this fic that’s taking me 5 million years to write bc I’ve forgotten how to write Billy properly??? my fic More Than a Crush
desc: Steve’s parents want to meet Billy bc Steve won’t shut up about him so they tell Steve to bring him to the Country Club gathering, and Billy’s not too thrilled about having to wear Polo clothes.
(this is just a scene and it’s def still “under construction” but I need to post something or I’m gonna have a breakdown so! Here we are, dears.)
For my lovely friend @okayshitbird ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Never in his life has Billy felt like this much of a dork.
Something about this feels like torture. Even though he knows he’s only surrounded by people who love him wholeheartedly, this still feels like a form of sadism. Billy thinks he might understand what those little toy poodles go through.
Because right now everyone is… cooing at him. Joyce has stood Billy in the hallway (where Jonathan said the lighting is probably best after she asked) and is currently attempting to work Jonathan’s camera to take pictures. Jonathan is right next to her, trying to show her the buttons to press and where to look when she wants to take a picture. Jim is standing behind them, deep chuckles clearly bubbling up in his chest and a smirk he can’t keep hidden smeared all over his face. Every now and then he makes eye contact with Billy and tries a little harder to keep his laughter down. Billy tries to find something to appreciate about it.
El is bouncing around in the back, giggling and pulling Will over to whisper to him. Will just shrugs, face red and laughter hidden in the corners of his smile. Billy knows he can’t get mad at them.
“Oh here, you just take it, honey.” Joyce concedes, handing the camera back over to her son with exasperation in her voice. Jonathan scrambles for the camera, hanging it around his neck before turning to Billy with a smirk on his face- a smirk that says: you’re never living this down. It’s in his raised eyebrow and all.
Billy’s gonna kill the boy.
“Say cheese.” Jonathan says with the smarmiest grin possible.
“I’ll kill you.” Billy says through gritted teeth, keeping his tone as sweet as possible. Jonathan laughs before taking the shot.
“Okay, okay, now I think we should get one over here! The wallpaper is nice over here.”
Jonathan is cackling now, mixing with the low rumbles of Hop’s laughter as they walk down the hallway. Will and El move out of the way, heading to the kitchen for something.
Billy’s teeth are still clenched tight.
“I’d really rather not.” Billy says with as little anger in his voice as he can muster.
“I know, I’m sorry, dear, just a few more pictures! It’s just, I have pictures of all the other kids all dressed up and you look so nice!” Joyce brings a hand up to replace a curl that’s slipped out of where Billy has attempted to grease them back. Everything she does is so maternal- it all has such a loving touch that it softens Billy instantly. “Just a couple more pictures? Is that okay, honey?”
It’s just them in the hallway now, the chatter of the other people in the house sounding distant enough that the irritation in Billy’s chest simmers down to just about nothing. It’s just him and this woman who somehow always makes him think about the good memories of his mother. Not even the tangible ones, but rather the fuzzy ones that crop up more as feelings than as pictures. It’s something he’s not sure he knows how to truly appreciate. It’s something he’s not sure he’ll ever get used to again. It’s warm. It makes this whole place seem a little more like home.
It also makes it a lot harder to say no.
Because there Joyce is, looking at him like he’s one of her children. Like he’s her son all dressed up for picture day. He’s not fully sure what to do with himself. Especially because she’s asking his permission. So few authority figures ever do that.
“Alright.” He says, giving her a tired smile when her eyes light up at his response.
He follows after her into the living room, exhausted just from existing in these stupid clothes, having to look at all of these stupid smiles laughing at him like he’s a clown. He feels like a clown.
They’d probably insist it’s out of love and care. He’d definitely beg to differ.
But he’s still standing there, chin tilted up and hands clasped behind his back, doing his best to puff his chest and broaden his shoulders to look as manly as possible… even though he’s dressed like a damn Easter egg.
“C’mon, son, give us a smile!” It’s Hop, humor dancing in his eyes. “Let us see those teeth!”
Billy’s teeth are still gritted, mirth and pain definitely visible in his eyes.
“I swear to God.” He mutters under his breath before allowing the corners of his mouth to tilt up into a smile.
“C’mon a little wider.” Jonathan says through a smirk.
“Just take the picture.” Billy says through his smile, followed by the click of the camera.
Joyce fusses for a bit, moving over to the wall where all the kids have their pictures hung and trying to figure out the best place for Billy’s to go. Jonathan, still with that amused smirk on his face, wanders over to Billy.
“Hope you know how blackmail worthy these are.” Jonathan says with a glint in his eye. Billy makes sure to shoot daggers back.
“You better sleep with that camera under your pillow tonight, bud.” Billy says with sugar in his voice. He elbows Jonathan, who elbows him back, to which Billy responds with a harder hit.
The two are tussling about like a couple of kids before there’s a knock at the door.
Everyone stops at the sound, but when the bubble pops in the next second they’re all moving to answer it.
“I’ve got it!” Billy calls over the sound of them rushing to the door, taking long strides to push past them and get them away from the knob. “God, you’re a bunch of animals.” He chastises as he swings the door open.
On the other side of the door is Steve all dressed up in matching Easter colors. He’s looking down at his shoes, kicking a bit at the doorway in a nervous kind of gesture the second that Billy opens the door, and in the next he’s looking up with wide eyes.
He’s nervous why is he so nervous now I’m even more nervous oh God…
Billy squirms a bit where he stands.
Steve blinks hard. Billy doesn’t appreciate the silence, or the gathering of everyone behind his back that he can sense.
“Well? You got something to say, Bambi?” Billy’s foot is tapping incessantly. He can’t help it. He cracks all the knuckles on his left hand just by using his fingers. He’s nervous… and he swears he can feel everyone’s collective breath on his back.
Steve shakes himself out of his stupor.
“You look so good.” Steve nearly breathes it out. It kills Billy.
There are more than a few coos behind him, followed by a few amused chuckles. Billy’s face is currently burning red hot, but it’s not distracting enough to keep him from turning around and glaring at his family.
They’re all crowded together, doing their best to look at the scene in front of them without getting too close. They scatter.
Billy turns back to Steve, face still bright and hot. He absolutely hates the feeling, so much so that he can’t even think about wiping the scowl off his face.
“Yeah, whatever. You do too.” Billy feels sophomoric. Like a young girl who got asked to prom by a Senior guy. Like he’s waiting for his corsage or whatever. He feels so foolish
“Thanks.” Steve says, eyeing Billy up and down. “You slicked your hair back.”
Billy reaches up for it self-consciously. He feels that curl that fell out earlier and brushes it back.
“Yeah, what of it?”
“Why?” Steve asks, a little smile on his lips.
Billy’s not sure why he’s so irritated by the question, but he wants to believe the red on his face that he’s deeply sure is out of nervousness is actually red out of anger.
“I tried to look presentable. This is about impressing your parents, isn’t it?”
Billy’s trying not to snap, but it’s hard not to after being so strung up all week. It’s all he’s been able to think about is standing out in a field of flowers with a bunch of stuffy rich people.
Steve nods. His eyes turn softer, even though Billy’s close to barking.
A tiny shoulder is pressing into Billy’s arm then, shoving him out of the way with surprising strength.
“Hi Steve!” El says cheerfully, beaming her little smile up at the boy.
“Hi kiddo.” Steve says, smiling back just as bright. Billy shifts in place.
“Steve!” Joyce calls from inside the house. Steve and El turn to look at her, but Billy is staring at the stupidly nice shoes on his feet.
Nervous nervous way too nervous why am I so nervous please don’t ask him in…
“Won’t you come inside? I’ve got lemonade!”
Pictures she wants pictures don’t ask for pictures…
“I’d love to get a good picture of you both, too-”
Billy cuts in. He doesn’t feel too bad about it.
“We’re running late, already.” Billy says, loudly, to try to send a hint to this room full of people who can never seem to take one.
Billy still has his back facing the house, so he can’t see Joyce’s face. He figures it’s better this way, otherwise they’d be dragged into another photo session and Billy really cannot handle that right now. Not when his heart is trying to pack it’s bags and run away to the fucking city. He just looks up at Steve, shooting the boy his biggest, cry for help, ”please-have-my-back-here-babe” face that he can.
Steve takes the hint and gives a little nod.
“Yeah, we really are kind of late. My parents don’t like me being late to this stuff.” Steve shrugs. There’s more words on his tongue, Billy can see it. Steve kind of word-vomits when he starts talking about his parents and all the ways he seems to think he disappoints them. It makes Billy’s chest hurt more often than not. It ends in Billy kissing the guilt away more often than not.
“Of course, I don’t want you two being late!” There’s not a lot of disappointment in Joyce’s voice. Billy lets out a breath he didn’t know he was holding. He leans himself against the doorway, facing the other side of the threshold’s frame.
“You can’t drive us?” El asks, looking up with puppy dog eyes that could pull at anyone’s heart.
“Nah, can’t today, kiddo. We have to be somewhere.” Steve says. It makes Billy think something so stupid he wouldn’t even admit it to himself.
Kids kids kids kids…
He pushes the thought away to briefly wonder why Jonathan can’t take them. Figures it’s something with Nancy. He’s not dressed yet and the kids seem antsy to be somewhere. He’s fine with his mind on that, on anything away from where he’s about to be headed.
“It’s okay, El, we can just take my bike.” Will says, suddenly showing up at the side of them.
The four of them push through the door, giving their respective goodbyes before Billy and Steve climb into Steve’s car and El crowds Will on the back of his bike. They make the bike look a little small, but they’ve done this before. It still makes Billy laugh a bit. Seeing the two giggle a little when Will loses his balance for a second lightens Billy’s heart.
“Ready to go?” Steve asks, like they didn’t rush out to the car to get going. Like they aren’t really late and like Steve didn’t really mean what he said about his parents, even though Billy knows he did.
“Yeah, let’s just… do it.”
Steve nods for a little too long. He can’t get the keys in the ignition without fumbling a bit. They drive and Billy can’t even think about how much he dislikes the song currently playing.
He’s fidgeting still.
Nervous nervous so nervous why am I so nervous what the fuck is wrong with me-
“You nervous?” Steve asks around a bubble in his throat. He clears it with a cough after he speaks.
Billy snorts unattractively and pushes back his hair, even though the curl isn’t loose anymore. He reaches for the top of his button down, unbuttoning and rebuttoning because he needs to do something.
“No.” he lies through his teeth.
Steve gives a little sigh.
“Yeah, me too.”
It confuses Billy for a second.
“I’m nervous, too.” Steve says, voice a little shaky. Billy doesn’t know what to say. He feels appreciation bubble up inside of him that he tries to mask with irritation.
“I’m no-” His voice catches and immediately he’s mad about it. “I’m not.”
It sounds so stupid now that it’s out in the air. He looks out the window, like it’ll help the heat blooming on his face. He unbuttons the second button too.
Then there’s a hand taking hold of his left one. Billy looks at it, watches Steve’s thumb rub at the skin between his index and thumb. He looks up at Steve, who’s still got his eyes on the road.
“Thanks for… agreeing. I know it’s shit. Trust me, I don’t want to be going here either. But… it means a lot. And no matter what, I’m still your boyfriend, alright? I don’t care what anyone thinks.”
Billy’s eyes prick with tears. He’s not even sure why they’re there, but he blames it on how high strung he’s been all week. How pulled taut he’s felt since Steve brought this whole thing up. He’s just boiling over, that’s all.
Steve looks over at him, eyes getting soft and worry resting in his brow.
“Just drive, you idiot.” Billy mumbles, turning back to the window while grabbing firm hold of Steve’s hand.