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if long hair and tattoos are what attract you (baby then you're in luck)

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the first time it happens, steve thinks he imagined it. a full blown hallucination in the form of eddie munson. he’s working and robin is shelving returns when it happens.

“sure thing, baby,” eddie says with a wink, and steve can feel the way his cheeks burn at the pet name. he’s used to it from eddie. sweetheart, sure. he even handled eddie calling him stevie with enough grace to impress his younger self.

but baby? baby makes his brain short circuit. he’s called girls baby before, and he gets it now. he gets why they melt when he says it. he doesn’t even remember what he asked eddie to do for a full ten minutes after he leaves and robin comes up the desk waving her arms in front of his face.

“did you have a stroke? i’ve been talking to you for five minutes,” she says, jokingly irritated. he knows robin enough to know that she’s not actually mad. when he doesn’t say anything, she (thankfully) goes back to her rant about how she has to close tonight and miss the beginning of movie night.

right. movie night. that’s what he was inviting eddie too. he tries to figure out why he did that in the first place. him and eddie are — well, they’re friends. you don’t go through almost dying together without forming some sort of bond. still, he doesn’t know when eddie became a fixture in their lives. and he doesn’t know when he started to enjoy it. he taps his fingers on the desk nervously, trying to focus on anything but eddie and the way he feels.

see, the problem is that he can’t feel this way. he knows what it means to have these feelings and the idea of it being him having them? it makes his chest hurt. it doesn’t make sense to him — he’s steve. steve the former jock who dated girls like it was a sport. he likes girls. loves them, even. he loves girls the way robin loves girls.

but the blushing over a pet name is — well, it’s concerning. it’s enough to make him want to hide away forever.

he doesn’t hide, though. the movie night starts and he takes his place on the couch after everyone shows up. robin first, nancy and jonathan in the middle, and eddie last. steve hates the way he’s relieved when he opens the door to see eddie’s smiling face.

“what are we watching?” nancy asks from her spot next to jonathan, voice interrupting steve’s inner monologue.

“nothing scary, right?” robin comments, and before steve can say no, she keeps going. “because i think as a group we’ve seen enough shit to last us a lifetime.”

“cheers to that,” eddie says, lifting his beer from the arm of the couch next to steve. sitting between him and robin is — well, it’s comforting. but it’s also asking for trouble. robin knows him too well for him to sit thigh to thigh with eddie and not notice him having a freak out.

“— nothing scary,” steve comments, and he sees the way they all relax at his words. “we’ve got some options.”

“all of your options probably suck, harrington.” eddie comments, and steve narrows his eyes at that. he knows his music taste isn’t eddie’s thing, but he can pick out a damn movie. he stands up and grabs a few options from their collection of movies, holding them up for eddie to vote.

there’s a pause, and eddie looks like steve did something good. something that makes him happy. steve wants to drown in that look.

“what?” he asks, ignoring the way his nerves are getting to him.

“you have the rocky horror picture show?” eddie asks, and steve rolls his eyes affectionately.

“robin and i watched it and i liked it.”

you liked the rocky horror picture show?” eddie asks, confusion etched on his features like he’s trying to pick steve apart and reconstruct him in his head.

eddie and robin share a look, and steve has never been more confused in his life. he feels like he missed something big.

“am i not supposed to?” steve asks, ignoring the way robin is smirking at him.

“nope, let’s watch it.”

it feels like a challenge. it feels like some test that steve is desperate to pass so that he can see eddie smile at him again. god fucking damnit, he wants to go back to when his only worry was the upside down. he’d rather face that then deal with whatever was going on with him.

steve puts it on, and takes his seat between robin and eddie. whatever challenge eddie was giving him, he thinks he won when eddie puts his arm on the back of the couch around him. he tries not to panic about it, and he’s seconds away from standing up and offering food or drinks when robin lays her head on his shoulder. which — okay, that’s normal. she’s done this before. maybe eddie is just being a good friend.

when they make it through the movie (after robin and eddie sing the entire thing and even get up to dance to the time warp), he’s ready to crawl out of his skin. eddie is happy and he looks carefree. not even in the way that he pretends to be, actually at peace.

steve is so, so, fucked.


the second time it happens, steve is half asleep and he doesn’t know how eddie munson ended up on his doorstep.

“— eddie?” he asks, and turns on the porch light. his parents aren’t home — they haven’t been for weeks — and he rubs sleep out of his eyes to make sure he isn’t dreaming.

“one and only, baby.” eddie says, and his voice sounds rough. he sounds exhausted, and steve doesn’t know if he’s allowed to mother hen him to death.

when he blinks again, he sees it. the bruises on eddie’s face, the blood on his mouth. he looks wrecked, and the anxiety that settles in steve’s chest is overwhelming.

“what the fuck, man? come inside,” is all steve can come up with. he locks the door behind them and notices that eddie’s holding his side like he’s hurt there too.

steve ushers him to the bathroom and grabs his first aid kid that he made up after they started fighting the good fight. what a load of shit.

they’re silent for a minute, and steve’s anxiety is so high that his hands are shaking as he wipes blood from eddie’s mouth.

“lift your shirt,” he says quietly, and tries not to blush. this isn’t the time for whatever crisis he’s going through.

“buy me dinner first, harrington,” eddie replies, and steve rolls his eyes so hard that his whole body moves. thankfully, eddie does as he’s told. steve tries to ignore the way that eddie’s bare chest makes his mouth go dry as he stares at the bruise on eddie’s side. it’s already purple, like someone kicked the shit out of him.

“we gonna talk about this, or am i just playing nurse?” steve asks, focusing back on eddie’s face. if he stares at his chest too long he might do something stupid.

“now that’s an image. you in a little nurse outfit,” eddie comments, like he’s commenting on the weather. the sky is blue, he wants to see steve in a skirt.

“can you be serious for a second?” steve huffs, hands on his hips. the bathroom is too small for this, steve realizes. they’re too close. steve is practically straddling him to make sure that he can help. it’s — well, it’s a problem.

“who says i’m not serious? you’re pretty enough to pull it off,” eddie responds with a grin, then his smile drops when he shifts and the pain radiates through him again. “— it’s nothing. i thought i could go out and be myself. wrong place, wrong time.”

it’s vague, and steve hates it. he has a million questions that he wants to ask, starting with who did this and ending with why did eddie come here? why is his house the safe place for him to go?

he realizes that he’s been staring and clears his throat. “you can be yourself with us,” steve comments easily. “some of us like who you are.”

eddie laughs at that, but it sounds sad, and steve gets the same feeling he had when eddie and robin shared a look on his couch. like he’s missing something huge.

“the blood is gone. i don’t think anything’s broken, but if it keeps bothering you we’ll have someone look at it.” eddie nods, and steve feels useless. he doesn’t know how to fix this. how to be what eddie needs. the panic settles in his chest again, and he wants out of this too-small bathroom. he turns his focus to closing the first aid kit and tucking it back in the cabinet.

“i can go —“ eddie says, like he’s a nuisance. steve stares at him like he has three heads and rolls his eyes.

“my parents are gone. you can stay here, if you want. i know you don’t wanna worry wayne.”

eddie puts his head in his hands and they’re too fucking close to each other. steve feels like his skin is on fire until eddie movies back to lean against the back of the toilet and steve finally moves to stand by the sink. side by side. they can do side by side.

“wayne has seen me like this too many times, harrington,” eddie laments, voice quiet and small. like he’s a kid again.

“we’ll deal with it tomorrow,” steve responds, resisting the urge he has to rest his hand on eddie’s shoulder. he thinks if he touches eddie, he might burn. or worse, he would never stop.

“i’ll get some clothes for you. your shirt has blood on it, and you can’t sleep in jeans.”

eddie snorts at that, like he’s done it a million times, and steve realizes he doesn’t actually know much about eddie. it bothers him. he leaves the bathroom before that thought can fully bother him, grabbing eddie some old t-shirt and a pair of pajama pants. a part of him wants to see eddie in shorts, but he resists that urge.

“i’ll be in the kitchen,” he comments, handing eddie the clothes and closing the bathroom door. when he gets to the kitchen, he puts his hands on the counter and tries to breathe normally. a part of him wants to go and find who did this to eddie, but a larger part wants to sit here with him until he knows that eddie is okay.

he settles on making food.

it’s nothing special, a pasta dish that he’s made a million times. noodles, sauce, spices, chicken. he makes a mental note to defrost more chicken for dinner tomorrow and focuses on the task at hand.

he’s lost in cooking when he hears the bathroom door open, soft footsteps coming in the room.

“you’re making food?” eddie asks, and steve turns to face him. which, in hindsight, probably wasn’t the best idea. seeing eddie in his clothes does something for him that he doesn’t have a word for. he bites back the grin that’s threatening to form on his face and turns back to the food.

“just pasta.” he responds, moving to pour the cooked noodles in a strainer and back into the pan. cooking is easy for him. it’s simple to follow a recipe. there’s nothing to surprise him when he’s cooking.

eddie doesn’t say anything for a second, and steve wonders if maybe he’s crossed some invisible boundary between them. when he turns back to glance at eddie, he’s staring like steve did something magical.

“no one’s ever made me food before, harrington. i’m touched.” he teases, and the tone of his voice is enough to make steve smile. he feels like eddie is back, like he didn’t just spend time patching him up in the bathroom.

“don’t get used to it,” he responds, grabbing two plates from the cabinet.

“steve harrington is a housewife. never would have guessed that.”

and maybe it isn’t the time, but steve feels the urge to explain. to give eddie something he’s never given anyone else before. he’s cooked for nancy, sure, but she never got the story.

“my parents are gone a lot,” he starts, plating the pasta to give his hands something to do. “i started cooking for myself a long time ago. it was either that or live off of delivery food and canned shit for the rest of my life.”

he sets a plate down in front of eddie and grabs silverware before sitting down next to him. eddie is looking at him strangely, but he tries not to overthink it.

“so now you’re cooking for me.” eddie comments, grabbing his fork and messing with the food for a second. he looks like he has a million things wants to say, and steve waits. “i stand by my housewife comment.”

“you got hurt and i couldn’t do anything about it,” steve responds, shrugging. “plus you showed up on my doorstep like a damsel in distress.”

eddie grins at that, and finally settles in to eating his pasta. steve stares at him for maybe a second too long, but eddie doesn’t seem to notice. they finish their food in a comfortable silence before having an argument about who does the dishes before steve threatens him that it’s not his job and eddie finally relents.

he hears eddie yawn from where he’s sitting, and steve realizes that he needs to make sure eddie gets rest. “tired?” he asks, putting up the dry plate.

“getting beat up will do that to you,” eddie comments, still smiling despite his words. “plus the food was pretty good.”

steve rolls his eyes at that, knowing for a fact that the food was good. he isn’t worried about that. if there’s one thing he knows, it’s that he can cook. he doesn’t cook for other people very often, but he’s glad he did it for eddie.

“show me where the guest room is and i’ll be on my way.”

right. guest room.

“about that,” steve says, hesitating. “my parents turned the guest room into an office for my dad. so it’s either my bed or my parents.”

eddie grimaces at the idea of sleeping in his parents bed, and steve laughs at that. the idea of sharing a bed with eddie is terrifying to him. he didn’t even think about it before he offered to let eddie stay.

“— i can sleep on the couch, steve.”

“or you can sleep in my bed considering you got your ass kicked. i’ll sleep on the couch.”

“it’s your bed. we can share, right?”

and that, that’s an intoxicating thought. sharing a bed with eddie munson, even if it’s just as friends, with eddie looking soft and literally perfect in his clothes. he swallows thickly, trying to formulate a sentence before eddie realizes he’s having a full on crisis.

“we can share.”

eddie follows him upstairs and falls asleep within minutes once he gets in steve’s bed. a bed he’s had meaningless sex in, and some meaningful times too. a bed he’s had for years, but never imagined having eddie in.

eddie is asleep, and steve is fucked.


“you patched his wounds, made him food, and shared a bed with him,” robin says for the tenth time. he gets that she’s trying to process, but hearing it is making his stomach hurt from how anxious he is.

“— he showed up at my house beaten up! what was i supposed to do?”

“not be his boyfriend?” robin asks, looking innocent like she didn’t just say something that makes steve want to scream.

“i would do the same thing for you, rob.”

“yeah but we’re steve and robin! platonic with a capital p. best friends, platonic soulmates, the best people you’ve ever met —“

steve hears the bell over the door chime before he sees eddie, robin still going on her rant about how they’re the best friends ever.

“still turning harrington down, buckley?” he asks, grinning at steve before leaning against the counter.

“i didn’t ask her out,” steve says a little too quickly and with too much force. “we were —“

“no need to explain, baby. i get it. robin’s the dream girl,” eddie says with a wink, like he didn’t just call steve baby again and make his stomach do flips.

eddie and robin start talking about something and steve feels like his face is on fire. the pet name came so easily for him, and steve doesn’t know what the fuck is happening to him. he’s never had this strong of a reaction to anyone in his life. not even nancy. he chased nancy for a long time, and maybe he wasn’t the best boyfriend to her, but he really did love her. he wanted to be with her forever, right? or at least, the old him did. his hands are shaking when he comes back to reality, and he doesn’t know what a panic attack feels like but he’s sure that he’s having one.

“i’m going on my break,” he manages to say, leaving and heading for the back room. he wants to break something. he wants to yell and throw a temper tantrum like a fucking toddler. he feels like he might throw up from the anxiety in his stomach. he can’t have this strong of a reaction to a guy, to eddie, to anyone. it’s the worst thing he’s ever felt in his life.

he doesn’t realize robin is in the room until she grabs his arms and moves him to the couch to his left. he’s still breathing in a ridiculous way, and robin is trying to fix it — he vaguely hears her tell him to breathe in through his nose and out through his mouth. he tries it, and the anxiety in his chest settles a bit.

his hands are still shaking when he can fully hear robin again, and when he fully listens he can tell she’s worried and rambling about her feelings for vickie.

“— oh, good, you’re back. you’re giving me that look that means you want me to shut up but i can’t because you just had a panic attack and i didn’t even know you had those.”

“that was the first one,” steve supplies unhelpfully.

they sit in silence for a second, which steve knows is a feat for robin, and he’s grateful to sit and try not to panic while she talks.

unsurprisingly, she breaks the silence.

“are you okay, dingus?” she asks, the affectionate nickname making him smile despite what’s happening.

“i —,” steve starts, running his hands down his face before robin grabs his hand. she’s always the one who knows what he needs, even when he doesn’t need it. her hand feels like an anchor, something to keep him from having another panic attack. “i think i’m okay now.”

“do you wanna talk about how you had a panic attack because eddie munson called you baby?”

and, of course, robin knows. he doesn’t have to explain it to her.

“what the fuck is up with that, rob?” steve starts, frustration evident in his voice. “one second i’m king steve and the next he’s calling me baby and showing up at my door.”

“— i call you babe and show up at your door.”

“it’s different.”

“why is it different?”

and that’s the million dollar question. why is it different? why is steve different? why is eddie munson his fucking downfall?

“i don’t know. it just is,” steve starts. “i don’t look at you and feel like i’m about to crawl out of my skin. you lay your head on my shoulder and it feels normal. like that’s what you’re supposed to do. but he calls me baby and i’m blushing like a virgin,” she squeezes his hand and it makes him a little braver. he knows he should have told her about this, but he couldn’t find the words. “i mean, what the fuck? was he put on this earth to make me have a panic attack and be confused for the rest of my life?”

“what are you confused about?”

“i like girls, rob.”

“hey, me too! high five!” she puts her free hand up and steve rolls his eyes before hitting her hand. “— you can also like eddie.”

“i don’t want to. i don’t know what the fuck that means, robin. three months ago i wasn’t daydreaming about eddie fucking munson,” the admission makes him feel better, because he can trust robin, but he still doesn’t know what to do with his feelings. they’re just there and he can’t get rid of them if eddie keeps calling him baby. “i think if i like him the way i liked nancy, i might actually explode from it.”

“sounds like you already like him that way, steve.”

it’s the way she says steve that makes him want to cry. she says it the way she did when she was coming out to him, voice soft and terrified — but this time terrified for him.

“it doesn’t matter because he doesn’t like me, and i’m destined to fall for the wrong person.” robin looks like she might actually combust, but doesn’t say anything. like clockwork, steve feels like he’s missed something big again. “— why do you look like that?”

“nothing! i’m just — glad you’re finally having your big bisexual awakening with me. i thought it was gonna take you years.”

she’s lying, and steve knows it, but he can’t figure out why.

“we need to get back to work. i’m not in a place where i can get fired.”

“steve —“

he moves from the couch and drops her hand, wishing that he could take back everything he told her. not because she doesn’t deserve to know, but because it doesn’t matter.

he’s fucked regardless, right?


they’re having their stupid nerd party at his house. only eddie fucking munson would make him agree to this. but, here he is — with a spread of food like he’s throwing a dinner party. most of it is stuff he made, but some is just snacks. the kids go for the snacks, mostly, and eddie winks at him when he grabs a plate of the chicken dish steve made.

he wonders, aimlessly, if some government agency has a cure for feelings yet. he wants to erase everything he feels for eddie and bottle it up to be a decoration on his shelf. it’s better than feeling like there’s a hole in his chest.

he can see eddie leading the party from the kitchen, everyone engrossed in his storytelling. he doesn’t understand a single thing they’re saying, and he’s not trying to, but he wants to look away. he wants to go back to when eddie wasn’t a fixture in his life.

he makes his way to the living room eventually, sitting down and watching the party from afar. eddie moves like he’s destined to be on a stage. it isn’t graceful, but it’s enthralling. it’s more entertaining than anything steve has watched in his life. he watches as eddie throws his hands around, and tucks his hair behind his ear, and keeps everyone captivated.

he might not love their stupid nerd game, but he loves eddie.


that’s a horrible feeling. he swallows thickly and tries to make his escape, but they’re finishing up the game and eddie locks eyes with him and he feels like he can’t move or breathe properly until eddie plops down on the couch next to him.

“wanna smoke?” he asks, like steve isn’t trying to rip his brain apart and figure out when he decided eddie was a person he could love.

“when the kids leave,” he replies, and he can tell his voice is strained. he needs to get it together. he needs to anything but be sitting next to eddie.

“i’ll come back after i drop them off,” eddie replies, moving from the couch to the table to collect his stuff. steve tries desperately not to stare at his ass.

he gets twenty minutes of time to freak out before eddie is back, foregoing knocking for walking in the door like he lives there.

“i got us beer, too,” he says, putting the six pack on the counter and jumping up on it. eddie looks so natural sitting there that it makes steve’s chest hurt.

“thanks, man,” steve says, attempting some normalcy in his feelings. he can do this. eddie is his friend. if all he gets is to be friends with eddie, he can survive that. it’s better than nothing.

“— and i have some high quality stuff for us to smoke. usually i charge, but i’ll give you this one for free.”

“i’m touched, munson.”

“anything for you, baby.”

and just like that, steve wants to be six feet underground. the way he feels hot all over is ridiculous and embarrassing and he knows that eddie can see what’s happening. he turns away from eddie, pretending to be fixated on something on the wall.

“why do you do that?” eddie asks, and steve wants the earth to swallow him whole. he can’t have this conversation today. he can’t do this.

“do what?”

“turn away when you’re blushing. you look pretty when you’re blushing, harrington.”

his voice is teasing and steve wants to jump in the pool to avoid saying anything stupid. he wants to scream and ask eddie why he’s doing this. he wants to know how eddie can be nonchalant about this when it’s eating him up inside.

he turns back to eddie and hopes that he isn’t still blushing. based on the smile eddie gives him, he knows he is, and he swallows the feeling of embarrassment down.

“so now you think i’m pretty?” steve asks without thinking, knowing that eddies answer is going to make things worse.

“always thought you were pretty, sweetheart. kind of a dick, but pretty.”

“— and now?” steve feels like he’ll die if be doesn’t ask, doesn’t give some kind of hint that eddie needs to kiss him. needs to give him some kind of outlet for the way he’s feeling.

“less of a dick, and still pretty,” eddie says with a shrug, and steve wants to scream when he motions for them to go outside and smoke.

he hates the pool, and he wants to smoke inside to avoid it, but he can’t. he can hear the way his parents would lecture him — and god, his fucking parents. if they saw him right now, he would never hear the end of it. smoking with eddie munson and wishing that eddie would push him against a wall and kiss him until he couldn’t fucking breathe.

when eddie passes the joint to him to take a hit, his hands are shaking, and he wishes that his brain would shut up for two seconds. he wants to feel normal again.

“you okay there, harrington? you’re shaking a little,” eddie breathes out after taking a hit, and he moves to take his jacket off and hand it to steve. like he’s cold, and not shaking because he doesn’t know what the fuck is happening.

steve feels a little bit like he’s floating, and eddies jacket smells like him. sweat, cigarettes, and it should be disgusting but it’s not. it’s fucking perfect.

“just been a while since i’ve smoked,” he lies easily, passing the joint back to eddie. “and i don’t like being out here much. after barb. it feels — wrong, i guess.”

eddie hums like he understands, taking a hit and passing it back to steve. “one more hit and you’re done, baby, i don’t need you getting too high.”

baby. baby. fucking baby passes through his lips and steve wants to scream. he takes a hit instead and listens, passing it back to eddie.

“you wanna stay tonight?” he asks, like an idiot. like a masochist.

“i’m down. wayne is working nights and it gets kinda lonely anyway.”

the admission of loneliness hits steve a little too hard, and the part of him that wants everyone to be happy and cared for shows it’s overbearing head.

“you can always come here, you know? i don’t have anyone here.” steve says, and then he starts giggling and eddie looks at him like he’s confused and it’s adorable. “you’re pretty, munson.”

“— that’s my line, come up with your own.” eddie jokes, putting the joint out and shoving it back in his jean pockets.

i love you. kiss me. stay here forever.

“i wanna braid your hair,” steve says instead, reaching out to touch it. his hair is surprisingly soft, and the noise steve makes is embarrassing. it’s the worst thing he’s ever done, probably, and that includes all the time when he was king steve.

“— you got the dexterity for that, big boy?”

“are you asking me if my fingers work?” steve asks, raising a brow at him. “because i think they do.”

this time, it’s eddie’s turn to blush — and steve gets it. he gets why eddie tries to make him blush so much. god, it’s such a fucking power trip. he feels like he could win the championship game on this high.

“no doubt about that,” eddie says, and his voice is rough and steve wants to fucking ruin him. he wants to spend hours making eddie’s voice do that again. “come on, i’ve got a hair tie in my jacket. we can go back in.”

steve follows him back inside and practically shoves eddie on the floor in front of the couch. he brackets his legs around eddies shoulders after he sits behind him, grabbing the hair tie from the jacket pocket.

he’s not a liar, so he does braid eddie’s hair. it’s not a good braid, but he can’t be blamed when every time he went to grab a piece of hair eddie made a noise that went straight to his stomach.

“someone likes getting their hair played with,” he comments as he’s finishing up, wishing he could feign stupid and restart just so eddie will keep making that noise.

“you should see how i act when someone pulls it,” eddie comments, and he can feel the way his whole body flushes at that. how does eddie just say things?

“i’ll keep that in mind,” he responds, feeling properly stupid for not having the guts to just pull his hair then. he lets go of the braid, letting it fall on eddie’s back before he brushes his fingers over the top of his scalp. “you look pretty.”

“you’re not so bad yourself, harrington.” eddie replies, and he sounds exhausted. like steve put him to sleep. it’s fucking adorable and steve wants to burrow inside the moment forever.

he finds a shred of bravery inside of him and kisses the top of eddie’s head, like he does to robin sometimes, and notes how eddie’s whole body freezes. “come on, let’s get to bed. the kids wore you out.”

eddie takes a second before he stands up, and steve likes that he has some sort of effect on eddie. it’s intoxicating. steve wants more of it.

when they crawl into bed, eddie in steve’s clothes, steve feels like maybe he won something tonight.


halloween rolls around sooner than he expected. for once, he doesn’t have to work, and robin took a morning shift. he reluctantly agrees to host a party at his house with robins wisdom that they need something positive in their lives.

his only rule is that no one is allowed in the pool unless they’re being supervised.

he makes a choice. it’s not his most well thought out plan, but he makes a choice. when he’s getting ready for the party (older teenagers only), he stares at his outfit like it might bite him.

it was robins idea, mostly. she’s dressing up as someone from rocky horror, so he agreed to do it too. he just didn’t tell her about how he’s using it to seduce eddie.

he pulls on the fishnets first, then the rest of frank n. furter’s ridiculously revealing outfit. gloves included. and truthfully, he looks — well, ridiculous, in his eyes. he wants to take it off, but he doesn’t have another costume and he might literally die if eddie doesn’t kiss him soon.

robin gets there first, because he asked her to, and the minute she sees him she’s speechless. for the first time in her life, she has nothing to say.

it doesn’t last long, though.

“holy shit, steve,” she says, making him self conscious for a second before she starts talking again. “are you trying to give eddie a heart attack?“

steve grins, and he knows he made the right choice.

nancy and jonathan are late, and so is vickie, and robins energy is making him nervous. maybe he should go change. settle for an old basketball uniform or something. he could do that, right? he’s heading up the stairs to change when eddie walks in, again like he lives there, and stops dead in his tracks.

“i was —“ steve starts, and eddie is just staring at him. “i was gonna go change.”

he watches as eddie swallows, tracks the movement with his eyes like he wants to with his mouth.

“don’t,” eddie says, and his voice is rough again. worse than before. steve hesitates on the steps before stepping down, closer to eddie. “i need to smoke.”

and like that, he’s outside. and steve is standing like an idiot in an outfit that he shouldn’t have worn. steve busies himself in the kitchen, and robin is nowhere to be found, and the anxiety in his chest is eating him alive. he hears the door and soft footsteps coming up behind him, and eddie’s hands are on his waist before he can try to say anything.

“baby,” he breathes out, and steve feels like he won a prize. the championship game. a million dollars. he feels like his entire body is on fire as he leans back into eddie, his hands falling on top of eddie’s that are still planted on his waist.

and then eddie’s pulling away, and steve wants to scream until he hears robins footsteps coming down the stairs. he doesn’t even know when she went upstairs, but he wants to redo the last thirty seconds. it wasn’t enough time.

he clears his throat and begs his body to stop reacting to eddie in such a strong way. he doesn’t need to show how turned on he is right now, so he opens the door to the fridge and acts like he’s looking for something.

“vickie is late, what if she got killed? what if her car broke down and she’s stuck? what if she’s —“ robin stops when she hears a knock at the door, and just like that she’s gone again.

“i’ve never been this mad at her,” steve says easily, and eddie laughs from across the kitchen. he closes the fridge and turns, and eddie is on him in a second.

“— you’re wearing fishnets, harrington,” eddie breathes out, and steve wants to melt into the ground. “what the fuck?” he says with a laugh, his hands on steve’s waist like he might actually fall over if he’s not holding on to steve.

“so, you like them?” steve asks, trying to feign innocence. like he didn’t do this on purpose.

eddie doesn’t say anything, and he can hear robin and vickie talking in the doorway. he knows they don’t have any time before someone walks in.

“upstairs?” steve asks, and eddie nods before they’re both practically running up the stairs. robin says something to them but steve doesn’t hear it, his entire brain focusing on eddie.

they make it to his room and eddie practically slams him against the door, and steve can’t fucking think straight.

“i was being so good, harrington,” eddie breathes out, and there’s no space between them. nowhere for steve to run and hide. he doesn’t know what to do with his hands, and his brain is practically malfunctioning.

“who said that’s what i wanted?” steve replies, finally getting his brain to function properly. eddie just stares at him, and steve feels like he’s being stripped naked already. not that it would take much, but still. “maybe this was what i wanted.”

“— is it?” eddie asks, and he knows that he needs to be serious. he needs eddie to understand that this is what he wants. “because this is a pretty bold way to get my attention.”

“nothing else was working,” steve replies, and then decides he can’t take it anymore. he can’t handle the back and forth or the weird tension between them. before eddie can come up with a sarcastic reply, he’s leaning forward and kissing him.

for a second, he thinks he made the wrong move, because eddie is frozen in his place. but before steve can have a breakdown about that, eddie is kissing him back. it’s slow steve feels like he might crack under the weight of it. this isn’t eddie trying to take him apart, there’s no rush to it or any movement to show that eddie wants more than this kiss.

steve is the one that deepens the kiss, opening his mouth and giving eddie everything he has. he desperately wants to grind up against eddie, but eddies hands are tight against his hips and he’s pressed against the door. he likes the weight of eddie on him, he realizes, and lets himself get lost in it.



he doesn’t know how long he’s pressed against the door making out with eddie, and he doesn’t want to move, but he wants more. he wants to take eddie apart. he moves his hands, finally, tangling them in eddie’s hair and pulling enough that it gets the reaction he wants.

“harrington,” eddie warns, and eddie’s tone goes straight to his dick. “unless you want me to fuck you, don’t do that.”

finally, finally, eddie is giving him an opening. he’d be stupid not to take it. he tugs again, making sure to keep eddies gaze as he does. the glossy look in his eyes is enough of a reward for steve, but the way eddie picks up him and carries him over to the bed and practically throws him on it is even more rewarding.

eddie is on him in a second, his jacket thrown across the room and steve desperately wants to touch him. he reaches out and pulls eddie down closer with his belt loops, pulling him into a searing kiss. he’s never kissed anyone like this. it’s dirty, and steve feels it in his fucking toes, and he loves every second of it. eddie kisses like he does everything else, with enough finesse to get away with it but messy enough that it’s perfect. eddie bites his lower lip and steve groans, exposing the column of his throat.

like he expected, eddie instantly latches his lips to steve’s neck. he knows he’s gonna have a hickey, and he can’t find it in himself to care. the noise he makes his loud, and needy, and he moves his hand to cover his mouth so he doesn’t scar robin for life.

“they left, baby. robin said she didn’t want to be here for this, and i heard the door shut,” eddie says against his skin before he moves steve’s hand away from his mouth and goes back to the hickey he’s definitely leaving in a very visible spot.

“eddie, fuck,” steve moans out, and he can feel how hard eddie is against him. the fact that it isn’t just him sends a surge of confidence through him. he can do this — more importantly, he wants to do this. he wants eddie, has wanted eddie for so long he can’t imagine a time when he didn’t.

eddie pulls back and stares down at him for long enough that it starts to make steve squirm a little. he knows eddie thinks he looks good, but the staring is — well, he wants to hide away from it.

“are you sure you want this?” eddie asks, and steve wants to call him names. he wants to call him a fucking idiot and scream about how obvious it is that he wants this. instead, he takes a breath and tries to be sincere.

“i want you,” steve breathes out, trying to lay his cards on the table without giving everything away. “i put on a stupid costume so you would kiss me. i braided your hair, eddie. i want this.”

eddie kisses him again, and steve groans into his mouth. he’s never been more turned on in his life, and he feels like he might ruin his costume if he doesn’t get it off in the next thirty seconds. luckily, eddie has the same idea as him. they work on pulling the bottoms and the thigh highs off, and eddie does it so delicately that steve actually laughs.

“in case you wanna wear them for me again,” he says as he throws them across the room. before steve can complain and whine about being the only naked one, eddie is pulling his shirt off and working on his jeans.

steve leans up and helps him out of them, and they’re a mess of laughter for a second as eddie struggles to get them off. it’s not sexy at all, but it’s sexy because it’s eddie and that realization makes steve want to cry. he really did fall for eddie.

he’s lost in his head for a second before eddie straddles his hips again, and the contact makes steve close his eyes and groan.

“i have no idea what i’m doing,” steve breathes out, like he suddenly realizes that having sex with eddie is different.

eddies face changes for a second before he kisses steve again, gently, and grinds against him just to hear the way steve is falling apart.

“let me do the work this time,” eddie replies, sincere and open and fuck if steve doesn’t love him. “let me take care of you.”

steve relaxes at that, feeling embarrassed for a second before eddie is kissing down his chest and he mumbles something about chest hair that steve can’t really hear but he sounds so pleased with himself that steve doesn’t care what he says. eddie bites at his hip for a second and steve wonders if this is hell or heaven. he doesn’t really believe in that, but he thinks this might be hell.

“eddie, please,” he moans out, not sure what he’s asking for. he’s practically vibrating out of his skin and he wants eddie to touch him or something. something that isn’t teasing him to fucking death.

“please what?” eddie asks, like an asshole, and steve literally whines and throws his arm over his eyes. “tell me what you want, steve.”

“touch me, fuck me, something. i feel like i’m about to die,” steve admits, and he can feel eddies soft laughter against his skin. before he can complain again, eddie’s mouth is on his dick and his back arches at the feeling. he’s barely done anything and it’s embarrassing, but steve can’t help it, “fuck, eddie, jesus.”

eddie hums around him, his mouth moving on steve’s dick and it’s not like this is his first blowjob, but it’s different. it’s eddie and it’s perfect. he gets lost in the way eddie touches him, one hand on the base of his dick and the other on his stomach. he remembers, vaguely, that eddie likes his hair pulled and he moves his hand to his head again before he pulls it gently to test the waters.

eddie groans around his dick, moving faster and steve is a mess. he’s mumbling profanities and eddies name like he might die if he doesn’t, and he’s so grateful that they’re alone. eddie stops for a second and steve gets a chance to breathe while eddie reaches to steve’s nightstand and grabs the bottle of lube he keeps in there. he doesn’t even want to know how eddie knows it’s there.

“this okay?” eddie asks, and steve nods quickly before eddies pouring lube on his finger and circling it around his hole once it’s warm to the touch. it’s small things like that that make steve feel like he’s melting into the bed. that, and the gentle way eddie is pushing his finger in.

it’s weird, at first, and then it’s not weird. and then it’s fucking good. it’s more than good. eddie’s mouth is on his dick again, his finger moving slowly in and out of him. he knows he’s making the most broken noises, but he doesn’t care.

eddie curls his finger and steve’s vision literally goes white for a second. “eddie, baby, fuck,” he practically yells out, and pulls eddie’s hair again. he gets a broken noise from eddie in return, and steve is so close that he thinks he might scream. he feels that familiar tug in his gut and tries to pull eddie off of him, but he doesn’t budge.

“baby, baby — i’m about to,” he tries, and eddie stays put despite steve trying to pull him off and be polite. he knows he’s loud when he does come, and he’s practically screaming eddie’s name. watching eddie pull off of him and look completely smug as he does makes him groan again, this time out of slight annoyance. he should have known this would have been the case.

“c’mere,” steve tries, and fails to reach for him. “i wanna see your face when you come on me.”

this time, it’s eddies turn to groan as he climbs up steve’s body and steve finds the strength to reach between them and wrap his hands around eddie’s dick. the reaction he gets is instant, eddie fucking into his fist like he’s been waiting for steve to touch him. it’s the best feeling he’s had in a while. steve leans forward the best he can, latching his lips and his teeth onto eddie’s shoulder. he can hear and feel eddie falling apart and if he hadn’t just had the best orgasm of his life, he would be hard again.

“c’mon, baby, i wanna see you come on me,” steve breathes out, tightening his grip on eddie’s dick seconds before eddie comes on his chest. it’s — well, it’s a sight. steve wishes he could take a picture of the blissed out expression on eddie’s face as he practically falls on top of him.

they’re quiet for a minute, trying to catch their breath as steve draws circles on eddie’s bare back. steve has the realization, once again, that he loves eddie. that he wants more of this. not just sex, but just eddie. he wants him around all the time. steve breaks the silence first, pressing a kiss to eddie’s forehead. he tastes like sweat.

“you’re a cuddler,” steve comments, voice quiet. “i thought i’d miss out on this part.”

“i’ve been waiting to be able to cuddle you, harrington. since the first night i stayed.”

the admission makes steve grin, makes him feel like he could conquer anything. maybe he’ll try to climb a mountain or something. he feels like he could do it in this moment.

“well, i like it,” steve admits, adjusting so that he can be even closer to eddie. if it was even possible. “guess you have to stay.“

“not going anywhere, baby.”

this time, eddie calling him baby doesn’t make his chest hurt. it still makes him blush, but that’s between him and eddie.