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The Kid

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The kid 

 

Billy would like anything better than bringing an eight year old version of himself into the office, but it has been proven that he cannot just leave William at home by himself. Billy is resigned to his fate, people keep stopping him to coo over his kid, and he is getting real tired of people telling him how much his son looks like him. Billy just has to put up with it though, how is he supposed to explain a literal miniature version of himself to people, he does not understand it himself. 

 

They just have to make it to Billy’s office, and then he can take a break from making sure William does not wander off, because he keeps doing that. He keeps going toward any little thing that catches his eye, Billy has lost count of how many dogs they had stopped for, on the way in alone. And while Billy may have appreciated a few of the dogs, he does not appreciate being later. He is a busy man, he has things to do. 

 

Billy pauses outside his office to talk to his secretary, and makes the mistake of taking his hand off of William's shoulder. When he turns around the kid is gone again, Billy grits his teeth as he scans the office looking for him. Billy curses when he sees Harrington’s door open, and he cannot locate William on the floor. 

 

He is not even a little surprised that his younger self made a beeline for Steve as soon as he saw him. Billy does the same thing, always gravitates toward Steve, he is the prettiest man Billy has ever seen. Billy refuses to admit it though, technically they are competitors, always going out for the same promotions, and Billy can not afford to give Steve the opportunity to get the upper hand. Billy does not have rich parents he can fall back on. 

 

Billy straightens himself out, brushing imaginary lint off of his suit, and runs a hand through his hair, he would look in a mirror if there was one available, and there is one in his office but he is not about to let his younger self spend even more time with Steve. Billy feels like his tie is too tight when he gets to the open door and hears Steve laugh, his head thrown back and William is perched on his desk animatedly telling him a story. Billy hates it, he does not need to see that pale throat stretched out like that, not when Billy is not the one making Steve laugh while they are at a terrible mandatory party. Not when Steve is not trying to stop himself while telling Billy to stop talking about the clients like that.

 

“William.” Billy hisses, and almost regrets it with the way Steve goes from easy relaxed to alert, the way William flinches just barely detectable. Billy remembers that gesture, remembers what happens when Neil catches him making it. “I told you not to wander off.” Billy loses the tone, genteling himself because it is not the kids fault, not really, even if he could do with a little more listening.

 

“Sorry.” William’s tone is guilty and sulking, feet kicking out and thunking back against Steve’s desk, a heinously expensive desk that his mother had delivered. Billy is not surprised when Steve does not seem to care, he has already ruined the thing, coffee rings and grooves worn into it. Billy would have a fit if anyone treated his desk that way, has nearly bitten Steve's head off more than once when he has tried to set a drink down on Billy’s own desk. 

 

“I didn’t know you had a kid.” Steve is biting his lip fingers pulling at a stitch on his chair arm, a gesture Billy is familiar, one that means he wants to say something but is too in his head about voicing what is going on in his head.

 

“William, why don’t you go to my office? I'll be there in a few minutes.” Billy says as he moves further into the space, sliding into one of the chairs directly across from Steve, only the desk separating them.

 

“Can I come back later?” William asks, question directed at Steve not Billy. Steve goes all soft, the same way he goes for the kids their coworkers bring during bring your child to work days, always sweet and kind, and genuinely delighted to be around them. Billy narrows his eyes, at William, wants to tell him no, but it is not William’s fault that Steve is giving him that adoring look, at least he is not a baby, the look is so much worse when Steve is cooing over a baby. 

 

“Yeah of course you can.” Steve says automatically before cutting his eyes toward Billy. “As long as Billy says it’s alright.”

 

“Cool.” William jumps down darting in to give Steve a quick hug before rushing out of the office without another word. Billy kicks his feet up on Steve’s desk, pettily pleased when his shoes fall on scattered papers, taking his annoyance out on Steve's work rather than William for daring to put that startled fond look on Steve’s face. 

 

Billy picks his feet up and brings them down hard to get Steve’s attention on himself. “You have a kid?” Steve says, pink staining his cheeks, bottom lips between his teeth again.  “Why didn’t you tell me?” Steve sounds genuinely hurt and Billy does not get it, they do not share personal details, well Billy doesn’t. Steve is always divulging personal information like people will not use it against him. 

 

“I don’t owe you an explanation.” Billy pushes down the guilt that tries to well up in him when Steve’s face goes all hurt.

 

“I didn’t mean you did.” Billy hates how wobbly Steve's voice goes, hates how he wants to comfort, but he can not, Steve is the prey, showing his vulnerable belly, he should be going for the kill not wanting to sooth. "It's complicated." Billy settles on instead. Steve nods his head like he knows, like he understands but Billy knows he does not, knows he has so many questions, because despite himself Billy knows Steve Harrington, knows him well.

 

Billy sighs as he hears his secretary screech his name across the floor, no doubt that his younger self is once again stirring up trouble. Rising Billy smooths out his suit, and jacket, shaking out a little as he stands and heads for the door when Steve's voice stops him.

 

"You could, you could come by, uh I mean to say. You could bring him by my place sometime." Steve rushes out making a face when Billy just raises an eyebrow at him. "The two of you could come by. Just it is cold out right now, and he seems to have a lot of energy and there is an in door pull on the top floor, no one uses it is all an–" Billy cuts him off.

 

"Yeah maybe." Billy knows he should not take Steve up on it, should not get close but he also knows when it comes to Steve Harrington he has a hard time keeping his distance and William does have a lot of energy.

 

"This weekend?" Steve asks,  pausing a breath before continuing. "We can all go for a swim and after I can order takeout from that fancy place on third you like."

 

"Maybe." Billy knows he is going to take Steve up on the offer, but that does not mean he is going to let him know that till Friday, Billy likes watching Steve stew.

 

-End