Boltedfruit Archive

Poison

31 Days of Steddie Halloween Horror: Part 2

Published: 2023-10-02

Category: M/M

Rating: M

Chapters: 31/31

Words: 4,091

Fandom: Stranger Things

Ship: Steve Harrington/Eddie Munson

Characters: Steve Harrington, Eddie Munson, Wayne Munson

Tags: Poisoning, Body Horror, Blood and Blood Loss, Body Horror, Supernatural Elements

Summary:

Day 2 Prompt: Poisoned/bleeding

The bleeding starts again. Eddie sighs, reaching out for the paper towels Steve’s been unrolling for him all night.

 

But this time when he brings it up to check the damage, he stills.

 

His blood is black.

Author's Note

I hope you enjoy! And consider leaving a comment at the end of the fic to let me know what you thought.

Eddie thinks it’s funny when people call him a freak because he’s seen popular kids do all sorts of freaky shit.

 

After days spent showboating, sinking hoops, making out under the bleachers, and getting in trouble for occasionally dipping a nerdy girl’s hair in ink—their primped and polished exterior peels away to reveal the same shriveled little goblin that resides in every other human being on earth.

 

Eddie sees it all because he’s the one selling them the drugs that make those little goblins show their fun-loving faces.

 

Carver once got high off Eddie’s own preferred strain of weed and ended up stripping for tips on Chrissy Cunningham’s poor mother’s dining table during a party he convinced his girlfriend to throw.

 

He also sold Chrissy the pills that gave her the courage to dump Carver’s ass.

 

He’s sold powder, pills, and bartered kegs for the Loch Nora parties during his entire tenure as Hawkins High’s most prolific super senior. They won’t publicly associate with him, but they all know where and how to find him.

 

Some go through proxies, especially the rich kids in Loch Nora. There was Hagan for a couple years bargaining for the Harrington shindigs. Then there had been that falling out of the King and his top clown, and suddenly it was King Steve himself darkening Eddie’s proverbial doorstep.

 

And every time Steve buys something new along with his usual order. Eddie offers him samples sometimes but Steve always insists on paying. And even after Steve had graduated, went socially MIA for a few months, until popping back up in his usual circles, he’s been overeager. It’s how he ended up licking up half a sheet of dissolving LSD strips in one go. Eddie had to drive like hell to the hospital and ended up dumping him in the ER’s lobby.

 

Eddie taught Steve how not to kill himself by being stupid after that. Ever since he’s considered the guy something adjacent to a friend.

 

It certainly helped him make a lot of money the year after Steve graduated, all the way until he managed to graduate for himself finally. He skipped across the stage.

 

He’s sold to nerds, band kids, cheerleaders, verifiable drug addicts, the King of the school, and the bullies who’d been giving Eddie hell since middle school; the top of the top and the bottom of the bottom.

 

As for himself, he’ll smoke a little weed here and there. He’ll work through a pack of cigarettes in a week, knows it’s worse for you than most things. He drinks. But the harder stuff he has no personal interest in.

 

Wayne knows, in very general terms, what he does. He never says anything too harsh because Eddie’s the one paying a majority of their space rent.

 

Selling is one thing. Keeping stocked is another.

 

He has a standing deal with Reefer Rick, a decent guy who laughs too much and rents the same dumb movies over and over again.

 

He drives into Indy for the harder stuff.

 

And sometimes he runs into problems. Nothing more than hiccups, because that’s what they’ve always been.

 

But this time it’s a new guy insisting Eddie try the coke before he buys the brick—and he’s not even trying to buy so much in the first place. He wants a fraction of that and argues for it.

 

But some ritzy-looking boss steps in then and Eddie wonders what exactly he’s walked himself into.

 

The man he’d been dealing with turns to his boss, speaking low and in…Italian, no, Russian?

 

He takes a pocket knife out and wedges the nose of the blade into pure white. Then he’s presenting Eddie a small preview of the Himalayas.

 

“No thank you, good sirs. I find indulging on the job isn’t the best thing to do. I gotta drive back and all—”

 

The knife shoves dangerously close to his face. He flinches.

 

“Snort, or no deal. For you, we are only suppliers now.”

 

The boss lifts one side of his suit jacket to reveal a gun.

 

What’s the big fucking deal? He’s a scraggly twenty-year-old, not some undercover cop.

 

But he knows better than to voice it, any of it.

 

It’s not like he’s never tried snow before. He just isn’t a fan. It gives him a headache too close to a brain freeze to really enjoy the high.

 

Eddie leans in and snorts. It hits like a shot to the back of the head. Everything dials up to eleven.

 

He rubs a palm over his chest in soothing, steady circles.

 

He just has to make the purchase and get back to the van. He’ll lay down in the back and gnash his teeth to himself until the high wears off.

 

He nods again and again. Hands over cash.

 

“You will like,” the boss says, laughing. “You will love new formula.”

 

Eddie doesn’t absorb whatever else they say, tunes out completely when they start conversing in Russian again. He carries the brick back outside and down the street to his van and does just what he planned to.

 

He lies down and starts reciting Metallica lyrics out loud to keep his mouth busy.

 

Little over twenty minutes pass before he feels his heart rate slow back down. He gets behind the wheel and heads back to Hawkins, determined never to fuck with Russian drug dealers ever again.

 

His stomach hurts.

 

 

“You’re bleeding,” Wayne comments over breakfast. He shakes out his napkin and reaches across the table to press it to Eddie’s nostrils.

 

Eddie hadn’t even felt it. He tests it, sees red soaking through when he holds it away from his face. He sniffs and gags a little on the taste of blood and presses the napkin back harder.

 

“You staying out of trouble, kid?” Wayne asks, his tone all the explanation for Eddie to know he knows something went down.

 

“Last night was sketchy, but it’s never happening again. Everything’s good, Uncle Wayne.”

 

Wayne grunts and resumes eating.

 

 

He has two more nosebleeds throughout the day. One when he’s strumming on guitar practicing a new song. Another just before he heads out to make his scheduled house calls.

 

The few times he’s tried it, coke’s never done this to him before. It must have been either a bigger punch in a smaller dose, or not as high quality as he’s used to selling.

 

The boss’s words filter back to him slowly, memories coated in the anxious haze of a coke-induced high. New formula.

 

What the fuck.

 

He doesn’t want to cause a nosebleed epidemic. He can see the headlines now: former Hawkins High Freak poisons local youth!

 

He hopes it’s just the former. He dropped a decent chunk of cash for the brick and dropping it from his inventory will take at least a month to recover his losses.

 

He meets the usual suspects. Hagan, Carver, Chrissy (who spends most of the deal just wanting to hang out with him), Byers, Hargrove. His last stop is Harrington, and admittedly he’s his favorite customer. He’s just such a bitch when they’re negotiating, Eddie can’t get enough.

 

But tonight when he parks in front of the Harrington mansion, he feels lightheaded, a little nauseous. Maybe he’ll bargain with Steve, offer a slight discount if he can leave with a snack.

 

He’s home alone as usual when Eddie knocks on the front door. Steve answers with a smirk and wordlessly invites him in.

 

“So what’s on the docket for tonight? Looking a little quiet for a party.”

 

He offers a sheepish look over his shoulder, one Eddie’s never seen. He instantly likes it. “No party. I’ve actually, um, been having trouble sleeping again. Got anything for that?”

 

“Well, I’m fresh out of opium,” he jokes. “But the usual prescription of a few hits off a bong might work.”

 

Steve looks tired when he smiles.

 

“Yeah, I figured.”

 

“Rich boy like you must have one lying around here somewhere.”

 

Steve rolls his eyes. He starts heading upstairs, a place Eddie has never ventured.

 

“What are you waiting for, man?” Steve asks, and Eddie finally kicks into gear.

 

 

Steve’s got not just one, but two bongs. Eddie is impressed and tells him so.

 

The next obvious course is for Eddie to break out the usual options, all trusted strains he uses himself and has sold for years with nothing but shining reviews.

 

Steve picks his favorite, “Because it sounds the silliest,” and at some point between flicking his lighter and hearing the third or fourth telltale bubbling of bongwater, Eddie ends up baked on Steve Harrington’s bed.

 

Steve’s half on the floor, half on the bed. His torso slipped off and just his calves lay fully on the mattress beside Eddie. He’s wearing his insufferable khakis with no socks. Eddie looks at his ankles, the delicate fluctuation of bones and tendons in his feet as they work through waves of nonsensical questions and fits of giggles.

 

But it’s getting late. Later than Eddie expected to be out. He’s starving.

 

“I’m starving.”

 

“Me too. Let’s go make something.”

 

Then Steve flips over in a poor attempt at a somersault and starts padding down to the first floor.

 

Eddie pinches the bridge of his nose. It’s burning. He smells copper but doesn’t actually think anything will be an issue. He just needs to eat.

 

Steve’s pulled out an array of ingredients that make no sense. Eddie helps. They end up with sloppy sandwiches with more than one deli meat and there’s also ketchup involved, but when he takes the first bite it tastes delicious.

 

He chews huge mouthfuls until Steve says, “Oh no, you’re having a nosebleed, man.”

 

Eddie puts his head back. He tastes blood and ketchup and wants to retch a little, but keeps it together because he’s in the company of perhaps his favorite person in Hawkins, in Indiana, on Earth.

 

He tries not to think about him too much. Steve is part of the crowd that pretends Eddie Munson doesn’t exist outside of the frequently brokered drug deal. He’s called him a freak plenty over the years too, before he decided to grow up and grow a conscience.

 

And that’s fine, really it is. His silly teen crush on Steve over the years has simply grown legs and arms and a head and is blabbing at him every time he sees Steve now, who he’s become.

 

Warmth beads at the corner of his left eye.

 

“Holy shit.”

 

By the time Steve’s offering him a wad of paper towels for his nose, he’s staring at something else. Eddie’s eyes.

 

Steve doesn’t bother asking permission, he just takes a towel and daubs at his eyes. It’s dry and rough and stings. Eddie rubs them after he’s pulled away again.

 

The napkin and his finger are both slicked in red.

 

He’s bleeding from his eye.

 

He freezes. Steve flies. He takes Eddie’s shoulders and steers him into the bathroom.

 

He smacks the light on and Eddie sees himself in the mirror. He’s pale, practically gaunt with dark circles under his eyes. Dry blood is streaked across his cheek, his chin.

 

He leans forward, pulling at his eyelids.

 

“I think it’s the tear duct,” he says more for his own benefit than Steve’s.

 

“Why the hell are you bleeding out of your eyeball? Nosebleeds don’t make you do that.”

 

“We’re both too high for this.”

 

“Was it Carver? Is he giving you trouble still? Did you two get in a fight?”

 

Steve goes full mother hen mode. Takes his chin and turns him this way and that, honey eyes roaming all over for injuries. He wets a hand towel and brings it to his cheeks, his eyelids. Eddie stares at the ceiling.

 

Then his stomach pinches, the pain spine-deep. He shoves Steve out of necessity so he can make it to the toilet.

 

He vomits mouthfuls of bright, thick, yellow bile.

 

There’s an ink drop of blood mixed in at the end.

 

He stares. Kind of, shamefully, feels like he needs to sit on the toilet or he might have an accident. He needs to be alone.

 

Then the nosebleed starts back up in earnest and blood pours.

 

He’s too high for this.

 

And Steve, well. Steve kind of freaks out.

 

 

“You’re saying you did a drug deal with the Russian mob?”

 

“How was I supposed to know it was the mob? They didn’t exactly look mobbish. It was just two guys!”

 

“With a brick of cocaine and a gun. What did you think it was, Miami Vice?”

 

Eddie sours a little. “No. I just thought it was some new guys working for my usual line. I’ve always bought powder from them. It’s always been safe.”

 

“Well obviously they got rid of your,” Steve wags his fingers, “line.”

 

They argue more. Eddie’s nose bleeds on and off the whole time.

 

Eventually, he has to call it a night, even if the only thing he wants to do is crawl under Steve Harrington’s hideous plaid covers and fall asleep with Steve fretting over him.

 

He makes it to the front stoop, Steve still giving him a look of intense worry.

 

The bleeding starts again. Eddie sighs, reaching out for the paper towels Steve’s been unrolling for him all night.

 

But this time when he brings it up to check the damage, he stills.

 

His blood is black.

 

 

Eddie sits on Steve’s couch. It’s too long. The cushions are hard.

 

He listens as Steve spends almost an hour talking back and forth with the kids and a few others over a walkie-talkie.

 

Apparently, Steve’s already been acquainted with Russians. And apparently, the kids Eddie’s been leading on grand adventures for years are real-life superheroes. There’s mention of a kid with actual powers. 

 

It all makes Eddie a little dizzy.

 

He wordlessly returns to the bathroom and admittedly, and hopefully not too loudly, shits his brains out. He still feels dizzy. He might throw up again.

 

He’s still sitting on the toilet when black drops fall wet on his thigh. He lets his nose drip. He swirls the pad of his index through the black blood to see if it’s any different than the red stuff.

 

It’s thicker. Grainy when he rubs it between his fingers.

 

He didn’t even snort a full line.

 

What the hell is happening to him?

 

 

“You sure you don’t need anything else? I know learning about all this Upside Down stuff can be pretty overwhelming—”

 

“No, nope. I am A-okay I think. I just, uh. Had a moment is all. I think.”

 

Steve stares at him. “Dude, your blood was black.”

 

Eddie’s not breathing through his nose, is in fact holding his breath. He’s also not blinking just in case his tear ducts decide to show off.

 

He shoves his hands in his pockets and ignores Steve telling him to stay, to let the party help, to get the fucking chief of police involved. And, no thanks.

 

He doesn’t need any of that. He’s a freak, after all. Now his blood matches the name.

 

He doesn’t need anybody’s help.

 

He doesn’t need Steve to see him like this.

 

 

The days go by. He gets sicker.

 

He gets so much sicker.

 

He makes a mess of himself several times in the bathroom. Black is oozing from everywhere, and Eddie’s become an expert at cleaning up after himself. The tiles have never been more pristine.

 

He avoids Wayne as much as possible. He barely eats because his stomach is in a constant state of cramping, and when he does eat he immediately gets sick. He tries his damnedest not to move.

 

But his body won’t stop bleeding. His nose, his eyes, now his ears and his gums when he brushes his teeth, and his ass too (which, embarrassing). All of it black. All of it grainy. All of it smelling and tasting like mild copper, which is the only real indicator that it’s his blood and not something else.

 

After he hightailed it out of Steve’s place, the red slowly drained away to black, and now he’s wondering if his veins are pumped full of the color.

 

Eddie starts thinking Steve may have been onto something about those Russians.

 

 

Steve’s sitting next to his bed.

 

He’s gently shaking his shoulder. Eddie flinches when he realizes who it is doing the shaking.

 

Steve’s hand leaves, but hovers over him. Blinks down at him like he doesn’t know what to do, where to touch.

 

A week ago, Eddie would have told him anywhere. Everywhere.

 

A week ago he wasn’t in pain. It didn’t hurt to breathe.

 

He reaches for the towel he sleeps with now, automatically going for his eyes then his nose and mouth to catch anything that leaked during sleep. It’s routine at this point.

 

“Eddie,” he murmurs. And Eddie hears all he has to in his tone.

 

“I know I look like shit. Don’t have to remind me, big guy.”

 

“No. No, you…your uncle wasn’t home when I dropped by. I tried calling a few times over the last couple of days, but you didn’t answer. Your uncle said you had the flu. But Eddie,” he says, still sounding and looking at such a loss, “when I came in here, I thought you were dead.”

 

He doesn’t even have the energy to be annoyed with Wayne. Of course, Wayne would talk to Steve. Wayne thinks he needs more friends. Wayne is a nosy busybody.

 

He sighs, but all that comes out is a rattle.

 

“Thanks.” He tries to sit up but all he manages is a weak flop onto his back. “How’d you…”

 

“I let myself in,” Steve says. It’s kind of hot, the idea of Steve Harrington breaking into his trailer to see him. Very stalker-esque. “I assumed you’d still be, you know. Bleeding.”

 

Eddie lays there unblinking, feels the gritty crawl of black liquid trailing down his cheeks.

 

He starts to say something he thinks is very witty indeed when the coughing overtakes him. His chest rattles like a toy. Steve leans in, hovering hands wanting to help, but he stops dead when black spit flecks his face.

 

Then he gets this look of absolute determination on his handsome face. Eddie wonders how long took him to grow up from the Steve who called Eddie a freak to the Steve at his bedside now, getting his arms around the freak’s back to haul him into something too much like an embrace of the dying.

 

But Eddie isn’t dead. He just feels like he is. Almost.

 

“I’m bringing you to my place. The kids have a plan. We’re not letting this happen to anyone else.”

 

And Eddie is weak, both in body and mind. And not totally because it’s Steve he’s dealing with.

 

 

The kids fret worse than Steve, rushing him in a panic the second Steve gets them through the front door. It was a struggle from the trailer to the BMW, but it’s ten times harder making it from the foyer to the living room.

 

There’s a contraption of some kind next to the uncomfortable couch. There’s a lot of wires, a screen, some tubes. He thinks he sees a Nintendo controller shoved in there somewhere too.

 

He’s helped onto the couch, and he takes the opportunity to sink back as much as he can into the cushions. He’s winded. He presses the towel he brought with him to his ears, his eyes. Offers the kids a closed-lip smile so he doesn’t freak them out too much with his black-tinted gums.

 

Wheeler and Byers are there. Byers is the one who ends up helping him to the bathroom when he needs it, seeming to know before Eddie even does. Byers is the one who tells him a joint sounds like a bad idea with his lungs rattling like they are.

 

Eddie drifts in and out of pained sleep. He hears the kids around him. He hears Lucas and Max arguing about her brother. He has context now for the scars he’d glimpsed on deals. Hargrove was never the kindest to him, but he never gave him trouble either, so that’s something.

 

Now that he knows what really went down at Starcourt, it feels different being around everyone. These people have been through things he’s only read about in his DM guides. He’s played pretend while Steve Harrington literally fought monsters.

 

“This is a stupid idea, Steve. Take him to Doctor Owens, he’ll help.”

 

“I can’t trust him. This is Eddie. I can’t just leave him at the mercy of the guy who put Will through all that.”

 

“You’ll end up killing him—”

 

“This saves his life.”

 

Steve and Wheeler are arguing in another room. Eddie doesn’t even have the energy to pinpoint where. Could be the kitchen, could be the foyer, could be heaven or hell and he wouldn’t care. He just hurts. And he’s staining Steve’s ugly couch even uglier.

 

Byers and the kids work to layer the couch in towels when it’s clear the bleeding won’t stop anytime soon. There’s just so much of it. He never seems to run out.

 

But he might. He might just bleed right out one day soon and he wouldn’t even realize.

 

He drifts.

 

 

It’s dark save for one lamp in the living room. Eddie only turns his eyes, not his head, and sees Dustin asleep on the opposite end of the couch, all curled in on himself.

 

Something clicks. He does turn then and sees Steve at the weird machine, looking down at him guiltily.

 

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you.”

 

Eddie barely manages to lift his chin. Tries to ask what he’s doing, and to what.

 

“Just needed to make sure this was all good to go.”

 

It doesn’t explain anything. He swallows down the black blood that seeps from his gums.

 

Steve moves a set of wires out of the way and comes to his side, crouching. They’re so close that Eddie can smell the minty toothpaste he brushed his teeth with.

 

“Late?”

 

“Try to sleep a few more hours. Then we’re gonna get started. The kids made this thing, say it will help. I believe them. I promise it’s not as scary as it looks.”

 

Eddie huffs.

 

Steve’s got his usual fringe tucked behind his ear. He looks good. Serious. His brown eyes drift down Eddie’s face as Eddie counts the moles painted across his skin.

 

Steve ducks his head after long moments just looking at one another. Eddie sees a tiny smile before it drops away.

 

“It won’t be long,” Eddie says. It takes every ounce of strength he has to get the words out.

 

Steve meets his eyes, frown twisting his mouth. “No.”

 

“It’s getting worse. I’m—”

 

“Stop it.”

 

“—bleeding more. Too much.” He drags his arm across the cushion until Steve is there, taking the hint. Maybe reading him too well. He takes Eddie’s hand in his own and holds on tight. “Should’ve taken my shot with you,” he whispers, “when I still could.”

 

Steve’s fingers slide between his and squeeze. If he squeezes too hard, Eddie’s fingernails might slip right off, might bleed black on Steve’s smooth, faultless skin.

 

Don’t.” Then, equally quiet, “There’s time. I’ll make time.”

 

The thought, at least, is nice.

 

Eddie can’t help it when his lids droop, that he’s drifting again.

 

He feels lips brush his cheek.

 

He hopes he doesn’t wake up. This is the most he could have ever hoped to have.

 

 

He wakes up when the cannula pierces his vein, slipping in like butter.

 

Black travels quickly through the tubing and Eddie follows its bends and curves, the detour through the makeshift machine, until it all comes to a stop at the worst place in the entire world.

 

He thought the kids were smarter than this.

 

Steve pumps his fist, eyes on his own handmade IV.

 

Black slides inside him, and just like that Eddie Munson has become a part of Steve Harrington.

 

He’s with Wheeler on this one. Call whoever the fuck that doctor was they were arguing about.

 

His death will seep through his own blood and into Steve’s and there won’t be anything he can do to stop it.

 

“He’s awake!”

 

It’s Byers who pins him back when he thrashes, going to yank the IV out of his arm. He doesn’t realize the pain is less until Steve’s eyes lock on his.

 

“What have you done? What the hell do you think you’re doing, Steve?”

 

And without skipping a beat, Steve answers.

 

“Triage.”