listen i know we all love steve “completely ignorant of queer culture to the point that bisexuality is a surprise” harrington being roasted and educated in turns by robin and eddie, yadda yadda, good stuff. i read “they made a horror version of rocky?” in a fic recently and cackled. also a big fan of “he knew he was bi from the start and just never talked about it” as a trope, love it excellent well done
but what about steve who realizes after starcourt that the most important person in his life now has this thing that’s a major part of her life that he knows nothing about, and what if he fucks it up? what if he says something ignorant or rude by accident, and hurts her? what if he loses her because he didn’t know the right thing to say? what if he can’t keep her safe because he doesn’t know what to look out for? absolutely fucking not, this steve says
and listen she’d never say anything, because she can tell that he can tell how much she likes teasing him and teaching him things, so he plays dumb, and she thinks it’s very sweet. but she notices when the zines she keeps under her bed that she buys at that one secret bookshop in indy when she can sneak away on family trips start going missing, always one at a time, and replaced in a few days with another disappearing. and she finds the new ones he must have gone to buy the weekend she was at her aunt’s house hidden in the back of his closet when she goes to steal one of his sweaters. and she notices when he slips more of her queerer movie recommendations into his personal take home pile rather than the movie night stack when he thinks she’s not looking.
she doesn’t notice when he drives to indianapolis after she tries to explain to him why she can’t just ask out a cute girl, tries to impress on him the fear attached to every moment of attraction that he simply has never had to feel, but later she finds a crumpled receipt from a diner in one of his jacket pockets when she’s looking for his keys, and the address is across the street from the bar the gorgeous woman at the bookstore told her about, the one she memorized the address of but hasn’t worked up the guts to think about visiting, and she knows he must have gone looking for a place like that, must have been trying to understand, must have been scoping it out to make sure it was somewhere she could feel safe, after she told him she never had.
so when eddie nearly pops a blood vessel when they clock each other and she mentions that steve is the only person she’s ever come out to before, her hackles come up. because she gets it, she does, he’s only known king steve until recently, so it makes sense that he would be afraid, be concerned for her safety.
but steve is her person, and no one- no one- has ever made her feel as protected or as cared for as he does. no one has ever tried as hard to understand her, no one has ever put so much work into making her feel safe and seen and loved. and she thinks maybe even if no one else ever does, that’s ok. because she has steve, and more importantly steve has her, and that means no one gets to question his ally credentials in her presence without a dressing down to remember, no matter how well they mean or how recently they helped save the world.
(and maybe she’s not as surprised as she could be when he figures out bisexuality all on his own, because she’s been reading all the same pamphlets he has, after all. and she’s seen the way he looks at eddie, i mean come on. maybe no one else has noticed, but then, nobody knows steve harrington like she does.)