Title: Hey It's Okay, It's Okay (You're Welcome) Characters: Steve, Robin, Billy, Dustin Notes: Written for the mods' April Fools Challenge, because I can't resist a wacky challenge like that. Spoiler: Challenge Requirements -Use the third bit of dialogue from the last fanfic you read as your opening line. (Make sure to credit them in your notes or endnotes!) I used the last one with dialogue that I read on this board: A Friend Beyond Parallel by @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha - A stuffed animal (Check!) -Go to Wookiepedia (or the fandom wika of your choice ) and select “random page” (under “explore”) and somehow incorporate what it gives you into your fic I used the Wook and got Mining Guild Sector. -Choose AT LEAST one of the words on the list below to use in your story, but the more the better! Props from your mods for using them all! Bigger props for having characters say them all! I think I got them all! Billingsgate - rough language filled with profanity Cattywampus - askew Cockamamie - implausible Crapulence - a light weight, especially when drinking Flibbertigibbet - someone who is silly and talks incessantly Gobbledygook - gibberish Goombah - an older, protective friend Snollygoster - a shrewd, unprincipled person; a politician Smicker - to look amorously at someone Woebegone - being in a sad state Title is taken from "You're Welcome" by Dwayne Johnson from the Moana soundtrack. It really has nothing to do with this fic, that was just the song I threw on repeat as background noise while I was writing and I needed a title, so here we are. Just a note that there is some minor Steve/Billy (my guilty pleasure ship of choice these days) in this. I wrote this in two sittings and I honestly didn't have specific characters, a plot, or a direction in mind, just the fandom and the prompts. It's unedited except for minor tweaks to dialogue/grammar/etc. Basically I just sat back and let the characters tell the story and it turned into this hot mess but it was SO MUCH FUN! Silly happy escapist fun that has absolutely nothing to do with reality is my thing lately. If you choose to read, thank you so much and I hope this puts as much of a smile on your face as it did on mine writing it. And thank you so much to the mods for coming up with such an incredibly fun challenge! ***** Hey It's Okay, It's Okay (You're Welcome) ***** "Oh! Is this ... for me?" "No, dingus," Robin said. "It's for the other woebegone loser standing behind you." "Woe-be-what?" Steve asked. "Never mind," Robin said with an exaggerated eyeroll. She pushed a sundae closer to Steve and held out a spoon. "Just shut up and dig in." Steve shut up and dug in. It had been a long, terrible week for both of them, with the prospect of another long, terrible week ahead, and right now he thought Robin's idea of drowning their frustrations in ice cream was the best idea anyone had ever had. Unfortunately, just when they'd made it about halfway through the sweet, syrupy concoctions, they were interrupted by the ring of the bell announcing a customer up front. Steve and Robin looked at each other. "It's your turn," Steve said. "Uh, my last order was seven custom-made sundaes!" Robin said. She pointed her spoon at Steve. "You had one cone. Get this one and we'll call it even." "I thought we were friends," Steve said, giving Robin his best pout. "Get going, dingus!" Robin said unsympathetically as their customer insistently rang the bell several more times. Muttering a stream of billingsgate under his breath, Steve stomped to the front counter and without looking up he droned, "Ahoy. What can I get you?" "Oh, good," a very familiar voice said. "Just the sailor I wanted to see." Steve groaned and slowly looked up. At the same time he remembered his hat, which was sitting cattywampus over his hair, and quickly yanked it off. "Do you actually want something, Hargrove?" he snapped. He was used to Billy alternately smirking, showing off, and ignoring him completely. He wasn't used to Billy leaning over the counter, shoulders slumping a bit and an almost nervous expression on his face as he said, "Actually, yes. I do want something, Harrington." Steve waited expectantly. When Billy didn't say anything else, he leaned his own elbows on the counter. "Well?" he said impatiently. "I don't have all day." Billy turned and marched off to a table. Steve huffed out a sigh and followed. He crossed his arms and leaned back in the chair. "Okay," he said. "What's got your panties in a twist, Hargrove?" "I, uh, need a favor," Billy said. "Max's birthday is coming up." Steve considered expressing his shock that Billy actually knew when his stepsister's birthday was. But he decided to stick to the big questions instead. "And how exactly does this involve me?" he said. Billy reached down into his bag and set a teddy bear on the table. It would have been a plain, ordinary light brown teddy bear except for the fact that it was wearing a little leather jacket with some colorful buttons on it. "This is Max's stupid bear," Billy said. "She had it since she was a baby or something. I brought her a button from a concert one time and then we found the jacket at a garage sale and she started decorating it with all this junk. She was obsessed with this awful local band called Mining Guild Sector. They were her first concert and she was so excited to see them. She really has terrible taste in music, Harrington." Steve frowned, torn between losing his patience completely and throwing Billy out of Scoops Ahoy and wondering if maybe he'd taken something and was just spouting gobbledygook, in which case Steve thought maybe he should call Hopper and let him deal with it. "Are you, uh..." Steve paused, searching for the right words. "Okay?" Billy frowned back at him. "You asked how this involves you," he said haughtily. "I'm trying to explain." "Yeah?" Steve said. "Sometime this year, then, Hargrove. Or you can forget me helping with...whatever you need help with." "Mining Guild Sector is playing in Indianapolis this weekend and I need you to drive me there so I can try and get Max an autograph and another pin for her bear," Billy said in a rush. Steve stared at Billy, speechless. Fighting crazy faceless monsters made more sense than what he thought he'd heard. "Huh?" he said, finally. "Max's favorite band is playing in Indianapolis this weekend," Billy said. "I'd take her to see them if I could, but she's too young to try getting her in and I need someone to drive anyway." "Why can't you drive?" Steve asked. "You have a car. Believe me, everyone in Hawkins knows you have a car." "I just can't, okay?" Billy said defensively. Suddenly he pushed his chair back and stood up. "Never mind. It was a stupid idea." "No, wait," Steve said. He reached for the bear and turned it in his hands, admiring the little jacket and the buttons. "It's not totally stupid. Sure, it's crazy, but I've done crazier things." Billy watched him hopefully while he thought it over. "What the hell," Steve said. "I'll do it. For Max." "For Max," Billy repeated. He held out his hand for the bear. Steve smoothed the collar of the bear's jacket and handed it to him. Billy looked like he wanted to say something else, but instead he just nodded at Steve, tucked the bear back into the bag, and walked away. Steve was still sitting there when Robin burst out of the back room. "What's up, dingus?" she said. "Your ice cream's turned into a melted puddle of sadness." Steve, his mind still on teddy bears and concerts and Billy Hargrove trying to do something sort of nice for his stepsister, blinked at Robin. "Robin," he said impulsively. "You want to go to Indianapolis this weekend?" ***** Steve was sound asleep when the phone started ringing. He groaned and pulled his pillow over his head. But the phone continued to ring, and then someone started alternately ringing the doorbell and knocking on the door. Steve grumbled curse words as he stumbled out of bed and went for the phone, only for it to stop ringing just as he grabbed the receiver. He made his way downstairs, where whoever was at the front door sounded like they were now trying to break the door down, and yanked it open. "Hi, Steve!" Dustin practically yelled. "I thought maybe you weren't home, but I saw your car's here, so then I thought maybe you forgot - " "Whoa, whoa, wait a minute!" Steve said. "I just woke up, Dustin, jeez." The phone started to ring again. Steve groaned and turned to get it, and Dustin followed him into the house. "Hello," Steve snapped into the receiver. "Dingus!" Robin said. Like Dustin, she sounded entirely too loud and too cheerful for the time of day. "We're still on for your cockamamie scheme, right?" "Steve!" Dustin said. "You forgot we were hanging out today, didn't you? How could you forget? We've been planning this for two weeks!" "I'm sorry, alright?" Steve said. "I've had a lot on my mind, and I kind of made other plans." "Is that a yes, we're still on?" Robin asked. "I wasn't talking to you," Steve said. "Hold on." "Other plans?" Dustin asked eagerly. "You're talking to a girl, aren't you? Are you going on a date?" "No!" Steve shouted. "Hell, no, it's not a date. Just shut up for a minute." Dustin made an elaborate show of miming zipping his lips and throwing away the key, but he continued to listen intently to every word Steve said to Robin. "Yeah, we're still on," Steve said. "Hargrove called me last night to tell me where to pick him up." "Billy?" Dustin hissed, grabbing the back of Steve's T-shirt. "Why are you talking to him? Why are you hanging out with him? Oh my god, Steve, what if it's some sort of trap?" "Dustin!" Steve said sharply. Robin laughed. "Sounds like you have your hands full, dingus," she said. "I guess I'll see you this afternoon, then." "Yeah, I'll be around," Steve said. As soon as he hung up, Dustin pounced. "What's going on, Steve?" he said. "Are you in some kind of trouble? I'll call a Party meeting and we'll figure out a plan to stop Billy. You don't have to deal with him alone, you know." "Dude, settle down," Steve said. "It's nice of you to offer but I don't need help. He asked me to do him a favor and I agreed. Robin's just going along for the ride." Dustin still looked suspicious. "What kind of favor are you doing for Billy Hargrove?" he asked. Steve sighed and considered his options. "Look, if I tell you, you can't tell anyone," he said. "Not Mike, not Lucas, not Will, not El, and especially not Max. No one." "I won't, I promise!" Dustin said eagerly. "Okay," Steve said. "Billy needs a ride to Indianapolis to get Max a birthday present. He wants to surprise her, so that's why you can't breathe a word to anyone." "Why can't he drive there himself?" Dustin asked. Steve shrugged. "Hell if I know. I assume his car broke down." "So you, Billy, and Robin are going to Indianapolis," Dustin said thoughtfully. "And you're driving." "Yeah," Steve said. "And since you're the driver that puts you in charge of the mission, so if you wanted to bring a fourth person along, no one could object," Dustin said. Steve crossed his arms. "Nice try, but no." "Come on, Steve," Dustin said. "We were going to hang out today anyway, until you forgot." "I said I was sorry," Steve said. "We can hang out tomorrow after my shift." "Please, Steve?" Dustin pleaded. "Alright! Fine, jeez," Steve said. He threw his hands in the air. "Go watch TV or something while I get dressed, okay?" ***** A few hours and an argument between Robin and Dustin over who got to sit up front later, Steve, Robin, and Dustin were piled in Steve's car. "This feels like some crazy spy mission," Robin said, her first words since Steve had broken up the argument by threatening to banish both Robin and Dustin to the back seat and let Billy ride up front. "I wonder why he doesn't want us to pick him up at his house," Dustin mused. "You've dropped Max off before so you already know where he lives." "I don't know and I don't care," Steve said. "I agreed to drive to Indianapolis, not figure out Hargrove's brain." He pulled over to the curb and parked by the intersection a few streets from Billy's house where Billy had told him to go. A few minutes later, Billy came jogging up, backpack slung across his shoulder. He scowled and climbed into the back seat next to Robin. "Hi," Robin said. Billy ignored her. "Harrington, why are all these people here?" "My car, my rules," Steve said, pulling away from the curb. "Next stop Indianapolis!" The drive was surprisingly uneventful. Dustin and Steve chatted, Robin muttered about flibbertigibbet boys, and Billy stared out the window. "Where exactly are we going?" Steve asked when they reached the outskirts of the city. Robin started laughing so hard that she snorted. "You only thought to ask now?" she said. Then she pointed at Billy. "And you didn't tell him?" "Lame," Dustin agreed. "You hicks never heard of a map?" Billy sneered, pulling a folded map out of his backpack. "Oh, a map, of course!" Robin said sarcastically. "Ten bucks says we'll still be driving aimlessly in circles an hour from now." "Hey!" Steve said. "I can get us there if someone would just tell me where there is!" "Steve, I suggest that now would be a good time to stop and regroup," Dustin said. "And pick up some snacks. I'm starving." Steve had never felt like more of a babysitter as he pulled into a gas station, parked the car, and tried to glare at all three of his passengers at once. "All of you shut up and listen," he said. He reached into his wallet and handed Dustin some money. "Henderson! That's all you're getting, got it? Hargrove! Give me a damn address or directions or something. Robin...uh, supervise Dustin or whatever." "Aye aye, Captain," Robin said, giving him a mock salute. Steve flipped her off. By the time Dustin returned with two big shopping bags full of snacks, Billy had finally told Steve the address and the name of the club where the band was supposed to be, and after some arguing and swearing over the map which ended with Robin grabbing for it and calling them both pathetic, they'd reached a consenus on how they were supposed to get there. By the time they actually got there, Steve's hands were clenched around the steering wheel as he briefly contemplated murdering his so-called friends and Billy, or at the very least dumping them all on the side of the road and making them walk back to Hawkins. He found a parking spot up the street from the club, turned the car off, and ran a hand through his hair. "We're here," he said flatly. "Go get Max's present and hurry the hell up so we can all go home and forget this ever happened." Billy was rummaging through his bag again and cursing. "I'm hungry," Robin said. She leaned forward and held out her hand. "Didn't your mother tell you it's rude not to share?" "Didn't your mother tell you to say please and thank you?" Dustin asked. "Steve!" Robin said. "Your child's being mean to me." Steve let his forehead fall against the steering wheel. "Damn it!" Billy shouted. He shoved the bag away so that it tumbled onto the floor. "Hargrove," Steve said. Slowly he straightened up and turned to glare at Billy. "What the hell is your problem now?" "I had a fake ID in here," Billy said. "Now I don't." "So?" Steve said. "So that's how I was going to get in," Billy said. "Nice and easy. I'll have to sneak in instead." He pushed open the door and got out. For a minute they were all silent. "We should leave him here," Dustin said. "Yeah," Robin said around a mouthful of cookie. "Don't tempt me," Steve said. He tapped Dustin's ball cap. "Pass me those chips." They sat eating junk food, Dustin moaning about feeling some crapulence but taking another handful of chips anyway. Billy came back surprisingly quickly, looking even more angry than usual. "You get it?" Steve asked. "No," Billy said shortly. "I didn't even get in the door. Go ahead and laugh, Harrington. And do me one more favor and run me over or something." Steve turned the key in the ignition, then he glanced back into the back seat. Billy was scowling and looking down at Max's bear, stroking its little leather jacket with one finger. Robin and Dustin were quiet for once. Steve took a deep breath, briefly considered his life choices, turned the car off and unbuckled his seatbelt. "Dingus?" Robin said. "What are you doing?" "Dustin, do you have your radio?" Steve asked. "Duh, of course!" Dustin pulled his walkie out of his bag and held it up proudly. "Spare batteries and everything." "Great," Steve said. He pulled his own walkie out of the glove compartment. "Keep it on. You and Robin stay here. I'll go with Hargrove." Billy looked up quickly. "The hell are you talking about, Harrington?" he asked. Steve shrugged. "There's got to be a back door or something, right? I'll keep watch, you sneak in and do what you need to do, and Max gets her present." Billy stared at him. Steve opened his door and leaned back in. "Coming, Hargrove?" he said. Still looking a little stunned, Billy scrambled to shove Max's bear back into his bag and get out of the car. "Wait, Steve!" Dustin called. "What should we do?" "Let us know if you spot any potential trouble," Steve said. "Robin, think you can handle driving half a block?" "Sure," Robin said. "Absolutely. I can totally drive half a block. It can't be that hard." "Good enough," Steve said. "I won't ask unless it's an emergency." "Right," Robin said. "Good luck, Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dingus!" "That reminds me, we need code names!" Dustin said. "Steve, you'll be 'Goombah'. Billy's... um, 'Snollygoster'. I'm Gold Leader, and Robin is, uh, Scoops?" "Uh, how about Robin is Frickin' Awesome," Robin said dryly. "Yeah, yeah, whatever," Steve said. He slapped the roof of his car. "See you in a bit." ***** "Think it'll work?" Steve asked. Billy squinted and shrugged. "It should," he said. They were crouched behind a dumpster in a dingy alley behind the club. There was a door that opened into the back of the building. Steve and Billy had decided the easiest way to get in would be to wait for someone to open the door again and then they could make a run for it. Once they were in, Steve figured they could sneak their way into the audience, Billy could hit the merchandise table, and they could walk right out the front door. "I could use a smoke," Billy muttered. "Me too," Steve said. "Or something stronger." "Thought you were too good for all that these days," Billy said. "I'm not that good," Steve said. "But I used to be a lot worse." "That a hint, pretty boy?" Billy turned to smirk at him. "You saying I should clean up my act, turn into a boy scout, become a fine upstanding American citizen that any parent would be proud to call their son?" "I think you know exactly what I'm saying," Steve said, keeping his eyes fixed straight ahead on the door. Billy fidgeted beside him for a minute, then he said suddenly, "I'm sorry, you know." Steve turned his head to look at Billy. "About last fall," Billy said. All traces of his smirk had disappeared. "I've been sorry ever since. Not that it matters now." Steve searched Billy's face and for once he saw only sincerity and a hint of something else - fear, maybe, or vulnerability. "It matters," he said. Their eyes met and held. A loud burst of music and laughter startled them both. Two employees had opened the door and were hauling bags of trash out. "Let's go!" Steve said. They both scrambled to their feet and sprinted from behind the dumpster. Billy caught the door just before it swung shut and he and Steve ducked inside the club. They found themselves in a little hallway. Off to one side were doors leading to an employee bathroom and the kitchen. On the other side was an unmarked door and a partially open door that led to the backstage area. They started towards the backstage door, but the kitchen door flew open. Billy grabbed Steve's hand to pull him through the unmarked door and they tumbled into a small, dark room. "Ow," Steve hissed, rubbing his elbow where he'd smacked it into a shelf. "Shh," Billy hissed back. Steve realized their hands were still joined. He didn't pull away. The radio crackled. "Goombah and Snollygoster, this is Gold Leader," Dustin's voice said loudly. "I repeat, this is Gold Leader. Do you copy?" Steve swore and fumbled for the off switch. Crowded against the door, hearts pounding, they heard footsteps and what sounded like someone carrying another trash bag. When the footsteps were gone, they cautiously eased the door open and peered out. The hallway was empty again. They ran to the backstage door and burst in. Four guys and a few girls, all looking wild in various degrees of punk attire, looked up lazily and blinked a few times. "Uh, who are you?" one of the guys drawled finally. "Wanna party with us?" one of the girls giggled. "Naw, I'm here on business, babe," Billy said. He set down his backpack and pulled out a folded piece of paper and a marker. "My little sister loved you guys back in Cali. Think you could sign this for her for her birthday?" He unfolded the paper, and Steve, looking over his shoulder, saw it was actually a photograph of a slightly younger Max standing with the band on a boardwalk. There was blue sky and water in the background, and she was beaming. "Guess so," the guy who'd asked who they were said. He took the picture and the marker. "What's her name?" "Max," Billy said. "Your sister's named Max?" one of the other guys snickered. "You got a problem with her name?" Billy asked, clenching one hand into a fist. "No, it's cool, man," the guy said quickly. While Billy was distracted, a third guy reached for the backpack, where Max's bear's head was sticking out, and lifted the bear out. "Hey, put that back," Steve said, stepping forward. "Isn't that sweet," the guy said. "You carry your teddy bear with you everywhere?" "Put. It. Back," Steve said. The guy grinned and held the bear up. "Make me," he said, while the girls giggled around him. Steve took another step forward and then rushed at the guy. His momentum sent them both stumbling backwards and onto the floor. "Hey!" one of the other band members shouted, and lunged for Steve. The girls started screaming and running, and the rest of the band and Billy jumped into the fray. Two security guards and a middle-aged man, presumably the band's manager, ran into the room, shouting. Steve punched his opponent squarely in the nose and grabbed for the bear. "Billy!" he yelled, scrambling to his feet as one of the guards grabbed his arm. Billy, shoving one of the band members off him, looked over. Steve threw the bear as if he were aiming for a basket. Billy caught it easily. "Steve!" Billy yelled back. "Run!" Steve twisted out of the guard's grasp and ran. He and Billy made it to the door and raced down the alley. The security guards were gaining on them. Just then, Steve saw his car pull up on the other side of the street. "Get in!" Robin screamed, honking the horn. Steve and Billy practically fell into the backseat and Robin took off, the tires squealing. "Mental!" Dustin said, twisting to look over the seat. "We got worried when you didn't answer the radio, so we made an executive decision to come and rescue you!" "Yeah, thanks," Steve said, still panting. He winced as Robin took a corner a little too sharply. "I'll take over the driving now, though. I'd like to get home alive." "Hey, I just saved your ass, dingus," Robin said. "A little appreciation would be nice!" "There's another gas station," Dustin said, pointing up ahead. "You guys can switch there and we can stock up on snacks for the drive home!" Steve sighed and handed Dustin a few more bills. When they stopped Robin announced she had to use the bathroom and she followed Dustin into the store. The car suddenly seemed very quiet. "So," Steve said. "Did you end up getting anything?" "I saved most of the picture," Billy said. "There's a corner torn off, but it's not the original anyway. And I got this." He reached into his jacket pocket and held out a safety pin with a piece of fabric still caught in it. "Did you pull that off that guy's vest?" Steve asked with a laugh. "Yep," Billy said proudly. "An authentic Mining Guild Sector costume piece. I hope she likes it." "She'll love it," Steve said. "You could have just got her a card and a cake or something, and she would have liked that too." "Yeah, but I wanted to do something really special for her," Billy said. Steve hesitated, then leaned closer. "Can I see the picture again?" Billy carefully pulled it out of the bag and unfolded it. Steve studied the picture again, taking in Max's excited, happy face. "Did you take her?" he asked finally. "To that concert?" Billy nodded, gazing down at the picture too. Steve laid his hand lightly over Billy's and linked their fingers together. "She'll love it," he said again. Just as they leaned in towards each other, Robin and Dustin returned. "Does this mean I'm still driving?" Robin asked with a knowing look. "Absolutely not," Steve said. He gave Billy an apologetic smile and climbed into the driver's seat. He turned on the radio, and after some squabbling and various protests, he found a station they could all tolerate. He rolled the windows down and they all sang at the top of their lungs. Steve dropped Dustin off first when they got back to Hawkins, then he took Billy to the same intersection where they'd met that afternoon. They turned to smicker at each other for a long moment. "Um," Steve said eventually, at the same time Billy said, "Uh, thanks." They both laughed nervously. "Thanks," Billy said again. "Steve." "Anytime," Steve said. He grinned. "I actually had a lot of fun." "Maybe we could hang out again next weekend," Billy said, fiddling with a strap on his backpack. "Next weekend? Nah," Steve said. "Oh." Billy frowned and reached for the door handle. "Right. Whatever. See you around sometime." "No, no!" Steve touched Billy's wrist. "I meant, why wait for the weekend?" Robin snorted from the backseat. "Sorry," she said. "I'm happy for you, but honestly, you're both racking up the points here." "Points?" Billy asked. "Never mind," Steve said with a sigh. "I'll explain later." He looked pointedly at Robin. "When we're alone." "Can't wait," Billy said. He nodded at Robin, then smiled at Steve. Steve smiled back. The week ahead suddenly looked a lot better.