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summer's shown where we should go

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If someone told you a year ago you’d be on a date with Steve Harrington you’d have laughed in their face. Your circles in high school never overlapped, never even orbited near the other, but that didn’t mean you hadn’t heard of the King of Hawkins High. There was a reason his social group didn’t mix with others; if it did, the latter was the subject of something horrible.

And then, after graduation, when everyone got into college and started down the path toward the rest of their lives, you were stuck frying hot dogs at the mall. Interestingly enough, frying hot dogs right across the food court from the retired persona that was Steve Harrington.

For the first month of work, your paths never crossed; that didn’t stop you from watching, though. Watching him laugh with his coworker, Robin, a band kid a year younger; watching him tease Dustin Henderson; watching him be everything but what you’d been told he was.

The boy in the dorky Scoops Ahoy uniform was miles away from the dick who’d patrolled the high school halls with vehemence. He was sweet, and silly, certainly a little foolish - in the best way - and most of all, different. Good.

So, you started taking your breaks at Scoops, ordering ice cream and getting to know him and Robin, and he started meandering over to Hot Dog On A Stick on his breaks, and then after he got off work and before, and after another month he broke down and asked you out.

You’d expected something basic; a movie, or ice cream. Instead, you’d ended up on Weathertop; the highest point in Hawkins. Steve had pulled out a collection of delectably unearthly snacks, and you spent hours sprawled on your backs gorging yourselves and star-gazing.

You both reluctantly trudged back to the car around midnight, though you’d have been content to stay out there all night, and Steve drove the long way to your house, music pulsing softly from the radio, breeze catching the loose strands of his hair.

“How did you find that place?” You asked as he turned down your street.

“Dustin did, actually,” he said, sending you a smile, “he set up that Cerebro to talk to Suzie.”

“Suzie?”

“His girlfriend. Apparently hotter than Phoebe Cates.”

“Impossible.”

Steve snorted a laugh. “That’s what I said.” He pulled his car into your driveway; the street, and your house, was dark and quiet. Before you even had your seatbelt off, Steve was out of the car and around to your side, popping open the door. You climbed out, cheeks flushing, and cocked a brow at him.

“What a gentleman,” you said. His lips quirked up, and you nudged the car door shut behind you. “You know, you’re not what I expected.”

“Is that a bad thing, or a good thing?”

“Good,” you said. “Definitely good.” He grinned and held out a hand; you took it, and he threaded your fingers together, tugging you gently toward the door. You stopped just before it and turned to face Steve, who had become shy and unsure in the time it took to reach the door. He pressed his lips together for a beat, and said, “Could I kiss you?” He looked so endearingly excited, so charmingly terrified, you almost forgot to answer. You almost forgot you’d never been kissed before, and despite Steve’s nerves, he was nowhere near a beginner.

You smiled, shrugged, and said, “Yes, but I’m probably not any good at it.”

It certainly wasn’t what he was expecting to hear; a mix of amusement and surprise flashed across his face.

“What are you talking about?”

Your cheeks warmed, and you prayed he couldn’t hear the hammering of your heart. “I have no idea what I’m doing. I’ve never…you know.”

His eyes flashed with that same amusement - softer, though, an intimacy to it - and then he was stepping toward you, tucking an obligatory strand of hair behind your ear. The brush of his fingertips set your nerve endings on fire, and you held your breath as he bent toward you, lips grazing your earlobe.

“I can show you,” he said, confidence sliding back into place.

You didn’t quite fit together at first; you didn’t know how. Lips a little too wet, teeth and noses bumping, hands that didn’t know exactly where to go. But Steve was telling the truth when he said he’d show you; he did. You tried again, and once more, and the puzzle pieces found purchase, fingers deft against skin, mouths moving in sync.

By the time you finally went inside, your lips were tingly and your smile was cemented. Steve left with the promise of seeing you again tomorrow; and the next day, and the next.