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1.

Theo is seven when he finds out he has a rare heart condition. He’s not sure what it means, not really. All he knows is that his doctor has a really serious look on his face as he talks to his Mom. And his mom starts crying and talking about how it’s not fair. She doesn’t cry long before she’s wiping her eyes and asking the doctor what can be done.

The doctor recommends a lot of rest and that Theo not put too much strain on his heart. This means he spends a lot of time home alone while all the kids his age are out playing.

He also has to start eating a lot of gross foods. He barely even gets rewarded with ice cream when he finishes it anymore.

His Mom is on the phone a lot after that, talking to different doctors and family members. Theo can only watch and wonder what’s going on and why she won’t explain it to him.

When he asks his sister Tara she just looks at him sadly and tells him he’s going to die before running off to play with her dolls. Theo just stands there staring after her, sure she has to be lying. Thank

“Mom,” Theo asks, lip trembling as he tries not to cry. He knows what dying means. His grandpa had died last year. They put him in the ground and he never came back. Theo doesn’t want to go in the ground. He needs his Mom to tell him it’s okay. “Mom?”

There’s a sigh before his mother looks down at him, “Not now sweetheart. Mommy’s on an important call.”

“But…”

“No buts. Go play with your cars,” she tells him.

Theo doesn’t say anything for a moment, just stares at his Mom as she starts speaking into the phone again. Even at seven he knows it’s rude to interrupt someone when they’re on the phone, but he needs to know. “Am I going to die?”

Mary tenses, eyes flicking down to Theo’s. He expects her to tell him no, that it’ll be alright. She doesn’t. She gives him the same sad look Tara had before patting his head and telling him to go play again. Then she’s waking off.

Theo runs to his room, throws himself on his bed and starts to sob. His mom hadn’t denied he was dying. She hadn’t done anything. Right now all Theo feels is scared and alone. He needs his Mom. He needs a hug. He doesn’t know how to ask for either.

So he cries himself to sleep that night, determined that he’s not going to die. His heart is just a piece of him. It’s not who he is. He’s not going to let it win.

 

 

2.

A year later everything changes. Two men and one woman that refer to themselves as the Dread Doctors approach him, promising that they can save him. They tell him they can get him a heart and he believes them. He lets their ideas and promises get into his head. His mind screaming at him, you’ll live. You won’t be put in the ground. You’ll survive.

Even at 8 years old all he was trying to do was survive. He didn’t know or understand what it would cost him when they offered to help. Not until he finds himself in the preserve, standing on the bridge while Tara wades in the cold water calling his name, begging him to help her.

He wants to. She’s his sister, he doesn’t want her to die. But the cold metallic voices keep washing over him, telling him it’s the only way.

“She’s just scared,” The man that calls himself the Surgeon says, “she wants you to have her heart. You must do what needs to be done if you want to survive. If you don’t want to be a failure.”

Theo’s not sure he believes them, but he listens anyway. Soon Tara is collapsing, her body floating in the cold water. They send Theo down to retrieve her. He wants to cry as he picks up her cold body from the water and carries it to the shore, but he doesn’t. He can’t let them see any weakness in him. There’s still a heartbeat. He can feel it thrumming weekly beneath his fingers as he follows the dread doctors back to their lab.

It’s what they wanted, he thinks, they need her alive long enough to get her heart.

Theo hates it but he keeps his eyes on Tara the entire time, watching as they cut her chest open and remove her heart. They keep him conscious while they cut him open and replace his heart with Tara’s. He looks at his hear where it’s lying on the cool metal table, notices the way the muscles are thicker than they should be.

“It wouldn’t have lasted much longer,” he hears the woman who calls herself the Geneticist say. “Now you have a new heart. And soon, new abilities. It’s time for your awakening Theo Raeken.”

Theo doesn’t get a chance to ask what that means before he’s being injected with something, his body burning like it’s on fire. He loses time after that. When he comes to he’s on the floor laying on top of some worn blankets.

He’s alone now. The lab is empty, the doctors apparently having decided it was fine to leave him alone. He’s cold, colder than he ever remembers being. And he feels different. He can feel the power thrumming beneath his veins and it makes his skin itch. There’s something crawling beneath the surface, wanting to get out and he’s not sure what it is.  

Standing on shaky legs, Theo starts moving around the room. It’s not much, mostly dirt and grime and a bunch of chemicals and vials. He tries not to look at the tank in the center of the room. Whatever is in there he’s not sure he wants to know.

Theo’s eyes are drawn to the corner of the room where a metal table similar to the one he was on earlier sits. His heart speeds up when he notices an arm hanging off the side, the rest of the body covered by a sheet. He doesn’t have to look to know who’s under there. There’s only one person it could be. His feet still pull him forward against his will.

He slowly inches forward, his little hands reaching out shakily to grab the sheet. He takes a deep breath before pulling it back. Even knowing who would be underneath he still finds himself flinching when the sheet slips off to reveal Tara.

Theo’s only seen one dead person before. He didn’t like it then and he doesn’t like it now. He thinks this might be worse.

This is my fault, he thinks, his hand coming up to clutch his chest where Tara’s heart is beating steadily beneath his ribs. This is all my fault. I did this.

Theo can’t help the sob that escapes him as he throws his arms around Tara’s shoulders and hugs her to his chest. He sobs and cries and screams, regret feeling him to his core. But it’s too late. There’s nothing he can do now. Right now all he wants is someone to hold him and tell him it’s okay to be okay. The only person around that could give him what he needs lays limp and lifeless in his arms.  

 

 

3. 

Theo goes through the motions living with the Dread Doctors. It’s not easy or remotely normal. He spends most of his time prowling the sewers, only leaving to grab food or any other supplies they might need.

He becomes what they need. Someone to talk to people and do their bidding in ways they can’t. When he’s young it’s easy. He can use his boyish smile and give some sob story in order to get people to feel bad and give him what he needs.

The older he gets the more he has to learn to rely on other methods for getting what he needs. He starts working out and learns to use his looks and ability to charm people to his advantage. He tries not to think about what he’s doing.

After Tara, Theo decides the best way to handle things is to just not feel at all. If he doesn’t feel, doesn’t care, then it’s easier to do what’s asked of him. Caring would only get in the way, it would make him weak. He can’t have the Dread Doctors seeing him as weak, not if he wants to survive.

So he shuts off his emotions, he doesn't think about the kids he lures into the Dread Doctors lab. He can’t. Not when time and time again they all wind up the same way: dead. They all die sooner or later. All of them. Except for him. Theo survives, like he always. Like he has to. It’s the only thing he can do.

It’s easy to push down his emotions when he’s awake. He has control of it then. It’s not as easy when he’s sleeping. When he’s sleeping he’s faced with all the things he’s done. He sees the faces of the people whose deaths he’s responsible for. He sees her. He sees Tara.

He rarely sleeps in the lab anymore. He can’t, not when he knows there’s a risk of the nightmares happening. And they’re much more likely to happen when he’s there in the same room his sister’s heart was ripped from her chest and put into his own.

At first he sleeps in his old house. It’s empty now, his parents having moved away from Beacon Hills after Tara died and he disappeared. Not that they knew that. They just knew their children were both gone. They probably weren’t as blindsided by his loss than they were Tara’s. She was supposed to be the one that they got to keep. Instead she’s gone, buried in some makeshift grave in the woods.

He doesn’t visit her grave, at least not on purpose. Sometimes his feet take him there without him wanting them to, or to the bridge. It’s those moments that his careful control sometimes slips. He finds himself at her grave tonight, staring down at the now flat earth, not even distinguishable to any other piece of ground anymore. Theo only knows because of the rocks he’s placed in the crook of the tree and the initials he carved into the bark. He might try to forget, but the least he can do is make sure Tara is left somewhere someone could find her if they needed to.

He looks at the ground, heart thumping harder in his chest, a reminder of what he took from her. It’s been 7 years since he stood on the bridge and watched her body grow blue and cold and the light leave her eyes. Since he carried her almost lifeless body to the lab and let the Surgeon carve her heart out and give it to him.

He closes his eyes attempting to take a steadying breath. It’s usually easy to not deal with this, but the anniversaries can be hard. Something feels different about this one. Tara would have been sixteen. She would have been driving, going on dates, getting ready to finish high school. Instead she’s in the ground. And Theo is here, with her stolen heart. Sometimes he feels as if he’s wasting it.

“You deserved better,” Theo says, his words sounding empty and far too loud in the quiet of the night. “I’m sorry.”

He places another rock in the tree next to the others, a symbol of the time that’s passed. Soon there won’t be room. Not that it matters, they’re just rocks. Yet another reminder of all the ways he let her down.

Theo shakes his head, hating the swell of emotion that’s building. He shouldn't be feeling this. It won’t do any good. He needs to be stronger. He needs to be ready for what’s coming. The Dread Doctors plan is close to being ready, and he needs to be prepared. He has his own part to play. He can’t afford to screw it up by letting something as trivial as feelings get in the way.

This is the last time, he tells himself, after this we’re done.

With that thought he falls to his knees next to the grave he gave his sister. He imagines her body rotting away beneath the earth. He’d always been so afraid of the same thing happening to him. Yet he doomed her to that fate. Theo takes a shuddering breath, balling up his hands and holding them against his eyes as if that will stop the tears from escaping. It doesn’t.

He allows himself this moment, to cry and scream for all the things he’s done, that he will do. For the pain he’s caused and that he knows he’ll cause. He tells himself it’s necessary. That he needs to do it. If he doesn’t he’ll just be another failure and he can’t have that. Theo’s a survivor, he’s not a failure.

Still, sitting next to his sister’s grave he feels nothing more than a broken kid. A kid who lost so much in order to survive. He finds himself childishly wanting a hug. Once again, all he’s left with is his sister’s corpse. He shudders at the thought of her putting her arms around him and pulling him down.

 

 

4.

Theo stares at the ceiling of his truck, his eyes are tired but he refuses to sleep. So much has changed in the past few months. His life, his plans, him. He stopped caring about power and doing the Dread Doctors bidding and just… well he guesses he just cares. Not that he would admit that to anyone. Especially not to a certain blue eye beta who is mostly responsible for his change of heart.

Ever since Liam pulled Theo from Hell he felt different. Dealing with his mistakes over and over and over again made him see things differently. He doesn’t care about power anymore, not really. He realizes now that whatever ideas he had were unrealistic. Just the ideas of a child who was too afraid to be a disappointment, a failure.

Now, he still cares about surviving but more than that he cares about the survival of someone else. In fact, despite his protests otherwise he’d even say he’s often more worried about Liam’s wellbeing over his own. It was a little unnerving how easily he was willing to sacrifice himself for Liam when fighting off the ghost riders in the hospital but he’d barely given it a second thought. Not after looking at Liam and seeing how stupidly brave he is.

It happens more after that but he tries not to think about it. He has other things to worry about. Sure, he’ll help the pack if they need it but he also needs to find a way to live. Living in his truck isn’t really a permanent option, not when he’s constantly being chased off by deputies who think it’s fun to pick on the homeless kid.

On top of that he has to find a way to get food. He sneaks food out of Liam’s sometimes when the beta isn’t paying attention, but it’s just small things, not near enough for him to get by on. Except he has to. He doesn’t have another option. It’s not as if he can hold down a job right now with the hunters to deal with.

Theo sighs, running a hand down his face. He’s exhausted, but he’s afraid to fall asleep. Part of him knows the minute he goes to sleep there will be someone at his window telling him to get moving. Then there’s the nightmares. They’ve been more frequent since he came back from hell.

He can’t fight off sleep forever though, no matter how hard he tries. Eventually sleep claims him, dragging him down into the harrowing darkness he’s been trying to avoid.

In his dreams his sees Tara. It’s different than the dreams he had of her before he got sent to Hell. This time it’s more real, because he’d actually lived it. He’d gone through waking up in the morgue and running from her as she comes after him to take back what’s hers.

He used to imagine her crawling up after him, taking back what belongs to her. Her heart, her life that he stole but did nothing with. He knows he deserves it. Except now he doesn’t have to imagine it. He’s lived it. He’s had her hand piercing into his chest and ripping his heart out, her heart out. He doesn’t need to imagine anymore. Not now that he can picture it, feel it, so clearly.

“It’s your heart Tara,” he mumbles, thrashing in the backseat of the truck, “It’s yours. Take it. It’s okay. You… you don’t have to stop.”

Theo wakes with a jolt. A pounding on the window ripping him out of the nightmare he’s been living in. Theo’s still trying to crawl out, come back to reality, but he waves his hand, not even bothering to look to see who’s at his window.

“What do you think you’re doing kid?” Theo startles when he recognizes the voice of Sheriff Stilinski.

Great. It was bad enough when the deputy’s chased him off, now he has the Sheriff doing it. Sighing Theo moves over to roll down his window. “I was just trying to get some sleep Sheriff. But I know the drill by now, I’ll get going.”

John frowns, “What do you mean you know the drill?”

“I just mean enough of your deputies have chased me off when I’m trying to sleep to know to move,” Theo tells him.

“Excuse me? You’re telling me my deputies have found you sleeping in your truck and their response was to chase you off?” Theo nods. “How many times has this happened?”

Theo shrugs, “I don’t know anymore. I sort of lost count after 10.”

“Ten,” John says, voice flat. He shakes his head, pinching the bridge of his nose. “I’m going to be having a talk with my deputy’s, believe me. Seeing a kid sleeping in his car and their response is to chase him off. Ridiculous.”

Theo just watches him as he mutters to himself, torn between being amused and a little confused. Theo had thought the deputies were doing what they were told to do, apparently not.

“Sir?” Theo asks when the Sheriff continues muttering to himself.

At the sound of his voice, John’s attention snaps back to Theo. “Alright son, you’re coming with me for the night.”

Theo’s shoulders slump, feeling his heart drop at the idea of spending the night in a cell. “You’re arresting me?”

“Arresting you?” John asks, looking at Theo as if he’s grown two heads. “Why would I arrest you? No, I’m bringing you home with me. I’m not about to have you sleeping in your truck. You can have Stiles’ room for now. We can figure out a more permanent solution later. Though I have a feeling once she finds out your sleeping in your truck Jenna isn’t going to be all that pleased.”

Theo’s lips twitch at the mention of Jenna. He knows the Sheriff is probably right. That’s also the reason he hadn’t said anything. Liam’s Mom had been kind to him when he met her, not letting him leave the house until he’d had plenty to eat.

That had been the first time he’d had someone look at him without any hint of fear or mistrust. It threw him off. He didn’t, and still doesn’t think he deserves it. Not after all the things he’s done.

“Why?” Theo finds himself asking later, when they’re back at the Stilinski house and John has shown Theo to Stiles’ room. “Why help me? After what I did to you and everyone else you should hate me.”

John gives him a considering look, long enough for Theo to start to squirm under his gaze. “For a while I did hate you, or at least I wanted to. But you’re just a kid. You made wrong choices and got wrapped up into things you probably weren’t ready for at such a young age. You seem different than before. I can tell, so can everyone else. I’m not above giving people second chances if I think they deserve them. I think you’ve more than proven you do.”

Theo can only nod, whispering out a quiet “thank you.”

John squeezes his shoulder, “Get some sleep kid. You look like you need.”

Theo watches him go. He looks around the room, feeling as if he doesn’t belong here. He knows Stiles would think the same if he knew. He’ll probably be pissed at his Dad for even letting Theo into their house let along his bedroom. Something tells him John won’t care.

Theo sits heavily on the bed, his stolen heart pounding in his chest. Sitting her on Stiles’ bed makes all his regrets that much more prominent. Despite the words Theo longs for another kid of reassurance that everything’s okay. He longs for something he hasn’t in a long time, a hug. The thought makes him laugh bitterly. People like him don’t get hugs, they’re lucky if they get forgiveness.

 

 

5. 

Theo moves in with Liam, Jenna, and David a few days after the Sheriff finds him sleeping in his truck. He knows it would have been sooner if it were up to Jenna but David had been away at a medical conference and Liam said his Mom wanted to wait to talk to him first. Theo can more than understand that.

As soon as David returns, Liam shows up at the Stilinski house sporting a wide smile. “Well, looks like we’re going to be roommates.”

Theo’s a little thrown by the smile accompanying those words but he brushes it off, plastering a smirk on his face as he leans against the wall and watches Liam. “You sure you can handle it?”

“Are you?

Theo shrugs, “If you can handle it, I can.”

Liam mouth moves into a smirk of his own, “If you can handle it, I can.”

Theo isn’t all too sure what that means, but doesn't question it. Just allows his smirk to grow as he steps closer to Liam. “Oh I think I’m more than able to handle you Little Wolf.”

Liam opens his mouth, a reply clearly on the tip his tongue before he snaps it shut, his head turning towards the door. Theo understands why, he can hear Jenna walking up the stairs along with his older sister Lyana.

Theo had been surprised when he met her, not knowing that Liam even had a sister. Apparently she’s been away at college and had stayed away from Beacon Hills when Liam urged her not to come back. Theo’s surprised that’s all it took. Lyana seems just as feisty as her mother, and doesn’t seem like one to back down easily.

“Hey little bro,” Lyana says, peeking her head into the room. “You two about ready? I was promised lunch and I’m starving.”

Liam rolls his eyes, “Yeah Lila, we were about to head down.”

“Lila?” Theo asks, confused by the name.

Lyana’s eyes turn to him, a wide grin spreading across her face when she sees him. “Lila’s my middle name, but Liam calls me it. Only Liam. Though you never know, you play your cards right and I’ll let you call me whatever you want.”

Lila,” Liam whines.

She chuckles, ruffling her brother’s hair. “Relax little bro. He’s cute but I know better. Well for now, but if you don’t snatch him up I’ll find him someone that will.”

Liam groans, pushing Lyana towards the door while giving his Mom and pleading look. “Mom, make her stop,”

Jenna sighs, looking between her children with barely concealed amusement, “Lyana, be nice to your brother, and leave poor Theo alone. We don’t want to scare him off before we even get him home.”

“Well if Liam hasn’t scared him off I don’t know what will,” Lyana says, shooting a wink in Theo’s direction bore looking back to her mother. “But I’ll behave. If only because I want food. The faster we get out of here, the faster I get fed.”

Theo watches in amusement at Lyana and Liam continue to bicker. It reminds him of how he used to argue with Tara when he was little. The thought makes his chest ache and his hand comes up to rest of his heart before he can stop it.

“You okay dear?” Jenna asks, drawing his attention.

Theo nods, doing his best to put on his most believable smile. “I’m fine. And ready whenever you all want to go.”

Truthfully he’d been ready since before they all showed up. All he has with him is his small duffle bag, which he’d only removed his toiletries from, knowing he’d be leaving again soon. He’d fetched those this morning after his shower and had his bag packed and ready to go hours before Jenna, Liam, and Lyana had shown up.

He doesn’t tell her that though. Nor does he acknowledge the tightness in his chest. Or the way Jenna keeps looking at him and the way it makes him want to step into her arms and absorb some of her warmth and comfort. He doesn't. He’s not allowed, and it’s not something he deserves.

 

+1

He should have known Jenna wouldn’t let it drop so easily. Once she notices something she doesn’t let it go, especially not with people she cares about. It’s the reason she found out about Liam being a werewolf when she did. She’d corned Liam when he and Theo came to the house to grab some things for him to take with him.

She’d been fuming, one of Liam’s torn and bloody shirts grasped tightly in her hands. Theo had been surprised when Liam had looked to him on advice on how to handle the situation. Theo didn’t have the best track record with honesty but he knew if Liam lied then there’d be no coming back from that. Not with his Mom. So had just nodded, following Liam into the living room and listening as he explained things to Jenna. It hadn’t been everything, but it was enough.

Now Jenna knows everything, and so does David. The only person not in the know is Lyana, but Theo has a feeling she’s going to find out soon enough. Theo moves into the room next to Liam’s, the two only separated by a bathroom between them. Theo loves having living so close as much as he hates it.

He’s a bit relieved when Liam gets pulled away to talk with Lyana living him some time alone as he tries to adjust. This is his live how. He has his own room. He lives with Liam, the boy he’s been fighting his feelings for for months. He’s really going to need lucky to be on his side if he wants to keep them hidden. And he needs to. Liam deserves someone who isn’t screwed up like he is.  

Theo sighs, falling back on the bed as he lets Lyana and Liam’s voices reach him. It once again brings Tara to his mind. She was only a few year older than he is, around the same age difference as Lyana and Liam. He hates himself when he finds himself wondering whether Tara would have gotten along with the Geyer’s, or more importantly, what she would have thought of Liam.

He has no right to wonder then. Not with her heart beating in his chest. Theo covers his eyes, unable to stop the whine from escaping. He presses down further, turning to hide his face from view when the door connecting his room to the bathroom opens.

“Theo?” Liam’s voice hesitantly asks from the doorway. “Are you alright?”

Theo wants to say yes, anything he can to get Liam to drop the subject. Instead he feels himself shaking his head, moving his hands to look at Liam. “No, I’m not.”

Liam frowns, moving to sit at the edge of the bed next to Theo. “What is it?”

Theo blames the way he suddenly has the urge to open his mouth and spill everything on the fact that he’s spent so many years holding it all in. “I… I don’t deserve this Liam. Any of it. You kindness. You trust. You and your family welcoming me into your life and home as if I’ve done nothing wrong. Because I have, I’ve done so many things. And I don’t deserve…”

“What?” Liam asks, voice gentle. “What do you think you don’t deserve?”

“Any of it,” Theo says, letting out a bitter laugh. “This,” Theo pounds on his chest right where Tara’s heart is steadily beating. “I don’t deserve this. It’s not mine. I don’t deserve all the feelings that come with it. They're not mine, they’re hers.”

Liam shakes his head, voice firm when he speaks. He moves until he’s straddling Theo, taking Theo’s face in his hands, making it to where Theo has no choice but to look at him. “No. You’re wrong. Whatever you're feeling, it is you. And you do deserve to. It’s your heart now, no matter how you got it. Your blood is what’s pumping through it, keeping it beating, keeping you alive. Whatever you’re feeling, it’s you feeling it, not her. I need you to understand that, Theo.”

Theo looks at Liam, eyes flickering across his face. Liam seems so certain that he can’t help but believe him. It’s hard but he does. Theo closes his eyes, tears spilling from them against his will. He’s feeling a storm of emotions right now and he’s not sure what to do with them. He’s not sure which one to acknowledge first.

“Liam,” Theo says, voice coming out nothing more than a harsh whisper.

“What is it?” Liam asks, his thumb stroking across Theo’s cheek. “What do you need?” Theo thinks about it, wanting to duck his head at the first thing that comes to mind. Liam holds firm though, making sure Theo keeps his eyes on him. “Hey Theo, no. Look at me. What is it? What do you need?”

“I need you to hug me,” Theo chokes out, surprised by the raw emotion in his voice. “Please.”

Liam blinks down at him, then he’s smiling, moving back a bit until he’s able to pull Theo up. Once Theo is sitting, Liam moves forward wrapping his arms around Theo’s back and pulling him close. Theo’s own arms hang limp at his sides, unsure if he’s allowed to return the gesture. At least until he hear Liam murmur close to his ear. “It’s okay. You can hug me back.”

Theo does. Once his arms are wrapped around Liam he can’t help but sink into the embrace. Finally, finally getting the one thing he’s been missing all these years. Now that he’s here in Liam’s arms he’s not sure how he ever went without it.

He whimpers, nuzzling into Liam’s neck, needing to be as close as possible. Liam only sighs, tilting his had to allow Theo better access. Liam’s being gentle with him in a way he’s not used to. He feels like he’s being broken apart and put back together again just by the touch of Liam’s hands. It’s hard to believe he’s allowed to have this, have Liam, but here he is.

“You do have me,” Liam says, pulling back to look at him. It’s only then that Theo realizes he spoke out loud. He’d be embarrassed if Liam wasn’t looking at him so tenderly, a soft smile on his as he runs his hand along Theo’s jaw. “You have me, anyway you want me. All of me. I’m yours. Mind, body, heart, and soul.”

“Liam,” Theo breathes. “You can’t just say things like that.”

“Why not?” Liam asks. “They’re true. I’m tired of pretending. I have you here like this and like hell am I going to miss the opportunity to let you know just how loved and cared for you are. Because you are. I don’t know when it happened but I fell in love with you Theo. I know you don’t think you deserve it, but I can promise you I am going to do everything I can to make you believe you do.”

Theo takes a deep breath, looking into Liam’s bright blue eyes. They’re open and honest and Theo feels a little overwhelmed. He knows what he feels for Liam but Liam right, he’s fought so hard against it because he never thought he deserved it. Part of him still doesn’t. “I do. I believe you. And I…”

Theo stops, the words on the tip of this tongue. He knows once he says them there’s no going back. They’re out there for the world to hear, or at least Liam. But Liam is his world now, isn’t he? That’s enough for him.

“You don’t have to say it back,” Liam whispers, “I understand. I don’t want to push you if you’re not ready.”

“I am,” Theo says, actually believing the words when they leave his mouth. “I love you too Liam. I might have my doubts about some things but I could never doubt my feelings for you.”

Liam smiles, brushing his nose along Theo’s. Theo’s eyes drift to Liam’s lips, fighting the urge to move in and claim Liam’s lips with his own. Liam must sense where his mind is going because his smile widens, “You can kiss me, if you want.”

Theo almost laughs at that. If he wants. How could he not want to? He has Liam still practically sitting in his lap and he just told him he loved him, how could he not want to kiss him? Theo just smiles, moving in to slowly brush his lips against Liam’s. It’s hesitant at first, both just gently moving their lips together. It’s soft and chaste and Theo can’t help the happy sigh that escapes him when they pull back. They’d have time for more later, he knows. For now, he’s happy to take these soft, unhurried moments with Liam.

 

 

Bonus:

Theo pulls back and looks towards the door when he hears a crash and some muffled cursing coming from outside. He looks to Liam to see the beta shaking his head, an amused tilt to his lips. He gives Theo a soft kiss before jumping off his lap and heading towards the door. He opens it to reveal both Jenna and Lyana on the other side, bent over as if their ears were just pressed against the door. They come stumbling into the room when the door opens, knocking them off balance from where they were leaning against it.

“What are you doing Mom? Lyana?” Liam asks, looking down at his mother and sister.

 “We were just…” Jenna looks to Lyana before looking back at Theo and Liam, a pleased smile on her face. “We were looking for woodworm.”

“Woodworm?” Liam asks, looking over at Theo when he snorts.

Liam might not know what woodworm is but Theo does. He got Netflix on his phone months ago and had used it wisely to watch all 5 seasons of Merlin.

“Woodworm?” Theo asks, getting off the bed and walking towards the door. “That’s terrible. This whole door will have to come off and be burned.”

“What?” Liam squeaks, looking from Theo to his Mom. “What are you talking about? What is woodworm?”

“Oh it’s a very rare breed of worm,” Theo tells him, keeping his face completely neutral. “It only eats wood. It spreads quickly though. It could be all over the house.”

“All over the house?” Lyana asks. “That’s terrible. We’ll have to burn it all.”

What?!” Liam asks, his voice rising even higher. “You can’t be serious?”

Theo, Jenna, and Lyana share a look before the three start laughing. Jenna moves over, wrapping Theo up into a tight hug, patting his back when she pulls away. “Welcome to the family.”

“Of course we’re not serious Liam,” Theo says, grinning over at him. “We were just messing with you.”

“You’re mean,” Liam pouts, “I’m breaking up with you.”

Lyana snorts, “Like hell you are. We just heard you talking about how much you love him. There’s no way you’re letting this one go.”

Liam sighs, wrapping an arm around Theo’s waist and tucking his head against his chest. “Yeah I know.”