After everything that had gone down between them, Billy never thought he and Harrington could be anything other than enemies. But somehow, between Billy discovering that monsters were fucking real and demanding to be part of the fight so that he could keep Max safe, a tentative sort of friendship had formed between the two of them. When push came to shove, they actually had a lot in common and hey, nothing brought people together like shared trauma.
Once he had apologized to the kids for scaring them and to Steve for beating his face in, things had gotten easier. Which is how he found himself sitting on the carpeted floor of Steve’s living room, leaning back against the stupidly expensive love seat that Mrs. Harrington “just had to have.” Steve was sitting across from him in one of the cushy grey arm chairs, flicking at the tab of his beer can, frowning at it like it had personally offended him.
“You got something you wanna share with the class there, Harrington?” Billy asked.
Steve glanced up from his beer, looking surprised, like he forgot Billy was sitting there. He smiled, mask easily sliding back into place as he shrugged.
“Nah, I’m good. Just thinking about how pissed Tommy was that time you didn’t back him up when he was giving me shit in the locker rooms. Remember?” Steve said, with a laugh that sounded forced.
Yeah, Billy remembered. Tommy was talking shit about Nancy and Jonathan, even called Steve a faggot. He’d elbowed Billy in the side, laughing and trying to get him to join in. Billy had shrugged him off and landed a sound punch right to Tommy’s nose. The week of detention he’d had to serve was totally worth it for the look of shock on that smug little prick’s face.
But Billy knew that wasn’t what Steve was really thinking about though.
“Come on, man. Fess up. What’s really on your mind?” Billy asked, throwing a handful of popcorn at Steve and laughing when the other boy squeaked indignantly.
“It’s nothing, really. It’s stupid,” Steve grunted, getting to his feet. “I-I’m gonna get another beer.”
There was no way Billy was gonna let him off the hook like that. He didn’t do touchy feely if he could help it, mostly because it didn’t usually work out in his favor, but Steve was upset and every bone in Billy’s body was screaming for him to make Steve feel better.
When Steve made to step past him Billy caught him by the ankle, knocking him to the floor and rolling on top of him, attacking his sides and tickling him mercilessly.
“Hey! What the fu-Sto-haha-ooop!” Steve laughed, trying to shield himself form the onslaught of Billy’s fingers (teehee) but failing epically.
“Come on, pretty boy! Tell me what’s wrong and I’ll let you up!” Billy teased, using one hand to circle Steve’s wrists and pin them above his head, while his other continued to tickle his sides.
Steve was red in the face, struggling against Billy’s hold on him and utterly helpless at the younger boy’s mercy.
“B-Billy, please,” Steve begged and oh, that was doing things to Billy it totally shouldn’t, “I can’t breathe!”
Billy relented, putting a stop to his attack, but he didn’t get up, staring down at Steve expectantly. The other boy sighed.
“I…I got response letters from a couple of colleges this morning and…and I didn’t get into any of them, okay?” Steve admitted, shame clear on his face. “And it got me thinking that maybe all those times Nancy told me I was an idiot, it wasn’t just playful teasing. Maybe she was right. I mean, I applied all over the place and I didn’t get in anywhere. I knew I wasn’t smart but I didn’t think I was that stupid,” Steve said, voice barely above a whisper.
Billy blinked down at the beautiful, occasionally dumb but never stupid, boy beneath him and sighed. Steve seemed to take the sigh as a bad thing and immediately started struggling against Billy’s hold again.
“I know. I’m being stupid. Like always, but I just…I thought I’d get in somewhere. Maybe there’s something wrong with me if I can’t even-
Billy couldn’t take listening to Steve drag himself down like that anymore, so he shut him up the most effective way he knew how.
As far as first kisses went, this one was awkward as all hell. Steve’s mouth had been open so their teeth clacked together and Billy’s aim was a little off so he really only caught Steve’s bottom lip, but it seemed to do the trick.
Steve gaped at Billy when he pulled away from the kiss and now Billy was starting to feel like it was the stupidest thing he’d ever done. He sat up, rubbing the back of his neck nervously.
“Sorry, I, um, I just…there’s nothing wrong with you, Steve. Nothing. I-I think…I mean, you’re…great” he finished lamely, chancing a look down at Steve and finding the other boy grinning like an idiot.
“Jesus, if I knew that’s what if would take to get you to finally kiss me I’d have applied to colleges a hell of a lot sooner,” Steve said, grabbing the front of Billy’s shirt and dragging him back down on top of him.
Billy arched a brow.
“You didn’t have to wait around for me to kiss you. You could have kissed me,” Billy pointed out.
Steve shrugged, his worries about college and the future momentarily forgotten as he ran his hands through Billy’s curls. He smirked.
“Mm, it was worth the wait.”