’s a good kind of fullness, wanted, yearned for. He lifts his hips a little to test the feeling, and, well, Jesus fuck, isn’t that a thing. "You’re good. Keep going."

Steve slides his fingers out, which seems like a shocking reversal, but it’s only so that he can coat them in more lube. They’re back inside Eddie almost before he can miss them.

Except he did. Miss them. God, he’s so fucking fucked even before he’s fucked. He’s so fucked up for Steve Harrington.

"You feel really good like this," says Steve. "You’re so tight, though. I don’t know how I’ll fit."

"Hey, there, Casanova," says Eddie, a bit too sharply, because if Steve decides he won’t go through with it on account of some cockamamie chivalrous bullshit about not hurting Eddie, Eddie will both die and also never speak to him again until maybe next week.

What he’s saying is he’ll be mad. He’s the one who gets to decide what he’s ready for when it comes to his own ass, please and thank you.

"I’m not stopping," Steve says. "Just. We need you to relax a little, Eds."

Eddie thinks he’s been taking this whole thing rather well, considering he has three of Steve fucking Harrington’s fingers working him open. But, begrudgingly, he has to admit that Steve fucking Harrington is right. Eddie’s tensed up, keeps holding his breath. Hard to explain that it’s because part of him can’t believe this is happening and the other part of him is petrified that any moment now Steve will snap out of it and change his mind.

Instead, Steve calls him Eds, which always makes the icy fortress Eddie tries to erect around himself fucking liquify. Steve’s free hand kneads at the bunched muscles of Eddie’s inner thigh, smooths his thumb in circles there.

Eddie lets all of the air seep out of his lungs, focuses on taking deep breaths after that. He tells his body to fucking relax so that it can get what it fucking wants more than anything. He feels his limbs grow heavier, melts back into the mattress.

"That’s it," says Steve.

Steve’s fingers move more easily inside of him. Have space to crook and curl, and—

"Jesus fuck," Eddie gasps. "Oh my God, do that again."

Steve does. Eddie witnesses the birth and death of stars. A supernova of pleasure explodes up his spine, and he arches into Steve’s hand.

"Christ," says Steve. "You look—"

Eddie thinks he must look an complete fucking mess, with his hair staticky from rubbing against the pillow as his head whips back and forth. He’s flushed all over and his thighs are trembling no matter how much he tries to stop them, and now his hips are shifting wantonly against Steve’s fingers. If he tries to picture how he must look he’ll blink out of existence by force of sheer embarrassment alone.

Steve doesn’t finish his thought, though. Eddie doesn’t know how he looks to Steve. There’s the sound of Steve swallowing, and then Steve says, "I really, really need to fuck you."

"Yeah," Eddie agrees, feeling dizzy. He’s full of Steve’s fingers and there’s starstuff in his blood. "Yes, please, that."

He’s not sure if he's ready, but only because he’s not sure he’ll ever be ready for the reality of Steve Harrington wanting to fuck him and then fucking him. But there’s no time like the present to find out.

Eddie always tried to imagine what this moment in his life would be like and he always came up blank. He’s had a lot of time to think about it. It wasn’t thrilling being a twenty-year-old virgin, but Hawkins hadn’t exactly provided him with a host of options. There were closeted people at school who didn’t care to come out, not that he blamed them. Not that they would have wanted to be seen with him or be with him anyway.

At least that’s what he used to tell himself before Steve Harrington, looking uncharacteristically shy, asked him if he wanted to hang out. Like on a date.

He had moments of desperation over the years, times where he thought he should just book it to a gay club in Indianapolis and try to get the whole thing over with. Now he’s never been more glad that his first time isn’t in a bathroom stall or some random guy’s dorm room bed after a hazy college party. That he waited. He’s in Steve Harrington’s butch but well-appointed bedroom, with Steve Harrington gazing at him with something like awe and a lot like adoration.

Yeah, in a past life Eddie must’ve been a goddamned saint. Like, leader of the saints type shit.

The moment Eddie always tried and failed to imagine is here, and it looks like Steve Harrington slipping free his fingers and scrambling to grab a condom. He tears open the package with his teeth. Steve’s hands are unsteady.

Eddie would like to believe it's because Steve's excited rather than harboring any doubts. He watches him roll the condom down the stunning length of his cock. Watches him add more lube. So much lube.

Then it’s Eddie’s turn. He goes onto his hands and knees, lets his hair fall across his face. It’s safer behind the curtain of it. Maybe he can hang out back here to survive this.

Truth be told he’d prefer to do it on his back, even if that’s some patriarchal missionary bullshit, because he wants to see Steve’s face. But Eddie’s read what he can about men fucking in the erotic magazines he sends away for, and he knows it’s supposed to be easier like this at first. He mentioned that to Steve once and Steve got it into his mind that they should definitely start out this way. So. They’re doing it. They’re starting.

He feels Steve move into place behind him. Steve’s hands settle on his hips. But then they glide up, up, as Steve reaches to brush back Eddie’s hair. He sweeps it to one side, over Eddie’s shoulder, so that Steve can see his face, and, well. Would you look at that.

Now Eddie can’t hide, but if he turns his head he can look back and see Steve’s face like he wanted. He turns to look.

Steve’s face is just … gorgeous. He’s biting his lip, his cheeks are pink. There’s a cracked-open look behind his eyes, like he’s feeling too many things to hold them all in, and his gaze is on Eddie’s face. Their eyes meet.

Eddie kind of nods, and Steve kind of nods, and that’s it. They don’t need any further declarations here. Steve takes hold of his cock and and guides it to Eddie’s entrance. He pushes inside, slow but insistent, leaves no doubt that he wants to be here. He sinks in an inch and then he waits to see if Eddie has anything to say about that. Eddie has zero notes. None.

So Steve says, "Tell—tell me if I need to stop, or—anything," and since Eddie says nothing, he keeps going.

From a distance Eddie registers that Steve sounds kind of happily strangled, which would be an ego boost if Eddie were capable of actually processing full thoughts at the moment. He’s not. He can’t. All he does is feel.

It doesn’t hurt. Eddie always thought it would hurt, but it doesn’t. Steve took so much time with him, prepared him so well. Took care of him. So it doesn’t hurt.

Making people think that it has to hurt is another social construct, Eddie thinks wildly. It’s a natural thing, what they’re doing, and their bodies know it better than their brains did going in.

It feels strange at first, sure. Steve’s cock is thicker than his fingers, and longer, too. He seems to go on forever, has more and more to press in and fill Eddie up with.

It takes some adjusting to, a lot of breathing, some sweating. When Steve cradles his hips and starts to pull Eddie back onto his cock rather than pressing in, Eddie almost keens. But it’s good. It doesn’t hurt. Steve is inside him. He should have known Steve would never hurt him.

"Eds," Steve says, when he’s all the way in about a century and a half later. His thighs are sealed to the back of Eddie’s thighs and his hands are clenched on Eddie’s hips. Eddie hopes they leave bruises behind, marks, some lingering evidence that this occurred. "You gotta give me something to go on here."

Oh, right, well, fuck. Eddie has been like almost totally silent, embarked on an internal journey and discovery of the self, but Steve doesn’t know that. Hasn’t really had any feedback, and Eddie can’t even imagine what his own facial expressions must look like.

"Sorry, man. I’m, like. It’s a lot." Eddie’s voice emerges as a croak. He works his throat around a big swallow and tries to get a fucking grip.

He hears Steve draw in a nervous breath and reminds himself that this is all new for Steve, too. That Steve might not be a virgin to penetrative sex but that he’s certainly virginal when it comes to sex with dudes, and also Steve had only come to grips with the fact that he wanted to have sex with dudes relatively recently. Eddie's known that about himself for years and years and years.

Really, Steve is being a fucking champ here, not that that’s new to form. But Eddie should keep it in mind that it’s a lot for Steve, too.

"It’s good, though," he tells Steve. "It’s really good. It doesn’t hurt at all. Don’t stop."

Steve’s death-grip relaxes at that. "I can—?" He gives a gentle roll of his hips, and that’s one of the best things to ever happen in the storied life of Eddie Munson, fucking hell.

"Jesus. Um. Yeah," Eddie says. "Maybe start kind of slow, but if you fucking stop now I will, like, properly perish."

"Won’t stop," Steve says, like a promise, so he better fucking keep it. And he doesn’t stop, now that he knows he can move. He pulls back and then thrusts in again, careful but determined.

The next time he moves back, Eddie moves also, sees what it feels like to change the angle of his body, their bodies. Steve slides in and it’s different, it’s even better, it’s a fucking religious experience.

"Fuck, yes," Eddie bites out. "Fuck, Steve. Yeah, like that."

It makes Eddie feel like he wants to howl at the fucking moon. Holy shit. Holy shit.

"God." Steve may not be the world’s fastest thinker, but he’s a fast learner, and extremely well-coordinated. The dude knows a billion sports plays, can change those up as needed—he’s excellent at following a lead. He learns the angle Eddie likes and keeps them like that, moves faster when Eddie throws his head back. "I’m so fucking—fuck—glad you didn’t want to stop. I don’t think I could, now. You feel too fucking good."

He, Eddie Munson, feels fucking good on Steve Harrington’s cock. It’s unreal, it’s surreal. It defies reality and transcends the cosmos. Eddie’s spent cock is no longer spent, is extremely interested now again, and his whole body and brain are on fire, just fully ignited. He’s surprised smoke isn’t pouring out of his ears.

Eddie’s getting bolder. He thinks he might one day be very good at this. He wants to one day be extraordinarily good at this with Steve. He tries something else, which is to not wait for Steve’s thrust but to take it, rocking back and forth on Steve’s cock. He can take Steve in even further when he does that, control their speed, show Steve that he can do it faster and harder now.

"Eddie," Steve says, sounding loosed from his fetters when Eddie does that. "Christ. Fuck."



After that they don’t speak for a stretch. They don’t need to. Steve pulls out, and Eddie doesn’t ask him why. Eddie rolls over onto his back, spreads his legs for Steve to fit between.

Steve fits. He thrusts back in like he never left. Then he kind of falls on Eddie and they’re kissing like if they don’t an interdimensional rift is going to appear in the bed and tear them apart.

Jesus fucking fuck. So Eddie gets why hands and knees came recommended, because it’s much, much deeper like this. It’s harder for Eddie to change up their angle, too. But Steve waits for him to adjust, slows down. He presses into Eddie like he doesn’t have anywhere else to be ever again.

It’s more than worth it to be able to kiss Steve while they’re fucking. Kissing Steve is a fucking gift on days both good and bad, but kissing Steve now is like a fucking lightning strike. It electrifies him. It lights up the inside of Eddie's brain and awakens a buzz of pleasure in his belly and it gets his cock fully hard.

Steve notices. He stops kissing Eddie but he doesn’t go far—he rests his forehead against Eddie’s and stares into his eyes. And yeah maybe that’s some chick-flick schmaltzy shit but right then Eddie understands why those movies are so popular.

"Can I make you come like this?" Steve asks, his voice low. "I want to make you come like this. Wanna know what it feels like to be in you when it happens."

"You can't just say stuff like that," Eddie manages. He bites his lip. Possibly through his lip. "You're welcome to try, hotshot. Yeah, let's try that."

They work toward it together, testing, learning. They try out the differences in positioning, shifting Eddie's legs around Steve's back, or hitching up a leg, or both. It's too much to have his legs over Steve's shoulders; Eddie's not quite ready yet for that, but he vows to return and conquer the move one day. Steve wedges a pillow beneath Eddie's hips when they find that there's a fucking magical angle therein. God, it’s so fucking good like that.

"It’s so good like this," Eddie tells him. "Stay there."

Steve stays. He works his cock into Eddie with just really balls-to-the-wall dedication. No wonder he was sports captain of everything. It’s only a good while later that he says, "Can’t—won’t last much longer. Will you show me?"

Despite everything they’ve said and done, despite the fact that Steve is his actual boyfriend—

(Steve brings him legit fucking flowers sometimes, like what the fuck is Eddie going to do with flowers in a dank, dark trailer?

What he does is hang them upside down and dry them out to keep them, and some he presses between pages of his favorite books)

—despite the fact that Steve’s cock is inside him, Eddie flushes. It’s still hard to believe that Steve likes this—watching Eddie—as much as he likes touching Eddie.

("It’s super hot, to see you touch yourself," Steve said, the first time he asked to watch Eddie jerk off without being hands-on himself. "Plus I get to find out what you like.")

Yet there’s no denying the reality of Steve here with him, in him, asking him. Eddie gets his hand down and wraps it around his cock.

"Anything," Eddie says. "Just don’t stop."

"Won’t until I come in you," Steve says, and then they’re off.

It’s insane stroking his cock with Steve fucking him. It takes a minute to get coordinated so that they’re not messing up their rhythm but once they click into place it’s insane. It’s like touching his dick normally only turned up like he’s being piped through the speaker system at the world’s rowdiest metal show. It makes Eddie want to thrash, makes him want to come almost all at once. Everything is heightened, zoomed in, amplified.

His head does indeed thrash against the pillow as Steve keeps at that perfect angle, hits against the hidden spot inside him again and again. Eddie’s toes curl. He always thought toe-curling sex was an exaggeration but it’s fucking happening to him.

Steve watching him adds a whole other level, makes him feel like the world is ending so that it can finally start.

"Steve," Eddie pants. "Fuck, I’m coming, please—"

He’s not sure what he’s asking for, if he’s asking for anything other than for Steve to stay with him. Steve’s eyes go wide and they’re the last thing Eddie sees as his vision gloriously grays out and he paints the space between them hot and slick.

Steve’s name is in his mouth again, where it tastes fucking great. Eddie’s never come like this before, never come this hard, even on all the lonely nights he had leading up to Steve when he had a lot of time to experiment on his hands.

Coming like this feels deeper, like it’s traveling through his bones, and it takes over his whole body. He arcs up against Steve and pulls him close with his free hand, tries to use what time they have left to blend them even more. Pure fucking bliss crests through him like the mythical hit of ecstasy pill-pushers always promise and this—fuck, this. This Eddie knows he will be left addicted to.

"Oh my God," Eddie says. "Jesus, fuck, oh, God."

He tightened up on Steve’s cock amid the chaos of that, and when he opens his eyes, Steve looks like he’s hanging by a thread. Like he only hasn’t fucked his way to his own release by force of pure dumb will, the same stupid gorgeous willpower that makes him brave enough to dive straight into the fucking unknown on the regular.

It’s hard to remember how to breathe, how to speak. But Eddie manages, "Come on, man, I got you, you gotta—"

Steve was only waiting for permission, what a fucking gentleman. He dives into Eddie after that, thrusts quick and deep, comes entirely apart with his mouth open against Eddie’s neck. There’s a groan that may have started life as Eddie’s name.

Eddie feels it happen, feels the pulse of Steve’s cock inside him, the way his own body has somehow made Steve fucking Harrington spill and spill. It’s almost as good as coming himself, feeling that, knowing that he was involved. He pushes his fingers through the mess of Steve’s hero hair so that he can see exactly what Steve’s face looks like. He’ll draw it from memory later.

In all of his imaginings about what sex would be like, Eddie had only considered what it would feel like to him, what his own body would do. But he finds it’s all the more exhilarating to observe Steve and to touch him in the aftermath. To gaze at Steve and to see himself reflected in Steve’s eyes. He likes the way he looks in Steve’s eyes, because Steve looks at him like he’s something wonderful. That’s absurd, of course, but what about Steve isn’t absurd?

Eddie will deny it if questioned, but he reaches then and cups Steve’s cheek. He touches Steve more tenderly than he’s ever touched anyone. He guides Steve to him and kisses him once, slow and sweet. Eyes open. Mind empty. Heart exploded.

Then Eddie gets a fucking grip on himself. "Okay, okay, I think that’s about all I can handle. I’m already gonna feel you into next week."

Steve takes the hint. He pulls out gentle as he’s able, deals with the condom. Gets back into bed with a soft old t-shirt in his hand that he uses to scrub over Eddie’s belly and then himself. (Would it be weird to ask Steve if he can keep the shirt, or maybe he should steal it?)

Then Steve rolls over to look at Eddie. Afterglow looks fucking fantastic on Steve, everything looks fantastic on a Steve, but his eyebrows draw together in one of his trademark worried faces. He lays a hand on the jut of Eddie’s hipbone. "Thought you said it didn’t hurt."

"It didn’t," says Eddie, honest. He tries to assess his body, which is hard when it’s sending haywire messages and in the inside of his head he can only hear, like, joyful screaming. "There’s, like. I don’t know. An ache. Not bad. Different. Just like, I know you were there."

"Oh," says Steve, and then, a slow smile blooming, "yeah. Yeah, I was, wasn’t I."

Eddie puts his hand over Steve’s on his hip. "Yeah."

For a long time they lie breathing, just sharing space. Eddie hears the way Steve opens and closes his mouth half a dozen times, starting to say something and then veering off course. He’s thinking his way through it.

Fuck, Eddie loves him. Loved him before this. Loves him so much after this it’s hard to get enough air in around it to survive.

Finally, Steve settles on, "Did you like—"

"Yes," says Eddie, who has anticipated the question, because Steve will inevitably check in on everyone else as a default. "I really liked." He lifts his eyes to study Steve’s face. The moment of reckoning. "You?"

"Uh. Yeah, you could say that." Steve lets out a relieved laugh. He runs a hand through his disheveled hair. "Dude, I think that was the best sex of my life."

Something old and worried and knotted up in Eddie starts to unravel. He turns onto his side to face Steve, one eyebrow raised. "You think or you know?"

"I think," says Steve. "I’m hoping we get to do a lot more of it, so I’m not deciding yet."

"Prudent," says Eddie. "It was the only sex of my life, so I guess for now it’s the best, but you’ll have to change it up next time if you want to beat the starting score."

Steve’s eyes are shining. He loves sports metaphors. "Okay, sure, I can do that. I want to do that."

"Cool," says Eddie.

The silence is comfortable after that. They lie mirroring each other. Then Steve’s ankle slips between Eddie’s legs. His hand doesn’t leave Eddie’s hip.

Eddie has never felt so happy, and that’s fucking terrifying. He hadn’t been good at picturing what sex would actually be like but he also never thought about what it would be like afterward. He figured you just left, or the other guy did.

One day, he thinks, Steve will leave. It’s inevitable. Steve would argue with him if he knew Eddie were thinking that, so Eddie stays quiet. If Steve doesn’t leave, he’ll be taken from Eddie in some way. Probably in one of the horrible screaming ways their group is so good at finding themselves subject to. He’s sure of it. He knows.

But what he likes about the way he is now is that this can’t be changed. Virginity is a social construct, sure, and kudos to Robin for saying it. Still, for as long as Eddie lives, he can say—he can think—my first time was with Steve Harrington. Steve was first.

Everything else is changeable and sometimes everything is awful, but this fact, this act, is good and settles warm in his body and his brain. It can’t be unwritten.

Our first time, Steve had called it. Theirs. It was better than it had any right to be, and it won't be stolen or refuted.

Eddie feels different, and not just because he’s finally done away with the shackles of so-called virginity. He’s different because now he knows what it feels like to have Steve inside of him and to know, to know irrevocably, that Steve wants to be there. There’s no coming back from that as the same person who lay down on these fucking too-soft pillows an hour ago.

"I’m glad it was you," Eddie says.

"Me too," says Steve. He answers automatically, too fast, unthinking, then smiles his way into making that charming. "I mean, I’m glad it was me too. For you. And, uh, me. I mean—"

"I know what you mean," says Eddie.

Steve beams at him. Isn’t that just a blowtorch against the defective icy fortress Eddie tries and tries to build up around his heart. "Stay here tonight?"

"If I must," says Eddie, already burrowing in.

"I love you," says Steve, and everything that is frozen in Eddie goes molten.

It’s not the first time that Steve’s said it. That they’ve said it. But it always takes Eddie’s breath away, feels like a hand reaching into his chest and rooting around. Shakes him more to his marrow than anything they did tonight, that they’ll do tomorrow and the night after that.

(And the night after that. And the night after that. And the night—)

"Me too," says Eddie. His lips curve, trying to keep it light, but then Steve's hand goes and squeezes his hip. "I mean. I love you, too."

It's Steve's turn to smile. "I know what you mean."

"Now that we have the romance novel shit out of the way, can we sleep like normal people?" Eddie asks. It's not a genuine question, though, nor a genuine complaint. Nothing about them or their lives are normal. He's never been more glad.

"I haven’t ever read a romance novel," says Steve, with an indulgent stretch. "Guess this stuff comes naturally to me."

"Nah. You wouldn't rip a bodice. Those books are weird, man."

"What about your books?" says Steve.


"How would one of your nerdy dragon books end this," Steve elaborates. "The heroes have sex for the first time, and then what happens?"

Eddie thinks about it. Thinks that it must be impossible to love someone more than he loves Steve in that moment. "I, uh. They, uh. They'd probably swear an oath of loyalty to each other and vow to fight on another day until evil is banished from the land."

"I like that ending better," Steve says. "Let's do that."