Nancy smiled when she spotted Jonathan's car as she was getting out of her own. He was strolling up to the Harrington house looking both completely out of place and also right where he belonged. She shut her door and hurried along so she could intertwine their hands on the way up.
"Shit Nancy." He cursed, a shocked chuckled falling from his lips. "I didn't see you."
"I know." She smiled. "That was kind of the point."
"We should've just came together." He shrugged and Nancy's heart fluttered. We. Together. Even now it still made her giddy.
"True." She nodded. "But then I wouldn't have been able to spook you."
Jonathan chuckled and rung the doorbell. Because the house was so big, they waited in comfortable silence for someone, hopefully Steve, to open the door. After a moment the lock clicked and opened slightly.
Nancy noticed the familiar head of curls and tried to quell the vague disappointment she felt.
The door opened wider and Dustin blinked up at them with tired eyes. "Oh. Nancy. Jonathan. Hey." He stepped away from the door, leaving it open for them to walk in.
Nancy and Jonathan exchanged a look before Jonathan hummed. "Ladies first."
Inside it was dark and quiet and Nancy found herself walking to the living room automatically. Her eyes widened when she saw them and something in her chest went wobbly. Jonathan walked up behind her and gasped quietly.
Dustin was gently nudging Will and Mike, who were curled up together on the floor in front of Steve with a blanket around them. El and Max were cuddling together and Steve's arm was curled around the two of them protectively. Robin was leaning into Steve's otherside, her head against his shoulder, her hair almost in his mouth. Lucas' head was in her lap as he snored softly.
"I guess Steve really is a mom." Jonathan chuckled lightly.
Mike swatted Dustin hand away and lazily opened his eyes. He caught sight of Nancy and groaned. "Ugh, can't we just stay here for the night?"
Nancy laughed softly and Will stirred, blinking his eyes open before trying to burrow back into Mike. Jonathan moved forward and placed a gentle hand on Will's shoulder.
"It's time to go bud."
Mike groaned again. "Steve'll let us stay. He's nice."
Nancy shook her head fondly, absently wondering when Mike became a fan of Steve Harrington. "Maybe Steve would, but mom wouldn't."
Mike looked up at her for a second before sighing in defeat. "Fine. We need to talk anyway." Nancy frowned at his tone but decided to table it as Mike gently woke Will.
Jonathan looked conflicted, his eyes flickering from Steve to Robin when Dustin rolled his eyes and poked Steve awake. Steve groaned and opened his eyes.
"Wha- Dust?" Steve pulled the arm that was around Robin away and rubbed his eyes. "What the fuck is happening?"
"My sister is here." Mike said grumpily. He stood and stretched. "And I guess I have to go home."
Suddenly Steve looked a million times more alert, catching sight of Nancy and Jonathan. "Ah." He cut himself off with a short yawn. "Hey guys. You know they could've stayed over. It's pretty late."
Mike made a gesture, like he was saying duh.
Nancy opened her mouth to regretfully tell Steve why they couldn't stay when Robin stirred.
"Less talking, more sleeping." She mumbled, turning her head so her face was pressed into the crook of Steve's neck. Steve automatically curled his arm around her shoulder with an eye roll.
The interaction was so familiar and intimate that Nancy had to look away.
"Alright, alright." Steve sighed fondly. "Little Wheeler, little Byers, time to go, you're disrupting the beauty queen's sleep."
Robin made a noise and jabbed a finger into Steve's side. "Shut the hell up dingus."
Mike and Will exchanged a look, nodded and then said their goodbyes to Robin, Steve and the rest of the kids before quickly pulling Jonathan and Nancy out of Steve's house.
Jonathan's attempts to kiss Nancy goodnight were foiled by Will tugging his arm and pulling him to his car. Nancy was honestly shocked at Mike and Will's determination to get them home, especially considering the fact that they wanted to stay over at Steve's not ten minutes ago.
Also considering the fact that Mike and Will were dating and yet they didn't even ask to try and spend the night over at each other's place.
Not that that would work. But still.
"Okay, okay." Nancy huffed as Mike tugged her into the car. "Jeez, what do you want to talk about so badly?"
Mike paused and shifted awkwardly before his jaw tightened. "Steve."
Nancy's eyes widened and she frowned. She turned the key in the ignition and started her car.
"What about him?"
She kept her eyes on the road, because her mom would not like it if she got into a car accident because of Steve Harrington, but her hands were tight on the wheel.
"He likes you."
And this wasn't news, Nancy knew that Steve wouldn't have dated her if he didn't like her. And yet even though she knew this already, something in her chest squeezed.
"Oh." She smiled, feeling kind of like a fool. "That's nice. What- Uh- what about Robin?"
Nancy didn't mean to say her name the way she did. She hated the way girls hated each other when a stupid boy came into the picture.
But, this was just any stupid boy. This was Steve Harrington.
The stupid boy she adored.
Mike made a face. "What about Robin?"
"Aren't they dating?"
"Steve and Robin? No way."
At any other time Nancy would've narrowed her eyes and questioned why Mike was so vehement about Robin not dating Steve, she would've pressed until she was absolutely positive that there wasn't a chance because she wouldn't get her hopes up just to get burned.
But hope was already burning bright in her chest and there was no stopping it now.
"Don't get too excited." And Mike sounded so distraught and pained that Nancy had to turn to look at him. He looked tired, which was understandable considering Nancy woke him up to take him home, but he also looked sad.
Will raised an eyebrow at him and Jonathan felt a little dumb.
"Okay." Jonathan sighed. "You're not joking. But still. How could he think that? How could he think that he's not-"
Everything. Everything. Everything.
And it sounded like a stupid love letter or a cliche song lyric but it was true.
Nancy and Jonathan were great. Amazing even. They were so compatible and comfortable with each other that it was likely that they would've found each other without the 'help' of the demogorgon.
They could speak to each other without words and weren't afraid to bring up the hard topics when they needed to. But they took each other too seriously.
It was hard because Jonathan was ridged, always nervous, wound tight, guarded and Nancy was intense, maybe a little overbearing and she was definitely guarded in her own way.
But that movie date- and yes, Jonathan took the liberty of calling it a date...in his head...to himself- was so relaxed. Steve's smiles seemed to calm a tension that Jonathan didn't even realize he had.
And he knew Nancy felt that way too.
"I feel like this might've been a mistake." She had admitted as Jonathan drove her home after. "I mean, I miss him and it's amazing to hang out with him again."
"But it's like we're torturing ourselves. He's with Robin and it's pretty clear that she's...she's the one for him."
Then Nancy shot him an amused look. "But?"
Jonathan chuckled. "But, being around him is so good. The hurt might be worth it."
And that's when Nancy's eyes turned glassy. "For him? Always."
They just seemed to balance each other in a way that Jonathan had never seen, felt or heard of before. They were standing on something really real and Jonathan, who was definitely not the type to idolize love, could feel that.
But they were all being so stupid.
Steve clearly still liked Nancy, who thought he liked Robin, who didn't like Jonathan and Nancy, who wanted Steve to be with them.
All the while, Steve had this insane notion that he wasn't good enough for them.
"You need to tell him." Will said quietly. "Because he doesn't know and he should. Even if you aren't-" Going to date him, "-even if it doesn't work. He needs to know."
"You want to ambush him?" Jonathan asked. "That does not sound like a good idea."
Nancy sighed and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. "Not ambush exactly-"
"Ah, so we would just, theoretically, go to his job while he's working and have a serious conversation about how we adore him and think he's actually amazing." He quipped, a small smile tugging at his lips. Nancy looked over and laughed, seeing the twinkle in his eye.
"Okay, whatever Mr. know-it-all." She leaned forward on her forearms against his bed. "What do you propose we do?"
"I could invite him over here tomorrow. Will is going to Dustin's house and my mom is-" he made a face, "-hanging out with Hopper."
Nancy's eyes widened. "Ooh, again? This is like, the third time. The third date means a lot. Even more than a second date."
Jonathan snorted. "Ugh, stop. I do not need to think about them on any dates thank you very much."
Nancy smiled and Jonathan shifted under her adoring gaze. "What?"
"Why are you looking at me like that?"
Nancy paused. "Because- well, because I love you."
Jonathan smiled. "I love you too. And you know what this means?"
"Now that we know Robin and Steve aren't dating you can stop glaring at her." He said with a knowing smile. Nancy's jaw dropped and her cheeks flushed.
"I haven't- I didn't- " Jonathan tilted his head forward slightly and Nancy sighed. "Okay. Maybe I was a little unfair. But you can't tell me that you weren't mad at her too!"
"I definitely was. But now we can actually be friends with her instead of sort of enemies."
Jonathan watched Nancy smile. "Yeah. That actually sounds good. She's funny and cool. I guess I couldn't enjoy it because I was too busy-" She made a face. "-glaring at her."
"Is it weird that I'm kind of sad that they aren't dating?" Jonathan asked. "Because they were cute and he seemed...happy."
Nancy hummed because she knew he was thinking about when Steve handed Jonathan his ice cream sample. The way his face softened, the way his voice changed, the way he said Jonathan's last name, all soft and adoring.
"Yeah, I figured he was." Nancy admitted. "I hope he is. I want- I want to make him happy." She slumped slightly. "I didn't do the best job with that before and I regret it."
Jonathan nodded. He remembered the way Steve's eyes shone when he asked Jonathan to take Nancy home. He looked defeated, heartbroken, but Jonathan admired the way he made sure she was safe, even going as far as to put his pride aside to ask Jonathan of all people.
"Well, you were going through a lot Nance." He said softly. "And you didn't know how to tell him. It's not entirely your fault." Jonathan reached over and cupped Nancy's face gently. She offered him a small smile before leaning in for a kiss.
"Thank you." She said as she pulled away. Her eyes lit up determinedly. "This time'll be different. We'll make him see that he deserves to be as happy as he makes everyone else."