It’s like she can’t breathe—waiting for her to cross into their world. The real world. Not whatever the hell the upside down was supposed to be.
Robin didn’t know, hadn’t even realized how much this one girl had weaseled her way into her heart by now. Carving out a piece and making a home right in the middle. She hadn’t realized how much the prospect of possibly losing Nancy Wheeler of all people would make her blood run cold and her breaths come shorter and shorter. Until she wasn’t sure breathing was coming as naturally as it should.
And yet there she had been, as their little ragtag group figured out what was her favorite song, what would be able to pull Nancy into safety.
Then, it came to Robin. She’d looked through Nancy’s bedroom and found that ballerina spinning and her music tapes that all fascinated her enough to look over. So, she sprinted into that room, grabbing that little music box and tossing it down (or up?) to Steve where he stood trying to snap Nancy out of her trance.
And she waited.
Until, finally, she and the others heard Steve and Nancy scrambling to use the makeshift rope of sheets and dropping down with a huff.
Robin can’t stop herself, she has to touch her, to know she wasn’t going to suddenly disappear in an instant. So she lunges forward as soon as Nancy stands and Steve makes it through right after her, getting pummeled by Dustin in his own right.
And to feel her, to clutch at the back of her blouse and breathe in her strawberry shampoo as she tucks her face into her neck—it’s everything to Robin.
“Oh my god,” She breathes out, holding her close. “You’re—you’re here. You’re okay.”
She feels Nancy nod more than anything else, “I’m okay,” She reassures her, “Are you…?”
It takes Robin a second to register the rest of that question, knowing she needs to answer. Even though it was insane of Nancy to worry about anyone other than herself right now. “Yeah, yeah. I’m—I’m okay.” Only now that you are, she thinks but doesn’t say because that’s too much. Way too much. Nancy didn’t need that right now.
Robin swallows past the lump in her throat, but her eyes still sting with unshed emotions that she’s not even sure of yet. She can feel the silence in the room settling, feel the pairs of eyes on the two of them but she can’t bring herself to care.
Safe. Nancy was safe. That’s all that matters.
But Robin doesn’t want to make her uncomfortable and keep her in an embrace when she was already rattled enough as is, so she slowly, carefully pulls away from Nancy. She keeps her at arm's length. Blue eyes meeting baby brown ones for the first time in what feels like an eternity.
“Hi,” Nancy says, cheeks as rosy as ever. God, she’s so fucking pretty Robin might just die.
“You’re alive,” Robin says dumbly. It’s all that’s running through her head. She doesn’t think she has much of her usual vocabulary at the moment.
Nancy laughs and that’s beautiful too. Everything she does is beautiful. It’s got to go in some scientific book or something. Just to make sure no one forgets that fact. “I am. You…” She trails off, shaking her head and starting over. “Steve found my favorite song—somehow.”
Robin licks her lips, fiddling with her hands now but also really badly wanting to hold Nancy’s. “Oh, right,” She’s not sure, but it kind of hurts to think Nancy thought he was the sole reason she must be here now. Alive. Okay. Alive .
“I—I actually looked through your tapes earlier—when I was in your room. I remembered, so I tossed him all of them. He kind of figured it out from there.”
Nancy’s eyes widen slightly, and she opens her mouth to speak but Dustin interrupts suddenly and they’re all dragged back into the reality of their situation. Lives were on the line. Feelings would have to wait for later.
It’s after everything is over that Robin finds herself going home with Nancy.
There’s a bit of a struggle with getting up to the second story of her house and climbing into her window. As in, Robin tumbles through much less gracefully than Nancy does and ends up making a fool of herself on the floor. Which gets the other girl to laugh again so she takes it as a win.
“Are you sure I can stay here?” She asks for what feels like the thousandth time since they decided on it as she takes Nancy’s hand to stand up and tries not to feel like she’s melting from mere touch alone. “I mean—I wouldn’t want to get you in trouble with your parents or…whatever.”
Nancy scoffs, letting go once she’s standing up. “It’s fine. They’re pretty oblivious, honestly,” She meets her eyes, “I keep on forgetting to thank you.”
”Saving me,” Nancy tells her and before Robin can correct her she continues, “I know Steve technically did help, but you remembered that I had tapes, where I kept them. No one else did. So…thank you.”
Robin smiles, wondering if it’d be weird to hug her again and decided the answer is a resounding yes. She settles on saying, “No problem.”
Nancy returns the smile, moving to dig through her bedside drawers, pulling out some shirts and sweatpants. “These should fit you okay. I think.”
“You think?” Robin asks, a teasing lilt returning to her voice.
“I mean, you already borrowed my clothes from when we went to Pennhurst. This shouldn’t be too different, right?”
Robin shrugs, taking them as they are tossed to her and heading to the bathroom as quietly as possible for fear of waking anyone up. They end up fitting—just barely, though. But they’re more comfortable than what she was wearing beforehand, so she won’t complain.
It’s only when she returns, greeted with Nancy already in her sleep clothes as well and under the covers that she realizes one very important thing.
“I can, uh, sleep on the floor,” She offers up without much thought.
Nancy looks at her like she’s a dumbass. Which is probably true, in a way. “What? No. We can totally share,” She pats the empty space beside her, “Come on. It’s been a long night. We’re both exhausted.”
Robin takes in a deep breath, slowly walking to the bed and carefully lifting the sheets to join her. “I guess I can’t say no to that.”
“Of course not,” Nancy grins, getting more comfortable now that they are settling down. But Robin sees something different in her expression, something forced. She doesn’t know if she’s just being weird and seeing things, but it pricks at her, begging to be noticed.
“Do you need anything else, Nance? We could, I dunno, go on a late-night snack run or something. Just real quick or even not real quick—”
“I’m fine, Robin,” She cuts her off with a hand in the air, suddenly looking a lot less than fine. “Let’s just—go to sleep.”
“Nance,” Robin says, firmer this time as she shifts closer to her in bed, forcing herself to not freak out about proximity when there was clearly something wrong. “You don’t have to talk to me about what you saw down there, okay? But—I can still do something. Anything you need. Just…say the word.”
Nancy purses her lips, “Why are you so nice to me?”
A little taken aback, Robin still answers, “Because you’re a nice person and you deserve it. Anyone who says otherwise is an idiot.”
Laughing quietly, Nancy says, “I guess I’m an idiot.”
“Yup,” Robin says without hesitation. “Now, tell me what you need and I’ll do my best to get it for you.”
“What if I said something like, I don’t know, a puppy?”
“ Then I would need to plan a quick heist at the Hawkins animal shelter.”
Nancy laughs again and it's music to her ears. Her favorite song. If Vecna were to have taken her she’s sure it’d be what brought her back down to earth. “No, that’s not it. I just…” She pauses, taking a moment before she says her next words with all the sincerity she can. “I usually always slept best with exes when they…held me.”
Robin’s mouth falls open, “Oh.”
Oh , indeed. She was going to pass out. This was it. Rest in peace to Robin Buckley. Death by pretty girl.
Immediately, Nancy is backtracking. “But—um, that’s—that’s stupid for us . Obviously! I wouldn’t—I would never ask you to do that!”
“No, I—I’ll do it, Nance,” She spills out before thinking of the ramifications of cuddling with her fucking crush .
Nancy raises her eyebrows, “You will?”
“Pfft, yeah! Why not? We’re friends. Friends can hold each other.”
“Oh,” Nancy says, still processing this for a moment. “Okay.”
Robin keeps going, needing to just get the hard part over with so they can be snoozing in no time. “So, how do you wanna do this?”
Nancy sits up a bit, scooting closer to her as Robin instinctively holds an arm out for her to rest her head on. “Is this okay?”
Wrapping the arm around her shoulder, Robin stares up at the popcorn ceiling, purposely avoiding how close she must be as she lays her head on her chest and hears her breathing. With Nancy so close to her chest, she wondered how much her heartbeat must be giving away by now.
“I feel like I should be asking you that,” She rasps out, struggling to keep her tone steady.
Nancy laughs breathily and it sends shivers down her spine this time as she uses her own arm to hug Robin’s middle, clinging to her like she’s her lifeline. “Yeah, this is okay.”
And Robin waits for her to fall asleep first, finding solace in the fact that they were together.