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steddie ~ trouble don’t last always

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Eddie "The Freak" Munson (19) is a drug addict and an alcoholic. He's most commonly known as The Freak of Hawkins High. Rumors had always circulated about him being a queer since middle school. He gets bullied, accused of being a homosexual, and hates everything about himself. His only comfort is the Hellfire Club, which nobody even liked, everyone just believed it was a satanic cult. 

 

"King" Steve Harrington (18) most commonly known as the King of Hawkins High, is more than just a king behind closed doors. He's a lost teenager with anxiety and parental issues, who continues to wear a fake smile in public. Steve had always struggled to figure out why he couldn't get the same love from his parents that everybody else does. They'd leave him for months, and came back rarely, just to pretend like they never left. He has no form of coping, as he began to suffer from anxiety after being drugged by russian spies and tortured in their underground lair.

 

When two opposites like Steve Harrington and Eddie Munson attract each other, how far can such a relationship go? Read more to find out the story of when a boy meets a boy in Hawkins, Indiana. In the year of 1986, one of the most horrible times to live in as a minority, will they last? In a cruel, unaccepting world, all that matters is that trouble don't last always.

Chapter Text

6:00AM

 

Steve woke up to the sound of his alarm clock. Great, first day, he thought. Steve wanted to just get it all over with. Attending school for the first time in months was not as fun as it sounded. Going to Hawkins High for the last few years made him learn that being the 'King' wasn't enjoyable.

 

He sat up in his bed, with no energy to even get up. He did it anyway, knowing Robin needed someone to pick her up, and walked over to the bathroom. As he got in the shower, he began to think about the fact that he'd probably wake up to an empty house for the rest of his life. It's been months since his parents actually came home, they'd always make the same excuse of leaving for a business trip.

 

After shampooing his hair, he picked out a pair of jeans and a sweater from his closet, the first two things he saw. Steve really didn't care about what he wore at this point, for some reason, the ladies would still be impressed.

 

He walked out his house and got into his car, carrying his backpack on one shoulder. He started driving over to Robin's house. As he got there, he stopped at the corner of the sidewalk, seeing her already waiting at the front door.

 

"Hey dingus! I gotta tell you something." she shouted. For the rest of the car ride, she kept on talking about her crush on Vickie and what to do, while doing her makeup last minute. Steve laughed a bit, while Robin just wouldn't stop talking.

 

"What if Vickie's not into me? What if I just misread that whole situation and now she hates me?" she yelled.

 

"Vickie obviously likes boobies."

 

"For the millionth time, don't say boobies!"

 

They kept going back and forth, until Steve finally got to school. As soon as he parked, Robin saw Vickie and ran out to talk to her. Meanwhile, Steve stayed in the car for a while. He got there a few minutes early.

 

He reached into his pocket, and found a bottle of medications, specifically for anxiety. He hated taking them, but had to. Steve had gone through too much, especially after him and Robin were drugged by commies nearly a thousand feet underground. How could she act like everything was okay?

 

PRESCRIBED FOR: STEVE HARRINGTON

TAKE 2 PILLS A DAY

 

He sighed, as he took one pill out and swallowed it quickly before going up to the school. Day one of this hellhole, he thought.

 

As he was going up to open the door, a curly haired boy ran out. "Sorry, man!" It was Eddie the freak, the kid who was claimed to own a cult called Hellfire. He'd put up with so much bullying, especially since rumor has it he's a queer. Bullshit was what he thought of it. Mike and his group of friends would always come over to play D&D.

 

His hair is pretty.

 

What the hell am I even thinking, Steve thought. He shrugged it off and assumed it was intrusive thought. He just really hoped he didn't mean it, since he couldn't even tell his anxious thoughts apart from his normal ones.

 

Suddenly, a blonde boy ran out the doors, clearly chasing after Eddie. It was Jason Carver, the popular jock from the basketball team. An annoying little shit is what he is. He went inside, seeing Robin talking to Vickie. He was always supportive to Robin, but deep inside, Steve wished he could have another relationship. He wanted someone who he could tell all his secrets to, someone who he could kiss and hug whenever he wanted to. For some reason though, Steve just wouldn't find that in any girl. His mind went to Robin, who lacked confidence, and couldn't even get the right words out her mouth half of the time.

 

Robin had no reason to doubt herself about Vickie not being attracted to her, he thought they had a chance at least. He walked over to his locker, and spun the lock left and right. When it finally unlocked, he shoved his books in, knowing none of his lazy teachers were giving an essay on the first day of senior year.

 

"Hey Steve!" he heard the voice of a girl next to him. It was Nancy Wheeler, his ex from freshman year. He always laughed a bit at the thought of thinking he'd actually last with Nancy.

 

"Hey, did you have a good summer?" he replied.

 

"Yeah. Me and Jonathan actually got jobs at Melvald's to help his mom, downtown's finally busy again and we're out of the Hawkins Post!" Nancy told him, as she continued talking about random events in her life which he wasn't even paying attention to.

 

Steve sighed as he got too into his thoughts, beginning to zone out while remembering that he'd have to go back to working at Family Video tomorrow. Thankfully it was with Robin, but all he really wanted to do was go home and sleep. He'd felt so out of touch with reality, going home to an empty house, and having no one to talk to.

 

He jumped back into reality as the bell rang for first period.

 

"Got to go, see ya!" Nancy told him, walking away already. Phew, she didn't notice, he thought. The last thing Steve needed was to offload his problems and trauma onto someone else.

 

Steve checked his schedule, seeing World History at the top. It was by far his worst subject, but he walked to class anyway. He didn't feel like skipping at a time like this.

 

As he walked to class, some other girls he didn't even know began to holler at him. He was used to it, and just smiled back. Steve had already gotten tired of it. Being known as King of Hawkins High was only fun when he'd been friends with Tommy H. and his annoying girlfriend Carol.

 

He walked in, taking his assigned seat, as the teacher was telling everyone where to sit.

 

"Good morning seniors, and welcome to your first day of class! My name is Mr. Brooks, I'll be your history teacher this year." Steve turned to look out the window, zoning out again, uncontrollably. That was until the door suddenly slammed open.

 

"Munson, you're late. Have a seat next to Harrington over there." the teacher said as he pointed to Steve's table. Eddie just hesitated for a second, but walked over and sat down next to Steve.

 

"For now, get to know your table partner, you'll be working with them on your projects starting tomorrow." Groans came from nearly everyone in the room. Why'd they have to start off the year with a project?

 

Steve was just worried about himself. Working with the freak of the school? It didn't sound like any fun at all.

 

"So, me getting paired with the king? Total coincidence." Eddie said, speaking before Steve could even say a word.

 

"Sure, call it a coincidence." Steve mumbled, as Eddie gazed at him before starting to play with the rings on his fingers. Steve had just started to continuously click his pen, wanting to get out of here already.

 

Before class ended, Eddie ripped a piece of paper out of Steve's notebook, and took out a pen. "Here's my number, call me for the project." Eddie said, winking at Steve. The bell rung, and Eddie was the first one out the class.

 

Why am I blushing?

 

Just the thought of Eddie winking at Steve sent chills down his back, but he didn't even know why.

 

11:00AM

 

Steve disliked being in the cafeteria, but he went to lunch anyway for Robin. As he walked over to a table where Robin and Vickie were sitting at, he spotted a shoe in front of him, trying to trip him.

 

"Real mature dude." he scoffed, catching a glimpse of his disappointed face. It was Tommy. He still hated him, and Steve never understood why he even hung out with Tommy. He was better off not being popular.

 

He sat down in front of Robin and Vickie, being the third wheel as always.

 

"Hey dingus, we have the same shift schedule for work this year!" Robin told Steve cheerfully before going back to her conversation with Vickie. Steve smiled at the fact that they were getting along. He took out his sandwich from his bag and took a bite before hearing a thud across the cafeteria.

 

"But as long as you're into band, or science, or parties—" Eddie shouted, while standing on a table. He had just noticed a bruise on the right side of Eddie's face.

 

"—or a game where you toss balls into laundry baskets!" Eddie shouted again, but this time looking at the table full of jocks from the basketball team.

 

"You want something, freak?" Jason yelled across the cafeteria. He was bruised on his left cheek too. That fight from earlier must've been bad, he thought.

 

Eddie did that devil face he always does, sticking his tongue out. He's actually so cute. Wait, what the hell am I even thinking? Steve was getting tired of all these thoughts. Why'd he keep having these thoughts for Eddie?

 

4:00PM

 

Steve sat on the bleachers, fidgeting with his fingers. He told the coach he had a stomach ache and couldn't do basketball practice today, when really he just didn't feel like doing it right now. The only reason he didn't leave the team is because of the championship. It was a really big deal, especially since Hawkins had went to the finals a few times, but never won.

 

"Hit the showers boys!" the coach yelled. Steve took that as his call to leave.

 

He walked out of the gym and out the school, going to his car. Before he could open the door, he spotted Eddie on the ground at the other side of the parking lot, while Jason was kneeled over him, and all his friends surrounding him. He could tell two of them had no interest in beating up Eddie though, Patrick McKinney and Lucas Sinclair.

 

Steve hesitated for a bit, wondering if he should get involved. 

 

Don't, he's a freak anyway, he probably deserves it.

I need to help though, or he's probably dead by morning.

 

He struggled in making a decision, but it was either now or never. Steve knew what he had to do.

Chapter Text

⚠️ TW: Mentions of Homophobia, Homophobic Slurs

 

4:00PM

 

"You're an odd little freak, aren't you?" Jason said, with his knee on top of Eddie, beginning to choke him as he started to gasp for air. He was still high since he had just smoked weed, as a matter of fact, it was all he smelled like.

 

"Graffiti my locker again and I swear I'll fucking kill you, understand?" Jason said furiously, but Eddie didn't care and wouldn't ever take anything seriously with his state of mind. He didn't even mind getting beaten up at this point. Eddie was already smirking from how mad Jason looked.

 

"Choke on a fucking dick." was all he said back, while the blonde boy was on his last straw. "Shut the fuck up, queer!" Jason shouted, as he threw a punch at Eddie, his mouth began to bleed.

 

"Let's get out of here, maybe it's not a good idea we do this." Patrick said from a distance. He didn't want to get caught being involved in this, so him and Lucas tried convincing them to get away from Eddie.

 

"Not until this faggot learns his lesson." Jason replied. That thought clearly diminished from everyone's head, as they heard footsteps coming from behind them.

 

"Get away from him." Steve said from behind. They all ran back to Jason's car. Everyone heard the story of how Steve beat Billy until he was unconscious, and they didn't wanna find out if it was true. Before driving off, Lucas looked back, and gave Steve an "i'm sorry" look. He already recognized what message Lucas wanted to send to him just through the look on his face. All Steve did was shoot back an "it's okay" glance.

 

"Come on Sinclair, get in!" one of the boys shouted, before he got in and they drove off. Fucking pussies, he thought to himself.

 

He'd felt horrible for portraying the image of "King" of Hawkins High on Lucas. Maybe if it weren't for Steve depending on his popularity to get him through high school, he would've been a better role model, and Lucas wouldn't be hanging out with the popular jocks. It just isn't who he was. Maybe I just ruin everyone's life.

 

Eddie let out a small whimper on the ground, and Steve couldn't help but wonder how he walks around school knowing his life is all about drugs and fights.

 

"Hey, I'll give you a ride home." Steve told Eddie, reaching out his hand to help him. He genuinely wanted to help, but Eddie didn't have an amazing past with Steve either.

 

"Now why the hell would I do that?" Eddie told him. He never thought that in a billion years he'd have King Steve helping him after he almost got beat up. In Eddie's mind, he always imagined Steve being the one to beat him up.

 

"Come on, just hop in my car and I'll give you a ride home." He grabbed his hand, knowing he didn't really have any other option. It couldn't get worse from here anyway.

 

Eddie followed Steve to his car, and he got in the passenger seat. "Where do you live again?" he asked the curly haired boy, even though they never told each other where they live.

 

"The trailer park, take a right on Mount Sinai and you'll see it." Eddie replied. Steve already knew the way there since Max constantly asked for a ride.

 

He pulled out of the parking lot, passing the middle school, and pulling onto the road. While Steve pretended to act like nothing just happened, thoughts would just keep running through his head. You shouldn't have saved the freak, he was better off beaten up.

 

He let the thought go after looking in the rearview mirror, seeing a red tint on the back seat, and surely enough it was Eddie's blood.

 

"Seriously dude?" Steve said, trying not to sound mad, and handed him a towel he always used during basketball practice. "Clean yourself up, I didn't use that today."

 

Eddie shot him a disgusted look. "I'm not using a towel you had your sweat on!" Eddie slightly yelled. Steve rolled his eyes, as Eddie proceeded to use it anyway. He had some sort of connection to Steve, so he just couldn't refuse using his towel.

 

5:00PM

 

As he pulled into the trailer park, he saw Max outside, feeding her puppy. She just waved and smiled, but that look quickly turned into a confused look, as she wondered what he was doing pulling up to Eddie's trailer. She shrugged it off, and went back inside.

 

Steve got out and opened the passenger door. "Come on, let's go inside. I'll clean you up." he told Eddie, but all he did was look back and groan.

 

He got out and stepped up to the front door, taking out his keys and opening the trailer. Eddie just went straight to lie down on the couch, while Steve closed the front door and went up to the kitchen counter. He didn't even stop to take his final pill of the day.

 

"Do you have a first aid kit?" he asked, looking through all the cabinets, finding everything except for something that'll help in a situation of getting beat up. 

 

"Left cabinet, all the way on top." Eddie replied lazily, finally beginning to come back to his senses. As his symptoms began to wear off, he realized Jason almost beat the shit out of him. He realized that King Steve was in his trailer right now, helping him even though he didn't have to.

 

"Found it!" he said in ease, sitting down next to Eddie on the couch. "This might sting, just hold still." As he was using the disinfectant wipe on one of Eddie's cuts, a thought came across his head.

 

Why do I actually find this freak so cute?

 

He began to get tired of what he assumed were his intrusive thoughts, and suddenly he felt a warm electricity going through him. Eddie felt it too, but when you assume the boy you like is 100% straight, you might as well just assume your head is messing with you.

 

He quickly finished cleaning up Eddie's cut. "Are you done?" he said, speaking as if he were in a rush.

 

"Gee, the least you could say is thank you." Steve replied, beginning to put the first aid kit away.

 

"Well that's great, cause I feel just fine!" Eddie rolled off the couch and fell on the floor, before standing back up. "Wanna have some fun?" he said, while walking down the hallway to his room.

 

"Nope, I gotta go home." Steve replied. He really only wanted to help Eddie, but he didn't come to him to be involved in his life.

 

Eddie came back to the counter where Steve was. "Come on, just try it!" he said, holding a joint and a stash of weed. He really couldn't tell if he was joking, but he didn't wanna smoke with the freak of the school.

 

"No way, I don't do drugs man." he replied. Eddie started to light up his joint, and blew smoke in Steve's face, while he began to cough. "Seriously Munson?" He knew he had an urge to try smoking, it was just something about how Eddie looked doing it.

 

"Alright fine, just this once though." Steve told Eddie as he took the joint from his hand and inhaled it. He couldn't even lie, it felt great. Now stop hanging out with the freak and go home.

 

"Not bad for your first time Harrington!" Eddie said, clapping for him. He thought it was cute, but he'd never bring himself to say that to Steve.

 

"I seriously have to go home now." he says, letting his thoughts take over him. Maybe smoking someone else's weed wasn't his brightest idea in the moment. As Steve walks towards the front door, he began to feel paranoid, reality felt distorted.

 

"Eddie, what the hell did you do to me?!" he shouted, heading back to the bedroom.

 

"It feels weird when it's your first time, just get yourself settled." He couldn't understand why Eddie said that like it was nothing, the world began to feel fuzzy and blurry. All he wanted to do was go home.

 

"I'd hate for you to get in a car crash pretty boy, just stay the night." Steve blushed at the thought of him being called pretty boy, and as high as Eddie was, he did have a point. 

 

He plopped down on Eddie's bed as Eddie went to light a blue lava lamp, lighting up the whole room as he stared at the colorful ceiling. He had a hard time believing that they were actually in the same room together. It all felt like a dream.

 

Eddie lied down next to Steve, hoping he didn't seem obvious for his attraction towards the fluffy haired boy. If he weren't high, he probably wouldn't have suggested for Steve to stay at his house, but since he already did, he might as well go with it.

 

"I know I sounded like a total asshat, but thanks for saving me. I think it could've gone a lot worse." Eddie spoke, breaking the silence between the two. "What did you even do to get Jason that mad?" he replied.

 

"He convinced the whole school Hellfire's a cult, so I graffiti'ed his locker." He frowned, genuinely wondered why Eddie would pick a fight if he couldn't end it. "What, you think I can't win a fight?" Steve looked shocked. Eddie could read people like a book just from their expression.

 

"N-no, I didn't-" Steve stuttered, but he stopped talking after Eddie placed his finger over his lips. "Shh, I'm just messing with you pretty boy."

 

He blushed again, while the words echoed through his head. Pretty boy. Why do I feel loved by him right now? Even though Steve could never bring himself to think about it, he knew deep down that it was because he never received any type of love. When he did, it just never felt right. Only that this time, it did. He couldn't tell if it was the drugs, or if it was just the ugly truth.

 

"Since we're here, I might as well apologize to you." Eddie only glared at Steve as he said those words. "For what?" he replied.

 

"I was a bitch towards you in freshman year." He really never imagined himself saying those words to Eddie, but he did, and he meant it. "I just hope you know it was all Tommy's idea, sometimes I wish I didn't become popular and-"

 

"I know, I know, trust me. I totally get it." Eddie replied, inhaling more of his joint before passing it to Steve. "Fuck Tommy, fuck all of Hawkins. I wish I could get out of here." He really wished he did. Eddie never understood why he was framed for being the devil of Hawkins, over a game of D&D.

 

Steve inhaled the joint before placing it on the ashtray on the counter. "Well, thanks for understanding Munson." he said, in a sarcastic tone, even though he really meant it seriously. Steve finally begins to settle in, watching the room spin. "This is the best feeling I've had in my entire life."

 

Being drugged by Eddie Munson was way different than being drugged by evil commies. He watched as the room began to fill with smoke, finally feeling more free than he ever felt. Maybe this was a good idea. I like smokin' with my man. He felt a deep attraction growing for him, but he couldn't figure out why.

 

They continued talking back and forth, while Eddie's boombox played metal bands that Steve didn't even know of. For once, Steve felt loved and actually listened to. "The King of Hawkins High" felt comforted by "The Freak of Hawkins High." If only this could last forever. That was his final thought, before losing track of what had even happened, as he fell asleep next to Eddie, and everything blacked out.

Chapter Text

⚠️ TW: Homophobic Slurs

 

7:00AM

 

Steve woke up in a cold sweat, with an arm wrapped around Eddie. For a good five seconds, he couldn't recall anything that happened, or how he even got here. That was until he looked down at Eddie, sleeping beside him, turned around onto the other side of the bed. Did I just sleep in the same bed with the freak?

 

"Eddie, what the hell man! Did you drug me last night?" he said furiously, shaking Eddie, as he began to wake up and open his eyes. Just from looking at him, he couldn't stay mad at him. He's adorable.. what the fuck? No he isn't!

 

"Come on, you know you liked it." he replied, sounding tired, and wanting to stay in bed. Steve looked at the clock, reading 7:00AM.

 

"No I didn't, now come on, we're late for school." he said. He stood up, but remembered he was in Eddie's house. He wouldn't have time to go back home, shower, change his clothes, pick up Robin, and drive to school.

 

"You mean you're late." Eddie stood up, putting one hand on his shoulder. "I couldn't care less about school, trust me." Steve did though. He was already close to failing half of his classes last year, and he wasn't having it again. Repeating his senior year was the last thing he needed.

 

"Can I at least borrow some clothes?" he said, searching the room for a hair brush. His hair was a complete mess right now. 

 

"Help yourself, I'm taking a shower first though." Eddie replied. He tried hiding his smile as he left the room, knowing Steve Harrington's style was nowhere near Eddie Munson's style. He's in for a fun ride today.

 

Steve opened the closet, picking out a Black Sabbath t-shirt, black jeans, and a leather jacket. I'm about to feel like a freak too, he thought to himself. While Steve waited for Eddie to get out of the bathroom, he scouted the room, seeing if he could find anything interesting. If he were stuck at Eddie's house, he'd at least make it worth his time.

 

He had already noticed the guitar he had, and started to pluck the strings, while imagining how Eddie would play it. He put it back, and walked over to a drawer next to the bed. He opened it, moving everything around, and finding a bunch of Hellfire t-shirts, a D&D game, and more things that just described Eddie.

 

Only one thing actually stood out to him. He moved the D&D board game out of the way, revealing an odd looking, messy notebook. He knew Eddie still deserved privacy, but the curiosity got to him. It can't hurt to flip through one page.

 

Steve didn't know if he should've been surprised or not, he didn't even know what he expected. He scanned the first page, clearly listing all of Eddie's customers who bought, and still buy weed from him. He could only make out a few names. Eddie's handwriting sucks.

 

GLEN LEE

SAM WILKINSON

ZAHRAH ALEXANDER

JOSH HINTON

HOLLY BOWDEN

 

The majority of which he couldn't even recognize, and didn't even care. Only one stood out to him.

 

CHRISSY CUNNINGHAM

 

He only recognized Chrissy from the cheerleader team, but she was still the hot topic of the school sometimes. It just didn't make sense, there had to be a mistake. She has friends, and she's popular. Rumor even had it that she was dating Jason, but Steve got stuck with him for four years. If he really was dating Chrissy, he would've bragged about it to the whole school by now.

 

Why would Chrissy ever buy drugs from Eddie?

 

The thought disappeared from his head, quickly putting everything back in place as he heard the shower water turn off. He took the clothes he borrowed from Eddie, and walked down the hall to the bathroom, seeing the door slightly creaked open.

 

He was already finished showering, with a towel wrapped around his waist while he applied aftershave. Holy shit, he's so hot. Did I just call Eddie hot?

 

Getting tired of these thoughts randomly popping in his head, Steve slapped himself. It clearly wasn't the best idea, since Eddie heard him and turned around.

 

"Caught you staring, pretty boy!" Eddie said in a jokingly manner, as Steve turned around and tried to pretend like he didn't just think about finding Eddie attractive. "Sorry." Steve muttered silently. I don't like Eddie, no way in hell. I'm straight, I like girls.

 

Eddie put on a shirt and pants before walking to the door and opening it. "You can look now." he said while stepping out, expecting a response as Steve turned back around. He just walked past him into the bathroom, and shut the door.

 

"Hey, did I say something wrong?" Shit, did I look pissed off? Steve wasn't mad, just confused. It's just the drugs from last night, he thought, knowing that statement was only a comfort to himself. Steve didn't actually know why he began to view Eddie this way.

 

"No, just wait for me in the car, I'll give you a ride." he replied, as he stepped into the shower. As it turned out, Eddie had Faberge Organics too. Total coincidence.

 

He finished showering, dried up, and changed into the clothes he borrowed from Eddie. When he looked into the mirror, he realized how much he looked like another version of Eddie. For the first time in his life, he'd step into school looking like a freak. I'll just get today over with, it can't be that bad.

 

He walked out the trailer and to his car, seeing Eddie already in the passenger seat, lying down while eating a bag of chips.

 

"We're going to pick up Robin first, just act normal please." Steve told Eddie, hopping into the drivers seat and driving onto the road to Robin's house. It was only a few minutes away. When he arrived there, she was already standing at the front door, and she began walking over to the car.

 

"Hey Stevo- woah, what's Eddie Munson doing in the back of your car?!" Robin shouted, being surprised, but getting into the passenger seat next to him anyway. Never in a million years did she imagine them hanging out together. She was so distraught that she didn't even notice Steve's outfit.

 

"Long story, I'll explain later. And I told you, don't call me Stevo!" Steve replied sarcastically, beginning to drive towards the school, while Robin and Eddie talked back and forth about band. They got along pretty well, even though they barely spoke to each other.

 

He looked over at the clock, which read the time 7:50AM. He let out a sigh of relief, since they were still on time. At that moment though, he remembered about his medications he was supposed to take. Fuck, I forgot. He decided to stop taking his pills, he felt perfectly fine anyway.

 

Steve pulled into the parking lot, letting Eddie and Robin run ahead into the school. All he really hoped for was that no one would recognize his outfit. It wasn't a classic Steve style, at this point he needed a miracle for no one to bat an eye.

 

He got out, walking up to the school. So far so good, everyone was minding their business, no one noticed that he had Eddie's clothes on. Not yet, at least.

 

He pushed open the door, walking over to his locker, beginning to spin the lock left and right. From the corner of his eye, he could already see the glance of a blonde haired boy, immediately recognizing him. It was Jason. Made you look, annoying motherfucker. He only looked for a good few seconds, before turning back to one of his jock friends, Andy.

 

"Holy shit, you look just like him too! Bravo, Stevo!" Robin said behind him as he turned around, clearly referencing Eddie's clothes. Vickie was right next to her, already trying to stop herself from laughing. "It looks great though!" Vickie replied. Robin thought it was cute, how Vickie would still try to be nice in situations like this.

 

"So, why the change of heart? You and Eddie are looking a bit odd." Robin told Steve, desperately wanting to know why they were hanging out all of a sudden. She wouldn't stop to try and find out why.

 

"I'll tell you everything later at our shift." Steve replied, while smiling, and trying his best not to look like a nervous wreck as he started walking down the hall. As soon as Eddie's name came out of Robin's mouth, all his thoughts of finding Eddie "hot" and "attractive" started replaying. Those thoughts disappeared though, as the first period bell rang.

 

He made his way to class, but as soon as he stepped in, he saw Eddie already at the table, and immediately felt that feeling of electricity flowing through him again. Just act normal.

 

He walked over to Eddie and took his seat, waiting for class to start. He still felt butterflies in his stomach, but thought nothing of it. Maybe it's just the project, senior year is always the hardest.

 

"Anybody ever told you that you look good in my clothes?" Eddie told Steve. Of course he had to say that. The butterflies in Steve's stomach just became more intense, until he realized, he only feels this way around Eddie.

 

It can't be though, I'm meant to like girls. I've liked them my whole life.

 

Steve only gave a slight smile back, before going to take out his notebook for class, even though he probably wouldn't use it. His hands were already shaky from the thought of him and Eddie. Maybe if I just ignore him it'll go away.

 

"Why so serious Harrington?" Eddie said, hoping that the joint from last night wasn't too much for him. Mr. Brooks walked in before he could get a response back.

 

"Morning class, today you'll be starting on your Timeline of Events project. Use the instruction sheet in the middle of your tables for reference." Steve and Eddie both reached out to grab a sheet, their hands ended up touching. Steve quickly pulled away though.

 

"Sorry." he said. Eddie only smiled, handing one to Steve. "I'll start on 1700 and you'll do 1800?" Eddie asked, but he seemed a bit too happy to be doing this with Steve.

 

"Sure." he mumbled back, as they both began to write down their basic knowledge they knew for the rest of the class. It went fine, aside from the fact that he didn't speak another word to Eddie.

 

Before they could get started on working on their final presentation, the bell rang. "Call me later, will ya?" Eddie told Steve. He only nodded back, while Eddie cheerfully walked out of the class.

 

4:30PM

 

It was halfway through basketball practice, as the scoreboard read 10-10. Steve felt a mix of emotions from his situation with Eddie, but basketball was the only way he knew of to release all his feelings.

 

Unlike sophomore or junior year, he wasn't mediocre anymore, he was actually good at it now. Scoring 6 points for the team had already proved that.

 

"Dribble lower Harrington!" the coach shouted, as Steve made his way to the other side of the court, being close to shooting his final hoop to break the tie.

 

Before he could, Jason ran right in front of him, beginning to block him from going any further.

 

"Hey Harrington, how'd you feel in the freaks clothes today?" he said, continuing to block Steve. He was eager for the point to break the tie, but he was more eager to find out why "The King" was suddenly with "The Freak." Knowing Jason, he wouldn't leave Steve alone.

 

"Would you shut the fuck up and play the game already?" Steve said, continuing to dribble the ball. He wouldn't let loose, even if Jason tried to start a fight now.

 

"Hey, it's not my fault you're hanging out with that fag all of a sudden-" he said, but Steve was angered just from hearing that word. Before he could even finish his sentence, Steve knocked Jason down onto the ground, and threw the ball into the basket at the last second.

 

"Good job boys, you're dismissed. Harrington is today's MVP!" the coach said. Steve walked over to Jason, giving him a hand to help him up. Unlike when he helped Eddie though, it wasn't genuine.

 

"Take the message, back off motherfucker." Steve told him, letting go of his hand and throwing him back onto the ground. The blonde boy's insult just replayed in his head, fag. Why'd I get so mad if it's not even true?

 

He took a quick shower before getting changed into his Family Video vest and stepping out the school, walking over to his car. Before he could drive off, he just sat there in silence for a few seconds. Why did he get so mad if he's not a fag?

Chapter Text

5:00PM

 

Confused and nerve-wracked, Steve drove on the road towards Family Video, not being able to take his mind off of what just happened. How do I make it stop?

 

He drove into the parking lot, getting prepared to work a two hour shift. Robin was already waiting inside, and the store wasn't that busy today, so he figured it would be an easy day.

 

As he got out of his car, Robin already noticed him as he started walking up to the door, waving at him happily. Steve working with Robin was the only thing he looked forward to at work. 

 

He remembered what he said to Robin though. He promised her he'd talk about why him an Eddie were being suspicious together. As much as he'd hate to break a promise, Steve just didn't want to talk about it. Please, don't bring up Eddie.

 

He pushed the front door open, as the bell on top of the door rang loudly. Robin was already at the front counter waiting for him.

 

"Barely on time by a minute, dingus!" she told Steve, as he made his way around the counter to clock in on the computer. "Sorry, got caught up in a small situation." he replied. So far so good.

 

"Hey, at least our schedule doesn't involve Keith working. He'd scare away so many pretty girls." Robin said, typing away on one of the computers and clacking the keys loudly. She was too busy stalking Vickie's recent returns.

 

"Any customers today?" Steve was just asking anything at this point to make sure the topic didn't randomly go to him and Eddie's connection, but Robin never noticed since he already changed out of Eddie's clothes. Not even the jeans looked like they belonged to Eddie, they looked like any particular pair that Steve would throw on.

 

"Barely, but you know how weekdays are." she replied, gasping shortly afterwards. "Holy shit, guess what?" Robin told Steve, as he slid his chair to the other side of the counter. "What?"

 

"Vickie paused Fast Times at 53 minutes and 5 seconds!" Steve didn't catch on at first, until he remembered what scene was at 53 minutes and 5 seconds.

 

"So my point is proven, Vickie likes boobies." he replied, sliding his chair back to his side of the counter.

 

"I've told you this so many times, don't say boobies!" Robin said, sounding like she was whispering yet yelling. Suddenly, the bell on top of the door rang, as a customer walked in for the first time within the last 20 minutes.

 

It was Max, she constantly stopped by after school to check on new movies. It was one of the only things she did in her free time without the group of kids.

 

"Hey, any new horror movies?" she asked, as Steve rolled his chair to the front counter. He immediately remembered about Max seeing Eddie in his car. Please don't bring it up.

 

"Sure, help yourself." he replied, taking out a box from a cabinet below the counter, which was full of the new movies Robin was supposed to restock. She barely ever restocked since she was busy going over Vickie's returned movies.

 

"Thanks." she mumbled back, as she set her walkman on the side of the counter to look through the new selection of movies. She wanted to know why Steve was hanging out with Eddie, but before she could ask, Steve already went back to the computer on his counter, pretending to be busy.

 

Max was desperate to know though, so she would still find out a way to ask Steve. She picked out a random movie out of the box.

 

"I'll take Poltergeist." she said, as Steve made his way back to the front counter. "Good choice." he replied back, even though he never watched Poltergeist before. He only knew about it since Robin had watched it.

 

"Can I ask why you were with Eddie yesterday?" she asked while handing Steve her cash. Max was trying her best to whisper, but Robin had overheard them talking. She was a really good listener, but she pretended not to hear them.

 

What the hell do I say now?

 

"He got beat up pretty bad, I was just giving him a ride." Steve said while logging the movie that Max was buying on the computer. He continued typing on the keyboard, but his mind wasn't focused on that.

 

His mind could only focus on Eddie right now. Steve knew that wasn't the full truth of what happened. He knew there was a bigger connection between him and Eddie ever since that night, but he didn't have the courage to tell anyone.

 

"I'm not dumb you know, I saw you leaving for school with his clothes on." Max replied as Steve handed her the movie VHS. What a nosy girl, he thought. At this point he was in shock, he couldn't even think of what to say.

 

"I- I swear it's nothing-" he continued stuttering. Before Steve could finish his sentence, Max just smiled, as she began to head towards the door to leave.

 

"Alright, bye!" she told Steve, as she left the store. At this point, he could only think about whether or not Max believed him. I swear, what happened with me and Eddie was nothing. Did that sound convincing enough or not?

 

"Gee dingus, and I thought I was the nervous wreck!" Robin shouted while standing behind him, remembering their promise from earlier. She wanted to find out what was going on with Steve and Eddie since Max couldn't.

 

"Come on, tell me what's going on with you and Eddie now." she said, motioning towards Steve's chair as he turned around. He followed along, and sat down to face Robin.

 

"Nothings going on, I swear. I just gave him a ride." he told Robin, hoping that would be enough to stop the conversation about Eddie. You know you're lying to yourself. I swear, I'm not though! I don't like Eddie.

 

"Something's going on. You're giving him rides and wearing his clothes all of a sudden? I never even thought you'd be saving Eddie from a fight!" Robin exclaimed. She wasn't the best at putting two and two together, but she could definitely tell there was more going on between the two of them.

 

Steve began to feel electricity all throughout himself again. He felt butterflies in his stomach, and it was all just from the thought of everything him and Eddie did ever since he saved him from getting beat up. Why does my face feel so warm?

 

"Aww, you're blushing right now Stevo!" Robin said in a friendly tone, being confused on why Steve was actually turning a shade of pink. She only took it as an opportunity to make a joke, but Steve was actually getting tired of all these thoughts in his head replaying. He was already about to hit breaking point.

 

"I swear, I'm not gay Robin, I don't like Eddie!" he shouted, and even he was surprised at his response. It was as if it was a reflex. He began to shed a tear from his left eye.

 

"I never said anything about being gay though- Oh.." Robin replied, as she came to a realization of what Steve was going through after a tear rolled down his eye. All of it was beginning to make sense now. Going to school together, sharing clothes, it was all just too confusing for him to determine how he felt.

 

"Hey, it's okay. I'll help you figure this out." she said, getting up to hug Steve, as she patted him on the back. She felt horrible for triggering Steve's thoughts, but she doubted herself about being lesbian at one point too. She knew just what to do to help Steve.

 

"Have you ever heard of bisexuality?" Robin asked Steve, backing away from the hug, as they both sat back down. She knew if Steve had feelings for girls in the past, he probably doubted himself since he wasn't entirely gay.

 

"No, whats that?" he replied, continuing to sniffle in between his words. Tears had stopped coming out of his eyes.

 

"When you're attracted to girls and boys, you're bisexual." Robin never suspected Steve to like a boy in years, especially Eddie. She was his best friend though, so she'd always be there to help him find out what he wanted to identify as.

 

"I guess it makes sense." Steve replied, thinking about how it could be true. He had feelings towards Nancy a few years ago, and now he felt the same way with Eddie. Am I bisexual?

 

"Call me later, we'll talk more about this." Robin said cheerfully, as she began to get ready to close the store. Steve looked over at the clock, which now read 7:30PM. I should probably get going.

 

"Alright, bye!" he shouted back, leaving the store. Steve didn't know what he would've done without Robin. As he walked to his car, he began to consider the fact that he could be bisexual. At the same time, he couldn't say he was happy about it. I'd be hated forever if anyone found out.

 

He got in his car, and began to drive out of the parking lot, onto the road to his house. He wished he had Eddie right now, knowing he'd go back to an empty home yet again. Steve hadn't seen his parents in months, but he knew for sure his dad would beat the shit out of him if he came out to them. I'll never let him find out.

 

If he really was bisexual, he knew all of Hawkins would hate Steve Harrington for the rest of their lives. They already hated freaks like Eddie Munson who everyone believed was a queer.

 

He continued to speed towards the road to Loch Nora, still frustrated at the fact that he actually liked Eddie Munson. Why did I have to fall for a freak? How long will this trouble last?

Chapter Text

8:00PM

 

Steve pulled into the driveway of his house, as he began to calm down a bit. Even though he still had a horrible feeling about deciding who he was, he figured Robin would help him.

 

He got out of the car, taking out his keys to unlock the door. As he opened it and stepped in, just the sound of his shoe hitting the floor echoed through the hall. Empty house again, he thought.

 

Even though Steve had already gotten used to it, he wished his parents would just come home already. He wanted to have the family he had when he was a child. Steve always hated growing up, but he never imagined his own mom and dad abandoning him. Fucking idiots.

 

"Fuck!" he shouted in anger, throwing his keys all the way into the kitchen, as it slammed against the oven. Steve hadn't taken his pills all day, but now he felt like he needed it, as he began to go into full panic mode. Where the hell did I leave my medication?

 

He began to run up the stairs, pushing the bathroom door open. He opened the medicine cabinet, knowing he always kept a spare bottle just in case. Except this time, there wasn't a spare bottle. Steve didn't know what to do at this point. He thought for sure he'd enter a manic episode.

 

I'm fucking doomed, he thought, as he began speed walking across the hall and into his room, as he slammed the door shut, and lied down in his bed. As he stuffed his face into his pillow, all he could wonder was why this was all happening. Steve wasn't used to experiencing this many emotions at once, he couldn't handle it. It's exactly why he needed those pills.

 

Or did he? All they did was bottle up his emotions into one, a statement which he refused to believe. The sadness from his parents leaving him, the anger from his abusive father, the confusion from his thoughts towards Eddie, and so many more which he lost track of over the years. Why didn't I take the pills? What was I thinking?

 

As Steve began to have a mini meltdown, he began to drown his pillow in his tears, while all that was replaying in his was his father's voice. Men don't cry Steve, men don't cry!

 

Did he really miss his parents, or did he only miss the feeling of love?

 

9:00PM

 

After half an hour straight of Steve bawling his eyes out, the feeling of panic finally went away. He also began to feel better than when he was on medication, and for once, he felt like he could think for himself, as a wave of motivation hit him.

 

He set aside his pillow that was wet from all his tears, and lied down on another one aside from him. In that instant he remembered the conversation he had with Robin earlier. Maybe I should call her, he thought to himself.

 

He leaned over to his night stand and picked up the phone, beginning to rotate the dial. Steve already had Robin's number memorized by heart from the amount of times they called each other. The line ringed once, then twice, but still no answer. On the third ring, Robin finally picked up.

 

"Dingus! I thought you forgot to call me!" Robin shouted over the phone, having no idea what just happened to Steve within the last hour. He was still happy to hear her voice though, it gave him a sudden comfort.

 

"Sorry, I think I just went through the worst panic attack of my life." he replied, still sounding like he had no energy in him whatsoever.

 

"You'll be okay Steve, I swear! Do you want me to come over?" she questioned, talking really fast. Robin genuinely cared for Steve, knowing that denial when it comes to your sexuality is the worst feeling ever.

 

"No, trust me Robin, I'm fine." Steve responded, all he needed was to be alone by himself right now. He didn't want Robin to see him as a total mess.

 

Luckily, he was good at changing the topic. "Can you just tell me about you and Vickie? How did you know you like her?" he asked. It was a genuine question too, he just wished he could reassure himself what it was that he felt towards Eddie.

 

"I thought you'd never ask." she replied in a sarcastic tone, while Steve could hear her snacking on chips behind the phone, as he laughed a bit.

 

"Let me just tell you, she is a huge upgrade from my crush on Tammy Thompson. Vickie's sweet, kind, caring, and funny. Plus, you have got to see her in a crop top, she's sooooo hot." Robin responded, speaking quickly, but in a pace which Steve could understand her point of view.

 

"I'm guessing you can't find out why you like Eddie?" she asked Steve, knowing something was wrong. She knew him for long enough to know why he would suddenly ask about her and Vickie.

 

"Yeah, I'm just so lost. Why did I fall for the freak out of everyone in the school?" he replied. Steve wasn't even thinking straight, he couldn't narrow down his reasons to why he was attracted to Eddie.

 

"Come on, just think. When did you start feeling this way towards him?" Robin questioned, knowing this was the help Steve needed 100%. He began to look back at the moments he had with Eddie, eager to find out where it all started.

 

"I guess it all began with the thought of finding his hair pretty." he hesitated to say, but he knew it was true. He still remembered the exact second Eddie ran out of the school, followed by Jason. His hair is pretty, the thought repeated in his head.

 

"Cool, now what happened on the day you interacted with him? What did you feel?" Robin asked, giving Steve a moment to think. Even though she was desperate to see Steve and Eddie together, she knew how hard denial was, so she'd wait as long as Steve wanted.

 

"Jason was about to beat the shit out of Eddie, so I got him out of there. I don't know why I didn't leave him there, I've never cared for Eddie." Steve responded in a positive manner. Retracing his steps wasn't as bad as it sounded, and Robin made it so easy.

 

"I guess getting him out of that wasn't enough, so I gave him a ride home, and thats when Max saw me with him." Steve continued, as Robin let out an "mhm" to let him know she was still listening.

 

"I didn't go home after because I was so tempted to smoke a joint with him, I swear I was going to leave-" Steve was cut off by Robin, as she began to laugh hysterically. She'd seen an heard it all today. Steve wearing Eddie's clothes, rescuing him from fights, but smoking with him? Who is Steve at this point, she thought to herself.

 

"Hold up, you smoked with him?! Holy shit Steve, you're definitely falling for him!" she yelled over the phone, and Steve couldn't even get mad, because he knew it was true. Out of everyone in the school, the last person anyone expected to even step near Eddie while he was high would be Steve.

 

"Yeah, I guess you cracked the ultimate case, didn't you Robin?" he replied while clapping his hands, and beginning to laugh along with Robin. It was funny because of the fact that it was finally clicking into his mind. I really did fall for Eddie Munson, the freak of the school.

 

Steve and Robin both laughed hysterically. It was the most Steve had laughed in a while. Whenever he needed someone to cheer him up, he knew he could always count on Robin. Even though he wished life could be happiness, he knew it wouldn't be.

 

There was something about this moment between the both of them though. Steve never realized how Robin could be so relatable, he didn't even stop to think about how this moment wouldn't last forever, because he was enjoying it. It was the most Steve had laughed in months.

 

They both laughed for a good minute and a half. before Robin finally caught her breath and stopped, and so did Steve shortly after.

 

"Sorry, continue with what you were saying. How'd you feel the day after?" she asked Steve, still chuckling a bit over the phone, causing Steve to miss a few words from what she just said. Regardless, he was still able to understand what she said.

 

"I fell asleep next to him, and I didn't have time to go to my house in the morning. That's why I was in his clothes, and also why he was in my car when I went to pick you up." Steve responded, feeling more motivation to talk about why everything today happened the way it did. Who knew Robin could make this so easy?

 

"Also, whenever I'm near him, it feels weird yet so amazing." Steve told Robin, but before he could even finish his sentence, she spoke before him.

 

"Let me guess, butterflies in your stomach? Electricity between your hands? Am I right?!" she shouted quickly, which was a shocker to Steve. She took the words out of his mouth before he could even speak.

 

"How'd you know?" he replied, surprised from Robin's response. How alike can we even be?

 

"I feel it all the time around Vickie. Trust me Steve, it's a mutual feeling. Eddie definitely felt it too!" Instantly, Steve was relieved to hear her response, knowing he wasn't the only one who felt butterflies. Could I still have a chance with Eddie?

 

"Wow Rob, never knew you could make this seem so easy." Steve told Robin in a genuine tone, he felt like he was talking to a totally new version of her. Even though he never pictured himself being bisexual, his best friend helped him figure that out, so he was ready to accept it.

 

"I know, right? I like to call it the tribulations of denial, specifically for us gay people." Robin replied excited, she was glad that Steve finally came to a realization about the type of person he was.

 

"The first stage is denial. The second stage is anger, then bargaining, depression, and finally, acceptance!" It was shockingly accurate for Steve, but it was definitely useful to him.

 

"Cool, you made that yourself?" Steve responded in a sarcastic tone, expecting Robin to respond with anything other than what she did.

 

"Nope, my best friend Chrissy made it! She's such a genius!" Robin replied to Steve, not thinking anything of her response. Why did no one tell me Chrissy's lesbian too?

 

"Hold up, Chrissy's lesbian?!" Steve shouted, as Robin came to a realization of how she just outed Chrissy to Steve, remembering that it was only supposed to be shared with her inner circle.

 

"Holy shit, please just forget I said anything, alright? That was supposed to be a secret." Robin told Steve in a whispering tone, as if she just announced it to the entire town using a megaphone. Even though she knew Steve would always keep a secret, she hated to break Chrissy's trust.

 

"Confusing, but okay. I won't tell anyone." Steve responded genuinely, as he heard Robin let out a sigh of relief. Even though he wanted to ask more questions, he knew he shouldn't. Since when was the most popular girl in school lesbian?

 

His thoughts stopped as he looked over to the clock, which read 10:00PM. Did I lose track of time?

 

"I never realized how late it was, I'll talk to you tomorrow at school though?" he asked Robin as he began to take off his Family Video vest.

 

"Of course, love you Stevo." Robin replied cheerfully. She was definitely glad that her and Steve had this conversation, it would be a core memory for both of them.

 

"Love you too, Rob." he replied, before both of them hung up the phone. How intense, he thought. Steve walked out and into the bathroom, getting ready to take a shower. He knew he didn't regret a second of that conversation, and he thought he was finally ready to tell Eddie. It was the least he could do.

 

While Steve showered, all he could think about was the cliffhanger he was left on. It just didn't make sense. Everyone always assumed Chrissy was straight.

 

Even though Steve was fully washed off, he began to zone out, while being deep into his thoughts. Why does everyone say Chrissy and Jason are together then? Is it just total bullshit? Does it have to do with Chrissy being on Eddie's list of customers?

 

The water suddenly became boiling hot, distracting Steve, but bringing him back into reality. "Shit!" he muttered to himself, rushing to turn off the water.

 

As he got out, he dried off, and threw on his pajamas before going back to his room. As he plopped onto his bed, he could only think about the night he slept with Eddie. His bed felt just as comfortable. Who knew that night would be something to remember?

 

Steve was tired at this point, nearly about to fall asleep. Before he could, he let out one final thought.

 

I forgot to call Eddie for the project!

 

He was way too tired to even get up though. All he could do was doze off to sleep, and within five seconds, he was already passed out. He knew it was worth calling Robin, but in the morning, all he'd be thinking about would be if it was worth it to call her over Eddie.

Chapter Text

⚠️ TW: Self Harm, Homophobic Slurs

 

6:00AM

 

Steve was yet again awoken by the sound of his alarm clock. He sat up in his bed for a few seconds just to gather his thoughts on what happened last night.

 

Shortly after, it finally hit him. He made a promise to Eddie that he would call him for the project, except he spent an hour on the phone with Robin instead. How'd I even forget? I totally screwed up, Eddie's gonna hate me now!

 

He stood up and started nervously pacing around with his hands behind his head. Steve was a nervous wreck once again, and he didn't know how to calm down by himself. He hates me, he totally hates me.

 

You're a piece of shit, Steve.

 

While he began to get prepared, he still couldn't take his mind off of Eddie. As much as he scattered through his closet while looking for a good outfit to wear, Steve's intrusive thought just wouldn't let it go. Why didn't I call Eddie? What's wrong with me?

 

His anxiety level only continued to rise while he was showering. As Steve took three pumps of shampoo, he violently scrubbed it through his hair. Some hair strands began to fall off and gather over the drain, but he wasn't paying attention.

 

When he got out, he quickly changed into his clothes, and grabbed his backpack downstairs. He grabbed the door handle, but before he could turn it, he still felt like something was missing. Damn it, I know I already forgot to call Eddie! What else am I forgetting?

 

Except this particular something wasn't his promised call with Eddie. It was something Steve never felt before, yet he still felt the need to do it.

 

He made his way over to the kitchen, and opened a drawer below the counter. Inside, there was a sharp box cutter. He grabbed it, as he slid the sharp, shining blade out of the plastic. Do it, you know you deserve it.

 

What's wrong with me?

 

As much as Steve didn't want to do it, he was vulnerable enough as he was. Everyone hates me, I'm a fag, he thought, as he put his left arm on the kitchen counter, beginning to press the blade into his wrist. He began to push the blade in deeply, forming a cut that was at least 2 inches.

 

As much as he wished he could say he regretted it, there was just something about slitting his wrist that made it feel different. Blood began to drip down his arm, and for a good ten seconds, all he did was watch. That felt good.

 

Wait, what the hell did I just do?

 

As his intrusive thought finally began to fade away, he remembered that he wasn't hated by the entire world. Why would he think he is?

 

Steve looked over at the clock, which read 7:20AM. Shit, I'm gonna be late to pick up Robin! He took a bottle of rubbing alcohol, and the first towel he spotted. Thankfully, as he began to clean the cut, the bleeding stopped a bit, but it wouldn't hide the cut. What do I do now?

 

He quickly remembered about the scrunchies Robin would always collect, she even gave him a few. It made him smile a bit, remembering how obsessed she used to be with them.

 

He grabbed one out of the cabinet below the counter, putting it on his wrist. It completely hid the cut, and there wasn't any blood visible at this point. Thank god.

 

Steve walked over to the door, being able to turn the knob this time. He stepped out and into the drivers seat on his car, throwing his backpack onto the back seat.

 

He turned on the radio, beginning to make his way to Robin's house. When he got there, he pulled over, as Robin started making her way to Steve's car. She looked surprisingly excited to see Steve.

 

"Hey dingus!" she shouted, getting into the co-driver seat, as she shut the door behind her. "What's with the scrunchie? I didn't think you actually kept them for that long!"

 

"Just trying something different." Steve replied, pretending to be okay. All he could think about was what he had just done a few minutes prior, it just kept replaying in his head. He didn't even know why he felt the sudden urge to cut his wrist while not even feeling regret.

 

He pulled onto the road, making his way to school. Robin continued to talk about her crush on Vickie and how she didn't know what to do, while Steve just acknowledged her. He wasn't giving Robin the advice he normally would.

 

Even though Robin could barely stop speaking sometimes, she could still notice when Steve wasn't himself, and this was one of those times. "You're awfully quiet Stevo, what's wrong?"

 

"Nothing, I'm fine." Steve replied, giving Robin a fake smile. She wasn't buying it, especially after the conversation they just had last night.

 

"Come on, just tell me. Is it about Eddie?" Robin asked Steve, desperate to find out what was on his mind. Even though Steve wished he could tell Robin about what just happened a few minutes ago, he didn't even know why it happened. Maybe I can just lie to her.

 

"Yeah, I don't know what to do. I mean, how do you manage with Vickie? How am I supposed to tell him how I feel? What if he doesn't even like me back? What if he hates me right now?!" Steve spoke quickly, as Robin chuckled at the fact that he sounded a lot like her right now.

 

"Dingus! Calm down!" Robin shouted, as Steve began to turn onto the road in front of the middle school. He really did begin to doubt that Eddie would even be happy to see him right now.

 

"When it's just you and him, just tell him how you feel! I know you probably think I'm not the one to give advice, but I definitely have gay suspicions on Eddie." Even though Robin's words motivated him to tell Eddie how he felt, Steve still couldn't imagine himself coming out to Eddie. What would he think about me?

 

While Steve drove up the slope and towards the high school, all he could do was overthink. Robin waited for a response, but she figured she'd give Steve time to accept his thoughts.

 

"Are you sure you're gonna be okay?" Robin told Steve, as he pulled into the parking lot, driving into the lane at the corner. Even though he knew he wouldn't be fine today, he didn't feel like offloading his problems onto Robin. She doesn't wanna hear about my problems.

 

"Yeah, I'll be fine." Steve responded, giving Robin a fake smile. It was one of the things he'd gotten used to doing, and Robin actually believed him. She pulled in Steve for one final hug before going to catch up with Vickie. "Alright, see ya Steve!" she said, shouting back as she opened the door and walked up to the school.

 

Thank god she didn't notice, he thought, as he hit his head on the steering wheel. A part of Steve felt like telling Eddie about his feelings, but another part just couldn't bring himself to do it. Now or never, Steve thought.

 

He grabbed his backpack from the back seat, and left his car, locking it behind him. He made his way up to the school doors, but there was still no Eddie in sight. Even though he felt like he could start boiling at any moment, he wasn't sweating at all.

 

As Steve opened the doors and made his way to his locker, he spotted Eddie at the end of the hallway. He glanced at him for a split second as they both made eye contact, before looking back at his locker, and sliding the lock left to right. Did he notice? Even though Steve didn't want to, he had the urge to look back. He still felt like a pair of eyes were on him.

 

He looked back at Eddie, trying his best not to make it obvious. All Eddie did was make eye contact with him, having an aggravated look on his face. Surprisingly, he wasn't breaking eye contact. Shit, what the hell do I do? He hates me. He definitely fucking hates me.

 

As the bell rang, Steve jumped back into reality, still looking at Eddie. He didn't have that angered look on his face anymore. As a matter of fact, he never did. All Eddie did was wave at Steve, with a smile on his face. Sometimes, paranoia just makes you see crazy things.

 

Steve could only turn back to his locker as Eddie made his way to class. He felt frozen in shock, not comprehending what just happened. Is he pretending not to be mad at me?

 

He pushed his books into his locker, and shut it behind him as he made his way towards Global History. Theres no way he's not mad at me. I definitely imagined him being happy to see me.

 

As he walked through the classroom door to his table, he looked down, not wanting to shoot a single glance at Eddie. He's making me go crazy. Theres no way I can do this, I should just skip class, Steve thought. It was too late though, he already sat down next to him.

 

"Good morning class! Today I'll be reviewing the progress from your projects." Mr. Brooks shouted, beginning to call out pairs and revising their work.

 

"So.. why didn't you call me last night Harrington?" Eddie said, and even though he wasn't mad at Steve, he still perceived it that way. I fucked up, I definitely fucked up. Steve had a slight worried look on his face at this point, and of course, Eddie noticed immediately.

 

"Hey, if there's something wrong you can just tell me-" Eddie said, but he was cut off by Steve, completely freaking out and not wanting to speak to Eddie. Even though he promised Robin he would get this stage of denial over with, he knew he couldn't.

 

"I'm fine, okay? Everything's fine Munson, I was just sick." he replied, in a whispering tone, sounding angry. Even though Steve wasn't really upset, he didn't notice the outcome of what he just said.

 

"Steve Harrington and Eddie Munson, care to show me your progress?" Mr. Brooks spoke, suddenly appearing in front of Steve and Eddie's table. How the hell did he get here?

 

"Sorry sir, we haven't really began on the project." Eddie replied, stuttering throughout his sentence. He was just as upset as Steve right now.

 

"Unacceptable, you'll both have detention after school in the library." Mr. Brooks told the two boys, taking out a black sharpie from his pocket as he began to write them a pink detention slip.

 

"I can't, I have basketball practice after school!" Steve exclaimed at him, even though he didn't actually want to go to basketball practice half of the time. He knew it was all about not having detention with Eddie.

 

"Too bad, the school policy doesn't have a rule against that. I'll inform your coach." Mr. Brooks said, handing Steve and Eddie their detention slip passes. While Eddie could only focus on the smell of the sharpie, Steve was pissed. This has to be a dream. I'm not having detention with Eddie!

 

He banged his head down on the table, with both of his arms wrapping around him. "Fuck my life." he muttered to himself. Eddie could only look over at Steve, frowning in disappointment. His mind was racing with thoughts. Was it something I said? Why's he so pissed off?

 

They both sat in silence for the rest of the period, while Steve only continued to think of how to permanently distance himself from Eddie. It's only as good as it gets, I can't be in love with Eddie. I don't deserve someone like him.

Chapter Text

⚠️ TW: Homophobic Slurs, Mentions of Homophobia

 

4:00PM

 

Steve speed walked down the empty hallway. Half of the school already left, and he was supposed to be in basketball practice. But of course, he got caught up in this mess. Plain old Steve Harrington, being a screw-up as always.

 

He made it to the library, and slammed the double doors open. Eddie wasn't anywhere to be seen. Probably off smoking again for all I know, he thought.

 

"Hey, I'm here for detention." Steve walked over to the desk, and handed the librarian his pink detention slip while pouting. He wasn't in the mood to talk to anyone right now, yet alone look at anyone.

 

"Hey, Steven Harrington! Welcome to the library." the librarian, Mr. Hamilton told Steve, taking the slip from his hand. Steven. The name replayed in his head. He wasn't used to anyone calling him by his deadname. When he heard it, all that came to his mind was his parents.

 

"My only rule is don't make a mess. Also, Mr. Brooks left a list of chores for you and your pal. Have fun!" Even though Mr. Hamilton was a nice guy, Steve knew how lazy he could be too. He initially planned to sneak out of the library and drive home before Eddie could come. That way I won't have to see him.

 

"Yeah, thanks." Steve responded, turning around to make his way towards an empty table for two. As soon as he's distracted, I'm leaving. He had an entire escape planned out, but his hopes were ruined as he heard the doors loudly slap open.

 

Eddie shot a quick smile at Steve, before walking towards the librarian desk. All he could do was stare at his curly hair, watching as he took every step until he got to the desk. He's so cute, why can't I have him?

 

Because you don't deserve him Steve.

 

"Edward Munson! What a pleasure to see you." Mr. Hamilton motioned to the table Steve was sitting at, as he took the pink slip from Eddie. He started walking over to the table, while Steve was still figuring out what to say. Why does this always happen to me?

 

"Hey, how ya doing?" Eddie told Steve awkwardly, taking a seat in front of him. He still felt a tremendous amount of guilt for what happened earlier, and even though he wasn't sure if it was something he said that triggered Steve, something was clearly bothering him.

 

Steve didn't let out a response, he was still too anxious to speak to Eddie about his feelings. He slid the list of chores to Eddie, not knowing what else to do. "Here's the list of books we gotta organize." He stood up, leaving Eddie behind while walking over to a bookshelf. Steve didn't actually know what he was doing, he just assumed that he was organizing all the books on the shelf correctly by neatly stacking them.

 

Eddie still wouldn't let Steve be, he wanted to find out why he was acting so weird ever since the night they smoked together. It was one of the best memories he had made in a long time, and he wasn't ready to let Steve go. Even if it's just a friendship, Eddie thought.

 

He walked over to Steve, leaning on another bookshelf behind him. He really wished he weren't this eager to save whatever him and Steve had, but Eddie always felt like he needed a connection to someone. He felt completely lonely, but with Steve, everything was okay.

 

"So, are we just not gonna talk about it?" he told Steve, while taking a step closer to him. All that was racing through Steve's head was his constant, nervous thoughts. He hates me right now. Why's he getting near me? Get away, Eddie.

 

"If I said something, just tell me. I swear I didn't mean anything bad." Steve really wished he could just talk to Eddie, but it wasn't enough to convince him. Once again, he felt like a useless mistake who everyone hated. He doesn't actually like you, it's all just a giant joke.

 

"Do you ever shut the fuck up Munson? Stop asking so many questions." The response came out of Steve's mouth, he began to feel annoyed from Eddie being all over him. Steve didn't actually mean it, the words just slipped out of his mouth. On the other hand, Eddie didn't take it well. He didn't like the thought of Steve hating him.

 

"Alright, I've tried being nice to you, what the hell is your problem Harrington?!" Eddie shouted, while turning Steve around and slamming him into the bookshelf. Both of them were making eye contact now, but all Steve could do was stare into Eddie's gaze as his eyes began to feel watery. Eddie immediately noticed, and entirely regretted what he just said.

 

"Wait, I'm sorry, I swear I- I didn't mean it!" Eddie tried telling Steve, stuttering in between his words. Seeking any sense of comfort, Steve could only hug Eddie, while tears began to fall from his eyes. He had his arms wrapped around him for a few seconds, before once again, his intrusive thoughts came back to him. Fuck Eddie Munson.

 

Steve quickly pulled away from the hug, slightly pushing Eddie away. "Just leave me alone Munson." he said, continuing to sniffle while walking towards the door. Mr. Hamilton was already asleep on the desk, so he didn't bother to dismiss himself. "Come on, can we just talk this out?" Eddie tried telling him, but before he knew it, Steve already walked out the door.

 

Eddie always felt like his pure existence would annoy anyone and everyone around him, and this only proved his point more. He really did want to leave Steve alone badly, but that 15 second hug meant the world to him. He hadn't experienced affection like that in years.

 

I'm not letting him go. He walked over to the librarian's desk, about to ask if he could go after Steve, before realizing that Mr. Hamilton was already asleep. Lazy bitch, he thought to himself.

 

He pushed open the door and walked onto the left corridor, seeing Steve walking up to the restroom. "Hey, wait up!" he shouted from behind, but Steve didn't even turn around. He walked into the restroom, and over to the sink.

 

All he could do was look into the mirror, while his reflection stood in front of him. Steve only thought of himself as a complete burden, someone who only ruined things for others. Why am I this much of a fuck up? What's wrong with me?

 

He took off the scrunchie on his wrist, looking at the dried-up cut from earlier. His mind immediately rushed to the memories of that moment. Everyone hates me, I'm a fag.

 

He turned on the sink, while only cold water began to flow out. Perfect. He cupped the cold water into his hands, splashing it onto his face. It always helped Steve to relax himself. He reached out for more water, before the door creaked open.

 

Eddie stood there, hesitant about what to do. He didn't know if he should just give Steve some alone time, or if he should continue this attempt to salvage their relationship. Come on Eddie, just fix what you started.

 

"Hey, I hope you know I didn't mean what I said." He began to walk over to Steve slowly, wrapping an arm around his shoulder. Steve still wouldn't look at Eddie, but that wasn't his concern right now.

 

"I didn't expect that to come out of my mouth, I swear, Steve I-" He stopped speaking, as his facial expression quickly turned from a worried look, to a shocked look. All Eddie could see was the giant cut that was on Steve's wrist, which clearly wasn't an accident.

 

"What the hell happened to you?" Eddie tried extending his arm to reach out for Steve's wrist, but he only swatted the other boy's arm like a fly. "Nothing, don't touch it." Steve responded, not in an angry or annoyed tone at this point. Eddie doesn't hate me, does he? He finally began to come to his senses, while the feeling he hated yet loved came back again.

 

"You can tell me anything, you know." Eddie smiled at Steve, which made him finally look over to him. He felt the butterflies in his stomach, and especially, the electricity surrounding them. He only felt it around Eddie, and even though he was scared of it at first, he finally felt the urge to follow what Robin told him. Now or never. However, it didn't go as he intended.

 

Unexpectedly, Steve wrapped his hands around Eddie's neck, pushing them towards each other. Within a millisecond, their lips were already connected, while Steve was fully kissing Eddie. Surprisingly, he kissed back without hesitation.

 

Neither of them could even process what had just happened in the moment, but it felt like the best feeling they ever felt. Can life just be like this? Why can't it last forever?

 

A loud bang sounded, as both of them quickly jolted away from each other. The bathroom door was pushed open, as five boys stood there. Only one stood out to Eddie, which was his worst enemy, Jason. He felt frozen from anxiety. Holy shit, did he just see me and Steve kiss?

 

For Steve, he was already used to Jason and his goons. They were pathetic jocks who always thought they were the best people in the school, and yet someone still stood out to him. Behind Jason, there stood Tommy Hagan, his ex best friend. What the hell is he doing here?

 

"I knew it! I knew you two faggots were up to something!" Jason shouted, as the door closed behind him. At this point, it was five versus two. Eddie and Steve were both thinking the same thing at this point. What does he want now? How do I get out of this mess?

 

"What are you even talking about? I thought I told you to fuck off." Steve told Jason in anger, taking a step toward him, and proceeding to look over to Tommy. "And why are you here?"

 

"Missed me, Steve? King doesn't look so good on you anymore." Tommy chuckled, knowing how mad it made Steve to bring up his title, King of Hawkins High. They were friends for months, he already knew all of his weaknesses.

 

"Come on, back off motherfucker." Steve walked towards Tommy, pushing him into the wall. He didn't take that well though, and Jason already came up with a plan to silence them once and for all. Steve and Eddie stood no chance at all.

 

"What the hell did you just call me?" Tommy grabbed Steve from one side, while Andy grabbed him from the other. Before he knew it, he was slammed onto the wall, while Patrick and Chance grabbed Eddie, slamming him onto the wall next to the sink.

 

"You know, I actually used to like you, 'King' Steve." Jason made it clear he didn't like Steve's title of King either, he always chased after his popularity. 

 

Jason's eyes immediately went to Steve's wrist, as he grabbed it, and began to squeeze it. The satisfaction of seeing Steve flinch in pain was everything to him. "Nice cut Steve, mind if I finish it off for you?"

 

"Hey, let him go!" Eddie yelled from the other side of the bathroom, attempting to break out of Patrick and Chance's grip. As he tried to shake out of it, they wouldn't let go of him, but he noticed Patrick's grip was more loose compared to Chance.

 

"I don't think so, fag." Jason kept his eyes focused on Steve, as he picked up a knife from his pocket, and grabbed Steve's left wrist. "Don't mind if I do."

 

"Don't you dare, fucking bitch!" Steve shouted, but before he could continue his sentence, Tommy covered Steve's mouth. All he ever wanted was to take down Steve, because in Tommy's mind, his days of King were over.

 

Jason began to cut into Steve's wrist. Even at just half an inch in, it was already beginning to hurt for him. All that could be heard in the bathroom was Steve's muffled groans from pain, but no tears were coming out of his eyes. He was almost okay with it all ending like this. Is this how my life ends? His thoughts ran, hopeless for a miracle to happen.

 

All Eddie could do was watch in fear. He wanted to move, but he couldn't. He couldn't bring himself to speak either, but he refused to accept fate. Fuck Jason, fuck all of these people.

 

"Hey, I'm gonna let go. Get yourselves out of here, okay?" A familiar voice whispered into his ear. It was Patrick. Eddie wasn't gullible, and he was actually paranoid right now. Is this a joke? No way he wants to help me.

 

"You gotta trust me, I wanna help you. Alright?" At a time like this, Eddie would take any opportunity just to save Steve. Jason was already an inch into the cut on his left wrist, and it hurt to see all the blood dripping down onto the bathroom floor.

 

He decided he'd trust Patrick, since Eddie always went with his intuition. Even though he was still speechless, he finally felt the ability to move, as he nodded back at Patrick. He slightly smiled back, before letting go of his grip from Eddie, his right hand finally being free.

 

A loud thud sounded across the bathroom, catching everyone's attention as Eddie threw a punch at Chance straight at his nose. It left him nearly passed out on the ground.

 

"What the hell Patrick?!" Jason turned away from Steve to see Patrick, who had just let Eddie break loose from him. He was pissed, but now it was three versus two. Eddie smirked, knowing the odds were more fair now.

 

"You're over, Carver." Eddie stepped up to kick Jason in the stomach, watching him fall over into one of the stalls. He groaned in pain, not being able to get up. Out of shock, Andy let loose of his grip from Steve.

 

"My turn." Steve mumbled in satisfaction, uneasy but yet confident about what he was about to do. He quickly threw a punch at Tommy, and pushed Andy, as he banged his onto the edge of the sink. He was knocked unconscious on the floor, while Tommy stood against the wall, beginning to bleed from his nose.

 

"Fuck you Harrington, little fag!" He shouted in pain, grabbing his nose while blood filled up his hands. Steve made his way over to Eddie. Looking back at all five boys, he felt horrible after what just happened. All of this because of my feelings. Screw me.

 

Meanwhile, Eddie was still in shock. He always got into fights with Jason, but it was never as bad as terrorizing him and Steve over coming to terms with his sexuality. On the bright side, he wasn't frozen in fear anymore, and he felt his ability to talk coming back.

 

"C-come on, l-let's get out of here." Eddie told Steve, but he could tell something was off. Eddie stuttered so many times throughout that sentence, Steve looked worried for him. This is all my fault. Fuck you, King Steve.

 

"I'll t-ta-take you to the nurse." Eddie told him one last time, before grabbing his right hand while avoiding the cut on his wrist, as they both exited the bathroom. Running down the corridor, so many thoughts ran through both Steve and Eddie's head. Am I gonna get caught? Why would Tommy team up with Jason? What the hell is wrong with them?

 

Both of them felt the worst guilt possible. Eddie felt like a complete nuisance for annoying Steve to begin with, but Steve felt like it was his fault for his feelings towards Eddie. Here they are now, running through the halls of Hawkins High School, not knowing if whatever they had going on between them would even last.

Chapter Text

⚠️ TW: Eating Disorder, Drug Abuse

 

5:00PM

 

Steve and Eddie were both seated next to each other in the nurses office. After all that had just happened, Steve still had to catch his breath while comprehending what just happened. The nurse, Ms. Jackson, shot a concerned look at him, before going back to talking with Eddie.

 

"I'm sorry young man, can you repeat that?" she kindly asked. Eddie tried to do all the talking since Steve was a wreck right now, but he just couldn't stop stuttering. He couldn't be annoyed at her, because not even Eddie himself could understand his words.

 

"Yeah, s-sorry. He tripped in th-the parking lot and s-sliced his wrist on the con-concrete." For the most part, he spoke a bit more clearly, and the nurse finally caught on to what happened. It hurt for Eddie to even think about it though. He fully acknowledged that it was a complete lie.

 

"Oh, alright! You're very lucky mister, you came in just fifteen minutes before closing time." She quickly walked back to her desk, getting a first aid kit from a cabinet full of medical supplies. Steve continued to slightly wince in pain, the cut was worse than he imagined.

 

Ms. Jackson made her way back to where Steve and Eddie were sitting, while getting the first aid kit prepared. As Steve began to breathe normally again, he also came to his senses again, and he didn't want to stay in the school for much longer. I wanna get out of here.

 

"Do you mind if I just clean the cut myself? I know how to do it." He just thought of it as any other cut he'd cleaned. I can definitely pull this off.

 

"Sure, you can even have your friend help you." She smiled before going back to her desk, as Steve began to dry up the cut to stop the bleeding. He was in actual pain right now, it hurt way worse than when he had cut his right wrist.

 

"You know, you don't have to do this by yourself." Eddie told Steve, continuing to eye the cut. The bleeding was beginning to stop, but Steve still continued to let out a small grunt every now and then.

 

"I don't know what to tell you Munson, I'm fine." he said in an annoyed tone. Eddie wished Steve could just be honest with him, but now wasn't a time where Steve was thinking properly. He finally got the courage to tell Eddie about how he felt, and it didn't even turn out how he wanted it to. I'm such a fucking screw up.

 

"No, you're clearly not fine. Just talk to me Steve, we can be in this together." Eddie put a hand on Steve's shoulder, thinking back to the moment they kissed. I want it back so bad, he thought to himself. If only people weren't so cruel, maybe they wouldn't be back in this scenario.

 

"I said I'm fine." he responded in a deep tone. Eddie couldn't get mad anymore, all of this started with him getting aggressive towards Steve to begin with. Guilt began to take over him again. What am I even thinking, I don't deserve someone like Steve.

 

"Yeah, sorry. I'll be right back." He quickly got up and made his way to the bathroom, all while fighting back tears. Thankfully there was a bathroom in the nurse's office, he wouldn't have to go back and see the entire basketball team knocked out.

 

It still didn't change anything though. He locked the door behind him, as all of his thoughts began to get to him. Fuck you, you mess up everything Eddie. Everything about me sucks.

 

At this point, Eddie was leaning over the sink, as tears began to fall from his eyes. My chance with Steve is over. He used his shirt to wipe the tears off, but he was greeted with yet another concern.

 

He looked down at his stomach. His abdomen was showing, as well as his skinny stomach. It was as if he barely ate, which was true, but he would never admit that to someone else, especially since his dysmorphia always got the worst of him. Why do I have to be so fat?

 

"Fuck my life." he muttered to himself, fully acknowledging what he was about to do. He went over to the toilet seat, sticking his index and middle finger to the back of his tongue, and almost down his throat. His attempt to throw up was only getting him to gag. Come on, hurry up!

 

He began to go deeper, until finally, clear liquid shot up and out of his throat and into the toilet. He coughed a bit as he nearly choked, but in Eddie's point of view, it was all worth it. That feels so much better.

 

He washed his hands before walking out of the bathroom. When he stepped out, he glanced over at Steve, who had already disinfected the cut, and was about to leave.

 

"So, about what just happened.." Steve's heart felt like it skipped a beat. He didn't want to relive the moment, yet alone think about it. It was just another traumatizing memory for him to hide. "Did you really mean— you know, the kiss?"

 

You'll never be happy with Eddie, fuck him.

 

Steve's thoughts began to overtake him again. Once again, he was trapped in his own space, knowing he didn't deserve any happiness. Especially not with Eddie, not the boy who he'd liked for days now.

 

"I don't know what you're talking about, leave me alone." He got up and made his way to the door. From the look of angst on his face, Eddie knew that he remembered. Steve would never just forget about something that happened a few minutes ago.

 

"You can't just play me like that Harrington, you did it for a reason." Eddie had a look of disappointment on his face. He couldn't get mad with Steve, because he knew how hard it was to deal with people being assholes in high school.

 

Before he knew it, Steve was already out the door, pacing through the hallway quickly and heading to the parking lot. He didn't even realize it at first, but he was walking faster than usual, and he felt paranoid to even be walking through the hallway. Why am I walking so fast?

 

"Hey, wait up!" Eddie shouted from behind, exiting the nurses office and chasing after Steve. He was already out the doors and walking towards his car, while Eddie began to sprint towards him. By the time he caught up, Steve already got into the drivers seat, beginning to turn on the car.

 

"Steve, I'm serious. You can tell me how you feel, I promise I'll help you." He continued to pant while being out of breath from all the running, but Steve still wouldn't listen. All he wanted to do was isolate himself right now. Just the thought of stepping back into school made him sick.

 

"Nope, I don't need you anymore. And by the way, take your clothes." He picked up the clothes he borrowed from Eddie the other day and shoved it onto his chest. Steve wished he could just cry right now, but no tears came out. He couldn't release any emotion but anger.

 

"Don't talk to me again." He let out his final sentence before rolling up the window, and speeding off the parking lot onto the road. You fucked up big time Eddie, why are you such a mistake?

 

He fell onto the ground, practically hugging it, as he started to sniffle. He fought so hard to keep whatever him and Steve had going, and yet it still failed. Something about Eddie right now made him wish that Jason and his goons beat him up on that day. He wished that Steve never even came to save him. I wish I was dead.

 

"Eddie?" A young boy's voice sounded from above him. He immediately recognized it as one of the D&D club members, Dustin. Did he really have to find me now that I'm a mess?

 

"He looks drunk." Another voice was heard aside from Dustin, and yet he still recognized it. It was Erica Sinclair, the replacement for Lucas after he left to be on the basketball team. Seriously, why does she have to be here too?

 

"Shh- Erica, just get in the car!" Dustin hushed her, motioning at a red car on the other side of the parking lot. She looked at Eddie one final time before walking back, leaving only Dustin and Eddie together.

 

He quickly stopped hugging the ground and got up, pretending like nothing ever happened. I can't ruin anyone else's mood today, he thought to himself, quickly turning his frown into a smile as he turned around to face Dustin. "Sorry, yeah, I was just having a moment."

 

"Hey, we missed you! Why'd you miss Hellfire today?" Dustin hugged Eddie tight. If there was anyone who Eddie wouldn't bring down, it was Dustin. Their bond was something unbreakable. At least someone cares about me.

 

"Sorry, detention's a pain in the ass." Detention. That word would forever remind him of the huge fight between him and Steve. The fight that made Eddie realize he didn't have a purpose, that he was completely worthless.

 

"It's fine, Gareth took over for you today!" The smile on Dustin's face brought a comfort to Eddie that no one could destroy. His own club was the only thing that kept him going, and yet everyone in Hawkins believed it was a cult that worshipped Satan.

 

"Also, Lucas came back! Please let him stay Eddie, please?" Dustin pulled away from the hug to look up at Eddie, hoping that he wouldn't be mad at him. Which he wasn't, he was just confused. Seriously, why would he come back?

 

"Yeah, it's fine kid, he can stay." He nodded back at Dustin, knowing he couldn't refuse to letting Lucas back on the team. Popularity sucks, but at least he came back to his real friends.

 

"Yay!" Dustin hugged Eddie tightly once again. Unfortunately for Eddie, he knew once this moment was gone, it was only him on his own. Being a lonely freak sucks.

 

"Jeff is giving us a ride, wanna come?" Eddie wanted to take the offer, but even though he didn't have any other plans right now, he still couldn't get the thought of what he did to Steve off of his head. Don't get in the car, just walk home. You deserve it.

 

"I'm fine, you go ahead kid." He patted Dustin on the back as he started walking towards the car, full with all the Hellfire club members. The feeling of guilt continued to strike again. If I didn't exist, they wouldn't have to put up with all the rumors.

 

Eddie waved to Dustin before the car drove off onto the road. He started walking on the side of the street, knowing it would be a long walk to his uncle's trailer. Alone again, Eddie thought to himself. He really wished happiness weren't temporary, not even the feeling of excitement felt like enough to him anymore. All he desired was love, something Eddie knew he'd never get.

 

7:00PM

 

After nearly half an hour of walking, Eddie finally made it to the trailer park. He walked up to the front door, unlocking it with his keys. Home was the only place he ever wanted to be throughout the school day. Yet when he was at home, he wished he was back in school. For the most part, Eddie was always lonely, but not right now.

 

"Hey son! I'm gonna go to the store for a few more groceries, you need anything?" Wayne asked him from the kitchen as soon as he opened the door. He was glad he at least had one family member who thought about him.

 

"No, I'm fine." he replied, sounding dead from the inside. His uncle was barely home since he was so busy, but he could tell whenever something was wrong with Eddie. They'd been living under the same roof from years.

 

"If somethings wrong, you can tell me." He made his way over to Eddie, but he couldn't make eye contact with his uncle right now. All he could do was lie again.

 

"Nothing's wrong." Eddie told Wayne, slightly looking up at him to sound more convincing. He'd already mastered how to fake his emotions, even though it wasn't the best ability to have. I'm definitely not fine, why am I lying to myself?

 

"Alright, I'll be back." He grabbed his coat before leaving out the door in a rush, shutting it behind him. Another idea popped up into Eddie's head, and it was the best one he had yet for a time like this. Jackpot.

 

He walked over to the fridge, and the majority of it was obviously empty as expected. Luckily, they weren't out of liquor. Alcohol and weed never failed to get Eddie high.

 

He took out a joint from the drawer below the counter, lightning it up. After inhaling it once, he already began to feel the entire room moving, completely distracting himself from everything in reality.

 

"Who needs Steve Harrington when you've got this?!" He shouted to himself, taking a sip of liquor straight from the bottle, while his voice sounded throughout the whole trailer.

 

Even though Eddie barely ever had anyone there for him, drugs were the only comfort he needed. Deep down Eddie knew it wasn't the best choice to do, but he was desperate to feel something inside of him. Something that he'd never get from anyone else.

 

Fuck Hawkins, fuck all of them. I love being the world's biggest freak.

Chapter Text

⚠️ TW: Use of Weapons

 

12:00PM

 

An entire week had passed, but Steve had yet to get out of his house and step outside. All he could think about was his fight with Eddie, with a scar on his left wrist to remind him all about it. I can't step back into that school, no one can make me.

 

Steve didn't care about anything anymore. His grades had completely dropped, his chances with the boy he liked were done for, and at this point, he'd need to pray for a miracle just so Jason and Tommy didn't tell the entire school about his secret.

 

His eyes began to water, but before he could even let a tear out, his father's voice ran through his head. Men don't cry, Steve. And even though he knew it was all in his head, his voice was beginning to sound even more real for every second that passed.

 

"Shut the hell up!" he shouted to himself, as it sounded throughout the whole house. Knowing he couldn't take it anymore, he stood up to throw a kick at his nightstand. Why does being lonely have to be so depressing? Get out of my head dad!

 

However, an idea suddenly clicked in Steve's head, and it was all he needed to put this to a stop. If I can't bring myself to step out of this house, I'll just call someone. Maybe just someone else's voice will help.

 

He knew Robin was busy right now since she was never available in the morning, and Eddie was definitely mad at him right now. Not even the party had invited him to hang out recently, so that only left him with one other option. Nancy Wheeler.

 

My own ex? What the hell am I even thinking? Steve stood up and paced around his room, wondering if he should even consider his so-called amazing idea. She definitely won't pick up. What else would she be doing right now though? She'll probably think I'm weird for calling her. We're still best friends though, we call each other all the time!

 

"Screw it, how much worse can it get?" he muttered, sitting back down on the bed as he began to rotate the dial. He really wished he could just walk into school like an ordinary person, but he couldn't. Just the thought of walking back in would instantly freak him out.

 

The line rang once, but before it could ring a second time, Nancy had already picked up. As always, she was at home, not doing anything interesting at all. As a matter of fact, Nancy was actually hoping that someone would call her. "Hello?"

 

"Hey Nance.. it's Steve." He sighed, hoping he wouldn't regret doing this in the future, but he just needed to hear someone else's voice to be distraught from his own mind. Surprisingly, it worked well already.

 

"Steve! Oh my god, where have you been? We've been worried!" Nancy sounded in awe to hear Steve on the other side of the line, but it was only a shocker to Steve even more. She can't actually be serious. No one would ever worry about me.

 

"Really? No way." He couldn't tell if Nancy was playing a prank on him right now. He couldn't trust anyone right now, or at least he didn't feel like he could. Not after all he'd been through.

 

"Yeah, I asked Robin where you were. She just said you were going through some stuff, but she never specified." Of course Robin was concerned for him, she was one of the only best friends he's had.

 

"You know, you can tell me anything Steve. I'm here for you." His heart began to pound, trying to come up with a lie. He couldn't figure one out though. I can't tell her about the bathroom situation. I can't tell her about Eddie either. Holy shit, what do I say?

 

"Well, um, I sort of got into a situation, and-" Before he could even tell Nancy the truth about what happened, he hesitated. Flashbacks of that day kept on repeating in his head. Blood all over the bathroom floor, and punches being thrown everywhere. Damn it, why can't I just say it!

 

"Sorry, I just can't really talk about it right now." Steve stuttered through his words, trying to keep it together. "But can I ask you something?"

 

"Sure, go ahead." Nancy knew Steve was always charming and outgoing, but she never expected it to be the only side he had, and this was proving it. She always suspected he had yet to come out about his personal trauma. After all, it was every teenager in Hawkins going through something right now.

 

"Do you know any way to release emotions? I think I really need it right now." Steve had just come up with the perfect lie to tell Nancy. So perfect, it wasn't a lie after all. He really did need to feel something right now, anything other than anger.

 

"You're lucky you called me, and yeah! I know just what you need." Nancy let out a soft laugh, relieved that she'd finally have someone else to relate wirh. For months, she hoped that someone with the same experiences as her would come forward about it.

 

"Wanna come to the shooting range with me?" She asked, not knowing if Steve would say yes or no. Guns were definitely her thing, but she didn't know if Steve was into it either.

 

"Can we maybe go somewhere more.. private?" The truth is, he wasn't into it. It wasn't just school he was afraid of, it was going out into any public space. Damn it, why didn't I just keep my mouth shut? I probably ruined her whole day now.

 

"For sure! Actually, I have the perfect idea. We'll just go hang out in the forest. Is that fine?" Steve sighed in relief. He wished he didn't have the urge to completely avoid everyone, but he couldn't help it.

 

"Alright, sure, why not?" He responded, not knowing how he should've felt about the thought of weapons. He'd used guns before, but they didn't bring back the best memories. I'll be fine, it's nothing.

 

"Oh! Also, is it okay if Jonathan comes along?" Nancy didn't know what to expect from Steve now. They had both moved past what happened between them, but Nancy didn't want Steve to be uncomfortable.

 

"Sure, I don't mind it." Steve replied in a genuine tone. He really didn't mind Jonathan coming, but he always regretted how he bullied him in his early high school years. Why'd I have to be such an asshole?

 

"Great! Get ready, we're leaving in twenty minutes. I'll come pick you up." Nancy hung up the phone, excited that she wouldn't be spending the weekend by herself. Steve figured she was just excited to shoot some bullets again. Whatever, he thought, getting out of bed to start getting ready.

 

12:30PM

 

The doorbell rang twice downstairs as Steve finished up applying his hairspray in the bathroom. They're here already?

 

"Coming!" he shouted, spraying his hair one more time before placing the hairspray on the counter. Looking down at his wrists, all he could think about was the memories that both scars left. One made by him, and another by his biggest enemy.

 

At least it's barely visible from a distance. Steve thought it was perfect, no more wearing colorful and obvious scrunchies from Robin that weren't his style. He flicked the light switch off, making his way down the stairs and to the front door.

 

He opened it, and to his surprise, it was Jonathan. He wasn't even surprised by him, just his appearance. He looked terribly exhausted, and his eyes were red. He almost looked as if he'd just gotten high. What the hell? Is he stoned?

 

"Hey, uh, Nancy's waiting in the car. We're ready to go." He told Steve, slightly slurring some of his words. He's definitely high, he thought. And it was true, Jonathan had constantly been smoking weed. He'd made a decent attempt to hide it behavior-wise too.

 

Steve locked the door behind him and followed Jonathan to the car parked in front of his house, getting into the co-driver seat next to Nancy. Jonathan sat in the back, looking up at the sky while zoning out.

 

"Hey! You ready to go?" Nancy cheerfully asked Steve, already pulling out onto the road. The GPS was leading to a shop just outside of Hawkins, War Zone. What the hell is War Zone?

 

"Yeah. I mean, it's not like I have anything else to do today." Steve replied, knowing he wouldn't be having anyone else in his house for months to come. Isolation sucked, but it was the only thing he could resort to without any medication.

 

"So, are you ready to talk about it? Robin did sound worried." Nancy tried her best not to sound pressuring, which she didn't. She was actually pretty good at speaking in a settling tone. It still wasn't enough for Steve to tell her about everything just yet.

 

"I wish I could, I swear Nance. I- I was about to tell you on the phone, b-but I couldn't!" Steve began to stutter, sounding nervous. He wished he could just forget any of it happened, it was way too traumatizing to even think about. What did I do to deserve this?

 

"Steve, it's fine! You don't have to share it with me yet. I can wait." Nancy really didn't care if Steve couldn't bring himself to tell her about his situation. They went through the same trauma for years, so they both understood each other well.

 

"Besides, there's a million things I haven't told you about myself." she said, trying to change the topic. It probably wasn't the best thing to blurt out though, since the attention was now drawn to Nancy. What hasn't she told me?

 

"Wait, seriously? Come on, tell me what I'm missing out on." Steve told her in a curious tone. He quickly discovered that both of them were having trouble talking to each other about their life, as Nancy shifted the topic one final time.

 

"Anyways, we're here! You're lucky you live near the highway." Nancy replied, pulling into the parking lot of The War Zone. It only stood out to Steve since this wasn't any ordinary store in Hawkins.

 

"Nance, where even are we?" He tried to sound calm, hoping Nancy didn't forget that he didn't want to be in public. He instantly began to feel paranoid.

 

"You've got to go buy your gun, silly! There's a sale, so they're only a hundred bucks. The ammunition comes free with it too, I'll give you some cash." She began to reach for her wallet, but Steve already had enough cash on him.

 

"No, it's fine. I can pay for it." He took out his wallet, but he was still hesitant to step out of the car. He'd never even been to this side of Hawkins before, and it was only feeding onto his anxiety.

 

"If you need me to come with you, just tell me." Nancy told Steve, seeing how nervous he was just from his facial expression. He didn't want to bother Nancy though, so he just decided to suck it up. There's not much people here anyway, it's a weekend.

 

"No, I'm fine. I'll be right back." He fake smiled back at Nancy, stepping out of the car and shutting the door behind him. He walked up to the door, taking a quick peek inside. And it was true indeed, there was barely anyone inside the shop. Thank god.

 

He pushed open the door, as the bell on top rang. All Steve wanted to do was buy a gun and get out of here quickly. I'll be okay, he thought to himself.

 

He walked past the shelves and over to the side of the store with all the gun racks. The first one he spotted was a shotgun. Too long, no way I'm using that.

 

The second one that he spotted was a rifle. It looked cool, but it still wasn't something he was particularly planning to use. Come on, I've gotta find something.

 

Before he could get a glimpse at the third one, the bell rang loudly, and from the corner of his eye, he caught a glimpse of a boy's blonde hair at the door. It was a nightmare that came true, because it was indeed Jason, his worst enemy yet. Oh fuck, what is he doing here?

 

Steve stood frozen in place, continuing to look at the third gun, which was a gold pistol. It looked nice, but that wasn't the biggest of his concerns right now.

 

Jason turned towards Steve's direction, and even though Steve wouldn't look back into his eyes, he could still see him. He'd known him for three years, and from the look on his face, he could tell that he was out for blood.

 

It clearly wasn't Steve's blood though, as Jason turned away after a good five seconds, walking to another shelf in the middle of the store. He was out of his sight now.

 

Okay, what was that about? Steve was confused, considering casual Jason would've seen him and started to bother the hell out of him. Regardless, he didn't want to stay much longer. He grabbed the golden pistol and a pack of ammunition, as he began to make his way to the counter, making sure to stay out of range from Jason.

 

"Hey, I'd like to buy this." He set the pistol and ammo on the counter, while the clerk grabbed it to charge him. He'd barely ever see anyone near Steve's age come into the shop, but money was money.

 

"Sure thing, a hundred and seven dollars." Steve handed him the cash, wanting to get out already. He side-eyed Jason, who was now checking out the gun rack he was just at. He quickly looked back to face the counter afterwards. Oh god, please don't come over here.

 

"Alright kiddo, have a nice day." The clerk handed Steve his pistol, while he grabbed it and muttered a quick "thanks" before beginning to speed walk towards the door. For a second, paranoia took over him again. It almost felt like the day it all went wrong at school.

 

He pushed open the door, beginning to sprint across the parking lot towards Nancy's car. Again, he felt like he couldn't control the pace he was walking at, and before he knew it, he had already pulled open the car door and climbed into the seat.

 

"Hey, you okay?" Nancy asked Steve, noticing his visibly obvious nervous expression. He shut the door behind him before looking back at Nancy, but he knew that he still wasn't mentally prepared to tell her about anything.

 

"Yeah, I'm fine. Let's just go." He lied to her, still wondering why Jason didn't shoot him on the spot, especially at a store full of weapons. It was weird, but Nancy just assumed he was anxious. She never even acknowledged Jason entering the store.

 

"Alright, let's go!" She drove out of the parking lot, as the GPS was now giving directions to a random coordinate point in the forest. Steve was just thankful to be out of there.

 

3:00PM

 

Jonathan was laying down on the trunk of the car, still gazing into the sky. Even though he was still high, his symptoms were slowly beginning to wear off.

 

Meanwhile, Steve stood next to Nancy, who was holding up a black BB gun, aiming at three cans from a distance. It definitely wasn't her best choice for a gun, but it still worked.

 

She shot three bullets in a row, all of which let out a loud bang. It was way louder than Steve had suspected. What was I thinking to even agree to this idea?

 

"Alright, your turn! Come on, you'll feel so much better after this. Just channel your emotions to the bullet." Nancy smiled, proceeding to trade places with Steve as he pulled out his pistol from his pocket.

 

"So do I just hit the cans, or what?" Steve asked, completely dumbfounded. He wasn't paying attention to what Nancy was even doing. After all, she was way more of an expert than he could ever be.

 

"No, actually, you're aiming for the space in between the cans." Nancy looked back at Jonathan, who was in his own world at this point. She assumed he was just tired of life all the time.

 

"But sure, why not? Try shooting for the can." She figured anything would work for Steve right now. Just like how Jonathan helped her at one point, she'd finally return the favor.

 

Steve held up the pistol, now directing it at the can in the middle. Here he was, about to shoot a gun for the first time in months. He still felt like he needed to clear his mind, even just a bit.

 

"Do you ever feel like.. like you just don't fit in with anyone else?" Steve unexpectedly spoke out, leaving Nancy confused. "What?" She vaguely replied, as she tucked her gun into her pocket.

 

"Like, you've tried so hard to be someone you aren't, and in the end it just backfires on everyone around you. I don't know, maybe that's just me, but god does it feel horrible to be a screw up." Steve finally felt the pressure beginning to get off his chest. The only solution left for him at this point was to face the truth.

 

"Yeah, I think I get it." Nancy said genuinely, wishing that she was lying right now. She knew that statement hit closer to home, and Steve didn't even know about it. They had so much in common, yet they'd barely ever talk to each other about their life.

 

Without another word, Steve aimed his pistol, closed his eyes, and without hesitation, he pulled the trigger. Another loud bang sounded, as the bullet shot straight through the middle can, causing a flock of birds to fly rapidly above the trees. He opened his eyes, spotting the can which had been hit by now.

 

"Not bad, Steve!" Nancy shouted, clapping her hands. She was proud, but most importantly, Steve finally didn't feel alone. He knew he was surrounded by people, but most importantly, the ones that mattered most. I'm not letting my mind win me over anymore.

 

"Yeah, I think that's all the bullets I'm shooting for today." Steve headed back to the car with Nancy. They both sat down on the trunk of the car next to Jonathan, who finally came to his senses after hours of smoking.

 

"So, you two had fun?" he asked Nancy and Steve, fixing up his hair. He had just realized what a mess he was the whole day, but at least he realized it eventually.

 

"Yeah. Wanna give it a try?" Nancy asked Jonathan, about to lend him her BB gun. He wasn't in the mood for it though, he only came to accompany Nancy.

 

"Nah, it's fine." He laid back down on the car. Steve figured it was time to finally speak out, and he didn't mind if Jonathan were here to listen. Either way, they were on good terms.

 

"So, earlier today, I forgot to tell you what happened." He spoke to Nancy, as she looked back to him, giving him a concerned look. "You know you don't have to tell me anything, right? Just forget I even asked, it's fine." Nancy smiled back at Steve, but he refused. He finally felt free from everything that happened in the past few weeks.

 

"No, I'm serious. I'm ready to talk about it." Nancy reached out to hold his hand, as he took a deep breath to prepare himself.

 

"I don't know any other way to put this, but— Nance, I'm bisexual." Nancy didn't know how to react. It wasn't what she expected, but she couldn't say it would be a shocker either.

 

"And I've just tried so hard to fit in, you know? I kept telling myself I only like girls, but it just didn't work. That's when I realized, I just can't get rid of this feeling." Nancy continued to smile in joy, being glad that Steve came out about himself. She could actually relate more to him than she suspected.

 

"Hey, it's okay. I'm here for you, and I'll always support you." Nancy turned to look at Steve, who was still looking forward at a tree to decide his next sentence. He told Nancy about his sexuality, but now it was time to tell her why he'd been acting so weird all day. Now comes the worst part.

 

"There's more though." The worst part about not being like everyone else was that they'd hate you for it, and Steve had already seen enough. He wasn't ready for whatever came next, so stating the truth was the least he could do. "You know Eddie Munson? Curly hair, brown eyes, the freak of the school?" God, it feels horrible to say his name.

 

"Yeah, why wouldn't I?" Eddie's name continued to repeat in Steve's head. He knew he'd have to admit it to Nancy, there was no going back now.

 

"And you know Jason Carver? Popular jock, blonde hair, the real freak?" Nancy had no idea where this was going now, but she figured she'd just go along with it.

 

"Mhm, what about them?" Here goes nothing, Steve thought.

 

"Well, I sort of found out that I like Eddie. You know, more than a friend." This wasn't anything Nancy ever expected. It wasn't anything anyone would ever expect, and they both knew that.

 

"Wow, I did not know that." All it did was put a frown on Steve's face, which Nancy quickly noticed. "But it's okay! If you like Eddie, I'm all for it. I promise, your secrets safe with me. I'll even help you two get closer." She persuaded Steve, trying to bring up the mood, but it wasn't working for him.

 

"That's the problem. I sort of lashed out on him, and we had a huge fight. He tried to calm me down too, and I was about to tell him how I felt, except.." Steve had another moment of hesitation. Come on, just get it over with.

 

"Except, I- I kissed him." The memories flooded back to him as soon as he spoke. It felt like a living nightmare. "And Jason walked in on us." He let out one more final sentence, before proceeding to take another deep breath. Nancy was slowly but surely comprehending the situation.

 

"Wait, he didn't do anything, did he?" Nancy asked in concern, while Steve let out a nervous laugh. "Funny you say that, actually." He showed her his left wrist, with a long scar on it. It looked way worse than his right wrist.

 

"Oh my god, what the fuck is wrong with him? Did you tell anyone what happened?" she asked Steve, grabbing his wrist, but also making sure that she didn't grab it too harsh.

 

"Nope, that was actually the last time I even stepped foot into that school. I just left Eddie in the parking lot, and it's where I screwed up. God, it's all my fault." He covered his face with his hands, trying his best to hold back tears. I lost my only chance to be happy, and I just had to ruin Eddie too. It's my fault.

 

"No, it's not. You just didn't know how to feel, okay? Don't take all the blame." Nancy reached out to hug Steve, as he hugged back. Comfort was the best thing he'd felt in a while.

 

"Just please, don't get involved, alright? It's my problem, I'll fix it all myself." He already knew how Nancy could be, she was definitely a fighter. One thing he didn't need was his friends stepping up for him.

 

"Yeah, no, totally. Just let me know if you need any help." She pulled away from the hug to give Steve space, while she began to get stuck into her own thoughts. He told me about his own life, it's only fair if I tell him about mine, she thought.

 

"Some people are just assholes, but everyone has a past. Jason's behavior will catch up to him eventually, and he'll realize. Trust me." Steve used to hate that saying. Everyone has a past? That doesn't mean shit.

 

But now, it actually began to make sense. Jason couldn't hate him all because he liked a boy, it just wasn't enough of a reason to cause this whole mess.

 

"I think I get that." Steve recalled staring straight at Jason as he slit his left wrist. "I looked into his eyes, Nance. He looked way more mad than usual. And get this, he even had Tommy join him to attack me and Eddie. You can't tell me that's all because of me liking another boy. Not even Tommy would be that messed up."

 

"That's the point, it's not because of that. You don't have to feel the guilt for anything, Steve." He was calm now that he'd spoken his mind, but now it was time for Nancy to speak her mind. "Actually, I realized how true it was, because of how much it described me."

 

"Really, how?" Steve asked out of curiosity, even though he knew Nancy wasn't always the best of people a few years ago. She was just any other high school girl, so he assumed it was just that.

 

"Because, w-well, I- I'm-" Nancy began to stutter, struggling to speak. Even though Jonathan had barely heard their conversation, he knew his best friend well enough to know what the topic was as soon as she started stuttering.

 

"Nancy, it's okay. We're here for you, you can tell him." Jonathan sat up to make sure Nancy was okay. The past didn't matter to him right now, him and Steve were on good terms regardless. He knew he'd never do anything to hurt Nancy.

 

"Yeah, thanks." She smiled at Jonathan, and turned back forward. She was ready to come out to Steve about herself now. "Steve, I'm bisexual too."

 

"What? No way, really?" Steve immediately felt surprised, but he also felt way better to know he wasn't alone. He just never expected it from Nancy. She's been bisexual this whole time?

 

"Yeah. I don't know why everyone tells me I'm probably just confused, I guess no one really sees me with a girl. So I did what everyone does, I hid it." Growing up, Nancy never saw herself with a girl either, so she couldn't be mad at anyone for thinking the same way.

 

"Mind if I ask how you realized?" Steve asked Nancy, making sure that he didn't sound pressuring.

 

"There's this one girl from school who I met not too long ago— actually, you definitely know her." Nancy continued to look up at the sky, practicing her next few words in her mind. "It's Chrissy. Chrissy Cunningham." She smiled from the thought of her, and Steve was all for it. He never imagined himself being able to have this type of conversation with someone so easily.

 

"She's sweet, friendly, and I love her style. She's just so pretty in her crop tops, and the gaze from her blue eyes.." Nancy stopped, realizing she was just making up her own fantasy. "But she's a hundred percent straight. I mean, she's already taken by Jason, I don't even know why I bother crushing on her."

 

It hurt Nancy to think about it, and it would've hurt Steve too, if he didn't already find out about a specific secret during his phone call with Robin.

 

"Actually, I think you should totally go for it. Don't ask me how I know, but Chrissy's nowhere near straight." Nancy had a puzzled look on her face, wondering if Steve was treating this as a joke. "I mean, come on Nance, when have I ever lied to you?"

 

"Yeah, you're right. Maybe I'll just give it time." Nancy felt a glimmer of hope. Steve really wouldn't lie about anything like this, so maybe he was right. Maybe she did have a chance. 

 

"I guess there's more of us than we thought there was." Nancy said, looking over at Jonathan. They started laughing, almost as if it were some sort of inside joke. Steve looked at the both of them as if they were crazy.

 

"What, is there something else I should know?" Jonathan tried to stop laughing, but he couldn't. Nancy figured she'd speak for him.

 

"Jonathan has actually had interest in this one guy for quite some time." He nudged Nancy's shoulder as he began to blush.

 

"I don't know if I should be surprised or not, but called it!" Steve was actually surprised after all that he'd found out today. He knew about Jonathan and Nancy moving on from each other, but he never knew about their particular new interests.

 

"It's funny how things turned out between the three of us. I mean, we all used to hate each other at one point." Nancy told both of them, as Steve paused to think. I hated Nancy and Jonathan, Nancy hated me and Jonathan, and Jonathan hated me and Nancy.

 

Wow, she's right.

 

Jonathan was still trying to get his mind off of a specific boy, so he spoke to distract himself from it. "Look, the point is, you're not alone dude. The world won't understand, but they will some day. And for now, we do." Hearing that made Nancy tear up a bit, while it made Steve continue to be stuck in his thoughts. I can't imagine how much more queer people could be in Hawkins.

 

"It's alright, come here." Jonathan stood up and motioned at the two for a group hug. Steve and Nancy stood up, all three of them wrapped their arms around each other. "It's okay, we're okay." he whispered.

 

They stood together for a few seconds in silence, before the sun began to set. The sun streamed through the clouds, as the sky revealed a tint of pink. It would be an unforgettable experience for the trio.

 

"Alright, it's getting kinda late, should we go?" Jonathan pulled away to ask them. Even he had started to get emotional a bit.

 

"Sure, let's go." Nancy walked back over to the car and got into the drivers seat. The two boys followed, getting in as well.

 

She started up the car, the headlights practically lit up the entire path in front of them. Steve looked up at the sunset as Nancy followed a trail leading out of the forest. After today, he finally felt the courage to make things right again. I have to go back to Eddie. I can't leave him again.

 

7:00PM

 

After a long day, Steve was tired, and all he wanted to do was go home and lay on his bed. The first thing I'm doing on Monday is finding Eddie and Robin.

 

"Okay, we're here!" Nancy pulled over in front of Steve's house. Jonathan was half asleep yet half awake in the back seat.

 

"Alright, bye Nance." Steve unbuckled his seatbelt. Before he could open the door, Nancy still had to tell him one last thing.

 

"Hey, if you ever need anything, just give me a call." After today, Nancy and Steve's bond grew a lot, even more than when they had dated. It meant a lot to both of them. "Yeah, thanks." he replied, stepping out of the car and shutting the door behind him.

 

"And by the way, maybe don't forget to turn your lights off next time!" She shouted to Steve through the window, before driving off and sliding the window back up. Don't forget to turn my lights off? What does she mean by that?

 

He turned back around to face his house, only to find that the lights were indeed on. It was impossible though, Steve hadn't even turned any lights on before leaving. He'd only turned on the bathroom light, which he still turned off.

 

Steve began to enter panic mode, hoping that he just forgot to turn them off before he left. It wasn't working though, because he knew it was nowhere near true.

 

Oh god, did someone break into the house? Who's in there?

Chapter Text

⚠️ TW: Drug Abuse

 

7:00PM

 

Steve stood in front of his house, his heart was pounding. A million thoughts raced through his mind. Did I forget to turn the lights off? Or is it really someone robbing the house? Is someone here to kill me?

 

He slowly stepped up to the door, peering through the windows. From the looks of it, nothing even seemed out of the ordinary. Nothing was missing, and nothing was out of place. Everything was just the way he left it. So why are the lights on?

 

He reached into his pockets, taking out his keys. Unlocking the door, he desperately hoped that it was just an inconvenience. He slowly opened the door, taking a step into the house, and leaving the door open behind him.

 

Before he could take another step towards the stairs, he could hear footsteps coming. They only got closer and closer, until finally, a brown haired woman in business casual attire came out.

 

"Steve! We were wondering where you were." she said, making her way down the stairs. Steve thought he was hallucinating, there was no way he was actually seeing this. I've gotta be dreaming, someone slap me right now.

 

"Mom? What are you doing here?" Steve spoke, being partly confused, and partly angry. His own mother had just returned from a business trip, and she just proceeded to act as if she left yesterday. Amelia didn't see a reason to feel sorry for Steve. After all, she was a huge manipulator, and Steve began to notice in his teenage years.

 

"Steve, you're just in time. Get in the car, we're going out." His father came out of the hallway, stepping down the stairs. He was also acting like he never left the house. Fred wasn't a guilt tripper like Amelia, he was more aggressive and abusive.

 

"B-but you two have been gone for months! And you're acting like it's nothing! Where are we even going!?" He raised his voice, upset and mad at the fact that his parents would always act this way whenever they came back. He held back tears, barely being able to remember the last time they were a family.

 

"Why does it matter? Just get in the car." Fred got aggravated at Steve, while Amelia just smiled back at him, stepping out the door and into the car. Why can't I just have someone that loves me?

 

A tear rolled down Steve's left eye as he sniffled, catching Fred's attention. He turned back around, and hatred only filled up inside him. He hated to see his son cry, but not for the right reasons.

 

"Steven, what the hell do I always tell you? Real men don't cry!" He shouted at him, turning back around to put his coat on. Steve wiped his tears off and held it in, accepting the fact that things would never change with his parents. He made his way to the car, with his dad following shortly after.

 

Steve still didn't know where they were headed to, but he figured that as soon as he got back and went to bed, he'd wake up tomorrow to an empty house. It's a win-win situation, he thought, trying to convince himself of it. The truth is, it was a lose-lose situation, something Steve would never accept.

 

"Alright, buckle up. We'll get there in about half an hour." Fred told Amelia and Steve, pulling out of the driveway and onto the street. Steve looked back at his car on the other end of the driveway one final time, before it slowly faded away as they drove further down the street.

 

Ten minutes had passed, and the car ride still remained silent. Out of boredom, Steve looked out the window to his left, spotting Starcourt Mall. He'd made so many good memories there. Getting hired for Scoops Ahoy, meeting Robin, and hanging out with the party were his top three.

 

But he'd never be able to forget the bad memories. Witnessing the gate being opened again, being captured and drugged by Russians, and having to experience the so-called "mall fire" that everyone believed.

 

Wait, why are we passing Starcourt?

 

He remembered that just past Starcourt Mall was the highway towards Chicago, and now he was really getting desperate to find out where his parents were taking him.

 

"Okay, seriously, where are we even going?" Steve spoke, breaking the silence. Fred was already annoyed by him, so he figured that telling Steve would shut him up. After all, they were already in the car and far from home.

 

"The airport." He blatantly replied, but Steve still had a lot of questions to ask. Why are we even going to the airport?

 

Amelia wasn't on the same track as Fred, so she proceeded to go more into detail. "We got an amazing job opportunity, sweetie. We're moving to California! Don't worry, all your stuff was already packed up and delivered on a plane this afternoon."

 

In that moment, Steve could've sworn his heart skipped a beat. He'd spent eighteen years forming his entire life in Hawkins, and his parents were about to take him to California as if it were nothing. Are they crazy? This has to be a joke.

 

"What the hell?! I'm not going to California with you, I can't. There's no way I'm leaving everything behind just because you two came back!" Even though his stuff had apparently been shipped and long gone, he still had one thing, which was his car that he left in the driveway.

 

"Yes you are, son. You don't have any other option, so accept it and shut up!" Fred shouted at Steve, as anger riled up in both of them. Fred wished his son would just go with the idea of moving, and Steve wished his dad could realize he didn't want to leave Hawkins. It was hopeless for him though, because he knew what type of person his father was. He'd never back down.

 

"Besides, we'll be a happy family again. Me and your father will have more time at home now! Isn't that what you've wanted for years?" Amelia looked over at Fred, and Steve wondered how she could seem so happy about it. Family? That's bullshit. He knew they'd find another excuse to abandon him again, and it was when he finally began to realize the harsh truth. I don't miss my family, I miss the idea of my family.

 

"Fuck you." he muttered under his breath, not expecting them to hear him. The car had stopped at an intersection, and was now only a block away from the highway.

 

"What'd you just say, boy?" Fred shouted, but Steve didn't regret a single word he'd said to him today. "Steven, apologize and take it back."

 

Steven. Hearing his government name was the final straw for him. He didn't care if he was left with nothing at this point, it was all worth it to stay in a town surrounded by people he loved more than his parents.

 

"Didn't you hear me? I said, take it back!" It would only be a few seconds before the red light turned into a green light, officially making their way to the airport in Chicago.

 

Steve reached over and pulled the door handle, pushing the door handle open. Feeling a rush of adrenaline, he walked out, looking back at his dad one last time. "I said, fuck you!" he shouted, flipping him off.

 

The light turned green, and as cars began to drive, two of them rammed into each other while dodging Steve. Oh fuck, this isn't good.

 

"Shit! Sorry!" He shouted back, before running off towards a random street, with no knowledge of where he was going. He could indistinctly hear his father shouting for him, as well as police sirens, but he didn't turn back. As far as he knew, his parents were now long gone from his life.

 

8:00PM

 

Before Steve even knew it, he was back at Downtown Hawkins. It was dark out, and no one was even walking down the streets around this time. He'd see a car pass by every five minutes, but other than that, he was pretty much alone, and his legs were trembling. Now the worst part, where do I go?

 

He couldn't go back to his house yet, it would be the first place his parents would check. He also couldn't go to any of his friends' house, none of them lived around this area. All except for one, which was someone he owed a huge explanation. Robin Buckley.

 

I can't just show up at Robin's house, what would she think of me? Before Steve could even dismiss his thought, he remembered that he'd already been through so much today, including his call with Nancy turning into the best hangout of his life.

 

Who am I kidding, how bad could it get from here on out? He started making his way towards Mulberry Street, having only the street lights to navigate his way to Robin's house. He'd already shown up unexpected multiple times in the past, so this time wouldn't be any different.

 

Minute by minute, his legs only got more tired from walking. Once he saw the front porch of Robin's house, he sighed in relief, slowing his pace down a bit. I better not regret doing this.

 

He made his way up the steps, proceeding to ring the doorbell once. He continued waiting for a few seconds, tapping his foot on the wooden floor. Why'd I even come here? I bet she's mad at me.

 

Before he could turn back, the lock behind the door sounded, and as soon as Robin swung the door open, she couldn't believe Steve was actually standing there.

 

"Oh my god, Steve! Where have you been, dingus?" She immediately pushed herself onto Steve for a hug, causing him to nearly fall down. "I missed you, why didn't you call?"

 

"Yeah, uh, about that-" Steve paused, knowing he had a lot of explaining to do to Robin. A lot had happened since they last spoke.

 

"Come on, let's go to my room. You can tell me everything." Robin remained enthusiastic, pulling Steve into the house and locking the door behind her. He loved coming over because of how warm and cozy it was, unlike his gigantic and empty house which would always be freezing cold.

 

She led him up the stairs and through the hallway, until they reached the door to her room. She tried not to seem rushing, but it was hard, she'd never been away from Steve for this long.

 

"Alright, come on. Catch me up on everything." Robin told Steve, shutting the door behind her. She took a seat on the swivel chair near her desk, while Steve sat down on her bed. He was still slightly panting, but he began to catch his breath.

 

"That's the thing, I don't even know where to begin." As desperate as Robin was to hear what happened to Steve, she knew she had to be patient with him. It wasn't ever easy for Steve to speak about his personal life.

 

"Well, let's start from the very beginning. How'd you confessing to Eddie go?" An innocent smile remained on Robin's face, bringing up the mood a bit. It was already bad enough from Steve hearing Eddie's name, but something about her positivity made him feel comfortable.

 

"Well, I tried, but it didn't really go well." he replied, sighing from the memory of what happened that day. "Long story short, I let my feelings get the best of me, and- and I kissed him." Thinking back at the kiss, Steve felt butterflies, tingles spread through his chest.

 

"And then we got into a fight, so now I haven't gone to school for a whole week." Steve finished talking, but Robin didn't comprehend the entire story. She still had a ton of questions to ask.

 

"Wait, so you just thought it was a good idea to kiss him? Like, out of nowhere?" Robin twirled her hair with her finger, trying to make sense of the situation. "And you two fought? Was he mad at you or something?"

 

Given what had just happened with Steve running away from his parents, he didn't want to speak. He thought a short summary would be enough for Robin to understand the havoc between him and Eddie. Apparently not.

 

Robin could see the angst expression on Steve's face, and even though she was also anxious most of the time, she was catching onto something. She knew he wouldn't show up to her house after an entire week of disappearing, something bigger was probably up.

 

"Wait, I didn't mean to ask that many questions. It's fine Steve, just forget I said anything!" She was basically panicking, but Steve wouldn't listen. I explained this to Nancy already, how hard could it be?

 

"No, it's fine Robin. I'll tell you the whole story." Steve took a deep breath, preparing to have this talk once again, just with a different person. "Are you sure? You don't have to." Robin continued to ask Steve in concern.

 

"Yeah, I'm positive." As horrible as it was to think about the traumatizing memories in his head, he learned to get used to the feeling of his heart jumping every time he had a flashback.

 

"Before the kiss, we had detention in the library." As Steve spoke, he realized that thinking back to these moments wasn't so hard for him anymore. "And I guess I sort of flipped out on him, because he kept asking me why I wasn't talking to him. I didn't even mean to, it just happened."

 

The distant memory replayed in Steve's head. Just like Eddie, he'd never hear the word detention the same way again. "Then he got mad at me, so he slammed me into a bookshelf. Honestly, I think I deserved it for being an asshole." Robin continued to listen silently.

 

"After that I went to the bathroom, and of course, he followed behind. When I got there, I started to calm down a bit." He could vaguely remember splashing cold water on his face. "And when Eddie came in, he tried apologizing."

 

He paused for a bit, looking down as he relived the moment in his head. Robin had actually understood Steve now. "Do you think he meant it?" she asked.

 

"I mean, I guess. He was smiling again, as if he never meant to be mad in the first place." Eddie being positive towards Steve would be enough to make his day anytime. But of course I had to screw it up.

 

"I thought I was finally ready to tell him about how I felt. Trust me Robin, I tried! But then- then I messed up." Considering Robin had a familiar experience, she knew how it felt. "The kiss." she whispered, picturing it in her mind.

 

"Yeah, but he kissed me back, so that's not even the worst part." He looked down at his wrist. The scar that was left would forever remind him of that moment. "Well, what's the worst part?" Robin slid her chair slightly closer to Steve.

 

"Someone walked in on us. And not just anyone. Someone I really hate." Robin made a wide-eyed face, beginning to guess who it could be. "Oh my god, who? Was it Tommy? Cause I swear if that douchebag did anything, I'll literally-"

 

Steve slightly laughed a bit, it was funny how Robin would always have his back. I better stop her before she says too much though.

 

"No, relax. It wasn't Tommy." Wait, but it technically was.

 

"Well, it practically was him, but he was behind Jason. Same with all his other friends." Steve had been so focused on Jason slitting his wrist, he hadn't noticed how much it hurt to speak Tommy's name as well. It was one thing for his ex best-friend to hate him, it was another thing for him to join Jason's goons and attack him.

 

"Jason had a knife, and.." He held up his left wrist, the lightning in Robin's room made it visibly clear. She gasped, and even though she knew how any boy on the basketball team normally acted, she never expected them to take it this far.

 

"Oh fuck, screw both of them. Are you okay? I promise we'll get them back for you." Robin really was genuine about it, but Steve wasn't capable of anything like that. Nancy's words played in his head. Everyone has a past. It's true, so do I. I can't be that cruel towards someone.

 

"No, just leave it alone please. This is my problem, I'll fix it." Robin was a bit disappointed. She did want some fun messing around with someone, but she'd abide by whatever Steve wanted. "Plus, I kind of already did it to myself." He held up his right wrist, with a scar that wasn't even halfway bad as the one on his left wrist.

 

"Oh. My. God." she paused in between each word she spoke. She felt agonized just from seeing both scars on Steve's wrists.

 

"Wait, is that why you were wearing the scrunchie?" Her voice trembled a bit, she couldn't believe that she actually thought Steve was wearing a scrunchie just to try something new. "Why didn't you tell me? I mean, did you even tell anyone else?"

 

"Nope, I only told Nancy about the one I didn't do." Before Steve could continue with the rest of the story, he tried to hold back his tears. He couldn't help it, he still felt guilt for what he dragged Eddie into.

 

"Anyways, after that we went to the nurses office, I cleaned up the cut, and then-" He could already feel a tear was about to roll down from his left eye. "Then I drove home and left him in the parking lot."

 

Robin was speechless, she never figured that this much could happen to Steve within a day. She felt horrible for encouraging Steve to grow closer to Eddie.

 

"You can say it, I'm a total asshole for abandoning him." Steve sniffled, holding in the rest of his tears. He always found it embarrassing to express his feelings, especially in front of someone loud and cheerful like Robin.

 

"No, I don't think that at all!" Robin rolled her chair towards Steve, reaching in for a hug. "You might think he hates you, but you just need to talk to him." she told Steve in a soft tone.

 

"That's too easy to be true though." It sounded too simple for Steve, he thought he would need way more to convince Eddie that he didn't mean anything he did. "Steve, I've known Eddie for months. What you did isn't unforgivable, he'll understand." She pulled away, getting off her chair to lie down on her bed next to Steve.

 

"But how do I do that? And when do I do it? I don't wanna talk to him while he's mad at me." He laid down on the bed next to Robin, trying to imagine how his talk with Eddie would go. "None of that matters, you just have to trust yourself. It's like any other conversation you've had with him."

 

He sighed, knowing he could barely  trust himself after everything that had happened in his life. "Yeah, that's never been the easiest thing for me to do." I should probably do it soon just to get it over with.

 

They lied back on the bed in silence, as a feeling of deja vu took over Steve. It was like the moment he had a few weeks ago, except there was no joint to smoke, no messy trailer, and no Eddie.

 

One question still sparked in Robin's head, and even though she hated rushing Steve to talk, she just had to ask him. "Hey, why'd you choose to come to me? I mean, I'm not the best person when it comes to advice."

 

I don't know, I just felt like it. Before Steve could say the lie he had just made up in his head, his father's voice had sounded once again, and all the flashbacks came back. What the hell do I always tell you? Real men don't cry!

 

He knew it wasn't worth lying to Robin anymore. He hadn't even told Nancy half of the story regarding him and Eddie, he couldn't do the same to his best friend who was always there for him.

 

"Well, today I came home, and my parents were there." This was a total shocker for Robin, she had never even seen Steve's parents. "Wait, seriously? Weren't they gone for months?"

 

"Yeah, and they tried driving me to the airport so we could move to California. It all happened so quick." Steve was still in disbelief from how fast everything had happened. If he didn't run out the car at the last minute, it would've meant starting over in another rich, suburb neighborhood.

 

"Is that why you look like a mess? Did you just run all the way over here?" Robin was genuinely concerned for Steve. She knew it couldn't have felt good to run that far.

 

"Yeah, I guess so." Steve nervously laughed it off, Robin also began laughing shortly after. The feeling of being so mutual with his best friend was the best feeling ever. "I wish I could manage like you." he quietly spoke, not expecting Robin to hear.

 

"What do you mean?" she replied in confusion, as she stopped laughing. Steve didn't see why Robin wouldn't catch on to what he meant. He'd barely ever seen her sad.

 

"I don't know, your life just seems way better than mine. What happened this summer was horrible for me, but you're always doing just fine." He began to fidget with his fingers, while Robin only looked at him dumbfounded.

 

"You know, I didn't manage it well either at first. I mean, why do you think I can barely stop talking every time I open my mouth?" she told Steve, grabbing and rattling the medication bottle that stood on her nightstand. Holy shit, how long was that there?

 

"Oh.." Steve replied in disbelief. He never acknowledged the bottle full of pills that was right in front of him. "Yeah, I never even told anyone about it. Not even my dad."

 

"Why didn't you tell me? You know I take medication too. Well, at least I used to." he told Robin, wondering why his own best friend who was always there for him would hide this secret for so long. 

 

"Because, I can fend for myself Steve. Don't worry about me." She smiled back at Steve, but he couldn't accept it. Robin was always there for him, and he'd always be there for her.

 

"Alright, but if you need anything, just please talk to me." Steve looked back at everything that happened to him this summer, and everything that happened between him and Eddie. It was way too much for him to handle, and it surely had to be bad for Robin too.

 

"Yeah, thanks." she muttered back, not taking Steve seriously. She knew she was always viewed as the loud and optimistic friend, and although she kept all of her problems to herself, she wanted it to stay that way.

 

"Do you wanna stay the night? My mom won't mind." Robin didn't mind having Steve over, but he did. Regardless, he wanted to make things right with Eddie already, and he wanted to do it right away.

 

"No, I'll figure something out. It's fine." he told Robin. She was slightly disappointed, not wanting him to be homeless for the night. Either way, she knew there was no stopping Steve. "Also, can I use your phone?" Now's my chance to call Eddie.

 

"Yeah, of course! I'll be back." She stood up, heading out to the bathroom. Steve made his way over to Robin's desk, but before he could rotate the dial, he realized he didn't know Eddie's number. Shit.

 

Maybe he told me it at one point, he thought to himself, trying to think deep into his memory. He anxiously bounced his leg, until finally, he recalled a specific memory.

 

Here's my number, call me for the project. Eddie's voice sounded in his head, and he remembered the wink that he gave him afterwards. He face began to slightly turn a shade of pink, but he brushed it off. Come on Steve, you owe this to him.

 

He reached into his pocket, taking out the piece of paper with Eddie's number on it. The ink from the pen had splattered over it, and the paper was barely holding together. Dang it, I forgot to take it out when I did the laundry!

 

Whatever, I can still read it. He picked up the phone, proceeding to spin the dial. He squinted while trying to read the numbers, rotating the dial every time he was able to identify each one.

 

Finally, he was done entering the number onto the phone. If this is the wrong number, I'm definitely doomed.

 

The line rang once, twice, then three times. Still, no one was picking up. Alright, this was the worst idea yet, Steve thought. Before he could set the phone back down, someone had finally picked up.

 

"H-hi, wh-who is this?" Eddie's voice sounded from the phone. Steve could immediately tell something wasn't right. He was slurring every word he said, and he sounded high. He never talks that way when he's on weed.

 

"Hey Eddie, I don't know if you're gonna wanna hear this, but can we talk? It's Steve." he told Eddie, in a clearly fearful tone. He was still worried that Eddie hated him to death, he just hoped he wouldn't react horribly.

 

"W-why are you calling me? You s-said you didn't wa-wanna speak to me." Eddie told Steve, annoyed that he was calling him. Even though he was still stuttering and slurring, Steve could tell from the tone he spoke easily.

 

Eddie chugged the last bit of liquor left in the bottle, before throwing it onto the floor. Steve could clearly hear the sound of glass crashing down onto the floor from the other side of the line.

 

"D-do-don't call me back, b-bye." Without another word, Eddie hung up, leaving Steve with the awful realization that he was doing way more than just weed. He's drinking alcohol? Oh god, this is my fault. I can't leave him there, what if he overdoses?

 

Steve's trailer wasn't that far from Robin's house, but it wasn't too close either. Steve didn't care either way, and as tired as he was, he knew he needed to end what he started. I won't let Eddie kill himself, he doesn't deserve any of it.

 

He sprinted for the door, almost as if it were a reflex. Before he could bolt out, Robin was already in front of the door. He quickly stopped, almost running into her. "Woah, you're leaving already?" she told him.

 

"Yeah, you were right about one thing. I have to trust myself." Robin immediately caught on to what Steve meant. He wanted to have the talk with Eddie, but he wanted it now. "Well, that's a sentence I thought I'd never hear." she said, being happy for Steve.

 

"Alright, I should probably get out of your way. It's really late out, so just promise me you'll be safe." she said, in concern for Steve. He didn't have a car, so his only option was to walk there. "Yeah, I promise" he replied, smiling back at Robin as he made his way down the hallway.

 

"Alright, good luck dingus!" she shouted back, as he made his way down the stairs, and out the door. He started running down the empty road, with only the street lamps lighting up the path. He was shaking, and his legs were trembling once again, but he didn't care. It was all worth it to help Eddie.

 

10:00PM

 

Steve could barely run anymore. He was still sprinting down the road, limping on one leg. He slowed down a bit, feeling dizzy and lightheaded. Oh god, I'm gonna faint. I can't do this.

 

Before Steve gave up all hope, he saw a glimmer of light from the side of the road, and finally, he found himself in front of the trailer park. Finally!

 

He began to make his way up to Eddie's trailer, but before he could walk further along the path, he noticed Max outside, feeding her puppy treats. Holy shit, I can't let her see me like this!

 

He ran over into the trees and behind a bush, unintentionally rustling a few of the leaves. I messed up big time. Please Max, don't come near me.

 

As soon as Max heard the rustling from the bushes nearby, she looked over, confused but yet anxious about what could be behind the bush. Before she could look further, she was quickly distracted by her puppy barking, and she decided that she'd just shake it off.

 

"Alright, just one more, okay?" She gave her one final treat, before wrapping the plate with tin foil. She looked back at the bush one final time, still not being able to spot anything. Max wasn't the type to go and investigate it either, so she walked back into her trailer, shutting the door behind her.

 

Thank god, Steve thought, crawling out of the bush. He made his way over to Eddie's trailer, with his legs being more sore than ever. Even though it was painful, he knew it couldn't be close to the pain that Eddie mentally felt.

 

He stood in front of the door, crossing his fingers and hoping that everything would turn out okay. The last thing he'd want would be to find Eddie passed out on the couch. It's now or never.

 

He turned the knob, and surely enough, the door was unlocked. He didn't care about the unlocked door, and he proceeded to step foot into the trailer. His focus immediately went to Eddie, who was leaning over the counter, sipping on a freshly new bottle of liquor. There were also a ton of joints he had already smoked all over the kitchen floor.

 

"Wh-what are you doing here?" Eddie looked over at Steve, beginning to walk towards him. His eyes were bloodshot red, and he looked completely exhausted. He placed his hands on Steve's face, believing that this was just another hallucination of his.

 

"Oh, I see. I d-definitely made you." Eddie smiled, continuing to believe that Steve wasn't actually here right now. His mind wasn't in the right place, and it only made Steve feel even more guilty. He couldn't believe that he caused him to start doing double the amount of drugs he did to begin with.

 

"Nope, I'm really here. Now come on, you're not drinking any more of this shit." Steve locked the door behind him and walked over to the counter, placing the liquor bottle back in the fridge.

 

"N-no, give me it b-back." Eddie walked over to Steve, attempting to stop him. With all the weed he'd smoked and all the alcohol he consumed, he was weak, and he nearly toppled over him.

 

"Alright, enough for you. Come on, I'm taking you to bed." Steve closed the fridge behind him, walking to Eddie's bedroom, while he leaned over Steve with one shoulder around him. Why is he so heavy?

 

"Almost there Eds, come on." He grunted, walking down the hallway with Eddie. He hadn't even realized the nickname he just made up for Eddie.

 

Once they made it to his bedroom, Eddie plopped down onto the bed, about to pass out. On the inside, he didn't care. It felt like one of the best hangovers he'd ever had.

 

Steve knew he couldn't just leave Eddie here by himself, he'd just pick up another bottle and start drinking again. He also still needed to explain everything to him, so he came up with an idea. I'll just stay here for the night.

 

He laid down on the bed next to Eddie, sighing in relief. He'd finally gotten a break from all the running today, and all he needed now was to wait until morning.

 

"I loved you—" Eddie spoke quietly, still facing the opposite side from Steve. "—and you left me all by myself." Steve couldn't lie to himself, those words really did hurt. If I never left him stranded in that parking lot, none of this would've happened.

 

"Fuck you." Eddie silently muttered, before his eyes shut, and he fell into a deep sleep. There was still one thing Steve wanted an answer to.

 

Loved? There's no way he loves me.

 

He brushed it off, more worried about whether or not this was all worth it. In a single day, he'd hung out with Nancy, faced his trauma, dealt with the wrath of his parents, and returned to his best friend Robin. In a single day I did all of this? There's no way.

 

Steve was finally coming to an acceptance that although everything so far was a mess, it worked out fine. He still knew he had yet to overcome his biggest doubt, because he definitely didn't believe that the rest of his life would be fine. There was always a catch when something started to become a little bit too good.

 

Now he was laying in bed next to Eddie, facing the roof, tired and still in slight pain. Before he could fall asleep, he had one final thought to let out. He knew that he made the best choice today, because even though he knew Hawkins was a town full of cruelty, it was better than being in a family made up of fake people.

 

I'm glad I chose Hawkins.

Chapter Text

12:00PM

 

The clouds in the morning sky began to move away from the sun, just barely revealing it. Eddie was still sound asleep in his bed. Steve was also still asleep, and even though Eddie faced the opposite direction from him, his arms somehow ended up around his waist.

 

The sun began to shine through Eddie's window and into his eyes, disrupting his deep sleep. He yawned as his eyes slowly opened, immediately being exposed to the bright light of the sun.

 

"Oh, fuck." he quietly muttered, instantly blocking out the light with his hands. He reached over to close the blinds, but before he could begin to twist the handle, he noticed something wasn't right.

 

He felt the presence of someone else in his bedroom. He couldn't sense why he felt this way, until shortly after, he looked down to see a pair of hands around him. They weren't just any boy's pair of hands, he'd recognize them anytime. It was Steve Harrington who was in his bedroom.

 

"What the hell!" Eddie shouted in shock, rolling off onto the ground. At first, he didn't believe that Steve was beside him. The loud scream from Eddie was enough to wake Steve up, as he immediately bolted to sit up on the bed.

 

"Oh, you're awake." Steve tiredly said, trying to keep it together so he wouldn't fall back asleep. He also didn't quite plan what would happen after he fell asleep, so he was still confused on where this would take him.

 

Fuck, what do I say to him? Even though Steve had planned to sleep in Eddie's bedroom, he didn't plan how anything else would go, especially Eddie's reaction after finding Steve in his trailer.

 

"What are you doing in my house Harrington!?" Eddie replied, panting as he slid back onto the wall and away from the bed. He was still emotionally attached to Steve, but after they parted ways a week ago, it led Eddie to believe that he was hated by him.

 

"Eddie, calm down. I didn't mean to scare you like that, I swear! I'll explain everything!" he spoke quickly, trying his best to persuade Eddie.

 

He really did have the urge to listen to Steve, but he had also just woken up from a hangover, so he wasn't thinking straight. All he wanted right now was to get away from Steve.

 

"Out of my trailer Harrington, now." Eddie stood up, toppling over a bit as he motioned towards the door. He was still really dizzy, and he couldn't rearrange his thoughts properly.

 

Part of Eddie believed that Steve was here to kill him, another part of him believed that he wanted to rob him, and another believed that he had just lost his mind.

 

However, there was no part of him that expected Steve to be here to apologize, and in response, he wouldn't listen to what Steve had to say. Even if he wanted to, he couldn't.

 

"Eddie, just listen to me. I'll leave after, I promise." Steve stood up, keeping his distance from Eddie. He wished he could just tell him that he took the blame for all of it, but it wouldn't be that easy.

 

With every second that passed, another paranoid thought entered Eddie's head, until he couldn't tell one another apart. He leaned over the wall, continuing to look Steve in the eye as he reached into a drawer. Slowly, he grasped his blade, preparing for what he was about to do next.

 

"Can you just have a seat? This is probably gonna take a while." Steve took another step towards Eddie, motioning to his bed. Eddie was still breathing heavily, not paying attention to a single word Steve said.

 

"Last chance Harrington, out." Eddie told Steve, clenching the blade in one hand, and a fist on the other. For a second, he completely forgot that he was truly in love with Steve, because after an entire week of trying to convince himself that they weren't meant for each other, it began to work.

 

For Steve, spotting the blade in Eddie's hand brought back the worst memories possible. He felt like he could've frozen from fear at any second now, but he didn't.

 

"You're doomed, Harrington." Eddie told him, continuing to address Steve by his last name. His voice trembled as he continued to shiver slightly. He got ready to jab the blade into Steve's arm, where he thought he'd least suspect it.

 

"This ends right now!" Eddie shouted, attempting to push the blade into Steve's arm. Before he could, Steve had seen it coming, as he immediately grabbed both of Eddie's wrists. He felt a rush of adrenaline through his body, and a different type of fear he'd never imagined. Eddie nearly stabbed him, and that was something that really hurt.

 

Eddie continued grunting, trying to move his arm out of Steve's grip, and continuing to try and jab the knife into his shoulder. When he realized he had no chance to break his wrist out of Steve's hand, he stopped, slowly looking back up at Steve.

 

"Drop the blade. Now." Steve demanded, trying his best to maintain control of Eddie. Inside, he knew he was shaking, but Eddie was never a fighter like he was, and it didn't take long for him to calm down.

 

Out of shock, Eddie let go of the blade, as it clanked down onto the floor. He finally began to come back to his senses, even though at first, he was confused. He couldn't believe he had just tried to stab Steve.

 

"Can you please just— sit down? I promise it'll be quick." Steve said, trying his best to prevent his voice from quaking. Eddie followed, taking a seat on the edge of his bed, still trembling with fear in his eyes.

 

He tried to convince himself that maybe it all just happened in his mind, or that this was all just a dream, but it was no use. Did I just lose control? What was I thinking?

 

Steve sighed as he looked down, still trying to figure out what he was going to say. Eddie continued to look at Steve in his eyes, full of confusion and fear. He was waiting for him to say something.

 

"Look. I'm sorry for breaking into your house, okay? It's just— what happened last night really freaked me out." he blurted out, speaking quickly but understandably. Eddie raised his eyebrows at Steve, almost as if he were crazy. His entire memory was a blur.

 

"Last night? I called you, and you were completely wasted." Eddie struggled to acknowledge what had happened, but he began to remember small bits of what happened yesterday. He chugged an entire bottle of liquor, and nearly a second one afterwards.

 

"You probably think I'm a huge asshole, right?" Steve spoke more confidently this time, still believing that deep down, Eddie completely hated him right now.

 

Eddie nodded back, not being able to speak. He was still in genuine fear from losing his mind, and even though he did dislike Steve right now, he could never hate him. After all, he always believed that his own self was the only one to blame for what had happened.

 

"Yeah, I deserve that." Steve nodded back, looking out the window as he tried to think of what to say. He had always been good at conversations, but never apologies that were this deep.

 

"My point is, I shouldn't have left you in that parking lot by yourself. And I especially shouldn't have pushed you away." He held back tears as he spoke, trying to keep it together. Eddie looked down at the ground, holding a blank stare at his face.

 

"I- I don't need you to forgive me, just say the word and I'll leave." Steve began to stutter, getting ready to make his way out the door. The fear and angst started to shake off of Eddie, until finally, he felt his voice come back.

 

"No." Eddie blurted out unexpectedly, looking back up at Steve, who now had a confused look on his face. He doesn't want me to leave? Why?

 

"It was my fault." he told Steve, knowing that in his perspective, he knew he should've never gotten involved in Steve's life. Eddie always believed that he was just a freak who didn't deserve love, and after they both drifted apart, it proved his point even more.

 

"If I just stayed away from you, those dumb jocks wouldn't have found out about anything." he spoke quietly. Steve was baffled, but Eddie was serious. They were both taking the blame for this traumatizing situation, and they were all for it.

 

"No, that's not true! I chose to stay with you, and I shouldn't have treated you the way I did." Steve took a few steps towards Eddie, kneeling down in front of him as he lifted his chin up. He could already feel himself slightly blushing, but it wasn't his concern right now.

 

Eddie continued to blame himself, because after all, he was the one who had just tried to stab Steve out of nowhere. Even if he forgave himself for ever meeting Steve, he'd never forgive himself for what he had just done.

 

In denial, his only response was to nod his head back at Steve, which began to frustrate him a bit. "Eddie, listen to me-" he said, desperate to change Eddie's mind. He knew he still deeply liked Eddie, and this apology could be his only hope to salvage their relationship.

 

"No, you listen to me!" Eddie shouted, slightly pushing away Steve as he stood up, walking away to face the wall. The guilt he felt was horrible, and now he was freaking out.

 

"It was my fault, okay? I'm a mistake Steve, I never should've fallen in love with you. I'm a fucking mistake!" On the verge of tears, he proceeded to punch the wall, not even realizing that he had just confessed his own feelings.

 

Out of awe, Steve walked over to Eddie, knowing how hard having this conversation was for him. It wasn't easy for Steve to see Eddie trying to take responsibility, he couldn't imagine what it could be like for him.

 

"It's okay, come here." he said, turning Eddie around and reaching out for a hug. Unexpectedly, he jumped into his arms almost immediately, as he began to sniffle.

 

"I'm sorry." Eddie whispered into Steve's ear, shedding the first tear from his left eye, as he continued to hug Steve tightly. It was then that he realized that none of this was worth fighting for. Maybe this could also just be a coincidence.

 

"Shh, it's okay." he whispered back, patting Eddie's back. "Y'know, it doesn't have to be our fault. Let's just blame it on that dumb group of jocks. Alright?"

 

"That's gonna be hard for me to admit." Eddie said, backing away from the hug as he stopped tearing up. If it weren't for the fact that he was now facing Steve and looking straight into his eyes, he probably would've called that idea bullshit.

 

"By the way, did you really mean that?" Steve asked, still wanting answers on why Eddie had told him that he loved him two times so far. "What?" he replied, in confusion of what Steve was talking about. When he was mad, he never paid attention to what he had said.

 

"That you love me?" he asked once more, expecting Eddie to deny it. Instead of a response, it was nothing but eye contact between the two boys. Suddenly, the feeling had hit them both, and there was no denying that.

 

Almost instantly, Steve felt his stomach fill with butterflies, as Eddie felt his face begin to warm up. They could feel the electricity running through them, it was all a mutual feeling. Finally, after days of Steve facing this feeling, he let it overtake it once again.

 

He let himself go one final time, as he reached in for a kiss on Eddie's lips, wrapping his hands around his neck, as he kissed back passionately. It didn't feel like any other girl he'd ever kissed, he knew this wasn't a feeling like any other. He couldn't comprehend it at the moment, but it was a kiss of true love.

 

After 10 seconds that felt like a lifetime, they finally backed away, and Steve was left completely speechless. He felt that a boy was way better than kissing a girl, especially when there was no one you hated walking in on you.

 

"So, does this mean we're— boyfriends?" Eddie hesitantly asked, not knowing what else he could say without making it awkward. Truthfully, he really wanted this relationship to be something, but all that was running through his mind was the last kiss they had with each other. He didn't want this to start something else that would ruin them again.

 

"Hey, it's whatever you wanna call it." Steve replied, as a bright smile lit up on both of their faces. None of them expected this day to ever come, not even Steve expected it to happen this quick.

 

However, he still felt something that was blocking him from entirely feeling how great love was. As his smile slowly faded away, he sighed. He knew what was causing him to feel this way.

 

"Hey, what's wrong?" Eddie asked, confused on why Steve had just changed his emotions. He couldn't tell if he didn't like the kiss, if he didn't like how long it was, or if he didn't even like him.

 

"Nothing, I'm fine." he said, still holding a slight frown on his face. It felt wrong to lie to Eddie, especially after they had just gotten their moment. "It's just— I-"

 

"Steve, talk to me." Eddie said in a persuasive tone. At that moment, Steve knew he couldn't continue lying. He'd done it his entire life, and it was time for him to start facing the truth. "My parents abandoned me, okay?" he blurted out, walking away from Eddie and towards the bed.

 

"My parents fucking abandoned me! That's the only reason why I'm here!" He laid down on the bed, still being upset about what his parents had done to him. Even though Eddie was the one who freaked out first, now Steve was an anxious mess. I can't forgive them for that, I can't!

 

"Oh god." Eddie muttered, instantly knowing that whatever had happened to Steve was bad. He knew from the time he started high school that there was something wrong with Steve at home. He couldn't have had an entire house to himself, and now his point was proven.

 

"Do you at least wanna tell me about it?" Eddie walked over to the bed, laying down next to Steve. It felt great that he was finally reassured by love, but he knew it would take a lot more work for Steve.

 

"There's not much to say." Steve said softly, turning over to face Eddie. "Yesterday they finally came back, and they tried taking me with them to California. Like, permanently."

 

"Seriously? California?!" Eddie exclaimed. He never got to know Steve's parents, but he never figured that they'd actually be capable of this.

 

"Yeah." he whispered back, beginning to wonder what the outcome would've been if he did listen to his parents, mainly his dad. Growing up, he never realized it, but he was always abusive. More time at home would've meant a horrible family.

 

"What can I do for you then, pretty boy? I mean, you already slept in my place for the night." The nickname made Steve blush slightly, but he also felt guilty for staying the night. "Sorry about that." he apologized.

 

"I wasn't blaming you." Eddie reassured Steve. He started to realize how much he preferred himself being sober instead of drunk and high, he knew it was time to be better for Steve. "Just stay in the trailer. My uncle won't even notice you're here."

 

"Wait, seriously?" he asked, trying not to sound too desperate. The offer was way too good to be true. Once again, paranoia began to take over his head. He couldn't stop but to think about everything that could go wrong if he lived with Eddie. "I can't, sorry."

 

"Come on, it'll be fun! Why not?" Eddie knew both of them living together was a major step, but Steve needed somewhere to stay. He couldn't just sleep on the streets, it was way too cold to be homeless in Hawkins right now.

 

"Cause, what if I make things worse for you? Or what if your uncle does end up realizing? What if someone finds out I'm living with you?" Steve could only keep on asking and asking questions until he couldn't even stop himself from talking. He began to enter a panic state.

 

"Hey!" Eddie snapped his fingers, signaling for Steve to hop back into reality. "It's fine, don't beat yourself up. I won't let any of that happen." And in a way, Steve was a bit relieved. Not because he believed Eddie, but just hearing his voice was enough to calm him down.

 

"Yeah, right." Steve tried not to sound sarcastic, but he knew Eddie was a decent fighter. If it weren't for him, the scar on his left wrist would've been bigger than it already was.

 

"I mean it." Eddie replied, in a serious tone. It was always Steve who was calming Eddie down, but he'd just realized that it was now the other way around. Maybe he really does mean it.

 

"I just wish this town didn't hate us so much." All he could think about was the fact that if anyone found out about him and Eddie, it would all be over for Steve. They'd hate me for being a fag.

 

"You'll be fine, just cheer up." Eddie hugged Steve, leaning his head into his ear. "Whad'ya say about going out later today?" he whispered to Steve, having the perfect idea to set his mind aside from everything.

 

"Really? Where though?" Steve pulled away to face Eddie, he didn't know how to feel about going out. He still had mixed feelings, and he surely didn't wanna be around a crowd.

 

"The arcade." Eddie said, standing up to put on his rings, which were in his drawer. "I promised Henderson and those dipshits that I'd take them to the new arcade in town."

 

"Wait, the kids invited you?" he said, sitting up on the bed. Steve hadn't heard from the party ever since they started high school, so it was odd for him. As crowded as the arcade got, going out with the kids and Eddie sounded great.

 

"Yeah. Actually, they wanted to invite you all week. But ya never showed up for school." Eddie replied, turning around to face Steve as he fidgeted with his rings. "So, you coming or what?"

 

"Yeah, I guess." Steve figured he'd go, but there was still one question he wanted to ask Eddie. He really wanted to keep it to himself just to not ruin the day, but he knew it was only a matter of time before he'd blab it out.

 

"We're leaving at 5PM sharp. Get ready, pretty boy." Eddie winked back at him before walking out to the hallway, leaving Steve with that warm feeling once again. Suddenly, an amazing idea popped into his head. I know just how to make everything less awkward!

 

"Hey, do you mind if I invite Robin?" he shouted, knowing that just her presence there would take away any mixed feelings Steve had about going out with the kids. He also knew that she deserved to know that they were together now. It'll be perfect to tell her later today!

 

"Yeah, why not? She's cool." Eddie replied from the bathroom, and Steve was relieved that he was fine with it. "Perfect." he mumbled, making his way over to the phone.

 

He spun the dial, already memorizing Robin's number as it replayed in his head. The line rang once, but he had already begun to doubt his decision. What if she's busy? What if she won't even wanna come? It's not even worth it.

 

The line rang a second time, but before he could put the phone back down, the line picked up. "Hello?" Robin immediately spoke, but Steve was surprised she even picked up.

 

"Hey Robin, I had a question." he said, embracing himself to ask Robin if she could tag along with him to the arcade. He desperately just needed someone who knew what was going on between him and Eddie there.

 

"Oh my god, Steve? Where have you been dingus?! I was worried about you!" Robin exclaimed, a part of her was just happy to know Steve was fine. She'd been yearning for answers all night before she went to sleep.

 

"Sorry, what was that you were gonna ask me?" she said, clearly sounding nervous on the other side of the line. Robin had been a wreck wondering where Steve was, but he didn't think much of it. That was just how Robin always was.

 

"I was gonna ask if you wanted to come to the arcade? Me, Eddie and the kids are going." Robin was shocked to hear Eddie's name. It was the last thing she expected after hearing about him and Steve's blowout.

 

"Holy shit, did you just say Eddie? Is this what I think it is?" She teased Steve. Fuck. I did not see that one coming, he thought, forgetting about how Robin acted whenever it came to a situation like this.

 

"Uh— no?" Steve didn't know how to respond to that question, but Robin didn't seem to care much. She slightly laughed, viewing this as the perfect opportunity to find out if Steve and Eddie's talk worked.

 

"Alright, sure! I'll go." Steve sighed in relief, his plan had worked. "By the way, can I invite Vickie? I don't want her to be lonely today."

 

"Sure, why not?" he replied, not minding Vickie's presence there. As long as I don't let anyone find out, he thought. "Alright, be ready by 5PM."

 

"Sure thing! Bye dingus!" Robin hung up the phone, as Steve proceeded to put the phone back down as well. He figured today would be a decent day, aside from the fact that he'd have to hide his relationship with Eddie.

 

4:30PM

 

Steve wiped off the steam from the bathroom mirror, as he continued combing his damp hair. A shower was the best thing he'd had in a while, but there was still one thing that he was distraught by.

 

His clothes, which were technically Eddie's clothes, obviously stood out. He was wearing black ripped jeans with chains, a Metallica T-shirt, and a black leather jacket. Oh god, just when I thought it couldn't get any worse.

 

He didn't actually hate wearing Eddie's clothes. He actually found it quite attractive, but the arcade was a crowded place. It wouldn't do him justice, but he knew it was his only option.

 

He twisted the door knob, opening it to see Eddie leaning on the wall in front of the door. As soon as Steve stepped out, he was already impressed.

 

"Wow.. you look hot." he said, continuing to admire how well he fit into his clothes. Steve loved hearing Eddie's compliments, and even though it didn't change anything about how much the outfit stood out, it was a great feeling.

 

Eddie stepped towards Steve, leaning in for a kiss. As soon as their lips connected, they could both feel that warm feeling of electricity again. I'd better get used to this.

 

Steve tried pulling away, but Eddie continued to resist. "Eds— come on— we're gonna be late!" he said in between his kisses, as Eddie pulled away afterwards. For the second time, he hadn't realized the nickname he just have Eddie.

 

"Alright, fine." Eddie moaned as he tried to sound upset, but it was clear he was just being sarcastic. "Let's go!" he said, swinging the keys to his van on his finger as he made his way out the trailer.

 

Steve followed behind, walking a bit slowly. He still couldn't get one question off of his mind, and he wanted to ask Eddie so badly. How the hell do I ask him?

 

They stepped out the door as Eddie locked it behind him, while Steve climbed into the co-driver seat in the van. He wondered how Eddie could be so calm about this, but he figured he'd just follow along with him.

 

"Alright, ya ready to go?" Eddie opened the door, climbing into the drivers seat. As he began to drive out of the trailer park, Steve decided it was time to get something off his chest.

 

"So, I had a question earlier today." He was still nervous to hear Eddie's response. He didn't want him to believe that he wanted a secret relationship, but he also was afraid of how everyone would react if they found out.

 

"Yeah, what?" Eddie responded, keeping his eyes on the road. He was actually surprised at the fact that he was a decent driver when he wasn't high.

 

"Don't you think this is a bit too much? What if people realize that we're— you know?" Steve stuttered, trying not to say anything that could offend Eddie. The last thing he needed was for whatever they had to be ruined.

 

"Nah, they won't suspect a thing. They'll get used to it." Eddie smiled, which was enough for Steve to calm down a bit. "Don't worry, we've only gotta pick up Henderson. The rest of them have a ride." he said, pulling over in front of Dustin's house.

 

Anxiety began to strike Steve as soon as he saw Dustin saw Eddie's van from the front porch as he began to walk over. He knew they were picking him up, but he didn't expect it to be this tense. Fuck! What's this little shit gonna say once he sees me like this?

 

"Eddie! Hey-" Dustin opened the van door, hopping into the back seat. Before he could say anything else, he spotted Steve, and his eyes widened.

 

"Woah, since when do you two hang out?" Dustin said as he shut the door behind him. He didn't notice Steve's outfit, but he definitely noticed his presence. Even though he wasn't mad, but he clearly didn't expect Steve to come.

 

"Long story bud, we'll tell you later." Steve smiled back at Dustin, who was still cheerful about Steve coming along with them to the arcade. Truthfully, he was just glad they could both get along.

 

"Alright mom and dad, let's go!" Dustin let out a smile, as Steve and Eddie looked at each other and slightly laughed at the reference. Little does he know.

 

Eddie drove off onto the road, making his way towards the arcade. The sun lit up the sky, which had an orange tint as the sun had just begun to set. Steve enjoyed the sight, it brought a sense of relief to him. He was just glad to finally fix his relationship with Eddie. Now, there was just one worry he had, and that was hiding his relationship from the ones that mattered most.

 

As much as it hurt, he knew that maybe, just maybe, the day would come sooner than he expected it.

 

The day where he'd finally be able to proudly mention his boyfriend for the whole town of Hawkins.