Steve had been the only one to see Robin pass out. Really, it was because no one else was paying attention. Everyone’s attention was on Max’s blood curdling screams.
He caught her before she hit the ground completely. She had been standing at the railing, looking down onto the food court. Then she staggered back and collapsed, her tired body finally giving out.
She wasn’t out for long, and Steve was grateful for that. They could hear the sirens outside. Her eyes blinked open after Steve’s fourth call of her name.
“Oh thank god, you scared me for a second there. Come on, we’ve got to get out of here.” She didn’t say anything in response, but let him pick he rup and carry her bridal style down the escalator.
In his worry of Robin, Steve hadn’t seen the others all come running down to meet Max, Mike, and El. Everyone was in a shock, the only sound being Max’s sobbing and El’s quiet comforting words.
Robin rested her head on Steve’s bicep, and that was all he needed to keep going. His head was pounding and he was certain his ribs were completely smashed, but he wouldn’t have a break until all the kids and Robin were safe.
Nancy and Jonathan collaraled the kids together and began pulling them towards the exit, Steve followed with Robin.
All he could think of was three things.
Robin was crying.
Dustin and Erica were all alone on Weathertop with no idea what had just happened.
Billy Hargrove was dead, and had died right in front of his little sister.
The first one freaked him out slightly, because she had never seen Robin cry. Not when they were locked in a secret russian bunker, not in the bathroom when she was confessing her deepest secrets, the only time she had even gotten close was in the elevator, while they were talking as Dustin and Erica slept.
The second one worried him because Dustin and Erica were all alone without an adult and had to be terrified. Relly, he should have mad Robin stay with him. They she wouldn’t have seen the monsters, and she wouldn’t be in all this pain. And he would know that the kids were under at least a some-what responsible eye.
The third thought was terrifying to him for a number of reasons. Max and Billy hadn’t been particularly close, but Max had watched him sacrifice himself for the good of the group. She had watched him die under her grasp, and seen him take his last breath. His last words were to her, an apology that couldn’t make up for everything, but was a start to a task that could never be completed.
Steve was so lost in thought that he almost didn’t realize that Nancy had grabbed his arm and was leading him over to an ambulance.
“Wow you two are banged up.” She tried to joke, but none of them laughed. They were all worn out and definitely in need of some hugs. But comfort would have to wait, they needed to get checked out first.
He set Robin down where the nurse told him to, and they started looking her over. He could tell she hated it. Steve remembered her saying that she didn’t like doctors, and now she was being poked and prodded at like a wounded animal.
She had a concussion, they said. Steve wondered if the Russians had hit her too, and he became furious. Not at her, but at the sick bastards who beat a child for information she clearly didn’t have.
He could tell that there were nurses in other ambulances, looking at him and waiting, but he wasn’t leaving Robin right now. She was still crying, but what he didn’t expect was for her to throw out her hand towards him. It took him a second to figure out what she needed.
Carefully, Steve held her hand in his, rubbing his thumb over her knuckles to calm her down.
She was almost unscathed except her a cut on her cheek and gash on her calf besides her concussion. Steve was glad that even if he was severely fucked up (which he knew he was) at least Robin was mostly okay.
They switched spot but instead of standing off to the side like he did, Robin sat beside him, he back pressed up against the inside of the ambulance and her knees pulled up to her chest. She kept her hand held tightly in his, letting her head drop onto her knees as she watched the doctors examine Steve.
Of course he already knew that he had four broken ribs, he could feel them stabbing into him, and carrying Robin against his chest hadn’t helped in the slightest.
His concussion wasn’t super major, it actually might be more mild than when Billy beat him last fall. The Russians had gone more for his chest than his head.
They still wanted to take him to the hospital. He refused.
Steve didn’t have any healthcare, his parents had cut him off after he graduated a failure. They only let him continue to live in the house so that they could put him to work and ‘teach him how to make his way’ at Scoops. Well, looks like he was out of a job now.
“Steve, you need to go to the hospital.” Robin spoke up for the first time since they crashed the car. Her voice sounded so weak and strained, he felt bad for her.
“I’m fine. Let’s go find the others.” He brushed himself off and let her take his hand again, pulling her towards Nancy and Jonathan.
“I don’t know about you, but I feel kinda dizzy.” Robin whispered behind him. She was dragging her feet and almost tripped over a particularly large rock.
They walked up to Nancy and Jonathan, and Steve pulled Robin into his side, letting her lay her head down on his shoulder. He leaned back against the car behind him. He had one arm wrapped around Robin, still holding her hand with the other in front of them. Steve rubbed his free hand up and down her arm.
He could tell she was drifting. He guessed that she had never had a concussion before, but maybe that wasn’t true, considering he had just learned she played soccer only half an hour ago.
“Hey, is she okay?” Jonathan asked, pointing to Robin. She had her eyes closed and was shaking against Steve slightly.
“I think so. She’s just shaken up from tonight. It was a lot.” Steve let go of her hand to reach over and brush a piece of hair out of Robin’s face.
“Are you going to take her home or keep her with you? Ms. Byers said that we should stick together in groups tonight, that it would make it easier to be together. But I bet her parents haven’t seen her in days and are probably worried.” Nancy looked over to where Joyce, Will, and El were talking to the dude from Chicago. Steve thinks his name is Murray or something like that.
He realized almost in an instant that Hopper was nowhere to be seen. He stopped for a moment, knowing what had happened already. He looked back down at Robin.
Max was crying in Lucas’ arms, Mike was sitting next to El and silently holding her. They all seemed just so broken.
“Yeah, I’m going to take Robs back to my place for the night. We have to go get Dustin and Erica first though.” he said, thinking back to Weathertop where the kids were still waiting without any clue what had happened.
“No, don’t worry about them. Jonathan and I will go get them. We’re taking all the kids back to the Byers so they don’t have to go home tonight. If you two wanted you could come with us,” Nancy shook her head. She was in better shape to drive than Steve for sure.
“No, I think we'll be better off on our own tonight.” Steve hugged Robin gently, he could feel her falling asleep standing up.
He had no faith that he could drive, and even if he could, the Russians had taken his keys.
“Robs,” he whispered, shaking her awake gently. She startled, jumping away from him for a second before getting her bearings and leaning back into his touch.
Officer Callahan was approaching them. He was looking around at the wreckage, shell-shocked.
“You kids look like lost puppies. Lost, sailor puppies.”
Steve would have laughed at that had he not wanted to drop dead and sleep.
“Keys got taken by evil Russians.” Steve sounded nonchalant, but really he just felt like dead weight
“You’re funny, kid. How about I give you a ride home? You don’t look like you should be on the road, and I think she might be dead there.” He pointed at Robin, who had fallen back into her half-asleep state on his shoulder.
Steve picked her back up in a bridal carry, not wanting to wake her up again. She hardly stirred, just curling in herself and closing her eyes all the way.
Steve gave Callahan his address and they drove off. The car ride was silent, Robin asleep, Callahan focused on the road and Steve just staring out the window.
Once they were home, Steve carried Robin inside and laid her down on the couch. He went upstairs, needing to change clothes. The paramedics had already bandaged him up, but that didn’t stop the throbbing pain in his ribs.
He pulled out a t-shirt and gym shorts from his dresser in his bedroom and went to take a shower.
It was horrific, the amount of blood that washed down the drain as he washed himself off. Just when he thought that it was all gone, he turned and more watered down blood splashed into the tub.
He jumped when he heard the bathroom door open. He was freaked out for a second, before remembering that Robin was in the house.
“Steve?” her voice was so small, she sounded scared.
“Yeah Robin? You need something?”
She was quiet for a moment.
“No, just…” He heard her shuffling around. The bathroom door shut and Robin climb up onto the counter, leaning back against the wall.
“I don’t know why. I got really scared when I woke up alone. It’s stupid…” Robin began removing her bracelets and necklaces and ring, dropping them onto the counter.
“It’s not stupid. I’m sorry, I should have stayed with you until you woke up.” Steve tried to be reassuring, but he wasn’t sure how effective he was being considering he couldn’t see her through the shower curtain.
“Can I just stay here until you finish?” Robin asked. He heard her kick her shoes off, the sound of them hitting the floor loud over the sound of the running shower.
“Yeah, I’ll be done soon.” He saw nothing wrong with letting her stay. If it made her feel better there was no problem with him.
He washed his hair, the dried blood at his hairline was tacky and difficult to wash out. All the more reminders of what had happened.
He shut the water off and reached out to grab his towel off the bar, bringing it into the shower with him and drying off there. He wrapped the towel around his waist, keeping himself decent for Robin’s sake.
Steve stepped out of the tub, reaching for his shirt and pulling it over his head to cover his bare chest.
He looked over at Robin. She was reading the label on his hairspray.
“Farrah Fawcett?” There was a smile on her face and she was trying to hold back a laugh.
He smiled too. “You tell anyone and your ass is grass.”
She burst out laughing, setting the bottle down and dropping her head into her hands.
Steve laughed too, happy to see her smile after everything.
“I’ll go find some clothes for you so you can shower.” He said, grabbing his bottoms and her shoes off the floor.
“Wait- will you stay in here while I shower? Like, just sit here so I’m not alone?”
He turned back to look at her.
“If you want me to. I’ll be right back.” He gave her a reassuring smile, and Robin nodded her head. She climbed down off the counter.
He headed back into his bedroom, changing into his shorts then searching for something Robin could wear. He found an old soft cotton t-shirt and some flannel pajama pants. They might possibly be too loose around her waist, but they would make it work.
Steve sat on the counter while Robin showered, there for emotional support. It was a lot easier to know someone was there with you than to be completely alone. Steve almost felt like he never wanted to let Robin out of his sight again.
“Ow.” she muttered from the shower.
“You okay? Is it your head again?” Steve sounded worried. He just didn’t want her to fall and make it worse.
“No, just pulled a bandaid off.” There was a laugh in her voice that made Steve relax.
He got her a clean fluffy towel and helped her re-bandage all the little cuts she had all over herself from before Starcourt after her shower.
“Can we go lay down. God damn my head hurts.” Robin was holding his hand. She looked at him with puppy dog eyes, like he wouldn’t agree to her every ask. She had him wrapped around her finger, and he wasn’t sure if she knew that or not. She would find out eventually though.
“Wait? Do you have any pain killers?” she was rubbing at her temples with her free hand, trying to stop the throbbing pain of her concussion.
“That bad? Yeah, I have some Advil.” Steve reached up into the cabinet above the sink, pulling out a medication bottle. He opened it one-handed somehow and knocked out two pills onto the countertop.
He went to get her a cup of water, but was surprised when she downed them dry, tossing them back into her throat and swallowing before beginning to pull him towards his bedroom, where the door was still open.
Robin collapsed onto his bed and Steve sat down next to her, letting her get fixed under his covers.
“Your bed is cozy.” She snuggled deeper into his blankets. Steve smiled, crawling under the covers himself, laying down next to her.
“Do you want that lights off?” he took her hand into his.
“No!” she shook her head.
“Okay, because me neither.” he reached up and slid his hand under her head on the pillow. He stroked her hair gently.
“Are we going to be okay? Can we go back to normal?” Robin whispered. Her lip was quivering and her eyes were filled with tears as she was remembering the past 72 hours.
“Robin, we are going to be okay. Not perfect, not back to normal, but okay. I promise you that.” He leaned forward and touched her forehead to his.
“Will you hold me?” Robin slid down in the blankets and tucked her head under Steve’s chin, cuddling into him closer.
“Always Robs, always.” he wrapped his arms around her shoulders. She closed her eyes.
“Sleep well Robs. We’ve had a long night.” he rubbed a hand up and down her back.
“You’re safe here with me, I promise.” he whispered into her ear, cuddling her close until she fell fast asleep.
“I love you. Thank you, for everything. For being supportive, and for being the one person that remembered me.” She hugged him tighter.
“You shouldn’t have to thank me for a basic right. And I love you too, no matter what happens. From now on, I’ll always be here for you. I promise, and a promise is something you can never break, or some shit like that.”
Robin smiled against him.
They feel asleep like that. The nightmares would come soon, but for now, they could be content with sleep in each other’s arms.