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He's in My Veins Again

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Expressing his emotions outwardly is something Eddie Munson is very familiar with. Ever since he was younger he would always use big motions to express how he was feeling, or sometimes he just did it because he felt like he was going to vibrate out of his skin if he didn’t. 

People often made fun of him for it as a kid, and that didn’t really stop as he got older, he just stopped caring as much. He got bullied and made fun of for plenty of other things anyway, so he may as well keep just doing what makes him feel better. 

He has gotten decent at masking when he needs to, but it’s almost impossible when he gets super overwhelmed or is feeling particularly strong emotions. Something that just so happens to be a near constant around one Steve Harrington. 

If someone had told Eddie a few months ago that he would be hopelessly pining over Steve “The Hair” Harrington, he would have laughed in their face. Yet, here he is, doing exactly that. Nancy had made some joke about trauma bringing people together, and he can’t help but feel like there is some truth behind her words. 

The point is, ever since Eddie saw Steve take a bite out of that bat, he was done for. He knew he could never recover both from how ridiculously hot it was, and how unbelievably terrifying it was. He can’t help but feel suitably conflicted whenever he thinks about it. 

Which brings him to now. It’s been almost a month since they defeated Vecna, and closed the gate to the upside down. He still feels a lingering panic that everything is going to go to shit at any moment, but it’s getting a little easier with time. He thinks the panic will probably never fully go away though, not without either a lobotomy or enough drugs to put him in a coma. 

Being around friends also makes it easier, so he finds himself not wanting to leave their side for even a second. He spends as much time around either Robin, Steve, or one of the kids, as he can, usually all at the same time. The only person he has really gotten to hang out with one on one, is Steve. Which is really not helping his current infatuation. Like, at all. 

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The first time they hang out just the two of them Eddie isn’t quite sure what to think. Eddie is sitting in his living room, trying desperately not to think about everything that happened here, and failing a little miserably. He has smoked enough weed at this point he is suitably high, which is helping, but he can’t help but let his eyes wander to the crack on the ceiling every few minutes, wondering if it will once again open up into a portal to another world. 

He is pulled from his thoughts by a knock on the door. He is confused, as no one ever comes to visit him, and his uncle is at work until around two am. He slowly gets up, feeling a little on edge at whoever could be outside the door. He has been cleared of all murder charges, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still people who think he’s guilty and have it out for him. 

He has started keeping a baseball bat next to the door, just in case, so he picks it up before moving to open the door. He holds the bat at the ready, gearing up to fight if he has to, but when he opens the door he is greeted by the sight of a very uncomfortable looking Steve. 

“Steve?” He asks, dropping the bat, and staring at the man in front of him. Steve just gives a little wave, a slightly shy smile on his face. “What are you doing here?” 

Steve looks away, refusing to meet Eddie’s eyes, and looking almost embarrassed? No, that couldn’t be right. Eddie must be imagining things, he nerve has been the best at reading people. 

“I, uh. I couldn’t sleep, so I figured I’d come to see how you were holding up.” Steve says, looking at his feet, and bringing one hand up to rub awkwardly at the back of his neck. Eddie is caught a little off guard by his honesty, staring wide eyed at the faint blush on Steve’s face. 

“Can I uh, can I come in?” Steve asks, starling Eddie once again out of his thoughts. He quickly moves to the side, motioning him into the trailer. He looks around outside, making sure there’s no one else around, before closing and locking the door behind him. 

When he turns around, Steve is standing awkwardly in the middle of the room, looking around, seemingly unsure what to do now that he’s here. 

“Sit down, man. I’ll grab us some beers,” Eddie says, motioning to the couch. Steve hesitates for a moment, before nodding and going to sit down. Eddie runs to the kitchen, grabbing them both a beer from the fridge before joining him on the couch. Steve gratefully takes the beer, opening it and taking a long sip. 

Eddie can’t help the way he watches Steve’s throat bob as he drinks, shifting slightly where he’s sitting. He quickly pulls his eyes away, opening his own beer to take a sip. He drinks his beer much slower than Steve, not wanting to get too crossed lest he have a horrible hangover the next day. 

The two sit in silence, not really sure what to talk about. They’ve gotten closer after the whole, saving the world thing, but they’ve never hung out one on one like this. Eddie can’t help but feel a little nervous, as Steve sits close to him, their legs almost touching. He starts playing with the rings on his fingers, feeling himself calm some at the soothing motion. 

He looks up at Steve, to see his gaze fixed on his hands, watching as they twist the rings around nervously. Eddie suddenly feels a little self conscious, ceasing his movements. Eddie takes another sip of his beer, before speaking. 

“So. What made you choose my humble abode out of anywhere else, King Steve?” 

Steve rolls his eyes at the nickname, but it brings a small smile to his face nonetheless. He seems to think about it for a moment before shrugging, looking down at his own hands that were wrapped around his beer. Eddie’s eyes can’t help but fall to Steve’s hands as well, admiring the way his fingers wrapped almost delicately around the neck of the bottle. 

“Had a nightmare and needed to make sure you were okay,” Steve admits quietly, glancing up at Eddie’s face to gauge his reaction. He is once again stunned by Steve’s honesty, his words bringing a slight blush to his face, that he quickly hides by taking another swig of beer. 

“Awe, didn’t know you cared, Stevie boy,” Eddie teases, leaning in closer to Steve, hoping to relieve some of the tension between them. It seems to work, as Steve lets out a light laugh, not pulling his eyes away from Eddie’s face. 

“Yeah, yeah. Whatever Munson,” Steve says, pushing Eddie lightly with one hand, making him laugh harder. 

The rest of the night goes much like that, the two of them drinking and joking around, until they both get too tired and pass out on the couch. 

When Eddie’s uncle gets home, and sees Steve Harrington leaned up against his nephew on the couch, both of them sleeping soundly, he decides it’s none of his business, and heads straight to bed. 

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After that first time they hung out, Steve and Eddie have gotten a lot closer. It’s very rare these days to see one without the other. Robin teases them both relentlessly, calling them an old married couple, much to Steve’s annoyance and Eddie’s embarrassment. 

The three of them are currently hanging out, all at Steve’s house for a movie night. His parents are once again out of town, so the three are smoking weed and drinking together while they watch the movie. 

Eddie honestly can not remember what movie they are watching, as he has been too focused on the man sitting next to him. Another thing that has changed in their friendship is they are much more touchy. 

Ever since they woke up practically snuggled up together, Steve had started initiating physical contact with Eddie far more often. Like right now, Eddie is currently snuggled up into Steve’s side with his arm around his shoulder as they watch the movie. There is plenty of room on the couch, but Steve had chosen to sit directly next to him, pulling him into his side while Robin was popping the movie in. 

Eddie can’t focus on anything other than how good he feels pressed up against him, warmth radiating through his whole body. Steve is wearing a hoodie with extra long strings on it, and Eddie can’t help but start playing with them. He doesn’t even realize he’s doing it at first, just absentmindedly tugging on and fiddling with the stings. 

He’s so lost in thought he doesn’t even register that he’s brought one of them up to his mouth to start chewing on it until he hears a light laugh from above him. 

“Are you chewing on my hoodie?” Steve whispers so Robin won’t hear, amusement in his voice. Eddie quickly drops the string, a blush taking over his face, as he shifts away from Steve’s embrace slightly. 

“Sorry,” Eddie whispers back, looking down at his hands as he starts bouncing his leg nervously. Steve gives him a confused look, before pulling him back into an embrace, not giving Eddie the chance to pull away. 

Eddie lets out a small squeak at the movement, not expecting to get manhandled into Steve’s arms. Steve just laughs a little at the noise, handing Eddie the string he was just chewing on with a kind smile on his face.

“It’s okay, I don’t mind.” 

Eddie looks up unsure at Steve’s face, searching for any malice or evidence that he is messing with him, and is going to pull away and laugh at him if he takes the string back. All he finds is gentle honestly, with maybe a hint of amusement, but it doesn’t feel like Steve is making fun of him. 

He gingerly takes the string back, feeling himself relax as he brings it up to his mouth to chew on it again. He looks up at Steve a little nervously, but Steve is just looking down at him with the same gentle smile. Eddie feels himself blush again, but for a different reason this time, as he pulls his gaze away, looking back at the TV screen and pretending to pay attention to the movie. 

Eddie doesn’t know this, but Steve spends the rest of the night looking down at Eddie, finding him annoyingly endearing while chewing on his hoodie. 

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The next time Steve and Eddie hang out is at Family Video. Robin isn’t working today, so it’s just Steve. It’s a slow day, only two customers coming in so far and he’s already halfway through his shift. 

Eddie comes in not long after, deciding he wanted to spend the rest of his day harassing his best friend. The thought brings a smile to his face as he opens the door. Steve really is his best friend, that’s the best way he can describe them. Eddie feels a little giddy at the notion. He’s never had a best friend before. 

“Munson!” Steve greets, already getting out of his seat to lean on the counter in front of him. 

“Harrington,” Eddie replies, leaning against the counter as well, so they are only inches apart. Steve feels himself blush at their proximity, butterflies going crazy in his stomach. He’s known about his feelings for Eddie for a while now, but that doesn't mean his body reacts any less to seeing the other man. 

“What brings you here on this fine Tuesday afternoon?” Steve asks not leaning away from Eddie despite how nervous he feels from their nearness. Eddie smiles up at him, which does nothing to quell how flustered Steve currently feels. Normally they are almost the same height, but there is a slight platform to the counter, giving Steve a slight height advantage.  

“Maybe I just wanted to see your gorgeous face,” Eddie teases, bringing one hand out to pinch at Steve’s cheek. If Steve wasn’t red before, he is sure he looks like a tomato at this point, nervously laughing but trying to play it off like he isn’t majorly affected by this interaction. 

“Careful Munson, you’re gonna make me develop an ego,” he teases back, eyes glancing down to Eddie’s lips for a second before quickly snapping back up. If Eddie notices, he thankfully doesn’t say anything, just laughing along to Steve’s joke.

“Now we can’t have that happening. Wouldn’t want you to be too good for me again.” 

Eddie thinks Steve will simply quip back like he usually does, but to his surprise, a shockingly soft smile spreads across Steve’s face. 

“I could never be too good for you,” he says in the gentlest tone Eddie thinks he has ever heard. Eddie doesn’t know how to respond, so he just rolls his eyes, before pushing Steve’s face away with his hand. Steve laughs loudly at this, batting his hand away. 

With Steve no longer leaning on the counter, Eddie pulls himself up and over it, sitting on it with his legs hanging over the edge. Steve comes over to him, standing next to him, this time Eddie looking down at him.

If Steve thought he was flustered from the sight of Eddie looking up at him, he was not prepared for the sight of him looking down at him. 

“You’re not allowed up there, you know.” Steve says, swallowing a little harshly, trying to distract from his obviously flustered state. 

“Oh yeah? What you gonna do about it?” Eddie challenges, looking at Steve with a smirk. Steve is at a loss for words, staring dumbly up at Eddie. “That’s what I thought,” Eddie says in victory, when Steve makes no move to get him to leave. 

Steve just rolls his eyes again, stepping away from him a little ruefully as he goes back to the work he was doing before Eddie came in. 

“Yeah, yeah.” Steve says before deciding to start up a conversation, “so, how’s the new campaign going?”

Eddie had told Steve about the campaign he has been planning, and they had their first session only a few days ago, so Steve was excited to hear how it’s going. He doesn’t really understand the appeal of Dungeons and Dragons, but he loves hearing Eddie talk about it. He always gets super excited and his face lights up.

Just as Steve is thinking, that exact expression spreads across Eddie’s face. His eyes light up, and he has a wide smile on his face as he starts excitedly explaining how the first session went. Steve notices Eddie is flapping his hands as he talks, clearly extra excited to tell him about the campaign. 

Eddie notices Steve staring at his still flapping hands, and he quickly stops the movement, tripping over his words for a moment. Steve doesn’t say anything, just patiently listens to Eddie talk. 

Eddie moves his hands underneath his thighs so he can’t move them around, going back to excitedly explaining what happened. Steve can’t help but feel a little disappointed Eddie is no longer flapping his hands. He likes seeing Eddie excited, and if he is honest it was a little adorable. 

Eddie doesn’t move his hands from under his thighs, but he does start gently rocking back and forth as he speaks, another sign he is excited. This time he doesn’t seem to notice he’s doing it, so he allows himself to rock back and forth. 

Steve makes sure he doesn’t bring attention to it, worried Eddie would stop if he did. He is enjoying the sight of a happy Eddie way too much to even think about doing something to ruin it. He can’t help but think he has a stupidly sappy smile on his face as he listens to Eddie. He is almost positive Robin would be making fun of him endlessly right now if she were here. But she isn’t so Steve just lets himself bask in the moment. 

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Steve has gotten used to Eddie’s unique movements and reactions to things. He didn’t quite understand it at first, and he still doesn’t really, but he finds it endlessly adorable nonetheless. He’s noticed Eddie seems to get a little self conscious whenever he stares at his movements, or points them out, so he makes an effort not to. 

It’s a little hard, as Steve thinks he could watch Eddie for hours and not get bored, but he’ll do what he can to make sure Eddie is comfortable. He never wants to be a source of anything other than love and comfort for Eddie and he will do everything in his power to ensure that reality. 

He is once again over at Eddie’s trailer, the two of them smoking and laughing together. They have been having a good time, so Steve isn’t really sure what went wrong. One second they are sitting together and laughing, and the next thing he knows Eddie has a far off look in his eyes and he’s breathing a little too heavily. 

Steve almost thinks Vecna is back and has gotten to Eddie, before he notices his movements. They start off small, his hands opening and closing into fists, his leg bouncing, but as his breathing gets more and more out of control it gets worse. 

Steve is frozen, not sure what to do. Eddie has tears pooling in his eyes as he starts to shake. He starts aggressively shaking his hands, still balled into fists, as he looks around the room almost frantically. Steve shakes himself out of his stupor when he sees Eddie has started lightly punching his leg. 

It’s not enough to do real damage, but it still has to hurt, and is hard enough it will leave a bruise if he doesn’t do something. 

“Eddie? Hey, Eds? What’s going on man?” Steve desperately asks, grabbing onto Eddie’s shoulders and moving him so they’re facing each other. Eddie looks scared. Steve can’t remember him looking so scared and it breaks his heart. He wants to help so badly, but he doesn’t know what to do. 

He’s had panic attacks before, but they’ve never looked like this, and he doesn’t know how to help. 

“I don’t know. I don’t know. I’m sorry,” Eddie rambles, voice shaking as his tears begin to fall. Steve, at a loss for anything else that may help, just pulls Eddie into a tight embrace. The other relaxes for a moment, before he is pulling away, seeming to panic more. Steve doesn’t understand why and looks hopelessly at Eddie.

“Don’t want to hurt you. Can’t control my movements right now,” Eddie says, sounding apologetic as he starts to sob. 

“It’s okay. You can’t hurt me. I promise.”

Eddie looks unsure, but he’s too weak to argue with Steve right now, so he lets himself be pulled back into the embrace. He’s still shaking and hitting his leg, he doesn’t seem to be calming down, even as he melts into the embrace. Steve doesn’t know what to do, so he just holds Eddie tighter, whispering encouragements to him. 

“I’ve got you, baby. I’m right here. You’re gonna be okay.” 

It takes almost an hour, but eventually Eddie’s breathing slows down and his movements aren’t as erratic. Steve doesn’t move, continuing to hold him, as he calms down. Once Eddie fully comes back to himself, he is pulling away, moving so he is sitting on the other side of the couch, as far away from Steve as he can get. 

He is still twitching every now and then, but he has calmed down significantly. His face is red and blotchy from crying, the bags under his eyes honestly looking more like bruises than anything else. He can feel a large bruise forming where he was hitting his leg, and it hurts a little bit to move it. His fist is also red and irritated from where it connected with his leg. 

Steve can’t help but feel his heart break a little bit at the sight, as he desperately wants to reach out and pull Eddie into his arms again, but holds back, not knowing if he would be receptive to that right now.

They sit there for a few moments, Eddie curling in on himself where he’s now sitting. He is refusing to look at Steve, while Steve can’t take his eyes off him, watching his every tiny movement for any sign he is going to spiral again. 

“I’m sorry,” Eddie whispers. It’s so quiet, Steve almost doesn’t hear him. He looks confusedly at the other man, unsure what he could possibly be apologizing for. 

“Why are you sorry?” Steve asks, genuinely curious. Eddie takes it as him poking fun though, and scoffs. 

“You know why.” He says, trying to sound unbothered and harsh, but it just comes across as scared and a little broken. It seems to click in Steve’s brain at that moment, as he looks a little bewildered. 

“Wait. Are you apologizing for having a panic attack?” He asks a little redundantly. Still, Eddie nods, confirming his suspicions. “Eds, you never have to apologize for something like that.” 

Eddie looks up at him, his brow furrowed and lips down turned as he studies his face. Steve gives him a small smile, trying to come across as comforting but almost positive he is failing. Eddie studies him for a moment more, before seemingly coming to a conclusion. 

He returns Steve’s small smile, relief flooding through his body at the sight. 

“Okay,” Eddie says quietly, looking down again from Steve’s eyes, his smile not leaving his face. Steve moves a little closer to Eddie on the couch, and when he doesn’t make any move to get away, he pulls him back into a tight embrace.

Eddie melts into it, hands coming up to cling at the back of Steve’s shirt so tight his knuckles turn white. Steve holds on just as tight, one hand stroking up and down his back, as his other hand buries itself in Eddie’s hair, holding his head against his chest. 

Eddie feels himself drifting off in Steve’s arms, exhausted from his panic attack. Steve maneuvers them so they’re laying on the couch, Eddie on top of him, his face still buried in his chest. 

Eddie tries to fight off sleep at first, not wanting to miss a second of being in Steve’s arms like this, but it’s a fight he’s quickly losing. His eyes are drooping and he feels Steve’s hand move back to his hair, stroking through it in a comforting manner, lulling him to sleep. 

The last thing he feels before fully drifting off is a light kiss pressed to the top of his head. 

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The next morning Steve insists on letting Eddie look at his leg where he had been punching, to make sure he is okay. 

Eddie is hesitant, but Steve is nothing if not persistent, so he finally gives in, letting Steve look. Steve rolls up his pajama pant leg, to look at his right thigh. Eddie feels a bright red blush spread over his face as Steve brings his palms down on his skin, pressing lightly to make sure everything feels okay. 

Eddie hisses as Steve’s palms press on the dark bruise that has taken up residence on his thigh. 

“Sorry,” Steve whispers, looking up at Eddie to make sure he hasn’t hurt him. Eddie whispers back a small, “it’s fine,” scared of breaking the tension that has formed between them. 

Steve goes back to examining Eddie’s thigh, as Eddie brings his hands up to his hair, pulling it so it’s covering his mouth, as he chews a little bit at it. It helps relax him some, as Steve is still very close and still very much has his hands on his thigh. 

Steve moves away after another minute or so, though Eddie is pretty sure it felt like hours that he was touching him. 

“You’re all good. Not gonna die. I’m gonna get you some ice though, to stop the swelling.” Steve says, patting the non bruised part of Eddie’s thigh, before standing up and heading to the kitchen. Eddie just watches him go, still chewing a little nervously at his hair. 

Steve comes back quickly with an ice pack he found in the freezer, wrapped in a napkin so the cold doesn’t hurt Eddie. He sits back down, somehow even closer than last time. Eddie thinks he’s going to hand him the ice pack, but instead he just brings it to his thigh, holding it there himself. Eddie gasps slightly, and he's not entirely sure if it is from the cold or the fact it’s Steve holding the ice pack to his thigh.

Steve has been looking down at his thigh up until this point, but as soon as he raises his head to look at Eddie, he seems to realize how close they are. Their noses are practically touching and if Eddie didn’t have his hair in his mouth he was sure he’d be able to feel Steve’s breath against his lips. 

Steve looks down at his lips, and Eddie quickly realizes he might think it’s a little weird he’s chewing on his hair, so he spits it out, refusing to make eye contact. 

“Sorry,” Eddie whispers, Steve giving him a fond smile as he continues to stare at his lips. 

“You apologize too much,” Steve responds, bringing his free hand up to grab at the back of Eddie’s neck, before he’s pulling him into a kiss. Eddie doesn’t respond for a second, eyes widening in shock, but as soon as he feels Steve’s mouth start to move against his, he gets with the program, closing his eyes and starting to kiss him back. 

Steve smiles into the kiss once he feels Eddie kissing him back, grabbing his hair a little bit to move his head so he’s at a better angle. Eddie feels somehow even more vulnerable at this moment than he did last night, but he honestly can’t bring himself to care. 

He sighs into the kiss, bringing his tongue out to swipe at Steve’s bottom lip, asking for entrance. He also quickly realizes he hasn’t been doing anything with his hands, so he brings them up to Steve’s shirt, pulling him impossibly closer. 

Steve opens his mouth willingly, moaning softly into the kiss as Eddie starts to explore his mouth with his tongue. The kiss is a little sloppy and desperate, but it’s the best kiss either of them can remember having. 

They ruefully pull away after a few minutes, needing to catch their breaths. They lean their foreheads together, both with large goofy smiles on their faces. 

“Wow,” Eddie breathes out, laughing a little breathlessly. 

“That good, huh?” Steve teases, but he sounds just as breathless as Eddie. 

“Shut up, Harrington.”

“Make me.” 

And make him, he does. He brings his mouth back to Steve's, kissing him hard, the ice pack now forgotten on the floor as Eddie pushes Steve back, laying him down on the couch. 

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After that morning, something shifts between the two. They had been close and touchy before, but now it’s like they need to be touching as much as possible. Obviously there is far more kissing, but they also feel the need to just touch each other. 

Whether it’s a hand on the back, their chests pressed together while they hold one another, or even just linked pinkies, the two can’t stop touching each other. Their friends have noticed, because how could they not, but they honestly couldn’t care less. 

They don’t exactly tell anyone they’re dating, but they don’t deny it when they are asked either, often just replying with a smug, “I don’t know, are we?” Robin thinks they are insufferable, but she can’t help but be happy for them. She loves her friends and can’t help but feel like they are perfect for each other.

They have been dating for about a month and a half, and they can’t remember being happier. Realistically they know they are still in the honeymoon phase, and things won’t always be this easy between them, but they honestly can’t imagine not feeling like this. Not when every kiss feels like their first. Not when every touch brings goosebumps to their skin. Not when everything just feels so perfect. 

They are in Steve’s room this time. Eddie’s uncle is at the trailer and Steve’s parents are out of town, and the two of them have kind of been going at it lately, which they really didn’t want anyone to hear. They are laying next to each other, both catching their breath from maybe the best sex either of them have ever had. 

Eddie laughs, feeling a little giddy with it as he sits up so he can look down at Steve. Steve’s eyes are closed in content bliss as he lays on his back with his hands across his stomach. His hair is a mess, and he is covered in bruises from Eddie’s mouth. Eddie thinks he has never seen a prettier sight.

He feels himself start to rock in place as he memorizes his boyfriend’s face. He is aware he is doing it, but he just can't bring himself to care right now. Too content to be worried that Steve would make fun of him for it. 

Steve opens one eye to look up at Eddie, feeling the motion of him rocking on the bed. He smiles when he sees the content look on the other man’s face. His chest feels warm and full, and he is so in love he feels like he might explode. 

“I love you.” 

Eddie looks down at Steve in shock. Steve is confused why before he realizes what he said. He no longer looks blissfully content, a nervous look replacing the previously peaceful features. Eddie silently curses himself for putting that look there, bringing his hands out to smooth his fingers over Steve’s furrowed brow. 

“I love you too.” Eddie whispers, a smile lighting up his face. It seems to take a moment for Steve to process his words, but as soon as he does he surges up, capturing Eddie in a searing kiss. The two of them are smiling so much they have to break away after only a minute. 

Eddie feels himself rock in place again, this time rocking Steve with him as they hold onto each other. The two of them laugh together, feeling impossibly happy, as they gently rock together in lovesick bliss.