Blue you are magnificent. This was magnificent. FUCK.
hey! hi! i had a mighty hankering for some steve harrington smut, so here’s this.
warnings: 18+ mdni! unprotected piv, fingering, breeding kink (hehe)
When you get home from your third date with Steve Harrington, he’s all over you.
His body is warm, lean, tan, and covered in freckles; he lays his full weight down upon you while he cradles your face and kisses you like a man possessed.
“Looked so pretty in that dress,” he mutters between kisses, mouth slick with saliva. His hands wander from your face, tracing over the curves of your body and squeezing you in all the right places. You whine when he digs his fingernails into your hip. His lips curl upwards against yours as he adds, “but you’d look better without it.”
“Sh-shut up,” you murmur without any real bite, transfixed by the way his hands move over your skin: lower, lower, lower. He slides one between your legs, adjusting his body over yours to give himself more room to work with.
“You want me to shut up?” he asks, one thick brow arching while he peers down at you. There’s a playfulness in his gaze, a tinge of mischief, because he knows you’re bluffing. Knows you like it when he’s mouthy. You’ve only been dating for a few weeks and he’s already caught on; you go smooth and pliant as honey when he talks to you this way.
A blush paints your cheeks and you look away, unable to hold his gaze when his fingers brush through the warm, slick folds between your legs.
“Know what I think?” Steve breathes, dragging his fingers up to the swollen bead of your clit. “I think you’re the one who should shut up, baby.”
He props himself up on one elbow, eyes still on you as one of his fingers dips into your entrance, filling you up slowly until it’s knuckle-deep. You unleash a whiny, strangled kind of gasp, hips jolting involuntarily - your body chasing the relief Steve's fingers provide you. The pleasant stretch. The delicious friction of his thumb on your clit. Slowly, he pumps his finger in and out of you, your cunt gushing wetter by the minute until one finger is no longer enough.
“More,” you whisper, voice high and needy - Steve looks down to find you open-mouthed beneath him, your brows pinched together. He instantly forgets that he’d told you to be quiet. You just sound so pretty like this.
“I can do more,” he agrees. It's hard to pull his gaze from your face, but he likes watching your cunt split open around him, whether it’s his fingers or his cock. He slips another finger in and feels his dick throb when you clench down hard.
Steve likes to get you sloppy and needy before he fucks you. the first time you’d slept together, he’d fingered you until you’d seen stars, pulling two orgasms out of you before he’d even taken off his pants. but what’s more gratifying than his ability to get your pussy utterly soaked with arousal? that hazy, spaced-out look in your eyes when you beg him to fuck you. your kiss-bitten lips pulled into a petulant pout, your own fingers pinching your nipples and groping at your breasts, desperate pleas and sweet nothings falling out of you until he finally caves.
There’s nothing he loves more than making you beg for him.
And he’s got you there again in no time, your cunt spasming around his fingers while you reach your first orgasm of the night. He fucks you through it and only moves away when you whine from the sensitivity, his lips curved into a self-satisfied grin.
“That felt nice, huh?” Steve brings his lips up to his mouth, sucking them clean while you watch from the mattress. Your chest rises and falls as you try to catch your breath, and Steve can’t help but let his gaze linger there. Your tits are perfect. You’re perfect.
“Mmh,” you groan, “just come here and fuck me, Steve.”
“Patience is a virtue, baby,” he chides. You let your eyes pause on him, taking in the sight of his naked body: chiseled, taut, inviting. He leans over to reach for your side table, pulling the drawer open and feeling around inside for a condom.
You’re not sure what exactly prompts the thought, but suddenly, you find yourself wishing you hadn’t stocked the nightstand with condoms. You watch Steve tear open the foil, and you wish he’d just throw the entire thing away. He rolls the condom over his length, hissing at the contact, and you wish he’d take it right back off.
“Won’t it…” you trail off, teeth grazing over your bottom lip. Where were you going with this?
Steve looks up at you, running a hand through his tousled hair. He places that same hand on your thigh, rubbing soothingly over your skin. “Huh? Won’t it what?”
Though he’d been knuckle-deep in your cunt a few moments ago, you feel suddenly exposed. Anxious. Shy. Like what you’re about to say is somehow a step too far. “Won’t it feel better, I mean, without the condom?”
Steve’s eyes go wide for a second, his mouth hanging open in a show of genuine disbelief. Shame bubbles up inside of you and you’re starting to regret speaking up when he moves forward to amble closer to you - close enough to reach your face, to cup your cheek in his hand.
“You want that, baby?” he holds your gaze. Steady, unyielding. “You want it raw?”
“Yeah,” you breathe, eyes wide. “Yeah, Steve. I want it.”
“God, you’re perfect. You’re so perfect.” Steve's lips are on yours before you can manage a response, the kiss messy and charged with a new kind of desire. He licks into your mouth and you moan high in your throat, legs spreading for him while he settles on top of you.
“Take it off for me,” Steve mutters when he breaks away from the kiss, his nose nudging up against yours. “Can you do that?”
Of course you can, you want to tell him, but all you can manage is a nod as you reach between your bodies to roll the condom off. You set it off to the side, not really caring where it goes as long as it’s gone. As you palm Steve’s erection with that same hand, giving him a few languid strokes, he rolls his hips into your touch with a sinful moan. He always sounds so sweet, so blissed-out from your every touch.
You don’t ever want to get used to the initial stretch of Steve's cock inside you. It’s euphoric, the way he splits you open, pushing himself to the hilt and pausing there while you pulse around him, cunt struggling to accommodate his size. There's always a slight burn, but the pain makes you dizzy with lust; that pleasure is increased tenfold without the condom, your eyes rolling back as you pull in a shaky gasp. Steve curses over you, his head falling to your shoulder. He's panting like he might pass out, cock throbbing inside of you as he wills off a premature orgasm.
“God, babe, you’re—you feel so good,” he groans, and it almost sounds like he’s in pain.
“Steve,” you whine. “Steve, fuck me, please?”
You’ve started moving your hips on your own, shuffling around just enough to provide yourself with some relief, the ruddy tip of Steve's cock prodding deep within you. One large hand moves up to grab your hip, Steve's fingertips digging harshly into your skin, harder than before. Hard enough that you know you’re going to bruise.
“I’ve got you, babe. just lie back. Can I try something?”
He blinks down at you, eyes clouded with lust, but there’s a tenderness in his gaze that makes you feel utterly disarmed. You nod. “Yeah, anything.”
Steve kisses you again: slower, deeper, more passionate. It's a quick kiss, but it makes your heart thud ever-faster in your chest before he pulls away, his hands smoothing over the backs of your thighs. He presses his palms into the doughy flesh, pushing your legs up higher, higher. His torso leans in closer, until you’re eventually pinned to the mattress by his broad chest, your knees beside your head.
And god, you feel him everywhere.
The pleasure is almost overwhelming. He's so much deeper at this angle, the length of his cock dragging slowly through your cunt at first, a lewd squelch accompanying his first few thrusts before he picks up speed. You’re unable to look at him for a good while, too dazed to focus on anything but the mind-numbing pleasure of this angle, his cock brushing deliciously against your g-spot. But when you do focus enough to take in Steve's expression, you’re hurtled impossibly closer to your next orgasm, because he’s wrecked. Brows furrowed, cheeks flushed, lips bitten raw and red. He's staring down at you like you’ve hung the moon in the sky, like he couldn’t look away if he wanted to. And while this kind of devoted attention would typically make you nervous, all you feel right now is wanted.
“I think I'm—god, baby, I'm sorry, I'm gonna come soon,” Steve stammers, his ruthless thrusts knocking the air out of you. “I'm sorry, you just feel so good, you’re so tight, shit—”
Your legs are sore from the position you’re in, folded in half for him, but you feel so impossibly full that it’s hard to dwell on the ache. Your own orgasm is rapidly approaching, spurred on by the persistent drag of Steve’s head against that spongy spot inside of you, the pleasure near-overwhelming as the coil in your lower abdomen draws taut.
“I’m gonna—you’re gonna make me come,” you gasp, legs shaking in their upright position. “I w-wanna come with you, Steve, please.”
“Yeah?” He’s panting, too, hips pounding into the supple flesh of your thighs, his punishing grip on you tightening further. He holds you in place by the hips, fucking into you at the perfect angle to hurtle you closer and closer to your orgasm. He’s almost there, too, but you can tell that he’s holding back for you. Your heart would flutter if you weren’t so busy being fucked stupid.
“Steve,” you say, back arching, “I want you—I want it inside.”
Pussy-drunk and mesmerized by the bouncing of your tits with his every thrust, Steve doesn’t seem to process what you’ve said for a moment. You reach a hand out to take his chin in your hand, and those blown-out eyes focus on you, finally. His lips are parted and he’s flushed the prettiest shade of pink.
“Come inside me,” you tell him. You must look just as wrecked as him, but you force seriousness into your gaze—you want this more than anything, and you’re not even sure why. You’ve never felt particularly inclined to let a boyfriend do this before. It always seemed like too much of a mess, too much of a liability.
“Oh my god,” Steve says, his eyes rolling back briefly before he readjusts, hammering into you somehow harder and faster and more desperately than before. “Oh my fucking god…”
At this new angle, he’s hitting it perfectly—that sweet spot along your frontal wall. You dissolve into the white heat of your orgasm not much later, legs trembling, mouth hung open, cunt fluttering wildly around his length while he pumps into you those last few times. And when he comes, it’s with a flurry of words: Take it all—gonna fuck a baby into you—you’re gonna look so sexy…
It takes a while for the two of you to catch your breath. You lie together, limbs tangled, breath mingling, sweat and cum and saliva dampening your worn-out bodies. Steve’s the first one to speak up.
“I didn’t know you were into that,” he says, though his voice is far from judgmental. He sounds more pleased than anything.
You grin, pecking him on the cheek. “I didn’t either.”
“Is that what you want?” Steve’s playing with your hair, curling a lock around his finger again and again and again. “A baby?”
“It’s a little early for that,” you comment. “Isn’t it?”
Steve has to think about it for a moment, and though you should probably feel strange discussing children after your third date, his obvious deliberation makes you laugh. Genuinely.
“Sure, it’s a little early,” he decides. His hand moves to your cheek, lips closing in on yours in a gentle, slow kiss. “But there’s nothing wrong with getting some practice.”
This series is going to destroy me, I just know it.
𝐢𝐟 𝐢𝐭 𝐛𝐚𝐫𝐤𝐬 | 𝐞𝐝𝐝𝐢𝐞 𝐦𝐮𝐧𝐬𝐨𝐧
part one | part two
You don’t mean to make an enemy of Eddie Munson — he’s handsome, and talented, but he’s the biggest jerk you’ve ever met. Eddie thinks you’re infuriatingly pretty, emphasis on the infuriating. Too bad you just can’t seem to leave each other alone.
fem!reader, enemies-to-lovers, rival rockstars, mutual pining, slight miscommunication, angst, hurt-comfort, eddie has mixed intentions, sexual tension, TW bullying (in case), TW recreational drug use, drinking, smoking, swearing. disclaimer: I can’t play an instrument
The Coral Apartments, California, November 1990
Eddie Munson looks good on TV. You try to convince yourself that it's the blurry imagery, the three-toned LED's, but you know it's because he's plain good-looking. Rockstar suits him. Glam suits him; eyeliner, ripped shirts, ever-bruised knuckles and cut up fingertips that speak of a wrought dedication to the music he plays.
You look away from the TV and push the sheets down with your feet, naked legs flat to the mattress and covered in your own cuts and bruises. It's not entirely Morgan's fault, but every time you see the shiny scar on your ankle you get mad at her again. She'd been sloppy on stage, pulled her mic tight and sent you reeling over it like a tripwire. You'd cut up your legs, sprained your wrist, and split your chin. On national TV. In front of thousands of people.
Your ego is pretty bruised too.
Worse was the bouquet of flowers you'd been sent the day after, huge and bursting with colour from a certain dark-haired thorn in your side.
Saw you ate shit. Stop day-dreaming about me during sets and you'll be fine. EM
You'd trashed the card but hadn't had the heart to fob the flowers. The last survivors of the bunch wilt slowly on the nightstand beside you, a much too pretty reminder of somebody you're trying to forget. Or rather, erase. You won't admit to yourself what happened at Monsters of Rock, because admitting it means he's winning.
Morgan pushes your door open with her hip. If she's perturbed to find you in your underwear she doesn't say a word, making a beeline for your bag. She takes out your Newports and taps the carton against her chest.
"What's up?" she asks, sliding a cigarette from the box and propping it between her shiny lips. "You still feeling sorry for yourself?"
She lights her cigarette, laughing through an exhale of smoke. "How many times do I have to say sorry?"
"Once would be nice."
"Babe." Morgan sits at the end of your bed, in a good mood for once but still herself. "I'm sorry you fell over my mic."
She likely doesn't even see what's wrong with her apology. You accept it for what it is and hold your arm out for the pack and lighter. Knees pulled up, you settle against the headboard and light a cigarette yourself, but snuff it out after a shallow inhale. Nothing feels worth indulging in when the knot of anxiety in your chest keeps on tightening.
"Where's Ananya?" you ask.
"You're watching this again?"
You glance at the TV where Corroded Coffin play through their Monsters of Rock set.
"M'just waiting for us," you lie mildly.
"Sure… You know, you shouldn't feel bad about your spill last week. Look at Munson. Biggest crowd of his life and he's tripping over an E major."
She snorts, the two of you watching as the Eddie on screen looks to the left of the stage and misses his mark.
"How do you flub that?" She rolls her eyes. "Boys."
How did he flub it? You'd been standing on the side stage cleaned up and smiling like you were half in love with him. The recording is proof — whatever power it is that he has over you, you have something similar over him.
"Anya's in the lobby waiting for us."
You sit up.
Morgan points at the alarm clock on your nightstand with the smouldering tip of her cigarette. "It's Friday."
She smiles at you. If you didn't know her, the look of pity on her face might almost feel genuine. As it stands, she's a magnanimous bitch when she wants to be. She's lucky that it suits her.
"It's Friday, babe. And we're," —she tilts her head to one side, the bemusement in her eyes unmissable— "ten minutes late."
"Shit. Shit." You stand up on wobbly legs. "Fuck."
"Don't worry! I got you something."
With Morgan, you aren't sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. But you don't really have a choice.
Eddie won't admit to anybody why he finds himself in California. The band isn't touring, award season is mostly over. He should go home and see Wayne because fuck he's a bad nephew, a bad son, and Wayne deserves a whole lot better than one phone call a week when Eddie's too hungover to actually listen to what his uncle is saying. He should head back to Hawkins and make sure Wayne's actually cashing in the cheque's Eddie's been sending.
He shouldn't be hanging around parties hosted by people he only knows from TV looking for you, that's for sure.
The good thing about being semi famous is that introductions don't matter. Either somebody already knows you or they don't, and everybody assumes you already know them. Eddie can't count how many times somebody's pulled him in for a one-armed hug and said "Good to see you again," when they've never met before.
It could be the coke. It's probably the ego.
Eddie isn't extremely introspective or anything, but he hopes to fuck that he isn't an asshole. He knows he is in superficial ways. He's said some hurtful shit to people — to you — he wishes every now and then that he could take back. In the moment it had felt right to tease you, to belittle you as he thought you'd belittled him. He'd wanted to put his hand out and ask how high you can jump. But then he remembers how your bandmates had spoken to you, or your glitzy smile. He remembers the twisting pain in his chest when you'd fallen over on stage a week ago (though if anybody asks, he heard about it from somebody else). You'd smashed into the floor with a cruel force, arms twisted trying to protect your guitar, not a second spared to save yourself. You'd got back on your feet with blood dripping down your chin and played the rest of the song without complaint. Not one person had stepped in to clean you up.
It drives Eddie insane. He can't help it. He hates you and he wants to linger on the sidelines and watch you play. He can't stand the despondent look in your eyes when you look at him, when you look at the floor. He needs you to know that you're better than they tell you, but he can't make himself say the words.
So he'd sent you flowers and made a lame joke, hoping for hot and coming off desperate no doubt. He'd regretted it as soon as he'd hung up the phone, but he hadn't cancelled the order. Something colourful, he'd said. What flowers cheer people up?
The florist had laughed at his awkward tone and said that all flowers do the trick.
God, he hopes so.
Which isn't to say Eddie likes you. He can't stand you, actually, come to think of it, standing in the sticky pit of some actress' kitchen as he pioneers the radio and flicks through to Roller FM. Resentment burns like fire as the dial clicks beneath his fingers, turning the volume up enough to hear the radio host introduce your band.
"And tonight, a month before their new studio album hits the charts, Godless are letting us be the first to hear the second single. The outpour of hype after their first, Down and Out, was no small feat, and we have the lovely ladies here tonight to walk us through that fresh sound. But first, let's spin that new single. Ladies and gents, this is Silver Ringed…"
Godless are about as cohesive as Corroded Coffin. They have a unique sound as most chart toppers tend to have, and as much as he thinks your front woman is a total hack, she can sing. Her voice moves from sultry and quiet to aggressive and rasping. She isn't afraid to scream when she needs to, and you and Ananya obviously won't let yourselves be outdone. Your music is visceral. It's good. Not Corroded Coffin good, you don't have the clean cut sound they do, but Eddie knows that isn't the point. It's supposed to be a little dirty, and since they let you on the writing floor it's getting worse. Better. Whatever.
Eddie rubs his face with both hands.
When the song ends, the radio host asks some questions about the new album, inspirations, touring, promotional album covers, the works, and Eddie hates himself for waiting to hear your voice. He grows irritated at the sound of Morgan's raspy nonchalance.
"I mean, you guys are really stepping into a new genre here." It's true. Godless and bands like yours are more energetic, more aggressive than what Eddie plays. It's a divisive subject. Eddie likes it, but he knows a ton of metalheads who think it's immature. It's certainly not traditional. "Your first album was a whole lot different. And it was good, Godless broke into the scene! But this is new. You guys are more original and more popular than ever. Why the change?" The host laughs. "Well, she's sitting right here."
Eddie thinks he can hear you inhale, but it's Morgan who speaks.
"I wanted more for us, you know? Our first record, we just wanted to prove we could do it. This time we want to prove no one else can."
Jamison scoffs. Eddie looks up from the radio and finds his bandmate with a beer in hand. He tries to steal it and gets an elbow to the chest for the effort.
"Dick," he says.
"Get your own." Jamison tilts his head toward the radio in a show of tuning in. "Can't tear yourself away, huh? How's your girlfriend?"
"Christ," Eddie hisses.
"You need him. Aw, she sounds so sweet."
Eddie startles back to the radio, and sure enough you've finally been allowed to talk. Your voice is soft with nerves.
"It's a lot to adjust to, I think I'm slow to- uh, get with the program. But I'm so happy to get to make music and to be a part of something this sick. Uh, this amazing, I mean."
Poor girl, he thinks. By the end of your answer you sound like you want the ground to swallow you up. Thankfully the host is a professional, and laughs warmly.
"It's a big lifestyle change! We talked a little about influence, is there a track I can play you guys out with? What's your favourite?" he asks.
"Me?" you ask.
"Oh, uh…" You laugh, sounding frazzled and sweet at once. "It has to be Black Sabbath, right? Do you guys have, um, The Mob Rules? Mob Rules is my favourite."
Eddie needs to get very drunk, he decides, and he does. He drinks until he can't taste the difference between the shitty craft beer and seven hundred dollar cognac. Until he forgets why he was drinking in the first place, to erase the sound of your voice and your Sabbath recommendation — who the fuck picks Mob Rules over Heaven and Hell? He's tipsy and he won't remember, but he wants to fuck you stupid just for that (affectionately).
He loves Mob Rules.
They move from one party to another, sloshed in the back of a car he still can't afford with his rockstar paycheck, more than drunk in the bathroom of a Studio City mansion kissing powder off of his fingers. Whatever he's been given doesn't last very long (though it hits hard), and he comes back to reality on a huge fancy couch surrounded by people, some he knows and most he doesn't.
"I need a drink," he says.
And he gets the shock of his life.
"I don't think that's a very good idea," you say gently.
Eddie swings his head to yours, finding you in a nice dress, the gem of a necklace fallen down the valley of your chest. The lights are high and blaring and he can see the fine hairs of your face, the shine of your lipgloss like a siren call.
"Why are you here?" he asks.
You shrug. He watches your shoulders.
"I need a drink," he says again.
"Like, a beer? I don't judge but I think you’ll get alcohol poisoning if you drink anything else."
"Like a beer."
You look like you might stand up and get him one, for a second. He's ultimately glad that you don't. You twist around, elbow over the back of the couch, and your face beams like a star as you call, "Hey, Dornie? Could you toss me a beer, please?"
Eddie worries he'd wanted to see you so badly you've appeared as a hallucination, and he hates himself and it's all old news anyways, but you turn back with a cold as ice beer in hand and press it into his arm until he whines.
"I'm sobering you up," you tease, again so gently. He does not like how you're looking at him, like you feel sorry for him.
He takes the beer though the second sip makes him feel sick to his stomach, and tries not to look at you.
"What, you don't want to be my friend anymore?" you ask.
What has he said?
"Sweetheart," he says, focusing very hard on sounding solid, "a friend is the last thing I want from you."
"Could've fooled me… Hey, you wanna know a secret?"
You lean in close, smelling of perfume, your face undeniably touchable. "I heard from somebody who heard from somebody else that they're kicking Tony Martin to the curb."
He blinks. "Sabbath?"
"Why the fuck would they do that?"
"Think on it, baby."
If he couldn't smell the flowery punch of your perfume, or see the individual lashes that shield your waterline, he'd definitely think you were a dream. You're here, and you're talking to him like you like him, looking at him like you did, you cruel, awful thing, that day at Monsters of Rock when he'd pressed you up against a wall and kissed you until his lips burned. You'd kissed back. You'd responded, your lips pressing against his with more enthusiasm than made any sense.
Now you're calling him baby and telling him secrets, your knees tucked together and the outside of your thigh warming a stripe under his jeans. It feels surreal. Your body heat is sinking into his skin.
Somebody across the coffee table entices you into conversation. Eddie listens to you talk. Maybe high Eddie is a nicer guy than sober Eddie (unlikely), because you don't seem repulsed by his company. Considering how you left things, your little corner shop spat and his bruising kiss, he hadn't been expecting a warm welcome.
"Did you–" he starts, insecure and hiding it as best as he can, fingers itching for a cigarette, for something to do, "did you like the flowers?"
"You already asked me that." You peek down at his beer. "Could I have that?"
He hands it over numbly.
"It's not a good idea, you know? Drugs and drink, mixing them together. It messes with your heart," you tell him.
"Don't act all innocent," he says.
"No, I know, I'm not trying to lecture you 'cause I do shit I shouldn't do, but– you looked one bump from a heart attack. Seriously."
"Why do you care?"
You laugh. Your nose wrinkles. "I don't know."
It's not the answer he wanted, but it's the one he deserves.
He's spent weeks talking to himself, imagining conversations between you both. He's memorised defences, shamefully readied a few insults in case you'd prepared your own, but nothing comes to mind now. He's speechless.
You drink his beer and he thinks about how his lips had been at the mouth of it not ten minutes ago. It shouldn't matter. You've already kissed him. It shouldn't.
"I don't think I took what I meant to," he admits.
"Me neither. Morgan said they've been cutting with procaine around the hills. Did you get super numb?"
He can't remember. He doesn't want to talk about any of this with you. "I heard you on the radio."
"You were scared."
"No." You tear the tab off of the beer and put it in his hand. "I like high Eddie, he’s honest."
"I'm not, really…"
"Should see your pupils."
Maybe he is, then. That could explain why he keeps saying what he's thinking without pausing to check if it sounds cool. He has his defences up to the ceiling usually, wouldn't ever let you or anybody else in, not here.
He's staring at you.
You brush the side of his arm with your fingernails.
"Why are you being so nice to me?" he asks.
Your small smile flattens into a line. "I don't know, Eddie. Who are you gonna tell? Who'd believe you? As far as the tabloids and- and our friends are aware, we hate each other."
"It didn't feel like you hated me."
"But you do now?"
You stand up. Eddie gets caught in your smile, charming with something worse lurking beneath. You brush the hair out of his face and station your hands at the base of his neck, dropping your head toward his ear.
"Not telling," you whisper.
He thinks for a moment you're gonna kiss him, his ear or his neck, but you scratch his scalp lightly and leave as he's getting to grips with the feeling of your breath against his skin.
Dolly Floor, California, December 1990
Dolly Floor is a club in West Hollywood frequented by movie stars. You're pretty sure you only get in because of Morgan's snow trail incident months ago, and you almost wish they'd sent you packing when you see how densely hedged it is inside. The temperature hikes up with every step you take inside, and soon Morgan's dropping your wrist in favour of one of her friends across the way, leaving you totally alone.
You're dressed in too much clothing for the occasion, a dress with sleeves and a leather jacket that isn't yours, big boots to protect your feet from crushing crowds. Morgan had thrown a pair of kitten heels at you in frustration. For once you'd told her no. She's been oddly friendly lately, letting you do as you please with nothing more than an irritated huff, and so you've got tights and socks alike stuffed into your shoes — you're sick of aches and pains.
If anybody steps on your toes tonight, you're going home.
The air is thick with humidity, exhaled breath, the scent of alcohol explaining the stickiness under your footsteps. You don't know many people, but you know Dornie and, irritatingly, half of Corroded Coffin, so you beeline for the band where they're holed up at the back and hope one of them will give you a drink.
There's gotta be thirty different people hanging out. How they can hear each other talk is a mystery. Dornie puts his arm out when he sees you and you slide into his side, reaching up on tiptoes to kiss his pale cheek.
"Careful," he says, "you'll make someone jealous."
You're affectionate with Dornie 'cause he's nice. Just plain nice, which is hard to find in Hollywood. He's the very first friend you've made that's yet to break your heart, and better, he hasn't tried to sleep with you.
Not that you think you're some unresistable notch.
"Who'd be jealous of me?" you ask.
"Of me." He rubs your shoulder through leather. "It's good to see you, doll. Your chin's healing up nice, yeah? Or is it make-up?"
He taps your chin.
It unlocks a reluctant memory, the shadow of a different hand, heavy with intoxication but painstakingly gentle.
"It's a bit of make-up," you admit, lifting your chin so he can see it.
"Still, it's getting better. How are your knees?"
Hiding behind your tights. "They're gnarly. Doesn't hurt to walk much now though."
Dornie grins. He has a pretty smile with white wonky teeth and three lip rings on one side. His hair is shorn short, unlike most of the guys here rocking hair to the ears or even longer. His eyes are a light brown, emphasising the bruising bags under his eyes. He looks tired.
"Don't look, but I'm getting some serious glarage from your favourite guitarist."
"You're my favourite guitarist," you say, and you mean it. His arm is a comforting weight. It feels so good to have a friend.
"Your second favourite."
You step completely into Dornie's view and look up at him. "How's he look now?"
"Chilling. Want me to guide you over to the bar like we're lovers?"
"Don't say it like that."
Dornie pulls you across the floor back to the bar, where blessed cool air seeps down from the air-conditioning and the drinks leave pools of condensation the second they're put down. Dornie buys you a mystery cocktail that tastes more like water than juice. You sip at it happily, using your more neutral vantage point to get a good look at Eddie.
He's sprawled against a booth wall with one arm behind his head, a cigarette sending smoke up to the wall. He looks better than the last time you'd seen him. There's colour in his cheeks, though that might be the lighting. Dolly Floor is a strange venue, like a strip club without the workers, or a restaurant without food. It doesn't feel like a club, but there's a small stage around the corner from the bar where good music plays live, and it doesn't take much convincing for Dornie to come and watch the show with you for a bit. Some of his friends join you, a woman called Natalie, a man named Matfield, and they're both as nice as he is.
"We heard the new record!" Matfield says across the high table, the golden watch on his wrist a beacon under the reflections of the harsh stage lights.
"Hated it?" you ask.
He chuckles. "All the screaming isn't for me, baby, but that shit doesn't matter. It was good. How's it doing?"
"I honestly haven't looked," you say, opening your box of Newports and offering them out like candy. Everybody takes one.
"Better not to know tonight," Natalie says agreeably, her perfect black hair curled toward her face like a seraphim shifting as she leans in for a light. "All you have to do is celebrate."
You'd wanted, foolishly, to celebrate with the girls. Ananya had dipped as soon as she could and you get it, she has her own friends, but Morgan knocking the door of your room had been a great relief. If at least one of them wants to spend time with you, that's enough. Only, Morgan had made it clear as she was sifting through your clothes that she was going to try and find, "like, someone who's actually interesting." You'd taken it about half as personally as you would've a few months ago.
Hence Dornie. You'd called him on the landlines and he'd said, "Yeah, babe, I'll meet you there."
Thank whatever's watching for Dornie.
He buys you another drink and then another, says your money's no good and tonight's about you. His friends are great, including you in all their jokes and smiles, and when the lights go down and the music gets louder you head out onto the glowing tiles and dance with them.
Eddie finds you not long after. Slinking up from your peripherals, hand in his pocket.
"What Eddie am I seeing tonight? The nice one?"
Eddie doesn't flinch at your sudden question. "You look good."
He'd approached from the left. You'd felt it rather than heard him, and you'd guessed right. He steps further into view, not smiling, not not smiling. He looks good too.
"I heard the album."
You hate how much you care. "Yeah?"
"It was good. It wasn't metal, but it was good."
You're laughing before he's even finished, turning away from him in a feigned sense of superiority. I don't care what you think.
Eddie doesn't grab you. You wouldn't care if he did. He follows by your elbow and says, "Come on, you know it isn't."
"Just 'cause it doesn't sound rooted in the 70s," you say with a smile.
"That's the whole point. It's baseless, there's nothing traditional in it. It isn't metal, but it's rock, and it's good, and–"
"Slow down, Munson. A girl'd think you liked her."
"I'm not, but my opinions are right. Everybody says that, but when I do it's true, so…"
You look at him properly. He looks present in a way he hasn’t before in front of you. There’s a total clarity behind his eyes that you yourself don’t have tonight. He looks sober. Not that you thought he was an addict, not that you didn’t. There’s a certain blasé attitude to substance abuse when you get a kick of fame. Everybody has something in their pocket and you’ll admit to buying into it, taking stuff you shouldn’t in unfamiliar places. You know, of course, that drugs are fucking dangerous. But you hadn’t been freaked out by them until the other night, when you bumped into Eddie outside of the bathroom in Dornie’s friend’s house and he hadn’t recognised you for a solid ten seconds.
He’s chewing on nothing.
“I didn’t do it to hold over you,” you say.
“Look after you. It wasn’t… I mean, I wasn’t making fun of you. And I’m not gonna tell anybody.”
“Generous.” His eyes narrow subtly.
“So if that’s what you’re doing.” You look down to his neck where a silver chain rests, thin, new and hidden under his shirt. “Checking to make sure, I’m not.”
“You think I’m here to make sure you don’t tattle?”
You’re too tipsy to feel embarrassed. “You’re here to buy me a drink, then. I want a cherry margarita with extra shiny cherries and all the salt on the rim, please. Please,” you add, because the second one hadn’t felt polite enough.
Eddie nods and half turns. “Shiny cherry?” he asks. You almost miss it, his soft tone nearly lost in the noise.
“Maraschino… they’re pink.”
“You’re not gonna come with me?”
“Get lost often?”
Eddie holds his hand out. You’re supposed to think of how his hand looks, his callouses, his rings, the cut across his thumb, the size and length of his fingers. You think about them enough when he isn’t around, but now, right now, your heart thuds against your chest. Your thoughts are a mess until they aren’t — hold his hand. You put your fingers against his palm and he squeezes them together like he’s collected them, tugging you out of the crowd and across the room to the slick black bar.
You’re still angry with him. You’re wounded, knife to the gut and all the red blood because he’d been right, you’re a dog, you do what people tell you to, you’re doing it right now, but then he squeezes your hand with a light enough pressure that you’re sure you’ve imagined it until he does it again, leaning up against the bar as he gives your order. “Extra cherries,” he says to the barkeep with a smile, letting your hand go in favour of his own drink.
The crowd surges with a new song and people brush your calves as they walk around you. You and Eddie stay at the bar. He sips on a bottle of water. You wait for your margarita.
“Your cut’s healing up,” he says.
You try not to notice your touching arms. “It was bad, right? It must’ve been. You felt so sorry for me,” —the words burn— “you sent me the biggest bouquet I’ve ever gotten in my life.”
“I didn’t feel sorry for you, sweetheart, can you read?”
“Between the lines, yes,” you say, nodding your head once, emphatic as you accept your margarita. “Thank you.”
“I didn’t feel sorry for you. Felt bad for you-“ He holds up a pale palm. “My fault an’ all, I’ll try to be less daydream worthy.”
“I wasn’t thinking about you. Did you see it? She tripped me up with her mic doing a shitty Stevie Nicks impression.”
You laugh at him. “Exactly! That’s the point.”
“Yeah, I saw it.”
You raise your eyebrows. Eddie’s head tips forward and his hair hides his cheeks, the subtlest impression of his cheekbones lost to a curtain of curls. He twists one of his rings around his finger.
“She- You should be more careful,” he says.
Everything’s raw with him, criticism most of all, but you’re feeling generous. You fish one of your shiny cherries from the margarita glass, surprised to find its stalk intact, and break the delicate skin between your teeth. You mull over what he’s saying as the sweet flavour aches in your jaw. You could’ve been more cautious. You’d been having fun, and you’d thought you could trust the people you work with to have your back. It was a little silly to assume; neither Morgan nor Ananya have ever shown you much second thought.
“Yeah, I think I should be,” you say finally, putting the cherry stalk in your mouth.
“What are you doing?”
You ignore him and try to tie a cherry stem knot. You keep trying until you think you’ve got it. You pull the stem from your tongue.
“Shit,” you curse, glaring at the curved stem. “Thought I had it.”
Eddie grins and leans into your space, fingers quick to pinch a cherry from your margarita.
He brings it to your mouth. You keep your lips pressed closed and search his face for a trick. Nothing peaks out, not a hint of cruelty to his pinked lips or flush of soft lashes. You try not to breathe as you open your mouth, and Eddie pushes the round of the cherry over your bottom lip slowly.
You bite down.
Eddie takes your stalk and places it on his own tongue. He closes his mouth, and within five seconds he’s taking out a knitted stem with a prideful buzz about him. Any smugness he’d held dissipates. He looks adorable.
“Beat you,” he says.
“Arrogant doesn’t suit you.”
“Arrogant absolutely suits me,” he argues, the corners of his lips twitching up, up, up. He’s smiling so much. He reminds you of somebody. “Sore loser doesn’t suit you.”
“You’re one to talk.”
“What’s that mean?”
“What’s that mean?” you repeat. “I smile at you across a stage set and you push me up against a wall.”
“Smile? That’s what you’d call that?”
You’re facing each other now. Eddie inches closer as he speaks, each word said with a precision that can’t be unpracticed. “I’m playing in front of near enough a hundred thousand people, kind of crowd I fucking dreamed of as a kid, in front of actual real life rockstars, and you stroll up to side stage dressed like–”
He cuts himself off. An olive branch. A stopper. A dam. His inhale infuriates you.
“No, go on. Dressed like what, superstar?”
“Like a fucking groupie.”
You know he’s only said it to try and get a rise out of you. He knows that you know. He looks like he wants to take it back.
You want him to push it further.
“And you liked it,” you say, angry. Quiet. “You liked it and you couldn’t get a handle on it.”
“No,” he says, knowing what you’re implying, voice hot and fast, “I kissed you because I knew you wanted me to. I knew what it would do to you.”
“I wanted you to?” you ask.
“I wanted to mess with your head ‘cause you fucking harsssed me–”
He cuts you off, “You wanted to mess with me because you hated that I was right about you. Not everything, but enough. Those girls treat you like shit. And you let them, or you’ll be the next Millyana, sitting at home watching the rest of us on TV wondering why you couldn’t make it out.” Something in his expression flickers like a rubber band has struck his skin.
“I’m not going anywhere.”
For the first time, you mean it. You worked hard to get here, had people treat you a whole heap worse than Eddie’s hot and cold, than Ananya's indifference and Morgan’s narcissism. Hours in buses with your neck craned against a short ceiling scribbling music and days toeing the line with a guitar falling apart in your hands. You scrimped and saved and starved for this.
Eddie smiles at you. For the second time that night, he looks like somebody else.
“I know,” he says. “I think we’re finally on the same page.”
Eddie buys you another drink. Your tipsiness had felt so far away when things got heated, but now your bubbly smile is back, and you’re actually talking to him. About music, sure, but the movies, the weather, the fancy apartments the record company put you up in.
“Finally got my own room so Ananya can stop complaining about the noise,” you say with a wink.
He chokes on his water. “The noise?”
“I’m a very dedicated player.”
You let a small silence pervade before bursting into giggles, hand patting his upper arm. “I’m kidding! She gets mad ‘cos I’m trying to learn YYZ but it is so, so hard.”
“Shit is hard,” he says. “Do you even have time for that? You start touring again in a month, maybe you should, you know, slack off?”
“No, because if I’m doing nothing I’m nothing.”
Eddie — fuck fuck fuck — shouldn’t pry.
“You’re not nothing.”
You wrinkle your nose at him and he loves when you do it. It’s not cute, really, but everything you do is cute in a way he refuses to unpack. “No, I’m not, I don’t know why I said that.”
“I get it, though. You feel like… maybe it's all gonna stop one day. Wake up with a bad case of the yips and no matter how good you were…”
“Yeah.” You take a very noisy slurp of margarita. “I’m so afraid that I’m gonna be nothing that I can’t stop.”
Eddie throws his gaze around the room. It’s no coincidence that your friend Dornie keeps looking his way; the night is winding down and there’s barely anybody dancing. It’s home time.
“You won’t be nothing,” he says, easing the margarita out of your hands. He might’ve bought you one too many. “I’m sorry for, uh, getting you drunk.”
“I got myself at least three parts there. Out of five.”
“At least three parts,” he agrees.
He wants, very badly, to touch your face. Hold your cheek in his palm. “Hey,” he says lightly. “Uh, you got something. On your cheek.”
You brush your dewy skin with an embarrassed look about you, shoulder risen and eyes all droopy with booze. “Here?”
He watches you scrub at nothing. He’s tricking you. He feels awful.
“Still haven’t got it?”
“‘Fraid not, baby.”
“You get it.” You brandish your cheek.
Eddie keeps a good distance. He knows what he’s doing is weird, he just wants to touch you for a second. He rubs the pad of his thumb down your face, tracing the path of a tear you haven’t shed. Eye to chin.
“You’re good,” he says, dropping his hand.
You’re slurring. He thinks you’re more tired than you are tipsy (though you are, undeniably, inebriated), and he wonders where all the time went, how it’s suddenly been an hour with you and your conversation. There’d been a moment where he thought he’d fucked it and your eyes had shone with hurt, but you’re smiling, he’s smiling, and Dornie looks aggrieved. All good things.
“I think you better get going,” he murmurs.
“Sick of me?” you ask, not teasing.
“No. Your friend’s waiting for you.”
You look over your shoulder and your smile glows. You start babbling about how that’s your friend Dornie (he knows, you’ve only told him five times) and how Dornie is sooooo nice. You deserve somebody being nice to you right from the start. Eddie’s trying to make it right but he’s said some shit he can’t take back. He wants you to have someone who’s a hundred percent sweet on you, he just doesn’t wanna have to hear the adoration in your voice when you talk about it.
Eddie’s a dick. Self-admitted.
You go home with an arm looped around Dornie’s waist. (Dornie said high-pitched, wide-eyed.) Eddie pulls a handful of bills from his wallet to pay for the drinks he’d bought, stuffing the change in a tip jar on the way back to the dregs of the coffin crew. Jamison’s long gone and Jeff didn’t wanna come, but Gareth’s smoking a cigarette with another guy’s hand mysteriously lapward.
He clears his throat. “I’m going home and taking the car.”
“Wait for me?”
Eddie cringes. “Sure.”
Eddie sits in the car. One hand on the wheel, the other in his pocket. He thinks about tonight, your hair, your smile, the way your arm had brushed up against his. He wonders if this is the right move. Eddie’s not mad at you anymore for forgetting who he was, for your teasing at the Prover Theatre or your rookie comments. And Monsters of Rock, that had been half spite and half bravado. Spur of the moment bravery. Idiocy. Yeah he’d kissed you to piss you off, but he’d also done it because he wanted to.
He sighs and takes your discarded pull tab out of his pocket. He thumbs the rounded edge, thinking harder than one guy should ever think about anything that isn’t metal. Shit, he thinks. I gotta go home.
note: they are not done hating each other I am just warming up! thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed <3