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The Bad Boy and the Freak

Chapter Text

Billy hated Krystal. He had decided that fact before he had even met her. If it wasn't for the teenage girl they wouldn't have had to move to the backwards town of Hawkins. Billy couldn't understand why Susan, his stepmother was suddenly acting like she cared about her estranged daughter. Susan hadn't seen Krystal for over a year, and most of the time seemed happy enough to ignore the existence of her. That was until Benny Hammond, Krystal's father, had committed suicide in front of his daughter, and a wave of trouble was set in motion. Krystal had quickly been fostered after spending only a few weeks in care, much to her mother's surprise. It had been the calm before the storm as only a few weeks ago, Krystal had turned up in California, insisting that she wouldn't be returning to her foster parents anytime soon. From the bruises and cuts littering her body, Susan quickly agreed to this. Billy's father seemed to see this as a lucky opportunity to get away from the questions that had begun to surround Billy's own cuts and bruises that were becoming more frequent. And that's how Billy found himself driving himself, and his two step-sisters towards Hawkins High the day before Halloween. Both Billy and Max had been surprised that morning when Krystal announced she wanted to sit shotgun, which wouldn't have been a strange request, apart from the fact that it was the first time she had spoken since they had arrived in Hawkins. The girl was practically a mute. At least he could get a rise out of Max, but with Krystal, it was like something inside her had broken. He glanced at the girl beside him, her long brunette hair flying past her face from the strength of the wind. From the few pictures Billy had seen of her father, Krystal was a 50/50 mix between her parents. She inherited her pale skin, and blue eyes from her mother, but her dark hair and more muscular frame from her father. Billy made sure to have this music on full blast, and even revved the engine more than needed, as he drove into the school parking lot. If there was one thing he was good at, it was making an entrance. He could already tell half of the school's eyes were on his car. Max grabbed her backpack and skateboard, and climbed out of the backseat, not sparing either of them a glance.

"Max!" A voice called out, just as she was about to hop on her skateboard.

Max turned around with wide eyes, as she realised it was her sister who had spoken. It was almost disturbing that she had forgotten what her sister's voice sounded like.

"Have a good day" Krystal told her, giving her a tense smile.

"Uh, sure. You too" Max nodded, noticing how it seemed like it almost pained Krystal to speak.

"Are you not going to say the same to me?" Billy questioned, raising an eyebrow.

Krystal turned to him, simply raising an eyebrow right back. Billy was convinced she wasn't going to say anything until he saw her eyes focus on where he knew a bruise would be blossoming in his hairline. When he had told his father last night that he didn't want to drive his step-sisters to school, his father hadn't been best pleased.

"What are you looking at, freak?" Billy hissed, hoping to make her feel uncomfortable.

"I'm looking at you" She stated, in such a way that it was Billy who instead felt uncomfortable.

"Jesus, I swear you've got a screw loose" Billy scoffed, looking away from her.

"If you want to get into the popular group quickly, you should join the basketball team. Talk to Tommy H. He's a dick…you'd probably like him" Krystal informed him, leaving Billy speechless.

"What, so you're talking now?" Billy asked, as Krystal exited the car.

"Only when I feel like it" She shrugged, picking up her backpack and walking towards the school.

Shaking his head, Billy mulled over the advice she had just given to him. It wasn't so much that he liked being popular, but more that he needed it. He needed to feel like he was in control somewhere. He just couldn't understand how Krystal had figured that out already in only a few weeks.

Meanwhile, Krystal was gripping onto the strap from her backpack, hoping that the passengers in the car she was approaching wouldn't notice her. She had been so distracted by her conversation with Billy that she hadn't realised where she was walking. Krystal hadn't been planning on saying anything to her new step-brother, but when she noticed the bruise on his face, it was easy to put two and two together. It seemed like they had a lot more in common than Krystal had first thought. However, she hadn't been planning on saying anything to Max either. She wanted to bang her head into a wall, seeing how her resolve had already begun to crumble. It was easier not having to speak, it was safer.

"Krystal?" A familiar voice questioned, distracting her from her thoughts.

"Hey…I…I thought you were still in California" Steve Harrington exclaimed, as Nancy came to his side.

Krystal simply shrugged in response, gripping the strap even harder. She could tell a small crowd had begun to watch their interaction, interested to see how it turned out. Steve began to approach Krystal, whose grip on her backpack had become painful.

"Maybe…maybe we should hang out sometime? It feels like it's been forever since-" Steve was cut off when Krystal's fist suddenly slammed into his face.

Steve would have fallen to the ground from the impact if Nancy wasn't there to steady him. He looked up at Krystal with a shocked expression, his eyes wide. Krystal seemed to be practically bristling with anger, words on the tip of her tongue. However, she simply flipped him off and stormed through the crowd of teenagers. Billy had watched the entire reaction, as he realised he had a small grin on his face from watching his step-sister wail on some lanky guy after not even being back at the school for five minutes. Maybe she wasn't quite as boring as he thought.

Billy noticed that Krystal seemed to have bunked off school after lunch, which allowed him time to gather some information on her. While he was making out with some girl whose name he couldn't even remember, he brought up the fight that had happened in the parking lot. Unsurprisingly, she was more than happy to gossip, and Billy soon found out some things that shocked him. Supposedly, Krystal and Steve had not only been best friends for years but also the King and Queen of the school. Krystal had been at the top of her classes, sociable if a bit of a bitch, and alongside being King's Steve's right-hand woman, everyone had known her. That all changed after her father's suicide, as she became withdrawn from everyone, and Steve seemed determined to avoid her at all costs. She had all but stopped speaking to everyone a few months ago, even her teachers couldn't get more than a nod out of her. The girl told him that Krystal had slowly just faded into the background and that's where she had stayed until she came into school a few weeks ago looking like she had been beaten within an inch of her life. Steve had finally approached her and some big argument went down, which resulted in Krystal storming out of the school, and Billy guessed getting a one-way ticket to California. True to her word, Krystal showed up at his car just after the bell rang to signify the end of the school day. Billy couldn't stop the grin spreading on his face, as he watched her slide into the passenger seat. Happy he finally had some ammunition to get under the girl's skin, he flicked his cigarette to the ground and got into the driver's seat. Just as he went to open his mouth, he saw Krystal pulling an air freshener out of her bag, which she hung from the front mirror.

"What's this?" He questioned, touching the pine fresh item.

"For the cow shit" Krystal shrugged, as he pulled her seatbelt on.

Billy's mouth hung open for a moment, as he realised that she must have somehow noticed the grimace on his face when he smelt the manure in the fields, as they were driving to the school. It was such a small reaction, that Billy couldn't help but wonder what else Krystal had already picked up on. He subconsciously, smoothed his hair down, hiding the bruise that had begun to show more.

"How was school?" Susan smiled, as they all arrived home.

"Nothing special" Max stated, going to the kitchen for a glass of water.

"Krystal?" Susan questioned, only getting a shrug in reply, as the young girl flopped down onto the couch.

"Billy, how was your first day?" Susan inquired, as Billy surveyed the house, finding that his father wasn't home.

"New building, same old skanks" Billy mumbled, earning a small snigger from Krystal on the couch.

"Billy!" Susan gasped, disgusted by his language.

"Sorry, same old whores. Is that better?" Billy smirked, enjoying riling up his stepmother.

"I don't appreciate that sort of language in this household. Stop it now or…or I'll tell your father" Susan insisted, as Billy's jaw tensed, and he pushed past her to sit on the couch.

"Did you talk to Tommy H?" Krystal inquired, as she took her shoes off.

"Yes, but not because you told me to" Billy mumbled, knowing how childish he sounded.

"That 'skank' you were making out with at lunch today…it's his girlfriend, by the way" Krystal informed him, a small smirk on her face.

Billy's eyes widened at this knowledge, not only because he could have already committed social suicide but because it meant that Krystal had been watching him.

"What, are you some peeping tom now?" Billy scoffed.

"If you don't want my help with taking over the school…that's your problem" Krystal shrugged, about to stand up.

"And why would you want that? Don't your loyalties lie with 'King Steve'?" Billy suggested.

"I hate Steve. I haven't known you long enough yet to hate you, but who knows, there's still time" Krystal shrugged, almost teasingly.

Suddenly Billy could start to see how she was once running Hawkins High. He couldn't understand how one minute she looked as meek as a mouse, and next she was acting sly enough to take even him on.

"Trust me, you'll hate him by next week" Max scoffed, overhearing the end of their conversation.

Krystal seemed to stiffen when she saw her younger sister approaching and shrugged once again before scurrying off to her room. Billy could see the hurt on Max's face at how Krystal was acting around her, but he couldn't understand why.

Krystal slammed her bedroom door shut and let her head fall against it. She hated upsetting Max, but she couldn't afford to get close to anyone again. Her father, her foster parents, even Steve…every let her down. At least with Billy, she didn't have to worry about that. Billy didn't care about her, and he had made that clear from the start. She knew where she stood with him.

Chapter Text

"Honey, can I come in?" Susan Hargrove questioned, as she knocked on her daughter's door.

When she got no response, either way, she pushed the door open, her eyes widening as she looked around the room. There were almost a dozen lamps placed in strategic places and metres of fairy lights covering the length of Krystal's bedroom.

"When did you do this?" Susan inquired, finding Krystal reading a book on her bed.

Krystal made no sign that she had heard her mother and flipped over to the next page in her book.

"Neil's asked Billy to get our grocery shopping for the week while we go out for date night. He wants you to go with Billy" Susan explained, as Krystal looked up with a frown.

"He wants you to keep him in line, I think" Susan went on, as Krystal raised an eyebrow before looking back down at her book.

"Max will have to go with him otherwise-" Susan informed her, as Krystal threw the book onto her pillow, pushing herself up from the bed.

"Is that a yes?" Susan tried to clarify, as Krystal pushed past her.

"Honey, why won't you speak to me?" Susan asked as she grabbed Krystal's wrist.

Krystal's eyes snapped to her mother's as she let out a scoff, pulling her wrist from her grip. She couldn't believe her mother was so oblivious to how Krystal would feel about being abandoned for so many years. Her mother never cared about her before, so she didn't understand why she was trying to act like she did. Krystal threw on a large leather jacket and exited the house where she found Billy smoking against his car.

"What are you doing?" Billy questioned, as Krystal opened the door to the car.

"Babysitting" Krystal shrugged, as she sat in the passenger seat.

"My dad put you up to this?" Billy guessed as she nodded.

"Do you want me to leave?" Krystal raised an eyebrow, as he got into the driver's seat.

"Not unless I want a matching bruise" Billy mumbled, looking in his front mirror at the bruise which had become more noticeable throughout the day,

"You can barely see it with all that hair" Krystal pointed out, getting a look from Billy.

"Says you. Your hair's so long it's practically touching your ass" Billy retorted.

"At least I don't have a hairy ass" Krystal teased, with a small smile.

"I don't have a hairy ass!" Billy exclaimed, making Krystal laugh at his childish behaviour.

"There, there. Mind your blood pressure" Krystal mocked, patting him on his shoulder.

"I didn't think it was possible but your actually more annoying than Max" Billy scoffed, brushing her hand off him.

As if on cue, Max opened the backdoor and flopped into the car, as Billy turned around expectantly.

"Mum says you have to take me to the arcade" Max announced, as Billy rolled his eyes.

Krystal couldn't keep the amused smile off her face, as Billy was clearly revaluating who the more annoying sibling was.

"What's so funny?" Max questioned, but only got a shrug from Krystal in response.

Max leaned back against her seat with a huff, she couldn't understand why her sister seemed happy enough to talk to Billy of all people but would blank her at every opportunity. It wasn't fair, it was their mother who had abandoned Krystal, not her, Max thought to herself.

"If you're even half a second late, I'll leave without you" Billy told Max, as he parked outside of the arcade.

"No, you won't" Max mumbled, as she opened her door, knowing Billy would fear the repercussions from his father too much.

"What did you say? Don't test me, Max" Billy warned her, turning around in his seat.

"I'll be here, alright? Jesus" Max grumbled as she slammed the door shut.

"Don't close the door so fucking hard!" Billy yelled as Max flipped him off before storming into the arcade.

"Oh God, are you one of those guys that think his car's his baby?" Krystal guessed.

"If I so much as chip the paint on this car my dad's going to rain all hell on me" Billy admitted.

"Then why don't you just tell Max that?" Krystal stated.

"Why don't you just talk to her?" Billy retorted as he started the car.

Krystal opened her mouth to respond but seemed to think better of it, and shut her mouth, crossing her arms as she did. Billy could tell immediately he had found a sore spot for Krystal and couldn't help but push it further.

"Are you really that jealous that she's clearly your mum's favourite?" Billy guessed as Krystal shook her head.

"You think that's what this is about?" Krystal scoffed.

"It's not?" Billy insisted.

"I'm not mad at Max" Krystal replied.

"Jesus, I'd hate to see when you actually like someone then" Billy mocked.

"Likewise. How exactly did you charm Carol enough to stick your tongue down her throat?" Krystal asked.

"A gentleman never tells" Billy joked, as Krystal let out a small laugh.

"If there's one thing you're not, it's a gentleman, Billy" Krystal pointed out, as they shared a knowing look.

"C'mon, if you want to become King of the school then you need to make sure your costume is good" Krystal announced, as they looked around a costume store.

Krystal had convinced Billy that he should go to the upcoming Halloween party if he wanted any chance of becoming popular.

"This girl, Tina? It's her party, right?" Billy questioned, not sparing a look at most costumes.

"Yep, she's the most popular and probably richest girl in the school" Krystal told him.

"Is she hot?" Billy asked, with a mischievous glint in his eyes.

"She's irritating and a smart ass, so I expect she's just your type" Krystal replied, as Billy huffed a laugh.

"Oh, so the kitten does have some claws?" Billy questioned, raising an eyebrow at her.

"I used to…can you just pick something already?" Krystal mumbled, getting annoyed as he hadn't been paying attention to the costumes for at least ten minutes.

"Trust me, I'll be much more popular out of my costume" Billy smirked, as he exited the shop with Krystal following behind.

"Tina's party might not have a dress code, but I think there might be a problem if you turn up naked" Krystal informed him, with a shake of her head.

"Who said anything about naked?" Billy exclaimed, his eyes landing on her leather jacket.

Without another word, he had stripped off his shirt in the street, getting a disapproving look from a group of middle-aged women. He sent a wink their way, enjoying the way they blushed.

"The hell are doing?" Karmen frowned, looking away from his shirtless chest.

As much as she had tried to ignore it, her new stepbrother was irritatingly good looking. With his dirty blond hair, piercing blue eyes and from what she could see, rippling abs, he was enough to make any girl weak in the knees.

"Give me your jacket" Billy stated, holding his hand out.

"What, why?" Krystal questioned.

"You want me to wear a costume, well I think I just found the one I want" He pointed out, as he came to stand behind her.

Billy pushed her hair to the side, his fingertips trailing against her neck as he did so. Krystal shivered slightly, not used to the intimate contact from anyone, especially someone who looked like Billy. He then pulled the jacket off her shoulders and shrugged it on, finding that it fit him perfectly as it was too big for her.

"It was my Dad's" Krystal admitted, when Billy seemed to be questioning why it was so big.

"Oh…uh, I can find something else-" Billy started, feeling a rare sliver of guilt.

"It's fine. I took half of his wardrobe. I have like seven of his jackets" Krystal shrugged.

"Huh, and I thought your mum had a lot of clothes" Billy joked, taking a cigarette out of his shirt pocket.

"Maybe that's the reason she liked him" Krystal laughed lightly.

"You know I think you've talked more tonight than you have the past few weeks" Billy stated, feeling it needed to be said.

"Right back at you. What happened to the annoyed glares you've been sending my way for dragging you to this 'hick town'?" Krystal questioned, as Billy lit his cigarette.

"Maybe you're not the most annoying stepsister after all…besides we were gonna' have to leave California anyway" Billy shrugged, as Krystal grimaced at the use of the word.

"Okay, I vote that we never use our names and brother and sister in the same sentence" Krystal suggested.

"Deal" Billy nodded, with a twitch of his lips.

"You should ask Tommy H. for an invite to Tina's party tomorrow. She and Carol are joined at the hip, so he'll definitely be able to get you an invite" Krystal explained.

"You're not coming?" Billy realised.

"Well I wouldn't want to ruin the King to Be's reputation" Krystal mocked.

"It's that or go trick r' treating with Max. Trust me, it's better than staying in alone with my dad" Billy stated.

"Parties aren't really my thing…not anymore" Krystal mumbled.

"What if I say I'll throw my drink over Harrington?" Billy suggested as Krystal shook her head fondly.

"As much as I would like to see that…it's still a no. It's just not a good idea" Krystal insisted.

Billy decided to drop the subject, not understanding himself why he had been pushing so hard for her to come. For someone who was usually so quiet, she was easy to talk to.

"This doesn't mean we're good now or anything, okay? I still don't like you and the rest of your family" Billy told her, as she put her hands up in mock defence.

"And I still think you're an ass" Krystal shrugged, walking past him. 

Billy opened his mouth to reply but found the words died in his mouth. Instead, he felt a smile tugging on his lips.

Chapter Text

"What's got you so pissed, Princess?" Billy asked, spotting Krystal reading a book on the couch, barely contained anger on her face.

"Some asshole has pissed off his step-sister so bad, that now her sister is having to walk her into town to go Trick R' Treating" Krystal stated, with a glare.

"I can't help it if the little shit can't take a joke" Billy huffed.

"She said you almost ran over some kids in her class" Krystal pointed out, raising an eyebrow.

"Almost being the important word" Billy retorted, with a smug look.

"Well thanks for ruining my evening, anyways" Krystal grumbled, going back to look at her book.

"And what exactly were you planning on doing? Got a hot date?" Billy went on, going to stand behind the couch.

This time Krystal didn't reply to him, as Billy rolled his neck in annoyance. He then grabbed an invitation from his pocket, dropping it into Krystal's lap.

"I already told you I'm not going" Krystal insisted, seeing it was an invite to Tina's party.

"What are you so scared of? Having a little fun?" Billy questioned, crouching down so that he was level with her ear.

"Cheap booze and drunk teens? Doesn't exactly sound like it's going to be the highlight of my week" Krystal pointed out.

"And Trick R' Treating with Max sounds like more fun?" Billy raised an eyebrow, as she turned to look at him.

"She's thirteen. I'm not going to let her wander around the neighbourhood late at night" Krystal exclaimed.

"Find her some other kids to hang out with then" Billy shrugged.

"We wouldn't even be having this argument if you hadn't been an asshole to her earlier" Krystal went on.

"Well if you change your mind and want to have some fun…it starts at 8" Billy told her, as Krystal could feel his breath against her face, as she realised just how close they were to each other.

"Don't hold your breath" Krystal smirked, her eyes dropping down at his lips curved into an amused smile.

"You got my outfit?" Billy questioned, standing upright.

"It's hanging by the door" Krystal informed him, turning her attention back to her book.

She heard him walk away and could hear the rustling of fabric, finding he had stripped off his shirt when she turned around. They had left California over a month ago, but his chest was still as tanned as the rest of his body. With an amused snort, she realised he must have shaved his chest, as it now looked ridiculously smooth, apart from a line of dark hair that ran from his stomach past his jeans. She looked away quickly when she felt her face begin to flush, not wanting him to catch her practically ogling his body.

"Well, what do you think?" Billy questioned, holding his arms out as Krystal turned back around.

"You look like an asshole who spends too much time staring at himself in the mirror," Krystal told him.

"That's cute" Billy snorted, as he opened the door.

"…I'll see you later?" Billy said, as more of a question than a statement.

Krystal suddenly realised just how important it was to Billy that the night went well. He wanted to be in charge at school because he couldn't be at home, she guessed. He was going to the party early, probably hoping to gain favour with Tina. Krystal just couldn't understand why he wanted her there.

"Maybe" She shrugged, as he nodded, before closing the door.

"This is humiliating…you could have at least dressed up" Max groaned, as she and Krystal walked into town.

Krystal rolled her eyes at her little sister's nagging, but she could understand why. She was only wearing a sweatshirt and jeans; it wasn't exactly Trick R' Treating attire.

"I don't even know why you're here" Max grumbled, kicking a nearby rock.

"It's not safe to be out late at night…definitely not in this town" Krystal mumbled, her mind going to her late father.

"You know you'd actually have to care about me to be worried about my safety" Max scoffed.

"I do care" Krystal winced.

"You don't act like it" Max stated.

"I'm just going through…stuff" Krystal told her, not being able to find the right words.

"Stuff? Really? And that's why this is the most you've talked to me in a year?" Max huffed.

"It's complicated" Krystal retorted.

"People always say that, but it's not. You hate me because mom took kept me and sent you away to your dad" Max explained.

"That's not true! Don't ever think that!" Krystal insisted, stopping in front of her.

"Then what is it? Because you seem to like Billy more than me, and he's a dick" Max went on.

"He's not that bad" Krystal shrugged, as Max seemed to have become distracted by a group of boys in front of them.

"Look I'm glad that you're actually talking to me for once, but this is so embarrassing having to have my sister escorting me on Halloween. So…" Max trailed off.

"I can't leave you on your own, Max" Krystal shook her head.

"You won't. Those are my friends up there" Max exclaimed, pointing to the group of boys.

"Those kids?" Krystal frowned.

"What, do you know them?" Max queried.

"Kind of...they were involved in…everything that went down last year" Krystal explained.

"Oh…well, I'm not exactly run off my feet with offers of kids who want to hang around with me" Max went on, giving her sister a sad look.

"Okay, okay. You'll have to get one of their parents to give you a lift home. And make sure your home by ten!" Krystal called after her, as she was already rushing towards the group.

Krystal shook her head fondly, as she saw Max pull her Mike Myers mask over her head and jumped out at the boys, clearly scaring the hell out of them. Taking the invitation out of her pocket, she stared at it for a few seconds before hearing a doorbell ring in the distance. She looked up to see the only shop that seemed to be open was a costume shop.

"Why not" She shrugged to herself, walking in the shop's direction.

Billy had his arm slung around Tina's shoulder, pulling her close, with a drink in his other hand when he heard everyone go quiet behind him. He turned around to see what everyone was looking at, putting his drink to his lips as he did so. The alcohol never reached his mouth, as he slowly lowered his drink when he saw what the attraction was. Krystal was walking towards the party in what appeared to be a Red Riding Hood costume. Tied up in a black corset, short red skirt and thigh-high boots, she had everyone's attention. Mostly because she hadn't been seen at any social event for a year, but in Billy's case because he was pretty sure he was almost drooling. Closing his mouth which had dropped open the moment he saw her, he pulled away from Tina, making his way towards her.

"Well, well. Look what the cat dragged in" Billy exclaimed, letting his eyes trail up and down her body one last time.

"Seeing as you were so devastated about me not coming, I figured I'd make an appearance" She shrugged, with a smirk.

"I knew you would" He grinned, actually looking happy.

"I believe I was promised cheap booze" Krystal suggested, eyeing his drink.

"Your wish is my command, Princess" Billy teased, handing her his red cup.

As Krystal began to take a swig of the drink, Billy pushed the end of the cup up higher, forcing her to drink more. She brushed his hands away with a laugh, as some of the alcohol dripped down her cheek. With what could only be described as a shit-eating grin, he wiped away the alcohol with his thumb.

"I was also promised some fun" Krystal stated.

"Then you've come to the right place," Billy told her, grabbing her hand and pulling her towards the speakers.

An hour later, and both teenagers were starting to feel the full effects of the alcohol in their system. Krystal swayed to the loud music, no thoughts of the usual fear and anxiety that had been plaguing her for the last year. Billy was surprised by how carefree she seemed and imagined this was how she had been most of the time before her father's death. He found himself wishing he had known her back then. He quickly pushed the weird thought out of his head, as he saw Krystal was smiling at him. She raised her cup to clink their cups together, but put too much strength behind the motion, almost spilling most of the alcohol from both cups. The pair laughed at the action, finding it much funnier than it was.

"You want to see if you're still the reining Keg Queen, Hammond?" Tommy H. suggested to Krystal.

The pair had been the centre of attention that night, not only because it was strange to see Krystal actually interacting with people, but because of her behaviour around her step-brother. Tommy H. knew he wasn't the only one who had picked up that the pair didn't act like they were supposed to be siblings.

"What's this?" Billy questioned.

"Krystal here still holds the record for longest time drinking from the keg upside down" Carol explained, patting Krystal on the back, who seemed a little uncomfortable at the gesture.

"Aren't you full of surprises" Billy stated, raising his eyebrow at her.

"You have no idea" Krystal giggled, drunkenly, as she rushed over to the keg.

Billy followed her, as she placed the keg tap in her mouth, and grabbed onto the edge of the keg. Tommy H. and Carol walked forward to help lift her, but Billy pushed in front of them. He grabbed her thighs, making sure he had a good grip before he lifted her off the ground, and her arms pushed her body into a headstand. Tommy H. turned the tap on, seeming disappointed that Krystal's skirt was tight enough that it didn't slip down even when she was upside down. Krystal made it to forty seconds before the weight of being upside down, and the amount of alcohol she was chugging down made her too dizzy to keep her balance. She might have fallen off the keg, if it wasn't for Billy's strong grip on her thighs, as he helped lower her down. She laughed drunkenly, as everyone began cheering her name, seeing as she had just beaten her own record.

"My turn" Billy announced, a mischievous tone to his voice, as he placed the keg tap between his lips.

Krystal and Tommy H. helped push him upright, but he seemed to need no help in staying in the headstand. His muscular arms did all the work, and soon enough forty-two seconds had passed, as Billy finally submitted, jumping to the ground. He spat out the remanding alcohol, as everyone cheered around him.

"We have a new Keg King!" Tommy H. announced, patting Billy on the back.

"That's how you do it, Hawkins! That's how you do it!" Billy yelled, grabbing a cigarette from Tommy H's hand.

"I think Harrington should hear he's been dethroned…don't you, Krystal?" Tommy H. suggested as Krystal glared at him, knowing he just wanted another fight.

"I think you're right. It's time I met this...King Steve" Billy announced a mischevious look in his eyes.

Chapter Text

Krystal watched as Billy began to push his way through the crowds towards Steve, who seemed to be in deep conversation with Nancy. As she began to follow him, she let her eyes wander over Steve, who she knew would have spent over an hour doing his hair for the party. Billy came to a halt right in front of him, as he gave Steve an unimpressed look, taking a puff of his cigarette.

"Can I help you?" Steve questioned, raising an eyebrow.

"I'm just wondering how some prissy boy like you used to be King of the school" Billy answered, his cigarette hanging from his lips.

"I really don't have time for this shit-" Steve scoffed, with a shake of his head.

"From what I hear you don't have time for a lot of things" Billy retorted, as Krystal couldn't help but wonder if he was referring to her.

This stopped Steve in his tracks, as he took a proper look at Billy for the first time and seemed to realise who he was. Nancy guessed that the confrontation wasn't going to end well and rolled her eyes. She didn't want to get involved in teenage drama and walked away towards the drinks table.

"Look, new kid-" Steve started, but Billy cut him off once again.

"It's Hargrove. Billy Hargrove. You should learn the name, you'll be hearing it a lot" Billy smirked, taking a step forward.

"Jesus, you're really full of yourself, huh? Or are you just full of shit?" Steve mocked, as Billy began to grin.

"Maybe you have some fire in you, after all, Harrington" Billy cheered.

Steve rolled his eyes in response and realised that Nancy was no longer with him. He turned around to look for her in the crowd, as Billy decided to push him further.

"Shame you turned bitch. But hey, I can see why. Wheeler looks like a good lay. And from what I hear, she doesn't take much persuasion-" Billy exclaimed, as Steve whipped around and grabbed him by the lapels of his leather jacket, pure anger on his face.

"Don't talk about her like that!" Steve warned him, looking ready to explode.

"Take your fucking hands off me" Billy growled, in a low tone.

Krystal could see the dangerous look in Billy's eyes and knew if she didn't intervene, Steve would probably end up in the hospital.

"Steve, let him go" Krystal announced, putting her hand on Steve's shoulder.

"You better do what she says," Billy told him, as Steve reluctantly pulled away.

"I thought we were going to get round two with you and Harrington for a second there, Krystal" Tommy H. teased, placing his arm around her shoulders, as Steve walked away.

In response, Krystal elbowed him in the stomach, as he stumbled back. Without turning around, Krystal raised her middle finger in the air and walked towards the kitchen to get another drink. She could hear Billy cheering her on as she went and couldn't help but smile.

By the time midnight came around, Krystal was well and truly drunk. She had hopped onto the counter in the kitchen, in an attempt to stop the room spinning, but it didn't help. Just as she was about to bring her cup filled with alcohol to her lips, it was taken away from her hand. Krystal was surprised when she saw who was in front of her.

"What do you want?" She asked Steve, who was looking at her with a concerned expression.

"You've had enough" Steve stated, as she tried to grab her drink.

"You're not the boss of me, Steve" She scoffed, as he kept her drink at arm's length.

"What happened to the three-drink maximum at high school parties?" Steve inquired.

"I decided a three-drink minimum was much more fun" Krystal laughed drunkenly, as she tried to grab the drink again, but fell off the counter this time.

Luckily, Steve was able to catch her in time, his arm going around her waist and helping her stand upright. While he was distracted, she grabbed the drink from his other hand and downed it immediately. Throwing the drink behind her, she let out a cheer, as even Steve had to laugh at the ridiculousness of her behaviour. The pair's interaction had caught Billy's attention, who currently had a pretty blonde on his lap. He watched as Steve kept his arm around Krystal's waist, and begun to wonder yet again whether the pair had been more than friends. He suddenly stood up, almost throwing the blonde to the ground as he did so, who let out an annoyed cry. He insisted to himself that it was only because it was Steve with her that he was angry. Even though he had already told three guys that night to back off when they approached her. But that wasn't the point. The point was…he was too drunk to remember, but Steve had to go.

"So, are you talking to me now?" Steve questioned, as Krystal stared into his brown eyes, finding herself zoning out.

"No…" Krystal shook her head, letting out a drunken laugh when she realised the irony.

"Look, can we talk in private? We've never talked about…what you said last month" Steve exclaimed.

"In private? I'm not that kind of girl, Stevie" Krystal giggled, as Steve shook his head, fondly.

"C'mon, I'll bring these chips with me" Steve suggested, grabbing a packet and waving it around.

"Ooo, deal" Krystal grinned, grabbing the packet as she followed him.

He led her towards a quiet corridor not far away, and leaned against the wall, as she started eating the chips happily. Billy was close behind them but came to a halt when he heard what they were talking about.

"Do you remember what you said when we had that fight at school?" Steve asked.

"Uh…that you were a dick" Krystal laughed to herself.

"Anything else?" Steve insisted.

"That you didn't care about me, that you only cared about Nancy…oh, and that…that I loved you…" Krystal trailed off, as she stopped eating.

Billy, who was still hiding behind the corner, frowned at this confession. Steve seemed like such an idiot that he couldn't understand why Krystal would be friends with him, let alone love him.

"Yeah, that" Steve nodded, with a sigh.

"You don't have anything else to say?" Krystal inquired.

"Krystal…I'm with Nancy" Steve replied.

"My ex-best friend…yeah, I remember" Krystal stated, starting to feel much soberer.

"Why didn't you tell me sooner?" Steve sighed.

"I'm sorry that me loving you is so…so inconvenient" Krystal scoffed.

"I didn't mean it like that. Look, if I knew how you felt…maybe something could have happened. I care about you, a lot. You're my best friend. But I love Nancy. I'm sorry-" Steve was cut off, as Krystal raised her hand up.

"You think all of this is why I hit you? Getting rejected…that's fine. Well, it's not fine, but I could deal with it. I…I turned up at school covered in cuts and bruises and you…you saw me! And you just looked the other way. You say I'm your best friend? Some fucking friend you are. I needed help. Where were you?!" Krystal cried, shoving him in the chest.

"I'm sorry. That's all I can say" Steve replied.

"You know what? I should thank you. You've really made falling out of love with you easy" Krystal spat out, as she turned to walk away.

"Krystal, wait!" Steve called after her, as she turned the corner.

She was surprised when she collided with a tanned chest and looked up to see Billy staring back at her. She realised from the look on his face that he had heard some of her conversation with Steve and waited for him to begin mocking her. With cutting words on his tongue, Billy was ready to do just that until he noticed her red-rimmed eyes. The utter look of rejection on her face that he knew so well. It suddenly hit him why he had wanted Krystal at the party, why he liked being around her. They were the same. Two kids rejected by their mothers who were too scared to open to anyone else in fear of the same thing happening. But Krystal had opened up to someone, and they had thrown it back in her face. A stray tear fell down Krystal's cheek, as she looked away from him. Before he could stop himself, he reached out and brushed away the tear with his thumb, surprising Krystal with the intimate gesture. Billy pulled away quickly when Steve came rushing around the corner, who seemed annoyed to see him there.

"Krystal, please. Let's just talk about this" Steve began, as she turned to look at him.

"I think I've done enough talking for tonight" Krystal retorted, as she went to walk away.

Steve stepped forward to follow her, but Billy immediately blocked his way, an angry look in his eyes.

"She said she doesn't want to talk to you" Billy insisted, squaring up to Steve.

"This is none of your business, man" Steve scoffed.

"She's my step-sister. So yeah, it is my business" Billy stated.

"You've sure been checking her out a lot tonight to be acting brotherly now" Steve goaded, as Billy gritted his teeth.

Krystal wasn't expecting Billy to suddenly headbutt Steve, who had only been standing a few inches away from him. Steve stumbled backwards, as Billy began hurling punches, most of which hit their target. Everyone began to crowd around them, most of the boys cheering on the fight. Steve managed to duck and avoid one of Billy's punches, and lunged at him, throwing him into the wall.

"Stop! Both of you stop it!" Krystal cried.

They didn't listen to her, as Billy grabbed what appeared to be an expensive vase and slammed it down onto Steve's head. This allowed Billy to get the upper hand once again, as he twisted them around and shoved Steve against the wall.

"Billy!" Krystal exclaimed, her hand grabbing Billy's arm.

"You can stop" Krystal insisted, as he turned to look at her.

Billy let go of Steve, who dropped to the ground, with a thump. Krystal grimaced as she could see the cuts and bruises already littering his face.

"Steve!" Nancy gasped, as she pushed through the crowd.

She was by his side in an instant, helping him to stand upright. Krystal looked away with a guilty look on her face, as Tina approached them.

"What the hell?! That was my mum's vase! Get out. All of you. Now!" Tina announced, pointing towards the door.

Needing no more persuasion, Nancy began helping Steve towards the door, his arm slung over her shoulder.

"Your party was shit anyways" Billy smirked, as he shoved past Tina, grabbing a bottle of vodka on his way out.

Krystal quickly began to rush after him, hating the feel of everyone's eyes on her. The night couldn't have gone much worse.

"What do you think you're doing?" Krystal asked when she saw Billy walk towards his car.

It had taken Billy almost twenty minutes to finally find his car, and half the bottle of vodka had already been drunk.

"Driving us home obviously" He mumbled, as he opened the car door and flopped into the seat.

"Really?" Krystal went on.

"Yep," Billy replied, as he began fumbling for his keys in his pockets.

"Billy…the driver's seat is the other side" Krystal pointed out, as Billy realised, he was in the passenger's seat.

"Oh…" Billy trailed off, still looking for his keys.

"Looking for these?" Krystal guessed, ushering towards his keys which were still in the door.

"…Maybe I won't drive us home" Billy nodded, as he got out of the car.

Krystal nodded, as she took the bottle of vodka from Billy's hands and began to down the vodka. Billy watched in amazement as she continued to chug the drink, throwing her head back. Eventually, her throat began to burn too much, as she pulled the bottle away from her lips, only a small amount of the vodka remaining. Krystal smirked at Billy's look of awe.

"You would have liked me back in the day," She told him, as they started walking.

"You're not so bad now" Billy shrugged, his hands in his pockets.

"Aw, I think that's the nicest thing you've ever said to me" Krystal giggled, nudging him with her elbow.

"Yeah well, you're still a freak" Billy added.

"And your still an asshole" She replied, as they began to laugh.

"Still I lived up to my promise and more" Billy announced, as Krystal gave him a questioning look.

"Of throwing my drink over Harrington. I one-upped myself…it was a vase instead" Billy grinned, as Krystal shook her head.

"You're so mean. His face is going to be all bruised…it's too pretty for bruises" Krystal pouted, the alcohol beginning to hit her.

"He deserved it" Billy mumbled.

"He didn't do anything wrong" Krystal shrugged.

"He hurt you. He sucks" Billy frowned.

"He shouldn't have been able to" She grumbled, kicking a nearby rock, and almost tripping over her own feet as did so.

"You shouldn't ignore Max," Billy told her, as she stopped in her tracks.

"I…I don't…it's not like that" Krystal stuttered.

"You're scared about opening up to someone else. It's obvious" Billy explained.

"It's not obvious to anyone else" Krystal pointed out.

"Yeah well…I kind of get it" Billy mumbled, as she gave him a strange look.

"You're almost nice when your drunk…it's…odd" Krystal informed him.

"Pft, I'm not nice" Billy shook his head.

"Don't worry, it can be our little secret…shh" Krystal giggled, putting her finger to her lips.

It was almost an hour later when they finally arrived back home. Both the teenagers were exhausted and couldn't wait to get into their beds, but they knew they couldn't go through the front door. If Billy's dad heard them coming home at two in the morning, they'd both be in trouble, but Billy would be the one with bruises on his face. Luckily, Krystal had left her bedroom window open, so they sneaked around to the back of the house. She pushed up her small window as high as it would go and tried to push herself up. However, in her half-drunk state, she didn't have the coordination to walk in a straight line, let alone push herself through a window. With a roll of his eyes, Billy grabbed her waist, as she let out a cry and tried to bat his hands away.

"I'm just trying to help" He stated, as he tried to push her up.

With his assistance, she was able to haul half her body through the open window, but the moment he let go of her, she fell inside with a large bang. Billy's eyes grew wide, as he quickly jumped up and crawled through the window, finding Krystal on her back.

"Hey, are you okay?" Billy whispered as he crouched down beside her.

She nodded, as he held out his hand and helped pull her up. As Krystal rubbed her sore head, Billy prayed that no one had heard the loud sound. After a few seconds, he guessed they were safe, as Krystal dropped her head onto his shoulder.

"I'm sleepy" She mumbled.

"You can't sleep on me" Billy insisted.

"Why not? You're comfy" She argued, childishly.

With a shake of his head, he placed his left arm around her back and his other arm underneath her thigh. Billy picked her up with ease, as her head lolled against his chest. He placed her down on the bed and realised that she needed to take her costume off. He guessed Max had covered for the pair, otherwise, his dad would still be up and waiting to ask him why he had gone to a party and not looked after his little sister. Billy made quick work on unzipping Krystal's boots, pulling them down her smooth legs.

"Krystal. I need to take your corset off" Billy whispered, as he helped her into a sitting position.

"Okie dokie" She smiled, trustingly, as she began to try to untie the corset.

Billy couldn't help but laugh as Krystal fumbled with the strings, clearly having a hard time seeing what she was doing. Brushing her hands away, he quickly untied the black string, which was difficult as he was trying his hardest not to stare at her chest. Once he was done, she pulled the corset away, having a simple white shirt on underneath, much to Billy's relief.

"We need to take your makeup off too. It's all smudged" He told her.

There are some wipes on top of my drawers" She yawned, as he leaned over and grabbed them.

It didn't take him long to realise he would have to do it, as when Krystal tried to wipe her makeup off, she missed her face completely. With a sigh, he started to wipe away her smudged makeup, realising he had never seen her without any makeup on. He frowned when he noticed a white line across her cheek that looked like a scar.

"When did this happen?" He queried, brushing the scar with his thumb.

He shook his head fondly when he realised that she had fallen asleep, only sitting upright due to his other hand holding her up. Deciding he had done enough, he helped lower her back down. Sitting up from her bed, he walked towards the door, but stopped as he reached out for the knob. He looked over to her open window, and the duvet that was crumbled at the bottom of her bed. With a sigh, he quietly shut the window, returning to her bed and pulling the covers over her, to stop her from getting cold.

"Night Krystal" He whispered, as he turned around

"Night Billy" She mumbled, sleepily, as Billy's lips twitched into a smile.

Chapter Text

Krystal's eyes fluttered open, as her head began to pound from all the alcohol she had drunk early that morning. She brought her arm up to cover her eyes from the glare of the sun and began to recall the events of the party. Billy meeting Steve, her awkward love confession to him and then…things got blurry at that point. She looked down and saw that most of her costume had been removed, just leaving her in a white shirt and red skirt. She rolled out of bed and frowned when she looked in the mirror and found even her makeup had been removed. Krystal was distracted when she registered how dry her throat was and slowly stumbled towards the door, finding her vision was still blurry. As she quietly made her way into the kitchen, she saw it had just gone eight in the morning…which mean she was going to be late for school.

"Shit" She mumbled, knowing she could get in trouble as she had already missed a few lessons since she went back to school.

"You look terrible" A voice announced, as Krystal grabbed a glass from the cupboard.

She turned around and found it was only Max, much to her relief. Krystal knew it was true. Less than six hours ago she had still been drinking, meaning the alcohol was still most definitely in her system.

"I feel terrible" Krystal grumbled, filling up the glass with water.

"Where did you go last night?" Max inquired, seeing how far she could get with talking to her sister.

"High school party" Krystal replied, as she proceeded to down the entire glass in a matter of seconds.

"Oh…did you have fun?" Max queried.

"Take some advice from someone older…don't drink, Max. Just don't" Krystal groaned, as she flopped down on a seat at the kitchen table.

"Well, I covered for you last night. I told mum that we got in early and you went to bed because you weren't feeling well" Max explained.

"And she fell for it?" Krystal raised an eyebrow, as Max nodded.

"Did you have a good night?" Krystal asked, rubbing her eyes.

"It started well, but I came back early" Max shrugged.

"How come?" Krystal inquired.

"The boys I was with were weird," Max told her.

"Boys are like that" Krystal yawned, as she dropped her head onto the table, feeling exhausted.

"You know this is probably the most you've said to me in years" Max couldn't help but say.

"I'm a chatty drunk" Krystal mumbled; her voice muffled by the table.

Krystal was already beginning to fall asleep when she heard a noise from behind her and suddenly a voice boomed near her ear.

"Wakey, wakey sunshine" Billy shouted, as she shoved him back.

"Ugh, not so loud" Krystal pouted, as Billy grinned at her smugly.

"When did you get in last night?" Max frowned, having expected Billy to stay over at some girl's house.

"I'm surprised you don't know…didn't you hear her falling on her ass this morning?" Billy stated as he put some toast on.

"Wait…you went to the same party?" Max questioned.

"And I completely regret it" Krystal stated, sitting upright and resting her face on her hands.

"How are you not as hungover as I am?" Krystal grumbled, seeing how awake Billy seemed.

"Because I'm not a lightweight" Billy teased.

"You came back together too?" Max inquired.

"We got kicked out" Billy shrugged, as his toast popped up.

"Wait, what-" Krystal was cut off as Billy shoved a piece of toast in her mouth.

"You need to sober up before my dad wakes up" Billy informed her, as she rolled her eyes but began to take a bite.

"Mum and Neil had a fight last night. He went to work early" Max announced, as Krystal could see Billy's shoulders sag in relief.

"What were they arguing about?" Krystal asked.

"I don't know" Max shrugged, as she picked up her backpack.

"Well, I'm going to school. Maybe you should drink more often…you're much more fun" Max told her.

"Yeah, and less of a bitch" Billy mumbled, as Krystal kicked him in the shin.

Max let out a small laugh as she walked towards the door, turning around as she saw Billy had turned the radio on at fall blast, much to Krystal's annoyance. As she closed the door, she saw her sister jumping up to try to reach the radio which Billy was holding above her head. It was weird seeing them getting on so well, but a good weird, Max decided.

"So, why did we get chucked out of Tina's party?" Krystal inquired, once she had finally grabbed the radio from Billy.

"We broke some vase of hers" Billy shrugged, taking a bite of his own toast.

"We?" Krystal retorted, raising an eyebrow.

"I threw it at Harrington's head" Billy clarified.

"What?!" Krystal gaped.

"You really don't remember?" Billy scoffed.

"No! Why were you fighting?" Krystal frowned.

"I don't need an excuse to beat up a prick like that" Billy told her, deciding not to mention it was because of her.

"He's gonna hate me now" Krystal groaned, banging her head against the wall, comically.

"Jesus, you really do have it bad for King Steve, don't you?" Billy teased, as her eyes widened.

"Oh yeah…I know about that. How you told him you loved him, and he flat out rejected you" Billy went on, when she didn't reply.

"Ugh, I'm never getting drunk again" She pouted, as she flopped down dramatically on the couch.

"Don't worry, you didn't blurt it out to the whole party. Just to me" Billy informed her, as he joined her on the couch.

He lifted her legs up and sat down near her, laying her legs over his lap. It seemed an innocent enough gesture, but Krystal suddenly became aware of the fact that she was only wearing a short red skirt. And for some reason Billy still had his hands holding onto her legs.

"If you tell anyone-" She began, but he cut her off.

"I'm dead?" Billy suggested.

"You guessed it," She said, giving him a mocking smile.

"Aren't you going into school today?" Billy questioned when Krystal laid her head on the arm of the couch.

"I'd rather not go in at all than late and drunk" Krystal scoffed.

"Well you better be out when my dad gets home later otherwise you'll end up with more bruises" Billy informed her, as he began tracing his finger over a large bruise on her shin.

He guessed she had got it from falling through her window early that morning. The dark bruise stood out against her pale skin, as he felt goosebumps begin to appear underneath his fingertips. It all started to feel far too intimate for Krystal, who pulled her legs away, twisting herself up into a sitting position.

"Are you going to school?" She inquired

"I think I better let things cool off. Tina looked ready to throw me out with the trash last night" Billy told her.

"Are you really scared of a seventeen-year-old girl?" Krystal teased.

"It's tactics. I'll turn up at school tomorrow, give her a bunch of flowers and be making out with her in the back of my car by third period" Billy explained.

"How romantic" Krystal scoffed.

"At least I'm not pining after a prick like Harrington" Billy retorted, feeling a sliver of guilt at his words when he saw hurt flash over her face.

Why the hell do I keep bringing it up, Billy groaned to himself. Instantly, Krystal's mask was back on, and for a moment Billy was worried she would go back to be her mute self. It was strange to think how in only a few days he had gone from hating her to actually having fun with her. He was brought out of his thoughts as she threw a pillow at his head, which he easily caught, thanks to his fast reflexes. Krystal began to zone out after that, as she stared at the photos around the living room. None were of Krystal. It's not like her mother would have any of her as she had seen so little of her in the past few years, but it still stung. She realised there was only one of Billy. He was on the beach, shirt off as per usual, and a surfboard under his arm. He looked begrudgingly happy as he stood next to Max who was in a colourful swimming costume. Billy must have really loved the beach, she thought to herself.

"Where's your surfboard?" She blurted out.

"Huh?" Billy frowned, confused.

"You had a surfboard when I came to California. You always had it with you" She went on.

"My mum gave it to me when I was younger" Billy admitted.

"Did it get left behind?" Krystal inquired, knowing they had to pack up very quickly.

"My dad broke it" Billy shrugged, dismissively.

Krystal cringed at the imagery of Billy's father destroying one of the only things he had to remember his mum by.

"Why'd he break it?" She couldn't help but push further.

"I told him I didn't want to come here. He got pissed, I answered back. My surfboard got snapped in half" Billy told her, as she bit her lip.

Krystal wondered if that was partly the reason why he had hated her so much when they first moved to Hawkins. She had screwed things up for Billy and her mother by turning up in California.

"Your dad is such a dick" Krystal grumbled, as Billy huffed out a laugh.

"I know" Billy stated, leaning forward so his arms were resting on his knees.

"You wanna' go for a drive?" Krystal questioned, as Billy turned towards her.

"Do you mean will I drive you somewhere?" Billy snorted.

"C'mon, I know a place. You'll like it. Promise" Krystal announced as she stood up from the couch, feeling dizzy suddenly.

"You really can't handle your drink, can you?" Billy chuckled, as he watched her sway.

"Rude…maybe I won't invite you along" Krystal huffed, as she walked away from the couch.

"Pft, how do you think you'll be getting there then?" Billy retorted.

"…With these!" Krystal exclaimed as she grabbed Billy's keys from her leather jacket on the back of the couch.

"Hey, come back here!" Billy yelled after her, laughing as he did so.

Billy turned to Krystal as she pointed in the direction of another dirt road and wondered where she was taking him. She had a mischievous smile on her face, as her hair fluttered past her cheeks in the wind. She looked so carefree, which was completely different from how she usually acted. But she wasn't the only one. Billy couldn't remember the last time he had laughed so much as he had the past few days. As he looked back at the road, he thought to himself how it wouldn't last. Krystal would sober up completely soon enough and stop talking to him. He didn't get close to people for a reason. People always let you down.

"Don't look so worried. I'm not leading you to the middle of nowhere just to kill you" Krystal told him, bringing him out of his thoughts.

"Well, that hadn't crossed my mind…until right now" Billy huffed, seeing the dirt trail was getting narrower.

Krystal rested her head on the car window, turning to look at Billy. Her attention was drawn to his eyelashes of all things. How was it possible for someone to have attractive eyelashes? Billy's lashes were long and dark, contrasting sharply to his deep blue eyes, that were currently looking back at her.

"What?" Billy inquired when he saw her staring.

"I'm sorry" Krystal announced.

"Huh?" Billy frowned, looking back to the road.

"That your dad broke your surfboard. If it wasn't for me, you guys wouldn't have had that argument" Krystal explained.

"Forget about it, I have" Billy shrugged.

"No, you haven't" Krystal retorted, knowing that was at least part of the reason why he had acted the way he had towards her.

Before Billy could reply, he had to press the brakes as he realised, they had come to the end of the dirt road. All that lay ahead of them were trees.

"You want to take me on a hike?" Billy guessed as Krystal opened her door, excitedly.

"You'll see" She grinned, as she hopped out of the car.

With a roll of his eyes, Billy began to follow her through the treeline, confused to why she had brought him there. After ten minutes, he was ready to head back, when Krystal ducked underneath a fallen tree and begun to rush forward. Billy followed her into a clearing, as it took his eyes a moment to adjust to the light pouring through the trees.

"So, not bad for some stupid hick town, huh?" Krystal smirked, as she saw his look of awe.

In front of them was a beautiful rushing waterfall, that spilt out into a large lake, with the clearest water Billy had ever seen. The lake was completely enclosed by trees on all sides, the bright green colours reflecting on the water's surface. There was a small boat lying near the edge of the lake, next to a wooden jetty that ran halfway into the lake.

"It might not be the beach, but this is the closest thing you're going to get in Hawkins" Krystal informed him.

"Why is there no one here?" Billy inquired, as the only sound he could hear was the rushing of the water.

"No one knows about it. Me and my dad used to go hiking when I was younger and one day we just stumbled into this place. We came here practically every day after school, and I'd help him build that jetty…" Krystal trailed off.

Billy could guess the reason why they never finished making the jetty from the sudden sad expression on Krystal's face. Billy's chest felt warm at the fact that Krystal was sharing a secret location that only she and her father knew about. No one ever told him secrets. In fact, no one ever really talked to him.

"My mum took me to surfing competitions when I was younger. And even after she left, I kept surfing…I guess I didn't want to disappoint her if she came back…it's stupid" Billy shrugged.

"I stole my mum's makeup the day she left me with my dad. I used it for like five years. It was pretty gross by the end. We all do stupid things" Krystal admitted, with a giggle.

She was quickly distracted when Billy began stripping off his shirt, as she let her gazed over his chiselled chest. She felt a blush on her face when her eyes lingered on the dark trail of hair just above his jeans, as she looked away. Billy seemed to catch her looking and couldn't keep the smirk off his face.

"What are you doing?" She asked, her brain short-circuiting as he began to unbuckle his belt.

"I'm going for a swim. That's what we're here to do right?" Billy replied.

"We didn't bring bathing suits" Krystal pointed out, as he kicked off his shoes.

"I wasn't suggesting skinny dipping…unless you want to" He smirked, as she rolled her eyes.

"Are you just going to stand there and enjoy the show or take your clothes off?" Billy inquired, pulling the zipper of his jeans down.

As Billy shimmed out of his jeans, throwing them against a nearby log, he could practically feel Krystal checking him out. The morning was taking an interesting turn, he thought to himself with a smirk.

Krystal knew Billy was enjoying making her squirm, which was clear from the blush on her cheeks and the way she was staring. Deciding to give him a taste of his own medicine, she pulled her shirt over her head and saw the grin fall from his face. Billy's eyes widened as she pulled down her red skirt, leaving her in just her underwear as well. She was far curvier than he had been expecting. Krystal's stomach and hips were rounder than most girls he had seen with their clothes off. His eyes lingered on her breasts, which were complemented by the red bra she wore. He decided there and then that he had a thing for curvy girls.

"My eyes are up here," She told him, seeing his gaze was firmly directed at her cleavage.

For once Billy couldn't think of a clever retort and decided to make his way into the lake. He needed something cold to stop the growing problem he had in his boxers.

"Jesus, it's cold" Billy hissed after he had half his body submerged in the water.

"Don't be so dramatic" Krystal rolled her eyes, as she swam out further.

"It's freezing" Billy insisted.

"Well, there is one way to warm up…" Krystal trailed off, with a smirk.

"Oh, yeah?" Billy flirted, as he swam near her.

His brain almost short-circuited a moment later, when he realised, he was flirting with his stepsister. Krystal, who was the whole reason he had to come to the town he hated and was a complete weirdo. Yet, he had enjoyed the past couple of days more than he had the whole past year of his life.

"Like this!" She exclaimed as she splashed him with water, completely soaking his hair.

"Oh, you gonna' pay for that" Billy announced, using both his arms to splash her.

"You're going to have to catch me first" Krystal giggled, as she swam further out into the lake.

Billy began to swim after her and quickly caught up with her due to his more muscular frame. He grabbed her waist and pulled both of them underwater, as she twisted around, so they were facing each other. They were both laughing loudly as they burst through the surface, Billy's hands still around her waist. Krystal pulled her wet hair back, as it curled around her cheeks, which were beginning to hurt from smiling so much. Billy almost groaned inwardly, as he could no longer deny his attraction to her. She looked beautiful, the light reflecting off the water to illuminate her pale skin.

"You never told me how you got this last night," Billy told her, as he raised his hand to brush his thumb over the scar on her cheek.

"My foster mum" She shrugged, as he kept his hand there.

"She hit you a lot?" Billy guessed.

"Only when I breathed" Krystal joked, sadly.

Krystal began to feel embarrassed by the large scar, as she realised, she had no makeup on her face. She pulled away from Billy's hand, who looked confused.

"Did she do that the night before you came to California?" Billy pushed further.

"No…a month or two before. She usually hit me in places people wouldn't see in case social services turned up, but she got really pissed at me one night. And I answered back. Next thing I know she was throwing a glass at me…It missed but it shattered on the wall and a shard got stuck in my cheek. We had to go to the ER. Which only pissed her off more…" Krystal explained.

"Didn't your foster dad try to stop her?" Billy frowned.

"He didn't care. He barely even acknowledged that I was there" Krystal mumbled, rubbing the scar self-consciously.

"I know it's ugly, okay?" Krystal grumbled, seeing he was still looking at her cheek.

"No, that's not…it's not ugly, Krystal" Billy shook his head.

"That's easy for you to say, Mr Flawless" Krystal huffed, as Billy let out a small laugh.

He turned around so his back was to her and lifted his wet hair from his neck. Krystal frowned as she saw marks covering the back of his neck, some clearly more recent than others.

"My dad knew that cigarette burns wouldn't be easy to explain. So, he'd do it somewhere people wouldn't see" Billy explained.

"Oh…" Krystal mumbled as he turned back to her.

"You think I'm ugly?" Billy questioned.

"No" She shook her head.

"Well, I don't think your ugly either" Billy told her, as her lips twitched into a smile.