Billy started it. He had shown up on Steve’s door step a little drunk and looking a little worse for wear. They had been friendlier lately, trying to be civil around the kids (or so Steve thought), so Steve had let him in and as soon as he shut the door behind him, Billy had crowded him against it and latched his lips onto Steve’s neck.
Then, it was happening at least twice a week. Billy would show up with his shirt hanging open, he’d grin and wink, and Steve would melt. The sex was amazing, especially since Billy didn’t seem to mind that Steve was new to dick.
But Steve was starting to get tired of waking up alone in the morning.
He started to look at the other boy like he was seeing him for the first time.
Whenever Billy would come into the ice cream parlor trailing behind Max, Steve would get distracted. Of course Billy put it down to the seductive way he licked the cone, but Steve was really noticing how his time in the sun at the pool was enfacizing his freckles, and how his hair was turning a lighter shade (although he did turn pink when Billy winked at him while his tongue was still running through the ice cream).
About two months after they had started this… thing, Steve couldn’t take it anymore.
Steve had had a bad day. His dad had called and told him he was useless (not that that was new), his boss had been hanging over his shoulder all day at work, Robin had stayed home sick, one of Erica’s friends had thrown up after one too many free samples on an upset stomach, and he had been on clean up duty.
So when Billy showed up, he wasn’t in the mood. He opened the door and said as much, “Not tonight, Billy.”
He tried to shut the door, but Billy’s hand shot out and held it open. “What not happy to see me, Princess?”
Steve rolled his eyes and took his hand off of the door, letting the other boy push it all the way open. He turned his back to the door and started walking. “Whatever.”
Billy followed him to the kitchen. Steve opened a bottle of the first alcohol he found and poured two glasses. Billy must have sensed the tension rolling off of Steve because he was silent as he took the glass handed him and leaned back against the counter.
Steve swallowed the contents of his cup in one go, and poured himself another before he turned to look at Billy. Billy was looking at him with raised eyebrows and a sly, curious smile on his lips.
“You okay there, Sailor?”
Steve stared at the blonde, “Why?”
Billy’s eyebrows furrowed. He took a beat to respond, waiting to see if there was more to the question. “Why, what?”
Steve felt something inside him snap as he raised a hand to quickly gesture between them, “Why this? Why me? I get that you need a quick fuck every now and then, but you’ve got literally every girl in town falling all over you.” His voice was raising with every word, but he dropped it to a whisper before he said, “So why did it have to be me?”
Billy was taken aback. He downed the drink in his hand and set the glass on the counter beside him. “You’re right. I did just want a quick fuck, but I thought you knew why.”
Steve flailed, his arms flying wildly and spilling some of his drink. “Clearly I don’t, Billy.”
The brunette finished his second drink and poured a third. Billy’s eyes never left him, “Steve. Maybe you should slow down.”
Steve laughed into the cup before he downed that one too. After he swallowed he shot the blond an incredulous look, “Oh, now you care.”
Billy looked down at his shoes, shuffling his feet. “I’m gonna go.”
Steve didn’t move from where he was leaning on the counter until he heard the front door shut behind the other boy.
The next time Max came into Scoops, Billy wasn’t with her. It took all of his will power not to ask about him. Steve hadn’t seen him in almost two weeks now and it was driving him crazy.
He was, in turn, driving Robin crazy. He had been ranting about their last encounter for the past three hours.
“I swear, if you say his name one more time I’m gonna go over there and kick his ass, and then yours. Call him.”
Steve scoffed and stopped wiping the counter down long enough to shoot her a dirty look. “Why would I do that?”
Robin looked like she was about to throw the scoop she was washing at his head, “Um, maybe because that’s what you do when you’re in love with someone.”
Steve gawked, and felt his heart drop. “What? I’m not- I mean I can’t be- He’s Billy.”
This time Robin did throw a rag at him, it missed and landed with a wet spat on the floor next to his foot. “What did I just say about that name? Of course you are. Why else would you be throwing away good sex?”
Steve felt like he couldn’t move, or breathe. “Oh, fuck. Fuck, Robin. I’minlovewithBilly.” He sat down in the booth next to him and tried to breathe.
Robin sat next to him and rubbed circles on his back with her still damp hands. “Yeah, you are. You okay?”
He groaned and put his head in his hands. “Why did it have to be me, Robin?”
Robin chuckled half-heartedly, “Happens to the best of us, Stevie.”
Robin calmed him down, and they finished closing.
Steve went straight to Billy’s house. Everytime he went to get out of the car, he couldn’t breathe again, so he sat in his car talking to himself for he didn’t know how long, “You’re King Fucking Steve. You can do this. You can tell him. You can say it. Apologise at least. Just get out of the damn car.”
The passenger door opening startled him and he was even more surprised to see Billy climbing into his car. Once the door was shut, Billy turned to him. “You’ve been out here a while. Figured you weren’t actually gonna come up, so I came out.”
Steve swallowed the lump in his throat. “I was working my way up to it.”
Billy chuckled, “Yeah, I heard some of that. Who are you telling what?”
Steve closed his eyes and balled his fists at his sides, “Shit. Um -” he turned to look at Billy, “You actually.”
Billy raised an eyebrow, “oh, yeah?”
Steve nodded, “Yeah, I uh- I’m sorry. About the other night, I -”
Billy put a hand up, “No need. It’s fine.”
“It’s not fine. I upset you.”
Billy rubbed his neck, “No, it’s my fault not yours. I can’t help myself around you, so I missed the signs that you were starting to actually like me.”
Steve scoffed and he murmured, “It’s a little more than that.”
Billy’s eyes went wide and his mouth fell open. Steve faltered, his eyes falling to where his hands were pulling on a loose thread on his Scoops Ahoy uniform shorts. “It happened too fast, I didn’t even know it was happening until this was over.”
“Fuck.” Steve’s gaze found the other boys face just in time to see the first tear fall. “Steve, I’m no good. It’s better if you just forget me and find someone, anyone else.”
Billy was reaching for the handle at the same time Steve was reaching for him. “But I don’t want anyone else, and I sure as hell could never forget you.”
Billy froze, another tear escaped and rolled down his cheek.
“And I call Bullshit on you being no good. There are lots of things I know you are good at.”
Billy turned back to lock eyes with the brunette. Steve’s hand was still on his arm. “You’re a great brother. An amazing life guard. And damn are you great in bed.”
Billy let out a watery chuckle, Steve smiled and continued. “I love you, Billy Hargrove.”
Instead of responding with words, Billy leaned across the console separating them and kissed Steve. He tried to convey that he felt the same way without actually saying the words. They stayed there for a while, lips locked in Steve’s car outside of the Hargrove house. Steve’s lungs were burning for air when Max banged on the hood.
They break apart with a start and turn to stare at her. Her hand was on her hip, and a smirk was on her face. “I’m glad you two finally worked this out, but get a room. I don’t want to see that.”
Billy laughed, whole heartedly. Steve was blushing harder than he ever had, but laughing too.
When he could breathe again, Steve turned to the boy next to him, “If I take you home with me, will you be there when I wake up this time?”
Billy smiled brightly, “If you want me to be.”
Steve nodded and turned the key. “Let’s go.”