Steve and Eddie don't like each other at first. Or, no, that's not quite right. They're still bonded from everything. They're friends, sort of, but they don't spend time together outside the group, have trouble talking one-on-one.
Steve doesn't think about it much. So, he and Eddie won't ever be real friends, okay. He's a little disappointed, but mostly he doesn't understand how he feels about the other guy. He's always anxious when Eddie's around, clumsy and stuttering, infected with Robin's tendency to nervous chatter. It doesn't make sense. It's just Eddie. But that's the thing. It's Eddie and Steve doesn't know how to act around him.
And Eddie? Well, he spends a lot of time avoiding Steve because the fucking cascade of butterflies he gets every time Harrington is around. He knows what it means, knows even he isn't immune to the Harrington charm, but he needs to be. He needs to keep his heart safe. So, he keeps his distance because Steve Harrington is not for him and never will be.
It changes during movie nights. First it's teasing Dustin and Mike, mocking whatever horrible movie the kids put on, and then it's inside jokes, and playful bickering, and evenings with just the two of them drinking beer and sharing joints.
Then it's August. It's too hot everywhere and Steve's parents are home, so they're in Steve's car, driving with no destination, a couple joints in Eddie's jacket pocket and a six-pack in the trunk. They're listening to a mixtape Eddie made Steve, a bunch of metal. Steve still doesn't get it but there are a couple of songs he enjoys. Rainbow in the Dark starts--this is one Steve likes, reminds him of Eddie and not just because it's Dio. Sun filters through foliage and into the car windows, backlighting Eddie's curls like he's some kind of deity, beautiful and ethereal, not part of this world.
Steve starts singing along to the music, can't help himself. His friend throws him a beaming smile, big enough that Steve thinks his heart stops. He smiles back. He and Eddie sing the rest of the song together, and Steve is...he's content. He's happy. He hasn't felt this way since--well fuck--since 1983. Their eyes meet again, gazes linger, warmth pools in Steve's chest and low in his stomach.
Oh. He thinks. That's what this is. It settles something inside him, the knowing.
Time passes, they get closer, share a bed most nights. Doesn't matter where as long as they're together. Sleep better this way, both of them.
They're at the trailer when it happens, sharing a joint, loosely tucked against each other in bed.
"I've never had a friend like you," Eddie says. His eyes stay fixed on the smoke he exhaled. "I know you and Robin are--like, I get it. But you're--for me--"
"Yeah," Steve agrees. He flushes from his chest to forehead. "For me too."
It's enough, they both think. They're standing on the edge of more have been for months, but this? This is good. There's no need to push, to force. They're hurt, Steve thinks. They're healing. And they have time.
Corroded Coffin plays their first show back at the Hideout in December. Steve's never seen Eddie like this, performing. His shirt is cropped and artfully torn, his jeans more rip than pants. He's wearing eyeliner and his hair is wild. And the way he moves, sinuous and sleek, hips thrusting in a tantalizing rhythm as he shreds on the guitar. Steve wants so badly he feels it in his teeth.
He finds Eddie smoking behind the Hideout after the set. His eye are too bright, his smile manic, the adrenaline keying him up to the highest setting of Eddie. Steve knows he matches the energy, can't help it.
Eddie throws himself into Steve's arms, wrapping around him tight enough that no space lingers. The musician presses his face into Steve's neck, nuzzling, lips pressing against his pulse point. They touch always, share a bed and cuddle, but never like this; nothing like this. Steve pulls Eddie closer, and groans at the mutual swivel of their hips.
Eddie's breath comes in panting bursts, and Steve thinks, "here it is, finally, finally," but the door next to them bangs open and they jump apart at the noise.
Their friends and the rest of the Corroded Coffin guys come out, frolicking and shouting, complimenting Eddie on the show. If anyone noticed them embracing, notices the way they both adjust their clothing to hide their matching arousal, they don't say anything.
Steve wakes early the next morning, early enough that Eddie doesn't even stir beside him, hair wild and eyeliner smeared.
He gets out of bed, starts breakfast, chocolate chip pancakes and bacon, Eddie's favorite. He's so intent on cooking that he doesn't hear the other man come up behind him, doesn't realize he's even awake until a warm body presses to his back, long-fingered hands slipping under his t-shirt, tracing the scars on his stomach. He leans into it without a thought. They touch all the time, but they don't touch like this.
"Watcha making, sweetheart?" Eddie whispers.
"Your favorite," Steve answers.
Eddie makes a little sound, almost a whimper, and presses his face to Steve's neck. Steve lifts his chin, leaning into Eddie and offering more. Warm lips press against his jaw, down to the moles on his throat. A moan slips from his lips as he grinds his ass into Eddie's hardness. The other man groans, grabbing at Steve's hips.
Somewhere in the press of their bodies, Steve has the presence of mind to turn. He lifts his hands, cups Eddie's jaw, thumbs caressing the stubbled, scarred skin of his cheeks. "Okay?" He asks. His voice shakes.
Eddie's eyes are wide, shining, and he swallows hard. Steve knows he's overwhelmed, knows that the words won't come. Instead, Eddie nods, and finally finally they kiss.
Steve is flying. His blood soars in his veins, his heart lifts off. It was always supposed to be this. Always supposed to be them.
It was slow. It was easy. It was small jokes, and long looks, and little touches, and singing in cars and best friends and sharing beds.
His heart belonged to Eddie Munson for months. It will belong to him forever.