i need to “shoot my shot”????
did you not see me push him around and grind on him during a non-contact sport? did you not hear me call him pretty boy while we were both naked in the showers? was that not a proposition? jesus christ, men are so complicated
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god I fucking love Max and Billy, they should have that type of relationship where they talk mad shit to each other but like will fuck up anyone who says a bad word if the other isn't around to defend themselves ya feel me?
like their relationship is just full of only doing nice things behind their backs lmao can't own up to tolerating each other
they’re always looking out for each other. growing up with neil, max constantly has to cover for billy, and billy always has to get bruised and bloody so that neil wouldn’t touch max.
but it’s more simple stuff, too.
like when billy’s about to go buy a pack of smokes from the corner store and max stops him before he drives off, asking him if he can buy her a chocolate bar with him because, “pretty please, billy!! mom didn’t give me any change this week.”
he knows she’s lying. knows that she blew off all her change at the arcade. but. he does pick up a chocolate bar for her, and when he finds out that he doesn’t have enough money for the smokes and the chocolate bar, he puts the smokes back. even though its the reason he left the house in the first place. he doesn’t mention it and just chucks the chocolate bar at her and retreats to his room without a word when he gets back home.
he helps her and her “nerdpack” with their science fair project (he wasn’t going to- but he overheard max telling dustin how smart billy is- so he felt like he needed to. also, he wanted credit for when they won the annual science fair.) he asks susan to buy max’s favourite cereal, even though he doesn’t like it. even steve notices the subtle way billy’s expression softens around max. and on max’s birthday, billy buys her new bearings for her skateboard and even helps her change them.
max does a lot for billy too. she cuts in the conversation when neil starts intensely interrogating billy on the dinner table and she finishes his sentences for him. she asks will to tell her more about music, just so she can find something to talk to billy about. and she gets really pissed off when any of her friends call her brother an asshole. because. yes, he is an asshole. but only she’s allowed to say that.
especially when the party finds out that steve’s dating THE billy hargrove. they start talking about how steve deserves better, they even start trying to get them to break-up. and max just can’t take it. won’t take it. because steve’s the only good thing that has happened to billy in a really long time, and she’s not going to sit there while the rest of her friends try to snatch that away. so she yells at them, says things like, “he’s my brother, you know? you can’t say shit like that!” of course, they come around after (she kinda forces them).
they’re not the most expressive siblings.
they show their love in a somewhat odd manner. but they both treasure the hell out of each other and would take a bullet for the other in a heartbeat (even if they would never admit it)
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I've started another story involving party clown Billy, help 🤡🤡🤡 hopefully I'll be able to keep this one short.
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thinking of steve harrington going back to king steve after nancy breaks up with him. doesn’t have to fight anyone for the title, gets a long ass keg time that billy can’t even quite reach. but steve spends his day threatening bullies and being friendly with everyone instead of just his “friends” so now everyone loves steve harrington. and billy is left trying to decide whether he loves this boy or just wants to risk tripping him in the hallway and laughing. but steve also keeps trying to befriend and help billy out so it’s tipping more towards loving him.
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good evening, I was today years old when I realized that Billy Hargrove was very explicitly styled to look like Michael from The Lost Boys and like. WHAT. this is embarrassing, I’m embarrassed, I’m turning in my ‘80s movie stan card now.
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Harringrove April Day 30- Lily of the valley
There are very few things Billy actually remembers about his mother.
That can be pretty hard for him to swallow at times, the fact that he lost so much of his childhood to trauma, his mind blocking out even the good memories because of his father.
He still remembers the way she smelled when she held him, but he didn’t know the name of the scent she wore, and he remembers the sound of her voice, though he had long ago come to terms with the fact that he’d never hear it again, but the one thing he remembers so clearly about his mother is the lily of the valley tattoo on her forearm.
Neil had hated it from the day she got it, always making her cover it up with bracelets and long sleeves and makeup, but as a kid, Billy was fascinated by it. He would trace over it with his little fingers, the tiny flowers tattooed dark on his mother’s arm, connecting the dots between moles and freckles and petals.
One thing he doesn’t quite remember though, is the way she had cried when he asked if this mark hurt when he touched it like the ones his daddy left on her.
Neil seem to remember it just as well, deliberately mowing over valley lilies when they sprouted or spraying them with weed killer, so one day Billy decides, fuck it, he’s tired of seeing the one thing that truly reminds him of his mother get destroyed.
On his eighteenth birthday, Billy gets the same tattoo.
His is on his shoulder instead, in his head he thought it would look a little tougher there, at least as tough as a flower tattoo his hippie mom used to sport could. Of course, Neil is just as angry with him as he was the first time when his girlfriend came home with the same thing, probably even more so now that it was his son.
The bandage is only off for like, a week before Neil’s punishment comes, which, Billy guesses he should be at least a little grateful that he waited for all the bleeding and peeling to be over before he kicked his ass.
His dad’s not the only one that has a problem with it though, the first time Billy shows up at work without it covered, Billy gets lots of comments and sneers behind his back, all sorts of people who don’t know him saying they thought he was soft, feminine, a huge fucking pansy.
He didn’t think he should have to justify it to them, he lost his mother, he’s damn well allowed to get something on his body to commemorate her if he pleases, but it’s hard not to get a little defensive about it. He almost regrets it, not thinking it through more before he got these delicate flowers emblazoned on his skin, but that’s very much an almost.
Because one night he stands in front of his mirror and traces over the stems, the delicate petals, connecting them to the light freckles around it, blood that soap wouldn't quite reach still dried under his fingernails from the number Neil did on him earlier, and he cries like a damn baby, but he lets go of all that other stuff.
He got it for her , for his momma wherever she was still waiting for him, maybe still looking for him even, not for all of those assholes, and not to prove anything about himself.
So he wears it with pride, he tears the damn sleeves off of his shirts and wears jeans instead of a jacket if it’s a cooler day, and the comments stop coming, because it’s not as fun to say shit that doesn’t get a reaction anymore.
But the rumors don’t stop, and everyone knows as they spread, they change, and suddenly instead of Billy Hargrove being a pussy bitch, the mills churning out nastier shit, like Billy Hargrove’s a faggot, and it’s not safe to have him at the public pool.
There’s a long battle between him and Heather and the managers, and the pool begrudgingly lets him stay, but it’s not without lots of rules. He’d almost rather quit, with how short a leash he’s kept on, but he needs that job if he doesn’t want kicked out.
That’s what he’s complaining about to Steve one day over a smoke, sitting in the back room of the Harrington’s with the sliding door cracked so the smoke could drift out, not that Mr. and Mrs. Harrington would be home anytime soon to notice it.
Steve’s the first person other than Neil to know it was for his momma, and the look he gives him, the sadness and concern in those big brown eyes, it’s enough to make him want to laser that damned tattoo off himself.
He’ll blame the weed for what he does next, lacing his fingers through Steve’s before he can start the pity party, but he hopes Steve doesn’t do the same when he makes the choice to lean over and kiss Billy, delicate fingers barely gracing the dark ink on his shoulder, the others getting lost in tangles of blond hair.
It helps him feel not so bad about the whole thing, getting that burden off his chest, and the kiss with Steve didn’t hurt either, but the next day it’s back to the same old thing at work.
After another week or so though, he notices the gossip has changed, and this time they’re saying Steve’s name instead of his. Steve Harrington’s the pansy faggot now, and Billy has to pretend until he can get out of that chair that he isn’t terrified for the both of them.
He goes straight to Steve’s house after work, tells him as soon as he finds him, “I swear I didn’t tell anybody , I don’t know how it got out.”
And Steve doesn’t look panicked at all, but rather he gives this little smug smile at Billy and says, “I do.” calmly enough that Billy can actually feel his heart shatter, even worse than it had when he woke to find his mother’s car missing.
Steve doesn’t let Billy stew in that heartbreak too long though before he clarifies, “I didn’t want you to have to deal with all that bullshit alone, so I got this.” He holds his wrist out, and shows Billy that he has his own tattoo now too; a sunflower in the same style as Billy’s, thick black outlines with no color.
“I figure, once the initial drama blows over, now that there’s two of us, they won’t be able to say as much.” Steve explains further, looking hopefully at Billy’s face
“Maybe. But until then, you could be in danger, and you’re going to be in even bigger trouble. Seriously, what’s John gonna say?” Billy scolds, panicking on Steve’s behalf whether or not it was necessary.
“And what did Neil say?” Steve argues back, but he knows that’s not productive, so he switches to trying to be comforting instead, “Look Billy, I wanted to do this. For you and for me.”
“It was stupid of you.” Billy says under his breath, taking up Steve’s pale wrist in both of his hands, gently brushing his thumb over the just healed barely healed tattoo, “Sunflowers were your aunts favorites too, weren’t they?”
“Mhm, and I don’t regret it, Billy. I love you too much.” Steve says, the first time he had ever said those three words.
Billy smiles and bends down, bringing his lips to that little monochrome image, and mumbles against soft skin, “Love you too, sunflower.”
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“You fell for an Icarus.” Was what Robin had said when Steve told her about his repressed feelings for Billy Hargrove. One night, drunkenness and fatigued mixed together to make his mouth move in far away truths. “And I’m sorry that he turned into the Greek hero at the last moment.”
Then, a while later, Billy returned in a sort of sudden way that seemed like a dream. The grip Robin had on his arm as they stared proved those assumptions wrong though. And she mused, “Maybe you’ll break the string of Greek tragedies.” She smiled and pushed him a little, “Go on. Hades didn’t get Persephone by just standing there.”
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Harringrove April Day 29- Pillow
The first time Steve is allowed to visit Billy’s new place, a tiny fixer upper paid for with his government checks, all of the in-home nurses are gone, and he’s independent enough to at least answer the door when Steve shows up.
But there’s still something off with him, and Steve can tell the whole time he’s there. He asks him, “Is everything alright? Your new place treating you well?”
Billy scoffs, goes on a tirade about how much it is very much not treating him well, “The floors are creaky, the bathroom grows mold, I can hear everything that happens outside through the walls. It’s a piece of shit.”
Steve sees the look in his eye that says he’s holding back, so he probes, “And?”
“And it’s fucking hell being on my own here all the time.” Billy says, not looking at Steve.
“Tell me about it.” Steve says and Billy scoffs in agreement, but he wants to hear more, so he tells him, “No, I’m serious, I wanna know so I can see if I can help you.”
“I can’t look out the windows at night, so if I hear something I’m just holed up in here terrified ‘til the sun comes up. I can’t use the stove. I shower cold and the water pressure sucks.” Billy sighs, and shrugs his shoulders, like he doesn’t care even though he’s very obviously bothered by his living situation, “I hate it here. Strike me down now, but I’d almost rather be in Neil’s house.”
Steve doesn’t know what to say other than, “Why didn’t you tell anybody it was so bad?” but that must strike a nerve with Billy, because he snaps, sounding exhausted, “Because I can handle myself, Harrington.”
Steve doesn’t take the bait though, he knows better than to do that anymore, knows why Billy ever threw the line out in the first place, so he offers instead a genuine, “But you shouldn’t have to.”
“Look it’s not a big deal. Life goes on, you know? I can’t ask everybody to focus all their attention on me 24/7.”
“If that’s what you need, then you absolutely can. It’s not your fault if you need help, and not everybody’s going to be bothered by giving it, you know.”
Defensive, Billy asks, “Yeah, well, you offering?” and again Steve shuts down his attempt at arguing, telling him,“I was getting there actually. Would you be into having a roommate?”
The thing that shocks him is, Billy doesn’t say no, he narrows his eyes and asks him, “You gonna baby me?”
“Not unless you want me to.”
“I only have one bed.” Billy says to try to talk him out of it, but Steve says immediately, “I can sleep on the couch.”
“Do you really wanna deal with all this ?” This one Billy asks pointedly, motioning to the medications lined up on his coffee table, the oxygen tank sitting next to him.
“I don’t think helping you out counts as ‘dealing with’ anything.”
“Fine. But I have ground rules.” Billy says after thinking about it for a long while, then lays them out, “No hogging the bathroom, no leaving shit around, no playing shitty music on my player, and absolutely no inviting the brats over.”
“Fair enough. Can I throw one suggestion out there though?” Steve asks hesitantly, continuing when Billy nods at him, “No pushing each other away. We’re gonna be living together, we’ve got to leave behind all our high school bullshit.”
Billy looks up at him, and says simply, “I already left that all on the mall floor.”
So it was decided. In what was probably the most spur of the moment choice he had ever made, Steve would be moving in with Billy. Two days later he shows back up at his door with a trunk load of his things, Billy waiting for him on the porch while he get out the two suitcases he’d been able to fill.
“S’that all you brought?”
“I only own like, a handful things in my house. My parents didn’t let me take much.” Steve feels uncomfortable suddenly, worries this was a bad choice and he made it too hastily, “Is that a bad thing? I don’t want it to seem like I’m trying to mooch off of you or something.”
“Nah, I was just expecting you to have a bunch of rich boy luggage or something.” Billy opens the door for him, letting him drag his suitcases in and adds,“Think it’s better like this anyhow.”
“It is a pretty small space.” Steve points out, to which Billy agrees, “Yeah, but… I think- I think it’ll be better with you around.”
That makes Steve smile, reminds him of how things are going to be now that he was going to be living with Billy, and he assures him, “I think it will be.”
Because there was pretty much nothing to unpack, they make quick work of it, all he had room (or permission) to pack was his clothes, anything personal, and a single pillow off of his bed anyways.
Steve gets his first taste of what helping Billy take care of himself ensues, only an hour after getting settled in having to hold Billy’s hair back when an especially bad coughing fits makes him sick, and help him through a panic attack when he turned on the stove; he thought that before Billy had meant it didn’t work, not that he was terrified of it.
His first night there, after Billy slinked off into his room to get some sleep, Steve takes his one pillow and lays down on the couch, but he can’t sleep. It’s a thrifted feather couch, and not only does he think it’s disgusting, sleeping on pretended furniture, but he’s pretty sure he’s allergic to the feathers inside.
Steve’s in the kitchen, just sitting at the table with a glass of water from the fridge when Billy pops his head into the room, announcing his presence with a “You don’t have to sleep on the couch.”
“Well you’re not in any shape to.” He says back, making it known he was absolutely not going to be talked into making Billy sleep in his own living room, “It's fine, Billy.”
“No I meant that you could sleep in my bed. I-If you wanted to.” Billy rambles, staring at the tiled floor instead of at Steve while he talks, “You don’t even have your own blanket so I thought you’d want to.. I don’t know, just forget I said anything man. My meds must be makin’ me loopy.”
“No I want to.” Steve dumps his cup in the sink and grabs the singular pillow from the living room, telling Billy with a soft smile, “Like I said, no shutting each other out, right?”
“Right, uh, it’s probably smaller than what you’re used to, but it’s a bed I guess.”
The bed is big enough that they don’t have to touch, laying back to back in a pile of comforters too hot for Steve, but perfectly suited to how cold Billy was anymore. It’s tense, feels like there’s some energy between them until Billys scratchy voice, muffled by the CPAP breaks the silence, “Steve?”
He responds, rolling over onto his back in the bed, “Yeah?”
Billy does this same, his voice cracking as he asks, staring up at the ceiling, “Why are you doing this for me?”
“Because you deserve it, Billy and I care about you.” Steve admits honestly.
“Don't flatter me, Harrington.” Billy mumbles in response, but then his hand is finding Steve’s between them, lacing their fingers together and squeezing gently. He whispers into the dark, “I care about you too, Steve. Thank you.”
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there are many songs that make me think of Billy’s death and How It Ends by Devotchka is one of them
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Day 23: Picnic
Read it on AO3 or read my whole Harringrove April Collection!
Jim Hopper never really expected to make it back to Hawkins from fucking Russia of all places, so he definitely didn’t expect to make it back and pretty much immediately end up with a second kid. It was just that Billy Hargrove had sacrificed himself to save El, and had somehow survived it, and Joyce was still a little mad at Hopper for not doing more about Billy’s shitty dad, and she had given him that look when it turned out that Billy didn’t appear to have anywhere to go once he got out of the hospital.
Well, he had one place to go, but Hopper figured moving into Steve Harrington’s apartment could wait until they were both out of their teens. He told everyone who would listen that it was because while Steve and Billy were both technically adults, they were also dumbasses, especially when they were together. He said, loudly and often, that he simply didn’t trust those two boneheads not to burn down Steve’s entire apartment complex, if left to their own devices.
What he said much more quietly, and only ever to Joyce, was that he remembered what it was like to be a kid with a shitty dad, and to cling to something simply because it was better than what he was used to. Billy might still end up with Steve—probably would, if the starry-eyed way they looked at each other was any indication—but Hopper wanted him to get there because he chose it, and not just because he needed a place to go.
Billy, for his part, insisted loudly and constantly that he would much prefer to live in an apartment of his own, out from under Hopper’s tyrannical thumb—and yes, that was a direct quote—but he somehow never actually found one that he liked. No one ever called him on it.
What Hopper hadn’t counted on, when he insisted that Billy move into the fancy house that he had bullied the government into buying for him and Joyce and the kids, was Billy and Steve’s commitment to fucking, just, all the goddamn time. Hopper had missed most of Billy’s recovery while he was in a Russian prison, but he found out later—from Joyce and Nancy and Jonathan and Robin and even some of the kids—that they had been caught at least half-naked by just about everyone before Billy was even released from the hospital. He wished, far too late, that he had chosen a house with fewer windows. There were far too many points of entry for him to manage effectively.
“You know Steve thinks he’s stealthy?” he said to Joyce incredulously one night after he caught Steve—wearing what was obviously one of Billy’s shirts and the smallest pair of shorts Hopper had ever seen—sneaking out of Billy’s bedroom window. Billy’s second-floor bedroom window. “He’s going to kill himself falling off the damn house.”
“You didn’t catch him until he was already leaving, Hop,” Joyce pointed out, “so he’s not exactly wrong.” Jim wondered when Joyce had turned on him too. He considered nailing the windows shut, but he was pretty sure El would kill him with her mind if he tried it, so he didn’t.
See, it turned out that “my house, my rules” only went so far with a kid who was technically an adult, and who had also sacrificed himself to save your other kid, so Billy got away with a lot. He got away with even more because both El and Will—and Max, who spent far more than half of her time at their house—were fully supportive of Billy and Steve’s ongoing shenanigans, and did their best to run interference with Hopper.
Apparently, one of the things Hopper had missed during Billy’s long recovery was the day some under-informed nurse let Billy’s dad in to see him. Everyone agreed that it had been a very dramatic scene, but they weren’t very forthcoming about the details. Only Max and Lucas and Robin had been there to witness it firsthand, but the kids all still talked about it in hushed whispers. The only way they ever described it to Hopper was to say that Steve had gone “just completely feral, Hop.” Neil had never bothered to come back, so whatever it was that Steve had done that the kids didn’t want Hopper to know about had been pretty effective. Max’s grudging affection for Steve had given way to complete adoration on that day, and El’s affection for Billy was well-established, so she had been right there with Max. Hopper hadn’t asked why Will was so supportive of the two of them, but he could guess.
So Billy lived with Joyce and Hopper and Will and El, and Hopper did his very best to maintain at least some semblance of propriety, and every kid in the house did their very best to defy him at every turn. It was exhausting. Which was why he was so goddamn irritated when he heard the low sound of voices in the middle of a walk through the woods behind the house that was supposed to be an opportunity for him to get some damn solitude for once. They were voices he recognized, unfortunately. He sighed heavily as soon as he got close enough to make out what they were saying.
“Harder, baby,” Billy practically moaned. “God that feels good.”
“Are you sure?” Steve asked a little breathlessly. “I don’t want to hurt you.”
“Yeah—ohhhhhh…” Billy’s confirmation devolved into an actual moan, and Hopper had had enough. He marched toward the voices, bursting into a clearing with his brow furrowed and an admonition on the tip of his tongue.
The first thing he noticed was that they had chosen a beautiful spot—they were on a soft-looking picnic blanket in the middle of a pretty little meadow dotted with wildflowers. A gentle breeze rustled the leaves of the surrounding trees. The remains of a picnic were spread out in front of the two boys, next to an open picnic basket.
The second thing Hopper noticed was that he had maybe slightly misread the situation. Billy was sitting cross-legged on the blanket, tank top and cutoffs firmly in place, and Steve was kneeling behind him, also fully clothed. Billy’s head was tilted to one side, and Steve had his elbow pressed firmly into the muscle of Billy’s shoulder. Both boys were staring at him with wide eyes. They recovered at about the same time, and Hopper sighed inwardly as Steve cocked one eyebrow. Billy’s eyes sparkled with amusement as Steve spoke.
“You’re always so tight, B,” Steve said, completely deadpan, eyes locked on Hopper’s. Billy smirked and gave that same low moan again as Steve pushed down with his elbow.
“You get so deep, baby. Feels so good,” Billy said, and Hopper had seen some shit in his life. Had fought literal monsters. Had spent months in a Russian prison, most recently. He absolutely was not going to blush in front of these two dumbasses. He refused.
Instead, he sighed heavily, resisted the urge to murder them both, and turned around, making his way out of the clearing. Billy waited until he was almost, but not quite, out of earshot before he spoke again, and Hopper was pretty sure he did it on purpose.
“We’re actually fucking after this, though, right baby?” he asked, and Hopper, unfortunately, also heard Steve’s response.
“Course, B. That’s why there’s lube in the bottom of the picnic basket.”
“You think of everything, pretty boy. Best boyfriend ever.” Hopper was tempted to turn right back around to yell at them, except that Billy sounded genuinely happy. And that, Hopper would never admit to anyone but Joyce, was a thing that he thought Billy Hargrove deserved a lot more of. He did, however, pick up his pace, before he heard something—again—that would haunt him forever.
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was just texting my brother about stupid shit my dad does that pisses us off and we both brought up that one thing he does where he basically tells us to do (or even feel) something- and then frames it as a question (like we have a choice in what to answer)
it’s like “you’re gonna do this. right, lio?” or “you’re gonna feel happy if you do that. isn’t that right?”
but we both know that we have to answer yes no matter what.
and then i realized- neil kinda does the same thing??? he tells billy that he’s going to cancel his date and go find max then goes “isn’t that right billy?” (knowing damn well that billy’s only safe response would be yes sir.)
.. . just thinking
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I'm just turning myself into uncle Billy istg
I just bought a white lace cardigan, have aviators hanging off my collar, I have a bunch of random kids that I've become a pseudo parent to, I've been used as an intimidation tactic, and my style has changed quite a bit from what it was in high school because I'm more stable now.
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《Harringrove Alien AU》
"..and then we'll blow it the fuck out into space."
As suggested by @rascheln 🖤
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How does Billy not already have breathing problems? Like from living with Neil and then when he got flayed, he literally got dragged down a whole ass flight of metal stairs.
He stands up pretty straight, so I'm not too concerned with initial back problems, but if he turned onto his back, that could have definitely fucked him up along with the two separate car crashes he went through that week
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Yknow what? @deardmvz have some random Uncle Billy shit that's just floating around my head. Use it if you want lol
-He once tried to wear one of his old pairs of jeans cause it was laundry day and it resulted in him tossing them into that night's bonfire
-he can crack open a beer on just about anything, like any good punk
-if one of his niblings (yes that is the word for it) comes out to him as trans, he has zero trouble switching the vocabulary then and there for them. he has a harder time not switching it if they ask him to
-he has a strange vendetta against straw hats and nobody knows why, including him
-if he's wearing shoes, it's either sandals or his heavy as fuck, ass kicking boots
-he put on his old clothes once because he wanted to prove the point that him now is a completely different person than high school him and he was, in fact, almost unrecognisable
-he has exactly two sneezes. the ultimate dad sneeze that jumpscares everyone in the vicinity and the weird mix of a normal sneeze and a squeak
-he's like 23 in war tears, but everyone thinks he's just kind of immortal like nobody can decide on his age
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FOR THE LOVE OF EASTON by AM Hargrove at The Reading Cafe:
‘Hargrove delivered another great novel to readers‘
Harringrove April - Day 8, Rebirth
Best to put the song on first, listen to it, & then read. It'll help set the mood. also ik ik its late but whatever idc I wanted to do this prompt. Enjoy!!
We were born in the valley
Of the dead and the wicked
When Billy comes to Hawkins, he's from the valleys of California. Places only heard about in magazines, in fancy brochures. He says he's been all over California, telling wild stories to girls from the hood of his flashy car. A cigarette tangled in his fingers, golden locks glowing like he's got magical powers in them.
He talks fondly of it all, the one time he seems pleasant. When he's talking about home, where the sunsets were on a beach or over a vast field of orange poppies. Where seagulls were natives, and the beach scene never died.
He talked and talked about the place like he had lived there for centuries, a god who had implanted themselves into the state and never wanted to leave.
The dead and the wicked made him though. Uprooted his feet by force, dragged him on a cross country trip in a blue camaro that was bought last minute off a sleazy lot.
"It's cheap dad- it's once in a lifetime, please-"
"Fine. But you're driving it to Hawkins, and you are dealing with it."
The one time the dead and the wicked allowed him some joy. Windows rolled down as they pass the last poppy field and head further into the next state over, red hair in the passenger seat and a skateboard in the back. Quiet for once while The Beatles sang on the stereos, crackling through on a dusty cassette that came with the car.
That our father's father found
And where we laid him down
Neil found Hawkins, Indiana. Said it was a good small town, near Susan's family.
God, fuck that family. And Billy's step-grandmother, the religious priss, who handed him a silver ring. A small cross on the inside.
"For good luck with the lord in your new town, William."
He almost took it off and threw it into her begonia garden on the way out that Easter Sunday, but he left it on. Figured he could pawn off the shit for some new tires on the camaro, maybe even keep the ring for a while since it looked nice on his finger.
He ended up keeping the silver band, deep down hoping maybe she would be right. Maybe big J.C. up there will bring him some good luck with the town. And the school, and the dad, and the step mom, and the new step sister. The everything really. So he kept the ring on.
He found out it didn't do much after a few more of Neil's punches but he kept wearing it. It looked cool anyways.
He for sure knew the ring was a crock of shit though when he almost lost while the creatures of the upside down dragged him into hell. Laid down by them, big ego bulldozed like a wrecking ball to an abandoned skyscraper. Tearing it down, exposing the metal work underneath.
The fear of a father who beats him at home, a mother lost to divorce and time, repressed feelings, and a sister who seemed to never just stay fucking put.
The monsters tore off the exteriors and left Billy cold, exposed and a scared little kid as they took control of his person like he was some video game character they could play. The ring was nothing but a hunk of cold metal on his hands as the creature made him and Heather Holloway drink drain cleaner. Made him drag people down for the face clinger looking tentacles to latch onto their faces. Their lurching, horrible, wet sucking sounds as the Mindflayer practically de-brained these people through the nostrils.
He watched it all and wondered if the ring would ever hold up to the promise his new grandmother had made.
We were born in the shadow
Of the crimes of our fathers
Blood was our inheritance
No, we did not ask for this
It was the eve of July 4th, 1985.
Billy was looking down at her. Tears rolling down both of their faces as fireworks exploded, her gentle hand on his cheek.
She's just a kid, maybe 13.
She's seen her. His mom.... she said she was beautiful. He can't help but to agree. He thinks for a moment about the kid and then his mom. He decides its not this little girls time, despite everything the wicked beast thats possessed him says. She's no threat to humanity or creature of darkness.
She's just a little girl.
A soft summery song is coming on in his head, gently playing as he smiles at the girl. It's one he heard while walking down the beach, taking him back to California as he's placing the kids hand down off his cheek and onto her stomach. Using his own hands to get himself up, a his own stomach churning as he stands. The voices in his head that are singing and blocking out the noise soothe it though. Moms gonna be here soon, don't worry Billy. She'll bring you down to the first aid tent & we'll clean you up. Why don't you focus on our song?
He nods, agreeing with them. Focus on the song, where they sing in a soft tone, about waves rolling by and heaven. Little voices, to a slow melody that's played on what sounds like a combination of a beachy electric guitar and a ukulele, a gentle drum beat backing it up. They sound like angels singing.
It helps him walk, going up to the creature as they keep going in his head.
The Mind Flayers staring him down, now lifting him up off the ground with a tentacle. It hurts, but he thinks about it like a shot. He always hated them so bad as a kid but Mom's gonna be here to kiss it better William, don't worry.
Soon the others are hitting his back and sides. Hot pain, god. They fucking hurt so bad. Tears are rolling out.
Last one, big needle. It's all over after this though, okay? Just this last one and we're done.
He takes a deep breath and as he exhales it hits him.
Cuts into the music for a second as he screams, but the tentacle comes out fast along with the others. Dropping him to the ground, the music coming back. He feels his head starting to fall backwards and his visions blurring, fireworks exploding above in the empty mall.
It's almost beautiful.
He starts to see Santa Cruz as his eyes fill with tears. New image coming in clearer and clearer as he drifts.
The beach on the 4th of July, 1979, his mom next to him. A little red snow cone in his hand, her arm around him. Pointing at the fireworks going off above, over the water. Reflected down as they explode in a blazing glory, beautiful colors painting the sky. Coming to their big finish of the night.
"Billy?!" An outside voice cries, feeling far away. He keeps his eyes on the sky, leaning into his mom a little more.
"I'm sorry" He his lips say.
The last firework explodes above them and begins to fade, his vision going with it too as he descends into a darkness that holds finality.
Will you lead me?
We were young when we heard you call
Our names in the silence
When Billy is waking up, there's no fireworks.
He's reborn on a Spring day. Out in a field, where he wakes up like a baby deer just birthed. He's no deer though, hand raising up. It's definitely his, silver ring on the middle finger of his left hand like always. Little braided band in the middle, cross on the inside.
Maybe big old J.C. was giving him some good luck. He still has no idea where he is though. Just knows its warm, its some big field on a hill that's overlooking some city. He's got his boots and jeans on, and feels a little dirty.
He begins to stand, wobbling a little as he does so. His legs feel almost new, his arms as well. Like he's been reconstructed, or like he's been out of his body for forever and is just waking up. Last he knows it was summer, and he doesn't think he's been out long. Maybe an hour or two? A day at the most, surely.
He's up now, white wife beater rolling down his stomach. It looks like its been covered in dirt or mud, like he was rolling around in it till the top of it seems to be plastered to him. Billy looks backwards, eyebrow raised as a mound of dirt and a shabby wooden cross stares him back. A grave of some sort... hand made, placed in a daisy field that overlooks a town. He turns back to the town now, trying to figure it out.
The big, oddly shaped "PALACE ARCADE" sign gives it away. Hawkins.... He's still in Hawkins, Indiana. God he wishes he could have at least woken up clueless in California. Like some weird hangover situation, out on the beach drunk with no memory. Just some random coins and maybe an ID that made no sense. But no, it had to be Hawkins.
He groans and starts to walk down the hill, to the nearest civilization.
Like a fire in the dark
Like a sword upon our hearts
He barely knows Hawkins, but he knows Steve Harrington's house. The palace of keg stands and random chicks mingling around, a swanky two story house with a half circle driveway and a BMW in the driveway. A mailbox that seemed to never be checked, and a lawn that was always manicured by some Hawkins middle schooler. 'Child labor at its finest' He huffs.
Steve Harrington's house might as well be a Hawkins landmark, Billy walking briskly down the Lochnora road without a care in the world. The routes ingrained in his head from driving down here on late nights in the camaro, wondering if he should kill the car and get out. Jump in Steve's window on the second floor and scare the shit out of him... maybe see if he'll do other stuff too.
He never did though, just watched it from across the street before pulling away from the curb and back out onto the road and circling the rest of town like a vulture who had nothing to do. Looking for roadkill, something to keep himself entertained.
Most nights it was keg parties, but on others, he found nothing but parking out in the quarry. Waiting under the stars till they faded away and the sun came up, and it was time to go back home.
Now though he's not going anywhere, and he's dead set on the Harrington's house.
There's no silver Porsche or baby blue Mercedes to indicate Mommy or Daddy Harrington are home, so Billy feel's safe as he walks up the driveway, BMW sitting in the driveway like it hasn't moved in weeks, a thin layer of pollen coating it. Maybe Stevie Wonder was biking to work now? Billy rolled his eyes at it though, finger swiping at the pollen before he goes to the door stoop. Knocks on the door with its lion knocker, and stands back and waits.
Harrington will probably freak the fuck out to see him there and expect a fight or something. Maybe he'll give it to him, get back at him for Byer's place. Then go use his bathroom and steal one of his shirts to replace whatever dirty and... maybe bloody mess is happening on his. It's not like Steve can't replace it.
Billy knocks again, impatient. Then waits a minute and starts pounding on the door.
If Steve isn't here Billy swears to god he'l-
"WHAT?" Steve swings the door open, hair messed up beyond belief. A red bathrobe on, slippers too. Toothbrush half hanging out of his mouth, or well, was, until it falls. Now his mouth is hanging open and he looks so incredibly dumb in that loveable way Billy despises.
"What? Do I have maggots coming out of my face? Let me the fuck in Harrington." Steve's probably half asleep right now, hence the dumbstruckness. Not expecting a fight.
"You're...." he gestured at Billy, arms swinging wildly, "ALIVE?!"
Billy rolls his eyes. "Never fuckin' died man. Dunno where you got that idea, Pretty Boy. Now let me in."
"No!! I have to call the party I- STAY RIGHT THERE!" He's running back, towards the landline in the living room. What the fuck is up with him?
Judging by the car and the amounts of fucked up he looks, probably some drinking bender. He has wide eyes and dark circles as he stares at Billy, anxiously waiting. Hands reaching down around the corner out of Billy's sight, seeming to grab something by it's handle. Billy thinks he's overreacting and out of his god damn tree.
He stays though, not wanting to meet whatever Steve is holding.
We came down to the water
And we begged for forgiveness
Max, Lucas, Dustin, Robin, Joyce, Eleven, Jonathan, Mike, Will, and whoever the fuck else cause it seems like Steve's invited the entire town, are over within an hour. That along with some sort of official government looking people, which confuses him even more.
"Where did you wake up?"
"In some fucking field, with dirt and a cross. I- hey get that the fuck out of my face!" He smacks away a flashlight thats being shined in his eyes, snapping a little as another doctor backs up.
"Interesting." The original man states before writing shit down on his little lab chart. Billy feels like a science experiment all of a sudden, regretting coming to Steve's place. He wishes he'd just beat him up and gotten to look in the mirror real quick before he snatched a shirt and left (none of which he has gotten to do. Only sit on the couch and being rambled at by some nonsensical Steve whos weilding a nail bat like Billy was going to axe murder him).
Nothing is being explained to him and it's pissing him off, the kids just staring at him. Max looking like she's seen a ghost, stuck on Joyce's side.
Everyone looks... older. Which is weird. Maybe he hit his head and he just cant remember their faces from a few days ago correctly. Lucas looks taller than Max by a significant amount though, and the little girl is there. He vaguely remembers her face and something to do with...fireworks? He just knows she's for sure Max's friend and has stayed over at their house. But now she dressed weird, in some mismash of a grown mans flannel, slicked back hair with dark eyeshadow, a pair of those high waisted mom jeans that were all the rage with girls, and a boys polo underneath. Converse with scribbles on them too.
Max also looks different. Hair's chopped significantly... maybe she got a haircut sometime yesterday? It doesn't entirely make sense but hey she's irrational and does spur of the moment stuff. What's weirder though is seeing his jacket on her, along with St. Christopher's pendant around her necklace. Hand clutching it... it doesn't make sense.
He's only been out for a week at the most now he figures. No way he could survive longer than a week just out in the wild, asleep. Or maybe he went on a bender of his own that blacked him out for a month, just running on autopilot? He doesn't know how that would happen though, but he guesses that maybe it could make sense.
Everyone looks different though and its freaking him out a little.
"What year is it?" He asks a woman who looks like a doctor. He feels like he's in one of those time travel movies, or like he's about to be told he was in a coma.
"1986, dear. April 9th and its... 1:00 PM. Supposed to have nice weather till the weekend." Her smile is kind, seeming stupid to Billy shock.
Its months, fucking seasons, passed July of 1985. He's been out of it for forever.... it makes so much sense, but how. And why the fuck was this happening?
"What happened to me?"
"I can't answer that dear. Sorry."
It all seems to spiral from there as Billy leans back. No ability to know much about himself past maybe the last week of June and the beginning of July. He feels like shit too now that he thinks about, wanting to curl up into a little ball with a cigarette. Get the doctors off of him, who are busy checking him down while they tilt his head up, examining his eyes and then putting his shirt up and down and feeling his heartbeat. Like he's a lab rat.
He wishes he'd just laid back down and went back to sleep on his dirt pile.
It was decided hours later that he'd be staying with Steve.
Nobody outside of their small group is to know anything or be contacted, which included Neil and Susan not knowing. Billy felt a little luckier as Max is led home, not even saying a word to him as she leaves. Just plastered to creepy Byer's mom and staring with saucer eyes. He almost does a little "what" gesture at her and flips her off, but something deep down says she might cry if he does. So he doesn't. Just glanced over sometimes, mainly focused on the doctors in his face.
Watched her go out the door to leave him alone in the house with nervous Steve Harrington, who couldn't stop biting his nails.
"I want to shower." He was hungry but he hated the gritty feeling he had more. Like he'd been buried in the ground or something and unearthed. Like a little tree sprouting up, except it was 155 lb Billy Hargrove and he was no sproutling.
"Oh- yeah sure. This way, I'll get you clothes."
Steve led him up the stairs and into a bathroom. Lights off, Billy nodding and closing the door behind him as he flicked the lights on.
Turned to face himself in the mirror.
His face looked like it was stained, pale, dead. Almost a purple tint to it... California tan leaving him. Had he been underground or something? He looked like a fucking corpse, hair a mess and matted in places, straw like in others.
The white tank top looked like blood was over it, peeling it up as the thing seemed to dump more dirt everywhere as it went. Pulling it over his head and moving to face the shower, pulling it off and tossing it into a heap in the corner. Turning the knob of the weird metal dial, making sure it would be warm before he pulled the shower curtain.
Sighed and turned back to the mirror.
Facing his chest and the giant, supernova exploding scars on it.
The gurgling lurch. The sound of sucking, like it was swallowing.
The saw mill.
The girl in the living room.
The death. He fell, and fell, and fell until he black out collapsed on white tiles.
Shadows lurking close behind
We were fleeing for our lives
Billy remembered it all within a week.
Figured out that the 'pile of dirt' had been his grave, and Max was freaked the fuck out because that was her dead brother. The one marked as missing, who she knew was buried up on the hill in Hawkins. Said to be someone's dead dog named Fido- fucking Fido. They said his grave was the burial spot of some dog who they couldn't even bother to give a clever name.
Steve was much less on edge though, which was a plus. They sat now on the couch, side by side. Usually Billy in Steve's mom's robe, the one he'd been wearing when they'd met again last week.
Billy normally would have dreaded and wished himself dead early over the thought of being stuck with Steve 'The Hair' Harrington but... this wasn't too bad.
He got to use the hot tub in the house, and was usually bitching to Steve as he was made to take medication. Medication he was forced to take in order make sure he would recover, while the 'government people' tried to understand how Billy Hargrove got exhumed from the earth like he was a magical little flower. Budding up out of his grave and walking off his death like nothing. Reborn in spring like the daisies and marigolds, like his step grandmothers flower gardens.
Besides from the medication and hot tub, Steve himself was also pretty decent. Yeah he was fucking annoying at times with his sloppy eating and his horrible manners but shit, he was pretty chill when you hung out with him by force for a while.
He could actually cook too, which was surprising. Billy pegged him as a mommys boy, relying on Poptarts and Captain Crunch till she came home to feed her sweet little Stevie.
"Nah, she can't cook for shit. She burns toast- toast! I was gonna die if I didn't teach myself to do it."
He gestures to the eggs on the pan, a little towel thrown over his shoulder as he plays with the edge of another egg, seeing if its ready. This was how most mornings started, Steve cooking breakfast with his little towel, and Billy sitting in Mrs. Harringtons robe, hopped up on the counter like it was a seat made specially for him. Always used the excuse that the dining room was too far away and he didn't wanna drag a chair around.
The truth was that he just liked seeing Steve from his angle, plus sometimes he got confident enough to reach a hand out and fix his morning bed head.
The little summery angels voice song coming back into his head whenever he did so, smile tugging at the edges of his lips. These were moments of bliss as he sat up on the marble counter and Steve cooked, chattering to each other like they were childhood best friends.
Steve taking care of Billy, and Billy for once letting him. Too tired to resist, too in love with the feeling to fight it.
When Steve was sitting there across from him, making food, brushing his teeth, watching a movie, doing his hair- whatever- it was the closest he'd ever felt to California. Where he was back on the Santa Cruz boardwalk with his mom, about to go ride the Ferris Wheel. The feeling of his little beach angels singing, the warmth of summer hugging him up, and pure happiness. Nothing to taint it, not even the newfound scars on his body. The ones Steve looked over fondly, smiling with a "they're sick as fuck." Enough to make Billy worry less, knowing only one person would see and he thought they were cool.
Everything here feels good. Like he isn't running anymore, not fleeing for his life.
Yeah, there's still nightmares about Neil and the Mindflayer. But he can wake up, sweaty and terrified, and there's Harrington. Somehow always there, hushing him back into sleep. He stays at his side, hands him a massive stuffed elephant to keep in the bed.
"I know it's stupid but- it helps okay? Dumbo helps." Billy is too shaky to disagree, just tangling his arms up in soft fluff and gripping it till he feels grounded. Steves fingers going through his hair, like his mom had, carding through his curls with a tranquility that soon soothes him back to sleep.
Will you lead me?
After a month, Billy's made his way into Steve's bed, with Dumbo over in the corner. When the nightmares started to get bad again (usually its near the beginning of the month, like an anniversary), Billy moved to his bed. They curled up on the king sized mattress, that Harrington of course had, and Billy was soothed to sleep. Arms wrapped around him, Steve's nose in the crook of his neck. Dumbo within arms reach if needed, but normally Steve's arm was good enough.
Kept him anchored to reality, where he could feel the warmth behind him and remember. It wasn't real. Just a dream. And when he woke up, Steve would be right there. And in the morning, they'd get up and make pancakes. Blueberry chocolate chip ones, where Billy got to pour as much syrup as he wanted on them. Groan over how good they were and try to sloppily drink the orange juice straight out of the carton, leaving the fridge door open too.
Get a slap on the wrist as Steve told him he can't because 'you're gonna get syrup everywhere and it's gonna be fucking sticky! Look at the fridge handle c'mon-"
And too which Billy would just grin and start to walk off, still drinking, before Steve was chasing after him. The two running, Steve trying to pry the carton back from his devilish clutches. Save it from the syrup mess of Billy.
He was always too late though, Billy making it around the house and back to the kitchen as Steve was slipping on his socks trying to catch up. Putting the carton back with syrup covered fingers as Steve yelled at him not to.
He did it anyways. It was fucking hilarious to see Steve get so worked up and the exasperated, with the 'do you really have to do that?' face he made. And one day as he's chasing Billy through the house, this time over an orange that Billy is trying to eat out of the trash (because what the fuck is expiration? It looks mainly orange & its kinda squishy too now which is awesome), Billy doesn't get to make his full loop.
While Steve's chasing after him, he reaches out as they get to the living room. Grabs Billy by the LIFEGUARD ON DUTY hoodie he's wearing and tackles him down for the first time. Billy's feet go flying, a weird yelp coming out of him as he goes down with Steve into the living room carpeting. Orange fumbling out of his hands, rolling across the tan shag like a stray soccer ball. Stopping a few feet away.
Billy's arm goes shooting for it but he's trapped down by Steve, a hand of his going to Billy's wrist. The rest of him sitting on his stomach, a knee raised to pin him by the shoulder.
"No. I'm not letting you have that rancid orange."
Rancid. A new word he learned from Robin, which he won't stop saying to describe Billy's gross habits. Billy considered just renaming himself to Rancid after day 2 of it.
"Oh? You gonna try to stop me pretty boy?"
"I have you right now. I am not letting you touch it dude, its gross. You don't know what's in that."
"It's clearly just pulp and shit. That's what's in it- you just don't like him because he's ugly." Billy has decided he's going to up the ante in this game their playing, making his orange a person.
"Him? How do you not know its a girl orange? And I like a lot of ugly things." Steve retorts, leaning in closer. Billy attempts to wiggle his arm free, but Steve doesn't let up. Asshole.
"Like what?" Billy shoots back, smug smirk plastered to him.
"Your ugly face."
And it seems to go silent for a moment, and then Steve's leaning a little closer. Letting up off his arm as Billy strains to reciprocate the movement. And then their coming together. Meeting in the middle, morning coming through an open window and brushing up Billy's hairs on the back of his neck. A morning breeze, spring pushing him and Steve in their delicate kiss. Moving together in a moment of peace as the beach angels sing happily, slow melody changing to be about love, their electric guitar ukuleles upbeat. Like their cheering them on, like this is a movie kiss where the two characters have finally come together.
Billy can't help it as he moves his arm back a little and finds the orange, and brings it up. Smacks it against Steves temple and lets the mushy pulp and juice slide out, a laugh escaping his mouth and bubbling into Steve's lips. Their breaking apart as the brunette groans, but there is a smile on his face still. He expected this from Billy. Its the most him thing he could do in the situation, in the middle of their big first kiss.
"Fuck you Billy."
"Yeah- fuck me dude." Steves laughing as he brings him back for another kiss and to go rolling back to the floor. Orange discarded to the side to be cleaned up later.
On a spring day in 1986, on Steve Harrington's living room floor, Billy Hargrove is reborn again.
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- requests are open -
“Our love is god. Let’s go get a slushie.”
Jason “J.D.” Dean
The Breakfast Club
“When you grow up, your heart dies.”
- Dating John Bender Would Include
- Pet Names The Club Would Use
- How The Club Would React To You Asking For Their Pronouns
- Pet Names The Club Would Use
- How The Club Would React To You Asking For Their Pronouns
- Pet Names The Club Would Use
- How The Club Would React To You Asking For Their Pronouns
- Pet Names The Club Would Use
- How The Club Would React To You Asking For Their Pronouns
- Pet Names The Club Would Use
- How The Club Would React To You Asking For Their Pronouns
“And please, for the sake of your poor old dad, keep the door open 3 inches.”
Robin Buckley (x non-male!reader)
I Am Not Okay With This
“Just, sometimes it feels like the people I love don't love me back.”
- Meeting Stanley Barber For The First Time
Sydney Novak (x non-male!eader)
American Horror Story
“You have a jawline for days.”
James Patrick March
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Day 5: Butterflies
They had only been in the new house for a few days when they got their first visit from the representative from the Homeowner’s Association. Billy was halfway through tearing up the front lawn on a sunny, cool Wednesday when she walked up, a gift basket under one arm.
“Howdy, neighbor!” she called out with an exaggerated wave. Billy hated her immediately. He wished, desperately, that Steve was there to deal with her, but Steve was at work, probably elbow deep in finger paint. Billy stood up and wiped a hand across his sweaty forehead. He took off the work gloves he was wearing and tucked them into the back pocket of his jeans.
“Hello,” he said a little warily. She took the fake friendliness down a few notches as she got closer. He felt a little spark of his old anger when he saw the way her eyes lingered on his sweaty t-shirt. She was at least ten years older than Billy’s 31, and he had used up the last of his patience with obvious staring from older women a few years back. He didn’t really need the ego boost anymore, not when he ended every day with Steve. He was suddenly glad he had chosen to throw a shirt on that morning, in deference to the slight spring chill still lingering in the air. His smile went sharp at the edges, and it didn’t reach his eyes. “Is there something I can do for you?” He asked, and took pride in the fact that it didn’t quite sound actively hostile.
“Welcome to the neighborhood,” she said brightly, holding out the gift basket. Billy took it a little reluctantly and held it in front of him. She had managed to move her eyes off of Billy’s chest, and was now running a speculative eye over the absolute mess he was making of his front yard. “I’m Sandra Walker, I live at the end of the block. I’m the President of the HOA.” She smiled at him again, all false welcome. “Looks like you have quite a bit of work planned for the front yard.” Her tone was a little icy now. “Did you have something specific in mind?” Billy looked around the neighborhood, taking in the succession of nearly identical front lawns. He turned back to look at her.
“We do,” he said with an answering smile. It was almost actively unfriendly this time. He considered leaving it at that, making her actually ask, but decided to push a little. “We’re thinking about succulents, mostly, because of the water situation, you know. And we definitely have our hearts set on a butterfly garden. There are all kinds of wildflowers that attract butterflies here.” It was amusing, the way she almost visibly flinched at the mention of wildflowers. Billy took another look at the expanse of lawn in the neighborhood, only broken up by the occasional boring hedge or over-sculpted rosebush in either red or yellow. He made a mental note to expand the butterfly garden, and add more colors to it.
“Well, if I were you, I’d make sure to read all the HOA guidelines about landscaping before launching into anything too major. I’d hate for you to have to change it back because you violated one of the regulations.” Her smile was completely insincere. At least the loathing was mutual.
“I’ll keep that in mind,” Billy said. He was an attorney—sure, he was only working part time now thanks to Steve’s trust fund, but he was still damn good at his job—of fucking course he had read the HOA guidelines. He did that before they even decided to buy the house. Sandra was almost certainly going to hate what they had planned for the front yard, but it wasn’t going to violate a single HOA regulation. He could devote more time to making sure they got as close as possible, though.
“Well,” Sandra said a little tightly, “we’re certainly happy to have new folks in the neighborhood.” Her tone made it clear that she was, in fact, the opposite of happy about it. “I can’t wait to see what you have planned for the yard.” She made it to the end of the driveway before she turned around. “Oh, I almost forgot! My husband George and I are having a little neighborhood get-together on Friday evening. You and your wife should come by.” Billy’s eyebrows went up. He was pretty sure Steve had introduced himself to most of the neighbors by now, but maybe he had missed some. Billy smiled the first genuine smile he had given her all day, and didn’t bother to correct her.
“Looking forward to it,” Billy said, and he wasn’t even lying. This was going to be fun.
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A mini fic based off this amazing writing by @thehairingrove , where Billy comes back through a lite brite of Max’s. It made me think of him coming back through radios and the car, so now I had to write this. Enjoy.
Max has really never hot wired a car before, let alone tried to entirely revive a dead one.
“You good down there?” Lucas’ head peaked in from the busted front windshield, skin visibly sweaty from the late July heat. His fisherman hat was on again, the stupid looking thing laying limp and dead around his head.
“Yeah I got it. What’s next?” Max’s nimble fingers were gripped around two wires, a hoodie underneath her to protect exposed cream thighs from the glass shards that never got cleaned out after the incident. The car mat underneath was also coated in mystery stains, some the two assumed to be her brothers blood.
“Alright- so the ignition wire-“ he looks over, Max nodding as she holds a yellow wire in her right hand “-you’re gonna take that and then connect it to the battery wire.” Max nodded again, the red battery wire in her left hand. This is it, and if it doesn’t work she has no idea where to go from here.
Gently moving the two wires together she connects them. Hands shaking as they come together and a faint buzz can be heard.
And within an instant the car dings alive, radio flashing on and the sounds of static quietly coming through. The lights in the metal heap of a once glorious car illuminated. They had electricity flowing once again.
“FUCK YES! Lucas holy fuck!!” Max wanted to jump up and grab him but she couldn’t, too far down into the footwell of the camaros driver seat to wiggle up. She settled for an oddly positioned high five. “Okay, okay- now the big part. Starting the engine.”
“Alright- you see the starter wire we stripped?” Max does, grabbing it. She’s feeling a lot more confident this time around. “You’re gonna spark that with the connected wires you just did. The book says it’s gonna flash up so keep it away from your face and hair.”
Max is careful as she does this step, holding the wires as far away as possible. Making sure she has her feet far enough out the broken in door to wriggle out if something catches fire. And gently, she pushes the wires together.
There is a spark and a zap, and then the sound kicks on. The engine roars to life, like a beast coming out of its grave.
It’s like a phantom almost, hauntingly familiar and terrible in some ways, but also loved and missed at the same time. It’s her ghost, one of the few and far between parts of Billy Hargrove she has now. After every bit of him had been attempted to be erased and wiped off of the face of the Earth, like chalk on a board.
She may have hated him in some aspects before & wished this car was driven off a cliff into the ocean... but now things had changed. She knew monsters were real, outside of the one who made her brother into what he was. And when monsters are real & their in your home town, things are bound to change drastically.
So now, with Billy dead and in some fucked up way reformed, she wanted to keep at least one piece of him. And figure out if she was crazy about the lights or if there was some method to all of this madness.
Lucas came around to the door, helping Max up and out of the well, and then into the seat. It still had his blood on it, a bit of dried blackness cracking in the seams from monsters of the Upside Down. It made her feel slightly uncomfortable in some way, but happy in others. It shows he was there, that he was real. Even if her mind is starting to forget him, time already taking its effect as she’s told inside the walls of her home that he was never there to begin with.
“The lights and electricity- do you think it’s gonna work?” Lucas’ arms were on the door, eyes staring at the radio and wondering. She’d told him about the lite brite and what it had done.
“I... I don’t know. It’s worth trying though.” She felt sheepish saying it, unsure of if it would actually work. If maybe somehow, Billy could pull a KITT in Knight Rider with this whole Upside Down fiasco. Come back from the dead & speak from beyond the grave.
Her hands went to the radio console, pressing the eject button. Out comes a cassette, Max almost laughing when she sees it. Iron Maiden, all scratched up to hell on the box with “don’t touch my shit Maxine” written on the front. She grins and grabs it, pocketing it into her overalls. She already knew it was in there, but not until today had she been able to get it out. She had thought it was lost to the jaws of the cars cassette player forever, but now it was her again. With no Billy, the cassette was hers by claim.
She was sad that there would be no attempts made by Billy to snatch it back. It was hers now... finally. She almost didn’t want it to be.
Her fingers moved quick, moving on from the cassetteas she switched the stereo to the normal Hawkins radio. Unsure of how this would go but still curious.
“Billy- If you can hear me- I want you to do the stereo thing again. You can turn up the music or maybe switch the channels?”
At first there is nothing, and Max and Lucas are left looking dumb as the weather plays. Max sitting farther back into the Camaros front seat, Lucas sighing a little as the temperature is read out.
“Today is gonna be a blazing hot one folks! By the looks of it the sun will be rising us up to a smoking hot 96 degrees by noon and-“
The voice cuts out, going to static. Max and Lucas perk up, eyebrows raising and heads tilting. Waiting for something.
And then, a new voice comes through.
Its a random voice, cutting out of static. Some radio announcer, just popping in to say hello.
“Hello?” Max calls back at the radio.
The radio switches to static, trying to find a new station to continue its sentence.
More static, and then more words.
“you... Can you...”
Parts of the words are songs, others announcers. Neither of them care. The message is clear. It’s Billy and he’s asking “Max is that you, can you hear me?”
Max wants to sob as she nods, pushes out a little “yeah”, followed by Lucas swearing his ass off. Running a little in excitement before coming back.
“Yeah! Yeah it’s me oh my god- Billy-“
“Damn... shit...bird.......didn’t think you missed me so much......I have a question... where..... am I?”
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