Billy had only once entertained the idea of one day becoming a father. He was ten, so the reality of what that meant was surely lost on him. But he supposed the concept was there.
He and his mother had been at the beach. She had been smiling and laughing, waving at him proudly as he surfed the smaller waves the low tide brought at sundown. She wiped the sand from his face, tousled his hair, and they began their barefoot walk back to the dock.
Along the way they past a picturesque family, sitting criss-cross on a beach towel, an umbrella shading them from the setting sun. A young man, a young woman, a small baby sat between them, wearing nothing but a diaper and a grin so contagious, Billy began to laugh as he pointed them out.
“Look mom, a baby!”
“I see. Very cute, but not as cute as you were!” She had said.
“How do you get a baby?” Billy had asked, his mother chuckling as they continued on their way.
“Well, first you fall in love. You’ll get one, one day Sunshine.” She stopped them there in the middle of the beach, kneeling down to eye level with her boy. “And you’ll be the best father there ever was, because you have so much love to give.”
9 years, one month and six days later, Billy wasn’t so sure that was the case.
Steve was staring at him, wide eyes shining with tears, hands writhing in his lap, bottom lip bitten between his teeth. Pregnant. Steve was pregnant.
With his kid. Pregnant with Billy’s child. He and Steve Harrington, young and messed up and doing this thing had made a baby. Fuck .
It started like this: Billy realized that even with all the school he was missing (because being possessed by an otherworldly monster sort of shore your soul like the skin off a chicken, and no way was he going to deal with the bullshit that was Hawkins High), there were only so many times you could read ‘Little Women.’ (Sue him, ok? He liked the classics.) And Max had convinced Neil to buy them all a VHS player for Christmas. Pulled the whole “I almost died” sob story that Billy never dared try on his old man. He was actually a little impressed Max had the balls to use his potential death for her potential gain.
So by mid summer 1987, Billy was bored out of his mind. Which started leading to some pretty dark thoughts. Luckily Max came home one day with a copy of Adventures in Babysitting . Which Billy thought he would hate, but surprisingly didn't. And to his delight, one Steve Harrington was working the movie shop when Billy strolled in the next day to return it.
“Hey Harrington. I didn’t know they made a documentary about you?” Billy had smirked as he slapped the tape onto the front desk. Steve had rolled his eyes, snatching the film and taking the stamp card out of the back of the case.
“Very funny Hargrove. Still waiting for yours, I guess. Adventures of an Asshole is the working title, right? ” And something in the way Steve’s eyes shone as he met Billy’s gaze made the blonde realize they were now on different territory here.
Maybe it was the fact that Steve had destroyed Billy’s Camaro, the only thing he had ever loved in this life, with no remorse. Sure, Billy was like possessed and trying to murder a bunch of kids, but Steve could have a little regret. Billy liked that he didn’t.
Or maybe it was how they could both easily share in the absurd trauma that came from battling creatures from another dimension. Or maybe, what it really was, was that Steve’s eyes were wide and engrossing, and Billy’s smile was sparkling and endearing, and it was inevitable that it end the way it did.
So whatever it was, after a few weeks of constant video renting, and subtle touches, and pretty obvious flirting, it did end like this: Billy waiting for Steve to finish his solo shift, and lock the doors. Stalking across the store to pin the older boy against the counter. Spitting on his hand, and working him open, laying him flat on the ground, before finding himself sheathed with a feeling so opposite the only one he had been experiencing the past year, he was absolutely nauseous with it. But in a good way, like once you cross that line from buzzed to full-on drunk.
It was easy. Simple. They didn’t have to really talk about it. It just happened. And happened again and again. And it felt like coming up for air after a wave knocked you under. It wasn’t just sex, even though Billy tried not to think about it too hard. But man, sliding into Steve, watching every little move his face made, hearing the noises pour out of his tight little mouth. Made Billy shiver . His chest tightened so hard he couldn’t breathe in anything but Steve .
This thing was good. His future looked good too. Few weeks after he and Steve started their thing , Billy got into UCLA to study English Lit. He was so excited he hadn’t put much stock into what would happen with Harrington after he left. Then again Billy was never really one to think beyond the present moment, and despite living and dying at the hands of the mind-flayer that really hadn’t changed. Everything was exactly how he had planned it all along; save up money, get the fuck back to California, live life however he wanted.
So this kid thing, really came at him out of left field. Of course, he hadn’t expected, nor desired, to ever really be a dad, let’s be honest here. Because fuck that. Kids weren’t all that fun anyway; starting out useless and snotty. Then they turned into know-it-alls, like Erica, before becoming your worst nightmare. Not unlike one Maxine Mayfield.
Plus, it wasn’t like he had had the best examples to learn from. Between his mother abandoning him, to his sorry excuse for a dad, Billy was happy to never pass along his whack genes. Sure his mother had fed him some bullshit line about “all the love” he had to share, but Billy knew the truth. Most of what he had to share was anger, and darkness and rage.
When he and Harrington first started their... thing ....he really hadn’t given the knowledge that the other boy was a carrier a second thought. Because it was never going to happen.
“Um...so...I’m on birth control…because...” Steve had gasped out as Billy kissed and nipped down his neck, sucking and licking bruises into the tender skin, shoving a stack of video tapes out of the way.
“Ok…” Billy had replied. “So, you’re on birth control. Sounds good to me,” tuning the rest of Steve’s confession out as he continued his way.
But now, three months out from the beginning of this thing ( Billy should probably stop calling it that, seeing as how he’d gone and knocked up the boy in front of him), Billy was trying desperately to remember any shred of information from that initial conversation, remember what he said, how he felt about it, because it wasn’t supposed to happen.
Billy’s brain short circuited. He had not one coherent thought rattling his brain. It was static. So he was just as surprised as Steve, if not more so, with the words that suddenly came tumbling out along with a vision of his mother all in white.
“I love you.” Billy blurted in response to Steve’s confession.
Steve opened his mouth, slack jaw, snapping it shut and opening it a few more times before finding a reply.
“You...what?” He asked.
“I love you. Like...totally in love with you.” Billy spit out gesturing wildly with his hands. “So stupid for you, it’s...it’s stupid. Fuck.”
Steve’s face morphed into a mile high grin, launching himself into Billy who sat across the Harrington couch.
Steve wrapped his arms around Billy’s neck so tight, the younger boy almost groaned in protest, but then he was sobbing and Billy thought better of it.
“Hey, babe. It’s ok. You don’t have to cry.” He said, hands gently rubbing circles into Steve’s back.
“I’m sorry.” Steve said, muffled into Billy’s shoulders. “I was just so scared you were going to...that you…”
“Was gonna bolt? Yeah, I figured I would have done that too.” Billy smirked.
Steve fell into hysterical laughter at that, pulling back to stare into Billy’s eyes, tears dripping off his chin, face red, smile as bright as the moon.
“I love you too.” Steve smiled deeper, before his face fell just as quickly, taking his hands off Billy to once again fold them in his lap. “But, this is a lot Billy. This is...life changing, and you didn’t ask for this, and I’m an idiot. I forgot my birth control, and I mean, I knew I should have like...payed more attention when I switched shifts and started sleeping later and like...I’m so stupid, and now…”
“I’m stupid too then. You were honest with me about forgetting. I didn’t exactly encourage us to be safe.” Billy shrugged, gripping Steve just a little tighter.
Steve sniffed and nodded his head, still not quite meeting Billy’s eyes. Billy wasn’t sure what to say next. He wasn’t even sure exactly what it was he was feeling. He loved Steve, he had just confessed that he loved Steve, moments after he learned they were having a fucking baby. Billy was surprised that he wasn’t as angry as he had always thought he would be if he ended up in this situation. Sure, he was fucking terrified. But every time he thought of something worry-some or Neil’s bitter face clouded his head, he would just as quickly think of a baby, their baby, maybe a chubby one, with big brown eyes and curly hair.
He slowly lifted Steve’s chin with his finger, curly a hand around his jaw. “We made a baby, Steve.”
Steve smiled at that, finally wiping away some of the tears streaming his face. “Yeah, we did.”