do you think you could write a fic where either billy or steve genuinely doesn’t feel romantic attraction for the other, but they’re not mean about it or anything, because sometimes things just don’t work out the way we want it to! but maybe they stay friends or deal with it in their own ways
Anon! You're challenging me! 😳 I'm going to tag this as harringrove but it's one-sided, of course. I hope you enjoy! I feel sad after having written this but maybe it's also a bit cathartic. As always, feel free to prompt me or just slide into my inbox to say hello!
Billy knows that Steve knows about Robin and is apparently cool with it. But he doesn’t know if Steve is only cool with Robin because Robin’s a girl and won’t hit on him. Cause that’s something that gets to straight guys, the idea that another guy might flirt with them.
No one wants to flirt with you anyway, Tommy H, you’re gross and annoying. But Steve isn’t. Not anymore. Not when he’s started to figure himself out and his shoulders don’t slump so much and his smile comes a little easier.
And it’s late one night, the embers of a summer fire faintly glowing out by Steve’s pool. When Billy turns to him, he could blame it on the alcohol even though he hasn’t had a drink in four hours. Or maybe it’s exhaustion because they’ve all been up since like six. Or maybe it’s just because he’s started to hope.
But Steve is. Steve is straight. Very heterosexual. Into girls and girls alone. Won’t call you a slur anymore, but he won’t flirt back. Is the thing. His smile is kind and gentle and his eyes are warm and he touches Billy’s shoulder and he says “I’m sorry.”
And Billy tells him “It’s okay” because it is. Because Steve is his best friend. His only friend. The first friend who willingly talks on the phone with him. Or drives out to the middle of nowhere to walk across an abandoned bridge. Steve who has driven out to Indy to pick Billy up when he’s gotten too drunk and his car is half a state away.
Steve is his best friend and it hurts, but it’s okay.
It’s just as okay as when Nancy sorta-kinda ended things with Steve even though the words have never been spoken. It’s just as okay as when Robin came out and broke Steve’s heart. So it’s okay now because Billy’s gotten used to heartbreak and heartache and Robin always buys the top shelf ice cream when he goes over to hers.
And Billy loves Steve so he doesn’t want to lose him. Can’t imagine going more than a couple days without telling Steve some dumb story that makes him laugh. Seeing him smile and insist that this time, this girl, will be the one.
Billy loves Steve and he wants Steve to be loved. He wants someone to see all the wonderful parts of Steve and decide that she will work for it too. For his all-encompassing, desperately hopeful love.
Billy thinks it should be a testament to how much he loves Steve that he would rather see Steve happy with someone else if just to see him happy. The ache in his chest lessens every time Steve smiles. Every time he bumps their shoulders together. Steve doesn’t shy away from him.
Billy knows Steve has watched the news, has heard about the disease afflicting gay men, but it doesn’t scare him. He tells Billy there are worse things to be scared of and he doesn’t care if he gets sick from Billy. From touching him, sitting by him, talking to him.
Steve is brave and Billy is desperately trying to be brave. Was brave when he told Steve. Was brave when he bucked up the courage to say the words that have been rattling around in his mind since the moment Steve decided to actually give him the time of day. Was brave when he decided to go back to Steve’s house to watch a movie with him and Robin and know it wouldn’t turn into cuddling.
Billy is trying to be braver for Steve. To show that he knows how to move on, to let it heal, to let the love fade into something more manageable. More friendly. More appropriate. He knows it will, it’s why he keeps pushing on. Because one day Steve will smile at him and his heart won’t shatter in his chest.
Robin sits next to him at the park where Max is trying to teach the boys to skate. Steve isn’t here, he’s on a date and he claims that this one will be serious.
Robin puts her head on Billy’s shoulder and she sighs. “It sucks that they’re always straight,” she murmurs.
Billy takes her hand and gives it a tight squeeze. “Yeah but he let me down easy.”
“He’s good like that,” Robin tells him and she laces their fingers together.
Steve is good like that. Billy thinks that’s part of the reason he loves him so fiercely. Because maybe if Steve loved him back, it would mean that Billy is good too.