Steve is to some extent a stand-alone character in The Best Year Of Our Lives. He is the comedian of the gang, alternately funny and child-like. He is protective towards his sister Beverley, takes abuse from Jim which is uttered at times in jest and at others in frustration, yet has a serious and intelligent side as is evident from his conversation when he is alone with Paul.
Although the same age as Debbie, he shuns the maturity which she craves so impatiently, finding his element in involuntary noises and ditties about flatulence. When the gang rides out to confront its adversaries he is not in his comfort zone, but he is loyal where others waver and is prepared to play his part.
It wouldn't have seemed right to have partnered Steve off at any point during this story. That would doubtless come later to him, once he had calmed down and drifted by reluctant default into adulthood. For the best year he would be Steve, the entertainer, aficionado of the invisible trombone, faithful to the very last chapter.