Billy's laughter mixed with Max's as they drove away from the arcade, Steve didn't know what was funny but he couldn't help the way his heart smiled.
Holy shit, I love him.
Steve froze. Had he really just thought that? What the fuck.
Steve drove in a daze thinking back on his friendship with the blonde boy he had once called an enemy. His heart fluttered nervously in his chest as he pieced together what he was feeling. He drove Dustin home on auto pilot, not having heard a single word the kid said the entire ride.
He didn't sleep that night. He couldn't. He was in love with Billy Hargrove. How had this happened? What was he supposed to do? Did he really like boys or was it just Billy? That thought opened up a can of worms that he couldn't close again.
Steve thought back to his childhood. His obsession with Tom Selleck (that he had always blamed on the fact that he was a great actor) that Tommy had once called weird. He had always admired Elton John for being so open even though he never said it out loud.
But he couldn't be gay, he liked girls. He had loved Nancy and he did think Jane Fonda was foxy like all of his friends.
Steve tossed and turned all night his brain fighting itself about his sexuality.
The next morning at work, Steve decided to ask Robin.
"How did you know you liked girls?"
Robin gave him a funny look that he couldn't quite read before she answered. "I always knew I didn't like boys, so it wasn't hard. Why?"
Steve looked down at his hands, suddenly finding his fingernails fascinating. "Can you like both?"
He kept his eyes fixed on his hands as she bumped his shoulder with hers. "Of course you can. It's called Bisexual."
Steve nodded and slowly looked up to meet her eyes. "I uh, I think that's what I am. Or maybe not, but last night some things started clicking and now I know I like boys, or at least a few I mean I did always like Tom Selleck but I also still like girls I mean I loved Nancy that wasn't fake and i… "
"Whoa, Stevie. Take a breath." She rested her hand on his shoulder. "Start that again. What brought this on?"
He shrugged and spoke so softly he was half hoping she wouldn't hear. "Billy."
Robin used the hand not on her best friends shoulder to punch the air. "I knew it!"
Steve gave her an incredulous look. "What?!"
She just shrugged, "My gaydar isn't that bad."
"Right sorry. Now back to your gay freakout, or I guess bi freakout." She waved her hand at him in a 'continue' gesture.
Steve groaned and put his face in his hands. He sucked in a steadying breath and was just about to start from the beginning when the bell above the door of the Family Video rang.
Robin yelled a quick, "Good Morning, let us know if you need any help." Then she turned back to her friend.
She lowered her voice, "Wanna finish this later?"
Steve gulped and nodded. He was barely ready to tell Robin, much less the entire town.
The day dragged on slowly. The steady flow of customers kept them from being able to discuss what they both wanted to, but Robin tried to lighten the mood by making dumb jokes in between helping people.
By the time Keith came in to relieve them, Steve was ready to explode.
Steve offered Robin a ride home, but she hadn't even answered him before he was loading her bike into the back of his car and shoving her in the front seat.
As soon as the car was on the road, Steve couldn't hold it in anymore. "I'm in love with Billy."
Robin floundered. "Uh… wow… really?"
Steve nodded, his hands started flexing against the wheel. "I mean, I think so? I thought it last night and it made me…" his right hand flailed in the air.
"Have your big bi freakout?" Robin helpfully supplied.
"Yeah that. It feels different than with Nancy, but it's not a bad different. Does that make sense?"
He glanced over just long enough to catch Robin nod.
"It really does. I'm happy for you, dingus. And not just because I'm not the only Gay in Hawkins anymore." She punctuates it with a light smack to his arm.
He can't help the snort that he makes. "Thanks, Rob."
"So, when are you gonna tell him?"
Steve flailed so hard he almost wrecks the car. His foot stepped on the brake. "What!?"
Robin gripped the handle on the dashboard in front of her. "Shit. Watch it, shitbird. I'm precious cargo."
He made sure there was no other car on the road before he turned to his best friend. "Why would I do that?"
Robin rolled her eyes. "Because he likes you too."
Steve blanched. He didn't have a response to that, he sat in silence for what felt like hours. A horn honking behind him pulled him out of his daze and he began to drive again.
They didn't talk again until he pulled into Robin's driveway.
His voice was softer than he intended. "You think he does?"
A hand landed on his shoulder, making him look up at her. She smiled and nodded. "I really do."
Steve took a deep breath and nodded. She smiled again, then climbed out of the car. "Hey, dingus. Get my bike."
Steve didn't sleep for a second night in a row. The only difference was, now he was only thinking of Billy. Was Robin right? Or is Billy just nice to him cause Steve is his only real friend (besides his sister)?
The next day, Steve was thankfully off from the Video Store. He did however have standing plans with Billy.
He was freaking out the whole drive to the diner. "Breathe, Steve. Breathe." He chanted to himself as he drove.
Billy's Camaro was already in its usual spot when Steve pulled in.
He took one last steadying breath before he turned the key. Now that he knew his true feelings he was nervous to see Billy, nervous Billy would see right through him.
Billy saw him as soon as he stepped through the door. He was, of course, sitting in their usual booth (because friends have those right?) and had already ordered for Steve (also a friend thing).
Steve's heart picked up its pace as he moved closer to his friend. Just his friend. Nothing else, at least not to Billy.
Billy's face split into a shiny smile as Steve slid into the booth across from him. Steve is struck by just how beautiful Billy is, and that he had never allowed himself to think of him that way. "Took you long enough, Pretty boy. Hair not cooperative today?"
Steve coughed to try and hide the small blush creeping up his neck and kept his eyes on his plate. "Uh, yeah. Something like that."
Billy's grin never faltered. "Well you took so long, I ordered yours for you. It may be cold by now though."
Steve picked up a fry, trying his hardest not to stare at the boy across from him. "It's okay. Thank you."
"Are you okay?"
Steve picked his head up and finally met Billy's eyes. "Uh, yeah. Why wouldn't I be?"
Billy's face was painted with concern, it did funny things to Steve's heart. "Did you get any sleep last night? You look like hell, man."
Steve's eyes fell back to the burger in front of him and he shrugged. "Not really, had a lot on my mind."
"Want to talk about it?"
Steve shrugged again, but his heart was pounding in his ears, and his head was screaming YES I LOVE YOU.
Billy hummed, and shoved a fry in his mouth. His very pretty mouth. Fuck Harrington, keep it together.
"Well, if and when you do, I'm always here."
Steve had to close his eyes and breathe to calm his heart rate down because Billy was doing things to him.
"Shit, Steve are you okay?" A hand grabbed his and Steve jerked his back and stood up.
"I uh, I gotta go." He turned and began to walk away. He only stopped when he saw Benny behind the counter giving him a funny look. "Shit."
Hs spun around and pulled his wallet out of his pocket. "Sorry." He threw a $20 on the table, ignoring the shocked and confused look on Billy's face.
He was out the door before Billy could process what had just happened.
Steve was pacing the living room as far as the cord of the phone would let him. "Fuck, Robs. I just freaked. I know I shouldn't have, I mean we've had lunch together a million times before but…"
"But this time you know you have feelings." Robin's voice was calm on the other end.
Steve stopped moving and slammed his head against the wall. He let out a shaky breath, "yeah."
The front door slammed open. "Harrington!"
Steve jumped and almost dropped the phone. "Shit! Billy?"
The blonde was fuming. He stomped towards the older boy and glared. "What the FUCK was that?"
Steve could hear Robin calmly talking on the other end of the phone, "Steve, you gotta tell him. He deserves an explanation. You were kinda a jerk to him. Call me back later okay?"
Steve fumbled to say something back, but he couldn't stop looking at the Blonde. "I'm in love with you."
That gave all three of them pause. Steve hadn't meant to say that, Robin was grumbling something about not wanting to be apart of this conversation over the phone still clutched in Steve's hand, and Billy. Well, Billy looked like he was about to fall over.
Billy shook himself from his stupor just long enough to point at the phone, "Was that for… or," his finger moved to point as his own chest.
Steve nodded, not sure how to use his words anymore. Robin was telling Steve to hang the phone up, but he couldn't really hear her because of the roaring in his ears from his heart beating too fast.
Billy nodded, slowly at first then it picked up speed and he began to laugh. A deep belly laugh.
Steve slumped back against the wall, fingers turning white from how hard he is gripping the phone. He hears Robin mumble something that sounded like an "oh fuck no" before he is left with just the dial tone in the ear.
Billy looked heavenly, but Steve's heart was breaking with every struggled breath the other boy took.
When Steve finally registered that the ringing in his ear was the phone, it was his turn to be mad. He slammed the phone onto the receiver and turned to Billy, who's laughter had died down to a chuckle.
"Fuck you, Hargrove. Get out of my house."
That made Billy finally shut up, "What?"
"You heard me, out!" Steve could feel the heat in his face. He was mad, he was embarrassed, he was heartbroken.
Billy put his hands up in surrender, and took a step forward. "I don't want to."
Steve closed his eyes and took a shuddering breath. He was fighting back tears now. "I don't care what you want. I want you out."
"What if I want you?"
Steve's eyes shot open and to Billy's face. He studied the blonde for any hint of sarcasm, but he found none. He felt a tear finally roll down his face and his voice broke when he spoke. "What?"
Billy smiled softly and took another tentative step forward. "I've been calling you Pretty Boy since I first saw you." He took another step, "I switched cigarette brands to your dumbass favorite." Another step, "I know how you like your burger without onion or lettuce." His last step put him directly in front of Steve. "And I even let you drive me around in the dump you call a car."
Steve was slumped against the wall, too many emotions in such a short span of time had taken every bit of energy out of him. "Hey, my car is great."
Billy chuckled and put his arms around the brunettes waist slowly, as though he were waiting for Steve to stop him.
Steve put his hands on Billy's chest, not pushing, just touching. "Why did you laugh?" His voice was soft and scared.
Billy chuckled and squeezed Steve's hips. "Because I never thought I could have you. Nothing good has ever happened to me, so I figured if friends was as close as I could get, I'd take it, but then you said… and I do too by the way. I'm just so happy that something has finally gone my way."
Steve's eyes filled with tears again. "Really?"
Billy nodded, his eyes flicked from Steve's eyes to his lips and back.
That was all that Steve needed, he surged forward and fisted his hands in Billy's shirt to pull him forward. When their lips met Steve couldn't help but sigh.
That's when Robin ran in the still front door yelling, "Where the fuck is he?!"
She skidded to a stop and stared at the two boys who had just broken apart far enough to turn and face her.
"Oh. Never mind. Continue, I'm just going to close the door and get some water. That was a long bike ride, I'm not doing that again anytime soon." She turned and left them alone again, even if Steve did hear the door closing shortly before the tap on the kitchen sink being turned on.
Billy chuckled and pressed his forehead to Steve's. "Wanna go see what that was?"
Steve nodded and pressed another kiss to the other boys lips before he pushed him away just far enough to move past him.
In the kitchen, Robin was sitting on the counter and sipping her water. Her eyebrows raised slightly when she saw the two boys come into the room.
Steve leaned a hip on the counter next to where she was perched. "What are you doing here Robin? Weren't you at work?"
She nodded, and swallowed the water before setting the glass beside her. "Yeah. But when I heard the dickwad laughing at you, I left."
Billy chuckled from where he was leaned against the kitchen door with his arms crossed. "Of course it was you on the phone, I should have known."
Steve smiled, his heart was full right at that moment, "You're the best, but we are clearly fine."
Robin threw her hands in the air, "Well I know that now. What happened by the way? Like I said last I heard was laughing."
Steve shrugged, "Billy used his words like a man."
Billy chuckled again, "Yeah, after you flipped out again. And I still want to know what happened at the diner."
Robin rolled her eyes. "And I thought straight girls were drama queens, you two take the cake." She took a deep breath, "Billy, Steve had just realized his feelings for you and it really freaked him out, and I mean just figured it out, he was having the biggest Bi freakout at work yesterday. "
Steve smacked her arm slightly, "Robin! I was not!"
"You so were! You moped all day, Keith asked me if you were sick."
Billy was chuckling softly as he fondly watched the two friends bicker. "Big Bi Freakout huh?"
Steve turned to face him now, a blush coloring his features. "Maybe."
Robin was emphatically nodding her head and mouthing YES behind her best friend.
Billy nodded, "That why you didn't sleep?"
Steve shrugged shyly, "Yeah. There was a lot of thinking back and wondering."
Robin giggled behind him. "Oh yeah. Billy, you ever have a think for Tom Selleck?"
Steve turned to her wide eyed. "Robin!"
Billy laughed, "Nah. I've always been more of a Cruise guy." He winked at Steve.
Robin's laughter mixed with Billy's. "You're not so bad, Hargrove."
Billy smirked at her, "Back at you, Buckley."
Steve, despite the blush on his face, smiled softly at two of his favorite people getting along so well. He still had a lot to figure out, a lot to talk about, but he was going to be okay.