two ships passing in the night.
(billy hargrove x reader)
request: remember me w/ Billy? 💕 (from dating prompts: Leave a “Remember Me” in my ask, and I’ll write a drabble about one character trying to get another to remember them)
summary: reader is home for the holidays, and meets an old enemy (ish). turns out late night diner talks aren’t the worst thing in the world.
word count: 2,568
warning: there are mentions of abuse in here. nothing detailed, but it’s mentioned.
The holidays are a lot of things, but after high school, they went on another level of special for you. You’d ended up missing your friends and family a lot more while you were at college, so a couple of weeks at home was on par with heaven for you - even in your junior year.
You’d been home for a couple of days by that point. The first day home had been spent in your bed catching up on all of the sleep that you’d missed out on during the fall semester. The second and third day, however, had considered of the party crowding into your house, Dustin and Steve making hundreds of cookies while the rest tried to steal any amount of cookie dough that they could.
It was weird, being older. The kids were growing up, all but Will having grown taller than you (Will was as tall as you now, and you had no illusions that in a year, you’d be the shortest one). Nancy and Jonathan were in college as well, due back within the next few days. Steve had - to the frustration of his father - decided to stay in Hawkins and join the police force to work alongside Hopper.
“Who else is going to save his old ass when the weird shit hits the fan again?”
So it had been nice to see them all again, the pain in your chest abating a little the longer you were all together.
You loved your family and spending time with them, but with the party, it was different. Shared trauma, and all that.
Eventually, though, everyone ended up heading out. Lucas and Max had talked of going to the movies, while the rest of them were heading to their various homes. Except Mike, who was taking El home himself.
(The thought of him driving disturbed you on a whole other level.)
Once they’d all left, you shrugged on your coat and shoved a hat on your head, wincing as you stepped outside. The cold stung your face, but you tried not to pay much attention to it. Hawkins Main Street was calling to you, and you’d be damned if you didn’t go.
From the time that you’d been a child, you’d always loved walking into town, late at night in December. It was like your own private Christmas lights show. String lights were strung from street lamp to street lamp, with wreaths shaped as bells and Christmas trees lined the pole lights. The storefronts were all individually decorated to the owner’s preference, but most had Santa and presents in some form or another.
You’d just made it into town, your hands shoved deep into your pockets when you heard someone calling your name. You froze at the sound of the voice, trying to place it.
“Y/N! Y/L/N, is that you?” You turned around slowly, furrowing your brow as your gaze settled on the man approaching you. The voice reminded you of Billy Hargrove, but the man in front of you…
He had short hair - no mullet in sight - and was grinning easily at you. Sure, towards the end of your senior year, Billy hadn’t been bothering you anymore, but that was due to Max almost taking a nail-ridden bat to his crotch.
“Uh, yeah? Do I know you?”
“You don’t remember me? Do I look that different without the mullet?”
Your eyes widened. Holy shit, it was Billy Hargrove.
“Nah, I just didn’t recognize you without you harassing me and my friends.” You raised your eyebrows at him as he looked down at his shoes. His lips pressed together into a thin line as he looked back towards you.
“I was a pretty big dick to you, huh?”
“You were a bigger dick to Lucas Sinclair. And your little stepsister.”
He let out a sigh, nodding his head slow a couple of times.
“I know I was. I had a lot of shit going on, but that doesn’t excuse what I said. Or what I did. I’m, uh, I’m sorry, Y/N.”
You stared at him, your gaping mouth resembling a fish. It had been around three years since all of that had happened. People could change in that amount of time, but Billy Hargrove? Really?
“What the hell happened to you?”
He barked out a humorless laugh, ducking his head once more before taking in a deep breath, and letting it out through his nose.
“You wanna grab some coffee?” You furrowed your brow, giving him a look that made him chuckle. “It’s kind of a long story, and I’m starting to freeze my ass off.”