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This thing going on between Steve and Billy was, at times, less than ideal.  

Sure, it was great to actually have someone to spend time with someone who wasn’t 14 and happy to talk his head in circles about science fiction movies and incomprehensible board games.

It was fun to spend the summer feeling blissfully fucked out and exhausted from something other than insomnia and stress. 

It was nice to be able to want in a way he hadn't thought he'd ever get in goddamn Hawkins, Indiana. 

The less than ideal parts, though - they were just the side effects of Billy Hargrove. 

Like Steve's new pavlovian reaction to the smell of that stupid gum Billy’s always smacking obnoxiously, the one that made his lips taste like saccharine fake watermelon when he licked into Steve's mouth and made Steve sweat under his polyester uniform every time Robin waltzed into work popping the same brand.

Like the uneasy clench of Steve's stomach the few times Billy wound up on his doorstep with blank eyes and an ugly scowl marred by a split lip or a dark bruise, knuckles clean and uninjured when they clutch hot and frantic at Steve's hips and shoulders. 

Like Billy turning up at his house on their unofficially designated Thursday night out with his mouth in a thin line, barking at him to, "Get your ass in, Harrington, I'm driving," and then speeding off into the night all the while refusing to answer any of Steve's questions of, "Where the fuck are we going?" 

By the time they passed the seedy service station right on the outskirts of the town, Steve was starting to feel more and more apprehensive.  "Seriously, man, where are you taking me?" 

The grunt he received made it clear that questions were futile. 

They were heading the exact opposite way than the quarry, which was their default for these Thursday nights. It was the one night they spent together where they actually made an effort to get outside of Steve’s house, since the timing was perfect with no one ever really at the quarry on Thursdays. Mostly, they just parked somewhere obscure and away from any other cars or paths and smoked Billy’s weed and drank Steve’s mildly tolerable beer in Billy’s car, and then drove back to Steve’s house if they wanted to fuck. Which was pretty much every Thursday. 

Glancing carefully out of the corner of his eye, Steve surveyed Billy's side profile, checking for any bruises or marks with a curl of anxiety in his stomach, but Billy's face seemed clear and nothing about his posture suggested he was holding himself gingerly. If anything, Billy seemed...excited? 

Steve could catch him throwing these glances over at Steve, turning away quickly the first few times Steve caught him, but then he let his gaze linger, locked their eyes together and they were bright with something that wasn't just Billy's usual amusement at Steve's expense. His mouth was curled, not harshly, but like he was trying to stop himself from laughing. 

It could be worse, Steve considered, although an excited Billy could just as easily spell disaster for Steve as it could be something completely innocent. 

All signs seemed to be steadily pointing towards imminent disaster and destruction when Billy pulled them roughly off the road and into the loosely gravelled remains of a carpark out the front of the abandoned processing plant. They'd learned about it in grade school - supposedly the only still standing skeleton of one of Hawkin's original soybean processing facilities, back when the plants were just really tall wooden buildings with more manpower than machinery. 

Somehow, Steve didn’t think Billy would bring them out here to relive the most mind numbing grade school field trip of his life. 

"What's going on?" Steve asked as the rumble of the Camaro quieted. Billy just flashed him a grin, though it wavered a little round the edges. 

"Just get out and you'll see." 

Steve slowly opened the door, squinting suspiciously up at Billy who'd come bounding round from the driver's side to nag him to hurry up. "Is this where you kill me? Because I hate to break it to you Hargrove, but they bring a school trip out here twice a semester - someone's bound to find the body." 

"For fuck's sake, just get out the car!" Billy growled, turning on his heel and stalking away with a huff. He stopped right at the rectangular opening in the wooden panels of the plant where a door had once stood and turned back to scowl at Steve still sitting apprehensively in the car. "Get out of the car." 

Muttering a soft Jesus Christ under his breath, Steve levered himself out of the car and manfully resisted the urge to slam the Camaro door behind him as he made his way towards Billy, hovering impatiently at the mouth of the hollowed out building. 

"What gives, Hargrove?" 

Billy's eyes were fixed on him, big and intensely bright in an unwavering stare. Steve shifted a little uncomfortably, hands picking at the thin shirt he'd pulled on right before Billy'd arrived. Now that they were standing, Steve felt stupidly underdressed in his ratty t shirt that definitely smelled of days old summer sweat and his thin basketball shorts that fell at a weird, unflattering length just above his kneecap. Billy, the bastard, was wearing honest to God jeans in this summer heat - the good jeans, too, the one that made his ass look fucking delicious- and a soft cotton shirt breezily unbuttoned as usual to the navel with his usual denim jacket on top. 

That was a date night outfit, even though they'd explicitly both agreed that these Thursday night outings were not date nights because they were not, and never would be, dating. Billy had made that very clear on multiple occasions and Steve had absolutely no objections. Steve glared at Billy's stupid, perfectly fluffed mullet. "Stop looking at me like that." 

Billy's face shuttered into an impressive scowl, jerking his head sharply towards the hollowed out entrance. "Shut up. Get over here." 

Steve grumbled under his breath, just loud enough so he knew Billy could hear his complaints about bitchy attitude and asshole brat, but he complied nonetheless and strolled forward lazily. “What?” 

Billy just jerked his head again, biting his lip in an uncharacteristic display of something that looked like nervousness. Steve stepped forward and then stopped suddenly. “Hang on, can you just tell me-” 

“Oh my God, just walk.” And with a shove in the back, Steve stumbled through into the abandoned building. 

Where Steve had expected to be walking into dark nothingness, a small dome of weak light sat innocently about ten steps into the plant. It was a camping lantern, short and stubby with a handle attached. It looked so out of place, just a tiny area illuminated in yellow, briefly blinking in and out as the lantern obviously struggled, while the rest of the building remained cast in pitch black. 

“Go on,” Billy suddenly spoke up from behind him in a gruff voice, though lacking the dark irritation and impatience from before. Encouraging, almost. Fond, if Steve let himself really stretch his imagination. 

Steve shuffled forward a little more, still nervous about what Billy was leading him into. One time, Billy had woken up before Steve and hidden Steve’s car keys and all of his shoes, even the dress ones, in the washing machine and Steve had ended up over an hour late to work. Partly because he was looking for his shoes and keys and also partly because Billy had requested a blowjob in exchange for showing Steve where he’d hidden everything, and then he’d returned the favour with such ferocity that Steve had had to sit down for about ten minutes before he was able to walk again. 

Honestly, one of the better mornings of Steve’s summer, even if his manager had railed at him the entire morning and then slapped him with three extra shifts to punish the tardiness. 

With that reassuring memory in mind, Steve shook off some of his nervousness as he neared the light. Now that he was closer, Steve could see that the lantern was on top of a mat, or something, and his eyes widened once he realised what exactly it was. 

A picnic rug. Dark, with a very picnic stereotypical crosshatch pattern. Also on the rug, sitting on the opposite corner to the lantern, was a packet of chocolate cookies emblazoned with the pink, blocky logo of the cheap brand they sold at Melvald’s. Steve remembered his mom, after one of the rare occasions she’d actually deigned to come over to Tommy’s house with him, had lectured him all the way home in the car for eating one. Chalky blocks just full of all those nasty fake chemicals, she’d said to him sternly, They’ll give you pimples, Steven.  

He bent down and scooped the box up from the rug, noting with a wry smile that it was already open and, giving it a little shake, confirmed it was already half empty and -  yep, very freshly expired. That wasn’t surprising. What Steve couldn’t get his mind around was that the cookies were here, with a rug and a camp light, set up like some bizarre summer picnic. 

Barring the fact the it was the middle of the night and not under a sunny afternoon sky, the whole set up was a scarily familiar picture of a date Steve had taken Nancy on last summer, with a red rug instead of a green one spread under a gazebo at the local park and covered in boxed pastries from her favourite bakery. The sensation of deja vu was unsettling, the way Steve’s mind was picking at the similarities between the two moments even more so. 

”Did- did you set this stuff up?" Steve asked breathlessly, trying furiously to tamp down on whatever ridiculous emotion was growing in his chest. Unease, probably. Confusion, definitely. Excitement? He hoped that’s not what that champagne bubble fizz erupting in his stomach and prickling over his skin was. 

God, he hoped that’s not what that was. 

"Yeah." Billy's reply was unnaturally brief, a little quiet from where he hung back behind Steve. Steve turned, and saw Billy bracketed by the moonlight streaming through the makeshift doorway, his eyes the only thing not washed out by the light.

"Okay, uh." Steve - wasn’t at all sure what to say.  "Can I- I'm gonna go sit, uh, over there." 

And he did. 

He stumbled over to the picnic blanket and just. Sat down on it. 

The green and burgundy crosshatched pattern was scratchy, as if it was so completely unused (not new , because it smelled musty like it'd been sitting in a cupboard getting dust all in it) it hadn't been washed soft yet. It wasn’t a particularly thick one either, not like the double lined one Steve sometimes hauled out into the backyard when the kids came over, and Steve could feel every individual piece of stony gravel pressed into his legs as he shifted uncertainly. 

Billy's, to Steve’s bewilderment, was still standing at the entrance, completely unmoving. 

"Are you just gonna stand there all night, man?" Steve threw out, voice a little hard as his feeling of wrong-footedness anxiety flared straight into irritation. The stupid camping light was flickering every few seconds, and all Steve could see was brightly coloured Christmas lights flashing behind his eyes every time he blinked. 

Billy didn’t reply, just ambled over slowly, boots scraping on the gravel and dust. He watched Steve with a carefully blank expression as he slid onto the edge of the rug, sitting gingerly on his knees like some fucking- fucking church girl waiting for Communion, round eyes and primped up curly locks and all. 

Steve's irritation burned

"The fuck are you- Get over here, Hargrove, Jesus Christ -" and then Billy was suddenly pressing on top of him before Steve could even reach out, chest to chest and legs tangled clumsily as their teeth clacked as Billy's mouth more fell onto Steve's than actually performed any sort of kiss. 

Steve arched up, biting roughly into Billy's mouth and delighted in the hiss it elicited, tasting vibrant orange soda and cheap cigarettes as Billy pressed their tongues together. Rough hands caught him at his waist, the tight grip sending a thrill of satisfaction through him as he finally untangled his legs from Billy’s. They slotted together easily, Steve’s legs bracketing Billy’s hips, though the angle of their kiss is still a little awkward with Steve leaning back but craning his neck up and Billy hovering uncomfortably on his knees above Steve. But it was a problem easily fixed. 

One of Billy’s hands slid up to rest on the nape of Steve’s neck, squeezing not too gently as if controlling an unruly child. It was way more possessive than Billy had any right to be, made even more uncomfortable by the reluctant rocketing of Steve’s arousal that always followed. It had scared Steve, initially, to feel his body react so positively to such a masculine display of power enacted upon him, especially one that reminded him vaguely of his own dad, but Steve had learned to indulge in his taste for Billy’s rough hands and equally rough handling. There was no use denying himself when he’d already come this far. 

Pushing down on his hip, Billy guided Steve onto the blanket without breaking the kiss, biting down harder on Steve’s bottom lip at the feeling of them pressed together from chest to thigh. The fingers bruising at Steve’s neck slipped away, only to grip tightly at Steve’s hair instead. 

Steve gasped, lips slipping away from Billy’s at the sudden change of sensation. Billy didn’t seem to mind, instead using the hand clutching at a handful of Steve’s thick hair to force his head back, immediately latching onto the pale skin right under his jaw. 

“Fuck- marks, dude,” Steve whined weakly. His protests were wholly ineffective and betrayed by his own hand that settled lightly on the back of Billy’s head to keep his attention focussed on the delicate skin he swiped his tongue across. 

Billy slid down a bit further, head dipping to trail gentle kisses and insistent bites along Steve’s bobbing throat, a honest to god whimper - a sound Steve will deny he made for at least another two weeks whenever Billy sees fit to tease him about it - slipping out as Billy’s mouth sucked right over his fluttering pulse point. 

Steve’s head fell back, almost dizzy with the heat prickling over his skin from Billy’s ever attentive ministrations as well as the uncomfortably sticky summer night air. 

The next groan was less pleasurable, though, as Steve rolled his head to each side, trying desperately to escape the large rock he could feel digging right into the centre of his skull. Even lifting his head back up and setting it back down a couple inches to the right did nothing but relocate the jagged point to right behind his ear.

Billy, to Steve’s frustration, was none the wiser, obviously mistaking Steve’s attempts at escaping being stabbed in the head for the usual squirming and thrashing Steve did under Billy’s thorough tongue and hands. 

I can ignore it, Steve decided with a huff, hands sliding away from Billy’s hair to prop underneath his own head to try and cushion himself. Just focus on something else.  

But Steve had never had a high tolerance for discomfort. A high pain tolerance - yes. Frequent escapades (and fist fights) with Tommy growing up had taught him how to ignore pounding headaches and stinging scratches, but he’d never learnt when to stop scratching a mosquito bite or how to ignore the prickle of a poorly trimmed shirt label chafing on his neck. 

"Billy," Steve murmured, receiving nothing more than a hum into the dip of his collarbone. Another lick. Another scrape of teeth. "Billy," he tried again. This time, a disgruntled grunt pressed against the side of his neck. Steve just rolled his eyes and pushed at Billy's shoulder. 

There was another grumble, followed by another bite, this one sharp and pointed and right at his throat. Steve could still feel the fucking rock in his head. The frustration and the discomfort in Steve’s stomach turned rapidly into something angrier and more frantic. “Get off me, now,” Steve ordered, voice brittle but thankfully unshaken as he wedged his forearm between his and Billy’s chests, pushing them apart. 

Billy detached himself from Steve's neck with an obscene pop and an immediate glare. "The fuck, Harrington?" 

"The fuck, Hargrove?" Steve parroted back, punctuating with a shove as he sat himself upright. The stone was gone, it’s little needlepoint edge finally free from burrowing it’s way into Steve’s brain matter. The relief was immediate, but Steve’s annoyance remained. "The hell are we doing here? I thought we were going to the quarry." Steve was not pouting. He was not. He wasn’t fucking whining, either. His head was still sore, the single point where the rock had stabbed him still tingling. 

"Yeah, well-" Billy's face tightened into something closer to a disappointed frown than a glare, "we're not." 

“You always want to go to the quarry. Last time I wanted to go somewhere else on a Thursday, you drove us there, dropped me off and left!” He’d only suggested going to the new diner that had opened just a little ways out of town, something he’d thought that Billy - who Steve had seen put away terrifying masses of fast food before and especially after sex- would have appreciated. It had been particularly embarrassing for Steve to have to beg the diner staff to let him use their phone in the upstairs office to call Nancy and Jonathan to pick him up. Nancy’s mussed hair and smudged baby pink lipstick, Jonathan’s rumpled shirt and the obvious smell of sex that greeted him as he slid into the back seat had just been a particularly pathetic added bonus. 

It stung, just a little, that Billy only ever seemed to want to do this on his own terms, on his own familiar grounds at whatever pace he wanted, like Steve himself was barely relevant in the equation outside of just being a convenient option. Billy was a good fuck, sure, but Steve wasn’t sure the sex was worth all of the mental gymnastics he had to do just to guess where Billy’s head was at. 

"Fucking hell, see if I ever try and do something nice for you again, Harrington, God damn -" Billy snarled, sitting back on his heels with a rough hand gripping at his hair. Steve stared incredulously. 

"Nice? Nice?   We- we're literally sitting on the floor and these cookies expired last week!" he retorted, shaking the offending box of choc chip in Billy's face, and groaned as it was promptly smacked out of his hand and sent skittering across the ground. 

"Yeah, nice," Billy spat out, shoulders slumped and glaring everywhere but Steve's face. "Thought you'd be into this girly shit, but I guess you're just a picky little bitch no matter what." 

"Why in the hell would you think I'd enjoy being dragged out to a creepy abandoned processing plant to have sex on the ground? In the dirt?" Steve asked exasperatedly. "Man, I just - why'd you even bring me here?"

 Billy seemed to curl in on himself further, muscles wound so tight and so tense like he was getting ready to up and run and as much as Steve was beginning to feel bad, starting to understand that maybe this wasn't some sort of prank or mean trick, he kept his hands to himself and pushed down on the urge to draw Billy's body back against his own and kiss him just to move past this weird tension. 

Billy looked up at him, just a quick glance, and deflated just a little. Still looking like he was ready for the roof to come crashing down on them, but less like he was about to start throwing shit. Not like there was anything to throw, given they were in an abandoned processing plant.  

"I thought you'd- like it. Y'know, like- like, sneaking off to be together and shit," Billy grumbled, scratching distractedly at the edge of the rug. "Isn't that sorta shit supposed to be - like, nice or something? Romantic or- or whatever?" Catching Steve's silent, wide eyed stare, Billy ducked his head, turning his flushed cheeks away from Steve's gaze and his shoulders curled in towards himself. "Whatever, I don't fucking know why I bother with you. This- this was stupid, we shoulda just-" 

"Wha- no, wait!" Steve scrambled to grip tightly onto Billy's waist as he made to get up off the blanket, fingers hooking desperately into Billy's sides and tugging the other boy back onto the blanket. "No, Bill, just come back here- oof!"  

Billy flopped down petulantly on top of Steve's chest, deadweight not even attempting to hold himself up as Steve was crushed beneath him. He didn't seem inclined to move, and they’d miraculously avoided any more stupidly large and pointy rocks, so Steve indulged him for a few seconds longer than he usually would before he started squirming. "Can't... breathe...fucking- ugh- heavy." And with that, Steve ran his fingers down the sensitive part of Billy's back, the spot he knew wasn't just ticklish but makes my skin feel like there's something crawling on it, Harrington, don't fucking touch my back like that and Billy was off him in a flash. 

Breathing deeply, Steve reached out again to where Billy was sitting, back facing him pointedly, and curled his fingers into Billy's belt loops. "Don't run out on me, Hargrove." 

Billy just scoffed, a wordless whatever, Harrington

"Billy." Look at me. He tugged insistently on Billy's pants. "C'mon, man, just turn around." 

Slowly, and very obviously sulking, Billy swivelled around to fix Steve with a thoroughly unimpressed stare. "What?" 

"What? " Steve mimicked. His fingers slipped out of Billy's belt loops, drifting up to play absently with the soft fabric of Billy's shirt bunched near his waistband. He smiled gently as the words romantic or whatever knocked around in his soft mush for brains, grin growing even brighter as Billy's glower deepened. "You're real cute, Hargrove." 

"You're not," Billy snorted, and the bark of laughter he let out at Steve's dramatic answering pout eased some of the tightness in Steve's chest. He let his fingers travel up from Billy's waist to the obnoxiously unbuttoned collar of his shirt, letting just his fingertips rest over Billy's bare skin already warm in the heat of the summer night. 

Steve waited silently for Billy's jaw to unclench, for the rise and fall of breath under Steve's fingers to slow just a little, before he moved his hand up to rest at the nape of Billy's neck, his thumb slotting against the familiar jut of Billy's jaw. 

"Look, man, I’m-” Steve started, but the sharp, angry twist in Billy’s features had him swallowing his apology. Billy was always weird about Steve saying sorry, always got pissed off and went all huffy and offended like Steve’d spat in his face, so Steve changed his approach before he managed to shove his foot even further into his mouth. 

“You don't gotta listen to my whining, I was just being dramatic and you were being a dick. This is different, but, like- nice," Steve said slowly, with gentle caution, the same way they'd been taught to speak to the skittish dogs that one time his class had gone to the local pound for a bizarrely harrowing excursion.

Steve tugged him down gently until their mouths were barely a breath away from each other, Billy coming easily despite the scowl on his face. Steve pressed a quick, dry peck to Billy's lips, could see Billy's shoulders loosen just a bit, felt the corner of Billy's mouth twitch against his. 

He leaned back just enough to look Billy in the eyes, and brought his other hand to cup Billy's cheek. Billy seemed to hesitate for a second, eyebrows furrowed like he was waiting for the hand at his cheek to shove him away or something, before his face smoothed and he leaned, just a little, into Steve's palm. "This is nice," Steve repeated a little breathlessly. 

He was surprised by how much he meant it, even with the weird whistling noise the wind made as it rattled through the skeleton of the building and the fine layer of dust he knew was going to be coating his entire body by the time they left. And, despite being able to merely turn his head to the side and look straight into the thick of the woods, there was something about Billy's weight above him and the scratchy blanket on his skin that was reassuring. 

Still, he couldn't really say he didn't prefer an actual bed but - romantic or whatever, right? 

Billy did this for him.  

“It’s just- there was a rock, right under my head and it kinda hurt," Steve admitted as Billy’s face bounced comically between confusion and disbelief. He leant back, eyebrows scrunched as he surveyed Steve’s face. “I’m being serious.” 

“A rock.” 

Steve scrunched his nose at the slow, incredulous grin on Billy’s face. “Yes, and it was fucking annoying. I can feel all this fucking gravel all digging into me, it’s horrible.” 

Billy shook his head. “Uh-uh. You said this was nice.” 

“Yeah, well. I was talking in general, the rocks weren’t included,” Steve sniffed. He bit back a grin as Billy threw his head back, laughing softly. 

“What a fucking pussy,” Billy snorted. “King Steve, my ass, you goddamn princess. Here, if the rocks are so horrible-” 

Steve’s eyebrows furrowed as Billy sat back further on his heels, shrugging off his denim jacket. Confusion turned to scepticism when Billy, stripped of his jacket, motioned for Steve to sit up as well. Steve watched silently as Billy balled up the jacket and arranged it carefully into a rectangular pile at the top of the rug. Steve raised his eyebrows at Billy, but lay back down at his urging nonetheless, his head coming to rest atop the soft folded denim. 

“Ta-da. No rocks.” Billy splayed his hands out in a sarcastic gesture of grandeur, sniggering at Steve’s scowl. “Don’t say I don’t do anything for you, Harrington. Isn’t that better?” 

“I guess.” 

“Mhm.” Billy’s teeth gleamed as his mouth stretched into a predatory grin, reaching out to tug a strand of Steve’s hair through his fingers, splayed out on the jacket with the edges just barely flopping onto the rug. 

Steve reached up and pushed gently at Billy’s cheek in a weak attempt at dislodging the hand in his hair. “Fuck off-”

“Hey, don’t be a bitch. After all the work I put into setting this shit up?” 

“Hargrove, it’s a rug and some cookies in the middle of nowhere, it’s not the fucking Hilton Hotel,” Steve snapped. Billy’s fingers had gentled in his hair, rubbing and swirling against his scalp in a deceptively tender motion, and Steve followed suit, his hand on Billy’s face opening to cup his cheek lightly. 

"But it’s better than your mausoleum house, right?" Billy asked with a soft snort, turning his face into Steve's hand so his lips were flush against the swell of Steve's palm. 

"Yeah, for sure. Some loser I was fucking kept complaining about how cold the granite floor made his- ouch!" 

Billy's teeth nipped at Steve's hand in displeasure, and Steve jerked back with a grunt, pinching hard on one of Billy's ridiculously exposed nipples in retaliation. It had, much to Steve's irritation, the opposite of the intended effect and he felt slightly betrayed at the way his breath hitched as he watched Billy's eyes darken dangerously. 

Billy leaned in again to slide his mouth over Steve's, hard and bruising as he pressed down on him with one hand tangled in Steve's hair and the other hitching under Steve's leg to bend his knee around Billy's waist, pressing them together into one long line of heated contact. 

"You got a mystery man rattling around that castle, Harrington?" Billy said when he pulled back, his hand tugging at the strands of hair in his grasp, forcing Steve to angle his head back with a grunt. "I been in your house plenty and the only loser I ever see is you." He licked his lips before letting go of Steve's hair, shoving his head back onto the blanket.  

The familiar Billy Hargrove patented surge of annoyance swelled in Steve's chest, a sensation that had never fully disappeared even over the course of their summer of fucking and mostly not fighting. Billy just knew exactly how to push his buttons and had no issues with being an asshole no matter the situation. 

And Steve had no problem being an asshole right back. Not if it was Billy Hargrove. 

"Yeah, my guy's a massive loser," Steve said with an exaggerated wrinkle of his nose to hide the thrilling urge to smile at the words my guy. He trailed his hands down Billy's shoulders and chest and slowly undid the remaining buttons of Billy's shirt. "He's a real piece of work, too - smashed a plate over my head, once." Billy's hand on his knee tightened. 

Steve just smiled beatifically and pushed Billy's shirt off his shoulders, fingers skimming the freckles on the skin there that had darkened with the hours at the pool. "Rude, right?" he continued. Billy was still frozen above him, expression wavering between furious and carefully blank, though there was something uncomfortably searching in his eyes.

Steve didn't let his smile falter as he rolled his hips up, slow and languid, thoroughly enjoying the low noise it punched out of an unprepared Billy. There wasn't so much friction as just delicious heat where they rubbed together, Steve biting his lip at the rough sensation of Billy's denim through the thin pair of old basketball shorts he was wearing. 

He repeated the action, a puff of breath escaping him at the feeling of the two of them pressing together, and leaned up to plant a wet, messy kiss to Billy's mouth parted in silent surprise. He drew back with another smile. "But you know, Hargrove," Steve whispered, tucking one of Billy's curls behind his ear and feeling his stomach swoop at the forbidden intimacy of the gesture, "just the other day he brought me out somewhere special, cookies and a rug and everything, like a little creepy, secret picnic - told me he was trynna be romantic. Guess he's not too bad, huh?" 

One of his hands slid down Billy's back from his shoulder, all the way down to palm at the swell of Billy's ass, pushing down on Billy's hips as he rolled his own, rewarded with a short moan from Billy. "Bit of a sap, really," Steve managed to snicker, and then Billy's mouth was swallowing down his laughter, hot and wet and insistent. 

Steve gave up any pretence of teasing, pushing his hips up against Billy's, swallowing down the choked moans that erupted between them with a tongue licking into Billy's mouth. Billy's hands were everywhere, in his hair, on his cheek, at his waist, on his knee, cradling his elbow, and then they were at his waistband pushing down and down until Steve kicked the shorts off, uncaring of where they'd been flung to. 

"You are a such a god damn whore, Harrington-" Billy sat up with a laugh, not even caring as Steve whined for him to come back. "Commando? Bit presumptuous, don't ya think," he sneered as one of his hands skirted up the bare skin of Steve's hip, his eyes dark as they took in what his fingers weren't touching. 

"Not really, no," Steve huffed out and, already sick and tired of Billy's teasing, circled his fingers around Billy's wrist and brought the hand impatiently to his dick. Billy laughed again, but relented with a sneer as he curled his fingers around Steve’s stiffening cock. Steve groaned as Billy’s hand moved in a bare imitation of the sharp, quick rhythm he usually used, his fingers circled in a tight ring but travelling tauntingly slow from the base right to the flushing tip. 

“Hargrove,” Steve warned, hips twitching up and down in a shameless bid for more. He propped himself up on his elbows and shifted his weight a little to lessen the pressure of the gravel underneath digging into his arms. “Hargrove. ” 

Billy ignored him, lingering in the slow drag of his hand up and down sensitive flesh. And then he removed his hand entirely. 

Steve’s head thunked back on the blanket accompanied by a groan of the definitively unhappy kind. “Billy, we don’t have time for this.” The jacket under his head cushioned the worst of the discomfort, but the rug was still thin enough to feel the unforgiving hardness of the packed gravel below.  

“Says who?” Billy retorted with a shit eating smirk. 

“Me. The rug-” 

“I’ll distract you.” 

And that, as much as Steve would have liked to argue and whine just for the sake of it, was too tempting an offer to pass up. He heaved out a great sigh, forcing the nonchalance in his voice. “Fine.” 

Billy’s eyes glinted with something dark and challenging, before he bent his head down slowly towards Steve’s body. Steve sighed again, eyes falling closed as he relaxed as much as he could against the blanket. Him and Billy were good at sex, great , even, and they were even better at getting straight to it when there was any reasonable amount of privacy. The majority of nights they spent together consisted of nothing more than simple Heys before someone was inevitably balls deep in the other’s ass. 

All this talking they’d done tonight was, truthfully, a little unnerving. 

But this, with Billy’s tongue laving at the soft, pale junction between Steve’s hip and his thigh, was much more familiar. The bright flare of pain as Billy’s teeth closed around skin was almost comforting, and Steve could easily close his eyes and pull a memory of the two of them in the exact same position lying in his bed instead of on the dusty, gravelly ground. A gasp escaped from his lips when Billy dragged his tongue across to the other hip, sucking a mean, bruising hickey right under his hip bone. 

Billy kept it up for a few minutes, pressing teeth and tongue and lips to Steve’s hips and thighs without even getting close to his cock, which was almost painfully hard and flushing under Billy’s non-attention. True to his promise, Steve soon found the gravel and rock underneath him laughably inconsequential to the way Billy’s mouth felt on his skin, needy, breathless noises filling the otherwise still night, and absolutely desperate to get Billy’s mouth where he needed it. 

“C’mon, stop teasing,” Steve grunted, rolling his hips only to have Billy’s hands press them straight back down. Billy didn’t even reply, just continued his assault on Steve’s legs, moving down to lave kisses to the ticklish inside of his knee. 

Steve bucked again, and this time Billy twisted his own hips and lifted his left leg across Steve’s so he was effectively pinning Steve down with his own hips and legs. “Fuck,” Steve choked out. This new configuration had Billy’s own hard cock, still smothered by his jeans, pressed against Steve’s right thigh as Billy sucked blooming hickeys into his left, almost inviting Steve to grind his leg up against it. 

As if sensing his intent, Billy suddenly shifted again, pushing Steve’s leg away and out from under Billy’s hips, stretching his legs apart on the rug so Billy was settled almost fully between them. Steve let out a frustrated huff, left with Billy still ignoring his dick that was right there within inches of Billy’s mouth and without even being able to rub against Billy’s own erection to try and get across the urgency of this situation. 

"Stop moving the blanket around, my ass feels like it has gravel in it, Hargrove,” he growled. “Literally, there are stones trying to stab my butt cheek." 

"Your ass is about to have something else in it, princess, if you could just quit your whining." Billy punctuated his gruff tone with a sharp scrape of teeth against the inside of Steve's thigh, and Steve's petulant grumbling was effectively cut off by a choked moan, so loud it bounced and echoed off the steel beams and scaffolding.  

Steve's hand glided along Billy's shoulder and up into the blonde shag of curls at the base Billy's neck, fingers scratching harshly at the skin but not tightening, knowing better than to yank. "Dick," Steve huffed, glaring down as Billy's bright blue eyes seemed to almost glow back up at him, mouth still firmly attached to Steve's rapidly bruising skin. 

Billy's mouth popped off from the smooth expanse of Steve's thigh and immediately drew into a filthy grin. "Yep," he leered as he rose up to nip at the pink of Steve's lip, before sinking back down to nose over the teeth marks on Steve's legs, "that's the idea, pretty boy." 

Only a few months ago those words alone would have reduced Steve to a huffing, red eared, squirming mess. As it so happens, while Billy Hargrove still proved to be a phenomenon difficult to anticipate, tolerance to certain things could be built and so- 

"No one's dick is happening unless you hurry up and get me ready, or I'm taking the cookies and going." Steve rummaged behind his head, hand blindly reaching for where he knew he'd dumped his jacket, pulling the lube out and lobbing it straight at Billy's head where it bounced off and onto the blanket. Billy sometimes liked all that minimal prep, I want to feel you kinda shit when he was on the receiving end, but nothing about dealing with a burning asshole for days after had ever got it going for Steve and he made sure Billy knew that, too. 

Billy's eyebrows shot up to his hairline, and Steve felt something preen warmly in his chest as he felt, rather than saw, Billy's grin against his thigh. "Oh no," Billy deadpanned, the pads of his fingers pressing roughly into the marks he'd just worked into Steve's skin, "not the cookies."  Steve watched, gaze lidded and hot with intent, as Billy sat back on his heels and trailed his fingers slowly down to his belt. 

The clink of the belt buckle was almost deafening in the sudden, heated silence between them. The smooth sound of leather sliding through the metal as Billy pulled it free was equally visceral, and Steve could feel his dick throb. Billy finally pulled the entire length of the belt free and placed it to the side of the rug, stripping out of his jeans and underwear with significantly less finesse, teetering to the side as he tried to kick his legs out without standing up.

“Shut up. You’re fucking annoying,” Billy grumbled when he caught Steve laughing. Steve just gestured lazily with a hand for Billy to go on, sitting up as well to pull his own shirt off, flinging it away impatiently. 

Despite the snark, the lube was quickly scooped up and dispensed haphazardly onto Billy's fingers, Steve hissing softly at the first cold press against his hole. Billy hummed gently, as much an apology Steve ever got from him, and worked his fingers gently back and forth without actually pressing in, until Steve felt almost uncomfortably slick with the way the pads of Billy's fingers slid over his skin. 

Steve pushed his hips down impatiently, and got a bite to his hipbone for it that made him shiver and then scowl when Billy laughed at him. But then, blissfully, finally, Billy pushed in with a single digit, moving shallowly at first, waiting for Steve's knees to fall apart from where they'd tensed slightly at the intrusion, before he began to curl deeper with every thrust. Steve bit his lip, hands fisted in the rough blanket as he tried desperately to hold back the embarrassingly small noises pushing up his throat. 

One finger soon became two, and curling fingers soon became rough pads pressing mercilessly at Steve's prostate. The first nudge of Billy's fingers just so had Steve's hips jolting off the blanket with a whimper that was echoed by Billy's own soft, awed moan. And then Billy's fingers found that spot again and again and again at a punishing pace. 

"Billy, oh my God," Steve breathed out, opened his mouth again to tell Billy to stop, too much, too soon, slow down but what came out instead was, "more, fuck, Billy, please don't stop, more -I need-"

Billy obliged, knowing, after months of this nameless arrangement, exactly how to give Steve what he wanted, and a third thick finger worked its way in and Steve let out something close to a cry at the burn and the ache and the god damn insistent press on that spot right there-  

"Shit, Harrington," Billy huffed out with the trace of a smirk in his voice, mouth hot and wet on the inside of Steve's knee. "You always gotta be such a slut for it, huh?" The words were at odds with the way Billy's voice was a little too high and a little too proud for it to be mean, Billy panting and biting at Steve's thigh like every shiver and arch and stuttered breath was Billy's own pleasure, like Billy was enjoying Steve

It didn’t take much more after that for Steve's plaintive mewling to turn into frustrated impatience and then more empty threats to leave if Billy didn’t, "-fuck me right now, Hargrove, I swear to god - what the fuck are you- oh shit - Hurry up." 

"Well, aren't we eager tonight?" Billy sneered, all three fingers stilling inside Steve. "I should just fuck you on my fingers, get you to cum without even sticking it in you." They'd done that before, so they both knew Billy could do it. Could drag his fingers along the most sensitive parts of Steve, could draw out moans and whimpers and tears , could have him begging and writhing for almost hours until everything whited out and left him shaking through the endless pleasure. All without even so much as a fingertip on his dick. 

But Steve would really, really like to just get Billy to fuck him. 

"And miss a chance to get your dick wet?" Steve snarled back. "You're too horny to do that to yourself, Hargrove." 

Billy just laughed, pulling his fingers out after one more sharp thrust that had Steve's breath stuck in his chest for a few seconds. His body felt like it had melted into the blanket, his spine all gooey despite the tight breathlessness in his throat. He heard the rustle of the condom wrapper and Billy's small grunt as he rolled it over his own flushed cock and then Billy was hovering over him again, a hand burning on his waist and the other bracketed on the side of Steve's head. 

"Billy," Steve whispered. The please was dangling just out of reach, held captive as always by his pride, but Billy's lips curled into a gloating smirk like he knew exactly what Steve wasn't saying. 

Billy pushed in slowly, just the head of his cock sinking into Steve's heat before he pulled out again teasingly. Again and again he sank in without bottoming out, pushing in and out torturously slow and shallow, each small drag sending raw jolts of pleasure like electrical sparking up Steve's spine, twitching and shuddering. 

"Billy," Steve groaned again. Billy didn't say anything in reply, staring down at the pink, stretched ring as he continued to tease shudders and gasps out of Steve with shallow, teasing thrusts. Steve jerked as Billy's thumb brushed against his rim, the head of Billy's cock popping out momentarily. "Hargrove, come on." 

In a rare moment of benevolence, Billy placed both his hands tight at Steve's hips, fingers digging into soft skin, and bottomed out in a single, sharp thrust that left both of them breathless. 

Billy always felt so big in him, no matter how long the prep lasted, there was always the delicious ache and the torturous stretch, like Billy was filling him up, stuffing him full. It was a thickness Steve had no comparison for, not even when he'd tried to replicate it alone, frustrated desperation pricking at his almost teary eyes and three of his own slick fingers up his ass yet still feeling hopelessly empty. Only Billy could make him feel like this, skin tender like a single touch would set him on fire and his breath caught wet and sticky in his throat like Billy's thick cock was filling him so good he was choking on it. 

"Move," Steve breathed out, the word barely more than a whine, and Billy leant down to steal the gasp from Steve's mouth as his hips rolled. 

It didn't take long after that for Billy to begin fucking into him with earnest, a bruising pace with a grip on his hips that he knew was going to ache tomorrow. Steve squeezed his eyes shut, caught between the desire to angle his hips up to get more of his own leverage to meet Billy thrust for thrust or surrendering to the burning sensation of Billy’s palms pressing him firmly into the picnic rug and the hard ground below, unable to do anything but writhe and groan and mewl under the sheer force of Billy’s single mindedness. 

Steve slipped up the rug with each thrust, and reaching back with one hand to keep the jacket in place under his head used a lot more effort in concentration than he wanted to admit. His fingers clenched suddenly, tangling in the denim with a white knuckled grip, as Billy lifted Steve’s hips just a little and found the perfect angle to nail his prostate. “Oh my fucking -” 

Billy swallowed down the rest of Steve’s outburst in a wet, filthy kiss. It was full of harsh panting and messy clashing of teeth, both of them breathing too heavy and lost in the heat between them to really put much thought into it. 

And, as uncoordinated as Steve’s mouth was at the moment, his hands moved with purpose over Billy’s flushed skin. He clutched hard at Billy’s narrow shoulders, scratched red lines at the base of Billy’s spine as he urged him on, thumbed at Billy’s pebbled nipples that flushed a pretty dusky pink under his deft fingertips. Billy whispered soft grunts of Yes, fuck, Christ, that feels - shit, again

And Steve drank it all in, eyes dark and fixed on Billy’s face twisting and rising and falling in pleasure, feeling a smug sense of accomplishment at how dishevelled and desperate Billy looked. A far cry from the peacocking, cool edged little shit Steve had despised. Still despised - whatever. 

Steve supposed Billy was tolerable in a few scenarios, like corralling the kids into manageable silence, or gruffly shoving Steve out of the way at the kitchen counter to make the best pancakes Steve had ever eaten, or at times like right now with his hands circling Steve’s waist and his dick literally punching the air out of Steve’s lungs. 

"C'mon, Bill," Steve gasped out, his nails digging rough imprints into Billy's arms held taught and golden with sweat at Steve's hips. "Fucking- c'mon, Billy, harder, harder, please-" 

"Christ, Harrington," Billy grunted, punctuated it with hard snap of his hips that left Steve whining, "you've got a fucking mouth on you." 

"Yeah but you like it, don't ya, Hargrove?" Steve teased, panting harshly as Billy's pace increased, the wet slap of their slick skin coming together echoed obscenely through the hollow building. “You like when I-” 

Steve’s eyes widened when Billy cut him off simply by shoving two of his fingers into Steve’s mouth, the intrusion sudden enough to make his eyes water a little. “Suck,” Billy commanded shortly. 

Steve almost recoiled at first thinking of those very same fingers just having been in his ass and then almost choked as he laughed around them at the absurdity of his concerns. Billy raised his eyebrows in query but Steve just shook his head, instead closing his lips firmly around Billy’s fingers and sucking down on them as ordered. It wasn’t the same as sucking cock, and Steve felt a little silly as he hollowed his cheeks and licked at Billy’s knuckles, but Billy definitely seemed to enjoy it. His mouth parted slightly as he watched with wide eyes as Steve slid his lips around his fingers, his other hand still clutching hard on Steve’s hip flexed as if spasming. 

Billy’s rhythm kept up despite his preoccupation with Steve’s mouth, however, and Steve let his head tip back, eyes fluttering shut as the snap of Billy’s hips sped ever faster and hasher, ramming into him with a force that seemed almost careless. It was only Billy’s fingers, pistoning gently in and out from between Steve’s hollowed cheeks that muffled the obscenely desperate noises pushing up from Steve’s throat. 

“Look at you,” Billy gasped out above him. “Fucking slut.” 

Steve opened his eyes at that, trying his best to arrange his expression into disapproval at the name calling despite the pleasure licking up his spine. Billy sneered when he caught Steve’s gaze. 

“Don’t give me those eyes, slut,” Billy’s taunting continued. "I know how much you love being a whore, just for me." 

Deciding to put an end to it before Billy devolved into the real weird shit he sometimes brought out when he was feeling particularly mean, Steve bit down hard on Billy’s fingers and drew his mouth away quickly, grimacing at the sticky string of saliva that dribbled down his chin. 

Billy, of course, found it hilarious. “Just calling it like I see it, Harrington, no need to get prissy.” 

“Fuck you,” Steve croaked out, immediately regretting the words when Billy pulled out completely only to slam back in, as if reminding Steve of what was really happening here. 

But there was no reason for Steve to take it lying down. He clenched down meanly around Billy's cock and was rewarded with a flurry of curses from Billy's lips and a shallow stutter in the punishing rhythm Billy'd built for them. 

Steve could tell Billy was close, could see the tip of his tongue poking out from between his lips parted with harsh breaths, could feel Billy's stomach clenching as he ran a palm down the sweat-slicked skin from Billy's chest to right where they were connected, could hear Billy's low murmurs of shit, you feel so good, look so fucking pretty on my cock that Steve was almost certain were more for Billy's own benefit than for his. Because of course Billy Hargrove would be the type to dirty talk himself

Steve could feel his own pleasure spiralling quickly, each fast thrust of Billy's hips sending something fiery spiking up his spine and his breath choking him in his throat, stomach tensing as his legs began to quiver. He wanted Billy on top of him, closer, sweat slicked skin to skin, to crush Billy against his chest as they hurtled towards that edge, his irritation with Billy that had been gnawing at his chest the entire night completely forgotten. 

When he reached up, though, Billy was already leaning down, digging his hand still wet and tacky with spit into Steve’s hair as he buried his face against Steve's neck and sucked desperately into the marks he'd already left. Steve cried out as Billy's teeth scraped on his neck, the sharp pain mixing perfectly with the spiking pleasure of his cock was rubbing between both of their stomachs with their proximity. 

Steve was holding Billy so close, he could do little more than rut into him, staying deep as he pulled out shallowly, ramming back in with a grunt and a small circle of his hips. It was perfect, Steve feeling surrounded by the smell of heavy cologne and summer sweat, held in a grip that was too tight in the best way and full of just Billy

"Billy, please, " Steve cried out desperately as he clutched at Billy's shoulders, nails digging ten perfect crescent marks into the freckled skin, "I want you to cum, c'mon, cum for me-" 

Billy's teeth closed down hard on Steve's neck, barely muffling the loud, broken groan he let out as his hips faltered, pushing in jerky, forceful thrusts deep into Steve as he came. Steve clutched Billy to his chest as he shuddered through it, hands sliding along every inch of Billy's slick back as he murmured filthy, mindless praise into his ear. 

He was so close, intent on following Billy over the edge, and the feeling of Billy's teeth still clamped down on his neck and Billy's body trembling through the aftershocks above him and just Billy Billy Billy had Steve reaching down with blindly desperate hands to impatiently seize his own aching cock already soaking with beads of precum.

Steve tugged once, felt Billy teeth unclench from his neck with a hiss as Steve tightened around him, tugged twice and couldn't stop the whimper from escaping his lips when Billy sat back on his heels, ran his thumb over the leaking, flushed tip of his dick and almost cried out as Billy pulled out of him without warning. 

He'd barely swallowed the pathetic noise before Billy was batting his hand away. He looked down, eyebrows drawn together to see Billy already looking back up at him, kneeling between Steve's splayed legs with a wild look in his eyes. "What?" Steve tried to ask, but it came out garbled and slid right into a sharp intake of breath as Billy's pink lips closed around the flushed tip of his dick. 

Steve was already trembling, head thrown back against the blanket and vision a little hazy when he stared up at the criss-crossing hash of metal pipes and beams above him. The first feverish slide up-down of Billy's mouth had his stomach clenching and all Steve could do was surrender to the tremours and the gasps and the sensations. 

Billy sank his lips down furiously, with the usual single-minded rough determination he always had whenever he finished first. Steve secretly enjoyed it, always tried his best to outlast Billy just to see the small furrow between Billy's brows, the careless grip of his hands, relentless and almost brutal like Steve had disappointed him by not coming first and he was making Steve pay the price for it. 

It's not like it was a hardship for Steve to endure that kind of treatment. 

And right now proved to be no different, Billy setting a dizzying, frantic rhythm sinking his mouth down and sliding back up with a harsh hollow to his cheeks and a tight grip around whatever he couldn't get his tongue on, the other hand pressed flat against Steve's navel to temper the jerking body beneath him. 

"Oh, shit- Billy -" Steve's exclamation tapered off into a desperate moan that only seemed to spur Billy on even more. He bobbed his head faster, letting spit drip out from the corners of his red lips and coat Steve's dick, sloppy and obscenely wet just how he knew Steve liked it, saliva and precum sliding in hot trails down Billy's chin and all over the mottled skin of Steve’s thighs. Steve marvelled at the sight of big, bad Billy Hargrove, so mean and aggressive just moments ago, bent over on his knees between Steve's legs, a mouth full of cock and a face full of slick spit and cum. "Fuck, baby, I'm gonna cum-" 

This time, Steve's sex-addled mumbling was interrupted, not by his own drawn own whines or gasps, but by Billy himself making a low noise in the back of his throat, almost growl-like in the way it felt against Steve's dick. And then, with little warning, Billy sank his mouth down right to the base of Steve's cock, throat working around the tip of it, and, god, the tight heat and the wet, wet sensation of Billy's lips and his mouth and his throat and his tongue and his slickened stubble felt like fire under Steve's skin. 

He thrust up once, twice, and then he was cumming down Billy's throat, pulsing into that delicious heat, with stuttered gasps and choked out moans breaking up his soft chant of, "BillyBillyBilly," until he finally fell weakly back against the blanket. 

He was brought out of his hazy contentment with a pinch to his thigh, hissing softly as he raised his head, to see Billy still leaning over his legs. Steve made a lazy noise of inquiry, to which Billy merely parted his lips, proudly displaying his mouthful of Steve's still warm cum then, making sure Steve kept their eyes locked firmly together, swallowed. 

"Jesus Christ," Steve muttered, one of his hands coming up to thumb gently at Billy's swollen lips. Billy merely gave him a wink and a wildly toothy grin, crawling slowly up the blanket until their chests were pressed together and he had a forearm on either side of Steve's head. 

Steve's eyes flickered to Billy's red lips, refusing to blush at the eyebrow raise that earned him. Billy lowered his head, soft curls falling over both of their faces like a makeshift cocoon, only to stop barely a hair's width from connecting their mouths. 

"Baby, Harrington? Really?" Billy asked, tone ribbing and a little mocking, but Steve could feel the small smile against his own lips. Steve couldn't tamp down on the blush as he recalled the almost automatic way the endearment had slipped out, how natural it had felt, like he'd just absently decided Billy Hargrove was the perfect person to use the mushy pet name he'd hesitated to whip out even with Nancy. 

Pushing firmly down on his own embarrassment and panic, Steve brought his arms up to wrap around Billy's waist, pulling him down until Billy gave in to resting almost the full weight of his body on top of Steve. "Yeah, well- 'cause you're a whiny little shit," Steve retorted with a lazy nip of teeth against Billy's jaw, holding onto him even tighter as he began to squirm and fought to lift himself back up. 

"Oh, I'm whiny?" Billy growled out. One of his hands reached behind to where Steve's arms were clasped tight around his back, poking and grabbing at the interlaced fingers futilely. 

Steve huffed out as much of a laugh as he could with Billy writhing around on top of him. "Yep, you sure are, baby." 

With an indignant huff Billy abruptly let go of where he'd been trying to pry away Steve's hands, instead seizing him by the arms and rolling the both of them over with a heave until they were laying on their sides face to face. 

Steve carefully extracted his arms, tucking one of his hands under his head and bringing the other up to tug a little meanly on the lobe of Billy's ear, which was strangely bare of his usual earrings. "I won't call you that," Steve said carefully casual, "if you don't like it. I'm not- it's whatever." 

Billy just stared back at him, blue eyes darker in the dim light of the weak lantern but still just as intense. Always assessing. Looking for something. Steve waited awkwardly for him to open his mouth and just spit out whatever he'd seen in Steve's face he didn't like. Because that was certainly displeasure lining Billy's furrowed eyebrows and tense jaw, and some small, unacknowledged part of Steve wanted to desperately scramble to wipe that expression away. 

But Billy seemed to have made up his mind about something, because instead of scoffing or rolling away from Steve, he leaned in to press a bruising kiss against his mouth. Steve, caught completely off guard, rolled onto his back as Billy pounced forward, a hand coming up to rest at the back of Billy's neck out of habit. Billy’s denim jacket was still nestled under his head, only a little displaced from their tussling. 

Billy pressed into him more insistently as one of his hands slammed down into the ground beside Steve's head, the other fitting itself against Steve's cheek with an aching familiarity. Steve, still dizzy from his orgasm and feeling off kilter from his slip up with the pet name, let his mind fade out as he parted his lips to press Billy's tongue against his. Some part of him felt settled, calmer, with the weight of Billy hovering on top of him and the not-too-gentle grip of fingers on his jaw. 

This was easy. This was summer fun. This was Steve unlearning his fear and learning his body all over again. 

Baby was not easy. Baby was for sappy Valentine's cards that amounted to nothing except bullshit. Baby was something Steve didn't ever want to learn with Billy Hargrove.  

And Steve couldn't even really get himself to feel bad for it, because he might not get to have baby with Billy, but he did get to have Billy on top of him and under him and in his bed. He had barely anything, and that was exactly how he wanted it. 

They lay on the blanket for what felt like hours more, kisses becoming messier and less fierce, just presses of lips to tongues and softly sighed nips of teeth, innocently wandering hands sweeping against freckles and moles and scars. 

Eventually, though, the lantern flickered, flickered, fli-

 and died. 

Billy pulled back with a small noise in the back of his throat, like he couldn't really tell what was going and Steve's stupid heart swelled with stupid pride at the smallest hint that he'd managed to fluster Billy Hargrove with some teenage making out. They stared at each other in the dark, Billy a little confused and Steve grinning dumbly, the sheen of the moon pulling strange features of their faces into waxy, stark relief. 

Billy's left cheekbone. The shiny swell of his bottom lip. The glint of his pendant. 

Steve breathed deeply against the sudden weighted feeling that crept down his throat and the even heavier sensation of something sharper than want in his chest, bringing a hand up to cover his eyes. Billy blinked at him and then laughed, strangely high and breathless, leaning away and crawling backwards to rummage around for their clothes. Steve's shirt hit him square in the face, followed by his shorts. 

They dressed in silence, cocooned by moonlight in a strange sense of purgatory created from the natural point in the night where they would either fall asleep in Steve's bed or leave the quarry in their separate cars, the moment perverted by the fact that Billy'd picked Steve up and driven them both out here himself, no reprieve and no escape. 

Billy gathered up the box of cookies, stuffing the ones that had fallen out onto the dusty floor while they'd been...distracted back into the carton. Steve wrinkled his nose to which Billy merely shrugged, like he wasn't bothered by the fact that he was probably just going to put the cookies back on the shelf and let an unsuspecting Max eat them tomorrow, or bring them to feed to the kids at the next Party meeting when he dropped his sister off. 

It wasn't until they'd made their way back to the Camaro in silence, only having barely succeeded in folding and shoving the rug back into the trunk (the lantern had been left for dead in silent agreement), that Billy spoke. 

"It's fine. I guess I don't hate it." Billy's tone was casually dismissive as he slammed the trunk closed, the kind of voice that usually had Steve prickling with irritation at Billy's stupid, high-school king cocksure attitude, never mind the fact that high school was very much over. But right now, considering Steve had no idea what Billy was talking about, he was more confused than anything. 

But also still irritated. 

A special talent that only Billy seemed to bring out in him, and was wielding with liberal force on this particular night. 

"What?" Steve asked distractedly as they climbed into the car. "You don't hate what?" 

Billy just glanced over at him with a frown. "Are gonna fucking make me say it? I said it's fine - take it or leave it." His hand twisted viciously around the keys as he started the car with a sharp jerk of his wrist. 

Steve stared at him warily. "I have no idea what you're talking about." 

"Uh, yeah you do." Billy peeled roughly out of the makeshift gravel carpark outside the processing plant, tires squealing as they slid onto the actual road. It was an unusually bright night, the moon completely unobscured by any clouds and lighting up the sliver of tarred road like a spotlight. 

"No, I really don't," Steve huffed. He glared out the window, the impenetrable blur of the forest thick on either side of the car and illuminated by only the sparse street lights dotted along the road and the faint glimmer of the sprawling suburbs ahead, not even the bright moonlight making it through the sprawling branches. 

Billy scoffed, his foot grinding ever so slightly harder against the accelerator. “I think you fucking do.” He threw a sharp glance over at Steve, brows raised as if to say Well?  

“Billy, just tell me what the fuck you’re-” 

“Your thing from before,” Billy snarled, the words exploding from him with a frustrated huff. “That- fucking thing you called me.” 

“Your...name?” 

“I’m going to kill you,” Billy announced calmly. He didn’t even look over as Steve squawked and sputtered. “I’m going to stop this car and throw your body into the woods right now, if you don’t cut the shit. I’m talking about that name.” 

“I still don’t…” Steve started, but he barely made it through the first half of the sentence before suddenly he did understand what Billy was talking about. “Hang on, are you talking about- when I called you - accidentally called you baby?” 

“Yes.” Billy’s reply was pushed out through such tightly clenched teeth it was a wonder Steve heard the confirmation at all. “That’s what I’m talking about. And I’m giving you...permission. Or, y’know- telling you I don’t think it’s the worst. It’s pretty bad, though. But I mean, you’re fucking weird so I kinda guessed you’d be into this pussy bullshit anyway. This don’t mean I like it, Harrington, I just know you’re gonna be a little bitch about it if this don’t go your way so. It’s fine, then, this baby thing.”

This was amazing. Billy Hargrove was rambling. Weirdly pitched, sort of breathless, avoiding eye contact rambling

“You want me to call you baby?” Steve asked with poorly veiled glee. Billy sputtered indignantly, but Steve was much too delighted by this confession. “Should I start leaving out a cup of warm milk for you when you come over? Want me to read you a bedtime story after-” 

“Hey, man, shut the fuck up!” Billy reached over one handed and smacked ineffectively at Steve’s chest as he cackled. “I’m not asking you to, I’m letting you. I’m nice like that.” 

“That’s the same thing!” Steve crowed, still breathless. 

Billy placed both hands back on the steering wheel, drumming an anxious little rhythm. “You said it first, so clearly you’re the one who wants to use it. It’s fine, it’s cool. If you like it, then you go ahead and use it.” 

“I will, then,” Steve bit back sarcastically. Smirking, he tacked on a simpering, “Thanks, baby.” 

Billy’s mouth twisted into a pale, thin line. "This doesn't mean I'm your girl or whatever, alright Harrington?" 

"Your dick was up my ass twenty minutes ago, I'm pretty clear on the not a girl part." Steve’s grin was quickly swallowed by a scowl as he let his forehead fall to the side against the window, the glass blissfully cool when he closed his eyes against the growing glare of the streetlights as they drove down Main Street, past the still blinking signs of the theatre and family restaurants. 

The glower Billy sent him indicated he had definitely not appreciated Steve's sarcasm. "I mean you go calling me any of that shit when we're in public and I'm not gonna be happy, okay?" 

Steve rolled his eyes, only barely resisting the urge to snap back at Billy's forceful tone. He had - stupidly - assumed Billy would've given up on trying to threaten him sometime between the fourth sloppy handjob and the second night he spent in Steve's bed without a drop of alcohol to build up a shoddy excuse for why he was still there in the morning. "Look, I get it-" 

"Anyone finds out and your ass is mince meat, pretty boy. Mince. Meat. You hear me?" Billy was staring straight ahead with his jaw clenched and his hands almost knuckle-white on the steering wheel. Again, Steve wanted to scoff, to roll his eyes and sling out a petulant whatever , but- 

This was still Hawkins, Indiana, and Steve did  indeed know how much things would legitimately go to shit if he let himself slip up in public, knew how much worse it would be for Billy than for him, how there would be no going back from someone accidentally overhearing Steve Harrington call Billy Hargrove baby

"I won't let anyone find out, Billy," Steve said after a long silence, teeth rattling in his head with the vibrations of the car. He let out a huff of frustration, already seeing in his mind the disapproving twist of Billy's mouth as the glass fogged under his breath. "I'm not stupid." 

"Good." Billy was still looking steadily forward but his hands had unclenched just a little. "And I didn't say you were." He glanced over at Steve, mouth pursed and his nose scrunched up. "I didn't say you were stupid," he repeated firmly. “Don’t fucking put words in my mouth.” 

Steve lifted his head, catching just the edge of Billy's gaze as he turned back to glaring through the windscreen like the streets had personally offended him. 

"I know you didn't." 

Billy never called him stupid. A little bitch, a dickhead, a cumslut, a dipshit, a shithead bastard, a cock-sucking whore, a princess - yes. But not stupid. Steve wasn't quite sure there was any actual distinction, but it was nice to imagine there could be.  

Billy just grunted back and flicked the radio on, and the rest of the drive was spent with anguished, tortured vocals and screaming guitars filling up the silence until the Camaro rolled uncharacteristically gently into Billy's usual parking spot a couple blocks away from Steve's. 

"Uh," Steve said into the lingering silence. Billy just lolled his eyes towards him, unamused. "Thanks, Hargrove." 

Billy scoffed. "That's how you thank me? After eating up all that cute shit I did for your mushy ass, you're gonna give me a thanks, Hargrove ?" 

"Yep," Steve answered without hesitation, popping the 'p' just to see Billy's face darken. He hated when Max did that, hated it even more when Dustin did and the one time Mike had done it Billy had kicked him out of the Camaro and made him wait on the side of the road until Steve's own car load of carpooled children had caught up to him to give him a ride the rest of the way home. 

(needless to say, the next time Mrs Wheeler opened the door to Billy, her greeting had been substantially colder than it had been before with a marked absence of offerings of freshly baked goods)

And then, just because Steve was genuinely curious and maybe didn't want the night to end just yet, he asked, "What were you expecting for a proper thank you, anyway?" 

Billy smiled slow and lazy as he rolled his head to face Steve. "A kiss." 

"What?" Steve hissed out, turning his head sharply to look out the windows, heart rate settling at the sight of the empty street and darkened windows. He turned back to Billy incredulously. "Are you insane? Wh- what happened to mince meat, huh?" 

Billy just shrugged easily and leant over the console with a leer. 

"You heard me," he said lowly, voice dripping with heated intent. "C'mon, Harrington. No goodnight kiss for your baby?" 

Steve felt his face flush all the way down to his neck as he shoved at Billy's chest, jerking his own head as far away from Billy's shit-eating grin as possible. "You- shut the fuck up, asshole-" he stammered, Billy's laugh ringing loudly through the car as he fumbled to open the door, the cackle only growing even more delighted when the door spilled open and he had to throw an arm out to stop himself from faceplanting onto the curb. 

Steve scrambled to his feet, scowling though his face was still aflame, and leant down to flip Billy off through the still open door of the passenger seat, the other hand steadying himself against the roof of the Camaro.

Billy's tongue darted out to wet his lips, his eyes bright and his smirk particularly self-satisfied. Jesus. To think this asshole was the same guy who'd set up a little date spot so they could sneak away to be together. He leaned forward as if to bat Steve's hand away, only to grab it tightly before Steve could draw away. 

Steve startled more than he'd like to admit when he felt the soft press of lips to the palm of his hand. Billy's mouth was warm, and the kiss lingered long enough for Steve to squirm, before Billy pulled back with a small smile, eyes soft in a way Steve hadn’t quite got used to seeing yet. 

But then, because it seemed Billy Hargrove lived to pleasantly surprise but also disappoint in equal measure - 

"Better hurry on home, sweetheart," Billy said with a sneer, tossing Steve's hand out of his grip like it was burning and then reached over to slam the passenger door shut without another word. 

The sound of violent guitars and screeching tires was there one second and then gone the next, Steve left standing frozen like a particularly wide mouthed, overgrown garden gnome on someone's expertly edged front lawn. 

A dog barked nearby, breaking Steve out of his dumbstruck stupor. 

Sweetheart. 

"Fuck you too, Hargrove," Steve muttered lowly to the empty street. He turned on his heel, still scowling sourly, and stalked back home in the dark with the phantom imprint of Billy Hargrove's stupid pink perfect lips burning into centre of Steve's hand, knowing without a doubt that he was going to fall asleep tracing that invisible outline with a shameful, trembling finger. 

This was definitely less than ideal.