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can i call you tonight?

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SEASON ONE (6th grade) : 

dustin was sitting in a beanbag that was in his bedroom with a comic book in his hand, will sitting directly beside him and was reading over his shoulder with a happy smile. they'd known each other for two years now, and they were closer than ever. they had sleepovers regularly, had movie nights, and just hung out. this wasn't an exception, will was going to spend the night with dustin because dustin had missed will terribly and wanted to spend time with him once will was out of the hospital from spending a week in the upside down. will had gotten out of the hospital just a few days ago.

a soft yawn interrupted the comfortable silence. dustin knew it didn't come from him. he looked towards will, who was both shorter than him and had a much smaller frame. he always looked so,, small to dustin. precious. the thought made dustin blush a bit, will's eyes were half-lidded with sleepiness while he silently read the pages. both of them were fast readers, but dustin read just a bit slower. after just a few seconds, will could feel dustin's gaze on him and he turned to look up at him. his eyes were a soft hazel color, a color that dustin had grown to absolutely adore. 

"do i have something on my face?" will asked innocently, tilting his head to one side. dustin looked at will's face, spotting a bit of caramel on the corner of will's lips.

so naturally, he leaned in slowly and brushed his thumb across the corner of will's lips, wiping the caramel off. he immediately felt how warm will's face was, but he wasn't sure why. 

"there. it's gone now, byers." dustin said softly, staring deeply into will's eyes before turning his head away to continue reading the comic.

it took will a few moments to process what had just happened. dustin's hands were rough but soft at the same time? will didn't know how to describe it, but it felt nice when dustin brushed his thumb against his lips. he blinked, staring up at dustin. even with dustin's eyes fixated at the comic, will could still see the pretty blue color.

blue was will's favorite color. it always had been ever since fourth grade. before that, it was yellow. he didn't know why his favorite color suddenly changed so quickly, but it didn't bother him. why should it? it wasn't a very important thing to him. finally deciding that the staring might make dustin a bit uncomfortable, he turned his head away from him and continued reading the comic.

he finished reading the page rather quickly. not to mention he was tired. so he laid his head on dustin's shoulder. they were close, shoulders pressing against each other. it didn't seem weird to either of them, being so close to one another, they didn't think much of it and if anything they enjoyed the warmth. another yawn left will's lips, he closed his eyes calmly.

"are you tired, will?" dustin asked a few minutes later. he still hadn't turned the page, and was now looking down at will again with a soft smile.

will nodded in response, nuzzling his face into the crook of dustin's neck. "a little." he murmured.

"but it's only 9:30?" dustin frowned a bit. "did you not get much sleep last night?" he asked, concerned for his friend. this time, will shook his head.

"uh-uh. i've been having nightmares." his voice got much quieter than it usually was. will had a naturally soft voice, high pitched, he was only in 6th grade after all.

"oh. that's reasonable." dustin paused for a few moments, he raised his hand up and brushed will's bangs out of his eyes. "do you want to sleep in my bed, then? i can take the floor."

"you're gonna fight the floor?" will asked, obviously not understanding what dustin meant.

the curly haired boy burst into laughter, causing will to open his eyes. "god no- will, that's not what i meant." he snorted softly. even through his embarrassment, will started to smile a little. he thought it was cute when dustin snorted.

"oh, i'm sorry." he said shyly, rubbing his eyes tiredly. "i don't mind sleeping on the floor, dustin."

"maybe we could just both sleep on my bed then?" dustin raised his eyebrows. "unless that's weird.." he didn't think that it was, but he wasn't really sure about it. 

"it's not." will didn't want to get up yet. he was comfortable like this.

slowly, dustin got up and set the comic book down. he helped will up, then stared down at him for a few moments. a smile was on his face and he noticed how ,, soft will's face suddenly was. affectionate? dustin didn't know, but will's facial expression had changed into something soft and sweet when he stared up at dustin. a grin formed on dustin's face, a mischievous one.

"what are you-" will started, but cut himself off with a yelp as dustin suddenly picked him up bridal style, one hand on the bottom of will's thighs and the other holding his middle back.

that was something dustin did a lot, picking will up in his arms. he either gave will piggyback rides or he just picked him up like he was a bride and carried him. he never truly meant it in a romantic way, of course. in all honesty, he thought it was cute when will would get a bit red in the face and hold onto him for dear life, even if he knew that dustin was strong and wouldn't drop him. this wasn't an exception of course, will had his arms wrapped around dustin's neck with wide eyes.

"hey!" will giggled, closing his eyes happily. this gave dustin a chance to admire him really quick, to count the freckles on will's face.

a noteworthy thing about will was that eye contact made him nervous. people staring at him made him nervous. he never gave dustin the chance to count how many freckles he had, or how many birthmarks were on his body, before he would turn away nervously. and while dustin respected that, he adored the small little freckles and birthmarks that will had on his body.

dustin carefully removed his hand from will's back so he could pull away the covers. he gently laid will down on his bed, then climbed into bed next to him. with a soft yawn, dustin leaned over and started to turn his bedside lamp off. 

but a hand stopped him. his eyes trailed down to look at will's small hand that was resting on his own. it was soft and warm, will was always warm somehow. he turned to look back at will, who was frowning.

"please don't." his hand was shaking a bit on dustin's. "i don't like the dark."

as much as dustin wanted to listen to will, he knew his mom would kill him if he left the light on overnight. "byers.. my mom would murder me if she walked into my bedroom in the morning and saw i left the light on all night." dustin whispered.

"fine.." will said softly, frowning, he slowly pulled his hand away from dustin's.

in response, dustin placed his hand on will's shoulder and smiled at him. "i promise i won't let anything get you, okay? you can hug me while you sleep if that makes you feel any safer." he reassured, rubbing his shoulder.

"promise you won't be upset?" he had puppy-dog eyes as he stared up at dustin. 

god, the puppy eyes. they drove dustin insane and made his heart swell in his chest. with his face flushed pink, dustin nodded.

"'course i won't, will." he smiled warmly, moving his hand down to will's upper back and pulling him close.

now there was a smile on will's face. he moved closer and wrapped his arms around dustin's torso, laying his head on dustin's chest and closing his eyes calmly. dustin was careful when he leaned over and turned the light off, then pulled the blanket over the two of them, he sighed with contentment and rested his chin on top of will's head.

"goodnight, dustin." will said softly, tightening his grip a little bit. dustin smiled at the sound of will's voice.

"night, byers." dustin said sweetly, he hesitated for a split second then wrapped his arms around will's waist, one of his hands tangled itself into will's hair and was massaging will's scalp. 

due to this, the affection and how close he was to dustin, he felt safe and secure. enough so that he ended up falling asleep. it took a few moments before dustin fell asleep. he had an active mind, always thinking about something, but at this moment? it was so peaceful, that dustin's eyelids became heavy and so he closed them, and drifted off to sleep a few minutes later.


as soon as the arcade opened, it became the party's second favorite hangout spot (other than mike's basement). they went every saturday, and usually dustin and lucas just competed to beat each other's high score while mike played some other game and will watched. while will loved to play the arcade games, he liked seeing how happy dustin would get whenever he beat a high score. it was nice, how dustin's face would brighten and he would grin so wide that his eyes squinted.

like usual, dustin was trying to beat lucas' high score and will watched over his shoulder with a warm smile. after a few minutes of dustin smashing the buttons, and will just watching while his hand comfortably rested on dustin's shoulder and lightly rubbed it with his thumb in an attempt to both comfort dustin and calm him in case he lost.

"princess daphne is super hot, don't you agree, will?" dustin hummed, still focused on the game.

"i guess." will shrugged, resting his elbow on the edge of the arcade game and resting his chin in his palm.

dustin looked confused. "you don't think so?" he glanced towards will before looking back at the screen.

"she's a cartoon." will said plainly. though he knew that he definitely found some cartoon characters attractive. they weren't girls, though.

"and?" dustin raised an eyebrow at will, turning his head to look at him.

"and i just don't find her attractive." will frowned. "sorry, dustin."

the curly haired boy just sighed. "you say the same thing about every girl i show you." he shook his head, looking back at the screen.

will didn't respond, he just blushed from embarrassment. what did that say about him? will didn't really think that girls were attractive in that way. sure, he had seen some that he thought were pretty or cute, but never attractive in the way that he'd want to date them. he really only felt that way about one person. he sighed, watching as dustin kept smashing the buttons. soon enough, his character died and the screen that said to put your name came up. dustin put his name and watched as the high scores came up, and it said he was one hundred points away from lucas' high score.

"son of a bitch!" dustin slammed his fist on the button, making will flinch a bit and look towards him.

he watched as dustin stormed out of the arcade. dustin did that a lot, he rage quit and would stomp out of the arcade and go home. and will, for the first time, decided to rush after him. he opened the door and looked around to see dustin starting to get on his bike, but he stopped when he saw will at the door, his angered face softened.

"please don't leave." will said softly, it was raining outside and he didn't want dustin to get hurt. 

after a few seconds of contemplating, dustin huffed and got off of his bike, walking back towards the arcade. he sat down in front of it, under the roof where he wouldn't get more wet, and sighed. will closed the door and sat down next to him, placing a hand on his shoulder once again and gently rubbing it to comfort him, he gave dustin a soft smile. 

"i'm sorry you lost, dust bunny." will said, he felt his face flush red when dustin laid his head on his shoulder.

"it's not your fault, byers." dustin muttered, closing his eyes calmly.

the sound of the rain hitting the ground was pretty calming to the both of them, dustin felt like he could fall asleep at any moment. will didn't say anything else, he just wrapped his arm around dustin and held him close with a shy smile. he felt a warm feeling his stomach and his face getting a bit warmer, despite how cold it was outside. soon enough, will closed his eyes and sighed happily, holding dustin close. 

for a while, they both just sat there together. then dustin sighed with contentment, wrapping his arms around will's waist and cuddling up close to him. it was fairly cold outside, and although dustin actually had a jacket, he was still cold and will was only wearing a sweater.

"you're super warm." will murmured quietly, wrapping both of his arms around dustin.

"and you're super cold." dustin replied, moving to take off his jacket and wrap it around both of their shoulders before moving back close to will once again.

"thanks, dust bunny." will said with a warm smile.

"anytime, byers." dustin hummed, looking up at will, he gave the boy a soft smile before laying his head on will's shoulder again. "d'ya think we should go back inside now?"

"not right now. you're really warm and i like this." will blushed a bit at his own words, dustin blushed as well then chuckled.

"if you say so. we can go back in a minute, yeah? or i could walk you home." dustin looked up at him, he knew how will didn't like going home by himself after what had happened.

"i don't want to inconvenience you." will said softly.

"you won't. you're my best friend, will. it's not gonna inconvenience me just by taking you home." dustin buried his face in the crook of will's neck.

"oh. well thanks, dustin. i appreciate it." will smiled warmly.

"mhm." dustin said softly, closing his eyes calmly.

SEASON TWO (8th grade) : 

dark. everything was dark. voices were faint, unrecognizable. all except for one. will could barely make out who it was, but the lisp was something that he could immediately identify with a certain male. it was dustin that was speaking, and it wasn't with the normal soothing and sweet voice that he usually had. it sounded like he was yelling at someone, of course will didn't know who. his eyelids were heavy and he couldn't open his eyes, no matter how hard he tried. he wondered if he was in a coma. were people in comas even aware of that fact? will wasn't actually sure. was it like dreaming? again, will didn't know. and while he didn't want to worry about it, it was kind of a concerning factor.

"i'm not touching that! it's gross!" a voice shouted. it felt like will's ears were clogged, how fuzzy the voices were. but will assumed that the person who shouted that was lucas.

"it's just a burn, lucas! quit being a pussy!" dustin argued. will would have smiled, if he had the ability too.

sinclair and henderson arguing was a normal occurrence. it happened all the time. usually those little arguments resulted in them shoving each other or something. 

"yeah, a second degree one! you know i love will as much as you do, but that's fucking disgusting." will could practically hear the sneer in lucas' voice. the words didn't hurt will as much as he thought they would.

"god damn it, lucas." dustin sighed deeply, faintly. "joyce is still grieving over bob's death at hopper's house, jonathan is doing who knows what. will is in a fuckingcoma and the thing you're worried about most is having to change will's bandages?!"

another one of will's five senses were finally coming back. the ability to feel. someone was holding his hand. from the little bit of information that he was able to gather without being able to open his eyes, he assumed that it was just lucas and dustin. where was mike? he couldn't move at all, the most he could do was barely flutter his eyelashes in a weak attempt to open his eyes.

"if you're so concerned about it, you do it then!" lucas argued. there was silence for a few moments.

"unlike you, i can handle having to look at that stuff." dustin's voice had returned back to the normal soft one that it usually was.

fourteen minutes went by. will only knew because he counted each time the clock clicked when a minute had passed. fourteen clicks exactly, and will was able to move. very lightly, he squeezed dustin's hand. he knew it was dustin's. 

lucas had smooth hands, dustin did not. lucas's hands were cold, dustin's were warm. this was always the case, always. during every season, no matter the temperature, one had cold hands and other had warm hands. will heard a faint gasp.

"he's awake!" dustin shouted, and gently squeezed will's hand again. he heard someone shuffling around.

then he felt the weight of, what he assumed to be a bed he was sleeping in, shift to the side. someone was sitting beside him. dustin rubbed the back of will's hand with his thumb.

"byers, can you hear me?" dustin asked softly. will only squeezed his hand in response. 

eleven clicks later. dustin had been rubbing will's hand for eleven minutes now, not saying anything. lucas had already left, will was sure of that. will managed to gather up some of his strength, enough to open his eyes and look up at dustin. the curly haired boy's eyes were closed and will could see faint tear streaks on dustin's cheeks. will opened his mouth, but nothing came out, so instead he just laid there and stared at him for a few minutes. 

"god, i'm so sorry." dustin murmured, mostly to himself. will's hearing was clear now, crystal clear. when he got no response, dustin continued speaking. "i'm sorry i wasn't there for you when it happened, will. it's been a year since it happened."

will choked on the air, eyes widening, and dustin opened his eyes to look down at him. tears formed in his eyes once again at the sight of him finally opening his eyes, actually responding. dustin leaned down and hugged him.

"holy shit!" dustin laughed tearfully. the hug was gentle, he didn't want to hurt will. will gingerly wrapped his arms around dustin, trying to regain his breath.

"it's been a year?" will asked, voice hoarse. dustin started chuckling, shaking his head.

"of course not. i just said that because i knew you could hear me." a grin was on dustin's face, one that will felt because dustin had his face pressed against the crook of his neck.

"christ, dustin. that's so messed up." will chuckled, holding him a bit closer. dustin took a shaky breath, trying to wipe the tears from his own eyes.

"really, though. it's just been a few days. but fuck i missed you." dustin wasn't normally an anxious person. will knew this. "i was scared that you wouldn't wake up." his voice got quiet.

the byers boy frowned deeply and gently pushed dustin back, staring up at the boy. "dusty... i'd never leave you." that sounded a bit weird, he realized that. he cleared his throat nervously, blushing. "i'd never leave you guys."

dustin chuckled softly, moving his hair out of his face. "yeah, you're a fighter, byers." he grinned at him, showing off his newly grown teeth.

this made will smile back at him. will knew about dustin's condition, but he wasn't bothered by it. dustin's smile was cute to him, it always had been and it always will be. the curly haired boy leaned down and brushed will's hair out of his face, giving him a sweet smile before taking his hat off and placing it on will's head.

"feel better soon, byers." he said sweetly, his hand resting on will's cheek. it was a bold move, for sure, and it made will blush.

"thanks, henderson." he whispered, placing a hand over dustin's own. dustin shifted then laid down next to will on his hospital bed.

it was never weird. when they slept in the same bed or got really close. while it didn't happen all the time, it wasn't rare either. will felt safe when dustin held him close to his chest. now that they were in 8th grade, it still didn't seem all that weird to him. they were best friends after all? dustin wrapped his arm around will's shoulder, humming.

"how was the coma? bet you slept well, huh?" dustin grinned widely, looking down at him. will chuckled weakly.

"very funny, dustin." he poked dustin's cheek and smiled. "i heard you and lucas arguing, so of course not."

dustin went red, he smiled sheepishly. "sorry about that, byers." he glanced down at will's arms, seeing the bandages on them from when the mind flayer was burned out of him. he winced. "do you,, remember anything?"

"not much." he shrugged. "i only just woke up, remember? it'll take a while for me to remember everything that happened." he carefully turned onto his side and winced in pain, before wrapping his arms around dustin and holding him close. "i'm sorry i worried you."

a blush spread across dustin's face again, and he smiled warmly at him. "i'm just glad you're okay..."

SEASON THREE (freshman year) :

the hawkins community pool had just opened. but even so, will didn't really want to go there. sharing a pool with a bunch of strangers and little kids sounded really disgusting. he wasn't normally a germaphobe, but this was different. there's no doubt that some gross things were in there. so when it opened, will just asked if he could go swimming in steve's own swimming pool. though steve was hesitant at first, remembering what happened to barb, but finally he agreed when he remembered nothing bad would happen

will got changed into his swimming trunks in the bathroom. he contemplated on whether or not to wear a shirt, but he knew how uncomfortable it was to feel a shirt pressing against his skin whenever the shirt got wet. so he decided against it, walking out of the bathroom and holding his towel. as soon as he walked outside, he saw dustin sitting on the steps. his eyes widened and he turned to look at steve with a shocked (almost betrayed) look on his face.

steve harrington, a brother figure to both dustin and will. he was the one to help will get a job at scoop's ahoy. he was the one to push will out of the back room when dustin showed up one day to visit steve and accidentally saw will. he was the one that will confided in about his crush on dustin. will described it as a "tiny" crush, but steve knew better. and in an attempt to get them together, he invited dustin and billy to his house for a swimming party. so naturally, will felt a little betrayed that he didn't know about this.

"if it isn't william byers." billy grinned. will didn't mind billy being here, they had became friends after both him and will almost got killed by the mind flayer. and during the same hour, too!

dustin looked up at will then grinned. "will! i didn't know you were gonna be here." his hair was still dry, so will knew that dustin hadn't gotten into the pool yet. 

the byers boy nodded and sat his towel down on a beach chair, he squinted at steve who just grinned. "yeah, i could say the same for you, dustin." he sat down on the edge of the pool, beside the ladder, and dipped his foot into the water.

billy jumped into the pool and splashed the three of them, causing all of them to laugh. suddenly dustin jumped in as well, going underwater, and will's eyes widened a little and he looked around. suddenly he felt a hand on his foot and he was pulled into the pool, will gasped and was able to hold his breath before he was pulled underwater. when he opened his eyes, he saw dustin staring at him with a wide smile on his face.

his hair was flowing underwater. sometimes will forgot how long dustin's hair actually was. how pretty it was. will stared at him for a few moments, blushing, then dustin swam back up to the surface and pulled will with him. will gasped for air, rubbing his eyes, then glaring playfully at dustin. 

"you jerk!" will shouted, shoving dustin. the curly haired boy just laughed, shoving will back. 

when dustin saw steve start to get up, he gasped. "take cover!" he dove underwater, along with billy.  

naturally, the dark haired boy was confused until steve suddenly did a cannonball into the pool and splashed him. will screamed, then started to laugh. dustin swam back up, moving so when he rose to the surface will was on his shoulders. will looked down at his best friend who was laughing.

"i'm glad we get to hang out, will." he said sweetly, giving him a warm smile.

over the years, both of them had changed. puberty and all, you know? will's jawline was much sharper now, as was dustin's. they had matured, and now that the both of them were shirtless and just in their swimming trunks? it made will blush. they'd been swimming together before, but it was different this time. because this time, will could actually identify how he felt around dustin.

"me too, dusty." will smiled shyly, his face was a bit red.

in an instant, he felt someone tap on his shoulder. he turned around, only to find steve on billy's shoulders. will started to grin.

"what are you doing?" he asked, but his answer was answered when steve playfully shoved him. oh right, they were playing chicken then. 

sparing a glance down at dustin, he playfully shoved steve back and started to laugh. dustin was holding onto will's legs, very lightly, mostly to give him support. billy was doing the same to steve. the shoving went on for a while, before will shoved steve a bit harder and steve fell off of billy's shoulders and into the water. a grin was on will's face now.

"holy shit, you just got beat by a kid, harrington." billy chuckled when steve swam back up and pouted.

"did not! i let him push me off." steve argued. steve was 6'2, so he could easily stand up in the pool. he leaned up and lightly pushed will off of dustin's shoulder, causing the male to gasp.

he didn't have enough time to try and catch his breath. the thing about will was that he had breathing problems ever since he got back from the upside down. toxic air, of course, breathing all of it in for a week had damaged his lungs. he had an inhaler, but he never brought it with him after that time troy smacked it out of his hand and called him named. so when he fell underwater, he gasped for air (it was a habit to do that) and got some water in his mouth. dustin panicked and in the heat of the moment, forgot that will would've just easily swam up.

so what did he do? he did what he thought was logical. he took a deep breath then swam underwater, looked around for will, and when he finally found him, he cupped will's face and leaned in. will's eyes went wide at the contact, looking at dustin, before dustin pressed their lips together. dustin's eyes were closed now, and it seemed like he was trying to give will CPR?? actually, will didn't know what dustin was trying to do. all that he knew was that dustin had pressed their lips together, and now they were kissing underwater.

will didn't know what to do. should he kiss back? or was this not really a kiss? what if dustin did like him? no, that wasn't possible, he knew for a fact that dustin only liked girls. so he didn't do anything, he just closed his eyes and relaxed a bit. dustin was the first to pull away, he swam back to the surface and once again pulled will up with him. as soon as he did, will gasped for air, eyes wide and his face bright red.

"oh my god, will, are you okay? i didn't-" steve started, eyes wide as he rushed to will's side. "i didn't mean to."

"i'm f-fine." his voice was quiet again, and he glanced towards dustin. either dustin didn't care, or he was much better at hiding it than will was.

they swam for another hour, forgetting the incident. well, everyone else did. except for will. he sat on the edge of the pool and wondered if he could technically count that as his first kiss. as you would expect, will has never kissed anyone before. but what happened earlier, an hour ago, could he even call it a kiss? he was staring down at the water, tuning out everything else, before dustin suddenly swam up to him.

"hey byers, is everything okay?" dustin was oblivious, which was kind of ironic. will stared down at dustin, blushing, he nodded.

"yeah.. yeah, i'm alright. everything is fine." will said, giving dustin a warm smile. dustin returned the smile.

"if you say so, will." he winked playfully at him, before swimming off. 

this made will turned a bright red color, he stared at dustin in disbelief for what seemed like hours but it was really just several seconds. when he finally snapped out of his trance, he saw dustin getting out of the pool. he stared at him for a few moments, dustin ran his fingers through his wet hair and moved it out of his face. then he turned around, looking at will. instead of being creeped out by will staring at him, he just gave him a wide grin and waved.

"gonna tell me what happened underwater?" a voice suddenly said, will turned his head and saw billy. he blushed in embarrassment and looked back down at the water.

"nothing happened."

"kid, if nothing happened then you wouldn't be zoning out so often." billy pointed out. will cursed him inside of his head for that.

"i always zone out??" when billy gave will a look, he knew that his excuse didn't work. "dustin pressed his lips against mine.

"so like a kiss?" billy grinned. will shook his head.

"more like CPR or something. either way, that's the first time anything like that has ever happened to me.." will bit his lip shyly.

"dustin was your first kiss, huh?" billy was not going to let will try to excuse that as 'not a kiss'. no way, not happening.

will groaned. "i guess you could say that."

"seems like he likes you, then." billy shrugged, looking towards steve and then back to dustin.

"it's not like that." will brought his knees to his chest. "he doesn't like boys."

"have you asked him that?"

sometimes will wondered how billy had much more common sense than will did. it was weird. but the few times that will had went to billy and talked to him about things, billy was always the one who would give him an answer to his problems that made will go 'why didn't i think of that in the first place?'

"he dated suzie. constantly talked about how hot she was, how he made out with her." will wanted to cry right then and there. but he didn't, he held his tears back and took a shaky breath.

billy furrowed his eyebrows. "that doesn't make him straight. i talk about hot girls all the time and i'm still not straight."

right when will was about to respond, someone had sat beside him. it was dustin, and he had his arm wrapped around will's shoulder and was pulling him close. "hey, will!" he smiled at him.

"oh, hey dustin." will couldn't help but smile. dustin had already dried off, so will very lightly leaned in and laid his head on dustin's shoulder.

there was a short silence, billy had walked off already and was talking to steve. so far, will was sure that dustin didn't think anything of it, about what had happened earlier. then dustin spoke up, his thumb rubbing circles onto his shoulder.

"this might be a rude thing to ask," dustin took a deep breath, and will blushed. "but what did mike say? before castle byers, i mean."

dustin was the first person that will told about that. he didn't say what mike had said, only that mike had been a jerk. will took a deep breath, nervous.

"i called him out for ignoring me. for only caring about el." he chuckled weakly, tearfully. "guess he didn't like that."

"you told me that already." dustin frowned deeply, knowing that will was purposely leaving stuff out. "byers, you know you can tell me anything, right? what did mike say?"

"he.." will's voice cracked, he tried not to cry. "he said 'it's not my fault you don't like girls'..."

silence. there was an unbearable silence. dustin didn't say anything for a while, he tried to process what had just happened. what mike had said and what it meant.

"you're gay, right?" was what broke the silence. will stared up at dustin, hesitating.

"i guess so." will laid his head on dustin's shoulder again. "i don't really like girls so... yeah, i'm gay."

he almost started to apologize, to tell dustin that it was okay to be uncomfortable around him now, but dustin just smiled and ruffled will's now damp hair.

"well good for you." dustin hummed. "but if mike says any more homophobic shit like that, just let me know, okay?"

this shocked will. like, a  lot. but nevertheless, he smiled thankfully at dustin and hugged him a bit tighter, burying his face in the crook of dustin's neck.

"thanks, dusty." he said softly.

"anytime, byers boy."

SEASON FOUR (sophomore year) :

the byers family was supposed to visit for christmas last year (the same year that they had moved) but the car suddenly broke down the day before they had left. which was a big dissappointment, seeing as how everyone had gotten super excited to see them again. but this year, the car was fixed and they had must moved their bags into the wheelers household (their house was the largest, and joyce decided to sleep on the couch, jonathan slept in the room with nancy, el slept in the room with mike, and will slept in the basement by himself). granted, will was extremely nervous to be seeing all of his friends again. especially now, at christmas. he wondered if dustin was still dating suzie.

it was christmas day, now. mike had set up mistletoe in almost every room for him and el, and also for nancy and jonathan too. and will was helping mrs. wheeler set the table for everyone. the parents (plus nancy and jonathan) already had a christmas lunch together, seeing as how it would be much too crowded if everyone's parents plus the teenagers were sitting at a table together. so, this christmas lunch was for the party to hang out together. lucas and max were the first people to arrive, and then dustin showed up. all three of them had brought gifts, of course, and dustin still had that dorky smile on his face that he always did. 

"will byers! holy shit, i missed you so much-" dustin exclaimed, dropping the gifts onto the floor and running up to will, wrapping his arms around will's waist, picking him up into the air and hugging him tightly.

will laughed, his face turning red. "dustin! hi, i missed you too!" he grinned, wrapping his arms around dustin's neck while he attempted to hug back.

only a couple of minutes later did dustin actually set will down, arms still wrapped around his waist and holding him close. the curly haired boy sighed happily and rested their heads together, which made will blush again and smile. dustin had grown super tall since the last time he saw him, will was only 5'6 and dustin was already 5'10. not to mention that dustin's jawline was much sharper, and he just looked so much more mature than the last time will saw him. which was just super crazy to him.

"you haven't cut your hair?" will asked in amazement, carefully running his fingers through dustin's (now much longer) curly hair. 

"and you have? don't think i didn't notice that you don't have a bowlcut anymore." dustin snorted softly when he felt will's face go warm.

"uh, guys?" mike said from the doorway, furrowing his eyebrows. "will, we still need help setting up the table."

right, will didn't realize how awkward this must look. he quickly pulled away from dustin, face flushed red, he cleared his throat and walked into the kitchen, putting on some oven mitts to take the turkey out of the oven and place it on the table. dustin set up the gifts under the christmas tree, which admittedly felt childish and reminded him of when they were much younger. god, he really missed will. and el too, of course! he just,, missed will a lot more. 

during the time that will was gone, dustin had finally realized that maybe, just maybe, he didn't like suzie as much as he thought he did. so he broke up with her (for a second time. they dated twice, she broke up with him at the end of freshman year due to her parents disapproval, but they soon got back together at the beginning of sophomore year), it felt dishonest to be dating her while having feelings for will. and since will was finally visiting, he wanted to act upon those feelings because he was certain that will felt the same way. 

a few minutes later, after dustin gave himself an inner pep talk, he stood up and started walking into the kitchen, only to bump into will right at the doorway. he stumbled a bit, eyes wide as he looked down at the dark haired male. then he glanced up, seeing mistletoe hanging above them, this was the perfect opportunity!

"oh, i'm sorry dustin-" will said, and started to try and walk past him. but dustin gently grabbed his shoulder and pulled him back.

"hey, don't you know the rules of mistletoe, dork?" dustin grinned, despite his nervousness. will blushed.

"yeah?" will then realized what dustin was implying. well, sort of. so he leaned up and kissed dustin on the cheek. "there." he smiled warmly at dustin before walking past him.

"that's not what i-" dustin trailed off when he saw that will was out of earshot, then let out a sigh of disappointment. 

well, there goes his chance at telling will how he felt. surely he could do that later, right? it's not like will would be going anywhere else tonight. hopefully. dustin didn't actually know for sure if will wanted to visit anyone else or not. deciding it'd be best to distract himself from what had just happened, he went back to fixing the gifts under the christmas tree in a neat and tidy way. he had gotten much more tidy since the last time he saw will. 

finally, the table was set and all of the presents were placed neatly in their own place. dustin decided that this would be as good of a time as any to tell will how he felt. so when he saw will starting to walk into the kitchen, he grabbed his hand and stopped him.

"dustin?" will asked, looking up at dustin and furrowing his eyebrows. "is something wrong?"

"i need to talk to you." dustin said, glancing around at the rest of their friends before looking back down at will. "outside, preferably."

"sure?" will hesitated for a split second, then walked outside with dustin.

it dark outside now, will could hear the frogs croaking in the distance. he sat down on the edge of the porch, looking up at dustin with a confused look.

"what do you need to tell me?" will asked, watching as dustin sat down beside him. he looked nervous.

for a while, dustin didn't respond. he just sat there, staring at the ground, before taking a deep breath and then speaking up. 

"did you, uh- did you get a boyfriend yet? in your new town?" dustin asked suddenly, fidgeting with his shirt. which was something he didn't often do.

"huh?" will's face turned red from embarrassment. "n-no, i didn't. why do you ask?"

"i-i don't know, i just-" dustin cut himself off, running his fingers through his curls. "i just wanted to know."

will didn't say anything after that. it was quiet, peaceful, maybe even a little bit awkward. then will laid his head on dustin's shoulder, still looking up at the stars in the sky with a soft sigh leaving his lips.

"remember in freshman year? when you tried to give me CPR underwater?" will blushed at the memory, and so did dustin.

"yeah, why?"

"that was my first kiss. technically, anyways. i-i still don't know if i could count it as-" will started to ramble, but dustin cut him off.

"it was a kiss." dustin grinned a little to himself, despite his efforts not to. "sure, it was CPR. but i also wanted an excuse to kiss you after i had liked you for so long."

the shorter boy froze, eyes widening at dustin's statement. "you liked me?" will asked in shock, feeling his face turn bright red.

"like." dustin hummed, looking down at him. "it's like, not liked. current tense, byers. c'mon we learned this in the fourth grade." he said with a grin.

oh. oh holy shit. will took a shaky breath, then spoke again. "okay, smart-ass. you like me?" will asked once again, in disbelief.

"of course. why wouldn't i? you're smart, you're handsome, you have a really nice smile like honestly it could light up a whole room it's so bright and cute. and you're super kind, too. and-" dustin cut himself off, blushing, he cleared his throat. "sorry, i didn't mean to start rambling about that."

suddenly will placed his hands on dustin's shoulders, leaning in and kissing him. naturally, the curly haired boy was surprised by this but nevertheless he kissed back and closed his eyes calmly. this was finally happening! god, dustin had literally dreamed of this moment and now will was actually kissing him!! they kissed for a few seconds, it was rather short, then will pulled away with a warm smile.

"you're a good kisser. and i like it when you rant about stuff, i think it's cute." will said, letting out a breathy laugh, he gently cupped dustin's face. "but i like you too. and i have ever since the fourth grade."

"yeah? you're a good kisser too. have you kissed anyone back at your new town?" dustin grinned, placing his hands on will's hips. 

"nope." will grinned back at him, playfully flicking his cheek. "you're the only person i've ever kissed." dustin hummed with contentment, unashamedly happy about that.

"so, since i like you. and you like me. maybe we should start dating?" dustin suggested, blushing.

"i'd like that." will said with a warm smile, then leaned in and kissed him again. 

hey, could you blame him? dustin's lips were super soft and kissable, not to mention that will had waited so long for this moment. he was very happy when dustin kissed back (he knew he would, but still) and he was even happier when dustin pulled him closer and tilted his head to one side to deepen the kiss. it was nice, until the front door opened and the light from inside the house shined on them.

"guys, the food is..." max trailed off, eyes widening when she saw will and dustin. "holy shit. you two are together?"

the two boys quickly pulled away from each other, eyes widening. "i- we just got together." will said softly.

"oh my god, finally. you two have been pining after each other since fourth grade, i'm shocked you didn't get together sooner." lucas said, leaning over max's shoulder and looking down at them.

will hid his face with one hand out of embarrassment, to which dustin grinned and gently pried will's hand away. 

"billy told me about what happened at steve's house." max said with a small smile. "then will told me, too. he talks about you a lot, actually. you two are so cute together."

"max.." will muttered, embarrassed. dustin seemed to be proud, though, seeing as how he was grinning widely.

"guys!" mike called from the kitchen. "come eat before the food gets cold!"

"we'll talk more about this later." max said with a wide smile before rushing into the kitchen, along with lucas. 

despite not wanting to, will stood up and walked back inside, with dustin following close behind. when they sat down, dustin had his hand on will's knee and was rubbing it in an affectionate way, glancing towards him every now and then. for now, things might actually be okay.